Puslapio vaizdai
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kitten; that what it needs is to be com- The theories which educational inpelled to do hard, disagreeable tasks; novators of recent centuries have that it must, under duress, take great forced upon us are to no small extent pains in developing uninteresting, use- a direct by-product of the doctrine of less technic, for the sake of mental total depravity. Though the doctrine discipline. Perhaps it would be desir- itself has been abandoned by men of able to compel the kitten to stand on modern outlook, yet its implications its head! This would be sufficiently continue to control our conventionunpleasant and useless, and the disci- al educational system. To orthodox pline so acquired might be carried American educators, a child's tendenover' into other fields, so that later, cies are essentially unreliable and are when the grown cat should see a largely bad. These men require that mouse, it might be possessed of a firm, the child be drilled in useless subjectcontinuing resolve to catch it. The fact matter, that his life be fitted to an that it would not have learned how to intellectual strait-jacket, and that he catch mice would be a minor disad- smother his deep-rooted love for advantage which could be overlooked. venture and inquiry, accepting their

This analogy of the kittens is not statements as final authority; and trivial. The instincts of the child, when the spirit of youth rebels, and its although more complicated, represent life, thwarted in normal growth, exthe resultant of selective tendencies presses itself in unlovely ways, their acting through the ages. Education is remedy is to turn the screws still not an institution devised and adopted tighter. by men, and kept alive by ceaseless In a recent number of the Atlantic vigil. It is an innate process of human this point of view is admirably exlife, as inherent as is physical develop- pressed: ment from infancy to maturity. Edu

From beginning to end, discipline permecational stimuli do not need to be pro- ated the curriculum of the school of yesterduced and transmitted to the child by day. The interests of the individual pupil external application. They unfailingly were rarely, if ever, consulted. The work originate within him, just as surely as assigned was to be done. The question of do hunger and thirst. They may be its appeal, of its difficulty, of its practical awakened, guided, controlled, trained; value to the particular pupil, was not even inhibitions may be removed; but in the

be removed; but in the open for discussion. And what splendid main they work according to their own

men and women this old-fashioned, not laws. To have faith in creation as it

always agreeable, disciplinary education

developed! expresses itself in the instinctive demand of youth for education; to sit at A great number of men who have anthe feet of childhood and to learn its other outlook believe that the presentways; to use to the utmost, and to di- day dissipation of youthful energy is rect wisely, its resources of interest due to the fact that the subject matter

and desire - this is educational wis- of the conventional school has very dom. To ignore these great resources,

little relation to actual life. They to assume that we must work with credit boys and girls with at least a childhood as with clay, expecting no

small amount of that same common innate determining activity on its part, sense which inclines mature people to but merely moulding it to fit a precon

refuse to be interested in that which ceived conventional type — this is edu- they believe in no way concerns them. cational tragedy.

They believe also that, as the faculties of men grow gradually through use, so bilities of life be fulfilled. Society owes it the ability to exercise discernment, in- to the child to give him this environment, itiative, and self-restraint, are more

and not to demand any services in return likely to be well developed if the youth

until the child's maturity. gradually assumes the direction of his It would seem that nothing but own interests, than if he remains un- sheer lack of sympathy and imaginader complete intellectual subordina- tion would lead one whole-heartedly to tion during his school-life and then sud- accept the former philosophy, and that denly is given full responsibility for nothing but the dreamer's utter disrehimself. But in the view of the con- gard for hard facts would make possiventional school man our present ble the complete acceptance of the lattrouble with dissipated energies does ter. Infancy, childhood, and youth not result from too much ignoring of represent a transition from nearly cominterests. In the article quoted above plete incompetence to maturity. It is we find this confession: ‘Many of us not by holding dogmatically to an are forced to believe, and with all our attitude, but by a continual exercise of

, hearts, that at the root of this deplor- imagination, sympathy, and common able situation lies a widespread accept- sense, that this ever-varying condition ance of this modern doctrine of yield- can be met. At no time can the ining to the interests of youth.'

stincts and the spontaneous interests Unfortunately, a reaction from this of the child be ignored without most doctrine of making a tragedy of youth serious consequences; and at no time by almost totally ignoring its interests, should these interests, frequently cashas carried some men and women to ual or trivial, and supported by a frail an acceptance of educational anarchy. immature will, without some degree of One educator of prominence recently reinforcement, direction, and control, expressed this attitude in substantially be allowed to determine his activities. the following terms:

