The Elements of General Method, Based on the Principles of Herbart

By McMurry

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Title: The Elements of General Method
       Based on the Principles of Herbart

Author: Charles A. McMurry

Release Date: October 29, 2006  [eBook #19659]

Language: English


E-text prepared by Al Haines


Based on the Principles of Herbart.



Second Edition

Public-School Publishing Co., Publishers,
Bloomington, Illinois.
Copyright, 1893.
By C. A. McMurry, Normal, Ill.


The Herbart School of Pedagogy has created much stir in Germany in the
last thirty years.  It has developed a large number of vigorous writers
on all phases of education and psychology, and numbers a thousand or
more positive disciples among the energetic teachers of Germany.

Those American teachers and students who have come in contact with the
ideas of this school have been greatly stimulated.

In such a miscellaneous and many-sided thing as practical education, it
is deeply gratifying to find a clear and definite leading purpose that
prevails throughout and a set of mutually related and supporting
principles which in practice contribute to the realization of this

The following chapters cannot be regarded as a full, exact, and
painfully scientific account of Herbartian ideas, but as a simple
explanation of their leading principles in their relations to each
other and in their application to our own school problems.

In the second edition the last chapter of the first edition has been
omitted, while the other chapters have been much modified and enlarged.
The chapter on the Formal Steps is reserved for enlargement and
publication in a separate form.

Normal, Ill., November 4, 1893.


  The Chief Aim of Education

  Relative Value of Studies

  Nature of Interest




  The Will

  Herbart and His Disciples
  Books of Reference



What is the central purpose of education?  If we include under this
term all the things commonly assigned to it, its many phases as
represented by the great variety of teachers and pupils, the many
branches of knowledge and the various and even conflicting methods in
bringing up children, it is difficult to find a definition sufficiently
broad and definite to compass its meaning.  In fact we shall not
attempt in the beginning to make a definition.  We are in search not so
much of a comprehensive definition as of a central truth, a key to the
situation, an aim that will simplify and brighten all the work of
teachers.  Keeping in view the end from the beginning, we need a
central organizing principle which shall dictate for teacher and pupil
the highway over which they shall travel together.

We will assume at least that education means the whole bringing up of a
child from infancy to maturity, not simply his school training.  The
reason for this assumption is that home, school, companions,
environment, and natural endowment, working through a series of years,
produce a character which is a unit as the resultant of these different
influences and growths.  Again, we are compelled to assume that this
aim, whatever it is, is the same for all.

Now what will the average man, picked up at random, say to our
question: What is the chief end in the education of your son?  A farmer
wishes his boy to read, write, and cipher, so as to meet successfully
the needs of a farmer's life.  The merchant desires that his boy get a
wider reach of knowledge and experience so as to succeed in a livelier
sort of business competition.  A university professor would lay out a
liberal course of training for his son so as to prepare him for
intellectual pursuits among scholars and people of culture.  This
utilitarian view, which points to success in life in the ordinary
sense, is the prevailing one.  We could probably sum up the wishes of a
great majority of the common people by saying, "They desire to give
their children, through education, a better chance in life than they
themselves have had."  Yet even these people, if pressed to give
reasons, would admit that the purely utilitarian view is a low one and
that there is something better for every boy and girl than the mere
ability to make a successful living.

Turn for a moment to the great _systems_ of education which have held
their own for centuries and examine their aims.  The Jesuits, the
Humanists, and the Natural Scientists all claimed to be liberal,
culture-giving, and preparatory to great things; yet we only need to
quote from the histories of education to show their narrowness and
incompleteness.  The training of the Jesuits was linguistic and
rhetorical, and almost entirely apart from our present notion of human
development.  The Humanists or Classicists who for so many centuries
constituted the educational elite, belonged to the past with its
glories rather than to the age in which they really lived.  Though
standing in a modern age, they were almost blind to the great problems
and opportunities it offered.  They stood in bold contrast to the
growth of the modern spirit in history, literature, and natural
science.  But in spite of their predominating influence over education
for centuries, there has never been the shadow of a chance for making
the classics of antiquity the basis of common, popular education.  The
modern school of Natural Scientists is just as one-sided as the
Humanists in supposing that human nature is narrow enough to be
compressed within the bounds of natural science studies, however broad
their field may be.

But the systems of education in vogue have always lagged behind the
clear views of educational _reformers_.  Two hundred fifty years ago
Comenius projected a plan of education for every boy and girl of the
common people.  His aim was to teach all men all things from the
highest truths of religion to the commonest things of daily experience.
Being a man of simple and profound religious faith, religion and
morality were at the foundation of his system.  But even the principles
of intellectual training so clearly advocated by Comenius have not yet
found a ready hearing among teachers, to say nothing of his great
moral-religious purpose.  Among later writers, Locke, Rousseau, and
Pestalozzi have set up ideals of education that have had much
influence.  But Locke's "gentleman" can never be the ideal of all
because it is intrinsically aristocratic and education has become with
us broadly democratic.  After all, Locke's "gentleman" is a noble ideal
and should powerfully impress teachers.  The perfect human animal that
Rousseau dreamed of in the Emile, is best illustrated in the noble
savage, but we are not in danger in America of adopting this ideal.  In
spite of his merits the noblest savage falls short in several ways.
Yet it is important in education to perfect the physical powers and the
animal development in every child.  Pestalozzi touched the hearts of
even the weakest and morally frailest children, and tried to make
improved physical conditions and intellectual culture contribute to
heart culture, or rather to combine the two in strong moral character.
He came close upon the highest aim of education and was able to
illustrate his doctrine in practice.  The educational reformers have
gone far ahead of the schoolmasters in setting up a high aim in

Let us examine a few well-known definitions of education by great
thinkers, and try to discover a central idea.

"The purpose of education is to give to the body and to the soul all
the beauty and all the perfection of which they are capable."--_Plato_.

"Education includes whatever we do for ourselves and whatever is done
for us by others for the express purpose of bringing us nearer to the
perfection of our nature."--_John Stuart Mill_.

"Education is the preparation for complete living."--_Herbert Spencer_.

"Education is the harmonious and equable evolution of the human
faculties by a method based upon the nature of the mind for developing
all the faculties of the soul, for stirring up and nourishing all the
principles of life, while shunning all one-sided culture and taking
account of the sentiments upon which the strength and worth of men

"Education is the sum of the reflective efforts by which we aid nature
in the development of the physical, intellectual, and moral faculties
of man in view of his perfection, his happiness, and his social

These attempts to bring the task of education into a comprehensive,
scientific formula are interesting and yet disappointing.  They agree
in giving great breadth to education.  But in the attempt to be
comprehensive, to omit nothing, they fail to specify that wherein the
_true worth_ of man consists; they fail to bring out into relief the
highest aim as an organizing idea in the complicated work of education
and its relation to secondary aims.

We desire therefore to approach nearer to this problem: _What is the
highest aim of education_?

We will do so by an inquiry into the aims and tendencies of our public
schools.  To an outward observer the schools of today confine their
attention almost exclusively to the acquisition of certain forms of
knowledge and to intellectual training, to the mental discipline and
power that come from a varied and vigorous exercise of the faculties.
The great majority of good schoolmasters stand squarely upon this
platform, knowledge and mental discipline.  But they are none the less
deeply conscious that this is not the highest aim of education.  We
scarcely need to be told that a person may be fully equipped with the
best that this style of education can give, and still remain a
criminal.  A good and wise parent will inevitably seek for a better
result in his child than mere knowledge, intellectual ability, and
power.  All good schoolmasters know that behind school studies and
cares is the still greater task of developing manly and womanly
character.  Perhaps, however, this is too high and sacred a thing to
formulate.  Perhaps in the attempt to reduce it to a scientific form we
should lose its spirit.  Admitting that strong moral character is the
noblest result of right training, is it not still incidental to the
regular school work?  Perhaps it lies in the teacher and in his manner
of teaching subjects, and not in the subject-matter itself nor in any
course of study.

This is exactly the point at which we wish to apply the lever and to
lift into prominence the _moral character-building aim_ as the central
one in education.  This aim should be like a loadstone, attracting and
subordinating all other purposes to itself.  It should dominate in the
choice, arrangement, and method of studies.

Let us examine more carefully the convictions upon which the moral aim
rests.  Every wise and benevolent parent knows that the first and last
question to ask and answer regarding a child is "What are his moral
quality and strength?"  Now, who is better able to judge of the true
aim than thoughtful and solicitous _parents_?  In the second place, it
is inconceivable that a conscientious _teacher_ should close his eyes
to all except the intellectual training of his pupils.  It is as
natural for him to touch and awaken the moral qualities as it is for
birds to sing.  Again, the _state_ is more concerned to see the growth
of just and virtuous citizens than in seeing the prosperity of
scholars, inventors, and merchants.  It is also concerned with the
success of the latter, but chiefly when their knowledge, skill, and
wealth are equaled by their virtues.  Our country may have vast
resources and great opportunities, but everything in the end depends
upon the _moral quality_ of its men and women.  Undermine and corrupt
this and we all know that there is nothing to hope for.  The
uncorrupted stock of true patriots in our land is firmly rooted in this
conviction, which is worth more to the country than corn-fields and
iron mines.  The perpetual enticement and blandishment of worldly
success so universal in our time can not move us if we found one theory
and practice upon the central doctrine of moral education.  Education,
therefore, in its popular, untrammeled, moral sense, is the greatest
concern of society.

In projecting a general plan of popular education we are beholden to
the prejudices of no man nor class of men.  Not even the traditional
prejudices of the great body of teachers should stand in the way of
setting up the noblest ideal of education.  Educational thinkers are in
duty bound to free themselves from utilitarian notions and narrowness,
and to adopt the best platform that children by natural birthright can
stand upon.  They are called upon to find the best and to apply it to
as many as possible.  Let it be remembered that each child has a
complete growth before him.  His own possibilities and not the
attainments of his parents and elders are the things to consider.

Shall we seek to avoid responsibility for the moral aim by throwing it
upon the family and the church?  But the more we probe into educational
problems the more we shall find the essential unity of all educational
forces.  The citadel of a child's life is his moral character, whether
the home, the school, or the church build and strengthen its walls.  If
asked to define the relation of the school to the home we shall quickly
see that they are one in spirit and leading purpose, that instead of
being separated they should be brought closer together.

In conclusion, therefore, shall we make _moral character_ the clear and
conscious aim of school education, and then subordinate school studies
and discipline, mental training and conduct, to this aim?  It will be a
great stimulus to thousands of teachers to discover that this is the
real purpose of school work, and that there are abundant means not yet
used of realizing it.  Having once firmly grasped this idea, they will
find that there is no other having half its potency.  It will put a
substantial foundation under educational labors, both theoretical and
practical, which will make them the noblest of enterprises.  Can we
expect the public school to drop into such a purely subordinate
function as that of intellectual training; to limit its influence to an
almost mechanical action, the sharpening of the mental tools?  Stated
in this form, it becomes an absurdity.

Is it reasonable to suppose that the rank and file of our teachers will
realize the importance of this aim in teaching so long as it has no
recognition in our public system of instruction?  The moral element is
largely present among educators as an _instinct_, but it ought to be
evolved into a _clear purpose_ with definite means of accomplishment.
It is an open secret in fact, that while our public instruction is
ostensibly secular, having nothing to do directly with religion or
morals, there is nothing about which good teachers are more thoughtful
and anxious than about the means of moral influence.  Occasionally some
one from the outside attacks our public schools as without morals and
godless, but there is no lack of staunch defenders on moral grounds.
Theoretically and even practically, to a considerable extent, we are
all agreed upon the great value of moral education.  But there is a
striking inconsistency in our whole position on the school problem.
While the supreme value of the moral aim will be generally admitted, it
has no open recognition in our school course, either as a principal or
as a subordinate aim of instruction.  Moral education is not germane to
the avowed purposes of the public school.  If it gets in at all it is
by the back door.  It is incidental, not primary.  The importance of
making the leading aim of education clear and _conscious_ to teachers,
is great.  If their conviction on this point is not clear they will
certainly not concentrate their attention and efforts upon its
realization.  Again, in a business like education, where there are so
many important and necessary results to be reached, it is very easy and
common to put forward a subordinate aim, and to lift it into undue
prominence, even allowing it to swallow up all the energies of teacher
and pupils.  Owing to this diversity of opinion among teachers as to
the results to be reached, our public schools exhibit a chaos of
conflicting theory and practice, and a numberless brood of hobby-riders.

How to establish the moral aim in the center of the school course, how
to subordinate and realize the other educational aims while keeping
this chiefly in view, how to make instruction and school discipline
contribute unitedly to the formation of vigorous moral character, and
how to unite home, school, and other life experiences of a child in
perfecting the one great aim of education--these are some of the
problems whose solution will be sought in the following chapters.

It will be especially our purpose to show how _school instruction_ can
be brought into the direct service of character-building.  This is the
point upon which most teachers are skeptical.  Not much effort has been
made of late to put the best moral materials into the school course.
In one whole set of school studies, and that the most important
(reading, literature, and history), there is opportunity through all
the grades for a vivid and direct cultivation of moral ideas and
convictions.  The second great series of studies, the natural sciences,
come in to support the moral aims, while the personal example and
influence of the teacher, and the common experiences and incidents of
school life and conduct, give abundant occasion to apply and enforce
moral ideas.

That the other justifiable aims of education, such as physical
training, mental discipline, orderly habits, gentlemanly conduct,
practical utility of knowledge, liberal culture, and the free
development of individuality will not be weakened by placing the moral
aim in the forefront of educational motives, we are convinced.  To some
extent these questions will be discussed in the following pages.



Being convinced that the controlling aim of education should be moral,
we shall now inquire into the relative value of different studies and
their fitness to reach and satisfy this aim.  As measured upon this
cardinal purpose, what is the intrinsic value of each school study?
The branches of knowledge furnish the materials upon which a child's
mind works.  Before entering upon such a long and up-hill task as
education, with its weighty results, it is prudent to estimate not only
the end in view, but the best means of reaching it.  Many means are
offered, some trivial, others valuable.  A careful measurement, with
some reliable standard, of the materials furnished by the common
school, is our first task.  To what extent does history contribute to
our purpose?  What importance have geography and arithmetic?  How do
reading and natural science aid a child to grow into the full stature
of a man or woman?

These questions are not new, but the answer to them has been long
delayed.  Since the time of Comenius, to say the least, they have
seriously disturbed educators.  But few have had the courage, industry,
and breadth of mind of a Comenius, to sound the educational waters and
to lay out a profitable chart.  In spite of Comenius' labors, however,
and those of other educational reformers be they never so energetic,
practical progress toward a final answer, as registered in school
courses, has been extremely slow.

Herbert Spencer says: "If there needs any further evidence of the rude,
undeveloped character of our education, we have it in the fact that the
comparative worths of the different kinds of knowledge have been as yet
scarcely even discussed, much less discussed in a methodic way with
definite results.  Not only is it that no standard of relative values
has yet been agreed upon, but the existence of any such standard has
not been conceived in any clear manner.  And not only is it that the
existence of such a standard has not been clearly conceived, but the
need of it seems to have been scarcely even felt.  Men read books on
this topic and attend lectures upon that, decide that their children
shall be instructed in these branches and not in those; and all under
the guidance of mere custom, or liking, or prejudice, without ever
considering the enormous importance of determining in some rational way
what things are really most worth learning.  * * * * *  Men dress their
children's minds as they do their bodies, in the prevailing fashion."
Spencer, _Education_, p. 26.

Spencer sees clearly the importance of this problem and gives it a
vigorous discussion in his first chapter, "What knowledge is of most
worth?"  But the question is a broad and fundamental one and in his
preference for the natural sciences he seems to us not to have
maintained a just balance of educational forces in preparing a child
for "complete living."  His theory needs also to be worked out into
greater detail and applied to school conditions before it can be of
much value to teachers.  It can scarcely be said that any other
Englishman or American has seriously grappled with this problem.  Great
changes and reforms indeed have been started, especially within the
last fifty years, but they have been undertaken under the pressure of
general popular demands and have resulted in compromises between
traditional forces and urgent popular needs.  An adequate philosophical
inquiry into the relative merit of studies and their adaptability to
nurture mental, moral, and physical qualities has not been made.

The Germans have worked to a better purpose.  Quite a number of able
thinkers among them have given their best years to the study of this
problem of relative educational values and to a working out of its
results.  Herbart, Ziller, Stoy, and Rein have been deeply interested
in philosophy and psychology as life-long teachers of these subjects at
the university, but in their practice schools in the same place they
also stood daily face to face with the primary difficulties of ordinary
teaching.  At the outset, and before laying out a course of study, they
were compelled to meet and settle the aim of education and the problem
of relative values.  Having answered these questions to their own
satisfaction, they proceeded to work out in detail a common school
course.  The Herbart school of teachers has presumed to call its
interpretation of educational ideas "scientific pedagogy," a somewhat
pretentious name in view of the fact that many leading educators in
Germany, England, and elsewhere, deny the existence of such a science.
But if not a science, it is at least a serious attempt at one.  The
exposition of principles that follow is chiefly derived from them.

With us the present time is favorable to a rational inquiry into
relative educational values and to a thorough-going application of the
results to school courses and methods.

_In the first place_ the old _classical monopoly_ is finally and
completely broken, at least so far as the common school is concerned.
It ruled education for several centuries, but now even its methods of
discipline are losing their antique hold.  The natural sciences, modern
history, and literature have assumed an equal place with the old
classical studies in college courses.  Freed from old traditions and
prejudice, our common school is now grounded in the vernacular, in the
national history and literature, and in home geography and natural
science.  Its roots go deep into native soil.  _Secondly_, the door of
the common school has been thrown open to the new studies and they have
entered in a troop.  History, drawing, natural science, modern
literature, and physical culture have been added to the old reading,
writing, and arithmetic.  The common school was never so untrammeled.
It is free to absorb into its course the select materials of the best
studies.  Teachers really enjoy more freedom in selecting and arranging
subjects and in introducing new things than they know how to make use
of.  There is no one in high authority to check the reform spirit and
even local boards are often among the advocates of change.  _In the
third place_, by multiplying studies, the common school course has
grown more complex and heterogeneous.  The old reading, writing,
arithmetic, and grammar could not be shelved for the sake of the new
studies and the same amount of time must be divided now among many
branches.  It is not to be wondered at if all the studies are treated
in a shallow and fragmentary way.  Some of the new studies, especially,
are not well taught.  There is less of unity in higher education now
than there was before the classical studies and "the three R's" lost
their supremacy.  Our common school course has become a batch of
miscellanies.  We are in danger of overloading pupils, as well as of
making a superficial hodge-podge of all branches.  There is imperative
need for sifting the studies according to their value, as well as for
bringing them into right connection and dependence upon one another.
_Fourthly_, there is a large body of thoughtful and inquiring teachers
and principals who are working at a revision of the school course.
They seek something tangible, a working plan, which will help them in
their present perplexities and show them a wise use of drawing, natural
science, and literature, in harmony with the other studies.  _Finally_,
since we are in the midst of such a breaking-up period, we need to take
our bearings.  In order to avoid mistakes and excesses there is a call
for deep, impartial, and many-sided thinking on educational problems.
Supposing that we know what the controlling aim of education is, we are
next led to inquire about and to determine the relative value of
studies as tributary to this aim.

It is not however our purpose to give an original solution to this
problem and to those which follow it.  We must decline to attempt a
philosophical inquiry into fundamental principles and their origin.
Ours is the humbler task of explaining and applying principles already
worked out by others; that is, to give the results of Herbartian
pedagogy as applied to our schools.

Instead of discussing the many branches of study one after another, it
will be well to make a broad division of them into three classes and
observe the marked features and value of each.  First, _history_,
including the subject matter of biography, history, story, and other
parts of literature.  Second, the _natural sciences_.  Third, _the
formal studies_, grammar, writing, much of arithmetic, and the symbols
used in reading.

The first two open up the great fields of real knowledge and
experience, the world of man and of external nature, the two great
reservoirs of interesting facts.  We will first examine these two
fields and consider their value as constituent parts of the school

_History_, in our present sense, includes what we usually understand by
it, as U. S. history, modern and ancient history, also biography,
tradition, fiction as expressing human life and the novel or romance,
and historical and literary masterpieces of all sorts, as the drama and
the epic poem, so far as they delineate man's experience and character.
In a still broader sense, history includes language as the expression
of men's thoughts and feelings.  But this is the formal side of history
with which we are not at present concerned.  History deals with men's
motives and actions as individuals or in society, with their
dispositions, habits, and institutions, and with the monuments and
literature they have left.

The relations of persons to each other in society give rise to morals.
How?  The act of a person--as when a fireman rescues a child from a
burning building--shows a disposition in the actor.  We praise or
condemn this disposition as the deed is good or bad.  But each moral
judgment, rightly given, leaves us stronger.  To appreciate and judge
fairly the life and acts of a woman like Mary Lyon, or of a man such as
Samuel Armstrong, is to awaken something of their spirit and moral
temper in ourselves.  Whether in the life of David or of Shylock, or of
the people whom they represent, the study of men is primarily a study
of morals, of conduct.  It is in the personal hardships, struggles, and
mutual contact of men that motives and moral impulses are observed and
weighed.  In such men as John Bunyan, William the Silent, and John
Quincy Adams, we are much interested to know what qualities of mind and
heart they possessed, and especially what human sympathies and
antipathies they felt.  Livingstone embodied in his African life
certain Christian virtues which we love and honor the more because they
were so severely and successfully tested.  Although the history of men
and of society has many uses, its best influence is in illustrating and
inculcating moral ideas.  It is teaching morals by example.  Even
living companions often exert less influence upon children than the
characters impressed upon their minds from reading.  The deliberate
plan of teachers and parents might make this influence more salutary
and effective.

It will strike most teachers as a surprise to say that _the chief use
of history study is to form moral notions in children_.  Their
experience with this branch of school work has been quite different.
They have not so regarded nor used history.  It has been generally
looked upon as a body of useful information that intelligent persons
must possess.  Our history texts also have been constructed for another
purpose, namely, to summarize and present important facts in as brief
space as possible, not to reveal personal actions and character as a
formative moral influence in the education of the young.  Even as
sources of valuable information, Spencer shows that our histories have
been extremely deficient; but for moral purposes they are almost

Now, moral dispositions are a better fruitage and test of worth in men
than any intellectual acquirements.  History is already a recognized
study of admitted value in the schools.  It is a shame to strip it of
that content and of that influence which are its chief merit.  To study
the conduct of persons as illustrating right actions is, in quality,
the highest form of instruction.  Other very important things are also
involved in a right study of history.  There are economic, political,
and social institutions evolved out of previous history; there are
present intricate problems to be approached and understood.  But all
these questions rest to a large extent upon moral principles.  But
while these political, social, and economic interests are beyond the
present reach of children, biography, individual life and action in
their simple forms, are plain to their understanding.  They not only
make moral conduct real and impressive, but they gradually lead up to
an appreciation of history in its social and institutional forms.

Some of the best historical materials (from biography, tradition, and
fiction) should be absorbed by children in each grade as an essential
part of the substratum of moral ideas.  This implies more than a
collection of historical stories in a supplementary reader for
intermediate grades.  It means that history in the broad sense is to be
an important study in every grade, and that it shall become a center
and reservoir from which reading books and language lessons draw their
supplies.  These biographies, stories, and historical episodes must be
the best which our history and classic literature can furnish, and
whatever is of like virtue in the life of other kindred peoples, of
England, Germany, Greece, etc.

If history in this sense can be made a strong auxiliary to moral
education in common schools, the whole body of earnest teachers will be
gratified.  For there is no theme among them of such perennial interest
and depth of meaning as _moral culture_ in schools.  It is useless to
talk of confining our teachers to the intellectual exercises outlined
in text books.  They are conscious of dealing with children of moral
susceptibility.  In our meetings, discussions on the means of moral
influence are more frequent and earnest than on any other topic; and in
their daily work hundreds of our teachers are aiming at moral character
in children more than at anything else.  As they free themselves from
mechanical requirements and begin to recognize their true function,
they discover the transcendent importance of moral education, that it
underlies and gives meaning to all the other work of the teacher.

But teachers heretofore have taken a narrow view of the moral
influences at their disposal.  Their ever-recurring emphatic refrain
has been "_the example of the teacher_," and, to tell the truth, there
is no better means of instilling moral ideas than the presence and
inspiration of a high-toned teacher.  We know, however, that teachers
need moral stimulus and encouragement as much as anybody.  It will not
do to suppose that they have reached the pinnacle of moral excellence
and can stand as all-sufficient exemplars to children.  The teacher
himself must have food as well as the children.  He must partake of the
loaf he distributes to them.  The clergyman also should be an example
of Christian virtue, but he preaches the gospel as illustrated in the
life of Christ, of St. Paul, and of others.  In pressing home moral and
religious truths his appeal is to great sources of inspiration which
lie outside of himself.  Why should the teacher rely upon his own
unaided example more than the preacher?  No teacher can feel that he
embodies in himself, except in an imperfect way, the strong moral ideas
that have made the history of good men worth reading.  No matter what
resources he may have in his own character, the teacher needs to employ
moral forces that lie outside of himself, ideals toward which he
struggles and towards which he inspires and leads others.  The very
fact that he appreciates and admires a man like Longfellow or Peter
Cooper will stir the children with like feelings.  In this sense it is
a mistake to center all attention upon the conduct of the teacher.  He
is but a guide, or, like Goldsmith's preacher, he allures to brighter
worlds and leads the way.  It is better for pupil and teacher to enter
into the companionship of common aims and ideals.  For them to study
together and admire the conduct of Roger Williams is to bring them into
closer sympathy, and what do teachers need more than to get into
_personal sympathy_ with their children?  Let them climb the hill
together, and enjoy the views together, and grow so intimate in their
aims and sympathies that afterlife cannot break the bond.  When the
inspirations and aims thus gained have gradually changed into
tendencies and habits, the child is morally full-fledged.  It is high
ground upon which to land youth, or aid in landing him, but it is
clearly in view.

It is only gradually that moral ideas gain an ascendency, first over
the thoughts and feelings of a child and later still over his conduct.
Many good impressions at first seem to bear no fruit in action.  But
examples and experience reiterate the truth till it finds a firm
lodgment and begins to act as a check upon natural impulses.  Many a
child reads the stories in the _Youth's Companion_ with absorbing
interest but in the home circle fails noticeably to imitate the conduct
he admires.  But moral ideas must grow a little before they can yield
fruit.  The seed of example must drop into the soil of the mind under
favorable conditions; it must germinate and send up its shoots to some
height before its presence and nature can be clearly seen.  The
application of moral ideas to conduct is very important even in
childhood, out patience and care are necessary in most cases.  There
must be timely sowing of the seed and judicious cultivation, if good
fruits are to be gathered later on.  There is indeed much anxiety and
painful uncertainty on the part of those who charge themselves with the
moral training of children.  Labor and birth pains are antecedent to
the delivery of a moral being.  Then again a child must develop
according to what is in him, his nature and peculiar disposition.  The
processes of growth are within him and the best you can do is to give
them scope.  He is _free_ and you are _bound_ to minister to his best
freedom.  The common school age is the _formative period_.  At six a
child is morally immature; at fifteen the die has been stamped.  This
youthful wilderness must be crossed.  We can't turn back.  There is no
other way of reaching the promised land.  But there are rebellions and
baitings and disorderly scenes.

This is a tortuous road!  Isn't there a quicker and easier way?  The
most speedily constructed road across this region is _a short treatise_
on morals for teacher and pupil.  In this way it is possible to have
all the virtues and faults tabulated, labeled, and transferred in brief
space to the minds of the children (if the discipline is rigorous
enough).  Swallow a catechism, reduced to a verbal memory product.
Pack away the essence of morals in a few general laws and rules and
have the children learn them.  Some day they may understand.  What
astounding faith in memory cram and dry forms!  We _can_ pave such a
road through the fields of moral science, but when a child has traveled
it is he a whit the better?  No such paved road is good for anything.
It isn't even comfortable.  It has been tried a dozen times in much
less important fields of knowledge than morals.  Moral ideas spring up
out of experience with persons either in real life or in the books we
read.  Examples of moral action drawn from life are the only thing that
can give meaning to moral precepts.  If we see a harsh man beating his
horse, we get an ineffaceable impression of harshness.  By reading the
story of the Black Beauty we acquire a lively sympathy for animals.
Then the maxim "A merciful man is merciful to his beast" will be a good
summary of the impressions received.  Moral ideas always have a
concrete basis or origin.  Some companion with whose feelings and
actions you are in close personal contact, or some character from
history or fiction by whose personality you have been strongly
attracted, gives you your keenest impressions of moral qualities.  To
begin with abstract moral teaching, or to put faith in it, is to
misunderstand children.  In morals as in other forms of knowledge,
children are overwhelmingly interested in personal and individual
examples, things which have form, color, action.  The attempt to sum up
the important truths of a subject and present them as abstractions to
children is almost certain to be a failure, pedagogically considered.
It has been demonstrated again and again, even in high schools, that
botany, chemistry, physics, and zoology can not be taught by such brief
scientific compendia of rules and principles--"Words, words, words," as
Hamlet said.  We can not learn geography from definitions and map
questions, nor morals from catechisms.  And just as in natural science
we are resorting perforce to plants, animals, and natural phenomena, so
in morals we turn to the deeds and lives of men.  Columbus in his
varying fortunes leaves vivid impressions of the moral strength and
weakness of himself and of others.  John Winthrop gives frequent
examples of generous and unselfish good-will to the settlers about
Boston.  Little Lord Fauntleroy is a better treatise on morals for
children than any of our sermonizers have written.  We must get at
morals without moralizing and drink in moral convictions without
resorting to moral platitudes.  Educators are losing faith in words,
definitions, and classifications.  It is a truism that we can't learn
chemistry or zoology from books alone, nor can moral judgments be
rendered except from individual actions.

A little reflection will show that we are only demanding _object
lessons_ in the field of moral education, extensive, systematic object
lessons; choice experiences and episodes from human life, simple and
clear, painted in natural colors, as shown by our best history and
literature.  To appreciate the virtues and vices, to sympathize with
better impulses, we must travel beyond words and definitions till we
come in contact with the personal deeds that first give rise to them.
The life of Martin Luther, with its faults and merits honestly
represented, is a powerful moral tonic to the reader; the autobiography
of Franklin brings out a great variety of homely truths in the form of
interesting episodes in his career.  Adam Bede and Romola impress us
more powerfully and permanently than the best sermons, because the
individual realism in them leads to a vividness of moral judgment of
their acts unequalled.  King Lear teaches us the folly of a rash
judgment with overwhelming force.  Evangeline awakens our sympathies as
no moralist ever dreamed of doing.  Uncle Tom in Mrs. Stowe's story was
a stronger preacher than Wendell Phillips.  William Tell in Schiller's
play kindles our love for heroic deeds into an enthusiasm.  The best
myths, historical biographies, novels, and dramas, are the richest
sources of moral stimulus because they lead us into the immediate
presence of those men and women whose deeds stir up our moral natures.
In the representations of the masters we are in the presence of moral
ideas clothed in flesh and blood, real and yet idealized.  Generosity
is not a name but the act of a person which wins our interest and,
favor.  To get the impress of kindness we must see an act of kindness
and feel the glow it produces.  When Sir Philip Sidney, wounded on the
battle field and suffering with thirst, reached out his hand for a cup
of water that was brought, his glance fell upon a dying soldier who
viewed the cup with great desire; Sidney handed him the water with the
words, "Thy necessity is greater than mine."  No one can refuse his
approval for this act.  After telling the story of the man who went
down to Jericho and fell among thieves, and then of the priest, the
Levite, and the Samaritan who passed that way, Jesus put the question
to his critic, "Who was neighbor to him that fell among thieves?"  And
the answer came even from unwilling lips, "He that showed mercy."  When
Nathan Hale on the scaffold regretted that he had but one life to lose
for his country, we realize better what patriotism is.  On the other
hand it is natural to _condemn wrong deeds_ when presented clearly and
objectively in the action of another.  Nero caused Christians to be
falsely accused and then to be condemned to the claws of wild beasts in
the arena.  When such cruelty is practiced against the innocent and
helpless, we condemn the act.  When Columbus was thrown into chains
instead of being rewarded, we condemn the Spaniards.  In the same way
the real world of persons about us, the acts of parents, companions,
and teachers are powerful in giving a good or bad tone to our
sentiments, because, as living object lessons, their impress is
directly and constantly upon us.

