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and its Applications 



Nancy Catfv 



A STUDY OF 

MODERN EDUCATIONAL THEORY 
AND ITS APPLICATIONS 



UNIFORM WITH THIS VOLUME 
Crown 8vo. , 33. net each 

TRAINING IN APPRECIATION 

ART, LITERATURE, MUSIC 

By N. CATTY, E. WELCH, P. A. WHITKHEAD, 

and M. STORK. > 

THE 
TEACHING OF ARITHMETIC 

IN THEORY AND PRACTICE 

Including the Beginnings of Algebra and Geometry 

By M. STORK. 



LONDON : SIDGWICK & JACKSON, LTD. 



A STUDY OF MODERN 
EDUCATIONAL THEORY 
AND ITS APPLICATIONS 



BY 



NANCY CATTY, M.A. 

LECTURER IN EDUCATION, GOLDSMITHS' COLLEGE, UNIVERSITY OF LONDON 



LONDON 
SIDGWICK & JACKSON, LTD. 

1921 



. . . 



. : : 

)? 



First published in 1921 



To 
G. C. O. S. A. 



4793WU 



CONTENTS 

PAGE 

INTRODUCTION - - ix 

PART I 

CHAPTER 

I. REFLEX AND INSTINCTIVE ACTION i 

II. HABITUAL BEHAVIOUR - - 16 

III. EMOTIONAL DEVELOPMENT - 30 

IV. THE MAKING AND FUNCTION OF THOUGHT - 44 
V. IMAGINATIVE CONDUCT - - 60 

VI. GOOD-WILL IN THE MAKING - 71 

PART II 

VII. THE SCHOOL AS A TRAINING-GROUND - 83 

VIII. THE SCHOOL CURRICULUM - 94 

I. NEEDS COMMON TO ALL SCHOOLS - 96 
II. CONSIDERATION OF THE SPECIAL CHARAC- 
TERISTICS OF SCHOOLS - - 100 
III. NEEDS CAUSED BY THE ENVIRONMENT - IO6 

IX. THE SYLLABUS AND TIME-TABLE - 108 

APPENDICES 

I. A CURRICULUM FOR A RURAL SCHOOL. By Pattie 

Chart .... - 118 

II. A SCHEME FOR INDEPENDENT WORK FOR THE 
GIRLS OF THE " LITERARY DIVISION " OF STAN- 
DARDS VI. AND VII. OF THE CHILDERIC ROAD 

(L.C.C.) DEMONSTRATION SCHOOL, NEW CROSS. 

By M. Palmer - - 123 

A LIST OF USEFUL BOOKS - 127 

INDEX - - 131 

vii 



INTRODUCTION 

" For a purpose is, in the first place, a principle of 
limitation. It determines the end for which, and 
therefore the limits within which, an activity is to be 
carried on. It divides what is worth doing from what 
is not, and settles the scale upon which what is worth 
doing ought to be done. It is, in the second place, 
a principle of unity, because it supplies a common end 
to which efforts can be directed, and submits interests, 
which would otherwise conflict, to the judgment of 
an over-ruling object. It is, in the third place, a 
principle of apportionment or distribution. It assigns 
to the different parties or groups engaged in a common 
undertaking the place which they are to occupy in 
carrying it out." (R. H. Tawney, The Sickness of an 
Acquisitive Society.) 

WHAT Mr. Tawney states here in connection 
with the need of industry to be purposive 
is equally true of education, though in writing of 
education convention demands that we talk of the 
" aim " rather than the " purpose." It is the aim of 
this book to show why education must be purposive 
in that it is a means to an end, although the statement 
of this end varies with the angle from which it is 
regarded. Which statement is the most profitable is 
not the concern of the writer, as, for the work in hand, 
it is the content of the generalization rather than its 
formulation that is most important, and all schools of 

ix 



x INTRODUCTION 

educators maintain the importance of such behaviour 
as will make of the children who come into the schools 
the best possible citizens of the best possible city. 
What the best possible citizen, the best possible city, 
imply must be sought for in the codes and standards 
of a given people, but for the present it suffices to 
assume that the generalizations of the reader have 
enough in common to make the statement of value. 
Such being the case, it is proposed to show that the 
purpose of education is to modify behaviour in certain 
important directions, and that this purpose throws 
light on such vexed but practical problems as the 
curriculum and methods of teaching, learning and 
examining. In other words, theory of education is, 
as it were, a working hypothesis based on facts as we 
know them, and it should be altered when these facts 
show a need. An illustration may make this develop- 
ment in theory clear. The modern State needs men 
and women who will hold themselves responsible for 
their own work, and education which is to aim at the 
best possible citizen must adapt its methods to the 
production of such men and women. Hence, in a 
modern school one finds far more stress is laid on the 
importance of thinking and acting for oneself than on 
the implicit obedience so admired by a past generation. 
In other words, educational theory is not aloof from 
the life of the State, but should formulate what is 
desirable to make the State what the socially conscious 
wish it to be. As the needs of the State change, so 
should educational theory and practice. If a new 



INTRODUCTION xi 

practice is introduced, but the theory remains unaltered, 
the theory loses its vitality, and practice, instead of 
being purposive, or a means to an end, becomes an 
end in itself, and dodges the use of certain apparatus 
or certain methods may be looked on as a panacea 
for all evils. There are no short cuts to the education 
of the good citizen, and the divorce of practical teach- 
ing from theory of education is responsible for the 
belief in them. 

While, on the one hand, the type of citizen needed 
by his community points to the aim in education, on 
the other hand the mental and physical characteristics 
of the children must be taken into account if the work 
in schools is to be satisfactory, and modern psycho- 
logists and physiologists alike would find much to 
criticize in most ordinary schools. To the physio- 
logists at least some attention is being given; exercise, 
free play, sunlight, open-air life, good food, all find 
a place in the list of essential factors in the making of 
the healthy citizen. Modern psychologists have not 
as yet received official recognition, and even teachers 
are often ignorant of the fact that the whole attitude 
towards conscious mental life has changed since the 
days when they were trained. For example, all 
modern psychologists accept that man's instincts have 
at least as much to answer for in his conduct as his 
reason has, and yet in many schools children are 
taught on methods which presuppose that man is a 
truly rational animal, and that the less said about his 
instincts, his likes and dislikes, the better. 



xii INTRODUCTION 

It is hoped, by means of non-technical accounts of 
such work of modern psychologists as has been fairly 
substantiated, to show the justification for the practice 
adopted in the good modern school. The writer can 
with safety assert that all statements of what should 
be are accepted and applied in many schools of which 
she knows already. 



A STUDY OF 

MODERN EDUCATIONAL THEORY 
AND ITS APPLICATIONS 

PART 1 



CHAPTER I 
REFLEX AND INSTINCTIVE ACTION 

IN the earlier stages of a child's life parents and 
teachers will do well to consider him a creature 
of inherited behaviour, and though from the first 
there will be signs of his own individuality asserting 
itself, yet for the most part it will assert itself by 
inherited conduct. As growth proceeds, this inherited 
conduct is controlled by ideas, ideals, attitudes towards 
life that the child has acquired; but inherited conduct 
is still there, and always must be reckoned with. 

Inherited conduct is dependent on the complicated 
nervous system which is part of man's inheritance. 
That certain actions are random, reflex, or instinctive, 
is due to the fact that the connection between certain 
nerves capable of receiving sense stimuli and those 
adapted for response are already made before birth. 
Thus a child breathes, sucks, cries, without teaching; 
his random movements lead him to pleasurable or 
painful experiences, his reflexes are to some degree 
protective. But in each case two factors are present: 

A. The physiological aspect, which presupposes a 

nervous system. 

B. The psychological aspect, which presupposes 

sensitiveness to stimuli. 

3 



"4/-": '^MODERN EDUCATIONAL THEORY 

The physiological aspect of the nervous system 
should be known by all people interested in mankind 
and any good textbook of physiology or psycholog} 
will give the necessary information.* 

Whether psychological experience is entirely de- 
pendent on physiological conditions is not our concerr- 
in this chapter, but the reader should note that i 
child's first psychological reactions which result fron 
his reflex or random actions are clearly discernible 
He cries, for example, as soon as breathing take 
place; in a few weeks' time he can show pleasure 
In each case pain or pleasure is shown in i 
" standardized " reaction, and hence it can be sai 
that all children are born with certain inherite^ 
conduct, the first signs of which are the reflex anr 
random movements. Very soon other standardize^ 
actions show themselves a child expresses by hi 
actions that he feels fear or anger; at the same time 
careful observation will show that very early there i.< 
an attempt to continue a pleasant experience, to dis 
continue an unpleasant experience (e.g., to turn th 
head away from distasteful food, to cry at the loss 01 
something pleasant). 

Such inherited conduct is the foundation on which 
further conduct can be built, and man's amazing 
structure is so different at its best from that of other 
sentient creatures that we tend to forget the funda 
mental part our old inherited actions play. 

This inherited conduct may be considered as reflex 

* See, for example, McDougall's Physiological Psychology. 






REFLEX AND INSTINCTIVE ACTION 5 

or instinctive, the latter term being used to designate 
the more complicated modes of behaviour. To deal 
with the psychology of instincts is not within the scope 
of this textbook, but it is, of all branches of modern 
psychology, that which should receive the most careful 
consideration of teachers. Here it must suffice to 
quote McDougall's definition of an instinct and to 
summarize his classification, in order that the ensuing 
section on the modes of dealing with instinctive conduct 
can be more easily followed.* 

McDougall states that " we may define an instinct 
as an inherited or innate psycho-physical disposition 
which determines its possessor to perceive and pay 
attention to objects of a certain class, to experience 
an emotional excitement of a particular quality upon 
perceiving such an object, and to act in regard to it 
in a particular manner or at least to experience an 
impulse to such an action." 

Thus, in all instinctive experiences three factors 
can be discovered. An external stimulus is perceived 
and rouses the emotion of, say, fear, which in its turn 
almost impels the individual to shrink or run from the 
object causing the feeling. As higher controls of 
conduct play a part in man's life he tends to check the 
instinctive action; he does not run away from a fire, 
but stays to help. But, unless all his available energy 
is immediately diverted into different channels at the 

* If the reader is not acquainted with McDougall's Social 
Psychology, he should certainly study very carefully chapters 
ii., iii., and iv. of that book. 



6 MODERN EDUCATIONAL THEORY 

command of some acquired control, he will feel fear, 
and even be conscious of checking a natural action. 
McDougall's classification is as follows: 

I. Primary instincts: 

Flight, with the corresponding emotion of fear. 
Repulsion, and the emotion of disgust. 
Curiosity, and the emotion of wonder. 
Self-abasement, and the emotion of subjection. 
Self-assertion, and the emotion of elation. 
Pugnacity, and the emotion of anger. 

II. Instincts with less defined emotional capacity: 

Gregariousness. 

Acquisition. 

Construction. 

III. Non-specific innate tendencies: 
Sympathetic induction of emotion. 
Suggestion. 

Imitation. 

Sex and maternal instinct. 

Play. 

Rivalry. 

In educating children it must be remembered that 
every normal child has in a greater or less degree these 
modes of behaviour. It is probable that one form 
of inherited conduct dominates a child at a given 
time, fear in its turn giving way to curiosity, or self- 
abasement to self-assertion. We all know the self- 
assertive boy of eight who holds out to the last 
moment that he can do some absurdly stupendous 



REFLEX AND INSTINCTIVE ACTION 7 

task, and suddenly becomes a frightened baby crying 
for help. Such in more subtle ways is normal conduct ; 
we fear till our pride drives out fear, imitate till our 
self-assertion alters our conduct. In many cases all 
teachers can do is to give the stimuli which will arouse 
another instinct. Thus, for example, when the mother 
says to Mary Smith, aged six, under the control of 
pugnacity, " But you are not behaving like ' Miss 
Smith/ " she is giving the stimulus for self-assertion; 
as also when the child is urged to be brave, or his 
curiosity is called on to drive out anger or fear. 

Examples can be augmented, and should be noted 
by every practical teacher. A is made to assert him- 
self by rousing his curiosity. B can be taught through 
her desire to help another little child (self-assertion 
and maternal feeling). C responds to suggestion, 
while E wants the spur of rivalry. Now, if the only 
aim in school were to get a certain amount of work 
from each child, the skilful teacher, who was sufficiently 
apt in understanding children, would use such instincts 
as most easily obtained the desired result. Fear will 
often spur people to amazing endeavour, and for this 
reason has frequently become the organ of government. 
But if the great aim of education is to train children 
in certain forms of behaviour, the appeal to such an 
instinct as fear is inadmissible. What we must do is 
to consider what lines of conduct make for righteous- 
ness in a State, and then endeavour to give the stimuli 
for the appropriate action. In this way desirable 
types of conduct may become customary, while certain 



8 MODERN EDUCATIONAL THEORY 

others, though still instinctive and liable to occur at 
a given moment, will become less a means of self- 
expression. The fact that behaviour can become 
habitual is at the bottom of the crude theory that 
certain instincts must be suppressed at the cost of 
others that should be stimulated. The dangers of 
suppressing instincts, in the ordinary sense of not 
allowing them to show themselves except under dire 
penalties, are most marked. Any student of children 
can see the effect of such procedure e.g., that a child 
who is naturally pugnacious should practise pug- 
nacity is not desirable, but if in the midst of his 
anger he is terrified into silence, three results follow: 
the physical waste of energy is very great; gradually 
he collects experience that the strong are able to 
frighten the weak; his silence is the silence of 
sullenness. 

Possibly these very normal bursts of anger are best 
dealt with, negatively, by giving the child as few 
chances as possible of using this form of reaction, 
positively, by letting him know, if necessary by forcible 
removal, that such conduct is anti-social, a treatment 
which generally gives the slow-growing gregarious 
instinct time to assert itself. But even here care is 
needed that it is the gregarious instinct that takes 
control. If an angry child is put in the corner or just 
outside the door into a passage which he knows quite 
well, he will " come to himself," as the delightful idiom 
gives it in terms of the psychologist his gregarious 
instinct urges him to make terms with his community; 



REFLEX AND INSTINCTIVE ACTION 9 

but if he is terrified by rinding himself in a strange 
place or under strange circumstances, it is fear again 
that is dominating, and anger suppressed by fear 
results in sullen reactions. 

Again, curiosity can be badly mishandled, and 
neither the people who laud it nor the people who check 
it because it makes for noisy, talkative children get 
completely successful results, though the former treat- 
ment is safer. At its best it makes for the most 
lasting of valuable qualities the sustained interest in 
life as a problem and the willingness to sacrifice much 
in order to understand the working of some minute 
branch of it; at its worst it makes for bird-wittedness, 
and while the teachers of the old school tended 
to make children apathetic about intellectual life, the 
new school, eager to answer questions, may make for 
satisfaction in superficial results. In studying curiosity, 
as with all other instincts, the more the teacher goes 
behind the apparent conduct the more likely is he to 
find the key for the right treatment ; for in some cases 
what on first sight appears to be curiosity, on closer 
inspection reveals itself as self-assertion. In the 
modern home where children are seen and heard, the 
child's continual " What is so and so ?" ' What does 
this mean ?" is often an attempt at self-assertion, and 
the conscientious answerer gets no attention. Now 
self-assertion is as natural and healthy as curiosity, 
but clearly it is wiser to differentiate the symptoms of 
the two instincts and treat them accordingly. For 
self-assertion, something to do that absorbs the self is 



io MODERN EDUCATIONAL THEORY 

the need, and the child, obviously trying to remind us 
that he is a member of our community, will respond 
to the stimulus of doing something useful. The curious 
child, on the other hand, should not be asked to 
detach himself from the problem in hand until he has 
solved it; it is quite hard enough for mature people 
to shake off a mental preoccupation. 

All teachers who are intimately acquainted with 
children out of school know there is something obvious 
in these suggestions, but it is curious how few schools 
assume that the child inside school is even twin to his 
self of home life. For example, a class really wants 
to see how a certain problem will work out, but if the 
time-table says they should stop, they stop, and, as the 
time-table is generally based on the assumption that 
children are uninterested in school work and will not 
attend long to any given subject, the children are 
constantly checked in the middle of an intellectual 
experience. In schools where experiments have been 
tried of giving children so much work to do and letting 
them arrange their own time, it is almost invariably 
found that they choose larger units of study than those 
of the time-table. A time-table must try to strike 
the happy mean between children who work in short 
and long units, but this fact makes another argument 
for as much individual work as possible. It is interest- 
ing to watch the conduct of one's colleagues at that 
terrible period when all are examiners, and to note the 
various units and methods of getting through the 
similar task of marking, for here we have a case of 



REFLEX AND INSTINCTIVE ACTION n 

people with various interests and capacities applied 
to a piece of work they all, more or less, dislike. Some 
at once scorn all normal delights and refuse to do any- 
thing but mark, others can mark only for short periods, 
and are cheered by such dodges as timing each paper, 
and so on. Now, children were fathers of these men, 
and probably the method of work the adult has chosen 
is the method most suitable to his temperament. 

In considering the bearing of the psychology of 
instincts on his professional work, the teacher will find 
much valuable help from the frank account that any 
young person can give him of the instincts that domi- 
nated his conduct in childhood; and he can obtain 
more generalized knowledge from the numerous 
literary and psychological studies of childhood. The 
knowledge should, however, react on the work in 
school, and, if he agrees that self-assertive children 
must not be snubbed and self-abasive children must 
not be praised for being " good," but put into situa- 
tions where they will be tempted to make a joyful 
noise, then arrangements must be made to bring 
about such changes. 

In later sections of this book much must be written 
about the second and third of Professor McDougall's 
classes of instinctive actions, for all play a great part 
in the work of strengthening certain forms of behaviour. 
Here it only remains to raise the question of how the 
general purpose of education shows its influence on our 
treatment of the child in his early years when the 
primary instincts are dominant. 



12 MODERN EDUCATIONAL THEORY 

The frank acceptance that children are neither 
moral nor immoral, but non-moral beings, who can 
only become good citizens by self-activity actuated 
by desire, carries with it the responsibility of giving 
the child scope for using those instinctive responses 
that will form the best base for later moral sentiments, 
and of training him in such habits as make for the 
good and healthy life of the adolescent and adult. 
Now, once this responsibility is accepted, and it is 
difficult to read modern psychology without realizing 
the force of some such statement of the child's early 
attitude to life, the values of various branches of 
school work are entirely altered. While it ceases to 
seem important that a child should have acquired 
definite information by the time he is ten, it seems 
essential that he should make definite responses to 
certain social calls. 

A restatement of the place competition should play 
in ordinary school work may make the point clearer. 
Taking as the definition of temperament that formu- 
lated by Professor McDougall, " the sum of all the 
innate qualities with their specific impulses or ten- 
dencies," and coupling with it his assertion that the 
Teutonic peoples have probably a greater amount of 
pugnacity than any other European race, it is safe 
to assume that the average child is not deficient in the 
controls of conduct that spring from the instincts of 
self-assertion, pugnacity, and rivalry, and that, left 
to himself, he will tend to be anti-social and play for 
his own hand. Assuming, then, that he is to grow 



REFLEX AND INSTINCTIVE ACTION 13 

from a half-savage, wholly egoistic animal into a 
civilized, socialized man whose conduct is characterized 
by the recognition that he is one, and one only, of a 
community, that the community's interests are his, 
that his happiness varies directly with theirs, and that 
he cannot get pleasure at other people's expense, the 
reader will at once see this change cannot be effected 
by the formal teaching of formal subjects when such 
spurs to conduct as are used often arouse self-assertion, 
pugnacity, and rivalry. In his early years, when 
an instinct can only be controlled by calling out 
another instinct, he must be socialized by calling upon 
his feeling for the crowd, his affection, and not his self- 
assertion and rivalry. Such treatment is used in good 
homes, nursery and junior schools, where children 
have freedom to do as they like as long as they do not 
interfere with another's freedom e.g., A must not 
make a noise while other children are resting, because 
they are resting; B must not have his dinner in a 
certain way, because it prevents others enjoying their 
dinner. Analysis will show that all early specifically 
moral training runs on these lines, whereas in many 
cases intellectual training is anti-social and com- 
petitive, and hence the self-regarding instincts are 
given an environment in which to grow. 

