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and labor, most eficiently equip the child for his function as a future citizen of the present highly developed civilization. How to bring about this organization is the problem that bears the various names co-ordination, correlation, concentration of studies.
The man who has the first right to be heard upon the significance of the term correlation is our bonored commissioner of education, Dr. Wm. T. Harris. It was he who prepared that part of the report of the committee of fifteen which pertains to the correlation of studies. The prevailing conceptions of that are, first, that the purpose of school education is to fit the child for his environment as a citizens, by enabling him to master its elements one by one as they are presented in the studies; and, second, that each study has a value or function in thus educating the child. The inevitable consequence of such a position is that the report should be what it is, a critique of educational values, each study, though standing alone, being reflected and completed in the others. The best illustration of this conception is our national government, which has three departments, the legislative, the executive, and the judicial. These departments are separate and independent, yet they are perfectly correlated, since each has a distinct function in effecting the common purpose of the three, namely, government. Legislation implies judicial approval and execution, so likewise the executive department implies and reflects the other two. With this image before him, Dr. Harris can easily maintain that each of the studies, history, literature, mathematics, natural science, and the like, has a specific function to perform in effecting the purpose of the school, and that there is the same sort of correlation existing among them that we find in the departments of government, since each influences the other, without which it would have small significance. Impelled by this conception of correlation, Dr. Harris has presented a masterly exposition of the rational grounds of our present choice of studies.
It is indeed good for us to be doubly certain that history, literature, grammar, and arithmetic should be taught in the public schools, yet we may fairly ask what new impulse this report may be expected to give in our educational progress. Taken by itself this view of correlation is so foreign to the problem of correlation as it appears in the daily work of the schoolroom that those who expected other things of the report may be excused for not having classified the estimation of educational values under the head of correlation of studies at all. The whole consideration is static and a priori; it does indeed give us logical reasons for what we are already doing, just as Kant investigates the presuppositions of the experience that everybody has. Such knowledge is for some purposes by no means useless, but this (Hegelian) exposition of the reasons for teaching the common
branches does not touch the real problem involved in their correlation. The function of studies is something that in the nature of the case can never appeal to the consciousness of the pupil himself. Just as, until in his maturity he studies Dr. Harris' "Introduction to Philosophy," he will be totally unconscious of the fact that he uses the second figure of the syllogism every time he recognizes his father in the distance, so he must wait until he reads Dr. Harris' report on the correlation of studies to know the philosophical reason why he studied grammar and arithmetic. This functional correlation, furthermore, gives no hint as to the place and sequence of topics in the studies. Shall natural science be introduced in the primary or in the high school? The category that explains the function of science in education gives no answer. Beyond the fact that this consideration shows us that all the conventional studies must be put in, no man is assisted by the report in making his program. It is true the report expresses an opinion on this subject, but the opinion has no organic connection with the remainder of the report. These categories, voiceless as to the place and sequence of topics, are likewise dumb when interrogated as to methods of teaching. But the most depressing aspect of Dr. Harris' report on correlation appears when in an unhappy moment it gives the impression, that, like the separate departments of government, each study should be kept in strict isolation from the others. This idea, suggested by the effort to demolish a man of straw, viz., the fear that all studies are to lose their identity in a synthesis that shall teach everything at once, is a most unnecessary, illogical, and unfortunate one. Nor is the mischief greatly mitigated by Dr. Harris' more recent declaration, that what he said is not to be thus interpreted. It implies that the studies shall not help one another, but that they shall proceed in carefully isolated underground tunnels. The pupil discovers only at the end of his school career, if ever, the bearing that one has on the other in fitting him for his life-work. There is probably no fault so monumental in all our school and college education as this systematic isolation of the departments of knowledge. Life stimulates a man to focus all his power and knowledge upon every line of conduct. If he loses money in the market because he did not think of something he knew perfectly well, he does not forget a second time; but the school, giving the pupil a thousand advantages in the way of knowledge, thoughtpower, and culture, often through this very isolation of knowledge tracts renders him helpless in competition with one who knows but little but who has learned to co-ordinate what he does know. We have ascribed to Latin and Greek too much of the non-practical results of school and college education. The difficulty lies deeper. Its root is to be found in this very ingrained habit of non-correlation whereby the school helps to cancel the very advantages it furnishes by refusing to give, even in principle, the kind of discipline to be found in life.
All honor, then, to Dr. Harris for the contribution of his analysis. It is probably the best one ever made, and will clarify the thought of every man who reads it; but let us not delude ourselves with the idea that this static philosophic analysis of studies according to their educational function really solves any one of the important problems arising from the need of an economical organization of studies. There is something else. Correlation is not exhausted by the static demands of civilization, which affect the destiny but not the consciousness of the pupil. It extends to the daily work of the schoolroom as it appeals to the child's mind, to his capacity to grasp and assimilate knowledge; it includes the formation of his mental habit, whereby conduct becomes the resultant of correlated knowledge, not the effect of isolated impulse. There is, in short, a correlation resting upon psychological grounds, which does for the studies what civilization does for individuals, rendering them mutually helpful to one another, enabling each to be helpful to all and all to each. This is a correlation whose investigation is the end and aim of all our study of the child. It may be confidently affirmed, therefore, that the most practical, interesting, important, and even vital phases of correlation come under the head of psychological rather than of social or civil considerations. Do we ask what the organization of the curriculum should be, that we may best economize time, that we may most effectively appeal to the pupil's natural love of learning, that we may secure the quickest and most permanent assimilation of knowledge, that we may most compactly present the essentials of modern learning, and that we may promote the greatest possible facility in the concentration of thought upon conduct? The answer to all these inquiries must be found in the correlation of studies upon the basis of the nature of the child.
