Education for Leadership
by Field Marshall Viscount Montgomery - 1955
First Lecture: In this the author explains his views as to the principles to be followed in a national system of education if we are to produce the leadership we need. Second Lecture: In this we will examine two national systems, those in operation in the U.S.A. and in England, discuss where these systems are not satisfactory, and then see if we can discover the principles on which the ideal system should be based.
I. FIRST LECTURE
THE GENERAL PRINCIPLES UNDERLYING THE EDUCATION OF CHILDREN
The subject of these lectures is wide, and it has not been easy for me to decide how to deal with it in the space of two sessions.1 After much thought I have decided to deal with it in the following way:
First Lecture: In this I will explain to you my views as to the principles to be followed in a national system of education if we are to produce the leadership we need.
Second Lecture: In this we will examine two national systems, those in operation in the U.S.A. and in England, discuss where these systems are not satisfactory, and then see if we can discover the principles on which the ideal system should be based.
THE OBJECT OF EDUCATION
What is the object of education? In my view it is to develop the mind, the will, and the conscience of a boy and to strengthen his character. To educate is to train mentally and morally. A good educational system should result in what has been called the noblest work of Godan honest, trustworthy and chivalrous man, who will be respected by his fellow men, and in whom they will have confidence.
If this can be achieved, we are well on the way to laying the foundations of leadership; we should have no difficulty in producing good leaders and leaders in that which is good. All my remarks are made with reference to the education of boys. It is possible that, in principle, they would apply equally to girls; but I have no experience in the education or upbringing of girls. In this connection I read recently in a book called The Educational Work of Thomas Jefferson that he (Jefferson) gave little consideration to female education except that of his own daughters. I could say the same myself. But I might say here that I am opposed to coeducation; I believe that boys and girls require different treatment and education after the age of say eleven or twelve.
THE PRINCIPLES OF LEADERSHIP
I would suggest we begin by examining the whole subject of leadership. My own practical experience in this matter has been in the military sphere, and against that background I have reached the following conclusions.
Leadership is based on truth and character. A leader must himself be the servant of a truth, and he must make that truth the focus of a common purpose. He must then have the force of character necessary to inspire others to follow him with confidence. Both are necessary, truth and character. And there must be will power in the character.
The leader must have infectious optimism, and determination to persevere in the face of difficulties. He must also radiate confidence, relying on moral and spiritual principles and resources to work out rightly even when he himself is not too certain of the material outcome. He must have a sound judgment in which others will have confidence, and a good knowledge of human nature. He must be able to see his problems truly and whole. Self-control is a vital component of his make-up. Pre-eminence in sport is undoubtedly a help in developing leadership, but it is in no way a necessity.
When all is said and done, the true leader must be able to dominate, and finally to master, the events that surround him; once he lets events get the better of him, those under him will lose confidence and he will cease to be of value as a leader.
I suggest that the final test of a leader is the feeling you have when you leave his presence after a conference or interview. Have you a feeling of uplift and confidence? Are you clear as to what is to be done, and what is your part of the task? Are you determined to pull your weight in achieving the object? Or is your feeling the reverse?
Finally, I wish to place on record my own conviction that it is not possible for leadership to be good and effective, and to prevail under stress and strain, unless it is based on a real sense of religious truth. The leader must be prepared to acknowledge that truth and to lead others in the light of it. The military leader has got to keep his finger on the spiritual pulse of his armies, and he must be sure that the spiritual purpose which inspires them is right and true and is clearly expounded to one and all. Unless he does this, he can expect no lasting success.
I hold the view, strongly, that all leadership is based on the spiritual quality, the power to inspire others to follow. This spiritual quality may be for good or it may be for evil. In many cases in the past the quality has been devoted toward personal ends and was partly or wholly evil; whenever this was so, in the end it failed.
Leadership which is evil, while it may succeed temporarily, always carries with it the seeds of its own destruction. Good examples of evil leadership would be Hitler and Mussolini. The proper name for such evil leadership is "misleadership", something false coming through a strong personality, and the stronger the personality the worse the ultimate crash.
That is how I see leadership in the military sphere. Is it not the same in all walks of civil life, whether in the State, in the Church, or in industrial and commercial life?
THE PROBLEM OF EQUALITY
It is obvious that a nation cannot produce a sufficient number of men with these essential qualities of leadership unless the education of its boys is organized on sound lines. Consider the mass of the youth of your own nation.
It is stated in the Declaration of Independence, dated 4th July, 1776, that "all men are created equal" Let us be clear what this famous sentence really means.
No one can seriously believe that the seven million boys in the U.S.A. in secondary schools were all created with equal possibilities as regards their brain power. The mark of a machine is sameness, but of nature and life it is difference.
Of course, every human being is a soul of equal value in the eyes of God. But this does not mean that all men are born with equal talents. The hard fact is that all men are not created equal in ability to each other, and as they grow up this difference in ability becomes increasingly evident. This, of course, does not detract from the general proposition that there should be equality of opportunity insofar as it is humanly possible to give this equality.
Equality means equal access to the law and an equal right to justice under it. I would say that today in the free world we all enjoy equality before the law in about as perfect a degree as is consistent with this imperfect world.
Then we have the form of equality under which every man is as entitled as any other to determine the form and complexion of the government by which his affairs, and the affairs of everybody else, are to be regulated. This broadly means one man, one vote, and one woman, one vote, and that we have certainly achieved. All we are asked to give in return for having a voice in how our affairs are to be regulated is a modest contribution in the form of taxation!
Then we come to equality of opportunity, and that is the crux of the matter in the subject we are discussing.
Perfect equality of opportunity is impossible. However hard we may try, greater inequalities of capacity, and therefore of opportunity, will develop as children grow into men. For this reason it is harder to give equal opportunities to those who in early life disclose no marked bent or aptitude. I will deal with this factor more fully later on. Because of muddled thinking about equality, many sections of Western democratic society are suspicious of the whole idea of the necessity for leadership, and of the need for any special training in order to produce a sufficiency of leaders.
LEADERSHIP AND EQUALITY
It is vital to realise at the outset that the whole idea of "leadership" is regarded with deep suspicion by certain influential sections of Western social opinion. This arises partly from hatred of the debasement of the leadership-principle in the twentieth century dictatorships, partly from a genuine desire to ensure equality of opportunity for all children for whom each democracy is responsible, and partly from muddled thinking about the equality of man and the classless society.
