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of mechanism and personality is import- some teachers get their psychology by inant. Too much preoccupation with them stinct more effectively than others by any in a general fashion, however, without amount of reflective study may be unretranslation into relevant imagery of actual servedly stated. It is not a question of conditions is likely to give rise to unreal manufacturing teachers, but of reinforcdifficulties. The ethical personality does ing and enlightening those who have a not go to school naked; it takes with it the right to teach. body as the instrument through which all The same thing is true on the side of influences reach it, and through control materials of instruction—the school studof which its ideas are both elaborated and ies. No amount of exaltation of teleologexpressed. The teacher does not deal ical personality (however true, and howwith personality at large, but as expressed ever necessary the emphasis) can disguise in intellectual and practical impulses and from us the fact that instruction is an afhabits. The ethical personality is not fair of bringing a child into intimate relaformed-it is forming. The teacher must tions with concrete objects, positive facts, provide stimuli leading to the equipment definite ideas and specific symbols. The of personality with active habits and in- symbols are objective things in arithterests. When we consider the problem of metic, reading and writing. The ideas forming habits and interests we find our- are truths of history and of science. The selves at once confronted with matters of facts are derived from such specific discithis sort. What stimuli shall be presented plines as geography and language, botany to the sense organs and how? What sta- and astronomy. To suppose that by some ble complexes of associations shall be or- influence of pure personality upon pure ganized? What motor impulses shall be personality, conjoined with a knowledge evoked, and to what extent? How shall of rules formulated by an educational thethey be induced in such a way as to bring orist, an effective interplay of this body favorable stimuli under greater control, of physical and ideal objects with the life and to lessen the danger of excitation of the child can be effective, is, I submit, from undesirable stimuli? In a word, the nothing but an appeal to magic, plus deteacher is dealing with the psychical fac- pendence upon servile routine. Symbols tors that are concerned with furtherance in reading and writing and number, are of certain habits, and the inhibition of both in themselves, and in the way in others-habits intellectual, habits emo- which they stand for ideas, elements in a tional, habits in overt action.
mechanism which has to be rendered opMoreover, all the instruments and ma- erative within the child. To bring about terials with which the teacher deals must this influence in the most helpful and ecobe considered as psychical stimuli. Such nomical way, in the most fruitful and libconsideration involves of necessity erating way, is absolutely impossible save knowledge of their reciprocal reactions- as the teacher has some power to transof what goes by the name of causal mech- mute symbols and contents into their anism. The introduction of certain working psychical equivalents; and save changes into a net-work of associations, as he also has the power to see what it is the reinforcement of certain sensori-mo- in the child, as a psychical mechanism, tor connections, the weakening or displac- that affords maximum leverage. ing of others—this is the psychological Probably I shall now hear that at presrendering of the greater part of the teach- ent the danger is not of dealing with acts er's actual business. It is not that one and persons in a gross, arbitrary way, but teacher employs mechanical considera- (so far as what called new education is tions, and that the other does not, appeal- concerned) in treating the children too ing to higher ends; it is that one does not much as mechanism, and consequently know his mechanism, and consequently seeking for all kinds of stimuli to stir and acts servilely, superstitiously and blindly, attract--that, in a word, the tendency to while the other, knowing what he is about, reduce instruction to a merely agreeable acts freely, clearly and effectively. That thing, weakening the child's personality and indulging his mere love of excitement scientific psychology is of use on the and pleasure, is precisely the result of tak- pathological side-where questions of ing the psycho-mechanical point of view. "physical and mental health” are conI welcome the objection, for it serves to cerned. But is there anything with which clear up the precise point. It is through a the teacher has concern that is not inpartial and defective psychology that