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´╗┐Title: Principles of Teaching
Author: Bennion, Adam S., 1886-1958
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Principles of Teaching" ***

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Principles of

_Superintendent of Church Schools_

Designed for Quorum Instructors and Auxiliary Class
Teachers of the Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-day Saints.

Published by



Reprint of the original


Copyright, 1921

By Adam S. Bennion

For the General Boards of the
Auxiliary Organizations
of the Church

to the 1952 Edition

Two texts have been written for the teacher training program of the
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints since Dr. Adam S. Bennion's
Book _Principles of Teaching_ was published, yet in spite of the fact
that this book has been out of print several years so many requests for
it have poured in that the General Superintendency has decided to
satisfy the demand with this new edition.

This book with its classic qualities in many ways fits Shakespeare's
description of a beautiful woman when he said, "Age cannot wither her
nor custom dim her infinite variety." Anyone who knows Dr. Bennion or
has read his writings knows that neither custom nor age has dimmed his
infinite variety. Furthermore, a glance at the table of contents of this
book will reveal the fact that the problems and principles treated
herein are just as real today as they were when the text was written.

This little volume is republished in the hope that it again will become
one of the basic texts in the teacher training program and fulfill its
mission as an instrument in the hands of sincere people who have the
devout wish of learning how to teach the principles of the gospel by the
power of the Holy Spirit.

                              H.A. Dixon, Chairman
                              Teacher Training Committee


Chapter                                          Page

       Preface                                    vii
    I  Purposes Behind Teaching                     1
   II  What Is Teaching?                            7
  III  The Joys of Teaching                        14
   IV  Personality                                 20
    V  Personality                                 26
   VI  Attainment                                  33
  VII  Native Tendencies                           40
 VIII  What to Do With Native Tendencies           46
   IX  Individual Differences                      53
    X  Individual Differences and Teaching         61
   XI  Attention                                   68
  XII  What Makes for Interest                     74
 XIII  A Laboratory Lesson in Interest             80
  XIV  The More Immediate Problems in Teaching     88
   XV  Organizing the Lesson                       96
  XVI  Illustrating and Supplementing a Lesson    103
 XVII  The Aim                                    111
XVIII  Application                                116
  XIX  Methods of the Recitation                  126
   XX  Review and Preview                         134
  XXI  The Question as a Factor in Education      142
 XXII  The Problem of Discipline                  149
XXIII  Creating Class Spirit                      157
 XXIV  Conversion--The Real Test of Teaching      164
       Bibliography                               171


That ever-old question, "How to Teach," becomes ever new when made to
read, "How to Teach Better." This volume aims to raise those problems
which every teacher sooner or later faces, and it attempts to suggest an
approach by way of solution which will insure at least some degree of
growth towards efficiency. These chapters originally were prepared for
the course offered to teacher-trainers in the Summer School of the
Brigham Young University, in 1920. The teachers in that course were an
inspiration to the author and are responsible for many of the thoughts
expressed in the pages of this book.

The successful teacher ever views his calling as an opportunity--not as
an obligation. To associate with young people is a rare privilege; to
teach them is an inspiration; to lead them into the glorious truths of
the Gospel of Jesus Christ is heavenly joy itself. This little volume
hopes to push open the door of opportunity a little wider, that more of
that joy may be realized.

    "Perchance, in heaven, one day to me
      Some blessed Saint will come and say,
    'All hail, beloved; but for thee
      My soul to death had fallen a prey';
    And oh! what rapture in the thought,
      One soul to glory to have brought."

                              ADAM S. BENNION.




     The worth of souls.--The Father's joy in the soul that is
     saved.--The teacher's responsibility.--Teaching, a sacred
     calling.--Our Church a teaching Church.

     Our three-fold purpose in Teaching:
       a--To guarantee salvation of the individual members of the

       b--To pass on the wonderful heritage handed down by our pioneer

       c--To make more easily possible the conversion of the world.

   "Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God;

   "For, behold, the Lord your Redeemer suffered death in the flesh;
   wherefore he suffered the pain of all men, that all men might repent
   and come unto him.

   "And he hath risen again from the dead, that he might bring all men
   unto him, on conditions of repentance;

   "And how great is his joy in the soul that repenteth.

   "Wherefore, you are called to cry repentance unto this people;

   "And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying
   repentance unto his people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me,
   how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father?

   "And now, if your joy will be great with one soul that you have
   brought unto me into the kingdom of my Father, how great will be your
   joy if you should bring many souls unto me?" (Doc. & Cov., Sec.

   "For behold, this is my work and my glory--to bring to pass the
   immortality and eternal life of man." (Moses 1:39.)

If this is the work and glory of the Lord, how great must be the
responsibility of the teachers of Zion, His copartners in the business
of saving humankind! Next to parenthood, teaching involves us in the
most sacred relationship known to man. The teacher akin to the parent is
the steward of human souls--his purpose to bless and to elevate.

The first great question that should concern the Latter-day Saint
teacher is, "Why do I teach?" To appreciate fully the real purposes
behind teaching is the first great guarantee of success. For teaching is
"no mere job"--it is a sacred calling--a trust of the Lord Himself under
the divine injunction, "Feed my sheep" (John 21:15). For the teacher who
has caught a glimpse of his real responsibility there is no
indifference, no eleventh-hour preparation, no feeling of unconcern
about the welfare of his pupils between lessons--for him there is
constant inspiration in the thought, "To me is given the privilege of
being the cupbearer between the Master and His children who would drink
at His fountain of truth."

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been variously
designated by those not of us: "The Great Industrial Church," "The
Church of Pioneers," "The Church of Wonderful Organization." It might
well be called "The Teaching Church." There is scarcely a man or woman
in it that has not at some time been asked to respond to the call of
teacher. Our people have been a remarkable people because they have been
remarkably taught--taught of the Lord and His prophets. Our future can
be secure only as it is guaranteed this same good teaching. Every
teacher must come to realize that "Mormonism" is at stake when he
teaches. "Why do I teach?" goes to the very heart of teaching.

The answer to this question is to be found, in part at least, in the
three-fold objectives of our Church. First, the salvation and exaltation
of the individual soul. As already pointed out, this is the very "work
and glory" of the Father. Man is born into the world a child of
divinity--born for the purpose of development and perfection. Life is
the great laboratory in which he works out his experiment of eternity.
In potentiality, a God--in actuality, a creature of heredity,
environment, and teaching. "Why do I teach?" To help someone else
realize his divinity--to assist him to become all that he might
become--to make of him what he might not be but for my teaching.

Someone has jocularly said: "The child is born into the world half
angel, half imp. The imp develops naturally, the angel has to be
cultivated." The teacher is the great cultivator of souls. Whether we
say the child is half angel and half imp, we know that he is capable of
doing both good and evil and that he develops character as he practices
virtue and avoids vice. We know, too, that he mentally develops. Born
with the capacity to do, he behaves to his own blessing or condemnation.
There is no such thing as static life. To the teacher is given the
privilege of pointing to the higher life. He is the gardener in the
garden of life. His task is to plant and to cultivate the flowers of
noble thoughts and deeds rather than to let the human soul grow up to
weeds. This purpose becomes all the more significant when we realize
that the effects of our teaching are not only to modify a life here of
three-score and ten--they are impressions attendant throughout eternity.
As the poet Goethe has said, "Life is the childhood of our immortality,"
and the teachings of childhood are what determine the character of
maturity. The thought is given additional emphasis in the beautiful
little poem, "Planting," by W. Lomax Childress:

    Who plants a tree may live
      To see its leaves unfold,
    The greenness of its summer garb,
      Its autumn tinge of gold.

    Who plants a flower may live
      To see its beauty grow,
    The lily whiten on its stalk,
      The rambler rose to blow.

    Who sows the seed may find
      The field of harvest fair,
    The song of reapers ringing clear,
      When all the sheaves are there.

    But time will fell the tree,
      The rose will fade and die,
    The harvest time will pass away,
      As does the song and sigh.

    But whoso plants in love,
      The word of hope and trust,
    Shall find it still alive with God--
      It is not made of dust.

    It cannot fade nor change,
      Though worlds may scattered be,
    For love alone has high repose
      In immortality.

If the teacher, as he stands before his class, could project his vision
into the future--could see his pupils developed into manhood and
womanhood, and could see all that he might do or fail to do, he would
read a meaning well-nigh beyond comprehension into the question, "Why do
I teach?"

A second answer to this query lies in our obligation to pass on the
wonderful heritage which we here received from our pioneer forefathers.
The story of their sacrifice, devotion, and achievement is unique in the
history of the world. Only recently a pioneer of 1852 thrilled a
parents' class in one of our wards with the simple narrative of his
early experiences. His account of Indian raids, of the experience with
Johnston's army, of privations and suffering, of social pastimes--all of
these things rang with a spirit of romance. None of his auditors will
ever forget the story of his aunt who gave up her seat in her wagon to a
sick friend for whom no provision had been made, and trudged across the
plains afoot that one more soul might rejoice in Zion. Every pioneer can
tell this sort of thrilling story. Could our young people enjoy the
companionship of these pioneers there would be little need of alarm
concerning their faith. Unfortunately, each year sees fewer of these
pioneers left to tell their story. It is to the teacher, both of the
fireside and the classroom, that we must look for the perpetuation of
the spirit of '47. The ideals and achievements of the pioneers are such
an inspiration, such a challenge to the youth of the Church today--that
teachers ought to glory in the opportunity to keep alive the memories of
the past. Our pioneer heritage ought never to be forfeited to
indifference. It is a heritage that could come only out of pioneer life.
Such courage to face sacrifice, such devotion to God, such loyalty to
government, such consecration to the task of conquering an unpromising
and forbidding desert, such determination to secure the advantages of
education, such unselfish devotion to the welfare of their
fellows--where could we turn for such inspiration to one who would

Nor is it enough that we strive to perfect the individual membership of
the Church and preserve the social heritage out of the past--we assume
to become the teachers of the world. It is our blessing to belong to a
Church built upon revelation--a Church established and taught of the
Lord. But with that blessing comes the injunction to carry this gospel
of the kingdom to every nation and clime. "Mormonism" was not revealed
for a few Saints alone who were to establish Zion--it was to be
proclaimed to all the world. Every Latter-day Saint is enjoined to teach
the truth. Whether called as a missionary, or pursuing his regular
calling at home, his privilege and his obligation is to cry repentance
and preach the plan of salvation. The better we teach, the sooner we
shall make possible the realization of God's purposes in the world. The
two thousand young men and women who go out each year to represent us
in the ministry should go out well trained, not only that they may
represent our Church as an institution which believes that "the glory of
God is intelligence," but also that they may win intelligent men and
women to the truth. Only he who is well taught may become a good
teacher--hence the need of intelligent, devoted service. "Why do I
teach?" far from being an idle question, goes to the very heart of the
future of the Church.

       *       *       *       *       *


1. How many of the members of your ward are actively engaged in other
than parental teaching?

2. What significance is attached to calling our Church a teaching

3. Discuss the significance of Jesus' being a teacher.

4. Compare the responsibility of teaching with that of parenthood.

5. Enumerate the chief purposes behind teaching.

6. In your opinion, which is the greatest purpose? Why?

7. To what extent does the following statement apply to the welfare of
our Church:

   "That nation that does not revere its past, plays little part in the
   present, and soon finds that it has no future."

8. Discuss our obligation under the injunction to teach the gospel to
the world.

9. Discuss the need here at home of better teaching.

10. In what sense are we trustees of the heritage left by the pioneers?


Doctrine & Covenants: James, _Talks on Psychology and Life's Ideals_;
Brumbaugh, _The Making of a Teacher_; Weigle, _Talks to Sunday School
Teachers_; Strayer, _A Brief Course in the Teaching Process_; Betts,
_How to Teach Religion_; Strayer and Norsworthy, _How to Teach_; Sharp,
_Education for Character_.




     Teaching a complex art.--What teaching is not.--What teaching
     is.--What it involves.--Presentation of facts.--Organization and
     evaluation of knowledge.--Interpretation and elaboration of
     truth.--Inspiration to high ideals.--Encouragement and direction
     given to expression.--Discovery of pupils' better
     selves.--Inspiration of example as well as precept.--Application of
     truths taught in lives of pupils.

The query, "What constitutes teaching?" cannot be answered off-hand. It
is so complex an art, so fine an art, as Professor Driggs points out,
that it has to be pondered to be understood and appreciated. It is often
considered to be mere lesson-hearing and lesson-giving. The difference
between mere instructions and teaching is as great as the distinction
between eating and digestion.

The following definition of _teaching_, contributed by a former state
superintendent of schools, is rich in suggestion:

   "Teaching is the process of training an individual through the
   formation of habits, the acquisition of knowledge, the inculcation of
   ideals, and the fixing of permanent interests so that he shall become
   a clean, intelligent, self-supporting member of society, who has the
   power to govern himself, can participate in noble enjoyments, and has
   the desire and the courage to revere God and serve his fellows."

Teaching does not merely consist of an inquisition of questions with
appropriate answers thrown in; it surely is not mere reading; nor can it
be mistaken for preaching or lecturing. These are all means that may be
employed in the process of teaching. And they are important, too. We
have been cautioned much, of late years, not to lose ourselves in the
process of doling out facts--but that rather we should occupy ourselves
teaching boys and girls. That all sounds well--the writer of these
lessons has himself proclaimed this doctrine--but we have discovered
that you cannot teach boys and girls _nothing_. They no more can be
happy _listening_ to _nothing_ than they can be content _doing nothing_.

And so we now urge the significance of having a rich supply of subject
matter--a substantial content of lesson material. But the doctrine holds
that the teacher ought not to lose himself in mere facts--they are
merely the medium through which he arrives at, and drives home the

   "It is the teacher's task to make changes for the better in the
   abilities, habits and attitudes of boys and girls. Her efficiency can
   be evaluated fairly only in terms of her success at this task. In
   other words, if a teacher is rated at all, she should be rated not
   only by the clothes she wears, or the method she chooses, but by the
   results she secures."--_Journal of Educational Research_, May, 1920.

We have said that teaching is a complex art. It consists of at least
these eight fundamentals, each one of which, or any combination of
which, may be featured in any one particular lesson:

  1. Presentation of facts.
  2. Organization and evaluation of knowledge.
  3. Interpretation and elaboration of truth.
  4. Inspiration to high ideals.
  5. Encouragement and direction given to expression.
  6. Discovery of pupils' better selves.
  7. Inspiration of example as well as precept.
  8. Application of truths taught in lives of the pupils.


Facts constitute the background upon which the mind operates. There may
be many or few--they may be presented in a lecture of thirty minutes, in
the reading of a dozen pages, or they may be called forth out of the
mind by a single stimulating question. But we ought not to confuse the
issue. If we are to discuss any matter in the hope of reaching a
conclusion in truth, we must have material upon which the mind can build
that conclusion. We are not concerned in this chapter with method of
procedure in getting the facts before a class--the important thought
here is that the facts in rich abundance should be supplied. A certain
young lady protested recently against going to Sunday School. Her
explanation of her attitude is best expressed in her own words: "I get
sick and tired of going to a class where I never hear anything new or
worth while." Exaggerated, of course, but students are crying for bread,
and ought not to be turned away with a stone.


We have hinted that a lesson may not have facts enough to justify the
time it takes--there is, on the other hand, danger that the whole time
of the class may be consumed in a mere rehearsal of facts as facts. Only
recently a significant complaint was voiced by a young man who has gone
through training in practically all of our organizations. "I don't seem
to know anything at all," he said, "about the history of Israel, as a
whole. I can recall certain isolated facts about particular persons or
places, but I can't give any intelligent answer at all to such questions
as these:

"Who were the Israelites? What were their big movements relative to the
Promised Land? What is the history of Israel up to the time of the
Savior? What is their history subsequently? Are we of Israel and how?"

The young man was not complaining--he merely regretted his ignorance on
points of vital interest. He was in need of further organization of the
knowledge he had. He had not been given the big central ideas about
which to build the minor ones. Relative importance had not been taught
him through that organized review that is so valuable in review. The
teacher ought to come back time and again to pause on the big
essentials--the peaks of gospel teaching.


It is really surprising how many various notions of an idea will be
carried away by the members of a class from a single declaration on the
part of a teacher. A phase of a subject may be presented which links up
with a particular experience of one of the pupils. To him there is only
one interpretation. To another pupil the phase of the subject presented
might make no appeal at all, or linked up with a different experience
might lead to an entirely different conclusion. Truths need to be
elaborated and interpreted from all possible angles--all possible phases
should be developed. An interesting discussion recently took place with
a young man who had "gone off" on a pet doctrinal theory. His whole
conception built itself up about a single passage of scripture.
Satisfied with a single notion, he had shut his eyes to all else and
"knew that he was right." Properly to be taught, he needed to be trained
to suspend his judgment until _all the evidence_ was in.


Men and women like to be carried to the heights. They like to be lifted
out of their lower selves into what they may become. It is the teacher's
delight to let his class stand tip-toe on the facts of subject matter to
peep into the glories of the gospel plan of life and salvation. In 1903
Sanford Bell, of the University of Colorado, reported the results of a
survey conducted with 543 men and 488 women to ascertain whether they
liked male or female teachers better and just what it was that made them
like those teachers who had meant most in their lives. The survey showed
that the following influences stood out in the order named:

  Moral uplift.
  Stimulus to intellectual awakening.
  Spur to scholarship.
  Help in getting a firm grip on the vital issues of life.
  Personal kindness.
  Encouragement in crises.

What a testimonial to the force of inspiration to higher ideals!


Most pupils in class are ordinarily inclined to sit silently by and let
someone else do the talking. And yet, everyone enjoys participating in a
lesson when once "the ice is broken." It is the teacher's task first of
all to create an atmosphere of easy expression and then later to help
make that expression adequate and effective. The bishop of one of our
wards in southern Utah declared, not long ago, that he traced the
beginning of his testimony back to a Primary lesson in which a skillful
teacher led him to commit himself very enthusiastically to the notion
that the Lord does answer prayers. He said he defended the proposition
so vigorously that he set about to make sure from experience that he was
right. The details of securing this expression will be more fully worked
out in the chapter on Methods of the Recitation.


One of the most fascinating problems in teaching is to come to know the
real nature of our pupils--to get below surface appearances to the very
boy himself. Most of the work of solving this problem necessarily must
be done out of class. Such intimate knowledge is the result of personal
contact when no barriers of class recitation interfere. It involves time
and effort, of course, but it is really the key to genuine teaching. It
makes possible what we have named as factor number eight, which may be
disposed of here for present purposes. We read of bygone days largely
because in them we hope to find a solution to the problems of Jimmie
Livingston today. How can we effect the solution if all that we know of
Jimmie is that he is one of our fifteen scouts? We must see him in
action, must associate with him as he encounters his problems, if we
would help him solve them. Our discovery of our pupils' better selves,
and intelligent application, go together hand in hand.


When Emerson declared, "What you are thunders so loudly in my ears that
I can't hear what you say," he sounded a mighty note to teachers.
Hundreds of boys and girls have been stimulated to better lives by the
desire "to be like teacher." "Come, follow me," is the great password to
the calling of teacher. The teacher conducts a class on Sunday
morning--he really teaches all during the week. When Elbert Hubbard
added his new commandment, "Remember the week-days, to keep them holy,"
he must have had teachers in mind. A student in one of our Church
schools was once heard to say, "My teacher teaches me more religion by
the way he plays basketball than by the way he teaches theology." It
was what Jesus did that made him Savior of the world. He was the
greatest _teacher_ because he was the greatest man.

Surely teaching is a complex art!

       *       *       *       *       *


1. What is teaching?

2. Why is it essential that we get a clear conception of just what
teaching is?

3. Discuss the importance of building the recitation upon a good
foundation of facts.

4. Why are facts alone not a guarantee of a successful recitation?

5. What is the teacher's obligation in the matter of organizing

6. Discuss the significance of teaching as an interpretation of truth.

7. Discuss the teacher's obligation to discover pupils' better selves.

8. What is the relative importance of expression and impression in


Betts, _How to Teach Religion_; Gregory, _The Seven Laws of Teaching_;
Thorndike, _Principles of Teaching_; Brumbaugh, _The Making of a
Teacher_; Strayer and Norsworthy, _How to Teach_.




     The Joys that attend Teaching: Enrichment of the spirit.--Guarantee
     of the teacher's own growth and development.--Restraining and
     uplifting influence on the moral character of the
     teacher.--Satisfaction that attends seeing pupils
     develop.--Inspirational companionship.--Contentment that attaches
     to duty done.--Outpouring of the blessings of the Lord.

Chapters one and two emphasized the thought that the purposes behind
teaching impose a sacred obligation on the part of those who aspire to
teach. But lest the obligation appear burdensome, let us remind
ourselves that compensation is one of the great laws of life. "To him
who gives shall be given" applies to teaching as to few other things.
Verily he who loses his life finds it. The devotion of the real teacher,
though it involves labor, anxiety and sacrifice, is repaid ten-fold.
Only he who has fully given himself in service to others can appreciate
the joy that attends teaching--particularly that teaching enjoined upon
us by the Master and which is its own recompense.

It is difficult to enumerate all of the blessings that attend the
service of the teacher, but let us consider a few that stand out

If there were none other than this first one it would justify all that
is done in the name of teaching; namely, "the enrichment of spirit."
"There is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth
them understanding." To feel the thrill of that inspiration is a
compensation beyond price. The Lord, having commanded us to teach (see
Sec. 88:77-81, Doc. & Cov.), has followed the command with the promise
of a blessing, one of the richest in all scripture.

   "For thus saith the Lord, I, the Lord, am merciful and gracious unto
   those who fear me, and delight to honor those who serve me in
   righteousness and in truth unto the end;

   "Great shall be their reward and eternal shall be their glory;

   "And to them will I reveal all mysteries, yea, all the hidden
   mysteries of my kingdom from days of old, and for ages to come will I
   make known unto them the good pleasure of my will concerning all
   things pertaining to my kingdom;

   "Yea, even the wonders of eternity shall they know, and things to
   come will I show them, even the things of many generations;

   "And their wisdom shall be great, and their understanding reach to
   heaven: and before them the wisdom of the wise shall perish, and the
   understanding of the prudent shall come to naught;

   "For by my Spirit will I enlighten them, and by my power will I make
   known unto them the secrets of my will; yea, even those things which
   eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor yet entered into the heart of
   man." (Doc. & Cov. 76:5-10.)

This constitutes a promissory note signed by our heavenly Father
Himself. A blessing beyond compare--a dividend unfailing--and our only
investment--devoted service! Companionship with the Spirit of the Lord!
That is what it means, if we serve Him in faith and humility.

   "Be thou humble, and the Lord thy God shall lead thee by the hand,
   and give thee answer to thy prayers." (Doc. & Cov., Sec. 112:10.)

Like all other gifts and attainments, the Spirit of the Lord has to be
cultivated. Teaching insures a cultivation as few other things in life
can. An enriched spirit, then, is the first great reward of the teacher.

A second satisfaction is the guarantee of one's own growth and
development. Teachers invariably declare that they have learned more,
especially in the first year of teaching, than in any year at college. A
consciousness of the fact that it is hard to teach that which is not
well known incites that type of study which makes for growth. A good
class is a great "pace-setter." Intellectually it has the pull of
achievement. The real teacher always is the greatest student in the
class. The "drive" of having a regular task to perform, especially when
that task is checked up as it is by students, leads many a person to a
development unknown to him who is free to slide. "Blessed is he who has
to do things." Responsibility is the great force that builds character.
Compare the relative development of the person who spends Tuesday
evening at home with the evening paper, or at some other pastime, and of
the person who, having accepted fully the call to teach, leads a class
of truth-seekers through an hour's discussion of some vital subject.
Follow the development through the Tuesday evenings of a lifetime.

How easy to understand that there are varying degrees of glory

A third value of teaching lies in the fact that the position of teacher
exercises a restraining influence for good on the moral life of the
teacher. He is sustained by a consciousness that his conduct is his only
evidence to his pupils that his practice is consistent with his theory.
His class follows him in emulation or in criticism in all that he does.
"Come, follow me," lifts the real teacher over the pitfalls of
temptation. He cannot do forbidden work on the Sabbath, he cannot
indulge in the use of tobacco, he cannot stoop to folly--his class
stands between him and all these things. A teacher recently gave
expression to the value of this restraining force when she said, "I urge
my girls so vigorously not to go to the movies on Sunday that I find my
conscience in rebellion if anyone asks me to go."

Many a man in attempting to convert another to the righteousness of a
particular issue has found himself to be his own best convert. He comes
to appreciate the fact that the trail he establishes is the path
followed by those whom he influences. He hears the voice of the child as
recorded in the little poem:


    "A father and his tiny son
      Crossed a rough street one stormy day,
    'See papa!' cried the little one,
      'I stepped in your steps all the way!'

    "Ah, random, childish hands, that deal
      Quick thrusts no coat of proof could stay!
    It touched him with the touch of steel--
      'I stepped in your steps all the way!'

    "If this man shirks his manhood's due
      And heeds what lying voices say,
    It is not one who falls, but two,
      'I stepped in your steps all the way!'

    "But they who thrust off greed and fear,
      Who love and watch, who toil and pray,
    How their hearts carol when they say,
      'I stepped in your steps all the way!'"

Still another joy that attends teaching is the satisfaction of seeing
pupils develop. The sculptor finds real happiness in watching his clay
take on the form and expression of his model; the artist glories as his
colors grow into life; the parent finds supreme joy in seeing himself
"re-grow" in his child; so the teacher delights to see his pupils build
their lives on the truths he has taught. The joy is doubly sweet if it
is heightened by an expression of appreciation on the part of the
pupils. Few experiences can bring the thrill of real happiness that
comes to the teacher when a former student, once perhaps a little
inclined to mischief or carelessness, takes him by the hand with a "God
bless you for helping me find my better self."

An officer of the British army, in recounting those experiences which
had come to him in the recent world war, and which he said he never
could forget, referred to one which more than compensated him for all
the effort he had ever put into his preparation for teaching. Because of
his position in the army it became his duty to discipline a group of
boys for what in the army is a serious offense. In that group was a boy
who had formerly been a pupil under the officer in one of our ward
organizations. Chagrin was stamped on the face of the boy as he came
forward for reprimand. Regret and remorse were in the heart of the
officer. They soon gave way to pride, however, as the boy assured him
that worse than any punishment was the humiliation of being brought
before his own teacher, and he further assured him that never again
would he do a thing that would mar the sacred relations of pupil and

A further compensation attached to teaching is that of inspirational
companionship. It is a blessed privilege to enjoy the sunshine of youth.
Every pupil contributes an association with one of God's choice spirits.
To live and work with children and adolescents is one of the finest of
safeguards against old age. The teacher not only partakes of the joy of
his group--they constitute him a link between his generation and theirs.
Their newness of life, their optimism, their spontaneity, their joy,
they gladly pass on to their teacher.

Moreover, the teacher enjoys the uplifting associations of his fellow
teachers. Among those consecrated to a noble service, there is a spirit
unknown to him who has not enjoyed such communion. Whether he is
conscious of it or not, the teacher responds to the pull of such a
group. Scores of teachers have testified that the associations they have
enjoyed as members of a local board, stake board, or general board, are
among the happiest of their lives.

And finally there is the contentment of mind that comes as a result of a
duty well done. The human soul is so constituted that any task well
performed brings a feeling of satisfaction, and this is doubly
heightened when the duty performed is of the nature of a free will
offering. Still more so when it is shared in by others to their
blessing. Just as we hope for an eventual crowning under the blessing,
"Well done, thou good and faithful servant," so we treasure those
benedictions along the way that attend the discharge of a sacred

       *       *       *       *       *


1. Quote some of the promises of the Lord to those who do His will.

2. How is teaching one of the surest guarantees of the blessings of
eternal life?

3. What are the immediate joys attached to teaching?

4. Discuss the application to teaching of the truth--"He who loses his
life shall find it."

5. What types of companionship are assured him who teaches?

6. As you now recall them, what distinct pleasures stand out in your
teaching experience?

7. Discuss Section 76 of the Doctrine & Covenants as one of the most
valuable promissory notes ever given to mankind.

8. Discuss the force of a duty done as a guarantee of joy.


Doctrine and Covenants: Slattery, _Living Teachers_; Sharp, _Education
for Character_; Weigle, _Talks to Sunday School Teachers_; Betts, _How
to Teach Religion_.




     The worth of a great teacher.--Good teachers not necessarily
     born.--Some boys' observations on teachers.--A high school
     survey.--Clapp's _Essential Characteristics_.--Betts' _Three
     Classes of Teachers_.--His list of qualities.

   "A great teacher is worth more to a state, though he teach by the
   roadside, than a faculty of mediocrities housed in Gothic
   piles."--_Chicago Tribune_, September, 1919.

We may stress the sacred obligation of the teacher; we may discuss in
detail mechanical processes involved in lesson preparation; we may
analyze child nature in all of its complexity; but after all we come
back to the _Personality of the Teacher_ as the great outstanding factor
in pedagogical success. _That something in the man_ that grips people!

Very generally this _Personal Equation_ has been looked upon as a
certain indefinable possession enjoyed by the favored few. In a certain
sense this is true. Personality is largely inherent in the individual
and therefore differs as fully as do individuals. But of recent years
educators have carried on extensive investigations in this field of
personality and have succeeded in reducing to comprehensible terms those
qualities which seem to be most responsible for achievements of
successful teachers. Observation leads us all to similar deductions and
constitutes one of the most interesting experiments open to those
concerned with the teaching process.

