Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub

analytics or calculus, the same power According to this theory, algebra and to reason well may be applied to reason geometry develop reasoning, Latin and in criminal procedure, materia medica Greek improve memory, literature deor pathological diagnosis, or in the velops the emotions, and the sciences problems of the business world; and develop the powers of observation. It that the habit of concentration in the may be mentioned in connection with extraction of the cube or higher roots this phase of the discussion, that actual in algebra, or the translation of Greek investigation shows that very many of or Latin may be extended in a similar the teachers in Indiana high schools manner. Were such a theory true, are, many of them unconsciously, teachpower accumulated in one line might ing algebra and Latin, not with the purbe used in many lines, independent of pose that the child may acquire knowlits origin.

edge which may be applied in any Such a doctrine of general discipline

manner toward furthering the great of the mind is a costly doctrine. It is purpose of education, namely, social clear that such conclusions have their efficiency—but that they are teaching bases in false psychology, at least to a

these subjects in keeping with the cengreat extent. Such a theory holds that turies old doctrine of general or formal the purpose of education is not to pre- discipline of the mind. pare for a vocation or profession, but It seems to me that Mr. Moore, in to train the intellectual faculties. This the text on page sixty-five (q. v.), “grindstone theory," as Atkinson calls touches the vital point when he says, it, would cause many subjects to be concerning the harm that the doctrine carried too far for their greatest effi- works, that “the tragic aspect of the ciency in a general course and the "ex- doctrine of formal (general) discipline cessive tediousness and painful drudg- is that it is handed down by the colery" so begotten would drive a class leges to the lower schools, and infects into calculation too minute or vex them pretty completely all forms of educawith "manifold problems."

tion.' Thousands of teachers meet their The mind is not a reservoir of force classes day after day, and unconsciousor energy. It is not of a homogeneous ly apply the “rubber stamp” of this docnature, such that improving it for func- trine and close their schools, day after tioning in one line would improve it day, believing themselves to be teachfor functioning in all lines. Even the This application of the general amateur student in psychology knows discipline theory is begun in the grades that the localiaztion of function in the and is continued throughout the high brain precludes such unity of the mind. school course, enveloping, one by one, The doctrine of general discipline is

the studies in the “net, and as the based on the old faculty psychology. author states, little by little, transModern psychology does not recognize

forms them into apathy-breeding, such faculties. The old psychology mind-destroying treadmills. upon which is based the doctrine holds It is the duty of the teacher to cease that memory, reason, feeling, observa- this "oriental” walking in the trodden tion, attention, etc., are entities that paths, and to put life, real life, in all its may be used, developed or impaired in fulness, into his or her work in teachthemselves as units of the mind—that ing these subjects that are so accusis to say that the mind is like a great tomed to receive the "formal discimachine, that is, made up of many pline" treatment. The harm wrought parts, each to a limited extent, a unit by the fallacious doctrine can be counin itself, yet not existing completely teracted in no better way. Latin can isolated from one another, but each be made an interesting subject, if it be permitting development independently taught as applied Latin, and algebra as of one another.

applied mathematics has no rival for

ers.

It

interest and profit. If the teacher will Oratory” refers to this doctrine but arouse himself to the needs of the hour turns his back to it and tries to find there will be left no trace of this erron

other and better reasons for the praceous doctrine to vex the minds of the tice which he recommends. Locke bepupils of the public schools and the lieved the true function of education to usual high school mortality will be re- be the development of the powers or duced almost to a negligible quantity. “faculties” of the mind. Wolf opposed Mr. Moore tells us that anybody of

the "grindstone theory." And so it knowledge may be taught from the goes. There have been advocates and viewpoint of formal discipline. The opponents. Each class has read its own truth of his statement goes unchal- meaning in to the experiments. lenged, and, in fact, there is more of In my opinion there are extreme adthat kind of teaching than of the prac- vocates and extreme opponents. Both tical kind, but the teachers do not real

may be wrong to an extent. Undoubtize that they are “formal disciplinar- edly there have been results obtained

" ians.” Recently the questions in that do point toward the truth of the science of education on one of the ex- doctrine. (Mind you, I say point, not aminations for high school license prove.) On the other hand the oppodemonstrated the truth of this condi

nents say that these results are not tion. One question asked for a discus- identities but analogies. One author

, sion or definition of the "doctrine of

says, “Knowledge and training are not formal discipline." With a very few

With a very few merely specific in their application, but exceptions the applicants had no knowl- they also have a general value.' edge of what was meant by the term

appears to me that this statement is "formal discipline." Yet another ques- true. It is this general value that tion in the same list asked for the pur- causes some authorities to see a little pose or aim of the average teacher in virtue in the doctrine of general disciteaching Latin and algebra, and the ap- pline. plicants were almost unanimous in

