Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 42.djvu/574

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should be stimulated until the need for language to express it is felt, and language should never be presented for use or imitation beyond the limits of such consciousness of need. The more the different lessons which the child receives can be brought into relation with each other, the better it will be: arithmetic and grammar, for example, may be made to support each other in the following manner. A child reports: "A big dog barked at me as I was coming to school this morning." Now this sentence may be continued in either of two ways: "And frightened me a good deal," or, "But did not frighten me a bit." In the first case we have what, by analogy, may be called addition, and in the second what, by analogy, may be called subtraction: on the one hand, the fright superadded to the barking heightens the significance or seriousness of the occurrence; on the other, the indifference of the child to the barking makes little of the occurrence. The first phrase, which has the effect of addition, is introduced by "and"; the second, which has the effect of subtraction, is introduced by "but," and a key is thus afforded to the proper use and practical effect of these two prepositions.

President Eliot makes a very true remark when he says that correct reasoning can best be taught by the study of the best classical examples of sound, forcible, and well-sustained argument. "The actual arguments," he says, "used by the participants in great debates should be studied, and not the arguments attributed to or invented for the actors long after the event. . . . As examples of instructive arguments I may cite Burke's argument on conciliation with the American colonies, and Webster's on the nature and value of the Federal Union; the debate between Lincoln and Douglas on the extension of slavery into the Territories; the demonstration by Sir Charles Lyell that the ancient and the present systems of terrestrial change are identical; the proofs contrived and set forth by Sir John Lubbock that the ant exhibits memory, affection, morality, and co-operative power; the prophetic argument of Mill that industries conducted on a great scale will ultimately make liberty of competition illusory; and that well-reasoned prophecy of disturbance and disaster in the trade of the United States written by Cairnes in September, 1873, and so dramatically fulfilled in the commercial crisis of that month." Of course, for younger pupils simpler examples of reasoning would have to be found, or possibly their own daily experience might suggest a sufficient number of questions upon which to employ and exercise their reasoning faculties.

Here, however, we are compelled to pause, and suggest a difficulty. President Eliot tells us what ought to be done, but he does not satisfy us as to what persons are going to do it. Why have not all these things been done before? Why are they not being done in all our schools now? Is it because no one has perceived or made clear to others how intellectual life may best be awakened and strengthened? By no means. The world is well supplied to-day with sound and valuable works on every branch of the science of education. The trouble is, that to awaken thought we require thinkers; and the public-school teachers as a body are not thinkers. As a body they are, in this respect, nowise superior to any other class of ordinarily educated persons. How, then, can we expect any early or general improvement in the present routine methods, the general results of which, so far as the production of intelligence is concerned, are acknowledged to be so unsatisfactory? The State has taken up the business of education and made it almost a monopoly, and the State-appointed teachers are such as the State can get. But how many persons with a decided vocation for education take service in the public schools? Not many, we imagine, for the simple reason that the consciousness of