ページの画像
PDF
ePub

CHANGE IN EDUCATION.

The life of individuals, as of humanity, is not a chance suc.. cession of yesterday, to-day and to morrow; it is no blind game that deals out to generations their lot; it is a connected whole which is ruled by eternal laws of development even as the microscopic world of the drop of water and the countless solar systems of the universe are ruled. Human society is an organism, and its single parts can not be affected in isolation. What affects one member of the organism, reacts on every other, and therefore on the whole. Great political revolutions, the remodelling of states, social reforms, as well as important discoveries or inventions, the announcement of new truths, deeper insight, -all produce not only changes within circumscribed limits, but necessitate changes, perhaps improvements, progress in all realms of life.

How can education remain unaffected ? Has it not to prepare the coming generation for these altered, improved conditions ? It is evident that it must be progressive too, and the responsibility rests upon it to so train up the young that the activity of each individual of future society may be felt as a blessing and not as a curse. In order suitably to educate the young for a future sphere of usefulness, education must not look at a present order of things merely, but must also consider what higher conditions of society these children may be required to meet, when they reach maturity, and for which they need training. Education should not therefore remain stationary, but should be reformed according to the demands of the times. The old landmarks are removed not only in politics, but in science, religion, art and industry; the limits are extended, the conditions fro taking an active part, are heightened; and for every individual, in whatever department of human exertion he may choose his life work, the requirements are greater and the number of duties increased.- From "The Child"-by M. R. KIEGE.

It is very unsafe to give a teacher credit for ability to do in proportion to what he knows. Abstract knowledge does not measure the value of services in any other occupation.

[ocr errors]

DEPARTMENT OF PEDAGOGY. [This Department is conducted by S. S. Parr, Principal De Pauw Normal School

T

WHEN BEGIN TECHNICAL GRAMMAR? HE time to begin technical grammar depends on the nature of the subject and on the development of the mind. Gram

mar is a reflective study, that is, one that employs generalization and reasoning more than other faculties. It should therefore be postponed until these faculties have become active in the child. Grammar is a science, and as such requires maturity of mind for its study. Children can not master science in its technical form. They have neither that grasp of reasoning power nor that control of the faculty of attention necessary to its mastery.

The old division of the subject is not now regarded as correct. The parts, according to that division, were: Orthography, Etymology, Syntax, and Prosody. Only one of these-Syntax-is a part of the subject properly limited. Orthography is begun on etrnance to school. Etymology should begin with the use of the dictionary and be quite disconnected from Grammar, except when applied to it. Prosody is a division of Rhetoric, and as such may be left to that subject. Syntax is the only one of the four subjects of the old grammar that properly belongs to its subject matter. The dropping out of Orthography, Etymology, and Prosody has done much to reduce the subject to a scientific basis. Other important steps will follow. Among these may be named, the widening of the subject to include comparative grammar. The subject, as at present constituted, is comprised almost solely of descriptive grammar. This is the easiest element, because it can be memorized. It contains the results of the more simple and easy generalizations of descriptive grammar. But such writers as Morris, Whitney and Kellogg are putting a large comparative element into their books.

The comparative element will require the work to be put later in the course, when the mind is more mature and the power of generalization and reasoning more fully developed.

Children can not profitably study grammar until they are capable of observing words and ideas with ease, comparing and contrasting them, generalizing series of particulars and of tracing the explanation of the various classes and forms. Before this stage, they can do nothing beyond memorizing classes, forms, and explanations already made for them. This is a waste of time. The memorizing of such descriptions as, "John'-a noun, third person, singular number and nominative case,” is of no value commensurate with the time and effort spent upon it. Such “study" is all that is possible for the child before it has reached the reflective stage of its development,

Grammar, then, properly belongs to the last years of the graded school or to the high-school. The pupil should be in school seven years (entering at six years) before beginning the study, and if later, better yet. * But the standard of years is a fictitious one. The real standard is one of development and not of time.

A DISTINCTION.

