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127
LITERARY NOTICES.

were not all made essentially on the same pattern. What the times seem to call for is some association of men and women bent on nothing else than the introduction, primarily into our educational systems, but as much as possible into social life generally, of a supreme regard for that which is real.

 


LITERARY NOTICES.

Practical Hints for the Teachers of Public Schools. By George Howland. International Education Series, Vol. XIII. New York: D. Appleton & Co. Pp. 198. Price, $1.50.

This volume deals with the practice rather than with the theory of education. It tells what to do, and does not concern itself with any comprehensive scheme of educational philosophy. The author is superintendent of the public schools of Chicago, and the several chapters of this volume are based upon papers read before the teachers of that city and vicinity. The author has not aimed to produce an exhaustive and systematic treatise, but has confined his attention to the following ten topics: Moral training in city schools, the character of the teacher, the place of memory in school instruction, elements of growth in school-life, the scholarship aimed at in the school, the teacher in the school-room, how the school develops character, the class recitation, the school principal, and the work of the superintendent. The pages of the book are dominated by the personality of the author, and the things and practices recommended are such as his experience tells him are good. In regard to moral training, the subject that he treats first, he has no faith in text-books or special instruction; he would trust entirely to "the quiet suggestion, the fitly chosen word, the interested inquiry, the look, the unfeigned sympathy, the favored opportunity, the firm but calm decision of the loved and loving teacher." In other subjects, however, he would depend altogether upon books. The sesame to all progress, he says, is found inscribed on the printed page. In the six years before the child comes to school he has had a training without books which, as Mr. Howland affirms, has been very effective. "He has early learned that fire will burn, that cold will freeze, and knows, beyond the power of Webster or Worcester to tell him, the meaning of burn and freeze; and by many a bump has the force of attraction been impressed upon him." He has learned a language, and has acquired much other knowledge. By similar means the Indian acquires a wonderful training of his senses, his hands, and his mental powers. "He learns to do," says Mr. Howland, "in the only true way, by the doing." In acquiring a knowledge of language the author recommends this same process. Correct use of words and a nice appreciation of their meanings and force are to be secured, he says, "not from dictionary, but from use alone." That the teacher should learn by this method, however, he deems inadmissible. In his chapter on "The School Principal" he says: "We learn to do by doing, is one of those aphoristic half-truths well suited to catch the ear and delude the mind of the un-thinking. We may acquire a mechanical facility by repeated doings of what we already know how to do, but we learn to do by learning how other people do, and by the aid of this knowledge striving to do something better." The volume is especially marked by an energetic character and a confident tone which assure the reader of the real interest of the author in the work of the teacher.

First Lessons in Political Economy. By Francis A. Walker. New York: Henry Holt & Co. Pp. 323. Price, $1.25.

The special purpose of this book is to bring political economy within the grasp of youth from fifteen to seventeen years of age. The author has not made it childish by restricting himself to "words of two syllables," or by any similar device. The character which he has aimed to give the volume in order to adapt it to young pupils consists in "a clear arrangement of topics; a simple, direct, and forcible presentation of the questions successively raised; the avoidance, as far as possible, of certain metaphysical distinctions which the author has found very perplexing to students of even a greater age; a frequent repetition of cardinal doctrines; and, especially, a liberal use of concrete illustrations, drawn from facts of common