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few. We have taken some steps toward its consideration; it is for the future to solve.
We do not intend at the present time to discuss the problem of method in any exhaustive way. Our interest just now is rather practical, or, we might say, illustrative of its importance. But one or two general remarks introductory to our main theme may help to its betier comprehension. Let us, therefore, consider what this question of pedagogic method means. It means, for any one who is versed in it, all the difference between a skilled and unskilled workman. By its recognition, school teaching has become a distinct and honorable profession. It is a long step from the pedagogue of former days, who was a mere hanger-on, half nurse-maid and half instructor of his master's children, to the modern schoolmaster, with his well defined function and duties in the community. Today he is a necessity, not a puisance or a convenience. And this is not merely due to the specialization which is a feature of the present time. Specialization itself can be accounted for only as the result of a broadening intelligence, in producing which the schoolmaster has had the largest share. Thus, again, we see results of the teacher's skill receiving emphasis; his ability in his work raising that work into a special department of effective enterprise. But, we ought to remark, so long as the number of successful teachers is comparatively small, the exception not the rule, very much remains to be done in the way of impressing method as that which distinguishes the teacher from the equally well educated banker or farmer. Tnere is absolutely no reason why you should be a teacher in the fact that you know so much. There are plenty of others in other callings who know more than you do, and yet are where they ought to be. It is pedagogic skill which differentiates the reacher from his educational equals in the community, and according to which, within the profession, one is esteemed better than another.
Thus, when ability in imparting knowledge is recognized as the differentia of the teaching profession, method assumes its proper place among the proper studies of the instructor. But let it not be supposed that we have here either an abstract study dry-as-dust, or that the best results can be obtained by memorizing a set of rules that others have laid down for the various departments of knowledge. It is, perhaps, premature to ask whether such general rules can be formulated, and certainly their value cannot be estimated before they are tried. Pedagogical primness is rather to be avoided. In this paper, at any rate, we do not regard method as a formula ; by it we wish to be understood as calling attention to the teaching process itself. Method is a psychological fact, or series of facts, not a logical ideal. Hence, when we look at it in this way, we are simply pointing out a relation between the teacher and his pupil, and implying that upon this relation depends the effectiveness of their joint action. Thus, the first thing to recognize in t. study of method is the importance of knowing as much as possible about the terms to be related, for failing this, it is impossible to say how best to effeo their conjunction. Part of what we insist upon has been acknowledged in thi increased interest that lately has been given to child-study, but a good des of the failure of child-study in producing better teaching is due to the neglect of the other related term. Self-suppression in the schoolroom is not a worthy ideal for the teacher; self realization under all the complicated conditions of teaching is a much more worthy aim. But in order to accomplis's this end, there must be no disruption between the teacher and the pupil, ) different ideal in the one case and in the other. You cannot teach if you deny the legitimate right either of your pupil or yourself. Self knowledge is not only the beginning of all knowledge, it is the starting-point of all successful teaching
As we have hinted, the condition of things is more satisfactory when we turn to the child, the pupil who is to be taught. But even here much foolishness is thought and talked. Through a mistaken interest, many a young girl is doing unconscious injury to herself and her pupils. It is time we recognized that "being fond of children” is not a sufficient preparation for teaching children. The school, even in the primary department, is not a crèche, nor are our teachers nurse-maids. For this conception of the school each of us has to bear his share of responsibility. In my judgment, the parent is least to blame. It is a matter for school boards to decide. But you cannot get them to act until a professional sentiment has been aroused. What, then, are the teachers to do? Nothing revolutionary or anarchistic, surely. Get educated in a positive way on the subject of child-study, for such a study has to be carried on, very largely, in the schoolroom. Now, when we recognize that child life is one of the main studies of the teacher, the question comes, what natural fitness on the part of the teacher are we to expect if he is to make a success of teaching ? Our answer glibly comes to the tip of the tongue: Interest in children. Here, I think, is where we make our initial mistake, if we do not define further what we mean by “interest.” There are degrees and kinds of interest, and some kinds and degrees are a hindrance rather than a help in this work. This is especially true of the interest which, in the case of young ladies more particularly, arises in connection with the natural organic instincts. The future parents do not make the best teachers, because their interest in the child is not scientific. If a more satisfactory state is to be brought about we must demand an intellectual, not an emotional interest, on the part of the profession in the pupils of our schools.