Why, with the same amount of preparation, does one teacher succeed with
a class over which another has no control at all?

Why is it that one class is crowded each week, while another adjourns
for lack of membership?

The writer a short time ago, after addressing the members of a ward
M.I.A., asked a group of scouts to remain after the meeting, to whom he
put the question, "What is it that you like or dislike in teachers?" The
group was a thoroughly typical group--real boys, full of life and
equally full of frankness. They contributed the following replies:

  1. We like a fellow that's full of pep.
  2. We like a fellow that doesn't preach all the time.
  3. We like a fellow that makes us be good.
  4. We like a fellow that tells us new things.

Boylike, they were "strong" for pep--a little word with a big
significance. Vigor, enthusiasm, sense of humor, attack,
forcefulness--all of these qualities are summed up in these three

And the interesting thing is that while the boys liked to be told new
things, they didn't want to be preached at. They evidently had the boy's
idea of preaching who characterized it as, "talking a lot when you
haven't anything to say."

Still more interesting is the fact that boys like to be made to be good.
In spite of their fun and their seeming indifference they really are
serious in a desire to subscribe to the laws of order that make progress

A principal of the Granite High School carried on an investigation
through a period of four years to ascertain just what it is that
students like in teachers. During those years students set down various
attributes and qualities, which are summarized below just as they were

  _Desirable Characteristics_

  Wide knowledge.
  Personality that makes discipline easy.
  Willingness to entertain questions.
  Realization that students need help.
  Sense of humor--ability to take a joke.
  Effective expression.
  Pleasing appearance--"good looking."

Among the characteristics which they did not like in teachers they named
the following:

  _Undesirable Characteristics_

  Wandering in method.
  Indifference to need for help.
  Too close holding to the text.
  Distant attitude--aloofness.
  Pessimism--"in the dumps."
  Indifferent assignments.
  Hazy explanations.
  Failure to cover assignments.
  Distracting facial expressions.
  Attitude of "lording it over."
  Poor taste in dress.
  Bluffing--"the tables turned."
  Discipline for discipline's sake.
  "Holier than thouness."

_Desirable Capabilities_

They also reduced to rather memorable phrases a half dozen desirable

  1. The ability to make students work and want to work.
  2. The ability to make definite assignments.
  3. The ability to make clear explanations.
  4. The ability to be pleasant without being easy.
  5. The ability to emphasize essentials.
  6. The ability to capitalize on new ideas.
  7. The ability to be human.

A number of years ago Clapp conducted a similar survey among one hundred
leading school men of America, asking them to list the ten most
essential characteristics of a good teacher. From the lists sent in
Clapp compiled the ten qualities in the order named most frequently by
the one hundred men:

  1. Sympathy.
  2. Address.
  3. Enthusiasm.
  4. Sincerity.
  5. Personal Appearance.
  6. Optimism.
  7. Scholarship.
  8. Vitality.
  9. Fairness.
  10. Reserve or dignity.

George Herbert Betts, in his stimulating book, _How to Teach Religion_,
says there are three classes of teachers:

   "Two types of teachers are remembered: One to be forgiven after years
   have softened the antagonisms and resentments; the other to be
   thought of with honor and gratitude as long as memory lasts. Between
   these two is a third and a larger group: those who are forgotten,
   because they failed to stamp a lasting impression on their pupils.
   This group represents the mediocrity of the profession, not bad
   enough to be actively forgiven, not good enough to claim a place in
   gratitude and remembrance."

Mr. Betts then goes on with a very exhaustive list of positive and
negative qualities in teachers--a list so valuable that we set it down
here for reference.

   _Positive Qualities_               _Negative Qualities_

1. Open-minded, inquiring, broad.     Narrow, dogmatic, not hungry for

2. Accurate, thorough, discerning.    Indefinite, superficial, lazy.

3. Judicious, balanced, fair.         Prejudiced, led by likes and

4. Original, independent,             Dependent, imitative, subservient.

5. Decisive, possessing convictions.  Uncertain, wavering, undecided.

6. Cheerful, joyous, optimistic.      Gloomy, morose, pessimistic, bitter.

7. Amiable, friendly, agreeable.      Repellent, unsociable, disagreeable.

8. Democratic, broadly sympathetic.   Snobbish, self-centered, exclusive.

9. Tolerant, sense of humor,          Opinionated, dogmatic, intolerant.

10. Kind, courteous, tactful.         Cruel, rude, untactful.

11. Tractable, co-operative,          Stubborn, not able to work with
    teachable.                          others.

12. Loyal, honorable, dependable.     Disloyal, uncertain dependability.

13. Executive, forceful, vigorous.    Uncertain, weak, not capable.

14. High ideals, worthy, exalted.     Low standards, base, contemptible.

15. Modest, self-effacing.            Egotistical, vain, autocratic.

16. Courageous, daring, firm.         Overcautious, weak, vacillating.

17. Honest, truthful, frank,          Low standards of honor and truth.

18. Patient, calm, equable.           Irritable, excitable, moody.

19. Generous, open-hearted,           Stingy, selfish, resentful.

20. Responsive, congenial.            Cold, repulsive, uninviting.

21. Punctual, on schedule, capable.   Tardy, usually behindhand,

22. Methodical, consistent, logical.  Haphazard, desultory, inconsistent.

23. Altruistic, given to service.     Indifferent, not socially minded.

24. Refined, alive to beauty,         Coarse, lacking aesthetic quality.

25. Self-controlled, decision,        Suggestible, easily led, uncertain.

26. Good physical carriage, dignity.  Lack of poise, ill posture, no

27. Taste in attire, cleanliness,     Careless in dress, frumpy, no pride.

28. Face smiling, voice pleasant.     Somber expression, voice unpleasant.

29. Physical endurance, vigor,        Quickly tired, weak, sluggish.

30. Spiritual responsiveness,         Spiritually weak, inconstant,
    strong.                             uncertain.

31. Prayer life warm, satisfying.     Prayer cold, formal, little comfort.

32. Religious certainty, peace,       Conflict, strain, uncertainty.

33. Religious experience expanding.   Spiritual life static or losing

34. God a near, inspiring reality.    God distant, unreal, hard of

35. Power to win others to religion.  Influence little or negative.

36. Interest in Bible and religion.   Little concern for religion and

37. Religion makes life fuller and    Religion felt as a limitation.

38. Deeply believe great              Lacking in foundations for faith.

39. Increasing triumph over sin.      Too frequent falling before

40. Religious future hopeful.         Religious growth uncertain.

       *       *       *       *       *


1. Think of the teachers who stand out most clearly in your memory. Why
do they so stand out?

2. Name the qualities that made the Savior the _Great Teacher_.

3. If you had to choose between a fairly capable but humble teacher, and
a very capable but conceited one, which one would be your choice? Why?

4. What is your argument against the idea, "Teachers are born, not

5. Discuss the relative significance of the qualities quoted from Betts.


O'Shea, _Every-day Problems in Teaching_; Betts, _How to Teach
Religion_; Brumbaugh, _The Making of a Teacher_; Palmer, _The Ideal
Teacher_; Slattery, _Living Teachers_; Weigle, _Talks to Sunday School




     The six major qualities:--a. Sympathy.--b. Sincerity.--c.
     Optimism.--d. Scholarly attitude.--e. Vitality.--f. Spirituality.

To set about to cultivate separate qualities would be rather a
discouraging undertaking. As a matter of fact, many of the
characteristics named really overlap, while others are secondary in
importance. For practical purposes let us enlarge upon five or six
qualities which everyone will agree are fundamental to teaching success.

The class in Teacher Training, at the Brigham Young University, in the
summer of 1920, named these six as the most fundamental:

  1. Sympathy.
  2. Sincerity.
  3. Optimism.
  4. Scholarly attitude.
  5. Vitality.
  6. Spirituality.

No attempt was made to set them down in the order of relative


This is a very broad and far-reaching term. It rests upon experience and
imagination and involves the ability to live, at least temporarily,
someone else's life. Sympathy is fundamentally vicarious. Properly to
sympathize with children a man must re-live in memory his own childhood
or he must have the power of imagination to see things through their
eyes. Many a teacher has condemned pupils for doing what to them was
perfectly normal. We too frequently persist in viewing a situation from
our own point of view rather than in going around to the other side to
look at it as our pupils see it. It is no easy matter thus "to get out
of ourselves" and become a boy or girl again, but it is worth the

Along with this ability at vicarious living, sympathy involves an
interest in others. Sympathy is a matter of concern in the affairs of
others. The rush and stir of modern life fairly seem to force us to
focus our attention upon self, but if we would succeed as teachers, we
must make ourselves enter into the lives of our pupils out of an
interest to see how they conduct their lives, and the reasons for such

Coupled with this interest in others and the imagination to see through
their eyes, sympathy involves a desire to help them. A man may have an
interest in people born out of mere curiosity or for selfish purposes,
but if he has sympathy for them, he must be moved with a desire to help
and to bless them.

And, finally, sympathy involves the actual doing of something by way of
service. President Grant liked to refer to a situation wherein a
particular person was in distress. Friends of all sorts came along
expressing regret and professing sympathy. Finally a fellow stepped
forward and said, "I feel to sympathize with this person to the extent
of fifty dollars." "That man," said President Grant, "has sympathy in
his heart as well as in his purse."


Surely this is a foundation principle in teaching:

    "Thou must to thyself be true,
      If thou the truth would teach;
    Thy soul must overflow,
      If thou another soul would reach."

A teacher must really be converted to what he teaches or there is a
hollowness to all that he utters. "Children and dogs," it is said, are
the great judges of sincerity--they instinctively know a friend. No
teacher can continue to stand on false ground before his pupils. The
superintendent of one of our Sunday Schools, having selected one of the
most talented persons in his ward to teach a Second Intermediate Class
was astonished some months later to receive a request from the class for
a change of teachers. The class could assign no specific reasons for
their objections, except that they didn't get anything out of the class.
A year later the superintendent learned that the teacher was living in
violation of the regulations of the Church, on a particular principle,
and it was perfectly clear why his message didn't ring home.

The sincere teacher not only believes what he teaches--he consecrates
his best efforts to the task in hand. He urges no excuse for absence or
lack of preparation--"he is there." He lets his class feel that for the
time being it is his greatest concern. He meets with boys and girls
because he loves to and reaches out to them with an enthusiasm that
cannot be questioned.


is the sunshine of the classroom. It is as natural to expect a plant to
develop when covered with a blanket as it is to expect a class to be
full of activity and responsiveness under an influence of unnatural
solemnity. Lincoln is quoted as having declared, "You can catch more
flies with a drop of honey than with a gallon of vinegar"--a homely
expression, but full of suggestion. A grouch is no magnet.

A little girl when questioned why she liked her Sunday School teacher
said, "Oh, she always smiles at me and says, hello." There is contagion
in the cheeriness of a smile that cannot be resisted. Children live so
naturally in an atmosphere of happiness and fun that teachers of
religious instruction may well guard against making their work too
formally sober. Frequently teachers feel the seriousness of their
undertaking so keenly that they worry or discipline themselves into a
state of pedagogical unnaturalness. There is very great force behind the
comment of the student who appreciated the teacher who could be human.
The experience is told of a teacher who continued to have difficulty
with one of her pupils. He so persisted in violating regulations that he
was kept in after school regularly, and yet after school hours he was
one of the most helpful lads in the school; in fact, he and the teacher
seemed almost chummy. Struck by the difference in his attitude, the
teacher remarked to him one afternoon, as he went about cleaning the
blackboard, "Jimmie, I have just been wondering about you. You're one of
my best workers after school--I can't understand how you can be so
different during school hours and after."

"Gee, that's funny," put in Jimmie, "I was just thinking the same thing
about you."

To be cheerful without being easy is a real art. Liberty is so often
converted into license, and a spirit of fun so easily transformed into
mischief and disorder. And yet cheerfulness is the great key to the
human heart.

An attitude of looking for the good in pupils will lead to a response of
friendliness on their part which is the basis of all teaching.


If a teacher would cultivate an appetite for learning among his pupils
he must himself hunger for knowledge. Most young people will "take
intellectually if sufficiently exposed." A scholarly attitude implies
first of all a growing mastery of subject matter. To quote an eminent
writer on religious education, "A common bane of Sunday school teaching
has been the haziness of the teacher's own ideas concerning the truths
of religion."

Fancy the hostess who would invite her guests to a dinner, and upon
their arrival indicate to them that she had made only vague plans to
receive them. No special place for their wraps, no entertainment for
their amusement, and then fancy her asking them to sit down to a
warmed-up conglomeration of left-overs.

Of course, it is only in fancy that we can imagine such a service. Yet
reports frequently indicate that there are class recitations,
intellectual banquets, for which the preparation has been about as
meagre as that indicated. Surely he who would feast others upon His word
should prepare unceasingly. Let us keep in mind the comment--"We like
the fellow who tells us something new."

Along with this mastery of subject matter, a scholarly attitude implies
both broadmindedness and openmindedness. Seekers after truth should
welcome it from all available sources, and ought not to be handicapped
by bias or prejudice. Tolerance and a willingness to entertain
questions--a constant effort to view a subject from every possible
angle--a poise that attends self-control even under stress of
annoyance--these things are all involved in a truly scholarly attack
upon any given problem.


One of the qualities most favorably and frequently commented on by
students is what they call "pep." A certain vigor of attack that seems
to go directly to the point at stake, putting at rest all other
business and making discipline unnecessary, is what twentieth century
young people seem to like. The element of hero worship prompts them to
demand that the leader shall "do things." They like the "push" that
takes a man over the top, the drive that wins a ball game, the energy
that stamps the business man with success. Vitality is an inherent
factor in leadership.


The crowning glory of the successful religious teacher is that spiritual
glow which links up heaven and earth.

   "And the Spirit shall be given unto you by the power of faith, and if
   ye receive not the Spirit, ye shall not teach." (Doc. & Cov., Sec.

This divine injunction is given us because we have undertaken to teach
His Gospel. We would lead others to Him. And this is possible only as we
lead by the light of His Holy Spirit. Above our knowledge of facts and
our understanding of child nature must be placed our communion with that
Spirit which touches the hearts of men.

If a teacher would prepare a young man for a place in a modern business
house he must teach him the ways of business,--buying, selling,
collecting, managing, etc.,--matters of fact, governed by the laws of
barter and trade. If that same teacher would teach the same young man
the way of eternal life, he must substitute for the laws of man the word
of the Lord, and for the spirit of exchange, the Spirit of Heaven. A
pupil can be prepared for the kingdom of God only as he is led to
respond to and appreciate His Spirit, and to do His will. While it is
true that the best way to prepare for heaven is to live the best
possible life here on earth, yet we need the Spirit of the Lord to
interpret what constitutes that best possible life.

There is power in the intellect of man; there is glory in that power
when it is heightened by the Spirit of the Almighty.

       *       *       *       *       *


1. What is sympathy?

2. Why is it so essential in teaching?

3. Why is sincerity a foundation principle in all teaching?

4. Discuss the obligation on the part of the teacher to leave his
troubles outside the classroom.

5. Discuss the statement--"Cheerfulness is spiritual sunshine."

6. Illustrate the value of cheerfulness.

7. What is the significance of the term, scholarly attitude?

8. Just what constitutes vitality?

9. Show how it is essential to teaching.

10. Why name spirituality as the crowning characteristic of the good


Those listed in Chapter IV.




     The possibility of growth in teaching.--How to develop
     spirituality: a. By cultivating the spirit of prayer; b. By leading
     a clean life; c. By obeying the principles of the Gospel; d. By
     performing one's duty in the Church; e. By reading and pondering
     the word of the Lord.--How to develop other qualities: a. By taking
     a personal inventory; b. By coming in contact with the best in life
     through reading and companionship; c. By forming the habit of
     systematic study; d. By assuming responsibility.

While we may agree as to what constitutes the desirable characteristics
in teachers it is far easier to name them than to attain them. We have
already pointed out that teaching is a complex art proficiency in which
is the result of a long, painstaking process. But success in teaching as
in all other pursuits is possible of achievement. We have heard so
frequently that teachers must be born, not made, that many prospective
teachers, feeling that they have been denied this pedagogical
birthright, give up in despair. Of course, it is naturally easy for some
individuals to teach--they do seem born possessed of a teaching
personality, but they are not given a monopoly on the profession.

The Lord has too many children to be taught to leave their instruction
to a few favored ones. The qualities listed in chapter five may be
developed, in varying degrees, of course, by any normal person anxious
to serve his fellows. The "will to do" is the great key to success.

To him who would develop spiritually, these five suggestions may be

First, cultivate the spirit of prayer. The president of one of our
stakes made the remark once that he believed only a few of the men and
women of his stake really pray. "They go through the form, all right,"
he said; "they repeat the words--but they do not enter into the spirit
of the prayer. If the Lord doesn't draw nearer to them than they do to
Him I doubt that their prayers are really of very great force."

The ability to pray is the great test of a spiritual life. "The faith to
pray" is a gift to be cultivated through devoted practice. The teacher
who would have his pupils draw nearer to him must himself draw near to
the Lord. The promise, "Ask, and ye shall receive, seek, and ye shall
find," was given only to those who ask in faith. This constant prayer of
faith, then is the first great guarantee of the Spirit.

The second is a clean life. Just as it is impossible for water to make
its way through a dirty, clogged pipe, so it is for the Spirit to flow
through a channel of unrighteous desires. A visitor was interested a
short time ago in Canada in attempting to get a drink out of a pipe that
had been installed to carry water from a spring in the side of a
mountain to a pool at the side of the road. Due to neglect, moss and
filth had been allowed to collect about the bottom of the pipe, until it
was nearly choked up. Getting a drink was out of the question. And yet
there was plenty of water in the spring above--just as fine water as had
ever flowed from that source. It was simply denied passage down to those
who would drink. And so with the Spirit. The Lord is still able to
bless--all too frequently, we so live that "the passage is clogged." The
Word of Wisdom is not only a guarantee of health--it is the key to
communication with the Spirit. And what is true of the body applies with
even greater force to cleanliness of mind. The teacher might well adopt
this prayer:

   "Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within

The third great guarantee of the Spirit is an unswerving obedience to
all principles of the Gospel. To teach belief a man must believe. Firmly
grounded in all the cardinal principles the teacher may well inspire a
spirit of the Gospel, but not otherwise. Doubt and uncertainty will keep
the teacher from the position of counsel and leadership.

The fourth assurance in the matter of developing spirituality is the
consistent performance of one's religious obligations. The complaint is
often made that teachers in a particular organization will meet their
classes regularly, but that done they seem to consider their religious
duties discharged. Teaching does not excuse a person from attending the
other services required of Latter-day Saints. He is asked to attend
Sacrament meetings, Priesthood meetings, Union meetings, special
preparation meetings--they are all essential to the full development of
the Spirit of the Gospel, which is the spirit of teaching. The teacher
may rightly expect to be sustained only as he sustains those who preside
over him.

   "For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what
   measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again." (Matt. 7:2.)

And finally, if we would enjoy the spirit of our work we must
familiarize ourselves with the Word of the Lord. To read it is to
associate in thought with Him. His Spirit pervades all that He has said,
whether in ancient or modern times. One of our apostles frequently
remarked that if he would feel fully in touch with the spirit of his
calling he must read regularly from the Doctrine & Covenants. "That book
keeps me attuned as no other book can." It is not given to us to
associate here with the Master, but through His recorded words we can
live over all that He once lived. Thereby we not only come really to
know what He would have us do, we partake of a spirit that surpasses

   "Search the scriptures, for in them ye think ye have eternal life."

As for attainment in other matters involved in the teaching process, the
teachers who attended the course at the Brigham Young University were
agreed that regular practice in the following processes will insure
marked growth and development:

1. The taking of a personal inventory at regular intervals. "Am I the
kind of teacher I should like to go to?" starts an investigation full of
suggestiveness. The qualities listed in chapter four constitute a
reference chart for analysis. A teacher can become his own best critic
if he sets up the proper ideals by way of a standard. A teacher in one
of our Church schools in Idaho carried out an interesting investigation
during the year 1919-1920. Anxious that he should not monopolize the
time in his recitations, he asked one of his students to tabulate the
time of the class period as follows:

  Number of questions asked by teacher.
  Number of questions asked by pupils.
  Amount of time consumed by teacher.
  Amount of time consumed by pupils.

He was astonished to discover that of the forty-five minutes given to
recitation he was regularly using an average of thirty-two minutes.
Similar investigations can be carried on by any interested teacher.

2. Contact with the best in life. It is a fundamental law in life that
life is an adaptation to environment. The writer has been interested in
observing the force of this law as it affects animal life. Lizards in
Emery county are slate-gray in color that they may be less conspicuous
on a background of clay and gray sandstone; the same animals in St.
George take on a reddish color--an adaptation to their environment of
red sandstone.

Nor is the operation of this law merely a physical process. On a trip
into Canada recently the writer traveled some distance with a group of
bankers in attendance at a convention at Great Falls. On his way home he
took a train on which there was a troupe of vaudeville players. The
contrast was too marked to escape notice. One group had responded to an
environment of sober business negotiations--the other to the gayety of
the footlights. And so the teacher who would grow must put himself into
an environment that makes the kind of growth he desires
natural--inevitable. Through good books he can associate with the choice
spirits of all ages. No one denies his acquaintanceship. Great men have
given their best thoughts to many of the problems that confront us. We
can capitalize on their wisdom by reading their books. We re-enforce
ourselves with their strength.

Magazines, too, are full of stimulation. They constitute a kind of
intellectual clearing house for the best thought of the world today.
Business houses value them so highly in promoting the advancement of
their employees that they subscribe regularly. One manager remarked: "No
one factor makes for greater growth among my men than reading the
achievements of others--leaders in their lines--through the magazines."
There is scarcely a phase of life which is not being fully written about
in the current issues of the leading magazines.

Then, too, contact with men and women of achievement is a remarkable
stimulus to growth.

There are leaders in every community--men and women rich in
experience--who will gladly discuss the vital issues of life with those
who approach them. There still remain, too, pioneers with their
wonderful stories of sacrifice and devotion. To the teacher who will
take the pains there is an untold wealth of material in the lives of the
men and women about him.

3. Regular habits of systematic study. Thorough intensive effort finds
its best reward in the intellectual growth that it insures. In these
days of the hurry of business and the whirl of commercialized amusements
there is little time left for study except for him who makes himself
subscribe to a system of work. Thirty minutes of concentrated effort a
day works wonders in the matter of growth. President Grant was a
splendid evidence of the force of persistent effort in his writing, his
business success, and his rise to the leadership of half a million
Latter-day Saints.

4. Assuming the obligations of responsibility. In every organization
there are constant calls upon teachers to perform laborious tasks. It is
so natural to seek to avoid them--so easy to leave them for somebody
else--that we have to cultivate vigorously a habit of accepting the
obligations that present themselves. The difficulties of responsibility
are often burdensome, but they are an essential guarantee of
achievement. "Welcome the task that makes you go beyond your ordinary
self, if you would grow!"

       *       *       *       *       *


1. Discuss our obligation to grow.

2. Point out the difference between praying and merely saying prayers.

3. Discuss the various means which guarantee spiritual growth.

4. Comment on the thought that a personal inventory is as essential to
teaching as it is to financial success.

5. What is your daily scheme for systematic study?

6. What plan do you follow in an attempt to know the scriptures?

7. Why is it so important that we assume the responsibilities placed
upon us?


Those listed in Chapter IV.




     Importance of Child Study to teachers.--Teaching both a social and
     an individual process.--A Child's characteristics--his
     birthright.--What the nervous system is.--Types of original
     responses.--The significance of instinctive action.--Colvin's list
     of native tendencies.--Sisson's list.--A knowledge of native
     tendencies essential to proper control of human behavior.

We have now discussed the significance and meaning of teaching, together
with the consideration of the characteristics that constitute the
personal equation of the teacher. It is now pertinent that we give some
attention to the nature of the child to be taught, that we may the more
intelligently discuss methods of teaching, or how teacher and pupil get
together in an exchange of knowledge.

Teaching is a unique process. It is both social and individual. The
teacher meets a class--a collection of pupils in a social unit. In one
way he is concerned with them generally--he directs group action. But in
addition to this social aspect, the problem involves his giving
attention to each individual in the group. He may put a general
question, but he gets an individual reply. In short, he must be aware of
the fact that his pupils, for purposes of recitation, are all alike; and
at the same time he must appreciate the fact that they are peculiarly
different. In a later chapter we shall consider these differences; let
us here consider the points of similarity.

The fact that a boy is a boy makes him heir to all of the
characteristics that man has developed. These characteristics are his
birthright. He responds in a particular way to stimuli because the race
before him has so responded. There is no need here of entering into a
discussion as to how great a controlling factor heredity may be in a
man's life, or how potent environment may be in modifying that life--we
are concerned rather with the result--that man is as he is. It is
essential that we know his characteristics, particularly as they
manifest themselves in youth, so that we may know what to expect in his
conduct and so that we may proceed to modify and control that conduct.
Just as the first task of the physician is to diagnose his case--to get
at the cause of the difficulty before he proceeds to suggest a
remedy--so the first consideration of the teacher is a query, "Whom do I

Man may normally be expected to respond in a particular way to a
particular stimulus because men throughout the history of the race have
so responded. Certain connections have been established in his nervous
system and he acts accordingly--he does what he does because he is
_man_. We cannot here go into a detailed discussion of the physiological
processes involved in thinking and other forms of behavior, but perhaps
we may well set down a statement or two relative to man's tendencies to
act, and their explanations:

   "The nervous system is composed of neurones of three types: Those
   that receive, the afferent; those that effect action, the efferent;
   and those that connect, the associative. The meeting places of these
   neurones are the synapses. All neurones have the three
   characteristics of sensitivity, conductivity, and modifiability. In
   order for conduct or feeling or intellect to be present, at least two
   neurones must be active, and in all but a few of the human activities
   many more are involved. The possibility of conduct or intelligence
   depends upon the connections at the synapses,--upon the possibility
   of the current affecting neurones in a certain definite way. The
   possession of an 'original nature,' then, means the possession, as a
   matter of inheritance, of certain connections between neurones, the
   possession of certain synapses which are in functional contact and
   across which a current may pass merely as a matter of structure. Just
   why certain synapses should be thus connected is the whole question
   of heredity. Two factors seem to affect the functional contact of a
   synapses,--first, proximity of the neurone ends, and second, some
   sort of permeability which makes a current travel on one rather than
   another of two neurones equally near together in space. This
   proximity and permeability are both provided for by the structure and
   constitution of the nervous system. It should be noted that the
   connection of neurones is not a one-to-one affair, but the
   multiplicity of fibrils provided by original nature makes it possible
   for one afferent to discharge into many neurones, and for one
   efferent neurone to receive the current from many neurones. Thus the
   individual when born is equipped with potentialities of character,
   intellect and conduct, because of the pre-formed connections or
   tendencies to connections present in his nervous system.

   "_Types of Original Responses._--These unlearned tendencies which
   make up the original nature of the human race are usually classified
   into automatic or physiological actions, reflexes, instincts, and
   capacities. Automatic actions are such as those controlling the
   heart-beats, digestive and intestinal movements; the contraction of
   the pupil of the eye from light, sneezing, swallowing, etc., are
   reflexes; imitation, fighting, and fear, are instincts, which
   capacities refer to those more subtle traits by means of which an
   individual becomes a good linguist, or is tactful, or gains skill in
   handling tools. However, there is no sharp line of division between
   these various unlearned tendencies; what one psychologist calls a
   reflex or a series of reflexes, another will call an instinct. It
   seems better to consider them as of the same general character but
   differing from each other in simplicity, definiteness, uniformity of
   response, variableness among individuals, and modifiability. They
   range from movements such as the action of the blood vessels to those
   concerned in hunting and collecting; from the simple, definite,
   uniform knee-jerk, which is very similar in all people and open to
   very little modification, to the capacity for scholarship, which is
   extremely complex, vague as to definition, variable both as to
   manifestation in one individual and amounts amongst people in
   general, and is open to almost endless modification. This fund of
   unlearned tendencies is the capital with which each child starts, the
   capital which makes education and progress possible, as well as the
   capital which limits the extent to which progress and development in
   any line may proceed." _The Psychology of Childhood_, pp. 21, 22, 23.

Weigle, in his _Talks to Sunday School Teachers_, begins his second
chapter in a rather unique and helpful manner relative to this same

   "The little human animal, like every other, is born going. He is
   already wound up. His lungs expand and contract; his heart is pumping
   away; his stomach is ready to handle food. These organic, vital
   activities he does not initiate. They begin themselves. The organism
   possesses them by nature. They are the very conditions of life.

   "There are many other activities, not so obviously vital as these,
   for which nature winds him up quite as thoroughly--yes, and sets him
   to go off at the proper time for each. He will suck when brought to
   the breast as unfailingly as his lungs will begin to work upon
   contact with the air. He will cry from hunger or discomfort, clasp
   anything that touches his fingers or toes, carry to his mouth
   whatever he can grasp, in time smile when smiled at, later grow
   afraid when left alone or in the dark, manifest anger and affection,
   walk, run, play, question, imitate, collect things, pull things
   apart, put them together again, take pleasure in being with friends,
   act shy before strangers, find a chum, belong to a 'gang' or 'bunch,'
   quarrel, fight, become reconciled, and some day fall in love with one
   of the opposite sex. These, and many more, are just his natural human
   ways. He does not of purpose initiate them any more than he initiates
   breathing or heart-beat. He does these things because he is so born
   and built. They are his instincts."

