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WHAT SHALL OUR CHILDREN BE…

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WHAT SHALL OUR CHILDREN BE TAUGHT? Miss Hickson's Views. The education of our children is, one might say, the most important of our social ques- tions. The quality of their brains is probably much the same now as twenty years ago, it is the maimer of training them that is differ- ent. Education, as understood in the larger and broader light of to-day, is the drawing out of a child's powers, the training bim to think for himself, to learn by analogy and experience. In this respect it differs from that of former years, when the acquisition of certain hard facts was deemed all that was necessary to a liberal education. It is a well known physiological fact that the using of our powers, mental and physical, improves, sharpens, and developes them, and —given health and happy conditions of life- the more a child's brain is exercised in the right way. the more good will it do. We re- quire varied mental as well as physical food to ensure the best developmont of our powers, and if to every child a broad and liberal edu- cation were given, he (or she) would be well equipped for whatever. line of life chosen in after years. It is now a recognised fact that history and geography so influence each other that the subjects cannot be studied apart; the position of a nation's boundaries—its rivers, moun- tains, towns—may make or mar the fate of its people, as witness the struggle now going on m Turkey. Then again the knowledge of modern languages determines to a large extent the commercial conditions of a country. Natural History and Botany are subjects peculiarly delightful to children, and even a little knowledge of these will make their country walks a thousand times more in- teresting. The hedgerows will speak to them, the birds will sing a new song, every little creature will be a joy, and all nature a revela- tion. We want something besides the utilities of life in this work-a-day world. The love and study of nature may not help our children in business, but it will give beauty to their lives, and add a new happiness to each day. This may also be said of a knowledge of the highest kinds of literature, both poetry and prose. Every girl should possess a knowledge of cookery, for what is more prejudicial to health of mind and body than badly cooked food? But need this preclude a knowledge of arithmetic ? Arithmetic makes for exactitude, for economy (in cooking all in other things) and helps a woman to manage her own or lier husband's income to the best advantage; and a very little thought will prove it equally necessary for girls or for boys. We want more general knowledge the 9 0 geography of our own little island is of course 0 specially interesting to us, but to form a just estimate of other countries we must study their history and geography, the habits of their people, and their progress through the ages. Thus only shall we cultivate that larger charity, which is another name for love of our fellow creatures. Knowledge is power. Yes, and it is something more it is often goodness and happiness as well. We are fond of saying to our children, Be good and you're sure to be happy." Might we not also say Acquire knowledge, be happy, and you're sare to be good This may be heresy, but those who live long enough will see that such heresy will takeJits place as living truth. But there be things (oh, sons of what has deserved the name of Great Britain, forget it not!), the good of which and the use of which are beyond all calculation of worldly goods and earthly uses things such as Love and Honour and the Soul of man, which cannot be bought with a price, and which do not die with Death, and they who would fain live happily ever after, should not leave these things out of the lessons of their lives."

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