American Education

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R. G. Badger, 1917 - Education - 171 pages
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Page 158 - ... mathematics is valuable, because pupils do not get it; and it is equally beside the mark to ask whether the effort to obtain this knowledge is a valuable discipline, since failure is so widespread that the only habits acquired through failing to learn algebra are habits of slipshod work, of guessing, and of mechanical application of formulae, not themselves understood.
Page 28 - ... interest, and induce him to put forth his strength. Frequent complaint is made of overpressure in the public schools, but Friedrich Paulsen is probably right in saying that it is not work which causes overfatigue so much as lack of interest and lack of conscious progress. The sense that, work as he may, he is not accomplishing anything will wear upon the stoutest adult, much more upon a child. One problem in arithmetic which he cannot solve will try a child more than ten he can solve.
Page 165 - ... decidedly changing the form of what is still retained. If, for example, only so much arithmetic is taught as people actually have occasion to use, the subject will shrink to modest proportions; and if this reduced amount is taught so as to serve real purposes, the teachers of science, industry, and domestic economy will do much of it incidentally.
Page 80 - How to live? — that is the essential question for us. Not how to live in the mere material sense only, but in the widest sense. The general problem which comprehends every special problem is — the right ruling of conduct in all directions under all circumstances. In what way to treat the body; in what way to treat the mind; in what way to manage our affairs; in what way to bring up a family; in what way to behave as a citizen...
Page 56 - The great mistake of our education is to suppose that quantity and strain constitute education. Education is a question of doing a few essential things well and without over-strain. The college has committed a grievous mistake in demanding ever more in quantity rather than in quality produced under conditions of healthy normal development.
Page 59 - D. candidate now proceeds, always under careful guidance, through four years of high school, four years of college, and three or four years of graduate work. Any one whose originality and efficient power survive the test is indeed a proven man and worthy of responsibility. For the college teacher an earlier university course and subsequent independent study, original production, and long probation would be more than a substitute for this work of supererogation now offered. Years ago, on my first...
Page 23 - Thus, then, we are on the highway towards the doctrine long ago enunciated by Pcstalozzi, that alike in its order and its methods, education must conform to the natural process of mental evolution — that there is a certain sequence in which the faculties spontaneously develop, and a certain kind of knowledge which each requires during its development; and that it is for us to ascertain this sequence, and supply this knowledge.
Page 28 - ... upon the stoutest adult, much more upon a child. One problem in arithmetic which he cannot solve will try a child more than ten he can solve. One hour of work in which he can take no intelligent interest will wear him out more than two hours of work in which he cannot help being interested. Now, the trouble with much of the work in the public schools is that it is profoundly and inevitably uninteresting to the childish mind.
Page 86 - For it is only by means of independent work that the pupil learns to hold his own against external difficulties, and to find in his own strength, in his own nature, in his own being, the means of resisting such difficulties, and of prevailing against them.
Page 158 - ... Probably some of those who fail do not do themselves justice; but as many — perhaps more — of the few who reach the really low mark of 60 per cent do so by means of devices that represent stultification rather than intelligence. For nothing is commoner in the teaching of formal mathematics than drilling in arbitrary signs by means of which pupils determine mechanically what they should do without intelligent insight into what they are doing.

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