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Title: How to Teach
Author: Strayer, George Drayton, 1876-, Norsworthy, Naomi, 1877-1916
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
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 "How to Teach" ***

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February, 1917.


The art of teaching is based primarily upon the science of psychology.
In this book the authors have sought to make clear the principles of
psychology which are involved in teaching, and to show definitely their
application in the work of the classroom. The book has been written in
language as free from technical terms as is possible.

In a discussion of the methods of teaching it is necessary to consider
the ends or aims involved, as well as the process. The authors have, on
this account, included a chapter on the work of the teacher, in which is
discussed the aims of education. The success or failure of the work of a
teacher is determined by the changes which are brought to pass in the
children who are being taught. This book, therefore, includes a chapter
on the measurement of the achievements of children. Throughout the book
the discussion of the art of teaching is always modified by an
acceptance upon the part of the writers of the social purpose of
education. The treatment of each topic will be found to be based upon
investigations and researches in the fields of psychology and education
which involve the measurement of the achievements of children and of
adults under varying conditions. Wherever possible, the relation between
the principle of teaching laid down and the scientific inquiry upon
which it is based is indicated.

Any careful study of the mental life and development of children reveals
at the same time the unity and the diversity of the process involved.
For the sake of definiteness and clearness, the authors have
differentiated between types of mental activity and the corresponding
types of classroom exercises. They have, at the same time, sought to
make clear the interdependence of the various aspects of teaching method
and the unity involved in mental development.

    NOVEMBER 15, 1916.

       *       *       *       *       *

















       *       *       *       *       *


Education is a group enterprise. We establish schools in which we seek
to develop whatever capacities or abilities the individual may possess
in order that he may become intelligently active for the common good.
Schools do not exist primarily for the individual, but, rather, for the
group of which he is a member. Individual growth and development are
significant in terms of their meaning for the welfare of the whole
group. We believe that the greatest opportunity for the individual, as
well as his greatest satisfaction, are secured only when he works with
others for the common welfare. In the discussions which follow we are
concerned not simply with the individual's development, but also with
the necessity for inhibitions. There are traits or activities which
develop normally, but which are from the social point of view
undesirable. It is quite as much the work of the teacher to know how to
provide for the inhibition of the type of activity which is socially
undesirable, or how to substitute for such reactions other forms of
expression which are worthy, as it is to stimulate those types of
activity which promise a contribution to the common good. It is assumed
that the aim of education can be expressed most satisfactorily in terms
of social efficiency.

An acceptance of the aim of education stated in terms of social
efficiency leads us to discard other statements of aim which have been
more or less current. Chief among these aims, or statements of aim, are
the following: (1) culture; (2) the harmonious development of the
capacities or abilities of the individual; (3) preparing an individual
to make a living; (4) knowledge. We will examine these aims briefly
before discussing at length the implications of the social aim.

Those who declare that it is the aim of education to develop men and
women of culture vary in the content which they give to the term
culture. It is conceivable that the person of culture is one who, by
virtue of his education, has come to understand and appreciate the many
aspects of the social environment in which he lives; that he is a man of
intelligence, essentially reasonable; and that he is willing and able to
devote himself to the common good. It is to be feared, however, that the
term culture, as commonly used, is interpreted much more narrowly. For
many people culture is synonymous with knowledge or information, and is
not interpreted to involve preparation for active participation in the
work of the world. Still others think of the person of culture as one
who has a type or kind of training which separates him from the ordinary
man. A more or less popular notion of the man of culture pictures him as
one living apart from those who think through present-day problems and
who devote themselves to their solution. It seems best, on account of
this variation in interpretation, as well as on account of the
unfortunate meaning sometimes attached to the term, to discard this
statement of the aim of education.

The difficulty with a statement of aim in terms of the harmonious
development of the abilities or capacities possessed by the individual
is found in the lack of any criterion by which we may determine the
desirability of any particular kind of development or action. We may
well ask for what purpose are the capacities or abilities of the
individual to be developed. It is possible to develop an ability or
capacity for lying, for stealing, or for fighting without a just cause.
What society has a right to expect and to demand of our schools is that
they develop or nourish certain tendencies to behave, and that they
strive earnestly to eliminate or to have inhibited other tendencies just
as marked. Another difficulty with the statement of aim in terms of the
harmonious development of the capacities is found in the difficulty of
interpreting what is meant by harmonious development. Do we mean equal
development of each and every capacity, or do we seek to develop each
capacity to the maximum of the individual's possibility of training? Are
we to try to secure equal development in all directions? Of one thing we
can be certain. We cannot secure equality in achievement among
individuals who vary in capacity. One boy may make a good mechanic,
another a successful business man, and still another a musician. It is
only as we read into the statement of harmonious development meanings
which do not appear upon the surface, that we can accept this statement
as a satisfactory wording of the aim of education.

The narrow utilitarian statement of aim that asserts that the purpose of
education is to enable people to make a living neglects to take account
of the necessity for social coöperation. The difficulty with this
statement of aim is that it is too narrow. We do hope by means of
education to help people to make a living, but we ought also to be
concerned with the kind of a life they lead. They ought not to make a
living by injuring or exploiting others. They ought to be able to enjoy
the nobler pleasures as well as to make enough money to buy food,
clothing, shelter, and the like. The bread-and-butter aim breaks down as
does the all-around development aim because it fails to consider the
individual in relation to the social group of which he is a member.

To declare that knowledge is the aim of education is to ignore the issue
of the relative worth of that which we call knowledge. No one may know
all. What, then, from among all of the facts or principles which are
available are we to select and what are we to reject? The knowledge aim
gives us no satisfactory answer. We are again thrown back upon the
question of purpose. Knowledge we must have, but for the individual who
is to live in our modern, industrial, democratic society some knowledges
are more important than others. Society cannot afford to permit the
school to do anything less than provide that equipment in knowledge, in
skill, in ideal, or in appreciation which promises to develop an
individual who will contribute to social progress, one who will find his
own greatest satisfaction in working for the common good.

In seeking to relate the aim of education to the school activities of
boys and girls, it is necessary to inquire concerning the ideals or
purposes which actuate them in their regular school work. _Ideals of
service_ may be gradually developed, and may eventually come to control
in some measure the activities of boys and girls, but these ideals do
not normally develop in a school situation in which competition is the
dominating factor. We may discuss at great length the desirability of
working for others, and we may teach many precepts which look in the
direction of service, and still fail to achieve the purpose for which
our schools exist. An overemphasis upon marks and distinctions, and a
lack of attention to the opportunities which the school offers for
helpfulness and coöperation, have often resulted in the development of
an individualistic attitude almost entirely opposed to the purpose or
aim of education as we commonly accept it.

There is need for much reorganization in our schools in the light of our
professed aim. There are only two places in our whole school system
where children are commonly so seated that it is easy for them to work
in coöperation with each other. In the kindergarten, in the circle, or
at the tables, children normally discuss the problems in which they are
interested, and help each other in their work. In the seminar room for
graduate students in a university, it is not uncommon to find men
working together for the solution of problems in which they have a
common interest. In most classrooms in elementary and in high schools,
and even in colleges, boys and girls are seated in rows, the one back of
the other, with little or no opportunity for communication or
coöperation. Indeed, helping one's neighbor has often been declared
against the rule by teachers. It is true that pupils must in many cases
work as individuals for the sake of the attainment of skill, the
acquirement of knowledge, or of methods of work, but a school which
professes to develop ideals of service must provide on every possible
occasion situations in which children work in coöperation with each
other, and in which they measure their success in terms of the
contribution which they make toward the achievement of a common end.

The socially efficient individual must not only be actuated by ideals of
service, but must in the responses which he makes to social demands be
governed by his own careful thinking, or by his ability to distinguish
from among those who would influence him one whose solution of the
problem presented is based upon careful investigation or inquiry.
Especially is it true in a democratic society that the measure of the
success of our education is found in the degree to which we develop the
scientific attitude. Even those who are actuated by noble motives may,
if they trust to their emotions, to their prejudices, or to those
superstitions which are commonly accepted, engage in activities which
are positively harmful to the social group of which they are members.
Our schools should strive to encourage the spirit of inquiry and

A large part of the work in most elementary schools and high schools
consists in having boys and girls repeat what they have heard or read.
It is true that such accumulation of facts may, in some cases, either at
the time at which they are learned, or later, be used as the basis for
thinking; but a teacher may feel satisfied that she has contributed
largely toward the development of the scientific spirit upon the part of
children only when this inquiring attitude is commonly found in her
classroom. The association of ideas which will result from an honest
attempt upon the part of boys and girls to find the solution of a real
problem will furnish the very best possible basis for the recall of the
facts or information which may be involved. The attempt to remember
pages of history or of geography, or the facts of chemistry or of
physics, however well they may be organized in the text-book, is usually
successful only until the examination period is passed. Children who
have engaged in this type of activity quite commonly show an appalling
lack of knowledge of the subjects which they have studied a very short
time after they have satisfied the examination requirement. The same
amount of energy devoted to the solution of problems in which children
may be normally interested may be expected not only to develop some
appreciation of scientific method in the fields in which they have
worked, but also to result in a control of knowledge or a memory of
facts that will last over a longer period of time.

Recitations should be places where children meet for the discussion of
problems which are vital to them. The question by the pupil should be as
common as the question by the teacher. Laboratory periods should not
consist of following directions, but rather in undertaking, in so far as
it is possible, real experiments. We may not hope that an investigating
or inquiring turn of mind encouraged in school will always be found
operating in the solution of problems which occur outside of school, but
the school which insists merely upon memory and upon following
instructions may scarcely claim to have made any considerable
contribution to the equipment of citizens of a democracy who should
solve their common problems in terms of the evidence presented. The
unthinking acceptance of the words of the book or the statement of the
teacher prepares the way for the blind following of the boss, for faith
in the demagogue, or even for acceptance of the statements of the quack.

The ideal school situation is one in which the spirit of inquiry and
investigation is constantly encouraged and in which children are
developing ideals of service by virtue of their _activity_. A high
school class in English literature in which children are at work in
small groups, asking each other questions and helping each other in the
solution of their problems, seems to the writer to afford unusual
opportunity for the realization of the social aim of education. A first
grade class in beginning reading, in which the stronger children seek to
help those who are less able, involves something more significant in
education than merely the command of the tool we call reading. A teacher
of a class in physics who suggested to his pupils that they find out
which was the more economical way to heat their homes,--with hot air,
with steam, or with hot water,--evidently hoped to have them use
whatever power of investigation they possessed, as well as to have them
come to understand and to remember the principles of physics which were
involved. In many schools the coöperation of children in the preparation
of school plays, or school festivals, in the writing and printing of
school papers, in the participation in the school assembly, in the
making of shelves, tables, or other school equipment, in the working for
community betterment with respect to clean streets and the like, may be
considered even more significant from the standpoint of the realization
of the social aim of education than are the recitations in which they
are commonly engaged.

We have emphasized thus far the meaning of the social aim of education
in terms of methods of work upon the part of pupils. It is important to
call attention to the fact that the materials or content of education
are also determined by the same consideration of purposes. If we really
accept the idea of participation upon the part of children in modern
social life as the purpose of education, we must include in our courses
of study only such subject matter as may be judged to contribute toward
the realization of this aim. We must, of course, provide children with
the tools of investigation or of inquiry; but their importance should
not be overemphasized, and in their acquirement significant experiences
with respect to life activities should dominate, rather than the mere
acquisition of the tool. Beginning reading, for example, is important
not merely from the standpoint of learning to read. The teaching of
beginning reading should involve the enlarging and enriching of
experience. Thought getting is of primary importance for little children
who are to learn to read, and the recognition of symbols is important
only in so far as they contribute to this end. The best reading books no
longer print meaningless sentences for children to decipher. Mother
Goose rhymes, popular stories and fables, language reading lessons, in
which children relate their own experience for the teacher to print or
write on the board, satisfy the demand for content and aid, by virtue of
the interest which is advanced, in the mastering of the symbols.

It is, of course, necessary for one who would understand modern social
conditions or problems, to know of the past out of which our modern life
has developed. It is also necessary for one who would understand the
problems of one community, or of one nation, to know, in so far as it is
possible, of the experiences of other peoples. History and geography
furnish a background, without which our current problems could not be
reasonably attacked. Literature and science, the study of the fine arts,
and of our social institutions, all become significant in proportion as
they make possible contributions, by the individual who has been
educated, to the common good.

Any proper interpretation of the social purpose of education leads
inevitably to the conclusion that much that we have taught is of very
little significance. Processes in arithmetic which are not used in
modern life have little or no worth for the great majority of boys and
girls. Partnership settlements involving time, exact interest, the
extraction of cube and of square roots, partial payments, and many of
the problems in mensuration, might well be omitted from all courses of
study in arithmetic. Many of the unimportant dates in history and much
of the locational geography should disappear in order that a better
appreciation of the larger social movements can be secured, or in order
that the laws which control in nature may be taught. In English, any
attempt to realize the aim which we have in mind would lay greater
stress upon the accomplishment of children in speaking and writing our
language, and relatively less upon the rules of grammar.

It may well be asked how our conception of aim can be related to the
present tendency to offer a variety of courses of instruction, or to
provide different types of schools. The answer is found in an
understanding and appreciation of the fact that children vary
tremendously in ability, and that the largest contribution by each
individual to the welfare of the whole group can be made only when each
is trained in the field for which his capacity fits him. The movement
for the development of vocational education means, above all else, an
attempt to train all members of the group to the highest possible degree
of efficiency, instead of offering a common education which, though
liberal in its character, is actually neglected or refused by a large
part of our population.

Our interest in the physical welfare of children is accounted for by the
fact that no individual may make the most significant contribution to
the common good who does not enjoy a maximum of physical efficiency. The
current emphasis upon moral training can be understood when we accept
that conception of morality which measures the individual in terms of
his contribution to the welfare of others. However important it may be
that individuals be restrained or that they inhibit those impulses which
might lead to anti-social activity, of even greater importance must be
the part actually played by each member of the social group in the
development of the common welfare.

If we think of the problems of teaching in terms of habits to be fixed,
we must ask ourselves are these habits desirable or necessary for an
individual who is to work as a member of the social group. If we
consider the problem of teaching from the standpoint of development in
intelligence, we must constantly seek to present problems which are
worth while, not simply from the standpoint of the curiosity which they
arouse, but also on account of their relation to the life activities
with which our modern world is concerned. We must seek to develop the
power of appreciating that which is noble and beautiful primarily
because the highest efficiency can be secured only by those who use
their time in occupations which are truly recreative and not enervating.

As we seek to understand the problem of teaching as determined by the
normal mental development of boys and girls, we must have in mind
constantly the use to which their capacities and abilities are to be
put. Any adequate recognition of the social purpose of education
suggests the necessity for eliminating, as far as possible, that type of
action which is socially undesirable, while we strive for the
development of those capacities which mean at least the possibility of
contribution to the common good. We study the principles of teaching in
order that we may better adapt ourselves to the children's possibilities
of learning, but we must keep in mind constantly that kind of learning
and those methods of work which look to the development of socially
efficient boys and girls. We must seek to provide situations which are
in themselves significant in our modern social life as the subject
matter with which children may struggle in accomplishing their
individual development. We need constantly to have in mind the ideal of
school work which will value most highly opportunities for coöperation
and for contribution to the common good upon the part of children, which
are in the last analysis entirely like the situations in which older
people contribute to social progress. More and more we must seek to
develop the type of pupil who knows the meaning of duty and who gladly
recognizes his obligations to a social group which is growing larger
with each new experience and each new opportunity.


1. Why would you not be satisfied with a statement of the aim of
education which was expressed in terms of the harmonious development of
an individual's abilities and capacities?

2. Suggest any part of the courses of study now in force in your school
system the omission of which would be in accordance with the social aim
of education.

3. Name any subjects or parts of subjects which might be added for the
sake of realizing the aim of education.

4. How may a teacher who insists upon having children ask permission
before they move in the room interfere with the realization of the
social aim of education?

5. Can you name any physical habits which may be considered socially
undesirable? Desirable?

6. What is the significance of pupil participation in school government?

7. How does the teacher who stands behind his desk at the front of the
room interfere with the development of the right social attitude upon
the part of pupils?

8. Why is the desire to excel one's own previous record preferable to
striving for the highest mark?

9. In one elementary school, products of the school garden were sold and
from the funds thus secured apparatus for the playground was bought. In
another school, children sold the vegetables and kept the money. Which,
in your judgment, was the most worth while from the standpoint of the
social development of boys and girls?

10. A teacher of Latin had children collect words of Latin origin,
references to Latin characters, and even advertisements in which Latin
words or literary references were to be found. The children in the class
were enthusiastic in making these collections, and considerable interest
was added to the work in Latin. Are you able to discover in the exercise
any other value?

11. Describe some teaching in which you have recently engaged, or which
you have observed, in which the methods of work employed by teacher and
pupils seemed to you to contribute to a realization of the social
purpose of education.

12. How can a reading lesson in the sixth grade, or a history lesson in
the high school, be conducted to make children feel that they are doing
something for the whole group?

13. In what activities may children engage outside of school which may
count toward the betterment of the community in which they live?

       *       *       *       *       *


After deciding upon the aims of education, the goals towards which all
teaching must strive, the fundamental question to be answered is, "What
have we to work with?" "What is the makeup with which children start in
life?" Given a certain nature, certain definite results are possible;
but if the nature is different, the results must of necessity differ.
The possibility of education or of teaching along any line depends upon
the presence of an original nature which possesses corresponding
abilities. The development of intellect, of character, of interest, or
of any other trait depends absolutely upon the presence in human beings
of capacity for growth or development. What the child inherits, his
original nature, is the capital with which education must work; beyond
the limits which are determined by inheritance education cannot go.

All original nature is in terms of a nervous system. What a child
inherits is not ideas, or feelings, or habits, as such, but a nervous
system whose correlate is human intelligence and emotion. Just what
relationship exists between the action of the nervous system and
consciousness or intellect or emotion is still an open question and need
not be discussed here. One thing seems fairly certain, that the original
of any individual is bound up in some way with the kind of nervous
system he has inherited. What we have in common, as a human race, of
imagination, or reason, or tact, or skill is correlated in some fashion
to the inheritance of a human nervous system. What we have as individual
abilities, which distinguish us from our fellows, depends primarily upon
our family inheritance. Certain traits such as interest in people, and
accuracy in perception of details, seem to be dependent upon the sex
inheritance. All traits, whether racial, or family, or sex, are
inherited in terms of a plastic nervous system.

The racial inheritance, the capital which all normal children bring into
the world, is usually discussed under several heads: reflexes,
physiological actions, impulsive actions, instincts, capacities, etc.,
the particular heads chosen varying with the author. They all depend for
their existence upon the fact that certain bonds of connection are
performed in the nervous system. Just what this connection is which is
found between the nerve cells is still open to question. It may be
chemical or it may be electrical. We know it is not a growing together
of the neurones,[1] but further than that nothing is definitely known.
That there are very definite pathways of discharge developed by the laws
of inner growth and independent of individual learning, there can be no
doubt. This of course means that in the early days of a child's life,
and later in so far as he is governed by these inborn tendencies, his
conduct is machine-like and blind--with no purpose and no consciousness
controlling or initiating the responses. Only after experience and
learning have had an opportunity to influence these responses can the
child be held responsible for his conduct, for only then does his
conduct become conscious instead of merely physiological.

There are many facts concerning the psychology of these inborn
tendencies that are interesting and important from a purely theoretical
point of view, but only those which are of primary importance in
teaching will be considered here. A fact that is often overlooked by
teachers is that these inborn tendencies to connections of various kinds
exist in the intellectual and emotional fields just as truly as in the
field of action or motor response. The capacity to think in terms of
words and of generals; to understand relationships; to remember; to
imagine; to be satisfied with thinking,--all these, as well as such
special abilities as skill in music, in managing people or affairs, in
tact, or in sympathy, are due to just the same factors as produce fear
or curiosity. These former types of tendencies differ from the latter in
complexity of situation and response, in definiteness of response, in
variability amongst individuals of the same family, and in
modifiability; but in the essential element they do not differ from the
more evident inborn tendencies.

Just what these original tendencies are and just what the situations are
to which they come as responses are both unknown except in a very few
instances. The psychology of original nature has enumerated the
so-called instincts and discussed a few of their characteristics, but
has left almost untouched the inborn capacities that are more peculiarly
human. Even the treatment of instincts has been misleading. For
instance, instincts have been discussed under such heads as the
"self-preservative instincts," "the social instincts," just as if the
child had an inborn, mystical something that told him how to preserve
his life, or become a social king. Original nature does not work in that
way; it is only as the experience of the individual modifies the blind
instinctive responses through learning that these results can just as
easily come about unless the care of parents provides the right sort of
surroundings. There is nothing in the child's natural makeup that warns
him against eating pins and buttons and poisonous berries, or encourages
him to eat milk and eggs and cereal instead of cake and sweets. He will
do one sort of thing just as easily as the other. All nature provides
him with is a blind tendency to put all objects that attract his
attention into his mouth. This response may preserve his life or destroy
it, depending on the conditions in which he lives. The same thing is
true of the "social instinct"--the child may become the most selfish
egotist imaginable or the most self-sacrificing of men, according as his
surroundings and training influence the original tendencies towards
behavior to other people in one way or the other. Of course it is very
evident that no one has ever consistently lived up to the idea indicated
by such a treatment of original nature, but certain tendencies in
education are traceable to such psychology. What the child has by nature
is neither good nor bad, right nor wrong--it may become either according
to the habits which grow out of these tendencies. A child's inborn
nature cannot determine the goal of his education. His nature has
remained practically the same from the days of primitive man, while the
goals of education have changed. What nature does provide is an immense
number of definite responses to definite situations. These provide the
capital which education and training may use as it will.

It is just because education does need to use these tendencies as
capital that the lack of knowledge of just what the responses are is
such a serious one. And yet the difficulties of determining just what
original nature gives are so tremendous that the task seems a hopeless
one to many investigators. The fact that in the human being these
tendencies are so easily modified means that from the first they are
being influenced and changed by the experiences of the child. Because of
the quality of our inheritance the response to a situation is not a
one-to-one affair, like a key in a lock, but all sorts of minor causes
in the individual are operative in determining his response; and, on the
other side, situations are so complex in themselves that they contain
that which may call out several different instincts. For example, a
child's response to an animal will be influenced by his own physical
condition, emotional attitude, and recent mental status and by the
conditions of size and nearness of the animal, whether it is shaggy or
not, moving or still, whether he is alone or with others, on the floor
or in his chair, and the like. It will depend on just how these factors
combine as to whether the response is one of fear, of curiosity, of
manipulation, or of friendliness. When to these facts are added the fact
that the age and previous habits of the child also influence his
response, the immense complexity of the problem of discovering just what
the situations are to which there are original tendencies to respond and
just how these tendencies show themselves is evident. And yet this is
what psychologists must finally do if the use by teachers of these
tendencies is to be both economical and wise. Just as an illustration of
the possibilities of analysis, Thorndike in his "Original Nature of Man"
lists eleven different situations which call out an instinctive
expression of fear and thirty-one different responses which may occur in
that expression. Under fighting he says, "There seem, indeed, to be at
least six separable sets of connections in the so-called 'fighting
instinct,'" in each of which the situation and the response differ from
any other one.

Very few of the instincts are present at birth; most of them develop
later in the child's life. Pillsbury says, "One may recognize the
food-taking instincts, the vocal protests at discomfort, but relatively
few others." This delay in the appearance of instincts and capacities is
dependent upon the development of the nervous system. No one of them can
appear until the connections between nerve centers are ready, making the
path of discharge perfect. Just when these various nervous connections
mature, and therefore just when the respective tendencies should appear,
is largely unknown. In only a few of the most prominent and
comparatively simple responses is it even approximately known. Holding
the head up is accomplished about the fourth month, walking and talking
somewhere near the twelfth, but the more complex the tendency and the
more they involve intellectual factors, the greater is the uncertainty
as to the time of development. We are told that fear is most prominent
at about "three or four" years of age, spontaneous imitation "becomes
very prominent the latter part of the first year," the gang instinct is
characteristic of the preadolescent period, desire for adventure shows
itself in early adolescence, altruism "appears in the early teens," and
the sex instinct "after about a dozen years of life." The child of from
four to six is largely sensory, from seven to nine he is motor, from
then to twelve the retentive powers are prominent. In the adolescent
period he is capable of thinking logically and reasoning, while maturity
finds him a man of responsibilities and affairs. Although there is some
truth in the belief that certain tendencies are more prominent at
certain periods in the development of the child than at others, still it
must be borne in mind that just when these optimum periods occur is not
known. Three of the most important reasons for this lack of knowledge
are: first, the fact that all inborn tendencies mature gradually and do
not burst into being; second, we do not know how transitory they are;
and, third, the fact of the great influence of environment in
stimulating or repressing such capacities.

Although the tendency to make collections is most prominent at nine, the
beginnings of it may be found before the child is five. Moll finds that
the sex instinct begins its development at about six years of age,
despite the fact that it is always quoted as the adolescent instinct.
Children in the kindergarten can think out their little problems
purposively, even though reasoning is supposed to mark the high school
pupil. The elements of most tendencies show themselves early in crude,
almost unrecognizable, beginnings, and from these they grow gradually to

In the second place how quickly do these tendencies fade? How transitory
are they? It has always been stated in general psychology that instincts
are transitory, that therefore it was the business of teachers to strike
while the iron was hot, to seize the wave of interest or response at its
crest before the ebb had begun. There was supposed to be a "happy moment
for fixing in children skill in drawing, for making collections in
natural history," for developing the appreciative emotions, for training
the social instinct, or the memory or the imagination. Children are
supposed to be interested and attracted by novelty, rhythm, and
movement,--to be creatures of play and imagination and to become
different merely as a matter of the transitoriness of these tendencies
due to growth. When the activities of the adult and the child are
analyzed to see what tendencies have really passed, are transitory, it
is difficult to find any that have disappeared. True, they have changed
their form, have been influenced by the third factor mentioned above,
but change the surroundings a little and the tendency appears. Free the
adult from the restraints of his ordinary life and turn him out for a
holiday and the childish tendencies of interest in novelty and the
mysterious, in physical prowess and adventure and play, all make their
appearance. In how many adults does the collecting instinct still
persist, and the instinct of personal rivalry? In how many has the crude
desire for material ownership or the impulse to punish an affront by
physical attack died out? Experimental evidence is even proving that the
general plasticity of the nervous system, which has always been
considered to be transitory, is of very, very much longer duration than
has been supposed.

In illustration of the third fact, namely, the effect of environment to
stimulate or repress, witness the "little mothers" of five and the wage
earners of twelve who have assumed all the responsibilities with all
that they entail of maturity. On the other side of the picture is the
indulged petted child of fortune who never grows up because he has had
everything done for him all his life, and therefore the tendencies which
normally might be expected to pass and give place to others remain and
those others never appear. That inborn tendencies do wax, reach a
maximum, and wane is probably true, but the onset is much more gradual
and the waning much less frequent than has been taken for granted. Our
ignorance concerning all these matters outweighs our knowledge; only
careful experimentation which allows for all the other factors involved
can give a reliable answer.

One reason why the facts of delayedness and transitoriness in instincts
have been so generally accepted without being thoroughly tested has been
the belief in the recapitulation or repeating by the individual of
racial development. So long as this was accepted as explaining the
development of inborn tendencies and their order of appearance,
transitoriness and delayedness must necessarily be postulated. This
theory is being seriously questioned by psychologists of note, and even
its strongest advocate, President Hall, finds many questions concerning
it which cannot be answered.

