and method must be universally taught. We ask to be at once admitted to equal rights with the three R's—is no question of an alternative subject. This can not be too clearly stated, and the battle must be fought out on this issue within the next few years.
Well, gentlemen and ladies, you have the honor of forming part of the advanced guard in the army which is fighting this battle—for the fight is begun in real earnest, although as yet on a small scale; nevertheless, in this case, the small beginning must have a great ending.
I had long sought for an opportunity of carrying the war into the camp of elementary education, and this came about four years ago when my friend Mr. Hugh Gordon was appointed one of the Science Demonstrators of the London School Board. During at least three years prior to his appointment, Mr. Gordon had been doing research work in the laboratory of which I have charge at the City and Guilds of London Institute Central Technical College, where he had also taken part in our elementary teaching, and he was already an ardent advocate of the educational policy of which I am so strong a supporter. Under the London School Board he achieved a marvelous success, and the work that he has done as a pioneer can not be too highly appreciated. He secured your confidence and sympathy, and interested his pupils; and working in a most unpromising field, under conditions of a most unsatisfactory and often depressing character, he has proved that to be possible, even easy (to the competent and willing teacher!), which my friends in higher grade schools have often scoffed at and declared to be impossible. In future, no public school will be able to excuse itself, except on the ground of want of will to give such teaching. I have often been told that our scheme was too costly, that much special provision must be made to carry it into effect, and that it requires so much time and such an increase in the teaching staff: my friend Gordon, with your assistance alone and no other addition to the staff, by successfully teaching, I believe, in seventeen of your schools, has given all these statements the lie. But I confess that as yet there are few who could accomplish so much; few equally well fitted and prepared for the work, so imbued with the right spirit, so convinced that the cause is a great and holy one, gifted with sufficient energy and enthusiasm to overcome the difficulties. The little book he has written, in which the first part of the course of teaching he adopted is broadly outlined, although containing a few slight blemishes which mar its otherwise logical character—blemishes which will be very easily removed in a second edition—appears to me to be
- Cf. Nature, 1893 vol. xlix, p. 121.