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THE NEW EDUCATION CODE.

Newyddion
Dyfynnu
Rhannu

THE NEW EDUCATION CODE. THE Conference which Ir. DARLINGTON, H.M.I.S., held with the head teachers of the elementary schools in this district, at the Board School, Aberystwyth, on Saturday last, was very opportune and interesting. The Conference had been arranged in order to have Ir. DARLINGTON'S exposition of the Education Code recently published by the Board of Education. It is a healthy state of affairs when inspectors and teachers are found prepared to meet each other in conference to discuss matters relating to the education of the country. fr. DARLINGTON has always been most ready to confer with the teachers over whom he. is placed, and the guidance that he has been able to give them in our own district has been greatly appreciated. The meeting on Saturday was a notable instance of the excellent relations existing between the inspector and the head teachers of North Cardiganshire. The conference was marked by the freedom and frankness with which the teachers addressed their questions to the Inspector, and the openness and geniality with which they were replied to by the- Inspector. The Inspector was no superior being living among the celestials, but a man touched with a feeling towards the difficulties of teachers; approachable, genial, frank, and in every way sympathetic. Mr DARLINGTON'S elucidation of the distinctive features of the New Code was interesting and easy to follow. According to him, the two most salient points of the Code are the introduction of the block grant, and the definition, for the first time, of the term Elementary Education. One serious defect of the old code was this, that it attempted to classify instruction; it had the enormous disadvantage of cutting up too much into bits the teachers' activity and sphere of work the work was divided into too many departments. There was a money grant for this, and a money grant for that. Now under the new code a great deal of this disappears. By the introduction of the block grant, the school in future will be looked upon as a whole, and will be judged accordingly. Again, for the first time, the Board of Education-for so we must in future call what was formerly known as The Department-defines what is meant by elementary education. It is now laid down that elementary education for every citizen of our country shall comprise the three R's, together with the knowledge of at leasth is native land, and of the lands with which his country comes most in contact with; a rudimentary knowledge of its history; as well as a certain training of his mental faculties, and particularly of his faculty of observation. fr. DARLINGTON was very interesting in his remarks upon the schemes which the Board of Education has published for the guidance of teachers. One peculiarity of the Code is that head teachers' will have great freedom in drawing up schemes of curricula for their schools, and adapt these for the different circumstances and con- ditions in which their schools may be placed. In this respect, the Code follows somewhat closely the schemes drawn up by the Central Welsh Board for the curricula of County Schools. This new plan, which has great advantages, will give our elementary system of education a large amount of elasticity. But head-teachers must not assume that they can use this elastic system in any way they please. The Inspec- tors will, no doubt, like the authorities of the Central Welsh Board, keep a sharp look-out that the schemes offered to the inspectors for their approval are of the necessary degree of value and standard. We do not think that for a long time to come, teachers will take much advantage of the option to adopt the curriculum to what is usually called the special conditions of the districts in which the schools are situated. An elementary school in a mining district in Cardiganshire will hardly yet be able to go in for technical instruction in mining nor can we expect a village school on the sea border to teach the elements of navigation. There are very many school- masters of the opinion that the chief duty of the elementary school is to train up intelligent boys and girls, well versed in the three R's, and grounded with a good knowledge of the United Kingdom and the Colonies, their growth and history, and I taught to make a good use of their mental I faculties. There are many interesting points which Mr. DARLINGTON discussed on which we cannot now dilate. We shall, for the present, postpone the consideration of these. At the Conference, on Saturday, we are glad to find that the University, Collegiate, Intermediate, and Elementary stages of our education system were represented-an outward and visible sign of the inter-dependence of the several parts of the Welsh system of education, of which we are, as natives, justly proud.

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