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Denbighshire Teachers' Association.


Denbighshire Teachers' Association. 4141%Op of St. Asaph and Education. k, '1'be annual meetings of the Denbighshire e»cher3' Association, which is a branch of ^■^ational'Union of Teachers, was held » Qolwyn <Bay on Saturday. Mr E H f ones presided at the opening of the con- whan the new president, Mr S jjvine Joaes, of Colwyn Bay, ^as in- *JJ.ed in the chair. ,r Giynne Jones, in the course of his j^sidential address, dilated upon the im- ?^aQce of unity among the teachers of V^ty. ». "lie following resolution was moved by Jones, of Bersham :—<» That this ^eetiog begs the Denbighshire Education T^ttrlttee to provide a scale cff salaries for pss teachers, and also to receive a depu- ^on of teachers in connection with the <^1 branch of the Nationttl.redaation of distant Teachers at an early date." Mr Jones pointed out that he was speak- | lt1 on behalf of the assistants simply. than on behalf of the masters, Whereas the National Union of Teachers gave their support to the West ;*ai& teachers some time ago in regard to treatment of assistant teachers, the nlOn advised the Denbighshire teachers to the agreement which the Denbigh- IIh' 0 1 shire county authority had required them -to Sign. In doing that the Denbighshire ,eachers had tied their own hands, and ilorta to obtain better terms from the .4ttthority were now to all intents and pl.1- ,?08es unavailing. At this point in his tddress the speaker mdeo a vehement ap- l>eal to all teachers in the county to join 'the union and with emphatic gesture exclaimed, We cannot do anything while thEre are blacklegs in the county" (applause). Mr C Davies (Rhoeldu), in seconding tbe motion, protested against the present Method of the county authority in making Increases of salary to teachers. Mr R B SeareJl (Llanrhaiadr), moved,; *Ud Mr E J Roberts .(Denbigh), seconded,; a amendment to make the proposition applicable to head teachers as well as class teachers, fhifl wa«N«ecepted by the mover; seconder 0f the proposition, which was! carried unanimously and with en-; thusiasm. Miss Gitterw (Abergele) read a paper on My Impression American Education;" > based upon what she saw and heard during, her visit to the United States as a member, the party of British teachers taken aver by Mr Mosely. BISHOP OF ST. ASAPH'S HISTORICAL REVIEW. Iq the afternoon a public meeting was: eld, at which the Bishop of St Asaph; and wa« supported by Mr Herbert Roberts, Ms?., Mr T P Sykes,-ess- resident of the National Union of "eachers Mr J C Davies, organiser of ^ication for Denbigbshiie; Alderman °'mon Jones, Wssaxham Mr O Isg&ed Jones, Llaurwet; .-Canon Hugh Roberts, Colwyn Bay Rev John Edwards, chair— tnan of the Colwyn Bay School District kitriagers Rev Zohn Griffiths, vicar vt Colwyn Rev Meredith J Hughes. vicar of Brynyraaeu and Colonel Saudbaek, afodnnos. The Bishop of St. Asaph said they we*?. aU Soldiers in the gpeat standing army th*t "as perpetually at war with ignorance, and he proposed to study the tactics and Weapons with which their forbears attadfced this constant foe. The two last centuries Would suffice for their researches. To him the eighteenth oesxtniy was hardly legs in teresting than the spacious times of the great Elizabeth. It was a germinating century—seed plot of great idea?. Nowimse --as its interest greater than in Wales, aoci nOWhere had its various developments been recorded in more misleading isolation. The elhteenth century had two characteristics seemingly, but not really contradictory.. Neither in principle nor in practice was there as yet in England the idea of a Astern of popular education. This &p- .Peared all the more 6trazige, because in Prussia, for example, education was com- Pulsory in 1717, and ic most of the small 'German States before the century endel, '^hile Scotland kad its parochial schools, 'Ireland its chartered schools, and the New England States an admirable system of popular education. [n contrast with this lack in England, there was in England d Wales an eager desire for knowledge displayed by all classes, and a still more eer desire for its diffusion. How Was it that in such a century the education of the children was regarded Eg something en- 'tiweij' outside the functions of Government f The English people, while consolidating their newly-acquired liberty, and laying She foundation f°r its further extension, the of Go^rnment to the protection of life and property and the regulation of industry. Popular education Was left to private eifart^represented by the Church, by private individuals, and by ^oluttacy societies. There were among the diocesan records visitation returns from every parish, rural deans'' .returns from 0-Ifery, deanery, and a large mass of other original documents never yet published, but throwing a flood of light upon the Whole of .the eighteenth century in that Part of Wales. An official document in the bandWlitmg of Bishop Griiftbs in 16611 just like the petition from Monmouth- shire and ti>e six South Wales .eountiea— e showed that the same wave of ruin and spoliation had swept over North and South Wales. In 1674 the Archfckshop of Canterbury, sereral other bishops, and Mr Gouge formed a voluntary society for cir- culating Welsh books in Wales, and for establishing and inaintnining Befools in Wales to teach Welsh children to read, Write, and cast accounts. The funeral sermon preached upon the death of Gwuge in 1681 showed that a large number of schools were established, and a vast amount of litcraturediatributed by this organisation. 