In such cases taken from daily experience and from illustrations of
personal conduct in books, it is possible to observe _how moral
judgments originate_ and by repetition grow into convictions.  They
spring up naturally and surely when we understand well the
circumstances under which an act was performed.  The interest and
sympathy felt for the persons lends great vividness to the judgments
expressed.  Each individual act stands out clearly and calls forth a
prompt and unerring approval or disapproval.  (But later the judgment
must react upon our own conduct.)  The examples are simple and
objective, free from selfish interest on the child's part, so that good
and bad acts are recognized in their true quality.  These simple moral
judgments are only a beginning, only a sowing of the seed.  But
harvests will not grow and ripen unless seed has been laid in the
ground.  It is a long road to travel before these early moral
impressions develop into firm convictions which rule the conduct of an
adult.  But education is necessarily a slow process, and it is likely
to be a perverted one unless the foundation is carefully laid in early
years.  The fitting way then to cultivate moral judgments, that is, to
start just ideas of right and wrong, of virtues and vices, is by a
regular and systematic presentation of persons illustrating noble and
ignoble acts.  A preference for the right and an aversion for the wrong
will be the sure result of careful teaching.  Habits of judging will be
formed and strong moral convictions established which may be gradually
brought to influence and control action.

A good share of the influences that are thrown around an ordinary child
need to be counteracted.  It can be done to a considerable extent _by
instruction_.  Many of the interesting characters of history are better
company for us and for children than our neighbors and contemporaries.
For the purposes of moral example and inspiration we may select as
companions for them the best persons in history, provided we know how
to select for ourselves and others.  Their acts are personal,
biographical, and interesting, and appeal at once to children as well
as to their elders.  There is no good reason why a much greater number
of our school children should not be brought under the influence of the
best books suited to their age.  Here is a source of educational
influence of high quality which is left too much to accident and to the
natural, unaided instinct of children.  A few get the benefit but many
more are capable of receiving it.  How much better the school choice
and treatment of such books may be than the loose and miscellaneous
reading of children, is discussed in Special Method.  A fit
introduction of children to this class of literature should be in the
hands of teachers, and all the later reading of pupils will feel the
salutary effect.

If this is the proper origin and culture of moral ideas, we desire to
know how to utilize it in the common school course.  It can only be
done by an extensive use of historical and literary materials in all
grades with the _conscious purpose_ of shaping moral ideas and
character.  That the school has such influence at its disposal can not
be reasonably denied by any one who believes that the family or the
church can affect the moral character of their children.  It may be
objected that the school thus takes up the proper work of the home,
when it ought to be occupied with other things.  Would that the homes
were all good!  But even if they were the teacher could not fold his
arms over a responsibility removed.  As soon as a boy enters school, if
not sooner, he begins, in some sense, to outgrow the home.  New
influences and interests find a lodgment in his affections.
Companions, the wider range of his acquaintances, studies, and
ambitions, share now with the home.  John Locke objected radically to
English public schools on this account.  But even if we desired, we
could not resort to private tutors as Locke did.  The child is growing
and changing.  Who shall organize unity out of this maze of thoughts,
interests, and influences, casting out the useless and bad, combining
and strengthening the good?  The more service the home renders the
better.  The child's range of thought and ambition is expanding.  Who
has the best survey of the field?  In many cases at least, the teacher,
especially where parents lack the culture and the children need a
guide.  Who spends six hours a day directing these currents of thought
and interest?  We are not disposed to underestimate the magnitude of
the task here laid upon the teacher.  The rights and duties of the home
are not put in question.  Indeed the spirit of this kind of teaching is
best illustrated in a good home.  A teacher who has a father's anxiety
in the real welfare of children will not forget his duty in watching
their moral growth.  The moral atmosphere of a good home will remain
the ideal for the school.  In fact, Herbart's plan of education
originated not in a school-room, but in an excellent home in
Switzerland, where he spent three years in the private instruction of
three boys.  The conscientious zeal with which he devoted himself to
the moral and mental growth of these children is a model for teachers.
The shaping of three characters was, according to his view, entrusted
to him.  The common notion of intellectual growth and strength which
rules in such cases was at once subordinated to _character development_
in the moral sense.  Not that the two ideas are at all antagonistic,
but one is more important than the other.  The selection of reading
matter, of studies, and of employments, was adapted to each boy with a
view to influencing conduct and moral action.

The Herbart school adheres to this view of education, and has
_transferred its spirit and method to the schools_.  The Herbartians
have the hardihood, in this age of moral skeptics, to believe not only
in moral example but also in moral teaching.  (By moral skeptics we
mean those who believe in morals but not in moral instruction.)  They
seek first of all historical materials of the richest moral content, in
vivid personification, upon which to nourish the moral spirit of
children.  If properly treated, this subject matter will soon win the
children by its power over feeling and judgment.  With Crusoe the child
goes through every hardship and success; with Abraham he lives in
tents, seeks pastures for his flocks, and generously marches out to the
rescue of his kinsmen.  He should not read Caesar with a slow and
toilsome drag (parsing and construing) that would render a bright boy
stupid.  If he goes with Caesar at all, he must build an _agger_, fight
battles, construct bridges, and approve or condemn Caesar's acts.  But
we doubt the moral value of Caesar's Gallic wars.  By reading Plutarch
we may see that the Latins and Greeks, before the days of their
degeneracy, nourished their rising youth upon the traditions of their
ancestry.  The education produced a tough and sinewy brood of moral
qualities.  Their great men were great characters, largely because of
the mother-milk of national tradition and family training.  In Scotch,
English, and German history we are familiar with Alfred, Bruce,
Siegfried, and many other heroes of similar value in the training of

It will be well for us to look into our own history and see what sort
of a moral heritage of educative materials it has left us.  What noble
examples does it furnish of right thought and action?  Have we any
home-bred food like this for the nourishment of our growing youth?  Our
native American history is indeed nobler in tone and more abundant.
For moral educative purposes in the training of the young the history
of America, from the early explorations and settlements along the
Atlantic coast to the present, has scarcely a parallel in history.  It
was a race of moral heroes that led the first colonies to many of the
early settlements.  Winthrop, Penn, Williams, Oglethorpe, Raleigh, and
Columbus were great and simple characters, deeply moral and practical.
For culture purposes, where can their equals be found?  And where was
given a better opportunity for the display of personal virtues than by
the leaders of these little danger-encircled communities?  The leaven
of purity, piety, and manly independence which they brought with them
and illustrated, has never ceased to work powerfully among our people.
Why not bring the children into direct contact with these characters in
the intermediate grades, not by short and sketchy stories, but by full
life pictures of these men and their surroundings?  We have not been
wholly lacking in literary artists who have worked up a part of these
materials into a more durable and acceptable form for our schools.  We
need to make an abundant use of this and other history for our boys and
girls, not by devoting a year in the upper grades to a barren outline
of American annals, but by a proper distribution of these and other
similar rich treasures throughout the grades of the common school.

Tradition and fiction are scarcely less valuable than biography and
history because of their vivid portrayal of strong and typical
characters.  Our own literature, and the world's literature at large,
are a store-house well-stocked with moral educative materials, properly
suited to children at different ages, if only sorted, selected, and
arranged.  But this requires broad knowledge of our best literature and
clear insight into child character at different ages.  This problem
will not be solved in a day, nor in a life-time.

In making a progressive series of our best historical and literary
products, it is necessary to select those materials which are better
adapted than anything else to interest, influence, and mould the
character of children at each time of life.  It is now generally agreed
by the best teachers that these selections shall be classical
masterpieces, not in fragments but as wholes.  They should be those
classical materials that bear the stamp of genuine nobility.  Goethe
says "_The best is good enough for children_."  For some years past in
our grammar grades we have been using some of the best selections of
Whittier, Longfellow, Bryant, and others, and we are not even
frightened by the length of such productions as Evangeline, The Lady of
the Lake, or Julius Caesar.  A simple, adapted version of Robinson
Crusoe is used in some schools as a second reader.  From time
immemorial choice selections of prose and verse have formed the staple
of our readers above the third.  But generally these selections are
scrappy or fragmentary.  Few of the great masterpieces have been used
because most of them are supposed to be too long.  Broken fragments of
our choice literary products have been served up, but the best literary
works as wholes have never been given to the children in the schools.
The Greek youth were better served with the Iliad and Odyssey, and some
of our grandfathers with the tales of the Old Testament.  We now go
still further back in the child-life and make use of fairy tales in the
first grade.  But many are not yet able to realize that select fairy
stories are genuinely classical, that they are as well adapted to
stimulate the minds of children as Hamlet the minds of adults.  (See
Special Method.)

The chief aim of our schools all along has not been an appreciation of
literary masterpieces either in their moral or art value, but to
acquire skill in reading, fluency, and naturalness, of expression.  Our
schools have been almost completely absorbed in the purely _formal_ use
of our literary materials, learning to read in the earlier grades and
learning to read with rhetorical expression and confidence in the later
ones.  In the present argument our chief concern is not with the formal
use of literary materials for practice in reading, but with the moral
culture, conviction, and habit of life they may foster.  Nor have we
chiefly in view the _art_ side of our best literary pieces.
Appreciation of beauty in poetry and of strength in prose, admirable as
they may be, are quite secondary to the main purpose.  Coming in direct
and vivid contact with manly deeds or with unselfish acts as
personified in choice biography, history, fiction, and real life, will
inspire children with thoughts that make life worth living.  Neither
formal skill in reading nor appreciation of literary art can atone for
the lack of _direct moral incentive_ which historical studies should
give.  All three ends should be reached.

Many teachers are now calling for a change in the spirit with which the
best biography and literature are used.  They call for an improvement
in the quality and an increase in the quantity of complete historical
episodes and of literary masterpieces.  An appreciative reading of
Ivanhoe revives the spirit of that age.  The life of Samuel Adams is an
epic that gives the youth a chance to live amid the stirring scenes of
Boston in a notable time.  Children are to live in thought and interest
the lives of many men of other generations, as of Tell, Columbus,
Livingstone, Lincoln, Penn, Franklin, Fulton.  They are to partake of
the experiences of the best typical men in the story of our own and of
other countries.

The use of the best historical and literary works as a means of
strengthening moral motives and principles with children whose minds
and characters are developing, is a high aim in itself.  And it will
add _interest and life_ to the formal studies, such as reading,
spelling, grammar, and composition, which spring out of this valuable

History, in the broad sense, should be the chief constituent of a
child's education.  That subject-matter which contains the essence of
moral culture in generative form deserves to constitute the chief
mental food of young people.  The conviction of the high moral value of
historic subjects and of their peculiar adaptability to children at
different ages, brings us to a positive judgment as to their relative
value among studies.  The first question, preliminary to all others in
the common school course, "What is the most important study?" is
answered by putting _history_ at the head of the list.

_Natural science_ takes the second place.  In many respects it is
co-ordinate with history.  The object-world, which is so interesting,
so informing, and so intimately interwoven with the needs, labors, and
progress of men, furnishes the second great constituent of education
for all children.  Botany, zoology, and the other natural sciences,
taken as a unit, constitute the field of nature apart from man.  They
furnish us an understanding of the varied objects and complex phenomena
of nature.  It is one of the imperative needs of all human minds that
have retained their childlike thoughtfulness and spirit of inquiry, to
desire to understand nature, to classify the variety of objects and
appearances, to trace the chain of causes, and to search out the simple
laws of nature's operations.  The command early came to men to subdue
the earth, and we understand better than primitive man that it is
subdued through investigation and study.  All the forces and bounties
of nature are to be made serviceable to us and it can only be done by
understanding her facts and laws.  The road to mastery leads through
patient observation, experiment, and study.

But we are concerned with the _educational_ value of the natural
sciences.  Waitz says: "A correct philosophy of the world and of life
is possible to a person only on the basis of a knowledge of one's self
and of one's relation to surrounding nature."  Diesterweg says: "No one
can afford to neglect a knowledge of nature who desires to get a
comprehension of the world and of God according to human possibility,
or who desires to find his proper relation to Him and to real things.
He who knows nothing of human history is an ignoramus, likewise he who
knows nothing of natural science.  To know nothing of either is a pure
shame.  Ignorance of nature is an unpardonable perversion."  Kraepelin
speaks as follows; "Instruction should open up to a pupil an
understanding of the present, and thereby furnish a basis for a frank
and many-sided philosophy of life, resting upon reality.  But to the
present belongs the world outside of us.  Of this present there can be
no such thing as an understanding unless it relates not only to
inter-human relations but also to relations of man to animal, of animal
to plant, and of organic life to inorganic life.  The necessity of
assuming a relation to our environment is unavoidable and this can only
be done by acquainting ourselves with the surrounding world in every
direction.  This requirement would remain in force though man, like a
god, were set above nature and her laws.  But man lives, acts, and dies
not outside of, but within the circle of nature's laws.  This maxim is
axiomatic and contains the final judgment against those who claim that
a comprehensive but unified philosophy of life is possible without a
knowledge of nature."  Herbart says: "Here (in nature) lies the abode
of real truth, which does not retreat before tests into an inaccessible
past (as does history).  This genuinely empirical character
distinguishes the natural sciences and makes their loss irretrievable.
It is here (in nature) that the object disentangles itself from all
fancies and opinions and constantly stimulates the spirit of
observation.  Here then is found an obstruction to extravagant thinking
such as the sciences themselves could not better devise."  Ziller says:
"The natural sciences are necessary in education because from the
province of nature (as well as from history) are derived those means
and resources which are necessary to accomplish the purposes of the
will in action.  Means and forces are the natural conditions for the
realization of aims.  Without knowledge of and intelligent power over
nature, it is difficult to realize that certain aims are possible;
action cannot be successful; will effort, based upon the firm
conviction of ability, that is, judicious exercise of will, is
impossible."  We quote also from Professor Rein:  "Let us observe in
passing that in the great industrial contest between civilized nations,
that people will suffer defeat which falls behind in the culture of
natural science, and for this reason the motive of self-protection
would demand natural science instruction.  In favor of this teaching,
the claim is further made that no science is so well adapted to train
the mind to inductive thought processes as that which rests entirely
upon induction, and that natural science study is in a position to
resist more easily and successfully than all other studies, the
deeply-rooted tendency in all branches to substitute words for ideas."

Rein (das vierte Schuljahr) explains further the leading ideas and
standpoints which have appeared in historical order among science
teachers in the common school.  From the first crude ideas there has
been marked progress toward higher aims in science teaching.

1. Natural history stories for _entertainment_.  Many curious and
entertaining facts in connection with animal life were searched out,
more especially unusual and spicy anecdotes of shrewdness and
intelligence.  Some of the old readers, and even of the recent ones,
are enriched with such marvels.

2. _Utility_, or the study of things in nature that are directly useful
or hurtful to man.  Whatever fruits or animals or herbs are of plain
service to man, as well as things poisonous or dangerous, were studied
because such information would be of future service.  It was a purely
practical aim, at first very narrow, but in an enlarged and liberal
sense of much importance.

3. _Training of the senses_ and of _the observing power_.  By a study
and description of natural objects, sense perception was to be
sharpened and a habit of close observation formed.  Among science
teachers today no aim is more emphasized than this.  It also stores
away a body of useful ideas of great future value.  This is an
intellectual aim that accords better with the purpose of the school
than the preceding.

4. _Analysis_ and _determination of specimens_.  To examine and trace a
plant, mineral, or insect, to its true classification and name, has
occupied much of the time of students.  It requires nice
discrimination, a comprehensive grasp of relations, and a power to
seize and hold common characteristics.  Many of our text-books and
courses of study are based chiefly upon this idea.

5. _System-making_, or the reduction of all things in nature to a
systematic whole, with a place for everything.  Some of the greatest
scientists, Linnaeus, for example, looked upon scientific
classification as the chief aim of nature study.  It has had a great
influence upon schools and teachers.  The attempt to compress
everything into a system has led to many text-books which are but brief
summaries of sciences like zoology, botany, and physics.  Scientific
classification is very important, but the attempt to make it a leading
aim in teaching children is a mistake.

We may add that nature study is felt by all to offer abundant scope to
the exercise of the esthetic faculty.  There is great variety of beauty
and gracefulness in natural forms in plant and animal; the rich or
delicate coloring of the clouds, of birds, of insects, and of plants,
gives constant pleasure.  Then there are grand and impressive scenery
and phenomena in nature, and melody and harmony in nature's voices.

These various aims of science study are valuable to the teacher as
showing him the scope of his work.  But a higher and more comprehensive
standpoint has been reached.  We now realize that the great purpose of
this study is _insight into nature_, into this whole physical
environment, with a view to a better appreciation of her objects,
forces, and laws, and of their bearing on human life and progress.

All these purposes thus far developed in schools are to be considered
as valuable subsidiary aims, leading up to the central purpose of the
study of natural sciences, which is, "An understanding of life and of
the powers and of the unity which express themselves in nature;" or, as
Kraepelin says: "Nature should not appear to man as an inextricable
chaos, but as a well-ordered mechanism, the parts fitting exactly to
each other, controlled by unchanging laws, and in perpetual action and
production."  Humboldt is further quoted: "Nature to the mature mind is
unity in variety, unity of the manifold in form and combination, the
content or sum total of natural things and natural forces as a living
whole.  The weightiest result, therefore, of deep physical study is, by
beginning with the individual, to grasp all that the discoveries of
recent times reveal to us, to separate single things critically and yet
not be overcome by the mass of details, mindful of the high destiny of
man, to comprehend the mind of nature, which lies concealed under the
mantle of phenomena."  This sounds visionary and impracticable for
children of the common school, especially when we know that much lower
aims have not been successfully reached.  In fact it cannot be said
that the natural sciences have any recognized standing in the common
school course.  But it is worth the while to inquire whether natural
sciences will ever be taught as they should be until the best
attainable aims become the dominant principles for guiding teachers.
Stripped of its rhetoric, the above mentioned aim, "an understanding of
life and of the unity in nature," may prove a practical and inspiring
guide to the teacher.

If we look upon nature as a field of observation and study which can be
grasped as a whole both as a work of creation and as contributing in
multiplied ways to man's needs, its proper study gives a many-sided
culture to the mind.  This leading purpose will bring into relation and
unity all the subordinate aims of science teaching, such as
information, utility, training of the senses and judgment, and of the
power to compare and classify.

For the accomplishment of this great purpose of gaining _insight_ into
nature's many-sided activities, there are several simple means not yet
mentioned.  Running through nature are great principles and laws which
can be studied upon concrete examples, plain and interesting to a
child.  The study of the squirrel in its home, habits, organs, and
natural activities in the woods, will show how strangely adapted it is
to its surroundings.  But an observation of birds in the air and of
fishes in water reveals the same curious fitness to surrounding nature.
The study of plants and animals in their adaptation to environment, of
the relation between organ and function; between organs, mode of life,
and environment, leads up to a general law which applies to all plants
and animals.  The law of growth and development from the simple germ to
the mature life form can be seen in the butterfly, the frog, and the
sunflower.  These laws and others in biology, if developed on concrete
specimens, give much insight into the whole realm of nature, more
stimulating by far than that based on scientific classifications, as
orders, families and species.  The great and simple outlines of
nature's work begin to appear out of such laws.

Again the study of the whole _life history_ of a plant or animal, in
its relations to the inorganic world and to other plants and animals,
is always a cross-section in the sciences and shows how all the natural
sciences are knit together into a causal unity.  Take the life history
of a _hickory tree_.  As it germinates and grows from the seed how it
draws from the earth and air; the effect of storms, seasons, and
lightning upon it; how it later furnishes nuts to the squirrels and
boys; its branches may be the nesting place for birds and its bark for
insects.  Finally, the uses of its tough wood for man are seen.  The
life of a squirrel or of a honey-bee furnishes also a cross-section
through all the sciences from the inorganic world up to man.

If in tracing life histories we take care to select _typical_ subjects
which exemplify perhaps thousands of similar cases, we shall materially
shorten the road leading toward insight into nature.  These types are
concrete and have all the interest and attractiveness of individual
life, but they also bring out characteristics which explain myriads of
similar phenomena.  A careful and detailed study of a single tree like
the maple, with the circulation of the sap and the function of roots,
bark, leaves, and woody fiber, will give an insight into the processes
of growth upon which the life of the tree depends and these processes
will easily appear to be true of all tree and plant forms.

In nature as it shows itself in the woods or in the pond, there is such
a _mingling and interdependence_ of the natural sciences upon each
other that the book of nature seems totally different from books of
botany, physics, and zoology as made by men.  In the forest we find
close together trees of many kinds, shrubs, flowering plants, vines,
mosses, and ferns; grasses, beetles, worms, and birds;  squirrels, owls
and sunshine; rocks, soil, and springs; summer and winter; storms,
frost, and drouth.  Plants depend upon the soil and upon each other.
The birds and squirrels find their home and food among the trees and
plants.  The trees seem to grow together as if they needed each other's
companionship.  All the plants and animals depend upon the soil, air,
and climate, and the whole wood changes its garb and partly its guests
with the seasons.  A forest is a _life society_, consisting of mutually
dependent parts.  How nature disregards our conventional distinctions
between the natural sciences!  We need no better proof than this that
they should not be taught chiefly from books.  A child might learn a
myriad of things in the woods and gain much insight into nature's ways
without making any clear distinction between botany, zoology, and
geology.  Herein is also the proof that text-books are needed as a
guide in nature's labyrinth.  If the frequency and intimacy of mutual
relations are any proof of unity, the natural sciences are a unit and
have a right to be called by one name, _nature study_.

In the study of laws, life histories, and life groups, the _causal
relations_ in nature are found to be wonderfully stimulating to those
who have begun to trace them out.  The child as well as the mature
scientist finds in these causal connections materials of absorbing

It is plain, therefore, that the lines tending toward unity in nature
study are numerous and strong; such as the scientific classifications
of our text-books, the working out of general laws whether in biology
or physics, the study of life histories in vegetable and animal, and
the observation of life societies in the close mutual relations of the
different parts or individuals.

If a course of nature studies is begun in the first grade and carried
systematically through all the years up to the eighth grade, is it not
reasonable to suppose that real insight into nature, based on
observation taken at first hand, may be reached?  It will involve a
study of living plants and animals, minerals, physical apparatus and
devices, chemical experiments, the making of collections, regular
excursions for the observation of the neighboring fields, forests, and
streams, and the working over of these and other concrete experiences
from all sources through skillful class teaching.

The first great result to a child of such a series of studies is an
intelligent and rational understanding of his home, the world, his
natural environment.  He will have a seeing eye and an appreciative
mind for the thousand things surrounding his daily life where the
ignorant toiler sees and understands nothing.

A second advantage which we can only hint at, while incidental is
almost equally important.  We have been considering nature chiefly as a
realm by itself, apart from man.  But the utilities of natural science
in individual life and in society are so manifold that we accept many
of the finest products of skill and art as if they were natural
products--as if gold coins, silk dresses, and fine pictures grew on the
bushes and only waited to be picked.  The thousand-fold applications of
natural science to human industry and comfort deserve to be perceived
as _the result of labor and inventive skill_.  Our much-lauded steam
engines, telegraph microscopes, sewing machines, reapers, iron ships,
and printing presses, are not examples of a few, but of myriads of
things that natural science has secured.  But how many children on
leaving the common school understand the principle involved in any one
of the machines mentioned, subjects of common talk as they are?  As
children leave the schools at fourteen or fifteen they should know and
appreciate many such things, wherein man, by his wit and ingenious use
of natures forces, has triumphed over difficulties.  How are glass and
soap made?  What has a knowledge of natural science to do with the
construction of stoves, furnaces, and lamps?  How are iron, silver, and
copper ore mined and reduced?  How is sugar obtained from maple trees,
cane, and beet root?  How does a suction pump work and why?  Without a
knowledge of such applications of natural science we should be thrown
back into barbarism.  These things also, since they form such an
important part of every child's environment, should be understood, but
not for direct utility.

Historically considered, the study of natural science is the study of
man's long continued struggle with nature and of his gradual triumph.
It ends with insight into nature and into those contrivances of men by
which her laws and forces are utilized.  The whole subject of nature,
her laws and powers, must not remain a sealed book to the masses of the
people.  Scientists, inventors, and scholars may lead the way, but they
are only pioneers.  The thousands of the children of the people are
treading at their heels and must be initiated into the mysteries.

Our knowledge of these principles and appliances constitute in fact a
good share of the foundation upon which our whole _culture status_
rests.  Without natural science we should understand neither nature nor
society.  Spencer shows the wide-reaching value of science knowledge in
our modern life: "For leaving out only some very small classes, what
are all men employed in?  They are employed in the production,
preparation, and distribution of commodities.  And on what does
efficiency in the production, preparation, and distribution of
commodities depend?  It depends on the use of methods fitted to the
respective nature of these commodities, it depends on an adequate
knowledge of their physical, chemical, or vital properties, as the case
may be; that is, it depends on science.  This order of knowledge which
is in great part ignored in our school courses, is the order of
knowledge underlying the right performance of all those processes by
which civilized life is made possible.  Undeniable as is this truth,
and thrust upon us as it is at every turn, there seems to be no living
consciousness of it.  Its very familiarity makes it unregarded.  To
give due weight to our argument, we must therefore realize this truth
to the reader by a rapid review of the facts."  He then illustrates, in
interesting detail, the varied applications of mathematics, physics,
chemistry, biology, and social science to the industries and economies
of real life, and concludes as follows: "That which our school courses
leave almost entirely out, we thus find to be that which most nearly
concerns the business of life.  All our industries would cease were it
not for that information which men begin to acquire as they best may
after their education is said to be finished.  And were it not for this
information that has been from age to age accumulated and spread by
unofficial means, these industries would never have existed.  Had there
been no teaching but such as is given, in our public schools, England
would now be what it was in feudal times.  That increasing acquaintance
with the laws of nature which has through successive ages enabled us to
subjugate nature to our needs, and in these days gives to the common
laborer comforts which a few centuries ago kings could not purchase, is
scarcely in any degree owed to the appointed means of instructing our
youth.  The vital knowledge--that by which we have grown as a nation to
what we are, and which now underlies our whole existence--is a
knowledge that has got itself taught in nooks and corners, while the
ordained agencies for teaching have been mumbling little else but dead
formulas."  Spencer, _Education_, pp. 44, 54.

Not only the specialists in natural science, whose interest and
enthusiasm are largely absorbed in these studies, but many other
energetic teachers are persuaded that the culture value of nature
studies is on a par with that of historical studies.  But on account of
the present lack of system and of clear purpose in natural science
teachers, the first great problem in this field of common school effort
is to select the material and perfect the method of studying nature
with children.

Our estimate of the value of natural science for culture and for
discipline is confirmed by the opinion of educational _reformers_ and
by the changes and progress in schools.  An inquiry into the history of
education in Europe and in America since the Reformation will show that
the movement towards nature study has been accumulating momentum for
more than three hundred years.  In spite of the failure of such men as
Comenius, Ratich, Basedow, and Rousseau to secure the introduction of
these studies in a liberal degree, in spite of the enormous influence
of custom and prejudice in favor of Latin and other traditional
studies, the natural sciences have made recently such surprising
advances and have so penetrated and transformed our modern life that we
are simply compelled, even in the common school, to take heed of these
great, living educational forces already at work.

The _universities_ of England and of the United States have been
largely transformed within the last forty years by the introduction, on
a grand scale, of modern studies, particularly of the natural sciences.
The fitting schools, academies, and high schools have had no choice but
to follow this lead.  Since the forces that produced this result in
higher education sprang up largely outside of our institutions of
learning, the movement is not likely to cease till the common school
has been changed in the same way.  The educational question of the
future is not whether historical or natural science or formal studies
are to monopolize the school course, but rather how these three
indispensable elements of every child's education may be best
harmonized and wrought into a unit.

But the question that confronts us at every turn is, _What is the
disciplinary value of nature study_?  We know, say the opponents, what
a vigorous training in ancient languages and mathematics can do for a
student.  What results in this direction can the natural sciences
tabulate?  The champions of natural science point with pride to the
great men who have been trained and developed in such studies.  For
inductive thinking the natural sciences offer the best materials.  To
cultivate self-reliance there is nothing like turning a student loose
in nature under a skilled instructor.  The spirit of investigation and
of accurate thinking is claimed as a peculiar product of nature study.
It is called, _par excellence_, "the scientific spirit."  The undue
reverence for authority produced by literary studies is not a weakness
of natural science pursuits.  But intense interest and devotion are
combined with scientific accuracy and fidelity to nature and her laws.

We do not feel called upon to attempt a settlement of this dispute.  We
have already assumed that _history_ in the broad sense (including
languages) and _natural science_ (or nature study) are the two great
staples of the common school course, and that so far as discipline is
concerned one is as important as the other.  But we believe that those
educators whose first, middle, and last question in education is, "What
is the _disciplinary_ value of a study?" have mistaken the primary
problem of education.  Just as in the proper training of the body, the
strength and skill of a professional athlete are, in no sense, the true
aim, but physical soundness, health, and vigor; so in mind culture, not
extraordinary skill in mental gymnastics of the severest sort, is the
essential aim, but mental soundness, integrity, and motive.  The
under-lying question in education is not, How strong or incisive is his
mind?  (This depends largely upon heredity and native endowment) but,
What is its quality and its temper?  If might is right, then mental
strength is to be gained at all hazards.  But if right is higher than
might, then mental skill and power are only secondary aims.  So long as
we are dealing with fundamental aims in such a serious business as
education, why stop short of that ideal which is manifestly the best?
We have no controversy with the highest mental discipline and strength
that are consistent with all-round mental soundness.  Our better
teachers are not lacking in appreciation for the value of what is
called _formal mental discipline_, but they do generally lack faith in
the innate power of the best studies to arouse interest and mental
life.  They emphasize the _drill_ more than the _content_ and the
inspiration of the author.  Both in theory and in practice they are
greatly lacking in the intellectual sympathy and moral power which
result from bringing the minds of students into direct contact with the
noblest products of God's work in history and in the object world.
Here we can put our finger on the radical weakness of our school work.

The really soul-inspiring teachers have not been formalists nor
drill-masters alone.  Friedrich August Wolf, for example, the great
German philologist, was probably the most inspiring teacher of
classical languages that Germany has had.  But to what was his
remarkable influence as a teacher of young men due?  We usually think
of a philologist as one who digs among the roots of dead languages, who
worships the forms of speech and the laws of grammar.  Doubtless he and
his pupils were much taken up with these things, but they were not the
prime source of his and their interest.  Wolf defined philology as "the
knowledge of human nature as exhibited in antiquity."  He studied with
great avidity everything that could throw light upon the lives,
character, and language of the ancients.  Their biographies, histories,
geography, climate, dress, implements, their sculpture, monuments,
buildings, tombs.  Approaching the literature and language of the
Greeks with this abundant knowledge of their real surroundings and
conditions of life, he saw the deeper, fuller significance of every
classical author and the great literary masterpieces were perceived as
the expression of the national life.  He appreciated language as the
wonderful medium through which the more wonderful life of the versatile
Greek expressed itself.  The reason he was such a great philologist was
because he was so great a realist, a man who was intensely interested
in the Greek people, their history and life.  Words alone had little
charm for him.  No great teacher has been simply a word-monger.

For the present we leave the question of discipline unanswered, though
we are disposed to think that those studies which introduce children to
the two great fields of real knowledge, and which arouse a strong
desire to solve the problems found there, will also furnish the most
valuable discipline.

The _formal studies_ such as reading, spelling, writing, language, and
much of arithmetic, have thus far appropriated the best share of school
time.  They are the tools for acquiring and formulating knowledge
rather than knowledge itself.  They are so indispensable in life that
people have acquired a sort of superstitious respect for them.  They
are generally considered as of primary importance while other things
are taken as secondary.  By virtue of this excessive estimation the
formal studies have become so strongly intrenched in the practice of
the schools that they are really a heavy obstacle to educational
progress.  They have been so long regarded as the only gateway to
knowledge that anyone who tries to climb in some other way is regarded
as a thief and robber.  We forget that Homer's great poems were
composed and preserved for centuries before letters were invented.  As
more thought is expended on studies and methods of learning, the more
the thinkers are inclined to exactly reverse the educational machinery.
They say: "Thought studies must precede form studies."  We should
everywhere begin with valuable and interesting thought materials in
history and natural science and let language, reading, spelling, and
drawing follow.  It is a thing much more easily said than done, but
many active teachers are really doing it, and many others are wondering
how it may be done.  The advantage of putting the concrete realities of
thought before children at first is that they give a powerful impetus
to mental life, while pure formal studies in most cases have a
deadening effect and gradually put a child to sleep.  One of the great
problems of school work is how to get more interest and instructive
thought into school exercises.

