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Christ Blessing Little Children
The Hor:e Fair
The Angelus Address MRS. E. M. PERRY, 10 Tremont Street, Malden, Mass. Be sure to mention P IMARY EDUCATION,
Whether we look or whether we listen,
An instinct within it that reaches and towers, And, grasping blindly above it for light,
Climbs to a soul in grass and flowers;
The Mission of a Flower A university professor wisely and strenuously insists that we turn away from the old botany dissection and classification in our plant study with the children, and in its place, urges the consideration of the leaf and flower as a working organism. So far, good, but in his zeal to get away from the memorizing of technicalities he completely ignores the value of the beauty element in nature study. He says of the flower (the apple blossom or spring bea ity!) “ Let us remember that the beauty of this flower is but an incident and that the work of the flower is the essential thing,” and proceeds to explain that the life purpose of every plant is to perpetuate itself.
If the beauty of the Aower is “but an incident," why was it made beautiful at all? If, as the professor says, the bright coloring is only to attract insects to assist in fertilization and reproduction, why all the exquisite tints in its marvellous shades of color? A shapeless mass of gorgeous color would attract insects just as surely, and the reproduction of the species would just as certainly be accomplished.
If the flower is to be brought before the children simply as a working organism and its beauty is to receive only an incidental reference, why did the Creator make of it such a masterpiece of beauty? Why did He paint each velvet petal with such matchless skill that artists search eternally for the secret and die despairing? What is the relation of flowers to humanity? Is the flower here without a mission ? The beauty sense is a gift from God, and like every other divine gift, was intended for use and for the uplift of humanity.
No, the beauty of the flower is not a “mere incident" in its study with the children. It should be instead, the very first element in the consideration of it in the school-room. When the teacher has opened the eyes of the children to see its beauty, and touched the child-heart to feel its loveliness, when the mellowing, humanizing influence of this sense and soul revelation begins to be reflected subtly in the spirit of
The Aush of life may well be seen,
Thrilling back over hills and valleys; The cowslip startles in meadows green,
The buttercup catches the sun in its chalice, And there's never a leaf or a blade too mean
To be some happy creature's palace.
The little bird sits at his door in the sun,
Atilt like a blossom among the leaves, And lets his illumined being o'errun
With the deluge of summer it receives ; His mate feels the egg beneath her wings, And the heart in her dumb breast futters and sings, He sings to the wide world, and she to her nest, In the nice ear of Nature which song is the best?
the children, then the teacher has reached the place in Words have no magic power; they are a subordinate the study of the flower where these children will be instrument in the acquisition of knowledge, being mere symready to learn of it as a working organism — and not
bols by which experiences are called to mind. If these be fore. Under the spell of its divine beauty they are
latter are wanting, there is no effect. The eloquence of eager to learn everything concerning it.
Cicero could not explain to a deaf man what music is, or to
a blind man what scarlet is, if the defect in hearing or sight listen con amore and not a cold, intellectual
dated from birth. exercise.
Even the fact that pupils remember the words of the Is there any natural antagonism between the æsthetic teacher, or of the book and can repeat them promptly, and scientific in nature study? Is there any good gives no sufficient proof of knowledge ; it gives proof only of reason why the heart and the intellect should not be a good memory. Very often the ability to reproduce exact united in this work? None in the world, but the heart words of definitions, etc., is only a cloak behind which must lead if the deeper, spiritual meaning of nature ignorance is covered. For instance, exceedingly few study is ever to be found. The teacher who begins English speaking people ever reach any real appreciation of the study of any natural object on the practical side,
case in grammar, although they can give the definition and ignoring the beauty of form, color, or design, not
some examples very readily. Few teachers of case ever have
any warm feeling for that subject, which is evidence that they only does her children a moral wrong, but she makes
have not yet made it their own. Much verbatim memoa pedagogical mistake that she will come to regret if
rizing is merely practice in unconscious deception, for she knows enough of cause and effect to recognize thereby both teachers and students are persuaded that her error. If that teacher, and the university professor, knowledge is acquired, when, in fact, it is only the symbols had never known any cause for the rainbow, would for
ideas rather than the ideas themselves that are their interest in it be aroused or increased by first mastered. learning the prismatic spectrum, or the laws of the 3. The mind is not a passive recipient of knowledge, refraction and reflection of the sun's rays ! Would like a vessel for water, or a storehouse for grain. It is not their desire to know the scientific facts of the
active in choosing ; it applies the severe test of kinship to all celestial phenomena be immeasurably greater if
that is presented to it, ignoring whatever seems foreign and they had first thrilled with its beauty, scen it as
giving a warm reception to whatever appears closely related
to its needs. “the heaven of flowers,” and by the light of rosy
The past is, therefore, the foundation for all future learnfancy watched the mythical Iris, maiden of the ing. This is true of any kind of knowledge, and applies rainbow tint, as she passed over the shining arch- fully to the acquisition of individual notions. There is no way bearing her gifts from the gods to men.