The chief reasons for its acceptance were first, on logical grounds as
an outgrowth of the doctrine of evolution, and second, because of an
analogy with the growth of the physical body which was pushed to an
extreme. On the physiological side, although there is some likeness
between the human embryo and that of the lower animals, still the stages
passed through by the two are not the same, being alike only in rough
outline, and only in the case of a few of the bodily organs is the
series of changes similar. In the case of the physical structure which
should be recapitulated most closely, if behavior is to follow the same
law,--namely, in that of the brain and nervous system,--there is least
evidence of recapitulation. The brain of man does not follow in its
development at all the same course taken in the development of brains in
the lower animals. And, moreover, it is perfectly possible to explain
any similarity or parallelism which does exist between the development
of man's embryo and that of lower animals by postulating a general order
of development followed by nature as the easiest or most economical,
traces of which must then be found in all animal life. When it comes to
the actual test of the theory, that of finding actual cases of
recapitulation in behavior, it fails. No one has been able to point out
just when a child passes through any stage of racial development, and
any attempt to do so has resulted in confusion. There is no clear-cut
marking off into stages, but, instead, overlapping and coexistence of
tendencies characterize the development of the child. The infant of a
few days old may show the swimming movements, but at the same time he
can support his own weight by clinging to a horizontal stick. Which
stage is he recapitulating, that of the fishes or the monkeys? The
nine-year-old boy loves to swim, climb trees, and hunt like a savage all
at the same period, and, what is more, some of these same tendencies
characterize the college man. The late maturing of the sex instinct, so
old and strong in the race, and the early appearing of the tendencies
towards vocalization and grasping, both of late date in the race, are
facts that are hard to explain on the basis of the theory of

As has been already suggested, one of the most important characteristics
of all these tendencies is their modifiability. The very ease with which
they can be modified suggests that this is what has most often to be
done with them. On examination of the lists of original tendencies there
are none which can be kept and fixed in the form in which they first
appear. Even the best of them are crude and impossible from the
standpoint of civilized society. Take as an illustration mother-love;
what are the original tendencies and behavior? "All women possess
originally, from early childhood to death, some interest in human
babies, and a responsiveness to the instinctive looks, calls, gestures,
and cries of infancy and childhood, being satisfied by childish
gurglings, smiles, and affectionate gestures, and moved to instinctive
comforting acts of childish signs of pain, grief, and misery." But the
mother has to learn not to cuddle the baby and talk to it all the time
it is awake and not to run to it and take it up at every cry, to steel
her heart against the wheedling of the coaxing gurgles and even to allow
the baby to hurt himself, all for his own good. This comes about only as
original nature is modified in line with knowledge and ideals. The same
need is evidenced by such a valuable tendency as curiosity. So far as
original nature goes, the tendency to attend to novel objects, to human
behavior, to explore with the eyes and manipulate with the hands, to
enjoy having sensations of all kinds merely for their own sakes, make up
what is known as the instinct of curiosity. But what a tremendous amount
of modification is necessary before these crude responses result in the
valuable scientific curiosity. Not blind following where instinct leads,
but modification, must be the watchword.

On the other hand, there are equally few tendencies that could be
spared, could be absolutely voted out without loss to the individual or
the race. Bullying as an original tendency seems to add nothing to the
possibilities of development, but every other inborn tendency has its
value. Jealousy, anger, fighting, rivalry, possessiveness, fear, each
has its quota to contribute to valuable manhood and womanhood. Again,
not suppression but a wise control must be the attitude of the educator.
Inhibition of certain phases or elements of some of the tendencies is
necessary for the most valuable development of the individual, but the
entire loss of any save one or two would be disastrous to some form of
adult usefulness or enjoyment. The method by which valuable elements or
phases of an original tendency are fixed and strengthened is the general
method of habit formation and will be taken up under that head in
Chapter IV. When the modification involves definite inhibition, there
are three possible methods,--punishment, disuse, and substitution. As an
example of the use of the three methods take the case of a child who
develops a fear of the dark. In using the first method the child would
be punished every time he exhibited fear of the dark. By using the
second method he would never be allowed to go into a dark room, a light
being left burning in his bedroom, etc., until the tendency to fear the
dark had passed. In the third method the emotion of fear would be
replaced by that of joy or satisfaction by making the bedtime the
occasion for telling a favorite story or for being allowed to have the
best-loved toy, or for being played with or cuddled. The situation of
darkness might be met in still another way. If the child were old
enough, the emotion of courage might replace that of fear by having him
make believe he was a soldier or a policeman.

The method of punishment is the usual one, the one most teachers and
parents use first. It relies for its effectiveness on the general law of
the nervous system that pain tends to weaken the connections with whose
activity it is associated. The method is weak in that pain is not a
strong enough weapon to break the fundamental connections; it is not
known how much of it is necessary to break even weaker ones; it is
negative in its results--breaking one connection but replacing it by
nothing else. The second method of inhibition is that of disuse. It is
possible to inhibit by this means, because lack of use of connections in
the nervous system results in atrophy. As a method it is valuable
because it does not arouse resistance or anger. It is weak in that as
neither the delayedness nor the transitoriness of instincts is known,
when to begin to keep the situation from the child, and how long to keep
it away in order to provide for the dying out of the connections, are
not known. The method is negative and very unsure of results. The method
of substitution depends for its use upon the presence in the individual
of opposing tendencies and of different levels of development in the
same tendency. Because of this fact a certain response to a situation
may be inhibited by forming the habit of meeting the situation in
another way or of replacing a lower phase of a tendency by a higher one.
This method is difficult to handle because of the need of knowledge of
the original tendencies of children in general which it implies as well
as the knowledge of the capacities and development of the individual
child with whom the work is being done. The amount of time and
individual attention necessary adds another difficulty. However, it is
by far the best method of the three, for it is sure, is economical,
using the energy that is provided by nature, is educative, and is
positive. To replace what is poor or harmful by something better is one
of the greatest problems of human life--and this is the outcome of the
method of substitution. All three methods have their place in a system
of education, and certain of them are more in place at certain times
than at others, but at all times if the method of substitution can be
used it should be.

The instinct of physical activity is one of the most noticeable ones in
babyhood. The young baby seems to be in constant movement. Even when
asleep, the twitchings and squirmings may continue. This continued
muscular activity is necessary because the motor nerves offer the only
possible path of discharge at first. As higher centers in the brain are
developed, the ingoing currents, aroused by all sense stimuli, find
other connections, and ideas, images, trains of thoughts, are aroused,
and so the energy is consumed; but at first all that these currents can
do is to arouse physical activity. The strength of this instinct is but
little diminished by the time the child comes to school. His natural
inclination is to do things requiring movement of all the growing
muscles. Inhibition, "sitting still," "being quiet," takes real effort
on his part, and is extremely fatiguing. This instinct is extremely
valuable in several ways: it gives the exercise necessary to a growing
body, provides the experience of muscle movements necessary for control,
and stimulates mental growth through the increase and variety of
experiences it gives.

The tendency to enjoy mental activity, to be satisfied with it for its
own sake, is peculiarly a human trait. This capacity shows itself in two
important ways--in the interest in sensory stimuli, usually discussed
under the head of curiosity, and in the delight in "being a cause" or
mental control. The interest in tastes, sounds, sights, touches, etc.,
merely for their own sake, is very evident in a baby. He spends most of
his waking time in just that enjoyment. Though more complex, it is still
strong when the child enters school, and for years any object of sense
which attracts his attention is material which arouses this instinct.
The second form in which the instinct for mental ability shows itself is
later in development and involves the secondary brain connections. It is
the satisfaction aroused by results of which the individual is the
cause. For example, the enjoyment of a child in seeing a ball swing or
hearing a whistle blown would be a manifestation of curiosity, while the
added interest which is always present when the child not only sees the
ball swing but swings it, not only hears the whistle but blows it
himself, is a result of the second tendency, that of joy in being a
cause. As the child grows older the same tendency shows itself on a
higher level when the materials dealt with, instead of being sensations
or percepts, are images or ideas. The interest in following out a train
of ideas to a logical conclusion, of building "castles in the air," of
making plans and getting results, all find their taproot in this
instinctive tendency towards mental activity.

In close connection with the general tendency towards physical activity
is the instinct of manipulation. From this crude root grows
constructiveness and destructiveness. As it shows itself at first it has
the elements of neither. The child inherits the tendency to respond by
"many different arm, hand, and finger movements to many different
objects"--poking, pulling, handling, tearing, piling, digging, and
dropping objects. Just what habits of using tools, and the like, will
grow out of this tendency will depend on the education and training it
gets. The habits of constructiveness may be developed in different sorts
of media. The order of their availability is roughly as follows: first,
in the use of materials such as wood, clay, raffia, etc.; second, in the
use of pencil and brush with color, etc.; third, in the use of words. We
should therefore expect and provide for considerable development along
manual lines before demanding much in the way of literary expression.
Indeed, it may be argued that richness of experience in doing is
prerequisite to verbal expression.

Acquisitiveness and collecting are two closely allied tendencies of
great strength. Every child has a tendency to approach, grasp, and carry
off any object not too large which attracts his attention, and to be
satisfied by its mere possession. Blind hoarding and collecting of
objects sometimes valueless in themselves results. This instinct is very
much influenced in its manifestation by others which are present at the
same time, such as the food-getting instinct, rivalry, love of approval,
etc. The time at which the tendency to collect seems strongest is at
about nine years, judged by the number of collections per child.

Rivalry as an instinct shows itself in increased vigor, in instinctive
activity when others are engaged in the same activity, and in
satisfaction when superiority is attained. There is probably no inborn
tendency whereby these responses of increased vigor and satisfaction are
aroused in connection with any kind of activity. We do not try to
surpass others in the way we talk or in our moral habits or in our
intellectual attainments, as a result of nature, but rather as a result
of painstaking education. As an instinct, rivalry is aroused only in
connection with other instinctive responses. In getting food, in
securing attention or approval, in hunting and collecting, the activity
would be increased by seeing another doing the same thing, and
satisfaction would be aroused at success or annoyance at failure. The
use of rivalry in other activities and at other levels comes as a result
of experience.

The fighting responses are called out by a variety of situations. These
situations are definite and the responses to them differ from each
other. In each case the child tries by physical force of some kind, by
scratching, kicking, biting, slapping, throwing, and the like, to change
the situation into a more agreeable one. This is true whether he be
trying to escape from the restraining arms of his mother or to compel
another child to recognize his mastery. Original nature endows us with
the pugnacious instinct on the physical level and in connection with
situations which for various reasons annoy us. If this is to be raised
in its manner of response from the physical to the intellectual level,
if the occasions calling it out are to be changed from those that merely
annoy one to those which involve the rights of others and matters of
principle, it must be as a result of education. Nature provides only
this crude root.

Imitation has long been discussed as one of the most important and
influential of human instincts. It has been regarded as a big general
tendency to attempt to do whatever one saw any one else doing. As such a
tendency it does not exist. It is only in certain narrow lines that the
tendency to imitate shows itself, such as smiling when smiled at,
yelling when others yell, looking and listening, running, crouching,
attacking, etc., when others do. To this extent and in similar
situations the tendency to imitate seems to be truly an instinct.
Imitating in other lines, such as writing as another writes, talking,
dressing, acting like a friend, trying to use the methods used by
others, etc., are a result of experience and education. The
"spontaneous," "dramatic," and "voluntary" imitation discussed by some
authors are the stages of development of _habits_ of imitation.

The desire to be with others of the same species, the satisfaction at
company and the discomfort aroused by solitude, is one of the strongest
roots of all social tendencies and customs. It manifests itself in young
babies, and continues a strong force throughout life. As an instinct it
has nothing to do with either being interested in taking one's share in
the duties or pleasures of the group or with being interested in people
for their own sakes. It is merely that company makes one comfortable and
solitude annoys one. Anything further must come as a result of

Motherliness and kindliness have as their characteristic behavior
tendencies to respond by instinctive comforting acts to signs of pain,
grief, or misery shown by living things, especially, by children, and by
the feeling of satisfaction and the sight of happiness in others. Of
course very often these instinctive responses are interfered with by the
presence of some other instinct, such as fighting, hunting, ownership,
or scorn, but that such tendencies to respond in such situations are a
part of the original equipment of man seems beyond dispute. They are
possessed by both sexes and manifest themselves in very early childhood.

There are original tendencies to respond both in getting and in giving
approval and scorn. By original nature, smiles, pats, admiration, and
companionship from one to whom submission is given arouses intense
satisfaction; and the withdrawal of such responses, and the expression
of scorn or disapproval, excites great discomfort. Even the expression
of approval or scorn from any one--a stranger or a servant--brings with
it the responses of satisfaction or discomfort. Just as strongly marked
are original tendencies which cause responses of approval and cause as a
result of "relief from hunger, rescue from fear, gorgeous display,
instinctive acts of strength, daring and victory," and responses of
scorn "to the observation of empty-handedness, deformity, physical
meanness, pusillanimity, and defect." The desire for approval is never
outgrown--it is one of the governing forces in society. If it is to be
shown or desired on any but this crude level of instinctive response, it
can only come by education.

Children come to school with both an original nature determined by their
human inheritance and by their more immediate family relationship, and
with an education more significant, perhaps, than any which the school
can provide. From earliest infancy up to the time of entering a
kindergarten or a first grade, the original equipment in terms of
instincts, capacities, and abilities has been utilized by the child and
directed by his parents and associates in learning to walk and to talk,
to conform to certain social standards or requirements, to accept
certain rules or precepts, or to act in accordance with certain beliefs
or superstitions. The problem which the teacher faces is that of
directing and guiding an individual, who is at the same time both
educated and in possession of tendencies and capacities which make
possible further development.

Not infrequently the education which children have when they come to
school may in some measure handicap the teacher. It is unfortunate, but
true, that in some homes instinctive tendencies which should have been
overcome have been magnified. The control of children is sometimes
secured through the utilization of the instinct of fear. The fighting
instinct may often have been overdeveloped in a home in which
disagreement and nagging, even to the extent of physical violence, have
taken the place of reason. Pride and jealousy may have taken deep root
on account of the encouragement and approval which have been given by
thoughtless adults.

The teacher does not attack the problem of education with a clean slate,
but rather it is his to discover what results have already been achieved
in the education of the child, whether they be good or bad, for it is in
the light of original nature or original tendencies to behave, and in
the light of the education already secured, that the teacher must work.

When one realizes the great variety or differences in ability or
capacity, as determined by heredity, and when there is added to this
difference in original nature the fact of variety in training which
children have experienced prior to their school life, he cannot fail to
emphasize the necessity for individualizing children. While it is true
that we may assume that all children will take delight in achievement,
it may be necessary with one child to stir as much as possible the
spirit of rivalry, to give as far as one can the delight which comes
from success, while for another child in the same class one may need to
minimize success on account of a spirit of arrogance which has been
developed before school life began. It is possible to conceive of a
situation in which some children need to be encouraged to fight, even to
the extent of engaging in physical combat, in order to develop a kind of
courage which will accept physical discomfort rather than give up a
principle or ideal. In the same group there may be children for whom the
teacher must work primarily in terms of developing, in so far as he can,
the willingness to reason or discuss the issue which may have aroused
the fighting instinct.

For all children in elementary and in high schools the possibility of
utilizing their original nature for the sake of that development which
will result in action which is socially desirable is still present. The
problem which the teacher faces will be more or less difficult in
proportion as the child's endowment by original nature is large or
small, and as previous education has been successful or unsuccessful.
The skillful teacher is the one who will constantly seek to utilize to
the full those instincts or capacities which seem most potent. This
utilization, as has already been pointed out, does not mean a blind
following of the instinctive tendencies, but often the substitution of a
higher form of action for a lower, which may seem to be related to the
instinct in question. It is probably wise to encourage collections of
stamps, of pictures, of different kinds of wood, and the like, upon the
part of children in the elementary school, provided always that the
teacher has in mind the possibility of leading these children, through
their interest in objects, to desire to collect ideas. Indeed, a teacher
might measure her success in utilizing the collecting instinct in
proportion as children become relatively less interested in things
collected, and more interested in the ideas suggested by them, or in the
mastery of fields of knowledge or investigation in which objects have
very little significance. The desire for physical activity upon the part
of children is originally satisfied by very crude performances.
Development is measured not simply in an increase in manual dexterity,
but also in terms of the higher satisfaction which may come from
producing articles which have artistic merit, or engaging in games of
skill which make for the highest physical efficiency.

During the whole period of childhood and adolescence we may never assume
that the results of previous education, whether they be favorable or
unsatisfactory, are permanent. Whether we succeed or not in achieving
the ends which we desire, the fact of modifiability, of docility, and of
plasticity remains. The teacher who seeks to understand the individuals
with whom he works, both in terms of their original nature and in terms
of their previous education, and who at the same time seeks to
substitute for a lower phase of an instinctive tendency a higher one, or
who tries to have his pupils respond to a situation by inhibiting a
particular tendency by forming the habit of meeting the situation in
another way, need not despair of results which are socially desirable.


1. May a teacher ever expect the children in his class to be equal in
achievement? Why?

2. Why is it not possible to educate children satisfactorily by
following where instincts lead?

3. Which of the instincts seem most strong in the children in your

4. Can you give any example of an instinctive tendency which you think
should have been outgrown but which seems to persist among your pupils?

5. Give examples of the inhibition of undesirable actions based upon
instinctive tendencies by means of (1) punishment, (2) disuse, (3)

6. How can you use the tendency to enjoy mental activity?

7. Why does building a boat make a stronger appeal to a boy than
engaging in manual training exercises which might involve the same
amount of activity?

8. Cite examples of collections made by boys and girls in which the
ideas associated with the objects collected may be more important than
the objects themselves.

9. In what degree are we justified in speaking of the social instinct?
The instinct to imitate?

10. How can you use the fighting instinct in your work with children?

11. What can teachers do to influence the education which children have
received or are getting outside of school?

12. What differences in action among the children in your class do you
attribute to differences in original nature? What to differences in

       *       *       *       *       *


Attention is a function of consciousness. Wherever consciousness is,
attention must perforce be present. One cannot exist without the other.
According to most psychologists, the term attention is used to describe
the form consciousness takes, to refer to the fact that consciousness is
selective. It simply means that consciousness is always focal and
marginal--that some ideas, facts, or feelings stand out in greater
prominence than do others, and that the presence of this "perspective"
in consciousness is a matter of mechanical adjustment. James describes
consciousness by likening it to a series of waves, each having a crest
and sides which correspond to the focus and margin of attention. The
form of the wave changes from a high sharp crest with almost straight
sides in pointed, concentrated attention, to a series of mere
undulations, when crests are difficult to distinguish, in so-called
states of dispersed attention. The latter states are rare in normal
individuals, although they may be rather frequent in certain types of
low-grade mental defectives. This of course means that states of
"inattention" do not exist in normal people. So long as consciousness is
present one must be attending to something. The "day dream" is often
accompanied by concentrated attention. Only when we are truly thinking
of nothing, and that can only be as unconsciousness approaches, is
attention absent. What is true of attention is also true of interest,
for interest is coming more and more to be considered the "feeling side"
of attention, or the affective accompaniment of attention. The kind of
interest may vary, but some kind is always present. The place the
interest occupies may also vary: sometimes the affective state itself is
so strong that it forces itself into the focal point and becomes the
object of attention. The chief fact of importance, however, is that
attention and interest are inseparable and both are coexistent with

This selective action of consciousness is mechanical, due to the inborn
tendencies toward attention possessed by human beings. The situations
which by their very nature occupy the focal point in consciousness are
color and brightness, novelty, sudden changes and sharp contrasts,
rhythm and cadence, movement, and all other situations to which there
are other instinctive responses, such as hunting, collecting, curiosity,
manipulation, etc. In other words, children are born with tendencies to
attend to an enormous number of situations because of the number of
instinctive responses they possess. So great is this number that
psychologists used to talk about the omnivorousness of children's
attention, believing that they attended to everything. Such a general
attention seems not to be true. However, it is because so many
situations have the power to force consciousness to a crest that human
beings have developed the intellectual power that puts them so far above
other animals. That these situations do attract attention is shown by
the fact that individuals respond by movements which enable them to be
more deeply impressed or impressed for a longer time by the situations
in question. For example, a baby will focus his eyes upon a bright
object and then move eyes and head to follow it if it moves from his
field of vision. Just what the situations are, then, which will arouse
responses of attention in any given individual will depend in the first
place upon his age, sex, and maturity, and in the second place upon his
experience. The process of learning very quickly modifies the inborn
tendencies to attention by adding new situations which demand it. It is
the things we learn to attend to that make us human rather than merely

The fact of attention or selection must of necessity involve also
inhibition or neglect. The very fact of the selection of certain objects
and qualities means the neglect of others. This fact of neglect is at
first just as mechanical as that of attention, but experiences teach us
to neglect some situations which by original nature attracted attention.
From the standpoint of education what we neglect is quite as important
as what is selected for attention.

The breadth of a person's attention, _i.e.,_ the number of lines along
which attention is possible, must vary with age and experience. The
younger or the more immature an individual is, the greater the number of
different lines to which attention is given. It is the little child
whose attention seems omnivorous, and it is the old person for whom
situations worthy of attention have narrowed down to a few lines. This
must of necessity be so, due to the interrelation of attention and
neglect. The very fact of continuing to give attention along one line
means less and less ability and desire to attend along other lines.

The question as to how many things, whether objects or ideas, can be
attended to at the same time, has aroused considerable discussion. Most
people think that they are attending to several things, if not to many,
at the same second of consciousness. Experiments show that if four or
five unrelated objects, words, or letters be shown to adults for less
than one quarter of a second, they can be apprehended, but the
probability is that they are photographed, so to speak, on the eye and
counted afterwards. It is the general belief of psychologists at present
that the mind attends to only one thing at a time, that only one idea or
object can occupy the focal point in consciousness.

The apparent contradiction between ordinary experience and psychological
experience along this line is due to three facts which are often
overlooked. In the first place, the complexity of the idea or thing that
can be attended to as a unit varies tremendously. Differences in people
account for part of this variation, but training and experience account
for still more. Our ideas become more and more complex as experience and
familiarity build them up. Qualities which to a little child demand
separate acts of attention are with the adult merged into his perception
of the object. Just as simple words, although composed of separate
letters, are perceived as units, so with training, more complex units
may be found which can be attended to as wholes. So (to the ignorant or
the uninstructed) what is apparently attending to more than one thing at
a time may be explained by the complexity of the unit which is receiving
the attention.

In the second place _doing_ more than one thing at a time does not imply
attending to more than one thing at a time. An activity which is
habitual or mechanical does not need attention, but can be carried on by
the control exercised by the fringe of consciousness. Attention may be
needed to start the activity or if a difficulty of any kind should
arise, but that is all. For the rest of the time it can be devoted to
anything else. The great speed with which attention can flash from one
thing to another and back again must be taken into consideration in all
this discussion. So far as attention goes, one can _do_ as many things
at a time as he can make mechanical plus one unfamiliar one. Thus a
woman can rock the baby's cradle, croon a lullaby, knit, and at the same
time be thinking of illustrations for her paper at the Woman's Club,
because only one of these activities needs attention. When no one of the
activities is automatic and the individual must depend on the rapid
change of attention from one to the other to keep them going, the
results obtained are likely to be poor and the fatigue is great. The
attempt to take notes while listening to a lecture is of this order, and
hence the unsatisfactoriness of the results.

The third fact which helps to explain the apparent contradiction under
discussion is closely related to this one. It is possible when engaged
with one object to have several questions or topics close by in the
fringe of consciousness so that one or the other may flash to the focal
point as the development of the train of thought demands. The individual
is apparently considering many questions at the same time, when in
reality it is the readiness of these associations plus the oscillations
of attention that account for the activity. The ability to do this sort
of thing depends partly on the individual,--some people will always be
"people of one idea,"--but training and experience increase the power.
The child who in the primary can be given only one thing to look for
when he goes on his excursion may grow into the youth who can carry half
a dozen different questions in his mind to which he is looking for

By concentration of attention is meant the depth of the attention, and
this is measured by the ease with which a person's attention can be
called off the topic with which he is concerned. The concentration may
be so great that the individual is oblivious to all that goes on about
him. He may forget engagements and meals because of his absorption.
Sometimes even physical pain is not strong enough to distract attention.
On the other hand, the concentration may be so slight that every passing
sense impression, every irrelevant association called up by the topic,
takes the attention away from the subject. The depth of concentration
depends upon four factors. Certain mental and physical conditions have a
great deal to do with the concentration of attention, and these will be
discussed later. Individual differences also account for the presence or
absence of power of concentration--some people concentrate naturally,
others never get very deeply into any topic. Maturity is another factor
that is influential. A little child cannot have great concentration,
simply because he has not had experience enough to give him many
associations with which to work. His attention is easily distracted.
Although apparently absorbed in play, he hears what goes on about him
and notices many things which adults suppose he does not see. This same
lack of power shows itself in any one's attention when a new subject is
taken up if he has few associations with it. Of course this means that
other things being equal the older one is, up to maturity at least, the
greater one's power of concentration. Little children have very little
power, adolescents a great deal, but it is the adult who excels in
concentration. Although this is true, the fourth factor, that of
training in concentration, does much toward increasing the power before
full maturity is reached. One can learn to concentrate just as he can
learn to do anything else. Habits of concentration, of ignoring
distinctions and interruptions, of putting all one's power into the work
in hand, are just as possible as habits of neatness. The laws of habit
formation apply in the field of attention just as truly as in every
other field of mental life. Laboratory experiments prove the large
influence which training has on concentration and the great improvement
that can be made. It is true that few people do show much concentration
of attention when they wish. This is true of adults as well as of
children. They have formed habits of working at half speed, with little
concentration and no real absorption in the topic. This method of work
is both wasteful of time and energy and injurious to the mental
stability and development of the individual. Half-speed work due to lack
of concentration often means that a student will stay with a topic and
fuss over it for hours instead of working hard and then dropping it.
Teachers often do this sort of thing with their school work. Not only
are the results less satisfactory, because the individual never gets
deeply enough into the topic to really get what is there, but the effect
on him is bad. It is like "constant dripping wears away the stone."
Children must be taught to "work when they work and play when they
play," if they are to have habits of concentration as adults.

The length of time which it is possible to attend to the same object or
idea may be reckoned in seconds. It is impossible to hold the attention
on an object for any appreciable length of time. In order to hold the
attention the object must change. The simple experiment of trying to pay
attention to a blot of ink or the idea of bravery proves that change is
necessary if the attention is not to wander. What happens is that either
the attention goes to something else, or that you begin thinking about
the thing in question. Of course, the minute you begin thinking, new
associations, images, memories, come flocking in, and the attention
occupies itself with each in turn. All may concern the idea with which
you started out, but the very fact that these have been added to the
mental content of the instant makes the percept of ink blot or the
concept of bravery different from the bare thing with which the
attention began. If this change and fluctuation of the mental state does
not take place, the attention flits to something else. The length of
time that the attention may be engaged with a topic will depend, then,
upon the number of associations connected with it. The more one knows
about a topic, the longer he can attend to it. If it is a new topic, the
more suggestive it is in calling up past experience or in offering
incentive for experiment or application, the longer can attention stay
with it. Such a topic is usually called "interesting," but upon analysis
it seems that this means that for one of the above reasons it develops
or changes and therefore holds the attention. This duration of attention
will vary in length from a few seconds to hours. The child who is given
a problem which means almost nothing, which presents a blank wall when
he tries to attend to it, which offers no suggestions for solution, is
an illustration of the first. Attention to such a problem is impossible;
his attention must wander. The genius who, working with his favorite
subject, finds a multitude of trains of thought called up by each idea,
and who therefore spends hours on one topic with no vacillation of
attention, is an illustration of the second.

Attention has been classified according to the kind of feeling which
accompanies the activity. Sometimes attention comes spontaneously,
freely, and the emotional tone is that accompanying successful activity.
On the other hand, sometimes it has to be forced and is accompanied by
feelings of strain and annoyance. The first type is called Free[2]
attention; the second is Forced attention.

Free attention is given when the object of attention satisfies a need;
when the situation attended to provides the necessary material for some
self-activity. The activity of the individual at that second needs
something that the situation in question gives, and hence free,
spontaneous attention results. Forced attention is given when there is a
lack of just such feeling of need in connection with the object of
attention. It does not satisfy the individual--it is distinct from his
desires at the time. He attends only because of fear of the results if
he does not, and hence the condition is one of strain. All play takes
free attention. Work which holds the worker because it is satisfying
also takes free attention. Work which has in it the element of drudgery
needs forced attention. The girl making clothes for her doll, the boy
building his shack in the woods, the inventor working over his machine,
the student absorbed in his history lesson,--all these are freely
attending to the thing in hand. The girl running her seam and hating it,
the, boy building the chicken coop while wishing to be at the ball game,
the inventor working over his machine when his thoughts and desires are
with his sick wife, the student trying to study his history when the
debate in the civics club is filling his mind,--these are cases when
forced attention would probably be necessary.

It is very evident that there is no one situation which will necessarily
take either free or forced attention because the determining factor is
not in the situation _per se_, but in the relation it bears to the mind
engaged with it. Sometimes the same object will call forth forced
attention from one person and free from another. Further, the same
object may at one time demand free attention and at another time forced
attention from the same person, depending on the operation of other
factors. It is also true that attention which was at first forced may
change into free as the activity is persevered in.

Although these two types of attention are discussed as if they were
entirely separated from each other, as if one occurred in this situation
and the other in that, still as a matter of fact the actual conditions
involve an interplay between the two. It is seldom true that free
attention is given for any great length of time without flashes of
forced attention being scattered through it. Often the forced attention
may be needed for certain parts of the work, although as a whole it may
take free attention. The same thing is true of occasions when forced
attention is used. There are periods in the activity when free attention
will carry the worker on. Every activity, then, is likely to be complex
so far as the kind of attention used, but it is also characterized by
the predominance of one or the other type.

