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With the main lines of thought in this report I find myself in agreement. With many of its details, however, I am not in accord. I regret to have to express my dissent from its conclusions in the following particulars:
1. The report makes too little of the uses of grammar as supplying canons of criticism which enable the pupil to correct his own English, and as furnishing a key (grammatical analysis) that gives him the power to see the meaning of obscure or involved sentences.
2. For the study of literature, complete works are to be preferred to the selections found in school-readers.
3. That species of language exercise known as paraphrasing I regard as harmful.
4. The study of number should not be omitted from the first year in school. Practice in the primary operations of arithmetic should not be omitted from the seventh and eighth years. The quadratic equation should be reserved for the high school.
5. The foreign language introduced into the elementary school course should be a modern language-French or German. Latin should be reserved for those who have time and opportunity to mas. ter its literature.
6. In the general program of studies, the school day is cut up into too many short periods. The tendency of such a program as that in the text would be to destroy repose of mind and render reflection almost an impossibility.
7. I desire to express my agreement with the opinions stated in sections 2, 3, 6, and 9 of Mr. Gilbert's dissenting opinion; and, in the main, with what Mr. Jones says on the correlation of studies.
WILLIAM H. MAXWELL, Superintendent of Schools, Brooklyn, N. Y.
(REPORTED BY S. T. DUTTON, SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS, BROOKLINE,'MASS.]
FRANK M. McMURRY, Principal of Franklin School, Buffalo, N. Y.--"The correlation of studies deals with the relation of ideas. The word concentration was brought to us from Germany, and treats with the relation of studies and parts of studies to one another. As a result, the children may study Egypt by learning about the Nile river and the art of Egypt; arithmetic by observing the triangular faces of the pyramids and the manners and customs of the people. All these ideas are brought into relation and help to interest.” The speaker read from page 6 of the report, and answered the charge made by Dr. Harris, that "Robinson Crusoe" is shallow, and, when used as a system of mnemon'cs, tends to weaken thinking. The opponents of the Herbartian system take this as a type, and, condemning the type, reject the whole. The speaker objected to the idea of isolation in studies, and said that the report overlooked the thought of culture studies, especially the sciences. "The committee forget that there is danger of specialization in the early years. They insist upon sequence, but do not do so as a matter of principle. In reading they overlook the idea of unity, and do not deal with literary thought as wholes. If they leave out what their report was intended to discuss, what do they find to present to us? The new education deals with child study, apperception, and interest. It is recognized that ideas must be active; they must be real and make a direct appeal to the child's interest. All this seems to have been overlooked in the report. The report makes much of the fact that psychology should be subordinate. This is all a mistake. They discard the value of richness of thought, and emphasize reading, writing, and arithmetic. I do not believe this is right."
Col. FRANCIS W. PARKER.—When, in Boston, two years ago, I moved that a committee be appointed to report on correlation, I had in mind a full and complete treatment of the subject. I had confidence in the ability of the committee. I supposed they would make a careful study of every phase of the subject; that they would make themselves familiar with Herbart, Ziller, Stoy, and Rein. They have ignored the very subject which they were intended to treat. The report is a grand restatement of facts long known to all of us. But it is like the play of "Hamlet" with Hamlet left out; or, as I might better say, with Hamlet kicked out. Too many teachers at the present time think that Herbartian doctrine seems to furnish a grand working hypothesis. The report assumes that the development of language cannot be related to the development of thought-that grammar must be studied by itself. In speaking of a course of study, it is dogmatically stated that there should be two lessons in reading every day for six years; after that one lesson a day. We are led to infer that children cannot reason. Prof. John Dewey, on the other hand, declares, that, after the disintegrating process has gone on in the adult mind for some years, he is the one who cannot reason, but the child does reason.
Shall not literature, including history, be made the subject of study from the beginning? The report leaves no margin for the research of the teacher. Can abstract philosophy direct her? Shall we not be directed by our experience? Just think of six years of regular books. Is there no relief? I shall accept this report respectfully; I shall take it home and study it prayerfully; but I move that a committee of fifteen be appointed to revise it.
