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The most essential objects of education are the two following—first, to cultivate all the various principles of our nature, both speculative and active, in such a manner as to bring them to the greatest perfection of which they are susceptible; and, secondly, by watching over the impressions and associations which the mind receives in early life, to secure it against the influence of prevailing errors, and, as far as possible, engage its prepossessions on the side of truth.
To watch over the associations which they form in infancy; to give them early habits of mental activity; to rouse their curiosity, and direct it to proper objects; to exercise their ingenuity and invention; to cultivate in their minds a turn for speculation, and, at the same time, preserve their attention alive to the objects around them; to awaken their sensibilities to the beauties of nature, and to inspire them with a relish for intellectual enjoyment—these form but a part of the business of education.
Education is that poble art which has the charge of training the ignorance and imbecility of infancy into all the virtue, and power, and wisdom of mature manhood—of forming, of a creature, the frailest and feeblest which heaven has made, the intelligent and fearless sovereign of the whole animated creation, the interpreter and adorer, and almost the representative of the Divinity.
Education is a process calculated to qualify man to think, feel, and act in a manner most productive of happiness. It possesses three essentials—first, by early exercise to improve the powers and faculties, bodily and mental ; secondly, to impart a knowledge of the nature and purposes of these powers and faculties; and, thirdly, to convey as extensive a knowledge as possible of the nature of external beings and things, and the relation of these to the human constitution.
The paramount end of liberal study is the development of the student's mind, and knowledge is principally useful as a means of determining the faculties to that exercise through which this development is accomplished. Self-activity is the indispensable condition of improvement; and education is only education—that is, accomplishes its purposes, only by affording objects and supplying incitements to this spontaneous exertion. Strictly speaking, every man must educate himself.
Sir William Hamilton. Metaphysics.
The great result of schooling is a mind with just vision to discern, with free force to do; the grand schoolmaster is Practice.
The first principle of human culture, the foundation-stone of all but false imaginary culture, is that men must before every other thing, be trained to do somewhat. Thus, and others only, the living Force of a new man can be awakened, enkindled, and purified into victorious clearness!
Thomas CARLYLE. Essays.
“A virtuous and noble education ” is whatever tends to train up to a healthy and graceful activity our mental and bodily powers, our affections, manners, and habits. It is the business, of course, of all our lives, or, more properly, of the whole duration of.our being. But since impressions made early are the deepest and most lasting, that is, above all, education which tends in childhood and youth to form a manly, upright, and generous character, and thus to lay the foundation for a course of liberal and virtuous self-culture.
ALONZO POTTER. The School and Schoolmaster.
Costly apparatus and splendid cabinets have no magical power to make scholars. As a man is, in all circumstances under God, the master of his own fortune, so is he the maker of his own mind. The Creator has so constituted the human intellect, that it can only grow by its own action; and it will certainly and necessarily grow. Every man must therefore educate himself. His books and his teachers are but his helps; the work is his. A man is not educated until he has the ability to summon, on an emergency, his mental powers in vigorous exercise to affect his proposed object. It is not the man who has seen the most, or read the most who can do this; such an one is in danger of being borne down, like a beast of burden, by an overloaded mass of other men's thoughts. Nor is it the man who can boast merely of native vigor and capacity. The greatest of all the warriors who went to the siege of Troy, had not the preëminence because nature had given him strength, and he carried the largest bow; but because self-discipline had taught him how to bend it.
Education is development, not instruction merely-not knowledge, facts, rules—communicated by the teacher, but it is discipline, it is a waking up of the mind, a growth of the mind-growth by a healthy assimilation of wholesome aliment. It is an inspiring of the mind with a thirst for knowledge, growth, 'enlargement and then a disciplining of its powers so far that it can go on to educate itself. It is the arousing of the child's mind to think, without thinking for it; it is the awakening of its powers to observe, to remember, to reflect, to combine. It is not a cultivation of the memory to the neglect of every thing else; but is a calling forth of all the faculties into harmonious action.
DAVID PAGE. Theory and Practice.
Oh, woe to those who trample on the mind,
The true end of education, is to unfold and direct aright our whole nature. Its office is to call forth power of every kind-power of thought, affection, will, and outward action; power to observe, to reason, to judge, to contrive; power to adopt good ends firmly, and to pursue them efficiently; power to govern ourselves, and to influence others; power to gain and to spread happiness. Reading is but an instrument; education is to teach its best use. The intellect was created, not to receive passively a few words, dates, facts, but to be active for the acquisition of truth. . Accordingly, education should labor to inspire a profound love of truth, and to teach the processes of investigation. A sound logic, by which we mean the science or art which instructs us in the laws of reasoning and evidence, in the true methods of inquiry, and in the sources of false judgments, is an essential part of a good education. And yet, how little is done to teach the right use of the intellect, in the cominon modes of training either rich or poor. As a general rule, the young are to be made, as far as possible, their own teachers—the discoverers of truth—the interpreters of nature—the framers of science. They are to be helped to help themselves. They should be taught to observe and study the world in which they live, to trace the connections of events, to rise from particular facts to general principles, and then to apply these in explaining new phenomena. Such is a rapid outline of the intellectual education, which, as far as possib'e, should be given to all human beings; and with this, moral education should go hand in hand. In proportion as the child gains knowledge, he should be taught how to use it wellhow to turn it to the good of mankind. He should study the world as God's world, and as the sphere in which he is to form interesting connections with his fellow-creatures. A spirit of humanity should be breathed into him from all his studies. In teaching geography, the physical and moral condition, the wants, advantages, and striking peculiarities of different nations, and the relations of climate, seas, rivers, mountains, to their characters and pursuits, should be pointed out, so as to awaken an interest in man wherever he dwells. History should be constantly used to exercise the moral judgment of the young, to call forth sympathy with the fortunes of the human race, and to expose to indignation and abhorrence that selfish ambition, that passion for dominion, which has so long deluged the earth with blood and woe. And not only should the excitement of just moral feeling be proposed in every study, the science of morals should form an important part of every child's instruction. One branch of ethics should be particularly insisted on by the government. Every school, established by law, should be specially bound to teach the duties of the citizen to the state, to unfold the principles of free institutions, and to train the young to an enlightened patriotism.
