Excerpt from Journal of Social Science, 1871, Vol. 4
If we can secure the proposed reform, we shall take away from our representatives in Congress the most tempting and the most dangerous weapon in their hands; but apart from this, and the good effect on the government and it... s employés, there will be a vast good done in showing that education is of itself a matter of real value, of such high importance that on its result, as tested by examination, will turn the question of appointment to office. Show that good government means a government in which even the lowest office requires a fair standard of instruction, and you at once begin to elevate that standard, until education becomes really an important element in the government, and not merely a means of imparting a certain amount of instruction for any use that it may be put to.
It has already been made a source of complaint by competent observers, that what we call a system of education is in fact only a system of instruction, and the distinction is one well worth noting. In the one case there is a supply of learning, principally of a technical kind only, which meets the immediate wants of the time; in the other, the real business of education, there must be a thorough training of the mind, an intellectual discipline such as will enable the man who receives it to work with more than mere mechanical skill, and to apply it to whatever pursuit he makes his own. If the government, through its legislation in Congress, says that it wants to fill all its offices with men com petent to the duties to be done, to test that competency by ex amination, and then retain all who do their work well and pro mote those who do it best, that will be an authoritative promise on the part of the government that it means to encourage educa tion for its own sake and the impetus and advantage thus given will secure, in return, an increased measure of instruction and education in the particular direction necessary for the training of'
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