It follows that little can be done until Western opinion is re-educated to appreciate the crucial necessity of devoted and able leadership in all aspects of democratic life. We must train heads as well as count them. The whole concept of leadership needs re-defining and re-stating. We must get rid of the idea of the "boss" with his large cigar and astrakhan collar, and substitute in his place the devoted servant of his fellow men, working for many hours after the rest have knocked off. There will always be heads and tails; there can never be a ship without a captain or a good team without a leader; it is captaincy that counts.
We can assume that in all branches of life in a Western democracy a leader will always need certain attributes, of which the following are some of the most important: moral integrity and courage, sound judgment, vision, enthusiasm, and the ability to get on with and to inspire human beings. And in all the higher spheres of leadership he will need high and often specialised intelligence as well.
It is absurd to pretend that such a combination of qualities in any one individual is at all common; on the other hand, much can be done to inculcate and develop these qualities by training. But we shall make a great mistake if in trying to cast our net as widely as possible for leaders, we lavish our limited resources for leadership training on those who (through no fault of their own) will always be among the ledto the detriment of the potential leaders. Leaders are a small class and must be taught in small classes.
THE PROBLEMS OF ADOLESCENCE
The boy of today is the man of tomorrow. How should he be trained so that he may grow up to be a man of character who will influence others for good and who will be of real use to his country?
Let us make no mistake about one thing. The foundations of character are laid in the home; the basis of all training must take place there; it is that training which will influence a boy all his life, for good or for ill. On the sure foundations for good laid in the home the schoolmaster will build. If those foundations have not been laid, the schoolmaster can do little.
We hear a good deal these days about "juvenile delinquency": this, of course, is often merely a more convenient expression for "parental neglect".
The time will come when the boy has outgrown his family, or thinks he haswhich is the same thing in the end. He wants to launch out into a larger community. He is now about fourteen and the next four years will be vitally important in the formation of his character. I believe myself that good youth organizations, covering the country, are an indispensable element in the training of boys at this stage. The opportunity an organization like the Boy Scouts gives to the boy to make full use of his leisure, and to develop his character, is the best possible preparation for adult life. However, whether the boy joins a youth organization or does not, he has got to learn certain things, and the schoolmaster will play a large part in this matter.
The young citizen must learn to cooperate in a community; he must learn that one of the fundamentals of democratic life is voluntary self-discipline in the interests of the group to which he belongs; he must acquire the quality of subordination of self for the benefit of the community. Above all, he must gain a balanced view of things, a balanced outlook on life. He must learn to keep his inward sense of proportion when outward things are distorted and difficult. This is a most testing time for any boyfrom fourteen to eighteen, when he is changing mentally and physically. He will need a lot of help. And especially he needs to be taught how to make the best use of his leisure time.
I have mentioned the word "discipline". The word has a somewhat unpleasant sound to some people and this is because it is not properly understood. The true basis of all discipline is self-discipline; it embraces the idea of self-control and self-restraint, and implies a life ordered and bounded by certain voluntarily imposed limitations. These limitations may be considered as duties, or obligations, which we feel it necessary to fulfil.
This conception of duty underlies the whole of Christian teaching on personal conduct, and must be impressed on every child from his nursery days onwards.
Discipline may, in fact, be defined as "the performance of duty"; it has, I believe, a moral foundation which none of us need be afraid to admit. Discipline has also what I call, for want of a better word, a social basis. All civilised communities demand a degree of self-control from their citizens.
In the interests of the community as a whole, each of us willingly submits to the supremacy of the law and to the authority of its agentsthe police. If anything is in short supply, we stand in a queue for it, and do not fight for it in the shopsin England, anyway. We all realise that the community as a whole makes demands on us as individuals; and in order that we may all live freely and happily together, we voluntarily impose upon ourselves a certain restraint.
Therefore, discipline has both a moral and a social foundation. And it is vital that this fact be impressed on the youth of a nation.
The root of discipline is that "something" which a man sets above himself, and for whose greater value he will give up his own wishes in order that the Cause may prevail, in order that a community can continue. The best type of discipline is the subordination of self for the benefit of the community.
All this must be taught to boys.
What a gigantic task confronts the schoolmasterto influence the younger generation to take the right road. His task is made the more difficult by modern conditions of life. The boy today faces temptations and problems greater than you and I ever had to face. The thriller, gangster films, broken homes due to laxity in the marriage obligations, the advertisement of sex in certain of the newspapersall these impose a severe strain on the adolescent boy, and the development of character under such conditions is not easy.
We must understand that the progress of civilisation has introduced other problems.
As the boy grows to manhood he will find that his visual world has been extended. He can go to the cinema and see how people live and behave in other parts of the world. In the home he has the radio and television; he can "listen in" to world affairs and home affairs; he can hear specialists talk on almost any subject. He can read in the papers what is going on everywhere. He can go to evening classes and learn more about his own and other people's jobs.
Because of all this, the adolescent boy can measure his everyday environment in a way impossible fifty years ago. He has extended his capacity to think, to appreciate, to criticise. He is daily taking in information and relating it to himself. For these reasons he is not always able to accept the dictates of those in authority. As he grows to manhood he will be unlikely to accept conditions of work not in keeping with his self-respect.
But as his knowledge increases, it is important that his criticism should become more and more constructive; his appreciation will then find expression in greater all-round efficiency. And above all he must learn that man must sow before he can reap; he must understand that he will not get "the more abundant life" by just voting for it; he will have to work for it, whatever may be his status in life.
JUSTICE FOR ALL
Who is going to teach all these things to the boys of a nation as they approach and pass through the age of adolescence? How can we ensure that among the great mass of boys in any nation, those who have been endowed with superior talents will have the opportunity to develop their talents to the fullto the lasting benefit of the nations of the world? How can we ensure that the leaders will emerge? How can we ensure that the less gifted will receive that education which is their just due?
Much leadership is needed in the world. In my view the need for able and devoted leadership in all walks of life is greater today than it has ever been in the history of the world. And to ensure that the boys are influenced in the right way there must be co-operation between the parent and the schoolmaster. Too often the good work done by the schoolmaster is undone in the home; too often the schoolmaster fights a losing battle with the parent.
Any national system of education must ensure that specially gifted boys, who may come from any stratum of society, can obtain the education that is essential if they are to rise to those positions to which their gifts entitle them. The right answer must be based on justice for all.
The gifted boy must get justice by going to a selective school, high school or grammar school, where his education is continued and his intelligence developed in full co-operation and competition with others of the same mental calibre. His great need will be to acquire wisdom and character.
