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give him a key to a world inex- than he can teach him how to digest; pressibly wider than that in which he he can, at the most, indicate the conmoves. It is rare for boys to go to ditions of healthy digestion and clear school possessing anything that can thought. But he can, and he ought to, really be called knowledge; but those teach him how to learn, which is a dewho do have, invariably
got their liberate conscious effort of the will and knowledge by miscellaneous reading in the memory; and to make this effort is books which they only half compre- not an easy nor a comfortable process. hended. It is not a habit that is ac- You may decoy a child into knowing quired at school, where every hour has all the names and the counties and its fixed occupation; that is to say, that rivers of England-and he will not be a the average child has only five or six great deal the better for the knowledge years, say from six to twelve, in which -but you cannot cajole him into learnto form it. And I confess that I should ing how to learn. I see lesson-books enbe unwilling to postpone the chance of titled “French without Tears," and so acquiring this habit even to the most forth, and I distrust those lesson-books. scientific instruction in building bricks At all events, in the school-room of the or in making mud-pies. In short I best teacher I ever knew there were would teach a child first of all how to enough tears shed to fill many buckets, read, because by teaching him to read and the pupils were the teacher's own you put him in possession of the em- children. I do not know exactly what ployment which of all others is the they learnt in that schoolroom, but most delightful to many children, and they learnt how to learn, and they even those the most intelligent; because you gained a taste for the business. If they enable him to amuse himself quietly, liked what they had to do, so much the and because you give him the best better; if they did not they were made chance to find out what sort of things to do it all the same-at what a cost really interest him in life.
of energy and patience only those who the door to that cultivation of his own have taught can realize. I read in mind by himself which is the most Child Life, which is understood to be important of all.
the official organ of the most enlightThe rest of education stands on a ened Froebelians, the rebuke adminisdifferent footing. It is not an amuse- tered to a lecturer when she took upon ment, and you only do harm by pre- herself to exhort her Kindergarten stutending that it is. The young teacher dents to patience: “There was a look nearly always sets out with a theory of surprise on every face, and at last that his or her business is to teach one student spoke up, and said, 'But boys and girls how to think.
how can one feel impatient with a little public school you will find young mas- child?'” The rest of us are not so ters who neglect their proper business Froebelian as all that, and I am sure --with the best intentions-in order to that the teacher of whose success I pass the time agreeably by discoursing spoke had such ample cause for impaon subjects in which they wish their tience as no animal in creation but pupils to take an intelligent interest; the human child can afford. But when and other masters, to whom their pu- noses had to be kept to the grindstone, pils pass on, have with much bitterness they were kept there, and the result to teach the boys what they ought to was that in the end the reluctant inhave been made to learn in these agree- telligence made the effort which was able half-hours. No human being can demanded of it and learnt. Morally, teach another how to think, any more it learnt that efforts had to be made;
intellectually it learnt how to make them. That is the double lesson-the necessity of learning and the way to learn-which ought to be imparted to every child before it goes to a school, where the pupil takes his or her place in a class of twenty. In such a class the teacher's business is to teach a definite thing; but the unfortunate pupil who has not learnt how to learn cannot receive the individual attention necessary to get him over this first step. Under the Kindergarten system he will have learnt only to expect that every obstacle will be smoothed away, and I suspect that he will be very like a creature who has been taught to swim on dry land and is pitched into the water. The last thing that I should be afraid of is overstraining a child's intelligence in the initial stages. Once the child has learnt how to learn there is a danger, and the anxious parent may easily do a mischief by impressing unduly upon a willing boy the transcendent importance of passing a particular examination. Even if bis elders are convinced that a child's whole future is at stake upon a single success, it is both unfair and unwise to make the child share this tremendous anxiety, too heavy a strain for the young nerves. That is an error to which the modern arrangements predispose all of us; but it does not spring from a theory. What I am concerned with here is the theory which seeks to confound work with play, and to find a royal road to learning in which all the labor shall be transferred from the pupil to the teacher. I have no personal experience of the matter, and I am told, on good authority, that the pupils come from a good Kindergarten knowing what they ought to know, and knowing it well. But it seems to me that the system is deficient in the most vital point of all; that it does not enforce the lesson of personal effort, and that in laying itself out to make things
pleasant for the learner it makes them too easy, and does not make sufficient demand upon attention. If it does not call forth a conscious and deliberate concentration of memory or reason by an exercise of will in the learner, it fails in its function.
