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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 CHIEF AIM OF EDUCATION. What is the central purpose of education? If we include under this term all the things commonly assigned to it, its many phases as represented by the great variety of teachers and pupils, the many branches of knowledge and the various and even conflicting methods in bringing up children, it is difficult to find a definition sufficiently broad and definite to compass its meaning. In fact we shall not attempt in the... more...

INTRODUCTION Society as a whole knows little of the deaf, or the so-called deaf and dumb. They do not form a large part of the population, and many people seldom come in contact with them. Their affliction to a great extent removes them from the usual avenues of intercourse with men and debars them from many of the social activities of life, all tending to make the deaf more or less a class apart in the community. They would seem, then, to have... 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...


The Child and the Curriculum Profound differences in theory are never gratuitous or invented. They grow out of conflicting elements in a genuine problem—a problem which is genuine just because the elements, taken as they stand, are conflicting. Any significant problem involves conditions that for the moment contradict each other. Solution comes only by getting away from the meaning of terms that is already fixed upon and coming to see... more...

"As the twelve tribes had many interests in common, and, in some respects, formed but one political body, the magistrates of all the tribes met in general assemblies to consult for the good of the nation." Jahn's History of the Hebrew Commonwealth. Whoever regards the state of our community in this country, must come to the conclusion, that we have arrived at an important period, when we can no longer defer the consideration of matters of... 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...

ON GRAMMAR, AND CLASSICAL LITERATURE. As long as gentlemen feel a deficiency in their own education, when they have not a competent knowledge of the learned languages, so long must a parent be anxious, that his son should not be exposed to the mortification of appearing inferiour to others of his own rank. It is in vain to urge, that language is only the key to science; that the names of things are not the things themselves; that many of the... more...

PREFACE. We shall not imitate the invidious example of some authors, who think it necessary to destroy the edifices of others, in order to clear the way for their own. We have no peculiar system to support, and, consequently, we have no temptation to attack the theories of others; and we have chosen the title of Practical Education, to point out that we rely entirely upon practice and experience. To make any progress in the art of education, it... more...