Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 45.djvu/290

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page needs to be proofread.


2/6

��THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

��first trial, and what by perseverance and con- trivance. The child is naturally always out- growing his playthings, always exhausting the possibilities of a given object to symbol- ize occupations and deeds of grown-up human- ' ity about him. Were the child to arrest his development and linger contented over a doll or hobbyhorse, the result would be lament- able. Hence unmaking is as important as making, destructive energy is as essential to him as power of construction a point often missed by kindergartners who have not pene- trated Froebel's inner connection. This ideal of play material is realized in his gifts. Play must be purified by rational insight. From insight into the deep meaning that lies hid in childish play, there is but a step to its use in education. The manifold errors of kindergartners can be avoided only by clear insight into Froebel's aim development of creative activity and his kindergarten gifts are the practical response to the cravings of childhood. Rousseau's idea of atomism is criticised in contradistinction to Gliedganzes " member whole " man as a self-determined individual yet a constituent of a social whole. This, Dr. Harris says, " is undoubtedly the deepest and most fruitful idea in the phi- losophy of education, and the key to the practical work of Froebel the source of that symbolism which is his most original contribution to educational science. . . . Rousseau's significance in education lay in opposing established institutions. He failed to see the revelation of human nature in so- cial combination and thus missed education's chief aim. His Emile (Appletons') made educators recognize the sacredness of child- hood. Its study is necessary to explain Pestalozzi, Froebel, etc."

Important considerations are offered in opposition to Rousseau's suggestions con- cerning exercising the senses and restraining the mind's activity. To develop quick per- ception, it is necessary not only to exercise the senses but to increase the pupil's stock of general ideas, and thus illuminate the mind that uses the senses. Environment and absorption of ideas from harmonious surroundings follow as important in child- education.

Pestalozzi is quoted as having struck the keynote of educational reform : " Nature de- velops all the powers of humanity by exer-

��cising them ; they increase with use." Mis- use is not use not all exercising is develop- ing. " The child that walks too soon de- forms its legs." Exercise must be propor- tioned to strength to increase strength. Re- marks upon education dealing with powers only as they become explicit are exception- ally strong. " Notwithstanding all that has been said and written, we still make knowl- edge our idol, and continue to fill the child's mind with foreign material, under the gratui- tous assumption that at a later age he will be able, through some magic transubstan- tiation, to make it a vital part of his own thought. This is like loading his stomach with food which he can not digest under the delusive hope that he may be able to digest it when he is a man. . . . But glaring as are our sins of commission they pale before our sins of omission, for, while we are forcing upon the child's mind knowledge which has no roots in his experience, or calling on him to exercise still dormant powers, we refuse any aid to his spontaneous struggle to do and learn and be that which his stage of devel- opment demands."

This book is emphatically one for mothers, as it presents the subject of early child-train- ing in a thoroughly practical manner.

The Psychological Review. Edited by J. McKeen Cattell and J. Mark Baldwin, with the Co-operation of Alfred Binet, John Dewey, H. H. Donaldson, G. S. Ful- lerton, William James, G. T. Ladd, Hugo Munsterberg, M. Allen Starr, Carl Stump, and James Sully. Published bimonthly by Macmillan & Co., New York. Pp. 112. Price, 75 cents ; $4 a year.

The leading and principal article in the first number of this periodical, January, 1894, is the presidential address of Prof. George T. Ladd before the New York meet- ing of the American Psychological Associa- tion, in which, while the science of psychol- ogy is confessed to be embryonic in its pres- ent stage, it is claimed that more opportunity is afforded on that account for students and investigators to contribute something impor- tant to its more stable and higher evolution. Three classes of inquiries are suggested, em- bracing the relation in which the statistical and experimental investigations stand to the total science of psychology, the relation in which the science stands to what we call

�� �