Page images

best means of educating the people in such matters. And with social reforms secured, the task of education itself is easier. Still his conclusion is in the main correct. Stability in social reform is certainly dependent on changes in ideas, standards and values The experience of Boards of Health in our large cities furnishes an illustration of this kind. They have usually been invested with large powers which they found impossible to use unless preceded by extensive educational propaganda.

A second criticism is in the narrowness of his definition of education. He considered the problem of education to be the universal distribution of the extant knowledge of the world. It is so stated in Dynamic Sociology and accepted unchanged in later works. Social participation as an educational factor is lacking. We do not believe today that mere diffusion of knowledge assures effective citizenship. And what is the kind of knowledge to be distributed ? Although Ward included sociology as one of the six sciences in his hierarchy, there is little emphasis upon appreciation of social knowledge as we have begun to use the term. For instance, he defined Progress as "success in harmonizing natural phenomena with human advantage," and Dynamic Opinion as “correct views of man's relation to the universe.”

Ward’s emphasis upon the mastery of nature is in fact a reflection of nineteenth century natural science. While we admit that man's conquest of nature and his knowledge of natural phenomena have reacted powerfully upon human affairs, nevertheless the problems of applied sociology have to do less with the relations of man to the universe than with the relations of man to man.

On the other hand it may be urged in favor of Ward's position that in nature he included social forces. But in contrast to the physical environment they represent a division of nature over which man has attained little control, due in part to their complexity and obscurity. “He has made the winds, waters, fire, steam and electricity do his bidding

One field alone remains unsubdued. One class of natural forces still remains the play of chance, and from it instead of aid, he is constantly receiving the most serious checks. This field is that of the social


forces, of whose nature man seems to possess no knowledge, whose very existence he ignores, and which he consequently is powerless to control."1 This may explain Ward's lack of emphasis upon social education. Knowledge of a social character was not at hand to be taught. He certainly did recognize the need of social science in human affairs. He urged that legislators, administrators, judges and all dealing practically and directly with social forces be students of sociology and also seek the assistance of the social expert in their work. But he admitted with regret that there was scarcely to be found a book on sociology that would afford useful principles for their guidance; in fact that the study of society was still where physics and chemistry were in the fifteenth century.

In conclusion some outstanding contributions will be briefly summarized. Ward's emphasis upon the vast possibilities which lie in a conscious rational direction of human affairs, upon the superiority of conscious over unconscious control of the social process, was mentioned as a striking addition to the history of thought.

That education is the main agency for the realization of social ideals is a conception which of course does not begin with Lester F. Ward. It is at least as old as Plato's Republic. It was asserted by Turgot in the middle of the eighteenth century. But none have expounded the doctrine with more ardent mastery than Ward. Education is shown to be man's supreme method and opportunity if he could control his social destiny. He therefore struck an important note in the new science of sociology. If education is the vital factor in the social process, as Ward maintained, the sociologists may well make it the object of profound consideration. The researches of the specialist into social problems and processes contribute greatly to defining the teacher's work. Their aid in the development of scientific education will be immense. And Ward is unquestionably correct in his thesis. Our optimism concerning the future of the race lies wholly in education. It lies in fact in the successful working of an educational scheme far more comprehensive than any thing so far contemplated.

1 Dynamic Sociology, I, p. 35.

None have emphasized more than Ward the latent qualities of human nature and the latent abilities of the masses. While in enlightened countries there may be only a completely "submerged tenth,” he says, there is also only a completely emerged tenth, and there is no valid reason why the other partly emerged eight-tenths should not completely emerge. What if a very much larger portion of the material means of the world were applied to develop these “unworked mines” of society? What if it became the main interest of men individually and collectively to elicit the latent qualities of all human minds in the direction of a common fund of good? The possible results are dazzling to the imagination. The conditions imposed upon the human race do not preclude the attainment of an ideal order of society. The City of God may be realized increasingly. The problem is that of eliciting the latent, and of organizing it.