Children left to themselves will always introduce 
competition, which, normally originating in A's desire 
to do better than B (self-assertion and rivalry), should 
become in adolescence A's desire to do better than 
A's past self. But A at that age when he is under 



14 MODERN EDUCATIONAL THEORY 

the sway of self-assertion and rivalry need not be 
urged further to this governance by the adult com- 
munity. Gregarious instinct plays practically no 
part in the children in the lower classes of a junior 
school. In those classes the child must be given other- 
regarding " habitudes " which are essential to the 
well-being of the community; and, as soon as it is 
psychologically possible, to call on the other-regarding 
instincts should be the normal rule, the spur to action 
not being "Do this and get a prize," or, worse still, 
" Do this or be punished/' but " Do this and save the 
rest of us trouble." 

This new direction of motive is fraught with prob- 
lems, and devoted altruists must be careful not to fall 
into habits as dangerous, because unpsychological, as 
those of the school of educators who believed the 
ultimate success of school life lay in the number of 
children who improved their position in life. In the 
first place, intellectual interests have their root in the 
self-regarding instinct of curiosity, and, ultimately, 
as nature will out, we only acquire knowledge because 
of some personal curiosity, or for some practical 
(including moral) reason. Hence, the curriculum must 
be adapted to satisfy the children's needs and interests 
in a given school. If this readjustment be made, the 
teacher will be surprised how few inducements to work 
the class requires. But when inducements are neces- 
sary they should be reasonable i.e." If A is not done 
you can't do B, which you desire to do," or, " You spoil 
the work for your class-mates." The inducements 



REFLEX AND INSTINCTIVE ACTION 15 

must only put the true reason for doing the work 
before the child. The greater the honesty between 
teachers and taught, the stronger the bond between 
overlapping generations a most important bond in 
a modern State. Finally, the child must be treated 
as an individual, and hence it is not fair to urge him 
to efforts for the good of his class-mates, when in 
reality they are for the good of nobody but the teacher, 
who wants to obtain certain results. 



CHAPTER II 
HABITUAL BEHAVIOUR 

THE psychology of habit has been so thoroughly 
discussed from the point of view of school life, 
when, indeed, most of our habits made strong roots, 
that it is not necessary to deal with it here.* 
However, three points must be noticed : 
(i) That habits can be formed depends on the 
property of the brain enunciated by Thorndike in the 
following terms: " When any neurone or neurone 
Group A is stimulated, the nervous impulse will be 
transmitted to the neurone Group B, which is most 
closely connected with A, which has been aroused by 
A most frequently, with most satisfaction to the 
individual, most recently, most energetically, and for 
the longest time, and which is most sensitive at the 
time."t From which it follows that if a teacher 
decides it is desirable for his class to acquire a certain 
habit, the ideal conditions are that the results shall 
be pleasurable and unvarying, and that much repeti- 
tion at short intervals shall take place. Hence, if the 
habit to be aimed at is immediate attention to spoken 
commands, the commander must differentiate between 

* For a most readable and sound exposition, see chap. viii. 
of James's Talks to Teachers. 

f The Elements of Psychology, chap. x. 

16 



HABITUAL BEHAVIOUR 17 

commands and discussion, for in discussion it is fair 
to let a child's mind work on its own lines, whereas 
in obedience to commands it works on the teacher's 
lines. 

(2) Habits, as the individual develops and 
" hardens," tend both to modify the instinctive 
behaviour and also to restrict experimental action; 
hence, even in very simple cases, a habit may do as 
much harm as good. Teachers have always been fully 
aware of this fact, and, indeed, too apprehensive lest 
a child's first attempts at any art should hamper his 
later development. Hence arose " needle drill," and 
even in the present time the genuine dislike of many 
good teachers to the " trial and error " method is based 
on this fact. There is such a mass of evidence in favour 
of children's learning by finding out and doing for 
themselves that it behoves the advocates to realize 
the weak side of such learning, if only to guard against 
it. A child self-taught might acquire a tedious and 
clumsy method of, say, knitting, and if the teacher is 
not sufficiently skilful in persuading her to adopt the 
better way, the child's way becomes habitual. Later, 
should the child realize her method is faulty, she finds 
it difficult to alter. Not all the educated men and 
women who talk with a cockney accent do so out of 
ignorance; many realize it, but the habit is so ingrained 
that they decide the change is not worth the energy 
involved. 

(3) Habits must be made by the child himself, and 
consequently the skill of his teacher lies in helping 



i8 MODERN EDUCATIONAL THEORY 

him to see their value. The mother who daily reminds 
her child to clean his teeth is not giving him the neces- 
sary habit, and teachers constantly fall into a similar 
error. If all other means fail and the habit is essential, 
the teacher must see that it is worth the child's while 
to make the necessary efforts to acquire it. A know- 
ledge of the child is essential for this purpose, for 
habits are not a control of conduct that can be super- 
imposed on man, as they must find their roots in his 
instinctive actions. In other words, habits must grow 
out of a child's needs, for thus only can one ensure the 
active co-operation of the child. Even such habits as 
cleaning teeth regularly, taking medicine, leaving one's 
room or desk tidy, can be acquired by a child, because 
his instinct of self-assertion is strengthening; the 
danger arises when parents or teachers give such 
responsibility to children before they are ready for it, 
or, as Froebel pointed out, prevent their acquiring a 
habit at the moment they desire to do so. The teacher 
who tidies the room or waters the plants because it is 
more quickly and better done by her has no right to 
complain that children do not acquire habits she 
desires for them. No extreme utterances on all this 
difficult early training are completely true, but the 
more children can do for themselves, from the earliest 
day of life to the latest, the better trained they are. 
The attitude of the educator must be that it is a 
punishment to prevent the child from doing things, 
a punishment that is the direct result of careless 
action. All educators know, however, of the " lazy 



HABITUAL BEHAVIOUR 19 

child," who will get out of doing as many things as 
possible, and who is cited by the lovers of supervision 
as the case which makes the self-training that is 
advocated here nugatory. Is the lazy child, however, 
common ? If a child actually wants to do nothing he 
should be medically examined, and the child who is 
slipshod, careless, slow in acquiring the usual neces- 
sary habits of life, is as often the result of training by 
too affectionate or too efficient adults as of some 
innate abnormalities. It may not be out of place to 
point out the most common causes of these slacknesses 
in young people : 

1. The educator wants to save the child trouble, and 
occasionally does a thing for him, and so breaks the 
" habit chain " for the child (e.g., doing up boots that 
the child can do up for himself). 

2. Though the child does not do the habitual act 
demanded of him," he finds nothing happens e.g., when 
he leaves his teeth uncleaned. Now, if the originator 
of the habit has failed to make the child want to 
acquire it, as soon as the child finds a lapse brings no 
immediate punishment he risks being found out in it. 
Needless to say, it is fatal to overlook the omission or 
punish it merely by a cross word. If it is as necessary 
to clean teeth as parents insist, then the child must 
clean them even at the price of upsetting household 
arrangements. 

3. This brings us to the problem of " standards." 
It is no use trying to make children acquire standards 
above those of their age, and it is here that the capable 



20 MODERN EDUCATIONAL THEORY 

educator spoils his work ; he forces habits on the young 
of which they cannot see the value, and there is a 
constant conflict between their inconveniently low 
standard and his, to them, absurdly high one. Cleanli- 
ness, neatness, accuracy, are all a question of degree, 
and what one housewife calls clean another calls dirty. 
There is no absolute standard, and a child can only 
acquire those of the average adult with practice and 
time. If a standard beyond his power is demanded, 
he will either attain it at the cost of a more valuable 
possession (neat writing against honest self-expression) , 
or he will reach it only under compulsion, and will fall 
from grace immediately the force is removed. There 
are moments when one must make a child do a thing, 
but these moments point to our failures as trainers, 
and should be accounted as such. It is in such cases 
that his general theory of education helps a teacher. 
Most of us agree that we cannot make people good by 
Act of Parliament, and do not want to do so; that we 
abhor the idea of force ruling us and fear being our 
guide. If we act on this view, we shall be tardy of 
using force to compel a child to reach our standards of 
conduct. Here, as everywhere, the separation of one's 
theory and practice spells failure. 

It is, again, in relation to a teacher's theory of educa- 
tion that he must decide what habits he wishes the 
children to acquire, but if he faces the fact that they 
must be made by the children, and not imposed on 
them, he will probably have a more moderate standard 
of quantity and quality. In the poorest of our schools 



HABITUAL BEHAVIOUR 21 

those habits generally given in a good home must be 
given first. When one realises what is asked of the 
ordinary child of ten, one is amazed at his plasticity 
and cheerful acquiescence, and one feels that many 
teachers in poor schools might with advantage spend 
a week in a house where children live a normal, happy 
life, and note the number of responsibilities they have 
acquired (in the form of habits to a great extent) and 
the number they are acquiring. If the teacher then 
thinks of the child of ten from the bad home, where, 
for some reason or other, this training cannot go on, 
he will realize that though the child may be good at 
arithmetic he will compete unfavourably with his 
coeval, who is responsible in many different directions. 
Equally the child who has not been given such responsi- 
bilities as running errands, washing tea-things, making 
beds, feeding chickens, etc., is at a great disadvantage 
with the child who has. 

The study of the training given to children in 
a good home tends to the conclusion that good 
habits are "community habits" i.e., such as tend 
to make the children useful members of their group. 
For example, a child must learn as soon as possible 
to do the simple personal things for himself, and 
those acts should be made easy for him in order to 
meet his lack of skill half-way. He must- dress 
himself, but his dress should be simple; he must keep 
his room tidy, but the room must not be cumbered 
with other people's adornments; at school he must 
learn to speak, read, and write distinctly, because 

3 



22 MODERN EDUCATIONAL THEORY 

without these aptitudes he is difficult to work with; 
but such demands must not necessitate the child 
being rebuked for clear but uncultivated speech, 
legible writing that does not reach the adult ideal, or 
reading that does not reproduce the teacher's reading. 
As the child gets to the part of the subject where 
certain formal knowledge is literally a sine qua non 
of progress, these intellectual habits, as perhaps they 
may be called e.g., of responding 12 to twice 6, of 
visualizing the map of the Rhine at the sound of the 
words, of putting on a wash smoothly and carefully 
in painting must be acquired. In other words, 
formal knowledge and training must be mastered as the 
need arises. Indeed, the whole theory of training in 
habits can be summed up in the dictum, " Never 
shirk mental, moral, or physical drudgery once you 
are sure that it is necessary to your purpose." 

This generalization seems to imply that children 
should leave school endowed with a " general habit " 
or " habitude," as Professor Welton calls it (a trend 
or attitude of life dependent on past experience), and 
hence the vexed question of the making of such general 
habits is raised. In psychological terminology the 
problem has been discussed and formulated in the 
doctrine of " transference of training," and readers 
who wish to study for themselves the experiments on 
which the conclusions are based should consult such 
a work as Rusk's Experimental Education. But, as 
often happens, these experiments have only made 
more definite and precise the knowledge that is cen- 



HABITUAL BEHAVIOUR 23 

turies old namely, that a man is not necessarily 
reasonable and accurate in life because he is a good 
mathematician, or imaginative in his domestic affairs 
because he is imaginative in art, or neat in his clothes 
because his laboratory is a model of nice order. In 
the language of school problems, it is futile to assume 
that because a boy has been compelled to do distasteful 
tasks in the schoolroom he will do them when he 
leaves school, or even because he has had to show 
neat school-books his own books at home will be neat. 
But what can happen, and does indeed often occur 
with intelligent people, is that mathematics, for 
example, gives them an appreciation of the meaning 
of reasoning and accuracy, and hence they make 
efforts to practise them in the less mathematical parts 
of existence. More generally stated, experience in one 
department of life leads to the acquisition of certain 
intellectual and emotional generalizations (commonly 
called ideals), and, given an individual who has a desire 
to apply these in definite directions, he makes efforts 
to control his conduct by these newly acquired stan- 
dards. Good training in early years is of invaluable 
service to him, for it is by reason of good teaching 
not necessarily in school, of course that the under- 
standing of the value of precision, accuracy, careful 
thought, and nice manipulation arises. Also, when 
in adolescence the child grows to an appreciation of 
these qualities, he should not find a bar to their realiza- 
tion in any bad habits already acquired. 
Anyone who thinks about life will find many cases 



24 MODERN EDUCATIONAL THEORY 

which point to the conclusion that a training in one 
department often seems to have no effect whatever 
on a man's conduct in some other department of life, 
and though psychologists find that if there be in the 
second experience a factor common to the first, train- 
ing will then show, nevertheless, even then it often 
shows with a difference. For example, a boy who has 
the habit of clear, legible writing will write his home 
letters better than the boy who has not, but if the 
standard of good writing is master-imposed rather than 
self-imposed, there will be a distinct difference in the 
boy's two productions. The root of the matter lies 
in the fact that general habits or attitudes towards life 
can only be established if the individual desires to 
establish them. 

To the psychologist it must seem amazing that such 
well-established facts should have to be restated, and 
yet thousands of schoolmasters act as though they 
were not. It is not only the layman who says: " Make 
the boy do drudgery, and do things he dislikes at school, 
because he must do so when he leaves school/' The 
assumption is common that a habit of drudgery can 
be transferred from one set of circumstances to another. 
At the risk of tediousness such a statement must be 
examined. Suppose, for the moment, the aim of educa- 
tion is to bring up people who will do dull work wil- 
lingly, to make children drudge is not the way to 
accomplish it. If a child does work to him dull 
e.g., learning lists of dates, unconnected geographical 
facts, etc. he either does so because it is easier to 



HABITUAL BEHAVIOUR 25 

conform than to rebel, or because he is afraid, or 
because to win ten marks or some such reward is the 
highest joy in an otherwise dull world. Certain 
children will not learn such things, and not all the 
rewards or punishments devised by schoolmasters 
make them do so. Now, in all such cases the child is 
controlled by some force external to himself; he learns 
the dates for the master who makes him, he does not 
learn the names of the towns for the master who 
forgets to hear him say them. In either case he sees 
no reason in the thing, and, once the compulsion is 
withdrawn, there is no inducement to do the unpleasant 
act. If he is trustworthy, in after-life he must do 
unpleasant things, knowing they are unpleasant, 
because of some rule of conduct that is self-imposed, 
and it is this training that must be begun in his school 
days. 

Can nothing be done with the problem in schools as 
they are ? Probably more can be done than even 
the most enlightened teachers realize, if only children 
are allowed to educate themselves through action 
rather than be taught by adults. A simple example 
can be obtained by observing the modern method of 
learning tables. In the schools of twenty years ago 
the general custom was for children to memorize tables 
long before they could understand their value, and 
years before they could manage to appreciate the actual 
weight of a drachm or the use of a " chain." The 
result was children who could say tables but could 
not tell the questioner if he was 6 yards or 6 feet high. 



26 MODERN EDUCATIONAL THEORY 

Gradually teachers realized the value of experience, 
and now most of the early work in arithmetic consists 
in giving a child that knowledge which he will need if 
he is to make and appreciate numerical generaliza- 
tions. Later, a stage comes when the child can see 
for himself that he will save time and be more success- 
ful in his number games if he learns these generaliza- 
tions which he has collected in his book in table form, 
and the skilful teacher is he who sees that the child 
first finds himself in such a situation that this con- 
clusion is obvious, and, having come to the conclusion, 
acts on it. Just as earlier in the chapter it was 
suggested it was unwise, and hence unkind, for the 
adult to let a child off the performance of some act 
that must become habitual, so is it equally true that 
kindness does not lie in letting him off intellectual 
drudgery. As there is no reason for the child's asso- 
ciating the drudgery with distaste, it is not necessary 
for the teacher to make it more irksome than necessary ; 
tables may be learned because some such game as 
" Buzz " is to be played, if this will temper the wind 
for a class. But the attitude of the learner must be one 
of doing a dull thing because if he does not he cannot 
" get on " towards some goal which he wishes to 
reach. Most children adopt such an attitude towards 
drudgery with more facility than would be supposed 
by anyone who only gained his knowledge of them 
from books on method or from teachers' conferences. 
The reasons for their cheerful doing of what seem to 
us dull tasks are worth considering for the light they 



HABITUAL BEHAVIOUR 27 

throw on the problem. In the first place, a child likes 
to acquire knowledge that he knows will be useful to 
him, and the fact that by his own serious effort he is 
doing so appeals to him ; in the second place, his sense 
of the value of time is less acute than ours, and con- 
sequently he does not resent drudgery as the more 
intelligent among his seniors often do. Look at the 
laborious effort he will put into the preparation of 
apparatus for some game which will only be played for 
a few minutes ! 

If the school years are full of those experiences in 
which the child, seeing the need of drudgery, is given 
training in accomplishing it, he will gain the material 
for the generalization that drudgery must not be 
shirked. If, on the other hand, he has been compelled 
to do distasteful work, he will cease it when compulsion 
is removed. The modern State needs all its members 
to be capable of faithfully fulfilling distasteful tasks 
as a means to an end. The good teacher recognizes 
this need, and prepares his boys to understand and 
act upon it. With a reasonable curriculum the task 
is not as arduous as many that were accomplished 
under the system of " payment by results." 

All that has been said of the training in drudgery 
applies equally to the other attitudes of mind or 
general habits that one desires to acquire. If children 
are to grow up into intelligent men and women, there 
will come a day when they reach to the understanding 
of the value of truth and accuracy in thought and 
speech; if, when the day comes, they have not the 



28 MODERN EDUCATIONAL THEORY 

habit of accurate response to questions, they will find 
it hard to acquire, as the acquisition implies the re- 
placing of a bad by a good habit. But long before 
they can fully appreciate the civic value of truthful- 
ness they can learn to answer truthfully; in a wise 
home and school temptations to tell untruths are not 
given to the child. A good schoolmaster says, " When 
did you black John's eye ?" not " Did you black 
John's eye ?" when he is in possession of the facts; no 
sincere adult says, " If you tell the truth I won't 
punish you," when he means, " I won't punish you as 
much as if you don't." Take away the control of fear 
and replace it by friendliness, and children tend to be 
as truthful with their elders as they are with their 
peers. However, when a child does try to escape 
consequences by lying it is important to let him see 
that it does not pay. On the other hand, it is im- 
possible to assent to the dictum, " Be quite sure, and 
then hit him," which is a summary of the views of 
many educators; under such treatment it is hard to 
see how the child is to escape the conclusion, " If I 
am found out I am hit," while the conclusion we want 
him to reach is, surely, " If I don't tell the truth I 
can't be trusted." For the same reason the onlooker 
finds himself wondering if the great grief expressed by 
many people over children's lies helps to the right 
association Probably the safer steps in the acquisi- 
tion of this very difficult habit of truthfulness are (i) as 
few opportunities as possible for telling untruths during 
the early years of childhood, so that the child learns 



HABITUAL BEHAVIOUR 29 

to answer truthfully as a matter of course; (2) as the 
child grows older the utter truthfulness of those he 
respects, their intelligent disapproval of ex parte or 
exaggerated statements, their explanations to him of 
why people are truthful, will suggest the right idea 
about accuracy; (3) if he is intelligent he will see, as 
he comes to adolescence, that accuracy in work, 
accuracy in speech are essential. His growing 
aspirations to be considered a responsible member of 
his community will spur him to further endeavour 
even to the very end of being truthful to himself. 

It is questionable if any but the best-trained intel- 
ligences can be truthful in thought. 




CHAPTER III 

DEVELOPMENT 

IN a civilized community the psychic energy of 
man is not entirely used up by his instinctive 
life, and there early comes a time when a little 
child has free energy; it is then that the instinctive 
feelings can be diverted to other objects and systematic 
training can begin. Professor McDougall, in his 
Social Psychology, derives all man's more complex 
feelings love, reverence, despair, hate, etc. from the 
primary instincts with which we dealt in Chapter I. 
of this book. Whether we agree with him or no as to 
the actual constituents of such an organized feeling as 
reverence, it is undoubted that for such a feeling time 
and free energy are necessary. What happens is this: 
The instinctive interests self-preservation and repro- 
duction on the one hand, the herd preservation on the 
other do not use up the mind's store of energy, and 
hence it finds other channels. In little children who 
are free from responsibility the channel is free play, 
and, later, communit}^ games; but if a child is forced 
to be old before its time i.e., to do too much work 
in the home, etc. there is no available psychic energy 
to be diverted into such channels of thought and action 
as education aims at making. 