The less gifted boy must get justice by going to a school properly adapted to his more limited abilities. He, too, must acquire wisdom and character. It is not necessary to be clever to acquire wisdom or develop character. The school to which the less gifted boy goes must have two important characteristics:
(a) It must be a really good school of its own type, with efficient teachers and reasonably small classes.
(b) There must be a further system of selection at the school, to cater for the interests of those boys who develop late and who failed in the earlier grading.
SOME SELECTION IS ESSENTIAL
If you agree with me so far, it is clear that some form of selection, some sort of "weeding out", is necessary if a nation is to get good results from the education and training of its boys. It is, in my view, important to distinguish between intellectual ability and the capacity for leadership. By intellectual ability I mean the kind of ability which shows itself in classroom work. Sometimes these two qualities are found in the same person, but not always.
It is obviously of very great importance for the community that those people who rise to prominence by reason of their intellectual ability should also, at least many or most of them, be well equipped for leadership in a wider sense. But notwithstanding that principle, I think it still remains important to accept the distinction.
Though leadership does not, of course, by any means rest simply on having an intellectual capacity greater than the average, it seems to me that such superior intelligence is a prerequisite of good leadership. If there is any form of selection in terms of ability among boys at an early age, say eleven or twelve, not all of the selected boys will become leaders; but nearly all the eventual leaders will come from those boys.
If the schoolmaster will develop the intelligence and the character of these boys and help them to acquire wisdom, they will then be well placed to face the battle of life on leaving school and to exercise satisfactorily the leadership which may come their way.
Before we leave the subject of selection, let us see what one of your own authorities has to say on this subject. In a book called Education in a Divided World, Dr. James B. Conant, then President of Harvard, wrote in 1949 as follows:
The more we try to employ the instrument of universal education to offset those forces of social stratification inherent in family life, the more we jeopardize the training of certain individuals. In particular, we tend to overlook the specially gifted youth. We neither find him early enough, nor guide him properly, nor educate him adequately in our high schools.
If I ever had any doubt about selection, which has not been the case, the remarks of Dr. James Conant would have settled the point.
However, let us see what Thomas Jefferson said on the subject. In some remarks about the creation of local schools to teach the foundations of literacy he wrote as follows:
These schools to be under a visitor who is annually to choose the boy of best genius in the school, of those whose parents are too poor to give them further education, and to send him forward to one of the grammar schools. Of the boys thus sent in one year, trial is to be made at the grammar schools for one or two years, and the best genius of the whole selected and continued for six years, and the residue dismissed. By this means twenty of the best geniuses will be raked from the rubbish annually, and be instructed at the public expense.
This seems to be a good recommendation for selection, or the "weeding out" process which I believe to be essential. I would not concur, of course, in the suggestion that those not chosen should be thought of as "rubbish".
Of course, in a democratic community there are many egalitarian objections to the whole idea of leadership, as I have already said. But how can the need for leadership be denied? It is needed in political life, in the civil service, in the factories and workshops, in department stores, in garages and on the farmsin fact, in every sphere of national life.
If leaders are not selected on sound principles they will merely select themselves on unsound principlesby their birth, or wealth, or influenceand if they are not educated for their responsibilities their leadership will not be more democratic, but merely less wise. If the right of the well-endowed to lead is deniedthe well-endowed with ability, not the well-endowed with dollarsor if we fail to give them proper educational training, then the rich or the well-born or the demagogues or the "toughs" will become the leaders. These are the only alternatives, and they must be stated very clearly to those who cry for equality and parity of esteem.
From talking to teachers and psychologists, I have gained the impression that the intellectual and gifted child is frequently more stable emotionally than other children, and that the incidence of juvenile crime and delinquency is highest among the subnormal. It may be that the low incidence of delinquency and crime among more clever children can be explained in terms of the better home environments which tend to produce them. But whatever the explanation, it does seem that the emotional and moral attributes of an intellectual elite are in general better than those found among children of average ability.
I suggest, therefore, we must select the more gifted and educate them to their full capacity, if we are to comply with the terms of the title of these lectures. And that selection of the intellectually more gifted from among the mass of boys in a nation must not be left too late; the selection must be made before the boy has reached the adolescent age. The following points then arise:
1. At what age should the selection be made?
2. What form should it take?
3. What education should then follow for the various categories, and where should it be carried out?
To discuss these points satisfactorily it will be advisable to examine two systems which are opposite in shape and form, and compare their good and bad points respectively. In this way we may arrive at the ideal solution. As my two systems I shall take the American and the English. I will deal with this problem in my second lecture tomorrow.
Before closing the first lecture, I would like to discuss two subjects very briefly:
First: Should a schoolmaster teach leadership?
Second: Religion in State schools.
THE SCHOOLMASTER AND LEADERSHIP
Should a schoolmaster teach leadership? I ask this question because some people consider he should not do so. But a school is a community with a strong community life of its own, and in any community there must be leaders. It is true that the schoolmaster's first duty is to strengthen character, and to develop the intelligence and brains of his scholars. But the schoolmaster is bound to be concerned with this matter of leadership, and in two different ways:
First: The community will throw up its own leadersboys of strong character, who are naturally gifted with powers to dominate the events and people around them. The schoolmaster's urgent duty is to train such boys to be good leaders, and leaders in that which is good. You may say this is simply training their character; that is perfectly true in one sense, since the better their character, the better their leadership for good. And yet leadership has its own particular demands; there is a technique, if one may put it so, of leadership, and the schoolmaster will see that the boy of strong character will, so far as is possible, be trained to use this leadership in the right way by the right methods. There are many examples of boys with strong powers of leadership who have used those powers in the wrong way and with wrong methods.
Second: There are other boys who have to be "brought out". Their character may be as good as gold; they have got intelligence. And they have latent powers of leadership. But they have a natural "reserve", and they will never exercise their powers of leadership unless they are encouraged to do so by their schoolmasters. It is the job of the schoolmaster to give such boys small tasks in which they can get the feeling of being responsible, and then by degrees to train them on until they can become leaders in the school life, i.e., prefects or monitors. It is fundamentally a question of character, of course, but it is at the same time a training in the art of leading others, encouraging others, and so onseeing where discipline is needed, seeing where gentle encouragement and stimulation are needed.
An important duty of the schoolmaster is to give true facts to the boys; he should then encourage them to think and work on those facts and derive the benefit of their own original use of them. Under this thesis, to educate would imply to "draw out", and not merely to stuff in.
I consider that the answer to my question, "Should a schoolmaster teach leadership?" is definitely NO. That is to say, in the programme of work for any one day, there must not be: "Leadership: 10 A.M. to ii A.M.," or anything of that sort.