When we turn from these elementary considerations, although a great deal yet remains to be done, we find that something has been accomplished with which all our teachers ought to be acquainted. And, in the first place, we have been shown that the old-fashioned conception of the child is altcgether indefensible. The child, when he becomes the pupil, is by no means a crimped and prinked innocent, as spotless inwardly as his mother, with the aid of soap and water, has tried to make him outwardly. We have been shown that we do an injustice to our pupils when we take for granted virtues or re-pect for virtues which in the adult are scarcely developed or doubtfully heeded. Under the stress of the new ideals of education, we are
coming to see that moral distinctions are to be created, they cannot be presumed to exist ready-made in the child. This is, no doubt, a disillusionment, and it takes away much of the poetry with which some, especially the younger teachers, have been wont to surround their duties, but it is a truth that has been established by patient researches in the psychology of child life. If it is true that much of the success one meets with in any undertaking depends upon a right start being made, we most seriously recommend to our teachers to consider this point, as it bears upon all their future work. More particularly should the primary teacher have it constantly in mind. The child brings all the “stuff” out of which souls are made, and some sort of a soul will be made despite everything to the contrary ; only this we may say, that the quality of the iesult will depend directly upon the clear understanding and wise management of the teacher. This is the truth of the claim that the teacher is engaged in the making of good men and women. It is a work which has to commence in the primary department. In this connection we should like to make two remarks of a practical nature. First, that this view is fraught with greater responsibility than the one it displaces. The immense importance of it is suggested in the saying of the Jesuits, “Give me the first seven years of the child and I care not who has the remainder." Second, that it is poor economy to place the primary departments of our schools under young and inexperienced teachers because they can be hired cheaper. It is foundation work in character that is to be done here; we want the best workmen we can find.
Another result of the scientific study of the child of which po teacher ought to remain in ignorance, is the predominating physical characteristics of our pupils. Let me explain: Suppose a child enters school at six years of age. Before you can begin to teach, you must understand how those years have been spent and to what purpose. Do not think that you have to risk the wrath of parents for making impertinent inquiries, for one child is very similar to another, so far as these years are concerned. It is enough to know that they are mainly experimental years devoted to getting acquainted with the world of things. No doubt it is cute" to see an infant bite its own toes, but all the
” is in those who look on, for this is a serious effort on the part of the child, who thereby learns the difference between two classes of moving things, moving things he can and those he cannot control. This illustration will be sufficient to mark the scientific and emotional interest we may have in children, and also to point out the general character of the child's life before he enters school. But there is much more that is inyolved, and this concerns what is not visible to sight. All these movements have a
neural foundation. Nerve physiology, therefore, is not to be ignored in the comprehension of a child. Thus, then, we may say that by means of his nervous organism the infant comes to know more and more about the world around him. But now comes the question for the teacher, How much has your pupil already learned ? This must be ascertained, because the kind and amount of knowledge he already possesses is a guide to another and more difficult inquiry, for, if we must speak the truth, we do not
care very much about the six-year-old's discoveries, but, as teachers, we are supremely concerned about his neural habits. Hence, we find that while the infant has been rolling around in his crib, and later tumbling and stumbling through life, there has been laid, in the child's nervous mechanism, certain paths of in-coming and out-going energy, and centres in the brain have become organized on economic principles. These years, therefore, have been well spent if a number of neural tracks adequate to the needs of life have become defined, and the connecting centres responsive to appropriate stimuli. This is the child that comes to the teacher for instruction, the aspirant for promotion at the end of the year! And when we recognize this, we get a new conception of the meaning of education at this stage; for no one can teach children intelligently who does not bear in mind that education consists in the definition and correlation of the sensational life of the child.
