Chapter 1r, Article 2: Educational Institutions for the youth -- University Education
The educational institutions for the youth may generate a revenue sufficient for defraying their own expence.
- The fee or honorary which the scholar pays the teacher is naturally a revenue of this kind.
Even if the teacher's reward does not come from this natural revenue, it still is unnecessary that it should be derived from the society's general revenue.
- In most countries, the collection and application of the society's general revenue is done through the executive power.
- Through most of Europe, the endowment of schools and colleges takes a very small amount, or none at all, from that general revenue.
- It arises chiefly from:
- some local or provincial revenue,
- from the rent of some landed estate, and
- from the interest of money allotted for this purpose and managed by trustees, sometimes by the sovereign or a private donor.
Have those public endowments promoted the education of the youth?
133 In every profession, the exertion of those who exercise it is always proportional to the necessity for that exertion.
- Have they encouraged the diligence and the improvement the teachers' abilities?
- Have they directed education towards more useful objects than towards objects it would naturally have gone into of its own accord?
- It is not very difficult to answer these questions.
- This necessity is greatest in professions where emoluments are:
- the only source of their fortune or
- even ordinary revenue and subsistence.
- To acquire this fortune or subsistence, they must execute a certain quantity of work of a known value.
- If the competition is free, the competitors try to jostle one another out of employment.
- It obliges everyone to execute his work with exactness.
- The greatness of the objects acquired by the success in some professions may animate those of extraordinary spirit and ambition towards exertion.
- Great objects are unnecessary to cause the greatest exertions.
- Rivalry and emulation render excellency as an object of ambition, even in mean professions.
- Rivalry and emulation frequently lead to the greatest exertions.
- On the contrary, great objects alone, and unsupported by necessity, are seldom sufficient to lead to any considerable exertion.
- In England, success in the law profession leads to very great objects of ambition.
- How few men born to easy fortunes have ever here been eminent in law?
The endowments of schools and colleges reduced the necessity of exertion in the teachers.
- Their subsistence is from their salaries.
- It is derived from a fund independent of their success and reputation.
In some universities, the salary
makes a small part of the teacher's emoluments.
- Most comes from the honoraries or fees from his pupils.
- The necessity of application is still always reduced.
- But in this case, it is not entirely removed.
- Reputation is still important to a teacher.
- He is still dependent on his students' affection, gratitude, and favourable report.
- He is likely to gain these only by:
- his abilities and
- diligence to his duty.
In other universities, the teacher is prohibited from receiving any honorary or fee from his pupils.
- His salary is his whole revenue.
- In this case, his interest is opposite his duty.
- "It is the interest of every man to live as much at his ease as he can;"
- If his emoluments are the same whether he works hard or not, it would certainly be his interest to:
- neglect his duty or
- perform it as carelessly as possible.
- If he is naturally active and hardworking, his interest is to do activities where he can derive some advantage.
- He will do this rather than perform his duty, from which he can derive no advantage.
The teachers are likely to be very indulgent to one another if:
138 The teacher will not likely neglect his duty if his superiors are some other extraneous persons such as:
- they are under the corporate body's authority and
- most of the members of his college or university are teachers
- Every member will allow other members to neglect their duty provided he himself is allowed to neglect his own.
- In Oxford university, most public professors for so many years have given up even the pretence of teaching.
- the diocese bishop,
- the provincial governor,
- some state minister.
However, such superiors can only force him to:
- attend to his pupils a certain number of hours, and
- give a certain number of lectures.
- Those lectures still depend on the teacher's diligence.
- That diligence will likely be proportional to his motives for exerting it.
- This kind of extraneous jurisdiction is liable to be exercised ignorantly and capriciously.
- In its nature, it is arbitrary and discretionary.
- Such persons who exercise authority over the teacher are can seldom exercise it properly because they:
- do not attend the lectures themselves, and
- do not understand what he teaches.
- From the insolence of office, they are frequently indifferent how they exercise it.
- They are very apt to censure or deprive the teacher of his office wantonly, without any just cause.
- The teacher is then degraded by it.
- Instead of being one of the most respectable, he is rendered as one of the meanest and most contemptible persons in society.
- He can guard himself only by powerful protection.
- He can most likely gain this protection, not by ability or diligence, but by:
- submissiveness to his superiors' will, and
- being ready to sacrifice the university's rights, interest, and honour to that will.
- Whoever attends a French university's administration for a long time will these effects.
- These naturally result from this kind of arbitrary and extraneous jurisdiction.
