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or dilatation of parts will produce increase in bulk ; but the process of growth implies either an accretion of parts by external apposition, or an assimilative power from within, as in the vital force. The snowball grows by accretion, and so increases as it rolls. The tree grows by its own vitality, and increases also in size. (Smith, Syn. Discr.)
98. Methods of Teaching consider the growth of the faculties of the mind, and the quantity of knowledge, not as ends, but as necessary knowledge from which to project anew procedures in teaching while the mind of the learner is growing. This is essential in order that the te may set to this learner, at any stage of his growth, the maximum quantity of subject-matter which the present attainments and powers of the learner can master; to set less than this amount to a pupil is puerile, and to set more is to prevent his powers from comprehending it. Yet the faculties of mind grow into powers far more rapidly by attempting to comprehend the unknown, the mysterious, by trying to enlarge the maximum degrees of efforts, than by resting contentedly with efforts near the minimum of degrees. "Mental dyspepsia" comes from starvation, as well as from plethora of subject matter. “ A well-regulated course of study will no more weaken the inind than hard exercise will weaken the body ; nor will strong understanding be weighed down by its knowledge, any more than an oak is by its leaves, or than Samson was by his locks. He whose sinews are drained by his hair, must already be a weakling.” (Grindon, Life, p. 197.) "If the child of eight years old finds his improved language understood by a child of three, why should you contract yours to his vocabulary? 'Always employ a language some years in advance of the child (men of genius in their books speak to us from the vantage-ground of centuries) : speak to the one-year-old child as though he were two, and to him as though he were six ; for the difference of
diminishes in the inverse proportion of years. Let the teacher, especially he who is too much in the habit of attributing all learning to teaching, consider that the child already carries half his world, that of mind,—the objects, for instance, of moral and metaphysical contemplation, -ready formed within him; and hence that language, being provided only with physical images, cannot give, but merely illumine, his mental conceptions." (Richter, Levana, pp. 347–8.)
99. In this immediate connection it will be profitable to give a brief attention to the pop ular expression, “ Teachers should teach pupils how to learn, how to use their faculties in order that they shall be able to continue their mental activities by themselves, in subsequent years. It is a plain fact in psychological phenomena, that nearly all the faculties of mind grow, “ increase in size," by exercise. This is emphatically true of the faculties of Thought and Attention, which are energies of the Will. Education is a habit. Hence no one can be said to know how
to command his faculties, who has not the habit of it, called education. This state is attained by those, and those only, who actually exert their faculties to the maximum degrees, that this state becomes habitual. Methods of Teaching regard these degrees as their bases in Mind. Mere Theory will never produce these habits. All teaching of pupils “ how to study,” which does not demand of them their maximum efforts in practice, is a delusion, and a fatal deception to the learners. The arm of the smith does not grow strong by his standing at the forge and looking at the sledge-hammer, but by wielding it. Intellectual growth comes not by thinking how to study, but by mental application in studying up to the measure of the highest degrees.
100. So far as Methods of Teaching are concerned, the matter taught may be in itself, either error or truth. Methods take whatever subjects, in whatever form of text-büoks or objects, that are set to them, and convey them into the presence of the corresponding faculties that are to learn these subjects—this conveying, if according to a philosophical principle, is teaching ; for no power external to the mind of the learner can learn for that mind, nor compel it to learn. The learning is a matter within the exclusive province of the mind that is to learn, or to be taught.
101. Methods of Teaching are not concerned with what is popularly called “waking up mind,” for if Methods assume any thing preeminently, it is that subject matter, when set before mind according to the principles of adaptation, will incite the mind to activity, intuitively and spontaneously. “To wake up mind,' implies, in practice, the false notion that the children are to be excited or astonished at the manner of the teacher, and at the irrelevancy of the points he presents, rather than at the value of the subject-matter set before them to be learned. This is mere charlatanism. Emotional excitement, with dissipation of thought, can never take the place of calm, deliberate, intense attention and continued thinking, when sound learning is sought. Nothing is more pernicious to good habits of thought than the introduction into class-rooms of what is called “ variety,” as the term is practically exemplified. The only
variety” permissible, is that which follows upon progress, pointedly, into additional subject-matter of the lesson, not into this or that subject which has no direct and close relationship to the recitation, and which permits attention and power to be dissipated, not concentrated. The mind of childhood is always awake—it may need to be centred on this subject.
102. “ Bonnet calls attention the mother of genius, but she is in fact her daughter ; for whence does she derive her origin, save from the marriage contracted in heaven between the object and the desire for it? Hence attention can really be as little preached or flogged into a person as ability.
A very important distinction must be drawn between the power of attention diffused among the generality of men, and that appertaining solely to men of genius. The latter can only be recognized, protected, and cherished, but not created.
On the other hand, common every-day attention needs not so much to be aroused, as to be distributed and condensed ; even careless, inattentive children possess the faculty, but it is dissipated upon all passing objects.
In what manner can you arouse the innate desire of mental progress? The impulses of the senses excite and then stupefy, but help not to produce it. To overwhelm the mind with lessons, that is, with mere summaries of accounts, resembles the Siberian custom of giving the sacrament of the Lord's Supper to infants.
Philosophy begins with what is highest and most difficult; mathematics, with what is nearest and easiest.
What, then remains ? The metaphysics of the eye; the knowledge forming the boundary between experience and abstraction.' (Richter, Levana, pp. 353-9.)
103. “ To Excite (Latin, excitare) is to call out into greater activity what before existed in a calm or calmer state, or to ronse to an active state faculties or powers which before were dormant. The term is also used of purely physical action. We excite heat by friction. Awaken (A. S., awaccian, awecian) is to rouse from a state of sleep, or, analogously, to rouse any thing that has lain quiet, and, as it were, dormant, as to awaken suspicion, and is applicable only to intelligent subjects. Rouse