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not mention it. Of the fairly large number of high schools in that report that include algebra, geometry, physiology, natural philosophy, and botany, in their courses, and of the very small number that teach Latin, Greek, French and German, not one includes the study of that power which has alone created both language and philosophy, both art and science. But it has a place, nevertheless. The principal of one of our city high schools reports a 20 weeks' course in mental philosophy, and it also appears in the course of several other high schools.
What is the verdict where it is taught?
One teacher says: “I took the study prejudiced against it as a high school study and have had that prejudice removed.” Another says: “ The results have been good.” Another questions the propriety of employing time on mental philosophy on account of “the immaturity of mind of the average high school student." Another includes mental philosophy among the studies recently eliminated when it was decided to reduce the number of studies. Another says: “ We do not include it because we cannot give it the time its importance demands.” Another says: “We believe it is the thing, but the results have not yet been satisfactory in our case, owing mainly to text-books used.”
So it appears that the place which this study has in our high schools is small, and the opinions of its value differ. Should it have a larger place? Before you say yes, listen to the complaint that comes up from many places in the State to the effect that the school children are too severely taxed. You hear it in the East as well as in the West. Charge three-fourths of it to a constitutional tendency to grumble, and there is still left a residue that ought to be heeded.
But in heeding the complaint ought the formal study of mind to be left out? This is for the wisdom and experience of teachers to determine. My own belief is that the study of mind should have a larger place in our high schools, but that it should be so conducted as to avoid overtaxing the mind itself. It need not necessarily be a formal text-book study. So far as my observation has extended, the unsatisfactory results with this study have been partly due to text-books and partly to the manner of teaching it. The aver. age youth of seventeen or eighteen can hardly be interested in a dry philosophical text, nor in a merely perfunctory recitation of it. The proper high school text-book in mental philosophy is yet to appear. It should abound in illustration and anecdote. It should give us less of Aristotle and his time and more of Smith and Jones and their time. Over and over again we are told in the average text-book that mental philosophy is the science of mind, which we already knew, and are asked to consider that whereas man is mor. tal, and that whereas Socrates was a man, therefore, who doubts that man is mortal, or that Socrates was a man, and therefore mortal? In reality who cares whether he was a man or a woman, and whether he was mortal or immortal? His work is immortal, and that is enough. The difficulty with the average boy and girl is that we will not let Socrates be mortal, and therefore presumably dead, but that we keep him everlastingly alive to perplex and confuse them with.
Let this science be alive with the matured thought of the 19th century, and not so musty as to suggest that it may have gathered mould in the ark, and there will be less difficulty either in adapting it to the boy's capacity or in awakening his interest in it. We may teach him a whole term, in the
language of the text-book, that animals do not reason and that man alone thinks, and one day with his pet dog or pony will make a skeptic of him in spite of all the philosophers. It is not so much in the mind of Plato and Aristotle that the boy may be interested, as in his own mind—what it is, how it thinks and knows and feels, and why it is that he can get only 7 for a term's standing, when his companion with half the effort gets 10. We allow him to say in the physiology class that it is the function of the stomach to digest food, and of the liver to secrete bile, and call him orthodox and give him 10; but if he follows the analogy and says it is the function of the brain to secrete thought we call him a materialist and, perhaps, give him zero. Our characterization would doubtless be correct, but the boy fails to see why, and when he goes to his text-book for an explanation he is led through the mazes of a disquisition on the characteristics and tendencies of nominalism, materialism and conceptualism, with as little satisfaction as came to John Peterson and Peter Johnson in the famous attempt of the schoolmen to explain to them in what consisted their personal identity; or, in other words, why John was John and not Peter, and why Peter was Peter and not John. After days of discussion, it was explained that John's identity consisted in his Johnity, and Peter's identity consisted in his Petricity or his Peterness.
Now if text-books must be duli and dry, the teacher at least should try to put point and freshness into the subject. With proper attention to his mental activity and reflection upon his own consciousness, and observation of others, why should he not be able to make the study of mind as interesting as the study of matter, or phychology as attractive a physiology? Mere recitations will kill any subject. Somebody says “there is as much difference between teaching, and hearing recitations, as there is between praying and previny. The mere hearer of recitations is usually a scientific and pedagogical humbug.” The study of mind, above all other studies, can not be sustained in a class of parrots. With skillful questioning, illustrative anecdotes, brief but famillar lectures and diligent turning of the thought inward to its own sources and action, the study of mental philosophy may be made as interest. ing and profitable in our high schools as any study that is pursued there. Certainly none is more important. There is no art or science but is dependent on it. The dullest mind can see some use in chemistry because it ails, for example, in the analysis of soils, and in natural philosphy because it aids in the comprehension of the laws of mechanical forces, and in botany because it aids in classifying and explaining plants. But it is alleged that no such practical benefits flow from the study of mind. And yet the orator, the physician, the preacher, the teacher, -each succeeds in his profession in proportion as he knows the mind and its laws. No young man or woman is prepared to succeed in life until self, that is, the mind, is known. What questions underlie it? “What and whither going? What is my history and my destiny? This mysterious soul which an mates me, and is the presiding divinity over all my actions, what is it, with all its wondroux faculties of sense, imagination, reason, will?... Am I free, or am I subject to inevitable necessity? If free, then how are all my actions controlled, and predetermined by a divine Providence? If not free, then how am I responsible?” Who shall solve these problems, who shall read this strange and preplexing riddle of human life? They confront every boy and girl, before the high school age is passed. On their proper answer depends much of the character and destiny of the individual.