Given this free energy, a child slowly acquires other 

3 



EMOTIONAL DEVELOPMENT 31 

actions besides the instinctive ones, slowly his ex- 
periences result in groups of ideas closely knit together, 
of feelings closely associated with people or objects, 
feelings and ideas that not only divert his energy 
into other than the inherited channels of action, 
but after a time control or even prohibit instinctive 
action. Now every teacher knows that normal conduct 
is a threefold process a feeling, a cognition of that 
feeling, and a diversion of energy into action. Here 
it is proposed to consider the growth of the more 
complex feelings apart from the actual thinking 
process, though it is absolutely impossible, in writing 
of thought or emotion as such, to ignore the fact that 
a growth of emotion reacts on cognition and action, 
and vice versa. 

The study of a child's growth of feeling for his mother 
throws light on the problem. If a baby of a few 
months old is taken away from his mother, he does 
not miss her; the average child of three in a congenial 
atmosphere recovers happily from the loss; the girl 
of thirteen may feel the loss for years. Such is an 
everyday example of the fact that the feeling of 
pleasure that children have for those who are kind 
to them takes time and opportunity if it is to develop 
into the lasting sentiment of love. Modern study of 
abnormal emotional states of consciousness has so 
strengthened the belief that time and opportunity (or, 
as it were, the practice of an emotion) are necessary 
factors for the growth of a sentiment that one school 
of thinkers would explain the actual cases of love at 



32 MODERN EDUCATIONAL THEORY 

first sight as being a suppressed sentiment for another, 
transferred for some reason to the recipient in question. 
Be that as it may, the analogy between the slow growth 
of an idea if it is acquired by personal effort and the 
slow development of the emotional life of an individual 
is illuminating.* ' The child, for example, starts with 
little knowledge of a cat, but by use increases it, and 
as his knowledge increases, he modifies his conduct 
accordingly. The fact to note is that he does not wait 
to act till he knows the conditions of action, but learns 
the conditions by doing. So, also, does he begin with 
a vague feeling of pleasure in the presence of people 
who are kind to him, and this pleasurable feeling spurs 
him to action i.e., to remain with them, to do the 
things that make them smile, and so on. /By action he 
learns more, and the knowledge deepens his love or 
lessens it. Thus, often, when a child says in anger to 
his mother, " I hate you !" he does for the moment 
dislike her, for he is gaining a knowledge of his mother 
that is unpleasing to his instinctive self, though in the 
end it may deepen his sentiment for her. In some 
way his mother has thwarted him, and here comes that 
first experience which will eventually lead to the 
feeling of security which results from disagreements 
weathered and the knowledge that one loves one's 
friends because they are they, and not because they 
approve one's own action. 

* For one of the most helpful studies of the growth 
of sentiment, the reader should consult Shand's Foundations 
of Character. 



EMOTIONAL DEVELOPMENT 33 

Again, not only does the feeling at once become the 
spur to action the child does what he can to prolong 
the pleasurable experience, to shorten or put off the 
distasteful experience but the presence of a strong 
feeling^ makes a child more sensitive to the stimuli to 
the various instincts with which he is endowed. Thus 
his emotional experiences are increased and strength- 
ened. An example makes this point obvious. If a 
little child sees his mother hurt he is angry, if she is 
away a long time he is terrified, if he is self-assertive 
he yearns for his mother to be the admirer of his 
prowess. 

Similar behaviour in a more subtle or complex form 
can be seen in adults. Briefly, the stronger the senti- 
ment, the greater the susceptibility to stimuli that 
rouse it; even the most jealous man only has his 
jealousy aroused if someone for whom he cares is in 
question. Exactly the same sensitiveness can be 
noticed in the less personal emotions love of one's 
country, love of some principle of conduct, love for 
beauty. At times of national danger men resent any 
criticism of national action, and show distinct dislike 
for those who indulge in it. A strong hate seeks ways 
to express itself, and does, indeed, find ways where a 
less strong emotion could not. 

It is to a careful onlooker amazing to see how much 
energy a strong sentiment seems to command as soon 
as it is roused to action, and this whether the emotion 
be centred on a person, a cause, or an ideal. Though 
the onlooker may call it a waste of life and think the 



34 MODERN EDUCATIONAL THEORY 

object is not worth it or the ideal mistaken, he cannot 
fail to respect the abandonment of self, the absorption 
in the action that is displayed. The case of the man 
who is strongly endowed with the instinct of acquisition 
and who puts all his energy into making his million 
is an admirable example of such absorption, of the 
acuteness of thought that is shown in the furthering 
of the aim, of the fear that is roused if his property 
seem to be in danger, of the indifference to other 
pleasures and other aims. 

The example just cited is useful for the further study 
of the feeling, because it illustrates the fact that things 
uninteresting in themselves become interesting if they 
are either a means or a hindrance to the development 
of the feeling. A man intent on his business may be 
indifferent to his employes, but if they threaten to 
hinder his progress, in all probability he will not stop 
at disapproval of their action, but will dislike the 
actors. Again, if his desire for a fortune is great, no 
work is too dull and no hours are too long. He does 
such work for such hours as a means to an end, and 
many of the clashes that come in business life arise 
because one set of workers has the sentiment that will 
make such effort possible and fails to see a similar 
effort is not compatible with the little interest that 
others have. 

This willingness, first, to do uninteresting actions if 
they are conditioned by a strong feeling, and, secondly, 
to find real pleasure in the means, is, of course, of 
great importance in the effect it has not only on the 



EMOTIONAL DEVELOPMENT 35 

growing sentiment, but on the intellectual life arising 
out of it. Saja^njaiownjo ^teachers is_this..tendency, 
that they often rely on some strong sentiment love 
for a teacher, love of approval, desire to stand well in 
the eyes of the school, dread of punishment to induce 
pupils to undertake distasteful work: and they main- 
tain that, as some few pupils do eventually get an 
interest in the subject worked at in this way, therefore 
it is the correct way of teaching a subject. The answer 
is that though a few learn to like mathematics who 
first only worked at it for fear of, or love for, a ; jtachep,- 
many have no strong sentiment that will induce them 
to the labour that may in time bring interest strong 
organized sentiments being a matter of time; to 
them mathematics spells dislike, as it keeps them from 
things they would prefer to do. It is probable that 
the few who boast they were whipped into love of 
mathematics would have 'acquired it in any case; by 
more intelligent methods some of the many might also 
have grown a secondary interest in the subject y It is 
to the thinking man an absurd arrangement by which 
so many children are forced to practise scales and 
exercises in which they find no pleasure and see no use 
in order that, in later years, they may enjoy music and 
find in it a means of expression. Modern teaching 
uses more straightforward methods. 

Children, then, are not born with. strong sentiments 
towards their mother they " grow " them, granted 
time and opportunity and there is nothing unnatural 
in the child who loves his nurse better than his mother 



36 MODERN EDUCATIONAL THEORY 

if his mother is indifferent and the nurse actively 
affectionate. When his love for the people with whom 
he lives, including his pets and toys, does not use all 
his energy, he will seek new channels for his emotions, 
and friends will be adopted. 

Love for any branch of work has a somewhat similar 
history. In the middle years of childhood it may, 
and often does, arise in the suggestion given by a loved 
teacher or by the child's crowd, though it is doubtful 
if a satisfactory and stable complex will be formed 
unless the subject also appeals directly to some instinc- 
tive controls of conduct curiosity or acquisition, etc. 
But it must always be remembered that children tend 
to transfer their feeling for a person to the things that 
person does; on the whole, unpopular teachers make 
unpopular subjects, whereas in adult life (as in the case 
of the employer cited above) the tendency is to dislike a 
man because of some habit or action. In most cases love 
for any branch of work has its origin in the pleasure that 
arises in satisfying some instinct generally the instinct 
of curiosity or construction. Curiosity initiates the 
work, the work brings further satisfaction, which in 
its turn tends to send the child to further work on that 
side of life rather than another. A, for example, 
begins botany because he likes making a collection of 
wild flowers; the work on botany makes him look with 
fresh interest on flowers, and the strengthened interest 
will, after a time, urge him to undertake the laborious 
process of cutting sections. It is clear that a very simple 
instinctive feeling by this process develops into a 



EMOTIONAL DEVELOPMENT 37 

sentiment that may in some cases be a dominating 
one, sending one man to a certain kind of holiday, 
another to a Science Degree and a definitely scientific 
career. It is equally clear that, be it a hobby or a 
profession, in each case there is a system of ideas that 
grows with and reacts upon the growth of the man's 
interest, and that in time the cognitive aspect of the 
work absorbs far more energy than the emotional. 

The modern use of " complexes " to explain emo- 
tional states of consciousness is so interesting that it is 
worth while to look at the problem discussed in this 
chapter from that point of view. " A complex is a 
system of associated mental elements, the stimulation 
of any one of which tends to call the rest into con- 
sciousness through the medium of their common 
affect "* (i.e., feeling). Certain psychologists extend 
the use of the term to include " any strongly marked 
system of mental elements which has an individuality 
of its own/' and would thus include even those asso- 
ciated ideas which deal with the most intellectual side 
of consciousness. Tansley, however, decides: " Such 
rational systems cannot in the first instance be classed 
as complexes. . . . Nevertheless, prolonged occupa- 
tion with such a rational system will eventually develop 
an affect, though it may be an affect of low intensity, 
and in this way a rational system may eventually 
acquire the characters of a complex. "f 

The reader will see that Tansley differentiates the 
two types of associated experience the more purely 

* Tansley, The New Psychology, p. 5. t Ibid. 

4 



38 MODERN EDUCATIONAL THEORY 

emotional and the more intellectual. It is proposed to 
deal with the more directly intellectual process in the 
following chapter. It must suffice to point out that 
a function of a complex is to promote both thought and 
action. John's love for his mother makes him jealous 
of the new baby, thus bringing into consciousness an 
" affective element/' but it also causes him to make 
and carry out some plan for attracting his mother's 
attention. 

Perhaps nothing in modern work has had such an 
important influence on education as the fact that 
psychologists have shown that we are men of feeling 
first, and that reason is a later addition to our equip- 
ment. It is true that the need of the State for active, 
self-reliant citizens would eventually have forced 
teachers to try to make such citizens, but it is to 
modern psychologists that we owe the insistence on the 
motive force being desire. A teacher might loyally 
do his best to educate the kind of citizen the State 
needed, but if his methods of work were wrong in 
regard to " a common little boy just a little wild 
animal running about on its hind legs, amazingly 
interested in the world in which it found itself,"* he 
would employ energy and time to no purpose. Schools 
are gradually becoming places where every effort is 
made to give children right desires, and to train them 
to think carefully about the means of realizing their 
desires in action. 

What training must the schools give to these 
* Hudson, Far Away and Long Ago, p. 17. 



EMOTIONAL DEVELOPMENT 39 

potential citizens of a civilized State, where they will 
find time and energy for feelings and actions other 
than those directly connected with the self-regarding 
or the herd instincts ? 

Here again, the ideals of the community indirectly, 
of the parents and teachers directly, must point to the 
end. At any rate, in State-aided schools the " crank " 
teacher, as he is so often dubbed by his crowd, the 
teacher who thinks, for example, that mental and 
moral salvation comes from the study of one pet 
subject, say biology, has no place. No one teacher 
can lay down the ideals others are to work for, and 
though a general discussion on subject-matter has its 
place, in the end it is only well if each school works out 
its own salvation in its own way. But the modern 
teacher's belief in the importance of aiding the growth 
of the right emotions is so new in practice that a 
summary of the chapter in terms of conditions in 
school life that will make this aim possible may not 
be out of place. 

(i) Instinctive feelings and reactions are the funda- 
mental facts of life, and any attempt to ignore or 
suppress them spells failure. In the chapter on 
instincts it was suggested that in the early years the 
only way of training was to substitute one instinctive 
control for another.* So school work must grow out 
of a child's interests at a given age. His curiosity, for 
example, leads him to want to know his world, his 
instinct of construction to make things. The satis- 
* See Chapter I., p. 7. 



40 MODERN EDUCATIONAL THEORY 

faction brings in its train secondary interests reading 
is undertaken in order to read names on engines; in 
a civilized community, once the art is acquired, there is 
no saying where it will lead. 

(2) For the secondary interests, that include strong 
attachment to the intellectual and artistic sides of life, 
time and opportunity are necessary, and, at whatever 
cost, the community must see that both these con- 
ditions are found in the early years of adolescence when 
secondary interests are strengthening their hold. 
Thus, if the greater part of school time is given up to 
the acquisition of the means of learning reading, 
figuring, and writing means for which the child often 
sees little use, he has not time to grow an interest in 
some intellectual or artistic pursuit. I am not sug- 
gesting that children leave school without learning the 
elements of reading, writing, and arithmetic, but I 
am suggesting that the more these methods of gaining 
knowledge can be used as methods, and the less be 
made ends in themselves, the better. If one looks at 
the time-tables of certain schools, one would think that 
either all the children had an " instinct " for arith- 
metic that it was dangerous to suppress, or else that 
no one could be an Englishman without it. Yet, of all 
arts acquired at school, it is the one most easily for- 
gotten mainly because it is taught to children who 
have no use for it. But if all the opportunities for 
using arithmetic were given to the children i.e., they 
did the arithmetic arising out of their own school and 
home life they would probably grow an interest in it. 



EMOTIONAL DEVELOPMENT 41 

Opportunity is equally essential. A love of litera- 
ture cannot be taught; it must grow, and it grows by 
what it feeds on. Many of the children who go to the 
elementary schools, and, indeed, to secondary schools, 
get very few books at home, and in some cases very 
little time for reading. It is in school that they must 
find books and time, and yet many schools, good in 
other respects, give to " literature " one hour a week, 
and give a child no chance to have books and in them 
to find what he wants to read. Out of his own reading 
should, clearly, come the lessons on literature. So, 
too, out of their reading could come his interest in 
geography and history. 

(3) " Time " means as far as possible the time a 
child wants, " opportunity " means the occasions he 
can use, and successful teachers realize these facts. 
It is utter nonsense to say the average child of thirteen 
has every opportunity of learning to love literature 
when the library consists of books that demand the 
trained power of concentration of the adult. More 
people 'are estranged from good literature by being 
given it too early than teachers always realize.* A 
child's own time also needs careful consideration. 
Hardly any of us will give children sufficient time in 
which to be children, and as soon as we begin to urge 
them to the secondary interest because we think they 
are not making progress, we are liable to waste our 
energy and their time. 

* Cf. William James's theory that good philosophers are 
wasted to the world by setting young men to study the subject 
at too early an age. 



42 MODERN EDUCATIONAL THEORY 

(4) Though in this chapter attention has been 
directed primarily to the emotional side of life, it must 
be remembered that the normal behaviour of an 
individual includes feeling, cognition, and action. 
The divorce of feeling and cognition from direct action 
is completed with some ease by trained thinkers, 
where the actual thought uses up the energy that in 
more normal cases would be expended in action. But 
in children the threefold process should be completed. 
Indeed, in the training of aesthetic feelings the course 
followed has often to be one in which a child sees a 
lovely picture, wants to copy it, and, having done so, 
is induced by the teacher to look at the original more 
carefully, in order that he may make a second and better 
copy. In early life action tends to follow emotion 
rapidly, and education for most young people implies a 
training in the suspension of action i.e., a training by 
which the child acquires the habit of thinking what is 
the best course to pursue instead of adopting the first 
that flashes into his mind. Such training in a willing 
suspension of action must not be confused with that 
very common form of teaching, so often adopted in 
such subjects as literature, in which appreciation is 
followed by instruction, but not by any active creative 
or imitative act on the scholar's part. Teachers of 
English have now realized what an important part 
verse-writing, play-making, magazine-producing, play 
in the development of an understanding of literature; 
it is because the normal psychological process is thus 
carried out. 



EMOTIONAL DEVELOPMENT 43 

Thus interests connected with all school subjects are 
strengthened by action real action on the part of the 
children, and not " expression " work dictated by a 
teacher. Nor need a teacher fear the children will 
learn less this way, for it is, surely, when one tries to 
do be it to make an historical play, or a map pro- 
jection, or a doll's outfit that one realizes one's ignor- 
ance, and goes to whatever authorities one knows for 
help. 



CHAPTER IV 
THE MAKING AND FUNCTION OF THOUGHT 

A NALYTIC psychologists have dealt extensively 
jfx with the making of concepts or generalizations, 
and if teachers are not acquainted with the process 
they would do well to consult such a book as Stout's 
Manual of Psychology. 

Here, though it is wise to recognize the stages 
enunciated as essential by Stout Observation, Com- 
parison, Generalization, and Naming it is proposed 
to look at the process from a different angle, from that 
of the teacher watching the instinctive, slightly 
civilized little boy or girl in the home. How does he 
acquire those first generalizations on which school- 
masters must build, and how far should his natural 
modes of growth be followed in school ? 

Some light is thrown on the problem by tracing the 
first ideas of a child to their origin e.g., in the early 
days, when he tries to apply a word like " pussy " to 
all moving things of a certain size, it is because he has a 
mind that can retain impressions and a mother who 
has given him the association of something warm and 
soft and moving with the sound " pussy." Long 
before a child gets to the age of having formal teach- 
ing, he has acquired hundreds of these simple memory 

44 



MAKING AND FUNCTION OF THOUGHT 45 

associations that are the result of his own experiences 
interpreted in other folk's words, words which he 
retains after a varying number of repetitions. His 
use of them shows his false interpretation, and gradu- 
ally, mainly by adhering to the common use of words, 
he alters his ideas to conform to those of his elders. 
If a child could do no more than accept the words 
and ideas of his elders, it is clear knowledge could not 
advance. In many cases this traditional knowledge 
is the last stage a child reaches; for example, a woman 
who is brilliant at mathematics may fall back on the 
knowledge of her mother and nurse when it comes to 
bringing up her own child; hundreds of young people 
think about religion, conventions of conduct, exactly 
as their mothers and fathers thought ; and, indeed, in all 
those cases in which people are not urged by curiosity 
and need to go further and probe more deeply, know- 
ledge tends to be merely this form of memorized 
tradition. That greater understanding of life and 
nice accuracy of expression do become more common 
as the generations pass is probably due to the fact that 
most individuals find themselves in positions where 
the traditions of their elders have to be reinterpreted 
and modified by personal experience. If training were 
more easily transferred we should, of course, be more 
inclined to argue that because we had found early 
knowledge faulty in department A, we should distrust 
it in department B, but mental inertia, in most of us 
a stronger factor in life than physical laziness, prevents 
such activity. In other words, we grow at times and in 



46 MODERN EDUCATIONAL THEORY 

places and unequally, and very few minds make steady 
all-round progress. 

The acquisition of traditional knowledge goes on 
slowly through childhood, and educators strive, rightly 
in many cases, to train the children in the knowledge 
and correct application of traditions. Thus, much of 
language teaching consists in handing on to the youth 
of the community the accepted tradition, and when at 
five a child talks of an " unworking " day, he is told 
there is no such word as unworking. Ideas thus 
acquired tend to grow as a result of the child's own ac- 
tivities, and are modified by his growth until he reaches 
the traditional standards in some cases, or, at his own 
points of growth, goes beyond them. 

But, as Professor McDougall has pointed out, all 
people are to a greater or less degree endowed with 
certain innate tendencies which enable them to " catch " 
emotions, actions, and ideas from others. In terms 
of psychology, these three innate tendencies are 
(i) the sympathetic induction of emotion; (2) imita- 
tion, by which we copy another's actions; and (3) sug- 
gestion " a process of communication resulting in 
the acceptance with conviction of the communicated 
proposition in absence of logically adequate grounds 
for acceptance."* 

Obviously, the psychology of suggestion is of vast 

importance when one is considering how 7 children 

obtain ideas, for though it is hard to say in a definite 

case whether a child has obtained knowledge as the 

* McDougall, Social Psychology, p. 97. 



