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or immature; and it is always possible to settle such quarrels by compromise-by an eclectic lash made up of the skin and bones of all the combatants and the marrow of none. But this quarrel of the masters the genius of history has not settled so. These men actually existed. They were all born out of our common life. They have all contributed to its development. The history of the world has been large enough to hold them all, just as they were. You may charge Nature with being a superficial eclectic for giving birth to so many sorts of men. You may complain at God for not being more obviously rational-for not giving us masters of one trim normal school pattern. But such and so many masters he hath given, and none of them for naught. Who shall say that the very bitterness of their strife is not without its measure of good, and the deepest message of each is an accent of the Holy Ghost we dare not lose.
If, now, in the great world-school, whose pupils are all mankind, God needs such and so many masters, which of them in the school we have in charge can we afford to do without? We have charge of the youth. We are the doorkeepers of the school. We have power to admit or to exclude.
I am no poet, but the influence of poetry I can admit or exclude. I may admit it as scraps for the copy-book. I may admit it as sentences to be parsed. I may admit it as texts for a philosophy which the poet would disown; or I may let the children meet the poet's own message in its form, so that, in some measure, the holy fire which burned in him shall burn again in them.
I am not a philosopher, but the best influences of the masters I may admit or exclude. I may affect to despise philosophy. I may affect to believe that my office is insulated from the universe. I may make decisions every hour which then and forever stand in the absolute judgment as if they were to stand in no judgment but that of the school board. Nay, in this case I do not exclude philosophy. The raw, crude, contradictory answers which every hour, by word and deed, I make to the riddle of the Sphinx is not common sense because I call it so. It is my metaphysics under a false name, without the masters' wisdom and with more than their dogmatism. Again, I may become a philosophic sectarian in the narrower sense. I may fail to get through any system that spirit which is the life of all the great systems. I may prison myself with words, which, to the masters, were unessential. I may descend upon the school in the name of rational freedom to crush out all spontaneity there. I may teach the youth born into this kingdom of divine surprise that all he has to do with anything he finds there is to pigeon-hole it.
But, also, without being a genius, I may admit to my school the better influence of philosophy. If I sufficiently desire the wisdom that
comes with reflection; if I will listen to some master in whom spiritual fire has burned the raw material of experience into gold; if I will consider the questions of each day from the Mountain of Transfiguration as well as from the earth; lo! then, through me, in some small measure through me and for my school-there lives that spirit of wisdom, which, like Dante's Beatrice, leads us all into the paradise of better life.
II. In like manner, gentlemen, if there were time, we might consider every other sort of master whom the doorkeepers of the school have the power to admit or exclude. But I have come especially to urge the more general recognition of two kinds of masters who study human nature one of them by systematic research and one by per sonal acquaintance and insight. I wish to show, if I can, by an illustration, that nothing else can take the place of either of these, and that neither of these can take the place of the other.
My illustration is the problem of adolescence. How shall we find out what we need to know in order to help the youth most in this critical period of their lives? What is it that we know of this period from common observation? We know that it is a time of great change, physical and mental. We know that it is a time of critical importance for the establishment of health and habits, and other such generalities. Now comes a large body of scientific men, representing many special departments of science, and say that they will help fill out our knowledge. They must do this in their own way. They must take their own time. They cannot be hurried. They cannot promise every whipstitch a new discovery. They cannot promise that each bit of their work will, by itself, illustrate some general educational law or supply some schoolroom recipe. What is it they will do that takes so long?
1. They will measure hundreds of thousands of children in every way in which children show measurable change as they grow; the dimensions of the body as a whole and by parts; the weight of the body as a whole and by parts (e. g., Donaldson's measurement of brain weights at different ages); the motor ability in every aspect― as the strength, endurance, speed, and precision of various muscles under various conditions; the sensory discriminative ability for all the senses; the tenacity and span of memory; the precision, speed, and endurance of the mind in various measurable tasks; the apperceptive capital and the spontaneous interests; the character and amount of sickness and the death rate; and still other determinations already made and yet to be made.
2. When any one of these determinations is made on a sufficiently large number of children, the results are treated by mathematical methods, which show, not only the average measure of children for a
certain age but also the individual distribution. For example, Professor Bowditch's tables show that five per cent of the children of a certain age are below a certain height; ten per cent below a certain height; fifteen per cent below a certain height, etc. A comparison of the results for successive ages show the so-called curve of growth; that is, the absolute amount and the rate of growth from year to year. From this curve we can see the periods of accelerated and of retarded growth. In like manner, each set of measurements mentioned are treated by the methods found appropriate to each. And in like manner, accordingly, we find for each measurable function the curve of its growth, the time of life when it grows fast, the time when it grows slow, and the time when it reaches its full development.
3. As soon as a few studies like this are made, there begins a comparative study of the several functions that have been measured. What are exact relations between these several phases of human development? Which of these functions fluctuate up and down together, and which, if any, in contrary directions?
4. Finally, each and every part of this work must be reviewed in the light of the facts contributed by general biology, physiology, neu. rology, psychiatry, and related sciences.