We are now in a position to give a concluding estimate upon the
relative value of these three elements in school education.  History
contributes the materials from which motives and moral impulses spring.
It cultivates and strengthens moral convictions by the use of inspiring
examples.  The character of each child should be drawn into harmony
with the highest impulses that men have felt.  A desire to be the
author of good to others should be developed into a practical ruling
motive.  Natural science on the other hand supplies a knowledge of the
ordinary means and appliances by which the purposes of life are
realized.  It gives us proper insight into the conditions of life and
puts us into intelligent relation to our environment.  Not only must a
child be supplied with the necessaries of life but he must appreciate
the needs of health and understand the economies of society, such as
the necessity of mental and manual labor, the right use of the products
and forces of nature, and the advantage of men's inventions and
devices.  In a plan of popular education these two culture elements
should mingle (history and natural science).  In the case of all sorts
of people in society the ability to execute high moral purposes depends
largely upon a ready, practical insight into natural conditions.  We
are not thinking of the bread-and-butter phase of life and of the aid
afforded by the sciences in making a living, but of the all-round,
practical utility of natural science as a necessary supplement to moral

One of the best tests of a system of education is the preparation it
gives for life in a liberal sense.  When a child, leaving school
behind, develops into a citizen, what tests are applied to him?  The
questions submitted to his judgment in his relations to the family and
to society call for a quick and varied knowledge of men, insight into
character, and for a large amount of practical information of natural
science.  He is asked to vote intelligently on social, political,
sanitary, and economic questions; to judge of men's motives, opinions,
and character; to vote upon or perhaps to direct the management of
poor-houses, asylums, and penitentiaries; in towns to decide questions
of drainage, police, water supply, public health, and school
administration; to make contracts for public buildings, and bridges; to
grant licenses and franchises; to serve on juries or as representatives
of the people.  These are not professional matters alone; they are the
common duties of all citizens of a sound mind.  These things each
person should know how to judge, whether he be a blacksmith, a
merchant, or a house keeper.  In all such matters he must be not only a
judge of others but an actor under the guidance of right motives and
information.  Again, in the bringing up of children, in the domestic
arrangements of every home and in a proper care for the minds and
bodies of both parents and children, a multitude of practical problems
from each of the great fields of real knowledge must be met and solved.

A medical missionary illustrates this combination of historical and
natural science elements.  His life purpose is drawn from history, from
the life of Christ, and from the traditional incentives of the church.
The means by which he is to make himself practically felt are obtained
from his study of medicine and from the sciences upon which it depends.
These elements form the basis of his influence.  This illustration
however savors of professional rather than of general education, and we
are concerned only with the latter.  But the education of every child
is analogous to that of the medical missionary in its two constituent

As a matter of fact neither history nor natural science occupies any
such prominence in the school course as we have judged fitting.  Much
thoughtful study, experience in teaching, and pioneer labor in
partially new fields will be necessary in order to bring into existence
such a course of study based upon the best materials.  Many teachers
already recognize the necessity for it and see before them a land of
plenty as compared with the half-desert barrenness revealed in our
present school course.

Two powerful convictions in the minds of those responsible for
education have contributed to produce this desert-like condition in
children's school employments, and this brings us to a discussion of
the overestimation in which purely _formal studies_ are held.  The
first article of faith rests upon the unshaken belief in the _practical
studies_, reading, writing, and arithmetic.  They are still looked upon
as a barrier that must be scaled before the real work of education can
begin.  Learn to read, write, and figure and then the world of
knowledge as well as of business is at your command.  But many children
find the barrier so difficult to scale that they really never get into
the fields of knowledge.  Many of our most thorough-going educators
still firmly believe that a child can not learn anything worth
mentioning till he has first learned to read.  But however deeply
rooted this confidence in the purely formal work of the early school
years may be, it must break down as soon as means are devised for
putting the realities of interesting knowledge before and underneath
all the forms of expression.  Let the necessity for expression spring
from the real objects of study.  Those children to whom the memorizing
and drill upon forms of expression becomes tedious deserve our
sympathy.  There is a kind of knowledge adapted to arouse these dull
ones to their full capacity of interest.  "Or what man is there of you
whom if his son ask bread will he give him a stone?"  With many a child
the first reader, the arithmetic, or the grammar becomes a veritable
stone.  There is no good reason why the sole burden of work in early
school grades should rest upon the learning of the pure formalities of
knowledge.  Children's minds are not adapted to an exclusive diet of
this kind.  The fact that children have good memories is no reason why
their minds should be gorged with the dryest memory materials.  They
have a healthy interest in people, whether in life or in story, and in
the objects in nature around them.  What is thus pre-eminently true of
the primary grades is true to a large extent throughout all the grades
of the common school.  It seems almost curious that the more tender the
plants the more barren and inhospitable the soil upon which they are
expected to grow.  Fortunately these little ones have such an
exuberance of life that it is not easily quenched.  Formal knowledge
stands first in our common school course and real studies are allowed
to pick up such crumbs of comfort as may chance to fall.  We believe in
formal studies and in their complete mastery in the common school, but
they should stand in the place of service to real studies.  How
powerful the tendency has been and still is toward pure formal drill
and word memory is apparent from the fact that even geography and
history, which are not at all formal studies, but full to overflowing
with interesting facts and laws, have been reduced to a dry memorizing
of words, phrases, and stereotyped sentences.

It is not difficult to understand why the numerous body of teachers,
who easily drift into mechanical methods, has a preference for formal
studies.  They are comparatively easy and humdrum and keep pupils busy.
Real studies, if taught with any sort of fitness, require energy,
interest, and versatility, besides much outside work in preparing

The second article of faith is a still stronger one.  The better class
of energetic teachers would never have been won over to formal studies
on purely utilitarian grounds.  A second conviction weighs heavily in
their minds.  "_The discipline of the mental faculties_" is a talisman
of unusual potency with them.  They prize arithmetic and grammar more
for this than for any direct practical value.  The idea of mental
discipline, of training the faculties, is so ingrained into all our
educational thinking that it crops out in a hundred ways and holds our
courses of study in the beaten track of formal training with a
steadiness that is astonishing.  These friends believe that we are
taking the back-bone out of education by making it interesting.  The
culmination of this educational doctrine is reached when it is said
that the most valuable thing learned in school or out of it is to do
and do vigorously that which is most disagreeable.  The training of the
will to meet difficulties unflinchingly is their aim, and we can not
gainsay it.  These stalwart apostles of educational hardship and
difficulty are in constant fear lest we shall make studies interesting
and attractive and thus undermine the energy of the will.  But the
question at once arises: Does not the will always act from _motives_ of
some sort?  And is there any motive or incentive so stimulating to the
will as a steady and constantly increasing _interest_ in studies?  It
is able to surmount great difficulties.

We wish to assure our stalwart friends that we still adhere to the good
old doctrine that "there is no royal road to learning."  There is no
way of putting aside the real difficulties that are found in every
study, no way of grading up the valleys and tunneling through the hills
so as to get the even monotony of a railroad track through the rough or
mountainous part of education.  Every child must meet and master the
difficulties of learning for himself.  There are no palace cars with
reclining chairs to carry him to the summit of real difficulties.  The
_character-developing power_ that lies in the mastery of hard tasks
constitutes one of their chief merits.  Accepting this as a fundamental
truth in education, the problem for our solution is, how to stimulate
children to encounter difficulties.  Many children have little
inclination to sacrifice their ease to the cause of learning, and our
dull methods of teaching confirm them in their indifference to
educational incentives.  Any child, who, like Hugh Miller or Abraham
Lincoln, already possesses an insatiable thirst for knowledge, will
allow no difficulties or hardships to stand in the way of progress.
This original appetite and thirst for knowledge which the select few
have often manifested in childhood is more valuable than anything the
schools can give.  With the majority of children we can certainly do
nothing better than to nurture such a taste for knowledge into vigorous
life.  It will not do to assume that the average of children have any
such original energy or momentum to lead them to scale the heights of
even ordinary knowledge.  Nor will it do to rely too much upon a
_forcing process_, that is, by means of threats, severity, and
discipline, to carry children against their will toward the educational

  "Be not like dumb driven cattle,
  Be a hero in the strife"

is sound educational doctrine.

The thing for teachers to do is to cultivate in children all healthy
appetites for knowledge, to set up interesting aims and desires at
every step, to lead the approach to different fields of knowledge in
the spirit of conquest.

In the business world and in professional life men and women work with
abundant energy and will because they have desirable ends in view.  The
hireling knows no such generous stimulus.  Business life is full of
irksome and difficult tasks but the aim in view carries people through
them.  We shall not eliminate the disagreeable and irksome from school
tasks, but try to create in children such a spirit and ambition as will
lead to greater exertions.  To implant vigorous aims and incentives in
children is the great privilege of the teacher.  We shall some day
learn that when a boy cracks a nut he does so because there may be a
kernel in it, not because the shell is hard.

In concluding the discussion of relative values we will summarize the

_History_, in the liberal sense, surveys the field of human life in its
typical forms and furnishes the best illustrative moral materials.
_Nature study_ opens the door to the real world in all its beauty,
variety, and law.  The _formal studies_ constitute an indispensable
part of useful and disciplinary knowledge, but they should occupy a
secondary place in courses of study because they deal with the _form_
rather than with the _content_ of the sciences.  It is a fundamental
error to place formal studies in the center of the school course and to
subordinate everything to their mastery.  History and natural science,
on the contrary, having the richest knowledge content, constitute a
natural center for all educative efforts.  They make possible a strong
development of will-energy because their interesting materials furnish
strong and legitimate incentives to mental activity and an enlarged
field and opportunity to voluntary effort in pursuit of clear and
attractive aims.



By interest we mean the natural bent or inclination of the mind to find
satisfaction in a subject when it is properly presented.  It is the
natural attractiveness of the subject that draws and holds the
attention.  Interest belongs to the feelings but differs from the other
feelings, such as desire or longing for an object, since it is
satisfied with the simple contemplation without asking for possession.
The degree of interest with which different kinds of knowledge are
received, varies greatly.  Indeed, it is possible to acquire knowledge
in such a manner as to produce dislike and disgust.  A proper interest
in a subject leads to a quiet, steady absorption of the mind with it,
but does not imply an impetuous, passionate, and one-sided devotion to
one thing.  Interest keeps the mind active and alert without undue
excitement or partiality.

It would be well if every study and every lesson could be sustained by
such an interest as this.  It would be in many cases like lubricating
oil poured upon dry and creaking axles.  Knowledge might then have a
flavor to it and would be more than a consumption of certain facts and
formulas coldly turned over to the memory machine.  The child's own
personality must become entangled in the facts and ideas acquired.
There should be a sort of affinity established between the child's soul
and the information he gains.  At every step the sympathy and life
experiences from without the school should be intertwined with school
acquisitions.  All would be woven together and permeated by _feeling_.
We forget that the feelings or sensibilities awakened by knowledge are
what give it personal significance to us.

The interest we have in mind is _intrinsic_, native to the subject, and
springs up naturally when the mind is brought face to face with
something attractive.  The things of sense in nature and the people
whom we see and read about, have a perennial and inexhaustible
attraction for us all.  It is among these objects that poets and
artists find their materials and their inspiration.  For the same
reason the pictures drawn by the artist or poet have a charm which does
not pass away.  They select something concrete and individual; they
clothe it with beauty and attractiveness; they give it some inherent
quality that appeals to our admiration and love.  It must call forth
some esthetic or moral judgment by virtue of its natural quality.  Like
luscious grapes the objects presented to the thought of the children
should have an unquestionable quality that is desirable.

We just spoke of interest, not as fluctuating and variable, but steady
and persistent.  It contains also the elements of ease, pleasure, and
needed employment; that is, in learning something that has a proper
interest, there is greater ease and pleasure in the acquisition, and
occupation with the object satisfies an inner need.  "When interest has
been fully developed, it must always combine pleasure, facility, and
the satisfaction of a need.  We see again that in all exertions, power
and pleasure are secured to interest.  It does not feel the burden of
difficulties but often seems to sport with them."--_Ziller_.

A natural interest is also awakened by what is strange, mysterious, and
even frightful, but these kinds of interest concern us from a
speculative rather than a pedagogical point of view.  We are seeking
for those interests which contribute to a normal and permanent mental

_Severe effort and exertion_ are a necessary part of instruction, but a
proper interest in the subject will lead children to exert themselves
with greater energy even when encountering disagreeable tasks.  There
are places in every subject when work is felt as a burden rather than
as a pleasure, but the interest and energy aroused in the more
attractive parts will carry a child through the swamps and mires at a
speedier rate.  It is not at all desirable to conceal difficulties
under the guise of amusement.  But by means of a natural interest it is
possible to bring the mind into the most favorable state for action.
In opposition to a lively and humane treatment of subjects, a dry and
dull routine has often been praised as the proper discipline of the
mind and will.  "It was a mistake," says Ziller, "to find in the simple
pressure of difficulties a source of culture, for it is the opposite of
culture.  It was a mistake to call the pressure of effort, the feeling
of burden and pain, a source of proper training, simply because will
power and firmness of character are thus secured and preserved to
youth.  Pedagogical efforts looking towards a lightening and enlivening
of instruction should not have been answered by an appeal to severe
methods, to strict, dry, and dull learning, that made no attempt to
adapt itself to the natural movement of the child's mind."  (Ziller,
Lehre vom E. U., p. 355.)  Not those studies which are driest, dullest,
and most disagreeable should be selected upon which to awaken the
mental forces of a child, but those which naturally arouse his interest
and prompt him to a lively exercise of his powers.  For children of the
third and fourth grade to narrate the story of the Golden Fleece is a
more suitable exercise than to memorize the CXIXth Psalm, or a

A proper interest aims, finally, at the highest form of _quiet,
sustained will exertion_.  The succession of steps leading up to will
energy, is interest, desire, and will.  Before attempting to realize
the higher forms of will effort, we must look to the fountains and
sources out of which it springs.  If a young man has laid up abundant
and interesting stores of knowledge of architecture, he only needs an
opportunity, and there is likely to be great will-energy in the work of
planning and constructing buildings.  But without this interest and
knowledge there will be no effort along this line.  In like manner
children cannot be expected to show their best effort unless the
subject is made strongly interesting from the start, or unless
interest-awakening knowledge has already been stored in the mind.  To
make great demands upon the will power in early school years, is like
asking for ripe fruits before they have had time to mature.  Knowledge,
feelings, and will-incentives of every sort must be first planted in
the mind, before a proper will-energy can be expected.  In teaching, we
should aim to develop will power, not to take it for granted as a ready
product.  As the will should ultimately control all the mental powers,
its proper maturity is a later outcome of education.  Even supposing
that the will has considerable original native power, it is a power
that is likely to lie dormant or be used in some ill-direction, unless
proper incentives are brought to bear upon it.  The will is so
constituted that it is open to appeal, and in all the affairs of school
and life, incentives of all sorts are constantly brought to bear upon
it.  Why not make an effort to bring to bear the incentives that spring
out of interest, that steady force, which is able to give abiding
tendency and direction to the efforts?  Why not cultivate those nobler
incentives that spring out of culture-bringing-knowledge?  There are,
therefore, important preliminaries to full will energy, which are
secured by the cultivation of knowledge, the sensibilities, and desires.

There is a common belief that any subject can be made interesting if
only the teacher knows the secret of the how; if only he has proper
_skill_.  But it is hard even for a skillful workman "to make bricks
without straw," to awaken mental effort where interest in the subject
is entirely lacking.  It is often claimed that if there is dullness and
disgust with a study it is the fault of the teacher.  As Mr. Quick
says, "I would go so far as to lay it down as a rule, that whenever
children are inattentive and apparently take no interest in a lesson,
the teacher should always look first to himself for the reason.  There
are perhaps no circumstances in which a lack of interest does not
originate in the mode of instruction adopted by the teacher."  This
statement assumes that all knowledge is about equally interesting to
pupils, and everything depends upon the _manner_ in which the teacher
deals with it.  But different kinds of knowledge differ widely in their
power to awaken interest in children.  The true idea of interest
demands that the subject matter be _in itself_ interesting, adapted to
appeal to a child, and to secure his participation.  If the interest
awakened by bringing the mind in contact with the subject is not
spontaneous, it is not genuine and helpful in the best sense.  One of
the first and greatest evils of all school courses has been a failure
to select those subjects, which in themselves are adapted to excite the
interest of children at each age of progress.  If we could assume that
lessons had been so arranged, we might then with Mr. Quick justly
demand of a teacher a manner of teaching that must make the subjects
interesting, or in other words a manner of treatment that would be
appropriate to an interesting subject.

There are two kinds of interest that need to be clearly distinguished:
_direct_ interest, which is felt for the thing itself, for its own
sake, and _indirect_ interest which points to something else as the
real source.  A miser loves gold coins for their own sake, but most
people love them only because of the things for which they may be
exchanged.  The poet loves the beauty and fragrance of flowers, the
florist adds to this a mercenary interest.  A snow-shovel may have no
interest for us ordinarily, but just when it is needed, on a winter
morning, it is an object of considerable interest.  It is simply a
means to an end.  The kind of interest which we think is so valuable
for instruction is direct and intrinsic.  The life of Benjamin Franklin
calls out a strong direct interest in the man and his fortunes.  A
humming bird attracts and appeals to us for its own sake.  Indirect
interest, so called, has more of the character of _desire_.  A desire
to restore one's health will produce great interest in a certain health
resort, like the Hot Springs, or in some method of treatment, as the
use of Koch's lymph.  The desire for wealth and business success will
lead a merchant in the fur trade to take interest in seals and
seal-fishing, and in beavers, trapping, etc.  The wish to gain a prize
will cause a child to take deep interest in a lesson.  But in all these
cases desire _precedes_ interest.  Interest, indeed, in the thing
itself for its own sake, is frequently not present.  It is true in many
cases that indirect interest is not interest at all.  It is a dangerous
thing in education to substitute _indirect_ for _direct_ or true
interest.  The former often means the cultivation, primarily, of
certain inordinate desires or feelings, such as rivalry, pride,
jealousy, ambition, reputation, love of self.  By appealing to the
selfish pride of children in getting lessons, hateful moral qualities
are sometimes started into active growth in the very effort to secure
the highest intellectual results and discipline.  Giving a prize for
superiority often produces jealousy, unkindness, and deep-seated
ill-will where the cultivation of a proper natural interest would lead
to more kindly and sympathetic relations between the children.  The
cultivation of direct interest in all valuable kinds of knowledge, on
the other hand, leads also to the cultivation of desires, but the
desires thus generated are pure and generous, the desire for further
knowledge of botany or history, the desire to imitate what is admirable
in human actions and to shun what is mean.  The desires which spring
out of direct interest are elevating, while the desires which are
associated with indirect interest are in many cases egotistic and

We often say that it is necessary to make a subject interesting so that
it may be more _palatable_, more easily learned.  This is the commonly
accepted idea.  It is a means of helping us to swallow a distasteful
medicine.  If the main purpose were to get knowledge into the mind, and
interest only a means to this end, the cultivation of such indirect
interests would be all right.  But interest is one of the qualities
which we wish to see permanently associated with knowledge even after
it is safely stored in the mind.  If interest is there, future energy
and activity will spring spontaneously out of the acquirements.
Indirect interest indeed is often necessary and may be a sign of tact
in teaching.  But it is negative and weak in after results.  So far as
it produces motives at all they may be dangerous.  It cannot build up
and strengthen character but threatens to undermine it by cultivating
wrong motives.  There is no assurance that knowledge thus acquired can
affect the will and bear fruit in action, even though it be the right
kind of knowledge, because it is not the knowledge in this case that
furnishes the incentives.  The interest that is awakened in a subject
because of its innate attractiveness, leaves incentives which may ripen
sooner or later into action.  The higher kind of interest is direct,
intrinsic, not simply receptive, but active and progressive.  In the
knowledge acquired it finds only incentives to further acquisition.  It
is life giving and is prompted by the objects themselves, just as the
interest of boys is awakened by deeds of adventure and daring or by a
journey into the woods.  The interest in an object that springs from
some other source than the thing itself, is indirect, as the desire to
master a lesson so as to excel others, or gain a prize, or make a money
profit out of it.  In speaking of interest in school studies, teachers
quite commonly have only the indirect in mind; _i.e._, the kind that
leads children to take hold of and master their lessons more readily.
Interest is thus chiefly a means of overcoming distasteful tasks.  It
is the merit of a direct or genuine interest that it aids in mastering
difficulties and in addition to this gives a permanent pleasure in
studies.  One of the high aims of instruction is to implant a strong
permanent interest in studies that will last through school days and
after they are over.

A live interest springs most easily out of _knowledge subjects_ like
history and natural science.  Formal studies like grammar and
arithmetic awaken it less easily.  Herbart has classified the chief
kinds and sources of interest as follows: Interest in nature apart from
man, and interest in man, society, etc.  In _nature_ and natural
objects as illustrated in the natural sciences there are three chief
kinds of interest.  _Empirical_, which is stirred by the variety and
novelty of things seen.  There is an attractiveness in the many faces
and moods of nature.  Between the years of childhood and old age there
is scarcely a person who does not enjoy a walk or a ride in the open
air, where the variety of plant, bird, animal, and landscape makes a
pleasing panorama.  _Speculative_ interest goes deeper and inquires
into the relations and causal connections of phenomena.  It traces out
similarities and sequences, and detects law and unity in nature.  It is
not satisfied with the simple play of variety, but seeks for the cause
and genesis of things.  Even a child is anxious to know how a squirrel
climbs a tree or cracks a nut; where it stores its winter food, its
nest and manner of life in winter.  Why is it that a mole can burrow
and live under ground?  How is it possible for a fish to breathe in
water?  _Esthetic_ interest is awakened by what is beautiful, grand,
and harmonious in nature or art.  The first glance at great overhanging
masses of rock, oppresses us with a feeling of awe.  The wings of an
insect, with their delicate tracery and bright hues, are attractive,
and stir us with pleasure.  The graceful ferns beside the brooks and
moss-stained rocks suggest fairy-land.

But stronger even than these interests which attach us to the things of
nature, are the interests of _humanity_.  The concern felt for others
in joy or sorrow is based upon our interest in them individually, and
is _sympathetic_.  In this lies the charm of biography and the novel.
Take away the personal interest we have in Ivanhoe, Quenten Durward,
etc., and Scott's glory would quickly depart.  What empty and
spiritless annals would the life of Frederic the Great and Patrick
Henry furnish!  _Social_ interest is the regard for the good or evil
fortune of societies and nations.  Upon this depends our concern for
the progress of liberty and the struggle for free institutions in
England and other countries.  On a smaller scale clubs, fraternities,
and local societies of all kinds are based on the social interest.
_Religious_ interest finally reveals our consciousness of man's
littleness and weakness, and of God's providence.  As Pestalozzi says,
"God is the nearest resource of humanity."  As individuals or nations
pass away their fate lies in His hand.

The _sources_ of interest therefore are varied and productive.  Any one
of the six is unlimited in extent and variety.  Together they
constitute a boundless field for a proper cultivation of the emotional
as well as intellectual nature of man.  A study of these sources of
genuine interest and a partial view of their breadth and depth, reveals
to teachers what our present school courses tend strongly to make them
forget, namely, that the right kind of knowledge contains in itself the
stimulus and the germs to great mental exertion.  The dull drill upon
grammar, arithmetic, reading, spelling, and writing, which are regarded
as so important as to exclude almost everything else, has convinced
many a child that school is veritably a dull place.  And many a teacher
is just as strongly convinced that keeping school is a dull and sleepy
business.  And yet the sources of interest are abundant to overflowing
for him who has eyes to see.  That these sources and materials of
knowledge, arousing deep and lasting interests, are above other things
adapted to children and to the school room, is a truth worthy of all

Interest is a good test of the _adaptability_ of knowledge.  When any
subject is brought to the attention at the right age and in the proper
manner, it awakens in children a natural and lively feeling.  It is
evident that certain kinds of knowledge are not adapted to a boy at the
age of ten.  He cares nothing about political science, or medicine, or
statesmanship, or the history of literature.  These things may be
profoundly interesting to a person two or three times as old, but not
to him.  Other things, however, the story of Ulysses, travel, animals,
geography, and history, even arithmetic, may be very attractive to a
boy of ten.  It becomes a matter of importance to select those studies
and parts of studies for children at their changing periods of growth,
which are adapted to awaken and stimulate their minds.  We shall be
saved then from doing what the best of educators have so frequently
condemned, namely, when the child asks for bread give him a stone, or
when he asks for fish give him a serpent.

The neglect to take proper cognizance of this principle of _interest_
in laying out courses of study and in the manner of presenting subjects
is certainly one of the gravest charges that ever can be brought
against the schools.  It is a sure sign that teachers do not know what
it means "to put yourself in his place," to sympathize with children
and feel their needs.  The educational reformers who have had deepest
insight into child-life, have given us clear and profound warnings.
Rousseau says: "Study children, for be sure you do not understand them.
Let childhood ripen in children.  The wisest apply themselves to what
it is important to _men_ to know, without considering what _children_
are in a condition to learn.  They are always seeking the man in the
child, without reflecting what he is before he can be a man."  It is
well for us to take these words home and act upon them.

It is worth the trouble to inquire whether it is possible to select
subjects for school study which will prove essentially attractive and
interesting from the age of six on.  _Are_ there materials for school
study which are adapted fully to interest first grade children?  We
know that fairy stories appeal directly to them, and they love to
reproduce them.  Reading and spelling in connection with these tales
are also stirring studies.  Reading a familiar story is certainly a
much more interesting employment than working at the almost meaningless
sentences of a chart or first reader.  Number work when based upon
objects can be made to hold the attention of little ones, at least in
the last half of the first grade.  They love also to see and describe
flowers, rocks, plants, and pictures.  It probably requires more
skillful teaching to awaken and hold the interest in the first grade
than in the second or any higher grade, unless older children have been
dulled by bad instruction.  On what principle is it possible to select
both interesting and valuable materials for the successive grades?  We
will venture to answer this difficult question.

The main interest of children must be attracted by what we may call
_real knowledge_ subjects; that is, those treating of people (history
stories, etc.,) and those treating of plants, animals, and other
natural objects (natural science topics).  Grammar, arithmetic, and
spelling are chiefly form studies and have less native attraction for
children.  Secondly, it may be laid down as a fact of experience that
children will be more touched and stimulated by _particular_ persons
and objects in nature than by any _general_ propositions, or laws, or
classifications.  They prefer seeing a particular palm tree to hearing
a general description of palms.  A narrative of some special deed of
kindness moves them more than a discourse on kindness.  They feel a
natural drawing toward real, definite persons and things, and an
indifference or repulsion toward generalities.  They prefer the story
to the moral.  Children are little materialists.  They dwell in the
sense-world, or in the world of imagination with very clear and
definite pictures.

But while dealing with _things of sense_ and with particulars, it is
necessary in teaching children to keep an eye directed toward general
classes and toward those laws and principles that will be fully
appreciated later.  In geography, arithmetic, language lessons, and
natural science, we must collect more materials in the lower grades;
more simple, concrete illustrations.  They are the basis upon which we
can soon begin to generalize and classify.  The more attractive the
illustrative materials we select, the stronger the appeal to the
child's own liking, the more effective will be the instruction.  A way
has been discovered to make the study of the concrete and individual
lead up with certainty to the grasp of general notions and even of
scientific laws as fast as the children are ready for them.  If the
concrete object or individual is carefully selected it will be a
_type_, that is, it illustrates a whole class of similar objects.  Such
a typical concrete object really combines the particular and the
general.  It has all the advantage of object-teaching, the powerful
attraction of real things, but its comparison with other objects will
also show that it illustrates a general law or principle of
wide-reaching scientific importance.  In both these steps natural
interest is provided for in the best way.  A full and itemized
examination of some attractive object produces as strong an interest as
a child is capable of.  Then to find out that this object is a sort of
key to the right interpretation of other objects, more or less familiar
to him, has all the charm of discovery.  The _sunflower_, for example,
is a large and attractive object for itemized study.  It the
examination leads a step further to a comparison with other composite
flowers, there will be an interesting discovery of kinship with
dandelions, asters, thistles, etc.  This principle of the type, as
illustrating both the particular and general, is true also of
geographical topics that lead a child far from home and call for the
construction of mental pictures.  The study of _Pike's Peak_ and
vicinity is very interesting and instructive for fourth grade children.
The valleys, springs at Manitou, Garden of the Gods, Cheyenne Canon and
Falls, the Cave of the Winds, the ascent of the peak by trail or by
railroad, the views of distant mountains, the summit house on the
barren and rugged top, the snow fields even in summer, the drifting
mists that shut off the view, the stories of hardship and early
history--these things take a firm hold on a child's interest and desire
for knowledge.  When this whole picture is reasonably complete a brief
comparison of Pike's Peak with Mt. Washington, Mt. Marcy, Mt. Shasta,
and Mt. Rainier, will bring forth points of contrast and similarity
that will surprise and instruct a child.  In every branch of study
there are certain underlying principles and forms of thought whose
thorough mastery in the lower grades is necessary to successful
progress.  They are the important and central ideas of the subject.  It
was a marked quality of Pestalozzi to sift out these simple
fundamentals and to master them.  It is for us to make these simple
elements intelligible and interesting by the use of concrete _types_
and illustrations drawn from nature and from human life.  If we speak
of history and nature as the two chief subjects of study, the simple,
fundamental relations of persons to each other in society, and the
simple, typical objects, forces, and laws of nature constitute the
basis of all knowledge.  These elements we desire to master.  But to
make them attractive to children, they should not be presented in bald
and sterile outlines, but in typical forms.  All actions and human
relations must appear in attractive _personification_.

Persons speak and act and virtues shine forth in them.  We do not study
nature's laws at first, but the beautiful, _typical life forms_ in
nature, the lily, the oak, Cinderella, and William Tell.  For children,
then, the underlying ideas and principles of every study, in order to
start the interest, must be revealed in the most beautiful illustrative
forms which can be furnished by nature, poetry, and art.  The story of
William Tell, although it comes all the way from the Alps and from the
distant traditional history of the Swiss, is one of the best things
with which to illustrate and impress manliness and patriotism.  The
fairy stories for still younger children, are the best means for
teaching kindness or unselfishness, because they are so chaste, and
beautiful, and graceful, even to the child's thought.  The most
attractive type-forms and life-personifications of fundamental ideas in
history and nature are the really interesting objects of study for
children.  To put it in a simple, practical form--objects and human
actions, if well selected, are the best means in the world to excite
curiosity and the strong spirit of inquiry.  While dwelling upon this
thought of the attractiveness of type-forms as personified in things or
persons, we catch a glimpse of a far-reaching truth in education.

The idea of _culture epochs_, as typical of the steps of progress in
the race, and also of the periods of growth in the child, offers a deep
perspective into educational problems.  In the progress of mankind from
a primitive state of barbarism to the present state of culture in
Europe and in the United States, there has been a succession of not
very clearly defined stages.  In point of government, for example,
there has been the savage, nomad, patriarch, kingdom, constitutional
monarchy, democracy, republic, federal republic.  There have been great
epochs of political convulsion in the conflicts with external powers
and in civil struggles and revolutions.  In the growth of handicrafts,
arts, manufactures, and inventions, there has been a series of advances
from the time when men first began to cultivate the ground, to reduce
the metals, and to bring the forces of nature into service.  In the
development of human society, therefore, and in the progress of arts
and human knowledge, there are certain typical stages whose proper use
may help us to solve some of the difficult problems in educating the
young.  All nations have passed through some of these important epochs.
The United States, for example, since the first settlements upon the
east coast, have gone rapidly through many of the characteristic epochs
of the world's history, in politics, commerce, and industry; in social
life, education, and religion.

The importance of the culture epochs for schools lies in the theory,
accepted by many great writers, that children in their growth from
infancy to maturity, pass through a series of steps which correspond
broadly to the historical epochs of mankind.  A child's life up to the
age of twenty, is a sort of epitome of the world's history.  Our
present state of culture is a result of growth, and if a child is to
appreciate society as it now is, he must grow into it out of the past,
by having traveled through the same stages it has traced.  But this is
only a very superficial way of viewing the relation between child and
world history.  The periods of child life are so similar to the epochs
of history, that a child finds its _proper mental food_ in the study of
the materials furnished by these epochs.  Let us test this.  A child
eight years old cares nothing about reciprocity or free silver, or
university extension.  Robinson Crusoe, however, who typifies mankind's
early struggle with the forces of nature, claims his undivided
attention.  A boy of ten will take more delight in the story of King
Alfred or William Tell than in twenty Gladstones or Bismarcks.  Not
that Gladstone's work is less important or interesting to the right
person, but the boy does not live and have his being in the Gladstonian
age.  Not all parts of history, indeed, are adapted to please and
instruct some period of youth.  Whole ages have been destitute of such
materials, barren as deserts for educational purposes.  But those
epochs which have been typical of great experiences, landmarks of
progress, have also found poets and historians to describe them.  The
great works of poets and historians contain also the great _object
lessons_ upon which to cultivate the minds of children.  Some of the
leading characters of fiction and history are the best personifications
of the steps of progress in the history of the race; Crusoe, Abraham,
Ulysses, Alfred, Tell, David, Charlemagne, Moses, Columbus, Washington.
These men, cast in a large and heroic mold, represent great human
strivings and are adapted to teach the chief lessons of history, if
properly selected and arranged.  These typical individual characters
illustrate the fundamental ideas that will give insight and
appreciation for later social forms.  They contain, hidden as it were,
the essential part of great historical and social truths of
far-reaching importance.  The culture epochs will be seen later to be
important in solving the problem of the _concentration of instruction_
along certain lines, but in the present discussion their value is
chiefly seen in their adaptability to arouse the interest of children,
by supplying peculiarly congenial materials of instruction in the
changing phases of child progress.