MAKING AND FUNCTION OF THOUGHT 47 

result of simple memory associations or by the quicker 
process of suggestion, there is a great difference in the 
attitude towards the resulting idea. In the first case 
the modification of the accepted knowledge is easy ; the 
child finds that another soft warm thing is called " dog," 
and alters his speech after a few trial and error ex- 
periences. But the very essence of the innate tendency 
of suggestion is that the idea is accepted with a certain 
emotional tinge, " with conviction," as McDougall 
says. It is not an adult's interpretation of the child's 
experience, but the adult's way of giving ready-made 
experience to others. This difference is so important 
to teachers that it must be carefully tested and 
weighed. A child tastes a green apple and finds it 
sour, and his mother explains to him that green apples 
are unripe and consequently sour. Afterwards his 
mother notices he refuses a Newtown pippin because 
he associates its colour with sourness, and she urges 
him to try it, and explains that it is only certain green 
apples that are sour. In such a case through his 
further experience he is acquiring a fixed association 
of ideas. But if, apart from any experience of his 
own, he is told by his elders, " Green apples are sour," 
and he respects those people, he first accepts with 
conviction their views, and then tends to resent any 
questioning of the truth thereof. Conversely, if for 
any reason the people who thus exercise what is called 
" prestige " suggestion over him lose their influence, 
he tends to look with disfavour on the ideas they have 
inculcated, whereas the traditional knowledge that 



48 MODERN EDUCATIONAL THEORY 

has been acquired, in part at least by his own efforts, 
remains unquestioned. 

Both these methods of acquiring ideas are different 
from that by which the generalization that is reached 
is the result of one's own experience a method that 
might be called thought proper, and which must be 
dealt with later in this section. 

Assuming that children do acquire ideas both by 
association and suggestion, the question still remains 
as to when these are desirable ways of learning. 

The first method described in this chapter, by which 
as a child grows to knowledge it is given him, is natural 
and invaluable to the race. No matter what theory 
of childhood we hold, it is obvious that before a child 
leaves his pedagogues he must be able to move with 
some freedom in the world of accepted conventional 
knowledge. The limitation to the amount of " telling " 
that a teacher can indulge in for it is an indulgence 
is fixed by the amount of knowledge a given child, 
or class, can really use, and this amount varies, firstly, 
with the children's powers of receptivity and reten- 
tion, and, secondly, with their need for such informa- 
tion. Thus, a boy who is interested in railways will 
not only listen to, but retain, a vast amount of informa- 
tion to which his brother will attend but casually and 
retain inaccurately. Teachers who urge that children 
should find out everything for themselves, or who make 
the condition of giving knowledge that there is some 
direct need (which generally means a practical need) 
tend to forget the number of intellectual needs interest 



MAKING AND FUNCTION OF THOUGHT 49 

will arouse in one, and that, if first-hand experience 
cannot be obtained, to receive it second-hand is a 
delightful pastime.* 

The safest guides as to how much of such knowledge 
should be given to children are gained by the study of 
children and of the actual subject-matter. In lan- 
guage teaching a child must be told how to form 
plurals as soon as he wants to use a plural, but he 
must not be made to learn all ways of doing so when 
he merely needs one; in all matters that are merely 
conventional, the convention should be told on the 
one hand and learnt on the other as soon as it is 
needed. But because for the most part the function 
of the older generation is to initiate the younger into 
the conventions, customs, and manners of the race, 
this telling process has, as it were, spread over into 
realms of study where there is no need to initiate the 
child in the lore of the subject. For instance, though 
it is obvious a child must be told much about language 
or arithmetic, it does not follow that either his inner 
need or that of his race demands he should be told 
how to draw a tree or how tadpoles become frogs. To 
show a child how to draw leads to his copying mechani- 
cally instead of attempting to express his own mental 
picture; to describe processes in life he can see for 
himself not only deprives him of the joy of discovery, 
but burdens him with information that may actually 
retard initiation into the pleasure associated with one 

* See, for example, the avidity with which a practical 
naturalist will read the account of other people's work in un- 
known countries. 



50 MODERN EDUCATIONAL THEORY 

of the branches of real thought i.e., that of observa- 
tion and the record of the results thereof.* There is 
no justification for the giving of such knowledge. 
Admirable citizens go down to their graves ignorant 
of the growth of tadpoles or the germination of a 
bean seed. 

On the whole, educators tend to instruct and inform 
to a degree that is wasteful of their energy and the 
children's time, partly because of the tradition of 
school life, partly because we find it hard to give the 
new generation time to learn in the slower school of 
experience. A child's reaction time the interval that 
elapses between the receiving of a stimulus and the 
response to it is naturally longer than the average 
elder's, and there is a constant attempt to hurry 
children not only in their action, but in their thought 
and emotion. Because children are at the mercy of 
prestige suggestibility, we can easily throw dust in our 
eyes that blinds us to the fact that what is actually 
happening is that we have the generalization, gained 
by much work and careful thought, and the children 
accept it with conviction, and in many cases with no 
understanding of its logical proof. They accept it 
because we are we, and they have faith in us. 

Nevertheless, here, as elsewhere, to refuse to employ 

* The whole question of when to tell, when to refrain, needs 
most careful investigation. A reader of this chapter reminds 
me of the enormous value " suggestion " plays e.g., a walk 
with a bird or flower enthusiast may add another interest to 
his companion's walk, but probably only if the companion is 
already fond of the country and some country things. This 
proviso may give a clue to the teacher. 



MAKING AND FUNCTION OF THOUGHT 51 

power because it is dangerous is to refuse life. The 
only course open is to realize when such a force can 
be used to advantage and how to train children to 
resist it when it is harmful. Now, the teachers who 
stand aside and declare that all suggestion is mistaken 
are refusing to use the force, but also are refusing to 
open a gateway to social communion for the child. 
A child who cannot learn to act by imitating others' 
actions, or who is unable to accept a generalization 
until it appears to him to be proved, is at such a dis- 
advantage in the universe of daily life that he can 
hardly hope to do well. Also, if a child has the 
tendency to respond to suggestion in a marked degree, 
the teacher who ignores it leaves him at the mercy of 
those who use and even, perhaps, abuse it. The reason- 
able course is, surely, as follows : 

(i) Only to suggest such ideas as are necessary for 
the child at his stage of development, and that he 
cannot at that stage get for himself. Thus, the simple 
ideas of homely morality i.e., considering others, 
speaking the truth are fundamental to ethical life, 
and can only be gained by suggestion, as the trial and 
error method is too dangerous and the logical work 
on life that leads to ethical generalizations too difficult. 
Equally with other more technical work. A teacher 
sometimes has to say: " The proof of the statement is 
too difficult; you must accept it from me." If the 
attitude of the children is one of respect in his know- 
ledge they will accept without hesitation, but they 
should only be asked to do so if the knowledge is 



52 MODERN EDUCATIONAL THEORY 

necessary for some work on which they are engaged, 
for, though they cannot follow the making of the 
generalization, they can test its results. Children 
cannot understand the explanation of tides or winds, 
but they can know and make use of the facts. 

(2) Suggestion must be used charily, and children 
must be encouraged to test suggested ideas. And as 
children become adolescents and adolescents men and 
women, so should they grow more inclined in hours of 
insight to test such ideas as carried them away at 
moments of excitement and susceptibility. In other 
words, suggestibility should be a characteristic of 
childhood and youth, and not of educated manhood, 
when organized systems of knowledge can be called 
into play. If such is to be the end for which teachers 
are working, they must, of course, encourage question- 
ing, delight in wordy combat with their class, and delight 
no less when the class holds an opinion counter to their 
own. Possibly one of the reasons why so many people 
resent criticism and take it as a personal insult if one 
disagrees with their statements is because in their 
childhood and youth the people whom they respected 
took up this attitude; hence they in turn feel that 
such must be theirs. Open discussion, constant 
questioning not of the Socratic type, when the teacher 
always appears wise, the pupils fools active belief 
in the efficacy of all members of a community thinking 
their own thoughts: these are the conditions which 
give the environment in which suggestion makes for 
righteousness. 



MAKING AND FUNCTION OF THOUGHT 53 

In both the processes with which we have been 
dealing the child is, to a greater or less degree, passive ; 
his mother or instructor tells him the name of the thing 
he is watching, suggests to him the idea he should 
hold. On the other hand, real thought is essentially 
an active process, and whether the result is the generali- 
zation so fully analyzed by psychologists and logicians, 
or a direct modification of conduct, the process is much 
the same there is some unknown conclusion to which 
the thinker desires to attain, and he uses as a jumping- 
board such part of his past experience as is relevant. 
This process can be watched in its simplest forms 
in very young children, who find their own way of 
solving their own problems. Two typical examples 
must suffice. A girl of four wanted some sweets that 
had been bought for a visitor; her past experience 
taught her that she must not ask, but that the visitor 
was likely to give them if she knew they were wanted. 
She accordingly said, " I mustn't ask for sweets." 

Her brother, aged three, was playing shops. " But/' 
said an onlooker, " you have no scales." He took his 
long pencil and stuck clay on one end for a weight, 
clay on the other for cake, balanced it on his finger, 
and made the " cake " equal in weight to the clay. 
His conduct pointed to a markedly careful observation 
of scales. The onlooker asked who showed him that 
way, but he at any rate was sure he " did it for him- 
self." 

Probably the most careful and elaborate thinking 
is different from the simplest in complexity but not in 

5 



54 MODERN EDUCATIONAL THEORY 

kind. If the reader will test this statement on his 
most intelligent friends unless they are professional 
psychologists or logicians he will find that nearly all 
of them say, " The generalization, or decision, or con- 
clusion, or thought, comes of itself," and only very 
tactful treatment will get the additional information 
that consideration of past experience had been going 
on before. Such investigation seems to show that A 
has for some reason made efforts to consider a problem- 
say, for example, the exclusion of the Japanese from 
North Australia. Exigencies of time and the rate of 
time at which his mind registers conclusions postpone 
the solution, but the train of thought once having 
been started, it continues in spite of the fact that the 
conscious self is busy with other things.* Then, very 
often quite irrelevantly, the subconscious captures the 
attention of the conscious mind, and, in the case under 
discussion, the thought arises that if one recognizes the 
efficacy of unrestricted movement of commodities 
surely a similar fluidity of human beings is good. It 
is worth while still following the mind's course. The 
generalization that one's belief in " free trade " should 
affect one's attitude towards " free settling " seems 
at first to solve A's problem. But on further con- 
sideration, though he may acknowledge the help given 
him, when he tries to see how the generalization applies, 
he realizes he is not yet out of the wood. The cases 

* The relation of the conscious to the subconscious self is 
one of the most interesting problems that the psycho-analysts 
are attempting to solve. In this book only such conclusions 
as are generally accepted by all psychologists are assumed. 



MAKING AND FUNCTION OF THOUGHT 55 

are dissimilar; the very fact men are not commodities 
to be handled leads him to hesitate. So by thought, 
acceptance, testing, modification of the earlier idea, he 
goes his arduous way encouraged to proceed only by 
his small successes and his real desire to get clear on 
the matter. But if he has no desire and no need to 
think out the rights of a given problem, if, further, he 
is not trained in bearing with equanimity the slings 
and arrows of the process, he will not pursue his object 
after the stage of getting a generalization that seems 
at first sight successful. 

This process may, as in the given case, be inter- 
rupted, or it may in the schoolroom or study go 
smoothly from start to finish, but the fact remains the 
same that at some time, under presumably favourable 
circumstances, from a consideration of past experience, 
the thought is created that helps to future conduct. 

It is not, in our present state of ignorance, wise for 
teachers to lay down definite rules for the making of 
thought or to insist on the generalization coming as 
a result of data adequately displayed at a fixed time. 
A problem one has been boggling over for months 
solves itself as one is thinking of anything or nothing, 
and, alas ! until tested, the false solution looks as 
attractive as the correct. So do minds work. 

One more disability to thought in the classroom or 
lecture-room should be noted. The best teacher, 
eager for his scholars to think for themselves, having 
ensured the conditions for original work, must then 
face the fact that where one class gets the desired 



56 MODERN EDUCATIONAL THEORY 

conclusion in one lesson, another may take ten, or 
may never get it. This difficulty is partly due to the 
psychology of the crowd. One child gets out certain 
data, and so has one part of the necessary experience ; 
another child near him has this part of it suggested 
to him a totally different matter. Hence it often 
follows that though the class as a whole reaches the 
necessary conclusion, no separate individual has the 
complete experience. Thought is above all things an 
individual achievement. So true is this that in the 
brilliant lesson, when the conclusion is reached at the 
right time and the right place, it is probable that no 
single child could reproduce the " thinking process." 

What generalizations should be acquired by hard 
mental effort ? If the process is so tricky and results 
so fickle, have teachers time to encourage individual 
thought when memory work and suggestion are quicker 
and more sure of results ? Here, again, a teacher's 
view of the value of thought reacts on his work. But 
if he desires the democracy to think rather than to 
follow others' thoughts, he must help the boys to face 
the battle and to enjoy it. If he believes thought 
gives a value to personal life that is only equalled by 
emotional experience, it is a value he must help his 
class to appreciate, and he must train them to think. 

Clearly the fact that thought needs effort and far 
more time than instruction leads to the conclusion 
that if children are to be trained to think, less tabulated 
knowledge, fewer generalizations, can be shown than 
is generally expected by school examiners. The test 



MAKING AND FUNCTION OF THOUGHT 57 

of a man's training is not what information he has, 
but how he solves the multifarious problems that come 
his way and in which he is interested. 

It is not the province of this book to decide what 
exactly are the ideas with which the study of history, 
geography, etc., should endow the child that is for 
the specialist teacher. But two considerations should 
be borne in mind when planning the work of a school. 

(i) The psychological fact of apperception, which 
the man in the street states in such words as " We see 
only what we know/' or " A man cannot give the lie 
to his past life," makes the giving the right sort of 
knowledge of the utmost importance.* The process 
of apperception can be studied in any good textbook 
on analytical psychology, and probably most readers 
of this book have been conversant with it since their 
college days. Briefly, in the words of William James : 
" It verily means nothing more than the act of taking 
a thing into the mind . . . being one of the in- 
numerable results of the psychological process of the 
association of ideas." 

The importance is at once seen. Ideas, once acquired, 
for good or bad react on the present and the future 
to such an extent that no one can see or think im- 
partially, if impartially means uninfluenced by past 
experience. A teacher can no more look on his class- 

* Modern psychologists do not as a rule separate the 
influence of ideas on the mind from that of other mental states, 
and " complexes " of experience are as emotional as intel- 
lectual in content. 



58 MODERN EDUCATIONAL THEORY 

room as the visitor does than an engine-driver can see 
an engine from the point of view of a little boy. 
Teachers constantly forget this fact, and because to 
them it seems obvious that 3+2=5 they expect it to 
be similarly obvious to children after what seems to 
them to be a reasonable time. Only by the most 
severe training in imaginative thinking can people see 
things from a new angle, and hence it is most important 
that what one learns in childhood, what attitude one 
acquires towards life and men and matters, should not 
in any sense tend to false thinking in later life. To 
unlearn and start again is difficult enough in the life 
of an art student; it is more difficult in the life of a 
thinker, because the faults are not at once apparent 
and cannot be easily rectified. 

(2) If the doctrine of apperception leads one to teach 
and learn with caution, the necessity for the ideas that 
one holds to be " living " leads one to select bravely, 
and to give time to such work as will supply the 
intellectual needs of the individual, be they what they 
may. Hence schools should consider the needs of 
their scholars, for the knowledge gained for some trivial 
purpose and then relegated to the rubbish-heap of 
the mind, perhaps " to come in useful " some day, 
perhaps to lie there smothered by new experiences, is 
seldom worth the effort of getting it. What is worse 
still, it gives the ordinary man and woman the attitude 
to learning that makes them think it is all very well 
for schoolmasters, but of little use in real life. 

Be it by suggestion or by thought, let the ideas that 



MAKING AND FUNCTION OF THOUGHT 59 

come be " living ideas." Professor Dewey's statement 
of the function of a living idea makes an admirable 
summary for this section of the chapter. 

" A true conception is a moving idea, and it seeks 
outlet or application to the interpretation of particulars 
and the guidance of action as naturally as water runs 
downhill. In fine, just as reflective thought requires 
particular facts of observation and events of action for 
its origination, so it also requires particular facts and 
deeds for its own consummation. Glittering generali- 
ties are inert because they are spurious. Application 
is as much an intrinsic part of genuine reflective inquiry 
as is alert observation or reasoning itself. Truly 
general principles tend to apply themselves. The 
teacher needs, indeed, to supply conditions favourable 
to use and exercise; but something is wrong when 
artificial tasks have to be arbitrarily invented in order 
to secure application for principles."* 

* How we Think, p. 213. 



CHAPTER V 
IMAGINATIVE CONDUCT 

IF the reader turnsjback to the description given 
of real thought i.e., the intellectual process by 
which a man uses his past experience to enable 
him to solve a new problem he will observe that the 
mental act differs from other ways of acquiring know- 
ledge in that it is creative; the results of A's thoughts 
may already have been reached by others, but for A 
the act is original he made the thought, though, like 
other makers, he cannot explain how he did so. This 
creative power that all of us possess to a greater or 
less degree is in this book called imagination, because 
the essence of the psychological process known as 
imagination is that it is creative, and the medium 
through which the power works is of secondary im- 
portance. Perhaps, in trying to get at the root of the 
matter, it is wise to think almost entirely on the 
creative aspect of imagination, and neglect the problems 
of the schoolroom as to the relation between inter- 
pretative and creative on the one side, and between 
emotional, practical, and intellectual, on the other. 
The facts of greatest importance to teachers are that 
we all to some extent have this power of " making," 
that if we do not give children opportunities for 
exercising it they will find them for themselves, that if 

60 



IMAGINATIVE CONDUCT 61 

by manhood they have not the knowledge and training 
that will enable them when the moment comes to 
" make " solutions for the problems they must solve, 
we shall be surfeited with short-sighted views, remedies 
that cannot cure, panaceas that cannot work. 

It is necessary for those people who believe that 
emotional and intellectual life show fruits in conduct 
to realize that in all work in which our aim is to develop 
the creative side of a child's personality this three- 
fold training must take place. The last chapter sug- 
gested that the difficult and slow process of original 
thought had in all cases its origin in some desire; the 
desire leads to the attempt to summon into conscious- 
ness all experience that can be of use;* the process 
ends in action. The action may be the making of a 
picture, the singing of a melody, the solution of a 
mathematical problem, the manner of dealing with 
a friend; it depends on his training whether the actor 
can explain his act, can see its roots in desire, the 
influence of his past, and the miracle of the new birth. 
On the whole, it is those of us who at any moment are 
onlookers rather than creators who can see the process, 
for at the time the process itself absorbs all available 
energy, but teachers should try to train themselves 
in the analysis of conduct. Thus we see A has spoilt 
a good solution of a problem by his lack of " foresight/' 
and we know he " jumps " too soon; B, on the other 

* The attempt is often far from successful. Hence one's 
grief when, after action, one realizes " If only I had thought of 
(i.e., recalled from experience) so and so," and one's relief 
when one can say, " I couldn't have thought of that." 



62 MODERN EDUCATIONAL THEORY 

hand, summons all his knowledge to his aid, but never 
dares to jump into the unknown it may be he fears 
disapproval; while C, with less experience than either 
B or A, goes farther in creative work. This power of 
creation, a power that makes new life material out of 
very little past experience, is the characteristic of the 
creative genius. One constantly marvels at how he 
" did " it, how he thought of this way or that; one 
always feels that, no matter how much work he pro- 
duced, he could do more. 

