Findlay, Dr. Joseph John

Educationalist, born on 6 September 1860 at Barton-upon-Humber, the son of the Rev. James Findlay (1815-1877; e.m. 1840) and educated at Kingswood School and Wadham College, Oxford. After graduating with first class honours in maths and history, he studied at Jena and Leipzig, then taught for a year in Bath and was successively headmaster of Queen's College, Taunton (1885-1888) and Wesley College, Sheffield (1888-1891). At Taunton it was said of him 'that he went down to breakfast every morning with a new idea', and during his short time there he established a house system and developed the role of the prefects. In 1891 he began a study of the educational principles of J.F. Herbart, for which he gained a PhD at Leipzig in 1893. A year teaching at Rugby led to his first book, Arnold of Rugby, in 1897. His exposition and advocacy of Herbart's teaching continued at the College of Preceptors, London and the King Alfred Society's demonstration school at Hampstead from 1895 to 1898. He then became head of a new educational experiment at Cardiff Intermediate School for Boys from 1898 to 1903 and from 1903 until his retirement in 1925 was professor of education at Manchester University, where the integration of theory and practice and the teaching of modern languages were his chief concern. Among his published work the two volumes of The Foundations of Education (1925, 1927) were of particular importance. He died at Torquay on 9 June 1940.

  • H.J. Channon, History of Queen's College, Taunton (Taunton, 1957)
  • Oxford DNB