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WILLIAM STUBBS Seventeen lectures on the study of medieval and modern history and kindred subjects

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WILLIAM STUBBS
Seventeen lectures on the study of medieval and modern history and kindred subjects
page 57



II.] THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS. 51 and ample freedom for growth and expansion. As to any definite finality, any perfect and exhaustive division of periods and duties, any theoretically complete staff of professors of History, I confess that I am not disposed to be anxious. If the study flourishes and is not cramped for means, the completeness and the neatness of system will grow as it grows : and we may be content to let it grow so. In conclusion, that is, of this part of my subject,—the condition and prospects of historical education, apart from the general subject of the bona fide development of historical study,—I should say a word or two about teaching in schools. And this I do with great diffidence, because I have no experience in such work; at the same time I trust that I shall not make any impracticable suggestions. For the growth and development of the study, as an instrument of education, we must look for much help to the public schools and other great feeders of University life. If they find it possible to incorporate it permanently with their course of work introductory to the University career, the men will come up better prepared for such training as we can give them, and so more and more ready to assist in the growth of the growing study. Now although this seems simple enough to say, in reality it involves a great deal. It means not only that the great schools should have History masters who can keep themselves abreast with the rising tide of knowledge, but a constant revision or provision of improved text-books. It seems to me that the great schools are awake to the necessity, and that the publishers of school books are vying with one another in the production of manuals which will combine the conclusions of the most advanced students with simplicity of plan, and, we may hope, attractiveness in treatment. Only there is no finality to be looked for. We must not expect manuals that, like the old grammars, will keep their places for two or three centuries. Every few years Ε 2


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