One thesis, which is, perhaps, new, that , appears to me to solve the question of a curriculum, as showing that the object of education is to put a child in living touch with as much as may be of the life of Nature and of thought.
Add to this one or two keys to self-knowledge, and the educated youth goes forth with some idea of self-management, with some pursuits, and many vital interests.
(c) That the best way to turn our thoughts is to think of or do some quite different thing, entertaining or interesting.
(d) That, after a little rest in this way, the will returns to its work with new vigour.
books; for we know that our business is, not to teach him all about anything, but to help him to make valid as many as may be of–– 'Those first-born affinities That fit our new existence to existing things.' 14.
There are also two secrets of moral and intellectual self-management which should be offered to children; these we may call the Way of the Will and the Way of the Reason. The Way of the Will.––Children should be taught–– (a) To distinguish between' I want' and 'I will.' (b) That the way to will effectively is to turn our thoughts from that which we desire but do not will.
It is, however, with sincere diffidence that I venture to offer the results of this long labour; because I know that in this field there are many labourers far more able and expert than I - the 'angels' who fear to tread, so precarious is the footing!
But, if only in the volumes of the 'Home Education Series.' The treatment is not methodic, but incidental; here a little, there a little, as seemed to me most likely to meet the occasions of parents and teachers. They are not born either good or bad, but with possibilities for good and evil. The principles of authority on the one hand and obedience on the other, are natural, necessary and fundamental; but–– 4.
But we have no unifying principle, no definite aim; in fact, no philosophy of education.
As a stream can rise no higher than its source, so it is probable that no educational effort can rise above the whole scheme of thought which gives it birth; and perhaps this is the reason of all the' fallings from us, vanishings,' failures, and disappointments which mark our educational records.
My excuse for venturing to offer a solution, however tentative and passing, to the problem of education is twofold.
For between thirty and forty years I have laboured without pause to establish a working and philosophic theory of education; and in the next place, each article of the educational faith I offer has been arrived at by inductive processes; and has, I think, been verified by a long and wide series of experiments.
The mind feeds on ideas, and therefore children should have a generous curriculum. But the mind is not a receptacle into which ideas must be dropped, each idea adding to an 'apperception mass' of its like, the theory upon which the Herbartian doctrine of interest rests. On the contrary, a child's mind is no mere , with an appetite for all knowledge. The Herbartian doctrine lays the stress of education––the preparation of knowledge in enticing morsels, presented in due order––upon the teacher.