W. E. CHANNING. Christian Examiner, Nov., 1838. The object of the science of education is to render the mind the fittest possible instrument for discovering, applying, or obeying the laws under which God has placed the universe.
We regard education as the formation of the character, physical, intellectual, and moral; as the process by which our faculties are devel. oped, cultivated, and directed, and by which we are prepared for our station and employment, for usefulness and happiness, for time and eternity.
W. C. WOODBRIDGE. All intelligent thinkers upon the subject now utterly discard and repudiate the idea that reading and writing, with a knowledge of accounts, constitute education. The lowest claim which any intelligent man now prefers in its behalf is, that its domain extends over the threefold nature of man; over his body, training it by the systematic and intelligent observance of those benign laws which secure health, impart strength and prolong life; over his intellect, invigorating the mind, replenishing it with knowledge, and cultivating all these tastes, which are allied to virtue; and over his moral and religious susceptibilities also, dethroning selfishness, enthroning conscience, leading the affections outwardly in good-will towards man, and upward in gratitude, and reverence to God.
Far above and beyond all special qualifications for special pursuits, is the importance of forming to usefulness and honor the capacities which are common to all mankind. The endowments that belong to all, are of far greater consequences than the peculiarities of any. The practical farmer, the ingenious mechanic, the talented artist, the upright legislator or judge, the accomplished teacher, are only modifications or varieties of the original man. The man is the trunk; occupations and professions are only different qualities of the fruit it yields. The development of the common nature; the cultivation of the germs of intelligence, uprightness, benevolence, truth that belong to all; these are the principal, the aim, the end, while special preparations for the field or the shop, for the forum or the desk, for the land or the sea, are but incidents.
The great necessities of a race like ours, in a world like ours, are: a Body, grown from its elemental beginning, in health ; compacted with strength and vital with activity in every part; impassive to heat and cold, and victorious over the vicissitudes of seasons and zones; not crippled by disease nor stricken down by early death ; not shrinking from bravest effort, but panting, like fleetest runner, less for the prize than for the joy of the race; and rejuvenant amid the frosts of age. A Mind, as strong for the immortal as is the body for the mortal life ; alike enlightened by the wisdom and beaconed by the errors of the past; through intelligence of the laws of nature, guiding her elemental forces, as it directs the limbs of its own body through the nerves of motion, thus making alliance with the exhaustless forces of nature for its strength and clothing itself with her endless charms for its beauty, and, wherever it goes, carrying a sun in its hand with which to explore the realms of nature, and reveal her yet hidden truths. And then a Moral Nature, presiding like a divinity over the whole, banishing sorrow and pain, gathering in earthly joys and immortal hopes, and transfigured and rapt by the sovereign and sublime aspiration TO KNOW AND DO THE WILL OF GOD.
REPORT AND DOCUMENTS OF COMMISSIONER OF EDUCATION,
Academy, meaning of, 414.
Architecture, schools of, 244, 278.
Aretin, education of girls, 378.
Arkansas, State of, 77, 110.
Constitution of 1836, 110; of 1863,-126.
Arnold, collection of birds in 1774, 86.
Aristotle, education of girls, 383.
State and education, 331.
Art, schools and museums of, 822.
Ascham, R., education defined, 834.
Attendance at school, compulsory, 338.
Barbarism, the danger of a new country, 408.
Baltimore, Md., plan of school-houses, 633.
Plan of Journal of Education, 9.
Teachers' Institute in Wisconsin, 755.
Baur, education of girls, 380.
Benefactors of education, xxi.
Chandler, 278; Cornell, 254.
Hopkins, 407; Harvard, 406.
Lawrence, 234; Lowell, 234.
Phillips, 234 423,
Sheffield, 22, 217.
Thompson, 234; Thayer, 278.
Van Rensselaer, 253.
Benefactions by towns and counties,
Amherst, Mass., 249.
Champaign, III., 307.
Centre county, Pa., 260.
Dane county, Mich., 213.
Bernhard's Study Plan for Gymnasium, 493.
Bibliography, agricultural schools, 231.
Blind, schools for, 34.
Bolingbroke, genius and learning, 834.
Boston Latin School, 421, 518.
Botanic gardens and agriculture, 234.
Bowman, B., and Kentucky University, 291,
Brandenburg, province of, 459.
Brooks, Charles. and Normal Schools, 664.