Page:Home Education by Isaac Taylor (1838).djvu/17

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its comparative advantages.

questioned, in such cases, whether the eighteen out of twenty are not losers to the whole amount of the peculiar regard that is given to the one or two; or whether the damage sustained by some, be not just proportioned to the advantages secured for others. School training to be equitable, must be a training of minds in the mass.

And yet it is granted that even this undistinguishing mechanism, which is proper to a school, and which carries all before it with a sort of blind force, is in itself, in some respects, a good; and that if some are the victims of it, to others it may be beneficial. There are children who are not to be advanced at all, except by the means of a mechanical momentum; and such might well be sent from home to school, on this sole account, that they will there be carried round on the irresistible wheel-work of school order.

This allowed, it is yet unquestionable that great and indefinite advantages are derivable from an intimate adaptation of every means of culture, as well in substance as in mode, to the powers, the tastes, and the talents of young minds, singly considered. This fitting of the process of instruction to the faculties that are to be trained, will, when skilfully made use of, bring all minds to a much higher level, severally, than (a very few excepted) they would have reached if dealt with in the aggregate. In the following pages frequent occasions will arise for pointing out the particular means that may be resorted to with the view of carrying this sort of adaptation as far as it is desirable it should go.

But here it may properly be remarked, in furtherance of what has just before been said, that although, in a large school, even when broken up into classes, little regard can equitably be paid to individual peculiarities of faculty or taste; the principle now named, as characteristic of home education, may readily be extended to schools not much