As Norsworthy and Whitley point out, we are not especially concerned
with the boundary lines between automatic actions, reflexes, and
instincts--we are rather concerned with the fact that human beings
possess native tendencies to act in particular ways. Some psychologists
stress them as instincts; others as capacities, but they have all pretty
generally agreed that under certain stimuli there are natural tendencies
to react.

These tendencies begin to manifest themselves at birth--they are all
potentialities with the birth of the child--and continue to develop in
turn, certain ones being more pronounced in the various stages of the
child's life. Colvin in his _The Learning Process_, runs through the
complete list of possibilities. According to him man, in a lifetime, is
characterized by the following tendencies: Fear, anger, sympathy,
affection, play, imitation, curiosity, acquisitiveness,
constructiveness, self-assertion (leadership), self-abasement, rivalry,
envy, jealousy, pugnacity, clannishness, the hunting and predatory
instincts, the migratory instinct, love of adventure and the unknown,
superstition, the sex instincts, which express themselves in sex-love,
vanity, coquetry, modesty; and, closely allied with these, the love of
nature and of solitude, and the aesthetic, the religious, and the moral

Sisson, in a little book that every teacher ought to know, _The
Essentials of Character_, emphasizes the importance for teaching of ten
tendencies: bodily activity, sense-hunger and curiosity, suggestibility,
tastes and aesthetic appreciation, self-assertion, love, joy, fear, the
growing-up impulse, the love of approbation.

As already indicated, the teacher should give attention to these
tendencies that he may the better know how to proceed. If he knows that
the one great outstanding impulse of a boy of seven is to do something,
he perhaps will be less likely to plan an hour's recitation on the
theory that for that hour the boy is to do nothing. If he knows that one
of the greatest tendencies of boys from ten to fourteen is to organize
"gangs" for social and "political" purposes, he will very likely
capitalize on this idea in building up a good strong class spirit.

Knowing that children naturally respond to certain stimuli in very
definite ways, the teacher can better set about to furnish the right
stimuli--he can be in a better position to _direct and control

       *       *       *       *       *


1. What significance attaches to the statement, "Children are born

2. Why is it of vital importance that teachers give attention to the
native tendencies in children?

3. What constitutes instinctive action? Illustrate.

4. Name the instincts that are essentially individualistic. Those that
are essentially social.

5. What native tendencies are of most concern to teachers?

6. Discuss the relative significance of heredity, environment, and
training in the development of children.

7. To what extent is a child limited in its development by its nervous


Norsworthy and Whitley, _The Psychology of Childhood_; Weigle, _Talks to
Sunday School Teachers_; Colvin, _The Learning Process_; Sisson, _The
Essentials of Character_; Stiles, _The Nervous System and its
Conservation_; Thorndike, _Principles of Teaching_; Harrison, _A Study
of Child Nature_; Kirkpatrick, _Fundamentals of Child Study_.




     Characteristic tendencies of the various stages of child life.--The
     teacher's attitude toward them.--Follow the grain.

     Four methods of procedure: 1. The method of disuse; 2. The method
     of rewards and punishment; 3. The method of substitution; 4. The
     method of stimulation and sublimation.

Having listed the native tendencies generally, we might well now
consider them as they manifest themselves at the various stages of an
individual's development. As already indicated, they constitute his
birthright as a human being, though most of them are present in the
early years of his life only in potentiality. Psychologists of recent
years have made extensive observations as to what instincts are most
prominent at given periods. Teachers are referred particularly to the
volumes of Kirkpatrick, Harrison, and Norsworthy and Whitley. In this
latter book, pages 286, 287, and 298-302, will be found an interesting
tabulation of characteristics at the age of five and at eleven. For the
years of adolescence Professor Beeley, in his course at the Brigham
Young Summer School, in the Psychology of Adolescence, worked out very
fully the characteristics unique in this period, though many of them, of
course, are present at other stages:


  1. Maturing of the sex instincts.
  2. Rapid limb growth.
  3. Over-awkwardness.
  4. Visceral organs develop rapidly (heart, liver, lungs, genital
  5. Change in physical proportions; features take on definite
  6. Brain structure has matured.
  7. Self-awareness.
  8. Personal pride and desire for social approval.
  9. Egotism.
  10. Unstable, "hair-trigger," conflicting emotions.
  11. Altruism, sincere interest in the well-being of others.
  12. Religious and moral awakening.
  13. New attitude.
  14. Aesthetic awakening.
  15. Puzzle to everybody.
  16. Desire to abandon conventionalities, struggle for self-assertion.
  17. Career motive.
  18. Period of "palling" and mating; clique and "gang" spirit.
  19. Positiveness,--affirmation, denial.
  20. Inordinate desire for excessive amusement.
  21. Evidence of hereditary influences.
  22. "Hero worship," castle building.
  23. "Wanderlust."
  24. Hyper-suggestibility.
  25. Ideals; ambitions.
  27. Yearning for adult responsibility.

Having listed these tendencies we still face the question, "What shall
we do with them? What is their significance in teaching?"

It is perfectly clear, in the first place, that we ought not to ignore
them. None of them is wholly useless, and few of them can safely be
developed just as they first manifest themselves. They call for training
and direction.

   "Some instincts are to be cherished almost as they are; some rooted
   out by withholding stimuli, or by making their exercise result in
   pain or discomfort, or by substituting desirable habits in their
   place; most of the instincts should be modified and

Our concern as teachers ought to be that in our work with boys and
girls, men and women, we are aware of these natural tendencies that we
may work with them rather than contrary to them--that we may "follow the
grain" of human nature.

Since these tendencies are the result of responses to stimuli they may
be modified by attention either to the stimuli or to the reaction that
attends the stimulation. Four methods call for our consideration:

  1. The method of disuse.
  2. The method of rewards and punishments.
  3. The method of substitution.
  4. The method of stimulation and sublimation.

No one of these methods can be said always to be best. The nature of the
person in question, his previous experience and training, together with
the circumstances attending a given situation, all are factors which
determine how we should proceed. The vital point is, that both as
parents and teachers we should guard against falling into the rut of
applying the same treatment to all cases regardless of their nature.


This method is largely negative. It aims to safeguard an individual
against ills by withholding stimuli. The mother aims to keep scissors
out of reach and sight of the baby that it may not be lured into danger.
Some parents, upon discerning that the pugnacious instinct is
manifesting itself vigorously in their boy, isolate him from other
boys--keep him by himself through a period of a year or more that the
tendency may not be accentuated. Other parents, observing their
daughter's inclination to be frivolous, or seeing the instinct of sex
begin to manifest itself in her interest in young men, send her away to
a girl's school--a sort of intellectual nunnery.

Frequently teachers follow this method in the conduct of their classes.
The tendency to self-assertion and verbal combat, natural to youth, is
smothered by an unwillingness on the part of the teacher to indulge
questions and debate or by a marked inclination to do all the talking.

It is clear that this method of disuse has its place in the training of
children, though grave dangers attend its too frequent indulgence.
Children and others of immature judgment need the protection of
withheld stimuli. But clearly this is not a method to be recommended for
general application. The boy who is never allowed to quarrel or fight
may very possibly grow up to be a man afraid to meet the battles of
life; the girl, if her natural emotions are checked, may lose those very
qualities that make for the highest type of womanhood and motherhood.
Fortunately, in these days, it is pretty nearly impossible to bring boys
and girls up in "glass houses." Doubly fortunate, for they are made
happy in their bringing up and are fitted for a world not particularly
devoted to the fondling of humankind.


This method is clearly illustrated in the training of "trick" animals.
These creatures through innumerable repetitions are made to do
phenomenal "stunts." In the training for every successful "try" they are
rewarded with a cube of sugar, a piece of candy, or some other
pleasure-producing article; for every miss they are punished--made to
suffer pain or discomfort. This same sort of procedure carries over into
human affairs. Witness the hickory stick and the ruler, or count the
nickels and caresses. Ridicule before the class, and praise for
commendable behavior or performance, are typical of this same method. If
it is followed, and it clearly has a place in the training of children,
care should be exercised to see that in the child's mind in any case
there is clear connection between what he has done and the treatment
that he receives. With some parents it fairly seems as if their one
remedy for all offenses is a tingling in the epidermis--it is equally
clear that with some teachers their one weapon is sarcasm. All too
frequently these measures grow out of unsettled nerves or stirred up
passions, on the part of the parent or teacher, and have really but
little connection--remote at best--with the offense in question. There
may be an abuse in the matter of rewards, too, of course, but as a rule
few classes suffer from too much appreciation. The real art of
discipline lies in making the reward or the punishment naturally grow
out of the conduct indulged in.


Because of the fact that some stimuli inevitably lead to discomfort and
disaster--that some conduct is bad--there is need of a method of
substitution. The child's mind needs to be led from the contemplation of
an undesirable course of action to something quite different. Frequently
a child cannot be satisfied with a mere denial, and circumstances may
not be favorable to punishment--yet the correction must be made.
Substitution is the avenue of escape. A striking illustration in point
occurred recently in a cafe in Montana. A trio of foreigners, father,
mother, and two-year-old son, came in and sat down at one of the tables.
Soon after the parents began to eat, the child caught sight of a little
silver pitcher for which he began to beg. Whining and crying, mixed in
with the begging, created a good bit of disturbance. The only attempted
solution on the part of the parents was a series of: "Don't do that!"
"No! no!" "Keep quiet, Marti!" a continued focusing of the child's
attention on what he ought not to do, and an added note to the
disturbance. Then an American across the aisle having surveyed the
situation took out of his pocket a folder full of brightly colored
views. The charm worked beautifully--the meal went on free from
disturbance--and the child was happy.

This method involves a good bit of resourcefulness, calling at times
for what seems an impossible amount of ingenuity. As someone has said,
"It is beating the other fellow to it." It merits the consideration of
those who have to handle boys and girls who are regularly up to


This method is rather closely akin to that of substitution, with the
exception that it capitalizes on tendencies already in operation and
raises them to a higher level. Stimulation, of course, merely means the
bringing of children into contact with desirable stimuli on every
possible occasion; in fact, it involves the making of favorable

Sublimation involves building upon native tendencies to an elevated
realization. Educationally this method is most full of promise. It is
seen in kindergarten methods when a child is led from mere meaningless
playing with toys to constructive manipulation of blocks, tools, etc. It
is seen admirably in football where the pugnacious tendency of boys is
capitalized on to build manliness in struggle and to develop a spirit of
fair play. It is seen in the fostering of a girl's fondness for dolls,
so that it may crystallize into the devotion of motherhood. It is seen
when a boys' man leads a "gang" of boys into an association for social
betterment. It is seen when a teacher works upon the instinct to collect
and hoard, elevating it into a desire for the acquisition of knowledge
and the finer things of life.

Whatever our method, let us give due consideration to the natural
inclinations and aptitudes of boys and girls--let us help them to
achieve fully their own potentialities.

       *       *       *       *       *


1. Point out the essential differences between boys and girls at the age
of six and seven and those of sixteen and seventeen.

2. Discuss the significance of the following phrase: "The grain in human

3. How can the hunting instinct be appealed to in religious stimulation?

4. Of what significance is the "gang spirit" to teachers of adolescents?

5. How can rivalry be made an asset in teaching?

6. How can the fighting instinct in children best be directed?

7. Why is biography so valuable in material for teaching?

8. Why is it so essential that we put responsibility upon boys and
girls? How should this fact affect teaching?

9. What are the dangers that attend an attempt to keep children quiet
for any length of time?


Those listed in Chapter VII.




     Fundamental significance of individual differences.--Typical
     illustration.--The truth illustrated physically; in range of voice,
     in speed, in mental capabilities.--The same truth applied
     spiritually.--Some cases in point.

Everybody is like everybody else in this--that everybody is different
from everybody else. Having discussed how all men enjoy a common
heritage by way of native endowments, let us now turn to a consideration
of how men differ.

Two of the terms most frequently met in recent educational publications
are statistical methods and individual differences. There is nothing
particularly new in this latter term--it merely represents a new
emphasis being given to the old idea that no two of us are alike. Every
parent is aware of the very marked differences in his children. Even
twins differ in disposition and mental capabilities. In fact, one of the
difficulties that attaches to parenthood is just this problem of making
provision in one household for such various personalities.

A member of the stake presidency in one of the stakes in southern Utah,
in discussing this matter a short time ago, remarked that in his family
of four boys one very definitely had decided to become a farmer and was
already busy at getting acquainted with the details of the work; a
second boy was devoted to music and voiced a very vigorous protest
against farming; the third son was so bashful and reticent that he
hadn't given expression to any notion of preference; the fourth, a
happy-go-lucky sort of chap, free and noisy in his cutting up about the
place, wasn't worrying about what he was to do in life--he just didn't
want anything to do with strenuous effort.

"How can I drive a four-horse team such as that?" was the interesting
query of this father.

Practically every family presents this variety of attitude and
practically every parent is trying to work out a solution to the
problem, so there is nothing startling about the term individual
differences. Educators have just given the matter more careful and
scholarly attention of recent years.

If the matter of differences in children constitutes a problem of
concern in a family of from two to ten children, how much greater must
that problem be in a class from thirty to fifty with approximately as
many families represented. The problem has led to some very interesting
investigations--investigations so simple that they can be carried on by
anyone interested. For instance, if we could line up all the men in Salt
Lake City according to size we should find at one end of the line a few
exceptionally tall men, likely from six feet to six feet six inches in
height. At the other end of the line would be a few exceptionally small
men--undersized men from three feet eight or ten inches to four feet six
inches. In between these two types would come in graduated order all
sorts of men with a decidedly large number standing about five feet six
or eight inches. This latter height we call the average.

Practically we see the significance of these differences. No
manufacturer thinks of making one size of overall in the hope that it
will fit each of these men. He adapts his garment to their size, and he
knows approximately how many of each size will be called for in the
course of ordinary business.

If these same men could be taken one by one into a music studio and have
their voices tested for range, the same interesting variations would be
found. There would be a few very high tenors, a few exceptionally low
bassos, and a crowd with medium range with fillers-in all along the

If we were interested in carrying the experiment still further we might
apply the speed test. In a 100-yard dash a few men would be found to be
particularly fast, a few others would trail away behind at a snail's
pace, while the big crowd of men would make the distance in "average

Of course, it would be foolish to attempt to make tenors of all these
men--equally foolish to try to make speeders of them all. In these
practical matters we appreciate the wisdom of letting each man fit into
that niche for which he is qualified.

Nor are these differences confined to the field of physical
characteristics and achievements. Tests by the hundred have demonstrated
beyond all question that they hold equally well of mental capabilities.
In the past children have gone to school at the age of six. They have
remained there because they were six. At seven they were in grade two,
and so on up through the grades of our public schools. Tests and
measurements now, however, are showing that such a procedure works both
a hardship and an injustice on the pupils. Some boys at six are found as
capable of doing work in grade two as other boys at eight. Some boys and
girls at six are found wholly incapable of doing what is required in
grade one. One of the most promising prospects ahead educationally is
that we shall be able to find out just the capacity of a child
regardless of his age, and fit him into what he can do well, making
provisions for his passing on as he shows capability for higher work.
Not only has this matter of individual differences been found to apply
generally in the various grades of our schools--it has been found to
have significant bearing upon achievements in particular subjects. For
all too long a time we have held a boy in grade four until he mastered
what we have called his grade four arithmetic, spelling, geography,
grammar, history, etc. As a matter of fact, many a boy who is a
fourth-grader in grammar may be only a second-grader in arithmetic--a
girl, for whom fourth grade arithmetic is an impossibility, because of
her special liking for reading, may be seventh grade in her capacity in
that subject. In the specific subjects, individual differences have been
found to be most marked. Surely it is unfair to ask a boy "born short"
in history to keep up to the pace of a comrade "born long" in that
subject; so, too, it is unfair to ask a girl "born long" in geography to
hold back to the pace of one "born short" in that subject. The results
of these observations are leading to developments that are full of
promise for the educational interests of the future.

In order that we may more fully appreciate the reality of these
observations let us set down the concrete results of a few experiments.

The first three tests are quoted from Thorndike:

In a test in addition, all pupils being allowed the same time,

   1 pupil  did  3 examples correctly
   2 pupils did  4 examples correctly
   1 pupil  did  5 examples correctly
   5 pupils did  6 examples correctly
   2 pupils did  7 examples correctly
   4 pupils did  8 examples correctly
   6 pupils did  9 examples correctly
  14 pupils did 10 examples correctly
   8 pupils did 11 examples correctly
   7 pupils did 12 examples correctly
   8 pupils did 13 examples correctly
   5 pupils did 14 examples correctly
   5 pupils did 15 examples correctly
   6 pupils did 16 examples correctly
   1 pupil  did 17 examples correctly
   5 pupils did 18 examples correctly
   1 pupil  did 19 examples correctly
   2 pupils did 20 examples correctly

The rapidity of movement of ten-year-old girls, as measured by the
number of crosses made in a fixed time:

   6 or  7  by       1 girl
   8 or  9  by       0 girl
  10 or 11  by       4 girls
  12 or 13  by       3 girls
  14 or 15  by      21 girls
  16 or 17  by      29 girls
  18 or 19  by      33 girls
  20 or 21  by      13 girls
  22 or 23  by      15 girls
  24 or 25  by      11 girls
  26 or 27  by       5 girls
  28 or 29  by       2 girls
  30 or 31  by       5 girls
  32 or 33  by       3 girls
  34 or 35  by       5 girls
  36 or 37  by       0 girl
  38 or 49  by       4 girls
  40 or 41  by       1 girl

Two papers, A and B, written by members of the same grade and class in a
test in spelling:

     A.            B.
  greatful      gratful
  elegant       eleagent
  present       present
  patience      paisionce
  succeed       suckseed
  severe        survere
  accident      axadent
  sometimes     sometimes
  sensible      sensible
  business      biusness
  answer        anser
  sweeping      sweping
  properly      prooling
  improvement   improvment
  fatiguing     fegting
  anxious       anxchus
  appreciate    apresheating
  assure        ashure
  imagine       amagen
  praise        prasy

In a test in spelling wherein fifty common words were dictated to a
class of twenty-eight pupils, the following results were obtained:

   2 spelled correctly all 50
   3 spelled correctly between 45 and 48
   5 spelled correctly between 40 and 45
  11 spelled correctly between 30 and 40
   6 spelled correctly between 20 and 30
   1 spelled correctly between 15 and 20

And now the question--what has all this to do with the teaching of
religion? Just this: the differences among men as found in fields
already referred to, are found also in matters of religion. For one man
it is easy to believe in visions and all other heavenly manifestations;
for another it is next to impossible. To one man the resurrection is the
one great reality; to another it is merely a matter of conjecture. One
man feels certain that his prayers are heard and answered; another feels
equally certain that they cannot be. One man is emotionally spiritual;
another is coldly hard-headed and matter-of-fact. The point is not a
question which man is right--it is rather that we ought not to attempt
to reach each man in exactly the same way, nor should we expect each one
to measure up to the standards of the others.

An interesting illustration of this difference in religious attitude was
shown recently in connection with the funeral of a promising young man
who had been taken in death just as he had fairly launched upon his
life's work. In a discussion that followed the service, one good brother
found consolation in the thought that the Lord needed just such a young
man to help carry on a more important work among the spirits already
called home. His companion in the discussion found an explanation to his
satisfaction in the thought that it was providential that the young man
could be taken when he was, that he thereby might be spared the probable
catastrophies that might have visited him had he lived. Each man found
complete solace in his own philosophy, though neither could accept the
reasoning of the other.

An interesting case of difference of view came to the attention of the
teacher-training class at Provo when someone asked how the lesson on
Jonah could be presented so that it would appeal to adolescent boys and
girls. The query was joined in by several others for whom Jonah had been
a stumbling block, when Brother Sainsbury, of Vernal, startled the class
by saying Jonah was his favorite story. "I would rather teach that story
than any other one in the Bible," he declared, and illustrated his
method so clearly that the account of Jonah took on an entirely new

Many men and women in the world are shocked at the thought that God is a
personality. To them the idea that God is simply a "man made perfect," a
being similar to us, but exalted to deity, is akin to blasphemy. And
then to add the idea of a heavenly mother is beyond comprehension. To
Latter-day Saints, on the other hand, these thoughts are the very glory
of God. To them a man made perfect is the noblest conception possible.
It makes of Him a reality. And the thought of Mother--Heaven without a
Mother would be like home without one.

And so with all the principles and conceptions of religion, men's
reactions to them are as varied as they are to all the other facts of
life. Everywhere the opinions, the capacities, the attainments of men
vary. The law of individual differences is one of the most universal in
our experience.

       *       *       *       *       *


1. Just what is the meaning of the term Individual Differences?

2. Illustrate such differences in families with which you are familiar.

3. Apply the test to your ward choir.

4. Name and characterize twenty men whom you know. How do they differ?

5. Have a report brought in from your public school on the results of
given tests in arithmetic, spelling, etc.

6. Have the members of your class write their opinions relative to some
point of doctrine concerning which there may be some uncertainty.

7. Observe the attitude and response of each of the members of a typical
Sunday School, Kindergarten, of an advanced M.I.A. class.

8. Illustrate individual differences as expressed in the religious
attitudes of men you know.

9. To what extent are boys different from girls in mental capability and


Those listed in Chapter VII.




     The causes of individual differences.--Norsworthy and Whitley on
     the significance of parentage.--The teacher's obligation to know
     parents.--The influence of sex.--Environment as a
     factor.--Thorndike quoted.--B.H. Jacobsen on individual

So far we simply have made the point that individuals differ. We are
concerned in this chapter in knowing how these differences affect the
teaching process. Fully to appreciate their significance we must know
not only that they exist, and the degree of their variation, but also
the forces that produce them. On the side of heredity, race, family, and
sex, are the great modifying factors. Practically, of course, we are
concerned very little as Church teachers with problems of race. We are
all so nearly one in that regard that a discussion of racial differences
would contribute but little to the solution of our teaching problem.

The matter of family heritage is a problem of very much more immediate
concern. Someone has happily said: "Really to know a boy one must know
fully his father and his mother." "Yes," says a commentator, "and he
ought to know a deal about the grandfather and grandmother." The
significance of parentage is made to stand out with clearness in the
following paragraph from Norsworthy and Whitley, _The Psychology of

   "Just as good eyesight and longevity are family characteristics, so
   also color blindness, left-handedness, some slight peculiarity of
   structure such as an extra finger or toe, or the Hapsburg lip, sense
   defects such as deafness or blindness, tendencies to certain
   diseases, especially those of the nervous system,--all these run in
   families. Certain mental traits likewise are obviously handed down
   from parents to child, such as strong will, memory for faces, musical
   imagination, abilities in mathematics or the languages, artistic
   talent. In these ways and many others children resemble their
   parents. The same general law holds of likes and dislikes, of
   temperamental qualities such as quick temper, vivacity, lovableness,
   moodiness. In all traits, characteristics, features, powers both
   physical and mental and to some extent moral also, children's
   original nature, their stock in trade, is determined by their
   immediate ancestry. 'We inherit our parents' tempers, our parents'
   conscientiousness, shyness and ability, as we inherit their stature,
   forearm and span,' says Pearson."

The teacher who would really appreciate the feelings and responses of a
boy in his class must be aware, therefore, that the boy is not merely
one of a dozen type individuals--he is a product of a particular
parentage, acting as he does largely because "he was born that way."

We shall point out in connection with environmental influences the
importance of a teacher's knowing the home condition of his pupils; but
it is important here, in passing, to emphasize the point that even
though a child were never to live with its parents it could be
understood by the teacher acquainted with the peculiar traits of those
parents. "Born with a bent" is a proverb of such force that it cannot be
ignored. To know the parental heritage of a boy is to anticipate his
reaction to stimuli--is to know what approach to make to win him.

Because of the fact that in many of our organizations we are concerned
with the problem of teaching boys and girls together, the question of
the influence of sex is one which we must face. There are those who hold
that boys and girls are so fundamentally different by nature that they
ought not to be taught coeducationally. Others maintain that they are
essentially alike in feeling and intellectuality, and that because of
the fact that eventually they are to be mated in the great partnership
of life they should be held together as much as possible during the
younger years of their lives. Most authorities are agreed that boys and
girls differ not so much because they are possessed of different native
tendencies, but because they live differently--they follow different
lines of activity, and therefore develop different interests. To quote
again from Norsworthy and Whitley:

   "That men and women are different, that their natures are not the
   same, has long been an accepted fact. Out of this fact of difference
   have grown many hot discussions as to the superiority of one or the
   other nature as a whole. The present point of view of scientists
   seems well expressed by Ellis when he says, 'We may regard all such
   discussions as absolutely futile and foolish. If it is a question of
   determining the existence and significance of some particular
   physical sexual difference, a conclusion may not be impossible. To
   make any broad statement of the phenomena is to recognize that no
   general conclusion is possible. Now and again we come across facts
   which group themselves with a certain uniformity, but as we continue,
   we find other equally important facts which group themselves with
   equal uniformity in another sense. The result produces compensation.'
   The question of interest then is, what in nature is peculiar to the
   male sex and what to the female? What traits will be true of a boy,
   merely because he is a boy, and vice versa? This has been an
   extremely difficult question to answer, because of the difficulty
   encountered in trying to eliminate the influence of environment and
   training. Boys are what they are because of their original nature
   plus their surroundings. Some would claim that if we could give boys
   and girls the same surroundings, the same social requirements, the
   same treatment from babyhood, there would be no difference in the
   resulting natures. Training undoubtedly accentuates inborn sex
   differences, and it is true that a reversal of training does lessen
   this difference; however, the weight of opinion at present is that
   differences in intellect and character do exist because of
   differences of sex, but that these have been unduly magnified. H.B.
   Thompson, in her investigation entitled _The Mental Traits of Sex_,
   finds that 'Motor ability in most of its forms is better developed in
   men than in women. In strength, rapidity of movement, and rate of
   fatigue, they have a very decided advantage, and in precision of
   movement a slight advantage.... The thresholds are on the whole lower
   in women, discriminative sensibility is on the whole better in
   men.... All these differences, however, are slight. As for the
   intellectual faculties, women are decidedly superior to men in
   memory, and possibly more rapid in associative thinking. Men are
   probably superior in ingenuity.... The data on the life of feeling
   indicate that there is little, if any, sexual difference in the
   degree of domination by emotion, and that social consciousness is
   more prominent in men, and religious consciousness in women.'

   "Pearson, in his measurement of traits, not by objective tests but by
   opinions of people who know the individual, finds that boys are more
   athletic, noisy, self-assertive, self-conscious; less popular, duller
   in conscience, quicker-tempered, less sullen, a little duller
   intellectually and less efficient in penmanship. Heymans and Wiersma,
   following the same general method as Pearson, state as their general
   conclusions that the female is more active, more emotional, and more
   unselfish than the male. 'They consider women to be more impulsive,
   less efficient intellectually, and more fickle than men as a result
   of the first two differences mentioned above; to be gifted in music,
   acting, conversation and the invention of stories, as a result in
   part of the second difference; and to think well of people and to be
   easily reconciled to them as a result of the third.' Thorndike finds
   the chief differences to be that the female varies less from the
   average standard, is more observant of small visual details, less
   often color-blind, less interested in things and their mechanisms,
   more interested in people and their feelings, less given to pursuing,
   capturing and maltreating living things, and more given to nursing,
   comforting and relieving them than is the male. H. Ellis considers
   the chief differences to be the less tendency to variability, the
   greater affectability, and the greater primitiveness of the female
   mind, and the less ability shown by women in dealing with the more
   remote and abstract interests in life. All the authors emphasize the
   smallness of the differences; and after all the striking thing is not
   the differences between the sexes, but the great difference within
   the same sex in respect to every mental trait tested. The difference
   of man from man, and woman from woman, in any trait is almost as
   great as the differences between the sexes in that trait. Sex can be
   the cause, then, of only a fraction of the difference between the
   original nature of individuals."

It is reasonably certain, then, that a teacher may safely appeal to both
boys and girls on the ground of the fundamental instincts, feeling
confident that common stimuli will produce largely the same results.

Important as it is that we know what our pupils are from their
parentage, it is even more important in the matter of religious
instruction that we shall appreciate the force of the varieties of
environment that have been operative. Though boys and girls may be
essentially alike at the outset of their lives they may be thrown into
such associations as to make their ideals and conduct entirely
different. Fancy the contrast between the case of a girl brought up for
fifteen years in a household of refinement and in a companionship of
gentility, and the case of a boy who during the same years has been the
pal of bullies on street corners. Surely stimuli that are to promote
proper reaction in these two cases will have to be suited to the person
in question.

Then, too, the teacher must realize that one child may come from a home
of faith, confidence, and contentment; whereas, another may come from a
home of agitation, doubt, and suspicion. One may have been taught to
pray--another may have been led to disbelieve. One may have been
stimulated to read over sacred books--another may have been left to
peruse cheap, sensational detective stories. To succeed in reaching the
hearts of a group of such boys and girls, a teacher surely ought to be
aware of individual differences and ought to be fortified with a wealth
of material so that the appeal may be as varied as possible. To quote
from Thorndike's _Principles of Education_:

   "A teacher has to choose what is for the greatest good of the
   greatest number. He cannot expect to drive forty children abreast
   along the highroad of education." "Yet the differences in children
   should not blind us to their likenesses." "We need general principles
   and their sagacious application to individual problems."

   "The worst error of teachers with respect to individual differences
   is to neglect them, to form one set of fixed habits for dealing with
   all children, to teach 'the child instead of countless different
   living individuals.' To realize the varieties of human nature, the
   nature and amount of mental differences, is to be protected against
   many fallacies of teaching."

