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Which of these teachers did the thing more nearly in harmony with the educational law here announced? How are you teaching? Are you like A, or like B? Do you give facts first, or definitions first?
A certain lawyer came one day to test a great teacher. The lawyer asked a question. The teacher answered it by quoting words the lawyer well knew. But the lawyer was not satisfied. He wanted to test the teacher still more to ascertain, if he could, whether the teacher knew only the words of the law or whether he really was a teacher of power and skill. The second question could not be answered by quoting words known to the lawyer. It could be answered only by original statement on the part of the teacher.
Let us study the method of the Great Teacher. Had he been like A, he would have said, Lawyer, your neighbor is your helper in time of need." But the Great Teacher said, “A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho. He fell among thieves. They tore from him his garments. They beat him with clubs and stones. They threw him into the bushes by the roadside, thinking him half dead, and ran away. Soon a priest came down the road. He saw the wounded and dying man. He turned from the middle path to the farther side of the road, and,
scarcely looking around, hurried on.
road. He saw the
He stopped for a mo
Levite came down the wounded and dying man. ment, looked at the man, looked up and down the road, and then hurried on. Then a poor Samaritan came riding by on his donkey. He saw the wounded and dying man. He leaped from his donkey, ran to the man, bound up his bleeding wounds, poured soothing oil and wine upon his cuts and bruises, spoke words of sympathy and cheer, lifted him tenderly upon the donkey's back, and brought him to an inn or hotel. Here the Samaritan cared for the man all through the night, and the next day before leaving gave money to the inn-keeper, and said, 'Care for this man until he is well. If the cost is more than I have paid you in advance, I will settle on my return.' Tell me, Lawyer, which of the three, priest, Levite or Samaritan, was neighbor to the man that fell among thieves?"
The lawyer needed no more information. He was now able to answer his own question. He had met a real teacher, who knew how to teach, and how, also, in teaching to lay bare the insincerity and the quibbling of a foolish questioner. This is great teaching. He that did it is your model.
The child speedily reaches a stage in his development in which knowledge may be presented in
symbols, especially in the symbols we call words. Thus things are by no means so widely valuable as instruments of instruction as is language. A wise teacher will be on the alert to detect the moment when concrete teaching with objects may be supplanted by teaching with language. Of course reference to objects will continue all through the grades, both in teaching a new idea, and in making vivid what may have been in part or inadequately understood. But freedom to teach as one should teach comes only where the process may go on profitably in language. The question is, then, to determine under what conditions instruction through language may be profitably carried on. The answer is most important: Only when the words used in the teaching process represent known ideas. We cannot teach with the words that are not understood by the child any more than we can move the mill with the water that has run by.
When, as I suspect we frequently do, we use language that is void of meaning to the learner, one of two things results,-the learner either becomes discouraged or is overawed, and there arises in his soul a vague feeling that there is some hidden and mysterious implication in the matter presented into which he is supposed to be unable as yet to penetrate. This latter frame
of mind is all too common. Perhaps some of us even foster it. But it has no justification. Strive by all the power you possess to occasion clear knowledge in the soul of the learner.
QUESTIONS AND SUGGESTIONS.
For testing one's grasp of the subject, and
for discussion in Teacher-Training Classes.
Put in language of your own the purpose or end of education as you understand it.
What is the relative value of knowledge and skill? of knowledge and power? of skill and power?
Define culture and skill.
Just why is culture worth more than knowledge?
In what way do you account for the varying capability of the pupil?
Point out three theories of soul growth, and discuss the result of accepting each of them in turn.
What determines the capacity of the pupil to know? How does knowledge of things differ in quality from knowledge of symbols?
Explain fully the vital distinction between teacher A and teacher B.
How much concrete material did Jesus use in the story of the Good Samaritan? Why?
When may we pass from teaching in things to teaching in words?
Describe clearly the value of words as teaching material.
How does vague knowledge become clear knowledge in the soul?
Write five educational laws based upon this chapter.
TRAIN UP A CHILD
HE equipment of the teacher embraces three distinct processes. First, the teacher must understand the activities of the growing soul. Second, the teacher must understand the subject-matter which constitutes the nutrition upon which the soul grows. This is the general scholastic equipment of the teacher. Third, the teacher must understand how to interpret this subject-matter from time to time under the most favorable conditions and in the right order to the growing soul. This is the professional or pedagogical equipment of the teacher. It is this third aspect of the problem that the teacher must heed most carefully. Let us understand how important it is to regard the teacher as the interpreter of objective truth to the growing soul of a child. The soul may be hungry, and the subject-matter lying beyond it may be excellent, but if there is no intermediate agency to bring the two things together there can be no growth, no development, no education. The teacher therefore is the vital connecting link between objective truth and sub