Winter Hope
Dreams of rich dyes warm the pure, snowy hollows,

That weave for the poet a color-song sweet, -
Spirit of sunshine and flowers that follows

The earth's—the heart's--winter, howe'er the storms beat.

I love, when the cold clouds of wintertime lower,

To gaze on the landscape that murky mists dim,
Where neutral and russet the leafless woods tower

O’er white hills that sweep the horizon’s dull rim;

And fancy strange music, where minor chords meeting

In beautiful sadness die dreary away,
Through whose mournfulness still a glad measure is beating,

The footsteps of summer approaching the day.

Yes-summer is coming-her rose-breath is creeping

Across our chill path, so slow, yet so sure !
Yes —what is thy feeble foreboding, thy weeping,
To Nature's bright system, her joys that endure?


A New Message on the Teaching of Business


SHERWIN CODY, CHICAGO. ILL. SAMIMIDIANUMITEN SPITE of all that has been written and spoken

on the subject of business English, the problem has I

up to the present time been only partially solved. After all the laborious drilling which the hard-working teacher gives, the most troublesome words are still misspelled, and the worst of it is that they are often so common that even one of them habitually

misspelled will dot the pupil's writing all too freely not with misspelled words but with a misspelled word. When the misspelling of some common word has become deeply ingrained in a human system it takes a powerful lot of teaching to get it corrected. The same applies to the common points of punctuation on which we all ought to agree, and the common points of grammar which it is a disgrace for any of us to get wrong.

When I first thought of compiling a little book on the grammar of everyday speech I amused myself by collecting flagrant illustrations of violations of all the common rules from the letters of school superintendents, of which I happened to be receiving many in the correspondence job I was holding down. I certainly became convinced that knowing all the rules by heart is no guarantee against violating them in habit and practice.

Private schools usually do not follow the proceedings of the National Education Association, since they feel that they must deal with practical conditions in a thoroughly practical way. But when a theorem of pure science has been worked out to the actually practical point, the private schools are nearly always the very first to adopt this practical application of a newly discovered principle, and so become the leaders in educational reform. Dr. Claxton, the Commissioner of Education, once told me in a very emphatic manner that he valued private schools above public for their invariable leadership in working out new educational ideas when they have once been reduced to real practical utility. They have to do it to survive the competition of the public school, and so long as they continue to be educational leaders in working out new practical methods they will continue to be superior to any competition that any public school system can possibly develop. Today a new educational idea in the teaching of English has been worked out by a number of educators connected with the Department of Superintendence of the National Education Association, and after five years it is about ready for useful application. To me it seems a marvelous thing in its extreme simplicity and its extreme effectiveness. It will be found in academic form in the reports of the committees on Economy of Time in Teaching, and Economy of Time in Learning, of which the chairman of the latter is Prof. Ernest Horn of the University of Iowa. I commend to you this summary of the methods of learning spelling, contained in the yearbook of the Society for Educational Research (I think for the year 1918), where the essence of the method is fully illustrated. I myself became interested first by the report on spelling in the yearbook of the same society distributed at the meeting of the Department of Superintendence at Cincinnati in 1915 (the yearbook for 1914), where there was a summary of the investigations as to what words are most commonly used and in general exactly what the letter writing vocabulary is. The most notable of these investigations was that of Prof. Franklin Jones of the University of South Dakota, who had tabulated 15,000,000 words of children's compositions, which had been especially written to draw out and exhaust their vocabularies. There were 56 to over 100 different compositions, written by each of 1050 school children in all the different grades, and a list of all the words used more than once numbered 4532—a working vocabulary which I consider about the finest I have ever seen. R. C. Eldredge, a factory manager in Niagara Falls, N. Y., also tabulated all the words in 270 different newspaper articles by over 200 different writers, and found in all only 6002, of which a good many were used only once. I cite these two

« PreviousContinue »