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tion of its beneficial effect upon apprentices and of its value to employers.
The shoe manufacturers of Bristol differ widely in opinion as to the usefulness of trade school instruction for their apprentices. Messrs. Church and McPherson think the schools valuable and Mr. H. A. Carter declares that “what is taught at the schools is far better than our secrets," that is, the trade secrets which many manufacturers jealously guard. J. W. Ashley and Co. dissent from this view and declare that, according to their experience, apprentices, "instead of being improved, were rather spoiled by the little information which they did obtain.” In their opinion, “the trade can not be learned better at schools than in the work room, but can probably be learned much more quickly; but the employers get but little benefit."
Master plumbers at Bristol, and at Aberdeen and Glasgow, prefer boys educated at trade schools as apprentices and deem them more valuable.
Mr. John Sharp probably expresses the prevailing opinion when, in referring to his trade school instruction, he says that he was benefited by it “not in the line of becoming a more skilful user of tools, but in the theory and science information which I could not have obtained in the shops."
Brock and Son, master builders of Bristol, consider the knowledge of tools acquired in the trade school to be of but little account, while they hold that the mastery of general mechanical principles is of great ad. vantage to the apprentice.
Managers of locomotive works say that technical instruction greatly aids the apprentice in his business, inasmuch as it enables him to read drawings and work from a plan. Of 22 employés of the Great Eastern Railway works, 10 received technical instruction at the Great Eastern Railway Mechanics’ Institute, 2 at King's College, 3 at Finsbury Technical College, 1 at Sheffield Technical School, 1 at the Regent street Polytechnic, 2 at the Crystal Palace School, and 1 each at University College, Birkbeck Institute, and at the City and Guilds of London Central Institute.
Concerning the value of technical training to electrical engineers, Mr. Charles Meredith, who obtained his education at the Merchant Venturers' School and Bristol College, writes as follows:
I know that my training, acquired at the Merchant Venturers' School and in the laboratory of Bristol College, has been of the greatest benefit to me in my trade and has enabled me to win advancement to my present position of chief foreman of the shops.
A veneering of technical knowledge will not suffice to hide the defects of elementary education, says an intelligent surveyor; or, in his own words, “No amount of technical education can fit a man for this business, if he lacks education in the rudiments."
The general comment that seems warranted, where personal exami. nation of the institutions themselves, or their lines and methods of study has been made, is that there appears to be a lack of that exactness and critical fidelity to a high standard in the requirements from pupils which is so marked a feature of the technical training of the United States, certainly in its best schools.
This is perhaps due to the fact that so large a percentage of the pupils in the industrial and technical schools of Great Britain are of the night classes and of the working, rather than of the student class.
It is, of course, manifestly impossible that a tired young workman, adding two hours of hard work to his day's labor in the work of an evening class, can be held to the precision and exactness of detail which should be required of the day student following the lines of study only. It is significant as proof of how hopeless this is considered that there are no check markings of each evening's work, but that final or stated examinations are all that are attempted.
Even in the higher technical colleges the exactions of nicety and precision do not equal those of the leading technical colleges in the United States. On the other hand it may well be doubted whether the recreative and social features which are the seemingly inseparable concomitants in the British mind of all study, industrial especially, do not include an advantage, not obtained in American schools, that fairly offsets the lack mentioned.
Class distinctions and the special requirements for the British people that arise from them must also be considered as having an important bearing on any measures or methods adopted there. These and the power of the trade unions are factors that require consideration in all these and similar institutions on that side of the Atlantic.
SCHOOLS OF AGRICULTURE.
The number of institutions engaged exclusively in this work or hav. ing departments so engaged is not large, and they only are enumerated. There is no college of agriculture maintained and conducted wholly by the government, but grants are made to existing schools and agricultural and dairy societies by the committee of council for agriculture.
The testimony of the educational and agricultural press is seemingly concurrent as to the present absence and the recognized need of more and better schools for the promotion of hand skill and technical knowledge in this department.
Present reliance for the diffusion of practical and scientific information upon agricultural subjects throughout the kingdom seems to be rather upon lectures and didactic instruction than by systematic and illustrative teaching, the dairy and agricultural societies usually being the prime movers.
ROYAL AGRICULTURAL COLLEGE.
The Royal Agricultural College, Cirencester, was incorporated by royal charter in 1815. In 1870 a supplemental charter, with new powers, was obtained, and in March 1880 the college, by command of the queen, was styled the Royal Agricultural College. In-students pay £135 ($656.98) and out-students £75 ($364.99) per annum. There are also a few extras. The objects of the institution, in the words of its charter, are "to teach the science of agriculture, and the various sciences connected therewith; the practical application in the cultivation of the soil; and the rearing and management of stock.” There is a chapel, library, museum, botanic garden, lecture theatre, laboratories, veterinary hospital, meteorological station, and workshops. The farm, which is of a mixed character, consists of about 500 acres, of which 450 are arable, so variable as to admit of experimental treatment. There are six residentiary professorial chairs, and the college grants certificates of proficiency and a diploma of membership or association. The course of instruction embraces practical agriculture and rural economy; estate inanagement; bookkeeping; chemistry; natural history; physics and mechanics; mensuration; land surveying and estate engineering; veterinary science and practice; architectural and mechanical farm drawing; lathe, carpentry and wheelwright work, smith work, and saddlery; and garden work.
