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and how, at last, there fell into his hands the story of Joseph, with his little coat of many colors, and with it the sudden assurance that all his meaningless toil had been intended as a preparation for this great end-that he might know how to read stories like this. He set himself down with his new treasure, and read it again and again. His mind was illumined by the recognition of the goal toward which he had been blindly tending.
What joy would have inspired the drudgery of letter and sound had this goal been in view from the beginning! In the primary reading of to-day this truth is recognized. Reading is considered as thought-getting, and the child is set from the beginning to read his own thoughts which have been expressed in writing for him. He recognizes at once the need of this wonderful hieroglyph. Here is a means of telling somebody something which he desires to impart and of getting something which he is interested to learn. Reading and writing at once become to him vehicles of getting and for giving the thought which he is desirous to get and to give. No word is taught except as the means of embodying an idea which is his
All dead and meaningless drill upon words vanishes with the recognition of this principle. Words exist for the expression of his thought, and for that alone.
In nature study we find this same emphasis of the reality-the same expression of the child's own experience. It is the animal which he has seen with his own eyes which he describes, and not the one about which his teacher reads to him. The dove which becomes the schoolroom pet is fed and watered; its movements, its habits, and its needs are observed by the child himself. The tree which grows in the school-yard; which unfolds its marvelous buds in the spring; blossoms with its wealth of beauty; bears fruit and sheds its leaves within the cycle of the child's own experiencethis is the tree which is observed, and described, and made to stand as a type of the other trees which other children know in other lands. Children and teacher walk into the fields together, and study and enjoy brook and field, flower and tree, fish and bird; sharing in one another's experiences, finding for themselves the lesson which every form of life brings home to them. The record of their voyage of discovery is real to them, and prepares the way for understanding the travels of earlier explorers. Their own fields, and brooks, and woods open the way to the selvas of the Amazon, the broad plains of the Mississippi, or the historic banks of the Nile. We have been learning to lead the child to open his eyes upon the marvels that lie close by him, and through these to help him to interpret the great world beyond. The form of others' experience is of no use to him until his own little experiences have given him power to understand and interpret the distant and unknown.
Reading, language, nature study, literature, and history, as taught in our best primary schools to-day, indicate a more general comprehension of the principle that growth proceeds from within through the activity of the child himself, that the child's thought is the mighty factor which determines his expression, and that his own experience gives life to the symbols and forms which otherwise are dead. By a thousand illustrations I might prove to you, that, even in our poorer schoolrooms, at the hands of the teachers least qualified for their work, this principle is gaining ground. We are seeking first the real experience of the child, knowing that the form will be added.
The enumeration of the new work which has been admitted and the new methods which have been applied would be incomplete without mention of the growing recognition of the need of unity in school work. This subordination of the form to the thought, of the symbol to the thing signified, indicates an apprehension of the true principle of correlation, which is being so ardently discussed in these days. The child observes a bird; thus enlarging his field of knowledge, getting new thought through his experience of new life. He turns to reading to add to the knowledge which is so sadly limited if he depends upon himself alone. Books can tell him what he de sires to learn about birds, and his reading lesson is immediately associated with his seeing. Now he desires to tell what he has learned, and his language lesson is a letter imparting his new knowl. edge. The words which he learns to spell are the words which his writing necessitates. His word-picture is explained by the drawing of the characteristics which he has noted. The story or poem suggested by his study leads his imagination to the higher thought of the poet or historian. His work becomes, not a learning of many things but the many ways of gaining and expressing knowledge about this one thing. The recognition of this one purpose of thoughtgetting and of thought-giving groups the studies about the dominant thought, and brings unity out of the isolated fragments which would remain upon our program without such recognition. However the theory of concentration may be exaggerated and misapplied, it contains within itself a life-germ which must survive—the truth that all things work together for good; that all things are the expression of eternal law.
In any work of reformation or reconstruction, the pendulum tends to swing to extremes. With the introduction of new subjects and the apprehension of truer methods, we find, also, a general tendency to withdraw the necessary emphasis from subjects and methods which have before been taught. I would not have this paper tend in that direction, or the three R's taught less carefully than before.
Rather let me declare, what I have found to be absolutely true, that the recognition of the principles of which I have been speaking leads to better work in the detail of reading, writing, spelling, and arithmetic. Children acquire power in these subjects more easily, more rapidly, and more gladly because they are conscious that every lesson helps them towards the goal which they desire to reach. They delight in the word study which helps them to master the story which is dear to their hearts or to write the letter which tells of the experiences in which they are interested. In my observation I have found that teachers present the three R's more intelligently and with better results in proportion as they apprehend more clearly the fundamental principles which we have been discussing. Is it pot always true that our work is distorted and weak when we see only the immediate and present instead of looking at the farther and future results to which the present must contribute?