I do not believe that you can "teach" leadership. Many boys will have in them the qualities of leadership, and some more than others. Wherever there is even a spark of leadership, that spark can be developed by example and good handling. Boys will always recognise a leader, and most boys who are worth their salt will strive to be like himespecially if he is a good leader.
It is the same with "character"; it cannot be taught. But it can be fostered and developed by example, by contact with -good masters, and by the way the whole school system is handled and run. Later in life a boy will be faced with temptation, which may have to do with dollars or drink or some other factor, and Tie will stand or fall according to the strength of his character.
But while leadership and character cannot actually be taught as classroom subjects, they can quickly be destroyed. Bad masters who have evil standards or communist ideas, a games coach who encourages boys to cheat at games, boys who are taught to "sneak" on their comrades and be disloyal to their friendsall these can destroy character and help to produce evil leadership.
Very high standards of integrity are vital in all those who have to do with the education and training of children and adolescents. In my view, probably the greatest crime a man can commit is to lead a child astray. The development of leadership in schools will depend almost entirely on the example of the masters and of the senior boys. Of all the things that make for a good school, the one that stands out is the need for masters of the highest quality. Today the masters are underpaid in elementary and secondary schools. I will refer to this subject again in the second lecture. The future lies in the hands of youth. But how can we ensure the future if we are not prepared to pay a proper and adequate premium?
RELIGIOUS WORSHIP AND INSTRUCTION IN STATE SCHOOLS
In England the Education Act of 1944 lays down that the school day in all state schools, primary and secondary, shall begin with a collective act of worship on the part of all pupils attending the school. It is also ordered that religious instruction will be given, for which there is an agreed "syllabus". Any parent may request that his child be excused from attending the act of worship or the religious instruction.
The churches in England, particularly the Church of England and the Roman Catholic Church, have always considered this situationthe minimumto be most unsatisfactory. But it has been accepted as the best that could be obtained f or the time being.
I understand that in the U.S.A. the law forbids any corporate act of worship in school hours and any religious instruction.
I hold the view that you cannot separate education from religion. I think it was the great Duke of Wellington who said that education without religion must merely result in manufacturing so many devils. If you want to undertake any great thing, you will not succeed if the motive is purely for material reasons; there must be some higher motive, a spiritual motive with Christian ideals. We want our future leaders to be brought up against a background of religious truth, or, at the very least, with an understanding of the religious motive in human affairs. We must continue to hammer out this problem in undenominational schools.
Religious instruction must go hand-in-hand with moral education. I believe that the most powerful factor in moral education is the influence and example of individuals. This is particularly so in the case of the most gifted boys, because the demands which these make upon those who teach are so varied. Not only must the teachers be good at the business of teaching, in the narrow sense; they must also be people of high ability in their own subject, they must be men and women of the widest culture, and they must be individuals capable of the deepest moral influence. I do not believe you can separate these qualities in a teacher from a religious and spiritual background. And I am entirely opposed to making our schools purely secular institutions in which there is no religious teaching.
Young people and children have got to be protected while they grow, through adolescence, to manhood. The law will protect them from other people. Religion sets out to protect them from themselves.
II. SECOND LECTURE
SELECTION AND SEGREGATION
Any form of selection during the advent of adolescence is complicated by special difficulties. How are we to pick out the future leader so that he will have enough of the intensive training in mind and character that he needs? We cannot leave it too late. But if the age for selection is too young, it will be difficult to ensure that the right children are selected.
The only attribute of leadership that can be semi-scientifically measured in childhood is intelligence. A good system of education should aim at providing education suitable to the age, aptitude, and ability of every child. We have established certain sound principles that should govern the education of children. Let us now examine two national systems,, opposite in character. Let us take the American system first.
THE AMERICAN SYSTEM
As I understand, the public system of education supported by practically all classes of society consists of strictly non-selective day schools. All boys go to a common elementary school till they reach the age of about twelve, and then all the boys go on to a comprehensive high school for the remainder of the compulsory period of schooling, which runs up to sixteen, or higher, in most states. A high proportion of the boys stop on at high school till seventeen or eighteen. There are a few private boarding schools and I understand that President Roosevelt went to one of these, Groton School, before going on to Harvard in 1900.
I understand that about 92 per cent of those attending secondary schools are in public high schools, something like 6 per cent in church-connected schools, and less than 2 per cent of the others in independent private schools. Educational responsibility is highly decentralized; the tradition of local responsibility is deeply rooted.
In the face of this tremendous diversity in secondary schools it is difficult to say what is the typical American scheme for educating adolescents. But, generally, I understand it to be as outlined by me. General opinion is firmly opposed even to a modest degree of selection. Any selection that is carried out is within the school. I understand that about 20 per cent of boys go on to college at the age of eighteen.
THE ENGLISH SYSTEM
The present English system was established by the 1944 Education Act, itself the creation in part of earlier Education Acts. The underlying principle of the 1944 Act is that every child shall receive an education in accordance with his or her age, aptitude, and ability.
Public Schools (Independent)
Shown in grey on the diagram (facing p. 192)
These are the well-known Public Schools of England. They would be called "private schools" in the U.S.A.and rightly so. These schools do not select boys for admission by any high test either of ability or of leadership, apart from a few schools with specially high standards of scholarship, such as Winchester. There is an examination test to ensure a minimum standard, but it is not very stiff. Apart from this examination test, boys go to these schools whose parents are both willing and able to pay for this form of education, which is very expensive, because the schools are mostly residential, i.e. they are boarding schools.
These schools can pay their masters well and thus get a high standard of master; they also have sufficient masters to be able to have small classes, generally not more than fifteen to twenty in a class. The teaching is therefore likely to be very good. These schools have no difficulty in filling all their vacancies. Indeed, many more parents would like to send their sons to these schools but cannot afford to do so.
Before going to these independent Public Schools, most boys are sent to preparatory schools of the same type: boarding schools, and expensive. They enter preparatory schools at about eight, and go on to the Public Schools at about thirteen. Roughly 3 per cent of the boys in England go to the independent public boarding schools.
Primary Schools (Schools aided by grants from the State)
Shown in black on the diagram
The big mass of boys, say 96 per cent, go to common Primary Schools at the age of five. There is no selection till they reach the age of eleven. At the age of eleven plus, a selection is made by intelligence tests and examinations, and boys are given the opportunity of going to secondary schools of the kind which are appropriate to their abilities. The most intelligent go to Grammar Schools. Those with a marked technical bent go to a Secondary Technical School, or follow courses with a technical bias in Grammar Schools. The remainder, the less intelligent, go to a Secondary Modern School.
