The Most Marvellous Triumph of Educational Science.
In the dull atmosphere which stagnates between the high walls of colleges and churches wherein play the little eddies of fashionable literature, which considers the authorship of an old play more interesting and important than the questions that involve the welfare of all humanity or the destiny of a nation,—an atmosphere seldom stirred by the strong, pure breezes of the mountain and the ocean,—the best thought and impulse of which humanity is capable is stifled in its birth, or if it comes forth feels the overshadowing influence that chills its life.
Not there, amid the pedantries of “culture,” do we find the atmosphere for free and benevolent thought, but rather far away from such influences, in the forests, the mountain and prairie, where man comes more nearly into communion with nature, and forgets the inheritance of ancient error which every corporate institution preserves and perpetuates. It is to this widespread audience that the Journal of Man appeals and offers a new suggestion.
In sending forth the “New Education,” hoping for some appreciative response from educational circles in which collegiate influences prevail, I did not deem it prudent to introduce some of the noblest thoughts that belong to the great theme. The book was sent forth limited and incomplete, hoping that, heretical as it was, and quite irreverent toward the ignorance descended from antiquity, it might still receive sufficient approbation and appreciation to justify later introduction of matter that would have hindered its first reception.
It has reached the third edition, but it has been very apparent that its reception was cordial and enthusiastic only among the most progressive minds, the number of which increases as we travel westward, and San Francisco called for more copies than the leading cities of the East.
The time has now arrived (when this Journal is hailed cordially throughout the country) that I may venture to announce the most remarkable feature of the art and science of education. There is an additional reason, too, for speaking out at this time, which should mortify the pride of an American citizen. The philanthropic science which I thought it imprudent to mention then in this free country, is beginning to be studied in France, where such themes are not suppressed by the sturdy dogmatism which is so prevalent and so powerful in the Anglo-Saxon race.THE NEW METHOD IN FRANCE.
As the French National Scientific Association, in their meeting at Grenoble, two years ago, recognized in their most startling form the phenomena of human impressibility which are illustrated in the “Manual of Psychometry,” and reported the most marvellous experiments in medicines,—an act of liberality which has no parallel in English-speaking nations,—so at the late meeting of their Scientific Congress, as I learn from the German magazine, the Sphinx, the new principle of education was broached which I feared to present in the “New Education,” and was received with general approbation by that learned body....