I should be unfair to our schools should I fail to mark what seems to me the greatest sign of growth-were I to leave unnoted the change in the spirit of our teaching. This change is well-nigh universal. The harsh tone, the arbitrary dictation, the authoritative manner have almost entirely disappeared from our schoolrooms. Teachers enter in fullest sympathy into the lives of the children; work for them; live with them; share their interests; study to understand their needs. Whatever may be the faults of our method and technique, the spirit of our primary school rooms deserves our heartiest commendation. In itself it may encourage us to believe that the other elements to intellectual experience which we desire so earnestly may be added to our work since this great factor has been obtained. Greater than any other advance in our school work is this full entrance into the lives and experiences of the children, and this expression of loving desire to help them towards their highest development.
If we look for the cause of the improvement which I have indicated, we shall find that all may be referred to this recognition of the development of character as the highest aim of education. We have come to believe that the school must take hold of hands with the church, with the state, and with the home in helping the child to fit himself for a life worth living. One outcome of this belief has been the more general study of child-life. This is not confined to the careful philosophic researches of the leaders in our profession, but it is evidenced by the sympathetic painstaking study of the individual child by the teacher, who labors week after week and month after month for his highest good. The development of the kindergarten and the general study of its principles have helped in a great measure to further this result. We cannot claim that our ideals are new or that our principles are new. We know that the truths for which we contend most stoutly to-day were spoken by clarion voices centuries ago; but our work remains to apply these truths to the conditions and the children of to-day. While the truths, in themselves, are old, their application must ever be new. It is true, that, to-day, we find a more general apprehension of these principles than at any other time in the history of education. It is not alone the philosopher who studies to throw light upon our work; the humblest teacher in a country schoolroom shares with him his consecration, and in her measure is growing towards the apprehension of the principles which should guide her work. We strive, and pant, and yearn for the same goal.
As we look back upon the history of education, we find that the greatest advance has come through the recognition of some mighty truth, and not through the discussion of the closer and immediate details. The growth of education after the Reformation is an evidence of this. “The child must be taught to read,” the reformers argued, "that he might get the knowledge necessary for his soul's salvation.” What efforts were at once made to present truth in a newer and better way to the child. We have been told, that, if we seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, all other things shall be added unto us. We may be assured, however we may halt and falter in our efforts to climb, that the recognition of our noble aim will, in the end, lead us to an apprehension of every detail that can help us toward this end. But the growth in the detail of teaching will not come unless we hitch our wagon to a star. If our mind is fixed on the truth, the intellect will grow. Method and knowledge of subject and the detail of school management and instruction will shape themselves in accordance with the dominating purpose of our life-work; and I confidently assert that the most hopeful sign to be read in our primary work is this general lifting of the ideal. We may well wait with an infinite patience for the lesser growth to be added unto us.
REPORT OF THE SUB-COMMITTEE ON THE CORRELATION
OF STUDIES IN ELEMENTARY EDUCAT ON.
BY WU. T. ILARRIS, CILARJAN.
The undersigned committee agrees upon the following report, each member reserving for himself the expression of his individual divergence from the opinion of the majority, by a statement appended to his signature, enumerating the points to which exception is taken and the grounds for them.
1.- CORRELATION OF STUDIES.
Your committee understands by correlation of study:
1. Logical Order of Topics and Branches. First, the arrangement of topics in proper sequence in the course of study, in such a manner that each branch develops in an order suited to the natural and easy progress of the child, and so that each step is taken at the proper time to help his advance to the next step in the same branch, or to the next steps in other related branches of the course of study.
2. Symmetrical Whole of Studies in the World of Human Learning.Second, the adjustment of the branches of study in such a manner that the whole course at any given time represents all the great divisions of human learning, as far as is possible at the stage of maturity at which the pupil has arrived, and that each allied group of studies is represented by some one of its branches best adapted for the epoch in question; it being implied that there is an equivalence of studies to a greater or less degree within each group, and that each branch of human learning should be represented by some equivalent study; so that, while no great division is left unrepresented, no group shall have superfluous representatives and thereby debar other groups from a proper representation.
3. Psychological Symmetry—The Whole Mind.--Third, the selection and arrangement of the branches and topics within each branch considered psychologically with a view to afford the best exercise of the faculties of the mind, and to secure the unfolding of those faculties in their natural order, so that no one faculty is so overcultivated or so neglected is to produce abnormal or one-sided mental development.
4. Correlation of the Pupil's Course of Study with the World in Which He Lives— His Spiritual and Natural Environment.-Fourth, and chiefly, your committee understands by correlation of studies the selection and arrangement in orderly sequence of such objects of