Carlyle uses Lancastrian machines, Hamiltonian machines, and monitors, maps and emblems as examples of mechanical education. The phrase "Lancastrian machines" refers to the monitorial schooling system that Joseph Lancaster and Andrew Bell independently invented around the same time. Designed to make education more affordable, the monitorial system, also known as "the mutual instruction system," had more advanced students teach those struggling academically. Monitorial schools, which were known for employing absurdly severe methods of punishment, generally performed poorly (Shaw, 1-20). The Lancastrian schools, in keeping with Carlyle’s thesis about mechanical education, attempted to systemize education, and thus hardly helped students achieve knowledge and insight.
Shaw, Benjamin. Brief Description of the Principles and Details of the Lancastrian System of Education: Interspersed with Remarks on its Progress and Effects. Ser. 2. Philadeliphia: Early American Imprints, 1817.
Last modified 2 April 2009