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gogic knowledge of practice, which is indirect representation, words or fictions, but the pupil must have the more direct and immediate actual contact with reality.
But the pedagogue, remote from the offices and shops of the master, and a man who generally knows things from having heard or read about them, is accustomed in practice to attach more importance to the school than to the workshop, to a discourse than to a real action or image; the tendency is to make prominent his intervention, which is very distinct from the normal reality.
The special nature of each difficulty, the mental disposition of the pupil, the particular nature of the case in hand, and all the other circumstances, will indicate in each instance the method of teaching; the pupil himself will indicate in each case the way in which he should be taught, if the pedagogue cannot find it. It is not worth while to contrive subtle mechanisms for a thing that will occur to any one or whose solution any one will contrive. Pestalozzi passed a great part of his life learning what men who knew no pedagogy did far away from the school. Rousseau "invented” the method of Nature. In the last analysis, they were trying to discover what all the world was doing. And it was a great pedagogic advance ! At what follies will pedagogy not arrive, when progress in such matters is secured by returning to the natural, spontaneous method which may be applied without study !
Even within all these conditions which have been mentioned, there is a prudential limit to the use of pedagogy, which is that it be employed only when by its means the difficulty is genuinely lessened; if the effort which the learner must make to learn a thing pedagogically is greater than that which he would expend in learning it directly, it is superlative folly to employ a pedagogical method, which is then superfluous. This is a self-evident truth, in the face of which fly the great majority of the schools, weighing down the children to their grave detriment and without profit. Spencer paints the picture of a student who leaves school weary and prematurely old, with no desire to eat substantial food because it lies heavy on his stomach, with cold hands and feet, palpitation of the heart, weak
sight, arrested growth, flabby skin, etc. (And all this without having applied his energies to anything vital. Weary of the world before he has lived in it, and before he has accomplished anything worth while.) The pupil passes much of his time in the schools, wasting his energies on matters which, without effort and directly, he would be sure to learn outside, with economy of body and mind.
So much for the pupil. As to the teacher, it is a reasonable contention that that person should not devote himself to teaching who, exercising his powers in practical life, could accomplish more than he could by teaching others. Such a course would be a foolish waste of activity; a man who is clever, intelligent and strong, should not devote himself to the training of others to do work which they cannot do better than he, or at least as well. If Napoleon had become a teacher in a military school, could he have taught pedagogically more than he taught directly? If the great statesmen were to devote their talents to explaining pedagogically the affairs of government, who would there be to govern the nations? The most virtuous, the most talented are needed in the world for action, which is the end of pedagogy. For this reason no one should become a teacherand such is in reality the case in societies where the pedagogic alchemy has not fascinated all minds, except those who are incapable of exercising a moderately remunerative function.
Then it follows that men should devote the best moments of spiritual tension, the most lucid periods, the greatest efforts and energies, to practical affairs. Just because pedagogy serves to spare the learner great efforts, why should the best period of life be devoted to that which demands the cessation of initiative and spontaneity? There are those in the world who employ pedagogy well, within its limits, without ever having heard of pedagogic methods, by obeying their instinctive sense of fitness; and such are the real masters in all professions, the wise in every branch of wisdom. As they abhor all abuse of this tool, they use it only when prudence or necessity demand it; they do not teach what can be learned without pedagogy (for this reason the pedagogues, who do not know how to teach anything, except pedagogically, say that men of affairs do not
know how to teach), they teach only what the practical purpose demands; they do it individually, in concrete cases, in the moment just before the action, etc. To such masters, then, we must go to learn the valuable lesson of how not to teach. But observers like Pestalozzi, Tolstoi and others, dragging by main force into the school what cannot live there a moment without a fiction, strive tò transform the practical into the pedagogic.
All great peoples and civilizations, in the years of their virility, force and prosperity, and the social strata which have kept themselves sound in decayed civilizations, have seen the futility of the mirage of pedagogic instruction. " The Englishman,” says M. Marc Leclerc, “has not this respect for culture with an official stamp on it (he is speaking of the pedagogic variety); he always prefers technical experience, special apprenticeship; in the important shops of Witworth and Manchester, all the employés are practical mechanics, who enter the shops at the age of fourteen, pass through the various departments, and climb step by step to executive position.”
