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IDEALS. A noble aim,Faithfully kept, is as a noble deed.Wordsworth. To few men does life bring a brighter day than that which places the crown upon their scholastic labors, and bids them go forth from the halls of the Alma Mater to the great world's battlefield. There is a freshness in these early triumphs which, like the bloom and fragrance of the flower, is quickly lost, never to be found again even by those for whom Fortune reserves her most... more...

CHAPTER I INDICATIONS THAT YOUNG PEOPLE DO NOT LEARN TO STUDY PROPERLY; THE SERIOUSNESS OF THE EVIL No doubt every one can recall peculiar methods of study that he or some one else has at some time followed. During my attendance at high school I often studied aloud at home, along with several other temporary or permanent members of the family. I remember becoming exasperated at times by one of my girl companions. She not only read her history... more...

This collection of scattered thoughts and observations has little order or continuity; it was begun to give pleasure to a good mother who thinks for herself. My first idea was to write a tract a few pages long, but I was carried away by my subject, and before I knew what I was doing my tract had become a kind of book, too large indeed for the matter contained in it, but too small for the subject of which it treats. For a long time I hesitated... more...

HOW THE CHILD DEVELOPS Condition at Birth Let us see, then, exactly what his condition is. In the first place, he is, as Virchow, an authority on physiological subjects declares, merely a spinal animal. Some of the higher brain centers do not yet exist at all, while others are in too incomplete a state for service. The various sensations which the baby experiences—heat, light, contact, motion, etc.—are so many stimuli to the... more...

HOW TO STUDY "For the end of education and training is to help nature to her perfection in the complete development of all the various powers."—Richard Mulcaster, 1522-1611. Education is an opportunity, nothing more. It will not guarantee success, or happiness, or contentment, or riches. Everything depends upon what development is produced by it and what use is made of it. It does not mean morality or usefulness. It may make a man more... more...


PREFACE My aim, in writing this book, is to show that the externalism of the West, the prevalent tendency to pay undue regard to outward and visible "results" and to neglect what is inward and vital, is the source of most of the defects that vitiate Education in this country, and therefore that the only remedy for those defects is the drastic one of changing our standard of reality and our conception of the meaning and value of life. My reason... more...

TEACHER AND PUPIL. Of the various callings to which the division of labor has caused man specially to devote himself, there is none to be compared for nobility or usefulness with that of the true teacher. Yet neither teachers nor people at present realize this truth. Among the very few lessons of value which might be derived from so-called “classical” studies, is that of the proper estimate in which the true teacher should be held;... more...

FLOURISHING MEDIOCRITY Humanity is rapidly becoming less the outcome of a natural process of development, and more and more the product of an organized educational plan. The average educated man possesses no real individuality. He is simply a manufactured article bearing the stamp of the maker. Year by year this fact is becoming more emphasized. During the past century almost every civilized country applied itself feverishly to the invention of... more...

There has been a great improvement in the physical condition of the people of the United States within two generations. This is more noticeable in the West than in the East, but it is marked everywhere; and the foreign traveler who once detected a race deterioration, which he attributed to a dry and stimulating atmosphere and to a feverish anxiety, which was evident in all classes, for a rapid change of condition, finds very little now to sustain... more...

THE EDUCATION OF THE CHILD Goethe showed long ago in his Werther a clear understanding of the significance of individualistic and psychological training, an appreciation which will mark the century of the child. In this work he shows how the future power of will lies hidden in the characteristics of the child, and how along with every fault of the child an uncorrupted germ capable of producing good is enclosed. "Always," he says, "I repeat the... more...