The interest most worth awakening in pupils is not only direct but
_permanent_.  Hawthorne's Golden Touch embodies a simple classic truth
in such transparent form that its reperusal is always a pleasure.  In
the same way, to observe the autumn woods and flowers, the birds and
insects, with sympathy and delight, leaves a lasting pleasure in the
memory.  The best kind of knowledge is that which lays a permanent hold
upon the affections.  The best method of learning is that which opens
up any field of study with a growing interest.  To awaken a child's
permanent interest in any branch of knowledge is to accomplish much for
his character and usefulness.  An enduring interest in American
history, for example, is valuable in the best sense, no matter what the
method of instruction.  Any companion or book that teaches us to
observe the birds with growing interest and pleasure has done what a
teacher could scarcely do better.  This kind of knowledge becomes a
living, generative culture influence.  Knowledge which contains no
springs of interest is like faith divorced from works.  Information and
discipline may be gained in education without any lasting interest, but
the one who uses such knowledge and discipline is only a machine.  A
Cambridge student who had taken the best prizes and scholarships said
at the end of his university career: "I am at a loss to know what to
do.  I have already gained the best distinctions, and I can see but
little to work for in the future."  The child of four years, who opens
his eyes with unfeigned interest and surprised inquiry into the big
world around him, has a better spirit than such a dead product of
university training.  But happily this is not the spirit of our
universities now.  The remarkable and characteristic idea in university
life today is the spirit of investigation and scientific inquiry which
it constantly awakens.  We happen to live in a time when university
teachers are trying to enlarge the bounds of human knowledge in every
direction, to solve problems that have not been solved before.  No
matter what the subject, the real student soon becomes an explorer, an
investigator in fields of absorbing interest.  The common school can
scarcely do better than to receive this generous impulse into its work.
Can our common studies be approached in this inquisitive spirit?  Can
growth in knowledge be made a progressive investigation?  A true
interest takes pleasure in acquired knowledge, and standing upon this
vantage looks with inquiring purpose into new worlds.  Children in our
schools are sometimes made so dyspeptic that no knowledge has any
relish.  But the soul should grow strong, and healthy, and elastic,
upon the food it takes.  If the teaching is such that the appetite
becomes stronger, the mental digestion better, and if the spirit of
interest and inquiry grows into a steady force, the best results may be

The cultivation of a _many-sided interest_ is desirable in order to
_avoid_ narrowness, and to open up the various sources of mental
activity, _i.e._, to stimulate mental vigor along many lines.  We
believe that most children are capable of taking interest in many kinds
of study.  The preference which some children show for certain branches
and the dislike for others may be due to peculiar early surroundings,
and is often the result of good or poor teaching as much as to natural
gifts.  As every child has sympathies for companions and people, so
every child may take a real interest in story, biography, and history,
if these subjects are rightly approached.  So also the indifference to
plant and animal life shown by many persons is due to lack of culture
and suitable suggestion at the impressionable age.  Unquestionably the
lives of most people run in too narrow a channel.  They fail to
appreciate and enjoy many of the common things about them, to which
their eyes have not been properly opened.  The particular trade or
business so engrosses most people's time that their sympathies are
narrowed and their appreciation of the duties and responsibilities of
life is stunted.  The common school, more than all other institutions,
should lay broad foundations and awaken many-sided sympathies.  The
trade school and the university can afford to specialize, to prepare
for a vocation.  The common school, on the contrary, is preparing all
children for general citizenship.  The narrowing idea of a trade or
calling should be kept away from the public school, and as far as
possible varied interests in knowledge should be awakened in every

But this variety of interests may lead to scattering and _superficial
knowledge_.  And in its results many-sided interest would seem to point
naturally to many-sided activity; that is, to multiplicity of
employments, to that character which in Yankee phrase is designated as
"Jack of all trades and master of none."  If instead of being allowed
to spread out so much, the educational stream is confined between
narrow banks, it will show a deep and full current.  If allowed to
spread over the marshes and plains, it becomes sluggish and brackish.
Our course of study for the common schools in recent years, has been
largely added to and has been extended over the whole field of
knowledge.  History, geography, natural science lessons and drawing
have been added to the old reading, writing, arithmetic, and grammar.
There may appear to be more variety, but less strength.  When in
addition to this greater variety of studies, enthusiastic teachers
desire to increase the _quantity_ of knowledge in each branch and to
present as many interesting facts as possible, at every point, we have
the _over-loading_ of the school course.  This effect will be noticed
in a later chapter in its bearing upon concentration.  Children have
too much to learn.  They become pack-horses, instead of free spirits
walking in the fields of knowledge.  _Mental vigor_, after all, is
worth more than a mind grown corpulent and lazy with an excess of
pabulum, overfed.  The cultivation therefore of a many-sided interest
ceases to be a blessing as soon as encyclopedic knowledge becomes its
aim.  In fact the desire on the part of teachers to make the knowledge
of any subject complete and encyclopedic destroys all true interest.
The solution of this great problem does not consist in identifying
many-sided interest with encyclopedic knowledge, but in such a detailed
study of _typical_ forms in each case as will give insight into that
branch without any pretension to exhaustive knowledge.  Certainly a
true interest in plants does not require that we become acquainted with
all the species of all the genera.  But a proper study of a few typical
forms in a few of the families and genera might produce a much deeper
interest in nature and in her laws.

The culture of a many-sided interest is essential to a full development
and _perfection_ of the mental activities.  It is easy to see that
interest in any subject gives all thought upon it a greater vigor and
intensify.  Mental action in all directions is strengthened and
vivified by a direct interest.  On the other hand mental life
diminishes with the loss of interest, and even in fields of knowledge
in which a man has displayed unusual mastery, a loss of interest is
followed by a loss of energy.  Excluding interest is like cutting off
the circulation from a limb.  Perfect vigor of thought which we aim at
in education, is marked by strength along three lines, the vigor of the
individual ideas, the extent and variety of ideas under control, and
the connection and harmony of ideas.  It is the highest general aim of
intellectual education to strengthen mental vigor in these three
directions.  Many-sided interest is conducive to all three.  Every
thought that finds lodgment in the mind is toned up and strengthened by
interest.  It is also easier to retain and reproduce some idea that has
once been grasped with full feeling of interest.  An interest that has
been developed along all leading lines of study has a proper breadth
and comprehensiveness and cannot be hampered and clogged by narrow
restraints and prejudice.  We admire a person not simply because he has
a few clear ideas, but also for the extent and variety of this sort of
information.  Our admiration ceases when he shows ignorance or
prejudice or lack of sympathy with important branches of study.
Finally, the unity and harmony of the varied kinds of knowledge are a
great source of interest.  The tracing of connections between different
studies and the insight that comes from proper associations, are among
the highest delights of learning.  The connection and harmony of ideas
will be discussed under concentration.

The six interests above mentioned are to be developed along parallel
lines.  They are to be kept in proper _equipoise_.  It is not designed
that anyone shall be developed to the overshadowing of the others.
They are like six pillars upon which the structure of a liberal
education is rested.  A cultivation of any one, exclusively, may be in
place when the work of general education is complete and a profession
or life labor has been chosen.

It is also true that a proper interest is a _protection_ against the
desires, disorderly impulses, and passions.  One of the chief ends of
education is to bring the inclinations and importunate desires under
mastery, to establish a counterpoise to them by the steady and
persistent forces of education.  A many-sided interest cultivated along
the chief paths of knowledge, implies such mental vigor and such
preoccupation with worthy subjects as naturally to discourage unworthy

Locke says, self-restraint, the mastery over one's inclinations, is the
foundation of virtue.  "He that has found a way how to keep a child's
spirit easy, active, and free, and yet at the same time to restrain him
from many things he has a mind to, and to draw him to things that are
uneasy to him; he, I say, that knows how to reconcile these seeming
contradictions, has, in my opinion, got the true secret of education."
But it is a secret still; the central question remains unanswered.  How
is the teacher to approach and influence the will of the child?  Is it
by supposing that the child has a will already developed and strong
enough to be relied upon on all occasions?  On the contrary, must not
the teacher put incentives in the path of the pupil, ideas and feelings
that prompt him to self-denial?

Interest as a source of _will-stimulus_ has peculiar advantages.  It is
not desired that the inclinations and feelings shall get the mastery of
the mind, certainly not the disorderly and momentary desires.  Higher
desires, indeed, should properly influence the will, as the desire of
the approval of conscience, the desire to attain excellence, to gain
strength and mastery, to serve others, etc.  But the importance of
awakening interest as a basis of will cultivation is found in the
favorable mental state induced by interest as a preliminary to will
action along the best lines.  Interest is not an impetuous force like
the desires, prompting to instant action, but a quiet, permanent
undertone, which brings everything into readiness for action, clears
the deck, and begins the attack.  It would be a vast help to many boys
and girls if the irksomeness of study in arithmetic or grammar, which
is so fatal to will energy, could give way to the spur of interest, and
when the wheels are once set in motion, progress would not only begin
but be sustained by interest.

It is pretty generally agreed to by thoughtful educators, that in
giving a child the broad foundations of education, we should aim not so
much at knowledge as at capacity and _appreciation_ for it.  A
universal receptivity, such as Rousseau requires of Emile, is a
desideratum.  Scarcely a better dowry can be bestowed upon a child by
education, than a desire for knowledge and an intelligent interest in
all important branches of study.  Herbart's many-sided interest is to
strengthen and branch out from year to year during school life, and
become a permanent tendency or force in later years.  No school can
give even an approach to full and encyclopedic knowledge, but no school
is so humble that it may not throw open the doors and present many a
pleasing prospect into the fields of learning.

With Herbart, therefore, a many-sided, harmonious interest promotes
_will-energy_ through all the efforts of learning from childhood up,
and when the work of general education has been completed, the youth is
ready to launch out into the world with a strong, healthy appetite for
information in many directions.  The best fruitage of such a course
will follow in the years that succeed school life.  Interest is a very
practical thing.  It is that which gives force and momentum to ideas.
It is not knowledge itself, but, like the invisible principle of life,
it converts dead matter into living energy.  In our schools thus far we
have had too much faith in the mechanics of education.  Too much virtue
has been imputed to facts, to knowledge, to sharp tools.  We have now
to learn that _incentive_ is a more important thing in education; that
is, a direct, permanent, many-sided interest.



By concentration is meant such a connection between the parts of each
study and such a spinning of relations and connecting links between
different sciences that unity may spring out of the variety of
knowledge.  History, for example, is a series and collocation of facts
explainable on the basis of cause and effect, a development.  On the
other hand, history is intimately related to geography, language,
natural science, literature, and mathematics.  It would be impossible
to draw real history out by the roots without drawing all other studies
out bodily with it.  Is there then any reason why school history should
ignore its blood relationships to other branches of knowledge?

Concentration is so bound up with the idea of _character-forming_ that
it includes more than school studies.  It lays hold of _home
influences_ and all the experiences of life outside of school and
brings them into the daily service of school studies.  It is just as
important to bind up home experience with arithmetic, language, and
other studies as it is to see the connection between geography and
history.  In the end, all the knowledge and experience gained by a
person at home, at school, and elsewhere should be classified and
related, each part brought into its right associations with other parts.

Nor is it simply a question of throwing the varied sorts of _knowledge_
into a net-work of crossing and interwoven series so that the person
may have ready access along various lines to all his knowledge stores.
Concentration draws the _feelings_ and the _will_ equally into its
circle of operations.  To imagine a character without feeling and will
would be like thinking a watch without a mainspring.  All knowledge
properly taught generates feeling.  The will is steadily laying out,
during the formative period of education, the highways of its future
ambitions and activities.  Habits of willing are formed along the lines
of associated thought and feeling.  The more feeling and will are
enlisted through all the avenues of study and experience, the more
permanent will be their influence upon character.

In attempting to solve the problem of concentration the question has
been raised whether a _single study_, the most important, of course,
should constitute a concentrating nucleus, like the hub in a wheel, or
whether _all studies_ and _experience_ are to be brought into an
organic whole of related parts.  It is evident that history and natural
science at least hold a leading place among studies and determine to
some extent the selection of materials in reading and language lessons.

The _center_ for concentrating efforts in education is not so much the
knowledge given in any school course as the _child's mind_ itself.  We
do not desire to find in the school studies a new center for a child's
life so much as the means for fortifying that original stronghold of
character which rests upon native mental characteristics and early home
influences.  We have in mind not the objective unity of different
studies considered as complete and related sciences, nor any general
model to which each mind is to be conformed, but the practical union of
all the experiences and knowledge that find entrance into a particular

The _unity of the personality_ as gradually developed in a child by
wise education is essential to strength of character.  Ackerman says on
this point, ("Ueber Concentration," p. 20.) "In behalf of character
development, which is the ultimate aim of all educative effort,
pedagogy requires of instruction that it aid in forming the _unity of
the personality_, the most primitive basis of character.  In requiring
that the unity of the personality be formed it is presupposed that this
unity is not some original quality, but something to be first
developed.  It remains for psychology to prove this and to indicate in
what manner the unity of the personality originates.  Now, psychology
teaches that the personality, the ego, is not something original, but
something that must be first developed and is also changeable and
variable.  The ego is nothing else than a psychological phenomenon,
namely, the consciousness of an interchange between the parts of an
extensive complex of ideas, or the reference of all our ideas and of
the other psychical states springing out of them to each other.
Experience teaches this.  In infancy the ego, the personality, is
consciously realized in one person sooner, in another later.  In the
different ages of life, also, the personality possesses a different
content.  The deeper cause for the mutual reference of all our manifold
ideas to each other and for their union in a single point, as it were,
may be found in the _simplicity of the soul_, which constrains into
unity all things that are not dissociated by hindrance or
contradiction.  The soul, therefore, in the face of the varied
influences produced by contact with nature and society, is active in
concentrating its ideas, so that with mental soundness as a basis, the
ego, once formed, in spite of all the transitions through which it may
pass, still remains the same."

There is then a natural _tendency_ of the mind _to unify_ all its
ideas, feelings, incentives.  On the other hand the knowledge and
experiences of life are so varied and seemingly contradictory that a
young person, if left to himself or if subjected to a wrong schooling,
will seldom work his way to harmony and unity.  In spite of the fact
that the soul is a simple unit and tends naturally to unify all its
contents, the common experience of life discovers in it unconnected and
even antagonistic thought and knowledge-centers.  People are sometimes
painfully surprised to see how the same mind may be lifted by exalted
sentiments and depressed by the opposite.  The frequent examples that
come to notice of men of superiority and virtue along certain lines,
who give way to weakness and wrong in other directions, are sufficient
evidence that good and evil may be systematically cultivated in the
same character, and that instead of unity and harmony education may
collect in the soul heterogeneous and warring elements which make it a
battle ground for life.  All such disharmony and contradiction lend
inconsistency and weakness to character.  Not only can incompatible
lines of thought and of moral action become established in the same
person, but even those studies which could be properly harmonized and
unified by education may lie in the mind so disjointed and unrelated as
to render the person awkward and helpless in spite of much knowledge.
In unifying the various parts of school education, and in bringing them
into close connection with children's other experiences, the school
life fulfills one of its chief duties.

Among other things tending toward consistency of character there must
be _harmony between the school and home_ life of a child.  At home or
among companions, perhaps unknown to the teacher, a boy or girl may be
forming an habitual tendency and desire, more powerful than any other
force in his life, and yet at variance with the best influence of the
school.  If possible the teacher should draw the home and school into a
closer bond so as to get a better grasp of the situation and of its
remedy.  The school will fail to leave an effective impress upon such a
child unless it can get a closer hold upon the sympathies and thus
neutralize an evil tendency.  It must league itself with better home
influences so as to implant its own impulses in home life.  How to
unify home and school influences is one of those true and abiding
problems of education that appeals strongly and sympathetically to
parents and teachers.

Concentration evidently involves a solution of the question as to the
relative value of studies.  All the light that the discussion of
_relative values_ can furnish will be needed in selecting the different
lines of appropriate study and in properly adjusting them to one
another.  The theory of _interest_ will also aid us in this field of

Accepting therefore the results of the two preceding chapters, that
history (in the broad sense) is the study which best cultivates moral
dispositions; secondly, that natural science furnishes the
indispensable insight into the external world, man's physical
environment; and, thirdly, that language, mathematics, and drawing are
but the formal side and expression of the two realms of real knowledge,
we have the _broad outlines_ of any true course of education.  In more
definitely laying out the parts of this course the natural interests
and capacities of children in their successive periods of growth must
be taken into the reckoning.  When a course of study has been laid out
on this basis, bringing the three great threads or cables of human
knowledge into proper juxtaposition at the various points, we shall be
ready to speak of the manner of really executing the plan of

Even after the general plan is complete and the studies arranged, the
real work of concentration consists in _fixing the relations_ as the
facts are learned.  Concentration takes for granted that the facts of
knowledge will be acquired.  It is but half the problem to learn the
facts.  The other half consists in understanding the facts by fixing
the relations.  Most teachers will admit that each lesson should be a
collection of connected facts and that every science should consist of
a series of derivative and mutually dependent lessons.  And yet the
study and mastery of arithmetic as a connection of closely related
principles is not generally appreciated.  With proper reflection it is
not difficult to see that the facts of a single study like grammar or
botany should stand in close serial or causal relation.  If they are
seen and fixed with a clear insight into these connections, by touching
the chain of associations at any point one may easily bring the whole
matter to remembrance.

Concentration, however, is chiefly concerned with the _relation of
different studies_ to each other.  In this larger sense of an intimate
binding together of all studies and experience into a close network of
interwoven parts, concentration is now generally ignored by the
schools.  In fact it would almost seem as if the purpose of teachers
were to make a clear separation of the different studies from one
another and to seal up each one in a separate bottle, as it were.  The
_problem_ appears in two phases: 1. Taking the school studies as they
now are, is it desirable to pay more attention to the natural
connections between such studies as reading, geography, history, and
language, to open up frequent communicating avenues between the various
branches of educational work?  2. Or if concentration is regarded as
still more important, shall the subject matter of school studies be
rearranged and the lessons in different branches so adjusted to each
other that the number of close relations between them may be greatly
increased?  Then with the intentional increase of such connecting links
would follow a more particular care in fixing them.  We have assumed
the latter position, and claim that the whole construction of the
school course and the whole method of teaching should contribute
powerfully to the _unification_ of all the knowledge and experience in
each child's mind.

Without laying any undue stress upon simple knowledge, we believe that
a small amount of well articulated knowledge is more valuable than a
large amount of loose and fragmentary information.  A small,
disciplined police force is able to cope with a large, unorganized mob.
"The very important principle here involved is that the value of
knowledge depends not only upon the _distinctness_ and _accuracy_ of
the ideas, but also upon the _closeness and extent of the relations_
into which they enter.  This is a fundamental principle of education.
It was Herbart who said, 'Only those thoughts come easily and
frequently to the mind which have at some time made a strong impression
and which possess numerous connections with other thoughts.'  And
psychology teaches that those ideas which take an isolated station in
the mind are usually weak in the impression they make, and are easily
forgotten.  A fact, however important in itself, if learned without
reference to other facts, is quite likely to fade quickly from the
memory.  It is for this reason that the witticisms, sayings, and
scattered pieces of information, which we pick up here and there, are
so soon forgotten.  There is no way of bringing about their frequent
reproduction when they are so disconnected, for the reproduction of
ideas is largely governed by the law of association.  One idea reminds
us of another closely related to it; this of another, etc., till a long
series is produced.  They are bound together like the links of a chain,
and one draws another along with it just as one link of a chain drags
another after it.  A mental image that is not one of such a series
cannot hope to come often to consciousness; it must as a rule sink into
oblivion, because the usual means of calling it forth are wanting."
(F. McMurry, "Relation of natural science to other studies.")

We are not conscious of the constant dependence of our thinking and
conversation upon the _law of association_.  It may be frequently
observed in the familiar conversation of several persons in a company.
The simple mention of a topic will often suggest half a dozen things
that different ones are prompted to say about it, and may even give
direction to the conversation for a whole evening.  Now if it is true
that ideas are more easily remembered and used if associated, let us
_increase the associations_.  Why not bind all the studies and ideas of
a child as closely together as possible by natural lines of
association?  Why not select for reading lessons those materials which
will throw added light upon contemporaneous lessons in history, botany,
and geography?  Then if the reading lesson presents in detail the
battle of _King's Mountain_, take the pains  to refer to this part of
the history and put this lesson into connection with historical facts
elsewhere learned.  If a reading lesson gives a full description of the
_palm tree_, its growth and use, what better setting could this
knowledge find than in the geography of Northern Africa and the West

The numerous associations into which ideas enter, without producing
confusion make them more _serviceable_ for every kind of use.  "It is
only by associating thoughts closely that a person comes to possess
them securely and have command over them.  One's reproduction of ideas
is then rapid enough to enable him to comprehend a situation quickly,
and form a judgment with some safety, his knowledge is all present and
ready for use; while on the other hand, one whose related thoughts have
never been firmly welded together reproduces slowly, and in consequence
is wavering and undecided.  His knowledge is not at his command and he
is therefore weak."  (F. McMurry.)  The greater then the number of
clear mental relations of a fact to other facts in the same and in
other studies the more likely it is to render instant _obedience_ to
the will when it is needed.  Such ready mastery of one's past
experiences and accumulations promotes confidence and power in action.
Concentration is manifestly designed to give strength and decision to
character.  But a careless education by neglecting this principle, by
scattering the mind's forces over broad fields and by neglecting the
connecting roads and paths that should bind together the separate
fields, can actually undermine force and decision of character.

In later years when we consider the _results of school methods_ upon
our own character we can see the weakness of a system of education
which lacks concentration, a weakness which shows itself in a lack of
_retentiveness_ and of ability to use acquired knowledge.  We are only
too frequently reminded of the loose and scrappy state of our acquired
knowledge by the ease with which it eludes the memory when it is
needed.  To escape from this disagreeable consciousness in after years,
we begin to spy out a few of the mountain peaks of memory which still
give evidence of submerged continents.  Around these islands we begin
to collect the wreckage of the past and the accretions of later study
and experience.  A thoughtful person naturally falls into the habit of
collecting ideas around a few centers, and of holding them in place by
links of association.  In American history, for instance, it is
inevitable that our knowledge becomes congested in certain important
epochs, or around the character and life of a few typical persons.  The
same seems to be true also of other studies, as geography and even
geometry.  The failure to acquire proper _habits of thinking_ is also
exposed by the experience of practical life.  In life we are compelled
to see and respect the causal relations between events.  We must
calculate the influences of the stubborn forces and facts around us.
But in school we often have so many things to learn that we have no
time to think.  At least half the meaning of things lies not in
themselves, but in their relations and effects.  Therefore, to get
ideas without getting their significant relations, is to encumber the
mind with ill-digested material.  A sensible man of the world has
little respect for this kind of learning.

One reason why knowledge is so poorly understood and remembered is
because its _real application_ to other branches of knowledge, whether
near or remote, is so little observed and fixed.  Looking back upon our
school studies we often wonder what botany, geometry, and drawing have
to do with each other and with our present needs.  Each subject was so
compactly stowed away on a shelf by itself that it is always thought of
in that isolation,--like Hammerfest or the Falkland Islands in
geography,--out of the way places.  Are the various sciences so
distinct and so widely separated in nature and in real life as they are
in school?  An observant boy in the woods will notice important
relations between animals and plants, between plants, soil, and seasons
that are not referred to in the text-books.  In a carpenter shop he
will observe relations of different kinds of wood, metals, and tools to
each other that will surprise and instruct him.  In the real life of
the country or town the objects and materials of knowledge,
representing the sciences of nature and the arts of life, are closely
jumbled together and intimately dependent upon each other.  The very
closeness of causal and local connections and the lack of orderly
arrangement shown by things in life make it necessary in schools to
classify and arrange into sciences.  But it is a vital mistake to
suppose that the knowledge is complete when classified and learned in
this scientific form.  Classification and books are but a faulty means
of getting a clear insight into nature and human life or society.
Knowledge should not only be mastered in its scientific classifications
but also constantly referred back to things as seen in practical life
and closely traced out and fixed in those connections.  The vital
connections of different studies with each other are best known and
realized by the study of nature and society.

In later life we are convinced at every turn of the need of being able
to recognize and use knowledge _outside of its scientific connections_.
A lawyer finds many subjects closely mingled and causally related in
his daily business which were never mentioned together in textbooks.
The ordinary run of cases will lead him through a kaleidoscope of
natural science, human life, commerce, history, mathematics,
literature, and law, not to speak of less agreeable things.  But the
same is true of a physician, merchant, or farmer, in different ways.
Shall we answer to all this that schools were never designed to teach
such things?  They belong to professions or to the school of life, etc.

But it is not simply in professions and trades that we find this close
mingling and dependence of the most divergent sorts of knowledge, this
unscientific mixing of the sciences.  Everywhere knowledge, however
well classified, is one-sided and misleading, which does not conform to
the conditions of real life.  A wise _mother_ in her household has a
variety of problems to meet.  From cellar to garret, from kitchen to
library, from nursery to drawing-room, her good sense must adapt all
sorts of knowledge to real conditions.  In bringing up her children she
must understand physical and mental orders and disorders.  She must
judge of foods and cooking, of clothing, as to taste, comfort, and
durability; of the exercises and employments of children, etc.  Whether
she is conscious of it or not, she must mingle a knowledge of
chemistry, psychology, physiology, medicine, sanitation, the physics of
light and air, with the traditional household virtues in a sort of
universal solvent from which she can bring forth all good things in
their proper time and place.  As Spencer says, education should be a
preparation for complete living; or, according to the old Latin maxim,
we learn _non scholae sed vitae_.  The final test of a true mastery and
concentration of knowledge in the mind is the ability to use it readily
in the varied and tangled relations of actual experience.

We are accustomed to take refuge behind the so-called "mental
discipline" that results from studies, whether or not anything is
remembered that bears upon the relations of life.  There are doubtless
certain formal habits of mind that result from study even though, like
Latin, it is cast aside as an old garment at the end of school days.
Transferring our argument then to this ground, is there any "habit of
thinking" more valuable than that _bent of mind_ which is not satisfied
with the mere memorizing of a fact but seeks to interpret its value by
judging of its influence upon other facts and their influence upon it?
No subject is understood by itself nor even by its relation to other
facts in the same science, but by its relation to the whole field of
knowledge and experience.  Unless it can be proven that the study of
relations is above the schoolboy capacity, it is doubtful if there is
any mental habit so valuable at the close of school studies as the
disposition to _think_ and _ponder_, to trace relations.  The relations
which are of interest and vital importance are those which in daily
life bind all the realms of science into a network of causally
connected parts.

The multiplication of studies in the common school in recent years will
soon compel us to pay more attention to concentration or the mutual
relation of knowledges.  There is a resistless tendency to convert the
course of studies into an _encyclopedia_ of knowledge.  To perceive
this it is only necessary to note the new studies incorporated into the
public school within a generation.  Drawing, natural science,
gymnastics, and manual training are entirely new, while language
lessons, history, and music have been expanded to include much that is
new for lower grades.  Still other studies are even now seeking
admission, as modern languages, geometry, and sewing.  In spite of all
that has been said by educational reformers against making the
acquisition of knowledge the basis of education, the range and variety
of studies has been greatly extended and chiefly through the influence
of the reformers.  This expansive movement appears in schools of all
grades.  The secondary and fitting schools and the universities have
spread their branches likewise over a much wider area of studies.  We
are in the full sweep of this movement along the whole line and it has
not yet reached its flood.

The _simplicity_ of the old course both in the common school and in
higher institutions is in marked contrast to the present multiplicity.
It was a narrow current in which education used to run, but it was deep
and strong.  In higher institutions the mastery of Latin and of Latin
authors was the _sine qua non_.  In the common school arithmetic was
held in almost equal honor.  Strong characters have often been
developed by a narrow and rigid training along a single line of duty as
is shown in the case of the Jesuits, the Humanists, and the more recent
devotees of natural science.

As contrasted with this, the most striking feature of our public
schools now is their _shallow and superficial_ work.  It is probable
that the teaching in lower grades is better than ever before, but as
the tasks accumulate in the higher grades there is a great amount of
smattering.  The prospect is, however, that this disease will grow
worse before a remedy can be applied.  The first attempt to cultivate
broader and more varied fields of knowledge in the common school must
necessarily exhibit a shallow result.  Teachers are not familiar with
the new subjects, methods are not developed, and the proper adjustments
of the studies to each other are neglected.  No one who is at all
familiar with our present status will claim that drawing, natural
science, geography, and language are yet properly adjusted to each
other.  The task is a difficult one, but it is being grappled with by
many earnest teachers.

It is obvious that the first serious effort to _remedy_ this
shallowness will be made by deepening and intensifying the culture of
the new fields.  The knowledge of each subject must be made as complete
and detailed as possible.  Well-qualified teachers and specialists will
of course accomplish the most.  They will zealously try to teach all
the important things in each branch of study.  But where is the limit?
The capacity of children!  And it will not be long before
philanthropists, physicians, reformers, and all the friends of mankind
will call a decisive halt.  Children were not born simply to be stuffed
with knowledge, like turkeys for a Christmas dinner.

It appears, therefore, that we must steer between Scylla and Charybdis,
or that we are in a first-class educational _dilemma_.  This conviction
is strengthened by the reflection that there is no escape from fairly
facing the situation.  Having once put our hand to the plow we can not
look back.  The common school course has greatly expanded in recent
years and there is no probability that it will ever contract.  It has
expanded in response to proper universal educational demands.  For we
may fairly believe that most of the studies recently incorporated into
the school course are essential elements in the education of every
child that is to grow up and take a due share in our society.  It is
too late to sound the retreat.  The educational reformers have battled
stoutly for three hundred years for just the course of study that we
are now beginning to accept.  The edict can not be revoked, that every
child is entitled to an harmonious and equable development of all its
human powers, or as Herbart calls it, a harmonious culture of
many-sided interests.  The nature of every child imperatively demands
such broad and liberal culture, and the varied duties and
responsibilities of the citizen make it a practical necessity.  No
narrow, one-sided culture will ever equip a child to act a just part in
the complex social, political, and industrial society of our time.  But
the demand for _depth_ of knowledge is just as imperative as that for

It is clear that two serious _dangers_ threaten the quality of our
education: First, loose and shallow knowledge; second, overloading with
encyclopedic knowledge.  What can concentration do to remedy the one
and check the other?  The _cure_ for these two evils will be found in
so adjusting the studies to each other, in so building them into each
other, as to secure a mutual support.  The study of a topic not only as
it is affected by others in the same subject, but also by facts and
principles in other studies, as an antidote against superficial
learning.  In tracing these causal relations, in observing the
resemblances and analogies, the interdependence of studies, as
geography, history, and natural science, a thoughtfulness and clearness
of insight are engendered quite contrary to loose and shallow study.

Secondly, concentration at once discards the idea of encyclopedic
knowledge as an aim of school education.  It puts a higher estimate
upon related ideas and a lower one upon that of complete or
encyclopedic information.  All the cardinal branches of education
indeed shall be taught in the school, but only the _essential_, the
_typical_, will be selected and an exhaustive knowledge of any subject
is out of the question.  Concentration will put a constant check upon
over-accumulation of facts, and will rather seek to strengthen an idea
by association with familiar things than to add a new fact to it.  No
matter how thorough and enthusiastic a specialist one may be, he is
called upon to curtail the quantity of his subject and bring it into
proper dependence upon other studies.

_Historically_ considered the principle of concentration has been
advocated and emphasized by many writers and teachers.  The most
striking and decided attempt to apply it was made by Jacotot in the
first quarter of this century and had great success in France.  Mr.
Joseph Payne, in interpreting Jacotot (Lectures on the Science and Art
of Ed. p. 339), lays down as his main precept, "_Learn something
thoroughly and refer everything else to it._"  He emphasized above
everything else _clearness_ of insight and _connection_ between the
parts of knowledge.  It was principally applied to the study of
languages and called for perfect memorizing by incessant repetition and
rigid questioning by the teacher to insure perfect understanding, in
the first instance, of new facts acquired; and secondly, firm
association with all previous knowledge.  Jacotot and his disciples
reached notable results by an heroic and consistent application of this
principle and some of our present methods in language are based upon
it.  But on the whole the principle was only partially and mechanically
applied.  Its aim was primarily intellectual, even linguistic, not
moral.  There was no philosophical effort made to determine the
relative value of studies and thus find out what study or series of
studies best deserved to take the leading place in the school course.
The importance of _interest_, as a means of rousing mental vigor and as
a criterion for selecting concentrating materials suited to children at
different ages, was overlooked.

A kind of concentration has long been practiced in Germany and to a
considerable extent in our own schools which is known as the
_concentric circles_.

