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Content, rather than
eralized powers possible.
tion or impervious to culture, simply because he is not adapted to the classics or mathematics. In consequence, the content of studies, rather than the process of acquisiform, stressed. tion, has come to be emphasized, the curriculum has everywhere been broadened, and the principle of the election of subjects largely recognized. It has, however, been felt within the last half dozen years that in reacting from the old theory of formal discipline, educators went too far. While it is still held that emphasis must be laid upon the specific character of mental training, But some gen- there are some generalized powers and values to be obtained. It is realized that "a general benefit can be derived from specific training in so far as the person trained has consciously wrought out in connection with the specific training a general concept of method, based upon the specific methods used in that training" (F. A. Hodge). Thus a student who has once realized the value of close reasoning through mathematical demonstrations is likely to develop a general concept of method, and can hardly be satisfied any longer with slovenly thinking in other fields; and the fine discriminations discovered in the classical authors, the balanced judgment used in historical method, and the accuracy required in the study of the sciences, may well be abstracted and tend to furnish a generalized ideal for other lines of endeavor.
And Locke's 'discipline' is of this kind.
Locke's Real Position on Formal Discipline. It would seem as if this modified form of general power were all that Locke had in mind. He definitely concedes that "learning pages of Latin by heart, no more fits the memory for retention of anything else, than the graving of one sentence in lead makes it the more capable of retaining firmly any other characters." And
while he holds that the method of reasoning in mathematics can be transferred 'to other parts of knowledge,' he declares that men who are reasonable in some things are often very unreasonable in others, and "men who may reason well in one sort of matters to-day may not do so at all a year hence." The generalized benefits Generalized that students may obtain from mathematics are simply mathematics. that it "would show them the necessity there is, in reasoning, to separate all distinct ideas, and see the habitudes that all those concerned in the present inquiry have to one another, and to lay by those which relate not to the proposition in hand and wholly to leave them out of the reckoning. This is that which in other subjects is absolutely requisite to just reasoning." Thus Locke appears to be rather in harmony with modern educational theory than a thorough-going advocate of formal discipline. At any rate, it should be recognized that he did not defend, but vigorously assailed, the grammatical and linguistic grind in the English public schools. His attitude toward formal discipline seems to have sprung from his desire to root out the traditional and false, rather than to support the narrow humanistic curricula of the times.
Graves, During the Transition (Macmillan, 1910), pp. 305–311; and Great Educators (Macmillan, 1912), chap. VI; Monroe, Textbook (Macmillan, 1905), chap. IX. For a more extended account of Locke, read his Thoughts and Conduct, and Fowler, T., John Locke (Macmillan, 1901). The literature of formal discipline is most extensive and the subject is still under discussion; but a good summary of all written up to 1911 is furnished in Heck,
Locke did not
W. H., Mental Discipline and Educational Values (John Lane, New York), and later articles can be found by consulting the index of The American Psychological Review. In a doctoral dissertation (University of Virginia), John Locke and Formal Discipline, Hodge, F. A., makes it clear that the common interpretation of Locke as a formal disciplinarian is unfair. The most typical of the earliest opposition to the disciplinary argument is probably found in Thorndike, E. L., Educational Psychology (Teachers College, New York, 1910), chap. VIII; the sanest discussion of the possible transfer of ideals appears in Bagley, W. C., Educative Process (Macmillan, 1905), chap. XIII; and the reaction to the reaction is best portrayed by Angell, Pillsbury, and Judd in Educational Review, vol. XXXVI, pp. 1-43. Lyans, C. K., in his article upon Formal Discipline (Pedagogical Seminary, vol. XXI, pp. 343-393) makes a most careful analysis of the interpretations of the defenders and opponents of the theory, and gives a very thorough discussion of transfers.
EDUCATION IN THE AMERICAN COLONIES
The schools of the American colonies closely resembled those of the European countries from which the colonists came, and were influenced by the various religious conceptions of education that were current in each case. In general, where the Calvinistic attitude prevailed, the colonies attempted universal education, but where the Anglican communion dominated, the aristocratic ideal of education was in evidence.
Three types of colonial school organization appeared: (1) laissez faire in Virginia; (2) ‘parochial' in New Netherlands; and (3) governmental activity in Massachusetts. The South generally followed the same plan as Virginia, and New York (after the English occupation) and Rhode Island also developed on this basis. The other Middle and New England colonies followed the parochial and governmental patterns respectively.
American Education a Development from European.We have hitherto had little occasion to speak of American education, except by way of anticipating certain great waves of influence and important institutions that have come into America from Europe. But we have now reached the period when the New World began to be extensively colonized, and in the rest of our study educational practices in America will become increasingly distinctive and influential. The schools of America are the offspring of European institutions, and have their roots deep in the social soil of the lands from which
the colonists came. While the universal, free, and secular schools of the United States are a natural accompaniment of its republican form of government, like the new democracy itself, this development of popular education was not reached at a bound. At first the American schools resembled the institutions of the Mother Country as closely as the frontier life would permit. The seventeenth century was, therefore, for tion of schools. American education distinctly a period of 'transplanta
tion of schools,' with little or no conscious change; and it is only toward the middle of the next century, as new social and political conditions were evolving and the days of the Revolution were approaching, that there are evident the gradual modification of European ideals and the differentiation of American schools toward an ideal of their own.
The seventeenth century a period of
Influence of Reformation period upon the colonists.
Conditions in Europe from Which American Education Sprang. Hence, in order to understand American education in the colonial period, we must briefly consider the social and educational conditions in Europe during the early part of the seventeenth century, when the colonists began their migrations. The thirteen American colonies were started while the fierce agitations of the Reformation period were still at their height. The settlers, for the most part, were Protestants, and many of them had emigrated in order to establish institutions-political, ecclesiastical, educational-that would conform to their own ideals, and in all cases education in the New World was given a peculiar importance by the dominant religious interests and conflicts of the old. At this time in practically all the states of Europe, educational institutions were controlled and supported