The question as to the conditions which call out each type of attention
is an important one. As has already been said, free attention is given
when the situation attended to satisfies a need. Physiologically stated,
free attention is given when a neurone series which is ready to act is
called into activity. The situations which do this, other things being
equal, will be those which appeal to some instinctive tendency or
capacity, or to the self-activity or the personal experience of the
individual and which therefore are in accord with his stage of
development and his experience. Forced attention is necessary when the
neurone tracts used by the attention are for some reason unready to act.
Situations to which attention is given through fear of punishment, or
when the activity involves a choice of ideal ends as opposed to personal
desires, or when some instinctive tendency must be inhibited or its free
activity is blocked or interfered with, or when the laws of growth and
experience are violated, take forced attention. Of course fatigue,
disease, and monotony are frequent breeders of forced attention.

From the above discussion it must be evident that one of the chief
characteristics of free attention is its unity. The mental activity of
the person is all directed along one line, that which leads to the
satisfying of the need. It is unified by the appeal the situation makes.
As a result of such a state the attention is likely to be concentrated,
and can be sustained over a long period. Of course this means that the
work accomplished under such conditions will be greater in amount, more
thorough, and more accurate than could be true were there less unity in
the process. The opposite in all respects is true of forced attention.
It is present when there is divided interest. The topic does not appeal
to the need of the individual. He attends to it because he must. Part of
his full power of attention is given to keeping himself to the work,
leaving only a part to be given to the work itself. If there is any
other object in the field of attention which is particularly attractive,
as there usually is, that claims its share, and the attention is still
further divided. Divided attention cannot be concentrated; it cannot
last long. The very strain and effort involved makes it extremely
fatiguing. The results of work done under such conditions must be poor.
There can be but little thoroughness, for the worker will do just as
much as he must to pass muster, and no more. Inaccuracy and
superficiality will characterize such work. Just as training in giving
concentrated attention results in power along that line, so frequent
necessity for forced attention develops habits of divided attention
which in time will hinder the development of any concentration.

From a psychological viewpoint there can be no question but what free
attention is the end to be sought by workers of all kinds. It is an
absolutely false notion that things are easy when free attention is
present. It is only when free attention is present that results worth
mentioning are accomplished. It is only under such conditions that the
worker is willing to try and try again, and put up with disappointment
and failure, to use his ingenuity and skill to the utmost, to go out of
his way for material or suggestions; in other words, to put himself into
his work in such a way that it is truly educational. On the other hand,
forced attention has its own value and could not be dispensed with in
the development of a human being. Its value is that of means to end--not
that of an end in itself. It is only as it leads into free attention
that forced attention is truly valuable. In that place the part it plays
is tremendous because things are as they are. There will always be
materials which will not appeal to a need in some individual because of
lack of capacity or experience; there will always be parts of various
activities and processes which seem unnecessary and a waste of time to
some worker; there will always be choices to be made between instinctive
desires and ideal needs, and in each case forced attention is the only
means, perhaps, by which the necessary conditions can be acquired that
make possible free attention. It is evident, therefore, that forced
attention should be called into play only when needed. When needed, it
should be demanded rigorously, but the sooner the individual in question
can pass from it to the other type, the better. This is true in all
fields whether intellectual or moral.

A second classification of attention has been suggested according to the
answer to the question as to why attention is given. Sometimes attention
is given simply because the material itself demands it; sometimes for
some ulterior reason. The former type is called immediate or intrinsic
attention; the latter is called derived, mediate, or extrinsic
attention. The former is given to the situation for its own sake; the
latter because of something attached to it. Forced attention is always
derived; free attention may be either immediate or derived. It is
immediate and derived free attention that needs further discussion.

It should be borne in mind that there is no sharp line of division
between immediate and derived attention. Sometimes it is perfectly
evident that the attention is given for the sake of the material--at
other times there can be no doubt but that it is the something beyond
the material that holds the attention. But in big, complex situations it
is not so evident. For instance, the musician composing just for the
love of it is an example of immediate attention, while the small boy
working his arithmetic examples with great care in order to beat his
seatmate is surely giving derived attention. But under some conditions
the motives are mixed and the attention may fluctuate from the value of
the material itself to the values to be derived from it. However this
may be, at the two extremes there is a clear-cut difference between
these two types of attention. The value of rewards and incentives
depends on the psychology of derived free attention, while that of
punishment and deterrents is wrapped up with derived forced attention.

Immediate free attention is the more valuable of the two types because
it is the most highly unified and most strongly dynamic of all the
attention types. The big accomplishments of human lives have been
brought to pass through this kind of attention. It is the kind the
little child gives to his play--the activity itself is worth while. So
with the artist, the inventor, the poet, the teacher, the physician, the
architect, the banker--to be engaged in that particular activity
satisfies. But this is not true of all artists, bankers, etc., nor with
the others all the time. Even for the child at play, sometimes
conditions arise when the particular part of the activity does not seem
worth while in itself; then if it is to be continued, another kind of
attention must be brought in--derived attention. This illustration shows
the place of derived attention as a means to an end--the same part
played by forced attention in its relation to free. Derived attention
must needs be characteristic of much of the activity of human beings.
People have few well-developed capacities, and there are many kinds of
things they are required to do. If these are to be done with free
attention, heartily, it will only be because of some value that is worth
while that is attached to the necessary activity. As activities grow
complex and as the results of activities grow remote, the need for
something to carry over the attention to the parts of the activity that
are seen to be worth while in the first place, or to the results in the
second, grows imperative. This need is filled by derived attention, and
here it shows its value as means to an end, but it is only when the need
for this carrier disappears, and the activity as a whole for itself
seems worth while, that the best results are obtained.

There is a very great difference between the kinds of motives or values
chosen for derived attention, and their value varies in accordance with
the following principles. Incentives should be closely connected
naturally with the subject to which they are attached. They should be
suited to the development of the child and be natural rather than
artificial. Their appeal should be permanent, _i.e._, should persist in
the same situation outside of school. They should really stimulate those
to whom they are offered. They should not be too attractive in
themselves. Applying these principles it would seem that derived
interests that have their source in instincts, in special capacities, or
in correlation of subjects are of the best type, while such extremely
artificial incentives as prizes, half holidays, etc., are among the

The value of derived attention is that it gets the work done or the
habit formed. Of course the hope is always there that it will pass over
into the immediate type, but if it does not, at least results are
obtained. It has already been shown that results may also be obtained by
the use of forced attention, which is also derived. Both derived free
attention and forced attention are means to an end. The question as to
the comparative value of the two must be answered in favor of the
derived free attention. The chief reasons for this conclusion are as
follows. First, derived free attention is likely to be more unified than
forced attention. Second, it arouses greater self-activity on the part
of the worker. Third, the emotional tone is that of being satisfied
instead of strain. Fourth, it is more likely to lead to the immediate
attention which is its end. Despite these advantages of derived free
attention over forced attention, it still has some of the same
disadvantages that forced attention has. The chief of these is that it
also may result in division of energy. If the means for gaining the
attention is nothing but sugar coating, if it results in the mere
entertainment of the worker, there is every likelihood that the
attention will be divided between the two. The other disadvantage is
that because of the attractiveness of the means used to gain attention
it may be given just so long as the incentive remains, and no longer.
These difficulties may be largely overcome, however, by the application
of the principles governing good incentives. This must mean that the
choice of types of attention and therefore the provision of situations
calling them out should be in this order: immediate free attention,
derived free attention, forced attention. All three are necessary in the
education of any child, but each should be used in its proper place.

The conditions which insure the best attention of whatever type have to
do with both physical and mental adjustments. On the physical side there
is need for the adaptation of the sense organ and the body to the
situation. For this adaptation to be effective the environmental
conditions must be controlled by the laws of hygiene. A certain amount
of bodily freedom yields better results than rigidity because the latter
draws energy from the task in hand for purposes of inhibition. On the
mental side there is need for preparation in terms of readiness of the
nerve tracts to be used. James calls this "ideational" preparation. This
simply means that one can attend better if he knows something of what he
is to attend to. Experimental evidence proves without doubt that if the
subject knows that he is to see a color, instead of a word, his
perception of it is much more rapid and accurate than if he does not
have this preparation. This same result is obtained in much more complex
sensory situations, and it also holds when the situation is
intellectual. Contrary to expectation, great quietness is not the best
condition for the maximum of attention; a certain amount of distraction
is beneficial.

The problem of interest and of attention, from the point of view of
teaching, is not simply to secure attention, but rather to have the
attention fixed upon those activities which are most desirable from the
standpoint of realizing the aim or purpose of education. As has already
been suggested, children are constantly attending to something. They
instinctively respond to the very great variety of stimuli with which
they come in contact. Our schools seek to provide experiences which are
valuable. In school work when we are successful children attend to those
stimuli which promise most for the formation of habits, or the growth in
understanding and appreciation which will fit them for participation in
our social life. We seek constantly in our work as teachers to secure
either free or forced attention to the particular part of our courses of
study or to the particular experiences which are allotted to the grade
or class which we teach. One of the very greatest difficulties in
securing attention upon the part of a class is found in the variety of
experiences which they have already enjoyed, and the differences in the
strength of the appeal which the particular situation may make upon the
several members of the group. In class teaching we have constantly to
vary our appeal and to differentiate our work to suit the individual
differences represented in the class, if we would succeed in holding the
attention of even the majority of the children.

Boys and girls do their best work only when they concentrate their
attention upon the work to be done. One of the greatest fallacies that
has ever crept into our educational thought is that which suggests that
there is great value in having people work in fields in which they are
not interested, and in which they do not freely give their attention.
Any one who is familiar with children, or with grown-ups, must know that
it is only when interest is at a maximum that the effort put forth
approaches the limit of capacity set by the individual's ability. Boys
concentrate their attention upon baseball or upon fishing to a degree
which demands of them a maximum of effort. A boy may spend hours at a
time seeking to perfect himself in pitching, batting, or fielding. He
may be uncomfortable a large part of the time, he may suffer
considerable pain, and yet continue in his practice by virtue of his
great enthusiasm for perfecting himself in the game. Interest of a not
dissimilar sort leads a man who desires position, or power, or wealth,
to concentrate his attention upon the particular field of his endeavor
to the exclusion of almost everything else. Indeed, men almost literally
kill themselves in the effort which they make to achieve these social
distinctions or rewards. We may not hope always to secure so high a
degree of concentration of attention or of effort, but it is only as we
approach a situation in which children are interested, and in which they
freely give their attention to the subject in hand, that we can claim to
be most successful in our teaching.

The teacher who is able in beginning reading to discover to children the
tool which will enable them to get the familiar story or rhyme from the
book may hope to get a quality of attention which could never be brought
about by forcing them to attend to formal phonetic drill. The teacher of
biology who has been able to awaken enthusiasm for the investigation of
plant and animal life, and who has allowed children to conduct their own
investigations and to carry out their own experiments, may hope for a
type of attention which is never present in the carrying out of the
directions of the laboratory manual or in naming or classifying plants
or animals merely as a matter of memory. Children who are at work
producing a school play will accomplish more in the study of the history
in which they seek to discover a dramatic situation, by virtue of the
concentration of attention given, than they would in reciting many
lessons in which they seek to remember the paragraphs or pages which
they have read. The boy who gives his attention to the production of a
story for his school paper will work harder than one who is asked to
write a composition covering two pages. Children who are allowed to
prepare for the entertainment of the members of their class a story with
which they alone are familiar will give a quality of attention to the
work in hand which is never secured when all of the members of the class
are asked to reproduce a story which the teacher has read.

It is necessary at times to have children give forced attention. There
are some things to be accomplished that must be done, regardless of our
success in securing free attention. It is entirely conceivable that some
boy or girl may not want to learn his multiplication tables, or his
words in spelling, or his conjugation or declension in French, and that
all that the teacher has done may fail to arouse any great amount of
interest or enthusiasm for the work in question. In these cases, and in
many others which might be cited, the necessity for the particular habit
may be so great as to demand that every pupil do the work or form the
habit in question. In these cases we may not infrequently hope that
after having given forced attention to the work of the school, children
may in time come to understand the importance of the experiences which
they are having, or even become interested in the work for its own sake.
It is not infrequently true that after a period of forced attention
there follows a time during which, on account of the value which
children are able to understand as attached to or belonging to the
particular exercise, they give free derived attention. Many boys and
girls have worked through their courses in science or in modern
languages because they believed that these subjects would prove valuable
not only in preparing them for college, but in giving them a wider
outlook on life. Their attention was of the free derived type. Later on
some of these same pupils have become tremendously enthusiastic in their
work in the fields in question, and have found such great satisfaction
in the work itself, that their attention might properly be characterized
as free immediate attention.

The importance of making children conscious of their power of
concentrating their attention needs to be kept constantly in mind.
Exercises in which children are asked to do as much as they can in a
period of five or ten minutes may be used to teach children what
concentration of attention is and of the economy involved in work done
under these conditions. The trouble with a great many adults, as well as
with children, is that they have never learned what it is to work up to
the maximum of their capacity. All too frequently in our attempts to
teach children in classes we neglect to provide even a sufficient amount
of work to demand of the more able members of the group any considerable
amount of continued, concentrated attention.

We seek in our work as teachers not only to secure a maximum of
attention to the fields of work in which children are engaged, but also
to arouse interests and enthusiasms which will last after school days
are over. We think of interest often, and properly too, as the means
employed to secure a maximum of attention, and, in consequence, a
maximum of accomplishment. It is worth while to think often in our work
in terms of interest as the end to be secured. Children should become
sufficiently interested in some of the subjects that we teach to care to
be students in these fields, or to find enjoyment in further work or
activity along these lines, either as a matter of recreation or, not
infrequently, as a means of discovering their true vocation in life.
That teacher who has aroused sufficient interest in music to enable the
student of musical ability to venture all of the hard work which may be
necessary in order to become a skillful musician, has made possibly his
greatest contribution by arousing interest or creating enthusiasm. The
teacher whose enthusiasm in science has led a boy to desire to continue
in this field, even to the extent of influencing him to undertake work
in an engineering school, may be satisfied, not so much in the
accomplishment of his pupil in the field of science, as in the
enthusiasm which has carried him forward to more significant work. Even
for children who go no farther than the elementary school, interest in
history, or geography, in nature study, or in literature, may mean
throughout the life of the individuals taught a better use of leisure
time and an enjoyment of the nobler pleasures.

Successful teaching in any part of our school system demands an
adjustment in the amount of work to be done, to the abilities, and even
to the interest of individual children. Much may be accomplished by the
organization of special classes or groups in large school systems, but
even under the most favorable conditions children cannot be expected to
work up to the maximum of their capacity except as teachers recognize
these differences in interest and in ability, and make assignments and
conduct exercises which take account of these differences.


1. Why do all children attend when the teacher raps on the desk, when
she writes on the board, when some one opens the door and comes into the

2. Some teachers are constantly rapping with their pencils and raising
their voices in order to attract attention. What possible weakness is
indicated by this procedure?

3. Why do adults attend to fewer things than do children?

4. In what sense is it possible to attend to two things at the same

5. Why are children less able to concentrate their attention than are
most adults?

6. Will a boy or girl in your class be more or less easily distracted as
he gives free attention or forced attention to the work in hand?

7. What educational value is attached to an exercise which requires that
a boy sit at his desk and work, even upon something in which he is not
very much interested, for twenty minutes?

8. In what sense is it true that we form the habit of concentrating our

9. Why is it wrong to extend a lesson beyond the period during which
children are able to concentrate their attention upon the work in hand,
or beyond the period during which they do concentrate their attention?

10. How is it possible to extend the period devoted to a lesson in
reading, or in geography, or in Latin, beyond the time required to read
a story or draw a map, or translate a paragraph?

11. Why is it possible to have longer recitation periods in the upper
grades and in the high school than in the primary school?

12. Give examples from your class work of free attention; of forced
attention; of free derived attention.

13. In what sense is it true that we work hardest when we give free

14. In what sense is it true that we work hardest when we give forced

15. Can you give any example of superficiality or inaccuracy which has
resulted from divided attention, upon the part of any member of one of
your classes?

16. Does free attention imply lack of effort?

17. Name incidents which you think might properly be offered boys and
girls in order to secure free derived attention.

18. Can you cite any example in your teaching in which children have
progressed from forced to free attention?

19. What interests have been developed in your classes which you think
may make possible the giving of free attention in the field in question,
even after school days are over?

20. How can you teach children what it is to concentrate their attention
and the value of concentrated attention?

       *       *       *       *       *


Habit in its simplest form is the tendency to do, think, or act as one
has done, thought, or acted in the past. It is the tendency to repeat
activities of all kinds. It is the tendency which makes one inclined to
do the familiar action rather than a new one. In a broader sense, habit
formation means learning. It is a statement of the fact that conduct
_is_ modifiable and that such modifications may become permanent.

The fact of learning depends physiologically on the plasticity of the
nervous system. The neurones, particularly those concerned with
intellectual life, are not only sensitive to nerve currents but are
modified by them. The point where the greatest change seems to take
place is at the synapses, but what this modification is, no one knows.
There are several theories offered as explanations of what happens, but
no one of them has been generally accepted, although the theory of
chemical change seems to be receiving the strongest support at present.
There can be no disagreement, however, as to the effects of this change,
whatever it may be. Currents originally passing with difficulty over a
certain conduction unit later pass with greater and greater ease. The
resistance which seems at first to be present gradually disappears, and
to that extent is the conduct modified. This same element of plasticity
accounts for the breaking of habits. In this case the action is double,
for it implies the disuse of certain connections which have been made
and the forming of others; for the breaking of a bad habit means the
beginning of a good one.

The plasticity of neurone groups seems to vary in two respects--as to
modifiability and as to power to hold modifications. The neurone groups
controlling the reflex and physiological operations are least easily
modified, while those controlling the higher mental processes are most
easily modified. The neurone groups controlling the instincts hold a
middle place. So far as permanence goes, connections between
sensorimotor neurone groups seem to hold modifications longer than do
connections between either associative-motor or associative-association.

It is probably because of this fact that habit in the minds of so many
people refers to some physical activity. Of course this is a
misconception. Wherever the nervous system is employed, habits are
formed. There are intellectual, moral, emotional, temperamental habits,
just as truly as physical habits. In the intellectual field every
operation that involves association or memory also involves habits. Good
temper, or the reverse, truthfulness, patriotism, thoughtfulness for
others, open-mindedness, are as much matters of learning and of habit as
talking or skating or sewing. Habit is found in all three lines of
mental development: intellect, character, and skill.

Not only does the law of habit operate in all fields of mental activity,
but the characteristics which mark its operation are the same. Two of
these are important. In the first place, habit formation results in a
lessening of attention to the process. Any process that is habitual can
be taken care of by a minimum of attention. In other words, it need no
longer be in the focal point, but can be relegated to the fringe. At the
beginning of the modification of the neurone tract focal attention is
often necessary, but as it progresses less and less attention is needed
until the activity becomes automatic, apparently running by itself. Not
all habits reach this stage of perfection, but this is the general
tendency. This lessening of the need for attention means that less
energy is used by the activity, and the individual doing the work is
less likely to be fatigued. In the second place, habit tends to make the
process more and more sure in its results. As the resistance is removed
from the synapses, and the one particular series of units come to act
more and more as a unit, the current shoots along the path with no
sidetracking, and the act is performed or the thought reached
unwaveringly with very little chance of error. If the habit being formed
is that of writing, the appropriate movements are made with no
hesitation, and the chances that certain ones will be made the first
time increase in probability. This means a saving of time and an
increase in confidence as to the results.

A consideration of these characteristics of habits makes clear its
dangers as well as its values. The fact that habit is based on actual
changes which take place in the nervous system, that its foundation is
physical, emphasizes its binding power. Most people in talking and
thinking of habit regard it as something primarily mental in nature and
therefore believe all that is necessary to break any habit is the
sufficient exercise of will power. But will power, however strong,
cannot break actual physical connections, and it is such connections
that bind us to a certain line of activity instead of any other, when
once the habit is formed. It is just as logical to expect a car which is
started on its own track to suddenly go off on to another track where
there is no switch, as to expect a nerve current traveling along its
habitual conduction unit to run off on some other line of nervous
discharge. Habit once formed binds that particular line of thought to
action, either good or bad. Of course habits may be broken, but it is a
work of time and must result from definite physical changes. Every habit
formed lessens the likelihood of any other response coming in that
particular situation. Every interest formed, every act of skill
perfected, every method of work adopted, every principle or ideal
accepted, limits the recognition of any other possible line of action in
that situation. Habit binds to one particular response and at the same
time blinds the individual to any other alternative. The danger of this
is obvious. If the habits formed are bad or wasteful ones, the
individual is handicapped in his growth until new ones can be formed. On
the other hand, habit makes for limitation.

Despite these dangers, habit is of inestimable value in the development
of both the individual and the human race. It is through it that all
learning is possible. It makes possible the preservation of our social
inheritance. As James says, "Habit is the enormous fly-wheel of society,
its most precious conservative agent." Because of its power of
limitation it is sometimes considered the foe of independence and
originality, but in reality it is the only road to progress. Other
things being equal, the more good habits a person has, the greater the
probability of his doing original work. The genius in science or in art
or in statesmanship is the man who has made habitual many of the
activities demanded by his particular field and who therefore has time
and energy left for the kind of work that demands thinking. Habit won't
make a genius, but all men of exceptional ability excel others in the
number and quality of their habits in the field in which they show
power. As the little child differs from the adult in the number and
quality of his habits, so the ordinary layman differs from the expert.
It is scarcity, not abundance, of habits that forces a man into a rut
and keeps him mediocre. Just as the three year old, having taken four or
five times as long as the adult to dress himself, is tired out at the
end of the task, so the amateur in literature or music or morals as
compared with the expert. The more habits any one has in any line, the
better for him, both from the standpoint of efficiency and productivity,
provided that the habits are good and that among them is found the habit
of breaking habits.

The two great laws of habit formation are the laws of exercise and
effect. These laws apply in all cases of habit formation, whether they
be the purposeless habits of children or the purposive habits of
maturity. The law of exercise says that the oftener and the more
emphatically a certain response is connected with a certain situation,
the more likely is it to be made to that situation. The two factors of
repetition and intensity are involved. It is a common observance that
the oftener one does a thing, other things being equal, the better he
does it, whether it be good or bad. Drill is the usual method adopted by
all classes of people for habit formation. It is because of the
recognition of the value of repetition that the old maxim of "Practice
makes Perfect" has been so blindly adhered to. Practice may make
perfect, but it also may make imperfect. All that practice can do is to
make more sure and automatic the activity, whatever it is. It cannot
alone make for improvement. A child becomes more and more proficient in
bad writing or posture, in incorrect work in arithmetic and spelling,
with practice just as truly as under other conditions he improves in the
same activities. Evidence from school experiments, which shows that as
many as 40 per cent of the children examined did poorer work along such
lines in a second test than in the first which had been given several
months earlier, bears witness to the inability of mere repetition to get
"perfect" results. To get such results the repetition must be only of
the improvements. There must be a constant variation towards the ideal,
and a selection of just those variations for practice, if perfect as
well as invariable results are to be obtained.

The amount of repetition necessary in the formation of any given habit
is not known. It will, of course, vary with the habit and with the
individual, but experimental psychology will some day have something to
offer along this line. We could make a great saving if we knew, even
approximately, the amount of practice necessary under the best
conditions to form some of the more simple and elementary habits, such
as learning the facts of multiplication.

One other fact in connection with repetition should be noted, namely,
that the exercise given any connection by the learner, freely, of his
own initiative counts more than that given under purposive learning.
This method of learning is valuable in that it is incidental and often
saves energy and possible imitation on the part of the child, but it has
certain drawbacks. Habits formed this way are ingrained to such an
extent that they are very difficult to modify. They were not consciously
attended to when they were formed, and hence it is difficult later to
raise them to the focal point. Hence it is best whenever habits are
partial and will need to be modified later, or when the habits must
later be rationalized, or when bad habits must be broken, to have the
process focalized in attention. The methods of gaining attention have
already been discussed.

In the second place, if the habit being formed is connected with an
instinct, the element of intensity is added. This, of course, means that
a connection already made and one which is strongly ready to act is made
to give its support to the new connection being formed. Of course the
instinct chosen for this purpose must be in accord with the particular
habit and with the nature of the learner. They may vary from the purely
personal and physical up to those which have to do with groups and
intellectual reactions. The added impetus of the instinct hastens the
speed of the direction or supervision. The psychology of the value of
self-activity is operative. It should be borne in mind, however, that
the two kinds of exercise must be of the same degree of accuracy if this
better result in self-initiated practice is to be obtained.

Not only is it true that repetition makes for automaticity, but
intensity is also an aid. Connections which are made emphatically as
well as often tend to become permanent. This is particularly true of
mental habits. There are two factors of importance which make for
intensity in habit formation. First, the focalization of attention on
the connections being made adds intensity. Bagley in his discussion of
this topic makes "focalization in attention" a necessity in all habits.
Although habits may be formed without such concentration, still it is
true that if attention is given to the process, time is saved; for the
added intensity secured increases the speed of learning. In certain
types of habits, however, when incidental learning plays a large part,
much skill may be acquired without focalization of attention in the
process. Much of the learning of little children is of this type. Their
habits of language, ways of doing things, mannerisms, and emotional
attitudes often come as a result of suggestion and imitation rather than
as a result of definite formation of the new habit.

The second great law of habit formation is the law of effect. This law
says that any connection whose activity is accompanied by or followed by
satisfaction tends thereby to be strengthened. If the accompanying
emotional tone is annoyance, the connection is weakened. This law that
satisfaction stamps connections in, and annoyance inhibits connections,
is one of the greatest if not the greatest law of human life. Whatever
gives satisfaction, that mankind continues to do. He learns only that
which results in some kind of satisfaction. Because of the working of
this law animals learn to do their tricks, the baby learns to talk, the
child learns to tell the truth, the adult learns to work with the fourth
dimension. Repetition by itself is a wasteful method of habit formation.
The law of effect must work as well as the law of exercise, if the
results are to be satisfactory. As has already been pointed out, it is
not the practice alone that makes perfect, but the _stressing_ of
improvements, and that fixing is made possible only by satisfaction.
Pleasure, in the broad sense, must be the accompaniment or the result of
any connection that is to become habitual. This satisfaction may be of
many different sorts, physical, emotional, or intellectual. It may be
occasioned by a reward or recognition from without or by appreciation
arising from self-criticism. In some form or other it must be present.

Two further suggestions in habit formation which grow out of the above
laws should be borne in mind. The first is the effect of primacy. In
everyday language, "first impressions last longest." The character of
the first responses made in any given situation have great influence on
all succeeding responses. They make the strongest impression, they are
the hardest to eradicate. From a physiological point of view the
explanation is evident. A connection untraversed or used but a few times
is much more plastic than later when it has been used often. Hence the
first time the connection is used gives a greater set or bent than any
equal subsequent activity. This is true both of the nervous system as a
whole and of any particular conduction unit. Thus impressions made in
childhood count more than those of the same strength made later. The
first few attempts in pronouncing foreign words fixes the pronunciation.
The first few weeks in a subject or in dealing with any person
influences all subsequent responses to a marked degree.

The second suggestion has to do with the effect of exceptions. James
says, "Never allow an exception to occur" in the course of forming a
habit. Not only will the occurrence of one exception make more likely
its recurrence, but if the exception does not recur, at least the
response is less sure and less accurate than it otherwise would be. It
tends to destroy self-confidence or confidence in the one who allowed
the exception. Sometimes even one exception leads to disastrous
consequences and undoes the work of weeks and months. This is especially
true in breaking a bad habit or in forming a new one which has some
instinctive response working against it.

There has been a great deal of work done in experimental laboratories
and elsewhere in the study of the formation of particular habits. The
process of habit formation has been shown by learning curves. When these
learning curves are compared, it becomes clear that they have certain
characteristics in common. This is true whether the learning be directed
to such habits as the acquisition of vocabularies in a foreign language
or to skill in the use of a typewriter. Several of the most important
characteristics follow.