In our schools it is illustrated by the treatment of geography,
grammar, and history.  In beginning the study of geography in the third
or fourth grade it has been customary to outline the whole science in
the first primary book.  The earth as a whole and its daily and yearly
motion, the chief continents and oceans, the general geographical
notions, mountain, lake, river, etc., are briefly treated by definition
and illustration.  Having completed this general framework of
geographical knowledge during the first year, the second year, or at
least the second book, takes up the _same round of topics_ again and
enters into a somewhat fuller treatment of continents, countries,
states, and political divisions.  The last two years of the common
school may be spent upon a large, complete geography; which, with
larger, fuller maps and more names, gives also a more detailed account
of cities, products, climate, political divisions, and commerce.
Finally, physical geography is permitted to spread over much the same
ground from a natural-science standpoint, giving many additional and
interesting facts and laws concerning zones, volcanoes, ocean-beds and
currents, atmospheric phenomena, geologic history, etc.  The same
earth, the same lands and oceans, furnish the outline in each case, and
we travel over the same ground three or four times successively, each
time adding new facts to the original nucleus.  There is an old proverb
that "repetition is the mother of studies," and here we have a
systematic plan for repetition, extending through the school course,
with the advantage of new and interesting facts to add to the grist
each time it is sent through the mill.  It is an attractive plan at
first sight, but if we appeal to experience, are we not reminded rather
that it was dull repetition of names, boundaries, map questions,
location of places, etc., and after all not much detailed knowledge was
gained even in the higher grades?  Again, is it not contrary to reason
to begin with definitions and general notions in the lower grades and
end up with the interesting and concrete in the higher?

In language lessons and grammar it has been customary to learn the
kinds of sentence and the parts of speech in a simple form in the third
and fourth grades and in each succeeding year to review these topics,
gradually enlarging and expanding the definitions, inflections, and
constructions into a fuller etymology and syntax.  In United States
history we are beginning to adopt a similar plan of repetitions, and
the frequent reviews in arithmetic are designed to make good the lack
of thoroughness and mastery which should characterize each successive
grade of work.  The course of religious instruction given in European
schools is based upon the same reiteration year by year of essential
religious ideas.  The whole plan, as illustrated by different studies,
is based upon a successive enlargement of a subject in concentric
circles with the implied constant repetition and strengthening of
leading ideas.  A framework of important notions in each branch is kept
before the mind year after year, repeated, explained, enlarged, with
faith in a constantly increasing depth of meaning.  There is no doubt
that under good teaching the principle of the concentric circles
produces some excellent fruits, a mastery of the subject, and a
concentration of ideas within the limits of a single study.

The disciples of Herbart, while admitting the merits of the concentric
circles, have subjected the plan to a severe _criticism_.  They say it
begins with general and abstract notions and puts off the interesting
details to the later years, while any correct method with children will
take the interesting particulars first, will collect abundant concrete
materials, and by a gradual process of comparison and induction reach
the general principles and concepts at the close.  It inevitably leads
to a dull and mechanical repetition instead of cultivating an
interesting comparison of new and old and a thoughtful retrospect.  It
is a clumsy and distorted application of the principle of apperception,
of going from the known to the unknown.  Instead of marching forward
into new fields of knowledge with a proper basis of supplies in
conquered fields, it gleans again and again in fields already
harvested.  For this reason it destroys a proper interest by hashing up
the same old ideas year after year.  Finally the concentric circles are
not even designed to bring the different school studies into relation
to each other.  At best they contribute to a more thorough mastery of
each study.  They leave the separate branches of the course isolated
and unconnected, an aggregation of unrelated thought complexes.  True
concentration should leave them an organic whole of intimate
knowledge-relations, conducing to strength and unity of character.

There is a growing conviction among teachers that we need a closer
_articulation_ of studies with one another.  The expansion of the
school course over new fields of knowledge and the multiplication of
studies already discussed compels us to seek for a simplification of
the course.  A hundred years ago, yes, even fifty years ago, it was
thought that the extension of our territory and government to the
present limits would be impossible.  It was plainly stated that one
government could never hold together people so widely separated.  Mr.
Fiske says: (The Critical Period of Am. Hist., p. 60) "Even with all
other conditions favorable, it is doubtful if the American Union could
have been preserved to the present time without the railroad.
Railroads and telegraphs have made our vast country, both for political
and for social purposes, more snug and compact than little Switzerland
was in the middle ages or New England a century ago."  The analogy
between the realm of government and of knowledge is not at all complete
but it suggests at least the change which is imperatively called for in
education.  In education as well as in commerce there must be trunk
lines of thought which bring the will as monarch of the mind into close
communication with all the resources of knowledge and experience.
Indeed in the mind of a child or of an adult there is much stronger
necessity for centralization than in the government and commerce of a
country.  The will should be an undisputed monarch of the whole mental
life.  It is the one center where all lines of communication meet.
London is not so perfect a center for the commerce and finance of
England as is the conscious _ego_ (smaller than a needle's point) for
all its forms of experience.

Besides the central trunk lines of knowledge in history and natural
science there are branches of study which are _tributary_ to them,
which serve also as connecting chains between more important subjects.
Reading, for instance, is largely a relative study.  Not only is the
art of reading merely a preparation for a better appreciation of
history, geography, arithmetic, etc., but even the subject-matter of
reading lessons is now made largely tributary to other studies.  The
supplementary readers consist exclusively of interesting matter bearing
upon geography, history, and natural science.  It is a fact that
reading is becoming more and more a relative study, and selections are
regularly made to bear on other school work.  Geography especially
serves to establish a network of connections between other kinds of
knowledge.  It is a very important supplement to history.  In fact
history cannot dispense with its help.  Geography lessons are full of
natural science, as with plants, animals, rocks, climate, inventions,
machines, and races.  Indeed there are few if any school studies which
should not be brought into close and important relations to geography.
Again the more important historical and scientific branches not only
receive valuable aid from the tributary studies but they abundantly
supply such aid in return.  Language lessons should receive all their
subject-matter from history and natural science.  While the language
lessons are working up such rich and interesting materials for purposes
of oral and written language, the more important branches are also
illustrated and enriched by the new historical and scientific subjects
thus incidentally treated.

An examination of these mutual relations and courtesies between studies
may discover to us the fact that we are now unconsciously or
thoughtlessly _duplicating_ the work of education to a surprising
extent.  For example, by isolating language lessons and cutting them
off from communication with history, geography, and natural science, we
make a double or triple series of lessons necessary where a single
series would answer the purpose.  Moreover, by excluding an interesting
subject-matter derived from other studies, the interest and mental life
awakened by language lessons are reduced to a minimum.  Interest is not
only awakened by well selected matter taken from other branches but the
relationships themselves between studies, whether of cause and effect
as between history and geography, or of resemblance as between the
classifications in botany and grammar--the relations themselves are
matters of unusual interest to children.

Many teachers have begun to realize in some degree the value of these
relations, their effect in enlivening studies, and the better
articulation of all kinds of knowledge in the mind.  But as yet all
attempts among us to properly relate studies are but weak and
ineffective approaches toward the solution of the great problem of
concentration.  The links that now bind studies together in our work
are largely accidental and no great stress has been laid upon their
value, but if concentration is grappled with in earnest it involves
_relations at every step_.  Not only are the principal and tributary
branches of knowledge brought into proper conjunction, but there is
constant forethought and afterthought to bring each new topic into the
company of its kindred, near and remote.  The mastery of any topic or
subject is not clear and satisfactory till the grappling hooks that
bind it to the other kinds of knowledge are securely fastened.

Concentration on a large scale and with consistent thoroughness has
been attempted in recent years by the scholars and teachers of the
_Herbart school_.  It is based upon moral character as the highest aim,
and upon a correlation of studies which attributes a high moral value
to historical knowledge and consequently places a series of historical
materials in the center of the school course.  The ability of the
school to affect moral character is not limited to the personal
influence of the teacher and to the discipline and daily conduct of the
children; but instruction itself, by illustrating and implanting moral
ideas, and by closely relating all other kinds of knowledge to the
historical series, can powerfully affect moral tendency and strength.
If historical matter of the most interesting and valuable kind be
selected for the central series, and the natural sciences and formal
studies be closely associated with it, there will be harmony and union
between the culture elements of the school course.


The problem that confronts us at the outset, when preparing a plan of
concentration, is _how to select_ the best historical (moral educative)
materials, which are to serve as the central series of the course.  The
_culture epochs_ (cultur-historische Stufen) are, according to the
Herbartians, the key to the situation.  (This subject was briefly
discussed under _Interest_.)

According to the theory of the _culture epochs_, the child, in its
growth from infancy to maturity, is an epitome of the world's history
and growth in a profoundly significant sense for the purpose of
education.  From the earliest history of society and of arts, from the
first simple family and tribal relations, and from the time of the
primitive industries, there has been a series of upward steps toward
our present state of culture (social, political, and economic life).
Some of the periods of progress have been typical for different nations
or for the whole race; for example, the stone age, the age of
barbarism, the age of primitive industries, the age of nomads, the
heroic age, the age of chivalry, the age of despotism, the age of
conquest, wars of freedom, the age of revolution, the commercial age,
the age of democracy, the age of discovery, etc.  What relation the
leading epochs of progress in the race bear to the steps of change and
growth in children, has become a matter of great interest in education.
The assumption of the _culture epochs_ is that the growth of moral and
secular ideas in the race, represented at its best, is similar to their
growth in children, and that children may find in the representative
historical periods select materials for moral and intellectual nurture
and a natural access to an understanding of our present condition of
society.  The culture epochs are those representative periods in
history which are supposed to embody the elements of culture suited to
train the young upon in their successive periods of growth.  Goethe
says, "Childhood must always begin again at the first and pass through
the epochs of the world's culture."  Herbart says, "The whole of the
past survives in each of us," and again, "The receptivity (of the
child) changes continually with progress in years.  It is the function
of the teacher to see to it that these modifications advance steadily
in agreement with these changes (in the world's history)."  Ziller has
attempted more fully to "justify this culture-historical course of
instruction on the ground of a certain _predisposition_ of the child's
mental growth for this course."  Again, "We are to let children pass
through the culture development of mankind with accelerated speed."
Herbart says, "The treasure of advice and warning, of precept and
principle, of transmitted laws and institutions, which earlier
generations have prepared and handed down to the latter, belongs to the
strongest of psychological forces."  That is, choice historical
illustrations produce a weighty effect upon the minds of children, if
selected from those epochs which correspond to a child's own periods of

The culture epochs imply _an intimate union between history and natural
science_, the two main branches of knowledge, at every step.  The
isolation between these studies, which has often appeared and is still
strong, is unnatural and does violence to the unity of education
historically considered.  Men at all times have had physical nature in
and around them.  Every child is an intimate blending of historical and
physical (natural science) elements.  The culture epochs illustrate a
_constant change and expansion of history and natural science_ together
and in harmony (despite the conflict between them).  As men have
progressed historically and socially from age to age their
interpretation of nature has been modified with growing discovery,
insight, invention, and utilization of her resources.  Children also
pass through a series of metamorphoses which are both physical and
psychological, changing temper and mental tendency as the body
increases in vigor and strength.

The culture epochs, by beginning well back in history, with those early
epochs which correspond to a child's early years and tracing up the
steps of progress in their origin and growth, pave the way for a clear
insight into our present state of culture, which is a complex of
historical and natural science elements.  It is comparatively easy for
us to see that to understand the present political, economic, and
social conditions of the United States we are compelled to go back to
the early settlements with their simple surroundings and slowly trace
up the growth and increasing complexity of government, religion,
commerce, manufactures, and social life.  The theory of the culture
epochs implies that the child began where primitive man began, feels as
he felt, and advances as he advanced, only with more rapid strides;
that as his physique is the hereditary outcome of thousands of years of
history, and his physical growth the epitome of that development, so
his mental progress is related to the mind progress of his ancestry.
They go still further and assume that the subject-matter of the leading
epochs is so well adapted to the changing phases and impulses of child
life that there is a strong predisposition in children in favor of this
course, and that the series of historical object lessons stirs the
strongest intellectual and moral interests into life.

As a _theory_ the culture epochs may seem too loose and unsubstantial
to serve as the basis for such a serious undertaking as the education
of children to moral character.  There is probably no exact agreement
as to what the leading epochs of the world's history are, nor of the
true order of succession even of those epochs which can be clearly
seen.  The value of this theory is rather in its suggestiveness to
teachers in their efforts to select suitable historical materials for
children not in any exact order but approximately.  So far as we are
informed no one has yet tried to prove, in logical form, the necessary
correspondence between the epochs of history and the periods of growth
in children.  It is rather an instinct which has been felt and
expressed by many great writers.  The real test of the value of this
theory is not so much in a positive argument as in a general survey of
the educational materials furnished by the historical epochs, and an
experimental use of them in schools to see whether they are suited to
the periods of child growth.

There are, however, certain _limits_ to the theory of race progress
that need to be drawn at once.  It is easy to perceive that not all
races have left such epochs behind them, because some are still in
barbarism; others have advanced to a considerable height and then
retrograded.  Of those which have advanced with more or less steadiness
for two thousand years, like England, France, and Germany, not every
period of their history contains valuable culture elements.  The great
epochs are not clearly distinguishable in their origin and ending.
Again, only those periods whose deeds, spirit, and tendency have been
well preserved by history or, still better, have found expression in
the work of some great poet or literary artist, can supply for children
the best educative material.

The culture epochs of history can be of no service to us in schools
except as they have been suitably _described_ by able writers.  In
history and literature, as handed down to us by the great literary
artists, many of the culture epochs have been portrayed by a master
hand.  In the Iliad, Homer gives us vivid and delightfully attractive
scenes from life in the heroic age.  The historical parts of the Old
Testament furnish clear and classic expression to great typical
historical scenes as illustrated in the lives of Abraham, Joseph,
Moses, Joshua, David, and Solomon.  The chief poets have expended a
full measure of their art in presenting to posterity attractive events
from striking epochs of the world's history.  Homer, Virgil, Dante,
Tennyson, and Longfellow have left for us such historical paintings as
the Iliad, Odyssey, the Aeneid, the Divine Comedy, Idyls of a King,
Miles Standish, etc.  Some of the best historians also have described
such epochs of history in scarcely less attractive form.  Xenophon's
Anabasis, Livy's Punic Wars, Plutarch's Lives, Caesar's Gallic Wars,
the best biographies of Charlemagne, Columbus, Luther, Cromwell,
Washington, are designed to give us a clear view of some of the great
typical characters and events of history.  Some of the leading
novelists and imaginative writers in prose have performed a like
service.  Hypatia, Ivanhoe, Last Days of Pompeii, Romola, Uarda, and
Robinson Crusoe are examples.  The story of Siegfried, of King Arthur,
of Bayard, of Tell, of Bruce, of Alfred, and the heroic myths of
Greece, all bring out representative figures of the mythical age.

The typical epochs of the world's struggle and progress are reflected,
therefore, in the _literary masterpieces_ of great writers, whether
poets, historians, biographers, or novelists.  The simplest and
choicest of these literary and historical materials, selected,
arranged, and adapted for children, have been regarded by some thinkers
as the strongest and best meat that can be supplied to children during
their periods of growth.  The history of each nation that has had a
progressive civilization contains some such elements and masterpieces.
It would be fortunate for each nation if it could find first in its own
history all such leading epochs and corresponding materials.  Then it
could draw upon the historical and literary resources of other
countries to complete and round out the horizon of thought.

Since the best materials selected from history are calculated to build
a strong foundation of moral ideas and sentiments, this carefully
selected _historical series_ of studies has been chosen as the basis
for a concentration of all the studies of the school course.  Ziller,
as a disciple of Herbart, was the first to lay out a course of study
for the common school with history materials as a central series, based
upon the idea of the culture epochs.  Since religious instruction drawn
from the Old and New Testament has always been an important study in
German schools, he established a double historical series.  The first
was scriptural, representing the chief epochs of Jewish and Christian
history from the time of Abraham to the Reformation; the second was
national German history from the early traditional stories of Thuringia
and the Saxon kings down to the Napoleonic wars and the entry of
Emperor William into Paris in 1871.  It should be remarked that in the
first and second grade religious instruction does not appear in regular
form, but in devotional exercises, Christmas stories, etc.  Fairy
stories and Robinson Crusoe are the chief materials used in the first
and second grades, so that the regular historical series begin in the

The two lines of religious and secular history are designed to
illustrate for each grade corresponding epochs of national history,
both Jewish and German.  The parallel series stand as follows:

  Religious.                           Secular.

  1st Grade.                           Fairytales.

  2nd Grade.                           Robinson Crusoe.

  3d Grade.   The patriarchs,          Stories of Thuringia.
              Abraham, Joseph, Moses.

  4th Grade.  Judges and Kings.        The Nibelungen Song,
              Samuel, Saul, David,     Siegfried.

  5th Grade.  Life of Christ.          Henry I., Charlemagne,
                                       Boniface, Armenius.

  6th Grade.  Life of Christ.          Teutonic migrations,
                                       Crusades, Attila, Barbarossa,

  7th Grade.  Life of Paul.            Discovery of America,
                                       Reformation, Thirty Years'

  8th Grade.  Life of Luther.          Frederick the Great, Wars
                                       against Napoleon,  William I.

The above outline is Ziller's plan, modified by Professor Rein.

In each grade is selected a body of classical or choice historical
materials, representing a great period of German as well as of Jewish
or Christian life, and especially suited to interest and instruct
children, while illustrating moral ideas and deepening moral
convictions.  The body of historical narrative selected for any one
grade is calculated to form a _center_ or nucleus for concentrating all
the studies of that year.  Reading, language, geography, drawing,
music, and arithmetic largely spring out of and depend upon this
historical center, while they are also bound to each other by many
links of connection.  A full course for the eight grades of the common
school, with this double historical series as a nucleus, has been
carefully worked out and applied by Professor Rein and his associates.
It has been applied also with considerable success in a number of
German schools.

This great undertaking has had to run the gauntlet of a severe
_criticism_.  Its fundamental principles, as well as its details of
execution, have been sharply questioned.  But a long-continued effort,
extending through many years, by able and thoroughly-equipped teachers,
to solve one of the greatest problems of education, deserves careful
attention.  The general theory of concentration, the selection and
value of the materials, the previous history of method, and the best
present method of treating each subject, with detailed illustrations,
are all worked out with great care and ability.

The Jewish and German historical materials, which are made the
moral-educative basis of the common school course by the Herbartians,
can be of no service to us except by way of example.  Neither sacred
nor German history can form any important part of an American course of
study.  Religious instruction has been relegated to the church, and
German history touches us indirectly if at all.  The epochs of history
from which American schools must draw are chiefly those of the United
States and Great Britain.  France, Germany, Italy, and Greece may
furnish some collateral matter, as the story of Tell, of Siegfried, of
Alaric, and of Ulysses; but some of the leading epochs must be those of
our own national history.

Has the _English-speaking race_ in North America passed through a
series of historical epochs which, on account of their moral-educative
worth, deserve to stand in the center of a common school course?  Is
this history adapted to cultivate the highest moral and intellectual
qualities of children as they advance from year to year?  There are
few, if any, single nations whose history could furnish a favorable
answer to this question.  The English in America began their career so
late in the world's history and with such advantages of previous
European culture that several of the earlier historical epochs are not
represented in our country.  But perhaps Great Britain and Europe will
furnish the earlier links of a chain whose later links were firmly
welded in America.

The _history of our country_ since the first settlements less than
three hundred years ago is by far the best epitome of the world's
progress in its later phases that the life of any nation presents.  On
reaching the new world the settlers began a hand-to-hand,
tooth-and-nail conflict with hard conditions of climate, soil, and
savage.  The simple basis of physical existence had to be fought for on
the hardest terms.  The fact that everything had to be built up anew
from small beginnings on a virgin soil gave an opportunity to trace the
rise of institutions from their infancy in a Puritan dwelling or in a
town meeting till they spread and consolidated over a continent.  In
this short time the people have grown from little scattered settlements
to a nation, have experienced an undreamed-of material expansion; have
passed through a rapid succession of great political struggles, and
have had an unrivaled evolution of agriculture, commerce, manufactures,
inventions, education, and social life.  All the elements of society,
material, religious, political, and social have started with the day of
small things and have grown up together.

There is little in our history to appeal to children below the fourth
grade, that is, below ten years; but from the beginning of the fourth
grade on, American history is rich in moral-educative materials of the
best quality and suited to children.  We are able to distinguish _four
principal epochs_: 1. The age of pioneers, the ocean navigators, like
Columbus, Drake, and Magellan, and the explorers of the continent like
Smith, Champlain, LaSalle, and Fremont.  2. The period of settlements,
of colonial history, and of French and Indian wars.  3. The Revolution
and life under the Articles of Confederation till the adoption of the
Constitution.  4. Self-government under the Union and the growth and
strengthening of the federal idea.  While drawing largely upon general
history for a full and detailed treatment of a few important topics in
each of these epochs, we should make a still more abundant use of the
_biographical_ and _literary_ materials furnished by each.  The
concentration of school studies, with a historical series suggested by
the culture epochs as a basis, would utilize our American history,
biography, and literature in a manner scarcely dreamed of heretofore.

We shall attempt to illustrate briefly this concentration of studies
about materials selected from one of the culture epochs.  Take, for
example, _the age of pioneers_ from which to select historical
subject-matter for children of the fourth and fifth grades.  It
comprehends the biographies of eminent navigators and explorers,
pioneers on land and sea.  It describes the important undertakings of
Columbus, Magellan, Cabot, Raleigh, Drake, and others, who were daring
leaders at the great period of maritime discovery.  The pioneer
explorers of New England and the other colonies bring out strongly
marked characters in the preparatory stage of our earliest history.
Smith, Champlain, Winthrop, Penn, Oglethorpe, Stuyvesant, and
Washington are examples.  In the Mississippi valley De Soto, La Salle,
Boone, Lincoln, and Robertson, are types.  Still farther west Lewis and
Clarke, and the pioneers of California complete this historical epoch
in a series of great enterprises.  Most of them are pioneers into new
regions beset with dangers of wild beasts, savages, and sickness.  A
few are settlers, the first to build cabins and take possession of land
that was still claimed by red men and still covered with forests.  The
men named were leaders of small bands sent out to explore rivers and
forests or to drive out hostile claimants at the point of the sword.

Any one who has tried the effect of these stories upon children of the
fourth grade will grant that they touch a deep native _interest_.  But
this must be a genuine and permanent interest to be of educative value.
The _moral quality_ in this interest is its virtue.  Standish, Boone,
La Salle, and the rest were stalwart men, whose courage was keenly and
powerfully tempered.  They were leaders of men by virtue of moral
strength and superiority.  Their deeds have the stamp of heroism and in
approving them the moral judgments of children are exercised upon noble
material.  These men and stories constitute an epoch in civilization
because they represent that stage which just precedes the first form of
settled society.  In fact some of the stories fall in the transition
stage, where men followed the plow and wielded the woodman's axe, or
turned to the war-path as occasion required.  In every part of the
United States there has been such a period, and something corresponding
to it in other countries.  We are prepared to assume, therefore, that
these historical materials arouse a strong interest, implant moral
ideas, and illustrate a typical epoch.  They are also very _real_.
These men, especially the land pioneers, were our own predecessors,
traversing the same rivers, forests, and prairies where we now live and
enjoy the fruits of their hardihood and labor.

Let us suppose that such a historical series of stories has its due
share of time on the school program and that the stories are properly
presented by the teacher and orally reproduced by the pupils.  Into
what _relations_ shall the other studies of the school enter to these
historical materials?  How shall language, reading, geography, natural
science, and arithmetic be brought into the close relation to history
required by the idea of concentration.

The oral reproduction of the stories by the children is the best
possible _oral language_ drill, while their partial written review is
the basis of much of the regular _composition_ work.  Language lessons
on isolated and unconnected topics can thus be entirely omitted.  The
element of interest will be added to oral and written language lessons
by the use of such lively stories.

_Reading_ is chiefly tributary to the historical series.  Such
selections should be made for reading lessons as will throw additional
light upon pioneer history and its related geography.  Descriptions of
natural scenery and choice selections from our best historians, as
Irving and Bancroft, describing events or men of this period, should be
used for reading lessons.  Especially the best literary selections are
to be utilized, as the Landing of the Pilgrims, Webster's and Everett's
orations at Plymouth, Evangeline and Hiawatha, Indian legends and life,
Miles Standish, The Knickerbocker History, and some of the original
papers and letters of the early settlers.  Whatever poems or prose
selections from our best literature are found to bear directly or
indirectly upon pioneer events, will add much interest and beauty to
the whole subject.  A second series of reading materials for these
grades would be those masterpieces and traditions of European
literature, which are drawn from a corresponding pioneer epoch in those
countries; for example, Siegfried in Germany, Alaric in Italy, and
Ulysses in Greece.  A selection of reading material along these lines
would exhibit much variety of prose and poetry, history, and geography.
Unity would be given to it by the spirit and labors of a typical age
and an intimate relation to history at all points established.

_Geography_ has an equally close relation to history stories.  For
these grades geography and history cover the same geographical regions.
Instead of being totally isolated from each other they should be
purposely laid out on parallel lines with interlacing topics.  North
America and the Atlantic ocean are the field of action in both cases.
These maritime explorers opened up the geography of this hemisphere at
its most interesting stage.  No part of the Atlantic ocean or of its
North American coasts was overlooked by the navigators.  The climate,
vegetation and people upon its islands and coasts were curious objects
to European adventurers.  The first pioneers surveyed the eastern coast
and the adjacent interior of a new continent, with its bays, rivers,
forests, and mountains.  The stories themselves are not intelligible
without full geographical explanations, and the personal interest in
the narratives throws a peculiar charm upon the geography.

The _Mississippi valley_ is a great field for both history and
geography.  It is one of the striking physical features of North
America and the best of stories find their setting in this environment.
Not a great river of this region but is the scene of one of the
stories.  The lakes and streams were the natural highways of the
explorers and settlers.  The mountains obstructed their way, presenting
obstacles but not limits to their enterprise.  The great forests housed
their game, concealed their enemies, and had to be cut down to make
space for their homes and cornfields.  The prairies farther west were a
camping ground for them as well as for the deer and buffalo.  There are
no important physical features of the great valley that are not touched
more or less in detail by the stories.  It is the work of the geography
of this year to enlarge and complete the pictures suggested by the
stories, to multiply details, to compare and arrange and to associate
with these the facts of our present political and commercial geography.

The relation between history and geography is so intimate that it
requires some pedagogical skill to determine which of the two should
take the lead.  But we have already adjudged the history to be by far
the more important of the two.  Its subject-matter is of greater
intrinsic interest to children, and as it already stands in the
commanding center of the school course, we are disposed to bring the
geography lessons into close dependence upon it.

In these grades _natural science_ or nature study form a necessary
complement to the circle of historical and geographical topics treated.
Many interesting natural-science subjects, suggested by history and
geography, can not be dealt with satisfactorily in those studies; for
example, the tobacco plant, the cactus, the deer, the hot springs, the
squirrel, the mariner's compass.  Natural science studies begin
naturally with the home neighborhood, with its plants, trees, animals,
rocks, inventions, and products.  But having surveyed and learned many
of these things at home in his earlier years, the child is prepared,
when geography and history begin, to extend his natural-science
information to the larger geographical regions.

The history stories and geography suggest a large number of
_natural-science topics_, so that there is abundant choice of materials
while remaining in close connection with those studies.  The vegetable
and animal life and products of the sea, suggested by the voyages, are
fishes, dolphins, whales, sea-birds, shells.  Other topics are the
construction of ships, the mariner's compass, and astronomy.  The
stories of the land pioneers open up a still richer field of natural
science study for the common schools.  Among animals are the beaver,
otter, squirrel, coon, bear, fox, wildcat, deer, buffalo, domestic
animals, wild turkeys, ducks, pigeons, eagle, hawk, wild bees,
cat-fish, sword-fish, turtle, alligator, and many more.  Among native
products and fruits are mentioned corn, pumpkins, beans, huckleberries,
grapes, strawberries, cranberries, tobacco, pawpaw, mulberry, haw,
plum, apple, and persimmon.  Of trees are oak, hickory, walnut,
cypress, pine, birch, beech, and others.  Tools, instruments, and
inventions are mentioned, with their uses, as guns, Indian weapons,
compass, thermometer, barometer, boats, carpenter's tools; also, the
uses of iron, lead, leather, and many of the simple arts and economies
of life, such as weaving, tempering of metals, tanning, and cooking.
The natural wonders of the country, such as falls, caves, hot-springs,
canons, salt licks, plains, interior deserts, and salt lakes, kinds of
rocks, soils, forests and other vegetation, the phenomena of the
weather and differences in climate, are referred to.  All these and
other topics from the broad realm of nature are suggested, any of which
may serve as the starting point for a series of science lessons.

How far the natural science lessons can _heed the suggestions_ of
history and geography and still follow out and develop important
science principles, is one of the great problems for solution.  It
would seem that the large number of natural-science topics touched upon
by the history, when increased by the variety of home objects in nature
and by still others called up by the geography work of these years,
would give sufficient variety to the natural science work of the same
period.  By omitting some of these topics and enlarging upon others,
developing the notions of classes and principles so far as is
desirable, the natural-science lessons may be made sufficiently
scientific without losing the close relation to the central
subject-matter for the year.  There is no doubt but the science-lessons
will add greatly to many topics suggested by the stories and will bring
the whole realm of nature into close relation to history and geography.

The subjects thus far discussed, that may be brought into close
relation to the central stories, are oral and written language, reading
and literature, geography, and the natural sciences.  The connection
between these branches are numerous and strong at every step.
_Drawing_ has a very intimate and important relation to the objects
described in history, natural science, arithmetic, and geography; while
the _songs_ learned should express in those poetic and rhythmic forms
which appeal so strongly to the feelings, many of the noblest ideas
suggested by travel, scenery, history, and the experiences of home life.

_Arithmetic_, finally, seems to stand like an odd sheep among the
studies.  It is certainly the least social of the common school
branches.  While avoiding all forced connection between arithmetic and
other studies, we shall find some points where the relations are simple
and clear.  Children in the first grade should see numbers in the
leaves, flowers, trees, and animals they study.  At the beginning of
the first grade this would be a good informal way of beginning numbers.
The value of _objects_ in first and second grade number is so great
that it is only a question as to how far the objects suggested by other
lessons may be used.

But we are speaking of concentration in the fourth and fifth grades.
In the stories and in geography we deal with journeys up great rivers,
with the height of mountains, with the extent of valleys and lakes,
with regular forts, mounds, and enclosures, with companies and bodies
of men, with railroads, cities, and agricultural products, and with
many other topics which suggest excellent practical problems in
arithmetic for these grades.  All such careful arithmetical
computations add clearness and definiteness to historical and
geographical ideas.  The natural sciences have been so little
systematically taught in our common schools, that we are scarcely able
to realize what connection may be made between them and arithmetic.  We
know that in the advanced study and applications of some of the natural
sciences, mathematics is an essential part.

A brief retrospect will make it appear that the history stories,
natural sciences, and geography, with the more formal studies, such as
reading, language, and arithmetic, may be brought into a _close organic
harmony_.  Each of them depends upon and throws light upon the other;
and while the connections are natural, not forced, there is a
concentration upon the central historical and literary matter that
makes moral character the highest aim of teaching.

Since real concentration is practically a new educational undertaking,
it involves a number of _unsolved subordinate problems_; for instance,
how far shall science lessons, grammar, and geography follow their own
principles of selection, based on the nature and scientific arrangement
of their materials, while keeping up the dependence upon and
connections with the central subject.  But if concentration is a true
principle of education, it is evident that none of these problems can
be solved until concentration has been agreed upon and made
fundamental.  In this case those teachers who are trying to lay out
courses of study in geography, natural science, or history, without
regard to the relation of studies to each other, will have most of
their work to do over again.

A little reflection will convince us, perhaps, that a year's work thus
concentrated will produce a much more powerful and lasting impression
upon children than the loose aggregation of facts which is usually
collected during a year's work.  Not only will the moral effect be
intensified, but the close dependence of each study upon the others
will be perceptibly felt as valuable and stimulating to the children.

If now we can conceive of the eight grades of the common school as
eight stages passing naturally from one to another, each a unit
composed of a net-work of well related facts, but the epochs closely
related to each other in a rising series, from childhood almost to
maturity, or from the beginning of history up to the present state of
culture, we shall be able also to think of education as a succession of
powerful culture influences, that will bring the child to our present
standpoint fully conscious of his duties and surroundings.

NOTE.--A careful criticism of the theory of the culture epochs is found
in Lange's Apperception translated by the Herbart club, published by D.
C. Heath, p. 110, etc.



We are now prepared to inquire into the mind's method of approach to
any and all subjects.  We have considered the aim of education, the
value of different subjects as helping toward that aim, the natural
interests which give zest to studies, and finally the general plan of
combining and relating topics so as to bring about unity of purpose and
unity of matter in the mind.  As a child enters upon the work of
acquisition are there any regulatives to guide the process of learning?