the cluded in the ideal of physical and mental teacher, in his reaction from dead routine health? Does health define to us anyand arbitrary moral and intellectual dis- thing less than the teacher's whole end cipline, has substituted an appeal to the and aim? Where does pathology leave off satisfaction of momentary impulse. It is in the scale and series of vicious aims and not because the teacher has a knowledge defective means? I see no line between of the psycho-physical mechanism, but be- the more obvious methods and materials cause he has a partial knowledge of it. which result in nervous irritation and He has come to consciousness of certain fatigue; in weakening the power of visensations, and certain impulses, and of sion, in establishing spinal curvatures; the ways in which these may be stimulated and others which, in more remote and and directed, but he is in ignorance of the subtle, but equally real ways, leave the larger mechanism (just as a mechanism), child with, say, a muscular system which and of the causal relations which subsist is only partially at the service of his ideas, between the unknown part and the ele- with blocked and inert brain paths bements upon which he is playing. What is tween eye and ear, and with a partial and needed to correct his errors is not to in- disconnected development of the cerebral form him that he gets only misleading paths of visual imagery. What error in from taking the psychical point of view; instruction is there which could not, with but to reveal to him the scope and intri- proper psychological theory, be stated in cate interactions of the mechanism as a just such terms as these? A wrong methwhole. Then he will realize that while he od of teaching reading, wrong I mean in is gaining apparent efficacy in some super- the full educational and ethical sense, is ficial part of the mechanism, he is disar- also a case of pathological use of the psyranging, dislocating and disintegrating cho-physical mechanism. A method is much more fundamental factors in it. In ethically defective that, while giving the a word he is operating not as a psycholo- child a glibness in the mechanical facility gist, but as a poor psychologist, and the of reading, leaves him at the mercy of sugonly cure for a partial psychology is a gestion and chance environment to decide fuller one. He is gaining the momentary whether he reads the "yellow journal,” the attention of the child through an appeal trashy novel, or the literature which into pleasant color, or exciting tone, or spires and makes more valid his whole agreeable association, but at the expense life. Is it any less certain that this failure of isolating one cog and ratchet in the ma- on the ethical side is repeated in some chinery, and making it operate independ- lack of adequate growth and connection ently of the rest. In theory, it is as possi- in the psychical and physiological factors ble to demonstrate this to a teacher, show- involved? If a knowledge of psychology ing how the faulty method reacts unhap- is important to the teacher in the grosser pily into the personality, as it is to locate and more overt cases of mental pathology, the points of wrong construction, and of is it not even more important in these hidineffective transfer of energy in a physical den and indirect matters—just because apparatus.
they are less evident and more circuitous This suggests the admission made by in their operation and manifestation? writers in many respects as far apart as Dr. Harris and Dr. Munsterberg—that
(Concluded in December.)
girl, for any more mathematics than the mathematics, nor science, nor anything ordinary amount of arithmetic that every- else is like language, a universal requisite. one acquires whether he be an educated Am I not right in contending that a person or not? This is old ground, often thorough study of languages, if there be threshed over. But is it to be regarded room and time for more than one lanever as res adjudicata ? It is maintained guage, would yield the same results in that mathematics is for the training of mental training as are claimed for the the mind--for broadening the student's study of mathematics? If this be true, reasoning power. I may be in error in will not the study of languages be more supposing that a mathematical course is useful to the student, since it is not only unnecessary except for specialists who are a mental exercise but a useful acquisition to use it, but I am sure that I am on the for all days? I should therefore say, give right ground in holding that English us more English, English, English, and as should be emphasized in our common many other languages as the curriculum schools over and above all else. Lan- can provide for. guage is a common heritage. Neither
A GLIMPSE INTO THE GERMAN KINDERGARTEN SYSTEM.
CARINA CAMPBELL EAGLESFIELD.