short cut to learning by merely “ handing over” ideas from Let us put ourselves in the place of the children as one person to another; whatever is received is accepted far as it is possible in our attempts at nature study. solely on the condition that it find a foundation suited to it; Let us try to unscal their eyes to perceive beauty,
all else is discarded. train the car for the finest nature melody, and feed
It is the first duty of the teacher, then, to direct atten
tion to the past related experiences. The architect provides their God-given imagination with the purest food in
first for the foundation of his building, and the stronger the nature's kingdom. This ideal does not presuppose
superstructure is to be, the deeper he digs into the earth for that scientific fact has no place in nature study. It
the base. This takes time and costs much money, but it is has its place and an important one. But it must not
manifest folly to omit it. The same is true of the instructor; crowd out or supplant the culture side and the spiritual the sole condition under which a sure reception can be side of this work with the children. Soul before found for what he offers, is that he direct attention very science.
carefully to the old ideas as the groundwork.
This being true, it is evident that there are two distinct
and important steps to be taken in the mastery of indiFrom “The Method of the “
vidual notions ; first, the teacher should be employed with
the related past experiences, preparing them for the recepRecitation ''*
tion of the new; second, the new facts should be presented. (The following selections are taken from this popular new book for
The first may well be called the step of preparation (of the teachers, by the permission of the publish-rs.-- Eviror.)
pupil's mind); the second, the step of presentation. The Steps in the Mastery of Individual Notions
two will be treated separately and somewhat at length. 1. Good teaching deals primarily with ideas rather than with words, and it consists in fitting or dove-tailing new
The Aim in Recitation thoughts and emotions with those already in the pupil's
t is taken for granted that the teacher has a definite possession ; it is a process of adjusting the new to the old;
object in view in each recitation ; the contention now is and the extent to which a close adjustment is secured deter
that the pupils also shall aim at something definite. The mines the effectiveness of the instruction imparted. Real skill is required to do this; hence teaching is not a merely
preparatory step which has been discussed requires that they
select all facts in their possession that bear on a given mechanical work that any one can do. Not every one can
topic and reject all else. They must do most of this work teach ; even those who know the subject matter of instruc
themselves; the teacher can merely offer them suggestions. tion thoroughly may make an utter failure of it. In order
But unless they are told in some way what the recitation is to fit new knowledge to what the child already knows, it is
aiming to accomplish, they are ignorant as to what they necessary not only to be acquainted with the facts to be
should search for; of course, then, they are helpless and offered, but also with the child to whom they are to be
must be led along blindly. Not planning to reach any paroffered; the latter is a more difficult task, yet the pupil must be thoroughly understood before deftness can be
licular destination, the course traveled is not likely to be shown in the matching process. But while teaching is
noted, and it could not easily be traveled again without a difficult, there is comfort in the fact that it is a kind of guide. This is an argument against the somewhat common work in which skill can be acquired. It is not true that
practice of leading children by strange paths to unexpected
discoveries. It is an excellent thing to make discoveries, “ teachers are born, not made.” The average teacher can
but it is much better that they be dimly anticipated than become, or be made, a teacher, provided he will study the
that they come as entire surprises ; students of all ages child and the laws of influencing him with the same care
should know where they are bound; and if they comprehend that he studies the subjects to be offered.
the situation so well that they foresee what is likely to *** The Method of the Recitation" by Charles A. McMurry Ph.D and Frank M. come next, it is an encouraging sign. Recognizing this McMurry Ph.D Public School Publishing Co. Bloomington Ill.