And what exists and is good in engineering, must needs come about and be good in all trades, professions, occupations; in the world everything is action; even thought is as active a work as engineering ; exclusively cerebral labor demands cerebral skill and habits, just as manual labor demands manual skill and habits. Every one knows this who has put it to the practical test. Even the purely scientific specialist must be formed by the identical process which forms the engineer and the carpenter.
Pedagogic institutions are not so completely discredited as they deserve to be, because some men of worth, genuine scientists, find in the educational institutions a refuge where the public, or the state indirectly, maintains and pays for a useful cerebral activity which under other circumstances would not receive any material emolument or recompense. And the credit of these few serves to save the multitude of spirits incapable of any really scientific work, who are those that form the principal teaching force of our schools.
The efficiency of pedagogy is limited; the field of its action is very narrow; the conditions are very strictly operative ; evi
dently there must be other normal means of instructing or educating; this alone is not sufficient. Let no time be lost, then, in investigating other methods by which a system can be formed which is not so exclusive and narrow as the one the pedagogues follow. I believe that an art should be developed —not that of teaching, however, but that of learning-utilizing all means in the degree of their efficacy.
I know that all of this is opposed to established doctrines, and worse than that, to established interests ; I expect my ideas to be received with disdain or hatred; I am certain that they will not succeed in rooting out the old ones. Even if I had the good fortune to discover the most stupendous and useful truths, and to found a new science, the pedagogic will remain while the world stands. Centuries have passed since astronomy succeeded in establishing itself on certain principles, and nevertheless we still read the calendars of diviners and astrologists ; there are still thousands who still anxiously consult prophecies of rain and thunder.
I should be satisfied if I could change only a little of the horribly stupid criterion of pedagogic regeneration we uphold in Spain; only a few years ago a Minister of Public Instruction learned that there were thousands of foreign technical employees in Spanish shops and factories ; patriotism suggested to him a singular remedy; the hasty and immediate creation of a multitude of schools of arts, industries and trades, in order that in course of time this cloud of foreigners should disappear from the factories; that is to say, he called in the pedagogues to root out the men who knew how. The press, with her pedagogic prejudices, applauded.
The opposite plan would have been the reasonable one: to summon other men who knew how, that we Spaniards might learn with no one teaching, and superannuate a great mob of pedagogues who teach with no one learning.
The Education in Public Schools of the
Deaf, Cripples and Mental Defectives
ANDREW W. EDSON, ASSOCIATE CITY SUPERINTENDENT, NEW YORK CITY
BSN the education of boys and girls who are deaf,
crippled or mentally defective charitable institutions and public schools are alike interested; no rivalry exists. Institutions that care for these children through the entire week, that feed, clothe, and educate them, that render prompt and skillful medical treatment, and afford uplifting
social advantages all under one roof, have a worthy place in our educational and social system, but these institutions cannot care for all the unfortunate children in need of an education. Many parents insist upon having the daily care and oversight of their children. Again, some parents cannot afford to meet the expense involved in placing their children in private institutions, and are too proud or too indifferent to commit them to charitable institutions. Abnormal children, through association with normal and healthy mates on the street and in the playgrounds of a public school, receive a valuable training, and are led to feel that they are “ a part and parcel ” of the community. With some necessary adaptation they receive the same instruction and are under the same rules as more fortunate children, and the chasm which separates the handicapped ones from normal life is partially bridged. For various reasons, therefore, many of these children should receive their early education in the public schools; and school authorities should provide for it.
The principle involved in the education of all children is : Every child is entitled to all the education which he is capable of receiving. This applies alike to normal, sub-normal and all handicapped children. “Unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall much be required,” and “ Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these, my brethren, ye have done it unto me,” are good pedagogical doctrines of wide application.
The reason for having these children in a public school and