Page:American History Told by Contemporaries, v2.djvu/53

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No. 9]
25
By Teachers

bring out the multifariousness of Rhode Island interests. The gossip of William Pynchon (No. 208) is a sample of the daily table-talk of his generation. Pettit (No. 61) lets us into the details of local politics in 1764; Madame Knight (No. 80) infuses into her readers her own cheerful and indomitable nature ; Doddridge (No. 136) shows us the hardship and grimness of the frontier life, which was the lot of many Americans ; and the fate of the loyalists may be read in the plaints of Samuel Curwen in England (No. 169). Contact with the sources has some of the effects of visiting the scenes, in the way of leaving in the mind a clear-cut impression.

Sources will therefore bear reading several or many times, so that the mind may be permeated with them. The teacher cannot be too familiar with the controversies over the settlement of Georgia (Nos. 39-44) ; with the character of colonial assemblies (Nos. 61-68) ; with the arguments pro and con in regard to the Revolution (Nos. 131, 138, 141, 142, 146, 147, 155, 156, 157) ; with the favorable views of the American army held by foreign observers (Nos. 172, 176, 202, 214) ; with the argument for independence (No. 186). Of course the teacher will also use connecting secondary matter, so as to show how one event follows another, and what is the relation between events (see No. 14 below).

Some very successful teachers deliberately choose what may be called the episodic method, especially with young classes : they present a series of intellectual pictures of successive stirring events, without trying to make a complete narrative. Such a method has much to commend it, and is aided by the use of brief selected sources.

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9. Use of Sources by Pupils
 

ONE of the main objects of this work is to bring together in convenient form a body of material suitable for use by pupils, even though immature. Hence, pieces have been selected which have an interest in themselves, though taken out of their connection ; and there has been care to exclude numerous passages which are suitable enough for older students, but which are too strong and plain-spoken for children. Pupils cannot be expected to found their knowledge of history on sources, because they have not the judgment to distinguish between the different kinds of material ; but it is believed that the use of such a col-