PRESIDENT DE GARMO, Swarthmore College, Swarth more, Pa.—“I labor under great embarrassment in attempting to speak at this time. It is like going to church and hearing nothing but the text, for Dr. Harris has read only a few theoretical propositions, leaving us quite in the dark as to what the report really says. This report should have been distributed so that every member of the department could have had one before the meeting." The speaker referred to several instances where the report treated of educational values only. “The entire report is a critique of educational values. It should be universally read. It treats of correlation of the pupil with his environment, and does show the relative value of studies. But it dismisses the very essence of their correlation as unworthy of treatment. The effect of the report will, I fear, be reactionary so far as correlation is concerned. People will assume one of the two positions which President Eliot says are the stages incident to progress; first, that no reform is needed; second, that we have it already. The report should be called a discourse on 'Educational Values.' So far as the correlation of studies is concerned, it is like the text of the minister to whom I referred, who, at the outset, repeated it several times, because, as he said, he should have no occasion to refer to it again; for, though the sequence of and the mutual relations of studies are mentioned, they are nowhere developed. If this report were accepted we should have to regard education as a series of great tunnels running parallel with each other and crossed at regular distances by other tunnels. The student must first go forward in one a little way and then cross into another and make progress by a series of transitions, nowhere perceiving the natural interrelation existing among the studies. How much better is it to go out into the world under the sun and follow the great natural highways."
W. T. HARRIS, Commissioner of Education.-I must set myself right on Herbart. The report does not allude to Herbart anywhere except in respectful terms. The criticism of the use of "Robinson Crusoe" does not attribute its mistakes to the Herbartians. Perhaps they would not recognize it as a true statement of their method. To make Herbart of use in pedagogy we must to some extent ignore his philosophy. His usefulness in education is proportioned to his uselessness as a philosopher. What can we do with a philosopher who omits the will from the three departments of the mind and retains only intellect and feeling? Herbart was obliged to explain how man comes to act without the will. He explains that desire can be aroused by interest in such a way that action will follow. With this great defect, however, Herbart is valuable in education. His doctrine of apperception does not need any correction. His doctrine of interest, however, needs some limitation, because the idea of the will and the idea of duty are omitted from his system. He must make up by the idea of desire and the idea of interest. I am surprised that the claim is made here that the report does not treat the subject assigned to it. Correlation of studies is assumed to mean concentration of studies. There is no such definition to the word correlation in any dictionary; only four or five obscure books in the English language give the word correlation the meaning of concentration. I was told of this sense of the word correlation, but did not believe for a moment that it had been the intention of the Department of Superintendence, in appointing a committee on this subject, to have a report on the Herbartian idea of concentration. The resolution appointing this committee at Cambridge said “co-ordination of studies” and not "correlation” or “concentration."
DR. CHARLES A. MCMURRY remarked that this report is essentially an analysis and isolation of the branches of study. Dr. Harris had objected to the definition of correlation suggested by some of the speakers as not contained in any dictionary. Would Dr. Harris, on his side, find any dictionary definition of correlation which justified the title of correlation over a treatise devoted almost exclusively to an analysis and isolation of the different studies?
"I feared," he continued, “that Dr. Harris would take refuge in metaphysical distinction. He remarks that Herbart left the will out of his psychology, and, as a consequence, moral education can find no true place in his system of education. This is unfair, and misrepresents Herbart's whole position. As a matter of fact, all who are acquainted with Herbart know that he makes moral education the basis and corner-stone of his whole educational system. In Dr. Harris' report now before us, moral education stands forth with no such prominence as in Herbart's theory and practice of education."
Quoting from the report, the speaker said that the fact of a process being difficult, as the analysis of words and letters, was not proof of its pedagogical value at a certain age. “It is not the most difficult process," he said, "that is most appropriate in the early grades, any more than Latin is the best study for boys simply because it is harder and dryer than anything they will study later. The chief objection to this report is, that it will be a tower of strength to those who still hold to the old formalism in education. The life-giving spirit of the new movement in education is in sharp contrast to the dead formalism which has been long imposed upon the schools. I fear that the report will be accepted as a defense of formal discipline and will arrest progress already begun."
DR. WALTER B. HERVEY.—My mind assents to nearly all that has been said this morning. I think we should try to barmonize the two ideas, the Hegelian and the Herbartian, which here seem to be at variance. The Hegelian must go out in the world empty himself and find a larger, fuller life. He must lose his life in order that he may find it. The Herbartian depends upon what he has acquired. He learns new truth by what he has already gained. We have here the Calvinistic theology set over against the Unitarian. The Herbartian brings to the front moral tests and sentiments. It appeals to the moral feelings. This is higher than Hegelianism or the Hegelian idea, but is not opposed to it. There is a certain degree of isolation in teaching. We do not always need to travel the dull road of analysis.
