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Educational Conferences

    Naturevolume 98pages359360 (1917) | Download Citation



    AT the opening meeting of the Conference of Educational Associations, the chairman, Sir Henry Miers, directed attention to the wide interest aroused of late in educational questions, and laid down three lines of general agreement: continued education beyond fourteen, an improvement in the position and prospects of teachers, and a reorganisation of the scholarship system. We need to promote in young people a desire for further education and the power to carry it on, and to provide facilities for the exercise of that power. Mr. A. L. Smith, the Master of Balliol, in his inaugural lecture, struck a similar note. That all recently published programmes of reform should be working in the same direction, that so many suggestive experiments in the psychology and practice of education should be in progress, and that so svide an interest should have been aroused among workers, employers, and business men he regarded as very hopeful signs. As head of a great Oxford college he welcomed the controversy between classics and science, and expressed the opinion that much of the old curriculum should be discarded, that no one could be considered fully educated who was ignorant of the processes, standards, and history of natural science, and that it, was possible to give a general scientific training which should provide useful equipment and valuable mental exercise for all. It would be both feasible and beneficial for science to enter into all early education, with specialisation later where aptitude was shown. Public opinion has not yet put the teacher in his right place, or rewarded him sufficiently, yet only so can we foster the power for development and heroism latent in the ordinary man. Educational methods have great influence on the efficiency and contentment of workers, and a great modern commonwealth needs at its centre a democracy which shall be intellectually, socially, and morally educated.

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