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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 72.djvu/324

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POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY

spring up within us somehow to disturb our peace of mind. In other words, scientific problems, and therefore science, originate in either the external situations of concrete experience, or in our ideals, or in both, and hence these latter and not the former are the real source of progress. Thus progress is simply a process of self-realization of society, and science is a powerful tool for the successful carrying on of the process.

The other important conclusion applies to the teaching of science, and it is too patent to need more than statement. It is this: Science in the individual child arises, as it has in society, from either the outer surroundings or the inner purposes of the child. Unless the problem whose partial solution we wish to teach the child spring up within him from either outer or inner necessity, the problem is not his own problem, it is not real to him, and, therefore, its solution is not real to him and so makes no impression. Hence the skill in teaching science is a skill in presenting facts in such a way that the problems whose solutions we wish to teach become the child's own problems. It is thus a skill in causing problems to become defined in the child's mind. The science of the child, like the science of humanity, consists, then, in his own solving of problems that seem to him to arise naturally, either out of his own practical necessities of his own social and economic life, or out of his own purposes, ideals or aspirations that seem to him to have sprung up spontaneously within him. This sort of teaching is quite a different matter from that which generally passes under the name of science teaching, namely, learning the laws and principles of science from a book by memory, with some laboratory and lecture experiments thrown in gratis by way of illustration.

V. So much for the light thrown on present conditions by the study of the origin of scientific problems. But one other example will be added to show the sort of interpretations that may be reached through a study of the way in which various peoples have used their creative imaginations in solving their problems after they had once become defined. For this purpose a problem in applied science will be more illuminating, so we will take this: How was the problem of satisfying the human need of worship solved by the Greeks and by the people of the middle ages? Both expressed their solutions in concrete form in buildings, which still stand as permanent expressions of the workings of their respective creative imaginations.

The Greek temple was a larger and somewhat idealized man's dwelling—a home for deified men and women. It was limited in design to straight lines, since the idea of a curved arch had not yet been achieved in practise. Yet it was a perfect realization of the conception which it was intended to embody—a limited conception, since the idea of deity which makes God to consist of heroic or idealized men and women must