In the first place it is true of all learning that there is rapid
improvement at first. During the beginning of the formation of a habit
more rapid advance is made than at any other time. There are two
principal reasons for this fact. The adjustments required at the
beginning are comparatively simple and easily made and the particular
learning is new and therefore is undertaken with zest and interest.
After a time the work becomes more difficult, the novelty wears off,
therefore the progress becomes less marked and the curve shows

Another characteristic of the learning curve is the presence of the
so-called "plateaus." Plateaus show in the curve as flat, level
stretches during which there has apparently been no progress. The
meaning of these level stretches, and whether or not they can be
entirely done away with in any curve, is a matter of dispute. These
pauses may be necessary for some of the habits to reach a certain degree
of perfection before further progress can be made. However this may be,
there are several minor causes which tend to increase the number of
plateaus and to lengthen the time spent in any one. In the first place
an insecure or an inaccurate foundation must result in an increase of
plateaus. If at the beginning, during the initial spurt, for instance,
the learner is allowed to go so fast that what he learns is not
thoroughly learned, or if he is pushed at a pace that for him makes
thoroughness impossible, plateaus must soon occur in his learning curve.
In the second place a fruitful cause of plateaus is loss of
interest,--monotony. If the learner is not interested, he will not put
forth the energy necessary for continued improvement, and a time of no
progress is the result. The attitude of the learner toward the work is
extremely important, not only in the matter of interest, but in the
further attitude of self-confidence. Discouragement usually results in
hindering progress, whereas confidence tends to increase it. The
psychological explanation of this is very evident. Both lack of interest
in the learning and the presence of discouragement are likely to result
in divided attention and that, as has already been shown, results in
unsatisfactory work. A third cause for plateaus is physiological. Not
only must the learner be in the right attitude towards the work, but he
must feel physically "fit." There seem to be certain physiological
rhythms that may disturb the learning process whose cause cannot be
directly determined, but generally the feeling of unfitness can be
traced to a simple cause,--such as physical illness, loss of sleep,
exercise, or food, or undue emotional strain.

The older psychology has left an impression that improvement in any
function is limited both as to amount and as to the period during which
it must be attained. The physiological limit of improvement has been
thought of as one which was rather easily reached. The loss of
plasticity of the nervous system has been supposed to be rather rapid,
so that marked improvement in a habit after one has passed well into the
twenties was considered improbable. Recent experiments, however, seem to
show that no such condition of affairs exists. There is very great
probability that any function whatsoever is improvable with practice,
and in most cases to a very marked degree. To find a function which has
reached the physiological limit has been very rare, even in experimental
research, and even with extended practice series it has been unusual to
reach a stage of zero improvement even with adults. Thorndike says, "Let
the reader consider that if he should now spend seven hours, well
distributed, in mental multiplication with three place numbers, he would
thereby much more than double his speed and also reduce his errors; or
that, by forty hours of practice, he could come to typewrite (supposing
him to now have had zero practice) approximately as fast as he can write
by hand; or that, starting from zero knowledge, he could learn to copy
English into German script at a rate of fifty letters per minute, in
three hours or a little more."[3] It is probably true that the majority
of adults are much below their limit of efficiency in most of the habits
required by their profession, and that in school habits the same thing
is true of children. Spurious levels of accomplishment have been held up
as worthy goals, and efficiency accepted as ultimate which was only two
thirds, and often less than that, of what was possible. Of course it may
not be worth the time and energy necessary to obtain improvement in
certain lines,--that must be determined by the particular case,--but the
point is, that improvement; is possible with both children and adults in
almost every habit they possess with comparatively little practice.
Neither the physiological limit of a function nor the age limit of the
individual is reached as easily or as soon as has been believed.

There are certain aids to improvement which must be used in order that
the best results may be obtained. Some of them have already been
discussed and others will be discussed at a later time, so they need
only be listed here, the right physiological conditions, the proper
distribution of the practice periods, interest in the work, interest in
improvement, problem attitude, attention, and absence of both excitement
and worry.

Habits have been treated in psychology as wholes, just as if each habit
was a unit. This has been true, whether the habits being discussed were
moral habits, such as sharing toys with a younger brother; intellectual
habits, such as reading and understanding the meaning of the word "and";
or motor habits, such as sitting straight. The slightest consideration
of these habits makes obvious that they differ tremendously in
complexity. The moral habit quoted involves both intellectual and motor
habits--and not one, but several. From a physiological point of view,
this difference in the complexity of habits is made clear by an
examination of the number of neural bonds used in getting the habit
response to a given situation. In some cases they are comparatively
few--in others the number necessary is astonishing. In no case of habit
will the bonds used involve but a single connection.

Just what bonds are needed in order that a child may learn to add, or to
spell, to appreciate music, or to be industrious, is a question that
only experiment and investigation can answer. At present but little is
known as to just what happens, just what connections are formed, when
from the original tendency towards vocalization the child just learns to
say the word "milk," later reads it, and still later writes it. One
thing is certain, the process is not a unitary one, nor is it a simple
one. Just so long as habit is discussed in general terms, without any
recognition of the complexity of the process or to the specific bonds
involved, just so long will the process of habit formation be wasteful
and inefficient.

As a sample of the kind of work being done in connection with special
habits, investigation seems to give evidence that in the habit of simple
column addition eight or nine distinct functions are involved, each of
which involves the use of several bonds. Besides these positive
connections, a child in learning must inhibit other connections which
are incorrect, and these must often outnumber the correct ones. And yet
column addition has always been treated as a simple habit--with perhaps
one element of complexity, when carrying was involved. It is evident
that, if the habit concerned does involve eight or nine different
functions, a child might go astray in any one. His difficulty in forming
the habit might be in connection with one or several of the processes
involved. Knowledge on the part of the teacher of these different steps
in the habit, and appreciation by him of the possibilities of making
errors, are the prerequisites of efficient teaching of habits.

In each one of the subjects there is much need of definite experimental
work, in order that the specific bonds necessary in forming the habits
peculiar to the subject be determined. The psychology of arithmetic, or
of physics, or of spelling should involve such information. Meanwhile
every teacher can do much if she will carefully stop and think just what
she is requiring in the given response. An analysis of the particular
situation and response will make clear at least some of the largest
elements involved, some of the most important connections to be made. It
is the specific nature of the connections to be made and the number of
those connections that need emphasis in the teaching of habits. Not only
must the specific nature of the bonds involved in individual habits be
stressed, but also the specific nature of the entire complex which is
called the habit. There is no such thing as a general curve of learning
that will apply equally well, no matter what the habit. The kind of
curve, the rate of improvement, the possibilities of plateaus, the
permanence of the improvement, all these facts and others vary with the
particular habit.

In habit formation, as is the case in other types of activity, we get
the most satisfactory results only when we secure a maximum of interest
in the work to be done. The teacher who thinks that she can get
satisfactory results merely by compelling children to repeat over and
over again the particular form to be mastered is doomed to
disappointment. Indeed, it is not infrequently true that the dislike
which children get for the dreary exercises which have little or no
meaning for them interferes to such a degree with the formation of the
habit we hope to secure as to develop a maximum of inaccuracies rather
than any considerable improvement. The teacher who makes a game out of
her word drill in beginning reading may confidently expect to have
children recognize more words the next day than one who has used the
same amount of time, without introducing the motive which has made
children enjoy their work. Children who compare their handwriting with a
scale, which enables them to tell what degree of improvement they have
made over a given period, are much more apt to improve than are children
who are merely asked to fill up sheets of paper with practice writing. A
vocabulary in a modern language will be built up more certainly if
students seek to make a record in the mastery of some hundreds or
thousands of words during a given period, rather than merely to do the
work which is assigned from day to day. A group of boys in a
continuation school have little difficulty in mastering the habits which
are required in order to handle the formal processes in arithmetic, or
to apply the formula of algebra or trigonometry, if the application of
these habitual responses to their everyday work has been made clear.
Wherever we seek to secure an habitual response we should attempt to
have children understand the use to which the given response is to be
put, or, if this is not possible, to introduce some extraneous motive
which will give satisfaction.

We cannot be too careful in the habits which we seek to have children
form to see to it that the first response is correct. It is well on many
occasions, if we have any doubt as to the knowledge of children, to
anticipate the response which they should give, and to make them
acquainted with it, rather than to allow them to engage in random
guessing. The boy who in writing his composition wishes to use a word
which he does not know how to spell, should feel entirely free to ask
the teacher for the correct spelling, unless there is a dictionary at
hand which he knows how to use. It is very much better for a boy to ask
for a particular form in a foreign language, or to refer to his grammar,
than it is for him to use in his oral or written composition a form
concerning which he is not certain. A mistake made in a formula in
algebra, or in physics, may persist, even after many repetitions might
seem to have rendered the correct form entirely automatic.

In matters of habit it does not pay to take it for granted that all have
mastered the particular forms which have supposedly been taught, and it
never pays to attempt to present too much at any one time. More
satisfactory work in habit formation would commonly be done were we to
_teach_ fewer words in any one spelling lesson, or attempt to fix fewer
combinations in any particular drill lesson in arithmetic, or assign a
part of a declension or conjugation in a foreign language, or to be
absolutely certain that one or two formulas were fixed in algebra or in
chemistry, rather than in attempting to master several on the same day.
Teachers ought constantly to ask themselves whether every member of the
class is absolutely sure and absolutely accurate in his response before
attempting new work. It is of the utmost importance that particular
difficulties be analyzed, and that attention be fixed upon that which is
new, or that which presents some unusual difficulty.

As has already been implied, it is important not simply to start with as
strong a motive as possible, but it is also necessary to keep attention
concentrated during the exercises which are supposed to result in habit
formation. However strong the motive for the particular work may have
been at the beginning, it is likely after a few minutes to lack power,
if the particular exercise is continued in exactly the same form. Much
is to be gained by varying the procedure. Oral work alternated with
written work, concert work alternated with individual testing, the
setting of one group over against another, the attempt to see how much
can be done in a given period of minutes,--indeed, any device which will
keep attention fixed is to be most eagerly sought for. In all practice
it is important that the pupil strive to do his very best. If the ideal
of accuracy or of perfection in form is once lost sight of, the
responses given may result in an actual loss rather than in gain in
fixing the habit. When a teacher is no longer able to secure attention
to the work in hand, it is better to stop rather than to continue in
order to provide for a given number of repetitions. Drill periods of
from five to fifteen minutes two or three times a day may almost always
be found to produce better results than the same amount of time used
consecutively. Systematic reviews are most essential in the process of
habit formation. The complaint of a fifth-grade teacher that the work in
long division was not properly taught in the fourth grade may be due in
considerable measure to the fact that she has neglected at the beginning
of the fifth grade's work to spend a week or two in careful or
systematic review of the work covered in the previous year. The
complaint of high school teachers that children are not properly taught
in the elementary school would often be obviated if in each of the
fields in question some systematic review were given from time to time,
especially at the beginning of the work undertaken, in any particular
subject which involves work previously done in the elementary school.
During any year's work that teacher will be most successful who reviews
each day the work of the day before, who reviews each third or fourth
day the particularly difficult parts of the work done during the
previous periods, who reviews each week and each month, and even each
two or three months, the work which has been covered up to that time.
When teachers understand that the intervals between repetitions which
seem to have fixed a habit may only be gradually lengthened, then will
the formation of habits upon the part of boys and girls become more
certain, and the difficulties arising from lapses and inaccuracies
become less frequent.

As has been suggested in previous discussions, it will be necessary in
habit formation to vary the requirements among the individuals who
compose a group. The motive which we seek to utilize may make a greater
appeal to one child than to another. Physiological differences may
account for the fact that a small number of repetitions will serve to
fix the response for one individual as over against a very much larger
number of repetitions required for another. It is of the utmost
importance that all children work up to the maximum of their capacity.
It is very much better, for example, to excuse a boy entirely from a
given drill exercise than to have him dawdle or loaf during the period.
In some fields a degree of efficiency may be reached which will permit
the most efficient children to be relieved entirely from certain
exercises in order that they may spend their time on other work. On the
other hand, those who are less capable may need to have special drill
exercises arranged which will help them to make up their deficiency. The
teacher who is acquainted with the psychology of habit formation should
secure from the pupils in her class a degree of efficiency which is not
commonly found in our schools.


1. In what sense is it true that we have habits of thought?

2. What habits which may interfere with or aid in your school work are
formed before children enter school?

3. Why is it hard to break a habit of speech?

4. Distinguish among actions to which we attribute a moral significance
those which are based upon habit and those which are reasoned.

5. Professor James said, "Habits are the stuff of which behavior
consists." Indicate the extent to which this is true for the children in
your classes.

6. In how far is it advantageous to become a creature of habit?

7. Which of our actions should be the result of reason?

8. Should school children reason their responses in case of a fire
alarm, in passing pencils, in formal work in arithmetic? Name responses
which should be the result of reason; others which should be habitual.

9. Why do we sometimes become less efficient when we fix our attention
upon an action that is ordinarily habitual?

10. Why do children sometimes write more poorly, or make more mistakes
in addition, or in their conjugations or declensions, at the end of the
period than they do at the beginning?

11. How would you hope to correct habits of speech learned at home? What
particular difficulty is involved?

12. When, are repetitions most helpful in habit formation?

13. When may repetitions actually break down or eliminate habitual

14. How may the keeping of a record of one's improvement add in the
formation of a habit?

15. What motives have you found most usable in keeping attention
concentrated during the exercises in habit formation which you conduct?

16. The approval or disapproval of a group of boys and girls often
brings about a very rapid change in physical, moral, or mental habits on
the part of individual children. Why?

17. Why should drill work be discontinued when children grow tired and
cease to concentrate their attention?

18. Why should reviews be undertaken at the beginning of a year's work?
How can reviews be organized to best advantage during the year?

19. What provision do you make in your work to guard against lapses?

       *       *       *       *       *


There is no sharp distinction between habit and memory. Both are
governed by the general laws of association. They shade off into each
other, and what one might call habit another with equal reason might
call memory. Their likenesses are greater than their differences.
However, there is some reason for treating the topic of association
under these two heads. The term memory has been used by different
writers to mean at least four different types of association. It has
been used to refer to the presence of mental images; to refer to the
consciousness of a feeling or event as belonging to one's own past
experience; to refer to the presence of connections between situation
and motor response; and to refer to the ability to recall the
appropriate response to a particular situation. The last meaning of the
term is the one which will be used here. The mere flow of imagery is not
memory, and it matters little whether the appropriate response be
accompanied by the time element and the personal element or not. In
fact, most of the remembering which is done in daily life lacks these
two elements.

Memory then is the recall of the appropriate response in a given
situation. It differs from habit in that the responses referred to are
more often mental rather than motor; in that it is less automatic, more
purposeful. The fact that the elements involved are so largely mental
makes it true that the given fact is usually found to have several
connections and the given situation to be connected with many facts.
Which particular one will be "appropriate" will depend on all sorts of
subtle factors, hence the need of the control of the connection aeries
by a purpose and the diminishing of the element of automaticity. As was
said before, there is no hard and fast line of division between habit
and memory. The recall of the "sqrt(64)" or of how to spell "home" or of
the French for "table" might be called either or both. All that was said
in the discussion of habit applies to memory.

This ability to recall appropriate facts in given situations is
dependent primarily on three factors: power of retention, number of
associations, organization of associations. The first factor, power of
retention, is the most fundamental and to some extent limits the
usefulness of the other two. It is determined by the character of the
neurones and varies with different brains. Neurones which are easily
impressed and retain their impression simply because they are so made
are the gift of nature and the corner stone of a good memory. This
retention power is but little, if at all, affected by practice. It is a
primary quality of the nervous system, present or absent to the degree
determined by each individual's original nature. Hence memory as a whole
cannot be unproved, although the absence of certain conditions may mean
that it is not being used up to its maximum capacity. Change in these
conditions, then, will enable a person to make use of all the native
retentiveness his nervous system has. One of the most important of these
conditions is good health. To the extent that good blood, sleep,
exercise, etc., put the nervous system in better tone, to that extent
the retentive power present is put in better working order. Every one
knows how lack of sleep and illness is often accompanied by loss in
memory. Repetition, attention, interest, vividness of impression, all
appeal primarily to this so-called "brute memory," or retentive power.
Pleasurable results seem not to be quite so important, and repetition to
be more so when the connections are between mental states instead of
between mental states and motor responses. An emphasis on, or an
improvement in, the use of any one of these factors may call into play
to a greater extent than before the native retentive power of a given

The power to recall a fact or an event depends not only upon this
quality of retentiveness, but also upon the number of other facts or
events connected with it. Each one of these connections serves as an
avenue of approach, a clew by means of which the recall may operate. Any
single blockade therefore may not hinder the recall, provided there are
many associates. This is true, no matter how strong the retentive power
may be. It is doubly important if the retentive power is weak. Suppose a
given fact to be held rather weakly because of comparatively poor
retentive power, then the operation of one chain of associates may not
be energetic enough to recall it. But if this same fact may be
approached from several different angles by means of several chains of
associations, the combined power of the activity in the several neurone
chains will likely be enough to lift it above the threshold of recall.
Other things being equal, the likelihood that a needed fact will be
recalled is in proportion to the number of its associations.

The third factor upon which goodness in memory depends is the
organization of associates. Number of connections is an aid to
memory--but systematization among these connections is an added help.
Logical arrangement of facts in memory, classification according to
various principles, orderly grouping of things that belong together,
make the operation of memory more efficient and economical. The
difference between mere number of associations and orderly arrangement
of those associations may be illustrated by the difference in efficiency
between the housekeeper who starts more or less blindly to look all over
the house for a lost article, and the one who at least knows that it
must be in a certain room and probably in a certain bureau drawer.
Although memory as a whole cannot be improved because of the limiting
power of native retentiveness, memory for any fact or in any definite
field may be improved by emphasizing these two factors: number of
associations and organization among associations.

Although all three factors are operative in securing the best type of
memory, still the efficiency of a given memory may be due more to the
unusual power of one of them than to the combined effect of the three.
It is this difference in the functioning of these three factors which is
primarily responsible for certain types of memory which will be
discussed later. It must also be borne in mind that the power of these
factors to operate in determining recall varies somewhat with age.
Little children and old people are more dependent upon mere
retentiveness than upon either of the others, the former because of lack
of experience and lack of habits of thought, the latter because of the
loss of both of these factors. The adult depends more on the
organization of his material, while in the years between the number of
the clews is probably the controlling factor. Here again there is no
sharp line of division; all three are needed. So in the primary grades
we begin to require children to organize, and as adults we do all we can
to make the power of retention operate at its maximum.

Many methods of memorizing have been used by both children and adults.
Recently experimental psychology has been testing some of them. So far
as the learner is concerned, he may use repetition, or concentration, or
recall as a primary method. Repetition means simply the going over and
over again the material to be learned--the element depended upon being
the number of times the connection is made. Concentration means going
over the material with attention. Not the number of connections is
important, but the intensity of those connections. In recall the
emphasis is laid upon reinstating the desired connections from within.
In using this method, for instance, the learner goes over the material
as many times as he sees necessary, then closes the book and recalls
from memory what he can of it.

The last of the three methods is by far the best, whether the memory
desired be rote or logical, for several reasons. In the first place it
involves both the other methods or goes beyond them. Second, it is
economical, for the learner knows when he knows the lesson. Third, it is
sure, for it establishes connections as they will be used--in other
words, the learning provides for recall, which is the thing desired,
whereas the other two methods establish only connections of impression.
Fourth, it tends to establish habits that are of themselves worth while,
such as assuming responsibility for getting results, testing one's own
power and others. Fifth, it encourages the use of the two factors upon
which memory depends, which are most capable of development, _i.e.,_
number and organization of associations.

In connection with the use of the material two methods have been
employed--the part method and the whole method. The learner may break
the material up into sections, and study just one, then the next, and so
on, or he may take all the material and go through with it from the
beginning to the end and then back again. Experimental results show the
whole method to be the better of the two. However, in actual practice,
especially with school children, probably a combination of the two is
still better, because of certain difficulties arising from the exclusive
use of the whole method. The advantages of the whole method are that it
forms the right connections and emphasizes the complete thought and
therefore saves time and gives the right perspective. Its difficulties
are that the material is not all of equal difficulty and therefore it is
wasteful to put the same amount of time on all parts; it is discouraging
to the learner, as no part may be raised above the threshold of recall
at the first study period (particularly true if it is rote memory); it
is difficult to use recall, if the whole method is rigidly adhered to. A
combination of the two is therefore wise. The learner should be
encouraged to go over the material from beginning to end, until the
difficult parts become apparent, then to concentrate on these parts for
a time and again go over from the beginning--using recall whenever

A consideration of the time element involved in memorizing has given use
to two other methods, the so-called concentrated and distributive. Given
a certain amount of time to spend on a certain subject, the learner may
distribute it in almost an infinite number of ways, varying not only the
length of the period of practice, but also the length of time elapsing
between periods. The experimental work done in connection with these
methods has not resulted in agreement. No doubt there is an optimum
length of period for practice and an optimum interval, but too many
factors enter in to make any one statement. "The experimental results
justify in a rough way the avoidance of very long practice periods and
of very short intervals. They seem to show, on the other hand, that much
longer practice periods than are customary in the common schools are
probably entirely allowable, and that much shorter intervals are
allowable than those customary between the just learning and successive
'reviews' in schools."[4] This statement leaves the terms very long and
very short to be defined, but at present the experimental results are
too contradictory to permit of anything more specific. However, a few
suggestions do grow from these results. The practice period should be
short in proportion as these factors are present: first, young or
immature minds; second, mechanical mental processes as opposed to
thought material; third, a learner who "warms up" quickly; the presence
of fatigue; a function near its limit. Thus the length of the optimum
period must vary with the age of the learner, the subject matter, the
stage of proficiency in the subject, and the particular learner. The
same facts must be taken into consideration in deciding on the optimum
interval. One fact seems pretty well established in connection with the
interval, and that is that a comparatively short period of practice with
a review after a night's rest counts more than a much longer period
added to the time spent the evening before.

There are certain suggestions which if carried out help the learner in
his memorizing. In the first place, as the number of associates is one
factor determining recall, the fact to be remembered should be presented
in many ways, _i.e.,_ appealing to as many senses as possible. In
carrying this out, it has been the practice of many teachers to require
the material to be remembered to be acted out or written. This is all
right in so far as the muscular reactions required are mechanical and
take little attention. If, on the other hand, the child has to give much
attention to how he is to dramatize it, or if writing in itself is as
yet a partially learned process, the attention must be divided between
the fact to be memorized and its expression, and hence the desired
result is not accomplished. Colvin claims that "writing is not an aid to
learning until the sixth or seventh grade in the schools." This same
fact that an association only partly known is a hindrance rather than a
help in fixing another is often violated both in teaching spelling and
language. If the spelling of "two" is unknown or only partly known, it
is a hindrance instead of a help to teach it at the same time "too" is
being taught. Second, the learner should be allowed to find his own
speed, as it varies tremendously with the individual. Third, rhythm is
always an aid when it can be used, such as learning the number of days
in each month in rhyme. Fourth, after a period of hard mental work a few
minutes (Pillsbury thinks three to six) should elapse before definitely
taking up a new line of work. This allows for the so-called "setting" of
associations, due to the action of the general law of inertia, and tends
to diminish the possibility of interference from the bonds called into
play by the new work. Fifth, mnemonic devices of simple type are
sometimes an aid. Most of these devices are of questionable value, as
they themselves require more memory work than the facts they are
supposed to be fixing. However, if devised by the learner, or if
suggested by some one else after failure on the part of the learner to
fix the material, they are permissible.

Memory has been classified in various ways, according to the time
element, as immediate and permanent. Immediate memory is the one which
holds for a short time, whereas permanent memory holds for a long time.
People differ markedly in this respect. Some can if tested after the
study period reproduce the material with a high degree of accuracy, but
lose most of it in a comparatively short time. Others, if tested in the
same way, reproduce less immediately, but hold what they have over a
long period. Children as a whole differ from adults in having poorer
immediate memories, but in holding what is fixed through years. Of
course permanent memory is the more valuable of the two types for most
of life, but on the other hand immediate memory has its own special
value. Lawyers, physicians, politicians, ministers, lecturers, all need
great power of immediate memory in their particular professions. They
need to be able to hold a large amount of material for a short time, but
then they may forget a great deal of it.

Memory is also classified according to the arrangement of the material
as desultory, rote, and logical memory. In desultory memory the facts
just "stick" because of the great retentive power of the brain, there
are few connections, the material is disconnected and disjointed. Rote
memory depends on a special memory for words, aided by serial
connections and often rhythm. Logical is primarily a memory for meanings
and depends upon arrangement and system for its power. Little children
as a class have good desultory memories and poor logical memories. Rote
memory is probably at its best in the pre-adolescent and early
adolescent years. Logical memory is characteristic of mature, adult
minds. However, some people excel in one rather than another type, and
each renders its own peculiar service. A genius in any line finds a good
desultory memory of immense help, despite the fact that logical memory
is the one he finds most valuable. Teachers, politicians, linguists,
clerks, waiters, and others need a well-developed desultory memory. Rote
memory is, of course, necessary if an individual is to make a success as
an actor, a singer, or a musician.

According to the rate of acquisition memory has been classified into
quick and slow. One learner gets his material so much more quickly than
another. Up to rather recent years the quick learner has been
commiserated, for we believed, "quickly come, quickly go." Experimental
results have proved this not to be true, but in fact the reverse is more
true, _i.e.,_ "quickly come, slowly go." The one who learns quickly,
provided he really learns it, retains it just as long and on the average
longer than the one who learns much more slowly. The danger, from a
practical point of view, is that the quick learner, because of his
ability, gets careless and learns the material only well enough to
reproduce at the time, whereas the slow learner, because of his lack of
ability, raises his efficiency to a higher level and therefore retains.
If the quick learner had spent five minutes more on the material, he
would have raised his work to the same level as that of the slow one and
yet have finished in perhaps half the time.

All through the discussion of kinds of memory the term "memory" should
have been used in the plural, for after all we possess "memories" and
not a single faculty memory which may be quick, or desultory, or
permanent. The actual condition of affairs is much more complex, for
although it has been the individual who has been designated as quick or
logical, it would be much more accurate to designate the particular
memory. The same person may have a splendid desultory memory for gossip
and yet in science be of the logical type. In learning French
vocabularies he may have only a good immediate memory, whereas his
memory for faces may be most lasting. His ability to learn facts in
history may class him as a quick learner, whereas his slowness in
learning music may be proverbial. The degree to which quickness of
learning or permanence of memory in one line is correlated with that
same ability in others has not yet been ascertained. That there is some
correlation is probable, but at present the safest way is to think in
terms of special memories and special acquisitions. Some experimental
work has been done to discover the order in which special memories
develop in children. The results, however, are not in agreement and the
experiments themselves are unsatisfactory. That there is some more or
less definite order of development, paralleling to a certain extent the
growth of instincts, is probable, but nothing more definite is known
than observation teaches. For instance, every observer of children knows
that memory for objects develops before memory for words; that memory
for gestures preceded memory for words; that memory for oral language
preceded memory for written language; that memory for concrete objects
preceded memory for abstractions. Further knowledge of the development
of special memories should be accompanied by knowledge as to how far
this development is dependent on training and to what extent lack of
memory involves lack of understanding before it can be of much practical
value to the teacher.

Just as repetition or exercise tends to fix a fact in memory, so disuse
of a connection results in the fact fading from memory. "Forgetting" is
a matter of everyday experience for every one. The rate of forgetting
has been the subject of experimental work. Ebbinghaus's investigation is
the historical one. The results from this particular series of
experiments are as follows: During the first hour after study over half
of what was learned had been forgotten; at the end of the first day two
thirds, and at the end of a month about four fifths. These results have
been accepted as capable of rather general application until within the
last few years. Recent experiments in learning poetry, translation of
French into English, practice in addition and multiplication, learning
to toss balls and to typewrite, and others, make clear that there is no
general curve of forgetting. The rate of forgetting is more rapid soon
after the practice period than later, but the total amount forgotten and
the rate of deterioration depend upon the particular function tested. No
one function can serve as a sample for others. No one curve of
forgetting exists for different functions at the same stage of
advancement or for the same function at different stages of advancement
in the same individual, much less for different functions, at different
stages of advancement, in different individuals. Much more experimental
work is needed before definite general results can be stated.

This experimental work, however, is suggestive along several lines, (1)
It seems possible that habits of skill, involving direct sensori-motor
bonds, are more permanent than memories involving connections between
association bonds. In other words, that physical habits are more lasting
than memories of intellectual facts. (2) Overlearning seems a necessary
correlate of permanence of connection. That is, what seems to be
overlearning at beginning stages is really only raising the material to
the necessary level above the threshold for retention. How far
overlearning is necessary and when it becomes wasteful are yet to be
determined. (3) Deterioration is hastened by competing connections. If
during the time a particular function is lying idle other bonds of
connection are being formed into some parts or elements of it, the rate
of forgetting of the function in question is hastened and the
possibility of recall made more problematic. The less the interference,
the greater will be the permanence of the particular bonds.