truth, teachers very frequently state the aim of each recita
On Buying a Library
tion to the class. For instance, it is announced that the plan was executed.” In each case the class would be work of the hour will consist in finding what per cent one expected to review the situation in which each army was number is of another, or what a pronoun is, or how cities placed, etc., before the advance instruction begins : this obtain pure water. Or perhaps the teacher merely remarks would constitute the preparatory step. that they will study about Bunker Hill, about England, or The third requirement is that the aim be short, simple, about insects. Such statements of the aim of the hour and attractive. Strange words would not be acceptable. acquaint the class with the purpose in a general way; but Hence, with children it would be better to ask, “ How do they are very defective, because they are in danger of pro- leaves help the tree?” than “What is the function of voking no thought. Since the selection of the desired past leaves ?” Also, “What changes does the caterpiller pass experieces must be made largely by the pupils, that aim is through? " rather than, “What are the metamorphoses of useless which does not immediately catch their attention the caterpillar?” Of course, the simpler the statement, the and set them to work, and that one is worse than useless more easily it is understood; and the shorter it is, the more which seems to them unattractive and even repellent. easily it is reproduced. It is usually desirable that the
evident, therefore, that a properly stated aim must children reproduce it at least once at the beginning of the fulfil several important requirements. In the first place, it recitation, in order to make sure that it is understood. The must be concrete and not abstract. Enough has been said attractiveness of the aims stated will depend upon the about abstractions or generalizations in previous chapters to happy combination of what is familiar and what is new to show that they follow individual notions. They are empty
the child. Here is a great opportunity for skill on the part and repulsive until one has the concrete data upon which of the teacher. The wording should be such that the class they depend. Consequently the children should not be will feel at least partially acquainted with the topic and still told that a recitation is aiming to explain some general strangers to such an extent that they will be desirous of truth. This does not signify by any means that the teacher learning more in regard to it. That aim is weak which shall have no such aim in her own mind. As has been does not awaken a feeling of need in the child for more stated already, instruction culminates in generalizations, and knowledge. the teacher must keep these in mind; but this purpose is a thing entirely separate from the aim which should be stated to the children. For instance, a good Sunday school teacher, in telling about Daniel in the lion's den, would hope ultimately to impress upon her pupils the general
ANNIE W. SANBORN St. Paul Minn. truth that God protects those who trust in Him ; but the object of the recitation which she would give to the class
VERYBODY, young or old, rich or poor, wise, or might well be, “ to find out how it happened that Daniel
foolish, should have a library. Should have? Does was thrown into a den of lions, and how he was protected
have, as a general rule. There are houses in which from their violence.” This is a concrete statement and
the library consists of what are called “railroad " would naturally arouse the interest of children. It is only novels, and an occasional magazine of the lighter sort. this kind, as a rule, which is likely to do that. Therefore,
There are others in which to these are added certain gaily instead of saying that “we will find out to-day what per
colored volumes "sold by subscription.” And there are all cent one number is of another,” we could better give such
sorts of gradations between these and the richly bound and a problem as the following: “A camel lives forty years and sumptuously housed volumes which the newly rich order, to an. elephant one hundred and ten years; the age of the
match their draperies, from their bookseller. former is what per cent of that of the latter?” Also,
Quite apart from these and vastly more interesting from instead of taking the question, “ What are pronouns?"
the human point of view than even the “collector's " whi.h is abstract, aiming at a definition, it would be better library, with its rare editions, reverently displayed, is the to set up the following object: “Let us see what words you
individual accumulation — the two or three shelves of books used to take the place of Columbus in the composition you
which some one person has gathered and cannot well do have written about him?" In place of the question, “ How
without. In the case of the permanent dweller, even this do cities obtain their water?” it would be better to ask (if collection frequently becomes larger than is needful and it one lived in Chicago), “Where does Chicago get its water,
requires an occasional weeding to reduce it to proper and and how is it brought to the city?” In teaching the fable
natural dimensions. A woman who moves often is apt not about the Lion and the Mouse, the teacher may properly
to carry more with her than she mnst absolutely have and aim to show to her pupils that little things may be of much
she will be careful not to accumulate superfluous books. help; but her concrete statement might be : “ Let us talk
She should therefore, exercise due care in the beginning, about how a mouse once saved the life of a lion.” Thus the not to buy books of a temporary or superficial value. first requirements of a good aim is fulfilled by making it
Are Books a Luxury ? concrete.