It may seem that the application of this theory to the demands of the schoolroom is difficult to make, and that its bearing on method is not direct. Neither of these things is so. For we should have to go no farther than the vogue that kindergarten methods are having in order to show that these recognized methods are, practically, the outcome of some such view as has been outlined. Furthermore, the discussion as to how far manual training ought to enter into the education of youth-I say discussion, because 110 general agreement has as yet been reached—is a hint in the same direction. But, we are not concerned to defend against objections what has been written; we would rather recommend by an example. What I contend for is this : that you cannot solve the problem of method unless you take into account the extreme complexity of the subject you instruct. Thus, whatever branch you may be teaching, you are at least five steps removed from the result you wish to produce. Mind does not speak direct to mind. And there are difficulties in the particular study that come in at a later point to hinder ready apprehension. But these aside, suppose you wish to teach the child to call a particular combiuation of strokes by a particular name (take "T" as being the simplest letter in the alphabet). Say you show the letter and speak the sound to be associated with it. This sound impinges, through the vibrations it sets up in the air, upon the tympanum and is carried along the auditory nerve to the proper brain center, and you get the mental reaction in the form of a sensation of sound. Before you can tell the child anything, you have all this machinery to set in motion and your work is only half done. This simplest task of the teacher, viz., creating new sensations, involves processes which may be symbolized in the following scheme:
In the case we have supposed, two such processes have been set in motion, for we not only speak the name of the letter, but show its printed or written form, and if, moreover, it can be handled or traced with the finger, or in some way felt, there are three instead of two. Now, each of these creates its own impression, and the problem is to get them all associated that the one will be reënforced by the other. It is also always better to appeal to the sense of touch, it is the most realistic sense, for "seeing's believing, but touch is the real thing." It will readily be percieved that to get understood, to create a clear and distinct apprehension of anything, is no simple affair; and to get out of patience because the pupil needs "telling so many times” is to show our own unfitness for the position we hold. For, to speak in defense of the child again, it is literally through lack of memory that so many repetitions of one sort and another are required ; memory in any proper meaning is a product later in the child's lite, and rests upon the organized habits of its life.
But we haven't yet got the pupil to say “I,” much less to say it in recognition of the figure he sees and handles. Surely here is complexity upon complexity! Who is sufficient for these things ? But there is no need to become discouraged, and we do not forget we are only illustrating a theory of education by way of emphasizing the importance of the study of methods of teaching. I shall be excused, willingly, I think, from carrying the illustration further. And, after all, enough has been said for my main purpose. My chief concern is to enforce the need of intelligent work on the part of the teacher in the schoolroom. The issues are too great to be intrusted to those who either have not the ability or will to make themselves proficient in the proper methods of teaching. I have written for those jealous of the honor of the profession, for with them lies the future, but also with a view to stimulate those who, wishing for better things, have not seen clearly the direction in which to seek them.
Our Fruits and Forest Representations at Paris.
BY WILLIAM H. MILLS. The panorama picture of Mariposa Grove is admitted by all, including photographers, to be the most wonderful photographic reproduction tbat has ever been made. Only yesterday a committee representing the greatest fruitgrowing association of France, to the number of fifteen, visited the office. They were in charge of their president, who is the largest individual fruitgrower in the Republic. They came here to get an illustration of the industrial and climatic conditions under which our fruit is grown. I explained to them fully the prolific character of our climate, and by pictures and illustrations showed them that we had a full crop every year ; that our danger was from over-bearing ; that in no instance bad we missed two crops in siiccession from any cause. You will scarcely understand the intense interest of this interview until it is explained that this Fruit-Growing Association practices fruit culture in two ways, wall-culture and cultivating under glass (I forego French designations). The out-door culivation of fruit in France