18 AUGUST 1900, Page 24


Educational Aims and Methods. By Sir Joshua Fitch. (Cam- bridge University Press. 5s.)—Sir Joshua Fitch is in all probability the Nestor of theoretical educationists, and the lectures and addresses contained in this volume, which have been given at various times within the past few years before academic audiences in England and America, " deal with some aspects of educational work to which my own attention during a long official life has been specially directed, and which, though not usually dealt with in formal treatises on pedagogy, deserve, and often demand, the consideration of those who as teachers, school trustees, or legislators, possess influence in determining the goal to be attained in public education, and the processes by which that goal can best be reached." Sir Joshua's lectures, which are fifteen in number, range over all sorts of subjects that have any connection with education, from "The Evolution of Character " and " The Training of the Reason " to " The Sunday School of the Future" and " The French Leaving Certificate." Some of the best are brief monographs on eminent educational reformers, theorists, and practitioners, such as Socrates, Ascham, Rousseau, Lancaster, Pestalozzi, and Thring. Sir Joshua is known AS the master of an admirable English style, equally free from dulness and from artificial smartness, and it is well exhibited in these papers, which are full of the mellow wisdom which comes of experience. Though conservative in many things, he is no mere laudator tempo ris acti. He has no hesitation in recommending for imitation at home things that, in his opinion, they do better on the Continent or in America, nor has he any compunction in Baying that from at least one point of view, " the Darwinian hypothesis and all the facts which biologists have accumulated are full of illimitable promise for the future of the race and of encouragement to the true and earnest teacher." This is one of the few books on education that can be commended to parents as well as teachers.