Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 45.djvu/824

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will bring the teacher into broadest sympathy with child-nature, and will enable him to affect peculiar natures and dispositions in such manner as to establish wholesome and desirable ways of action. It certainly is not true that the teacher is made a machine by work of this character; on the contrary, he is brought into the highest possible freedom by finding the truth in the objects with which he is to deal. How infinitely more free he becomes than when he remains the creature of his own ignorance and preconceived notions of the one formal way to deal with child-nature!

II. The Science of Education.—It has already been said that the study of psychology, for the teacher, must be of such character that he will be enabled to apply it practically in the daily work of instruction in the schoolroom; for so long as it remains merely theoretical he has received no benefit from it whatever, at least so far as he is "professionally concerned. It follows readily, then, that the principles of the science of education must be gained simply as generalizations from the facts of psychology, viewed with reference to the conscious and scientific stimulation of the mind by educational agencies; and this is all that is attempted in this subject as the normal school has to deal with it. This study is but a continuation of the study of psychology from a special point of view—that of finding an order or method in education as determined by the facts which have been found in our observation of mind phenomena. It is continually emphasized in the normal school that all method in education is naturally and entirely dependent upon laws of mental growth and development. It is the purpose in this place to investigate the general principles which underlie all right educational procedure, with the end in view to lead the teacher to become conscious of the laws regulating the order both of the parts of the branches of instruction and of the branches themselves when they are considered with reference to training the mind; and it is believed that in this way he gains a knowledge of educational method and practice so wide and broad that there will be little danger of his mistaking the mechanism of school teaching, as exemplified by some individual who happens to be his instructor, for the true spirit as the body of it all. The ordinary student will not readily apply principles in which the concrete cases from which they are drawn are not clearly apparent; but in the consideration of such processes as induction, deduction, apperception, concentration, interest, attention, and so on, he will have no difficulty in seeing their universal application in all the work of instruction, especially if he is led to discover their importance by his own investigation.

There has been some objection on the part of certain philosophers to the proposition that there is or can be a science of edu-