DR. B. A. HINSDALE.—I did not understand Dr. Harris to say what Dr. McMurry ascribes to him. He did not say that Herbart omitted moral training, but that he based it upon the feelings rather than upon the will. What criteria should guide us in studying this problem? I am led to seek for them in the human soul and in the study of environment. Neither of these sources can be omitted. Have we not all understood that the first steps in teaching involve isolation and analysis, but that there must also be grouping and co-ordination? There are two natural groups of subjects pursued in schools. First, the elementary school arts; as speech, reading, writing, drawing, and number. Second, real studies; those that give knowledge and culture. A claim is made that the child should be kept at real things, and that the school arts are to be learned along the way. Can this be done? I do not believe we can teach the whole round of human knowledge by means of teaching certain studies.
DR. E. E. WHITE of Columbus, Ohio.-I have some hesitation in responding to this call. I am only a learner concerning the Herbartian theory of concentration, and am trying to keep an open mind. I am, indeed, anxious to know just what my young friends mean, and, in time, I hope to get the proper correlation of their ideas.
As I now see it, there is no one essential process or method of education, whether Herbartian or other, and it seems to me somewhat doubtful to assume that we have at last found a complete system of pedagogy that is to supplant all that has been heretofore supposed to be fundamental in the art. The serious defects in the psychology of Herbart have led some of the thoughtful advocates of his system of pedagogy to claim, that an acceptance of his pedagogy does not involve an acceptance of his psychology; but the fact is Herbart's system of pedagogy is based on his psychology, and so a rejection of the latter removes the basis on which the former rests. Instead of his system of pedagogy, you have left only elements which may be utilized-fruitful suggestions; but the system as such is in fragments.
I recognize valuable principles of teaching in what is known as the Herbartian pedagogy, and one of these is the proper blending and unification of subjects of instruction. This is not exclusively Herbartian, but his system gives the principle a new emphasis. But the process is clearly most feasible in primary instruction, and even here it has its obvious limitations. I did not understand Miss Arnold last evening even to hint that the blendings, which she so admirably pointed out as desirable in primary instruction, are possible or feasible in higher grades. Even in the primary school, the method is in danger of leading to factitious and superficial blendings. It is evident that what may be feasible in this respect the first two or three years of school may not be desirable, even if practicable, in higher grades. The primary school, the grammar school, the high school, and the college have each their characteristic phase of instruction, and the same method cannot be used throughout the course. As we go up in the grades, there is an increasing differentiation of studies until only incidental blendings in closely allied subjects are possible in the same exercise; and, in the university with its special courses, differentiation reaches its maximum. This shows that the so-called concentration is, at best, only a phase of a true course of instruction and a diminishing phase. In all grades above the primary, correlation, not concentration, is the determining principle; and even in primary grades all subjects cannot wisely be united in the same exercises. Certainly there is no one method for all classes and grades of pupils.
Dr. Harris is clearly right, as it seems to me, in his views as to the proper meaning of the "correlation of studies." He uses the term, not only in its scientific but in its recognized pedagogic sense. Concentration is a different process, and should receive separate consideration. The attempt to use the terms co-ordination, correlation, and concentration interchangeably, as synonymous, introduces confusion into pedagogic discussion.
I desire to add that the principles recently presented under what is called concentration seem to me to lead to the one conclusion that every child must be taught as an individual, and so by himself, and hence all attempts at class instruction are futile and unscientific, and must be abandoned. Individual instruction can alone meet the conditions assumed to be essential by the Herbartian theory as explained by its advocates. What does this involve? What becomes of the school as such?
There have been many scholars since the flood-scholars who have honored learning and widened its domain. How were they produced? Not, certainly, by any one method, and surely not by “concentration." These hosts of scholars and thinkers cannot be accounted for on any such assumption, for they were produced under very unlike methods of elementary education. The history of school-training shows that we are not shut up to a diet of pedagogic hash on the one hand, or to one of baked beans on the other. The child has some power of appropriation and assimilation.
DR. NICHOLAS MURRAY BUTLER, Columbia College.—This is an interesting and exciting field of battle; it has not been a Bull Run, and it is manifestly not an Appomattox. But the contest should be fair, and we should not permit ourselves to be led away from the main question presented by this report. I shall devote no part of my limited time to eulogizing its author. My own intellectual debt to him is too great and of too long standing to make that necessary; but I am compelled to say that with this report I am greatly disappointed. Such a document as this, presented at this particular time in the history of our educational development and supposed to deal with the practical problem of the correlation of studies, is ex-tremely unfortunate. This discussion has made it plain that there is among us a difference of opinion as to what the term “correlation of studies” meaus. This report interprets it to mean the correlation between the studies of the school curriculum and the intellectual environment of the pupil. Certainly that is not what the term is taken to mean in our current educational literature and in our current educational discussions. It has been claimed on this platform, that those who use the phrase "correlation of studies," in reference to the interdependence of