Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 39.djvu/124

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114
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

tions, yet will develop self-consciousness and selfishness by flattery and over-indulgence. This is not a promising state of things; hut a determined child, especially if he he fortunate enough to have brothers and sisters, will modify it somewhat by engaging in active and healthy play whenever he can elude the vigilance of his nurse, who is full of anxiety about the state of his clothes, and disapproves of most kinds of games. In a house where a reasonable amount of freedom is allowed, and where the children are intelligent and active in mind and body, they will, unaided by their elders, carry on their development by means of games in a fairly satisfactory manner. This part of education is, however, better managed in a Kindergarten than anywhere else. Opposing tendencies are woven into harmony by the experienced teacher, suggestions are made when required, and the needs of all the children are duly considered. Every child takes part according to his ability, and no one is forgotten or neglected. The children are perfectly happy, because they are not indulged too much or overexcited, and the performance is as different from the proceedings at an ordinary children's party as Milton's "hearteasing mirth" from his "vain deluding joys."

We owe to Froebel the first recognition of the high purpose in children's play, and the idea of ordering and arranging it so as to form a harmonious development according to Nature's methods. Full of sympathy with child-nature, and having himself a childlike simplicity of mind, he saw that true education is not the suppression of natural tendencies, but their wholesome encouragement. The outside life of the world has many inharmonious elements. In these children's games we have a little image of the world with the inharmonious elements eliminated. Joining in them is a training for living the right kind of life. The children do not talk about living rightly, but they do it. This is the best preparation for the right use of a wider experience.

A teacher of ethics better known than Froebel taught that the first condition of right life was to "become as a little child."

Note. In quoting from Froebel's letter to Krausc, the English translation by Emilie Michaelis and H Keatley Moore has been used.

—Macmillan's Magazine.

 


 
A curious series of coincidences is noticed in Dr. S. T. Hickson's Naturalist in North Celebes. The island is a frontier point between Malaysia and Melanesia, and is situated linguistically almost where the Papuan, Melanesian, and Malayan families of speech meet. It is further, at the same time, the home of a marsupial sloth, the Cuscus celebensis, which has the characteristics of the Australian fauna, and of a tailless baboon, the Cynopithecus nigrescens, African in its character. Thus the two most conspicuous mammals represent widely distinct zoölogical provinces. The marsupials there reach their northern and the Cynopithecus its southern limit.