F. W. Sanderson


    MR. FREDERICK WILLIAM SANDERSON, headmaster of Oundle School, whose tragic death occurred on Thursday, June 15, at the close of an address to the National Union of Scientific Workers on "The Duty and Service of Science in the New Era,"made a deep and lasting impression upon scientific education in this country. He had just concluded his address, and Mr. H. G. Wells, who presided, had described him as the greatest headmaster that ever lived, when he slid from the chair in which he was sitting, and a few minutes later died from heart failure. Mr. Sanderson, who was born on May 13, 1857, was nth wrangler at Cambridge in 1882, and assistant master at Dulwich College from 1885 to 1892, when he was appointed headmaster of Oundle School, Northants, which he transformed from a small and relatively unknown institution to a great and leading educational power. No Public School in the kingdom possesses such laboratories and workshops, and in none is it possible for a boy to be better prepared for worthy citizenship in a modern community. In all subjects Mr. Sanderson introduced methods of instruction which are both effective and stimulating. The practical method of teaching science is combined with lessons on the romance of the subject and points of contact with the action of Nature and the work of man in everyday life: library research is encouraged in connection with history and literature: English by reciting and acting an adapted play of Shakespeare's every term: languages by direct methods, and so on throughout the curriculum. Mr. Sanderson was not only an original thinker but also a tireless experimenter in educational methods, and his breadth of interest was so great that the classical and literary work at Oundle is as distinctive as that in science. The spirit of it all is that of education for service—creativeness rather than personal possession—and Mr. Sanderson's last words were a plea for this uplifting principle in every school. Oundle remains a noble monument to his high ideals and their successful achievement.

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    F. W. Sanderson. Nature 109, 822 (1922). https://doi.org/10.1038/109822a0

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