This value arises thus: Theoreticaltheir "formal discipline" purpose in

ly, the acquisition of knowledge may teaching these subjects, yet they were

exert a general educative influence. unconscious of the fact that it was for

This influence may come through the mal discipline that had, in the words of

factor of identical elements, namely, Mr. Moore, "infected" them.

identity of substance and identity of In this chapter the author attempts procedure. That is, subjects, such as an analysis of the doctrine in question. physics and mathematics, that have a There is doubtless much that might be part of their substance or content in added to his many good conclusions

common will be mutually beneficial. A which he has reached in his investiga- study of Latin will make the study of tions. He cites the opinions of many Spanish easier. We do not doubt these educators and the experiments per- statements. But Fracker holds that formed by them which, he claims, sup- this is "spread" of training and not port his ideas as to the fallacy of this

"transfer” of training. Or the method doctrine.

of procedure in one subject will be Plato in his "Republic,” which has helped materially in the study of a been characterized as "the finest treat- subject where a similar method is used. ise on education ever written," does not Again this general educative influence contain a sentence propounding the may come "through the principle of doctrine of formal discipline. Aristotle habit formation which may modify insupported “faculty psychology,' but no- herent disposition or it may come where did he speak of education as ex- through giving exercise to the brain, isting to form or develop these facul- which may have a general tonic effect ties. Quintilian in the "Institutes of on the mind through the brain."

While this value arises "through the bered; that no amount of culture factor of identical elements, it declines would seem capable of modifying a rapidly as the similarity of the mate- man's general retentiveness. Every rial of instruction or training de- "so-called" method of training the creases.” Then since this decline is memory is merely a method of studyso rapid there is but one conclusion to ing the facts to be remembered—a betbe reached and it is that this doctrine ter method of going to work to assoof general discipline has "no value as ciate them with other facts. Improvea criterion for the selection of subject ment by practice in memorizing will matter.” If we retain Latin or algebra be found to reside in the mode of in the curriculum on the basis of dis- study of the particular selections. The ciplinary effect our support is extreme- improvement is specific, not general. ly slender. Intrinsic value is the only

According to Mr. Moore the transright basis for retaining and defending ferability of training is not the quesa subject.

tion of formal discipline. Applying a We admit Latin and algebra into method of study or mental action the course of study on the basis of in- learned in one context to a recogniztrinsic value and, therefore, we should ably similar problem does not involve give full emphasis to these so-called the question of formal or general disformal or general values. This is true cipline. Since the mind is a generalof any subject. We may add that we

izer we are never called upon to apply get little of these general values with- acquired learning in just the same conout aiming definitely for them.

ditions as those in which we learned What has been said of Latin and al

it. We may transfer what was learned gebra is equally true of all subjects. in an old situation to what is required Mr. Moore refers especially to physi- in the new if it calls for the same cal training which in itself is specific, method and the context in which it

, not general. The idea that the mind

was learned is sufficiently like the conmust be exercised as is the body, that

text of the problem to call it forth. mental powers must be developed as

So it is with judgment, observation are bodily powers is a mere justification by confusion, for the physical

and imagination. trainer has not exercises that will train

In the light of these considerations, the body as a whole, nor are there any

is there such a thing as a general mental gymnastics that train the mind training of the "faculties” or functions as a whole.

of the mind? The acceptance of the What is the effect of training the

fundamental doctrine of modern psymemory, or can

the memory

be chology that there are no "faculties” trained? Richardson says there are a

in the mind, necessarily abandons the hundred memories as there are a hun

doctrine of formal or general training dred virtues. Experiment has shown .

in education. The mental and moral that regular periods or habits in an virtues are not general—they are speattempt to memorize are successful in

cific. Therefore, we must abandon the a given field but not in a general field.

claim of mind training or mind formThe daily memorizing of poetry will ing and take up the task of informing show improvement in the memory in

the mind. that line but will not show improve- The studies afford opportunity, not ment in a general line. The memory for general training, but for special of one sense may be lost without im- training or content training. We must pairing those other senses. James teach correctly and abandon confidence holds that the native retentiveness in the mystical power of studies. which we bring with us at birth can- (Note: This articles is intended to not be changed; that all improvement review the doctrine of formal discipof the memory lies in the line of elab- line as discussed by Mr. Moore and to orating the associates of each of the add to his discussion other points reseveral kinds of things to be remem- lating to the subject.)

The Valley of Democracy—Nicholson

Review by May Hamilton Helm.

A Walt Whitman picture of Democ- told us that it was necessary to go racy opens this chapter on Types and well armed to "call the cattle home,” Diversions—"this flashing America is as Indians were still lurking near. only you and me."

