Classical Scholarship and Classical Learning: Considered by John William Donaldson

By John William Donaldson

John William Donaldson's 1856 essay tackles the subject of college reform, a hotly debated political factor in his day. Donaldson provides a sequence of feedback for the development of collage educating, and argues for the worth of a classical schooling. Drawing upon his adventure either as a headmaster and as a student at Trinity collage, Cambridge, he considers himself well-placed to deal with the topic of schooling, protecting that there are 'not many that can declare a greater correct to talk with out one-sided prejudice and narrow-minded partiality to a few hackneyed system'. He discusses many features of the topic, together with the which means of the time period 'university', the school approach at Cambridge college and the benefits of learning classics compared to arithmetic. Donaldson additionally addresses the category procedure, emphasising the necessity for all sessions to be expert. This vigorous and approachable publication foreshadows the debates of our personal century.

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Additional info for Classical Scholarship and Classical Learning: Considered with Especial Reference to Competitive Tests and University Teaching

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If there are any positive results from the Trinity examination on the admission of pupils, it is reasonable to suppose that all the advantages would be secured in still greater measure, and that all the drawbacks and defects would be obviated or avoided, if it were extended to the whole University. The difficulties of detail, to which Mr Martin refers, could not exist if the influence of resident fellows did not control all the operations of the University. The objection raised on behalf of those, who wish to use the University as a mere access to holy orders, appears to me particularly untenable.

F Ibid. 257 sqq. $ Observations on the Cambridge System, by the Kev. A. H. A. pp. 14, 15. 34 UNIVERSITY TEACHING. no inducement whatever to continue their exertions beyond the mere fact of not having yet provided themselves with satisfactory permanent situations in other quarters. There exists also, not unfrequently, a great accumulation of subjects upon the shoulders of a single tutor or lecturer. There will probably, in most cases, be several mathematical lecturers, but Latin, Greek, and Theology are often accumulated upon the shoulders of a single individual ; and how the Colleges are to adapt their system to the addition of the moral and natural sciences, I have never even heard suggested.

At any rate there is no doubt in the minds of those who have studied the subject, that, in spite of their various merits and the importance of their endowments, the Colleges interpose the greatest obstacles to the free play of our academical agency. While they do not spend any part of their revenues on the education of the undergraduates, they oblige all undergraduates to pay for such education as they furnish by becoming members of some College, and, by virtue of the revolution forced upon the University by the Elizabethan Statutes4, usurp the rights belonging to the University as such.

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