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It may be said, in conclusion, that, at the present time, there is a fair agreement among teachers who have studied the question as to the basis upon which science may be correlated with all other subjects except one, namely, its yokefellow, history, including literature. The writer has discussed elsewhere ("Educational Review," for May, 1895,) at length, the basis for the correlation of these subjects, and only a mere mention of the points can be made here. The at. tempts at the correlation of the two subjects, thus far, have been but little more than efforts to find for the jingling words in one, appropriate rhyming companions in the other. So long as teachers relate nature study to the intellectual side of the mind, and history and literatura to the moral side, it is evident that a chasm will exist between the two subjects. It is here submitted that a rational correlation can take place only on two conditions. First, that it can be shown that nature study does directly influence the moral character of the pupil; and, second, that the events of history be taken out of the domain of chance or whim and be referred for interpretation to the operation of natural law. When the importance of these two fundamental points is understood and the requirements of the two conditions are conceded, the mystery and difficulty attending correlation will rapidly disappear.
The teachers of the country will understand the principles of correlation long before they acquire sufficient skill to apply them in actual practice. It is safe to predict that we shall have to pass through an epoch of miserably poor teaching. The chief blunders and miseries of this stage will be due to the efforts to "make over" old methods for new purposes. Inventive genius is not called for more in mechanics to-day than in the schoolroom. If teachers could but learn this lesson and forget the making-over process, years of effort might be saved. Nevertheless, the teachers of this generation are called upon to begin the new work, and, beginning, they must expect to blunder. If we can do no more, we can at least transmit to posterity these blunders as evidence of our sincere desire for better things and as proofs of our courage in trying to attain them.
WHAT HAS BEEN ACCOMPLISHED IN CO-ORDINATION IN
THE FIELD OF HISTORY AND LITERATURE.
BY CHARLES A. MCMURRY, NORJAL
I. The effort to co-ordinate history and literature with the other studies has led, first of all, to a serious effort to determine the rank of history and literature among studies. This has led to valuable practical results. Chief among these results is the fact, that the highest quality and function of history and literature as culture forces have been brought prominently to light. The culture influence which these studies may exert upon the deeper thought and character of children until recently has been little understood or thought of. But the awakening along this line is bringing a rich treasure of culture and inspiration into our school course.
We are beginning to use some of our best American and English masterpieces with full appreciation of their educative power and value. For example, the "Courtship of Miles Standish," which we use in its complete form in reading classes of the sixth grade, has become an important link in the chain of culture influences which we wish to make effective with children. For them to take up with and appreciate the life and character of that plain and hardy Plymouth folk is to imbue them with one of the strongest and best sentiments that American history and civilization have yet manifested to the world. As a preparation for this sort of reading in the history lessons of fifth or beginning sixth grade, let children study the narrative of Puritan hardship and virtue as given in Nina Moore's "Pilgrims and Puritans." Then let them take Longfellow's "Miles Stan. dish” in the regular reading lessons, and enter fully into its spirit. The fact, still more than the historian, will lay hold of their affections and sympathy. Most of us, no matter what our study of history, people the Plymouth shore with the forms of John Alden, Priscilla, and Miles Standish as Longfellow thought them. The poet has acquired complete ascendency. And well it is, for deep under this Puritan poem is the Puritan faith and grit which have entered into the backbone of our nation. And there is no other source from which children can better absorb this strong sentiment into their own spiritual life. This sort of literature has vigorous educative potency. It has been looked upon too much as a luxury, as an ornamentation, as an æsthetic charm for leisure bours; but it contains the fiber and strength of the oak. The true poet is no fair-weather prophet, no holiday entertainer. He abides with us through the storms of life. He touches the profounder chords of thought and feeling with a magic hand. In the hours of deepest national distress and danger the voices of Bryant, and Whittier, and Lowell have rung out in bugle notes of no uncertain sound, inspiriting the nation to its best effort. Our cherished poets and writers have more and better to teach us, and they know better how to teach and inspire than anybody else. Their lessons, in such graphic form as "Evangeline," "Snow Bound,” “Vision of Sir Launfal,” and “Thanatopsis,” contain the essence and strength of our culture. They furnish the meat rather than the condiments of a strong ideal education. In measuring and estimating the value and rank of studies this sort of literature is coming distinctly to the front.
II. But co-ordination sets out, not only to determine the rank and value of studies but also their inter-relations and interdependence upon each other, just as the three co-ordinate departments of our government are of equal rank yet stand in close relation and dependence upon each other. The notion is, that, if children see the important relations and connections of history and literature to other branches, the combined effect of the studies as correlated will be much greater than if each is to exercise its influence separately. The studies, if linked together by casual and rational relations, re-enforce each other. In their union is strength; in their isolation and dismemberment is weakness.