Mr. Nicholson pays well deserved The author who is known to be tribute to the housewife of the middle thoroughly aristocratic-"a lover of ex- west, especially to the ease with which cellence"-reveals also his own demo- she entertains. (But isn't it true that cratic spirit.

a good manager doesn't get as much A most pleasing anecdote of a for- credit for really working—it seems so mer schoolmate recently came to my easy—as the poor drudge whose "work ears. When aprons “were worn,” this is always chasing her"?) little Walt Whitman democrat refused As to women being less snobbish to wear white aprons to school, be- than men-I hae me doots. Having cause the other girls couldn't afford once assisted the head resident of a them!

Community House in giving an operThe spirit of hospitality, so evident etta for and by the working girls, I throughout the middle west, Mr. Nich- was amazed to find the divisions and olson considers a direct inheritance subdivisions existing; stenographers from our pioneer ancestors, who, when looked down on clerks, clerks on facnot good neighbors were apt to be con- tory girls, factory girls on domestic sidered enemies.

servants (and vice versa !). It took Like true eloquence, and all delight much tact and not a little diplomacy ful literature, this chapter suggests to keep the cast together. This was even more than it says.

finally accomplished by appealing to The reasons why J. N. Darling, the each, privately, to confer the inescartoonist, preferred Des Moines, timable benefit of her society upon Iowa, to New York, might well be in those lower in the social scale. Like corporated in this book, as it seems it “M. Perrichon," each preferred to give was the lack of "folksiness" that made than to receive. New York a less desirable place of res- Should our author chance to learn idence. One of the many clever tests that his reviewer dared to differ from of friendship cited was a willingness him on “snobbishness in women,” it to sit up all night in a damp cellar, might "appease” him to know that with your friend, feeding his dog lard all he has said about "provincialism" to keep him from dying of poison ! receives this reviewer's hearty Amen. The dolce-far-niente life of the mod

If those born in the south find each ern young person is contrasted with other congenial, that is surely sufithe strenuous lives of their grandpar- cient

reason why they should ents who subdued the wilderness, and "swarm,” but if one has ever had the planted that they might reap.

depressing experience of attending The rapidity with which history has one's own State Society in Los Angebeen made is noticed by the finding les, one realizes that merely having of an Indian arrow-head on some mod- been born in a certain locality is ern golf course.

scarcely sufficient ground for the forSome of us have been privileged to mation of a club, where one meets meet some of those sturdy pioneers. those one seldom sees any other time. A charming old lady in Cincinnati Our cartoonists and other gentle satcould recall the time when their cows irists, keep us from taking ourselves pastured on the site of Shillito's, and and our pleasures too seriously! One

of the saddest things about growing "The value of the Great Lakes as a old is that things that once struck us social and recreational medium is as funny, now seem only pathetic. hardly less than their importance as

In seeking "types," our author did commercial highways," and the gennot need to leave his home city, eral good order and decorum of the though it is quite true that certain people at play was noticeable. types, well known a few years ago in Mr. Nicholson's comments on the all small towns, no longer exist, except modern dances are almost as diverting on the stage and the picture screen. as the dances themselves, and it re

The State University is called a joices one to learn that “the plain well-spring of democracy, and has folk are so interesting and amusing"probably been one of the most power they undeniably are—“some of whom ful allies of the cause of equal suf- we are which" (with apologies to Arfrage.

temus Ward).

[graphic][subsumed]
[ocr errors]

The Story of September A Canadian poet, Archibald Lamp- golden haze which makes the later auman, gives in his “September" a beau- tumn days so beautiful. tiful picture of the month in his north

It is the busy month in rural secern homeland:

tions, for it is the harvest period for

many crops, and while the “tilled earth In far-off russet cornfields, where the

naked and yellow from the dry

harvest lies,” the "tanned farmers laGrey shocks stand peaked and with- bor without slack" to store away the ering, half concealed

rich fruits of the fields. In the calenIn the rough earth, the orange pump- dar of Charlemagne September was kins lie,

called the "harvest month" and it still Full ribbed; and in the windless pas

bears that name in Switzerland. The ture field

Anglo-Saxons were more specific in

their choice of a name, and called SepThe sleek red horses o'er the sunwarmed ground

tember the “barley month.” Stand pensively about in companies, The old rhyme declares that, While all around them from the mo

Thirty days hath September, tionless trees

April, June and November. The long clean shadows sweep with- Many of the months have undergone out a sound.

changes in their number of days, but

September has always had thirty days This month, the transition month since the old Roman times. It has not between summer and autumn, par- always been, however, as it is today, takes of the character of both seasons. the ninth month. Before the calendar In the southern part of the United was revised by Julius Caesar it was the States it is one of the warmest months, seventh month, and its name is from and even farther north hot days are the Latin septem, meaning seven; for not infrequent; but the nights are when the month was shifted in the likely to be cool, and there is more Julian calendar to the ninth place in than often more than a touch of that the year, its name was unchanged.

« AnteriorContinuar »