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product, the result of making over again in a new order and with additional elements the primitive material which God has placed fundamentally in every human being. To the extent that we comprehend the vast difference between what we are by native endowment and what we become by specific training will we understand the significance of the problem with which we have to do.
Education is more than a transforming process, it is a creative process. By it we become a new creature. Our problem then would seem to be, in its broad aspects, a study of what our native common endowments are, and a study of what educational processes at work upon this native material may produce. The emphasis of study should rest upon the second of these propositions. At the outset we shall believe in the creative value of education. We are warranted both by experience and by study in believing that education is a far-reaching and momentous influence. To be a man, man must be educated. To be a teacher, man must be made over again into a new agency. No fixed and rigid laws can determine what this making over implies, since the teacher must from time to time be made into an agency adequate to the needs of a changing and growing Christian civilization. The accepted teacher of yesterday is by no means the accepted teacher of to-morrow. We shall understand our
problem best as we attach increased significance to the function of the teacher in civilization and as we interpret our standards of efficiency in the light of to-morrow.
Teaching is always prophetic. It aims to describe the needs of the future, and to equip the childhood of the present for the mature life that is to be. Teaching must always proceed on the assumption that its test is to be found not in the immediate product which it sends out from the class room, but in the wider circles of influence which it will exert on the days and the activities that are to be. A wise teacher concerns himself primarily with the task of equipping human souls for life's service. It lays the emphasis of its concern not upon the scraps of knowledge which it gives from day to day, but upon the fiber of character which it builds for all the years to
The Sunday-school is not an organization primarily to acquaint children with biblical facts, but to set the currents of the soul in the channels of truth, that they may flow out into wider and wider reaches of power and steadier and steadier sweeps of influence. It would indeed be a thankless task if, as a result of our teaching, the stream were to become more narrow, more unstable as it approaches the years of maturity, and be lost in the sands and the swamps and the
desert places. Life must be guided into ever widening and deepening channels, and the initial impulses that are given to it by the teacher must persist until it flows at last into the great allembracing life that is hid with God.
This volume does not aim to present an exhaustive analysis of the factors involved in the making of a teacher. It does, however, undertake to lay before the minds of sincere students many of the cardinal guidances to that end. In the light of our needs to-day, it presents what seem to be the most needed elements of guid
The title of the volume is to be interpreted in a restricted sense. Primarily the book is intended for Sunday-school teachers; they need and should have all the assistance and guidance that experience and study can provide. No logical organization of the entire problem of the making of a teacher has been undertaken. There are many phases of the whole problem which would not be at this stage of our development of sufficient moment to teachers to warrant one in presenting them. Only those aspects of the problem which seem to be paramount in the line of our present conditions are here considered. If any teacher is prepared for a more extended and detailed study of the educational laws underlying the processes of teaching, the author would com
mend to him the standard treatises on education which may be obtained anywhere. The purpose here has been to vitalize certain educational principles, to push their application home to the conscience, and, if possible, to inspire in the heart of the teacher a great desire to make the most of the vital opportunities that are his. The teacher of a secular school will find here the same underlying guidance needed by him in his work. The volume, therefore, will be of service to any teacher who earnestly desires to accomplish the best results.
Much of this material appeared originally in a series of twenty-five articles in The Sunday School Times. Additional material was incorporated in the Leaflets of the Correspondence Course of The Sunday School Times. Some of it has not appeared heretofore. All the material has been revised and molded into such form as to make it in the judgment of the author most helpful to teachers.
In submitting the articles in the form in which they are cast the author finds himself open to two criticisms: (1) From the scientific men who insist that professional material shall be cast in technical language. The assumption underlying this position is that accurate thought can only be portrayed in technical terms. For this point of view the author has no sympathy. He has always
been of the opinion that if the truth is clearly apprehended it may be expressed in simple language, and he is grateful that his own experience has been such as to enable him at least in part to translate his technical training into the homely and forceful phrases of common experiences. (2) From the sincere friends who fear that the material will be too difficult for the great masses of teachers engaged in conscientious effort to do some good somewhere in the great world of religious activity. A few friends have pointed out the danger in this direction and have held that the multitude of teachers are not yet prepared to take up material as formal as this must necessarily be. With this criticism the author has much sympathy. It is his desire to help the humblest, and he believes that any earnest individual who will give himself steadily to the task will be able to utilize the discussions of this volume in his upbuilding. This latter class has been kept steadily in mind. Unless the many can be helped there is little need of undertaking the task of helping.
The author has reason to believe that the emphasis of the discussion here presented rests where it belongs. That the fundamental need of the religious world to-day is a better understanding of the laws and materials of teaching; that, in short, a rich life is worth more to the