The teacher of whom I spoke already had naturally her views upon the art she practised-for teaching, with all deference to Froebel, is an art and not a science—but, like all artists, she could not define her method. The Bible, common-sense and good English poetry were the things which she laid down as a basis for elementary education; butof course, the word "common. sense" begs the whole question. Still, there is an element of suggestion in the list. Good English poetry was ruled out by Mr. Edgeworth, on the ground that it was foolish and wrong for children to learn to repeat words of which they did not know the precise meaning; and then there is a very curious passage, in which poor Rosamund is reprimanded when she wants to repeat the opening of Gray's “Elegy," “because the lines sound so very pretty.” Her mother tells her that she does not know what "curfew" means, nor a "knell;" Rosamund replies, as one would say, like a very intelligent little girl, that she cannot tell the meaning of every word, but she knows the general meaning. “It means that the day is going; that it is evening; that it is growing dark.” However, this avails nothing, and she is reduced to a better frame of mind, and accepts as the most appropriate poetry for her years, a description in rhymed couplets of a weaving machine-apparently the work of her condescending father.
Mr. Edgeworth, in many ways the type of the modern parent, is not quite in the movement on this point. Everybody admits nowadays that it is well to encourage children to take pleasure in the sound of beautiful words, and
in the Froebelian system great im- ness of life does not deal with fixed portance is given to learning verses by quantities. Still there is enough in heart. But the verses are verses spe- science to stimulate the imagination, cially composed, written down to the heaven knows! and of the value of its infant intelligence, and for that reason study as a kind of gymnastics for the scarcely examples of good English mind I have no experience. Comparapoetry. It is again the method of tively few people have; but no doubt spoon-feeding adopted, instead of let- it will be tried. It is an age of science ting a child learn by heart, as children and experiments, and since people have will do with enthusiasm, the ringing made up their minds that education is phrases of Macaulay's "Lays" or the a science, experiments will be tried in songs of Shakespeare, which they re- education. peat for the mere pleasure of the sound, There exists in London a club—the training their ear and their instinct in- Sesame—which provides sitting-rooms, sensibly to the beauties and the uses of dinners, newspapers in the ordinary language, which is the instrument of way for the ladies and gentlemen who all human business and the material belong to it; but in its inception it was body of thought. In education, as in not as other clubs. It began with an life, a child gains continually by con- association of people for the purpose tact with the unfamiliar, at whose of studying and spreading knowledge meaning he guesses. It is from the on all matters relating to educational mind's tendency to conjecture that we reform; it was, in short, and still is in learn to think.
some degree, a club for the production All modern theorists lay great stress,
of the educated mother, and, if poslike Mr. Edgeworth, on the importance sible, of the educated father also. The in elementary education of physical sci- Sesame Club, as I understand, issues ence. I confess to a prejudice on this Child Life, the paper of which I have matter. The worst educated
already spoken, and identifies itself in among men of high intelligence that I this way with the Kindergarten syshave ever met were mathematicians; tem. It has even founded an ideal and next to them, in order of deficiency, Kindergarten, where students may go I should put men of science. Nobody to practise Froebelian methods upon disputes the value or the interest of children who receive gratuitous scientific knowledge, but it seems to schooling. Young ladies may go there be an indifferent training for the mind. in order to become educated mothers I can never forget that Darwin, who in and competent in the theory and prachis young days loved Shakespeare, tice of "such objects as child developwhen old lost all pleasure in him, but ment, natural science, hygiene and gencontinued to delight in the common
eral household management," as well place novel with a happy ending. It as education. If you ask for a more seems as if a mind dwelling perpetually precise definition of the ideals to which on the tangible and definite-on the the modern parent, as represented by thing that can be absolutely proved or this club, subscribes (in both senses), disproved-lost its sense of the mystery one is provided by Prof. Earl Barnes; and fascination which hang about the "The great work of the Kindergarten meaning of life. I think that by early is to help the child to integrate his perinsistence upon physical science you sonal, material, social and religious may develop an undue bias for the worlds." The definition may not be material fact, a contempt or distaste very comprehensible, but it sounds for the unascertainable; and the busi- sufficiently comprehensive-too much
go for my liking. I should like to adjure the modern parent to ask a little less of education and trust a little more to nature.