Our treatment of individual differences was well summed up in the
following paper by B.H. Jacobsen, a member of the B.Y.U.
Teacher-Training class:

   _The Significance of Individual Differences in Teaching_

   "Individual instruction in our religious organizations as in the
   public schools is under present condition impracticable. We are
   compelled to teach in groups or classes of somewhat varying size.
   Consequently, it is of prime importance for the teacher, in trying to
   apply that fundamental principle of pedagogy--an understanding of the
   being to be taught--to know first what characteristics and
   tendencies, whether native or acquired, are known to a large majority
   of the children in the class. Leaving out of consideration the
   possible presence of subnormal children, the language used must be
   clear and simple enough to be comprehended by all; the great majority
   of the questions must be intended for all to find answers to; the
   stories, illustrations, incidents, pictures, and various devices
   employed must be reasonably within the range of experience and
   comprehension of all members.

   "At the same time, it is important to recognize the fact that, after
   all, the class as a whole does not in any very fundamental,
   pedagogical sense constitute the objective unit of instruction.
   Though it seems natural for most teachers to look upon the class as a
   more or less uniform mass, and the exigencies of the situation make
   this to some extent unavoidable, still the individual child remains
   always the real unit, and furthermore the units are all different--in
   appearance, training and temperament.

   "In general the methods and material will be uniform for all, but
   there will still be abundant opportunity for exercising little
   individual touches and tricks in relation to individual pupils,
   especially those who vary somewhat widely from the average. Even such
   a superficial matter as size, especially superior size, might
   profitably receive a little special consideration by the teacher and
   thus at times save some pupil a little physical embarrassment. The
   boy unusually active might be given some physical task to perform,
   even if it has to be provided for the occasion, though it must not be
   too artificially created, as this is sure of detection.

   "Questions requiring more than ordinary mental ability to answer may
   be directed to those of superior alertness and intelligence, who may
   also be given more difficult subjects to look up for presentation to
   the class. Special interests in animals, flowers, books, aeroplanes,
   industries, vocations, should be discovered and utilized by the
   watchful teacher. Even though the connection may be a little remote,
   any contribution of real interest and value is legitimate in order to
   relieve the monotony of a dull class.

   "Pupils differ very widely in temperament and disposition as well as
   in capacity. The timid boy or girl should be given special
   encouragement and commendation, while the over-bold will take no
   injury from a mild "squelch" occasionally. The child of gloomy
   disposition should if anything have more smiles and sunny words sent
   his way than the cheerful one, who is in no danger of losing his
   share. The talkative child will need cautioning and careful
   directing, while the one who seldom speaks needs the frequent
   stimulus of a kind and encouraging look or word. The child who is
   naturally docile and obedient will develop smoothly and without great
   need of special attention and direction, while the stubborn, the
   rebellious, the untractable child, the cause of continual worry and
   solicitude, is the one on whom special thought must be bestowed; for
   his soul is no less precious in the sight of God, and the wise
   teacher may be the means of making him a useful citizen, as well as
   directing him in the way of working out his eternal salvation."

       *       *       *       *       *


1. Discuss the relative significance of race, sex, family, and
environment as factors producing individual differences.

2. Why is it essential that teachers know the parents of pupils?

3. What are the advantages of having boys and girls together in class?
What are the arguments for separating them?

4. How can a teacher be governed by the force of individual differences
when he has to teach a group of forty pupils?

5. Discuss the statement that teaching is both a social and an
individual process.

6. Choose a subject of general interest and illustrate how it might be
presented to satisfy different types of pupils.


Those listed in Chapter VII.




     Attention the mother of learning.--Gregory quoted.--The fact of
     attention in the Army.--What attention
     is.--Illustrations.--Attention and interest.--The three types of
     attention: Involuntary, nonvoluntary, voluntary.--How to secure
     attention.--Interest the great key to attention.

In that stimulating little book, _The Seven Laws of Teaching_, by
Gregory, _et al_, the second law is stated in these words:

   "A _learner_ is one who _attends_ with interest to the lesson."

Expressed as a rule of teaching, the law is made to read:

   "Gain and keep the attention and interest of the pupils upon the
   lesson. Do not try to teach without attention."

As a matter of fact, it is impossible to teach without attention. A
person may hold class--go through the formality of a class exercise--but
he can _really teach_ only him who _attends_. The first big, outstanding
thought with reference to attention is that we should secure it, not so
much in the interest of order, important as it is in that connection,
but because it is the _sine qua non_ of _learning_.

A boy may sit in a class in algebra for weeks, with his mind far afield
on some pet scheme, or building palatial edifices in the air, but not
until he _attends_ does he begin to grasp the problems presented. It is
literally as well as scripturally possible "to have ears and hear not."
_Attention_ is the mother of learning.

Think of the force of that word _attention_ in the American Army. It is
a delight to see the ranks straighten to that command--would that our
messages of truth could challenge the same response from that vast army
of seekers after truth--the boys and girls of the Church. The soldier at
attention not only stands erect, nor does he merely keep silence--he is
eagerly receptive--anxious to receive a message which he is to translate
into action. His attitude, perhaps, is our best answer to the question,
"What is attention?" Betts says, "The concentration of the mind's energy
on one object of thought is attention."

As Magnusson expresses it, "Attention is the centering of consciousness
on a portion of its contents." And Angell adds, "Attention is simply a
name for the central and most active portion of the field of

The mind, of course, during waking hours, is never merely passive. With
its flood of ideas it is always recalling, observing, comparing,
analyzing, building toward conclusions. These processes go on
inevitably--go on with little concern about attention. But when we
narrow the field--when we bring our mental energy to a focus on
something specific and particular we then _attend_.

Betts, in his _The Mind and Its Education_, very happily illustrates the
meaning of attention:

   "_Attention Measures Mental Efficiency._--In a state of attention the
   mind may be likened to the rays of the sun which have been passed
   through a burning glass. You may let all the rays which can pass
   through your window pane fall hour after hour upon the paper lying on
   your desk, and no marked effects follow. But let the same amount of
   sunlight be passed through a lens and converged to a point the size
   of your pencil, and the paper will at once burst into flame."

To follow another analogy, attention is to the energies of the mind what
the pipe line leading into the power plant is to the water in the canyon
above. It directs and concentrates for the generation of power. Just as
the water might run on and on to little or no purpose, so the energies
of a boy or girl may be permitted to drift aimlessly toward no
conviction unless the teacher wins him to an attention that rivets truth
to his life.

In a discussion of attention the question of the relation of interest to
attention is bound to arise. Do we attend to things because they are
interesting? Or are we interested in things because we give them our
attention? The two terms are so interwoven in meaning that they are
frequently treated under one chapter heading. Our purpose here is not to
attempt to divorce them, but rather to give them emphasis because of
their significance in the teaching process.

Attention denotes a focusing of mental energy on a particular idea or
object; interest, subjectively considered, is an attitude of mind.
Perhaps we can get a clearer idea of the two terms if we consider the
various types of attention. First of all there is what is called
_Involuntary_ attention. This is the type over which the mind has little
or no control. A person sits reading--his attention fixed on the page in
front of him--when suddenly a rock crashes through the window
immediately behind him. He jumps to see what is wrong. His attention to
his book is shifted to the window, not because he wills it so, but
because of the suddenness and force of the stimulus. The excitation of
the auditory nerve centers compels attention. The attendant feeling may
be one of pleasure or of pain--there may be an interest developed or
there may not. Involuntary attention clearly does not rest upon

Then there is what is called _Nonvoluntary_ attention. I go to a theatre
and some particular musical number is featured. It grips my interest and
I follow it with rapt attention, wholly without conscious effort. Unlike
the case of a sudden noise, in this experience my attention is not
physiologically automatic--I could control it if I chose--but I choose
now to give it. Interest clearly is the motor power behind such
attention. Then, finally, there is _Voluntary_ attention. I sit at a
table working out a problem in arithmetic. Outside there is being played
a most exciting ball game. My interests are almost wholly centered in
the outcome of the game, but duty bids me work out my problem. I make
myself attend to it in spite of the pull of my natural interests.

And so attention is seen to be purely the result of physiological
stimulus; it is seen to accompany--fairly to be born out of
it--interest. It is seen to be the result of an operation of the will
against the natural force of interest. This three-fold classification is
of particular significance to the teacher. He may be sure that if he
resorts to the use of unusual stimuli he can arrest attention, though by
so doing he has no guarantee of holding it; he may feel certain of
attention if he can bring before pupils objects and ideas which to them
are interesting; he may so win them to the purposes of his recitation
that they will give attention even though they are not interested in
what may be going on for the time being. It is evident, however, that
resorting to violent stimuli is dangerous, that forced attention is
ultimately disagreeable and certainly not a modern commonplace in
experience, that attention which attends genuine interest is the
attention most generally to be sought.

One question still remains: "How shall we proceed to secure and to hold

In the first place we should remind ourselves that it is a difficult
matter to give sustained attention to a single object or idea, unless
the object or idea changes. The difficulty is greater with children than
with adults. In the second place we should be mindful that it is poor
policy either to demand attention or to beg for it.

Where attention has to be secured out of disorder we are justified in
making use of stimuli that shock pupils into attention. One of the best
illustrations of this sort of procedure was the method used in the David
Belasco theatre in New York to get audiences quiet for the opening of
the performances. Mr. Belasco was convinced that the orchestra had
become a mere accompaniment to the clatter and noise of the audience and
so he did not trust to that means to secure order. In fact, he discarded
the orchestra idea. At the appointed hour for the curtain to rise, his
theatre became suddenly dark. So dark that the blackness was startling.
Immediately upon the silence that attended the shock the soft chiming of
bells became audible which led the audience to strain in an attempt to
catch fully the effect of the chime. At that point the curtains were
drawn and the first lines of the play fell upon the ears of a perfectly
quiet audience.

It is safer and better, of course, to anticipate disorder by getting the
lesson under way in an interesting manner. These artificial devices are
serviceable as emergency measures as well as helpful as restful
variations in a class hour. Change in posture, group exercises, periods
of relaxation, all help to make attention the more easily possible.

The key to sustained attention, when all is said and done, is interest.
There is no substitute for the fascination of interest. As Magnusson
says: "Monotony is the great enemy of attention. Interest is the
attention-compelling element of instincts and desires." The teacher can
feel assured of success only when he is so fully prepared that his
material wins attention because of its richness and appropriateness.
Special thought should be given in the preparation of a lesson to the
attack to be made during the first two minutes of a recitation. A
pointed, vital question, a challenging statement, a striking incident, a
fascinating, appropriate story, a significant quotation--these are a few
of the legitimate challenges to attention.

       *       *       *       *       *


1. Discuss the statement: "There is no such thing as inattention; when
pupils appear inattentive, they are singly attentive to something more
interesting than the lesson."

2. Explain the force of attention in the learning process.

3. What is attention?

4. Discuss and illustrate the different types of attention.

5. Give some practical suggestions on the securing of attention.

6. Point out the distinction between attention and interest.

7. Discuss the effect of monotony on attention.

8. How do children and adults differ in their powers of attention?


Pillsburg, _Attention_; Norsworthy and Whitley, _Psychology of
Childhood_; Strayer and Norsworthy, _How to Teach_; Betts, _How to Teach
Religion_; Weigle, _Talks to Sunday School Teachers_; Fitch, _The Art of
Securing Attention_; Thorndike, _Principles of Teaching_; Dewey,
_Interest and Effort in Education_; Brumbaugh, _The Making of a




     Individual differences and interest.--What makes for
     interest.--Interest begets interest.--Preparation is a great
     guarantee.--Knowledge of the lives of boys and girls a great
     help.--The factors of interestingness: The Vital, The Unusual, The
     Uncertain, The Concrete, The Similar, The Antagonistic, The

After discussing the relation of interest to attention we still face the
question: What is it that makes an interesting object, or an idea
interesting? Why do we find some things naturally interesting while
others are dull and commonplace? Of course, everything is not equally
interesting to all people. Individual differences make clear the fact
that a certain stimulus will call for a response in one particular
person, quite unlike the response manifested in a person of different
temperament and training. But psychologists are agreed that in spite of
these differences there are certain elements of interests that are
generally and fundamentally appealing to human nature. To know what it
is that makes for interest is one of the prerequisites of good teaching.

But before naming these "factors of interestingness," may we not also
name and discuss briefly some other essentials in the matter of creating
and maintaining interest?

In the first place it is good to remember that a teacher who would have
his pupils interested must himself be interested. If he would see their
faces light up with the glow of enthusiasm, he must be the charged
battery to generate the current. Interest begets interest. It is as
contagious as whooping cough--if a class is exposed it is sure to catch
it. The teacher who constantly complains of a dull class, very likely
is simply facing a reaction to his own dullness or disagreeableness.
"Blue Monday" isn't properly so named merely because of the drowsy
pupil. The teacher inevitably sets the pace and determines the tone of
his class. Many a teacher when tired, or out of patience, has concluded
a recitation feeling that his pupils were about the most stupid group he
has ever faced; the same teacher keyed up to enthusiasm has felt at the
close of another recitation that these same pupils could not be
surpassed. A student with whom the writer talked a short time ago
remarked that she could always tell whether the day's class was going to
be interesting under a particular teacher as soon as she caught the mood
in which she entered the classroom. Half-heartedness, indifference, and
unpleasantness are all negative--they neither attract nor stimulate.
Interest and enthusiasm are the sunshine of the classroom--they are to
the human soul what the sun's rays are to the plant.

The second great guarantee of interest is preparation. The teacher needs
to have his subject matter so thoroughly in mind that, free from
textbook and notes, he can reach out to a real contact with his boys and
girls. If his eyes are glued to his book, he cannot hope to arouse keen
interest. The eye is a great force in gripping the attention of a class
or audience. They want nothing to stand between them and the speaker.
Not long ago one of the most forceful and eloquent public speakers in
Utah failed miserably, in addressing a thoroughly fine audience, because
he was lost in the machinery of his notes. His material was
excellent--his power as an orator unquestioned--yet he was bound down by
a lack of preparation that cost him the mastery of his audience.

Not only does adequate preparation enable a teacher to reach out and
take hold of his pupils; it makes it possible for him to capitalize on
the situations that are bound to arise in class discussion. A concrete
illustration to clear up a troublesome question, an appropriate incident
to hit off some general truth, a happy phrase to crystallize a
thought--all these things are born only of adequate preparation.

Not long ago a candidate for the presidency of the United States
delighted an audience of ten thousand or more in the Salt Lake
Tabernacle by his remarkable handling of questions and comments thrown
at him from that vast audience. There was no hesitancy or uncertainty.
He spoke "as one who knew." He was prepared. He had so lived with the
questions of the day that they fairly seemed to be part of him. The
interesting teacher never teaches all he knows. His reserve material
inspires both interest and confidence. A class begins to lose interest
in a teacher the moment they suspect that his stock in trade is running
low. The mystery, "how one small head could carry all he knew," is still
fascinating. Thorough preparation, moreover, minimizes the likelihood of
routine, the monotony of which is always deadening. A class likes a
teacher--is interested in him--when it can't anticipate just what he is
going to do next and how he is going to do it.

A further aid in holding interest is to know intimately the life of the
boys and girls taught. To appreciate fully their attitude--to know what
sort of things in life generally appeal to them--is a very great asset
to any teacher. If a teacher knows that a boy's reaction to the story of
the Israelites' crossing the Red Sea is that that story is "some bunk,"
he is fortified in knowing how to present other subjects which are
similar tests to a boy's faith and understanding. To know pupils'
attitudes and mode of life is to know what sort of illustrations to use,
what emphasis to put upon emotional material, what stress to lay on
practical application. In short, it is to know just how to "connect up."
It stimulates to a testing of values so that a teacher selects and
adapts his material to the needs of the boys and girls whom he teaches.

And, finally, as a key to interest, a teacher needs to know what the
"factors of interestingness" are. According to the findings of the
Public Speaking Department of the University of Chicago, they are summed
up in these seven terms:

  The Vital
  The Unusual
  The Uncertain
  The Concrete
  The Similar
  The Antagonistic
  The Animate

This list becomes more and more helpful as it is pondered. It is
surprising to find how experience can be explained on the score of
interest by reference to these terms. Those things are vital which
pertain to life--which affect existence. Dangers are always interesting.
Catastrophies are fascinating. Just today all America is scanning the
newspapers throughout the country to find an explanation of the Wall
Street explosion. We shall not soon forget the feverish interest that
gripped the people of the world during our recent world wars.

When life is at stake, interest runs high. So it does when property,
liberty, and other sacred rights, so vital to life, are affected.
Anything vital enough to justify the publication of an "extra" may be
depended upon to grip the interest of men and women.

It is equally clear that a fascination attaches to things that are
unusual. New styles attract because of this fact. Let a man oddly
dressed walk along a thoroughfare--the passersby are interested
immediately. A "loud" hat or necktie, or other item of apparel, attracts
attention because it is out of the ordinary. Much of the interest and
delight in traveling lies in this element of the new and unusual which
the traveler encounters. The experiences of childhood which stand out
most prominently are usually those which at the time riveted themselves
to the mind through the interest of their extraordinariness.

Every reader knows the fascination of uncertainty. "How will the book
turn out?" prompts many a person to turn through hundreds of pages of a
novel. An accident is interesting not only because of its vital
significance, but because there is always a question as to how seriously
those involved may be hurt. One of the clearest illustrations of the
force of the uncertain is found attending baseball games. Let the score
stand at 10 to 2 in the eighth inning and the grandstands and bleachers
begin to empty. Few spectators care to remain. The game is too clearly
settled. As the boys say, it is "sewed up" and there is nothing
uncertain to grip interest. But let the score stand 3 to 2 or 2 to 2 in
the eighth and even the man scheduled home for dinner stays to the end.
He wants to know how the game is "coming out."

It is easier also to be interested in concrete than in abstract things.
General truths are not gripping--concrete illustrations of those truths
are. If I declare that it is important to have faith, I create but
little interest in an audience. But if I tell that same audience how
some individual has been miraculously healed through faith, I have their
interest completely. Concrete illustrations fit into and link up with
our own experiences so easily and forcefully that they are particularly

So, too, with things that are similar. The mind naturally links like
with like. We are fond of making comparisons. The interest in the
similar is due to that fundamental law of learning that we proceed from
what is known to that which is unknown and we proceed along points of

And how natural it seems to be interested in things antagonistic! Our
love of contests of all sorts is evidence of the fact. Who can resist
the interest that attaches to a quarrel--a fight--a clash of any kind.
The best of classes will leave the best of teachers, mentally at least,
to witness a dog fight. Our champion prize fighters make fortunes out of
man's interest in the antagonistic.

And then, finally, we are interested in the animate. We like action.
Things in motion have a peculiar fascination. Who does not watch with
interest a moving locomotive? Advertising experts appreciate the appeal
of the animate, as is evidenced by the great variety of moving objects
that challenge our interest as we pass up and down the streets of a city
and we respond to the challenge. In fact, it is natural to respond to
the appeal of all of these seven terms--hence their significance in

       *       *       *       *       *


1. Discuss the force of individual differences in choosing material that
will be interesting.

2. Why is it so essential that the teacher be interested in what he
hopes to interest his pupils in?

3. Show how preparation makes for interest.

4. Why is an intimate acquaintance with the lives of pupils so essential
a factor with the interesting teacher?

5. Illustrate concretely the force of each of the factors of


Those listed in Chapter XI.




     Interest should be inherent in the lesson taught.--An illustration
     of "dragged in" interest.--Interest and the "easy" idea.--A proper
     interpretation of interest.--How to make the subject of _Fasting_
     interesting.--The various possibilities.--How to secure interest in
     the Atonement.--How to secure interest in the Resurrection.--How to
     secure interest in the story of Jonah.

"Oh, that's all right," says one. "It is easy enough to talk about
interest, and it's easy to be interesting if you can choose anything you
like to amuse a class. But if you have to teach them theology, and
especially some of the dry lessons that are outlined for us, I don't see
how we can be expected to make our work interesting."

Of course, there is some point to such an objection. Having been asked
to teach the truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ, we cannot defend the
practice of bringing in all kinds of material just because it is funny.
And, of course, it is true, too, that some lesson outlines upon first
thought do appear rather forbidding. But it is equally true that there
is a path of interest through the most unpromising material, though that
path does not always run alongside the teacher's highroad of ease and
unconcern. A false notion of interest is that it denotes mere
amusement--that it is something aside from serious and sober thought.

The writer recalls visiting a class taught by a person holding such a
notion. Having given his lesson but little thought he apologized for its
lack of interest by saying, "Now, boys and girls, if you will just be
quiet while we go over the lesson, even though it isn't very
interesting, I'll read you our next chapter of _Huckleberry Finn_." And
yet the lesson, hurried over, with a little intensive study could have
been made as fascinating as the reading of _Huckleberry Finn_ and
notably more profitable.

Another misconception relative to interest is the idea that to make a
subject interesting you must so popularize it that you cheapen it. This
idea is typified in the "snap" courses in school--courses made
interesting at the expense of painstaking application. As a matter of
fact, to cheapen a thing is ultimately to kill interest in it. Genuine
interest of real worth is born of effort and devotion to a worthy
objective. Far from dissipating the mind's energies, it heightens and
concentrates them to the mastery of the bigger and finer things of life.

A subject to be made interesting must present some element of newness,
yet must be so linked up with the experience of the learner as to be
made comprehensible. It must, moreover, be made to appeal as essential
and helpful in the life of the learner. The two outstanding queries of
the uninterested pupil are:

  What is it all about?
  What's the use?

Let us, then, turn to two or three subjects which at first thought may
appear more or less dull to see whether there is an approach to them
that can be made interesting.

Members of the teacher-training class at Provo were asked to name four
or five subjects which they regarded hard to stimulate interest in. They
named the following:

  The Fall.
  The Atonement.
  The Resurrection.
  The Story of Jonah.

Let us suppose that I have met my Second Intermediate class of eighteen
boys and girls to discuss the subject of fasting. I might begin by
relating an actual experience in which through fasting and prayer on the
part of the members of a particular family a little boy has just been
most miraculously restored to health, after an operation for
appendicitis. It was an infection case, and three doctors agreed there
was no possible chance of recovery. A fourth doctor held out the
possibility of one chance in a hundred. And yet a two days' fast,
coupled with a faith I have seldom seen equalled, has been rewarded by
the complete recovery of the boy, who is now thoroughly well and strong.

Such a concrete illustration is one possibility for arousing interest.

Or, I might proceed with a few definite, pointed questions:

"How many of you eighteen boys and girls fasted this month?"

The answers show that seven have fasted; eleven have not.

I proceed then to inquire why the eleven have failed to fast. Various
explanations are offered:

"Oh, I forgot."

"We don't fast in our home."

"Father has to work all day Sunday; and so, because mother has to get
breakfast for him, we all eat."

"I have a headache if I fast, so I think it is better not to."

"I don't see any use in fasting. Going around with a long, hungry face
can't help anyone."

"It's easy to fast when they won't give you anything to eat."

"I like to fast just to show myself that I don't live to be eating all
the time."

"I believe it's a good thing to give the body a little rest once in a

"I feel different when I fast--more spiritual or something."

"It must be right to fast. The Church wouldn't ask us to if it wasn't a
good thing."

The definiteness of these replies, coupled with the suspense of
wondering what the next answer will be, keeps up a lively interest.

A third possibility would be to call for the experiences of the pupils,
or experiences which have occurred in their families, or concerning
which they have read. A very rich compilation of interesting material
can be collected under such a scheme.

Or, finally, I may choose to proceed immediately with a vigorous
analysis and discussion of the whole problem. I arouse interest by
quoting a friend who has put the query to me, "What is the use of
fasting?" and then enlist the cooperation of the class in formulating a
reply. Together we work out the possible justification of fasting.

The following outline may represent the line of our thought:

1. Jesus taught us to fast.
  a. His forty days in the wilderness.
  b. His injunction to his apostles.

2. Our leaders have instituted fasting in these latter days.

3. By fasting we develop a mastery over our appetites. The body is made
to serve the will.

4. Physiologically, it is a good thing to fast. Many scientists are now
recommending regular rests for the digestive organs.

5. Fasting makes possible an elevation of spirit.

6. Our system of fasting makes it possible to see that no one in the
Church wants for food.

7. Fasting enables us to appreciate the feelings of those who are less
fortunate in the world than we are, who are denied the blessings we

Of course, each idea needs to be introduced and developed in a concrete,
vigorous manner. So treated, fasting can be made a very fascinating

The following suggestions on introducing the lesson on the Resurrection
to little children have been drawn up by one of the most successful
kindergarten teachers in the Church:

"There are several things to be considered before presenting the lesson
on the Resurrection to little children.

"First, the teacher must feel that she _can_ present it. In other words,
she must love the story and feel the importance of it. She must also be
able to see the beautiful side and remember that she is teaching, 'There
is no death; but life eternal.'

"The next question to consider is: How are we going to present it? We
must lead the child from the known to the unknown, through the child's
own experience. Therefore we go to nature, because all nature appeals to
the child. But in order to create the right atmosphere, the teacher in
selecting the subject must feel that what he has selected is the very
thing he wants in order to explain to the child, 'There is no death.'

"There are several ways in which the subject may be approached through
nature. We may take the Autumn and let the children tell what happens to
the trees, flowers, and different plants. Lead them to see the condition
after the leaves are off. Then what will happen next Spring. Or we may
take one specific tree or brush and talk of the twig where the leaves
were in the summer, but have now fallen to the ground. The twig looks
dead. But on opening the bud and removing the brown covering we find the
tiny leaf inside waiting and preparing to come forth in the Spring.

"The bulb may be used in a similar way, leading the child to see the
bulb as it is before planting, then to see what happens when we plant

"The caterpillar may also be used. Here we have the live worm getting
ready to go into his cocoon and is absent for some time; then he
returns, only in another form. A higher stage.

"Lead the child to see that every thing in nature has a period of
changing, of apparently going away for a short time, but is not dead--it
returns to life.

"Be sure to have the objects you are talking about before the class,
while you are discussing the subject. If not obtainable, use a picture,
or draw them."

The problem of the story of Jonah is usually submitted with a twinkle in
the eye of him who raises the question. The world has so generally
relegated it to the heap of the impossible that even some of our own
people look rather amazed when a champion for Jonah steps forward. And
yet this story properly approached is one of the teacher's greatest
opportunities. If it is to be presented to small children it can be told
very beautifully, either as a lesson on disobedience or, from the point
of view of the people of Nineveh, as a lesson on fasting and prayer.
Little children will not be troubled with doubt and disbelief unless the
teacher fosters such attitudes.

To older minds, of course, the story already is a good bit of a
stumbling block, and therefore needs to be given thoughtful preparation.

At the outset, with older students, we ought to lead them into the
beauties of the story--beauties which all too frequently are wholly
unknown to the ordinary boy or girl. Read the story:

  The call that comes to Jonah.
  His hesitancy.
  His dodging of duty.
  His selfish judgments.
  His punishment.
  His attitude toward the people of Nineveh.
  The lesson taught.

"Yes," says the young skeptic, "but how about the whale idea? Do you
expect us to believe that stuff? It's contrary to all natural law."

Let's meet the issue squarely. The Bible says that Jonah was swallowed
by a big fish. Science is agreed that that part of the account is easily
possible--nothing contrary to natural law so far.

"But what about the three days? That surely is."

Here is a challenge. Is it possible that life can be suspended, "and
restored"? Let the scriptures testify. It was so in the case of the
daughter of Jairus. (Mark 5:22-43.)

So was it in the case of Lazarus. (John 11:23-44.)

Consider the case of the Son of God Himself! Buried in the tomb,
Jesus rose the third day. If you can believe in the resurrection, you
can believe in the restoration of Jonah. It is interesting to note that
Jesus Himself accepted the story of Jonah. See Matthew 12:40:

   "For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the whale's belly;
   so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart
   of the earth."

To doubt Jonah is to question the Master. Not only so, but if a person
throws out the story of Jonah, he faces a chain of miraculous events
from one end of the Bible to the other from which he will have
difficulty to escape. You ask me to explain Jonah, I shall reply by
asking you to explain:

  The creation of man.
  The flood.
  The confusion of Babel.
  The parting of the Red Sea.
  The three Hebrews and the furnace.
  Elisha and the ax.
  The birth of the Savior.
  His resurrection.
  One-third of the account given by Matthew.
  Your own birth.

May one not accept with confidence the word of God as contained in the
Doctrine & Covenants, Sec. 35:8?

"For I am God, and mine arm is not shortened; and I will show miracles,
signs and wonders unto all those who _believe on my name_."

       *       *       *       *       *


1. Discuss the proper use of stories in securing and maintaining

2. Point out the danger of bringing in foreign "funny" material.

3. Show how difficult subjects may be made of even greater interest than
easy ones.

4. Use the greater part of this class hour for illustrating how to
create interest in subjects ordinarily found hard to teach.


Those listed in Chapter XI.




     The steps involved in the preparation of a lesson: The aim;
     organization; illustration; application; questions.--Problems
     involved in the presentation of a lesson: The point of contact;
     illustration; the lesson statement.--Various possibilities.--The
     review: questioning; application.--The matter summarized.

So many textbooks have been written about teaching--so many points of
view have been advanced--such a variety of terminology has been
employed, even in the expression of a single educational notion--that
beginning teachers are frequently at a loss to know just how to set
about the task of teaching. Leaving for further consideration the more
purely theoretical aspects of our problem, let us face the questions of
most immediate concern:


Is there not a common-sense procedure which we can agree to as promising
best results in these two fundamental steps? At the outset let us agree
that preparation and presentation are inseparable aspects of but one
process. Preparation consists of the work done _behind the
scenes_--presentation involves the _getting over_ of the results of that
work to the _audience_--the class. Frequently teachers are confused
because they mistake directions governing _preparation_ as applying to
_presentation_. For instance, one teacher proceeded to drill a class of
small children on the memorizing of the aim--an abstract general
truth--unmindful of the fact that the _aim_ was set down for the
teacher's guidance--a focus for his preparation done behind the scenes.

