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and arithmetic.

While the biological statements

of the Mon

need modifi

cation, it is scientific in

After single words can be read with some facility, progress is made to short phrases and sentences. But there is nothing very novel about this method of securing interest in reading, and, when undertaken with English, where the sounds are so capriciously spelt, it can hardly be effective. Nor do the Montessori methods in arithmetic reveal anything very different in principle from the 'table of units' and other devices of Pestalozzi. The chief feature consists in acquiring the fundamental operations by means of rods of different lengths marked off into sections by coloring them red and blue. After the child has learned to count the sections, the teacher selects a rod at random and asks for the next longer or shorter, or has the child build up all the rods until each result equals the longest. Other exercises are similarly performed until the child has some command of elementary arithmetic.

Summary of the Montessori System.-The value of the Montessori system to modern educational theory and methods of teaching is now fairly obvious. It is nominally based upon scientific experiment, and, while its biological statements cannot always be accepted without tessori system modification, it is permeated with the scientific spirit that is at present animating modern education. Its emphasis upon individual liberty is most admirable, It emphasizes but the material for exercising this freedom is decidedly limited and social coöperation is somewhat neglected. the material The exercises in practical activities form a valuable social coöper- feature and the devices for acquiring writing are possibly lected. Its a contribution. But it is to be hoped that a new method practical may yet arise for the lowest classes in our schools,

spirit.

individual

liberty, but

is limited and

ation is neg

activities and

devices for ac- which will combine the best characteristics of both the

Froebelian and the Montessorian pedagogy. The ex- quiring writ ing, however, istence of either as a mystery, cult, or propaganda must are a contriend, and both should be based upon and merged with bution. the wider and more dynamic principles of modern educational practice.

There is a tendency in education, es

very recent

pecially in the United States, scientific standards of

to formulate

measurement,

The Statistical Method and Mental Measurements in Education. One of the most significant of present day movements is the mathematical attitude taken toward the study of education, especially in the United States. In the spirit of the scientific age in which we live, educators are coming to measure variations and changes in intellect, character, and conduct with the same general technique, clearness, and precision that are demanded by the physical and biological sciences. There is a growing tendency in all phases of education to substitute objective, impersonal, and unbiased methods of investigation for the a priori judgments of prejudiced and and to subuntrained persons or for the unchecked speculations of stitute obnebulous theorists. Analytic scrutiny, exact measuring, impersonal careful recording, and judging on the basis of observed investigation facts are coming to replace guess work and metaphysics for unchecked and prejuin education. Educational leaders are beginning to seek diced judgquantitative knowledge, to describe facts as numerically ments. defined amounts, and to state relations or laws in terms of rigid, unambiguous equations. They are likewise ceasing to exalt the machinery of education and are beginning to examine its product, and, in consequence, they are finding that methods and processes long sanctioned by usage can yet be greatly improved.

jective and

methods of

In the methods of educational administration espe- In educacially, great reforms are taking place along these lines. tional admin Individual cards for recording the school history of each individual

istration,

records and

definite statis

to compare

pupil are being arranged with ever increasing accuracy, tics are mak- and statistics are being taken after so definite and uniform ing it possible a plan that the school facts within a given locality are not localities, to only made significant and valuable, but may be comciency math- pared with those of any other section. The degree of ematically, efficiency in any system of schools and the relation of any portant prob- one factor to a resulting condition may be ascertained

measure effi

and solve im

lems.

mathematically and expressed in the terms of a 'coefficient of correlation.' By recording not only those who graduate from a school system each year, but also the number that enter and that are promoted in each grade, the statistics of retardation and its causes and the proportion of those who finish the school can now be calculated with practically absolute certainty. In a similarly accurate way can be determined what is the best age at which to send a child to school, and whether children who have attended the kindergarten complete the grades in less time. A scientific study is likewise made of retardation and elimination, backward pupils, physical defects, fatigue, supernormal children, and other perplexing conditions. Statistical methods are being used not only to throw light upon such isolated and local problems as have been mentioned, but 'educational surveys' are now being instituted in many cities and states, to discover the general educational conditions and the efficiency of the schools. Such investigations have been conducted with great success in Boston, New York, Baltimore, Boise, Montclair, and Orange, and in Wisconsin and Ohio. They are likewise planned for other localities, and are likely to extend to every commonwealth and municipality in the union. If power and means were given it, the United States Bureau of Education would probably

be glad to obtain a similarly scientific record of educational facts for the nation.

Probably the earliest and most prominent exponent of the new method of intellectual measurements is Professor Edward L. Thorndike of Columbia University. In his Educational Psychology he amply illustrates how a quantitative description of individual differences and of the factors that condition them is necessary to throw real light upon educational theory and practice, and how it may completely change school procedure of long standing. He holds that all qualitative differences may be reduced to quantitative, and that the scale for measuring should be not arbitrary and subjective, but objective and impersonal. Such scales for measuring variations in ability and changes that take place through instruction, it is difficult to construct, because of the great complexity of the factors. At present they do not exist to any extent, but Thorndike has shown that they can be formed and has elsewhere specified what their requirements are. ideal and valid scale of measurement of humanity, as of external nature, should have its points clearly marked, the distances between its points defined, and its zero point absolutely established. Scales that are up to these specifications have already been constructed for handwriting by Thorndike, Ayres, Freeman, and Wilson; for arithmetical abilities by Stone, Courtis, Thorndike, Ayres, and Freeman; for English composition by Hillegas and Thorndike; for spelling by Wallin, Pearson, Whipple, and Suzzallo; and for drawing by Meumann and by Leuba and Hyde.1 These fields are, of course, more simple than

[blocks in formation]

Scales to mea

sure abilities An in various

1 A complete bibliography of the Standards and Tests for Measuring the Efficiency of Schools is given in the report of the committee

school subjects are also

being con

structed.

School practices are thus

based upon

reason rather than tradi

tion.

the teaching of science, history, and literature. There the aims are so intangible that at present it seems impos sible to make standards of measure, but this, too, though difficult, must soon be accomplished.

Thus advanced educators are coming to make sure that coming to be administrative procedure, the studies in the curriculum, and the methods by which they are taught are based upon valid reasons and are not the product of usage and tradition. Scientific methods and accurate scales of measurement seem to have come to stay and to be destined to make rapid progress in the immediate future. Their advantages are evident, but all results coming from these sources, while welcomed, must be frankly challenged and criticized, lest superficial use of these methods or too great an expectation of their achievements throw them into serious disrepute before they are generally established.

The influence

of the Darwin

cational prob

lems,

Education and the Theory of Evolution.—But the most ian theory of characteristic and far-reaching influence in education evolution has to-day is that contributed by the Darwinian theory of been greatly felt in modi- evolution. This fruitful hypothesis came to be generally fying the approach to the accepted during the last quarter of the nineteenth century study of edu- as the guiding principle of education, and has constantly increased in the illumination it has shed upon the educative process. It has given an entirely new meaning to ed ucation, and because of this broadened and deepened conception, it has greatly modified the course of study and revolutionized the method of approaching educational problems. It has wrought very much the same changes in the treatment of intelligence that it did in the biologof which G. D. Strayer was chairman. See Supplementary Reading, p. 396.

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