Certain basic human qualities, such as

integrity, courage, and patience, have When God creates a child, He endows been proved so universally to be desirhim with tendencies and instincts which, if able; and others, such as dishonesty, allowed free play, will lead to his perfect cruelty, obscenity, are so unfailingly development. Every child is a new creation, destructive of personal and social weldiffering from every other. Except as he

fare; that within certain indefinite limmay have become abnormal through unfortunate environment, he has a sacred right its, which liberal common sense must of freedom, of developing just what is in endeavor to ascertain, we are bound to him. The teacher in his finiteness cannot

use our best efforts to direct the course foresee the child's possibilities, and has no of youthful development. An acknowright to direct how his life should grow. His ledgment of this duty should in no wise sole duty is to furnish a full, free environ- weaken a profound reverence for the ment, where the child can become just hidden possibilities of youth, or the reswhat it is in him to become, without let or

olution to allow these possibilities to dehindrance. He should have little discipline except as he craves it, few obligations that velop according to their own laws, and

without our inhibitive interference. he does not desire and prefer to assume. It is the teacher's duty to set before the child truth, wisdom, the good and the beautiful,

II leaving him free to choose, trusting to his instincts for the selection of what is best for The innovators who would almost him. In this way only can the untold possi- totally ignore the interests of child

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hood have had for a few generations barn, and are building these 'practical almost entire control of the educational schools, and even some of our advanced machinery of America; but although technical schools, despise any training they could for a time control the which cannot be measured in terms of machinery, the instinct for education the pocketbook. As for our classical in youth was too strong to be killed. men, they usually have denied even While they thought that they were the the existence of the barn as an educaeducators of the country, they were, in

tional institution. In the few cases in fact, but filling in a few of the gaps in which they have seen the need of the educational system.

training in the arts of life, they have For instance, the ordinary life of looked upon it as more or less menial, early New England furnished occasion suited only to those who are to become for the development of many qualities hewers of wood and drawers of water. which go to make good men. Home Recently I observed a most pathetic industry supplied most material neces- instance of this traditional attitude. sities. To become able to produce them In a large eastern city is a group of men required extensive technical training.' and women who consider themselves, It was getting this training in the home, and are accepted as, the acme of with the discipline it implied, which American culture. Their own boys are constituted the major part of the young educated in classical secondary schools, New Englander's education; and the known throughout the country for problem of the school was so to supple- their fine traditions. In these schools, ment this home-environment, that the aside from athletics and a small amount home and the school taken together of manual training, there is little trainwould furnish the conditions necessary ing in the coördination of muscle, to produce the completely developed nerve, and brain, or in initiative and man. We miss the point when we self-reliance. The education is largely single out from the whole circle that that of a priest, a lawyer, or a gentlesmall arc which consisted of formal man of one or two hundred years ago. schooling, and style it New England But these same men, realizing that education. The dean of the college of some children should have a different education in one of our largest univer- kind of training, many years ago cresities recently remarked that during ated a trade-school to which they send his boyhood on the farm he had but “deserving boys of limited means.' Here three months in the year of schooling, I found sound, normal boys in a 'pracwhich left nine months for him to get tical'atmosphere, getting a 'practical' an education.

education. They had conventional As education through home arts has school-work of the grammar grades, declined, people have begun to realize and in addition learned to be printers, that the school-house has received too machinists, carpenters, and farmers. much credit, and the barn not enough. The great city is only three miles So we are beginning to reproduce the away, with its museums, music, operas, latter in our educational system, as libraries, and all that a centre of Amerwitness our farm-schools, trade-schools, ican culture can give; yet each boy mechanics' institutes, and the modern leaves the school grounds only two to trend toward 'practical' education. four times a year. If a boy, after Just now we have a feud between the months of this complete isolation, goes barn and the school-house. Some of to the city without permission, he is the men who have rediscovered the subject to dismissal. It would be im

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possible to design furniture more head of this institution accepts enthucheaply, drearily ugly than that in the siastically the spirit of the German edudining-room. The chairs, which cost cational system. sixty-five cents each, are like those In this same city I found a typical which can be bought in any cheap fur- stereotyped classical secondary school, niture store. The dormitory is a huge where the chief object would seem to barn-like room with long rows of little be to eliminate contact with life. To white cots, absolutely the only other do this more effectively, the school is individual furniture in the room being placed so far out of the city that two a harness-hook on the wall for each hours' time each day is

hours' time each day is necessary for boy, where he may hang his clothes. going and coming. No use is made of

