again in the "Journal of Educational Psychology" for January, 1910, he says: "Just as the science and art of agriculture depend upon chemistry and botany, so the art of education depends upon physiology and psychology. … A complete science of psychology … would aid us to use human beings for the world's welfare with the same surety of the result that we now have when we use falling bodies or chemical elements."
It is hardly necessary to point out that these extracts imply a view of education totally opposed to that which we have found to be consistent with our experience. It ignores all the characteristics of the boy as a living person, or if it does not ignore them altogether it keeps them in the background. In particular it treats our boys as if they were automata capable of being stimulated by doses of reading or of punishment, or as if they were musical instruments upon which the educator can play at will.Assuming the possibility of such a science of psychology as that here described, I believe that a knowledge of it would be positively harmful to the teacher. We should have to make ignorance of psychology an essential qualification for any master or mistress in our schools. And the reason would be this. If a master enters his class-room knowing that he can manipulate his pupils' minds with as much certainty as he can chemical elements or falling bodies, then his attitude towards them will be that of a chemist or mechanician, but assuredly not that of a teacher. For a teacher, as we have seen, treats his boys as ends, not means, as creating their own value by
- p. 6.