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CORRELATION OF STUDIES OR THE NEW IDEA IN EDUCATION.
WHAT IT IS.-The correlation of studies is an attempt to enrich the content of the school course, to provide for better assimilation of knowledge, and to make instruction tend more directly to the development of character. This is to be accomplished by directing the attention of the child more to the subject matter of the school work than to the form of expression of the content, i. e., more to literature and nature study, in the broader sense, than to reading and writing by which these find expression. An economy of time towards this end is secured by an orderly correlation and interrelation of subjects, and by the concentration of the school work upon a centre or on centres of interest. In some parts of Germany, in the second grade of school work Robinson Crusoe is the centre of interest for the year. The children have the story told to them; then they relate it. The ethical and culture lessons are drawn from the conduct of Robinson Crusoe, the reading is confined to this classic, and the writing and spelling are based upon it. The child takes for nature study the objects referred to, while his drawing lesson consists in sketching the objects. Songs are introduced to express emotions befitting the moment. The arithmetic and geography lessons are made to bear upon the same subject. This is called concentration of subjects. There is a great difference of opinion as to the best way of correlating subjects, as the
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famous report of the "Committee of Fifteen" shows. Some teachers see insurmountable difficulties in taking Robinson Crusoe as a centre of interest and concentrating all the work of the year upon that subject. They foresee the troubles that will arise from insufficient grading of the various subjects, etc. They see that it is but an artificial interest at best. In a word this question of correlation is an attempt to systematize, modify and place upon a higher plane the methods of education which have in the past commended themselves to the thoughtful teacher. Geography and his tory have long been interrelated. Literature has been used as a centre of study around which reading, writing, spelling, grammar, punctuation and composition have clustered. We are not without other centres of interest. Instead of using Robinson Crusoe we have modified Lady Brassey's Voyage in the Sunbeam," and "The Trades, the Tropics and the Roaring Forties." In teaching the classics we take as centres of interest Cæsar's Gallic War for the Latin and Xenophon's Anabasis for the Greek. We take our pupils into the Roman thought atmosphere and into the Greek thought atmosphere. We use the above mentioned texts as bases of rational conversation and draw grammatical and syntastical conclusions as corollaries from the language used to express the thoughts of Cæsar and Xenophon. Nature study and science work have been related for many a long year, and so with other subjects. There is a tendency for the impulses of an age to cluster about some objective point. The educational impulses and methods of the nineteenth century are clustering around
-ITS AUTHOR.-Johann Friedrich Herbart, born in Oldenburg in 1776, thirty-one years after Pestalozzi, was a German philosopher, very variously estimated both by his contemporaries and successors. It is claimed that he gave to the world the embryo from which the new education has developed. In early life Herbart evinced a strong taste for philosophy. This is evidenced by the fact that at twelve years of age he had read the philosophical systems of Wolff and Kant. He was at one period of his life an ardent admirer of Fishte. But no system of philosophy was satisfactory to him. His dissatisfaction cultimated in the formulation of a system of philosophy which now bears the name Herbartian. Its centres of promulgation were
Göttingen aud Leipsic. Having occupied many years the chair of philosophy at the University of Königsberg-a chair which Kant had held before him, and to which Rosenkranz, the pedagogical philosopher, succeeded—he established a school of pedagogy there. Herbart's pedagogical system was derived from his philosophical theories.
-HERBART'S PHILOSOPHY.-The psychological tenet peculiar to Herbart and the one of most interest to the teacher in his concept theory which represents the psychical life as produced by a struggle among concepts, ideas or representations. The concept, as understood by Herbart, is produced by sensations forming perceptions in the mind, e. g., the concept of a horse or book. Herbart has worked out an elaborate system of mathematical philosophy showing the result of the action and reaction of the concept or mental forces. He shows how one idea assists another in rising to consciousness and how ideas oppose one another. Ideas are the one form of the soul's activity. There are no socalled faculties of the mind. Well for the teacher that pedagogical systems are based mainly upon experience and not upon the shifting sands of philosophical speculation! Kantian and Herbartian alike may accept a pedagogy based upon experience. The corollary valuable to education deduced from the concept theory is that as the soul's furnishing is so slight to begin with (possessing only the power of self-preservation), a very rich programme of ideas must be presented to the child, and in such a way as to be easily and well digested. That is, as the mind has no faculties but is dependent for its life upon concepts or ideas, the content of study should be as rich and as well arranged as possible, and have a centre or centres of interest established. The same corollary might have been drawn from other systems of philosophy, but the Herbartian has certain advantages in this respect. This has led to a renewed search. for the summum bonum or greatest interest in education. It is found by Herbart and others in the formation of a good moral character for the child through an "aesthetic presentation of the universe." Herbart's opening sentence to his "Aesthetic Presentation of the Universe" is, "The one problem, the whole problem of education may be comprised in a single concept-morality." To reach this end the child must obtain knowledge of nature, first by experience, secondly by induction and deduction, and simultaneously
with this love for nature through literature-the noblest recorded thoughts of man, rising gradually to the conception of his place in nature and his relation to God-the source of all knowledge and all love-the creator of all things.
THE METHOD BY WHICH THIS CAN BE OBTAINED.-The study of nature becomes more and more complex as time passes. The child must be given "the thought experience of the past and be fitted to take his place in the world as a social unit. But the thought experience has accumulated very rapidly, and worse still nomenclature has increased enormously without a corresponding increase of thought. Languages are making a greater and greater demand on the time of the student. Competition in the social world is becoming appalling. These facts have led to the consideration of the correlation of subjects to economize not only the time of the child but also that of the teacher. The pressure is just as severe upon the teacher as upon the child.
WHERE IS THE IDEA BEING worked out.-Germany has for many years been using Herbartian methods-Herbart's ideas extended and applied by doctors Tiller Story, Rein, Lange and Frick. The experiment is being tried in several large centres in America, notably in certain schools of New York and Chicago-most natural places-large cities, where life-pressure is very great.
-IS IT NECESSARY TO BECOME A HERBARTIAN IN PHILOSOPHY TO USE THE BEST OF THE METHODS ?--No. The two main ideas of the Herbartians, the power of apperception or assimilation of knowledge and the development of character are based mainly upon experience and not upon philosophy.
-IS THIS A REVOLUTION IN TEACHING METHODS ?—No, only a tendency towards greater systemization. A thoughtful, earnest teacher who has found her own true relation to the universe and its complex life even though she know not Herbart is infinitely to be preferred to the thoughtless teacher who can glibly use the Herbartian terms apperception, age impulse, correlation, interrelation, concentration, coordination, etc., etc., and knows not the value of life and its lessons.
-FORMAL SCHEME FOR INDIVIDUAL LESSONS.-Besides presenting schemes of correlation, interrelation and concen