UniDcrsitp College, ABERYSTWYTH.|1899-06-08|Welsh Gazette and West Wales Advertiser - Welsh Newspapers Online
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Summer Song.

•♦ Uses of Recreation.

+» Folly and Fear.

Usefulness.

..— Life. --

—+-Grief.

. A Materialistic Age.

♦ The Nature of Devotion.

HOUSE OF COMMONS.-THURSDAY.

A Thomas Ellis Scholarship.

Wearisome Verbosity.

. Education of Children Bill.

.. The Teaching Profession.

UniDcrsitp College, ABERYSTWYTH.

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UniDcrsitp College, ABERYSTWYTH. Educational Problems. THE BISHOP OF HEREFORD AT THE COLLEGE. In connection with the local branch of the Teach- ers' Guild Dr. Percival, the Lord Bishop of Hereford, addressed a large number of students aud visitors in the Examination Hall of the College, at Aberyst- wyth, on Thursday. Principal Roberts occupied the chair. Dr. Percival said he was particularly glad of the opportunity of seeing face to face the living representatives of that University—the university of the present and all the hope of the future, because it was to him as an Englishman to some extent interested in Wales, for, however unworthy, he had the privilege of peesiding over some dozen Welsh parishes—(laughter)—particularly interest- ing to come and have even that hasty glimpse of their University and its life. It was so different from the English universities as to have a fascina- tion for one who was moved, as he confessed he was sometimes moved, by what might be called democratic tendencies (cheers). The English universities of Oxford and Cambridge—noble in- stitutions as they were, were English national uni- versities in a somewhat different sense to that at Aberystwyth. No one conld be familierwith their life and with the life of the people of England without seeing that Drford and Cambridge were universities of the professions and of the wealthier classes. It was not necessary for him to say any- thing of the splendid services they did to the nation or to the way they extended their influence through all ranks of the people by extension lectures and in other ways. But notwithstanding all that, they occupied towards the nation a different relationship to what the University of Aberystwyth occupied towards the people of Wales. Whether his conception was a right one or not, it was a conception which made all thought of their Welsh University so interesting to him and it was this, that that was a university of the people, to a great extent provided by the impulse of the people, and used by the people of all ranks and classes. He thought of it as a university in which would be educated not merely professional men and women and those who belong to the weathier and leisured classes, but those who went out into occupation, and who lived their lives in the hills and valleys of Wales (applause). He often envied Wales insti- tutions of that kind which laid their grasp upon the whole life of the Kingdom, which no institution did on the ordinary life of England. England there- by suffered a great loss, it seemed to him—a loss which it suffered both with relation to Scotland and to Wales. He remembered being very much struck by an illustration of the value of the pre- valance of university life, as touching in a close and in a real sense the common life of the people, when travelling along the Highland Railway of Scotland. He travelled for a considerable distance with a stonemason, whose con- versation was that of a really educated man, and was of the most interesting character, He did not know that he had ever heard anyone talk more interestingly of Thomas Carlyle than did that plain working mason in the highlands of Scotland. (cheers). Of course, there are some little extra- vagances in his talk as might be expected from a Scotch highlandman when talking about Thomas Carlyle (laughter). He could not say he could always follow him the whole distance, particularly when he insisted time after time that Thomas Carlyle was the greatest man on God's earth (re- newed laughter). But still he felt, when he came away from that conversation, that the Scotch system of higher education pervaded the whole of Scotch life in every degree from the University. The people of Wales provided it for themselves in Wales, but the people of England did not enjoy it. He congratulated them on having done that great and good work for their own generation and for the generations that were to come after them (ap- plause). He should like to add one word with regard to the University, and that was to express the pleasure he felt at seeing that women were securing their proper share of Welsh education (applause). It had been one of the blots upon English life in the past that men seemed to have appropriated almost all the various helps and en- dowments and benefits up and down English life given for the purpose of education; and it was one of the most hopeful of all signs for the life of generations to come that woman was beginning to secure something like, there in Wales at any rate, an equal opportunity with man in the field of Welsh Education (applause). About a year ago he was invited by Canon Rownsley to open at Kes- wick a new secondary school of a mixed character to be frequented by boys and girls—joint education. He did not know whether such schools existed in Wales; but at any rate it was