From the archive - 24.05.1924
Duties of Empire
From 24 to 31 May 1924, Empire Week will be celebrated at the British Empire Exhibition at Wembley
No doubt more children than ever will visit the exhibition this week, many repeating visits. Never has there been such a gathering together of resources of the Empire and, from the children's point of view, never has there been such a fairyland of interests.
The development of science teaching in the schools, the details of practical mechanical arrangements, apparatus, and equipment that the war made common consciousness, the developments of electricity and motor transport - these achievements have brought about an understanding of machinery in all its forms such as was never known in this country before. Education passes from the necessity of conscious timetable instruction into the absorptive process of unconscious permeation through the mastery of interest.
One has only to watch the gathering together of boys and girls round a car which has broken down by the roadside to realise an attention and deliberation of thought rarely obtained for the systematically programmed instructions of the school.
The absorbing joys of glorious life spent in an exhibition are only one phase of its effect upon the young. This great exhibition will widen the views of young people as well as those of the older generation. In some ways, it is vastly more important for teachers than for their pupils. As an Elizabethan writer said, in patriotic joy over England, "A part of the Elysian Fields is to be found in Britain."