Though in the _preparation_ of a lesson we keep the aim clearly in
mind, and though, when we stand before our class, we let it function in
the background of our consciousness as an objective in our procedure, we
ought not to hurl it at our class. As a generalized truth it can make
but little appeal to young minds, and it ought to be self-evident, at
the end of a successful recitation, to mature minds.

And so with the matter of organization. We skeletonize our thoughts
behind the scenes, but the skeleton is rather an unsightly specimen to
exhibit before a class. The outline should be inherent in the lesson as
presented, but it ought not to protrude so that the means will be
mistaken for an end. Subsequent chapters will illustrate both the
selection of an aim and its elaboration through suitable organization.

The successful preparation of a lesson involves at least five major
steps. They are named here that the problem of preparation may be
grasped as a whole. Later chapters will develop at length each step in
its turn.

1. _The Aim._ A generalized statement, a kernel of truth about which all
of the facts of the lesson are made to center. A lesson may be built up
on a passage of scripture, on the experience of a person or a people, or
on a vital question, etc. But in any case, though we are interested in
the facts involved, we are interested not in the facts as an end in
themselves, but rather because of the truth involved in the facts. In
other words, we seek to sift out of the material offered in a lesson an
essential truth which helps us in a solution of the problems of life.
Attention to the aim is a guarantee against mere running over of matter
of fact.

2. _Organization._ A teacher should outline his lesson so that pupils
may easily follow him through the subject matter presented to the
ultimate truth that lies beyond.

3. _Illustration._ Illustrations are what make truth vivid. Successful
teachers owe much of their success to their ability through story or
incident to drive home to the experience of pupils those fundamental
truths which in their general terms make but little appeal. One of the
most helpful practices for teachers who would become effective is the
habit of clipping and filing available illustrative material. There is a
wealth of rich, concrete matter appearing regularly in our magazines and
other publications. What is good today likely will be equally good a
year or two years hence when we shall face the problem of teaching again
today's lesson. An alphabetic letter file may be had for a few cents in
which can be filed away all sorts of helpful material. It pays to
collect and save!

4. _Application._ Having selected his aim, the teacher knows the result
he should like to have follow his lesson, in the lives of his pupils. He
knows, too, their tendencies and their needs. In giving attention to
application he is merely making a survey of the possible channel into
which he can direct his pupils' activities. In considering application
he asks, "Of what use will this material be in the experience of my
pupils?" The test-application is the real test--both of the subject
matter presented and of the effectiveness of the presentation.

5. _Questions._ Finally, lesson preparation is not complete unless the
teacher has formulated a few thought-provoking questions which go to the
very heart of the lesson. The question is the great challenge to the
seeker after truth. It is easy to ask questions, but to propound queries
that stir pupils to an intellectual awakening is a real art. Surely no
preparation can be fully complete unless it involves:

  The selection of an aim.
  The orderly organization of material.
  The collecting of rich illustrations.
  The pondering of facts to their application.
  The formulating of at least a few thoroughly stimulating questions.

Can we not agree to these steps as fundamental in the proper preparation
of our lessons in all of our Church organizations?

With the subject matter well in mind--the work behind the scenes
completed, the teacher is then prepared for the problem of
presentation--is ready to appear on the stage of class activity. The
first outstanding problem in lesson presentation is that of the _Point
of Contact_. This is a phrase variously interpreted and often
misunderstood. Perhaps it is not the happiest expression we could wish,
but it is so generally used and is so significant when understood that
we ought to standardize it and interpret it as it affects our Church

When a class assembles for recitation purposes its members present
themselves with all kinds of mental attitudes and mind content. The
various groups of a Mutual class may have been engaged in all sorts of
activities just before entering their classroom. One group may have been
discussing politics; another may have been engaged in a game of ball; a
third may have been practicing as a quartette; and still a fourth may
have been busy at office work. Facing such a collection of groups stands
a teacher who for an hour or more has dismissed all temporal matters,
and has been pondering the spiritual significance of prayer. Evidently
there is a great mental chasm between them. Their coming together and
thinking on common ground involves the _Point of Contact_. There must
be contact if an influence for good is to be exerted. Either the teacher
must succeed in bringing the boys to where he is "in thought," or he
must go to "where they are."

Teachers in Bible lessons all too frequently hurry off into the Holy
Land, going back some two thousand years, and leaving their pupils in
Utah and in the here and the present. No wonder that pupils say of such
a teacher, "We don't 'get' him." To proceed without preparing the minds
of pupils for the message and discussion of the lesson is like planting
seed without having first plowed and prepared the ground.

In the Bible lesson, it would be easy to bridge over from the interests
of today to those of Bible days. Suppose our lesson is on Joseph who was
sold into Egypt. Instead of proceeding at once with a statement as to
the parentage of Joseph, etc., we might well center the interests of
these various-minded boys on a current observation of today--a
wonderfully fine harvest field of grain. They have all seen that. Make a
striking observation relative to the grain, or put a question that will
lead them to do that for you. Having raised an issue, you continue by
inquiring whether or not the same conditions have prevailed elsewhere
and at other times. Did they prevail in the days of Israel? The step
then to the story of Joseph's dream, etc., is an easy one.

This illustration, though simple and more or less crude, indicates that
to establish a point of contact, we must reach out to where the pupil
now is, and lead easily and naturally to where you would have him go.
Surely we cannot presume that he has already traveled the same
intellectual road that we have gone over.

Suppose we face a group of adolescent boys to teach them a lesson on the
importance of their attending church. If we proceed with a preachment
on their duties and obligations, we are quite certain to lose their
interest. Boys do not like to be preached at.

We know, however, that they are interested in automobiles. By starting
out with some vital observation or question out of the automobile world,
we may count on their attention. Following the discussion thus raised,
we might then inquire the purpose of the garages that we find along all
public highways. We could dwell upon the significance of repairs in
maintaining the efficiency of cars. Now we are prepared for the query,
Is it not essential that we have spiritual garages for the souls of men,
garages where supplies and repairs may be had?

  The "gas" of faith.
  The "oil" of consolation.
  The "adjustment" of repentance.
  The "charging" of our spiritual batteries, etc.

Once led into the subject, boys can be made to see that spiritual
problems are even more vital than material ones.

The point of contact established, we next face the matter of _Lesson
Statement_. The subject matter must either be in mind already because of
home preparation, or the teacher must supply it. In the smaller classes
the teacher generally will have to tell in good part what he wishes to
convey; in the larger classes, there are the possibilities of home
preparation, topical reports, the lecture, and the socialized recitation
built up by questions and discussions. It is not intended here to
discuss the various methods of lesson presentation--the thought being
simply that in some way the lesson statement must be presented.

Then there is the problem of connecting up the present lesson with those
that have already been presented. The review is a vital factor in
fixing in the mind the relative value of material covered.

Then, too, there is the matter of questioning to test knowledge and
stimulate discussion, together with the weaving in of illustrative
material that has already been thought out or which may suggest itself
as the lesson progresses. If, as all this material has been presented,
the application has been made sufficiently clear to the pupils, the
presentation is complete; otherwise avenues of action should be pointed
out, care being taken to stimulate rather than to moralize.

In conclusion, then, we have the matter of preparation as follows:


  _As it involves subject matter_:      _As it involves presentation_:

  1. The Aim                            Point of Contact
  2. Organization                       Lesson Statement
  3. Illustration                       Review
  4. Application                        Illustration
  5. Questions                          Application

       *       *       *       *       *


1. Discuss the helpfulness of having a definite procedure in the matter
of lesson preparation.

2. Point out the differences between lesson preparation and lesson

3. Name and discuss the essential steps in preparing a lesson.

4. To what extent would you favor adopting these steps as the
fundamental processes?

5. Discuss the meaning and significance of "The Point of Contact."

6. Why is some kind of lesson statement a prerequisite to a good

7. Show how this statement may be made.

8. What do you consider your most valuable device in the preparation of
a lesson?

9. Discuss the importance of filing away the material looked up in the
preparation of the regular work of teaching.

10. Indicate some of the best methods of filing.


Betts, _How to Teach Religion_; Weigle, _Talks to Sunday School
Teachers_; Thorndike, _Principles of Teaching_; Strayer and Norsworthy,
_How to Teach_; Earhart, _Types of Teaching_; Betts, _Classroom Method
in Management_; Bagley, _Classroom Management_.




     A review of the steps in lesson preparation.--The values of
     outlining.--Objections answered.--Outlining a means, not an
     end.--The essentials in outlining.--An illustrative outline on

Preparing a lesson is no easy matter, particularly for those teachers
who are new to the calling. There are those, of course, for whom reading
an assigned chapter through constitutes a preparation, but to the
successful teacher this preliminary reading is only the initial step in
the process. Adequate preparation involves the following questions:

What aim shall I select out of the material available as the focus for
my day's work?

How shall I build about that aim a body of facts that will establish it
as a fundamental truth in life?

How shall I illustrate the truths presented so that they will strike
home in the experiences of my boys and girls?

How shall I make sure that members of the class will go out from the
recitation to put into practice the teachings of the day?

What questions ought I to ask to emphasize the outstanding points of my

What method of presentation can I most safely follow to make my lesson

How may I discipline my class so that no disturbances will interfere
with our discussions?

Reduced to simple terms, the matter of preparation together with
presentation, involves the problems of

  Methods of presentation

It is difficult to single out any one factor and treat it as if it were
independent of the others--teaching is a complex art with all of these
factors inseparably contributing to the results desired--but, for
purposes of clearness, may we not proceed to give attention to each in
its turn that in the end the teaching process may the more definitely
stand out in all its aspects?

For convenience, then, let us in this chapter consider the problem of
organization. How to outline a lesson is one of the most fundamental
considerations involved in the teaching process. In fact, it is doubtful
whether there is any one more helpful attainment than the ability
clearly to outline subject matter. It not only enables the teacher to
proceed systematically, thereby insuring clearness and adequate
treatment of a lesson, but it makes it so easy and profitable for a
class to follow the discussion. Outlining to teaching is what
organization is to business. Just as the aim points out the goal we
seek, so the outline indicates the route we shall follow to attain the
goal. Outlining is simply surveying the road before the concrete is

Occasionally a teacher objects to outlining on the ground that it is too
mechanical--that it destroys spontaneity and the flow of the Spirit of
the Lord. It has always seemed to the writer that the Spirit of the Lord
is quite as pleased to follow a straight path as it is to follow a
crooked one. Outlining is not in any sense a substitute for
inspiration--it is merely a guarantee, by way of preparation, that the
teacher has done his part and can in good conscience ask for that
spiritual aid and guidance which he then is entitled to. The fact that
order is a law of heaven rather indicates that there is no divine
injunction against outlining.

Of course, outlining is not an end in itself--it is a means merely to
more systematic procedure. Two difficulties frequently attach to
outlining: one is that the outline is made so complex that it hinders
rather than helps in the matter of clearness; the other is that a
teacher may become "outline bound," in which case his teaching becomes
mechanical and labored. Such a teacher illustrates clearly the force of
the passage, "The letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life."

But if the outline is made simple--if it is considered as merely a
skeleton upon which is to be built the lesson--it is one of the greatest
assets a teacher can have. Perhaps we can make the matter clearest by
going through the process of outlining a lesson, indicating the
essential steps involved.

Suppose we are asked to prepare a lesson on prayer. Keep in mind that in
such a preparation we face the problems listed at the beginning of this
chapter: the aim, the illustration, the application, etc., and keep in
mind also that each of these subjects will be taken up in its turn and
that for the present we are concerned primarily with the query, "How can
I organize a lesson on prayer?" Let us assume, too, that we are
preparing this lesson for young men and women about twenty years of age.

First of all, I must decide why I am to teach the subject of prayer. In
view of the fact that the matter of the aim is to be considered fully in
the succeeding chapter, suppose we agree that our purpose in this lesson
shall be to establish prayer as a habit of life.

_Step number one_, then, is the selection of an aim--a focus for the
thought of the lesson.

_Step number two_ is the collection of random thoughts. As I begin to
ponder the subject of prayer and its influence on life, all sorts of
ideas crowd into my mind. Perhaps I read some one's discussion of
prayer--perhaps I talk to a friend relative to it--perhaps I just ran
the subject over in my mind. The thoughts that come to me may be vague
and wholly disconnected. My immediate concern is content--order will
come later. And so I jot down, either in my mind or on paper, such ideas
as these:

  "Prayer is the soul's sincere desire."
  The Song "Sweet hour of prayer."
  What is the use of prayer?
  Are prayers answered?
  How often should I pray?
  Does the Lord hear and answer our prayers, or do we answer them
  What kinds of prayers are there?
  How may I know how to pray?
  Should prayers always be answered affirmatively?
  What are the characteristics of a good prayer?
  What prayers have impressed me most?

And so I go on. My task in step two is to scout about intellectually in
search of available, suitable material. Many of my jottings may
duplicate others already set down; others may not be appropriate for my
need; still others may be wholly irrelevant. But I am seeking a wealth
of material that I may make my recitation as rich as possible.

Now, _step three_ becomes a process of correlation and elimination--a
process of hitting upon my main headings--setting up the milestones to
mark my course of development. And I so sift the material in my mind and
sort it out under appropriate captions. After a good bit of intellectual
rummaging about, I find that my random thoughts on prayer fall rather
naturally into four main divisions, each capable of expression in a

    I. What is prayer?
   II. Why should I pray?
  III. How should I pray?
   IV. When should I pray?

But now that I have these major headings, I still face the problems of
enriching them and elaborating them so that they will have body enough
to stand. In other words, I build up my sub-headings. Under the first
question, for instance, I group these thoughts:

  I. What Is Prayer?
    1. It is communion with God.
    2. It is the key to God's storehouse.
    3. It is the key to God's heart.
    4. It is "The soul's sincere desire."
    5. It is the great anchor of faith.

Under question two, I group:

  II. Why Should I Pray?
    1. Because I am commanded of the Lord to pray.
    2. Because through prayer I keep in tune with the Spirit of the
    3. Because it is through prayer that I acknowledge the goodness of
    4. Because through prayer I petition for needed blessings.
    5. Because through prayer I establish and preserve an attitude of

Under question three:

  III. How Should I Pray?
    1. Simply.
    2. Sincerely.
    3. In spirit.
    4. After the pattern of His prayer.
    5. In secret as well as in public.

Under question four:

  IV. When Should I Pray?
    1. Regularly.
    2. Morning and evening.
    3. To meet special needs.
    4. My attitude should always be one of prayerfulness.

This matter of organization may be diagrammatically illustrated as

  _Random Thoughts_                            _Organized Thoughts_

  The hymn

  The song                 ______________
                          |              |
  What is the use         |    FOCUS     |     I. What is Prayer?
  of prayer?              |      or      |
                          |     AIM      |     II. Why should I pray?
  Are prayers answered?   |              |
                          | To establish |     III. How Should I Pray?
  How often should        |  prayer as a |
  I pray?                 |  life habit. |     IV. When Should I Pray?
  What are the
  characteristics of
  a good prayer, etc.?

In short, organizing involves the search for thought and the bringing of
order out of chaos. Having selected the aim, the main headings, and the
sub-headings, we now face _step four_--the enriching of these
sub-headings in illustration, incident, etc., so that we may link up
these thoughts with the experience of our pupils. We may think of so
much stimulating material that during the ordinary class hour we can
cover well only one of these questions. Our purpose and the needs of the
class must determine the extent of our detail. The actual material that
could be used to enrich this lesson on prayer will be given in the
chapter on illustration.

_Step five_ involves the problem of application, or "carry-over into
life"--a subject to which another chapter will be devoted. Of course, we
ought to say here, in passing, that application is not something added
to or "tacked on" a lesson. It may be emphasized at the close of a
lesson, but in reality it pervades and is inherent in the whole lesson.

       *       *       *       *       *


1. What is meant by calling teaching a composite process?

2. Point out the essential advantages in outlining lessons.

3. Show how outlining is not in conflict with inspiration.

4. Name the essential steps in lesson organization.

5. Choose a subject from one of the manuals now in use in one of our
organizations and build up a typical lesson.


Those listed in Chapter XIV.




     The force of illustrations.--Three kinds of illustration material:
     1. maps; 2. pictures; 3. incidents.--The force of maps and map
     drawing.--The appeal of good pictures.


     Illustrative material for a lesson on prayer.

Having discussed the organization of a lesson together with the
formulation of the aim, let us now turn to the problem of illustrating
and supplementing a lesson. In organizing a subject for teaching we
drive the nails of major thoughts--through illustration we clinch those
nails so that they will be less likely to pull out of the memory.

The three chief classes of illustrative and supplementary material are:

Maps, pictures, incidents--actual, imaginary.

It is clear that in the lesson outlined on prayer, in chapter fourteen,
we should have little occasion for the use of a map. We can, however, in
connection with that lesson, point out the force of pictures and

Maps naturally are of greatest service in lessons with historical and
geographical background. The journeyings of Israel mean so much more to
us when we can follow them from place to place on a good map. So the
Book of Mormon account clears up if we are similarly guided. Had we
authentic maps of the lands named in the Book of Mormon, how much
clearer and more interesting the history would become! We would know the
exact spot on our present-day maps where Lehi and his family landed
from their heaven-directed barges; we would know where to find the land
Bountiful; where may now be found the ancient site of the City of
Zarahemla; where flows the River Sidon; what country is indicated by the
"land northward"; the journeys of the Nephites as they were being
driven; what states saw there continued struggles against their
inveterate enemies, the Lamanites, and how they reached their final
battle-ground near the Hill Cumorah. To visit with Jesus in Palestine
adds a charm to the New Testament that is really hard to evaluate, and
surely the travels of our own pioneers call for the aid of a good map.
Thoroughly to appreciate all that they did requires that we travel over
the wonderful trail they followed--that being impossible, the next
nearest approach is to see actually drawn out the magnitude of their
achievement. The appeal to the eye couples so forcefully with the appeal
to the ear that no classroom ought to be without its maps. Perhaps it is
not beyond possibilities to conceive that at a not distant date we shall
have made available films for class use to intensify the great lessons
we draw from history.

Pictures make a wonderful appeal, particularly so to children. It is
impossible to measure the inspirational appeal that a single masterpiece
exerts on a class of boys and girls. A theological class in one of the
Sunday Schools of Salt Lake County was once blessed with a most magnetic
and powerful teacher. Upon his death, the class had his picture framed
and hung on the front wall of the room in which he had taught. From that
day to this the silent inspiration of that picture has stimulated scores
of young men and women to the high ideals for which he stood.

More generally applicable and more easily available, of course, is the
_Incident_. The ability to tell a story is one of the finest attainments
of the teacher--particularly if he will take the pains to find
vigorously wholesome and appropriate ones. May we repeat the warning
that stories ought not to be told merely to fill out the hour, nor to
tickle the ears of the class, but to intensify and heighten the truths
contained in our lessons.

Included under the heading _Incident_ may be listed short poems and all
kinds of literary bits that fit in appropriately as spice to a lesson.
On the subject Prayer, the following are some possibilities:

Under question I, "What is prayer?" the hymn, "Prayer Is the Soul's
Sincere Desire."

    Prayer is the soul's sincere desire,
      Uttered or unexpressed;
    The motion of a hidden fire
      That trembles in the breast.

    Prayer is the burden of a sigh,
      The falling of a tear,
    The upward glancing of an eye,
      When none but God is near.

    Prayer is the simplest form of speech
      That infant lips can try;
    Prayer, the sublimest strains that reach
      The Majesty on high.

    Prayer is the Christian's vital breath,
      The Christian's native air;
    His watchword at the gates of death;
      He enters heav'n with prayer.

    Prayer is the contrite sinner's voice
      Returning from his ways,
    While angels in their songs rejoice,
      And cry, "Behold, he prays!"

    The Saints in prayer appear as one
      In word and deed and mind,
    While with the Father and the Son
      Their fellowship they find.

    Nor prayer is made on earth alone,--
      The Holy Spirit pleads,
    And Jesus, on the Father's throne,
      For sinners intercedes.

    O thou by whom we come to God,
      The Life, the Truth, the Way!
    The path of prayer Thyself has trod;
      Lord, teach us how to pray!

The two songs: "Sweet Hour of Prayer," "Did You Think to Pray?"

   "For my soul delighteth in the song of the heart, yea, the song of
   the righteous is a prayer unto me, and it shall be answered with a
   blessing upon their heads." (Doc. & Cov., Sec. 25:12.)

The following selection:

   "Prayer--sweet breath from out a joyous heart wafting gratitude to

   "Prayer--a sacred confidence between a fearful soul and God.

   "Prayer--a holy balm which soothes and heals the scars in a wounded

   "Prayer--an angel's kiss on the longing lips of loneliness.

   "Prayer--a rod that bars the way between the human soul and sin.

   "Prayer--a choking sob of anguish from pain-drawn lips in plea for

Under question II. "Why should I pray?"

   "And that thou mayest more fully keep thyself unspotted from the
   world, thou shalt go to the house of prayer and offer up thy
   sacraments upon my holy day." (Doc. & Cov., Sec. 59:9.)

   "Pray always that you enter not into temptation, that you may abide
   the day of his coming, whether in life or in death. Even so. Amen."
   (Doc. & Cov., Sec. 61:39.)

   "Remember that that which cometh from above is sacred, and must be
   spoken with care, and by constraint of the Spirit, and in this there
   is no condemnation, and ye receive the Spirit through prayer;
   wherefore, without this there remaineth condemnation." (Doc. & Cov.,
   Sec. 63:64.)

   "The keys of the kingdom of God are committed unto man on the earth,
   and from thence shall the gospel roll forth unto the ends of the
   earth, as the stone which is cut out of the mountain without hands
   shall roll forth, until it has filled the whole earth;

   "Yea, a voice crying--Prepare ye the way of the Lord, prepare ye the
   supper of the Lamb, make ready for the Bridegroom;

   "Pray unto the Lord, call upon his holy name, make known his
   wonderful works among the people;

   "Call upon the Lord, that his kingdom may go forth upon the earth,
   that the inhabitants thereof may receive it, and be prepared for the
   days to come, in the which the Son of man shall come down in heaven,
   clothed in the brightness of his glory, to meet the kingdom of God
   which is set up on the earth;

   "Wherefore may the kingdom of God go forth, that the kingdom of
   heaven may come, that thou, O God, mayest be glorified in heaven so
   on earth, that thy enemies may be subdued; for thine is the honor,
   power and glory, for ever and ever. Amen." (Doc. & Cov., Sec.

   "Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the Spirit indeed
   is willing, but the flesh is weak." (Matt. 26:42.)

The following incidents were related by a member of the B.Y.U. Course
and are typical of scores of others available for this lesson:

   _Brother Hunter's Account of the Manifestation of the Successor to
   the Prophet Joseph_

   "There was a great deal of discussion among the brethren and sisters
   as to who should lead the Church; some thought it should be the
   Prophet's son; some, one of his counselors, and some the President of
   the Quorum of the Twelve. I was at a loss to come to any conclusion.
   It worried me considerably and I prayed earnestly that God would make
   known to me who it should be, but without avail.

   "I went to the meeting that had been called and listened thoughtfully
   to what was said and done. The longer I listened the more mystified I
   became. I bowed my head in my hands and prayed for God to give me
   understanding. While I was in this attitude, Brother Brigham arose to
   speak, I suppose. I heard a voice--the Prophet's voice as natural and
   true as I ever heard it. I raised up quickly, fully expecting to see
   the Prophet, and I did. There he stood and there he spoke. I listened
   breathlessly. The form of the Prophet gradually changed to that of
   Brother Brigham, but the voice was not Brother Brigham's. It was
   still the Prophet's. Then beside Brother Brigham I saw the Prophet,
   who turned toward the speaker and smiled. My heart beat rapidly with
   joy and I knew beyond the shadow of a doubt that Brother Brigham was
   called of God to lead the Church."

   _Brother Huntsman's Baby Healed_

   "A fine, plump baby girl had come to the Huntsman home. As weeks and
   months passed and the child failed to use its lower limbs, a doctor
   was called and pronounced the trouble infantile paralysis. He said
   that it would never walk, for experience had showed that whenever
   this affliction affected the lower part of the body the medical
   profession could not cure it.

   "The Huntsman people were faithful Latter-day Saints and did not give
   up hope, but called in the Elders. After a time conference was held
   at Shelley and Elder David O. McKay and one other of the general
   Church authorities were in attendance--I don't remember who. After
   the afternoon session the child was administered to. While sealing
   the anointing, Brother McKay promised the child the use of its limbs
   and every organ of the body.

   "That night it began to move them, and the next morning stood alone
   by the aid of chairs. In a few days it walked, although being fairly
   fleshy. Soon after I moved away from Shelley, but a year or so
   afterwards I had occasion to go to Idaho Falls and there I met
   Brother and Sister Huntsman. The child was with them and ran and
   played as other children."

   _A Psychology Student Receives Aid_

   "A friend of mine who was a student in an eastern university told the
   following incident of how the Lord came to his aid.

   "The psychology class while studying the relationship of the brain to
   life and intelligence entered into a discussion as to the nature of
   intelligence, and in some way the teachings of the Prophet Joseph
   Smith were brought into the discussion and jeered at, by all members
   except my friend, who was a "Mormon." His defense brought forth
   ridicule and intensified the discussion.

   "As the class period had expired without completing the argument, a
   week from that day was the time set to complete it. Of course, my
   friend felt that he should do all possible to defend the attitude of
   the Church, so he studied, fasted and prayed, to secure the aid of
   inspiration, for he well knew that nothing but scientific proof would
   be accepted.

   "The day came and he realized that he was illy prepared, but still
   hoped for divine assistance. During the giving of evidence to dispose
   of the existence of intelligence separate from the workings of the
   brain, and ridiculing the existence of a spirit, he prayed silently
   and earnestly.

   "His turn came and he arose to speak. After the opening sentences he
   glanced down on the paper for his evidence and found a strange
   handwriting there. He says a peculiar power took possession of him.
   He spoke rapidly and fluently, he declared, without comprehending or
   at least remembering what he said. As he finished, his own writing
   was on the paper and he knew not what had been spoken, but there was
   no evidence offered to offset it.

   "The professor asked him to give the names of the books from which he
   obtained his points, and on being told that God gave them to him, he
   replied, 'It's strange, but I can't believe such nonsense.'"

Under question III. "How should I pray?"

The Lord's Prayer as a pattern.

The prayer in Gethsemane.

The Bee-Keeper's prayer--1920, June number of _Young Woman's Journal_.

   "And again, I command thee that thou shalt pray vocally as well as in
   thy heart; yea, before the world as well as in secret, in public as
   well as in private." (Doc. & Cov., Sec. 19:28.)

   "Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye
   pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them." (Mark

   "At that day ye shall ask in my name: and I say unto you, that I will
   pray the Father for you." (John 16:26.)

Under question IV. "When should I pray?"

   "He shall pray unto God, and he will be favourable unto him: and he
   shall see his face with joy: for he will render unto man his
   righteousness." (Job 33:26.)

   "And now concerning the residue, let them journey and declare the
   world among the congregations of the wicked, inasmuch as it is
   given." (Doc. & Cov., Sec. 61:33.)

   "Draw near unto me and I will draw near unto you: seek me diligently
   and ye shall find me; ask and ye shall receive; knock and it shall be
   opened unto you;

   "Whatsoever ye ask the Father in my name it shall be given unto you,
   that is expedient for you." (Doc. & Cov., Sec. 88:63-64.)

   "Pray always that you enter not into temptation, that you may abide
   the day of his coming, whether in life or in death." (Doc. & Cov.,
   Sec. 61:39.)

   "Therefore let the Church take heed and pray always, lest they fall
   into temptation." (Doc. & Cov., Sec. 20:33.)

   "Behold, I manifest unto you, Joseph Knight, by these words, that you
   must take up your cross, in the which you must pray vocally before
   the world as well as in secret, and in your family, and among your
   friends, and in all places." (Doc. & Cov., Sec. 23:6.)

   "Yea, cry unto him for mercy; for he is mighty to save.

   "Yea, humble yourselves, and continue in prayer unto him;

   "Cry unto him when ye are in your fields; yea, over all your flocks;

   "Cry unto him in your houses; yea, over all your household, both
   morning, mid-day and evening;

   "Yea, cry unto him against the power of your enemies;

   "Yea, cry unto him against the devil, who is an enemy to all

   "Cry unto him over the crops of your fields, that ye may prosper in

   "Cry over the flocks in your fields, that they may increase.

   "But this is not all; ye must pour out your souls in your closets,
   and your secret places, and in your wilderness;

   "Yea, and when you do not cry unto the Lord, let your hearts be full,
   drawn out in prayer unto him continually for your welfare, and also
   for the welfare of those who are around you.

   "And now behold, my beloved brethren, I say unto you, do not suppose
   that this is all; for after ye have done all these things, if ye turn
   away the needy, and the naked, and visit not the sick and afflicted,
   and impart of your substance, if ye have, to those who stand in need;
   I say unto you, if ye do not any of these things, behold, your prayer
   is vain, and availeth you nothing, and ye are as hypocrites who do
   deny the faith;

   "Therefore, if ye do not remember to be charitable, ye are as dross,
   which the refiners do cast out, (it being of no worth), and is
   trodden underfoot of men." (Alma 34:18-29.)