a new type of school in that part of the world (laughter). He was not going there to discuss the value of a mixed, educa- tion, but it was very interesting to him to find that the master and the mistress who had been selected to preside over the school at Keswick were both Welsh people (cheers). The master was a Welsh- man of considerable distinction and the mistress had been a distinguished teacher, as he under- stood, in one of the higher schools at Barmouth or Dolgelley (applause). In that way it would be seen how England was beginning to benefit by the higher education which Wales was giving to her young people, which enabled Wales to send her youth out as missionaries into the remote corners of England (laughter). Going on to speak of the Teachers' Guild, his Lordship said that when living at Oxford he had to do with the foundation of the guild. In fact, he believed he was chairman of the tirst council (cheers). He noticed that the guild had a very interesting conference at Aber- ystwyth last year. The Teachers Guild was one of the best of the institutions which were working all over their English life. It represented the whole body of teachers effected a new kind of unity and helped them a long way forward towards securing the teacher a real professional status; and the more they could do that they made more influential the highest and best educational powers of the country. In England teachers were divided into sections, each of which occupied a different plane. The Guild brought teachers of all sections together where they could not only help but could learn from each other (hear, hear). In Wales teachers were not divided to the extent they were in England, and Wales was to be congratulated on that fact, because there was no greater loss for a nation or for the profession than for the teachers to be divided into separate classes (applause). One of the great gains of a university like that was that it tended to obliterate divisions, not only in society, but in professions, and so helped to keep the people together in one national body (hear, hear). He had not observed anything in England which tended to bring women so much to the front as the Guild. He had always been profoundly impressed with the fact that women teachers were far less subject, he might say, to tradition and to conven- tional influences than men. They came to a subject of discussion with more open minds, and, if he might venture to describe it, were more ideal- istic (laughter). He hoped the men present would forgive him (renewed laughter). The habit of women seemed to him to be more directly the habit of looking at the higher aspiration of the subject and he had noticed how women impared a higher tone to fhe subject and he could not but feel that they went away and faced their pupils in many instances with higher, clearer, and purer notions of what could be done with the profession than was the case with many of the masters and so he had felt thankful again and again that the Teachers' Guild was a body which had been tending all over the country in one branch and another to bring women more to the front in the discussion of the higher education because he was convinced it had been a great gain to the cause of education. (applause). There was still another reason for joining the Teachers Guild. It helped to add momentum to the demand which the Guild was always making for the registration of teachers and schools and for the adequate training of teachers. It was astonishing how the world had gone on with so many defects as were allowed to exist, and it was astonishing how they had gone on so long educating generation after generation without adopting any real system of training for those engaged in the work of education (applause). There was nothing more important than that the teacher should have the best possible training when he had to do with the impressionable years of life of a sensitive human soul. They had gone on with- out ever forming a system; without collecting and formulating the experience of those who had taught for the advantage of those who came after them. They had gone on letting each new generation of teachers work out its own ideas of teaching on the pupils whom they had to teach. He was not only thinking of the work of the Guild, but of the work of the professors in the college. The elementary teachers were better trained in many respects and he congratulated them because as they stood year after year before their pupils impressing their personality upon them, inspiring them, guiding them, and uplifting them, they were 11 c!1 z, doing far more than bishops and clergy could expect to do (applause). But some of them were going to be teachers in intermediate and higher education, both men and women, and what an advantage training would be to them. They would be among the pioneers because people were only just beginning to talk about it in England, and on that account he was glad to find they had a system at work at Aberystwyth, because he trusted that the action of England would be accelerated by the example of Wales and by the success of those who passed through the system there (applause). Archdeacon Prothero proposed, and Mr. Darling- ton seconded, and it was unanimously agreed, that y I a vote of thanks be given to the Bishop for his address.

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