Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 41.djvu/393

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379
KINDERGARTENS AND MANUAL TRAINING.

2. They have entirely changed their views as to the relation of the bodily powers to mental training; and—

3. They have changed their views as to the right time in which to lay the foundations of moral character.

While these advances were being made in the science of pedagogy the human body—as a means of development for the mind and soul—began to be discovered; and, instead of its being regarded as a mere shell or scaffolding wholly outside and apart from the unseen nature, it was found out that the "sound body" in which the wisest of the ancients lodged their "sound mind," had much to do with the growth and perfection of the spiritual nature.

In April of 1891 some of the leading educators of this country held in Boston a conference on manual training; and we make no apology for copious extracts from the phonographic report of their addresses, as they contain the latest utterances of the persons best qualified to speak on the theme we are considering.

Said President Eliot, of Harvard: "The wisdom of my parents caused me to be taught carpentry and wood-turning before I was fifteen years old while I was yet a member of the Boston Latin School. It has been of great use to me all my life, and a great pleasure. Then, later, after graduating at college, I became a chemist by profession. I studied that difficult science for years, and then I taught it for years. In every science a great deal of manual skill is necessary for the student and the teacher. The progress of the world in natural science during the last century has been greatly due to the trained senses—eyes, ears, noses, and fingers?—of the experts in those sciences.

"Then for the last twenty years I have seen that one of the great improvements which have been wrought in education in all civilized countries has been the individualization of instruction so as to meet the precise needs and develop the capacities and powers of each individual, at each stage of his development.

"I am old enough to remember when the brain was supposed to be the seat of the mind, just as the lungs were held to be the furnace that warms the body. I remember being taught that the animal heat was kept up in the lungs, but we all know better now; we know now that whenever an atom is consumed, in whatever part of the body, there heat is generated, and therefore that the animal heat pervades the whole organism. It is just so with regard to the human mind: it pervades the body. It is not in the head, but it is all over the body, and when you train the hand or the eye or the ear, you train the mind: manual training is mental training. Never admit that manual training is anything distinguished from or in opposition to mental training. In the skill of the artist's hand, in the methodical, accurate movement of the