Secondary Schools: Grammar and Technical (Schools aided by grants from the State)
Shown in black on the diagram
In the country as a whole, about 25 per cent of boys aged eleven plus go on to secondary schools which are intended to deal with the more gifted type of pupil, i.e. mainly Grammar Schools, with few secondary Technical Schools. In some large towns there are grant-aided Grammar Schools which enjoy such a high standing that they can select the ablest pupils from quite a wide area. Most of these are direct-grant schools, coming directly under the Ministry of Education and not under local authorities. They produce excellent results. One of the best of these is Manchester Grammar School.
The courses in these schools give the opportunity to a boy to remain there till he is eighteen. But the compulsory age for schooling is at present fifteen, intending to rise later to sixteen, and in fact, many boys leave at about the age of sixteen and go off into industry. For all practical purposes, all the secondary Grammar Schools and Technical Schools can be taken as day schools.
Secondary Modern Schools (Schools aided by grants from the State)
Shown in black on the diagram
These are day schools for the boys of lesser intelligence. These boys normally leave at the school-leaving age of fifteen. These unselected boys number about 75 per cent of the boys aged eleven plus, i.e. the ones who failed to pass the test for the Grammar or Technical Schools. They have a further chance of being selected for a Grammar School when they reach the age of twelve plus, or in some areas, again later; this is important in the case of those boys who do not show their true form at the age of eleven, i.e. the late developers. Some boys develop later still, and though they leave school at fifteen, make such progress by evening classes, etc., that they are able later on to take full-time courses at technical colleges, etc., and can thus qualify for some professional status or even get to the University.
The percentage at school
Taking the Grammar and Technical Schools together, and including the independent Public Schools, about 8 per cent of the whole boy population aged seventeen is at school at that age.
For those boys who stop on at school till seventeen or eighteen, there are plenty of opportunities for going on to the Universities or to professional training of some kind. About 6 per cent of all boys go to Universities, and today over two-thirds of all students admitted to Universities get some measure of financial help from public funds.
ANALYSIS OF THE TWO SYSTEMS
We must now pass on and analyse these two very different systems and see if we can learn useful lessons which will guide us to the ideal solution. In my view there are grave defects in both systems.
THE AMERICAN SYSTEM
This system fails to solve satisfactorily the principle of selection which I believe to be vitally necessary. There is a failure to be sufficiently concerned with the intellectually able and gifted boy. The system seems to lump all the boys into one common or comprehensive school in the hopes that the leaders will emerge from the ruck. Does this system work well in practice?
Given such a system as an established and unalterable fact, then public high school principals and masters should be active and effective in identifying the highly intelligent and gifted boy when he is young, and be actively concerned with preparing him for higher education. In fact, in justice to such a boy, he must be given that opportunity which his talents entitle him to. Is he given that opportunity? Or is he made to keep to the pace of the slowest horse? It might be said that the most gifted boys get the education that they need in the end, even if it is only in the third and fourth year at the University. I have heard it said that the standards reached by the abler students when they leave high school and go to a University is one year or more behind boys who have had an English education.
My general comment on the American system is that you would be advised to accept the principle of selection so as to concentrate effort on the most gifted boys a little earlier than is now the case. How this could be adapted to your circumstances and traditions is not for me to say. But I am delighted to know that there are many American citizens who agree with me. I read with interest a letter in the New York Times of 13th April 1954 (International Edition), in which the writer said: "The obstacle to the obvious solution of selection and segregation based on native intelligence and not on race, color, creed, wealth or social class is the mistaken idea that it would be undemocratic."
When your problem is considered carefully, it seems to me that in the U.S.A. you have had in the past problems of citizenship which a smaller, and possibly older, nation does not have. You had immigrants from European countries with non-American backgrounds, and you had first of all to imbue the boys with the best qualities of American citizenship; you had to implant in them the natural loyalty and instincts of Americans. All that took time and distracted from the ordinary teaching of the school. Is this still the reason why you keep all the boys together and do not select or weed out? If so, then it is easy to understand why the American boy is behind the English boy in general development when he leaves high school and goes to the University. I would venture to suggest that the need is "dated". Has not large-scale immigration now ceased? Originally the difficulty was to make the immigrant's children into citizens at all; now it is to make them really good citizens. It might be worth considering whether the new purpose is well served by the old treatment. I would be interested to know if my reasoning has any validity.
THE ENGLISH SYSTEM
The English system is sound in principle as regards selection, but fails on a number of counts which are nearly all due to financial stringency. The practice of selection at the age of eleven plus has grave dangers. It can be successful only if the teachers are really good, the buildings adequate, and the classes not too large. In many primary schools in the U.K. these conditions are not fulfilled; in such cases the selection procedure is suspect. If you go in for selection it is vital to ensure that there is justice for all, and that "luck" does not play too big a part.
There is a great need to improve the education of those who are not selected. This is very important as a matter of justice, and also as a background for the acceptance of the principle of selecting the best for special attention. There is a need to stop, or at any rate to reduce, the large flow of boys who leave the secondary schools at the age of fifteen and onwards. A great deal of ability is wasted through this early leaving. There is need to improve and extend Grammar Schools of the highly selective type, such as Manchester Grammar School, and to provide opportunities for exceptionally gifted boys in country districts who cannot get the full education they need in small country Grammar Schools. This would entail more provision for boarders, and should be done.
There is a need to have better teachers and smaller classes in Primary and Modern Schools. The working conditions of children and teachers in many Primary Schools in the U.K. are not good, and classes over forty in number are not unknown. There can be little useful teaching under such conditions. The salaries of the teachers are not sufficient to attract the best type of master or mistress. Better staffing all round is needed, and a little money made available for a variety of extras would give all the schoolsGrammar, Technical, and Moderngreater opportunities in the way of out-of-school activities of one kind or another.
My general comment on the English system is that it is sound in principle but it fails to produce the best results because of lack of money. The classes are too big, the salaries of the teachers are too low, much of the accommodation is inadequate, the selection procedure needs overhauling.
The reform which should be tackled at once is to bring down the size of classes. The promise of the 1944 Act will not be realised until the swollen numbers in the classes of primary and secondary schools are reduced.