There are several scholarships open to the students, viz., one entrance scholarship of £20 ($97.33) per annum for two and one-balf years; three of £25 ($121.66) each and 6 of £10 (848.67) each annually; and 6 of £200 ($973.30) a year each (2 annually) by the government of Bengaltenable two and one-half years. Class and practical work prizes, certificates of honor, and gold medals are also awarded.
DOWNTON COLLEGE OF AGRICULTURE.
The Downton College of Agriculture (near Salisbury) was established in 1880, with the object of supplying sound and practical instruction in agricultural subjects, to qualify students to be land agents, farmers, or surveyors. The method of instruction consists of field classes, practical work, and catechetical lectures. Weekly examinations are conducted on the farm, in the laboratories, and by printed papers. Each student keeps a farm journal, which is inspected and reported upon at regular intervals. The subjects of instruction include agriculture and dairy and pastoral farming, estate management, land agency, forestry, mensuration, laud surveying, architectural drawing, bookkeeping, chemistry, geology, botany, veterinary surgery, etc. A complete two years' course prepares for the examinations of the Royal Agricultural Soci. ety and of the Institution of Surveyors. There is a farm of about 600 acres, and students are expected to take part in field operations and to assist with live stock when required. Gentlemen over 21 years of age are received as out-students. The fee for in-students, including board, bodging, tuition, and laundry, is £126 (8613.18); out-students, £60 ($291.99) per annum. There are some extras for private rooms, etc. A scholarship of £10 ($18.67) is offered for competition among the students who have completed their first year, and prizes are awarded for proficiency.
TAMWORTH AGRICULTURAL COLLEGE AND TRAINING FARM.
Tamworth Agricultural College and Training Farm was established in 1886. The management is in private hands. There is accommodation for 40 students from 15 to 20 years of age. The instruction in. cludes scientific and practical home and colonial farming. The fees for board and tuition vary from £18 to £26 ($87.60 to $126.53) a term, there being three terms a year. The training farm, 1,000 acres, is managed by the college masters and students. There is a corn mill attached to the college.
There are several other schools of a similar character. Among these the Aspatria Agricultural College, near Carlisle, the Cheshire county dairy school, the department of agriculture of Edinburgh University, and the department of agriculture of the Glasgow and West of Scotland Technical College are awarded grants by the committee of council for agriculture.
DAIRY SCHOOLS. The Suffolk Dairy Institute, Forfarshire and Kincardine Dairy School, and Kilmarnock Dairy School are all engaged in giving special instruction in their relative lines, and are applicants for grants from the committee of council for agriculture.
The direct influence of the instruction given in the English agricul. tural schools is shown by the results at the Munster Dairy School. These are described by Mr. Jenkins, one of the royal commissioners of Great Britain, who says:
The great agricultural trade of the south of Ireland is butter making, In former times the butter of the Cork market was esteemed very highly throughout the United Kingdom. In recent times the Cork brand declined considerably in public favor.
An effort was, therefore, made to revive the reputation of the Cork butter. This movement took shape in making the farm at Munster a training establishment for the education of dairymaids. Mr. Jenkins adds:
The butter which was made at the school almost immediately obtained a high reputation and commanded the best price. At the Birmingham dairy show in 1881 the success of the school produced quite a sensation in the agricultural world. The prizes which it obtained at the show were first, second, and third in the fresh butter class. Subsequently, at Islington, other important prizes were awarded to the school, viz., first and second prizes in the fresh butter classes, special prize for salt but
ter, special prizes given by the judges for excellency of entries, and also the champion cup presented by the lord mayor of London and the city corporation for the best butter exhibited,
The young women who are educated as dairymaids in the school are chiefly the daughters of Munster farmers. The stipend paid by each for the six weeks' course is only £3 ($14.60).
The success, so rapid and complete, of this school is said already to have increased the value of the dairy produce of Munster by so large a sum that I hesitate to record it. But there can be no doubt whatever that this propitious experiment has proved not only to be a turning point in the fortunes of Irish agriculture, but a practical lesson to the whole population of Munster that education is not a device of statesmen to make people only masters of books and of sciences, but that, wisely directed, it is all the while a certain means of promoting their material prosperity.
It must not be inferred that instruction in the Munster school is limited to the mere details of the manipulation of butter. On the contrary the training in dairy management includes instruction in the nature of the food and feeding of milch cows, in the nature of milk and its products, as well as in practical demonstrations of the most approved methods of handling milk and making butter with modern and with ordinary appliances.
The success of the school has won for it state aid to the amount of £526 ($2,559.78) per annum. Without this support there can be no question that it would soon share the fate of all schools of practical agriculture that are not subsidized; that is to say, it would cease to exist.
This typical dairy school has been described at some length in the belief that (both for the purposes of example and of warning) it is necessary to understand somewhat in detail the practical management of an educational system, whether that system be agricultural, scientific, or literary. We can not undertake to catalogue all the farm schools of various grades that exist in Great Britain; and, were it possible, the execution of such a task would be of doubtful service. One must gain a clear perception of both excellences and defects in an institution that is set forth as a model, in order to know what to avoid and what to imitate. The servile copying of the methods of the Munster school in America would be an egregious blunder, but it may be possible to derive some useful hints from its course of instruction,