It is the peculiar office of mental science to aid in answering 'these questions. It is its peculiar effect, also, to develop and quicken the mental powers, to make both thought and expression precise and exact, to induce and confirm habits of attention and concentralion of thought, and to lead to inquiry into and investigation of the causes and relations of things. Surely it is an important study. Why should it not be given a place in our high schools along with other sciences that reeceive attention there?
SUPT. A. J. SWAIN, Owosso, said: I have taught mental philosophy but once or twice in my experience of 25 years.
The old Delphic maxim, “Know thyself,” certainly did not mean to know ourselves physically, but mentally. Hindrances to the study are a lack of trained and qualified teachers, of text-books, as well as of time. We should, however, find a place for it to aid in learning other branches. The Normal School cannot furnish teachers for the whole State. Our high school graduates constitute the bulk of our graded school teachers. Are they rightly fitted if they have not had a course in mind study?
Study it also as a means of self-control, for moral purposes, to induce habits of reflection.
DR. L. R. FISKE said : Mr. President, the teachers of the High Schools are best qualified to decide this question, and I have waited to get their views.
In youth the mind is occupied more in observation than in reflection; it turns its gaze outward rather than inward. In prescribing studies it is best always to regard the ten. dencies which nature has established. Predominantly the young mind is engaged in forming first notions, and these first notions have the external world for their object Knowledge at first is largely empirical and relates to material things. This fact should decide the principle of selection of work.
The result of education should be the habit and trained power of reflection, developed philosophical tendencies. In true education there is a passing from the empirical to the rational, proceeding from the particular to the general, and from the general to the universal-finding fundamental principles which give us a reason for the facts and events of the phenomenal world, in which the multeity of observation and experience is brought into the unity of thought, and inade to rest on universal principles. All education should look towards this. Relatively the empirical should become less and the rational more.
In school work we begin with the objective, and as we proceed there is a gradual training of the subjective, in which power is generated for reflective modes of mental operation. All study develops the mind in this direction, and as such development takes place the best conditions exist for the study of mind.
There are three classes of pupils in the High Schools. (1) Those who are preparing for college. (2) Those who are fitting themselves to become teachers and who do not expect to carry on their studies in schools of a higher grade. (3) Those who are preparing in these High Schools for business and the professions and who finish their school work in these schools. The first class will have an opportunity to study psychology thoroughly in College, much more thoroughly than they could possibly pursue it in any High School. If the third class ever enjoy the advantage of instruction in this important study it must be in the High School. For general intelligence should they not re. ceive instruction, at least, in the elementary principles of mental operations, a general analysis of mental powers, the relations of the faculties to each other, so as to be able to
understand the laws of cognition and the ground of the certitude of knowledge ? Certainly at this stage of scholarship a considerable body of empirical knowledge of mind can be gained, but I doubt if there is time or fitness for profound philosophical study of the subject. This must be carried forward by introversion of powers, by introspection of thought. Nothing is to be taken on authority, dogmatic teaching is valueless; the pupil must test everything by an intelligent scrutiny of his own mental operations. This requires well trained powers of reflection.
The second class, who are to become teachers, need to possess a clear knowledge of the operations of mind, not only that they may be able to give instruction in the same, but that they may know how rationally to deal with mind in the school room and lead it forward in the pursuit of knowledge and culture according to the laws under which mental processes must be performed. Şuch knowledge can scarcely be gained in these schools.
The conclusion I reach is as follows: The order of mental culture is from the empirical to the rational. The objective most largely at first; the subjective gaining on the former as scholarship is acquired. Psychology cannot be made prominent in the High School. Either directly in an elementary form, or incidentally with other studies it may, and perhaps should be pursued. As philosophy, in which the energies of the reflective powers are employed, and need to be largely developed, the study belongs to a period of greater mental maturity. As a rule the study of nature first, as most readily apprehended and most easily engaging the attention, with gradual shading off towards philosophy, which requires the power of introspection in which a mental object may be clearly seen and sharply defined.
MANUAL TRAINING IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS.
BY HON. C. A. GOWER, LANSING.
Whether or not it be true that “The sun do move," as asserted by a distinguished colored preacher of Richmond, Va., it is generally recognized as a fact that the world does move, and I have been impressed with the idea that one onward movement of the world should be, and now is, along the line of greater appreciation of the value and need of systematic industrial training for the young. To consider the necessity of this movement, and the desirability of introducing manual training as a part of our common school work, is the aim of this paper.
It is said of Jonathan Edwards that, “owing partly to a peculiar combination of natural mental characteristics, and partly to a habit of solitariness, he was almost completely ignorant of the dominant tendencies of contemporary thought, and beyond the reach of any external influences fitted to aid him in freeing himself from the shackles of past systems.” Michigan teachers have always shown a disinclination to be bound by the shackles of past educational systems. Let us carefully study the dominant tendencies of contemporary thought, and I am confident we shall decide that great improvement is possible in the work of our graded schools, especially in the way of the general introduction of manual training as a part of the course of study.
The terms industrial training and manual training are frequently used as if they were properly interchangeable. It is well however, to note that the term “industrial training” is much broader than the term “manual training," and includes the idea of special effort toward fitting the recipient for some particular useful occupation where skill of hand is required; while “manual training," strictly speaking, refers to such a training as will give skill to the hand, but without particular reference to making that skill directly and immediately productive in the way of useful work. While we
. shall use the term manual training in this paper, we do not wish to exclude from our consideration the industrial aspects of the question; but rather, would favor manual training in schools, primarily, in the interests of broad intelligence, and secondarily, on account of its great practical value in stimulating a taste for some form of handicraft, and making feasible the attainment of skill therein.