The question arises almost immediately how one with a The second important requirement is that the aim be small income can afford to buy even a small library. Yet it definite. Little is accomplished by announcing that “We is indeed an overstrained income which cannot be stretched will continue the same subject.” And a teacher fixes a very to admit the purchase of one two books a year. imperfect purpose before her class when she states that they
Whether we buy books depends, actually, on how far they will study “ About Bunker Hill,” or “About leaves," or
are necessary to our existence. If they are of prime im“ About Spain,” or “About the union of our states." The
portance we shall manage, some way, to get them. We following aims are much more desirable : “ How the Amer
shall sacrifice something else and suffer, perhaps, for the icans outwitted the British and drove them out of Boston," want of it. But what of that? The books themselves, when “Where leaves grow; why they are so thin ; why they fall,” we get them, are ours by so much the more and are dearer etc. Why nearly all the large cities in Spain are on the to our hearts in proportion to their cost. coast,” “What prevented the union of our colonies from Books are a luxury only when they are not essential to the breaking to pieces at the close of the Revolutionary war.”
growth of the mind and character. The moment we begin The advantages of the latter consist in the fact that they are to buy them because we wish merely to embellish our lives definite enough to concentrate attention upon a particular thereby, they become a luxury. Not that we are to stop point.
buying when we reach that stage, but that we should not As far as possible one should state an object which can stop until we do. be accomplished within one recitation period, and conse- As a matter of fact, that stage is reached very early in the quently some of the aims just stated might need to be book-buying career, provided, of course, that we begin with divided somewhat. For example, the one in regard to the right books. We shall make no progress at all, for Bunker Hill might be stated thus : first, “ Let us study the example, by purchasing “ Quo Vadis." It is a book with plan that the Americans adopted to outwit the British and which we miy eternally dispense, to our own gain — not drive them out of Boston ;" second, “ Let us see how this harmful, but superfluous. The purchase of a book that
enjoys a phenomenal “sun” is always unwise, unless you but it is the inside of the book we want first. Let its indulge in it as a deliberate dissipation,- in which case it material part be sound and serviceable, but for editions de is worse than unwise.
luxe have grace to wait “qill the ship comes in.” What to Buy
A few good novels should have a place, even in a small What the first purchase should be, supposing anything so
library. You will want to own, say, half a dozen of the unlikely as that a woman should possess nothing at all in the highest order. Make your first selections, 'according to shape of a book, it is not hard to decide. We will assume
your individual taste, from the works of Scott, Jane Austen, that there is a Bible, to begin with. The next thing should, Victor Hugo, Balzac, Turgenev, Thackeray, Dickens, Hawby all the laws of tradition, be Shakespeare. In this case thorne, Charlotte Bronte, George Eliot. Select critically the laws of tradition justify themselves. One ought not to
and let your choice be based on the artistic and spiritual try to keep house without Shakespeare. As to editions,
qualities of the book, not on its more superficial attractions. there is more solid comfort to be had out of those that offer Finally, the suggestion for letting new novels ripen before each play in a separate volume. It may be making too
you read them applies still more emphatically to the buying. much concession to the physical, but to some people, the
Shun Illustrated Books mere exertion of holding a heavy volume with a stiff, inflexible back, takes off a great deal from the enjoyment of its
Another thing to avoid is the buying of books whose value contents.
is enhanced by the number and splendor of their illustraOn the other hand, to go to your Shakespeare shelf, and
tions. In the fundamental selections we are making now,
illustrations must not be considered at all. The reason is run eye and finger along the dear familiar backs of the little
obvious. Poor illustrations we do not want,- good ones volumes, linger a minute over “ Cymbeline” or “ Twelfth Night” or
increase the cost of the book, which is what we are planning “ The Merry Wives” "As You Like It," and or
to avoid. An“ illustrated edition ” of a single long poem finally to choose the one that best fits your mood - isn't it one of the joys of living? And for this purpose the small by a standard poet, will cost at least twice as much as a
good plain edition of the same poet's entire works. separate volume is so cosy, so adaptable. Moreover, it per
the cost of the illustrated book you can probably buy the mits that latitude in the choice of a chair and that abandon of pose that seem to be essentials of enjoyment with most
entire product of your poet in a single volume, and add one
or two others beside. women. For you can lie flat on your back and read a Temple or a Rolfe Shakespeare - though it is very bad for
Moreover, the illustrated edition, even as an extra indul
gence, is but a doubtful joy. It is often too large for your Both these editions are highly desirable, and both can be
book case, and has consequently to be kept in some place
where dust can get at it. purchased one volume at a time, so that you can begin by
In frequent removals it becomes
a burden. buying only those plays that you wish to read at once.
