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Educational Position and Outlook

    Naturevolume 98pages379380 (1917) | Download Citation



    AFTER-WAR problems dominated the various sectional meetings of the Conference of Educational Associations held last week, and the two schemes of reform suggested by the Education Reform Council and the Workers' Educational Association were frequently in evidence. Three main lines of thought could be noted. One took up the burden of the Master of Balliol's inaugural address in his insistence upon tne need for an educated democracy. Thus Principal Maxwell Garnett, ot tne Manchester School of Technology, speaking on the vocational outlook before the Chiid Study Association, urged that primitively interest was aroused by things to be done; thus permanent neurographic records were formed, and from these neurograms interest systems were created which tended always to grow. Hence it was wise to develop a single wide interest and a power of concentrated attention, and such interest systems, developing in adolescence, if centred round one's vocation, would produce a body of workers who would be at once more effective and more contented. At the same time, there was need to reserve from all classes those who would become prophets and thinkers. This last was the note of Prof. Shelley's address before the Teachers' Guild; a healthy democracy must evolve an aristocracy whilst at the same time fostering the forces that would destroy it, and always there must be a selection of the most vigorous personalities who would e'xpress the ideals and aspirations of the age. This involved, as Principal Garnett also insisted, some other method than the crude intellectual test of selecting those who should proceed by scholarships to higher centres of learning. Prof. Gilbert Murray had pointed out at the previous meeting the corollary to this, that there should be secured to the youth of all classes the best education for which each was intellectually fitted.

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