CO-OPERATION BETWEEN MASTERS AND PARENTS
I said in the first lecture that there must be co-operation between the schoolmaster and the parent. I regard this as immensely important. These are days of governmental planning and it is wrong that the parents' responsibility for the education of their children should be taken away by the state. If the schoolmaster considers that too much radio and television are distracting the more gifted children from reading, which is of course far more valuable to them, he must tell the parents so quite frankly. And the parents must take the necessary action to put it right. In fact, the schoolmaster has got to make a real effort to reach the homes of his pupils; collaboration between school and home should be really close.
I believe great value will be found in frank and informal talks by headmasters to bodies of parents. Problems should be discussed, such as the place of television in the home, the kind of newspapers or books that a child should or should not be allowed to read, and many other subjects of the same type which affect the mental make-up of the child. If the school is attempting to put forward one set of values and the home is practising another, then a conflict may be set up in the mind of the child. It is the duty of the school to present with courage and conviction the values for which it stands, and to be prepared to discuss these values with the parents.
But more important than these talks are the personal interviews between the father and mother and the headmaster or one of his colleagues. Probably no part of the work of a schoolmaster is more important than such talks. They may range from some straightforward matter of the choice of a career to a discussion of the reasons behind some serious problem of truancy or juvenile crime.
The great majority of parents today are genuinely concerned for the welfare of their children. For them the school should spare no effort in providing all the help and guidance that it can. Such guidance is particularly important at a time when educational opportunity has so immensely increased, as of recent times. The parents of many boys now receiving a secondary education and perhaps going on to a University may have never had these advantages. It may often be necessary to smooth some of the strains set up in a family by the development in a gifted child of unfamiliar tastes and ambitions. The schoolmaster must be prepared to help in these matters.
RESPONSIBILITY OF PARENTS AND BOYS
When all is said and done, a good system of education will avail little unless parents and boys will realise their own personal responsibilities and make their own essential contribution. There should be at every school help and encouragement for all, but two things are essential:
1. That parents demand something worth-while from their boys.
2. That the boys put first things first, and during term time the first thing is school and the work that is done there.
If the boy does not make progress and takes the easy way out by suggesting that the fault is not his, the parents will not be far wrong to quote the following from Shakespeare:
The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, But in ourselves, that we are underlings.
THE BOY HIMSELF
If all these opportunities are created for a boy, he must have the urge to seize them with both hands. He must have ambition and want to climb the ladder. This will mean harder work. Are there in the modern world today more opportunities than there are people anxious to take them? I believe so. Too many are content just to "chug along". Promotion brings more power; where the power is, there is the responsibility. All this entails taking the hard road; too many prefer the easy road. But there is no easy road to success. A boy must realise that what he gets in life will vary directly with what he gives; if he wants something out of life he has got to put something into it. As he climbs the ladder he will find he gets privileges; but he also takes on added responsibilities and these must not be shirked. Boys must be taught to be adventurous and to seek happiness through achievement. Peace, welfare, social security, high living standardsall are good in themselves. But they cannot be achieved without exertion and struggle on the part of every citizen of a nation. And the sooner the boys understand these things the better.
A boy has got to acquire the capacity to concentrate; it is the exercise of this capacity that makes a human being both a free and disciplined creature. I believe that the business of teaching the art and habit of individual concentration is of immense importance. Boys must not be allowed to be listless about their work or about their games; they must be trained to concentrate and to seek for themselves the happiness and self-mastery which concentration induces. One wants to see an alert enthusiasm in the eyes of a boy, marking an all-absorbing interest in some chosen task. And if he can learn to concentrate on essentials, and on those details and only those details which are necessary to his chosen work, then indeed he will be well on the way to a bright future.
To the power of concentration I would add the importance of simplicity: simplicity in habits, in the mental and moral approach to problems, and in fact in life generally. The eternal verities do not change. Purity and simplicity of life in a boy will produce a trustworthy and chivalrous man, who will always have the respect and confidence of others. What says the Psalmist in this respect?
Keep innocency and take heed to the thing that is right, for that shall bring a man peace at the last.Ps. 37, v. 38.
Finally as regards the boy himself, I would say there can be no real education without personal effort. But it is doubtful if a boy can go faror, more important, find profit to himselfin any subject if his interest has not been aroused in the subject for its own sake. This is where really good teachers come in. But the right attitude to learning must also be inculcated in the home; this is equally important to the training the home must provide in the good life. A great danger to boys today is that facile distractions may prevent the full development of the natural joy of learning.
A GENERAL SURVEY OF THE PROBLEM
It is my misfortune that I do not know very much about the American system of education. Most of what I shall now say, therefore, has reference to the English system. The work of the teachers should be helped in every way that lies in our power. They, with the fathers and mothers, are the guardians of society against a danger far greater than that of any foreign power: the danger from within. That danger is the evil that is latent in our unguided wills and natures. The neglected or untrained child of today will be the monster of tomorrow.
The teachers of today suffer from many handicaps. Classes are too big; moral standards are becoming lowered. Materialism is on the increase; spiritual values are pushed into the background. In the U.K. the salaries of the staffs of the state schools are too low. The salaries may be well suited to mediocrity; but the salary structure has little in it to attract the man or woman of talent. The starting salaries may be suitable; but bigger rewards are needed at the top, and the final salaries need an increase. The salaries of headmasters should be raised very considerably; they have tremendous responsibilities and should be paid accordingly.
The problem of good teachers would appear to affect the U.S.A. very greatly. You have an increasing birth rate and a rising population. I am told that if your birth rate continues at the present rate, by 1980 you will have a population of 250 million people. Where are the teachers coming from? I am convinced that the schoolteacher should be paid a good salary, comparable to other skilled walks of civil life. Only in this way will a nation of your size get the numbers of good teachers it will need and must have.
I consider that very great freedom should be given to principals and headmasters as to the running of their individual schools. They must be carefully selected and well paid. If the schools are to play a happy role in a vigorous and healthy community, they must not have tight links with Government departments or civil servants. Efficiency is what matters. And efficiency is peoplethe people on the jobin this case the masters. It is their calibre and their attitude to their work that counts. If they are well chosen, inspired by a righteous purpose, paid well, given the right conditions in which to work, and are trusted then they will do all that is required of them. We do not want the harness of Government departments to be strapped on to our schools. The job of a Government is to see to the minimum: the maximum we must provide ourselves.
Then there is the question of corporal punishment in state schools. In England it is not allowed, and I have never understood the reason. Juvenile crime is on the increase in the U.K. A boy cannot be expected to imagine intellectually the misery and pain he has the power of inflicting on others; he has no experience, no imaginative capacity, to enable him to do so. I cannot understand why the use of this "sense" is forbidden by English law and modern social ideology to those who have to educate boys. A good beating with a cane can have a remarkable sense of awakening on the mind and conscience of a bad boy. Not to administer such chastisement in bad cases is in effect a kind of cruel neglectcruel to the child and cruel to society.
