Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 62.djvu/548

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POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

Of course the ability to run off a long list of names of scientists, or of artists is not necessarily accompanied by a knowledge of science, on the one hand, or by a knowledge of art, on the other. But it is evidence, even though slight, of interest in the achievements of the scientists and artists and probably some degree of respect, even admiration, for the great names in those two fields. On the other hand, it is safe to say that pupils will not become zealous in the study of either science or art without, at the same time, becoming deeply interested in the heroes in those subjects. It is likely, for example, that a person who knows something of music and is interested in it will be familiar with a number of names of the world 's great musicians. And it is also highly probable that if one does not know these great names in music one has little knowledge of, or interest in, that art. In a word, the presumption is strong that if a pupil is interested in a given field of activity he will also know the great names in that field. It is also true that one of the surest and quickest ways to get pupils intertested in a given line of study is to arouse their interest in the lives of persons distinguished in that line. President Stanley Hall puts the matter admirably in his article on 'Criticisms of High School Physics.'[1] What Dr. Hall says with reference to physics, holds true of the other sciences. "Boys in their teens," he writes, "have a veritable passion for the stories of great men, and the heroology of physics, which, if rightly applied, might generate a momentum of interest that would even take them through the course as laid out, should find a place. . . . Physics has its saints and martyrs and devotees, its dramatic incidents and epochs, its struggles with superstition, its glorious triumphs, and a judicious seasoning perhaps of the whole course with a few references and reports by choice with material from this field would, I think, do much." The practical point in mind is—teachers of science should do more in the way of acquainting pupils with the lives of scientists, first from a sense of justice to the memory of those who have wrought so vastly for the good of mankind, and for the further purpose of inspiring young persons to take up science as a life work.

The bearing of our figures upon the fact of the general neglect of art in the public schools of America is worth noticing briefly. President Butler of Columbia University defines education as a gradual adjustment to the spiritual possessions or inheritances of the race, these inheritances being literary, scientific, esthetic, institutional and religious. With reference to the importance of the esthetic inheritance and its place in a well-rounded education he says, "We should no longer think of applying the word cultivated to a man or woman who had no esthetic sense, no feeling for the beautiful, no appreciation of the sub-


  1. Pedagogical Seminary, IX., p. 194.