_Induction_, or the _concept-bearing process_, shows the tendency of
our minds to advance from the inspection of particular objects and
actions to the understanding of general notions or concepts.  The study
and analysis of this process casts us forthwith into the midst of
psychology, and calls for a knowledge of that succession and net-work
of mental activities discussed in all the psychologies; sensation,
discrimination, perception, analysis and synthesis, comparison,
judgment, generalization or concept, reasoning.  An inquiry into these
mental activities, which are among the most important in psychology, is
necessary as a basis of induction and of general method.

But even the more profound study of psychology does not necessarily
give insight into correct methods of teaching.  Many great
psychologists have had little or no interest in teaching.  Even eminent
specialists in electricity and chemistry have not often been those to
draw the immediate practical benefit from their studies.  The
application of psychology to the work of instruction constitutes a
distinct field of inquiry and experiment.  The output of the best
experimental thinking in this direction may be called pedagogy.

The process of induction or concept-building leads the mind, as above
indicated, through a series of different acts.  We may first observe
how far the mind is unnaturally inclined to follow this process, and
whether it is a mark of healthy mental action in children and in
adults.  Later we may examine more closely the successive stages in the
process itself.

To get at the _natural process_ it is well to observe first the action
of a _child's_ mind.  By analyzing a simple case of a farmer's child we
may trace the mental steps in forming a general notion.  So long as it
has seen no barn except that on its father's farm, the word _barn_
means to it only that particular object.  But when it discovers that
one of the neighbors has a similar building called a barn, it learns to
put these different objects under one head, and the general notion
_barn_ as a building for horses, cattle, and feed, gradually rises in
the mind.  Long before the child is six years old (school age) it may
have seen enough of such barns for the general notion to be distinctly
formed.  By observing different objects, by comparing and grouping
similar things together, it has formed a general notion in a regular
process of induction, and that without any help from teachers.

At two and three years of age, or as soon as a child begins to
recognize and name new objects (because of their resemblance to things
previously seen) this tendency to concept-building is manifest.
Another illustration: The child has seen the family horse several times
till the word horse becomes associated with that animal.  While out
walking it sees another horse, and pointing its finger says "horse."
The memory of the first horse and the similarity calls forth the
natural conclusion that this is a horse, though it may not be able to
formulate the sentence.  More horses are seen and compared till the
word becomes the name of a whole class of animals.  By a gradual
process of observation, comparison, and judgment the word horse comes
to stand for a large group of objects in nature.

A child's mind is naturally very _active_ in detecting resemblances and
in grouping similar objects together.  It notices that there are
certain people called women, others called men; that certain animals
are called sheep, others cattle.  One class of objects receives the
name book, another stove, etc.  The work of observing, comparing, and
classifying is a perpetual operation in the child's active moods.  In
this way, what may appear at first as an interminable confusion or blur
of objects in nature begins to fall into groups and classes with
appropriate names.  It is the child's own way of bringing order out of
the apparent chaos of his surroundings.  All this process of
classification is natural and nearly unconscious, and results in a
better understanding and interpretation of the things around him.

Observe next the work of an educated _adult_, and how he increases and
arranges his knowledge.  If he is an incipient dry-goods merchant he
learns by sight and touch to detect the quality of goods.  He compares
and classifies his experiences and becomes in time an expert in judging
textile fabrics.  On the other hand he becomes acquainted by personal
contact with various customers and learns how to classify and judge
them both as buyers and as debtors.

If a _botanist_ finds a new plant he examines its stem, leaves, root,
flower, seed, and environment.  While entering into these details he is
also comparing it with familiar classes of plants.  Finally, he is not
satisfied till he can definitely locate it in his previous system.
With every new plant that he discovers he travels over the whole road
from the individual particulars to the general classes of his whole
system.  The merchant and the scientist follow out with painstaking
care and industry the same course which was involuntarily taken by the
child; namely, observation of particulars, comparing and grouping into
classes.  The same habit of mind may be observed in all people who are
growing knowledgewards and who possess any thoughtful instincts.  In
building up concepts, especially with the adult, induction is
constantly mingled with deduction.  As fast as general notions are
formed they are used to interpret new objects.  As the amount of this
organized and classified knowledge increases, we reason more and more

In acquiring knowledge along the line of induction, we are on the road
to the solution of the _puzzle_, that nature puts to every child.  To
every infant, indeed, the world is an enormous riddle or puzzle, whose
parts lie in fragments about him, waiting the operation of his curious
and inventive mind toward the reconstruction of the whole.  Endless
variety and complexity confront us all in the beginning.  There is
indeed an order and classification of things in nature, but it does not
appear on the surface, and for centuries men remained ignorant of the
underlying harmony.  Nature is full of valuable secrets, but they lie
concealed from the careless eye.  They are to be detected by prying
deeper into individual facts, by putting a thing here and a thing there
together, by pondering on the relationship of things to each other in
their nature, appearance, and cause.  It is a remarkable fact that we
not only increase knowledge best by analyzing, comparing, and
classifying objects, experience, and phenomena--even into old age--but
that the deeper we penetrate into the individual qualities and inner
nature of objects, the more we extend and classify our information, the
simpler all the operations of nature become to our understanding.  The
surprising simplicity and unity of nature in her varied phenomena is
one of the mature products of scientific study.  The most scientific
thinker, then, is only trying to reduce to a simple explanation the
same puzzle which confronted the infant in its cradle.  The problem is
the same and the method similar.

It is plain that the process of classifying objects and phenomena in
nature and in society is the _beginning of scientific knowledge_.  A
child begins to learn as soon as it notices the resemblances in things
and arranges them into groups.  It will appear later that the mind does
not follow a strictly logical method in gaining its groups, that it
falls into natural errors and misconceptions; but in spite of these
eccentric movements, the general trend is toward classifications and
toward the language symbols that express them.  In this power to
associate, classify, and symbolize the products of experience in words
is seen the marked difference between man and the animals.  The latter
have little power to compare and generalize, that is, to think.  On a
still higher plane, the difference between a careless, loose observer
and a well-trained scientific thinker is largely a difference in
accuracy, in inductive and deductive processes.

The important thing for the teacher to determine is whether this
inductive or concept-building tendency furnishes any _solid ground upon
which to base the work of instruction_.  Admitting that it is a natural
process, common to both old and young in acquiring knowledge, perhaps
it can be neglected because it will take care of itself.  If it is
self-active, needing no artificial stimulus, let it alone.  On the
contrary, if in a healthy pursuit of knowledge it brings the varied
mental powers into a natural sequence where they will strengthen and
support one another, it should be studied and used by teachers.  It
would be very commonplace to say that each of the faculties or
activities involved in the inductive process should be disciplined and
strengthened by school studies.  There is but little difference of
opinion on this subject, though some would lay more stress upon sense
training, some on memory, some on reasoning.  The ground for this
general conviction is the notorious fact that with children every one
of these acts, is performed in a _faulty and superficial manner_.  The
observations of children are very careless and unreliable.  Even adults
are extremely negligent and inaccurate in their observations of natural
objects, persons, and phenomena.  But the mental powers brought to bear
in observation are simple and elementary.  The exercise of higher
mental powers, such as analysis, comparison, judgment, and reasoning,
is prone to be still more accidental and erroneous.

Acknowledging then the necessity for training all these powers, how can
it best be done?  Not by delegating to each study the cultivation of
one kind or set of mental activities, but by observing that _the same
general process_ underlies the acquisition of knowledge in each
subject, and that all the kinds of mental life are brought into action
in nearly every study.  In short, the inductive process is a natural
highway of human thought in every line of study, bringing all the
mental forces into an orderly, successive, healthful activity.  We may
yet discover that the inductive process not only gives the key to an
interesting method of mastering different branches of knowledge, but in
developing mental activity it brings the various mental powers into a
strong natural sequence.

One of the great ends of intellectual culture is gradually _to
transform this careless, unconscious, inductive tendency in children
into the painstaking and exact scrutiny of the student, and later of
the specialist_.

Although the inductive process is a common highway of thought in all
stages of intellectual growth from childhood to maturity, certain parts
of the road are much more frequently traveled in childhood, and still
others in youth and maturity.  It is the work of pedagogy to adapt its
materials to these _changing phases_ of soul life in children.  In the
analysis of the inductive and deductive processes we desire to come at
the solution of this problem.

Considered as a whole, there is a simple phase of the inductive process
which is best explained by the terms absorption and reflection.  It
appears in the study of simple as well as of complex objects, and
indicates clearly the fundamental rhythm of the mind in acquiring and
elaborating its knowledge.  This action of the mind is a shuttle-like
movement, a constant running back and forth between two extremes,
_absorption_ and _reflection_.  We will test this statement upon
examples.  When we are in the mood for learning let some new object, a
_sawmill_, attract the attention.  A quick general glance at the place
and its surroundings tells us what it is.  Now trace the operation of
the mill as it draws up the logs singly from the rafts lying on the
margin of the river and converts them into lumber.  You observe first
how the logs are carried up an inclined slide by means of an endless
chain with hooks, into the mill.  You examine this first piece of
machinery and notice its mode of action.  As the logs enter the upper
story of the mill, they are thrown by heavy levers to either side and
roll down toward the saws.  Here is another piece of machinery in its
proper place.  Having been stripped of the loose pieces of bark, the
logs are grasped by another set of iron hands, lifted firmly to the
carriage and passed to the circular or band-saw, which takes off the
side slabs and squares them for the gang-saw.  The squared logs are
then carried along over rollers and collected before the gang-saws.
From two to four of them are clasped firmly together and then forced up
against the teeth of the parallel group of saws, issuing from them as a
batch of lumber.  The boards are then passed on to a set of men at
small circular saws, by whom they are sorted and the edges trimmed,
while still others with trucks carry them to the yard for stacking.

Take note of the operation of the mind as it passes from one part of
the machinery to another.  Each part is first examined by itself to get
its construction and method.  Then its relation to what precedes and
what follows is noted.  Finally, in review you survey the whole process
in its successive stages and understand each part and its relation to
the whole and to the purpose of the mill.  We might call this an
analysis and synthesis of the process of making lumber, or in other
words absorption and reflection.  In the observation of such a complex
piece of machinery as a large mill the mind swings back and forth many
times between absorption in the study of parts and reflection upon
their relation to each other.

Having examined the mill in detail and grasped its parts as a connected
whole, the next step is to observe its relation to the river, to the
rafts and rafting-boats, and further back to the pineries and
logging-camps up the river.  (Northern Minnesota and Wisconsin.)  The
occupations and sights along the Upper Mississippi and its head-waters,
the pineries, and even the spring floods, are intimately connected,
causally, with the saw-mills and lumber yards lower down.  Or going in
the opposite direction from the saw-mill, we follow the lumber till it
is used in the various forms of construction.  Some of it enters the
planing-mills and is converted into moldings, finishing lumber, sashes,
blinds, etc.  In all forms it is loaded upon the cars, and shipped
westward to be used in the construction of houses and bridges.

Before we get through with the line of thought engendered by observing
the saw-mill, we have canvassed the whole lumber industry from the
pineries to the plans of architects and builders in the actual work of
construction.  Not only has there been this progress of the mind from
one object or machine to another of a _series_ connected by cause and
effect, but there has been also a constant tendency to pass from the
individual machines of which the series is composed to the classes of
which these objects are typical.  A circular-saw or a gang-saw is each
typical of a class of saws.  The same is true of each part of the
machinery, as well as of the saw-mill or planing-mill considered as a
whole.  Each of these objects, whether simple or complex, suggests
others similar which we have observed or seen represented in pictures.
Each part of the machinery in turn becomes the center of a set of
comparisons leading from the concrete object in question to the general
notion of the class to which it belongs.  For example, the steam engine
in a mill is typical of all stationary engines used for driving
machinery.  But the parts of the engine are also typical of similar
parts in other engines and machines, as the drive-wheel, cylinder,
boiler, etc.

In all these cases we become absorbed in one thing for a while, only to
recover ourselves and to reflect upon the thing in its wider relations,
either tracing out connections of cause and effect, as in a series of
machines, or passing from the single example to the class of which it
is typical.  Absorption and reflection!  The mind swings back and forth
like a pendulum between these two operations.  Herbart, who closely
defined this process, called it the _mental act of breathing_, because
of the constancy of its movement.  As regularly as the air is drawn
into the lungs and again expelled, so regularly does the mind lose
itself in its absorption with objects only to recover itself and
reflect upon them.

In the inspection of a large _printing press_ in one of our newspaper
publishing-houses we meet with a similar experience.  The attention
becomes centered upon the press for a close analysis and synthesis of
its parts.  The cogs, wheels, rollers, inking-plate, the chases for the
type, the application of the power, the springs and levers, each part
receives a close inspection, and the secret of its connection with
other parts is sought for.  There is a vigorous effort not only to
understand each part but also the connection of the whole.  The
shuttle-like movement of the mind back and forth between the parts,
absorbed for a moment, reflecting for a moment, continues until the
complex mechanism is understood.  When this process has been
satisfactorily completed, we are ready to turn our minds again to the
other objects and rooms of the printing establishment.  The work of the
compositors, setting up different kinds of type, the proof-reading, the
editorial work, the reporters, all come in for a share of attention.
The reporters lead us to the great world outside whose happenings are
brought here for publication.  On the other hand, following the
distribution of papers as they issue from the press, we think of
news-boys, news-stands, mail-service, railroads, and postoffices.  But
the inspection of a printing press also leads the thoughts in other
directions and suggests other presses, great and small, in other times
and places, other printing establishments, until the whole business of
printing and publishing books and papers springs into the thought.

If we desire to understand clearly the business of publishing a
newspaper, we must enter into an observation of the parts of the
process from the collection of its news to its distribution by the
mails and carriers.  Besides noting these parts we must observe their
causal connection with each other and the rôle that each plays in the
economy of the whole.  The causal series thus clearly outlined produces
insight into an occupation, while every typical machine or appliance is
one of a cross series intercepting the original series.  The
acquisition and assimilation of knowledge in different subjects will be
found to exhibit the mental states of absorption and reflection as just
illustrated.  Observe the manner in which we study a poem.  It is first
read and interpreted sentence by sentence, glancing from verse to verse
to get the connections.  When the whole piece has been read and
understood in its parts and connections, the suggested lines of thought
are taken up and followed out in their wider applications.  Take for
example the "Burial of Moses," and in the proper analysis and study of
the poem, such a process of absorption and reflection is observable.
In tracing the biography of John Quincy Adams or of Alexander Hamilton,
the facts of personal experience and action first absorb the attention
from step to step in the study of his life.  But reflection on the
bearings of these personal events, upon contemporaries, and upon public
affairs is noticed all along.  The same mental process is observed in
studying a battle in history, a sentence in grammar, a squirrel in
natural history, or a picture in art.

The effect of such mental absorption and reflection is to build up
_concepts_.  Series of causally related parts are also formed, but each
series in the end becomes a more complete complex concept; that is, a
representative of many similar series.  The inspection of one printing
establishment suggests others which are brought into comparison till
the general notion, publishing-house, is more clearly conceived.  The
same is true in the lumber trade.  The concept lumber-business is not
confined to Minneapolis or Chicago, but is common to the great lake
region, Maine, Washington, Norway, and other countries.  Concepts
become more varied and complex with the advance of studies, and there
is scarcely anything we learn by observation or reflection that does
not ultimately illustrate and build up our concepts.  The observation
of even the miscellaneous objects in a large city leads to a variety of
concepts, and in the end, by comparison, to the general notion, _city_.

How strong the concept-creating tendency of all experience and thought
is, can be seen in the _words_ of language.  The processes of thought
become petrified in language.  All progress in knowledge and
acquisition of new ideas is reflected in language by an increase of
words.  But an examination of words in common use will show that they
are nearly all the names of concepts.  Proper names are the principal
exception.  Every common noun, verb, adjective, adverb, and preposition
is the name of a concept; for example, horse, beauty, to steal,
running, over, early, yellow, grape, ocean, etc.  To understand these
concepts there must be somewhere a progress from the individual to the
abstract, an induction from particulars to a general concept.

Abstract or general notions cannot be acquired at first hand without
specific illustrations.  Even where the deductive process is supposedly
employed, a closer examination will uncover the concrete or individual
illustrations in the background, and until these are reached the
concept has no clear meaning.  The _concrete examples_, whether
introduced sooner or later by way of explanation, are the real basis of
the understanding of the concept.  It is customary to invert the
inductive process and to drive it stern forwards through grammar,
geography, and other studies.  Take, for example, the word boomerang as
it comes up in a geography or reading lesson.  Webster's dictionary,
which is recommended to children as a first resort in such
difficulties, calls it "A remarkable missile weapon used by the natives
of Australia."  This gives a faint notion by using the familiar word
_weapon_.  The picture accompanying the word in the dictionary gives a
more accurate idea because nearer the concrete.  The best possible
explanation would be a real boomerang thrown by a native South-Sea
Islander.  In the absence of these, a picture and a vivid description
are the best means at our disposal.  The common mistake is in learning
and reciting the definition while neglecting the concrete basis.  By
way of further illustration, try to explain to children, who have never
heard of them before, the egg-plant, palm-tree, cactus, etc.

It would be of interest to inquire into the process of concept-building
in each of the _school studies_, where it appears under quite varying
forms.  The natural sciences are perhaps the best examples of
concept-building from concrete materials, advancing regularly through a
series of concepts from the individuals and species to the most general
classes of plants, animals, etc.  In chemistry and physics the laws and
general principles are based on substances, experiments, and processes
observable by the senses.  Grammar and language, when studied as a
science, advance from concept to concept through etymology and syntax.
In geography and history the concepts are less definite and more
difficult to formulate, and yet there are many typical ideas which are
to be developed and illustrated in each of these studies; in history,
for example, colony, legislature, governor, general, revolution,
institutions and customs, political party, laws of development, causal
relations, inventions, etc.; in geography, continents, oceans, forms of
relief, kinds of climate and causes, occupations, products, commerce,
etc.  The fundamental truths and relations and rules of arithmetic must
be developed from objects and illustrations.  Reading, spelling, and
writing are arts, not sciences, and are more concerned with skill in
execution than with the acquisition of a body of scientific truths.
And yet certain general truths are emphasized and applied in these

Much needless confusion has been caused by raising the question _where
to begin_ in learning.  Do we proceed from the whole, to the parts, or
from the parts to the whole?  In making the acquaintance of sense
objects it seems clear that we first perceive wholes (somewhat vaguely
and indefinitely).  The second impulse is to analyze this whole into
its parts, then recombine them (synthesis) into a whole which is more
definitely and fully grasped.  A house, for example, is generally first
perceived as a whole; and later it is examined more particularly as to
its materials, rooms, stairways, conveniences, furnishings, etc.  The
same is true with a mountain, a butterfly, a man.  Thus far we have
proceeded from the whole to the parts and then back again; analysis and
synthesis.  The next movement is from this whole or object toward a
group of similar objects, a class notion.  By comparing one thing with
others similar, a class notion is formed which includes them all.  Each
individual is a whole, but is also a type of the entire group.  The
general mental movement is successively in two directions from any
particular object; first, from the whole to the parts, then grasping
this whole in a richer, fuller sense, the mind seeks for relations
which bind this object with others similar into a group, a more complex
product, a concept.  There may appear to be an exception to this rule
in the case of a city, a continent, a railroad, or any concrete object
so large and complex that it cannot be grasped by a single effort of
sense perception.  But even here it is usual with us first to represent
the whole object to our thought by means of a sketch, map, or figure of
speech, so as first to get a quick survey of the whole thing.  In
history, also, we first grasp at wholes, then enter into a detailed
account of an event, a campaign, a voyage, a revolution, etc.  There
are many complex wholes in geography and history with which it is not
wise to begin, because it requires a long and painful effort to get at
the notion of the whole.  The wholes we have in mind are those which
can be almost instantly grasped.  Not, for example, an outline of
American history or of the world's history.  The choice of suitable
wholes with which to begin is based upon the child's interest and
apperceptive powers.

Having thus examined into the general nature of the inductive process
and the extent of its application to school studies and to other forms
of acquiring knowledge, we are led to a closer practical discussion of
each of the two chief stages of induction: First, _observation or
intuition_; that is, the direct perception through the senses or
through consciousness, of the realities of the external world and of
the mind.  Second, association of ideas with a view to generalizing and
_forming concepts_.

_Intuition_[1] implies object lessons in a wide sense.  By object
lessons is usually meant things in nature perceived through the senses.
But it is necessary to extend the idea of object lessons beyond the
objects and phenomena of the physical world, to which it has been
usually limited.  It includes perception of our own mental states.
These direct experiences of our own inner states are the primary basis
of our understanding of other people's feelings, mental states, and
actions.  In short, an understanding of the phenomena of individual
life, (the acts of persons) of society, and of history, is based upon a
knowledge of our own feelings and mental acts, and upon the accuracy
with which we have observed and interpreted similar things in other
persons.  We have already seen that a right appreciation of companions,
biographies, social life, and history, is the strongest of
psychological forces in its formative influence upon character.  For
this reason, also, history includes the first and most important body
of school studies.  But object lessons drawn from physical nature do
not measurably qualify us for a better appreciation of individual and
social life and action.  The fundamental illustrative materials for
history are drawn from another source, from the depth of the heart and
inner experience of each person.  Many words in our own school books
can be illustrated and explained by objects and activities in physical
nature, but a large part of the words in common use in our readers and
school books can be explained by no external objects.  They depend for
their interpretation upon the child's own feelings, desires, joys,
griefs, etc., and upon similar phenomena observed in others.

Object lessons in this liberal sense point to the direct exercise of
the senses and intuitions in the acquisition of experience of all
sorts.  They include the objects, persons, and events that we see
around us and our own experiences in ordinary life--the grass, plants,
trees, and soils; the animals, wild and tame, with their structure,
habits, and uses; the rocks, woods, hills, streams, seasons, clouds,
heat, and cold.  There is also the observation of devices and
inventions; tools, machinery and their workings, the different raw and
manufactured products, with their ways of growth and transformation.
Besides these are the various kinds and dispositions of men, different
classes and races of people, with great variety of character,
occupation, and education.  Their actions, modes of dress, and customs
are included.  But we have many other primary and indispensable lessons
to learn from the playground, the street, from home and church, from
city and country, from travel and sight seeing, from holidays and work
days, from sickness, and healthful excursions.  Even a child's own
tempers, faults, and successes are of the greatest value to himself and
to the teacher in a proper self-understanding and mastery.  By object
lessons, therefore, we mean all that a child becomes conscious of
through the direct action of his senses and of his mind upon external
nature or inner experience.  It is desired that a child's knowledge in
all direct experience be simple, clear, and according to the facts.
All words that he uses become only signs of the realities of his
experience.  Every word stands for a potent thought in his own life
history.  Of course object lessons in this rich and real sense can not
be confined to such few objects--birds, leaves, models, and straws--as
can be brought into a school room.  All the world, especially the
outside world, becomes

  "A complex Chinese toy
  Fashioned for a barefoot boy."

Many of the most interesting objects and phenomena in nature and of
man's construction can not be observed in the school room at all, for
instance, the river, the bridge, the forest, the flight of birds, the
sunrise, the storm, the stars, etc.  Still they must know these very
things and know how to use them better in constructing the mind's
treasures than they are wont to do.  In reading, grammar, geography,
arithmetic, and nature study, we desire to ground school discussions
daily upon the clear facts of experience, of personal observation.  We
need to clear up all confused and faulty perceptions and to stimulate
children to make their future observations more reliable.

We have already seen the importance of object lessons in this full and
real sense to _interest_.  Interest in every study is awakened and
constantly reenforced by an appeal, not to books, but to life.  Much of
the dull work in arithmetic, geography, and other studies is due to the
neglect of these real, illustrative materials.

Of the six great sources of interest, (Herbart's) three, the
_empirical_, the _esthetic_, and the _sympathetic_, deal entirely with
concrete objects or with individuals, while even the _speculative_ and
_social_ interests are often based directly upon particular persons or
phenomena.  In addition to this it may be said that the interests of
children are overwhelmingly with the concrete and imaginative phases of
every subject, and only secondarily with general truths and laws.  The
latter are of greater concern to older children and adults.  Object
lessons therefore contain a life-giving element that should enter into
every subject of study.

Nor should these interesting, illustrative object lessons be limited to
the lower grades.  They contain the combustible material upon which an
abiding interest in any subject is to be kindled.  There are indeed
other and perhaps higher sources of interest, but they are largely
dependent upon these original springs that flow from the concrete

In the second place, object lessons supply a stock of _primary ideas_
which form the foundation of all later progress in knowledge.  This is
not a question of interest merely, but of _understanding_, of capacity
to get at the meaning of an idea.  Concepts are not the raw materials
with which the mind works, but they are elaborated out of the raw
products furnished by the senses and other forms of intuition.  As
cloth is manufactured out of the raw cotton and wool produced on the
farm or in southern fields, so concepts are a manufactured article,
into whose texture materials previously gathered enter.  Concepts do
not grow up directly from the soil of the mind any more than ready-made
clothing grows on bushes or on the backs of the wearers.  Concepts must
be made out of stuff that is already in the mind, as woolen blankets
are spun and woven out of fleeces.  Our present contention is that the
mind shall be filled up with the best quality of raw stuff, otherwise
there will be defect and deficiency in its later products.  The stuff
out of which concepts are built is drawn from the varied experiences of
life.  On account of this intimate relation between the realities of
life and school studies they cannot be separated.  Every branch,
especially in elementary studies, must be treated concretely and be
built up out of sense materials.  Every study has its concrete side,
its illustrative materials, its colors of individual things taken from
life.  Every study has likewise its more general scientific truths and
classifications.  The prime mistake in nearly all teaching and in the
text-book method is in supposing that the great truths are accessible
in some other way than through the concrete materials that lie properly
at the entrance.  The text-books are full of the abstractions and
general formulae of the sciences; but they can, in the very nature of
the case, deal only in a meager way with the individual objects and
facts upon which knowledge in different subjects is based.  This
necessary defect in a text-book method must be made good by excursions,
by personal observation, by a constant reference of lessons to daily
experience outside of school, by more direct study of our surroundings,
by the teacher perfecting himself in this kind of knowledge and in its
skillful use.

There was a current belief at one time that object lessons should form
a _special study_ for a particular period of school life, namely, the
first years.  It was thought that sufficient sense-materials could be
collected in two or three years to supply the whole school curriculum.
But this thought is now abandoned.  Children in the earlier grades may
properly spend more time in object study than in later grades, but
there is no time in school life when we can afford to cut loose from
the real world.  There is scarcely a lesson in any subject that can not
be clarified and strengthened by calling in the fresh experiences of
daily life.

The discussion of the concept and of the inductive process has shown
that _concepts cannot be found at first hand_.  There must be
observation of different objects, comparison, and grouping into a
class.  A person who has never seen an elephant nor a picture of one,
can form no adequate notion of elephants in general.  We can by no
shift dispense with the illustrations.  The more the memory is filled
with vivid pictures of real things, the more easy and rapid will be the
progress to general truths.  Not only are general notions of classes of
objects in nature, or of personal actions built up out of particulars,
but the general laws and principles of nature and of human society must
be observed in real life to be understood.  We should have no faith in
_electricity_ if it were simply a scientific theory, if it had not
demonstrated its power through material objects.  The idea of
_cohesion_ would never have been dreamed of, if it had not become
necessary to explain certain physical facts.  The spherical form of the
earth was not accepted by many even learned men until sailors with
ships had gone around it.  Political ideas of popular government which
a few centuries ago were regarded as purely utopian are now accepted as
facts because they have become matters of common observation.  The
_circulation of the blood_ remained a secret for many centuries because
of the difficulties of bringing it home to the knowledge of the senses.
These examples will show how difficult it is to go beyond the reach of
sense experience.  Even those philosophers who have tried to construct
theories without the safe foundation of facts have labored for naught.
The more our thought is checked and guided by nature's realities the
less danger of inflation with pretended knowledge.  Bacon found that in
this tendency to theorize loosely upon a slender basis of facts was the
fundamental weakness of ancient philosophy.  Nature if observed will
reiterate her truths till they become convincing verities, while the
study of words and books alone produces a _quasi-knowledge_ which often
mistakes the symbol for the thing.

Having this thought in mind, _Comenius_, more than two and a half
centuries ago, said, "It is certain that there is nothing in the
understanding which has not been previously in the senses, and
consequently to exercise the senses carefully in discriminating the
differences of natural objects is to lay the foundation of all wisdom,
all eloquence, and of all good and prudent action.  The right
instruction of youth does not consist in cramming them with a mass of
words, phrases, sentences, and opinions collected from authors.  In
this way the youth are taught, like Aesop's crow in the fable, to adorn
themselves with strange feathers.  Why should we not, instead of dead
books, open the living book of nature?  Not the shadows of things, but
the things themselves, which make an impression upon the senses and
imagination, are to be brought before the youth."

There has always been a strong tendency in the schools to teach _words,
definitions, and rules_ without a sufficient knowledge of the objects
and experiences of life that put meaning into these abstractions.  The
result is that all the prominent educational reformers have pointedly
condemned the practice of learning words, names, etc., without a
knowledge of the things signified.  The difference is like that between
learning the names of a list of persons at a reception, and being
present to enter into acquaintance and conversation with the guests.
The oft-quoted dictum of Kant is a laconic summary of this argument.
"General notions (concepts) without sense-percepts are empty."  The
general definition of composite flowers means little or nothing to a
child; but after a familiar acquaintance with the sunflower, dandelion,
thistle, etc., such a general statement has a clear meaning.  Concepts
without the content derived from objects are like a frame without a
picture, or a cistern without water.  The table is spread and the
dishes placed, but no refreshments are supplied.

Having completed the discussion of _intuition_, including object
lessons, that is, the preparatory step to the inductive process, we
reach the second, _reflection_ and _survey_.  We are seeking for a
general term that covers the several steps in the latter part of the
inductive process.  It includes comparison, classification, and
abstraction.  It may be discussed from the standpoint of "association
of ideas," and contributes directly to concentration.

We have in mind, chiefly, that thoughtful habit which is not satisfied
with simply acquiring a new fact or set of ideas, but is impelled to
trace them out along their various connections.  We have to do now not
with the acquisition but with the _elaboration_ and _assimilation_ of
knowledge.  The _acquisition_ of knowledge in the ordinary sense is one
thing; its _elaboration_ in a full sense sets up a standard of progress
which will put life into all school work and reach far beyond it, and
in fact is limited only by the individual capacity for thought.  In
school, in reading and study, we have been largely engaged in acquiring
knowledge on the principle that "knowledge is power."  But no practical
man needs to be told that much so-called school knowledge is not power.
Facts which have been simply stored in the memory are often of little
ready use.  It is like wheat in the bin, which must first pass through
the mill and change its entire form before it will perform its
function.  Facts, in order to become the personal property of the
owner, must be worked over, sifted, sorted, classified, and connected.
The process of elaborating and assimilating knowledge is so important
that it requires more time and pains than the first labor of
acquisition.  Philosophers will admit this at once, but it is hard for
us to break loose from the traditions of the schoolmasters.  The mind
is not in all respects like a _lumber-yard_.  It is, to be sure, a
place for storing up knowledge, just as the yard is a deposit for
lumber.  But there the analogy ceases and the mind begins to resemble
more the contractor and builder.  There is planing, sawing, and
hammering; the materials collected are prepared, fitted, and mortised
together, and a building fit for use begins to rise.  Knowledge also is
for use, and not primarily for storage.  That simple acquisition and
quantity of knowledge are not enough is illustrated by the analogy of
an army.  Numbers do not make an army, but a rabble.  A general first
enlists raw recruits, drills and trains them through a long period, and
finally combines them into an effective army.  Many of our ideas when
first received are like disorderly raw recruits.  They need to be
disciplined into proper action and to ready obedience.

In connection with assimilation the analogy between the _stomach_ and
the mind is of still greater interest.  The food received into the
stomach is taken up by the organs of digestion, assimilated and
converted into blood.  The process, however, takes its course without
our conscious effort or co-operation.  Knowledge likewise enters the
mind, but how far will assimilation go on without conscious effort?  If
kept in a healthy state the organs of digestion are self active.  Not
so the mind.  Ideas entering the mind are not so easily assimilated as
the food materials that enter the stomach.  A cow chews her cud once,
but the ideas that enter our minds may be drawn from their receptacle
in the memory and worked over again and again.  Ideas have to be put
side by side, separated, grouped, and arranged into connected series.
There is, no doubt, some tendency in the mind toward involuntary
assimilation, but it greatly needs culture and training.  Many people
never reach the _thinking_ stage, never learn to survey and reflect.
The tendency of the mind to work over and digest knowledge should
receive ample culture in the schools.  There is a mental inertia
produced by pure memory exercise that is unfavorable to reflection.  It
requires an extra exertion to arrange and organize facts even after
they are acquired.  But when the habit of reflection has been
inaugurated it adds much interest and value to all mental acquisitions.