       *       *       *       *       *


1. Why need we illustrate general truths?

2. Discuss the value of having pupils draw up their own maps.

3. Give out of your own experience illustrations of the force of

4. Point out the value in teaching of appealing to more than one of the

5. Discuss the importance of good stories in teaching.

6. What are the characteristics of a good illustrative story?

7. Take an ordinarily commonplace subject and show how to illustrate it.


Those listed in Chapter XIV.

Also _Pictures in Religious Education_, by Frederica Beard.




     Two illustrations of the value of an aim.--Significance of the aim
     in religious training.--Inadequacy of eleventh-hour
     preparation.--The teacher's obligation to see through facts to
     truths that lie beyond.

     What an aim is.--Illustration.--How to determine the aim.--How to
     express it.

The late Jacob Riis, noted author and lecturer, used to tell a very
inspirational story on the force of having something to focus attention
upon. According to his story, certain men who lived just outside of
Chicago, in its early history, had great difficulty walking to and from
work during stormy weather, because of the almost impassably muddy
conditions of the sidewalks. After trudging through mud and slush for a
long time, they conceived the idea of laying a plank walk through the
worst sections. And so they laid two six-inch planks side by side. The
scheme helped wonderfully, except on short winter days when the men had
to go to work in the darkness of early morning and return in the
darkness of evening. It often was so dark that they would step off the
planks, and once off they were about as muddy as if there had been no
walk at all. Finally someone suggested the idea that if a lantern were
hung up at each end of the walk it would then be easy to fix the eye
upon the lantern and keep on the walk. The suggestion was acted upon,
and thereafter the light of the lantern did hold them to the plank.
Jacob Riis argued that the lantern of an ideal held aloft would
similarly hold young men in life's path of righteousness.

A similar story is told of a farmer who experienced great difficulty in
keeping a particular hen inside the run which he had built outside the
hen house. He had put up a wire fence high enough, as he thought, to
keep in the most ambitious chicken. In fact, he argued that no hen could
fly over it. One hen persisted in getting out regularly, though the
farmer could never discover how she did it. Finally he decided to lay
for her (she laid for him regularly). To his great surprise, he watched
her walk around the run carefully surveying it as she proceeded. At
length she caught sight of a beam running along the top of the wire just
above the gate. With her eye fixed upon it she made one mighty effort
and was over.

The moral of the two stories is self-evident. Both hens and men can "go
over" if they have something to aim at. It is so in life generally, and
what is true of life generally is particularly true in the matter of
teaching. The aim is one of the most significant features in the
teaching process.

The teacher who knows where he is going can always get followers.

Important as is the aim in all educational endeavor, it is doubly so in
religious training. We teach religiously not merely to build up facts or
make for mental power; we teach to mold character. We should see through
facts, therefore, to the fundamental truth lying behind and beyond them.
Such a truth constitutes an aim in religious instruction.

One of the most regrettable facts connected with some of our teaching is
that teachers leave the preparation of their lessons until the few
minutes just preceding their recitation hour. They then hurry through a
mass of facts, rush into class and mull over these dry husks, unable in
the rush even to see the kernel of truth lying within. Little wonder
pupils tire of such rations. It is the teacher's obligation to "see
through" and discover the gems that really make lessons worth while.

Forty-five minutes once a week is so meagre an allotment of time for the
teaching of the greatest principles of life! Surely every one of those
minutes should be sacredly guarded for the consideration of vital
truths. The aim, coupled with careful organization, is one of the best
safeguards possible.

The aim is the great focus for a lesson's thought. It is the center
about which all else revolves. It specifies what shall be included and
what excluded out of the great mass of available material. A single
chapter of scripture may contain truths enough for a dozen lessons, only
one of which can be treated in any one recitation. The aim singles out
what can be appropriately grouped under one unified discussion.

If we turn, for instance, to the ninth chapter of Matthew, we find at
least eight different major incidents, each one deserving a lesson in
itself. There is the case of:

  The palsy.
  The charge of blasphemy.
  The glorifying of God by the multitude.
  The calling of Matthew.
  The statement that only the sick need the physician.
  The case of new cloth and the old garment.
  The raising of the daughter of Jairus.
  The healing of the two blind men.

It is perfectly clear that all of these incidents could not be
adequately considered in any one lesson. Assuming that the teacher is
free to handle this ninth chapter as he pleases, we are forced to the
conclusion that knowing his class, as he does, he must choose that
incident or that combination of incidents which will mean most in the
lives of his pupils. In other words, he centers his attention upon one
major central truth--his aim. By so doing he guards against wandering
and inadequacy of treatment and makes for the unified presentation of
one forceful thought.

It ought to be pointed out here that every teacher must be the judge as
to what constitutes for him the best aim. It is quite clear that any one
teacher could find in this ninth chapter of Matthew at least four or
five worthy aims. Three different teachers could possibly find as many
more, each equally worthy of development. All other things being equal,
that aim is best which most completely and forcefully covers the chapter
or passage in question. To illustrate: Suppose we are asked to teach a
lesson on the Prodigal Son. One aim that could be chosen clearly is that
of _jealousy_ on the part of the prodigal's brother. A second one might
be repentance, as typified in the action of the prodigal. Still a third
might be the compassion and forgiveness of the father, as typical of
those same qualities in our heavenly Father. Which, to you, is the most
forceful and significant? That one to you is _your_ best aim.

The wording of the aim is a matter that gives rise to a good bit of
disagreement. There are those who maintain that if the aim announces the
subject as a sort of heading that is sufficient. Others contend that the
aim should crystallize into axiomatic form the thought of the lesson. Of
course, the real force of the aim lies in its serving as the focus of
thought. The wording of it is of secondary importance. And yet it is
very excellent practice to reduce to formal statement the truth to be
presented. It is helpful to adopt the ruling that the aim should express
both a cause and a result. Perhaps an illustration would indicate the
difference between the aim stated as a mere heading, and stated fully
and formally. Take the case of the daughter of Jairus already referred

  _Mere Headings_:
      Daughter of Jairus restored, or
      The power of faith.

  _Formal Aim_:
      Implicit faith in God wins His choicest blessings.

Surely the latter is a more significant expression and offers better
training to the teacher than the setting down of mere headings.

The ability thus to crystallize out of a great variety of facts a single
focusing statement, coupled with the ability then to build about that
statement a clearly organized amplification, is the sign of a real
teacher. Instead of generalizing further, let us turn to the questions
on this lesson where some laboratory exercises are set down calling for
actual practice in the selection and justification of a number of aims.

       *       *       *       *       *


1. What is an aim?

2. Why is it particularly essential to good religious teaching?

3. What are the objections to "eleventh-hour" preparation?

4. To what extent is a teacher handicapped in deciding upon an aim for
another teacher to follow?

5. Turn to the following references and determine what possible aims
might be developed under each. Is any aim adequate for the whole
reference? In each case which do you consider your best aim? Why? How
much of the reference would you include in a single lesson?

John, Chapter I; Isaiah, Chapter II; III Nephi, Chapter X; Doctrine &
Covenants, Section 87.


Colgrove, _The Teacher and the School_; Betts, _How to Teach Religion_;
Driggs, _The Art of Teaching_; Strayer and Norsworthy, _How to Teach_.




     The question of application.--The matter a complex one.--Various
     conceptions of the term as it affects the intellect, the emotions,
     or the will.--Application may be immediate or delayed.--How to make
     the application.--Illustrations.--Making the application and
     moralizing.--Utah moral codes as objectives behind our teaching.

Application is one of the most important subjects in the whole range of
religious education. It is also one concerning which there are greater
varieties of opinions than concerning almost any other subject.

What is application?

How is it made?

Is it inherent in the lesson, or is it added as a sort of supplement to
the lesson?

When is it best made?

Does it always involve action?

These questions are only typical of the uncertainty that exists relative
to this term.

Application really goes to the very heart of all teaching. Colloquially
expressed, it raises the question in teaching, "What's the use?" Why
should certain subject matter be presented to a class? How are class
members better for having considered particular facts? In short,
application involves the question, "What is the _carry-over_ value of
the lesson?"

It is impossible to dispose adequately of the matter of application in a
single statement. It fairly epitomizes the whole process of teaching and
therefore is so comprehensive that it calls for analysis. The ultimate
purpose behind teaching, of course, as behind all life, is salvation.
But salvation is not had in a day. It is not the result of a single act,
nor does it grow out of particular thoughts and aspirations. Salvation
is achieved as a sum total of all that we think, say, do, and _are_. Any
lesson, therefore, that makes pupils better in thought, word, deed, or
being, has had to that extent its application.

Application of a lesson involves, then, the making sure, on the part of
the teacher, that the truths taught carry over into the life of the
pupil and modify it for good. Someone has said that the application has
been made when a pupil

  "Knows more,
  Feels better,
  Acts more nobly,"

as a result of the teaching done. There is a prevalent conception that
application has been made in a recitation only when pupils go out from a
recitation and translate the principle studied into immediate action.
There are lessons where such applications can be made and, of course,
they are to be commended. Particularly are they valuable in the case of
young children. But surely there are other justifiable interpretations
to the term application.

We need to remind ourselves that there are three distinct types of
subject matter that constitute the body of our teaching material. These
are, first of all, those lessons which are almost wholly intellectual.
Debates are conducted by the hundreds on subjects that lead not to
action but to clearer judgment. Classes study subjects by the month for
the purpose of satisfying intellectual hunger. Such questions, for
instance, as "Succession in the Presidency," or the "Nature of the
Godhead"--questions gone into by thoroughly converted Latter-day
Saints, not to bring themselves into the Church, nor to lead themselves
into any other kind of action except the satisfying of their own souls
as to the truth. In other words, it appears clear that there may be
application on a purely intellectual level. Application upon application
is made until a person builds up a structure of faith that stands upon
the rock in the face of all difficulties.

A second type of lessons appeals to the emotions. They aim to make
pupils _feel_ better. They may or may not lead to immediate action.
Ideally, of course, every worthy emotion aroused should find, if
possible, suitable channels for expression. Pent up emotions may become
positively harmful. The younger the pupils the more especially is this
true. Practically every educator recognizes this fact and gives
expression to it in language similar to the following quotation from
Professor S.H. Clark:

   "Never awaken an emotion unless, at the same time, you strive to open
   a channel through which the emotion may pass into the realm of
   elevated action. If we are studying the ideals of literature,
   religion, etc., with our class, we have failed in the highest duty of
   teaching if we have not given them the ideal, if we have not given
   them, by means of some suggestion, the opportunity for realizing the
   ideal. If there is an emotion excited in our pupils through a talk on
   ethics or sociology, it matters not, we fail in our duty, if we do
   not take an occasion at once to guide that emotion so that it may
   express itself in elevated action."

And yet there is a question whether this insistence upon action may not
be exaggerated. Abraham Lincoln witnessed an auction sale of slaves in
his younger days. He did not go out immediately and issue an
emancipation proclamation, and yet there are few who can doubt that that
auction sale registered an application in an ideal that persisted in the
mind of Lincoln through all those years preceding our great civil war.

Many a man has been saved in the hour of temptation, in his later life,
by the vividness of the recollection of sacred truths taught at his
mother's knee. There may be just a little danger of cheapening the
process of application if it is insisted that for every ideal impressed
upon the minds of pupils there must be a corresponding immediate
response in daily actions of the pupils taught. May not a wonderful
impression become the more wonderful as it is hallowed by the pondering
of the mind through the maturing years of childhood and young manhood?

Finally there is the lesson which, though it involves both the intellect
and the emotions, appeals primarily to the will and calls for action.
There can be no question but that this is the type of lesson of greatest
significance in religious education. We meet our pupils so infrequently,
at best, that at most we can do but a fraction of what we should like to
do to modify their lives. Our concern is to change for the better their
attitude and conduct, and therefore we must address ourselves to the
problems they face in the every-day life which they are to live between
recitations. As Betts in his _How to Teach Religion_ so well says:

   "In the last analysis the child does not come to us that he may learn
   this or that set of facts, nor that he may develop such and such a
   group of feelings, but that through these he may live better. The
   final test of our teaching, therefore, is just like this: Because of
   our instruction, does the child live differently here and now, as a
   child, in all his multiform relations in the home, the school, the
   church, the community, and in his own personal life? Are the lessons
   we teach translated continuously into better conduct, finer acts, and
   stronger character, as shown in the daily run of the learner's

   "It is true that the full fruits of our teaching and of the child's
   learning must wait for time and experience to bring the individual to
   fuller development. But it is also true that it is impossible for the
   child to lay up a store of unused knowledge and have it remain
   against a later time of need in a distant future. The only knowledge
   that forms a vital part of our equipment is knowledge that is in
   active service, guiding our thoughts and decisions from day to day.
   Unused knowledge quickly vanishes away, leaving little more
   permanent impression on the life than that left on the wave when we
   plunge our hand into the water and take it out again. In similar way
   the interests, ideals, and emotions which are aroused, without at the
   same time affording a natural outlet for expression in deeds and
   conduct, soon fade away without having fulfilled the purpose for
   which they exist. The great thing in religious education is to find
   immediate and natural outlet in expression, a way for the child to
   use what he learns; to get the child to do those things pointed out
   by the lessons we teach him."

As the teacher faces this "carry-over" problem he is impressed that he
must touch the lives of his pupils not only as individuals but as
members of a social group. It becomes his obligation not only to direct
them in matters pertaining to their own welfare, physically,
intellectually, and morally, but he has a responsibility in helping to
establish the standards of society to which individuals naturally
subscribe more or less unconsciously.

The strong teacher's influence can be made to affect the ideals of the
athletic field, of the amusement hall, of the church, of the business
center, and of the home. These agencies offer such a variety of
possibilities that every lesson offers easily some avenue of
application. By way of illustration let us turn to a few subjects and
point out some possibilities in the matter of application. May it be
said here, in passing, that the secret of making application lies in not
getting lost in the past so that we may walk along with our heads turned
back over the shoulder of time pondering merely the things of the past.
All too often the teacher hurries over into the Holy Land of some four
thousand years ago, leaving a class of twentieth century boys and girls
here at home to wonder what all that ancient material has to do with the
problems that confront them here and now. Not that we should ignore the
past. Successful application lies in reaching back into the past for a
solution of today's difficulties. But the _solution_ is our great
concern. "We look back that we may the better go forward."

To illustrate:

A lesson on Cain and Abel may find its application in a solution of the
problems of the jealousy and selfishness that exist today. This story
ought not to be merely a recounting of murder. There is a little Cain--a
little Abel--in all of us. Consider the case of the boy who smashed up
his brother's new sled as well as his own, because he couldn't keep up
in coasting. The nature of the class will determine the particular
application. Or consider the story of Samson and Delilah: at first
thought, a story with but little to contribute to a solution of today's
problems. Yet out of that story application can be made beautifully,
through either of these two truths:

   He who plays with sin will eventually be conquered by it; or,

   Marrying outside one's church is attended by grave dangers.

A lesson on helpfulness was once beautifully and rather dramatically
given through the story of a rescue of a train. A lad was out at play on
a railroad track when he discovered that a recent storm had washed out
part of the road bed. He remembered that the through passenger train was
due in a few minutes, and so rushed along the track and by frantically
waving his hat succeeded in stopping the train just in time to prevent a
terrible catastrophe. A few well-directed questions called for the
pupils' own idea of application. They, too, would flag a train if such
an occasion should arise. They could help people generally to guard
against danger. They even carried the idea over into rendering any kind
of service, about the home, at school, and elsewhere, as long as it was

And so illustrations could be multiplied. The important thing is that,
having decided upon a central truth for a lesson, the teacher then
conceives avenues whereby the truth may be carried over through action
into the lives of pupils. And, of course, he must see that they are
directed in setting about the action.

The question often arises, "Isn't there danger of moralizing in making
an application?" or "What is the difference between an application and
moralizing?" Genuine and natural application ought to be inherent in the
material presented. A good story ought to drive home its message without
further comment. Moralizing consists of "tacking on" some generalized
exhortation relative to conduct. Moralizing is either an unnecessary and
unwelcome injunction to be or to do good, or it is an apology for a
lesson that in and of itself drives home no message. The school boy's
definition of moralizing is helpful and suggestive:

"_Moralizing is rubbing goodness in unnecessarily._"

In making application of truths presented, teachers naturally face the
question as to what constitutes the fundamentals in character
development that are to be achieved. As a sort of guide, the two Utah
codes of morals, one for children and one for youths, are rich in
suggestion, both for pupil and teacher. They are submitted herewith as
helpful in setting up the objectives toward which we are working:


   I want to grow up to be wise and strong, happy and able to make
   others happy, to love and to be loved, and to do my part in the
   world's work.

   During my infancy loving hands cared for me, gave me food, clothing
   and shelter, and protected me from harm. I am grateful for this care,
   and I want to be worthy of the love and confidence of my mother and
   father and to do all I can to make them happy.

   I will be obedient to my parents and teachers; they are wiser than I
   and thoughtful of my welfare.

   I have already learned that good health is necessary to strength and
   happiness, and that in order to be well and to grow strong, I must
   have good, wholesome food, ample exercise and sleep, and abundant
   pure water and fresh air--nature's free gifts to all.

   My whole body I will keep clean and each part of it as sound as good
   care can make it.

   I will have respect for all useful work, both mental and physical. I
   must learn to be helpful that I may know the joy of service and the
   dignity of work well done.

   I will begin now to earn some of the things I use. I must learn how
   to spend, and how to be generous.

   Waste is the mother of want, and even though the want may not be
   mine, if I am extravagant I am likely to bring suffering to others.
   Waste of time is as wrong as waste of things; I will not be an idler.

   I will not put unnecessary burdens upon my associates by untidy,
   careless habits; orderly ways save my own time and things as well as
   those of others.

   I will take thought for the comfort and welfare of our animal friends
   and will always avoid cruelty.

   I will strive for courage to speak the truth and for strength to be
   fair in all my work and play, to be true to my word and faithful to
   my trust. I hate lying and cheating; they are signs of cowardice and
   greed. I will not seek pleasure or profit at the cost of my
   self-respect. I will be considerate of the rights and feeling of
   others as I would have them respect mine.

   I will try to control my temper and to be cheerful, kind, and
   courteous in all my dealings.

   I will strive to be pure in thought, speech and action.

   My country has provided laws and civil officers to protect me,
   schools for my instruction, and many other aids to a happy, useful
   life. I am grateful for these benefits and will show my patriotism by
   obeying the laws and defending my country against evils, both within
   and without.

   I will keep my eyes and ears open to enjoy the world about me, and my
   mind alert to understand and appreciate the good things mankind has
   provided for me--science and art, poetry and music, history and

   May God, the kind and loving Father, help me all my life to see the
   right way and to follow it.


   I am happy to be a member of that great human society which has
   accumulated all the treasures of civilization. I have benefited by
   the united labors of all mankind; for this I owe a debt of gratitude
   to humanity, a debt I can pay only by serving that humanity to the
   fullest extent of my ability. Through small services freely given
   toward the comfort and happiness of my associates, I may grow in
   power of usefulness and in my turn contribute to the welfare of the
   generations that are to come.

   My body is the instrument of my mind and the foundation of my
   character. Every organ must be conserved to perform its proper
   function in the development and perfection of my life. I will,
   therefore, eat only wholesome food, breathe pure air, take ample
   exercise and sleep, and keep my body clean and sound. To this end, I
   will refrain from the use of intoxicating drinks, narcotics and
   stimulants; these lend only a seeming strength, but in reality they
   undermine my powers of service and of lasting happiness. By
   abstaining from these indulgences I can, moreover, help others to
   abstain, and thereby increase their strength and happiness. By
   temperate living and plenty of exercise in the open I can preserve my
   health and the more easily refrain from evil thoughts and evil deeds.

   I will not pollute my body or that of another by any form of
   self-indulgence or perverse yielding to passion. Such indulgence is a
   desecration of the fountains of life and an insult to the dignity of
   manhood and womanhood.

   Through the formation of sane, health-promoting habits I can avoid
   having my usefulness diminished and my happiness impaired by the
   consequences of my own folly.

   I will be modest in dress and manner, that I may in no wise encourage

   I will be thoughtful of the effects of my actions and so restrain
   myself that no act of mine may mar the life or detract from the
   happiness of my associates or of my successors.

   I will deal honestly, fairly and kindly with my fellows--always
   mindful that their lives and their happiness are as sacred to them as
   mine are to me.

   I will avoid impatience and ill temper and will endeavor to be
   courteous always.

   I will try to save individuals rather than to condemn them, even
   though their evil deeds must be condemned and offenders punished.

   I will have respect for the time of my fellows as I respect their

   I will not engage in games of chance, since I do not desire reward at
   the expense of others.

   In all my dealings I will strive for courage to speak the truth; I
   despise cowardice and lying. I will do what I know to be right,
   though others may ridicule or scorn me.

   I will be personally responsible for all that I do, and, recognizing
   my limited wisdom, I will ever seek Divine Guidance to lead me in the
   right way.

   I will strive for independence of judgment, but with due regard for
   the superior wisdom of my elders. I must grant to my fellows the same
   right of independent judgment that I claim for myself.

   Whatever I undertake I will do with my might, and, win or lose,
   accept the result with good cheer. I would rather be worthy of
   success than to secure it unworthily.

   I will be prompt and orderly in all my affairs, otherwise I become a
   hindrance to social efficiency. I will avoid waste and extravagance
   lest I bring needless privation and suffering to others as well as to

   It is my privilege to have a part in the world's work--a part I must
   choose and perform with all diligence. "What can I do best that
   society needs most?" When I have answered this question I will pursue
   my vocation intelligently and energetically; first, as a means of
   service to my fellow-men; and second, as a means of self-support and
   aid to those that may be dependent upon me.

   May the love and appreciation I have for my country never be
   dishonored by any act of lawlessness or want of loyalty, but may I
   ever honor, uphold and obey the law and defend my country against
   unrighteousness, injustice and violence. When it becomes my privilege
   to vote I will use the right of suffrage as a patriotic means of
   co-operating with my fellow citizens for the promotion of social
   justice, peace and progress. Should I be called to public office, I
   will strive for moral courage to exercise authority in accord with
   justice and humanity; and, whether in or out of office, I will
   respond freely to every opportunity for public service.

   I am grateful for the beauties of nature and for the great works of
   art, music, literature and science, it is my privilege to enjoy.
   These I will seek to understand and appreciate, that I may cultivate
   broader sympathies and fellowship with mankind, the world, and the
   Creator of all.

       *       *       *       *       *


1. How does application go to the very heart of teaching?

2. Discuss the various conceptions of the term.

3. Distinguish between immediate and delayed application.

4. Discuss the possibility of intellectual application.

5. How can applications best be made?

6. When can applications best be made?

7. Distinguish between making an application and moralizing.


Weigle, _Talks to Sunday School Teachers_; Betts, _How to Teach
Religion_; Brumbaugh, _The Making of a Teacher_; Betts, _The
Recitation_; Strayer and Norsworthy, _How to Teach_; Thorndike,
_Principles of Teaching_; Colgrove, _The Teacher and the School_.




     The question of method raised.--Danger of an entire disregard of
     method.--The case of the "born" teacher.--Sound pedagogy largely a
     matter of common sense.--Danger of being committed to a single
     method.--The five possible methods: The Story Method; Reading
     'Round; The Special Topic; The Lecture; The Discussion.

Two of the most practical questions that a teacher ever has to solve

How shall I go about to prepare a lesson?

Having prepared a lesson, how shall I set about to teach it to my class?

The first of these questions has already been discussed in preceding
chapters; the second now calls for our consideration.

Is there a _one best method_? If so, what is it? What steps does it
involve? Instead of answering these questions directly, perhaps it will
be better to point out the various methods of the recitation, set down
their characteristics and relative values, and then formulate a

At the outset it may be advisable to sound two notes of warning. One is
against an entire disregard of methods. There are those persons who
believe that teachers are born, not made, and that therefore a
discussion of methods is useless. The born teacher, say these persons,
just teaches naturally according to his own personality. To change his
method would be to destroy his effectiveness. If he isn't a teacher then
the study of methods will not make him one. In either case work done on
methods is lost.

Of course, experience refutes both contentions. It is admittedly true
that great teachers are born to their work--that some individuals just
naturally impress others and stimulate them to high ideals. And yet
there is no one so gifted that he cannot improve through a study of the
game he is to play. Most great athletes are by nature athletic. And yet
every one of them trains to perfect himself. The best athletes America
sent to the Olympic games were wonderfully capable men, but they were
wonderfully trained men, as well. They had studied the _methods_ of
their particular sports. Great singers are born with great vocal
potentialities, but the greatest singers become so as the result of
thorough training. _Methods_ elevate them to fame. What is true of the
other arts ought also to be true of teaching.

As to the class of teachers not born to the calling, it seems perfectly
clear that here is the great opportunity for a study of the fundamentals
underlying good teaching. Sound pedagogy is just a matter of good,
common sense. Any normal person by studying how to do anything ought in
the end to come to do that thing better than if he ignored it. I may not
know how to operate an automobile. But if I study how to operate one, if
I observe those who do know how, and if I practice operating one--surely
I shall come to be more efficient as a chauffeur.

But while many will admit that this law of development applies in the
mechanical world, they hold that there is something mystic about
teaching for which only a pedagogical birthright is a solution. The
fallacy of such a contention seems too evident to call for argument. At
least the only sensibly hopeful view to take in such a Church as ours,
in which so many members must perforce be called to be teachers, is that
power in teaching can be developed as it can in any other field of

The other bit of warning applies to the kind of teacher who is
unalterably committed to a single method, not only as the best method,
but the only one worth following. Method depends so essentially on the
personality of the teacher, on the nature of the pupils taught, and on
the subject matter to be presented, that it is a very dangerous thing to
say that, in spite of circumstances, one method is invariably the best

Let us, then, turn to the different methods and consider their relative
values. Five possibilities immediately suggest themselves:

  1. The story method.
  2. The "reading 'round" method.
  3. The special topic method.
  4. The lecture method.
  5. The discussion method, built up through questions and answers.

1. _The Story Method._ The story is the method for childhood. "All the
world loves a story." Children certainly are a part of that world. How
they thrill in response to the appeal of a good story. Their little
souls fairly seem to open to receive it. What an opportunity--what a
sacred trust--is the teacher's as he undertakes to satisfy that soul
hunger! The subject, the story, has been so fully gone into by Brother
Driggs in his book, _The Art of Teaching_, that we need not attempt to
discuss it fully here. Then, too, so many other excellent books have
been written on the art of the story that the teacher need only be
referred to them. Suffice it here to make two observations in passing.
The best stories for purposes of religious instruction should possess
four essential characteristics:

Point--Brevity--Message--Adaptation to the experience of pupils.

And, of course, this message should be a truth appropriate to the
occasion--a message heightened by the spirit of the Gospel of Jesus

The second observation has to do with the telling of the story.
Naturally it should be well told. But the story hour should not be one
of mere telling. The child, in addition to listening to the story,
should be given opportunity to express its reaction to the story
told--should be directed in discovering the avenue through which it will
carry into action the emotion aroused by the story.

2. _The "Reading 'Round" Method._ The old idea of a class coming
together and sitting through a process of reading in turn from the one
book in the class as it was passed about is largely a thing of the past.
Let us hope that the day when neither teacher nor pupil prepared his
lesson is gone forever. Surely "reading 'round" is a poor substitute for
preparation. And it clearly is a dull, routine method of procedure. But
there was one merit attached to it that is worthy our consideration. It
did bring the scriptures into the hands of our pupils. Whatever method
we may follow, this contact with the actual word of the Lord is a
valuable asset. We cannot advocate resorting to the old notion of
"reading 'round" as an apology for a recitation, but we can well point
out the merit of seeing to it that pupils see and read the scriptures.
If the lesson can be so conducted that reading is indulged in as a
supplementary laboratory exercise--a turning through of gems that entice
the reader to make further study of the book--then reading can be made a
very valuable factor in the teaching process. Then, too, it is
educational just to have members of a class turn through the scriptures
to know what they are--what books are involved and where they may be
found. Ignorance with respect to the scriptures is alarmingly prevalent.
The following report taken from the _New York Tribune_ relative to a
simple test in Bible literature, given by an Eastern university to 139
students, is significant:

"Out of 139 only 12 reached 75%; 90 received less than 50%; 10 could not
name a single book of the Old Testament. Some who did spelled them
Salms, Joob, etc. Some named Paul, Babylonians, and Gentiles as Old
Testament books."

Surely much might be said in favor of the use of books in our classes.

3. _The Special Topic Method._ Much can be said both for and against the
topic method. At least three objections to its use can be raised:

A. It makes for piece-meal preparation. The lesson is partitioned off
into segments, one of which may be prepared by a particular pupil who
does not concern himself at all with the rest of the lesson. This
method, therefore, encourages fragmentary and incomplete preparation.

B. It makes for a disconnected presentation which makes it quite
impossible for pupils to get a unified conception of the whole lesson.
This is doubly bad, because of the fact that frequently those who are
assigned parts absent themselves from class.

C. It often results in dull, commonplace recitations. All too
frequently, especially if topic assignments are the usual method of
procedure, those pupils given the various topics to work up content
themselves with very meagre preparation. They come to class, therefore,
and merely run over so many facts wholly without inspiration and often
by constant reference to notes or the text.