Among most Americans the idea pre- class, let us say, officers, titled people and vails that all German children attend the officials of the highest rank, and she goes kindergarten, but a nearer and more inti- from one home to the other, staying mate acquaintance with German life dis- usually one month, and meets there the closes the fact that this is by no means assembled children of the group. These the case.
little aristocrats are brought morning and The idea of child training originated in afternoon to their destination, by servants Germany, it is true, and in no land has in livery, and we hope their enjoyment in the child been studied more scientifically, the beautiful round of plays and works but so deeply ingrained is the feeling of is as hearty and natural as that of the less class distinction and caste that the kin- favored burgher children. dergarten is not half so generally used as Sometimes a trained teacher is kept for one would at first sight suppose. In its tiny the sole use of the children of one family, realm true democracy must necessarily but unless there are many children, this prevail, but this equality is so repugnant is not considered as beneficial for the litto all the traditions of the upper classes tle ones as the intercourse with others of that they can not reconcile it with their the same age. Wealthy merchants, bankcast-iron notions of rank and precedence. ers and professional families also employ The idea of a little count or baron or the a kindergarten teacher, and as the famison of an officer romping with the chil- lies are usually larger than in the highest dren of a burgher is enough to make their classes, the number in one group is not hair stand on end, so we find upon visit- so large. In Germany, as in America, one ing the different private kindergartens of notices that the higher one goes in station any large city a noticeable absence of chil- the fewer the children to a family, and dren of the upper classes.
the causes are probably the same in both These little folks are of course not de- countries. barred from the delightful training which The burghers, or what we would call the Froebel insisted should be the birthright people of moderate means, for with us no of every child, therefore a well-born and such distinctions in occupation or income well-bred kindergarten teacher is engaged are made, all send their little ones to priby a group of families of the same social vate kindergartens, it would be an unheard of thing to make use of the public can take it away. These homes are under or Volks kindergarten, though they are the auspices of the Protestant church and quite as good, and to a foreigner the dif- supported by private subscription, like ference in the appearance of the children our own American charity schools. is not so apparent as to explain the horror Here the children of the lowest classes which the burgher class entertains for peo- find warmth, care, kindness and more ple who take advantage of the cheaper tenderness than they would receive in schools.
their own squalid homes, and no charity Private kindergarten tuition is very is as conducive as this towards the growth low, averaging only three marks or about and formation of the child's character. seventy-five cents per month, and the Usually it is indeed all the moral or reteachers employed are thoroughly trained ligious training he gets. The Germans and fitted for their work. A course of
spend a great deal of money in home two years is always taken and the young missions and charity work, and the buildteacher leaves the training institute with ings of all their charitable institutions are a fair knowledge of French, English, very handsome, spacious and comfortable. music and drawing, besides much ad- One sees no small or cheap buildings, and vancement in the ordinary school when I asked where the slums were was branches. It is insisted upon that the told that there were none. Their imchildren must be kept happy and amused, mense houses contain hundreds of people, and that requires a constant change in and the station of the inmate is told by games and plays and much tact on the his position in the house. Down in the teacher's part.
damp and dismal courts or high up in the No kindergarten is entirely free in attic may dwell the poorest of people, yet Germany, but the tuition is always very one stairway does for all, and one may low and the children can enjoy the privi- meet every class jostling elbows or pantleges of the Volks kindergarten by paying ing for breath as they toil up and down the ridiculously small sum of twelve cents the cold stone steps. per month. There is, besides these excel- Many a lesson in social democracy sent schools, an institution which is surely might be learned on the stairways of Gera source of great comfort and pleasure to man houses, but one so soon grows acthe children of the very poor. It is called customed to meeting all kinds and condiKinderwebewahranstalt, or “Home for tions that the strangeness wears off and the Care of Children,” and for twelve the contrast is not noticed, and the mocents a week any child from a few months mentary contact with those beneath us in to several years is taken early in the worldly advantages fails to bring us any morning and kept, fed and beautifully nearer to them. cared for till night, or when the mother
"The sky is crowded, the rocks are bare,
“The trail is narrow', the wood is dim,
But the ship sailed safely over the sea,
- Bret Harte.