Among teachers the conviction is becoming widespread that history and reading, as well as other studies, have been too much isolated from each other. Each study has stood by itself and been looked upon as complete in itself and in its influence. But the outcome of education is now sought in a strong mental unit, a character with a center toward which all educative influences converge. It must be built upon a simple framework of principles which control and harmonize all acquired habits, experience, and knowledge. If this character which the school studies help to form has a distinct center and unity, then the school studies themselves must have a unifying rather than a divergent and scattering tendency. It is impossible longer to satisfy teachers with that permanent isolation of studies which has thus far been the rule. We may well isolate each topic in a study for the purpose of a clear and distinct grasp of its central idea, but it should be at once linked back to related topics in its own and other branches. There is an important sense in which every study should be isolated and its important ideas kept apart, but to isolate a whole study and keep it apart by destroying or ignoring its necessary relations to other studies, is to break the organic connection of thought and to disregard the close practical associations which are ever apparent in real life.
III. It is a fact that many school principals and superintendents are now rearranging and reorganizing the course of study, and the idea of co-ordination is having considerable influence with them both in the order and adjustment of studies and in the method of handling them in classes.
1. One influence of co-ordination in laying out school courses is seen in the effort to select parallel series of important topics in different studies and in so devising and arranging the parallel series as to keep in mind the mutual helpfulness of history and literature to each other and to the other branches. Thus, in several grades, the reading, history, geography, natural science, and language stand related to each other much like the strands of a well-made rope.
The literary series used in first, second, and third grades, namely, "Folk Lore Stories," "Robinson Crusoe," and "Greek Myths,” are a distinct and positive aid and preparation for the reading exercises in the same grades. The "Wonder Book Stories," for oral narrative and discussion in third grade, supply also the best of reading for fourth grade. They provide, also, for the best incidental language drill, and suggest many suitable objects for natural science lessons.
Again, American history stories, beginning in fourth grade and continuing through the periods of exploration, colonial life, and the Revolution, for fifth, sixth, and seventh grades, not only give the children a lively and hearty introduction to the instructive part of American history for them but also open up the fields of literature and geography in such a natural and interesting sequence that a profitable partnership between the studies is manifest even to the children.
In the fifth grade, for illustration, a group of studies has been selected in parallel lines, so that they render valuable support to each other. The history stories of Hudson, Champlain, Penn, Washington, Columbus, Raleigh, and other explorers, dealing with the first survey and settlement along the Atlantic coast, run closely parallel with the geography of the Atlantic States in the same grade. But this history and geography of the Atlantic coast become an introduction to much of the literature used in the regular reading lessons of fifth and sixth grades. These literary materials are both American and European, just as the history stories of Raleigh, Hudson, Columbus, and Champlain are a link of connection between Europe and America.
The reading matter for fifth and sixth grades includes Higginson's "American Explorers," Hawthorne's "Grandfather's Chair," Longfellow's "Courtship of Miles Standish," "The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin," Rolfe's "Tales from English History," "The Story of Ulysses," and "The Lays of Ancient Rome.” The books just mentioned are only a spirited introduction to the body of myth, tradi.
tion, historical narrative, and poetic masterpieces which embody in strong educative potency those ideas and characters and episodes in history which the master minds of literature have deemed best worthy of preserving. Such, also, are “Evangeline,” Irving's "Sketch Book," "Snow Bound," "Hunting of the Deer," "Lady of the Lake," “Lay of the Last Minstrel,” “Tales of Chivalry,” the stories of Waverley, etc.
Along the lines just mentioned, history, literature, geography, and language are of strong mutual service to each other. These connections between studies are not artificial but natural. The early history stories are unintelligible without geography. Literary works like "Evangeline," "Miles Standish," "Hiawatha," "Lady of the Lake," "Tales of a Grandfather," and "Sketch Book" are so full of geographical picture and suggestion that considerable geographical detail and survey are necessary to their comprehension. On the other hand, nothing is able to contribute more interest to geography than stories, traditions, and poems which find their setting among these objects and places.
2. A second idea which the effort to co-ordinate literature and history with other branches has accentuated is, the setting out in each study of the distinct units of thought which form, as it were, the nerve ganglia of that subject. Before real co-ordination can begin we must have distinct centers of thought to which labor and effort can be directed. In history, for example, we are taking a few choice biographies, episodes, and epochs as the chief centers of study. In literature we are selecting the best complete masterpieces and treating them as wholes.
The emphasis which is being placed upon the relations between studies is leading to a clearer grasp of the necessary conditions for co-ordination. A few important topics in a study, fully treated, will give far better opportunity to trace relations than a multitude of facts in one study learned only in those relations.
We have been wont to look upon the facts of history or geography as a mass of material to be learned in its historical or geographical sequence. Under the influence of co-ordinating tendencies, we are seizing upon a few central topics in a study, and from each one as a central stronghold we sally out into the adjacent country and bring it under tribute. If it is a geographical topic, we find that the adjacent country furnishes historical and literary associations that stand in close and vital relations to the geography and need to be drawn into the discussion. As men have actually developed in society, we find history, geography, and literature, not distinct forces, each operating as a unit by itself, but combined and intermingled in a close network of mutual relations and dependencies. If our education is to be natural, practical, and according to the facts as apparent