A belief maintained by some psychologists is in direct opposition to
this general law that disuse causes deterioration. It is usually stated
something like this, that periods of incubation are necessary in
acquiring skill, or that letting a function lie fallow results in
greater skill at the end of that period, or briefly one learns to skate
in summer and swim in winter. To some extent this is true, but as stated
it is misleading. The general law of the effect of disuse on a memory is
true, but under some circumstances its effect is mitigated by the
presence of other factors whose presence has been unnoted. Sometimes
this improvement without practice is explained by the fact that at the
last practice period the actual improvement was masked by fatigue or
boredom, so that disuse involving rest and the disappearance of fatigue
and boredom produces apparent gain, when in reality it but allows the
real improvement to become evident. Sometimes a particular practice
period was accompanied by certain undesirable elements such as worry,
excitement, misunderstandings, and so on, and therefore the improvement
hindered or masked, whereas at the next period under different
conditions there would be less interference and therefore added gain.
All experimental evidence is against the opinion that mere disuse in and
of itself produces gain. In fact, all results point to the fact that
disuse brings deterioration.

In the case of memory, as has already been described in habit formation,
reviews which are organized with the period between repetitions only
gradually lengthened may do much to insure permanence. It is entirely
feasible to have children at the end of any school year able to repeat
the poems or prose selections which they have memorized, provided that
they have been recalled with sufficient frequency during the course of
the year. In a subject like geography or history, or in the study of
mathematics or science, in which logical memory is demanded, systematic
reviews, rather than cramming for examinations, will result in
permanence of command of the facts or principles involved, especially
when these reviews have involved the right type of organization and as
many associations as is possible.

It is important in those subjects which involve a logical organization
of ideas to have ideas associated around some particular problem or
situation in which the individual is vitally interested. Children may
readily forget a large number of facts which they have learned about
cats in the first grade, while the same children might remember, very
many of them, had these facts been organized round the problem of taking
care of cats, and of how cats take care of themselves. A group of
children in an upper grade may forget with great rapidity the facts of
climate, soil, surface drainage, industries, and the like, while they
may remember with little difficulty facts which belong under each of
these categories on account of the interest which they have taken in the
problem, "Why is the western part of the United States much more
sparsely populated than the Mississippi Valley?" Boys and girls who
study physics in the high school may find it difficult to remember the
principles involved in their study of heat if they are given only in
their logical order and are applied only in laboratory exercises which
have little or no meaning for them, while the same group of high school
pupils may remember without difficulty these same laws or principles if
associated round the issue of the most economical way of heating their
houses, or of the best way to build an icehouse.

There has been in our school system during the past few years more or
less of a reaction against verbatim memorization, which is certainly
justified when we are considering those subjects which involve primarily
an organization of ideas in terms of problems to be solved, rather than
memory for the particular form of expression of the ideas in question.
It is worth while, however, at every stage of education to use whatever
power children may possess for verbatim memorization, especially in the
field of literature, and to some extent in other fields as well. It
seems to the writers to be worth while to indicate as clearly as
possible in the illustration which follows the method to be employed in
verbatim memorization. As will be easily recognized, the number and
organization of associations are an important consideration. It is
especially important to call attention to the fact that any attempt at
verbatim memorization should follow a very careful thinking through of
the whole selection to be memorized. An organization of the ideas in
terms of that which is most important, and that which can be
subordinated to these larger thoughts, a combination of method of
learning by wholes and by parts, is involved.

It is not easy to indicate fully the method by which one would attempt
to teach to a group of sixth-grade boys or girls Wordsworth's
"Daffodils." The main outline of the method may, however, be indicated
as follows: The first thing to be done is to arouse, in so far as is
possible, some interest and enthusiasm for the poem in question. One
might suggest to the class something of the beauty of the high, rugged
hills, and of the lakes nestling among them in the region which is
called the "Lake Region" in England. The Wordsworth cottage near one of
the lakes, and at the foot of one of the high hills, together with the
walk which is to this day called Wordsworth's Walk, can be brought to
the mind, especially by a teacher who has taken the trouble to know
something of Wordsworth's home life. The enthusiasm of the poet for the
beauties of nature and his enjoyment in walking over the hills and
around the lakes, is suggested by the poem itself. One might suggest to
the pupils that this is the story of a walk which he took one morning
early in the spring.

The attempt will be made from this point on to give the illustration as
the writer might have hoped to have it recorded as presented to a
particular class. The poet tells us first of his loneliness and of the
surprise which was his when he caught sight for the first time of the
daffodils which had blossomed since the last time that he had taken this
particular walk:

    "I wandered lonely as a cloud
    That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
    When all at once I saw a crowd,
    A host, of golden daffodils;
    Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
    Fluttering and dancing in the breeze."

You see, he was not expecting to meet any one or to have any unusual
experience. He "wandered lonely as a cloud that floats on high o'er
vales and hills," and his surprise was complete when he saw
suddenly,--"all at once I saw a crowd, a _host_ of _golden_ daffodils,
beside the lake, beneath the trees." You might have said that they were
waving in the wind, but he saw them "fluttering and dancing in the

The daffodils as they waved and danced in the breeze suggested to him
the experience which he had had on other walks which he had taken when
the stars were shining, and he compares the golden daffodils to the
shining, twinkling stars:

    "Continuous as the stars that shine
    And twinkle on the Milky Way,
    They stretched in never-ending line
    Along the margin of a bay;
    Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
    Tossing their heads in sprightly dance."

The daffodils were as "continuous as the stars that shine and twinkle on
the Milky Way." There was no beginning and no end to the line,--"They
stretched in never-ending line along the margin of a bay." He saw as
many daffodils as one might see stars,--"Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
tossing their heads in sprightly dance."

The poet has enjoyed the beauty of the little rippling waves in the
lake, and he tells us that

    "The waves beside them danced; but they
    Outdid the sparkling waves in glee:
    A poet could not but be gay,
    In such a jocund company:
    I gazed--and gazed,--but little thought
    What wealth the show to me had brought:"

The daffodils have really left the poet with a great joy,--the waves
beside the daffodils are dancing, "but they outdid the _sparkling_ waves
in glee," and of course "a poet could not but be gay in such a jocund
company." Had you ever thought of flowers as a jocund company? You
remember they fluttered and danced in the breeze, they lifted their
heads in sprightly dance. Do you wonder that the poet says of his
experience, "I gazed--and gazed,--but little thought what wealth the
show to me had brought"? I wonder if any of you have ever had a similar
experience. I remember the days when I used to go fishing, and there is
a great joy even now in recalling the twitter of the birds and the hum
of the bees as I lay on the bank and waited for the fish to bite.

And what is the great joy which is his, and which may belong to us, if
we really see the beautiful things in nature? He tells us when he says

    "For oft, when on my couch I lie
    In vacant or in pensive mood,
    They flash upon that inward eye
    Which is the bliss of solitude;
    And then my heart with pleasure fills,
    And dances with the daffodils."

There are days when we cannot get out of doors,--"For oft, when on my
couch I lie in vacant or in pensive mood,"--these are the days when we
recall the experiences which we have enjoyed in the days which are
gone,--"they flash upon that inward eye which is the bliss of solitude."
And then for the poet, as well as for us, "And then my heart with
pleasure fills, and dances with the daffodils."

Now let us get the main ideas in the story which the poet tells us of
his adventure. "I wandered lonely as a cloud that floats on high o'er
vales and hills," "I saw a crowd, a host, of golden daffodils," they
were "beside the lake, beneath the trees, fluttering and dancing in the
breeze." They reminded me as I saw the beautiful arched line of "the
stars that shine and twinkle on the Milky Way," because "they stretched
in never-ending line along the margin of a bay"; and as I watched "ten
thousand" I saw, "tossing their heads in sprightly dance." And then they
reminded me of the waves which sparkled near by, "but they outdid the
sparkling waves in glee," and in the happiness which was mine, "I
gazed--and gazed,--but little thought what wealth the show to me had
brought." And that happiness I can depend upon when upon my couch I lie
in vacant or in pensive mood, for "they flash upon that inward eye which
is the bliss of solitude," and my heart will fill with pleasure and
dance with the daffodils.

These, then, are the big ideas which the poet has,--he wanders lonely as
a cloud, he enjoys the great surprise of the daffodils, the great crowd,
the host, of golden daffodils, fluttering and dancing in the breeze; he
thinks of the stars that twinkle in the Milky Way, because the line of
daffodils seems to have no beginning and no end,--he sees ten thousand
of them at a glance, tossing their heads in sprightly dance. And as he
looks at them he thinks of the beauty of the sparkling waves, and thinks
of them as they dance with glee, and he gazes and gazes without thinking
of the wealth of the experience. But later when he writes the poem, he
tells us of the wealth of the experience which can last through all of
the days when he lies on his couch in vacant or in pensive mood, for it
is then that this experience flashes upon that inward eye which is the
bliss of solitude, and his heart fills with pleasure and dances with the

Now let us say it all over again, and see how nearly we are able to
recall the story of his experience in just the words that he used. I
will read it for you first, and then you may all try to repeat it after

The teacher then reads the whole poem through, possibly more than once,
and then asks all of the children to recite it with him, repeating
possibly the first stanza twice or three times until they get it, and
then the second stanza two or three times, then the third as often as
may be necessary, and finally the fourth. It may be well then to go back
and again analyze the thought, and indicate, using as far as possible
the author's own words, the development of ideas through the poem. Then
the poem should be recited as a whole by the teacher and children. The
children may then be left to study it so that they may individually on
the next day recite it verbatim. The writer has found it possible to
have a number of children in a sixth grade able to repeat the poem
verbatim after the kind of treatment indicated above, and at the end of
a period of fifteen minutes.


1. Distinguish in so far as you can between habit and memory.

2. Name the factors which determine one's ability to recall.

3. How can you hope to improve children's memories? Which of the factors
involved are subject to improvement?

4. In what way can you improve the organization of associations upon the
part of children in any one of the subjects which you teach? How
increase the number of associations?

5. What advantage has the method of concentration over the method of
repetition in memorization?

6. Give the reasons why the method of recall is the best method of

7. If you were teaching a poem of four stanzas, would you use the method
of memorization by wholes or by parts? Indicate clearly the degree to
which the one or the other method should be used or the nature of the
combination of methods for the particular selection which you use for
the purposes of illustration.

8. How long do children in your classes seem to be able to work hard at
verbatim memorization?

9. Under what conditions may the writing of the material being memorized
actually interfere with the process? When may it help?

10. Why may it not be wise to attempt to teach "their" and "there" at
the same time?

11. What is the type of memory employed by children who have
considerable ability in cramming for examinations? Is this type of
memory ever useful in later life?

12. What precaution do we need to take to insure permanence in memory
upon the part of those who learn quickly?

13. What is meant by saying that we possess memories rather than a power
or capacity called memory?

14. Do we forget with equal rapidity in all fields in which we have
learned? What factors determine the rate of forgetting?

15. Why should a boy think through a poem to be memorized rather than
beginning his work by trying to repeat the first two lines?

       *       *       *       *       *


Imagination is governed by the same general laws of association which
control habit and memory. In these two former topics the emphasis was
upon getting a desired result without any attention to the form of that
result. Imagination, on the other hand, has to do with the way past
experience is used and the form taken by the result. It merges into
memory in one direction and into thinking in another. No one definition
has been found acceptable--in fact, in no field of psychology is there
more difference of opinion, in no topic are terms used more loosely,
than in this one of imagination. Stated in very general terms,
imagination is the process of reproducing, or reconstructing any form of
experience. The result of such a process is a mental image. When the
fact that it is reproduction or reconstruction is lost sight of, and the
image reacted to as if it were present, an illusion or hallucination

Images may be classified according to the sense through which the
original experience came, into visual, auditory, gustatory, tactile,
kinæsthetic, and so on. In many discussions of imagery the term
"picture" has been used to describe it, and hence in the thought of many
it is limited rather definitely to the visual field. Of course this is
entirely wrong. The recall of a melody, or of the touch of velvet, or of
the fragrance of a rose, is just as much mental imagery as the recall of
the sight of a friend.

Three points of dispute in connection with image types are worth while
noting. First, the question is raised by some psychologists as to
whether kinæsthetic or motor images really exist. An example of such an
image would be to imagine yourself as dancing, or walking downstairs, or
writing your name, or saying the word "bubble." Those who object to such
an image type claim that when one tries to get such an image, the
attempt initiates slight muscle movements and the result is a sense
experience instead of an imaged one. They believe this always happens
and that therefore a motor image is an impossibility. Others agree that
this reinstatement of actual movements often happens, but contend that
in such cases the image precedes the movement and that the resulting
movement does not always take place. The question is still in dispute.

The second question in dispute is as to the possibility of classifying
people according to the predominant type of their imagery. People used
to be classed as "visualizers," "audiles." etc., the supposition being
that their mental imagery was predominantly in terms of vision or
hearing. This is being seriously questioned, and experimental work seems
to show that such a classification, at least with the majority of
people, is impossible. The results which are believed to warrant such a
conclusion are as follows: First, no one has ever been tested who always
used one type of image. Second, the type of image used changed with the
following factors: the material, the purpose of the subject, the
familiarity of the subject with the experience imagined. For example,
the same person would, perhaps, visualize if he were imaging landscape,
but get an auditory image of a friend's voice instead of a visual image
of him. He might, when under experimental conditions with the
controlling purpose,--that of examining his images,--get visual images,
but, when under ordinary conditions, get a larger number of auditory and
kinæsthetic images. He might when thought was flowing smoothly be using
auditory and motor images, but upon the appearance of some obstacle or
difficulty in the process find himself flooded with visual images.
Third, subjects who ranked high in one type of imagery ranked high in
others, and subjects who ranked low in one type ranked low also in
others. The ability seems to be that of getting clear image types, or
the lack of it, rather than the ability to get one type. Fourth, most of
the subjects reported that the first image was usually followed by
others of different types. The conclusions then, that individuals,
children as well as adults, are rarely of one fixed type, the mixed type
being the usual one, is being generally accepted. In fact, it seems much
more probable that materials and outside conditions can more easily be
classified as usually arousing a certain type of image, than people can
be classified into types.

The third point of controversy grows out of the second. Some
psychologists are asking what is the value of such a classification?
Suppose people could be put under types in imagery, what would be the
practical advantage? Such an attempt at classification is futile and not
worth while, for two reasons. First, the result of the mental
processes--the goal arrived at is the important thing, and the
particular type of image used is of little importance. Does it make any
difference to the business man whether his clerk thinks in terms of the
visual images of words or in terms of motor images so long as he sells
the goods? To the teacher of geography, does it make any difference
whether John in his thinking of the value of trees is seeing them in his
mind's eye, or hearing the wind rustle through the leaves, or smelling
the moist earth, leaf-mold, or having none of these images, if he gets
the meaning, and reaches a right conclusion? Second, the sense which
gives the clearest, most dependable impressions is not the one
necessarily in terms of which the experience is recalled. One of the
chief values urged for a classification according to image type of
people, especially children, has been that the appeal could then be made
through the corresponding sense organs. For instance, Group A, being
visualizers, will be asked to read the material silently; Group B,
audiles, will have the material read to them; Group C, motiles, will be
asked to read the material orally, or asked to dramatize it. For each
group the major appeal should be made in terms of the sense
corresponding to their image type. But such a correspondence as this
does not exist. An individual may learn best by use of his eyes and yet
very seldom use visual images in recall. This is true of most people in
reading. Most people grasp the meaning of a passage better when they
read it than when they hear it read, and yet the predominant type of
word image is auditory-motor. Hence if any classification of children is
attempted it should be according to the sense by means of which they
learn best, and not according to some supposed image type. Many methods
of appeal for all children is the safest practical suggestion.

Images may also be classified according to the use made of past
experience. Past experience may be recalled in approximately the same
form in which it occurred, or it may be reconstructed. In the former
case the image is called reproductive image or memory image; in the
latter form it is called productive or creative image, or image of the
imagination. The reproductive image never duplicates experience, but in
its major features it closely corresponds to it, whereas the productive
image breaks up old experiences and from them makes new wholes which
correspond to no definite occurrence. The elements found in both kinds
of imagery must come from experience. One cannot imagine anything the
elements of which he has not experienced. Creative imagination
transcends experience only in the sense that it remodels and remakes,
but the result of that activity produces new wholes as far removed from
the actual occurrences as "Alice in Wonderland" is from the humdrum life
of a tenement dweller. Just the same, the fact that the elements used in
creative work must be drawn from experience is extremely suggestive from
a practical point of view. It demonstrates the need of a rich sensory
life for every child. It also explains the reason for the lack of
appreciation on the part of immature children of certain types of
literature and certain moral questions.

No more need be said here of the reproductive image, as it is synonymous
with the memory image and was therefore treated fully under the topic of
memory. One fact should be borne in mind, however, and that is, that the
creative image is to some extent dependent on the reproductive image as
it involves recall. However, as productive imagery involves the recall
of elements or parts rather than wholes, an individual may have talent
in creative imagery without being above the average in exact

Productive imagery may be classified as fanciful, realistic, and
idealistic according to the character of the material used. Fanciful
productive imagery is characterized by its spontaneity, its disregard of
the probable and possible, its vividness of detail. It is its own
reward, and does not look to any result beyond itself. Little children's
imaginations are of this type--it is their play world of make-believe.
The incongruity and absurdity of their images have been compared to the
dreams of adults. Lacking in experience, without knowledge of natural
laws, their imagination runs riot with the materials it has at its
command. Some adults still retain it to a high degree--witness the myths
and fairy stories, "Alice in Wonderland," and the like. All adults in
their "castle-building" indulge in this type of imagery to some extent.
Realistic productive imagery, as its name implies, adheres more strictly
to actual conditions, it deals with the probable. It usually is
constructed for a purpose, being put to some end beyond itself. It lacks
much of the emotional element possessed by the other two types. This is
the kind most valuable in reasoning and thinking. It deals with new
situations--constructs them, creates means of dealing with them, and
forecasts the results. It is the type of productive imagery called into
play by inventors, by craftsmen, by physicians, by teachers--in fact, by
any one who tries to bring about a change in conditions by the
functioning of a definite thought process. This is the kind of imagery
which most interests grammar school pupils. They demand facts, not
fancies. They are most active in making changes in a world of things.

Idealistic productive imagery does not fly in the face of reality as
does the fanciful, nor does it adhere so strictly to facts as does the
realistic. It deals with the possible--with what may be, but with what
is not yet. It always looks to the future, for if realized it is no
longer idealistic. It is enjoyed for its own sake but does not exist for
that alone, but looks towards some result. It is concerned primarily
with human lives and has a strong emotional tone. It is the heart of
ideals. The adolescent revels in this type of productive imagery. His
dreams concerning his own future, his service to his fellow men, his
success, and the like involve much idealistic imagery. Hero worship
involves it. It is one of the differences between the man with "vision"
and the man without.

The importance of productive imagery cannot be overemphasized. This
power to create the new out of the old is one of the greatest
possessions of mankind. All progress in every field, whether individual
or racial, depends upon it. From the fertility and richness of man's
productive imagination must come all the suggestions which will make
this world other than what it is. Therefore one of the greatest tasks of
education at present is to cherish and cultivate this power. One cannot
fail to recognize, however, that with the emphasis at present so largely
upon memory, the cultivation of the imagination is being pushed into the
background despite all our theories to the contrary. Not only is
productive imagery as a whole worth while, but each type is valuable. An
adult lacking power of fanciful imagination lacks power to enjoy certain
elements in life and lacks a very definite means of recreation. Lacking
in realistic imagination he is unable to deal successfully with new
situations, but must forever remain in bondage to the past. Without
idealistic imagination he lacks the motive which makes men strive to be
better, more efficient--other than what they are. At certain times in
child development one type may need special encouragement, and at
another time some other. All should, however, be borne in mind and
developed along right and wholesome lines; otherwise, left to itself,
any one of these, and especially the last, may be a source of danger to
the character.

Images may be classified according to the material dealt with into
object images or concrete images and into word or abstract images. No
one of these terms is very good as a name of the image referred to. The
first group--object or concrete image--refers to an image in which the
sensory qualities, such as color, size, rhythm, sweetness, harmony,
etc., are present. The images of a friend, of a text-book, of the
national anthem, of an orange, of the schoolroom, and so on, would all
be object images. A word or abstract image is one which is a symbol. It
stands for and represents certain sensory experiences, the quality of
which does not appear in the image. Any word, number, mathematical or
chemical symbol--in fact, any abstract symbol will come under this type
of image. If in the first list of illustrations, instead of having
images of the real objects, an individual had images of words in each
case, the images would be abstract or verbal images. Abstract images
shade into concrete by gradual degrees--there is no sharp line of
division between the two; however, they do form two different kinds of
images, two forms which may have the same meaning.

The question as to the respective use and value of these two kinds of
images is given different answers. There is no question but that the
verbal image is more economical than the object image. It saves energy
and time. It brings with it less of irrelevant detail and is more stable
than the object image, and therefore results in more accurate thinking.
It is abstract in nature and therefore has more general application. On
the other hand, it has been claimed for the object image that it
necessarily precedes the verbal image--is fundamental to it; that it is
essential in creative work dealing with materials and sounds and in the
appreciation of certain types of descriptive literature, and that in any
part of the thinking process when, because of difficulty of some kind, a
percept would help, an object image would be of the same assistance. It
is concerning these supposed advantages of the object image that there
has been most dispute. There is no proof that the line of growth is
necessarily from percept, through object image, to verbal image. In
certain fields, notably smell, the object image is almost absent and yet
the verbal images in that field carry meaning. It is also true that
people whose power of getting clear-cut, vivid object images is almost
nil seem to be in nowise hampered by that fact in their use of the
symbols. Knowing the unreliability of the object image, it would seem
very unsafe to use it as the link between percept and symbol. Much
better to connect the symbol directly with the experience and let it
gain its meaning from that. As to its value in constructive work in
arts, literature, drama, and invention, the testimony of some experts in
each field bears witness that it is not a necessary accompaniment of
success. The musician need not hear, mentally, all the harmonies,
changes, intervals; he may think them in terms of notes, rests, etc., as
he composes. The poet need not see the scene he is describing; verbal
images may bear his meanings. Of course this does not mean that object
images may not be present too, but the point is that the worker is not
dependent on them. The aid offered by object images in time of
difficulty is still more open to doubt. As an illustration of what is
meant by this: Suppose a child to be given a carpeting example in
arithmetic which he finds himself unable to solve. The claim is made
that if he will then call up a concrete image of the room, he will see
that the carpet is laid in strips and that suggestion may set him right.
But it has been proved experimentally over and over again that if he
doesn't know that carpets are laid that way, he will never get it from
the image, and if he does know it, he doesn't need an object image. It
seems to be a fact that object images do not function, in the sense that
one cannot get a correct answer as to color, or form, or number from
them. One can read off from a concrete image what he knows to be true of
it--or else it is just guessing. "Knowing" in each case involves
observation and judgment, and that means verbal images. Students whose
power of concrete imagery is low do, on the average, in situations where
a concrete image would supposedly help, just as well as students whose
power in this field is high. It does seem to be true that object images
give a vividness and color to mental life which may result in a keener
appreciation of certain types of literature. This warmth and vividness
which object images add to the mental processes of those who have them
is a boon.

On the whole, then, word images are the more valuable of the two types.
Upon them depends, primarily, the ability to handle new situations, and
even in the constructive fields they are all sufficient. These two
facts, added to the fact that they are more accurate, speedy, and
general in application, makes them a necessary part of the mental
equipment of an efficient worker, and means that much more attention
must be given to the development of productive symbol images.

Two warnings should be borne in mind: First, although the object images
are not necessary in general, as discussed above, to any given
individual, because of his particular habits of thought, they may be
necessary accompaniments to his mental processes. Second, although
object images may not help in giving understanding or appreciation under
new conditions, still the method of asking students to try to image
certain conditions is worth while because it makes them stop and think,
which is always a help. Whether they get object or word images in the
process makes no difference.

The discussion concerning the possibility of "imageless" thought, while
an interesting one, cannot be entered into here. Whether "meanings" can
exist in the human mind apart from any carrier in the form of some
sensory or imaginal state is unsettled, but the discussion has drawn
attention to at least the very fragmentary nature of those carriers. A
few fragments of words, a mental shrug of the shoulder, a feeling of the
direction in which a certain course is leading, a consciousness of one's
attitude towards a plan or person--and the conclusion is reached. The
thinking, or it may even have been reasoning, involved few clear-cut
images of any kind. The fragmentary, schematic nature of the carriers
and the large part played by feelings of direction and attitude are the
rather astonishing results of the introspective analysis resulting from
this discussion. This sort of thinking is valuable for the same reasons
that thinking in terms of words is valuable--it only goes a step
further, but it needs direction and training.

Images of all kinds have been discussed as if they stood out clearly
differentiated from all other types of mental states. This is necessary
in order that their peculiar characteristics and functions may be clear.
However, they are not so clearly defined in actual mental life, but
shade into each other and into other mental states, giving rise to
confusion and error. The two greatest sources of error are: first, the
confusion of image with percept, and second, the confusion of memory
image with image of the imagination. The chief difference between these
mental states as they exist is a difference in kind and amount of
associations. These different associates usually give to the percept a
vividness and material reality which the other two lack. They give to
the memory image a feeling of pastness and trueness which the image of
imagination lacks. Therefore lack of certain associations, due to lack
of experience or knowledge, or presence of associations due to these
same causes and to the undue vividness of other connections, could
easily result in one of these states being mistaken for another. There
is no inherent difference between them. The first type of confusion,
between percept and image, has been recently made the subject of
investigation. Perky found that even with trained adults, if the
perceptual stimulus was slight, it was mistaken for an image. All
illusions would come under this head. Children's imaginary companions,
when really believed in, are explained by this confusion. However, the
confusion is much more general than these illustrations would seem to
imply. The fact that "Love is blind," that "We see what we look for" are
but statements of this same confusion, and these two facts enter into
multitudes of situations all through life. The need to "see life clearly
and see it whole" is an imperative one.

The second type of confusion, between reproductive and productive
memory, is even more common. The "white lies" of children, the
embroidering of a story by the adult, the adding to and adding to the
original experience until all sense of what really happened is lost, are
but ordinary facts of everyday experiences. The unreliability of witness
and testimony is due, in part, to this confusion.


1. How is the process of imagination like memory?

2. What is the relation of imagination to thinking?

3. What kind of images do you seek to have children use in their work in
the subjects which you teach?

4. Can you classify the members of your class as visualizers, audiles,
and the like?

5. If one learns most readily by reading rather than hearing, does it
follow that his images will be largely visual? Why?

6. Give examples from your own experience of memory images; of creative

7. To what degree does creative imagination depend upon past

8. What type of imagery is most important for the work of the inventor?
The farmer? The social reformer?

9. Of what significance in the life of an adult is fanciful imagery?

10. What, if any, is the danger involved in reveling in idealistic
productive imagery?

11. What advantages do verbal images possess as over against object

12. Why would you ask children to try to image in teaching literature,
geography, history, or any other subject for which you are responsible?

13. How would you handle a boy who is hi the habit of confusing memory
images with images of imagination?

14. In what sense is it true that all progress, is dependent upon
productive imagination?

       *       *       *       *       *


The term "thinking" has been used almost as loosely as the term
"imagination," and used to mean almost as many different things. Even
now there is no consensus of opinion as to just what thinking is. Dewey
says, "Active, persistent, and careful consideration of any belief or
supposed form of knowledge in the light of the grounds that support it,
and the further conclusions to which it tends, constitutes reflective
thought."[5] Miller says, "Thinking is not so much a distinct conscious
process as it is an organisation of all the conscious processes which
are relevant in a problematic situation for the performance of the
function of consciously adjusting means to end."[6] Thinking always
presupposes some lack in adjustment, some doubt or uncertainty, some
hesitation in response. So long as the situation, because of its
simplicity or familiarity, receives immediately a response which
satisfies, there is no need for thinking. Only when the response is
inadequate or when no satisfactory response is forthcoming is thinking
aroused. By far the majority of the daily adjustments made by people,
both mental and physical, require no thinking because instinct, habit,
and memory suffice. It is only when these do not serve to produce a
satisfactory response that thinking is needed--only when there is
something problematic in the situation. Even in new situations thinking
is not always used to bring about a satisfactory adjustment. Following
an instinctive prompting when confronted by a new situation; blindly
following another's lead; using the trial and error method of response;
reacting to the situation as to the old situation most like it; or
response by analogy: all are methods of dealing with new situations
which often result in correct adjustments, and yet none of which need
involve thinking. This does not mean that these methods, save the first
mentioned, may not be accompanied by thinking; but that each of them may
be used without the conscious adjustment of means to end demanded by
thinking. That these methods, and not thinking, are the ones most often
used, even by adults, in dealing with problems, cannot be denied. They
offer an easy means of escape from the more troublesome method of
thinking. It is so much easier to accept what some one else says, so
much easier to agree with a book's answer to a question than to think it
out for oneself. Following the first suggestion offered, just going at
things in a hit-or-miss fashion, uncritical response by analogy, saves
much time and energy apparently, and therefore these methods are adopted
and followed by the majority of people in most of the circumstances of
life. It is human nature to think only when no other method of mental
activity brings the desired response. We think only when we must.

