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The British Association


    Reports Report of the Committee, consisting of Dr. Gladstone, F.R.S. (Secretary), Mr. William Shaen, Mr. Stephen Bourne, Miss Lydia Becker, Sir John Lubbock, Bart., M.P., F.R.S., Dr. H. W. Crosskey, Sir Henry E. Roscoe, F.R.S., Mr. James Heywood, F.R.S., and Prof. N. Story Maskelyne, M.P., F.R.S., for the Purpose of Continuing the Inquiries relating to the Teaching of Science in Elementary Schools.—Since the reappointment of your Committee at Southport no legislation affecting the teaching of science in elementary schools has taken place, and it is yet too early to estimate the whole influence of the Education Code of 1882 in that respect. Some indications, however, have been gathered from the Blue-book and from some of the large Boards. The first effect of the change of Code upon the teaching of science is shown in the return of the Education Department for this year; but as the tabulated statements only extend to August 31, 1883, tney contain merely the results of those examinations that were made of schools which came under the new Code between April 1 and August 1, 1882, or about 28 per cent. of the whole. The following conclusions may be drawn; (1) Elementary science was taken up by scarcely any schools examined during these months, the number of departments that took it up as the second class subject being only 15, while 3988 took up geography, 1644 (girls) needlework, and 114 history. It must be remembered that geography is more scientific than it was before, but needlework is rapidly displacing it in girls' schools. (2) The exclusion of the Fourth Standard from instruction in specific subjects has reduced the number of scholars so taught by 56.6 per cent.; but the remaining 43.4 per cent. that is to say, the children in Standards V., VI., and VII., do receive a larger proportion of scientific teaching. The actual number of children examined during these four months in the mathematical and scientific specific subjects is given in Column I. of the following table; Column II. gives the estimated number who would have been examined under the old Code; Column III. the number of those who would have been above Standard IV.

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