To expect teachers to discipline youth without this saving power is putting a tremendous handicap on the teacher. The greatest tragedy that can happen to a conscientious teacher who loves his pupils is to send a hooligan or criminal into the world. If the teacher was allowed to do his work properly, and was trusted not to abuse his responsibility, there would be many fewer hooligans and criminals.
And now we come to the problem of selection. I have referred to it many times in these two talks, and I make no apology for doing so again. It is one of the fundamentals in any educational system. It is my view that selection and specialist education is the surest way to ensure that democracy will produce a well-educated elite. The bigger and more mixed the school, the more difficult it is to give the best to the best. Without selection for separate schooling, the less gifted boy may benefit by being mixed with a proportion of abler and more civilised boys; but the effect on the abler boys can only be to pull them down, to a greater or less degree, to an average level below the best of which they are capable. If we want leaders of ability, we must build up and not pull down.
The right principle in a grammar or high school should be to separate clever boys on classical and science sides into small fast-moving groups. This policy should be recognised as the lesser of two evils, and the fact must be faced that other forms lose by having few leaders in them. But there is no justification for sacrificing the clever minority to the duller majority. In England the popular cry after the war was "equality of opportunity" in education. A certain school of thought has tended to extend the belief that "Jack is as good as his master", in a belief that all children, if given equal opportunity, would prove to be equal to each other. This school of thought would therefore abolish the Grammar Schools and put all children into monster "comprehensive schools", dividing all education so equally that nobody gets enough.
Never was there a greater mistake. The scientific and proved facts are all against this theory of potential equality. The facts are as follows:
(a) Children may possibly be born more equal to each other than not, but the influence of environment long before they go to school tends to make them unequal. A boy who comes from a clergyman's home, which is cultured and scholarly, starts life with an enormous advantage over a boy who comes, say, from a home in the slums of London or New York.
(b) The whole weight of the most scientifically designed I.Q. tests in England proves that, of the child population of England, not more than 15 per cent are capable of an academic type of education, that the next 10 per cent are capable of making a good showing at a technico-academic type of education in Technical Colleges, and that the remaining 75 per cent are capable of neither. Of course these are rough and ready divisions; there are undoubtedly cases of misfits and some good talent may not be spotted. But "hard cases make bad law", and the law is true enough.
It seems obvious that the correct policy is to segregate the 15 per cent academic and the 10 per cent technical from the majority of 75 per cent, who are neither. But this is "undemocratic" and is repugnant to certain schools of thought. Highly qualified headmasters have told me that in their opinion very serious blows have been struck at the Grammar Schools in England since the 1944 Education Act was passed. In the search for equality and "parity of esteem" the salaries of school teachers in primary and secondary schools were equalised. There are special allowances for a University degree and so on, but these do little to help the experienced teacher. Before the Act a highly qualified teacher in a Grammar School earned considerably more than a man working in an Elementary School.
Today able graduates are going less and less into Grammar Schools and there is a serious lack of scientific and mathematical teachers. Most of the city Grammar Schools in England attract the cream of children in the areas they serve; they should equally be in a position to attract the cream of the teaching staff, but will never do so under the present salary scales. In many Grammar Schools classes are allowed to remain too big; it is in these schools that it is most important the classes should be small.
In my opinion, if we are to get the leadership we require in all walks of life, we can only hope to get it from the Grammar and High Schools. We should therefore put their needs first and ensure that they, at least, are given the best men, the best buildings, the best equipment, and the smallest classes. It will be realised that such a view is anathema to large sections of public opinion. Yet this unpopular view merely recognises unassailable facts: that good material is limited. Just as the army picks out potential officers early on, and segregates them, so the nation should pick out its leaders early and segregate them. Such a plan is only what the philosopher Plato urged in his ideal republic 2400 years ago; his rulers, what he called his Philosopher Kings, were to be picked eugenically and intellectually in the earliest years, and be segregated and carefully trained from childhood by the best men in the best conditions.
In the U.K. the independent schools, called Public Schools, have great advantages. Their material comes from potentially the most intelligent and cultured section of the population, with exceptions of course. The boys have been segregated in special Preparatory Schools since the age of eight, with very small classes and good teachers. They have the colossal advantage of long and noble traditions, small classes, better paid and better qualified teachers than any state school, and a parental clientele who do not rush to the police court if their erring offspring are caned or beaten for bad behaviour.
The tragedy of the post-war era has been that the 1944 Education Act in England drove a deep wedge between the independent or Public Schools and the state Grammar Schools. By the time the Second World War started in 1939 the division between the Public Schools and the best city Grammar Schools was rapidly narrowing, and a parent might well have begun to hesitate between the two types of school. But all this, in the mad search for equality, has been changed. Today, parents go to absurd sacrifices to pay the inflated fees charged by the Public Schools; and their instinct today is right. The Public Schools are not now any better than they were in 1939. The sad truth is that, with a very few notable exceptions, the state Grammar Schools are worse.
One of the arguments which is sometimes used in favour of abolishing Grammar Schools in England and creating Comprehensive Schools for all children is that this is the American system. But I have heard it said that the parallel is far from sound. Certainly some of my American friends tell me that your state system is not producing sufficient leadership and that it brings reasonable general average but not sufficient brilliance. Headmasters in England tell me that the boys who come to them from American schools at the age of about twelve or thirteen do very well and fit easily into the English system. But they say that an American or Canadian boy of fifteen or sixteen is far below the academic standard of the English boy of a similar school. Against this, they at once admit that by the time the American boy has been four years at College or University, he has caught up.
And so I come back to my belief that any nation, if it wants to produce leaders, must select and separately educate in some way or another. The people who suffer if everybody goes through the same mill are the people who could move faster but are held back by the general average. This seems to me a very heavy price to pay for the so-called "age of the common man". My view is that we should cease to talk so much about the age of the common man. What we badly need today is an age of "exceptional men", because the problems are exceptional. And I suggest that we will only get it by educating and handling our boys in the way I have outlined.
THE CONCLUSION OF THE WHOLE MATTER
Whatever system of education is adopted by a nation, I put forward the following general principles for your consideration:
(1) It must be the best possible system. If a nation is well educated, everything else will follow naturally, e.g. the balance of payments, and all those things that nations get so worried about. If a nation brings up properly the boys who later will have to do the job, the job will be properly done.