Not only is it true that problems are often solved correctly by other
methods than that of thinking, but on the other hand much thinking may
take place and yet the result be an incorrect conclusion, or perhaps no
solution at all be reached. Think of the years of work men have devoted
to a single problem, and yet perhaps at the end of that time, because of
a wrong premise or some incorrect data, have arrived at a result that
later years have proved to have been utterly false. Think of the
investigations being carried on now in medicine, in science, in
invention, which because of the lack of knowledge are still incomplete,
and yet in each case thinking of the most technical and rigorous type
has been used. Thinking cannot be considered in terms of the result.
Correct results may be obtained, even in problematic situations, with no
thinking, and on the other hand much thinking may be done and yet the
results reached be entirely unsatisfactory. Thinking is a process
involving a certain definite procedure. It is the organisation of all
mental states toward a certain definite end, but is not any one mental
state. In certain types of situations this procedure is the one most
certain of reaching correct conclusions, in some situations it is the
only possible one, but the conclusion is not the thinking and its
correctness does not differentiate the process from others.

From the foregoing discussions it must not be deduced that because of
the specific nature and the difficulty of thinking that the power is
given only to adults. On the contrary, the power is rooted in the
original equipment of the human race and develops gradually, just as all
other original capacities do. Children under three years of age manifest
it. True, the situations calling it out are very simple, and to the
adult seem often trivial, as they most often occur in connection with
the child's play, but they none the less call for the adjustment of
means to end, which is thinking. A lost toy, the absence of a playmate,
the breaking of a cup, a thunderstorm, these and hundreds of other
events of daily life are occasions which may arouse thinking on the part
of a little child. It is not the type of situation, nor its dignity,
that is the important thing in thinking, but the way in which it is
dealt with. The incorrectness of a child's data, their incompleteness
and lack of organization, often result in incorrect conclusions, and
still his thinking may be absolutely sound. The difference between the
child and the adult in this power is a difference in degree--both
possess the power. As Dewey says, "Only by making the most of the
thought-factor, already active in the experience of childhood, is there
any promise or warrant for the emergence of superior reflective power at
adolescence, or at any later period."[7]

Thinking, then, is involved in any response which comes as a result of
the conscious adaptation of means to end in a problematic situation.
Many of the processes of mental activity which have been given other
names may involve this process. Habit formation--when the learner
analyzes his progress or failure, when he tries to find a short cut, or
when he seeks for an incentive to insure greater improvement--may serve
as a situation calling for thinking. The process of apperceiving or of
assimilation may involve it. Studying and trying to remember may involve
it. Constructive imagination often calls for it. Reasoning, always
requires it. In the older psychology reasoning and thinking were often
used as synonyms, but more recently it has been accepted by most
psychologists that reasoning is simply one type of thinking, the most
advanced type, and the most demanding type, but not the only one.
Thinking may go on (as in the other processes just mentioned) without
reasoning, but all reasoning must involve thinking. It is this lack of
differentiation between reasoning and thinking, the attempt to make of
all thinking, reasoning, that has limited teachers in their attempts to
develop thinking upon the part of their pupils.

The essentials of the thinking process are three: (1) a state of doubt
or uncertainty, resulting in suspended judgment; (2) an organization and
control of mental states in view of an end to be attained; (3) a
critical attitude involving selection and rejection of suggestions
offered. The recognition of some lack of adjustment, the feeling of need
for something one hasn't, is the only stimulus toward thinking. This
problematic situation, resulting in suspended judgment, caused by the
inadequacy of present power or knowledge, may arise in connection with
any situation. It is unfortunate that the terms "problematic situation"
and "feeling of inadequacy" have been discussed almost entirely in
connection with situations when the result has some pragmatic value.
There is no question but what the situation arousing thinking must be a
live one and a real one, but it need not be one the answer to which will
be useful. It is true that with the majority of people, both children
and adults, a problem of this type will be more often effective in
arousing the thinking process than a problem of a more abstract nature,
but it is not always so, nor necessarily so. Most children sometimes,
and some children most of the time, enjoy thinking simply for the sake
of the activity. They do not need the concrete, pragmatic
situation--anything, no matter how abstract, that arouses their
curiosity or appeals to their love of mastery offers enough of a
problem. Sometimes children are vitally interested in working
geometrical problems, translating difficult passages in Latin, striving
to invent the perpetual motion machine, even though there is no evident
and useful result. It is not the particular type of situation that is
the thing to be considered, but the attitude that it arouses in the
individual concerned. Educators in discussion of the situations that
make for thinking must allow for individual differences and must plan
for the intellectually minded as well as for others.

The thinker confronted by a situation for which his present knowledge is
not adequate, recognizes the difficulty and suspends judgment; in other
words, does not jump at a conclusion but undertakes to think it out. To
do this control is continually necessary. He must keep his problem
continually before him and work directly for its solution, avoiding
delays, avoiding being side-tracked. This means, of course, the critical
attitude towards all suggestions offered. Each one as it comes must be
inspected in the light of the end to be reached--if it does not seem to
help towards that goal, it must be rejected. Criticism, selection, and
rejection of suggestions offered must continue as long as the thinking
process goes on. "To maintain the state of doubt and to carry on
systematic and protracted inquiry--these are the essentials of

In order to maintain this critical attitude to select and reject
suggestions with reference to a goal, the suggestions as they come
cannot be accepted as units and followed. Such a procedure is possible
only when the mental process is not controlled by an end. Control by a
goal necessitates analysis of the suggestions and abstraction of what in
them is essential for the particular problem in hand. It is because no
complete association at hand offers a satisfactory response to the
situation that the need for thinking arises. Each association as it
comes must be broken up, certain parts or elements emerge, certain
relationships, implications, or functions are made conscious. Each of
these is examined in turn; as they seem to be valueless for the purpose
of the thinker, they are rejected. If one element or relationship seems
significant for the problem, it is seized upon, abstracted from its
fellows, and becomes the center of the next series of suggestions. A
part, element, quality, or what not, of the situation is accepted as
significant of it for the time being. The part stands for the
whole--this is characteristic of all thinking. As a very simple
illustration, consider the following one reported by Dewey:

"Projecting nearly horizontally from the upper deck of the ferryboat on
which I daily cross the river, is a long white pole, bearing a gilded
ball at its tip. It suggested a flag pole when I first saw it; its
color, shape, and gilded ball agreed with this idea, and these reasons
seemed to justify me in this belief. But soon difficulties presented
themselves. The pole was nearly horizontal, an unusual position for a
flag pole; in the next place, there was no pulley, ring, or cord by
which to attach a flag; finally, there were elsewhere two vertical
staffs from which flags were occasionally flown. It seemed probable that
the pole was not there for flag-flying.

"I then tried to imagine all possible purposes of such a pole, and to
consider for which of these it was best suited: (_a_) Possibly it was an
ornament. But as all the ferryboats and even the tugboats carried like
poles, this hypothesis was rejected. (_b_) Possibly it was the terminal
of a wireless telegraph. But the same considerations made this
improbable. Besides, the more natural place for such a terminal would be
the highest part of the boat, on top of the pilot house, (_c_) Its
purpose might be to point out the direction in which the boat is moving.

"In support of this conclusion, I discovered that the pole was lower
than the pilot house, so that the steersman could easily see it.
Moreover, the tip was enough higher than the base, so that, from the
pilot's position, it must appear to project far out in front of the
boat. Moreover, the pilot being near the front of the boat, he would
need some such guide as to its direction. Tugboats would also need poles
for such a purpose. This hypothesis was so much more probable than the
others that I accepted it. I formed the conclusion that the pole was set
up for the purpose of showing the pilot the direction in which the boat
pointed, to enable him to steer correctly."[8]

The problem was to find out the use of the flag pole. No adequate
explanation came as the problem presented itself; it therefore caused a
state of uncertainty, of suspended judgment, and a process of thinking
in order to get an answer. Each suggestion that came was analyzed, its
requirements and possibilities checked up by the actual facts and the
goal. The suggestions that the pole was simply to carry a flag, was an
ornament, was the terminal of a wireless telegraph, were examined and
rejected. The final one, that the pole was to point out the direction in
which the boat was moving, upon analysis seemed most probable and was
accepted. The one characteristic of the pole, that it points direction,
and its position, need to be accepted as the essential facts in the
situation, for the particular problem. Without control of the process,
without the two steps of analysis and abstraction, no conclusion could
have been reached.

Analysis and abstraction may be facilitated in three ways. First, by
attentive piecemeal examination. The total situation is examined,
element by element, attentively, until the element needed is reached or
approximated. This method of procedure helps to emphasize minor bonds of
association which the element possesses in the learner's experience but
which he needs to have brought to his attention. It can only be used
when the element is known to some degree. It is the method to use when
elements are known in a hazy, incomplete, or indefinite way and need
clearing up. Second, by varying the concomitant. An element associated
with many situations, which vary in other respects, comes to be felt and
recognized as independent. This is the method to use when a new element
in a complex is to be taught. Third, by contrast. A new element is
brought into consciousness more quickly if it is set side by side with
its opposite. Of course, this is only true provided the opposite has
already been learned. To present opposites, both of which are new or
only partially learned, confuses the analysis instead of facilitating

Reasoning, as the highest type of thinking, includes all that thinking
in general does, and adds some particular requirement which
differentiates it from the simpler forms. Further discussion of it,
then, should make clearer the essential in thinking as a process, as
well as make clear its most difficult form. Reasoning is defined by
Miller as "controlled thinking,--thinking organized and systematized
according to laws and principles and carried on by use of superior
technique."[9] Reasoning, then, is the kind of thinking that deals
directly with laws and principles. Much thinking may be carried on
without any overt, definite use of laws and principles, as in
constructive imagination or in apperception, but, if this is so, it
seems better to call the thinking by one of the other names. Of course
this classification is somewhat arbitrary, but there can be no question
that types of thinking do differ. As has already been noted, some
psychologists have used the terms thinking and reasoning as synonyms,
but such usage has resulted in confusion and has not been of practical
value. It is only as the mental process desired becomes clearly
conceived of, its connotations and denotation clearly defined, that it
becomes a real goal towards Which a teacher or learner may strive. This,
then, is the primary criterion of reasoning--that the thinker be dealing
consciously with laws and principles. An acceptance of this first
essential makes clear that the particular process of reasoning cannot be
carried on in subjects which lack laws and principles. Spelling,
elementary reading, vocabulary study, most of the early work in music
and art, the acquisition of facts wherever found--these situations may
offer opportunity for thinking, but little if any for reasoning. Because
a teacher is using the development method does not mean necessarily that
her students are reasoning. The two terms are not in any way synonymous.

The second essential in reasoning is the presence of a definite
technique. This technique consists of two factors: first, certain
definite mental states, and second, the use of the process of thinking
by either the inductive or the deductive method.

First as to the mental states involved. The fact that the thinking deals
with laws and principles necessitates the presence, in the thinking
process, of constructive verbal or symbolic imagery, logical
relationships, logical concepts, and explicit judgments. This does not
at all exclude other types of these mental states and entirely different
mental states. The kind of analysis involved simply necessitates the
presence of these types, whatever others may be present. Constructive
symbolic imagery has already been discussed. Logical relationships are
those that are independent of accidental conditions, are not dependent
on mere contiguity in time and space, but are inherent in the
association involved. Such relationships are those of likeness and
difference, cause and effect, subject and object, equality, concession,
and the like. Logical concepts are those which are the result of
thinking, whose definite meaning has been brought clearly into
consciousness so that a definition could be framed. A child has some
notion of the meaning of tree, or man, or chemist, and therefore
possesses a concept of some kind, but the exact meaning, the particular
qualities necessary, are usually lacking, and so it could not be called
a logical concept. Explicit judgments are those which contain within
themselves the reasons for the inference. They, too, are the result of
thinking. One may say that "cheating is wrong," or that "water will not
rise above its source level," or that "cleanliness is necessary to
health," or that "this is a Rembrandt"--as a matter of experience,
habit, but without any reflection and with no reasons for such judgment.
If, on the other hand, the problems to which these judgments are answers
had been a matter of thinking, the reasons or the ground for such
judgment would have become conscious and the judgment then become
explicit. It must be evident that in any problems dealing with laws and
principles the mental states involved must be definite, clear cut,
logically sound, and their implications thoroughly appreciated and

The second element in the technique necessary in reasoning is the use of
either the inductive or the deductive method in the process. Induction
requires--a problem, search for facts with which to solve it, comparison
and analysis of those facts, abstraction of the essential likenesses,
and conclusion. Deduction requires--a problem, the analysis of the
situation and abstraction of its essential elements, search for generals
under which to classify it, comparison of it with each general found,
and conclusion. It is unfortunate that in the discussions of induction
and deduction the differences have been so emphasized that they have
been regarded as different processes, whereas the likenesses far
outweigh the differences. An examination of the requirements of each as
stated above shows that the process in the two is the same. Not only do
both involve reasoning and therefore require the major steps of analysis
and abstraction present in all thinking, but both also involve search
and comparison. Both, of course, involve the same kind of mental states.
At times it is very difficult to distinguish between them. Although for
practical purposes it is necessary, sometimes, to stress the
differences, the inherent similarity should not be lost sight of.

The differences between these two methods of reasoning are, first, in
the locus of the problem; second, in the order of the steps of the
process; third, in the relative proportion of particulars and generals
used; fourth, in the devices used, (1) In induction the problem is
concerned with a general. In some situation a concept, law, or principle
has proven inadequate as a response. The question is then raised as to
what is wrong with it and the inductive process is instigated. The
problem is solved when the principle or concept is perfected or
enlarged--in other words, is made adequate. In deduction the problem is
concerned with the individual situation. Some problem is raised by a
particular fact or experience and is answered when it is placed under
the law or concept to which it belongs. Deduction is, practically the
classification of particulars. (2) The order of steps is different. In
induction, because present knowledge falls short, the major step of
analysis necessary to abstraction of the essential is impossible, and
therefore the search for new facts must come first, whereas in
deduction, the analysis of the particular situation results in a search
for generals and a classification of the situation in question. (3) In
induction many particular facts may be necessary before one concept or
principle is made adequate, while in deduction many concepts or
principles may be examined before one particular is classified. (4) In
induction the hypothesis is used as a device to make clear the possible
goal; in deduction the syllogism is used as a device to make clear the
conclusion which has been reached, to throw into relief the
classification and the result coming from it.

In this discussion, induction and deduction have been treated, for the
sake of clearness, as if they acted independently of each other, as if a
thinker might at one time use deduction and at another time induction.
They have been outlined in such a way that one might think that the
movement of the mind in one process was such that it precluded the
possibility of the other process. This is not so--the two are
inextricably mingled in the actual process of reasoning, and further,
induction as used in practical life always involves deduction at two
points, as an initial starting point and as an end point. The knowledge
that a certain principle is inadequate comes to consciousness through
the attempt to classify some particular experience under it. Failure
results and the inductive process may then be initiated, but this
initial attempt is deductive and if it had been successful there would
have been no need of induction. After the inductive process is complete
and the general principle has been classified or perfected, the final
step is testing it to see if it is adequate, first by applying it to the
particular problem which caused the whole process, and then to new
situations. If it tests, it is accepted,--if not, further induction is
necessary. This again is deduction. Not only is induction not complete
without deduction, but each deduction influences the principle which is
applied, making it more sure and more flexible. Even in the process of
induction, there are attempts to classify these facts which are being
gathered under suggested old principles, or half-formed new ones, before
the process is completed. This is a deductive movement, even though it
prove unsatisfactory or impossible. Dewey describes this interaction by
saying, "There is thus a double movement in all reflection: a movement
from the given partial and confused data to a suggested comprehension
(or inclusive) entire situation; and back from this suggested
whole--which as suggested is a meaning, an idea--to the particular
facts, so as to connect these with one another and with additional facts
to which the suggestion has directed attention."[10] However true this
intermingling of induction and deduction may be, the fact still remains
true that in any given case the major movement is in one direction or
the other, and that therefore in order to insure effective thinking
measures must be taken accordingly. As a child formulates his conception
of a verb, or words the characteristic essentials of the lily-family, or
frames the rule for addition of fractions or the action of a base on a
metal, he is concerned primarily with the form of the reasoning process
known as induction. When he classes a certain word as a conjunction, a
certain city as a trade center, a certain problem as one in percentage,
he is using deduction. Complexes and gradual shadings of one state into
another, not clearly defined and sharply differentiated processes and
states, are characteristic of all mental life.

Another unfortunate statement with regard to induction and deduction is
that the former "proceeds from particulars to generals" and the latter
from "generals to particulars." Both of these statements omit the
starting point and leave the thinker with no ground for either the
particulars or the generals with which he works. The thinker is
supposed, let us say, to collect specimens of flowers in order to arrive
at a notion of the characteristics of a certain class--but why collect
these rather than any others? True, in the artificial situation of a
schoolroom or college, the learner often collects in a certain field
rather than another, simply because he is told to. But in daily life he
would not be told to---the incentive must come from some particular
situation which presents a problem and therefore limits the field of
search. The starting point must be a particular experience or situation.
The same thing is true in deduction, although the syllogistic form has
often been misleading. "Metals are hard; iron is a metal, therefore iron
is hard." But why talk about metals at all--and if so why hardness
rather than color or effect on bases or some other characteristic? Of
course, here again it is some particular problem that defines the search
for the general and directs attention to some class characteristics
rather than to others. Not only is the starting point of all reasoning
some definite situation for which there is no adequate response, but the
end point must naturally be the same. A particular problem demanding
solution is the cause for reasoning, and, of course, the end of the
process must be the solution of that problem.

From the foregoing it must not be concluded that the processes of
induction and deduction are manifested only in connection with
reasoning. In fact, their use as a conscious tool of technique in
reasoning comes only after considerable experience of their use when
there was no conscious purpose and no control. A little child's notion
of dog, or tree, or city--in fact, all his psychological concepts
necessitate the inductive movement, but it has taken place in his
spontaneous thinking and the meanings have evolved after considerable
experience without any definite control on his part. So with deduction.
As he recognizes this as a chestnut tree, that as a rocking chair, as he
decides that this is wrong or that it is going to clear, he is
classifying things, or conduct, or conditions, and so is following the
deductive movement. But the judgments may come as a result of past
experience, may be spontaneous and involve no protracted controlled
activity which has been defined as thinking. Man's mind works
spontaneously both inductively and deductively, and hence the
possibility of control of these operations later. Thinking is an
outgrowth of spontaneous activity; reasoning is but an application of
the natural laws of mental activity to certain situations.

The laws of readiness, exercise, and effect govern thinking just as they
do all other mental processes. Thinking is not independent of habit; it
is not a mysterious force other than association which deals with novel
data. Thinking is merely an exhibition of the laws of habit under
certain definite situations. At first sight this seems to be impossible,
because, as has been emphasized throughout this chapter, thinking takes
place when no satisfactory response is at hand and when nothing is
offered by past experience which is adequate. As a result of the
thinking, responses are reached which never before have occurred as a
result of that situation. Just the same they are reached only because of
the operation of the laws of habit. It must be borne in mind that the
laws of association do not work in such a way that only gross total
situations are bound to total responses. In man particularly, situations
are being continually broken up into elements, and those elements
connected with responses. Responses are being continually disintegrated,
and elements, instead of the whole response, being bound to situations.
Analysis is continually taking place merely as a result of the working
of these laws. If the nervous mechanism of man were not of this
hair-trigger variety, if elements did not emerge from a total complex as
a result of bonds formed, of readiness of certain tracts, no willing, no
attention on the part of the thinker, would ever bring about analysis.
This is made very vivid when one is met by a problem he cannot solve. If
the situation does not break up, if the right element does not emerge,
if the right cue is not given, he is helpless. All he can do is to hold
fast to his problem and wait. As the associations are offered, he can
select and reject, but that is all. The marvelous power of the genius,
the inventor, the reasoner in all fields, is merely an exhibition of the
laws of association working with extremely subtle elements. It seems to
transcend all experience because these elements and the bonds which
experience has formed cannot be observed. A child fails in his thinking
often because he uses his past experience and responds by analogy--we
note that fact and criticize him for it. But he succeeds for just the
same reason and by the use of just the same laws. James long ago showed
conclusively that association by similarity, which is one of the
prominent types used in reasoning, was only the law of habit working
with elements of novel data.

The fact that thinking is determined by its aim rather than by its
antecedents has also been given a mysterious place as apart from
association. The thinker who chose the right associate, the one that led
him towards his goal rather than some other, was called sagacious. But,
after all, this being governed by an aim is nothing more than the
operation of the law of readiness among intellectual bonds. One
associate is chosen and another rejected because one is more satisfying
than another. Certain bonds are made more ready than others because of
the general set or attitude of the thinker, and therefore any associate
using those bonds brings satisfaction and is retained. "The power that
moves the man of science to solve problems correctly is the same that
moves him to eat, sleep, rest, and play. The efficient thinker is not
only more fertile in ideas and more often productive of the 'right'
ideas than the incompetent is; he is also more satisfied by them when he
gets them, and more rebellious against the futile and misleading ones.
We trust to the laws of cerebral nature to present us spontaneously with
the appropriate idea, and also _to prefer that idea to others."_[11]

The reasons for failure of teachers and educators of all kinds to train
people to think are numerous. (1) Scarcity of brains which work
primarily in terms of connections between subtle elements,
relationships, etc. (2) Lack of knowledge or incorrect knowledge, due to
narrow experience or poor memory. (3) Lack of the necessary habits of
attention and criticism. (4) Lack of power of the more abstract and
intellectual operations to bring satisfaction, due partly to original
equipment and partly to training. (5) Lack of power to do independent
work, due to poor training. Schools cannot in any way make good the
deficiency which is due to a lack of mental capacity. They can, and
should, do something to provide knowledge which is well organized around
experiences which have proved vital to pupils. Something can undoubtedly
be done in the way of cultivating the habit of concentration of
attention, and of making more or less habitual the critical attitude.
Within the range of the ability which the individuals to be educated
possess, the school may do much to give training which will make
independent work or thinking more common in the experience of school
pupils, and therefore much more apt to be resorted to in the case of any
problematic situation.

Possibly the greatest weakness in our schools, as they are at present
constituted, is in the dependence of both teachers and children upon
text-books, laboratory manuals, lectures, and the like. In almost every
field of knowledge which is presented in our elementary and high
schools, more opportunity should be given for contact with life
activities. Such contacts should, in so far as it is possible, involve
the organization of the observations which are made with relation to
problems and principles which the subject seeks to develop. In nature
study or in geography in the elementary school many of the principles
involved are never really mastered by children, by virtue of the fact
that they merely memorize the words which are involved, rather than
solve any of the problems which may occur, either by virtue of their
intellectual interests, or on account of their meaning in everyday life.
The following of the instructions given in the laboratory manual does
not necessarily result in developing the spirit of inquiry or
investigation, nor even acquaint pupils with the method of the science
which is supposed to be studied.

Possibly the greatest contribution which a teacher can make to the
development of thinking upon the part of children is in discovering to
them problems which challenge their attention, the solution of which for
them is worth while. As has already been indicated, an essential element
in thinking is constantly to select from among the many associations
which may be available that one which will contribute to the particular
problem which we have in mind. The mere grouping of ideas round some
topic does not satisfy this requirement, for such a reciting of
paragraphs or chapters may amount simply to memorization and nothing
more. If a teacher can in geography or in history send children to their
books to find such facts as are available for the solution of a
particular problem, she is stimulating thought upon their part, and may
at the same time be giving them some command of the technique of inquiry
or of investigation. The class that starts to work, either in the
discussion during the recitation period, or when they work at their
seats, or at home, with a clear statement of the aim or problem may be
expected to do much more in the way of thinking than will occur in the
experience of those who are merely told to read certain parts of a book.
In a well-conducted recitation which involves thinking, the aim needs to
be restated a number of times in order that the selection of those
associations which are important, and the rejection of those which are
not pertinent, may continue over a considerable period.

In so far as it is possible, children should be made to feel
responsibility for the progress which is made in the solution of their
problems. They should be critical of the contributions made by each
other. They should be sincere in their expression of doubt, and in
questioning whenever they do not understand. Above all, if they are
really thinking, they need to have an opportunity for free discussion.
In classrooms in which children are seated in rows looking at the backs
of each other's heads and reciting to the teacher, the tendency is
simply to satisfy what the pupils conceive to be the demands of the
teacher, rather than to think and to attempt to resolve one's doubts. In
classes in which teachers provide not only for a statement of the
problem which is to be solved during the study period, but also for a
variety in assignments, children may be expected to bring to class
differences in points of view and in the data which they have collected.
In such a situation discussion is a perfectly normal process, and
thinking is stimulated.

As children pass through the several grades of the school system, they
ought to become increasingly conscious of the process of reasoning. They
should be asked to tell how they have arrived at their conclusions. They
should give the reason for their judgments. A great deal of loose
thinking would be avoided if we could in some measure establish the
habit upon the part of boys and girls of asking, "Will it work in all
cases?"; "What was assumed as a basis for arriving at the conclusion
which I have accepted?"; "Are the data which have been brought together
adequate?"; "To what degree have the fallacies which are more or less
common in reasoning entered into my thinking?" It is not that one would
hope to give a course in logic to elementary or to high school children,
but rather that they should learn, out of the situations which demand
thought, constantly to check up their conclusions and to verify them in
every possible way. We may not expect by this method to create any
unusual power of thought, but we may in some degree provide for the
development of a critical attitude which will enable these same boys and
girls, both now and as they grow older, to discriminate between those
who merely dogmatize, and those who present a sound basis for their
reasoning, either in terms of a principle which can be accepted, or in
terms of observations or experiments which establish the conclusions
which they are asked to accept.

In all of the work which involves thinking, it is of the utmost
importance that we preserve upon the part of pupils, in so far as it is
possible, an open-minded attitude. It is well to have children in the
habit of saying with respect to their conclusions that in so far as they
have the evidence, this or that conclusion seems to be justified. It may
even be well to have them reach the conclusion in some parts of their
work that there are not sufficient data available upon which to base a
generalization, or that certain principles which are accepted as valid
by some thinkers are questioned by others, and that the conclusions
which are based upon principles which are not commonly accepted must
always be stated by saying: it follows, if you accept a particular
principle, that this particular conclusion will hold.

We need more and more to encourage the habit of independent work. We
must hope as children pass through our school system that they will grow
more and more independent in their statement of conclusions and of
beliefs. We can never expect that boys and girls, or men and women, will
reach conclusions on all of the questions which are of importance to
them, but it ought to be possible, especially for those of more than
usual capacity, to distinguish between the conclusions of a scientific
investigation and the statements of a demagogue. The use of whatever
capacity for independent thought which children possess should result in
the development of a group of open-minded, inquiring, investigating boys
and girls, eager and willing in confronting their common community
problems to do their own thinking, or to be guided by those who present
conclusions which are recognized as valid. They should learn to act in
accordance with well-established conclusions, even though they may have
to break with the traditions or superstitions which have operated to
interfere with the development of the social welfare of the group with
which they are associated.


1. How do children (and adults) most frequently solve their problems?

2. Under what conditions do children think and yet reach wrong
conclusions? Give examples.

3. Can first-grade children think? Give examples which prove your

4. What are the important elements to be found in all thinking?

5. Show how these elements may be involved in a first-grade lesson in
nature study. In an eighth-grade lesson in geography. In the teaching of
any high school subject.

6. When may habit formation involve thinking? Memorization?

7. Give five examples of problems which you believe will challenge the
brightest pupils in your class. Which would seem real and worth solving
to the duller members of the group?

8. How may the analysis of such ideas as come to mind, and the
abstraction of the part which is valuable for the solution of a
particular problem, be facilitated?

9. How do you distinguish between thinking and reasoning?

10. What are the essential elements in reasoning? Give an example of
reasoning as carried on by one solving a problem in arithmetic or
geometry, in geography, physics, or chemistry.

11. In what respects are the processes of induction and deduction alike?
In what do they differ?

12. At what stage of the inductive process is deduction involved?

13. Give examples of reasoning demanded in school work in which the
process is predominantly inductive. Deductive.

14. Why are the statements "Induction proceeds from particulars to
generals" and "Deduction from generals to particulars" inadequate to
describe either process?