There are also well-established principles which guide the mind in
elaborating its facts.  The _laws of the association_ of ideas indicate
clearly the natural trend of mental elaboration.  The association of
things because of contiguity in time and place is the simplest mode.
The classification of objects or activities on the basis of
resemblance, is the second form and that upon which the inductive
process is principally founded.  In the third case objects and series
are easily retained in memory when the relation of cause and effect is
perceived between them.  These natural highways of association,
especially the second and third, should be frequently traveled in
linking the facts of school study with each other.  Indeed the outcome
of a rational survey of an object or fact in its different relations is
an association of ideas which is one of the best results of study.
Such connections of resemblance and difference or of cause and effect
are abundant and interesting in the natural sciences and physical
geography, also in history and languages.

The Herbartians draw an important distinction between _psychical_ and
_logical_ concepts or general notions.  The _psychical_ concept is
worked out naturally by a child or an adult as a result of the chance
experiences of life.  It is usually a work of accident; is incomplete,
faulty, and often misleading.  The _logical_ concept, on the other
hand, is scientifically correct and complete.  It includes all the
common characteristics of the group and excludes all that are not
essential.  It is a product of accurate and mature thinking.  We all
possess an abundance of psychical concepts drawn from the miscellaneous
experiences of life.  It is a large share of the school work, as we
have seen, to develop logical concepts out of these immature and faulty
psychical concepts.  A child is disposed to call tadpoles fishes; and
later porpoises and whales are faultily classed with the fishes in the
same way.  Nearly all our psychical concepts are subject to such loose
and faulty judgments.  Even where one is accurate in his observations,
the conclusions naturally drawn are often wrong.  For example, a child
that has seen none but red squirrels would naturally think all
squirrels red, and include the quality red in his general notion.  Most
of our empirically derived general notions are spotted with such
defects.  What relation have these facts to induction?  We claim that
general notions should be experimentally formed; that is, by a gradual
collection of concrete or illustrative materials, and that the logical
concepts are the final outcome of comparison and reasoning toward
conclusions.  In other words, we must begin with psychical concepts
with all their faults; we must make mistakes and correct them as our
experience enlarges, and gradually work out of psychical into logical
methods and results.  Our text-books usually give us the logical
concept first, the rule, definition, principle, in its most complete
and accurate statement.  This does violence to the child's natural
mental movement.

The final stage of induction is the _formulation_ of the general
truths, the concepts, principles, and laws which constitute the science
of any branch of knowledge.  These truths should be well formulated in
clear and expressive language and mastered in this form.  Moreover, the
results reached, when reduced to the strict scientific form, are the
same in the inductive methods as in the deductive or common text-book
method.  Not that the effect on the mind of the learner is the same but
the body of truth is unaltered.  The general truths of every subject
can be easily found well arranged in text-books.  But we are more
anxious to know how the youth may best approach and appreciate these
truths than simply to see them stored in the mind in a well-classified

A rich man in leaving a fortune to his son would more than double the
value of the inheritance if he could teach him properly to _appreciate_
wealth and form in him the disposition and ability to use it wisely.
In the same way the best part of knowledge is not simply its
possession, but an appreciation of its value.  The method of reaching
scientific knowledge through the inductive process, that is by the
collection and comparison of data with a view to positive insight, will
give greater meaning to the results.  Interest is awakened and
self-activity exercised at every step in the progress toward general
truths.  By the reflective habit these truths will be seen in their
origin and causal connection, and the line of similarity, contrast,
causal relation, analogy and coincidence will be thoughtfully traced.

Possibly the progress toward formulated knowledge will be less rapid by
induction, but it will be real progress with no backward steps.  It may
well be doubted whether, with average minds, real scientific knowledge
is attainable except by a strong admixture of inductive processes.
Perfection in the form and structure of our concepts is not to be
attained by children nor by adults, but the ideal of scientific
accuracy in general notions is to be kept constantly in view and
approximated to the extent of our ability.

After all, _deduction_ performs a much more important part in the work
of building up concepts than the previous discussion would indicate.
As fast as psychical concepts are formed we clamber upon them and try
to get a better view of the field around us.  Like captured guns, we
turn them at once upon the enemy and make them perform service in new
fields of conquest.  If a new case or object appears we judge of it in
the light of our acquired concepts, no matter whether they are complete
and accurate or not.  This is deduction.  We are glad to gain any
vantage ground in judging the objects and phenomena constantly
presenting themselves.  In fact, it is inevitable that inductive and
deductive processes will be constantly dovetailed into each other.  The
faulty concepts arrived at are brought persistently into contact with
new individual cases.  They are thus corrected, enlarged, and more
accurately grasped.  This is the series of mental stepping-stones that
leads up gradually to logical concepts.  The inductive process is the
fundamental one and deduction comes in at every step to brace it up.
This is only another illustration that mental processes are intimately
interwoven, and, except in thought, not to be separated.  In the
discussion of apperception in the following chapter we shall see that,
in the process of gaining knowledge, our acquired ideas and concepts
play a most important role.  They are really the chief assimilating
agencies.  But in spite of all this we shall scarcely be led again to
the standpoint that logical or scientific concepts should be the
starting point in the study of any subject.

[1] Intuition is popularly used in a sense different from the above.
We are in need of a word which has the same meaning as the German word,
_Anschauung_, for which there is no popular equivalent in English.
Intuition, as defined by Webster, is nearly the same: "direct
apprehension, or cognition; immediate knowledge, as in perception or

For a discussion of this term, see Quick's Educational Reformers, p.
361, Appleton's edition.



We have now to deal with a principle of pedagogy upon which all the
leading ideas thus far discussed largely depend for their realization.
Interest, concentration, and induction set up requirements relative to
the matter, spirit and method of school studies.  Apperception is a
practical principle, obedience to which will contribute daily and
hourly to making real in school exercises the ideas of interest,
concentration and induction.

We observe in passing that the important principles already discussed
stand in close mutual relation and dependence.  Interest aids
concentration by bringing all kinds of knowledge into close touch with
the feelings.  Interest puts incentives into every kind of information
so as to arouse the will, which, in turn, unifies and controls the
mental actions.  But concentration has a reflex influence upon
interest, because unity and conscious mastery give added pleasure to
knowledge.  The culture epochs are expected to contribute powerfully to
both concentration and interest; to the former by supplying a series of
rallying-points for educative effort, to the latter by furnishing
matter suited to interest children.  Induction is a natural method of
acquiring and unifying knowledge in an interesting way.  Apperception,
in turn, is a principle of mental action which puts life and interest
into inductive and concentrating processes.  Every hour of school labor
illustrates the value of apperception and teachers should find in it a
constant antidote to faulty methods.

Apperception may be roughly defined at first as the process of
_acquiring new ideas by the aid of old ideas_ already in the mind.  It
makes the acquisition of new knowledge easier and quicker.  Not that
there is any easy road to learning, but there is a natural process
which greatly accelerates the progress of acquisition, just as it is
better to follow a highway over a rough country than to betake one's
self to the stumps and brush.  For example, if one is familiar with
peaches, apricots will be quickly understood as a kindred kind of
fruit, even though a little strange.  A person who is familiar with
electrical machinery will easily interpret the meaning and purpose of
every part of a new electrical plant.  One may _perceive_ a new object
without understanding it, but to _apperceive_ it is to interpret its
meaning by the aid of similar familiar notions.

If one examines a _typewriter_ for the first time, it will take some
pains and effort to understand its construction and use; but after
examining a Remington, another kind will be more easily understood,
because the principle of the first interprets that of the second.
Suppose the _Steppes of Russia_ are mentioned for the first time to a
class.  The word has little or no meaning or perhaps suggests
erroneously a succession of stairs.  But we remark that the steppes are
like the prairies and plains to the west of the Mississippi river,
covered with grass and fed on by herds.  By awakening a familiar notion
already in the mind and bringing it distinctly to the front, the new
thing is easily understood.  Again, a boy goes to town and sees a
_banana_ for the first time, and asks, "What is that?  I never saw
anything like that."  He thinks he has no class of things to which it
belongs, no place to put it.  His father answers that it is to eat like
an orange or a pear, and its significance is at once plain by the
reference to something familiar.

Again, two men, the one a _machinist_ and the other an observer
unskilled in machines, visit the machinery hall of an exposition.  The
machinist observes a new invention and finds in it a new application of
an old principle.  As he passes along from one machine to another he is
much interested in noting new devices and novel appliances and at the
end of an hour he leaves the hall with a mind enriched.  The other
observer sees the same machines and their parts, but does not detect
the principle of their construction.  His previous knowledge of
machines is not sufficient to give him the clue to their explanation.
After an hour of uninterested observation he leaves the hall with a
confused notion of shafts, wheels, cogs, bands, etc., but with no
greater insight into the principles of machinery.  Why has one man
learned so much and the other nothing?  Because the machinist's
previous experience served as an interpreter and explained these new
contrivances, while the other had no sufficient previous knowledge and
so acquired nothing new.  "To him that hath shall be given."

In the act of apperception the old ideas dwelling in the mind are not
to be regarded as dead treasures stored away and only occasionally
drawn out and used by a purposed effort of the memory, but they are
_living forces_ which have the active power of seizing and
appropriating new ideas.  Lazarus says they stand "like well-armed men
in the inner stronghold of the mind ready to sally forth and overcome
or make serviceable whatever shows itself at the portals of sense."  It
is then through the active aid of familiar ideas that new things find
an introduction to soul life.  If old friends go out to meet the
strangers and welcome them, there will be an easy entrance and a quick
adoption into the new home.

But frequently these old friends who stand in the background of our
thoughts must be _awakened_ and called to the front.  They must stand
as it were on tiptoe ready to welcome the stranger.  For if they lie
asleep in the penetralia of the home the new comers may approach and
pass by for lack of a welcome.  It is often necessary, therefore, for
the teacher to revive old impressions, to call up previously acquired
knowledge and to put it in readiness to receive and welcome the new.
The success with which this is done is often the difference between
good and poor teaching.

We might suppose that when two persons look at the same object they
would get the _same impression_, but this is not true at all.  Where
one person faints with fright or emotion another sees nothing to be
disturbed at.  Two travelers come in sight of an old homestead.  To one
it is an object of absorbing interest as the home of his childhood; to
the other it is much like any other old farm house.  What is the cause
of this difference?  Not the house.  It is the same in both cases.  It
is remarkable how much color is given to every idea that enters into
the mind by the ideas already there.  Some visitors at the World's Fair
can tell almost at a glance to what states many of the buildings
belong; other visitors must study this out on the maps and notices.
One who is familiar with the history, architecture, and products of the
different states is able to classify many of the buildings with ease.
His previous knowledge of these states interprets their buildings.  Mt.
Vernon naturally belongs to Virginia, Independence Hall to
Pennsylvania, John Hancock's house to Massachusetts.  In a still more
striking manner, a knowledge of foreign countries enables the observer
to classify such buildings as the French, the German, the Swedish, the
Japanese, etc.  Again, in viewing any exhibit our enjoyment and
appreciation depend almost entirely upon our previous knowledge, not
upon our eye-sight or our physical endurance.  Many objects of the
greatest value we pass by with an indifferent glance because our
previous knowledge is not sufficient to give us their meaning.

If a dry goods merchant, a horse jockey, and an architect pass down a
city street together, what will each observe?  The merchant notices all
the dry goods stores, their displays, and their favorable or
unfavorable location.  The jockey sees every horse and equipage; he
forms a quiet but quick judgment upon every passing animal.  The
architect sees the buildings and style of construction.  If in the
evening each is called upon to give his observations for the day, the
jockey talks of horses and describes some of the best specimens in
detail; the merchant speaks of store-fronts and merchandise; the
architect is full of elevations of striking or curious buildings.  The
architect and merchant remember nothing, perhaps, about the horses; the
jockey nothing of stores or buildings.  Three people may occupy the
same pew in a church; the one can tell you all about the music, the
second the good points in the sermon, and the third the style and
becomingness of the bonnets and dresses.  Each one sees what he has in
his own mind.  A teacher describes Yosemite Valley to a geography
class.  Some of the children construct a mental picture of a gorge with
steep mountain sides, but no two pictures are alike; some have mental
pictures that resemble nothing in heaven above or earth below; some
have constructed----nothing at all! only the echo of a few spoken
words.  If the teacher, at the close of her description, could have the
mental state of each child photographed on the blackboard of her
schoolroom she would be in mental distress.  In presenting such topics
to children, much depends upon the previous content of their minds,
upon the colors out of which they paint the pictures.

We are now prepared for a more accurate _definition_ of apperception.
"The transformation of a newer (weaker) concept by means of an older
one surpassing the former in power and inner organization bears the
name of apperception, in contrast to the unaltered reception of the
same perception."  (Lindner's Psychol. p. 124, trans. by De Garmo.)
Lindner remarks further, "Apperception is the reaction of the old
against the new--in it is revealed the preponderance which the older,
firmer, and more self-contained concept groups have in contrast to the
concepts which have just entered consciousness."  Again, "It is _a kind
of process of condensation of thought_ and brings into the mental life
a certain stability and firmness, in that it subordinates new to older
impressions, puts everything in its right place and in its right
relation to the whole, and in this way works at that organic formation
of our consciousness which we call _culture_."  (Lindner p. 126.)
"Apperception may be defined as that interaction between two similar
ideas or thought-complexes in the course of which the weaker,
unorganized, isolated idea or thought-complex is incorporated into the
richer, better digested, and more firmly compacted one."  (Lange,
Apperception, p. 13.)

Oftentimes, therefore, older ideas or thought masses, being clear,
strong, and well-digested receive a new impression to modify and
appropriate it.  This is especially true where opinions have been
carefully formed after thought and deliberation.  A well-trained
political economist, for example, when approaching a new theory or
presentation of it by a George or Bellamy, meets it with all the
resources of a well-stored, thoughtful mind; and admits it, if at all,
in a modified form to his system of thought.  Sometimes, however, a new
theory, which strikes the mind with great clearness and vigor, is able
to make a powerful assault upon previous opinions, and perhaps modify
or overturn them.  This is the more apt to be the case if one's
previous ideas have been weak and undecided.  In the interaction
between the old and new the latter then become the apperceiving forces.
Upon the untrained or poorly-equipped mind a strong argument has a more
decisive effect than it may justly deserve.  As we noticed above, new
ideas, especially those coming directly through the senses, are often
more vivid and attractive than similar old ones.  For this reason they
usually occupy greater attention and prominence at first than later,
when the old ideas have begun to revive and reassert themselves.  Old
ideas usually have the advantage over the new in being better
organized, more closely connected in series and groups; and having been
often repeated, they acquire a certain permanent ascendency in the
thoughts.  In this interaction between similar notions, old and new,
the differences at first arrest attention, then gradually sink into the
background, while the stronger points of resemblance begin to
monopolize the thought and bind the notions into a unity.

The use of familiar notions in acquiring an insight into new things is
a _natural tendency_ or drift of the mind.  As soon as we see something
new and desire to understand it, at once we involuntarily begin to
ransack our old stock of ideas to discover anything in our previous
experience which corresponds to this or is like it.  For whatever is
like it or has an analogy to it, or serves the same uses, will explain
this new thing, though the two objects be in other points essentially
different.  We are, in short, constantly falling back upon our old
experiences and classifications for the explanation of new objects that
appear to us.

So far is this true that the _most ordinary things_ can only be
explained in the light of experience.  When John Smith wrote a note to
his companions at Jamestown, and thus communicated his desires to them,
it was unintelligible to the Indians.  They had no knowledge of writing
and looked on the marks as magical.  When _Columbus' ships_ first
appeared on the cost of the new world, the natives looked upon them as
great birds.  They had never seen large sailing vessels.  To vary the
illustration, the _art of reading_, so easy to a student, is the
accumulated result of a long collection of knowledge and experience.
There is an unconscious employment of apperception in the practical
affairs of life that is of interest.  We often see a person at a
distance and by some slight characteristic of motion, form, or dress,
recognize him at once.  From this slight trace we picture to ourselves
the person in full and say we saw him in the street.  Sitting in my
room at evening I hear the regular passenger train come in.  The noise
alone suggests the engine, cars, conductor, passengers, and all the
train complete.  As a matter of fact I saw nothing at all but have
before my mind the whole picture.  On Sunday morning I see some one
enter a familiar church door, and going on my way the whole picture of
church, congregation, pastor, music and sermon come distinctly to my
mind.  Only a passing glance at one person entering suggests the whole
scene.  In looking at a varied landscape we see many things which the
sensuous eye alone would not detect, distances, perspective and
relative size, position and nature of objects.  This apperceptive power
is of vast importance in practical life as it leads to quick judgment
and action, when personal examinations into details would be impossible.

In apperception we never pass from the known to things which are
_entirely new_.  Absolutely new knowledge is gained by perception or
intuition.  When an older person meets with something totally new, he
either does not notice it or it staggers him.  Apperception does not
take place.  In many cases we are disturbed or frightened, as children,
by some new or sudden noise or object.  But most so-called new things
bear sufficient resemblance to things seen before to admit of
explanation.  Strange as the sights of a Chinese city might appear, we
should still know that we were in a city.  In most "new" objects of
observation or study, the familiar parts greatly preponderate over the
unfamiliar.  In a new reading lesson, for example, most of the words
and ideas are well known, only an occasional word requires explanation
and that by using familiar illustrations.  The flood of our familiar
and oft-repeated ideas sweeps on like a great river, receiving here and
there from either side a tributary stream, that is swallowed up in its
waters without perceptible increase.

So strong is the apperceiving force of familiar notions that they drag
far-distant scenes in geography and history into the home neighborhood
and locate them there.  The _imagination_ works in conjunction with the
apperceiving faculty and constructs real pictures.  Children are
otherwise inclined to substitute one thing for another by imagination.
With boys and girls, geographical objects about home are often
converted by fancy into representatives of distant places.  It is
related of _Byron_ that while reading in childhood the story of the
Trojan war, he localized all the places in the region of his home.  An
old hill and castle looking toward the plain and the sea were his Troy.
The stream flowing through the plain was the Simois.  The places of
famous conflicts between the Trojans and Greeks were located.  So vivid
were the pictures which these home scenes gave to the child, that years
later in visiting Asia Minor and the sight of the real Troy, he was not
so deeply impressed as in his boyhood.  A _German professor_ relates
that he and his companions, while reading the Indian stories of Cooper,
located the important scenes in the hills and valleys about Eisenach in
the Thuringian mountains.  Many other illustrations of the same
imaginative tendency to substitute home objects for foreign ones are
given.  But whether or not this experience is true of us all, it is
certain that we can form no idea of foreign places and events except as
we _construct_ the pictures out of the _fragments_ of things that we
have known.  What we have seen of rivers, lands, and cities must form
the materials for picturing to ourselves distant places.

Since the old ideas have so much to do with the proper reception of the
new, let us examine more closely the _interaction_ of the two.  If a
_new idea_ drops into the mind, like a stone upon the surface of the
water, it produces a commotion.  It acts as a stimulus or wakener to
the old ideas sleeping beneath the surface.  It draws them up above the
surface-level; that is, into consciousness.  But what ideas are thus
disturbed?  There are thousands of these latent ideas, embryonic
thoughts, beneath the surface.  Those which possess sufficient kinship
to this new-comer to hear his call, respond.  For in the mind "birds of
a feather flock together."  Ideas and thoughts which resemble the new
one answer, the others sleep on undisturbed, except a few who are so
intimately associated with these kinsmen as to be disturbed when they
are disturbed.  Or, to state it differently, certain thought-groups or
complexes, which contain elements kindred to the new notion, are
agitated and raised into conscious thought.  They seem to respond to
their names.  The new idea may continue for some time to stimulate and
agitate.  There appears to be a sort of telegraphic inquiry through the
regions of the mind to find out where the kindred dwell.  The distant
relatives and strangers (the unrelated or unserviceable ideas) soon
discover that they have responded to the wrong call and drop back to
sleep again.  But the real kindred wake up more and more.  They come
forward to inspect the new-comer and to examine his credentials.  Soon
he finds that he is surrounded by inquisitive friends and relatives.
They threaten even to take possession of him.  Up to this point the new
idea has taken the lead, he has been the aggressor.  But now is the
time for the awakened kindred ideas to assume control and lead the
stranger captive, to bring him in among themselves and give him his
appropriate place and importance.  The _old body of ideas_, when once
set in motion, is more powerful than any single-handed stranger who
happens to fall into their company.  The outcome is that the stranger,
who at first seemed to be producing such a sensation, now discovers
that strong arms are about him and he is carried captive by vigorous
friends.  New ideas when first entering the mind are very strong, and,
if they come through the senses, are especially rich in the color and
vigor of real life.  They therefore absorb the attention at first and
seem to monopolize the mental energies; but the older thought masses,
when fully aroused, are better organized, more firmly rooted in habit,
and possess much wider connections.  They are almost certain,
therefore, to apperceive the new idea; that is, to conquer and subdue
it, to make it tributary to their power.

Let us examine more closely the _effect_ of the process of apperception
upon the new and old ideas that are brought in contact.  First, observe
the effect upon the _new_: Many an idea which is not strong enough in
itself to make a lasting impression, upon the mind would quickly fade
out and be forgotten were it not that in this process the old ideas
throw it into a clear light, give it more meaning, associate it closely
with themselves, and thus save it.  Two persons look at the sword of
Washington; one examines it with deep interest, the other scarcely
gives it a second glance.  The one remembers it for life, the other
forgets it in an hour.  The sense perception was the same in both
persons at first, but the reception given to the idea by one converts
it into a lasting treasure.  A little lamp-black, rolled up between
finger and thumb, suggested to Edison his carbon points for the
electric light.  A piece of lamp-black would produce no such effect in
most peoples minds.  The difference is in the reception accorded to an
idea.  The meaning and importance of an idea or event depend upon the
interpretation put upon it by our previous experience.  "Many a weak,
obscure, and fleeting perception would pass almost unnoticed into
obscurity, did not the additional activity of apperception hold it fast
in consciousness.  This sharpens the senses, _i.e._, it gives to the
organs of sense a greater degree of energy, so that the watching eye
now sees, and the listening ear now hears, that which ordinarily would
pass unnoticed.  The events of apperception give to the senses a
peculiar keenness, which underlies the skill of the money-changer in
detecting a counterfeit among a thousand bank-notes, notwithstanding
its deceptive similarity; of the jeweler who marks the slightest,
apparently imperceptible, flaw in an ornament; of the physicist who
perceives distinctly the overtones of a vibrating string.  According to
this we see and hear not only with the eye and ear, but quite as much
with the help of our present knowledge, with the apperceiving content
of the mind."  (Apperception, Lange, De Garmo, p. 21.)

Some even intelligent and sensible people can walk through Westminster
Abbey and see nothing but a curious old church with a few graves and
monuments.  To a person well-versed in English history and literature
it is a shrine of poets, a temple of heroes, the common resting-place
of statesmen and kings.

Secondly, what is the _effect on the old ideas_?  Every idea that newly
enters the mind produces changes in the older groups and series of
thought.  Any one new idea may cause but slight changes, but the
constant influx of new experiences works steadily at a modification and
rearrangement of our previous stores of thought.  Faulty and incomplete
groups and concepts are corrected or enlarged; that is, changed from
psychical into logical notions.  Children are surprised to find little
flowers on the oaks, maples, walnuts, and other large forest trees.  On
account of the small size of the blossoms, heretofore unnoticed, they
had not thought of the great trees as belonging to the flowering
plants.  Their notion of flowering plants is, therefore, greatly
enlarged by a few new observations.  The bats flying about in the
twilight have been regarded as birds; but a closer inspection shows
that they belong to another class, and the notion bird must be limited.
As already observed in the discussion of induction, most of our
psychical notions are thus faulty and incomplete; _e.g._, the ideas
fruit, fish, star, insect, mineral, ship, church, clock, dog, kitchen,
library, lawyer, city, etc.  Our notions of these and of hundreds of
other such classes are at first both incomplete and faulty.  The inflow
of new ideas constantly modifies them, extending, limiting, explaining,
and correcting our previous concepts.

Sometimes, however, a single new thought may have wide-reaching
effects; it may even revolutionize one's previous modes of thinking and
reorganize one's activities about a new center.  With Luther, for
instance, the idea of justification by faith was such a new and potent
force, breaking up and rearranging his old forms of thought.  St.
Paul's vision on the way to Damascus is a still more striking
illustration of the power of a new idea or conviction.  And yet, even
in such cases, the old ideas reassert themselves with great persistence
and power.  Luther and St. Paul remained, even after these great
changes, in many respects the same kind of men as before.  Their old
habits of thinking were modified, not destroyed; the direction of their
lives was changed, but many of their habits and characteristics
remained almost unaltered.

Apperception, however, is not limited to the effects of _external
objects_ upon us, to the influence of ideas coming from without upon
our old stores of knowledge.  Old ideas, long since stored in the mind,
may be freshly called up and brought into such contact with each other
that new results follow, new apperceptions take place.  In moments of
reflection we are often surprised by conclusions that had not presented
themselves to us before.  A new light dawns upon us and we are
surprised at not having seen it before.  In fact, it makes little
difference whether the idea suggested to the mind comes from within or
from without if, when it once enters fairly into consciousness, it has
power to stimulate other thoughts, to wake up whole thought complexes
and bring about a process of action and reaction between itself and
others.  The result is new associations, new conclusions, new mental

This _inner apperception_, as it has been sometimes called, takes place
constantly when we are occupied with our own thoughts, rather than with
external impressions.  With persons of deep, steady, reflective habits,
it is the chief means of organizing their mental stores.  The feelings
and the will have much also to do with this process.

The laws of association draw the _feelings_ as much as the intellectual
states into apperceptive acts.  I hear of a friend who has had
disasters in business and has lost his whole fortune.  If I have never
experienced such difficulties myself, the chances are that the news
will not make a deep impression upon me.  But if I have once gone
through the despondency of such a crushing defeat, sympathy for my
friend will be awakened, and I may feel his trouble almost as my own.
The meaning of such an item of news depends upon the response which it
finds in my own feelings.  It is well known that those friends can best
sympathize with us in our trouble who have passed through the same
troubles.  Even enemies are not lacking in sympathy with each other
when an appeal is made to deep feelings and experiences common to both.

The feeling of _interest_, which we have emphasized so much, is
chiefly, if not wholly, dependent upon apperceptive conditions.  Select
a lesson adapted to the age and understanding of a child, present it in
such a way as to recall and make use of his previous experience, and
interest is certain to follow.  The outcome of a successful act of
apperception is always a feeling of pleasure, or at least of interest.
When the principle of apperception is fully applied in teaching, the
progress from one point to another is so gradual and clear that it
gives pleasure.  The clearness and understanding with which we receive
knowledge adds greatly to our interest in it.  On the contrary, when
apperception is violated, and new knowledge is only half understood and
assimilated there can be but little feeling of satisfaction.  "The
overcoming of certain difficulties, the accession of numerous ideas,
the success of the act of knowledge or recognition, the greater
clearness that the ideas have gained, awaken a feeling of pleasure.  We
become conscious of the growth of our knowledge and power of
understanding.  The significance of this new impression for our ego is
now more strongly felt than at the beginning or during the course of
the progress.  To this pleasurable feeling is easily added the effort,
at favorable opportunity, to reproduce the product of the apperception,
to supplement and deepen it, to unite it to other ideas, and so further
to extend certain chains of thought.  The summit or sum of these states
of mind we happily express with the word interest.  For in reality the
feeling of self appears between the various stages of the process of
apperception (_inter esse_); with one's whole soul does one contemplate
the object of attention.  If we regard the acquired knowledge as the
objective result of apperception, interest must be regarded as the
subjective side."  (Lange, Apperception, page 19.)

Finally, the _will_ has much to do with conscious efforts at
apperception.  It holds the thought to certain groups; it excludes or
pushes back irrelevant ideas that crowd in; it holds to a steady
comparison of ideas, even where perplexity and obscurity trouble the
thinker.  When the process of reaching a conclusion takes much time,
when conflict or contradiction have to be removed or adjusted, when
reflection and reasoning are necessary, the will is of great importance
in giving coherency and steadiness to the apperceptive effort.  A
conscious effort at apperception, therefore, may include many elements,
sense perceptions, ideas recalled, feeling, _will_.

"Let us now sum up the essentials in the process of apperception.
First of all, an external or internal perception, an idea, or
idea-complex appears in consciousness, finding more or less response in
the mind; that is, giving rise to greater or less stimulation to
thought and feeling.

"In consequence of this, and in accordance with the psychical mechanism
or an impulse of the will, one or more groups of thoughts arise, which
enter into relation to the perception.  While the two masses are
compared with one another, they work upon one another with more or less
of a transforming power.  New thought-combinations are formed, until,
finally, the perception is adjusted to the stronger and older thought
combination.  In this way all the factors concerned gain in value as to
knowledge and feeling; especially, however, does the new idea gain a
clearness and activity that it never would have gained for itself.
_Apperception is, therefore, that psychical activity by which
individual perceptions, ideas, or idea-complexes are brought into
relation to our previous intellectual and emotional life, assimilated
with it, and thus raised to greater clearness, activity, and
significance._"  (Lange, Apperception, page 41.)

Important _conclusions_ drawn from a study of apperception:

1. _Value of previous knowledge_.  If knowledge once acquired is so
_valuable_ we are first of all urged to make the acquisition permanent.
Thorough mastery and frequent reviews are necessary to make knowledge
stick.  Careless and superficial study is injurious.  It is sometimes
carelessly remarked by those who are supposed to be wise in educational
matters that it makes no difference how much we forget if we only have
proper drill and training to study.  That is, how we study is more
important than what we learn.  But viewed in the light of apperception,
acquired knowledge should be retained and used, for it unlocks the door
to more knowledge.  _Thorough mastery and retention_ of the elements of
knowledge in the different branches is the only solid road to progress.
In this connection we can see the importance of learning only what is
_worth remembering_, what will prove a valuable treasure in future
study.  In the selection of material for school studies, therefore, we
must keep in mind knowledge which, as Comenius says, is of _solid
utility_.  Having once selected and acquired such materials, we are
next impelled to make _constant use_ of them.  If the acquisition of
new information depends so much upon the right use of previous
knowledge, we are called upon to build constantly upon this foundation.
This is true whether the child's knowledge has been acquired at school
or at home.  In order to make things clear and interesting to boys and
girls we must refer every day to what they have before learned in
school and out of school.

Again, if we accept the doctrine that old ideas are the materials out
of which we constantly build _bridges_ across into new fields of
knowledge, we must _know the children_ better and what store of
knowledge they have already acquired.  Just as an army marching into a
new country must know well the country through which it has passed and
must keep open the line of communication and the base of supplies, so
the student must always have a safe retreat into his past, and a base
of supplies to sustain him in his onward movements.  The tendency is
very strong for a grade teacher to think that she needs to know nothing
except the facts to be acquired in her own grade.  But she should
remember that her grade is only a station on the highway to learning
and life.  In teaching we cannot by any shift dispense with the ideas
children have gained at home, at play, in the school and outside of it.
This, in connection with what the child has learned in the previous
grades, constitutes a stock of ideas, a capital, upon which the teacher
should freely draw in illustrating daily lessons.

2. The use of our acquired stock of ideas involves a constant _working
over_ of old ideas, and this working-over process not only reviews and
strengthens past knowledge, keeping it from forgetfulness, but it
throws new light upon it and exposes it to a many-sided criticism.  In
the first place familiar ideas should not be allowed to rest in the
mind _unused_.  Like tools for service they must be kept bright and
sharp.  One reason why so many of the valuable ideas we have acquired
have gradually disappeared from the mind is because they remained so
long unused that they faded out of sight.  The old saying that
"repetition is the mother of studies" needs to be recalled and
emphasized.  By being put in contact, with new ideas, old notions are
seen and appreciated in new relations.  Facts that have long lain
unexplained in the mind, suddenly receive a _new interpretation_, a
vivid and rational meaning.  Or the old meaning is intensified and
vivified by putting a new fact in conjunction with it.

Where the climate and products of the British Isles have been studied
in political geography, and later on, in physical geography, the gulf
stream is explained in its bearings on the climate of western Europe,
the whole subject of the climate of England is viewed from a new and
interesting standpoint.  In arithmetic, where the sum of the squares of
the two sides of a right-angled triangle is illustrated by an example
and later on in geometry the same proposition is taken up in a
different way and proved as a universal theorem, new and interesting
light is thrown upon an old problem of arithmetic.  In _United States
history_, after the Revolution has been studied, the biography of a man
like Samuel Adams throws much additional and vivid light upon the
events and actors in Boston and Massachusetts.  The life of John Adams
would give a still different view of the same great events; just as a
city, as seen from different standpoints, presents different aspects.