Of course, these difficulties can be overcome largely by the judicious
use of the topic method. It ought not generally to be followed as the
regular order of business, but rather as a supplementary means of
enriching the lesson. It ought not to be used so as to excuse all class
members from regular preparation of the lesson as a whole. If the
teacher will assign the lesson proper to all of the class and then
select certain aspects--certain suggested problems--for more intensive
research, the reports on special topics can be made to contribute
wonderfully to the richness of the class hour. The topic method, then,
is primarily a supplemental method, and if wisely used has these

A. It makes for an enriched lesson. It makes possible expert opinion,
and the results of special, careful investigation which the class as a
whole would be unable to make.

B. It lends variety to class procedure and guarantees that the teacher
will not do all the talking.

C. It fosters individual expression. It trains pupils to formulate an
attack, to organize findings, and to stand and deliver a connected and
well thought out message.

D. It promotes a habit of investigation--it leads pupils to work out for
themselves the problems of the Gospel which they encounter.

4. _The Lecture Method._ The comment of a student of the Brigham Young
University on the lecture method was unique: "The lecture method
wouldn't be so bad if a teacher really lectured--he usually just talks.
And talking a lot when you haven't much to say is pretty discouraging to
a class."

Aimless talking which indulges in the main in vague generalities can
never be justified. _Preaching_ presumes a pulpit and has little place
in classwork. The teacher who persists in talking most of the time
overvalues his own thoughts and minimizes the ideas of others. Much
talking stifles initiative and independent thinking. Then, too, it gives
no opportunity for developing pupils' power of self-expression and
provides no means for the teacher to check the reaction going on in the
pupils' minds--assuming that one goes on! It is astonishing what
erroneous notions members of a class can get from merely hearing a
lesson presented. Given a chance to express their conclusions, they will
themselves correct many of their false impressions.

There are occasions, however, when a lecture is extremely valuable.
Frequently after several weeks of discussion a class is hungry to hear
"the truth about the matter." There is then afforded a splendid
opportunity for the teacher to drive home a real message. Then, too,
specialists, because of their advanced study on a particular subject,
can often present in an hour the results of years of investigation.

Furthermore, in a lecture, the teacher can make an emotional appeal
which is practically out of the question in other methods. His
enthusiasm and conviction can be made to "carry" his pupils to the
contemplation of new truths. Used with discretion, the _real lecture_ is
a valuable asset in teaching; indulged in regularly as _mere talking_ or
_preaching_, the method ought certainly to be discouraged.

5. _The Discussion Method._ This method, built upon questions and their
answers, is commendable for its democracy and because of the fact that
it stimulates both thought and discussion on the part of most if not all
of the pupils. Questions are so vital to good teaching that Chapter XXI
will be devoted to their consideration. Suffice it to say here that for
all practical purposes it is the basis of the best teaching. Discussions
make it possible to reach pupils "Where they are"--make it possible for
everyone to contribute of his experience to everyone else.

The one outstanding difficulty with the discussion method lies in the
fact that it calls for such skilful direction. It so easily runs off on
tangents that the teacher is kept on his mettle holding to the subject
in hand.

After all, each method has its advantages and its disadvantages. There
are times when any one of them can be profitably used; it is clear that
any one of them can be abused--can be made more or less monotonous.
Perhaps we can wisely conclude that, "_The best method is a variety of

       *       *       *       *       *


1. Why is it essential that teachers study methods of the recitation?

2. What method do you regularly follow? Why?

3. To what extent is it that a born teacher teaches without method?

4. What is pedagogy?

5. Discuss the relative value of each of the five methods listed in this

6. Discuss the statement, "The best method is a variety of methods."


Betts, _How to Teach Religion_; Betts, _The Recitation_; Earhart, _Types
of Teaching_; Bagley, _Classroom Management_; Strayer and Norsworthy,
_How to Teach_.




     The need of review in our Church teaching.--Review a real help to
     learning in that it makes for: repetition, proper connection,
     proper evaluation of truth.

     An intelligent review is the result only of thorough preparation on
     the part of the teacher.--Assignment and preparation.--Ability to
     make assignments a test of good teaching.

     Characteristics of a good assignment: It is definite.--It raises a
     problem.--It connects with the experience of pupils.--It stimulates
     to action.

     General and specific assignments.--When to make assignments.

Each organization within the Church follows regularly its own course of
study. At the beginning of the year it sets out upon a prescribed
subject subdivided according to the number of meetings scheduled for the
year's work. As a result, no one lesson stands out independent of all
others, but rather fits in naturally in a sequence of chapters each of
which develops some aspects of one big subject. Because of such a plan
the matters of review and preview take on vital significance. Each
lesson should be made to link up naturally with what has already been
presented and should point out by way of anticipation what is to follow.
Many educators maintain that the ability to conduct a good review and to
make an effective assignment are two of the surest tests of a good

The problem of review is really one of the most fundamental processes in
education. It is the great key to learning. Anyone who has enjoyed the
fun of teaching young children how to read has been impressed with the
fact that the child has to be led to see and repeat the simplest words
over and over again before they are really mastered. It is really
astonishing how many times as simple a word as "ran" has to be repeated
before the beginner in reading gets it fully into his consciousness.
This very difficulty of teaching mere words or letters has led to the
abandonment of the old "A-B-C" drill as the first step in reading, and
the substitution for it of an indirect method wherein, through the laws
of association, groups of words and sentences are mastered as the
symbols which express concrete and objectified ideas. But by way of
experiment, one of the most impressive experiences open to teachers is
to take a child of four or five that has not been taught to read and
attempt to drill into its consciousness a group of half a dozen words as
simple as these: cat, fan, hat, get, man, jam. To the teacher who has
attempted such an experiment no argument is necessary to prove the
significance of review and repetition.

Review, then, first of all, is vitally essential because it makes
possible impression through repetition which insures the fixing of
ideas. Literally, review means to view again. Psychologically it is to
repeat the processes of mind which were called into operation the first
time the stimulus in question started a mental reaction. The nervous
system of man is so constituted that in the acquirement of knowledge,
each time the nerve centers react to the same stimulus, the tendency so
to react becomes stronger, under the mere presence of the stimulus,
starts up an automatic sort of reaction, and we say that the child knows
the meaning of the object constituting the stimulus.

Not only is review thus essential in the beginning of the learning
process with children, but it remains a vital factor as long as men and
women undertake to learn. Review guarantees recall, and recall
re-establishes "nerve connections" to the permanent fixing of
impressions. Very little of our knowledge remains ours to a purpose
unless it is gone over and over until it is thoroughly established. A
truth that is taught in a Mutual lesson on a particular Tuesday night,
but which is never referred to again, and therefore never recalled, very
likely will soon be gone out of consciousness and usefulness. Those
truths and facts which are of greatest functioning value to us are those
which we continue to run over in our minds and ponder. The reinforcement
of review is what establishes our permanent working stock of truth.

Not only is review valuable as a matter of recall, but it makes for an
enrichment of mental content which is altogether desirable. The real art
of review lies in calling up an old truth in a new setting. Upon second
perusal it is seen in skilful review from a slightly different angle so
that each recall adds a reinforcement that makes for a clinching of
thought which makes it permanent. It very often happens that the first
time an idea is called to our attention it means but little, because our
mental reaction is limited in the particular field of the presentation;
the same idea in a new setting more in keeping with our experience may
take on an entirely different significance. That teaching is best,
therefore, which presents truth from the greatest number of angles
possible, thereby guaranteeing the richest kind of associations in the
minds of pupils.

Another value that attaches to the review lies in the fact that it makes
possible proper connection between new material and old. It is axiomatic
in teaching that pupils learn new truths and take on new experiences, in
terms of the old. Teaching that unfolds--that develops new ideas that
are built upon those already understood--is the kind of teaching
attended by best results. In our organizations, meeting as we do only
once a week, we must appreciate the fact that in the intervening time,
between meetings, hundreds of ideas have crowded into the mind and have
displaced those that may have been there as a result of our teaching. By
calling to mind those ideas of a week ago, we not only reinforce them,
but we start a chain of thought to which it will be very much easier to
add the link of today's work than to proceed as if forging an entirely
new chain.

No farmer goes out and plants grain on the unplowed field. He plows and
harrows that the soil may be prepared not only to receive the seed, but
to make generation possible.

A review simply turns over the stubble field of the preceding week's
work, making ready for the planting of new seeds that they may generate
and develop.

Still a further value in the matter of review lies in the fact that the
review makes more easily possible the proper evaluation of the facts
taught. In every lesson there are major facts and truths presented and
also those minor or subordinate ones that serve to amplify and
illustrate. All too frequently a class becomes so involved in the minor
details that it may fail to grasp fully the big, underlying truth. By
careful review, the teacher can make the essentials stand out in relief.
These are the things that need to be pondered. If they are properly
grasped, thanks to the laws of association, most of the minor facts will
naturally attach themselves, so that truths can be retained in all of
their richness of detail.

It is surprising to find how frequently pupils who have spent a year on
the Book of Mormon have very little notion of the big, outstanding
features of the book. They apparently have run over each week's lesson
as so many independent facts, never coming back to single out the
essential things in that early American civilization. Surely no class
ought to complete the course without clearly comprehending such major
items as:

  The contribution each of the three colonies made to Book of Mormon

  The general geographical location of each colony.

  The outstanding characters in the book.

  The coming forth of the book.

  Why it is essential.

  How our faith depends largely upon it.

  The ministry of the Savior on this continent.

  Gospel teachings of the Book of Mormon.

What is true of the study of the Book of Mormon is equally true of all
other subjects. It is so easy to get lost in a maze of facts, in a
course in the principles of the Gospel, and yet if a teacher will hold
to such basic considerations as the articles of faith, coming back to
them regularly and linking facts presented under the appropriate
article, it is equally easy to complete the course with a clearly
defined, skeletonized basis for all future study. Two conclusions seem
obvious: as teachers we ought to conduct reviews regularly and
frequently; we ought to prepare for them as one of the most vital
factors in teaching.

Important as is the review, the preview or assignment is equally vital.
To quote from Colgrove's _The Teacher and the School_:

   "_Importance and Value of Good Lesson Assignment._ From the foregoing
   consideration it is clear that no other part of the teacher's work
   exceeds in value and importance the proper planning and assignment of
   the daily lessons. It is supplying the class and the school with a
   definite plan of work. It is preparing the mind of each individual
   pupil for the reception of new truths and whetting his intellectual
   appetite for a feast of good things. It inspires confidence by
   pointing out to the pupil just how he can use his past lessons and
   acquisitions to make new conquests. It prevents pupils from
   misunderstanding the lesson or approaching it with indifference or
   positive aversion. It enables the pupil to approach the new lesson in
   a perceiving mood, and helps pupils to form the habit of being
   successful in their work and of making a daily application of their
   old knowledge. It prevents the teacher from degenerating into a mere
   talker, and, where textbooks are used, should be the most vital part
   of the recitation."

The assignment is the great guarantee of a good recitation. It sets up
objectives--it points the way--it starts the thought process that is to
produce a discussion worth while at the subsequent meeting of the class.

Much has been said recently against the practice on the part of the
teacher of saying, "Take chapter three for next time." There are
superintendents of schools who refuse to keep such teachers in their
service. To make such an assignment, particularly in classes that meet
only once a week, and especially if the assignment is made, as is too
usually the case, after the signal for class dismissal has been given,
is to promise the pupils a week in advance that their next lesson will
be very much of a failure.

A good assignment is characterized by several very definite features. In
the first place it is perfectly clear. Given at a time when pupils are
following it, it gives specific direction as to the work to be done
ahead in preparation. It indicates the direction of intellectual travel,
points out sources of material, and indicates what is to be looked for.
Reference or textbooks are so pointedly referred to that pupils not only
remember their names, they want to turn to them to enjoy their

In the second place, a good assignment raises a problem which is a
challenge to the mental powers of pupils. It should carry a force of
anticipation that capitalizes on that great mover to action--curiosity.
For instance, if the lesson to be assigned is one on baptism, instead of
simply naming certain pages in a text to be read, the skilful teacher
may well challenge his class by bringing in a clipping from a periodical
or from some other source attempting to prove that sprinkling is the
correct method of baptism, or that baptism is not essential to a man's
obtaining salvation? How can members of the class meet such an argument?
One of their first thoughts will likely be a query as to where available
material may be turned to. How easy, then, to give references, etc. Some
such problem can be raised relative to every lesson taught, and it is a
wonderful force as an intellectual appetizer. It should both prompt to
action and point to the path to be followed.

The question is often raised as to whether the assignment should be
general or specific. Perhaps the best answer involves both kinds. There
ought ordinarily to be a general assignment that affects all of the
members of a class. The class is made up of all the individuals in the
group--its discussing ought therefore to be so made up. But in addition
to this general assignment, specific topics given to particular members
add an enrichment to the recitation of very great value. The services of
the specialist are always of inestimable value. That class is best
wherein each member in turn becomes a specialist in looking up and
bringing in vital observations on life.

As to the best time for making assignments, it is rather hard to give a
ruling that best fits all cases. Preferably the assignment should grow
out of the discussion of the lesson in hand, and therefore logically
comes at the end of the recitation rather than at the beginning. There
are teachers, however, who, fearing interruption at the end of the hour,
map out their work so carefully that they can make the assignment at the
outset, merely calling attention to it at the close of the hour. All
other things being equal, if the teacher will make himself hold sacred
the time necessary at the end of the hour for this all important matter
of assignment, it is likely that best results will follow having the
assignment of the next lesson grow naturally out of the work of today.
The important thing, however, is that at some point in the recitation,
the teacher shall take plenty of time to make a carefully planned and
challenging announcement of the work ahead.

       *       *       *       *       *


1. Why is it essential to good teaching that regular reviews be

2. Why are reviews more necessary in our religious work than in regular
school work?

3. What are the chief purposes of a review?

4. By taking a current lesson of one of the auxiliary organizations,
illustrate the work done in a good review.

5. Why it is of vital importance that a teacher give special preparation
to a review?

6. Show how good class preparation is conditional upon the proper kind
of assignment.

7. What are the characteristics of a good assignment?

8. What is the best time for making the assignment?

9. Show how to make a good assignment of a current lesson from one of
the organizations.


Betts, _The Recitation_; Betts, _How to Teach Religion_; Colvin, _The
Learning Process_; Colgrove, _The Teacher and the School_; Strayer and
Norsworthy, _How to Teach_.




     Taking Stock.--Miss Stevens' study on questioning.--Miss Stevens
     quoted.--Various types of questions: a. The review question; b. The
     fact question; c. The leading question; d. The thought or
     challenging question.--Some questions on questioning.

How many questions do you ask regularly during a recitation?

What proportion of those questions are answered in full and complete

How many of the answers to your questions are a matter merely of memory?
How many reveal original, creative thinking?

Such questions as these not only impress us with the force of the
question as a means of teaching, but they lead us to examine into our
own method of asking them. The whole teaching process so easily and
unconsciously develops into a matter of routine that it is good practice
occasionally to take stock of ourselves. It is surprising to find how
many teachers develop a particular type of question which becomes their
sole stock in trade.

Miss Ronniett Stevens, in her thesis, _The Question as a Measure of
Efficiency in Instruction_, has made one of the most enlightening
studies yet made on the matter of questioning. Her results are quoted by
Weigle, in his _Talks to Sunday School Teachers_, in a passage of
interest, not only because of Miss Stevens' findings, but also because
of Mr. Weigle's own conclusions:

   "One of the outstanding differences, in present practice, between the
   public and the Sunday school, is that most public school teachers ask
   too many questions and most Sunday school teachers do not ask
   questions enough. For the first half of this statement there is
   ample evidence in the careful study by Miss Ronniett Stevens on _The
   Question as a Measure of Efficiency in Instruction_. Miss Stevens
   secured complete stenographic reports of twenty high school lessons
   in English, history, science, Latin, modern languages, and
   mathematics; she observed one hundred more such lessons chosen at
   random, with a view to counting and noting the number and nature of
   the questions asked in each; and she followed each ten classes
   through an entire day's work for the purpose of studying the
   aggregate question-stimulus to which each was subjected in the course
   of the day.

   "The results of her study are surprising. In only eight of the twenty
   lessons completely reported the teacher asked less than ninety
   questions in the period of forty-five minutes, the average being
   sixty-eight. In each of the remaining twelve lessons more than ninety
   questions were asked in the same period of time, the average being
   128. A freshman class in high school, in a day's work of five periods
   of forty minutes each, not counting gymnasium, was subjected to 516
   questions and expected to return 516 answers, which is at the rate of
   2:58 questions and 2:58 answers per minute. The lowest number of
   questions recorded in a day's work for a class was 321, and the
   average number 395.

   "Such rapid-fire questioning, Miss Stevens rightly holds, defeats its
   own ends. It maintains a nervous tension in the classroom that must
   in the long run be injurious. More than that, it is a symptom of the
   fact that the real work of the hour is being done by the teacher, and
   the pupil's share is reduced simply to brief, punctuation-like
   answers to the teacher's questions. Such questions appeal to mere
   memory or to superficial judgment rather than to real thought; they
   cultivate in the pupil neither independent judgment nor the power of
   expression; they ignore individual needs and discourage initiative;
   they make out of the classroom a place to display knowledge, rather
   than a laboratory in which to acquire it.

   "The second half of the proposition, that most Sunday school teachers
   do not ask questions enough, has not been established by any such
   investigation as that of Miss Stevens. A similar study, on the basis
   of complete stenographic reports, of typical Sunday school lessons,
   would be a most valuable addition to our resources in the field of
   religious pedagogy. Till such a study is made, one must simply record
   his conviction that Sunday school teachers, as a general rule, ask
   too few, rather than too many questions. This conviction is based
   upon general observation and upon the frequency of such remarks as,
   'I just can't get my class to study,' 'There are only two or three
   who ever answer my questions,' 'My pupils don't know anything about
   the Bible,' 'As long as I do all the talking, things go all right,'
   etc." Weigle, _Talks to Sunday School Teachers_.

The whole matter of questioning can be made to stand out most clearly,
perhaps, by listing the various types of question, the purposes which
each type serves, and the characteristics of a good question.

First of all there is the _Review question_. The great purpose of this
type of question is to systematize knowledge. Of course, it is valuable
as an aid to recollection--it is a challenge to memory--but it is
particularly helpful in that it makes the big essential points in a
course stand out in relief with minor points properly correlated and
subordinated. The review question is a guide to the pupil whereby he may
see the relative significance of the work he has covered. One of our
great difficulties lies in the fact that our teaching is so largely
piece-meal. Today's lesson is hurried through, isolated as it is from
all that has gone before and all that may follow. The successful teacher
through the review makes each lesson a link in the chain of thought that
underlies the whole development of the subject in hand.

The review question is essentially a carefully thought out, searching
inquiry. It calls for a turning over, in the mind, of the material of
the whole course and therefore should allow ample time for pondering. If
it does not stimulate a "weighing process," it likely is merely a fact
question--a test of memory. Of course, there is a place at times for
this hurried type of question, but it serves the purpose only of
"connecting up" and should not be mistaken for the evaluating question
of review.

The following questions on the expulsion of the Saints from Missouri are
illustrative review questions:

1. To what extent, if any, were the Latter-day Saints themselves
responsible for their expulsion from Missouri?

2. To what extent were the persecutions of Missouri political?

3. How do you account for the fact that the Lord's people have always
been a chastened people?

4. Show how the Missouri persecutions have been ultimately a blessing to
the Latter-day Saints.

The second type of question is the _fact_ question. It serves to check
up on mental alertness and recall. It is often helpful in arresting
attention and therefore has a certain disciplinary function. The
teacher, of course, must make sure that his pupils are grasping the
subject-matter presented, and the fact question serves admirably as a
test of knowledge. It is usually a short question calling for a short
answer, and therefore may be used in a rapid-fire way that stimulates
thought. It is this type of question that is hurled so frequently at
classes with the consequences pointed out in the quotation from Miss

The same author lists as objections to the continued use of these
rapid-fire questions the following bad features. They result in:

1. Nervous tension.

2. The teacher's doing most of the work.

3. Emphasis upon memory and superficial judgment.

4. Little time for the art of expression.

5. Little attention to the needs of particular individuals in a class.

6. The class being made a place for displaying knowledge.

7. Little self-reliant, independent thinking.

As illustrative of the fact question may we set down the following:

Who was Joseph Smith?

What was his father's name?

What was his mother's name?

Where was he born?

How old was he when he received his first vision?

When did he receive the plates?

The _challenging question_ and the _leading question_ are closely enough
allied that we may well discuss them together. They are both intended to
provoke creative thinking. The leading question aims to capitalize on
what is already in the pupil's mind in getting him to go one step
further to a conclusion we already have in mind. Instead of telling a
class of young children that Joseph Smith prayed to the Lord for help in
choosing the church to which he might best belong, we might proceed by
saying that the Prophet had asked his father and mother--he had asked
his best friends--he had talked with all the ministers he could find--he
had read in all of the available books--now who can tell what else he
could do? The chief merit of the leading question lies in the fact that
it paves the way for the answer. It is particularly helpful in
encouraging young and backward pupils. But is easily subject to abuse.
So much so that its use is very largely restricted in law courts. It
results too frequently in the teacher's thinking for the pupil, and
therefore ought to be used with care.

The challenging question is the question that fosters originality of
thought, independence of judgment. It simply raises a problem and leaves
pupils free to arrive at their own conclusions. It makes for an
intelligent faith so much desired in a democratic Church such as ours.
It is the one question above all others that guarantees a vital class

Of course, there is a place for all four of these types of questions.
As was said relative to the methods of the recitation, the best method
is a variety of methods. So with questions. It is perfectly clear,
however, that for general purposes that question which prompts greatest
reflection and independent thinking is the best one to indulge most
frequently. The following questions out of a lesson on Joseph Smith's
First Vision are set down as typical of thought-provoking questions:

1. In view of the fact that when men choose a man for president of a
bank they look for a man of maturity and experience, how do you explain
that Joseph Smith, a mere boy, with little training or experience, was
entrusted with the great responsibility of founding what we claim is the
greatest institution of these latter days?

2. How can you convince the world that a just God would declare that
none of their churches is right?

3. What vital truths are announced to the world through his first

Let us conclude this chapter with one more quotation from Miss Stevens.
When asked to name the three outstanding characteristics of a good
question, she set them down as follows:

1. A good question should stimulate reflection.

2. It should be adapted to the experience of the pupil.

3. It should draw forth a well-rounded answer.

       *       *       *       *       *


Do I call on my pupils to recite in a fixed order, according to alphabet
or seating, so that they are warned not to attend till their turn comes?

Do I name the pupil who is to answer before I put the question?

Do I ask direct questions or alternative questions which can be
answered without knowledge or thought?

Do I ask chiefly fact questions?

Do I ask leading or suggestive questions?

Do I repeat my questions? Attention.

Do I answer my own questions?

Do I ask confusing, changed questions?

Do I ask foolish questions that no one can answer?

Do my questions make pupils think?

Do my questions follow up the answer and lead to new organization of

Do I repeat the pupil's answer?

Do my questions reach all the members of the class?

Do I make the recitation an inquisition, or do I pursue a slow pupil and
listen while pupils express themselves freely and naturally?

       *       *       *       *       *


1. Why is it essential that we prepare questions as we do other

2. What are the dangers that attend the asking of a great number of fact

3. Discuss the relative value of the "W's"--what, who, when, where, and

4. Discuss each of the questions on questioning in this chapter.

5. Bring in three thought-provoking questions on one of the current
lessons in the month's work of one of the auxiliary organizations.


Fitch, _The Art of Questioning_; Stevens, _The Question as a Measure of
Efficiency in Instruction_; Weigle, _Talks to Sunday School Teachers_;
Horne, _Story Telling, Questioning, and Studying_; Brumbaugh, _The
Making of a Teacher_; Driggs, _The Art of Teaching_.




     A popular misconception of discipline.--Discipline inherent in
     teaching.--Importance of discipline in our religious
     teaching.--Changed attitude within the past three centuries toward
     discipline.--What discipline is.

     Methods of securing discipline: The method of rewards; The method
     of "pleasing the teacher"; The method of punishment; The method of
     social appeal; The method of interest.

     The importance of a proper attitude on the part of one who
     disciplines.--What constitutes such an attitude?

Back in 1916 the writer of these chapters was invited to address a group
of teachers on the subject of discipline. This particular lecture came
toward the end of a series of lectures given on the various pedagogical
truths underlying teaching. One particular teacher, who had listened to
all of the lectures, expressed appreciation of the fact that discipline
was to be discussed--it apparently was his one concern, as indicated in
his remark:

"We have listened to some excellent theories in these lectures. But I
have to teach a class of real live boys and girls. How can I keep the
little rascals quiet long enough to work the theories out?"

The remark expresses admirably the attitude of very many teachers
relative to discipline. They regard teaching as one thing--discipline as
quite another. With them discipline involves some sort of magic process
or the application of some iron rule authority, which secures order that
teaching may then be indulged in. As a matter of fact, discipline is
inherent in good teaching. It is not a matter of correction so much as a
matter of prevention. The good disciplinarian anticipates
disorder--directs the energies of his pupils so that the disorder is
made impossible by attention to legitimate interests.

Discipline is one of the most pressing problems in the quorums and
organizations of the Church today. On every hand the complaint is
registered that proper respect is not shown, either for those in
important positions or for our places of worship.

The spirit that accompanies the political rally or basketball game, held
in our amusement halls, too frequently is carried into our sacred
meetings. The spirit of unconcern is carried into our classrooms until
all too often to call the condition one of disorder is a very inadequate
description of the procedure.

It is interesting to note the changing attitude generally in the matter
of discipline. The harshness of other days is largely replaced by a
leniency that borders on "easiness." Our whole attitude toward criminals
has been revolutionized, and our human impulses have carried over into
the realm of teaching, until now, at least in the opinion of very many
critics, we have drifted largely into "soft pedagogy"--a process of
trying to please regardless of the consequences.

Earlier treatises on education devoted a good bit of space to the amount
and kind of punishment that should be administered in a well-ordered
school. Punishment is decidedly out of taste these days. The biography
of an old German master discloses the fact that during his teaching
career he had administered 911,527 raps with his cane, 20,989 with a
ruler, 136,715 with his hand, and that he was responsible for 1,115,800
slaps on the head. The same attitude is reflected in the fact that in
England, as late as the year 1800, two hundred twenty-three offenses
were punishable by death. The offenses included shooting rabbits,
stealing, defacing Westminster Bridge, etc. In our day we hesitate to
apply the extreme penalty even to the murderer.

The attitude toward the content of teaching has undergone a change quite
in keeping with that attached to method. There was a time when
pedagogical philosophy rather hinted, "It doesn't make any difference
what you teach a boy, as long as he doesn't like it." The hint these
days might more nearly read: "It doesn't make any difference how
valuable certain material is for a boy, don't attempt to teach it to him
unless it fascinates him." Our effort to interest our pupils has
practically resulted in taking the scriptures, particularly the Old
Testament, out of our organizations. Of course, the doctrine of interest
is a very vital one, but there are bounds beyond which we ought not to
push it.

It is, therefore, perfectly obvious that there is urgent need of
discipline. Any effort at social control demands it. The army succeeds
as it does because of its discipline. Wherever a group of individuals
undertake action in common, every member must be willing to sink
_interests_ of _self_ in _welfare_ of _others_. As was pointed out in
the chapter on Individual Differences, a class is made up of all kinds
of individuals. They vary in capacity, in ideals, in training, in
attitude, in disposition, and in purpose. Manifestly group progress will
be made possible in any such case by a mutual willingness to
co-operate--a willingness to attend a discussion even though not
particularly interested in it, but because it may be of concern to
someone else whose interests I have undertaken to promote. My very
presence in the class imposes such a responsibility upon me.

It is essential in a discussion of discipline that we agree as to just
what discipline is. It is not _mere silence_. Silent "quietness" may be
agreeable, but it certainly does not make for achievement. Such silence
would be of little worth if it could be achieved, and it cannot be
achieved with twentieth century human beings. The question of the lad
who had been taken to task for his disturbance is always refreshing. The
teacher, after a somewhat prolonged scolding, had concluded:

"Now, Tommie, do be quiet."

"What fur?"

The English may not be the choicest, but the sense is wonderfully
significant to the teacher who would really understand the problem of

Discipline is not repression. The _D_ of discipline and the _D_ of don't
have been confused all too often. Just as the too frequent use of the
brakes on an automobile ruins the lining, so the too frequent "don't" of
repression ruins the "goodwill lining" of the boy, and when that lining
is gone the "brake squeaks," and in emergencies doesn't hold at all.

Discipline rather consists in that direction of wholesome activity which
creates an atmosphere of intellectual endeavor in which every individual
of a group can profitably follow his own interests while allowing every
other individual to do the same thing free from interference. Discipline
makes it possible for all to do the thing to be done to advantage. It
may at times require silence, it may involve vigorous action--it always
presumes intelligent direction that holds those concerned to the orderly
pursuit of an established goal.

Various means have been devised for the securing of discipline. The
_doctrine of rewards_ has been and still is being followed extensively.
To give an individual something for being good has never appealed to
educators as fundamentally sound. It puts a false evaluation upon
virtue. It may be that such a policy must be resorted to in emergencies,
but followed regularly it is likely to be attended with disastrous
results. The boy who has regularly to be bought into doing what he
should will likely raise his price until the method of rewards becomes
ruinous both to the father and the boy. To "heroize" a boy in class
every time he does a meritorious act will very likely spoil him.
Encouragement, of course, is helpful, but it ought not to be
overindulged. A stick of candy may induce a child to go to bed agreeably
each night, but the candy may spoil other things than the bedspread.
Moral fibre is built up by developing the habit of doing a thing because
it is right--because it ought to be done. There are teachers and
preachers who hold the interest of those taught by tickling their ears
with material, either funny or nonsensical. There is a question whether
it is not a dangerous practice in an effort to win them to what should
be an attitude of religious devotion.

