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EDITORIAL NOTES AND COMMENTS (Continued)—
Dr. Mowry on "Do our Schools Meet the Demands of Practical
The People and the Schools..
Where the blame lies....
Pestalozzi and School Reform
BY MISS N. E. GREEN, MCGILL NORMAL SCHOOL.
In the time at my disposal, I cannot give you a complete description of the methods of teaching model drawing, but hope that what I may say may be of use to some, if I endeavour to put it in its proper place in continuity of design in a complete course, and to show, if possible, certain ways in which it depends upon the usual course pursued in drawing from the flat.
In the teaching of drawing the object to be attained is the thorough training of hand and eye; not of the hand alone, in certain mechanical movement as an interpreter of that which is seen by the eye. Of wo benefits, that to the perceptive faculty is the most important. The necessary training of the hand can most readily be given while the pupil is young and by drawing from the flat, but even of this so much depends upon the eye that I will say very little about it, entering at once upon the duties and limitations of that organ, as I hold that the greatest number of failures in drawing are due to not seeing properly, and lack of knowledge of perspective.
One would think that the eye being in such constant use would receive training unconsciously. So it does; but how much do we use it in seeing things without any accurate remembrance of what we have seen a moment afterwards. We
A paper read at the late Convention of Teachers held in Montreal, in October, 1890. 1
HALVAD OLLEGE LIBRARY
only remember well, and more for the benefit of the mind than the eye, in certain ways that are naturally influenced by our surroundings and habits of thought: for instance, the sailor's eye for seeing long distances is proverbial. How many, many times have you remarked that an object always noticed by certain persons will never be seen by others. Men accustomed to the construction of buildings, or the sale of grain, can often, at a glance, tell very nearly the amount of material his workmen have gathered, or the quantity of grain in a certain heap.
Drawing should be a training in the direction of accurate perception of the relation of different parts of the same object to each other; one object to another or others, their place in reference to the earth, and changes produced by various conditions of air and light; otherwise a study of the appearance of things.
If you accept this as the aim, I think you will agree with me that a pupil who draws only from the flat, no matter how clever a copyist he may be, and important as the ability to copy correctly undoubtedly is, is so far doing no more than re-writing what another has seen-not recording his own impressionsand has not received all the benefit he should receive from the practice of drawing, resembling in this a pupil who, trained to make beautiful figures, has no knowledge of their value and usefulness in the study of numbers.
We will suppose, however, that the pupil has learned to copy more or less accurately, and is for the first time to begin to draw from the round. He will find that he must choose his own guide lines; is confused by the irregularity of plane in the model before him; feels himself more independent than he likes to be; learns, perhaps for the first time, of certain limitations of sight is uncertain about what he sees, his previous training making him more sensitive to imperfection in line and more quickly deceived as to the actual direction any given line may have; for instance, an irregular edge to the paper has the effect of making him, in his anxiety to draw well, follow it in parallel instead of the direction he intends; a map hung slantingly upon the wall may put his group of models out of plumb to his sight; for the first time, a glance at his neighbour's work will not encourage him, for each one has his own point of view, and even his knowledge of form is a source of deception, being subject to perspective, to which his attention is now directed. Thrown in a manner upon his own resources, he must be kindly and patiently helped. No rule without a reason, no line without a motive" must be the motto in constant use by the careful