15. In what sense is thinking dependent upon the operation of the laws
of habit?

16. To what degree is it possible to teach your pupils to think? Under
what limitations do you work?

       *       *       *       *       *


Appreciation belongs to the general field of feeling rather than that of
knowing. The element which distinguishes appreciation from memory or
imagination or perception is an affective one. Any one of these mental
states may be present without the state being an appreciative one. But
appreciation does not occur by itself as an elementary state, it is
rather a complex--a feeling tone accompanying a mental state or process
and coloring it. In other words, appreciation involves the presence of
some intellectual states, but its addition makes the total complex of an
emotional rather than a cognitive nature. The difficulty found in
discussing emotions in general, that of defining or describing them in
language, which is a tool of the intellect, is felt here. The only way
to know what appreciation means is to appreciate. No phase of feeling
can be adequately described--its essence is then lost--it must be felt.
Nevertheless something may be done to differentiate this type of feeling
from others.

Appreciation is an attitude of mind which is passive, contemplative. It
may grow out of an active attitude or emotion, or it may lead to one,
but in either case the state changes from one of appreciation to
something else. In appreciation the individual is quiescent.
Appreciation, therefore, has no end outside of itself. It is a
sufficient cause for being. The individual is satisfied with it. This
puts appreciation into the category of recreation. Appreciation then
always involves the pleasure tone, otherwise it could not be enjoyed. It
is always impersonal. It takes the individual outside and beyond his own
affairs; it is an other-regarding feeling. Possession, achievement, and
the like do not arouse appreciation, but rather an egoistical emotion.

One of the salient characteristics of emotions is their unifying power.
It has aptly been said that in extreme emotional states one _is_ the
emotion. The individual and his emotional state become one--a very
different state of affairs from what is true in cognition. This element
of unification is present to some extent in appreciation, although,
because of its complex nature, to a lesser extent than in a simpler,
more primitive feeling state. Still, in true appreciation one does
become absorbed in the object of appreciation; he, for the time being,
to some extent becomes identified with what he is appreciating. In,
order to appreciate this submerging of one's self, this identification
is necessary.

Appreciation is bound up with four different types of situations which
are of most importance to the teacher--(1) appreciation of the
beautiful, (2) appreciation of human nature, (3) appreciation of the
humorous, (4) appreciation of intellectual powers. The appreciation
found in these four types of situations must vary somewhat because of
the concomitants, but the characteristics which mark appreciation as
such seem to be present in all four. True, in certain of the situations
occurring under these types the emotional element may be stronger than
in others--in some the intellectual element may seem to almost outweigh
the affective, but still the predominant characteristics will be found
to be those of an attitude which has the earmarks of appreciation.

Appreciation of beauty has usually been discussed under the head of
aesthetic emotions. As to what rightfully belongs under the head of
aesthetics is in dispute--writers on the subject varying tremendously in
their opinions. Most of the recent writers, however, agree that the
stimulus for aesthetic appreciation must be a sense percept or an image
of some sense object. Ideas, meanings, in and of themselves, are not
then objects of aesthetic enjoyment. The two senses which furnish the
stimuli for this sort of appreciation are the eye and the ear--the
former combining sensations under space form and the latter under time
form to produce aesthetic feelings. Our senses may cause feelings of
pleasure, but the enjoyment is sensuous rather than aesthetic. Nature,
in all its myriad forms, art, architecture, music, literature, and the
dance are the chief sources of aesthetic appreciation. That there is a
definite connection between physiological processes and the feeling of
appreciation is without doubt true, but just what physiological
conditions in connection with visual and auditory perception are
fulfilled when some experience gives rise to aesthetic appreciation, and
just what is violated when there is lack of such appreciation, is not
known. It is known that both harmony and rhythm must be considered in
music, and that the structure and muscular control of the eye plus the
ease of mental apprehension play important parts in rousing aesthetic
feelings in connection with vision, but further than that little is

The chief danger met in developing the aesthetic appreciation is the
tendency to overestimate its dependence on, in the first place, skill in
creative work and the active emotions involved in achievement, and in
the second place, the intellectual understanding of the situation. It
has been largely taken for granted that the constructive work in the
arts or in music increased one's power of appreciation. That, if a child
used color and painted a little picture, or composed a melody, or
modeled in clay, he would therefore be able to appreciate better in
these fields. And further that the very development of this power to do
necessarily developed the power to appreciate. These two beliefs are
true to some extent, but only to a limited extent, and not nearly so far
as practice has taken for granted. It is true that some power to do
increases power to appreciate, but they parallel each other only for a
short time and then diverge, and either may be developed at the expense
of the other. In most people the power to appreciate, the passive,
contemplative enjoyment, far surpasses the ability to create. On the
other hand, men of creative genius often lack power of aesthetic
appreciation. This result is natural if one thinks of the mental
processes involved in the two. Power to do is associated with muscular
skill, with technique, and with the personal emotions of active
achievement. Æsthetic appreciation, on the other hand, is associated
with neither, but with a mental attitude and feelings which are quite
different. Cultivating one set of processes will not develop the other
to any great extent and may, on the other hand, be antagonistic to their
development. If the aesthetic emotions, if appreciations of the
beautiful, are desired, they must be trained and developed directly.

The second danger to be avoided in developing aesthetic appreciation is
that of magnifying its dependence on the intellectual factors. To
understand, to be able to analyze, to pick out the flaws in a musical
selection, or a painting, is not necessary to its appreciation. True,
some understanding is necessary, but, as in the case of skill, it is
much less than has been taken for granted. Appreciation can go far ahead
of understanding. The intellectual factor and the feeling response are
not absolutely interdependent in degree. Not only so, but the prominence
of the intellectual factor precludes that of the feeling. When one is
emphasized the other cannot be, as they are different sorts of mental
stuff. Continuous and emphatic development of the intellectual may
result in the atrophy of the power of appreciation in any given field
either temporarily or permanently. Many a boy's power to enjoy the
rhythm and melody of poetry has been destroyed by the overemphasis of
the critical facility during his high school course. The fact that a
person can analyze the painting, point out the plans in its composition,
and so on, does not at all mean that he can aesthetically appreciate.
Contemplative enjoyment may be impossible for him--it bores him.
Botanists are not noted for their power of aesthetic appreciation. It is
an acknowledged fact that some art and music critics have lost their
power of appreciation of the things they are continually criticizing.
This discussion is not intended to minimize the value of creative skill,
or of power of intellectual criticism. Both are talents that are well
worth while cultivating. But it is necessary for one to decide which of
the three, aesthetic appreciation, creative skill, or intellectual
criticism, in the fields of art, nature, and music, is most worth while
for the majority of people and then make plans accordingly. No one of
the three can be best developed and brought to its highest perfection by
emphasizing any one of the others.

The second type of appreciation is appreciation of human nature:
appreciation of the value of human life, appreciation of its virtues and
trials, appreciation of great characters, and so on. Some writers would
probably class this type of appreciation under moral feelings--but moral
feelings usually are thought of as active, as accompaniments of conduct,
whereas these appreciations are feelings aroused in the onlooker--they
are passive and for the time being are an end in themselves. These
feelings are stimulated by such studies as literature and history
particularly. Geography and civics offer some opportunity for their
development, and, of course, contact with people is the greatest
stimulus. In this latter type of situation the feelings of appreciation
easily pass over into active emotions, but so long as one remains an
onlooker, they need not do so. This appreciation, sympathy with and
enjoyment and approval of human nature, finds its source in the social
instincts, but it needs development and training if it is to be
perfected. Very much of the time this appreciation is inhibited by the
emphasis put on understanding. The intellectual faculties of memory,
judgment, and criticism are the ones called into play in the study of
history and often of literature. These studies leave the learner cold.
He knows, but it does not make any difference to him. He can analyze the
period or the character, but he lacks any feeling response, any
appreciation of the qualities of endurance and loyalty portrayed, lacks
any _sympathetic_ understanding of the difficulties met and conquered.
As was true of the aesthetic appreciation, a certain amount of
understanding is necessary for true appreciation of any kind, but
overemphasis of the intellectual element destroys the feeling element.

The third type of appreciation to be discussed is the appreciation of
humor. Perhaps this does not belong with the other type, but it
certainly has many of the same characteristics. Calkins defines a sense
of humor as "enjoyment of an unessential incongruity.... This
incongruity must be, as has been said, an unessential one, else the mood
of the observer changes from happiness to unhappiness, and the comic
becomes the pathetic. A fall on the ice which seemed to offer only a
ludicrous contrast between the dignity and grace of the man erect and
the ungainly attitude of the falling figure ceases utterly to be funny
when it is seen to entail some physical injury; and wit which burns and
sears is not amusing to its victim."[12] The ability to appreciate the
humorous in life is a great gift and should be cultivated to a much
greater extent than it is at present.

A fourth type of appreciation has been called appreciation of
intellectual powers--a poor name perhaps, but the feeling is a real one.
Enjoyment of style, of logical sequence, of the harmony of the whole, of
the clear-cut, concise, telling sentences, are illustrations of what is
meant. Enjoyment of a piece of literature, of a debate, of an argument,
of a piece of scientific research, is not limited to the appreciation of
the meanings expressed--in fact, in many cases the only factor that can
arouse the feeling element, the appreciation, is this element of form.
One may _understand_ an argument or a debate as he hears it, but
appreciation, enjoyment of it, comes only as a result of the
consciousness of these elements of form.

_That_ one possesses these feelings of appreciation, at least to some
degree, is a matter of human equipment, but _what_ one appreciates in
art, literature, human nature, etc., depends primarily on training.
There is almost no situation in life that with all people at all times
will arouse appreciative feelings. Although there are a few fundamental
conditions established by the physical make-up of the sense organs and
by the original capacities of the human race, still they are few, and at
present largely unknown, and experience does much to modify even these.
What is crude, vulgar, inharmonious, in art and music to some people,
arouses extreme aesthetic appreciation in others. Literature that causes
one person to throw the book down in disgust will give greatest
enjoyment to another. What is malice to one person is humorous to
another. What people enjoy and appreciate depends primarily on their
experience for the development of these feelings, depends upon the laws
of association, readiness, exercise, and effect. To raise power of
appreciation from low levels to high, from almost nothing to a
controlling force, needs but the application of these laws. But no one
of them can be neglected with impunity. It must be a gradual growth,
beginning with tracks that are ready, because of the presence of certain
instincts, and working on to others through the law of association. To
expect a child of seven to appreciate a steel engraving, or a piece of
classic music, or moral qualities in another person is to violate the
law of readiness. To expect any one in adult life to enjoy music, or
art, or nature, who has not had experience with each and enjoyed each
continually as a child, is to violate the laws of exercise and effect.

Two or three suggestions as to aids in the application of these laws may
be in place. First, a wealth of images is an aid to appreciation.
Second, the absence for the time of the critical attitude. Third, an
encouragement of the passive contemplative attitude. Fourth, the example
of others. Suggestion and association with other people who do
appreciate and enjoy are among the best means of securing it.

The value of feelings of appreciation are threefold: First, they serve
as recreation. It is in enjoyment of this kind that most of the leisure
of civilized races is spent. It serves on the mental level much the same
purpose that play does, in fact, much of it is mental play of a kind.
Second, they are impersonal. They are valuable in that they take us out
of ourselves, away from self-interests, and therefore make for mental
health and sanity as well as for a sympathetic character. They are also
a means of broadening one's experience. Third, they have a close
relationship with ideals and therefore have an active bearing on
conduct. It is not necessarily true that one will tend in himself or in
his surroundings to be like what he enjoys and appreciates, but the
tendency will be strongly in that direction. If an individual truly
appreciates, enjoys, beautiful pictures, good music and books, he will
be likely, so far as he can, to surround himself with them. If he
appreciates loyalty, openmindedness, tolerance, as he meets them in
literature and history, he may become more so himself. At least, the
developing of appreciations is the first step towards conduct in those
lines. In order to insure the conduct, other means must be taken, but
without the appreciation the conduct will be less sure.

One who would count most in developing power of appreciation upon the
part of children may well inquire concerning his own power of
appreciation. There is not very much possibility of the development of
joy in poetry, in music, or any other artistic form of expression
through association with the teacher who finds little satisfaction in
these artistic forms, who has little power of aesthetic appreciation. It
is only as teachers themselves are sincere in their appreciation of the
nobility of character possessed by the men and women whose lives are
portrayed in history, in literature, or in contemporary social life that
one may expect that their influence will be important in developing such
appreciation upon the part of children. Those pupils are fortunate who
are taught by teachers who have a sense of humor, who are able to grow
enthusiastic over the intellectual achievement of the leaders in the
field of study or investigation in which the children are at work.
Children are, indeed, quick to discover sentimentalism or
pseudo-appreciation upon the part of teachers, but even though they may
not give any certain expression to their enjoyment, they are usually
largely influenced by the attitude and genuine power of appreciation
possessed by the teacher.

In our attempt to have children grow in the field of appreciation we
have often made the mistake of attempting to impose upon them adult
standards. A great librarian in one of our eastern cities has said that
he would rather have children read dime novels than to have them read
nothing. From his point of view it was more important to have children
appreciating and enjoying something which they read than to have their
lives barren in this respect. In literature, in music, and in fine art
the development in power of appreciation is undoubtedly from the simple,
cruder forms to those which we as adults consider the higher or nobler
forms of expression. Mother Goose, the rhymes of Stevenson, of Field, or
of Riley, may be the beginning of the enjoyment of literature which
finds its final expression in the reading and in the possession of the
greatest literature of the English language. The simple rote songs which
the children learn in the first grade, or which they hear on the
phonograph, may lead through various stages of development to the
enjoyment of grand opera. Pictures in which bright color predominates
may be the beginning of power of appreciation which finds its fruition
in a home which is decorated with reproductions of the world's

It is not only in the artistic field that this growth in power of
appreciation from the simpler to the more complex is to be found.
Children instinctively admire the man who is brave rather than the man
who endures. Achievement is for most boys and girls of greater
significance than self-sacrifice. It is only as we adapt our material to
their present attainment, or to an attempt to have them reach the next
higher stage of development, that we may expect genuine growth. All too
often instead of growth we secure the development of a hypocritical
attitude, which accepts the judgment of others, and which never really
indicates genuine enjoyment.

While it is best not to insist upon an analysis of the feelings that one
has in enjoying a picture or a poem or a great character, it is worth
while to encourage choice. Of many stories which have been told,
children may very properly choose one which they would like to tell to
others. Of many poems which have been read in class, a group of boys may
admire one and commit it to memory, while the girls may care for another
and be allowed to memorize it. Wherever such coöperation is possible,
the picture which you enjoy most is the one that will mean most in power
of appreciation if placed in your room at home. Spontaneous approval,
rather than an agreement with an adult teacher who is considered an
authority, is to be sought for. There is more in the spontaneous
laughter which results as children read together their "Alice in
Wonderland" than could possibly result from an analysis of the quality
of humor which is involved.

We are coming to understand as a matter of education that we may hope to
develop relatively few men and women of great creative genius. The
producers of work of great artistic worth are, for the most part, to be
determined by native capacity rather than by school exercises. We must
think of the great majority of school children as possible consumers
rather than as producers. Schools which furnish a maximum of opportunity
to enjoy music and pictures may hope to develop in their community a
power of discrimination in these fields which will result in
satisfaction with nothing less than the best. The player-piano and the
phonograph may mean more in the development of musical taste in a
community than all of the lessons which are given in the reading of
music. The art gallery in the high school, the folk dances which have
been produced as a part of the school festivals, the reading of the best
stories, may prepare the way for the utilization of leisure time in the
pursuit of the nobler pleasures. The teacher with a saving sense of
humor, large in his power of appreciation of the great men and women of
his time, and all of the time keen in his own enjoyment and in his
ability to interpret for others those things which are most worth while
in literature and in art, may count more largely in the life of the
community than the one who is a master in some field of investigation.


1. What are the characteristics of the mental states which are involved
in appreciation?

2. Name the different types of situations in which appreciation may be
developed. Give examples.

3. Does the power to criticize poetry or music necessarily involve

4. To what degree may skill in creative work result in power of

5. What are the elements involved in appreciating human nature?

6. Give an example of appreciation of intellectual powers.

7. What is the essential element in the appreciation of humor?

8. Explain how the power of appreciation is dependent upon training.

9. What values in the education of an individual are realized through
growth in power of appreciation?

10. Why is it important for a teacher to seek to cultivate his own power
of appreciation?

11. What poems, or pictures, or music would you expect first-grade
children to enjoy? Why?

12. Would you expect fifth-grade children to grow in appreciation of
poetry by having them commit to memory selections from Milton's Paradise
Lost? Why?

13. Why is it important to allow children to choose the poems that they
commit to memory, or the pictures which they hang on their walls?

14. Why would you accept spontaneous expression of approval of the
characters in literature or in history, rather than seek to control the
judgments of children in this respect?

15. How may teachers prove most effective in developing the power of
appreciation upon the part of children?

       *       *       *       *       *


All human activity might be classified under three heads,--play, work,
and drudgery,--but just what activities belong under each head and just
what each of the terms means are questions of dispute. That the
boundaries between the three are hazy and undefined, and that they shade
gradually into each other, are without doubt true, but after all play is
different from work, and work from drudgery. Much of the disagreement as
to the value of play is due to this lack of definition. Even to-day when
the worth of play is so universally recognized, we still hear the
criticism's of "soft pedagogy" and "sugar coating" used in connection
with the application of the principle of play in education.

Although what we call play has its roots in original equipment, still
there is no such thing as the play instinct, in the sense that there is
a hunting instinct or a fighting instinct. Instead of being a definite
instinct, which means a definite response to a definite situation, it is
rather a tendency characteristic of all instincts and capacities. It is
an outgrowth of the general characteristic of all original nature
towards activity of some kind. This tendency is so broad and so complex,
the machinery governing it is so delicate, that it produces responses
that vary tremendously with subtle changes in the individual, and with
slight modifications of the situation. What we call play, then, is
nothing more than the manifestations of the various instincts and
capacities as they appear at times when they are not immediately useful.
The connections in the nervous system are ripe and all other factors
have operated to put them in a state of readiness: a situation occurs
which stimulates these connections and the child plays. These
connections called into activity may result in responses which are
primarily physical, intellectual, or emotional--all are manifestations
of this tendency towards activity. All habits of all kinds grow out of
this same activity: habits which we call work and those which we call
play. Man has not two original natures, one defined in terms of the play
instinct, and the other in terms of work. Most of the original
tendencies involved in play are not peculiar to it, but also are the
source of work. Manifestation results in making "mud pies and apple
pies"; physical activity results in the kicking, squirming, and
wriggling of the infant and the monotonous wielding of the hammer of the
road mender. The conditions under which an activity occurs, its
concomitants, and the attitude of the individual performing it determine
whether it is play or work--not its source or root.

Much, then, of what we call play is simply the manifestation of
instincts and capacities not immediately useful to the child. If they
were immediately useful, they would probably be put under the head of
work, not play. Many of the activities which seem playful to us and not
of immediate service do so because of the conditions of civilized life.
Were the infants living under primitive conditions, "in such a community
as a human settlement seems likely to have been twenty-five thousand
years ago, their restless examination of small objects would perhaps
seem as utilitarian as their fathers' hunting."[13] Certainly the
tendency of little children to chase a small object going away from
them, and to run from a large object approaching slowly, their tendency
to collect and hoard, their tendency to outdo another engaged in any
instinctive pursuit, would under primitive conditions have a distinct
utilitarian value, and yet all such tendencies are ranked as play when
manifested by the civilized child.

Other tendencies become playful rather than useful because of the
complexity of the environment and of the nervous system responding to
it. In actual life we don't find activity following a neatly arranged
situation--response system. On the contrary, a situation seldom
stimulates one response, and a response seldom occurs in the typical
form required by theory. It is this mingling of responses brought about
by varying elements in the situation that gives the playful effect. In a
less complex environment this complexity would be lessened. Also
experience, habit, tends to pin one type of response to a given
situation and the minor connections gradually become eliminated. For
example, if a boy of nine, alone in the woods, was approached by another
with threatening gestures and scowls, the fighting response would be
called out, and we would not call it play, because it served as
protection. If the same boy in his own garden, with a group of
companions, was approached by another with scowls, a perfectly
good-natured tussle might take place and we would call it play. The
difference between the two would be in minor elements of the situation.
Some of these differences are absence or presence of companions, the
strangeness or familiarity of the surroundings, the suddenness of the
appearance of the other boy, and so on.

Most of the older theories of play did not take into account these three
facts, _i.e.,_ the identity in original nature of the roots of play and
work; the fact that man's original nature fits him for primitive not
civilized society; the complexity of the situation--response connection
and its necessary variation with minor elements in the external
situation and in the individual. Earlier writers, therefore, felt the
need of special theories of play. The best known of these theories are,
first, the Schiller-Spencer surplus energy theory; second, the Groos
preparation for life theory; third, the G. Stanley Hall atavistic
theory; fourth, the Appleton biological theory. Each of the theories has
some element of truth in it, for play is complex enough to include them
all, but each, save perhaps the last, falls short of an adequate

Two facts growing out of the theory of play accepted by the last few
paragraphs need further discussion. First, the order of development in
play. The play activities must follow along the line of the developing
instincts and capacities. As the nerve tracts governing certain
responses become ready to act, these responses become the controlling
ones in play. So it is that for a time play is controlled largely by the
instinct of manipulation, at another time physical activity combined
with competition is most prominent, at another period imagination
controls, still later the puzzle-solving tendency comes to the point
followed by all the games involving an intellectual factor. This being
true, it is not surprising to find certain types of play characterizing
certain ages and to find that though the particular games may vary,
there is a strong resemblance between plays of children of the same age
all over the world. It must not be forgotten, however, that the
readiness of nerve tracts to function, and therefore the play responses,
depends on other factors as well as maturity. The readiness of other
tracts to function; past experience and habits; the stimulus provided by
the present situation; absence of competing stimuli; sex, health,
fatigue, tradition--all these and many more factors modify the order of
development of the play tendencies. Still, having these facts in mind,
it is possible to indicate roughly the type of play most prominent at
different ages.

Children from four to seven play primarily in terms of sensory
responses, imagination, imitation, and curiosity of the cruder sort.
Love of rhythm also is strong at this period. From seven to ten
individual competition or rivalry becomes very strong and influences
physical games, the collecting tendency, and manipulation, all of which
tendencies are prominent at this time. Ten to twelve or thirteen is
characterized by the "gang" spirit which shows itself in connection with
all outdoor games and adventures; memory is a large factor in some of
the plays of this period, and independent thinking in connection with
situations engendered by manipulation and the gang spirit becomes
stronger. At this period the differences between girls and boys become
more marked. The girls choose quieter indoor games, chumming becomes
prominent, and interest in books, especially of the semi-religious and
romantic type, comes to the front. In the early adolescent period the
emotional factor is strong and characterizes many of the playful
activities; the intellectual element takes precedence over the physical;
the group interest widens, although the interest in leadership and
independent action still remains strong; teasing and bullying are also
present. This summary is by no means complete, but it indicates in a
very general way the prominent tendencies at the periods indicated.

The second fact needing further elaboration is that of the complexity of
the play activity. Take, for instance, a four-year-old playing with a
doll. She fondles, cuddles, trundles it, and takes it to bed with her.
It is jumped up and down and dragged about. It is put through many of
the experiences that the child is having, especially the unpleasant
ones. Its eyes and hair, its arms and legs, are examined. Questions are
asked such as, "Where did it come from?" "Who made it?" "Has it a
stomach?" "Will it die?" In many instances it is personified. The child
is often perfectly content to play with it alone, without the presence
of other children. This activity shows the presence of the nursing
instinct, the tendency towards manipulation, physical activity,
imitation and curiosity of the empirical type. The imagination is active
but still undifferentiated from perception. The contentment in playing
alone, or with an adult, shows the stage of development of the
gregarious instinct. A girl of nine no longer cuddles or handles her
doll just for the pleasure she gets out of that, nor is the doll put
through such violent physical exercises. The child has passed beyond the
aimless manipulation and physical activity that characterized the
younger child. Instead she makes things for it, clothes, furniture, or
jewelry, still manipulation, and still the nursing instincts, but
modified and directed towards more practical ends. Imitation now shows
itself in activities that are organized. The child plays Sunday, or
calling, or traveling, or market day, in which the doll takes her part
in a series of related activities. But in these activities constructive
imagination appears as an element. Situations are not absolutely
duplicated, occurrences are changed to suit the fancy of the player, as
demanded by the dramatic interest. A fairy prince, or a godmother, may
be participants, but at this age the constructive imagination is likely
to work along more practical lines. Curiosity is also present, but now
the questions asked are such as, "What makes her eyes work?" "Why can't
she stand up?" or they often pertain to the things that are being made
for the doll. They have to do with "How" or "Why" instead of the "What."
The doll may still be talked to and even be supposed to talk back, but
the child knows it is all play; it is no longer personified as in the
earlier period. For the child fully to enjoy her play, she must now have
companions of her own age, the older person no longer suffices.

The outdoor games of boys show the same kind of complexity,--for
instance, take any of the running games. With little boys they are
unorganized manifestations of mere physical activity. The running is
more or less at random, arms and vocal organs are used as much as the
legs and trunk. Imitation comes in-what one does others are likely to
do. The mere "follow" instinct is strong, and they run after each other.
The beginnings of the fighting instinct appear in the more or less
friendly tussles they have. The stage of the gregarious instinct is
shown by the fact that they all play together. Later with boys of nine
or ten the play has become a game, with rules governing it. The general
physical activity has been replaced by a specialized form. Imitation is
less of a factor. The hunting instinct often appears unexpectedly, and
in the midst of the play the elements of the chase interfere with the
proper conduct of the game. The fighting instinct is strong, and is very
easily aroused. The boys now play in gangs or groups, and the tendency
towards leadership manifests itself within the group. The intellectual
element appears again and again, in planning the game, in judging of the
possibility of succeeding at different stages, or in settling disputes
that are sure to arise. So it is with all the plays of children: they
are complexes of the various tendencies present, and the controlling
elements change as the inner development continues.

All activities when indulged in playfully have certain common
characteristics. First, the activity is enjoyed for its own sake. The
process is satisfying in itself. Results may come naturally, but they
are not separated from the process; the reason for the enjoyment is not
primarily the result, but rather the whole activity. Second, the
activity is indulged in by the player because it satisfies some inner
need, and only by indulging in it can the need be satisfied. It uses
neurone tracts that were "ready." Growing out of these two major
characteristics are several others. The attention is free and immediate;
much energy is used with comparatively little fatigue; self-activity and
initiative are freely displayed.

At the other extreme of activity is drudgery. Its characteristics are
just the opposite of these. First, the activity is engaged in merely for
the result--the process counting for nothing and the result being the
only thing of value. Second, the process, instead of satisfying some
need, is rather felt to be in violation of the nature of the one
engaged. It uses neurone tracts that are not "ready" and at the same
time prevents the action of tracts that are "ready." It becomes a task.
The attention necessarily must be of the forced, derived type, in which
fatigue comes quickly as a result of divided attention, results are
poor, and there is no chance for initiative.

Between these two extremes lies work. It differs from play in that the
results are usually of more value and in that the attention is therefore
often of the derived type. It differs from drudgery in that there is not
the sharp distinction between the process and the result and in that the
attention may often be of the free spontaneous type. It was emphasized
at the beginning of this chapter that the boundaries between the three
were hazy and ill defined. This is especially true of work; it may be
indistinguishable from play as it partakes of its characteristics, or it
may swing to the other extreme and be almost drudgery. The difference
between the three activities is a subjective matter--a difference
largely in mood, in attitude of the person concerned, due to the
readiness or unreadiness of the neurone tracts exercised. The same
activity may be play for one person, work for another, and drudgery for
still another. Further, for the same person the same activity may be
play, work, or drudgery, at different times, even within the same day.

Which of the three is the most valuable for educational purposes?
Certainly not drudgery. It is deadening, uneducative, undevelopmental.
Any phase of education, though it may be a seemingly necessary one, that
has the characteristics of drudgery is valueless in itself. As a means
to an end it may serve--but with the antagonistic attitude, the
annoyance aroused by drudgery, it seems a very questionable means.
Education that can obtain the results required by a civilized community
and yet use the play spirit is the ideal.