Now, what is it that is hoped from this long and infinitely laborious task in which a little army of trained men throughout the world are co-operating? The thing hoped for is a picture—not a fancy picture, not a speculation, not a guess, but a picture whose every line is verified of the development of man in many of the most important phases of his life. Most of the work is in the future. Not all. Perhaps 200,000 children in a half-dozen countries have been tested by the best methods known to the science, and the results have been to some degree digested. I wish to make no extravagant claims for the results so far gained. I have no ambition to show tin-rattle discoveries, and I have a horror of premature pseudo-scientific schoolroom recipes. But the picture of the developing youth is so far drawn by the studies already made that the school should not ignore it. I submit that those who set tasks, those who make the curriculum, have no right to ignore those curves of growth which show now retarded and now accelerated power to do the work required. As I said a while ago, every schoolman cannot be a scientist, but the influence of science he can admit or exclude. Inside the school are the children; outside are the sciences of help; at the door stands the schoolmaster. III. But, as I already said, there is another kind of child study no less essential than the scientific; and that is, the child study which comes with intimate personal acquaintance. My own studies and interests have been in that field of systematic research which I have just all too rapidly sketched, but the relative importance and the rel
ative neglect of unsystematic child study leads me to devote somewhat more space to that problem. Let us take again the adolescent youth and face this question: What can the high school and college do to direct the abundant stock of life in later adolescence toward good growth? Here is a youth surcharged with force. It will find an outlet. The outlet it finds will be the habits, will be the character, of the man. Unhappily, this force is all too easily misdirected. The senses clamor for satisfaction. The opportunities for receiving satisfaction are everywhere abundant. The young man finds many already going and already gone into every form of delightful vice. What can we do about it? Many answers come to mind. One says: "Give the youth Spartan discipline. Command. Forbid. Demand obedience." Another says: "Teach him ethics. Have a little book of maxims for him to learn. Teach him that honesty is the best policy." Another says: "Reason with the lad. Give him an ethical principle by which he can guide himself. Lead him to be rationally free." Another says: "Inspire the boy. Read Tennyson to him. Inflame his soul with Dante. Kindle his enthusiasm with Beethoven."
All these things have more or less value, I feel sure; but I wish to suggest another which I believe is the essential supplement to any of these, and that is this: Better acquaintance by direct personal acquaintance. Now, the thing above all others to look for is this: What are the boy's interest? In what directions does the flood of force within him tend to go out? What does he enjoy doing? What work or play does he go to with instinctive pleasure? What, if any, part of the school work does he care about? What, if any, sort of book does he snatch up to read when he has a chance? What does he talk about and think about when he is not self-conscious? What sort of companions does he like to be with? Whom does he imitate? Who are his heroes-living, dead, or fictitious? Do you know none of these things about your boy or girl? Do you not know where they are or where they want to go? Do you not know in what good or bad, in what essential or trivial, ways the flood of life in them is pressing? Alas! then, your commandings are more likely than not to be stupid, brutal, ruinous; crushing the child's will or inciting it to rebellion. Your moral maxims and your moral principles will be like bulrushes against a Nile flood, impotent to check the blind rush of life you do not understand; and the noblest things that may inspire yourself may, as many of us bitterly know, fail to touch any responsive chord, because we do not know what chords are there or what ones to strike.
But if you have gained the right sort of acquaintance, then you will know what the best enthusiasms are and what will nourish them. Does he love sport? Be his comrade, and make him see how fine it is
either to win or to lose, and be a gentleman. Does he love tools? Turn him loose in your high school workshop and let him make physical apparatus. A thing he makes is worth more than a hundred-dollar one, for, in making the thing, he is making himself. Does he read trashy novels? Don't give him your own favorite instead. Give him a good novel that he will enjoy better than he did the trash. Find him heroes that will appeal to his present admirations. If he admires the prize fighter, show him that there are fists that clinch and strike for right, and, in due time, he will find a higher knight-errantry that uses no blows.
There is just here, however, a certain thing to guard against. Because a boy loves sport is no reason why he should never do some thing more useful. Because a boy loves tools is no reason for educating him to be only a tool and not a man. Because a boy has some strong tendency which is good is no reason why he should follow that so far that it becomes an evil. All the time that we are encouraging the boy's best present enthusiasm we must be on the watch for the birth of better ones. Things happen rapidly in the time of adolesIt is the time for conversion. It is the time for regeneration, physical and spiritual. It is the time for the dawn of love that may turn toward hell or that may turn toward all the heavens that a man can reach. We must therefore be on the watch for the birth of every better impulse as we await the birth of a child. We must save every one of these higher instincts as we would save a flickering human life. We must save the boy again and again from the best he is to make him a better.
My plea is, that we get acquainted with the boys and girls in true comradeship. One great advantage in this is, that at the same time we are getting acquainted we are learning how to influence them and are getting the power to do so. There is no power in the world like personal influence. Politicians understand this. One must have three degrees of initiation to become an efficient politician. In the first degree, you think it is enough to vote. In the second degree, you think it is enough to speak and write. In the third degree, you find that things good and bad are brought to pass by direct personal contact. And so I say, you must be the boy's comrade or he will escape you. If you have any sort of charm, use that, not for your sake but for his sake. If you have fidelity of character, he will find that out for himself. If a sneak looks out of your eyes, he will know it, and every fine maxim from your lips will send him the other way. If you care for the boy, if you want to do him any good, if you have in you any of the mother spirit which clings to a life and will not let it go, there is no power anywhere that can save if this fails, for it is the love of God.