Page:The Harvard Classics Vol. 51; Lectures.djvu/297

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287
EDUCATION

thousand cases, and therein is its sufficient sanction. But guidance will be futile if there are no proper paths to tread. The money now provided for schools must be increased many fold, if schools are to become for all men the gates of opportunity and the highways to service. We must remember, to be sure, that there are many educational agencies besides schools; libraries often do far more toward education. But any systematic education is schooling, and if the interests of society are to be adequately met, all valuable forms of educational activity must be organized, supported, and made available to the individuals who seek to use them.


THE LINE OF ADVANCE IN EDUCATION

To increase the size of schools is not enough. Schools and classes are already far too large. System is not enough. More schools and courses, of greater variety; smaller schools and smaller classes, with greater opportunity for personal contact between teachers and taught; more teachers, of higher native capacity and better training—all these are needed. But these things we shall not have until the common conception of schools and teachers has suffered change. We still think of teaching too narrowly or too vaguely—too narrowly if we look upon teachers as purveyors of learning for its own sake, too vaguely if we think of them as taskmasters in a dubious abstract discipline of mind. The task of the teacher must be reconceived; we must think of him and he must become a guide to worthy living, teaching not only his subject but how to use it and what it is for, making clear its incentives and ideals, its methods and its values, and helping his pupils to interpret life more justly because they have seen it in a new light. This is the larger opportunity of every teacher, but especially of the teacher of a traditional subject in a traditional course. The teacher of stenography may more safely confine himself to skill and speed with dots and dashes than the teacher of Latin to exactness in the use of tenses. The first task of any teacher is to teach his subject well, but he cannot leave the social interpretation and application of education wholly to principals, parents, school pamphlets, and chance. If the public is to value the teacher's work more highly, he must make it more valuable.

To become more valuable, teaching must develop both a science