In training average children it is well to stress the 
value of thinking over their knowledge before they 
come to a conclusion, and having reached a conclusion 
to try to forecast its results, whether the action lies in 
the universe of one's relation with mankind or in that 
of one's intellectual or aesthetic interests. The prac- 
tical interests, as Professor Mitchell calls them 
i.e., those dealing with conduct are often neglected 
in schools, and yet here, if anywhere, people need 
training, and here such studies as those of geography 
and history should be of great value. In the school, 
as in the good home, the little child should be given 
constant opportunities for dealing with his fellows; he 
must have opportunities for doing things for them, for 
accepting offices, for seeing how, in actual life, what 
pleases him may be distasteful to others. It is allow- 
able, for example, for Mary, aged three, to give her 
mother a doll for Christmas, but by six she should be 
able to interpret her mother's desires better, and at 
sixteen she should not be declaring that other people's 



IMAGINATIVE CONDUCT 63 

extravagance in spending should be prevented, while 
resenting criticism on her own.* 

Such training in social life, which depends on the 
growth of the herd instinct and sentiments developing 
therefrom, is in reality a training in what might 
be called imaginative conduct, and though its origin 
lies in such simple acts as sharing one's sweets 
with others, in its final development it will differ- 
entiate the man who understands his fellow-men 
and acts with them from him who would, maybe, 
willingly help, but fails to understand how to do so. 
For examples of imaginative conduct and its reverse 
the reader need not go to the schoolroom or lecture - 
room; they are in his daily life, and he can watch the 
way some people learn by experience to understand 
more fully and act more sympathetically while others 
fail. In this sense, I take it, a real statesman has 
imagination and good-will, while the man who has 
only good-will, and is without either this power of 
insight into other people's minds or the capacity to 
realize what result a given action will have on others, 
fails as a governor. Because of this lack of imagina- 
tion a man who, by his own ability in a certain piece 
of work, becomes a foreman or manager may fail to get 
good work from others. 

Now, though creative power varies with individuals, 
the hope of a better state of social life lies in the 

* A common practice with young students of social science, 
who bitterly resent extravagant expenditure by men and 
women of the working class. 



64 MODERN EDUCATIONAL THEORY 

fact that imagination can be developed, provided that 
people are given opportunities for action. Schools 
should, almost before any other duty, undertake 
training in social conduct. It is true that in most 
public schools conduct of a certain social type is 
demanded on the playing-fields, and that " Play 
up, play up, and play the game " moves many 
adolescents to social action. But life does not take 
place on a playing-field, nor has the game a set of con- 
stant rules. It may be argued that life does not take 
place in a schoolroom, but given a modern school, 
where children have freedom, where the work has 
some connection with the growing intellectual needs 
of the community, it is far more like the life outside, 
and can consequently become a better preparation for 
it. If by twelve years old a child has learnt to 
restrain his tongue, not because he is afraid to speak, 
but because he will disturb his neighbour, if he has 
learnt to do certain distasteful work because it helps 
others in his class, he is on the way to become a good 
member of a community. 

Such training is not difficult, but it must be con- 
stantly remembered. The self-assertive child must be 
trained to think of others' rights always, and not allowed 
to be self-assertive for the benefit of visitors and then 
snubbed for the benefit of the class. And, above all 
conditions, it is important the children consciously and 
actively take their share in training themselves and 
the class. In a small country school which is 
" mothered " by a head mistress who has no capacity 
for directly imposing her personality, the prefect 



IMAGINATIVE CONDUCT 65 

system has been developed to such an extent that the 
r31e of the head mistress lies rather in tempering the 
wind to the individual delinquent than in backing the 
prefects. At the age of thirteen or thereabouts 
children should have reached the stage of morality 
when they find it unforgivable to " let down the 
school. " But, firstly, the school should be the school, 
and not the scholars, for in life it is not only one's 
coevals who must be considered; and, secondly, the 
older members of the school the teachers should be 
far less under the domination of the herd instinct, 
and it should be their province to safeguard the excep- 
tional individual against his crowd. Teachers often 
fail here, perhaps because the teacher is by his training 
almost tyrannized over by the herd instinct and its 
further developments. It is easy to think because 
it is good for the school that attendance should be 
high or scholarships won that it is the duty of A to be 
regular, B to work at classics. It is better for A to 
do what A thinks right, for B to learn what B can do 
best, than for the school to get 100 per cent, of attend- 
ances or B to gain a scholarship for his school. If 
the teachers could constantly give the children oppor- 
tunities especially in adolescence of choosing 
between their own standards of conduct and those of 
the community, of seeing that different people think 
and act differently, but not necessarily wrongly, there 
would be fewer instances of the adult herd behaving 
unjustly towards recalcitrant minorities. 

Two conditions seem essential for such training: 
(a) The herd must make active service as well as passive 



66 MODERN EDUCATIONAL THEORY 

obedience necessary, and though any community, be it 
school or home, must exact less from the youngest mem- 
bers, some service should be expected of all. A child thus 
consciously taking part in the life of his community 
feels himself one with it, and when the conflict comes 
between his desire for some personal end and service 
to the community the active acceptance of responsi- 
bility for the social welfare in the past will be of great 
help in his time of trouble, (b) Together with indi- 
vidual training in active service, teachers must under- 
take the education of the herd; and as in youth the 
herd instinct is very strong, what is most necessary is 
that any community mainly, of course, through its 
class-conscious leaders is given practice in delaying 
action, be it in words or definite conduct, in order to 
give time before judgment. It was interesting to note 
that while the Conscription Bill was passing through 
the various stages there was a general agreement in the 
House of Commons on the exemption of conscientious 
objectors from military service. But the Tribunals, 
who carried out the Act, were dominated by the herd 
instinct, and without that training which demands the 
suspension of instinctive action which is one of the 
first necessities for imaginative conduct. Hence they 
acted as a herd in many cases, and " rationalized " their 
conduct by declaring the men to be shirkers. So in 
earlier days at school they had tyrannized over boys 
who did not accept the conventions of the place a 
practice which is as bad for the individual as the herd. 
Such treatment encourages certain individuals to be 



IMAGINATIVE CONDUCT 67 

different from the rest of their community, and they 
become self-conscious and insincere; the normal young 
animal with whom we are all acquainted is, with all 
his faults, more likeable. But under wise training, 
when throughout a school children have responsibility, 
have some say in what work they do, try to curb their 
instincts when they are anti-social, but have freedom 
in other cases; where the growing adolescent takes 
responsibility for his class or school, but also takes far 
more responsibility for his own intellectual and aesthetic 
development in such a school it will be " ordinary " 
to think and work and act out one's own life, and no 
member of the community will marvel at others or 
himself. 

If the greatest stress in this chapter has been laid 
on imaginative conduct, it is because the place of 
imagination in thought and aesthetic life should be 
the work of specialists writing on the teaching of 
mathematics, history, geography, etc. But certain 
facts should be emphasized in a more general treatment 
of the subject, because the greater the specialist the 
more he is likely to assume his subject can give all- 
round training in all branches of life. 

In the first case, though no intelligent thinker now 
asserts mathematics trains accuracy, literature imagina- 
tion, nevertheless definite subjects do take their place 
in the making of an individual citizen because they 
help him to understand definite problems which he 
will have to solve. Thus biology and history should 
help men to realize that it is impossible thoroughly to 



68 MODERN EDUCATIONAL THEORY 

understand any living organism without a knowledge 
of its development. Art in all forms music, painting, 
dancing, and literature gives scope and power to the 
child to express himself. Because they give this 
freedom to self-expression they are often, and perhaps 
rightly, said to give greater play to a child's power 
of making. But, on the other hand, mathematics, 
history, geography, give children material for thought, 
and, if treated rightly, for creative thought, for the 
careful teacher sees that his students do not obtain 
all their generalizations either by memory work or 
through suggestion. Perhaps it suffices here to say 
that those subjects that call for least experience of 
life, but for the greatest use of the instinct of con- 
struction and imitation i.e., all forms of art should 
play a very great part in the education of children up 
to fourteen. As the child becomes the adolescent and 
has greater power of prolonged work as a means to a 
desired end, as his interest in the life around him 
deepens, he is more capable of careful thought, and 
his work in history and geography, for example, should 
no longer consist in the interpretation of description 
and story, but should be concerned with the causes of 
and reasons for things, causes and reasons that he 
plays a part in elucidating. Only such training will 
give him the necessary understanding of the amount 
of patient thought that must be undertaken if one is 
to deal faithfully with the responsibilities of a " citizen 
of the world." 

Finally, it is essential above all things for teachers 



IMAGINATIVE CONDUCT 69 

to differentiate between the various stages in the 
growth of imagination, or such fallacious statements 
as " little children are interesting because they have 
so much imagination, boys and girls are dull for lack 
of it," may blind them to the fact that it is a bad 
curriculum that makes an imaginative, keen child into 
the lethargic schoolboy. A young child appears more 
creative because he has so little knowledge that he 
has not our standards of reality. A sofa is not for 
him an object for certain uses, and hence he will jump 
on it, dive from it, or use it as a tram as he desires. 
For such action good in so far as he himself adapts 
means to a desired end he has our sympathy, but 
when the schoolboy, from the same lack of knowledge, 
keeps unhappy mice in the desk he reaps our dis- 
approval. The absence of any systematized knowledge, 
the strong desire to construct, serve as factors in a 
child's play. The interesting stage arrives when either 
traditional knowledge or a suggestion from older 
children makes him discontented with his knowledge, 
skill, or " play " things, a discontent which often 
causes him to throw away all childish things and 
become a sedulous ape to an older friend. It is often 
at this stage that school life fails to help him; in the 
artistic side of his work he should be helped to acquire 
the technique that will enable him to overcome the 
childish faults that now displease him; in the subjects 
that deal more directly with his life as a citizen 
arithmetic, history, geography his needs and interests 
should be carefully studied, and the school should work 

6 



70 MODERN EDUCATIONAL THEORY 

with, rather than against, them. The curriculum of 
the " middle " school needs very great care and more 
revolutionary treatment than that of either the junior 
or senior schools. 

In adolescence imaginative thought plays a great 
part in life, and the danger is here that thought and 
action are often separated. The younger child thinks 
of things on the spot, as it were, and generalizations are 
the result of actual work on things as they are. The 
older boy or girl often tends to find here and now 
petty and trivial, and hence his thoughts embrace the 
universe, his feelings mankind. Abstract work real 
study of history, world geography, and its problems 
now appeals to him, and the teacher's work constantly 
lies in the field of urging more careful verification of 
references and less sweeping generalizations. It is the 
time for self-expression in art, but unless the middle 
years of school have added facility the adolescent will 
be ashamed of others seeing his work, and will either 
refrain from expression a dangerous state or go 
obstinately counter to all traditional modes, a conduct 
which is less dangerous than restraint, but detrimental 
to further progress. 

What teachers sometimes fail to realize is that at 
each stage, in his own individual way, a child has the 
power to create, and that traditional knowledge and 
technique are only means to further his native power. 

What all men should realize is that fine conduct 
depends not only on right ideals, but also on fine 
imaginative thinking and a will trained to respond. 



CHAPTER VI 

GOOD-WILL IN THE MAKING 

IT will be remembered that even the simplest ex- 
perience consists of three closely related parts 
feeling, cognition, and action. Because action is 
generally the most easily observed of the three factors, 
there is a constant danger of overlooking the essential 
unity of these three states of consciousness. Here, 
as always, to stop a natural process in its course is 
fraught with difficulties. It may be wise to proceed 
to the separation of any one part of the process 
from the other two, but it is never wise to act as 
though difficulties did not exist. The dangers have 
already been discussed in the earlier chapter on 
instinctive action,* and need only be summarized 
here. If a child wants to help, sees what he 
thinks is helpful, and at that step is checked in 
action, the first severance between right feeling and 
right action is made. The function of the mother or 
teacher is to suggest a more helpful action, and to try 
at some suitable moment to show why the suggested 
action is better. But the suggestion can only be 
offered, and if the child still adheres to his own idea 

* See Chapter I., p. 8. 



72 MODERN EDUCATIONAL THEORY 

he should be allowed, if it be humanly possible, to 
work out his own plan. 

All conduct is typified in this simple case. We 
recognize and feel, we are prompted by our feelings 
to think more carefully and to act. If the feeling 
arises and we put it aside as " something not to think 
about/' we are faced with one kind of danger; if we 
feel and think, but stop at that point, then action 
grows difficult, sometimes impossible, and there is added 
to life the new horror of ineffectualness. A careful 
onlooker can see the efficacy of following the normal 
process demonstrated in any intelligent home where, as 
the child gets new interests, he is encouraged to work 
them out, and the home concert, play, and magazine 
become weekly events at any rate, in holiday times. 
If such children are compared with adults who have 
wanted to do something say, sing or play but have 
been checked by the criticism of a teacher or mother 
aiming at other than childish standards, the result of 
the false division of the essentially unified process is 
at once seen. Also, it is often a mother who has been 
baulked in childhood and had her nerve or self-con- 
fidence almost entirely destroyed who sees that her 
children shall begin differently. 

In school, where classes are large and noise is taboo, 
there is the gravest danger that emotion and thought 
will be divorced from action, and, indeed, the failure of 
school work to bear any fruits in real life is often 
traced to this fault. In many schools the children often 
say, " Let us do a sum, let us read, let us do the thing/' 



GOOD-WILL IN THE MAKING 73 

and more often think it. This is because the children 
have not enough to do, and they cannot, being natural 
and healthy beings, think apart from doing. 

A child, left to himself, follows the natural course; 
he desires, he thinks of a means to carry out his desire, 
he carries it out. In school, on the other hand, it often 
happens the teacher perhaps at the instigation of an 
examiner desires a certain end, thinks out the means, 
and the child has to carry them out. 

Now in either case there is no moral conduct here, 
for in the first case the child carries through a natural 
sequence, in the second case (omitting for the time 
being the question of the morality of obedience) he 
carries out the adult's plan. At what stage, then, does 
moral conduct and the good- will appear ? 

It is interesting to watch the growth of moral 
standards in a child. The first instincts to be de- 
veloped are the self-centred, and the first controls of 
such come from the later developed herd instincts 
love for the people around one, desire to do as they 
do, etc. A child gets the feeling for and knowledge 
of his herd, thanks to his power of catching feelings 
through sympathetic induction, ideas by suggestion, 
and actions by imitation. He does not and cannot 
get at morality in this way, for the truly moral life 
demands at any rate, in the early stages the con- 
scious acceptance of a code of conduct at variance with 
personal desires. But he can and does catch the 
ideas that may eventually force his conduct into 
moral channels, and imitate the actions that will, as 



74 MODERN EDUCATIONAL THEORY 

it were, further his moral progress. Thus he gains by 
suggestion most of the moral ideas of his special set 
of people, and in an average well-regulated community 
he is given scope for putting them into action. Take, 
for example, a child's conquering his desire to cry, 
partly by his mother's giving him the idea that big 
boys don't cry and partly by his strenuous efforts to 
check crying. Here in little we have the moral act, 
and the first stage in morality is possibly to be as 
moral as your community expects. If the same frank 
criticism were given to adults as is given to children, 
most of us would find that in many departments of 
life we had not reached this stage. 

In the act described above the child has a choice of 
ways he can cry out his cry to his heart's content, or 
he can try to follow his mother's suggestion and we 
daily see examples of children whose instincts are too 
strong for them, and of others who try to accept the 
code of their community. The early training tends 
to superimpose the community's standards of action 
on the child, and here again we have an example of 
the herd's domination being negative rather than 
positive. As far as possible this imposition should 
be avoided, as, in the first case, it brings with it all 
the dangers that arise from suppression, and, in the 
second case, it prevents the growth of the child's 
power of self-control. Probably the better way is for 
the child to have the idea of consideration for others 
suggested to him, and then to work out a plan of 
action for himself. The result will often be poor, 



GOOD-WILL IN THE MAKING 75 

but nevertheless all possible praise should be given to 
it, and a further suggestion made as to improvements. 
An egoist of ten years writing a Christmas letter to 
an older friend naturally filled it with his own doings. 
He asked his mother to read it, as he was proud of 
having written four pages, and she praised it, but 
suggested he had shown no interest in what his friend 
was doing, though he had some interest. He added 
a brief paragraph. Those brief paragraphs are our 
first moral acts. 

The function of the teacher is not, then, to impose 
acts on children no good-will develops that way 
but to make them acquainted with the standards which 
the community holds; nor must this be done in set, 
formal lessons. The suggestion must come when there 
is need for it, and, above all, it must be possible to turn 
it into action. The actions must be the child's, and 
the second function of the teacher is to give friendly 
and constructive criticism if it be necessary. 

The second stage in moral development is reached 
when the standards of his community arise in the 
child's mind, or are recalled by him when he has to 
decide on an action for himself. If children do not 
reach this stage they are untrustworthy, and they 
seem only to reach it by the " trial and error " method. 
Superimposed conduct departs with the superimposers, 
and the actors are left to drift into whatsoever currents 
chance may direct. But if the child can reach the 
second stage with a fair equipment of good habits 
kindly speech and action, truth-telling, etc. he will 



76 MODERN EDUCATIONAL THEORY 

probably weather through to the moral life of a good 
man. 

These " moral ideas/' as they may perhaps be called, 
should always be associated with conduct in order that 
the necessity for action may automatically suggest the 
principle which decides on the choice of one course 
rather than another, and, similarly, the principle may 
suggest the action. In the writer's opinion this 
association, together with the early training in good 
habits, are the essential conditions for the good life, 
and most cases of wrong-doing can find their explana- 
tion either in the lack of knowledge of the better 
course i.e., failure to associate knowledge with the 
present experience or some habit or instinct that is too 
strong to permit of the action that is acknowledged 
right. The lack of knowledge is in most cases the 
fault of the child's parents and pedagogues; either 
they have taught goodness so formally that the child 
or adolescent has no power of animating the generaliza- 
tions he holds, or they have not taught it at all. Thus, 
if a child hears he must not tell untruths, but also 
hears others doing so, he has not really been taught 
to associate truth-telling with action. A great deal 
of formal moral teaching is in this category. 

Nor is it entirely wise to assume children will get 
morality for themselves; it is wise to deal only with 
habit-making while children are still young i.e., they 
must associate doing wrong with confessing it, looking 
after little children with kindness, etc. associations 
which, as we saw in an earlier section, were due to sugges- 



GOOD-WILL IN THE MAKING 77 

tion in the first case. But as a child grows older, as he 
begins to think for himself, he should in some way be 
urged to consider conduct as such. This training can 
hardly begin before the average boy is fourteen, and 
should not be delayed after eighteen. It is not likely 
that the decisions he reaches at fifteen will be those he 
makes at eighteen, or that he will accept the views of 
his elders; the variations in view between generation 
and generation and at different times in one's own 
life are all necessary to growth. The people who resist 
changes in the moral attitude are urging the acceptance 
of " habitual morality " which, though possible for the 
child, is rightly unsatisfactory to adolescents. Here, 
as elsewhere, confidence in the new generation to do 
at least as well as they did is essential to the adults 
in the community. 

How is this thought about action to be encouraged ? 
In the first place, it is far easier to get older boys and 
girls to think about conduct if they have been con- 
stantly encouraged to think about all branches of 
intellectual work. Thought is a difficult process, and 
a taste for it needs cultivation; if children have 
memorized other people's work in literature, history, 
and geography, and have not been trained to work for 
themselves, it is obvious they will find it hard to think 
about conduct. If, on the other hand, they have 
been with people who encouraged them to think for 
themselves, when their own conduct as such becomes 
interesting, as it usually does in adolescence, they will 
want to consider and discuss it. Indeed, many people 



78 MODERN EDUCATIONAL THEORY 

can remember the interminable discussions on conduct 
that lasted through University days. At the risk of 
undue repetition it must again be pointed out that, good 
as such discussions are, they are better when education 
has followed the line of normal psychological pro- 
cedure when, in other words, there has been the 
constant connection between desire, thought, and 
action for then the natural tendency is to test ideals 
by action. Though the desirability of such tests may 
not at first sight be apparent, yet if the reader will 
consider the hopeless attitude of, say, social reformers 
who have had no experience in actually dealing with 
real problems, it may persuade him to think that, 
should the adolescent's extreme views on conduct 
remain untested, they may solidify into a code of 
morals that may be more of a hindrance than a help 
to him and his community. 

By such a process the suggestion of ideas resulting 
in action, the constant modification of action by 
discussion and thought thereon there should grow a 
great system of ideas so closely connected with strong 
feeling that they might be called moral complexes, 
or, in other words, ideals ideas associated with a 
strong feeling or sentiment. Eventually the strength 
of these ideals or complexes should be such that in 
normal life good conduct should surely be the rule, 
a break from one's standards the exception. The 
reader can recall numerous examples amongst the 
people with whom he grew up of the conquest of 
pugnacity, or self-abasement. By such conquests life 



GOOD-WILL IN THE MAKING 79 

in accordance with civilized, humane social standards 
should become easier, and thus leave energy free for the 
more serious responsibilities of adult life. When John 
Stuart Mill feared dullness at the end of moral conflict, 
he had not realized the absorption that intellectual 
and emotional life bring in their train. 