At the Richmond meeting of superintendents, November 6th and 7th, various topics of interest were considered, among which were Teachers' Meetings, Teaching of Reading, Percents and Gradings, Superintendents' Duties and the General Management of Systems of Schools.

We desire to say a word on the qnestion of teachers' reading. One superintendent was somewhat disturbed because his teachers persisted in doing their reading-circle work exhaustively. He thought they spent too much time upon a part of the work to the exclusion of the rest. They, for instance, insisted on working out their general history with great thoroughness, doing a large amount of collateral reading and examining related topics with care.

The difficulty with our superintendent was that he failed to make a very important distinction, viz., that between schooleducation as an instrument by the use of which the person may, by his own efforts, achieve culture, and culture itself. Culture, as Supt. Hailman, of La Porte, rightly remarked, is a matter

DEPARTMENT OF PEDAGOGY. (This Department is conducted by S. S. Parr, Principal De Pauw Normal School.]

[ocr errors][merged small]

T:

|HE time to begin technical grammar depends on the nature of the subject and on the development of the mind. Gram

mar is a reflective study, that is, one that employs generalization and reasoning more than other faculties. It should therefore be postponed until these faculties have become active in the child. Grammar is a science, and as such requires maturity of mind for its study. Children can not master science in its technical form. They have neither that grasp of reasoning power nor that control of the faculty of attention necessary to its mastery.

The old division of the subject is not now regarded as correct. The parts, according to that division, were: Orthography, Etymology, Syntax, and Prosody. Only one of these-Syntax-is a part of the subject properly limited. Orthography is begun on etrnance to school. Etymology should begin with the use of the dictionary and be quite disconnected from Grammar, except when applied to it. Prosody is a division of Rhetoric, and as such may be left to that subject. Syntax is the only one of the four subjects of the old grammar that properly belongs to its subject matter. The dropping out of Orthography, Etymology, and Prosody has done much to reduce the subject to a scientific basis. Other important steps will follow. Among these may be named, the widening of the subject to include comparative gram

The subject, as at present constituted, is comprised almost solely of descriptive grammar. This is the easiest element, because it can be memorized. It contains the results of the more simple and easy generalizations of descriptive grammar. But such writers as Morris, Whitney and Kellogg are putting a large comparative element into their books.

The comparative element will require the work to be put later in the course, when the mind is more mature and the power of generalization and reasoning more fully developed.

mar.

Children can not profitably study grammar until they are capable of observing words and ideas with ease, comparing and contrasting them, generalizing series of particulars and of tracing the explanation of the various classes and forms. Before this stage, they can do nothing beyond memorizing classes, forms, and explanations already made for them. This is a waste of time. The memorizing of such descriptions as, “John'-a noun, third person, singular number and nominative case,” is of no value commensurate with the time and effort spent upon it. Such “study" is all that is possible for the child before it has reached the reflective stage of its development.

Grammar, then, properly belongs to the last years of the graded school or to the high-school. The pupil should be in school seven years (entering at six years) before beginning the study, and if later, better yet. But the standard of years is a fictitious one. The real standard is one of development and not of time.

A DISTINCTION.

At the Richmond meeting of superintendents, November 6th and 7th, various topics of interest were considered, among which were Teachers' Meetings, Teaching of Reading, Percents and Gradings, Superintendents' Duties and the General Management of Systems of Schools.

We desire to say a word on the qnestion of teachers' reading. One superintendent was somewhat disturbed because his teachers persisted in doing their reading.circle work exhaustively. He thought they spent too much time upon a part of the work to the exclusion of the rest. They, for instance, insisted on working out their general history with great thoroughness, doing a large amount of collateral reading and examining related topics with care.

The difficulty with our superintendent was that he failed to make a very important distinction, viz., that between schooleducation as an instrument by the use of which the person may, by his own efforts, achieve culture, and culture itself. Culture, as Supt. Hailman, of La Porte, rightly remarked, is a matter

« 前へ次へ »