Page:Democracy and Education.djvu/288

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Science in the Course of Study

would be hard to find anything in history more ironical than the educational practices which have identified the "humanities" exclusively with a knowledge of Greek and Latin. Greek and Roman art and institutions made such important contributions to our civilization that there should always be the amplest opportunities for making their acquaintance. But to regard them as par excellence the humane studies involves a deliberate neglect of the possibilities of the subject matter which is accessible in education to the masses, and tends to cultivate a narrow snobbery: that of a learned class whose insignia are the accidents of exclusive opportunity. Knowledge is humanistic in quality not because it is about human products in the past, but because of what it does in liberating human intelligence and human sympathy. Any subject matter which accomplishes this result is humane, and any subject matter which does not accomplish it is not even educational.

Summary.—Science represents the fruition of the cognitive factors in experience. Instead of contenting itself with a mere statement of what commends itself to personal or customary experience, it aims at a statement which will reveal the sources, grounds, and consequences of a belief. The achievement of this aim gives logical character to the statements. Educationally, it has to be noted that logical characteristics of method, since they belong to subject matter which has reached a high degree of intellectual elaboration, are different from the method of the learner—the chronological order of passing from a cruder to a more refined intellectual quality of experience. When this fact is ignored, science is treated as so much bare information, which however is less interesting and more remote than ordinary information, being stated in an unusual and technical vocabulary. The function which science has to perform in the curriculum is that which it has performed for the race: emancipation from local and temporary incidents of experience, and the opening of intel-