(2) Many things are important in a school, such as buildings, playing fields, and so on. But nothing is so important as the right type of teacher. It is hard, in my opinion, to overpay secondary school teachers or indeed teachers of any kind; generally, they are underpaid. An underpaid teacher usually means a narrow teacher, fatally restricted in his contacts and life; it is hard for such a man to communicate to his pupils what he has not himself got. The masters in our schools must be first class and must be paid accordingly. If we believe that our educational system should aim at producing leaders, we must attract the right type of man and woman to teach the youth of the nation; we will not get them unless we pay them good salaries.
(3) Once you have a good educational system and good teachers, it is my view that there should be a proper organization for religious instruction in the school, worked out in co-operation with the churches. In this respect we cannot do better than note St. Matthew:
Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.6:33
The emphasis is, of course, on the word "first".
(4) The ideal of selection for the education of an elite has no hope of general acceptance unless educational justice is done for the masses: and not only done, but shown to be done. Residential education, i.e. boarding schools, can be of great value for certain types of boys. The social stresses that affect many modern urban homes go to emphasise the virtues of a good boarding school. Many boys are better away from their mother's apron-strings from the age of fourteen and onwards.
(5) Any system of education must ensure that full value is secured from itnot only as regards the public expenditure of money but also, and probably more important, in the best interest of the boy himself. At present, too many of the less gifted continue too long. This needs investigation. The conditions of your nation and my nation, indeed the condition of the whole world, twenty, thirty, forty years ahead, will depend primarily on how we educate and bring up the children of today. They are the men and women of tomorrow; they are the fathers and mothers of the next generation of our peoples. Not only must their bodies be nourished and cared for with food and exercise, and be protected from disease. Their minds must also be nourished and developed, and be protected from things that are immoral, anti-Christian, and evil.
(6) In general, schools must provide the right kind of education which will enable leaders, when they leave school, to approach the problems of the world from the right point of view. You may say that this is a training of intelligence and brains; but it is something rather more than that. Fifty or a hundred years ago, a boy was trained almost entirely on the discipline of classics and mathematics, with slight beginnings of modern languages and science. But too few schools made any attempt to teach modern history, or to introduce boys to the world in which they have to take their place. I am sure, therefore, that part of the duty of a school is to train boys to understand the general context of the world in which leadership is to be exercised.
Let me give you an example. The continent of Africa is in a troubled state. One kind of leadership is to take troops to Africa and fight and suppress the Mau Mau organization. But there is another and quite different kind of leadership, and the only really creative one, which goes out and sees what is in the African mind and civilisation, such as it is, and which understands the longings of the Africans to be in the end their own mastersleadership which will keep them from running before they can walk, and at the same time will encourage them and help them to fit themselves for the goal they want to reach.
Therefore, any school has a great and necessary task to see that its boys who, by virtue of their character, or their brains, or their natural leadership, will inevitably exercise strong influence in the futurethat these boys will understand the complex problem of human relations, and will know where these problems are presenting themselves in the world and how they are to be met and solved.
(7) Finally, we want to train our boys to achieve success in scholarship and in manly outdoor sports. But in addition, we want to develop in them qualities of integrity, moral courage, enthusiasm, devotion to duty, sympathy for and protection of the weak, kindliness, unselfishness, and good fellowship. We want to send out into the world boys who will be of real value to the nation in the difficult days that lie ahead. All these qualities are not the final prize to be obtained at school or college. They are the opportunity of future achievement. The ultimate test will be the standing and influence of a boy twenty or thirty years ahead. We must produce "stayers" who will last the course, and not just "sprinters" who will fall out of the race. In fact, the education and character training that we must give our boys, is, by itself, not the most important matter. What is the vital point is what they do with that education: what use they make of it in the years ahead. And a definite part of that education and training must be to inculcate the qualities that are an inseparable element of good leadership; this must be developed by good example on the part of the very best masters who can be provided. There must then be a desire on the part of the boy to emulate that example. To illustrate my meaning I would quote you some words by John Drink-water in his play "Abraham Lincoln":
When the high heart we magnify,
And the sure vision celebrate,
And worship greatness passing by,
Ourselves are great.
(Last lines of Scene III)
ONE LAST THOUGHT
I would like to make one last point before I conclude. Your nation is now the leading world power and as such has got to exercise convincing powers of political, economic, and military leadership in the free world. You have not always been in this position. For many years the British supplied world leadership and they have been dealing with great world problems for centuries. Your nation has only the experience of decades.
If the U.S.A. is to be successful in the tremendous task which now devolves upon it, you must surely train your young men for the job. You must produce an elite who have the wisdom, the vision, and the knowledge to grapple successfully with world problems. Your young men must be trained to look outwards, at the worldand not only inwards on the United States.
I do not believe you will be successful in this task, and fulfil the destiny which is yours, unless you select those with the best brains and give them the education necessary for the purpose. It is no longer a question of any particular method being "undemocratic". It has become a question of saving Western culture and civilisation from the onward march of aggressive Communism. And your nation must give the lead, with wisdom and with a sympathetic understanding of the problems and feelings of other nations. In fact, I give it as my opinion that unless the Western nations act in this way, and educate leaders who are trained to handle world problems, democracy will fail. And as regards United States leadership, you must understand that history will measure your success not so much by the quantity of your dollars as by the quality of your leadership.
This brings me to the end of my talks to you on the subject of education. It has been a real pleasure to be allowed to talk to such a distinguished gathering. I suggest to you that when all things are said and done, one great fact, the greatest fact, remains supreme and unassailable. It is this. There are in this world things that are true and things that are false; there are ways that are right and ways that are wrong; there are men good, and men bad. And on one side or the other we must take our stand; one, or the other, we must serve.
I am a soldier and I would like to remind you that a great commander once dismissed his troops after a long campaign with these words:
Choose you this day whom ye will serve; as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.Josh. 24:15
Those are great words, by Joshua.
Should .they not be impressed on every boy during the vital formative years? And are not these words the foundation of the whole matter?
1 The Julius and Rosa Sachs Foundation Lectures for 1954-55, delivered at Teachers College on November 22 and 23, 1954.
The Teachers College Julius and Rosa Sachs Endowment Fund, established in 1924 by a gift from the late Dr. and Mrs. Julius Sachs, is used primarily for the promotion of scholarly efficiency in the training of secondary-school teachers. To this end, educators of distinction have been invited to deliver special lectures at the college from time to time. The series, known as the "Sachs Lectures", was inaugurated in the spring of 1929.