0 Then arose Sir John Plaillipll, the foremost figure among the promoters of Welsh edu- "I cation in the eighteenth century. In 1700 he directed the attention of the Christian Knowledge Society to Wsies, and for a record of his transeendant services, carried on after his death by his brother-in-law, Griffith Jones, of Llanddowror, the audi- ence were referred to the invaluable mono- Kfaph lately published by the ReN Thomag Sbaalsljind, librarian of Bangor College. fruly it was a refreshing experi?nce to find 1 in Mr Shauklànd a writer who had the courage and the ability to tell the whole truth about the eighteenth century, without keeping an eye on the present controversies and shaping his history accordingly (ap- plause). The movement in which Sir John Phillips took part was enthusiastically Welsh. Circulating and charity schools, lending and circulating libraries were among its chief results. Parochial libraries were largely established ia that diocese, and an Act was passed in the seventh year of Queen Anne for the better preservation of such libraries." In the first b'iU of the eighteenth century there were 69 out of 121 parishes in that diocese where schools had been established. These schools had been established long before the year 1780, a year selected by some for the birth of movements already long ia existence. The clese of the century saw the first impulse to popular education given by the Swiss teacher l'estal^zzi. Seven years later Lancaster, at Southwark, and two years later Bell, began their systems. In these charity sohools religious instruction formed a large part of the teaching. It must be remembered that throughout the eighteenth century there was hardly a parish'in that diocese where the system of catechising on Sunday was not reguiarly maintained daring stated periods of the year. Parents, servants, and children attended these catechising classes. The Press also obtained its liberty, and the educational influence of these changes was great. Dming this time VTsies and her leaders, alien and Anglicised as some of tbeta were then, took their part with England in facing those problems of toler- ation and liberty, and in layiag foundations, upon which much of the best work of the nineteenth century was afterwards csrected (applause). It was a sturdy resolute century, and its character was il £ <ustrate £ by the fact that it gave us the word independent in its tao^Sern acoeptation (applause). When we were inclined 'to &Idge its character it was well to remem- abet:" that vice was advertised Jitther than increased by the candid coarseness of the eighteenth century, as it was concealed rather than diminished by the superficial refinement of a later age (applause). One fact had stamped itself upon his mind from a somewhat prolonged this subject, 1:1 Wales we canonised the wrong people in the eighteenth century, T-ariaing to the nzineteenth century, the bishop reviewed the progress made in education, the necessity of which was realised PJ" the international industrial competition. He showed the objection there was to the gratuitous education that was planed by the Church schools within the reach of the people because the children were taught the catechism. So keen was the feeling that the catechism was not insisted upon in many schools in North Wales, whilst in South Wales this relaxation was almost universal. It was also, 'however evident that the catechism was then taught with- I out explanation in English to children who knew only Welsh, with the result that most of them did not underjtacd a word of what they repeated merely may rote (laughter). The teachers of those days were, with scarcely an exception, persons who had failed at some other calling. Bishop Vowler Short, in ISLAP-, said, *• A superior race of teachers must be prepared for rising generations Bishop Short was an Englishman, and fi £ ahoptofsS& Asaph fotj twenty-six years, although be aever used; for himself a penny of its emoluments. He; was not only the meat far-sighted but thei most generous benefactor of elementary education in Wales :ia. the whole of the last century (applause^. In concluding, the Bishop said: To-day :the State grants Z12,000,000 a year to elementary educa- tion, which we have traced from the days of its penury to those of dtts affluence. Both conditions have their dangers. Wet have probably all known instances of the! best edacation given under (the most an-: promising conditionra. Let as remember that poverty like pereeootion has its blessings and that there is -11 a strength' made perfect in weakness" applause). In an age of great material prosperity we are in danger of making money the measure of all things. We hear of colossal fortunes made by grinding the faces ef the poor competitors, and some of these surplus I millions showered as conscience money upon education. C hope Done of these demoralising gifts will come our way! (applause). Let us also be jjr-st and grate- ful to our poor Delations -who did the pioneer work of education in the past. There is a certain pride and selfishness in picking out only the Aistinguished, ancestor. It is like filing all the honours on the general and forgetting the common, soldier. But in one historical survey of education let us reserve some of our praise, and admiratiou for those humble teachers, ,ill-paid and ill-trained, who did the rough work of education in their day and genera- tion, and now sleep in unremembered tgraves (applause). It is diapossible, I think, to study the records of education in the past without drawing one jaseful lesson for our present-day controversies. It is the habit of our times to blame or praise the Government and the State for this or that change. If the history 'lif the past teaches us anything it teaches us this, that politicians and Governments are merely the instruments of a filing force behind them. Call this force what you ™°' opinion, the spirit of the age, the will ot the people. It may happen sometimes to statesmen and the jjoliticians to be ablo for a while to divee. or delay the progress of this force. bllt "never can they change its direction. Tilevast move- ment which we have been endeavouring to trace supplies an abundant illustration.1 As ws study the evolution of tfeia force in our country we note one reassuring I characteristic. In cases Of (Over aod high temperature there is a homely wisdom which rtrasts less to the drugs of the doctor than the "vis medieatrix LLtura," always powerful in the vigorous frame; and it may be equally wise in times of controversy and ferment to trust less