The Preparation of the Child for Science

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Clarendon Press, 1904 - Science - 157 pages
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Page 7 - His life-long dream was to promote happiness on earth, not by the multiplication of mechanical appliances for comfort and pleasure, but by the evolution of a Race gifted with powers of intellectual enjoyment, larger than those of man as he now exists.
Page 66 - Many a life of intellectual muddle and intellectual dishonesty begins at the point where some teacher explains the rule for Greatest Common Measure to a child who has not had the proper basis of sub-conscious knowledge laid in actual experiences. Therefore, if you value your child's future clearness in science, trust no teacher to tell him anything about GCM...
Page 102 - The cultivation of the mathematical imagination depends chiefly on the child being put into the right attitude towards mathematical conceptions in his earliest years ; and, after that, on the right use being made of certain nodes or critical points which occur here and there in each branch of mathematics, and which should be dealt with in a quite different manner from the rest of the course. These form the revelation crises of the pupil's mathematical history ; when he draws near one of these the...
Page 26 - ... enough to grasp any natural fact as a whole ; everything depends on drawing right conclusions from combinations of impressions, each of which is in itself inadequate and partially misleading; and if the pupil is to be got into scientific methods, that is what he must be trained to do!" And on page 26, "What science does claim is, that no child shall be told anything about the motion of the earth till he has observed many sunrises and sunsets; till a clear sense-impression of the earth standing...
Page 101 - She warned that there is no such thing as "a right method of performing any operation in elementary mathematics; because all Tightness and all mathematicalness depends on getting each operation performed by two methods: the first, a roundabout one, which represents and registers the conscious action of the mind during the process of discovery [italics mine]; the second, a short method which condenses the roundabout one, assists in stowing its results away in the memory and facilitates the using of...
Page 22 - ... habit of tolerating wrong impressions. If the child uses the nominative where he should use the accusative, and is not at once corrected^ that is so much to the bad for his future progress; if he can be got not to be able to remember a time when he used the word wrongly, that is so much to the good. But in science there are, there can be. no absolutely right impressions ; our minds are not big enough to grasp any natural fact as a whole; everything depends upon drawing right conclusions from...
Page 47 - A writer on education* has said that a human being comes into the world not chiefly to acquire knowledge or to develop his faculties, but to establish relations ; and I would add that a child comes into science, not only to learn facts and to develop the faculty for doing things, but primarily to establish relations with the laws of nature, by which we mean — if we truly mean anything — the laws according to which the world is governed.
Page 101 - ... and I may add all mathematicalness, depends essentially on getting each operation performed by two methods ; the first, a roundabout one, which represents and registers, the conscious action of the mind during the process of discovery ; the second, a short method which condenses the roundabout...
Page 17 - As-Yet-Unknown, which it was the object of great mathematicians to confer on automatic mechanism, is too often destroyed in the human brain by rough and ready processes, adopted, sometimes for the purpose of fixing the opinions of young people, sometimes for that of enabling them to pass examinations successfully in subjects which they do not really understand. To cultivate it in the young child is the object of some of the precautions recommended in the following pages.
Page 64 - By training the hand to trace out Nature's action, we train the unconscious brain to act spontaneously in accordance with Natural Law; and the unconscious mind so trained, is the best teacher of the conscious mind.

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