Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 42.djvu/21

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11
NATURAL OR SCIENTIFIC METHOD IN EDUCATION.

Why are we then, after all those ages, still at work on the problem? Why have we made so many blunders as the history of educational methods shows? Are we in any more hopeful position to solve the question to-day than ever before? Without in any way underestimating the efforts of the past, or being over-sanguine as to a complete and speedy realization of perfection in education, I venture to think that we are now at last, if not actually on the right road, at least getting closer to it. We have begun to apply the inductive or scientific method to education because we apply it to ourselves. Modern physiology and psychology are, I venture to think, destined to revolutionize our

PSM V42 D021 Outer surface of the cerebellum.jpg
Fig. 1.—Outer Surface of Cerebrum (after Exner). The shaded portion represents the motor area in man and the monkey—i.e., the area which most observers believe to be associated with certain voluntary movements of the limbs, etc.

educational methods. Certainly, until we study closely the physical organization, and especially the brain of man, we are far from scientific theory and practice in education, because without this a true psychology is impossible. In other words, educating the mind wisely depends on understanding its nature. This can only be accomplished by a study of our physical organization also, especially of that organ through which the mind expresses itself. So far as we know, brain processes and mind processes are always correlated. Cut off the blood-supply from the brain and the subject becomes unconscious, because thereby the subtle molecular processes or movements that we term functioning suffer to such