There is no present need of another critique upon educational values; that work has been sufficiently well done for our day and generation. Progress lies in the other direction. Of the two aspects of correlation, the first, that urged by Dr. Harris, has indeed all the validity that naturally belongs to an estimation of the educational value of studies, but as a guide to their real organization and their presentation to the children, it is like the moon, bright but barren; whereas the other, that based upon the nature of the child, is rich with the possibilities of life and progress. In it the teacher finds a source of infinite suggestiveness, through it he has a means for touching all the springs of activity in the child, and by its agency he is
enabled to secure in each child the highest possible attainments in the application of knowledge to conduct.
The ground having now been cleared, and the two kinds of correlation set clearly before us, we may proceed rapidly to the consideration of the principles that must dominate the co-ordination of studies in the psychological sense.
We need, first of all, to distinguish between a correlation that has its roots deep in the inherent relations of studies and that transient association of topics that springs from a desire to give vivacity and color to the instruction. The former teaches the pupil to discover the relations that are abiding and important, and helps him to form the habit of focusing his knowledge upon his conduct; the latter tickles his fancy, claims his passing attention, but leads to no permanent interests and develops but small tendency to search for the really true and essential relations among things.
We could, of course, associate butter with butterflies, and cows with cowslips, but though such associations might indicate ingenuity, they would never be an index of wisdom. If the correlations are to be productive of good results for interest and conduct, they must be founded on essential rather than accidental relations.
Any arrangement of studies, therefore, that might just as well have been otherwise, hardly belongs to correlation in the scientific sense; it should be classified rather with educational devices for enlivening instruction.
The first and in many respects the most imperative need of correlation is a better articulation of the parts of what are now recognized as departments of education, such as natural science, geography, language, history, etc. To take but a single illustration: It has been the custom of the schools to separate geography into several isolated parts, such as political, mathematical, commercial, and physical, and to present each part separately in a series of facts and definitions, no series having any appreciable connection with the others in the mind of the child. Not only is geography isolated from other related studies, but its most intimately related parts are rigidly isolated from one another. The result is unfortunate alike for knowledge and for mental habit. Geography is a concrete epitome of civilization, and through a study of its elements of difference, as overcome and utilized for the benefit of man through productive industry, business, commerce, government, newspapers, education, and society, the pupil may comprehend, as in no other way, the essential conditions of good citizenship and of personal prosperity and happiness. Along with a study of the elements of difference in lands, climates, productions, and peoples, there should be the study of their harmonious utilization through human industry and institutions. Under these conditions alone does geography attain its true value as an instrument for the education of the people.
The first principle, therefore, upon which the co-ordination or correlation of studies should proceed is, that the various topics in each great department of knowledge should be articulated in accordance with their true and abiding relations, restricted and guided always by the child's capacity to understand; for, then, in the mind of the child, the knowledge of these constituent elements will be no longer characterized by the inertness that is inevitable to isolation. Co. ordination among the elements of study is antecedent to correlation among the departments themselves, since, other things being equal, the educational value of a correlation depends upon the closeness and importance of the relations to be established, and it seems to lie in the nature of the case that the elements of geography, for instance, have more intimate and important relations to one another than geog. raphy can possibly have to literature, mathematics, or any other study. It is our first duty, therefore, to re-examine each of our leading studies, like history, language, geography, science, mathematics, in order, in the light of the child's capacity, to discover, at each stage of advance, the most effective correlation possible among its various elements. The principle that must govern each of these correlations must, after the child's comprehension has been taken into account, be the end to be subserved by the study. Every subject of instruction has some essential function in fitting the child for life, in reveal. ing to him some phase of the future relations that should exist between him and his organized fellow-men, and it is this ultimate purpose, exhibited so forcibly in Dr. Harris' report, that must show how the correlation is to be made. In the case of geography, the prevailing unifying idea is the economic and social utilization of the elements of difference as they exist in the world of nature and of man. It is this idea, therefore, that, in geography, must determine the process of correlation.
It must not be assumed, however, that the co-ordination of each separate department is altogether a separate problem, for the compactness and unity of the whole course and the utilization of the intimacy of the cross-relations existing among the studies depend, in a large measure, upon the observance of common principles of sequence in the organization of the various departments.
If each subject had a principle of sequence differing essentially from that of every other, the correlation of studies would thereby be practically prohibited. The complexity of this subject of sequence makes it the most difficult part of the whole problem of correlation. In its solution, at least three factors must be taken into consideration, two pertaining chiefly to the child, and one to the subject matter.