Then there is the doctrine that children should be good to please their
parents and teachers. This doctrine is akin to that of rewards. It sets
up something of a false ideal, though of course it is a splendid thing
to teach appreciation of those who help us. Much can be defended which
seeks to inculcate in the minds of children reverence for their elders.
The chief difficulty lies in the fact that this doctrine may not
continue to appeal as fundamentally sound.

A third method for securing discipline is to compel it. This is to
resort to the law of things. A certain amount of law should characterize
both the home and the classroom. Obedience and order are the first laws
of heaven and are essential to good social environment. But the law
should be so administered that the obedience exacted rests upon an
intelligent understanding of the purpose behind the law. Otherwise there
comes a time when mere authority fails to control. It is a good thing to
train children to abide by regulations out of a sense of duty. If duty
and love can be coupled, the combination makes for permanent
law-abiding. Arbitrary authority and blind obedience have produced
Germany. Strong leadership coupled with democratic co-operation and
loyalty have produced America.

Still another doctrine of discipline rests upon a social appeal. Members
of a group agree that in the interest of everyone's welfare each
individual will subscribe to certain conditions regardless of their
application to him. This principle, fundamental in all democracies, can
safely be trusted to secure desired results in groups mature enough to
assure sound judgment. The sense of justice in the human soul is a safe
guarantee of both liberty and good order. Many of our classes no doubt
could be improved noticeably if we could enlist the co-operation of the
members to the extent that they would assume to govern themselves.

Finally there is the doctrine of interest as a means of maintaining
discipline. This doctrine implies that a teacher should get his class so
interested in doing what he wants it to do that it hasn't any
inclination to do what it ought not to do. This doctrine is not the
pernicious doctrine hinted at earlier in this chapter of cheapening
everything into "easiness." Genuine interest may lead not only to
effort, but to sacrifice. The boy who plays football does not play
because of the ease of the game--he is fascinated by his interest in the
struggle. Ample preparation and a complete understanding of pupils will
make possible an interest that disciplines without any evidence of
discipline. Surely this is the modern doctrine of discipline, though
with it should be coupled that wholesome respect for authority that
prompts citizens to abide by the law.

No discussion of discipline would be complete which did not mention at
least the significance of attitude on the part of one who disciplines.
In so many cases when a boy is corrected he complains of the teacher,

"Oh, well, he's got it in for me."

It is always interesting to know whether a parent or teacher disciplines
a child because the child needs it, or because the parent or teacher is
unnerved and has to give expression to his feelings. The disciplinarian
who can correct, when correction is necessary, both in firmness yet in
fairness, so that the person who is corrected is made to feel that the
correction grows out of a desire to help rather than merely to
punish--that disciplinarian will exert an influence for good that is
hard to estimate. He is both a friend and a benefactor.

Let us conclude this chapter with that wonderful passage from the
Doctrine & Covenants which gives us the word of the Lord on this matter
of controlling others:

   "Behold, there are many called, but few are chosen. And why are they
   not chosen?

   "Because their hearts are set so much upon the things of this world,
   and aspire to the honors of men, that they do not learn this one

   "That the rights of the Priesthood are inseparably connected with the
   powers of heaven, and that the powers of heaven cannot be controlled
   nor handled only upon the principles of righteousness.

   "That they may be conferred upon us, it is true; but when we
   undertake to cover our sins, or to gratify our pride, our vain
   ambitions, or to exercise control, or dominion, or compulsion, upon
   the souls of the children of men, in any degree of unrighteousness,
   behold, the heavens withdraw themselves; the Spirit of the Lord is
   grieved; and when it is withdrawn, Amen to the Priesthood, or the
   authority of that man.

   "Behold! ere he is aware, he is left unto himself, to kick against
   the pricks; to persecute the Saints, and to fight against God.

   "We have learned, by sad experience, that it is the nature and
   disposition of almost all men, as soon as they get a little
   authority, as they suppose, they will immediately begin to exercise
   unrighteous dominion.

   "Hence many are called, but few are chosen.

   "No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the
   Priesthood, only by persuasion, by long suffering, by gentleness, and
   meekness, and by love unfeigned;

   "By kindness, and pure knowledge, which shall greatly enlarge the
   soul without hypocrisy, and without guile;

   "Reproving betimes with sharpness, when moved upon by the Holy Ghost,
   and then showing forth afterwards an increase of love toward him whom
   thou hast reproved, lest he esteem thee to be his enemy;

   "That he may know that thy faithfulness is stronger than the cords of

   "Let thy bowels also be full of charity towards all men, and to the
   household of faith, and let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly,
   then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God, and the
   doctrine of the Priesthood shall distil upon thy soul as the dews
   from heaven.

   "The Holy Ghost shall be thy constant companion, and thy sceptre an
   unchanging sceptre of righteousness and truth, and thy dominion shall
   be an everlasting dominion, and without compulsory means it shall
   flow unto thee forever and ever." (Doc. & Cov., Sec. 121:34-46.)

       *       *       *       *       *


1. What constitutes good discipline?

2. What factors contribute to make discipline a real problem in our

3. Discuss our attitude toward discipline today as compared with the
attitude toward it a generation ago.

4. Name the various methods of securing discipline.

5. Discuss their relative values.

6. Why is the teacher's attitude so important a factor in discipline?

7. What qualities are involved in the proper attitude?

8. Discuss preparation in its bearing upon discipline.


Doctrine & Covenants; Bagley, _School Discipline_; O'Shea, _Everyday
Problems in Teaching_; Brumbaugh, _The Making of a Teacher_; Dewey,
_Interest and Effort in Education_.




     The "pull" of a good class.--The appeal of an attractive
     classroom.--Making it "our room."--The teacher and class
     spirit.--Capitalizing on the leadership of the class.--Stimulating
     free participation.--Out of class activities.--Some possibilities.

There is a "pull" to certain classes--a pull that has all the force of a
magnet. Pupils not only go to such a class willingly, but anticipate
with pleasure the approach of the recitation hour. When duty is coupled
with pleasure, there is a force for righteousness that is beyond
measure. Of the various factors that contribute to the creation of a
class spirit, the following are offered as being among the most helpful.

1. _An Attractive Classroom._ While it is true that most of the
organizations in the Church do not have surplus funds for beautifying
their buildings, and while it is equally true that many a good lesson
has been conducted on the dirt floors of long cabins, it is equally true
that rooms can be beautified, and that pleasant surroundings can be made
a potent force in holding to our organizations the men and women and
boys and girls of the Church. Of course, elaborate, expensive
decorations ought to be discouraged. Simplicity always is more
consistent with the spirit of worship than is extravagance. But contrast
the difference in effect on children of a bare, untidy, makeshift room
as against a cozy room decorated with a few beautiful pictures or
draperies and made homelike with comfortable seats and tidy arrangement.

Nor is any great expense involved. The writer recalls visiting a
kindergarten class in one of the schools in Salt Lake County. The ward
authorities had not been asked for a dollar to fit up the room, and yet
it had one of the "homiest" atmospheres imaginable. The teacher of the
class, in addition to having an interest in the class, had an artistic
temperament. She had collected through a number of years the most
beautiful pictures that had appeared in the magazines. These in their
home-made frames transformed the walls of her room into a veritable art
gallery--wherever the eye of the visitor rested, it was greeted by a
picture that, through its beauty, drove home an appreciation of the
finer things of life. The children, too, had been stimulated to a pride
in their room. They had brought in the available old rags from their
homes and, as the result of a Sunday School entertainment which they had
put on with the co-operation of the other departments of the school,
they had had the rags woven into one of those cheerful, old-fashioned
home-made carpets. It was perfectly clear that the children took delight
in going to this "their room" each Sunday morning. Their pride prompted
them to take care of what they regarded as their room, and made for a
spirit of quiet and good order hard to surpass.

During the course in teacher-training at Provo, last summer, one of the
members of the class courteously took the pains to see that a bouquet of
flowers adorned the teacher's desk each day that the class met. It is
impossible to estimate the effect of those flowers. Their beauty,
coupled with the thoughtfulness that brought them in, made for a
"fragrance of spirit" that exerted a remarkable influence.

Once the idea becomes established, pupils will take delight in making
their classroom a place in which they will love to meet.

2. _The Teacher._ We have already discussed at length the personality of
the teacher and its force in teaching. We need only emphasize the fact
here that the magnetism of the teacher, either through what he is or
what he gives, is the one great factor that makes for class spirit. The
class inevitably reflects the attitude of the man who directs it. He
must radiate enthusiasm before it can be caught by his pupils. His
inspiration in making them feel that their class is "the one class" of
an organization is only too gladly responded to by those whom he
teaches. If he impresses the class with the fact that he joins with them
because he loves so to do rather than because he has a duty to
perform--if he makes suggestions in the interest of a better class--if
he starts out by doing something himself by way of a contribution to the
class and its spirit--he can be reasonably sure that his class will come
more than half-way to join in his plans.

Not only his attitude is a vital factor--his preparation must be of the
same enthusiastic type. A pupil of a very successful teacher in Salt
Lake City recently made the remark, "I wouldn't think of missing
Brother ----'s class. He gives me food for a week." Pressed as to the
explanation of this enthusiasm, he added, "Brother ---- is unique. He
always attacks a subject in such a new and thorough way. He goes below
the surface and really teaches us the Gospel." It is not strange, of
course, that such advertising on the part of class members has built up
an enrollment of some seventy-five pupils. Let us, then, remind
ourselves that boys like a teacher

  "Who has pep,"
  "Who tells us something new,"
  "Who doesn't preach at us."

3. _Capitalizing on the Leadership of the Class._ Just as in every band
of horses there is a leader, so there is in every group of boys and
girls. And as with the leaders, so with the followers. "Get the
leaders," says a veteran horseman, "and you have all the rest." It is
frequently the case that a teacher does not know intimately all of his
pupils. Perhaps in many cases that teacher can know well a few of the
outstanding leaders. He can well accompany them on hikes, can take them
to a theatre, a ball game, or for a ride. If he wins them they become
his lieutenants--they make his class. A word from him and these "under
officers" lead the whole class to the desired reaction. "Take your
leading pupils into your confidence and they will establish you in the
confidence of all the rest." The experience is related of a teacher sent
into southern Utah to take charge of a class of boys who had "dismissed"
three teachers already, within the first half year of school. When the
newcomer arrived, the air was full of rumblings as to what was to become
of number four. He was variously cautioned to make an early departure,
to go into school "armed" to "expect anything." But this particular
teacher appreciated the fact that he was best armed when backed by the
confidence and good will of his class. It was an easy matter to have
pointed out for him "the meanest boy of the lot." This boy he sought out
and found playing a game of horseshoe. Invited to take a place in the
game, he entered the circle of the "outlaws" by winning decisively from
their champion--"the meanest boy." To this boy, the new teacher was a
"real fellow." Whatever he said, went! The word was circulated overnight
among the boys of the town. The teacher already was master of the
situation. "The meanest boy," instead of being the chief outlaw, now
took pride in being chief lieutenant. Winning the leader won the group,
and teacher number four not only stayed the year out, but was petitioned
to come back a second year. As a matter of fact, he says, he taught
school in that town for seven years.

4. _Putting a Premium on Participation._ One of the most interesting
classes the writer has ever visited was a theological class in the
Granite Stake. The teacher was committed to the policy of taking as
little as possible of the class period himself, but he was also
committed to the policy of getting his pupils to do the most possible.
For the particular day in question he had assigned a discussion of
baptism. One member of the class had been asked to discuss sprinkling as
the correct method, another had been assigned immersion. The two young
men brought in their findings as if they had been trained for a debate.
Within the forty minutes devoted to the recitation baptism had been gone
into as thoroughly as the writer has ever seen it gone into during the
course of a single lesson, and the members of the class had been
delightfully entertained and enlightened. When the bell rang announcing
the close of the recitation, the class petitioned to have the discussion
continued the following Sunday. It was perfectly clear how the teacher
had built up his enrollment.

It is fundamental in human nature to love social combat. The clash of
mind versus mind makes a wonderful appeal. Witness a political
convention or an open forum debate! Let it be known that a vital subject
is to be discussed by men who are really prepared and other men bestir
themselves to be in attendance. Surely no subjects are full of more
vital significance than questions of life and life eternal. If a teacher
will take the pains to select attention-compelling headings and then
stimulate representative members of his class really to work out
something of a contribution, he need have no fear of the success of his
class. Such procedure not only guarantees a good class--it promotes
faith on the part of those participating as few other things can. Too
frequently we content ourselves with the routine of commonplace "talk."
There is no enthusiasm in mere routine as there is none in listless
listening to generalities. Our effort should be to make our classes
intellectual social centers with everybody participating.

5. _Promoting Class Activities Out of Hours._ The Seventies who
harvested the grain for the widow of one of their members did a splendid
bit of service, not only for her but for their own quorum. A common
objective in service made for a common bond in fellowship.

The Primary class that was stimulated to take a basket of flowers to one
of its sick members was helped not only in the making of someone happy,
but in building up a class spirit that guaranteed success.

There are so many possibilities open to the teacher who really cares.
Just the other evening the teacher of a class of Bee Hive girls called
them together for a little social entertainment that they might talk
over plans for the approaching season. What a capital attitude? Not to
wait till the season opened, but to take the pains to look up the
available, prospective class members and make ready for an enthusiastic
campaign. Of course, such a teacher will succeed.

Class socials of all sorts, baseball teams, authors' clubs, bits of ward
service, visits to institutions of interest--scores of worthy
opportunities present themselves always to the teacher who is anxious to
build up a genuine class spirit. And that spirit is the one great
guarantee of real joy in teaching--it makes a class one which its
members will always hold in memory.

       *       *       *       *       *


1. Why is it essential that a teacher build up a class spirit?

2. Give three practical suggestions on the subject of beautifying

3. Discuss the importance of the attitude of a teacher in promoting
class spirit.

4. Point out possible methods for enlisting the co-operation of class

5. What do you consider your best method of stimulating members to
participate in class discussions?

6. What kind of class activities contribute most to the life of your

7. Discuss the advisability of promoting class athletic teams.


Colgrove, _The Teacher and the School_; Weigle, _Talks to Sunday School
Teachers_; Dewey, _Interest and Effort in Education_; O'Shea, _Everyday
Problems in Teaching_; Norsworthy and Whitley, _Psychology of




     Character, a great power in conversion.--Our concern the converted
     teacher and also the converted pupil.--The converted teacher
     believes what he teaches.--The converted teacher practices what he
     teaches.--The force of "Come, follow me."--What makes for
     conversion.--The teacher's obligation to kindle the spiritual
     fire.--His obligation to feature testimony-bearing.--His obligation
     to take his pupils where they will feel the spirit of testimony.

A number of years ago a young graduate of one of our eastern
universities was employed to teach science in a school in Japan. He was
employed with the understanding that though he was free to advance
whatever scientific theories he chose he should say nothing about his
Christian religion. He accepted the conditions gladly, and during the
first year of his service was careful not even to mention Christianity.
He not only taught his classes in science, but he joined with the boys
in their athletics and in their social life generally. Being both an
athlete and a leader, he was soon looked to as the life of the school.
His clean life was an inspiration. He inevitably set a Christian
standard. Before the end of the second year, though he had preached
never a word, forty young men made application for membership in his
church. His life and ideals had converted them as no preaching could
have done.

What was true in this case is inevitably true in the case of all real
teachers. What a man is breathes a power of conversion that no force or
argument can equal. Hence this concluding chapter--Conversion, the Real
Test of Teaching.

First of all, we are concerned with the conversion of the teacher;
secondly, with the conversion of the pupil. They are inseparably
interwoven. Only the converted teacher can make converts of his pupils.
And surely there is very great need of this very thing--_the making of
real converts of our boys and girls_ that they may come fully to
appreciate the significance of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Upon them
rests the carrying forward of that great work which only the
_conversion_ of our pioneer forefathers could have achieved.

In the first place, the converted teacher _believes_ what he teaches.
There is no half-hearted attitude toward the subject in hand. To him it
is both true and vital. He teaches with a positiveness and an assurance
which grip pupils. What a difference between the speech in which a
speaker merely makes certain observations--sets forth certain specified
facts--and the speech in which those same facts are heightened by that
glow of conviction which stamps them as indispensably essential to
proper living. The prayer of a man who does not believe in prayer is an
example of the emptiness of unbelief. There is one minister in Chicago
who openly announces that God does not and can not answer the prayers of
mankind. And yet he prays. And what mockery is his praying. Mere words.
No man is ever touched by such an empty form. Such prayers have none of
that _Heaven Force_ which establishes communion with the Lord. Surely
"They draw near me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me."

To everyone comes the experience of listening to the heavy phrases of
him who would argue and harrangue his auditors into salvation. How his
words seem not only to close their minds, but to shut their hearts as
well. He fairly talks so loudly that they can't hear him. And then some
humble follower of Him who shunned the orator's eloquence moves to
tears the same audience by his simple utterance of what he knows and
feels to be true. He adds the conviction of conversion to mere
"hard-headedness." When a man knows that which he teaches is true there
is a spirit that gives power to what he says. "The letter killeth, but
the spirit giveth life."

The experience of a Montana railroad executive gives force to this
thought. He told one of our leaders how he had always been impressed
with the achievements of our Church. In fact, he became such an admirer
of the wonderful organization of the "Mormon" Church that he decided to
adopt the same kind of organization in his railroad. To quote: "I
thought if I could apply the same system up here that you have in the
'Mormon' Church it would work just the same for me as it did for you. I
have copied its plan with the First Presidency, the Council of the
Twelve, the Presiding Bishop, and all the other officers. I have tried
it--but it wouldn't work for me." Only a Latter-day Saint can fully
understand why.

And so the teacher who would become a converter must feel the truth of
what he teaches so that a spirit of conviction extends from him to his
class and so takes hold of the members that they, too, feel the truth of
what he says. In short, the real teacher must have a testimony of the
truthfulness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He must be caught up by that
same spirit that opened the heavens to the Prophet Joseph Smith--only
then can he really teach. The Lord has so revealed:

   "And they shall observe the covenants and church articles to do them,
   and these shall be their teaching, as they shall be directed by the

   "And the Spirit shall be given unto you by the prayer of faith, and
   if ye receive not the Spirit, ye shall not teach." (Doc. & Cov., Sec.
   42:13, 14.)

   "Verily I say unto you, he that is ordained of me and sent forth to
   preach the word of truth by the Comforter, in the Spirit of Truth,
   doth he preach it by the Spirit of Truth or some other way?

   "And if it be by some other way, it is not of God.

   "And again, he that receiveth the word of truth, doth he receive it
   by the Spirit of Truth or some other way?

   "If it be some other way it be not of God:

   "Therefore, why is it that ye cannot understand and know that he that
   receiveth the word by the Spirit of Truth, receiveth it as it is
   preached by the Spirit of Truth?

   "Wherefore, he that preacheth and he that receiveth, understandeth
   one another, and both are edified and rejoice together;

   "And that which doth not edify is not of God and is darkness;

   "That which is of God is light; and he that receiveth light and
   continueth in God, receiveth more light, and that light groweth
   brighter and brighter until the perfect day." (Doc. & Cov., Sec.

In the second place, the teacher's belief must be translated into daily
life. "Come, follow me," is the admonition that makes for conversion. A
young man recently, in characterizing the biggest failure among teachers
that he had ever known, remarked, "He simply couldn't teach us anything.
He started in by giving us a vigorous lecture against tobacco, but
before a week had passed we all knew that he himself smoked. He might
just as well have given up teaching right there. We couldn't see any
truth in him after that, for the 'smoke' of his own deception."

Of course, he was not converted. A similar experience is related of the
principal of a school who, with his faculty of teachers, made it a
school rule that there should be no playing of cards on the part of the
students. The rule recorded, however, the principal proceeded to
participate in downtown card parties until he established a reputation,
in the language of the boys, as a "card shark." Not only did that
principal find it impossible thereafter to combat the evil of students
cutting classes to play cards, he lost that confidence on the part of
the student body without which school discipline cannot be achieved.
Lack of conversion--such conversion as leads a man to practice what he
preaches--cost him his position.

To the teacher who would develop the power of conversion, may we make
reference by way of review to those suggestions in an earlier chapter
that make for spiritual growth:

  1. Live a clean life.
  2. Read the word of the Lord.
  3. Do the duties assigned by those in authority.
  4. Subscribe to all the principles of the Gospel.
  5. Cultivate a real spirit of prayer.

If the teacher is really converted, of course the conversion of his
pupils follows very largely as a corollary. But by way of practical
suggestion, it may be helpful to list some things that may be done to
promote a spirit of testimony on the part of the pupils. At the outset a
teacher ought to appreciate just what a testimony is and how it varies
with the age and experience of children. It is clearly a mistake as a
general rule to expect young children to give expression to a testimony
such as might be borne by an adult. True, some children enjoy at an
early age the spirit of testimony to such an extent that they do seem to
know that the Gospel is true. But it is wiser not to expect too much.
Then, too, testimonies vary with individuals. Teachers ought to look out
for expressions which are characteristic of the pupil in question rather
than to expect all pupils to measure up to a set standard.

With a proper conception of a testimony, the teacher then owes certain
rather definite obligations to his class.

He ought to feature testimony bearing rather than to apologize for it.
In the teaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ there can be no more
sacred opportunity than that which allows pupils to open their hearts to
their Creator.

Then, too, the teacher owes it to his class to _kindle_ the spiritual
fire which alone can make for testimony bearing. Brother Maeser had a
very effective way of illustrating the significance of this obligation.
As he expressed the thought, no one would feel that he had completed his
task of warming a house if he merely put into the grate the necessary
paper, wood and coal. He might have all these, but until he struck the
match which would kindle the fire, no warmth would be felt. And so,
spiritually, the fire of a testimony-meeting needs to be kindled. All
too often, a teacher opens the class hour with some such statement as
this, "Now, boys and girls, today is Fast Day. I hope you won't let the
time go to waste." What inspiration in such an opening! That teacher has
not only not kindled the fire, he has brought in a lump or two of
coal--hard at that--with no kindling even as a promise of a fire. On the
other hand, the successful teacher comes before his class with a vital
truth that thrills him and gives it a concrete expression which prompts
pupils to add similar experiences out of their own lives.

Then, too, the teacher may well bring into his class by way of
inspiration someone well established in the faith whose experiences are
full of the spirit of conversion. There are in every ward in the Church
those men and women who know of a surety that the gospel is true. Why
not bring them in occasionally to stimulate testimony bearing? Might it
not be well, also, to take the class as a class to our Fast Day
Sacrament service, there to let them enjoy the wonderful spirit of
testimony that is so characteristic of these meetings? There is a
feeling of conversion that attends these meetings that all boys and
girls must feel--must feel so keenly that they in turn will want to give
expression to their own convictions.

And finally, as teachers, let us remind ourselves that in this matter of
promoting the bearing of testimonies we should exercise a patience that
is full of tolerance and forbearance. Some few individuals are
converted suddenly; others respond to the truth gradually; and there are
those who do well if they really respond to the feeling of conversion at
the end of a lifetime. As one of our leaders has so beautifully pointed
out, the Master, Himself, did not convert the world in a day, nor a
year--He has not converted it in all these centuries. His plan seems to
be to teach the truth and wait patiently until the divinity in man
asserts itself--until man walks by his own light into eternal truth.
Under the inspiration of such example may teachers well labor on in
earnestness, happy in the thought that He will hasten in His own due
time what to them may seem a long, slow process.

    "Perchance, in heaven, one day to me
      Some blessed Saint will come and say,
    'All hail, beloved; but for thee
      My soul to death had fallen a prey';
    And oh! what rapture in the thought,
      One soul to glory to have brought."

       *       *       *       *       *


1. Why is conversion the real test of religious teaching?

2. What are the outstanding characteristics of a person newly converted
to the Church?

3. Discuss the significance of each of the factors that make for

4. Illustrate how to kindle the spiritual fire.

5. State why or why not you favor making assignments for testimony day.

6. What is a testimony?

7. How may children best cultivate a testimony?

8. What principle or practice means most to you by way of affirming your
own testimony?


The Doctrine & Covenants, The Bible, The Book of Mormon, The Voice of
Warning, Rays of Living Light.


_The Art of Teaching_
    Driggs                                Deseret Book Co., Salt Lake.

_The Art of Questioning_
    Fitch                                 A. Flanigan Co., Chicago.

_Story Telling, Questioning and Studying_
    Horne                                 MacMillan Co., New York.

_Principles of Psychology_
    James                                 H. Holt & Co., New York.

_Fundamentals of Child Study_
    Kirkpatrick                           MacMillan Co., New York.

_A Study of Child Nature_
    Harrison                              R.R. Donnelley & Sons, Chicago.

_Psychology of Childhood_
    Norsworthy and Whitley                MacMillan Co., New York.

_The Essentials of Character_
    Sisson                                MacMillan Co., New York.

_Principles of Teaching_
    Thorndike                             A.G. Seiler, New York.

_Education for Character_
    Sharp                                 Bobbs, Merrill Co., Indianapolis.

_The Ideal Teacher_
    G.H. Palmer                           Houghton-Mifflin Co., New York.

_The Seven Laws of Teaching_
    J.M. Gregory                          The Pilgrim Press, Chicago.

_The Point of Contact in Teaching_
    Dubois                                Dodd, Mead & Co., New York.

_Interest and Effort in Education_
    Dewey                                 Houghton-Mifflin Co., New York.

_The Boy Problem_
    Forbush                               The Pilgrim Press, Chicago.

_Training the Boy_
    McKeever                              MacMillan Co., New York.

_Types of Teaching_
    Earhart                               Houghton-Mifflin Co., New York.

_How to Teach Religion_
    Betts                                 The Abingdon Press, New York.

_Talks to Sunday School Teachers_
    Weigle                                Doran Publishing Co., New York.

_Everyday Problems in Teaching_
    O'Shea                                Bobbs, Merrill Co., Indianapolis.

_Talks to Teachers_
    James                                 H. Holt & Co., New York.

_How to Teach_
    Strayer and Norsworthy                MacMillan Co., New York.

_The Making of a Teacher_
    Brumbaugh                             Sunday School Times Co., Phila.

_The Learning Process_
    Colvin                                MacMillan Co., New York.

_The Teacher and the School_
    Colgrove                              Chas. Scribner & Co., New York.

_Pictures in Religious Education_
    Beard                                 Geo. H. Doran Co., New York.

_The Nervous System_
    Stiles                                W.B. Saunders Co., Phila.

_The Classroom Teacher_
    Strayer and Englehardt                American Book Co., New York.

_The Recitation_
    Betts                                 Houghton-Mifflin Co., New York.

    Pillsbury                             MacMillan Co., New York.

_Religious Education in the Family_
    Cope                                  University of Chicago Press.

_Classroom Method and Management_
    Betts                                 Bobbs, Merrill Co., Indianapolis.

_Classroom Management_
    Bagley                                MacMillan Co., New York.


Obvious printing errors were repaired; these changes are listed below.

Chapter I     "a Church built upon revelation"
              Corrected typo: "builded"

Chapter VI    "using an average of thirty-two minutes"
              Corrected typo: "mintues"

              "their employees that they subscribe regularly"
              Corrected typo: "reguarly"

Chapter VII   "A Child's characteristics--his"
              Corrected typo: "charactertistics"

              "These organic, vital activities"
              Corrected typo: "acitivities"

              "All nuerones have"
              "nuerones must be active"
              Corrected typos: "neurones"

Chapter VIII  "method of rewards and punishment;"
              Corrected typo: "punishment:"

              "will be found an interesting tabulation"
              Corrected typo: "tabluation"

              "few of them can safely be developed"
              Corrected typo: "devoloped"

Chapter IX    "wasn't worrying about what he was"
              Corrected typo: "worying"

              "concerning which there may be some uncertainty."
              Corrected typo: "uncertainty?"

Chapter X     "group themselves with a certain uniformity"
              Corrected typo: "cerain"

              "indicate that there is little"
              Corrected typo: "their is"

              "sent his way than the cheerful one"
              Corrected typo: "cheeful"

Chapter XIII  "Let the scriptures testify"
              Corrected typo: "sciptures"

              "Consider the case of the Son"
              Corrected typo: "case of of the Son"

Chapter XIV   "is so significant when understood"
              Corrected typo: "signficant"

              "going back some two thousand years"
              Corrected typo: "thouand"

Chapter XVI   "the silent inspiration of that picture"
              Corrected typo: "pciture"

Chapter XIX   "the statement, "The best method is a variety of methods.""
              Closing quote missing in original

Chapter XX    "map out their work so carefully"
              Corrected typo: "map our"

Chapter XXI   "a. The review question;"
              Corrected typo: "question:"

              "'As long as I do all the talking, things go all right,'"
              Closing single quote was double quote in original

              "when, where, and why."
              Missing period in original

Chapter XXII  "to go to bed agreeably"
              Corrected typo: "agreebly"

Chapter XXIII "to participate in class discussions?"
              Corrected typo: "discussions."

In addition, in Chapter XVI a full line was missing. The original reads:

   "And again, I command thee that thou shalt pray vocally as well
   as well as in private." (Doc. & Cov., Sec. 19:28.)

The corrected text is:

   "And again, I command thee that thou shalt pray vocally as well
   as in thy heart; yea, before the world as well as in secret, in public
   as well as in private." (Doc. & Cov., Sec. 19:28.)

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