Moral life should, under ordinary circumstances, 
travel with some ease and pleasure. A good pianist 
has a control over his hands that gives to his audience 
a sense of security; so one should feel that, granted 
a good training and normal conditions, the moral life 
is also possible, and, indeed, that each one of us has, 
as it were, some reserve power. 

Throughout this chapter the terms " good," " right 
ideals," " the moral life " have been used without 
definition; but as in the first chapter it was taken for 
granted that the reader would have his own idea of the 
citizen he wishes to send out from the schools, so here 
moral ends and standards must be left for the indi- 
vidual to define. The province of this chapter is not 
in ethics, but in practical pedagogy; and its aim is 
to remind teachers of the conditions to be observed if 
they would bring up good citizens, assuming their 
definition of good to be in most respects that of the 
intelligent man of the twentieth century.* 

* The training here advocated will not produce a genera- 
tion of Casabiancas, for example. 



PART II 



CHAPTER VII 
THE SCHOOL AS A TRAINING-GROUND 

SO much has been written on the necessity for 
a child's developing on his own lines, and hence 
for individual study and treatment of the child, 
that it might appear as if the ideal training for a child 
is the family, with one trained teacher for each of the 
small groups. It may be that it is only the judgment 
of a member of a " crowd," accustomed to large 
schools, that insists on the value of a child's learning 
in a school to live with his community, and thus to 
know his generation. Whether the community in 
which he spends his most malleable years of life shall 
be determined geographically or by the economic 
position of his father is an open question, but in 
England there has always been a distinct feeling against 
sending all children to a common school where all could 
acquire the rudiments of learning. The advantages of 
such an early training in a democratic state are obvious, 
and equally obvious are the dangers of letting one 
class of child grow up ignorant of the fact that his 
joys and sorrows are not unlike those of children in 
other schools. During the Great War we often heard 
that doing common service in the trenches would make 
employer and employed settle economic problems of 

83 



84 MODERN EDUCATIONAL THEORY 

peace in a totally different spirit. Feelings are not as 
easily " transferred " as the optimists of those years 
hoped, but if boys and girls from six to fourteen 
worked and played together in schools and playing- 
fields, if they were taught by people devoid of class 
feeling, a new attitude might be possible. At any 
rate, children begin with no class feeling whatsoever; 
it originates in suggestion from a mother or nurse, 
and, given equal opportunities of good teaching, baths, 
clean clothes, good food, and fresh air surely the 
heritage of all children born in a civilized country 
most of the " class " distinctions would not arise. 

As things are, the schools have to face the more 
specialized problem of bringing up children whose people 
hold approximately similar positions in the world, but 
at any rate, until children reach twelve the problem 
varies in detail rather than in kind. Generally speak- 
ing, in all cases the teacher has the task before him of 
filling up the gaps left in the home life e.g., if, as in 
most elementary schools, the children have little time 
given at home to speech training, he must deal with 
their speech faithfully in school; if, on the other hand, 
the children come from homes where they acquire 
good speech, the work left for the school may be 
training in such early civic duties as dusting, setting 
lunch, looking after smaller children. 

It is a pity that school authorities do not face more 
honestly the mental " deficiency diseases " in young 
people, due to some lack in the homes. Municipal 
schools for boys and girls from crowded town homes 



THE SCHOOL AS A TRAINING-GROUND 85 

would not then be built with less playground space 
than those for children from more spacious homes and 
gardens, with greater opportunities for open-air life. 
Nor do we find the largest and most varied collection 
of children's books in those schools whose scholars 
are from homes lacking in this respect. 

No matter how advanced or reactionary the educa- 
tion authority may be, each school is a training-ground 
for the new generation, and to a great extent it is true 
that how a child shapes so he will grow as a man. 
Hence, if in a school there is a feeling of enforced 
authority, and the accepted code of conduct is to do 
just what one is compelled to do, and no more, the 
probability is the child will adopt this attitude towards 
the powers that be outside school, and, what is more, 
think of them as having the autocratic teacher's 
attitude towards him. 

If, then, a child is to acquire in later life the idea 
that the State's interests are his and his are the State's, 
it is important that the community of his early years 
the school should be to him an entity made up of 
boys, prefects and teachers, differing undoubtedly in 
age, outlook, standards and tastes, but all as real 
members of the school as the school captains and 
himself. But the individual differences of the various 
people cannot, and should not, be ignored. A class 
master has not given an adequate contribution to the 
life of the school if he has proved himself a somewhat 
glorified school captain that is the function of certain 
of the elder boys. The staff must stand for the interest 

7 



86 MODERN EDUCATIONAL THEORY 

in work, for the joy in using one's energy on things 
intellectual. If they can also enjoy the games of the 
school, that is all to the good. But surely one of the 
first things for the better educated members of a 
community to suggest to the younger members is that 
certain interests are lasting; that the man of forty on 
the geographical excursion is as absorbed in the work 
as the boy of ten; that yearly the joy of hearing the 
first willow wren will recur. The necessity of sharing, 
both actively and passively, in the life of the crowd 
makes it unadvisable that those who are insensitive 
to their human environment should become teachers. 
Other things being equal, those who can take as well 
as give become the best teachers. A teacher's training 
should not so impress him with the importance of 
accepted knowledge that he looks at the contributions 
of the uneducated crowd of children with mere toler- 
ance. If such be the case, the lazy-minded child or 
the slow thinker, who must make great efforts if he 
is to get results from intellectual work, tends to think 
of teachers and " clever " boys as a class apart and 
to devote his energy to games. But if in a literature 
lesson his master says, "Well, I have read 'Hamlet' 
more times than I can remember, but I have never 
thought of that before," he gets the first glimmerings 
of comprehension of the " give and take "of all learning. 
The give and take must be a sincere process. 
Children do quite constantly, in an atmosphere of free 
discussion, give a point that is good and interesting. 
The " average " lesson should be of such a type rather 



THE SCHOOL AS A TRAINING-GROUND 87 

than a discourse from a teacher. Nor is it wise to 
signal out for praise the best contribution to the 
lesson; it must be taken for granted that everybody 
does his best, and approval should come from the rest 
of the class rather than from the teacher. Indeed, the 
whole atmosphere must be as simple and natural as 
possible, the class getting the idea that the usual way 
of solving problems, be they intellectual or practical, 
is for the whole community to talk it out, each helping 
as far as *he can, and in many cases calling for expert 
help from outside. So, in the final stage, they may 
even reach the tether of the teacher's knowledge, when 
he must say, " I will look it up," or, better still, get the 
class to consult further authorities. 

It is by such training that a crowd is educated. If 
a community is satisfied by schools in which teachers 
instruct or dictate information to silent classes, test 
them on it, and award praise or blame, it is content 
with an uneducated, though possibly well-informed, 
crowd that has not learnt to weigh evidence, actively 
to share in the search for knowledge, and to appreciate 
other people's difficulties and points of view. The 
crowd, in other words, remains as open to suggestion 
in the Sixth Form or University as it was in the 
nursery. Very few acquire the attitude of testing for 
themselves, thinking for themselves, without much 
encouragement and careful training. The avidity with 
which the average citizen accepts the statements made 
in the organ of his particular crowd leaves the trained 
thinker marvelling. 



88 MODERN EDUCATIONAL THEORY 

Hence the enormous value of the staff as part of 
the school crowd. They know more; they will think 
out a problem more thoroughly; they will be ready 
with the " but " at the right moment. And the 
children should know and respect expert views from 
teachers if they are to respect expert knowledge later. 
It is probable that such an attitude may be more easily 
acquired in later school days than at any other time 
of life. 

In an earlier chapter of this book it was suggested 
that teachers* tended to be somewhat unduly under 
the dominance of the herd instinct, and even slightly 
to resent the individual who did not fit in with the 
scheme of school life. Yet now he is urged to be an 
integral part of the school crowd. The advice, it is 
hoped, is not contradictory. He should be himself, 
a mature and educated thinker in the crowd, only 
restraining his desire to dominate, to tell, to see 
results ; seeing himself as older, better educated, indeed, 
but not necessarily the best arbiter of what his class 
should know, or how they should know it. Above all 
must the teacher stand for fair play in intellectual work 
as well as in games. It is not morally wrong for a 
child to think differently or at a different rate from 
his fellows; it is, indeed, from the " abnormal " child 
that new thought often comes. But if his peers do not 
think or feel as he does, they are inclined to laugh at 
him, and even turn a deaf ear to his arguments. In 
such cases it is the teacher who must remind them of 

* See p. 65. 



THE SCHOOL AS A TRAINING-GROUND 89 

the consideration due to minorities, and that the truth 
of one's conclusion is not proved either by ignoring 
an opponent's difficulties or by abusing him. It is 
difficult in the hurry of school life to remember the 
value of opposition to authority, yet from this attitude 
of questioning temperamental in a few people grows 
that intellectual power of criticism which is invaluable. 
In a school filled with the fresh air of free discussion 
teachers need not fear the appearance of opposition 
for the sake of opposition. 

In such a community as that suggested in the above 
paragraphs the citizen of the modern State will first 
realize his responsibility, will get his early training in 
the difficult process of thinking, and must learn to act 
as a result of his thought, and not merely to follow 
others' actions. In other words, he must learn to 
take initiative. The essential unity of the process of 
desire, thought, and action, the danger of separating 
any one part from the other, has been emphasized in 
earlier chapters. But when thinking of the average 
school as a training-ground, an onlooker is forced to 
realize how little training in action as the direct and 
practical result of thought is given. The teachers 
prepare and do, the children learn and look on ; hence 
teachers in an ordinary crowd often show distinct 
skill in organizing and initiating a skill the crowd 
taught by them does not possess. What can be done 
in the average school to give this training ? 

In the first case, most teachers have still to realize 
how much children can do for themselves if mistakes 



90 MODERN EDUCATIONAL THEORY 

are not unduly punished, and if it is not assumed the 
function of a child is to sit still. Children should be 
made responsible for their own books, pencils, etc., 
and though the early training in responsibility demands 
a serenity and patience that is difficult to attain, even 
by the lover of children, the sense of citizenship can 
only be given under such conditions. It is a golden 
rule that whatever the child can do for himself and for 
his class he must do ; though in the early years of school 
life it takes him so much longer than it takes the 
chosen monitors or teachers, though it means fewer 
results to show on paper, it is by such life that the 
good member of the upper school is made. Equally in 
the intellectual work of a school the children must do 
all they can for themselves; the teacher must help, 
but if he could look on himself as the consultant, 
suggesting some activity to the children or telling them 
what to try and what to do, it would ensure the 
children's activity. 

So far it is a teacher's attitude towards his work 
that has been discussed in this chapter, for, with the 
right attitude, the most formal of schools gives oppor- 
tunity for the " new teaching." But much can be 
done by school organization, time-table, and the 
curriculum to make a school an active community. 
Hence, in most educational meetings such subjects 
are discussed as " special classes," "free time-tables," 
" sectionizing," sometimes, indeed, as though one or 
other of these methods would reform a school. Only 
teachers and children can alter a school, but it is clear 



THE SCHOOL AS A TRAINING-GROUND 91 

that a teacher who wants children to do all they can 
for themselves will not teach a class as a class unless 
they all want his help. If however small a section 
of the class can, for example, read a simple book, that 
section will read to themselves while he helps the 
others unless, as is often the case, each one of the 
better readers helps someone who is less able. 

Certain schools make a point of setting what arith- 
metic, history, geography is to be done by the class 
for the week, and the teachers give lessons as the 
children ask for them. Such a plan ignores the fact 
that one must learn in a community to respect other 
people's time and energy. It is absurd for a teacher 
to explain a difficulty four times if the children by 
wise planning of their work can save him three of the 
times. Then compromise, as usual, seems better. At 
the beginning of the week the whole community discuss 
the week's work, and the teacher arranges at what 
times he will give class instruction, at what times 
individual help. If a child prefers to grapple with 
simple interest by himself rather than go to the lesson, 
that is his concern; and if his results are unsatisfactory, 
he must discuss the problem with his teacher. But if, 
from the earliest of school days, children acquire 
responsibilities as they acquire mental and physical 
growth, if they look on teachers as the people to whom 
they go when they cannot help themselves, they will 
use the teachers in the upper school as one would use 
one's tutor or lecturer in the ideal University. The 
difference between the upper school, say, for children 



92 MODERN EDUCATIONAL THEORY 

from twelve to sixteen, and the University in these 
respects is that the child has less freedom of choice 
of subject-matter, has less staying-power in work, and 
more dependence on the knowledge and skill of the 
teacher. No one doubts the value of the training 
which leaves a young man with two and a half years to 
work for his degree ; everyone knows that a child left 
free for two and a half months with no discussions or 
tests of his work might, and probably would, collect 
two and a half months' worth of bad habits. And 
hence "free time-tables" can only imply a change 
from class supervision to individual teaching, and they 
are, as it were, only a means to safeguard the individual 
from being lost in the school crowd. 

In the ideal school the curriculum and arrangements 
of the time-tables should give opportunities for the 
training of the scholars as citizens and for their indi- 
vidual work. How these two functions of the school 
are to be carried out is a matter for the school to 
decide, and an insistence on a " free time-table," 
lectures or plays by the children, optional classes, 
etc., means the substitution of one way for the many. 
In the same State at the same period of time there is 
as a rule a very fair possibility of agreement as to the 
type of citizen that is desirable, but once the com- 
munity in the guise of the education officers urges, 
or even insists on, one way of producing the result, the 
evils from ignoring the individualities of staff and 
children will immediately be apparent. 

Finally, if any generalization is safe in dealing with 



THE SCHOOL AS A TRAINING-GROUND 93 

human nature, it is that which declares that the com- 
munity is best served by training every citizen to do 
the best and the most difficult work that he can 
accomplish. Perhaps the failure of the State to get 
the best results out of its younger members is most 
apparent to those people who are in intimate touch 
with the elementary schools. Hundreds of boys and 
girls leave each year to go into unskilled work, who, 
had they belonged to a different home, would have 
eventually become excellent craftsmen or skilled 
members of a profession. The loss to the State 
is evident to all, but only those who know the 
schools realize the moral and mental decline of 
those excellent children. Surely here, at any rate, 
all class and economic distinctions should in a 
modern State disappear. Moreover, just as many a 
good doctor, nurse, teacher, or engineer is lost in the 
elementary schools, so many a bad lawyer or teacher 
would have made a good gardener or motor driver if 
his capacity and aptitudes had been considered before 
his station in life. 



CHAPTER VIII 
THE SCHOOL CURRICULUM 

IT is with great difficulty that any member of the 
teaching profession frees himself from the trammels 
of custom when he thinks of the school curriculum. 
Most teachers began their lives among the class of 
children who "take" to reading and writing easily 
and early: they now as a class realize how useful is 
skill in those methods of acquiring other people's 
experience; hence they tend to think the arts of read- 
ing and writing and arithmetic so essential that the 
earlier they are acquired the better. But teachers 
have already begun to pay heed to the psychologist's 
plea that arithmetic be introduced into the curriculum 
later than was customary twenty years ago, and 
there are many who also insist on the wisdom of 
leaving reading and writing until a child shows distinct 
need for these arts. Indeed, in such schools as are 
not hampered by an examination for their scholars at 
the absurd age of eleven, and where the children's 
expressed needs are considered, it will usually be found 
that the curriculum of the junior and middle school 
varies in many ways from that in the more conven- 
tional establishment. Critics of newer methods are 
inclined to say that the result is much the same from 
the " new " as from the ordinary school, because the 

94 



THE SCHOOL CURRICULUM 95 

children of any two schools are much of a muchness, 
and in the end what they know must have much in 
common; the first reason is questionable, and the second 
is beside the point, for what people know is a matter 
of how they know, and how they know depends on 
when and how they learnt it. A man of forty who 
learns to ride a bicycle has never the same skill as the 
man who has ridden it since he was six years of age, 
but the man who acquires photography at forty may 
be far better both technically and artistically than the 
boy who began at ten, for here the question of desire 
and purpose plays a great part. 

Hence, though it is true that all schools must make 
curricula in accordance with certain fixed conditions, it 
is equally true that the needs and characteristics of the 
children in a given school should receive consideration. 

In framing a curriculum for any school, three main 
considerations must be taken into account: 

1. Needs common to all schools. 

2. Special characteristics of various schools. 

3. "Specialized" needs due to the environment of 
each school. 

In other words, though each curriculum will provide 
for the needs that it is the function of every school 
to satisfy, each curriculum should, ideally, be suitable 
for one school, and one school only. 

It is proposed in this chapter to deal with the three 
considerations stated above, and to suggest briefly the 
application of the generalizations to certain types of 
junior and middle schools. 



96 MODERN EDUCATIONAL THEORY 

I. NEEDS COMMON TO ALL SCHOOLS. 

In an earlier chapter it was suggested* that if the 
school is to be accounted an integral part of the life 
of the community, it must supply a felt need and must 
take as its work this supply. Hence the " crank " 
school cannot expect to be State-aided, and if a group 
of people hold that it is wrong for children to touch 
books before they are fourteen and right for them to 
learn to live through farming, they must supply their 
own community school and face the responsibility of 
working out their own theory in the education of the 
children. In most schools the needs of the community, 
as generally accepted in any given country and time, 
are duly considered. It is as essential in education as 
in any other form of art to make a nation conscious of 
its value; if a nation is not interested in the education 
of its young people, if it is willing to leave teachers to 
pronounce on the curriculum, education will become 
crabbed and formal. 

Though the average intelligent Englishman might 
say that the curriculum of all schools must include 
reading, writing, arithmetic, Scripture, and perhaps 
geography and history, and that afterwards what was 
taught would depend on the future vocation of the 
child, the more carefully analyzed statement that 
follows would probably be approved after some 
discussion. 

(i) A child must be helped to acquire powers of 

* See Chapter III., p. 39. 



THE SCHOOL CURRICULUM 97 

expression. Such powers are either (a) physical, as, 
for example, the control of one's body by learning how 
to run, jump, throw a ball, dance, etc.; (b) more 
directly mental, as in those forms of expression often 
dubbed artistic, as in art, literature, music. 

(2) A child must acquire a reasonable knowledge of 
the world he lives in. Though some may hold this 
knowledge comes through the academic channels of 
geography and history, while others say it comes by 
living a practical life, most people agree that the 
use of the " tools " called reading, writing, and 
arithmetic should be acquired by all citizens of a 
modern State. 

Looked at in this way, the curriculum is a plan for 
training the double personality that most people possess 
the egocentric individual and the member of a 
crowd. Because it is the individualistic tendencies 
that first assert themselves, powers of self-expression, 
both physical and artistic, should be considered first; 
that knowledge and skill which enable one to become 
better acquainted with one's environment should be 
acquired later. Herein, of course, lies the condition 
of happy life in the kindergarten and junior school. 
Any teacher of little children knows her art lies in 
giving them something to do, and, in psychological 
phraseology, the threefold system of desire, thought, 
and action must be so organized that desire can easily 
pass into action. The child will mix paints in order 
to colour the picture he loves, but he will lose interest 
if he has to practise colour wash for long in order to 



98 MODERN EDUCATIONAL THEORY 

colour a picture at a future date. Again, a child 
wants to hear about other people, and will listen eagerly 
even to dull or complicated stories. He will not learn 
to read at this stage, in order that three months hence 
he may read such stories for himself. 

As the pupil leaves the early years of childhood and 
finds himself seven or even eight years old, he begins 
to exhaust the simpler means of self-expression and 
to seek, often indeed consciously, for more difficult 
and strenuous means of using his energy. At such a 
time he becomes conscious of the fact that the people 
whom he respects, the older boys in the school, the 
grown-up members of his family, " work." He, too, 
wants to work, and in the professional class of society 
it is obvious that work necessitates the acquisition of 
power to use such tools as reading, writing, and arith- 
metic. In schools where most of the children come 
from illiterate homes, the influences outside school 
may not be equally helpful. A child may think of 
" work " in such cases as some form of mechanical 
action like cotton spinning, or, worse still, he may 
think that the way to live is merely through a round 
of amusements, " work " only being for servants. In 
both these cases it is the school that must supply the 
deficiency, and if the tone is such that the upper school 
children think of games, and nothing but games, and 
the majority do only such school work as they must, 
then the lower school children will turn their super- 
fluous psychic energy to the acquisition of physical 
skill, and they will play cricket with their brains rather 



THE SCHOOL CURRICULUM 99 

than work at mathematics. Such a life-history is not 
uncommon. Any master in a good preparatory school 
or teacher in an infant school will tell of keen boys, 
rejoicing in work as well as in play, who get into a 
school where the work is formal, and from a child's 
point of view wholly unreasonable, where the thought 
of the upper school is centred on the games: the few 
survive and become the " swots " of the school; the 
many never learn the lasting interest that intellectual 
work carries with it. 

