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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...

PREFACE The student of general problems of education or of elementary education finds an extensive literature of varying worth. In the last decade our secondary schools have undergone radical reorganization and have assumed new functions. A rich literature on every phase of the high school is rapidly developing to keep pace with the needs and the progress of secondary education. The literature on college education in general and college pedagogy... more...

Words and terms have, to different minds, various significations; and we often find definitions changing in the progress of events. Bailey says learning is "skill in languages or sciences." To this, Walker adds what he calls "literature," and "skill in anything, good or bad." Dr. Webster enlarges the meaning of the word still more, and says, "Learning is the knowledge of principles or facts received by instruction or study; acquired knowledge or... more...

CHAPTER I.INTEREST IN TEACHING. There is a most singular contrariety of opinion prevailing in the community, in regard to the pleasantness of the business of teaching. Some teachers go to their daily task, merely upon compulsion: they regard it as intolerable drudgery. Others love the work: they hover around the school-room as long as they can, and never cease to think, and seldom to talk, of their delightful labors. Unfortunately there are too... more...

A Preliminary Survey of the Task Before the School   When people come to think alike, they tend to act alike; unison in thinking begets unison in action. It is often said that the man and wife who have spent years together have grown to resemble each other; but the resemblance is probably in actions rather than in looks; the fact is that they have had common goals of thinking throughout the many years they have lived together and so have... 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...

PREFACE During 1910, 1911, and 1912, as a part of a general plan to write a book on education, I reread a great deal of the classical educational literature, and carefully perused most of the current material in magazine and book form. An interest aroused by undergraduate and graduate work in the department of pedagogy had been whetted by the revolutionary activity in every field of educational endeavor. The time seemed ripe for an effective... more...

CHAPTER I. There was joy in the Weaver household when the child was born, and when it had been duly announced that it was a boy. The event was the first of the kind in this particular branch of the Weaver family, and, as is always the case, there was such rejoicing as does not come with the recurrence of like episodes. A man hardly feels sure of his manhood till the magic word father is put in the vocative case and applied to him direct, and the... 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...

f thou wilt harken vnto me, or rather to Chrisippus, the sharpeste witted of Philosophers, yu shalte prouide yt thyne infante and yonge babe be forthewyth instructed in good learnyng, whylest hys wyt is yet voyde from tares and vices, whilest his age is tender and tractable, and his mind flexible and ready to folowe euery thyng, and also wyl kepe fast good lessons and preceptes. For we remẽber nothynge so well when we be olde, as those... more...