to the nostrum of the political doctor than to the savaeg common sense which has been so wholesome and powerful an inlaecee in building up our constitution (applause). When we began our survey, education was mainly religious, and now it is mainly secular. E should like for the moment to discard both words and to claim &t any rate that education must always be mMnly moral (applause). I believe that we shall all agree that in the ultimate resort the greatness oC a nation depends upon the character of fits people. In the shaping of that character you are master builders (applause). Soue of us believe profoundly that the personal influence of the teacher and the atmospkere which that influence creates, more powerfully effeots the devel- opement of the pupil than any technical knowledge he may gain. When we con- template that influence so unobserved and infinitesimal at auy one moment of its operation, but so conspicuous and infinite ia its results, we are reminded of that temple of which we read, that there was neither hammer nor axe beard in the house while it was in building 1, (applause). If this be true, may we not claim either of other, to be co-workers in one common scheme of education of which the real function is to make tbe truth true to everybody (applause). Mr T P Sykes gave an interesting ad- dress ou "Raforms Needed in Kieaieotary Schools." He described thil eiuoational idorj to b¿ aimed at by the authority and the teachers, who should work for it uni- tedly and loyally, in the following words: Well-buitt, well lighted, roomy, and well- ventilated schools an abundant supply of the best, up-to-date furniture and appara- tus (the tooh with which the teacher works) a full complement of properly- qualified teachers or each ohool; smaller classes, so that individual attention may be given to the children regular attendance up to 14 years of age; and a properly- organised connection between the primary and the secondary school, the technical institute, and the University. Mr J Herbert Roberts, M.P., moved a vote of thanks to Mr Sykes. Ho said it would be a great mistake to create any kind of antagonism between teachers as a class and the public, and especially those of the public who were charged with the administration of the elementary schools. If there was to be progress it must be pro- gress with the teachers and the authority I and the public going hand in hand (ap- plause). But before there could be real progress the question of education must be lifted from the arena of party politics, and whatever their differences might be upon certain aspects cf the question, he hoped that they would all approach the bill of next year determined to do everything tht-t was possible to seeuro a permanent settlement of this long-standing dispute (applause). Alluding to the Bishop's sug- gestion that the wrong people had been canonised in the eighteenth century, Mr ¡ Roberts said he would rather put it that they had hitherto failed! to recognise the services of t great many men whose services really did deserve recognition in the cause i of elementary educatien in Wales in that [ century (cpplause). He joined with the Bishop in the earnest desire to get at the facts with regard to Welsh history. Had not the date come when they should have a worthy history of Wales, based upon his- torical methods of research (applause^? Let them go to the root of kings; let them find out what the historical facts were, and let them bravely and unflinchingly pl&ce them before the public (applause). He had jast returned from Scotland, and he could not help contrasting 'the educational atmos- phere there with that which unhappily existefl in this cosntry. Travelling through a country rough, rugged, and sparsely populated, he saw that the school buildings were-of the finest order. He did not think he h&d ever seen more substantial, more hanCsome buildings than those which he saw in passing along the country roads in Scotland. It did not seem that any question occurred to the mind of the people in Scotland that expenditure upon schools and school buildings was a wasfeo, and that probably explained why the Scottish people had such a large place in British history (applause). It they could -secure greater uniformity and union in regard to educa- tional effort in Wales, if they-could seoure & more effective co-ordination of the grades of eduoation, and if they could secure the fcest brain-anct the beat heartof the nation ta the aervioo of education, a new day would begin for the teaohere and scholars of Wales, and a new chapter would be opened for their beloved land (applause). Colonel Sand bach seconded the motion, vwhich was-oaaried. On the motion oil Mr F H KTones, Moelfre, seconded by Mr C II Wyires, Rhosddu, a resolution was passed calling public at- ,tention to the inadequate staflug of schools, and asking tfcat in large schools the classes -should be reduced in hile in small schools each group of classes should be under a fully-qualified teacher. The Bishop, in putting (the proposition, pointed oat that at Eton there were very '1 often"le boys in a olass (laughtec and applause). Replying to a vote of r thanks passed oit t the motion-of the Rey J Edwards, seconded I by Mr J C Davies, the bishop said he agreed with Clr Herbert Roberts that they did wish to see the great question of edu- cation lifted, if possible, oat of the rut of controversy, especially of political contro- versy. He <iid not know whether it was possible or .not. Mr Roberts himself knew; much more about it than ifce (the Bishop) did (laughter,v. He always felt that it was1 a not very hopeful to have matter settled' £ merely by ^partisans (applause). They! wanted the -«ubject to be approached, if' c; possible, in a non-par tisane (laughter aiuS i applause). When partisans came to settle :1 a question be always thought of Plato's { physician who was put on his trial by a confectioner before a jury of children (laughter), jpne need not -be told what thfej verdict was (laughter and applause).




St. Asaph (Denbigh) Rural…




St. Asaph Board of Guardians.