This failure of the middle school to turn a child's 
energy into intellectual work is in most cases due to 
one of three causes. In the first place, " formal " 
work i.e., the acquisition of intellectual knowledge 
and mechanical aptitude is forced on children before 
they see the need. Secondly, they are given more of 
this kind of training than they are ready for; probably 
more thought is demanded of them than action. A 
child wants to read, but he wants to do so in order to 
finish an interesting story, not to work his way through 
a reading book; he wants to write and count for his 
own purposes. The good teacher keeps the child's 
purposes in view, and when he thinks the child should 
make further intellectual effort he suggests to him an 
end that will ensure it. The third cause of a child's 
dislike for work may be the encroachment of the more 
formal school studies on a child's time for his own 
work and play. Children attending secondary schools 
will tell their friends they would like school if it left 
them time to do their own work, but as they get higher 



ioo MODERN EDUCATIONAL THEORY 

up in the school and see lessons usurp their time 
for writing magazines, "making" things, acting plays, 
or keeping dolls' houses, they not only grudge the 
time, but they grow to dislike the work that takes 
the time. Most parents of typical English children 
have seen this growth of dislike for school work, mainly 
because of the teachers who fail to recognize this 
limitation to the amount of homework that can be 
profitably given. Looking at the problem from the 
angle of a dispassionate observer, one is surprised that 
the child from the middle-class home has often so 
many hours of school work that he lacks time to 
develop on his own lines, while the child from the 
poorer home often has the time for self-development 
but lacks the means. 



II. CONSIDERATION OF THE SPECIAL CHARACTERISTICS 
OF SCHOOLS. 

The special characteristics of various schools must 
also have due consideration when the school curriculum 
is formed, and the problem is so individual and intimate 
that an apology is needed for dealing with it in a general 
textbook. 

There is a tendency for modest teachers to think 
they are failing in duty to the children if they do not 
give them all they would get in some other school. 
Hence, one finds dramatic history in a school where 
the teacher is neither interested in history nor inclined 
to dramatic expression, Nature study " taught " by 



THE SCHOOL CURRICDIAJM- *:':'. 101 

a teacher who is not interested in the world outside 
the class and lecture room. As a matter of fact, one 
cannot give what one has not, and conscientious 
teachers probably do as much harm as good by this 
kind of teaching; for, positively, they may make the 
branch of knowledge appear dull, pedantic, and bookish, 
and, negatively, they are losing time in which they 
might be teaching some subject for which they cared. 
Just as in a home the children gain and lose by the 
intellectual predilections of their people, so must they 
in a school. Obviously, every head 'teacher will make 
use of the special ability of each member of his staff, 
but in the small school or the junior school where there 
is not a specialist for each subject, the staff must be 
considered under the special needs of a school. To 
give what one can freely and skilfully is all the best 
teacher can do. 

Are the children to suffer for the deficiencies of the 
teacher, then ? Not necessarily. In a small country 
school where the head mistress is ignorant of nature 
study and painting the children have their own Natural 
History Society, and from their desire to keep records 
arose their first attempts at water-colour drawing. A 
friendly manager has helped on this side of the work. 
Mr. Homer Lane maintains that children do more if 
they feel they know as much and are as skilful as some- 
one whom in other departments of life they respect. 
At any rate, teachers would do well to try to encourage 
work on lines on which the children are interested, 
and certainly it is better to leave the children to work 

8 



102 . SIGJO'SRN EDUCATIONAL THEORY 

in their own way than for the teacher to assume an 
interest and knowledge he does not possess.* 

It is, indeed, a great temptation to a teacher in an 
elementary school to try to teach everything; he 
thinks what the boys fail to get from him they will 
lose for ever, forgetting that for most people intel- 
lectual interests are a late development. All that can 
be done in the middle school and boys' and girls' 
departments of elementary schools should be classed in 
this category is to turn part of the child's activity 
into one or more intellectual channels. The com- 
munity life should be such that the boy can widen 
or deepen these channels when he leaves school. 
Libraries, courses of lectures, help in artistic work, 
should be within reach of all who desire them. 

But the special characteristics of the children are, if 
possible, of greater importance in planning the work 
of a school. For example, it often happens that a 
teacher who moves from an urban district into the 
country is overwhelmed by the poor arithmetic and 
composition in the rural school, and at once increases 
the time given to these subjects. Clearly it is not 
extra time that will cure these deficiencies in the 
children's work, but that sort of experience which 
will give them an impetus to the acquisition of skill in 
dealing with number or words. Such a spur must be 
found in the needs and interests of their own village 

* The writer has to thank Miss Chart for her account of 
the curriculum of a rural school of which she was the head 
mistress (see Appendix I.). It serves as an admirable illus- 
tration to this section of the chapter. 



THE SCHOOL CURRICULUM 103 

life, and hence in the good school the children find 
themselves confronted by problems in handwork and 
gardening that only a knowledge of number can solve. 
In order to improve their verbal expression the teacher 
must realize the lack of talk and books in their homes, 
supply these deficiencies by telling and reading stories, 
encourage them to act and make stories, and leave 
the written work to follow in due course. 

Again, in the crowded, poor city school, where 
children in their free hours roam the streets, receiving 
such a multitude of passing impressions that they tend 
to be bird-witted, the value of much oral work is 
questionable ; here the children's greatest need is much 
time in the best playing-fields that can be given them, 
and then such a curriculum as will steady them; 
cinemas or lantern lectures, interesting though the 
children find them, do not lead them to a much higher 
mental plane than the posters and illustrated papers 
that are an important part of their environment. The 
work on appreciation, when children are encouraged 
and trained in careful study of poetry, pictures, and 
music, when they learn to look and look again, to listen 
and listen again, is admirable, because it helps to over- 
come the deficiencies in the child's experiences. 

Because it is a fundamental condition of a good 
school that the curriculum should be such that the 
staff can deal happily with it, and at the same time it 
should consider the scholars' interests and needs, text- 
books giving courses of study in arithmetic, English, 
music, etc., should be used sparingly. A set of 



104 MODERN EDUCATIONAL THEORY 

arithmetic examples which are admirable for a town 
school may be barren nonsense to the children in a 
country village ; and the head mistress of a small rural 
school who had all her own home-keeping problems 
worked out by the children i.e., the cost of her coal, 
her home-made jams and pickles and cakes, etc. did 
at least demonstrate the reasonableness of arithmetic 
as no lessons on multiplication of fractions could. 
Until schoolmasters and schoolmistresses can show to 
the average child, the father of the average man, that 
education satisfies his interests and helps him to useful 
knowledge and skill, as a nation we shall serve it with 
lip service only. Excluding from all schools the type 
of child who is naturally interested in " book learning," 
this statement is as true for the master in the most 
dignified of our historic public schools as it is for the 
master in the least known of our State schools. 

A word must be said of the exceptional child. In 
the early days of elementary schools, when all children 
in a given class in a given year had to pass the same 
examination, the quick children were sacrificed to the 
slow. Now in all schools where there is a genuine 
desire to win scholarships, there is a distinct tendency 
for the slow child, who can learn by doing, but finds 
book work difficult, to be sacrificed to the quick. 
Until we realize the importance to the State of each 
child getting that careful training which the best of 
teachers fails to give if a class be large, such difficulties 
are inevitable. But in a school where children are 
responsible to a large extent for their own work, the 



THE SCHOOL CURRICULUM 105 

quick child goes on with work of his own and the slow 
children have more chance of working at their own 
rate. Sectionizing, of course, allows for such differ- 
ences in speed and capacity, and where ten years ago 
classes of fifty were taught reading together, now 
one finds small sections working at different rates at 
different difficulties. 

This regard for the individual rather than the average 
rate of learning has caused most practical teachers to 
notice the exceptionally gifted as well as the excep- 
tionally ungifted child, and there is a growing belief 
that it is the former who needs consideration. The 
question of how the community should deal with such 
children as well as with the subnormal children 
cannot be raised here, but it is important that when 
a curriculum is framed to meet the needs of the average 
child no mistaken notion of its sanctity should lead a 
teacher to force it on the exceptional child. It is 
with the people who have some marked special ability 
that the hope of intellectual or artistic advance lies; 
they should at any rate be given the opportunity of 
showing what they can do, and it is unwise to prevent 
the child of great musical capacity from developing 
on that side because he is so bad at arithmetic that 
he must give extra hours to it, if he is to reach the 
standard of the normal boy. 

Psychologists are still trying to formulate tests for 
general ability and special abilities; as yet it is not 
certain how far special abilities are merely the result 
of environment and the interests therein working on 



io6 MODERN EDUCATIONAL THEORY 

general intelligence. Until psychologists can give 
teachers greater help it is wise to rely on the accepted 
belief that both the State and the individual child gain 
by the fullest possible use of the child's capacity. 
No one is as good a member of his community as he 
might be if, by lack of opportunity or through some 
moral defect, he has failed to use his talents to the 
uttermost. 

III. NEEDS CAUSED BY THE ENVIRONMENT. 

Finally, in making his scheme of work and in select- 
ing his library a teacher should consider what he can 
do to compensate the children for the deficiencies in 
their geographical and social environment as well as 
how he can use the excellencies. Examples will make 
the point clear. A teacher who has a certain view of 
his craft tends to plan both his geography and history 
syllabuses on the lines of local work. But if his school 
is in a new suburb of a new town, local history as such 
is impossible, and local geography may necessitate 
plans for a day's geographical excursion. Again, in 
schools in London or any large town with a good 
picture gallery it should be part of the work of the 
community's school to give the children such training 
in art and history that they will visit their museums 
and galleries with pleasure. But though a teacher 
may do some work on good reproductions of pictures 
in a school in the heart of the country, it is wiser to 
develop a child's artistic appreciation on what is near 
at hand the beauty of the song of the thrush, the 



THE SCHOOL CURRICULUM 107 

colour of the gorse, the light on the great curved hills. 
If all Londoners should learn to appreciate the beauties 
of London, equally important is it that the child in 
the Essex village should be helped to see the beauties 
at his door, and not allowed to associate the thought 
and feeling of beauty solely with pictures of distant 
mountains bordered by lakes. 



CHAPTER IX 
THE SYLLABUS AND TIME-TABLE 

THE syllabus and time-table are the means by 
which the staff of a school work out their 
theory of the suitable curriculum for their scholars, 
and hence considerations that must be taken into 
account in framing the latter are equally important 
in the construction of the former. 

To a teacher who thinks the needs of teachers, 
children, and environment are the determining factors 
in planning the work of a given school, syllabuses and 
time-tables arranged by the education authority are 
anathema; and while "suggestions" from authorities 
are most useful, English teachers at any rate prefer 
to work out those suggestions in their own way. Yet 
any school examiner who has to study the syllabuses 
in a subject of which he has a fair knowledge, is 
inclined at times to think that it would be better to 
restrict the privilege of making syllabuses to the 
proved expert. 

To become a proved expert the candidate would have 
to satisfy his examiner on three points : (a) He must 
have a good working knowledge of the contents of his 
subject and its interrelation with other school sub- 

108 



THE SYLLABUS AND TIME-TABLE 109 

jects; (b) he must know the strong and weak points 
of the teachers who will carry out the syllabus; (c) he 
must have an intimate knowledge of the capacity and 
needs of the children. If the reader thinks seriously 
of what these three conditions imply, he will be less 
surprised at the impossible syllabuses with which 
teachers in junior and middle schools are confronted. 

Many of the obvious disadvantages of the system 
by which one man or woman makes the syllabuses in 
all subjects for a school can be overcome if the rough 
draft made by the head master or specialist is discussed 
frankly by all the teachers whom it concerns. If the 
school is so small that the head master and one assistant 
do all the work between them, the problem is a different 
one. In a fairly large town school a series of meetings 
at which the head master or specialist responsible for 
a given subject explained the aims underlying his choice 
of material, showed the interaction of the work arranged 
for class B with that for classes A and C, would ensure 
a better syllabus and a better understanding of its 
meaning. At such staff meetings the whole staff 
should be present, for though no one urges correlation 
of history, literature, and art at the cost of good work 
in any of these subjects, a teacher of history would 
often be able to give far more effective lessons if he 
knew on what lines the teaching of literature or 
geography were moving. Some such arrangement, 
on the one hand, gets rid of the dangers of the 
one-man syllabus, and on the other prevents the 
overlapping or disjointed work which results in the 



no MODERN EDUCATIONAL THEORY 

pupils failing to establish systematized groups of 
ideas.* 

At such conferences not only the interlocking of 
subjects can be considered, but the far more important 
question of the needs of the children; the younger 
teachers of the staff are often greater authorities on 
this point than those members who spend a fair share 
of the day organizing, and give little time to actual 
class teaching. A teacher who is working daily with 
little children understands the failure of the strictly 
logical syllabus that looks satisfactory on paper. He 
realizes, for example, that though long division seems 
to be the direct neighbour to short division, it is 
wiser to postpone it in favour of easy fractions and 
simple problems on weights and measures, which do 
not make such demands on the memory for number 
and the power of numerical abstraction. Again, an 
English specialist constructing a syllabus of English 
poetry tends to think that simple language and con- 
struction make a poem easy for children; but children 
up to the age of twelve will master the meaning of 
difficult words far more easily and joyfully than that 
of a difficult idea, even though, as in "We are Seven," 
it is expressed in simple language. It is doubtful if 
any historian can make a good syllabus for children 

* If the reader will question those of his friends who still 
remember their school days, he will be surprised to find how 
haphazard the syllabus of any given child's knowledge was 
e.g., India " done " four times, the United States never ; the 
Stuarts two or three times, the Georges never; " Areopagitica " 
in the Sixth Form, " L'Allegro " by chance at a literary tea. 



THE SYLLABUS AND TIME-TABLE in 

under fourteen unless he has intimate knowledge of 
the likes and dislikes of ordinary children. His own 
children will probably be exceptionally interested in 
or bored by history. 

Not only do the less experienced members of a staff 
help at such conferences by reminding the meeting of 
what children like, but in a free community they also 
drive home the all-important fact that a syllabus may 
be quite possible in the hands of the expert, but useless 
in the hands of the average teacher. It is wiser to 
have a less satisfactory syllabus with which the class 
teacher feels he can cope than one he knows is beyond 
his powers, for however excellent be the arrangement 
and selection of the matter dealt with, the syllabus 
will be unsatisfactory if it is a hindrance rather than 
a help to the teacher. Its function is to guide both 
teacher and taught through a maze, a guide that should 
be respected because in use it proves its worth. Yet 
it is a common thing for teachers to rail at syllabuses, 
and to attribute the mechanical teaching which they 
realize they are giving to the necessity of " getting 
through " the set work. If a syllabus is too long or 
too short, it should be altered in a conference, when the 
teachers in other classes can adapt their work to the 
necessary changes. No other method is satisfactory; 
the hasty rush to cover the ground results in badly 
digested knowledge; the omission of one section may 
leave in the child's knowledge a gap of which other 
teachers are ignorant, and from which the child 
consequently suffers. 



H2 MODERN EDUCATIONAL THEORY 

In a democratic school it is probable that such staff 
meetings when syllabuses are discussed, made, and 
altered to suit the needs of definite teachers and 
children, are an accepted part of the school life. But 
even in such schools the syllabuses of the term's work 
in the various subjects are seldom given to the children. 
To the writer of this chapter there is still a vivid recol- 
lection of the joy with which she studied the syllabus 
of her first public examination, of the zeal with which 
she followed the lessons that seemed to have a direct 
relation to that important document. One of the 
greatest incentives to little children to work at the 
drudgery of a subject they are learning is the feeling 
that they are making progress ; if they can watch their 
mastery of the subject-matter of the geography and 
arithmetic set for the term, they will take pride in the 
achievement, and tend to side with a teacher against 
the lazy children who stop the work of the class. 
Given a suitable curriculum, children like work, and 
will be as anxious as the teacher to leave no section of 
the syllabus unregarded. In most schools in which 
this plan has been tried the children have been made 
responsible for finishing the work arranged for a given 
week or month, as the case may be, but young children 
could not be expected to do more than undertake to 
give a few extra hours to a less-liked subject in order to 
get the work for the period satisfactorily accomplished.* 

* See Appendix II. for the scheme of work for the girls in 
the Upper Division of Standards VI. and VII. of the Childeric 
Road Demonstration School. The writer has to thank Miss 
Palmer, the class mistress, for permission to use the scheme. 



THE SYLLABUS AND TIME-TABLE 113 

If teachers want reasonable concessions from the 
children, they must treat them as reasonable beings, 
and show them that the work they are asked to do 
is both possible and necessary. Even to the trained 
worker no experience is more depressing than that of 
an accumulation of work that he does not see his way 
to finish; to the child it is most important that the end 
can be imagined. For this reason it is wise to divide 
a large section of the syllabus into smaller parts that 
will take a week or so to accomplish. With very 
young children, of course, one only tells them what 
they are going to do in a given period, though as soon 
as children can read they should have the plans of 
work published in their rooms in order that those who 
have curiosity as to what is in store for them may 
satisfy it. In case teachers are inclined to think, in 
the rush of school, that to carry out the suggestion will 
take more time than the result will justify, it must be 
urged that the result is more important than the satis- 
faction of a child's curiosity or even his sense of the 
importance of his individual effort. Children who 
share, even in the slightest measure, the responsibility 
of getting the work done in the allotted time are active 
members of the class, and are learning to become good 
citizens. The growing desire of all workers for a 
greater share in the organization and management of 
their own trade or profession increases the importance 
of training children to share in the organization and 
accomplishment of all sides of the life of the school. 

If co-operation is of great importance for the making 



H4 MODERN EDUCATIONAL THEORY 

and carrying out of a syllabus, it is equally desirable 
for the smooth working of a time-table. But anyone 
who has suffered under a bad time-table knows that 
though great freedom can be given to individuals as 
to the amount of time allotted to a subject and the 
hours at which any given subject is taught, a respon- 
sible person must embody in a general time-table 
arrangements for rooms, for intervals for quiet work, 
the periods for such self-advertising occupations as 
singing and dancing, and that all members of the 
school must accept these plans. This necessity of con- 
sidering the rest of the school must be the one bar to 
absolute freedom of working out a term's syllabus in 
such a way and at such a time as is most acceptable 
to the teacher and children in any given class. Thus, 
even if a class becomes so interested in making a map 
that they are loath to leave it, they must abide by the 
dictates of the general time-table as to the time for 
their games and their singing. But if they desire to 
finish the map and leave their English or history for 
another day, that is their concern, and to object to 
such rearrangement of work within the classroom is 
unreasonable. Indeed, the greatest objection to the 
increase of specialists in school is that their entrance 
necessitates a more rigid time-table. Here, as every- 
where, the guiding rule is : Give the class as much 
freedom as is compatible with the smooth working of 
the school, and make every effort to get this guiding 
rule understood and appreciated. 

What is true of the class as a unit in the school is 



THE SYLLABUS AND TIME-TABLE 115 

equally true of the individual as a unit in his class. 
All the methods of giving freedom to individual children, 
the plans for individual work, the work in small sec- 
tions, the "free" time-table, which in interpretation 
means the individual's freedom to plan his own work, 
are attempts at making it possible for a child to work 
in his own way and at his own time. To the discussion 
of the free time-table in an earlier chapter* there is 
nothing to add here, but the reader, if experimenting 
in his own class, will constantly find the class must 
limit an individual's freedom either for the good of 
the class or the school. If such limitations become 
unduly burdensome to an undue number of teachers 
or children, it is probable that a rearrangement of 
the general time-table or class time-table is desirable. 
Only the person wearing a shoe knows where it pinches, 
and no stupid pride in one's powers of organization 
should prevent him who is in authority from accepting 
the truth stated in this proverb. 