In addition to this, it is apt to have in small
In this way your Shakespeare purchases will not make a great
quarters a too impressive personality, like Mr. Anstey's
Greek goddess in a barber's shop. We grow remorsefully hole in your book fund, but will leave something over for buying other books during the same period. One might,
conscious of wishing it could be transformed into a chafingfor example, buy four of the little volumes in each year, at
dish or a pair of boots or anything practical and portable. forty or fifty cents apiece, thus completing the set in ten
These remarks, of course, do not apply to books whose
illustrations are years, and leaving, out of the annual fund of five dollars, at
a necessity, as, for instance, Lubke's least three dollars for the purchase of other books.
“History of Art”; or to books, which, like the “ Stories of Next after Shakespeare, I should advice the purchase of
the Nations " series derive some part of their instructiveness Homer's “Iliad” in Bryant's translation. There is a
from pictures of places and portraits, and which are not student's edition sold at one dollar, and others at varying indeed, to be obtained without them. The sort of thing I prices and in more satisfactory form. Beyond Shakespeare
mean is usually a poem or a novel issued in a “gift” or and Homer in poetry, there should be the widest latitude
“holiday” edition with photogravure pictures. These vary for individual taste and preference. Never buy the works
in artistic excellence, some of the most expensive being
atrocities of bad taste, but even the better ones are not of a poet whom you do not love, unless you have a large fund
desirable in a small library. at your disposal and wish to make a complete poetical collection.
If some well-meaning but undiscriminating friend, who
thinks of you as a person Beware of compilations and anthologies. Some of them
“so fond of books” shows signs are good, but trust no man to select or compile for your
of remembering you at Christmas with an addition to your individual delectation. When you know your poets thor
library, do not hesitate to assert some explicit preference in oughly you can take up one of these collections and judge
his or her presence. Such people have a fatal fondness for easily whether the selections meet with your approval. If
the “gift-book " and almost any device is excusable to cir
cumvent their amiable intentions. they do not you do not want the book; and if they do, you probably will prefer having the works of the poets themselves.
Books of Reference The same latitude of choice should be observed in the buying of prose essays. Buy one volume each of six notable
A few books of reference are desirable even in a small essayists -- for example, Bacon, Lamb, Ruskin, Emerson,
library. A good dictionary is almost necessary and it is Lowell, and Symonds or Arnold. If there are others who
obtainable in all gradations of price, from the small school appeal to you more directly, substitute them, but remember copies that are better than nothing, to the mammoth that these are masters of English and that that is one of the
achievements of very recent date. If you are fond of requisite of good essay-writing. If your taste runs in the
studying words, Skeat's “ Etymological Dictionary" is an direction of essays, you will find yourself collecting them
excellent aid. It is to be had in a student's edition at a easily, they are obtainable in such alluring and inexpensive
low price. Also in the line of English study is Meiklejohn's form.
“ The English Language,” which is excellent for library purBut let the very cheap editions alone. There are bar
poses as it treats the subject historically and in a large way, gains to be had in the book line, but keep clear of the
It supplies, within limitations, the need for a book on “ twenty-nine-cent counter" when buying your favorite
syntax and rhetoric, and for another on English literature. essayist. He should be enshrined in a certain dignity; and
In selecting a book for reference on American literature, good paper, good type, and a modest but agreeable binding,
choose one of not too recent date. Richardson's, a two are not too much tribute to pay him. Moreover, the typo
volume work, is very satisfactory and of permanent value. graphical errors, omissions and other defects of the
Such books, unlike the poets, essayists and novelists, arc "pirated” editions are grievous and not to be borne.
generally to be had in but one form, so there is nothing to Forego that extra shirt-waist and have your Bacon or your
guard against in the purchase of them, if one is to have
them at all. Ruskin in proper forin. It would be delightful to claim
Add a concise “universal history," a book of “ Some little luxury here,
quotations and a primer of mythology, and your reference Of red morocco's gilded gleam,
list will be fairly adequate. And vellum, rich as country cream,”.
The foregoing suggestions apply, it will be observed, to