This is a literally truthful account the country space except to provide an of a practical school, sending out athletic field, and the curriculum has American boys into life in American made practically no concessions to cities. The master is a man of substan- knowledge that men have gained durtial native ability, who would reacting the last century. Wherever posquickly to any opportunity for better sible this institution has adopted the things; but he has little voice in deter- forms and terminology of the great mining policies. The school is financed English public schools. Wealthy busiand controlled by men who represent ness men send their boys there to prethe cream of American culture, gradu- pare them for college. ates of a great and grand old Univer- The two phases of education ought sity, where their classical training was never to have been separated, and it is dominated by the 'humanities.' because we habitually adopt current

As I left the institution I thought ideas rather than create our own that of Lanier's plaint:

we have continued to think of them

as distinct, and as requiring separAlas, for the poor to have some part In yon sweet living lands of art,

ate institutions. In planning the edMakes problem not for head, but heart. ucation of a child it is our duty deliberVainly might Plato's brain revolve it: ately to determine as fully as possible Plainly the heart of a child could solve it.

what experiences and environments are The East is not alone at fault. In a necessary in order that he may come large western city an endowment of to his fullest development. Some of five million dollars recently has been these we may reasonably expect him provided to found a trade-school. The to have in his everyday life. Others he head of this institution has complete will not have unless we intentionally freedom of action. He requires every provide for them. The whole duty of working boy who enters the institution the educator is this — to supplement to be actively engaged in the particular the ordinary contacts of life with trade in which he studies, and his others, so that the entire environment school-work is confined to adding to will develop to the fullest the possibilihis expertness in that trade. When I ties of the child. It follows that the asked whether this system did not nar- content of formal education cannot be row the pupil and prevent the develop- fixed, but must change continually, so ment of larger appreciation of life, I as always to supplement and comreceived the reply that it might be un- plete the continually varying environfortunate for these boys to have appre- ment and experiences of everyday life. ciations developed which would make With the unprecedented rapidity of them discontented with their lot. The changes in the modern world, only by

intentional, keen analysis of the situa- pendence cannot always be imparted
tion, by maintaining a perpetual in- without offense, but the need is vital
ventory, can we hope to make the to any sound system of education.
necessary adjustments. Only live fish Given this range of interests, training
can swim upstream in the present-day in religious doctrines may be left safely
educational current; and educational to other agencies.
duty cannot be fulfilled by industri- We should try to inspire the habit
ous labor in the ways of yesterday. of searching out what is the burden

For education, as it has come down of the world's wisdom and judgment through the ages, consists always of in reference to the main issues of life. learning how to live to-day through This demands a live knowledge of hismastery of the arts of life of to-day; tory, literature, and biography. We and in the arts of life I would include should develop the habit of questionevery normal ability or competence of ing and examining accepted beliefs, body and of mind. That educational whether of common knowledge, or in system is incomplete which does not science, business, morals, or other fields. keep open the vistas of life in every Youth should be encouraged to work direction. Nothing which is essential out for itself tentative standards of to a fully developed life and which economic, moral, and spiritual values; is not being acquired elsewhere, can to pay heed to its use of time and resafely be omitted. We cannot ignore sources; to define its attitude toward material interests. Whether we con- industry and social life, toward the live sider artist, professional man, or la- issues of the day, and toward life itself. borer, the embarrassments and ineffi- No educational system is complete if ciency of everyday life are decreased its aim is so to engross the attention of and its freedom enlarged by the pos- men and women, either in industrial, session of a working knowledge of com- professional, or social life, or in the

a mercial usages, of the art of being sol- pursuit and enjoyment of culture, that vent, of appraising accurately one's they will not have time to ask thempossessions, of correctly measuring selves the question, "What is it all and judging material values. Every about?' To have asked this question, man should be master of the elemen- and to have reached a satisfactory attary principles and technic of ordinary titude, which is not out of harmony business affairs.

with modern knowledge, is necessary When the home does not teach good to a teacher who is wisely to direct the manners the school should do so. In so aspirations of youth. far as the home opens up the possibili- Any educational system is seriously ties of literature, or of any other field, at fault which does not develop a habit the school need not. The religious life of laying claim to life's fine resources. cannot be ignored. Aspiration, high The environment of the child should ideals of conduct, wonder, humility, result in opening eyes and mind to and reverence before life and the natural phenomena, to life-processes source of life, consecration to convic- and habits of plants and animals, to tions, unselfishness, love of our fellow the data of geology, of physics, and of men, the relation of moral standards astronomy; and to the appeal of good to industry — all these can be consid- literature, poetry, history, and of the ered or encouraged without offense in various forms of art. We should inalmost any school. A realization of the clude in our programme the developneed of intellectual integrity and inde- ment of social relationships, interests,

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