* Chapter VII., pp. 91, 92. 



APPENDICES 



"7 



T 



APPENDIX I 

A CURRICULUM FOR A RURAL SCHOOL. 
BY PATTIE CHART. 

NOTES ON THE CURRICULUM. 

I. STAFF. 

HIS syllabus was planned to be worked by two 
teachers, neither of whom was a specialist in the 
teaching of music or art. 



II. TIME-TABLE. 

The time-table will show: 

(a) Time at which arithmetic is taught (to allow for re- 
classifying in this subject) and the times for physical 
exercises (required by the local education authority). 

(6) Proportion of time to be given to subjects of Table I. 

(c) Proportion of time to be given to preparation and 
individual work. 

III. SECTIONAL AND INDIVIDUAL WORK. 

Periods for preparation will be provided in each class. 

In Group B children will work in groups to carry out 
definite pieces of work e.g., making models, dramatizing, 
etc. 

In Group C each child will be required to carry out some 
independent work connected with Table II. e.g., experi- 
ments in garden, nature collections with sketches, illus- 
trated books, etc. 

118 



APPENDIX I 119 

At least two afternoons per week will be required for this 
work, and probably more as this side of the school work 
increases. 

IV. SOCIAL ACTIVITIES OF THE SCHOOL. 

The work of the school will be linked as far as possible 
with the village life e.g. : 

1. School magazine. 

2. Assistance in work for scouts' and guides' badges. 

3. Visits to neighbouring farms and gardens. 

4. Printing village notices, etc. 

5. Formation of a parents' committee. 

6. Holding of a school festival. 



A SUGGESTED CURRICULUM 
TABLE I. SHOWING THE TWO MAIN 



CLASS I. 



A. LOWER SCHOOL (STANDARDS 
I. AND II.). 



B. MIDDLE 
(STANDARDS III. 



First Year Course. 



Lives and 
of Primitive 

A. Stories of primi- 
ive man and our 
arly ancestors. 



B. Expeditions to 
neighbouring hills, 
marshes, etc. 

C. Some of the old 
epics e.g., Beowulf, 
the Volsunga Saga. 



Second Year Course. 



First Year Course. 



Industries 
Peoples : 

A. Lives and in- 
dustries of primitive 
people of other lands. 



B. Story of Hia- 
watha. Folk-tales of 
other lands. 



N.B. Hand 



The Age 
and 

A. Myths and le- 
ends of the Middle 

Ages e.g., the 
Arthurian legend. 
Charlemagne and his 
Paladins. 

B. Aspects of 
European geography 
connected where pos- 
sible with A. 



work is connected 



Keeping of a nature calendar. 



Gardening growth of plants and insect 
visitors in the garden. 

Nature walks and visits to neighbouring 
farms and orchards to see animals, harvest- 
ing, etc. (Connect with course on Social 
Study above.) 

Nature poetry. 



N.B. Hand 



Weather observa 
to be 

Making of class col 
groups of 

A special study of 
e.g., a stream 
map- 
Nature poetry. 



work and drawing 



120 



FOR A RURAL SCHOOL 
SUBJECTS OF THE CURRICULUM. 



CLASS II. 



SCHOOL 
AND IV.) 



C. UPPER SCHOOL (STANDARDS V., VI. 
AND VII.). 



Second Year Course. 



First Year Course. 



of Romance 
Chivalry : 

A. England from 
early times to 1485 
(social history) . 



B. Aspects of local 
geography connected 
with A. 

C. Story of Robin 
Hood. Old English 
ballads. 



with this course 



The Development 
with special reference 

A. Social history 
before the Agrarian 
Revolution. (Con- 
nect with local his- 
tory.) 



B. The discovery 
and settlement of the 
New World. 

C. Literature of the 
sixteenth and seven- 
teenth centuries e.g, . 
the " Faerie Queene." 

throughout. 



of Social Life in England, 
to Rural Conditions: 



Second Year Course. 



A. England after 
the Agrarian Revolu 
tion. The decay of 
rural industry. (Illus- 
trate from local his- 
tory.) 

B. The world's 
markets of the 
twentieth century. 

C. Some writers of 
the nineteenth cen 
tury. 



tions 
kept. 



and records 



lections by different 

children. 

a piece of local scenery 

with an introduction to 

making. 

Animal stories. 



are connected with this 



Individual work to be undertaken by 
each child e.g., experiments on soil, flora 
of a heath, gardening experiments. 



Special study of the formation of local 
scenery, and an extension of this to land 
formations in other regions. Map- 
making. 

Nature poems. White's Natural History 
of Selborne. 

course throughout. 



121 



TABLE II. SHOWING THE SUBSIDIARY SUBJECTS OF 
THE CURRICULUM. 



Handwork. 


A. LOWER SCHOOL. 


B. MIDDLE SCHOOL. 


C. UPPER SCHOOL. 


Drawing and 
colour work for 
nature study and 
illustrations. Doll- 
dressing. Knitting. 
Weaving. Basket- 
making. Pottery 
(local clay) . 

N.B. Whenever it 
ing and needlework) 


Drawing, etc., for 
nature study. Mak- 
ing of maps, models. 
Apparatus for collec- 
tions and dramatiz- 
ing. Lettering. Mak- 
ing and embroidering 
garments for them- 
selves. 

is possible, the hand 
is linked with the 


Work in media 
selected by the chil- 
dren and connected, 
where possible, with 
the individual work 
of the children. 
Needlework be- 
comes more techni- 
cal : Cutting out, 
making, and mend- 
ing, 
work (including draw- 
subjects of Table I. 


Arithmetic. 


Work mainly 
oral. Knowledge of 
the four simple 
rules and the opera- 
tions of weighing 
and measuring. 
Shopping connected 
with the daily life of 
the child. 


Tables memorized. 
Four rules with 
compound quanti- 
ties. Long division. 
Application of frac- 
tions. Measuring 
length of area con- 
nected with map- 
making. 


Principle of pro- 
portion. Invest- 
ments. Accounts. 
(Connect with gar- 
dening.) Household 
arithmetic. Area 
connected with map- 
making. Needlework 
and household arith- 
metic. 


i 
! 


This work in all classes includes reading for recreation from 
class libraries, and also in connection with subjects of Table I. 
Composition is usually oral in Class I., and includes both oral 
and written work throughout the school. Subjects and teaching 
based upon Table I., and with social activities of school. 


CJ 

1 


This is taken as a recreative subject, as neither member of the 
staff has any specialized knowledge of the teaching of music. 
The children learn rounds, folk-songs, and national songs, and 
the classes often combine for this subject. 


X 

w 

tn 

fi 


The syllabus of the Board of Education is the basis of the work 
in physical exercises. Net-ball and other organized games are 
played and the children are taught folk-dances. 



122 



APPENDIX II 

A SCHEME FOR INDEPENDENT WORK FOR THE 
GIRLS OF THE " LITERARY DIVISION " OF 
STANDARD VI. AND STANDARD VII. OF THE 
CHILDERIC ROAD (L.C.C.) DEMONSTRATION 
SCHOOL, NEW CROSS. 

BY M. PALMER. 

THIS experiment is still in its infancy, and we are 
expecting to make many modifications. At present 
each girl is given, in the form of a hectographed book, 
from which specimen pages are given below, the work in 
geography and history and general reading that she should 
accomplish each week. It should be noted that the work is 
planned for her by her teacher, and that she is given 
sufficient to keep her at work for half a term. For example, 
each girl knows what she is expected to do during the 
week ending June 22, and also how much she will be 
expected to have done by July 15. 

If a child can complete the prescribed portion of work 
by an earlier date than the one set, she spends the remainder 
of the time as she chooses. The choice of subjects for the 
" free time" is considerably influenced by the individual 
child's opportunities. The children from the poorer homes 
turn almost without exception to painting or some form 
of colour work. The children who get some opportunity 
for this work at home frequently choose reading. One or 
two choose story-writing, and one to do " some more 
geography." 

123 



124 MODERN EDUCATIONAL THEORY 

It will be noted that this experiment is limited it does 
not embrace all subjects and the class is composed of 
girls drawn from Standards VI. and VII., who are pre- 
sumably the more intellectual section. In passing, it may 
be mentioned that the general standard of intelligence is 
of a medium type not particularly high, but not especially 
low. 

I have no doubt that equal benefit would accrue to a 
class of more backward girls, but their programme of work 
would need to be more limited, and fuller scope given for 
work of an essentially practical nature. 

It should be mentioned, in addition, that the programme 
of study has been found rather too full for the time allowed, 
perhaps because it is the first term of work under this 
scheme. I have every belief that this programme would 
not be beyond the capacity of children who had had some 
training in individual methods of study. 

The success of the whole scheme turns upon the provi- 
sion of textbooks really suitable for children to use. It is 
hopeless to expect interest to be aroused when books too 
far " above the children's heads " are put into their hands. 
It is, of course, desirable that books should be sufficiently 
difficult to ensure a certain amount of effort, but the writers 
of school textbooks often have an optimistic conception 
of the powers of comprehension possessed by the average 
elementary school child. 

Formal and oral lessons are given during morning 
school ; as a rule the girls know that the afternoons will be 
given them for the work set for them to do by themselves. 



SPECIMEN PAGES OF BOOK OF WORK. 



i. GEOGRAPHY. 



Period 
Ending. 


Portion of Textbook 
Set for Study. 


Date of 
Completion. 


Marks 
Received. 


Remarks* 
(Reasons for 
Late Com- 
pletion, etc.}. 


April 22, 
1921. 


Pp. i -i 6; Exs., p. 1 6, 
Nos. i, 2, and 7. 








May 6, 
1921. 


Pp. 18-36; Exs., 
p. 34, Nos. 4, 6, 7, 10. 
Trace three maps of 
British Isles in geo- 
graphy notebook. 








May 20, 
1921. 


P. 34; Exs. i, 3, 
13, 14; pp. 38-51; Exs., 
p. 45, Nos. 2, 4, 9. 








June 3, 
1921. 


Pp. 52-63 ; Exs., p. 
51, Nos. i, 4, 6; p. 62, 
Nos. 1-6. 









2. HISTORY. 



Period 
landing. 


Study. 


Date of 
Completion. 


Marks 
Received. 


Remarks. 


May 6, 
1921. 


Book A, Chaps. 18, 
19, 22, 25, 26; Book B, 
Chaps. 5, 19. 








May 20, 
1921. 


Book B, Chaps. 9, 
13, 24; BookC, Chaps, 
i, 2, 3; Book D, Chap. 
15- 








June 3, 
1921. 


Book A, Chaps. 22, 
23; Book B, Chaps. 10, 
u, 14, 26; Book C, 
Chaps. 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10; 
Book D, Chaps. 7, 8, 9, 

10. 









* The " Remarks " column is intended for any comments the girls 
may wish to make. 

125 



126 MODERN EDUCATIONAL THEORY 

3. GENERAL READING. 

1. Make a list of all books read, with the names of the 
writers. 

2. Write short paragraphs on articles read from the 
Children's Encyclopedia or Children's Magazine. 

3. Make a short summary of anything that you find of 
interest during your reading viz. : 

(a) Short stories of famous people (anecdotes). 

(b) Books, etc., on the reading table. 

(c) Any library book that is a great favourite. 

4. When you find a few lines of poetry that you admire, 
copy them into your verse book. If you read a poem that 
is too long to copy, enter the name and writer in your ist 
of books read. 

4. COMPOSITION. 

1. Keep all odd lines in exercise books filled with short 
exercises from English books viz. : 

Kenny Book 2. 

Ex. 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57. 
Junior composition. 

Pages 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81, 87-91. 

2. Prepare your ordinary composition exercises before- 
hand. You will find much to help you in the Children's 
Encyclopedia and Children's Magazine. 

3. Try to find newspaper cuttings, pictures, or postcards 
to illustrate your exercises. 

4. Try to write short stories, articles, or short para- 
graphs suitable for inclusion in a school magazine. 

5. Always have a book at hand to read, but complete 
one before you begin another. 



A LIST OF USEFUL BOOKS 

THIS list in a shorter form was compiled by the staff of Gold- 
smiths' College in the hope that it might be of use to teachers 
who found it difficult to keep in touch with developments 
in method and changes in subject-matter in modern teaching. 
Those books marked with an asterisk were written for 
children and can be used as class books. They have been 
included because each is an admirable example of how the 
subject-matter, be it geography, history, or arithmetic, can be 
used. (The prices given here may be subject to alteration.) 

I. EDUCATION 
THEORY, GENERAL AND SPECIAL METHOD 

" Social Psychology." McDougall. Methuen, 73. 6d. 

" The New Psychology." Tansley. Allen and Unwin, IDS. 6d. 

" Educational Values." Bagley. Macmillan, 73. 6d. 

" The School and the Child." Dewey. Blackie, is. 6d. 

" Educational Essays." Dewey. Blackie, 2s. 

"The Child under Eight." Murray and Brown Smith. 
Edward Arnold, 6s. 

" Education for Liberty." Richmond. Collins, 6s. 

" The Child's Path to Freedom." McMunn. Bell, 2s. 

" Training in Appreciation " (Art, Literature, Music). Edited 
by N. Catty. Sidgwick and Jackson, 33. 

" The Rudiments of Criticism." Lamborn. Oxford Uni- 
versity Press, 33. 6d. 

" The Early Stages of Written and Spoken English." O'Grady 
and Catty. Constable, 33. 6d. 

" Reading Aloud." O'Grady. Bell, 2s. 6d. 

" How to read English Literature." Laurie Magnus. Rout- 
ledge, 33. 6d. 

"Aims and Ideals in Art." Clausen. Methuen, 75. 6d. 
(Republished in "Royal Academy Lectures on Paint- 
ing.") 

" Psychology for the Music Teacher." Mrs. Curwen. Curwen, 
152. 

127 



128 MODERN EDUCATIONAL THEORY 

" The Listener's Guide to Music." Scholes. Oxford Univer- 
sity Press, 33. 6d. 

" Aural Culture " (Part II.). Macpherson and Read. Jos. 
Williams, ys. 

"A Course in Music." White. Cambridge University Press, 
53. 6d. 

" The Teaching of Music." White. Constable, 43. 

"The Teaching of Arithmetic; in Theory and Practice." Storr. 
Sidgwick and Jackson, 35. 

"Handwork as an Educational Medium." Ballard. Allen 
and Unwin, 43. 6d. 

Thresholds of Science Series. Constable. 

(a) "Mathematics." Laisant, 2s. 6d. 

(b) " Botany." Brucker, 2s. 6d. 

" Educational School Gardening and Handwork." Brewer. 
Cambridge University Press, 23. 6d. 

"Natural Science in Education." Government Report. 
H.M. Stationery Office, is. 6d. 

" Position of Modern Languages in Education." Government 
Report. H.M. Stationery Office, gd. 

" Suggestions for the Consideration of Teachers." Govern- 
ment Publication. H.M. Stationery Office, gd. 



IL BOOKS DIRECTLY USEFUL FOR SUBJECT- 
MATTER AND ITS PRESENTATION 

* " Poems of To-day." Sidgwick and Jackson, 2s. and 33. 6d. 
Citizen of the World Geographies : 

* " Europe of To-day." Unstead. Sidgwick and Jack- 
son, 43. 

* " Geography by Discovery." Jones. Sidgwick and Jackson, 

33. 6d. 

* "The Essentials of World Geography." Unstead and 

Taylor. Philip, 33. 
" Man and his Conquest of Nature." Newbigin. Black, 

2s. 6d. 
" Modern Grography." Newbigin. Williams and Norgate, 

2s. 6d. 

Compassing the Vast Globe Series : 

* " Long Ago and Far Away." Taylor. Constable, 33. 

* " The Common World of Common Folk." Taylor. 
Constable, 2s. 3d. 



A LIST OF USEFUL BOOKS 129 

"History of Everyday Things," Vols. I. and II. Quennell. 

Batsford, 8s. 6d. each, or in one vol. i6s. 6d. 
Piers Plowman Histories. Edited by E. H. Spalding. Philip. 
Social and Economic Histories. Vols. I. -VI. 35. to 

33. 6d. per vol. 

* Junior Books I. -VI. is. 6d. to 33. 6d. per vol. 
" Secrets of Animal Life." J. A. Thomson. Melrose, 75. 6d. 
"Evolution of Plants." Scott. Williams and Norgate, 

2S. 6d. (Home University Library.) 

" Introduction to Zoology." Lulham. Macmillan, 8s. 6d. 
" A Textbook of Plant Biology." Jones and Raynor. 

Methuen, 73. 

" Aquatic Insects." Miall. Macmillan, 43. 
" British Birds." Johns. S.P.C.K., 123. Routledge, TOS. 6d. 
" Flowers of the Field." Johns. S.P.C.K., 123. Routledge, 

TOS. 6d. 
School Flora. Watts. Longmans, 43. 6d. 



INDEX 



APPERCEPTION, 57 
Artistic interests, growth of, 40 
68, 102 

Chart, P., 102 note, 118 

Childeric Road Demonstration 
School, scheme for indepen- 
dent work, 123 

City and rural schools, curricula 
compared, 102, 103 

Class feeling in school life, 83 

Community code, acceptance of, 

73, 74 

interests, training in, 85, 86 
Competition in school work, 1 2 
Curriculum : 

considerations in framing, 

94 et seq. 

environment needs, 106 
exceptional children, needs 

of, 104, 105 
junior schools, 97 
rural schools, 118 
special characteristics in 

different schools, 100 et 

seq. 

Dewey, Professor John, 59 
Discussion and questions, en- 
couragement of, 52 

Emotional development, 30 et 

seq. 

abandonment of self, 33 
complexes, 37, 57 note 
desire as motive force, 38 
feeling as spur to action, 32 
growth of feeling, 31, 35 
love of work, 36 
opportunity and time, 41 
secondary interests, 40 
suspension of action, 42 



"Free" time tables, 90 et seq., 
114 

" Give and take " training, 86 
Goodwill, development of, 71 et 
seq. 

Habits, training in, 16 et seq. 
community, 21 
drudgery, effect of, 24 et seq. 
ideals engendered, 23 
standards of conduct, 19 
transference, 22 et seq. 

Herd instinct in school life, 63 
et seq., 73, 88 

Hudson, W. H., 38 note 

Imaginative conduct, 60 et seq. 
Instincts, psychology of, 5 

classification, 6 

control of, 12 et seq., 39 

herd instinct in school life, 
63 et seq., 73, 88 

socialization of, 13 

stimulation, 7 

suppression, danger of, 8, 9 
Intellectual interests : 

growth of, 40, 102 

powers of receptivity, 48, 49 

James, William, 16, 41 
Junior schools, curriculum needs, 
97 

Lane, Homer, 101 
" Living ideas," 59 

McDougall, Professor William, 4, 

5, 6, u, 30, 46 

Memorized tradition, 44 et seq. 
Middle schools, curriculum, 69, 

70, 99 



132 MODERN EDUCATIONAL THEORY 



Mill, John Stuart, 79 

Mitchell, Professor, 62 

Moral complexes, development 

of, 78 

Moral standards, growth of, 73, 
76 

Palmer, M., 112 note, 123 

Questions and discussions, en- 
couragement of, 52 

Responsibility, training in, 90 
Rural schools curriculum, 102, 

103, 118 

" Sectionizing " in schools, 90, 

104, 105 

Staff meetings for syllabus 

framing, 109 et seq. 
Stout, G. F., 44 

Suggestion psychology, 46 et seq. 
moral ideas, 76, 77 



Syllabus : 

arrangement, 108 et seq. 
co-operation of children, 112, 

IJ 3 

independent work, 112, 123 
staff meetings, value of, 

109 et seq. 

Tansley, A. G., 37 
Thorndike, William, 16 
Thought : 

active creation of, 53 et seq., 

60 
apperception and living 

ideas, 57, 58 

"give and take "training, 86 
imaginative, 67 et seq. 
individual character of, 56 
Time table, freedom in, 90 et 

seq., 114 

Traditional knowledge, acquisi- 
tion of, 44 et seq. 
Truthfulness, 27, 28 

Welton, Professor, 22 



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