3. We have thus far shown that new ideas are more easily understood and
assimilated when they are brought into close contact with what we
already know; and secondly, that our old knowledge is often explained
and illuminated by new facts brought to bear upon it.  We may now
observe the result of this double action--_the welding_ of old and new
into one piece, the close mingling and association of all our
knowledge, _i.e._, its unity.  Apperception, therefore, has the same
final tendency that was observed in the _inductive process_, the
unification of knowledge, the concentration of all experience by
uniting its parts into groups and series.  The smith, in welding
together two pieces of iron, heats both and then hammers them together
into one piece.  The teacher has something similar to do.  He must
revive old ideas in the child's mind, then present the new facts and
bring the two things together while they are still fresh, so as to
cause them to coalesce.  To prove this observe how long division may be
best taught.  Call up and review the method of short division, then
proceed to work a problem in long division calling attention to the
similar steps and processes in the two, and finally to the difference
between them.

The defect of much teaching in children's classes is that the _teacher_
does not properly provide for the welding together of the new and old.
The important practical question after all is whether instructors see
to it that children recall their previous knowledge.  It is necessary
to take special pains in this.  Nothing is more common than to find
children forgetting the very thing which, if remembered, would explain
the difficult point in the lesson.  Teachers are often surprised that
children have forgotten things once learned.  But, in an important
sense, we encourage children to forget by not calling into use their
acquisitions.  Lessons are learned too much, each by itself, without
reference to what precedes or what follows, or what effect this lesson
of to-day may have upon things learned a year ago.  Putting it briefly,
children and teachers do not _think_ enough, pondering things over in
their minds, relating facts with each other, and bringing all knowledge
into unity, and into a clear comprehension.  The habit of
_thoughtfulness_, engendered by a proper combining of old and new, is
one of the valuable results of a good education.  It gives the mind a
disposition to glance backward or forward, to judge of all old ideas
from a broader, more intelligent standpoint.  Thinking everything over
in the light of the best experience we can bring to bear upon it,
prevents us from jumping at conclusions.

The general _plan of all studies_ is based upon this notion of
acquiring knowledge by the assistance of accumulated funds.  In
_Arithmetic_ it would be folly to begin with long division before the
multiplication table is learned.  In _Geometry_, later propositions
depend upon earlier principles and demonstrations.  In _Latin_,
vocabularies and inflections and syntactical relations must be mastered
before readiness in the use of language is reached.  And so it is to a
large degree in the general plan of all studies.  In spite of this no
principle is more commonly violated in daily recitations than that of
apperception.  Its value is self-evident as a principle for the
arrangement of topics in any branch of study, but it is overlooked in
daily lessons.  Instead of this new knowledge is acquired by a
thoughtless memory drill.

In this welding process we desire to determine how far an actual
concentration may take place _between school studies_ and _the home and
outside life of children_.  The stock of ideas and feelings which a
child from its infancy has gathered from its peculiar history and home
surroundings is the primitive basis of its personality.  Its thought,
feeling, and individuality are deeply interwoven with home experience.
No other set of ideas, later acquired, lies so close to its heart or is
so abiding in its memory.  The memory of work and play at home; of the
house, yard, trees, and garden; of parents, brothers, and sisters, and
in addition to this the experiences connected with neighbors and
friends, the town and surrounding country, the church and its
influence, the holidays, games, and celebrations, all these things lie
deeper in the minds of children than the facts learned about grammar,
geography, or history in school.  Any plan of education that ignores
these home-bred ideas, these events, memories, and sympathies of home
and neighborhood life, will make a vital mistake.  A concentration that
keeps in mind only the school studies and disregards the rich funds of
ideas that every child brings from his home, must be a failure, because
it only includes the weaker half of his experience.  Home knowledge
itself does not need to be made a concentrating center, but all its
best materials must be drawn into the concentrating center of the
school.  But children bring many faulty, mistaken, and even vicious
ideas from their homes.  It is well to know the actual situation.  It
is the work of the school, at every step, while receiving, to correct,
enlarge, or arrange the faulty or disordered knowledge brought into the
school by children.  We unconsciously use these materials, and depend
upon them for explaining new lessons, more constantly than we are aware
of.  In fact, if we were wise teachers, we would consciously make a
more frequent use of them and, in order to render them more valuable,
take special pains to review, correct, and arrange them.  We would
teach children to observe more closely and to remember better the
things they daily see.

We shall appreciate better the value of _home knowledge_ if we take
note of the direct and constant dependence of the most important
studies upon it.  We usually think of history as something far away in
New England, or France, or Egypt.  History is mainly the study of the
actions, customs, homes, and institutions of men in different
countries.  But what an abundance of similar facts and observations a
child has gathered about home before he begins the study of history.
From his infancy he has seen people of all sorts and conditions, rich
and poor, ignorant and learned, honorable and mean.  He has seen all
sorts of human actions, learned to know their meaning and to pass
judgment upon them.  He has seen houses, churches, public buildings,
trade and commerce, and a hundred human institutions.  The child has
been studying human actions and institutions in the concrete for a
dozen years before he begins to read and recite history from books.
Without the knowledge thus acquired out of school, society, government,
and institutions would be worse than Greek.  Geography as taught in the
books would be totally foreign and strange but for the abundance of
ideas the child has already picked up about hills, streams, roads,
travel, storms, trees, animals, and people.

Natural science lessons must be based on a more careful study of things
already seen about home--rocks and streams, flowers and plants, animals
wild and tame.  These with the forests, fields, brooks, seasons, tools,
and inventions, are the necessary object lessons in natural science
which can serve daily to illustrate other lessons.  How near then do
the natural science topics, geography and history, stand to the daily
home life of a child!  How intimate should be the relations which the
school should establish between the parts of a child's experience!
This is concentration in the broadest sense.  A proper appreciation of
this principle will save us from a number of common errors.  Besides
constantly associating home and school knowledge, we shall try to know
the home and parents better, and the disposition and surroundings of
each child.  We shall be ready at any time to render home knowledge
more clear and accurate, to correct faulty observation and opinion.
While the children will be encouraged to illustrate lessons from their
own experience, we shall fall into the excellent habit of explaining
new and difficult points by a direct appeal to what the pupils have
seen and understood.  In short, there will be a disposition to draw
into the concentrating work of the school all the deeper but outside
life-experiences which form so important an element in the character of
every person, which, however, teachers so often overlook.  No other
institution has such an opportunity or power to concentrate knowledge
and experience as the school.

4. Another valuable educative result of apperception, cultivated in
this manner, is a _consciousness of power_ which springs from the
ability to make a good use of our knowledge.  The oftener children
become aware that they have made a good use of acquired knowledge, the
more they are encouraged.  They see the treasure growing in their hands
and feel conscious of their ability to use it.  There is a mental
exhilaration like that coming from abundant physical strength and

"Let us look back again at the results of our investigation.  We
observed first what essential services apperception performs for the
human mind in the acquisition of new ideas, and for what an
extraordinary easement and unburdening the acquiring soul is indebted
to it.  Should apperception once fail, or were it not implied in the
very nature of our minds, we should, in the reception of
sense-impressions, daily expend as much power as the child in its
earliest years, since the perpetually changing objects of the external
world would nearly always appear strange and new.  We should gain the
mastery of external things more slowly and painfully, and arrive much
later at a certain conclusion of our external experience than we do
now, and thereby remain perceptibly behind in our mental development.
Like children with their A B C, we should be forced to take careful
note of each word, and not, as now, allow ourselves actually to
perceive only a few words in each sentence.  In a word, without
apperception our minds, with strikingly greater and more exhaustive
labor, would attain relatively smaller results.  Indeed, we are seldom
conscious of the extent to which our perception is supported by
apperception; of how it releases the senses from a large part of their
labor, so that in reality we listen usually with half an ear or with a
divided attention; nor, on the other hand, do we ordinarily reflect
that apperception lends the sense organs a greater degree of energy, so
that they perceive with greater sharpness and penetration than were
otherwise possible.  We do not consider that apperception spares us the
trouble of examining ever anew and in small detail all the objects and
phenomena that present themselves to us, so as to get their meaning, or
that it thus prevents our mental power from scattering and from being
worn out with wearisome, fruitless detail labors.  The secret of its
extraordinary success lies in the fact that it refers the new to the
old, the strange to the familiar, the unknown to the known, that which
is not comprehended to what is already understood and thus constitutes
a part of our mental furniture; that it transforms the difficult and
unaccustomed into the accustomed and causes us to grasp everything new
by means of old-time, well-known, ideas.  Since, then, it accomplishes
great and unusual results by small means, in so far as it reserves for
the soul the greatest amount of power for other purposes, it agrees
with the general principle of the least expenditure of force, or with
that of the best adaptability of means to ends.

"As in the reception of new impressions, so also in working over and
developing the previously acquired content of the mind, the helpful
work of apperception shows itself.  By connecting isolated things with
mental groups already formed, and by assigning to the new its proper
place among them, apperception not only increases the clearness and
definiteness of ideas, but knits them more firmly to our consciousness.
_Apperceiving ideas are the best aids to memory_.  Again, so often as
it subordinates new impressions to older ones, it labors at the
association and articulation of the manifold materials of perception
and thought.  By condensing the content of observation and thinking
into concepts and rules, or general experiences and principles, or
ideals and general notions, apperception produces connection and order
in our knowledge and volition.  With its assistance there spring up
those universal thought complexes, which, distributed to the various
fields to which they belong, appear as logical, linguistic, aesthetic,
moral, and religious norms or principles.  If these acquire a higher
degree of value for our feelings, if we find ourselves heartily
attached to them, so that we prefer them to all those things which are
contradictory, if we bind them to our own self, they will thus become
powerful mental groups, which spring up independent of the psychical
mechanism as often as kindred ideas appear in the mind.  In the
presence of these they now make manifest their apperceiving power.  We
measure and estimate them now according to universal laws.  They are,
so to speak, the eyes and hand of the will, with which, regulating and
supplementing, rejecting and correcting, it lays a grasp upon the
content as well as upon the succession of ideas.  They hinder the
purely mechanical flow of thought and desire, and our involuntary
absorption in external impressions and in the varied play of fancy.  We
learn how to control religious impulses by laws, to rule thoughts by
thoughts.  In the place of the mechanical, appears the regulated course
of thinking; in the place of the psychical rule of caprice, the
monarchical control of higher laws and principles, and the spontaneity
of the ego as the kernel of the personality.  By the aid of
apperception, therefore, we are lifted gradually from psychical bondage
to mental and moral freedom.  And now when ideal norms are
apperceivingly active in the field of knowledge and thought, of feeling
and will, when they give laws to the psychical mechanism, true culture
is attained."  (Lange's Apperception, edited by DeGarmo, p. 99, etc.)

NOTE.--The freedom with which we quote extensively from Lange is an
acknowledgement of the importance of his treatise.  We are indebted to
it throughout for many of the ideas treated.



We have now completed the discussion of the concept-bearing or
inductive process in learning and apperception, and find that they both
tend to the unifying of knowledge and to the awakening of interest.

It remains to be seen how the will may be brought into activity and
placed in command of the resources of the mind.

The _will_ is that power of the mind which chooses, decides, and
controls action.

According to psychology there are three distinct activities of the
mind, _knowing_, _feeling_, and _willing_.  These three powers are
related to one another on a basis of equality, and yet the will should
become the _monarch of the mind_.  It is expected that all the other
activities of the mind will be brought into subjection to the will.
For strong _character_ resides in the will.  Strength of character
depends entirely upon the mastery which the will has acquired over the
life; and _the formation of character_, as shown in a strong moral
will, is the highest aim of education.

The _great problem_ for us to solve is: 1. How far can teaching
stimulate and develop such a will?

There is an apparent contradiction in saying that the _will_ is the
monarch of the mind, the power which must control and subject all the
other powers; and yet that it can be trained, educated, moulded, and
chiefly too by a proper cultivation of the other powers, _feeling_ and
_knowing_.  Knowledge and feeling, while they are subject to the will,
still constitute its strength, just as the soldiers and officers of an
army are subject to a commander and yet make him powerful.

We shall first notice the dependence of the will upon the _knowing_
faculty.  It is an old saying "that knowledge is power."  But it is
power only as a strong will is able to convert knowledge into action.
Before the will can _decide_ to do any given act it must see its way
clearly.  It must at least believe in the possibility.  _In trying to
get across a stream_, for example, if one can not swim and there is no
bridge nor boat nor means of making one, the will can not act.  It is
helpless.  The will must be shown the way to its aims or they are
impossible.  The more clear and distinct our knowledge, the better we
can lay our plans and _will_ to carry them out.  It would be impossible
for one of us _to will_ to run a steam engine from Chicago to St. Paul
to-day.  We don't know how, and we should not be permitted to try.  In
every field of action we must have knowledge, and clear knowledge,
before the will can act to good advantage.  It is only knowledge, or at
least faith in the possibility of accomplishing an undertaking, that
opens the way to will.  Much successful _experience_ in any line of
work brings increasing confidence and the will is greatly strengthened,
because one knows that certain actions are possible.  The simple
acquisition of facts therefore, the increase of knowledge so long as it
is well digested, makes it possible for the will to act with greater
energy in various directions.  The more clear this knowledge is, the
more thoroughly it is cemented, together in its parts and subject to
control, the greater and more effective can be the will action.  All
the knowledge we may acquire can be used by the will in planning and
carrying out its purposes.  Knowledge, therefore, derived from all
sources, is a _means_ used by the will, and increases the possibilities
of its action.

But, secondly, there are found still more immediate means of
stimulating and strengthening the will, namely, in the _feelings_.  The
feelings are more closely related to will than knowledge, at least in
the sense of cause and effect.  There is a gradual transition from the
feelings up to will, as follows: interest in an object, inclination,
desire and purpose, or will to secure it.  We might say that will is
only the final link in the chain, and the feelings and desires lead up
to and produce the act of willing.  Even will itself has been called a
feeling by some psychologists and classed with the feelings.  But the
thing in which we are now most concerned is how to reach and strengthen
the will through the feelings.  Some of the feelings which powerfully
influence the will are desire of approbation, ambition, love of
knowledge, appreciation of the beautiful and the good; or, on the other
side, rivalry, envy, hate, and ill-will.  Now, it is clear that a
cultivation of the feelings and emotions is possible which may strongly
influence the purposes and decisions of the will, either in the right
or wrong direction.  It is just at this point that education is capable
of a vigorous influence in moulding the character of a child.  The
cultivation of the _six interests_ already mentioned is little else
than a cultivation of the great classes of feeling, for interest always
contains a strong element of feeling.  It is certain in any case that a
child's, and eventually a man's will, is to be guided largely by his
feelings.  Whether any _care is taken_ in education or not, feeling,
good or bad, is destined to guide the will.  Most people, as we know,
are too much influenced by their feelings.  This is apparent in the
adage, "Think twice before you speak."  Feelings of malice and
ill-will, of revenge and envy, of dislike and jealously, get the
control in many lives, because they have been permitted to grow and
nothing better has been put in their place.  The teacher by _selecting
the proper materials_ of study is able to cultivate and strengthen such
feelings as sympathy and kindliness toward others; appreciation of
brave, unselfish acts in others; the feeling of generosity, charity,
and a forgiving spirit; a love for honesty and uprightness; a desire
and ambition for knowledge in many directions.  On the other hand, the
teacher may gently instill a _dislike_ for cowardice, meanness,
selfishness, laziness, and envy, and bring the child to master and
control these evil dispositions.  Not only is it possible to cultivate
those feelings which we may summarize as the love of the virtues and
develop a dislike and turning away from vices, but this work of
cultivating the feelings may be carried on so systematically that great
_habits_ of feeling are formed, and these habits become the very
strongholds of character.  They are the forces acting upon the will and
guiding its choice.

It is _freedom of the will_ to chose the best that we are after.  We
desire to limit the choice of the will if possible to good things.  We
desire to make the character so strong and so noble and consistent in
its desires that it will not be strongly tempted by evil.  The will in
the end, while it controls all the life and action, is itself under the
guidance of those _habits_ of thought and feeling that have been
gradually formed.  Sully says, "Thus it is feeling that ultimately
supplies the stimulus or force to volition and intellect which guides
or illumines it."

A study of the will in its relation to knowledge and feeling reveals
that the training and development of the will depend upon _exercise_
and upon _instruction_.  There are two ways of exercising will power.
First, by requiring it to obey authority promptly and to control the
body and the mind at the direction of another.  The discipline of a
school may exert a strong influence upon pupils in teaching them
concentration and will power under the direction of another.
Especially is this true in lower grades.  Children in the first grade
have but little power or habit of concentrating the attention.  The
will of the teacher, combined with her tact, must aid in developing the
energies of the will in these little ones.  The primary value of quick
obedience in school, of exact discipline in marching, rising, etc., is
twofold.  It secures the necessary orderliness and it trains the will.
Even in higher and normal schools such a perfect discipline has a great
value in training to alertness and quickness of apprehension associated
with action.

Secondly, by the training of the mind to freedom of action, to
_self-activity_, to independence.  As soon as children begin to develop
the power of thought and action their self-activity should be
encouraged.  Even in the lowest grades the beginnings may be made.  An
_aim_ may be set before them which they are to reach by their own
efforts.  For example, let a class in the first reader be asked to make
a list of all the words in the last two lessons containing _th_, or
_oi_, or some other combination.  _Activity_ rather than repose is the
nature of children, and even in the kindergarten this activity is
directed to the attainment of definite ends.  With number work in the
first grade the objects should be handled by the children, the letters
made, rude drawings sketched, so as to give play to their active powers
as well as to lead them on to confidence in doing, to an increase of
self-activity.  As children grow older, the problems set before them,
the aims held out, should be more difficult.  Of course they should be
of _interest_ to the child, so that it will have an impulse and desire
of its own to reach them.

There are few things so valuable as setting up _definite aims_ before
children and then supplying them with incentives to reach them through
their own efforts.  It has been often supposed that the only way to do
this is to use _reference books_, to study up the lesson or some topics
of it outside of the regular order.  But self-activity is by no means
limited to such outside work.  A child's self-activity may be often
aroused by the manner of studying a simple lesson from a text-book.
When a reading or geography lesson is so studied that the pupil
thoroughly sifts the piece, hunts down the thought till he is certain
of its meaning; when all the previous knowledge the pupil can command
is brought to bear upon this, to throw light upon it; when the
dictionary and any other books familiar to the child are studied for
the sake of reference and explanation, self-activity is developed.
Whenever the disposition can be stimulated to look at a fact or
statement from _more than one standpoint_, to _criticise_ it even, to
see how true it is, or if there are exceptions, self-activity is

The pursuit of definite aims always calls out the will and their
satisfactory attainment strengthens one's confidence in his ability to
succeed.  Every step should be toward a clearly seen aim.  At least
this is our ideal in working with children.  They should not be led on
blindly from one point to another, but try to reach definite results.

There is a gradual _transition_ in the course of a child's schooling
from training of the will under guidance to its independent exercise.
Throughout the school course there must be much obedience and will
effort under the guidance of one in authority.  But there should be a
gradual increase of self-activity and self-determination.  When the
pupil leaves school he should be prepared to launch out and pursue his
own aims with success.

Will effort, however, to be valuable, must have its roots in those
_moral convictions_ which it is the chief aim of the school to foster
and strengthen.  We have attempted to show in the preceding chapters
how the central subject matter of the school could be chosen, and the
other studies concentrated about it with a view to accomplishing this
result.  In concluding our discussion of general principles of
education, and in summing up the results, basing our reasoning upon
psychology, we are always forced to the conclusion that education aims
at the _will_, and more particularly at the will as influenced and
guided by moral ideas.  This is the same as saying that we have
completed the circle and come around to our starting point, that _moral
character is the chief aim of education_.

Teachers who are interested in this phase of pedagogy will do well to
study the _science of ethics_.  Not that it will much aid them directly
in school work, but it will at least give them a more comprehensive and
definite notion of the field of morals and perhaps indicate more
clearly where the _materials_ of moral education are to be sought, and
the leading ideas to be emphasized.

Herbart projected a system of ethics, based on psychology, with the
intention of classifying the chief moral notions and of showing their
relation to each other.  He also developed a theory of the _origin_ of
moral ideas and their best means of cultivation, and then based his
system of pedagogy upon it.

The chief classes of ethical ideas of Herbart are briefly explained as

1. _Good will_.  It is manifested in the sympathy we feel for the
sorrow or joy of another person.  It is illustrated by the example of
Sidney and Howard already cited.

2. _Legal right_.  It serves to avoid strife by some agreement or
established rule; _e.g._, the government of the United States fixes the
law for pre-empting land and for homestead claims so that no two
persons can lay claim to the same piece of land.

3. _Justice_, as expressed by reward or punishment.  When a person
purposely does an injury to another, all men unite in the judgment, "He
must be punished."  Likewise, if a kind act is done to anyone, we
insist upon a return of gratitude at least.

4. _Perfection of will_.  This implies that the will is strong enough
to resist all opposition.  David's will to go out and meet Goliath was
perfect.  A boy desires to get his lesson, but indolence and the love
of play are too strong for his will.  There is nothing which goes so
far to make up the character of the hero as strength of will which
yields to no difficulties.

5. _Inner freedom_.  This is the obedience of the will to its _highest_
moral incentive.  It is ability to set the will free from all selfish
or wrong desires and to yield implicit obedience to moral ideas.  This
of course depends upon the cultivation of the other ideas and their
proper subordination, one to another.

The five moral ideas just given indicate the lines along which strength
of moral character is shown.  They are of some interest to the teacher
as a systematic arrangement of morals, but they are of no direct value
in teaching.  They are the most abstract and general classes of moral
ideas and are of no interest whatever to children.

In morals the only thing that interests children is _moral action_.
Whether it be in actual life or in a story or history, the child is
aroused by a deed of kindness or courage.  But all talk of kindness or
goodness in general, disconnected from particular persons and actions,
is dry and uninteresting.  This gives us _the key to the child's_ mind
in morals.  Not moralizing, not preaching, not lecturing, not reproof,
can ever be the _original source_ of moral ideas with the young, but
the _actions_ of people they see, and of those about whom they read or
hear.  Moral judgments and feelings spring up originally only in
connection with human action in the concrete.  If we propose then to
_adapt moral teaching_ to youthful minds, we must make use of concrete
materials, observations of people taken from what the children have
seen, stories and biographies of historical characters.  A story of a
man's life is interesting because it brings out his particular motives
and actions.  This is the field in which instruction has its conquests
to make over youthful minds.

We will gather up the fruits of our discussion in the preceding
chapters.  Having fixed the chief aim in the effort to influence and
strengthen moral character, we find _concentration_ to be the central
principle in which all others unite.  It is the focusing of life and
school experiences in the unity of the personality.  The worth and
choice of studies is determined by this.  Interest unites knowledge,
feeling, and will.  The culture epochs supply the nucleus of materials
for moral-educative purposes.  Apperception assimilates new ideas by
bringing each into the bond of its kindred and friends, spinning
threads of connection in every direction.  The inductive process
collects, classifies, and organizes knowledge, everywhere tending
toward unity.



"Then, only, can a person be said to draw education under his control,
when he has the wisdom to bring forth in the youthful soul a great
circle or body of ideas, well knit together in its inmost parts--a body
of ideas which is able to outweigh what is unfavorable in environment
and to absorb and combine with itself the favorable elements of the
same."  (Herbart.)

Herbart was an empirical psychologist, and believed that the mind grows
with what it feeds upon; that is, that it develops its powers slowly by
experience.  We are dependent not only upon our habits, upon the
established trends of mental action produced by exercise and
discipline, but also upon our acquired ideas, upon the thought
materials stored up and organized in the mind.  These thought-materials
seem to possess a kind of vitality, an energy, an attractive or
repulsive power.  When ideas once gain real significance in the mind,
they become active agents.  They are not the blocks with which the mind
builds.  They are a part of the mind itself.  They are the conscious
reaction of the mind upon external things.  The conscious ego itself is
a product of experience.  In thus referring all mental action and
growth to experience, in the narrow limits he draws for the original
powers of the mind, Herbart stands opposed to the older and to many
more recent psychologists.  He has been called the father of empirical

Kant, with many other psychologists, gives greater prominence to the
original powers of the mind, to the _innate ideas_, by means of which
it receives and works over the crude materials furnished by the senses.
The difference between Kant and Herbart in interpreting the process of
apperception is an index of a radical difference in their pedagogical
standpoints.  With Kant, apperception is the assimilation of the raw
materials of knowledge through the fundamental categories of thought
(quality, quantity, relation, modality, etc.)  Kant's categories of
thought are original properties of the mind; they receive the crude
materials of sense-perception and give them form and meaning.  With
Herbart, the ideas gained through experience are the apperceiving power
in interpreting new things.  Practically, the difference between Kant
and Herbart is important.  For Kant gives controlling influence to
innate ideas in the process of acquisition.  Our capacity for learning
depends not so much upon the results of experience and thought stored
in the mind, as upon original powers, unaided and unsupported by
experience.  With Herbart, on the contrary, great stress is laid upon
the _acquired fund_ of empirical knowledge as a means of increasing
one's stores, of more rapidly receiving and assimilating new ideas.

Upon this is also based psychologically the whole educational plan of
Herbart and of his disciples.  As fast as ideas are gained they are
used as means of further acquisition.  The chief care is to supply the
mind of a child at any stage of his growth with materials of knowledge
suited to his previous stores, and to see that the new is properly
assimilated by the old and organized with it.  This accumulated fund of
ideas, as it goes on collecting and arranging itself in the mind, is
not only a favorable condition but an active agency in our future
acquisition and progress.  Moreover, it is the business of the teacher
to guide and, to some extent, to control the inflow of new ideas and
experiences into the mind of a child; to superintend the process of
acquiring and of building up those bodies of thought and feeling which
eventually are to influence and guide a child's voluntary action.

The critics therefore accuse Herbart of a sort of _architectural_
design or even of a _mechanical_ process in education.  If our ability
and character depend to such an extent upon our acquirements, and if
the teacher is able to control the supply of ideas to a child and to
guide the process of arrangement, he can build up controlling centers
of thought which may strongly influence the action of the will.  In
other words, he can construct a character by building the right
materials into it.  This seems to leave small room for spontaneous
development toward self-activity and freedom.

Herbart, on the other hand, criticises Kant's idea of the
transcendental freedom of the will, on the ground that, if true, it
makes deliberate, systematic education impossible.  If the will remains
absolutely free in spite of acquired knowledge, in spite of strongly
developed tendencies of thought and feeling; if the child or youth, at
any moment, even in later years, is able to retire into his
trancendental _ego_ and arrive at decisions without regard to the
effect of previously acquired ideas and habits, any well-planned,
intentional effort at education is empty and without effect.

John Friedrich Herbart, the founder of this movement in education, was
born at Oldenburg in 1776, and died at Göttingen in 1811 [Transcriber's
note: this should be 1841].  He labored seven years at Göttingen at the
beginning of his career as professor, and a similar period at its
close.  But the longest period of his university teaching was at
Königsberg, where, for twenty-five years, he occupied the chair of
philosophy made famous before him by Kant.  His writings and lectures
were devoted chiefly to philosophy, psychology, and pedagogy.  Previous
to beginning his career as professor at the university, he had spent
three years as private tutor to three boys in a Swiss family of
patrician rank.  In the letters and reports made to the father of these
boys, we have strong proof of the practical wisdom and earnestness with
which he met his duties as a teacher.  The deep pedagogical interest
thus developed in him remained throughout his life a quickening
influence.  One of his earliest courses of lectures at the university
resulted in the publication, in 1806, of his Allgemeine Pädagogik, his
leading work on education, and to-day one of the classics of German
educational literature.  His vigorous philosophical thinking in
psychology and ethics gave him the firm basis for his pedagogical
system.  At Königsberg, so strong was his interest in educational
problems that he established a training-school for boys, where
teachers, chosen by him and under his direction, could make practical
application of his decided views on education.  Though small, this
school continued to furnish proof of the correctness of his educational
ideas till he left Königsberg in 1833.  This, we believe, was the first
practice-school of its kind established in connection with pedagogical
lectures in any German university.  It should be remembered that, while
Herbart was a philosopher of the first rank, even among the eminent
thinkers of Germany and of the world, he attested his profound interest
in education, not only by systematic lectures and extensive writings on
education, but by maintaining for nearly a quarter of a century a
practice-school at the university, for the purpose of testing and
illustrating his educational convictions.  Lectures on pedagogy are
more or less common-place, and often nearly worthless.  The lecturer on
pedagogy who shuns the life of the school room is not half a man in his
profession.  The example thus set by Herbart of bringing the maturest
fruit of philosophical study into the school room, and testing it day
by day and month by month upon children has been followed by several
eminent disciples of Herbart at important universities.

Karl Volkmar Stoy (1815-1885) in 1843 began his career of more than
forty years as professor of pedagogy and leader of a teachers' seminary
and practice-school at Jena.  (A part of this time was spent at
Heidelberg.)  During these years more than six hundred university
students received a spirited introduction to the theory and practice of
education under Stoy's guidance and inspiration.  His seminary for
discussion and his practice-school became famous throughout Germany and
sent out many men who gained eminence in educational labors.

Tuiskon Ziller, in 1862, set up at Leipzig, in connection with his
lectures on teaching, a pedagogical seminary and practice-school,
which, for twenty years, continued to develop and extend the
application of Herbart's ideas.  Ziller and several of his disciples
have attained much prominence as educational writers and leaders.

A year after the death of Stoy, 1886, Dr. Wilhelm Rein was called to
the chair of pedagogy at Jena.  He had studied both with Stoy and
Ziller, and had added to this an extensive experience as a teacher and
as principal of a normal school.  His lectures on pedagogy, both
theoretical and practical, in connection with his seminary for
discussion and his practice school for application of theory, furnish
an admirable introduction to the most progressive educational ideas of

The Herbart school stands for certain progressive ideas which, while
not exactly new, have, however, received such a new infusion of
life-giving blood that the vague formulae of theorists have been
changed into the definite, mandatory requirements and suggestions of
real teachers.  The fact that a pedagogical truth has been vaguely or
even clearly stated a dozen times by prominent writers, is no reason
for supposing that it has ever had any vital influence upon educators.
The history of education shows conclusively that important educational
ideas can be written about and talked about for centuries without
finding their way to any great extent into school rooms.  What we now
need in education is definite and well-grounded theories and plans,
backed up by honest and practical execution.

The Herbartians have patiently submitted themselves to thorough-going
tests in both theory and practice.  After years of experiment and
discussion, they come forward with certain propositions of reform which
are designed to infuse new life and meaning into educational labors.

The first proposition is to make the foundation of education immovable
by resting it upon _growth in moral character_, as the purpose which
serious teachers must put first.  The selection of studies and the
organization of the school course follow this guiding principle.

The second is _permanent, many-sided interest_.  The life-giving power
which springs from the awakening of the best interests in the two great
realms of real knowledge should be felt by every teacher.  Though not
entirely new, this idea is better than new, because its deeper meaning
is clearly brought out, and it is rationally provided for by the
selection of interesting materials and by marking out an appropriate
method of treatment.  All knowledge must be infused with feelings of
interest, if it is to reach the heart and work its influence upon
character by giving impulse to the will.

Thirdly, the idea of _organized unity_, or concentration, in the mental
stores gathered by children, in all their knowledge and experience, is
a thought of such vital meaning in the effort to establish unity of
character, that, when a teacher once realizes its import, his effort is
toned up to great undertakings.

Fourthly, the _culture epochs_ give a suggestive bird's-eye view of the
historical meaning of education, and of the rich materials of history
and literature for supplying suitable mental food to children.  They
help to realize the ideas of interest, concentration, and apperception.

_Apperception_ is the practical key to the most important problems of
education, because it compels us to keep a sympathetic eye upon the
child in his moods, mental states, and changing phases of growth; to
build hourly upon the only foundation he has, his previous acquirements
and habits.

Finally, the Herbartians have grappled seriously with that great and
comprehensive problem _the common school course_.  The obligation rests
upon them to select the materials and to lay out a course of study
which embodies all their leading principles in a form suited to
children and to our school conditions.

Some of the principal books published in English bearing on Herbart are
as follows:

De Garmo, Charles.  Essentials of Method.  D. C. Heath, Boston.

Felkin.  The Science of Education; a translation of some of Herbart's
most important writings on education, with a short biography of
Herbart.  D. C. Heath & Co., Boston.

Lange.  Ueber Apperception, translated by the Herbart Club and edited
by Dr. De Garmo.  D. C. Heath & Co., Boston.

Lindner's Psychology, translated by Dr. De Garmo.  D. C. Heath & Co.,

Smith, Miss M. K. Herbart's Psychology, translated.  International Ed.
series.  Appleton.

Van Liew.  Outlines of Pedagogics, by Rein and Van Liew.  C. W.
Bardeen, Syracuse, N. Y.

The latter book contains a full bibliography of the German works of the
Herbart school as well as of those thus far published in English.


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