It seems that the present generation -the people whose children are growing up-are convinced that they thenselves were extremely ill-educated, and are determined, at all events, to be wiser than their parents. Frankly, I do not think it was so bad as all that. My friends appear to me to be very agreeable and well-educated people, and I see no reason to be discontented with the bringing-up which made them what they are—if indeed the system had much to say to it. My own opinion is that, in any case, being brought up among the same persons, they would have turned out much the same what. ever method had been adopted. The moral part of education is a thing that can be delegated to no Kindergarten in the world. Our conduct, in so far as it does not proceed directly from our innate qualities, is governed by imitation, conscious and unconscious. The people who influence us first are our parents, with whom we must live in some degree of intimacy; afterwards we are chiefly affected by the associates whom we choose for ourselves. Admiration is at the root of it, and the natural instinct of a child is to look up to the grown-up people it lives with, and to adopt their ideas, but only on condition that the elders behave naturally. Boys do not imitate their schoolmasters, for they know perfectly well that their masters assume a behavior for their edification; perfect naturalness is hardly possible in the relation of teacher and pupil, and, the more we think about influencing our own children, the less likely we are to accomplish it. Lady Isabel Margesson, in a paper read before the Women's Con.
gress (reprinted in Child Life), declares that we ought to learn how to "selfexpress ourselves." I think she is needlessly disquieted about the matter. Children understand their parents very well, and when one human being deliberately tries to explain himself or herself to another, the result is nearly always misunderstanding; this is the most fruitful source of the quarrels of lovers. The one thing to be avoided is fear-habitual fear. puppy you can do nothing with it, and some children are cowed-oftenest by a stinging tongue. I will say this for the modern parent-that this evil is far less common than it would appear to have been even half a century ago; the father is not that awe-inspiring personage he once was. Human nature being what it is, one need not be seriously afraid of his becoming, in many cases, a sort of amateur schoolmaster, like Mr. Edgeworth, or the model Froebelian parent.
As for the intellectual side of education, I merely wish to urge that the simpler and more definite our aims are, the more probable will be their attainment. Exactly what children, boys and girls, ought to learn at school may be matter for discussion, though I can conceive of no more proper basis of study than language, which is to be the vehicle of all our ideas and our means of communicating with our fellows. But the essential thing is that they should learn what they are set to learn; and the sooner they learn that they have got to learn, the better. I do not feel convinced that this simple but invaluable knowledge will be acquired in a place that aims at integrating the material, moral, social and religious worlds of a child, and teaching him how to play.
FOR THE CREDIT OF HIS COLOR.
One scorching afternoon, in the days eyes huddled among the coal, and a before the British Government had been hoarse voice said: roused to realize that its Gallic neigh- "It is the will of Allah! Another of us bors were quietly appropriating the is dead. How can any man labor without West African hinterland, a little worn- eating in this heat of the pit? yet until out French gunboat came clanking down an hour ago he toiled at my side. So a broad reach of the muddy Niger. the white man need speak no more The sky, suffused with heat, was the hard words, for we have kept our color of brass overhead, and the yellow promise of service. Where are all the river radiated dazzling light as it broke rest who came with me from Dakka?" apart in white froth at the rusty bows, As Marsaut afterwards told Fleming, giving up a curious sour smell. Ashore, the English trader, he could find nothhere and there a tall palm hung its ing to say, and mutely watched two green fronds over the river, then giant men fasten a firebar to the black an. reed beds, covering festering muds, kles. Then the tackles creaked, and a melted into jungly thickets, which were shape, with limply hanging head, rose lost again in a haze of heat. Black slowly towards the gratings, while assmoke rolled from the funnel to hang in cending after it he heard a splash and horizontal strata over the bubbling saw something cleave apart the muddy wake, because there was not a breath river. Meantime under the ragged of air to carry it away; and down in bridge-awnings, which fluttered with the stilling depths under-deck, naked, the hot draught the steamer made, plague-stricken negroes groaned and Commander Girardi lay huddled in a sweated before the sulky fires. The canvas chair, the perspiration sealed wreck of a white man, half frenzied up in his burning skin, and the soiled with fever, alternately encouraged them white uniform hanging loosely about and abused the fate which had sent his wasted limbs. His eyes were alhim there.
most blinded by the reflected glare, and Here was little glory, only misery, he blinked uselessly at the shimmering heat and death, while he knew the one water, which, to his disordered vision, hope of saving the last of the company had changed itself to fire, growing lay in hurrying the vessel down through steadily brighter as the steamer panted the reeking delta into the life-giving on. That, like others made about the freshness of open sea. But the boilers time, had been a disastrous expedition. were foul with stone and mud, the It was true sundry agreements with scaled tubes were leaky, and it was dusky gentlemen, who represented only by desperate efforts he could keep themselves as persons of authority, steam at all, while part of the precious written in fantastic Arabic, were sevapor was blowing into stokehold and curely locked in a chart-room drawer, engine-room. The engineer, Marsaut, but then each petty Moslem chieftain checked a burst of expletives when a was fond of making treaties, which bedripping black man flung down his came a source of revenue to him. In shovel, and its clatter was followed by return for sufficient presents he would a choking cry. Wiping the sweat out accept European protection from every of his eyes, a Senegali fireman bent offerer, and leave the harrassed frontier over a limp black object, with staring officials to afterwards settle the matter.