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A CONTRIBUTION TO SOME PHASES OF
MARTIN G. BRUMBAUGH, Ph.D., LL.D
Professor of Pedagogy in the
COPYRIGHT, 1905, BY THE SUNDAY SCHOOL TIMES COmpany.
ENTERED AT STATIONERS' HALL, LONDON, 1905.
ENTERED ACCORDING TO THE ACT OF PARLIAMENT OF Canada,
NACHDRUCK VERBOTEN, UEBERSETZUNGSRECHT VORBEHALTEN.
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The opening chapter of Genesis is a record of transcendent things. It reveals God at work. He is recorded as creating the physical universe and all the life that subsists upon it. Among the interesting phrases descriptive of his activity, none is of greater moment than the phrase " Let us make man." So far as we know, this proposition involved the production, out of crude material, of a wholly new creature. Man is a new creation, not a new combination. In a vastly more restricted sense, but in harmony with the same central idea, it has seemed to me wise to name this volume" The Making of a Teacher," instead of "The Training of a Teacher." The training of a teacher assumes that we have the teacher at the beginning of the process and that our work is to modify something already provided. This does not describe accurately the process by which we are to secure teachers. A teacher is something different from a man. To make a teacher involves a new creation out of the raw materials which constitute humanity at large. We must create a new product. This new product is the teacher. The teacher is more than a man trained to be a different kind of a man. He is a new
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