Whatever forces students to any college or university independent of the teachers' merit or reputation reduces the necessity of that merit or reputation.
- The privileges of graduates in arts, law, physics, and divinity are in some cases obtained only by residing a certain number of years in certain universities.
- It forces a certain number of students to those universities, independent of the teachers' merit or reputation.
- The privileges of graduates are a sort of statutes of apprenticeship.
- They have contributed to improve education, just as statutes of apprenticeship have contributed to improve arts and manufactures.
"The charitable foundations of scholarships, exhibitions, bursaries, etc. necessarily attach a certain number of students to certain colleges, independent of the merit of those colleges."
- Were the students under such charitable foundations free to choose the college they liked best, there might be some emulation among colleges.
- On the contrary, a regulation which prohibited them from leaving their college to go to another would very much extinguish that emulation.
A regulation which:
- let each college head appoint the teachers instead of being voluntarily chosen by the student, and
- did not allow the student to change his teacher in case of the teacher's neglect, inability, or bad usage would:
- extinguish all emulation among teachers of the same college, and
- very much reduce their diligence and attention to their pupils.
- Such teachers would be very well paid by their students.
- But they might neglect those students who do not pay them.
A sensible teacher must find it unpleasant to:
- lecture nonsense to his students, and
- find his students deserting his lectures or attending them with neglect, contempt, and derision.
If he is obliged to give a certain number of lectures, these motives alone might urge him strive to give tolerably good ones.
- Several expedients may be used to effectively reduce diligence.
- The teacher might read a book about the topic he will teach, instead of explaining it to his pupils.
- If this book is written in a foreign or dead language, he might:
- interpret it to them in their own language, and
- make his students interpret it to him.
- Now and then he would remark on it.
- He may flatter himself that he is giving a lecture and give himself less trouble.
- He can do this with the slightest knowledge, without sounding foolish, absurd, or ridiculous.
- The college's discipline may enable him to force his pupils:
- to regularly attend this sham-lecture, and
- to maintain the most decent and respectful behaviour during the performance.
In general, the discipline of colleges and universities is contrived for the interest or ease of the masters, not for the benefit of the students.
- In all cases, it aims:
- to maintain the authority of the master whether he neglects his duty or not
- to oblige the students to behave as if he performed his duty with the greatest diligence and ability
- "It seems to presume perfect wisdom and virtue in the one order, and the greatest weakness and folly in the other."
- Where the masters really perform their duty, most of the students perform theirs.
- No discipline is ever needed to force attendance on lectures really worth attending.
- Force and restraint may be needed to oblige children or very young boys to attend essential early education.
- But after 12 or 13 years of age, provided the master does his duty, force or restraint is unnecessary in any part of education.
- Such is the generosity of most young men that they pardon many of their teacher's errors.
- They sometimes even conceal his gross negligence from the public, provided he is serious in intending to be useful to them.
Generally, the subjects which do not have their own public institutions are the best taught.
- When a young man goes to a fencing or a dancing school, he does not always learn to fence or to dance very well.
- He seldom fails to learn to fence or dance.
- "The good effects of the riding school are not commonly so evident."
- The cost of a riding school is so great that in most places it is a public institution.
- The three most essential parts of literary education are:
- to read
- to write
- to do mathematics
- They are more commonly acquired in private than public schools.
- It very seldom happens that anybody fails to acquire them.
In England, the public schools are much less corrupted than the universities.
- In the schools, the youth are taught only Greek and Latin.
- In the universities, the youth are not taught the sciences.
- Teaching the sciences is done by those incorporated bodies.
- In most cases, the schoolmaster's reward depends principally or entirely on the fees from his scholars.
- Schools have no exclusive privileges.
- To obtain graduation honours, one does not need to bring a certificate of his having studied a certain number of years at a public school.
- "If upon examination he appears to understand what is taught there, no questions are asked about the place where he learnt it."
The subjects commonly taught in universities are perhaps not very well taught.
- But without those institutions, they would not have been taught at all.
- The people would have suffered much from the lack of such education.
Most of the present European universities were originally ecclesiastical corporations.
- They were instituted for the education of churchmen.
- They were founded by the pope's authority and were entirely under his immediate protection.
- Their members were masters or students.
- They all had the benefit of clergy.
- They were exempted from the civil jurisdiction of the countries where those universities were situated.
- They were amenable only to the ecclesiastical tribunals.
- The subjects taught in most of those universities were suitable to their institution's goal:
- Preparatory Theology
Next: Chapter 1s: Educational Subjects