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Education During the Time of the Personal Union

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David Llewelyn Morris - „Public School Boy"

Public School

* in fact private school, educating secondary-level students for a fee and independent of the state system

* In America the term "public school", in contrast refers only to free local schools controlled by the government


The text "Public School Boy" is a autobiographical memoir written by David Llewelyn Morris when he was a first-year undergraduate at the University of North Wales in Bangor. It describes his Schullafubahn, beginning from the age of five, with special reference to his time at the public "King's School" in Canterbury.

Until the age of 13, the narrator visits a small day-school, where he obviously is quite happy. The teachers are described as enthusiastic and he also says that this was the time when he learned most. Morris is a good student, always near to the top of the class, and with 13, he passes the Common Entrance, which allows him to visit a public school. He is accepted by the King's School, Canterbury, which his brother has just left. Although Morris is proud of his achievement, he also is sad and scared having to leave his home, admitting that he never really has lived away from home before. So when his parents drive him down to Canterbury the day before the beginning of the term, it is hard for him not to start crying, watching them leave. During the night, however, lying in his bed in a dormitory with eight other boys, the tears break out of him and he feels terribly alone. This feeling of loneliness stays with him for a long time; he even says that the system of public schools is a good preparation for prison. The teachers, in contrast to the teachers he had before, are boring. The students simply have to listen to their enumerations of facts which they only have to learn in preparation of tests. They are not involved in the lessons at all. So when Morris leaves the school after five years with good A-Level results and a place at a university of his choice, he still thinks that his time at King's School has done him more harm than good. Pupils who show weakness are attacked mentally as well as physically by their "comrades", the demanded discipline, which was forced instead of self-imposed didn't allow them to express their own opinions. When Morris finally leaves the public school to go to university, he is different from the other students, unable to adjust, and fails spectacularly.


* Basic topic is the criticism of public schools because of the way of teaching and the autocracy which exists at those schools

* The difficulty of having to leave



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