Page:Science and Citizenship.djvu/10

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Science and Citizenship

for degeneration. The process of growth is, in the proper sense of the word, the education of the child, that is to say, the drawing out of its potencies. In its training and education the primary factors are three. These are the hereditary predispositions of the child, the resources available for its education, and finally, the ideals of the mother. It is the last which is perhaps the most important for the progress of culture, for of the three factors the ideal of the mother is the most variable, the most modifiable, and therefore the most subject to control and guidance. The mother's ideal is a compound of the types of humanity that have most appealed to her in actual life, in romance, and in history. In other words, it is, whether she knows it or not, the historical or racial imagination of the mother that determines her ideals. She directs the education of her child towards her personal ideals of strength, of health, and of wealth, towards her personal ideals of beauty in person, of wisdom in thought, of goodness in deed. And in proportion as these different aspects of the mother's ideal of manhood and womanhood harmonise into an imaginative unity, a synthetic reality, in that proportion she has an educational policy for her child. For a policy is but a name for a system of dealing with one's resources for a definite purpose. In short, a policy is a scheme for the development of potencies in the direction of an ideal realisation.

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