But to have children engaged in play, in the sense of free play, cannot
be the only measure. There must be supervision and direction. The spirit
that characterizes the activities which are not immediately useful must
be incorporated into those that are useful by means of the shifting of
association bonds. Nor can all parts of the process seem worth while to
the learner. Sometimes the process or parts of it must become a means to
an end, for the end is remote. But all this is true to some extent in
free play--digging the worms in order to go fishing, finding the
scissors and thread in order to make the doll's dress, making
arrangements with the other team to play ball, finding the right pieces
of wood for the hut, and so on, may not be satisfactory in and of
themselves, but may be almost drudgery. They are _not_ drudgery because
they become fused in the whole process, they take over and are lost in
the joy of the undertaking as a whole; they become a legitimate means to
an end, and in so far take over in derived form the interest that is
roused by the whole. It is this fusion of work and play that is
desirable in education. This is the great lesson of play--it shows the
value and encourages the logical combination of the two activities.
Children learn to work as they play. They learn the meaning and value of
work. Work becomes a means to an end, and that end not something remote
and disconnected from the activity itself, but as part and parcel of it.
Thus the activity as a whole imbued with the play spirit becomes

The play spirit is the spirit of art. No great result was achieved in
any line of human activity without much work, and yet no great result
was ever gained unless the play spirit controlled. It is to this
interaction of work and play that each owes much of its value. Work in
and of itself apart from play lacks educative power; it is only as it
leads to and increases the power of play that it is of greatest value.
Its logical place in education is as a means to an end, not as an end in
itself. Play, on the other hand, that does not necessitate some work,
that does not need work in order that it may function more fully, has
lost most of its educational value. To work in play and to play while
working is the ideal combination. Either by itself is dangerous.

Two misconceptions should be mentioned. First, the play spirit advocated
as one of the greatest educational factors must not be limited to the
merely physical activities, nor should it be considered synonymous with
what is easy. This characterization of play as being the aimless trivial
physical activities of a little child is a misconception of the whole
play tendency. It has already been pointed out that any activity which
in itself satisfies, whether that be physical, emotional, or
intellectual, is play, and all these phases of human activity show
themselves in play first. Also the fact that play does not mean ease of
accomplishment has been noted. It is only in the play spirit that the
full resources of child or adult are tested. It is only when the
activity fully satisfies some need that the individual throws himself
whole-souled into it. It is only under the stimulus of the play spirit
that all one's energy is spent, and great results, clear, accurate, and
far reaching, are obtained. Ease of performance often results in
drudgery. To be play, the activity must be suited to the child's
capacity, but leave chance for initiative and change and development.

The second misconception is that because present-day educators advocate
play in education, they believe that the child should do nothing that he
doesn't want to. This is wrong on two accounts. First, it is part of the
business of an environment to stimulate--readiness depends partly on
stimulation. The child may never play unless the stimulation is forcibly
and continually applied. Second, after all it is the result we are most
anxious for in education, and that result is an educated adult. By all
means let us obtain this result by the most economical and effective
method, and that is by use of the play spirit. But if the result cannot
be obtained by this means because of the character of civilized ideals,
or the difficulties of group education, or lack of capacity of the
individual--then surely other methods, even that of drudgery, must be
resorted to. The point is, with the goal in mind, adapt the material of
education to the needs of the individual child; in other words, use the
play spirit so far as is possible--after that gain the rest by any means

So far the discussion has been concerned with the characteristics of the
play spirit and its use in connection with the more formal materials of
education. However, the free plays of children are valuable in two
ways--first, as sources of information as to the particular tendencies
ready for exercise at different times, and second, as a means of
education in themselves. A knowledge of just which tendencies are most
prominent in the plays of a group of children, when they change from
"play" to "games," the increase in complexity and organization, the
predominance of the intellectual factors,--all this could be of direct
service to a teacher in the schoolroom. But it means, to some extent,
the observation by the teacher of his particular group of children. Such
observation is extremely fruitful. The more vigorously, the more
wholeheartedly, the more completely a child plays, other things being
equal, the better. A deprivation of opportunity to play, or a loss of
any particular type of play, means a loss of the development of certain
traits or characteristics. An all-round, well-developed adult can grow
only from a child developed in an all-round way because of many-sided
play. Hence the value of public playgrounds and of time to play. Hence
the danger of the isolated, lonely child, for many plays demand the
group. Hence the opportunities and the dangers of supervision of play.

Supervision of play is valuable in so far as it furnishes opportunities
and suggestions which develop the elements most worth while in play and
which keep play at its highest level, and in so far as it concerns the
nature of the individual child, protecting, admonishing, or encouraging,
as the case may require. It is dangerous to the child's best good, in so
far as it results in domination; for domination will mean, usually, the
introduction of plays beyond the child's stage of development and the
destruction of the independence and initiative which are two of the most
valuable characteristics of free play. Valuable supervision of play is
art that must be acquired. To influence, while effacing oneself, to
guide, while being one of the players, to have an adult's understanding
of the needs of child nature and yet to be one with the children--these
are the essentials of the supervision of play.


1. Distinguish between the fighting instinct and the instinctive basis
of play.

2. Under what conditions may an activity which we classify as play for a
civilized child be called work for a child living under primitive

3. What kinds of plays are characteristic of different age periods in
the life of children?

4. Trace the development of some game played by the older boys in your
school from its simpler beginnings in the play of little children to its
present complexity.

5. Name the characteristics common to all playful activity.

6. Distinguish between play and drudgery.

7. What is the difference between work and play?

8. To what degree may the activities of the school be made play?

9. Explain why the same activity may be play for one individual, work
for another, and drudgery for a third.

10. Why should we seek to make the play element prominent in school

11. When is one most efficient in individual pursuits--when his activity
is play, when he works, or when he is a drudge?

12. Under what conditions should we compel children to work, or even to
engage in an activity which may involve drudgery?

13. Explain how play may involve the maximum of utilization of the
abilities possessed by the individual, rather than a type of activity
easy of accomplishment.

14. In what does skill in the supervision of play consist?

       *       *       *       *       *


It has been indicated here and there throughout the previous chapters
that, despite the fact that there are certain laws governing the various
mental traits and processes, still there is variation in the working of
those laws. It was pointed out that people differ in kind of memory or
imagination in which they excel, in their ability to appreciate, in the
speed with which they form habits, and so on. In other words, that boys
and girls are not exact duplicates of each other, but that they always
differ from each other. Now a knowledge of these differences, their
amounts, interrelations, and causes are very necessary for the planning
of a school system or for the planning of the education of a particular
child. What we plan and how we plan educational undertakings must always
be influenced by our opinion as to inborn traits, sex differences,
specialization of mental traits, speed of development, the respective
power of nature and of nurture. The various plans of promotion and
grouping of children found in different cities are in operation because
of certain beliefs concerning differences in general mental ability.
Coeducation is urged or deplored largely on the ground of belief in the
differing abilities of the sexes.

Exact knowledge of just what differences do exist between people and the
causes of these differences is important for two reasons. First, in
order that the most efficient measures may be taken for the education of
the individual, and second, in order that the race as a whole may be
made better. Education can only become efficient and economical when we
know which differences between people and which achievements of a given
person are due to training, and which are due more largely to original
equipment or maturity. It is a waste of time on the one hand for
education to concern itself with trying to make all children good
spellers--if spelling is a natural gift; and on the other hand, it is
lack of efficiency for schools to be largely neglecting the moral
development of the children, if morality is dependent primarily on
education. Exact knowledge, not opinions, along all these lines is
necessary if progress is to be made.

The principal causes for individual differences are sex, remote
ancestry, near ancestry, maturity, and training. The question to be
answered in the discussion of each of these causes is how important a
factor is it in the production of differences and just what differences
is it responsible for. That men differ from women has always been an
accepted fact, but exact knowledge of how much and how they differ has,
until recent years, been lacking. Recently quantitative measurement has
been made by a number of investigators. In making these investigations
two serious difficulties have to be met. First, that the tests measure
only the differences brought about by differences in sex, and not by any
other cause, such as family or training. This difficulty has been met by
taking people of all ages, from all sorts of families, with all kinds of
training, the constant factor being the difference in sex. The second
difficulty is that of finding groups in which the selection agencies
have been the same and equally operative. It would be obviously unfair
to compare college men and women, and expect to get a fair result as to
sex differences, because college women are a more highly selected group
intellectually than the college men. It is the conventional and social
demands that are primarily responsible for sending boys to college,
while the intellectual impulse is responsible to a greater extent for
sending girls. Examination of children in the elementary schools, then,
gives a fairer result than of the older men and women. The general
results of all the studies made point to the fact that the differences
between the sexes are small. Sex is the cause of only a small fraction
of the differences between individuals. The total difference of men from
men and women from women is almost as great as the difference between
men and women, for the distribution curve of woman's ability in any
trait overlaps the men's curve to at least half its range. In detail the
exact measurements of intellectual abilities show a slight superiority
of the women in receptivity and memory, and a slight superiority of the
men in control of movement and in thought about concrete mechanical
situations. In interests which cannot be so definitely measured, women
seem to be more interested in people and men in things. In instinctive
equipment women excel in the nursing impulse and men in the fighting
impulse. In physical equipment men are stronger and bigger than women.
They excel in muscular tests in ability to "spurt," whereas women do
better in endurance tests. The male sex seems on the whole to be
slightly more variable than the female, i.e., its curve of distribution
is somewhat flatter and extends both lower and higher than does that of
the female; or, stated another way, men furnish more than their
proportion of idiots and of geniuses.

Slight though these differences are, they are not to be disregarded, for
sometimes the resulting habits are important. For instance, girls should
be better spellers than boys. Boys should excel in physics and
chemistry. Women should have more tact than men, whereas men should be
more impartial in their judgments. With the same intellectual equipment
as women, men should be found more often in positions of prominence
because of the strength of the fighting instinct. The geniuses of the
world, the leaders in any field, as well as the idiots, should more
often be men than women. That these differences do exist, observation as
well as experiment prove, but that they are entirely due to essential
innate differences in sex is still open to question. Differences in
treatment of the sexes in ideals and in training for generation after
generation _may_ account for some of the differences noted.

What these differences mean from the standpoint of practice is still
another question. Difference in equipment need not mean difference in
treatment, nor need identity of equipment necessarily mean identity of
training. The kind of education given will have to be determined not
only by the nature of the individual, but also by the ideals held for
and the efficiency demanded from each sex.

Another cause of the differences existing between individuals is
difference in race inheritance. In causing differences in physical
traits this factor is prominent. The American Indians have physical
traits in common which differentiate them from other races; the same
thing is true of the Negroes and the Mongolians. It has always been
taken for granted that the same kind of difference between the races
existed in mental traits. To measure the mental differences caused by
race is an extremely difficult problem. Training, environment,
tradition, are such potent factors in confusing the issue. The
difficulty is to measure inborn traits, not achievement. Hence the
results from actual measurement are very few and are confined to the
sensory and sensorimotor traits. Woodworth, in summing up the results of
these tests, says, "On the whole, the keenness of the senses seems to be
about on a par in the various races of mankind.... If the results could
be taken at their face value, they would indicate differences in
intelligence between races, giving such groups as the Pygmy and Negrito
a low station as compared with most of mankind. The fairness of the test
is not, however, beyond question."[14] The generality of this conclusion
concerning the differences in intelligence reveals the lack of data. No
tests of the higher intellectual processes, such as the ability to
analyze, to associate in terms of elements, to formulate new principles,
and the like, have, been given. Some anthropologists are skeptical of
the existence of any great differences, while others believe that though
there is much overlapping, still differences of considerable magnitude
do exist. At present we do not know how much of the differences existing
between individuals is due to differences in remote ancestry.

Maturity as a cause of differences between individuals gives quite as
unsatisfactory results as remote ancestry. Every thoughtful student of
children must realize that inner growth, apart from training, has
something to do with the changes which take place in a child; that he
differs from year to year because of a difference in maturity. This same
cause, then, must account to some extent for the differences between
individuals of different ages. But just how great a part it plays, what
per cent of the difference it accounts for, and what particular traits
it affects much or little, no one knows. We say in general that
nine-year-old children are more suggestible than six-year-old, and than
fourteen-year-old; that the point of view of the fifteen-year-old is
different from that of the eleven-year-old; that the power of sense
discrimination gradually increases up to about sixteen, and so on. That
these facts are true, no one can question, but how far they are due to
mere change in maturity and how far to training or to the increase in
power of some particular capacity, such as understanding directions, or
power of forced attention, is unknown. The studies which have been
undertaken along this line have failed in two particulars: first, to
distribute the actual changes found from year to year among the three
possible causes, maturity, general powers of comprehension and the like,
and training; second, to measure the same individuals from year to year.
This last error is very common in studies of human nature. It is taken
for granted that to examine ten year olds and then eleven year olds and
then twelve year olds will give what ten year olds will become in one
and two years' time respectively. To test a group of grammar grade
children and then a group of high school and then a group of college
students will not show the changes in maturity from grammar school to
college. The method is quite wrong, for it tests only the ten year olds
that stay in school long enough to become twelve year olds; it measures
only the very small per cent of the grammar school children who get to
college. In other words, it is measuring a more highly selected group
and accepting the result obtained from them as true of the entire group.
Because of these two serious errors in the investigations our knowledge
of the influence of maturity as a cause of individual differences is no
better than opinion. Two facts, however, such studies do make clear.
First, the supposition that "the increases in ability due to a given
amount of progress toward maturity are closely alike for all children
save the so-called 'abnormally-precocious' or 'retarded' is false. The
same fraction of the total inner development, from zero to adult
ability, will produce very unequal results in different children. Inner
growth acts differently according to the original nature that is
growing. The notion that maturity is the main factor in the differences
found amongst school children, so that grading and methods of teaching
should be fitted closely to 'stage of growth,' is also false. It is by
no means very hard to find seven year olds who can do intellectual work
in which one in twenty seventeen year olds would fail."[15]

The question as to how far immediate heredity is a cause of differences
found between individuals, can only be answered by measuring how much
more alike members of the same family are in a given trait than people
picked at random, and then making allowance for similarity in their
training. The greater the likenesses between members of the same family,
and the greater the differences between members of different families,
despite similarities in training, the more can individual differences be
traced to differences in ancestry as a controlling cause. The answer to
this question has been obtained along four different lines: First,
likenesses in physical traits; second, likenesses in particular
abilities; third, likenesses in achievement along intellectual and moral
lines; fourth, greater likenesses between twins, than ordinary siblings.
In physical traits, such as eye color, hair color, cephalic index,
height, family resemblance is very strong (the coefficient of
correlation being about .5), and here training can certainly have had no
effect. In particular abilities, such as ability in spelling, the stage
reached by an individual is due primarily to his inheritance, the
ability being but little influenced by the differences in home or school
training that commonly exist. In general achievement, Galton's results
show that eminence runs in families, that one has more than three
hundred times the chance of being eminent if one has a brother, father,
or son eminent, than the individual picked at random. Wood's
investigation in royal families points to the same influence of ancestry
in determining achievement. The studies of the Edwards family on one
hand and the so-called Kallikak family on the other, point to the same
conclusion. Twins are found to be twice as much alike in the traits
tested as other brothers and sisters. Though the difficulty of
discounting the effect of training in all these studies has been great,
yet in every case the investigators have taken pains to do so. The fact
that the investigations along such different lines all bear out the same
conclusion, namely, that intellectual differences are largely due to
differences in family inheritance, weighs heavily in favor of its being
a correct one.

The fifth factor that might account for individual differences is
environment. By environment we mean any influence brought to bear on the
individual. The same difficulty has been met in attempting to measure
the effect of environment that was met in trying to measure the effect
of inner nature--namely, that of testing one without interference from
the other. The attempts to measure accurately the effect of any one
element in the environment have not been successful. No adequate way of
avoiding the complications involved by different natures has been found.
One of the greatest errors in the method of working with this problem
has been found just here. It has been customary when the effect of a
certain element in the environment is to be ascertained to investigate
people who have been subject to that training or who are in the process
of training, thus ignoring the selective influence of the factor itself
in original nature. For instance, to study the value of high school
training we compare those in training with those who have never had any;
if the question is the value of manual training or Latin, again the
comparison is made between those who have had it and those who haven't.
To find out the influence of squalor and misery, people living in the
slums are compared with those from a better district. In each case the
fact is ignored that the original natures of the two groups examined are
different before the influence of the element in question was brought to
bear. Why do some children go to high school and others not? Why do some
choose classical courses and some manual training courses? Why are some
people found in the slums for generations? The answer in each case is
the same--the original natures are different. It isn't the slums make
the people nearly so often as it is the people make the slums. It isn't
training in Latin that makes the more capable man, but the more
intellectual students, because of tradition and possibly enjoyment of
language study, choose the Latin. It is unfair to measure a factor in
the environment and give it credit or discredit for results, when those
results are also due to original nature as well, which has not been
allowed for. It must be recognized by all those working in this field
that, after all, man to some extent selects his own environment. In the
second place, it must be remembered that the environment will influence
folks differently according as their natures are different. There can be
no doubt that environment is accountable for some individual
differences, but just which ones and to what extent are questions to
which at present the answers are unsatisfactory.

The investigations which have been carried on agree that environment is
not so influential a cause for individual differences in intellect as is
near ancestry. One rather interesting line of evidence can be quoted as
an illustration. If individual differences in achievement are due
largely to lack of training or to poor training, then to give the same
amount and kind of training to all the individuals in a group should
reduce the differences. If such practice does not reduce the
differences, then it is not reasonable to suppose that the differences
were caused in the first place by differences in training. As a matter
of fact, equalizing training _increases_ the differences. The superior
man becomes more superior, the inferior is left further behind than
ever. A common occurrence in school administration bears out this
conclusion reached by experimental means. The child who skips a grade is
ready at the end of three years to skip again, and the child who fails a
grade is likely at the end of three years to fail again. Though
environment seems of little influence as compared with near ancestry in
determining intellectual ability _per se_, yet it has considerable
influence in determining the line along which this ability is to
manifest itself. The fact that between 1840-44, 9.4 per cent of the
college men went into teaching as a profession and 37.5 per cent into
the ministry, while between 1890-94, 25.4 per cent chose the former and
only 14 per cent the latter, can be accounted for only on the basis of
environmental influence of some kind.[16]

Another fact concerning the influence of environment is that it is very
much more effective in influencing morality than intellect. Morality is
the outcome of the proper direction of capacities and tendencies
possessed by the individual, and therefore is extremely susceptible to
environmental influences. We are all familiar with the differences in
moral standards of different social groups. One boy may become a bully
and another considerate of the rights of others, one learns to steal and
another to be honest, one to lie and another to be truthful, because of
the influence of their environments rather than on account of
differences in their original natures. We are beginning to recognize the
importance of environment in moral training in the provisions made to
protect children from immoral influences, in the opportunities afforded
for the right sort of recreation, and even in the removal of children
from the custody of their parents when the environment is extremely

Though changes in method and ideals cannot reduce the differences
between individuals in the intellectual field to any marked extent, such
changes can raise the level of achievement of the whole group. For
instance, more emphasis on silent reading may make the reading ability
of a whole school 20 per cent better, while leaving the distance between
the best and worst reader in the school the same. Granting that
heredity, original nature, is the primary cause of individual
differences in intellect (aside from those sex differences mentioned)
there remains for environment, education in all its forms, the
tremendous task of: First, providing conditions favorable for nervous
health and growth; second, providing conditions which stimulate useful
capacities and inhibit futile or harmful capacities; third, providing
conditions which continually raise the absolute achievement of the group
and of the race; fourth, providing conditions that will meet the varying
original equipments; fifth, assuming primary responsibility for
development along moral and social lines.

Concerning those individual differences of which heredity is the
controlling cause, two facts are worthy of note. First, that human
nature is very highly specialized and that inheritance may be in terms
of special abilities or capacities. For instance, artistic, musical, or
linguistic ability, statesmanship, power in the field of poetry, may be
handed down from one generation to the next. This also means that two
brothers may be extremely alike along some lines and extremely different
along others. Second, that there seems to be positive combinations
between certain mental traits, whereby the presence of one insures the
presence of the other to a greater degree than chance would explain. For
instance, the quick learner is slow in forgetting, imagery in one field
implies power to image in others, a high degree of concentration goes
with superior breadth, efficiency in artistic lines is more often
correlated with superiority in politics or generalship or science than
the reverse, ability to deal with abstract data implies unusual power to
deal with the concrete situation. In fact, as far as exact measures go,
negative correlations between capacities, powers, efficiencies, are
extremely rare, and, when they occur, can be traced to the influence of
some environmental factor.

Individuals differ from each other to a much greater degree than has
been allowed for in our public education. The common school system is
constructed on the theory that children are closely similar in their
abilities, type of mental make-up, and capacities in any given line.
Experimentation shows each one of these presuppositions to be false. So
far as general ability goes, children vary from the genius to the
feeble-minded with all the grades between, even in the same school
class. This gradation is a continuous one--there are no breaks in the
human race. Children cannot be grouped into the very bright, bright,
mediocre, poor, very poor, failures--each group being distinct from any
other. The shading from one to the other of these classes is gradual,
there is no sharp break. Not only is this true, but a child may be
considered very bright along one line and mediocre along another.
Brilliancy or poverty in intellect does not act as a unit and apply to
all lives equally. The high specialization of mental powers makes
unevenness in achievement the common occurrence. Within any school grade
that has been tested, even when the gradings are as close as those
secured by term promotions, it has been found in any subject there are
children who do from two to five times as well as others, and from two
to five times as much as others. Of course this great variation means an
overlapping of grades on each side. In Dr. Bonser's test of 757 children
in reasoning he found that 90 per cent of the 6A pupils were below the
best pupils of 4A grade and that 4 per cent of 6A pupils were below the
mid-pupils of the 4A, and that the best of the 4A pupils made a score
three times as high as the worst pupils of 6A. Not only is this
tremendous difference in ability found among children of the same class,
but the same difference exists in rate of development. Some children can
cover the same ground in one half or one third the time as others and do
it better. Witness the children already quoted who, skipping a grade,
were ready at the end of three years to skip again. Variability, not
uniformity, is what characterizes the abilities and rate of intellectual
growth of children in the schools, and these differences, as has already
been pointed out, are caused primarily by a difference in original

There is also great difference between the general mental make-up of
children--a difference in type. There is the child who excels in dealing
with abstract ideas. He usually has power also in dealing with the
concrete, but his chief interest is in the abstract. He is the one who
does splendid work in mathematics, formal grammar, the abstract phases
of the sciences. Then there is the child who is a thinker too, but his
best work is done when he is dealing with a concrete situation. Unusual
or involved applications of principles disturb him. So long as his work
is couched in terms of the concrete, he can succeed, but if that is
replaced by the _x, y, z_ elements, he is prone to fail. There is
another type of child--the one who has the executive ability, the child
of action. True, he thinks, too, but his forte is in control of people
and of things. He is the one who manages the athletic team, runs the
school paper, takes charge of the elections, and so on. For principles
to be grasped he must be able to put them into practice. The fourth type
is the feeling type, the child who excels in appreciative power. As has
been urged so many times before, these types have boundaries that are
hazy and ill defined; they overlap in many cases. Some children are of a
well-defined mixed type, and most children have something of each of the
four abilities characteristic of the types. Still it is true that in
looking over a class of children these types emerge, not pure, but
controlled by the dominant characteristics mentioned.

The same variation is found among any group of children if they are
tested along one line, such as memory. Some have desultory, some rote,
some logical memories; some have immediate memories, others the
permanent type. In imagery, some have principally productive
imagination, others the matter-of-fact reproductive; some deal largely
with object images that are vivid and clear-cut, others fail almost
entirely with this type, but use word images with great facility. In
conduct, some are hesitating and uncertain, others just the reverse;
some very open to suggestions, others scarcely touched at all by it;
some can act in accordance with principle, others only in terms of
particular associations with a definite situation. So one might run the
whole gamut of human traits, and in each one any group of individuals
will vary: in attention, in thinking, in ideals, in habits, in
interests, in sense discrimination, in emotions, and so on. This is one
of the greatest contributions of experimental psychology of the past ten
years, the tremendous differences between people along all lines,
physical as well as mental.

It is lack of recognition of such differences that makes possible such a
list of histories of misfits as Swift quotes in his chapter on Standards
of Human Power in "Mind in the Making." Individual differences exist,
education cannot eliminate them, they are innate, due to original
nature. Education that does not recognize them and plan for them is
wasteful and, what is worse, is criminal.

The range of ability possessed by children of the same grade in the
subjects commonly taught seems not always to be clear in the minds of
teachers. It will be discussed at greater length in another chapter, but
it is important for the consideration of individual differences to
present some data at this time. If we rate the quality of work done in
English composition from 10 to 100 per cent, being careful to evaluate
as accurately as possible the merit of the composition written, we will
find for a seventh and an eighth grade a condition indicated by the
following table:

                                  7    8
                            _No. of Pupils_
    Rated at 10                   2    1
    Rated at 20                   6    6
    Rated at 30                   8    8
    Rated at 40                   7    8
    Rated at 50                   2    4
    Rated at 60                   1    1
    Rated at 70                   1    1
    Rated at 80                   1    1
    Rated at 90                   1    1

The table reads as follows: two pupils in the seventh grade and one in
the eighth wrote compositions rated at 10; six seventh-grade and six
eighth-grade pupils wrote compositions rated at 20, and so on for the
whole table.

A similar condition of affairs is indicated if we ask how many of a
given type of addition problems are solved correctly in eight minutes by
a fifth- and a sixth-grade class.

    NUMBER OF                     GRADES
    PROBLEMS                      5    6
                            _No. of Pupils_
    0                             2    3
    1                             6    6
    2                             6    6
    3                             6    6
    4                             4    5
    5                             4    5
    6                             3    4
    7                             1    2
    8                             1    1
    9                             1    1

In like manner, if we measure the quality of work done in penmanship for
a fifth and sixth grade, with a system of scoring that ranks the
penmanship in equal steps from a quality which, is ranked four up to a
quality which is ranked eighteen, we find the following results:

                                      5    6
                                 _No. of Pupils_
    Rated at   4                      5    6
    Rated at   5                      1    1
    Rated at   6                      0    0
    Rated at   7                      2    4
    Rated at   8                     10    4
    Rated at   9                     12    1
    Rated at  10                      3    6
    Rated at  11                      3    8
    Rated at  12                      3    3
    Rated at  13                      1    2
    Rated at  14                      1    1
    Rated at  15                      0    1
    Rated at  16                      1    1
    Rated at  17                      0    0
    Rated at  18                      0    0

Results similar to those recorded above will be found if any accurate
measurement is made of the knowledge possessed by children in history or
in geography, or of the ability to apply or derive principles in physics
or in chemistry, or of the knowledge of vocabulary in Latin or in
German, and the like.

All such facts indicate clearly the necessity for differentiating our
work for the group of children who are classified as belonging to one
grade. Under the older and simpler form of school organization, the
one-room rural school, it was not uncommon for children to recite in one
class in arithmetic, in another in geography or history, and in possibly
still another in English. In our more highly organized school systems,
with the attempt to have children pass regularly from grade to grade at
each promotion period, we have in some measure provided for individual
differences through allowing children to skip a grade, or not
infrequently by having them repeat the work of a grade. In still other
cases an attempt has been made to adapt the work of the class to the
needs and capacities of the children by dividing any class group into
two or more groups, especially in those subjects in which children seem
to have greatest difficulty. Teachers who are alive to the problem
presented have striven to adjust their work to different members of the
class by varying the assignments, and in some cases by excusing from the
exercises in which they are already proficient the abler pupils.

Whatever adjustment the school may be able to make in terms of providing
special classes for those who are mentally or physically deficient, or
for those who are especially capable, there will always be found in any
given group a wide variation in achievement and in capacity. Group
teaching and individual instruction will always be required of teachers
who would adapt their work to the varying capacities of children. A
period devoted to supervised study during which those children who are
less able may receive special help, and those who are of exceptional
ability be expected to make unusual preparation both in extent and in
quality of work done, may contribute much to the efficiency of the
school. As paradoxical as the statement may seem, it is true that the
most retarded children in our school systems are the brightest.
Expressed in another way, it can be proved that the more capable
children have already achieved in the subjects in which they are taught
more than those who are tow or three grades farther advanced. Possibly
the greatest contribution which teachers can make to the development of
efficiency upon the part of the children with whom they work is to be
found in special attention which is given to capable children with
respect to both the quantity and quality of work demanded of them,
together with provision for having them segregated in special classes or
passed through the school system with greater rapidity than is now
common. In an elementary school with which the writer is acquainted, and
in which there were four fifth grades, it was discovered during the past
year that in one of these fifth grades in which the brighter children
had been put they had achieved more in terms of ability to solve
problems in arithmetic, in their knowledge of history and geography, in
the quality of English composition they wrote, and the like, than did
the children in any one of the sixth grades. In this school this
particular fifth grade was promoted to the seventh grade for the
following year. Many such examples could be found in schools organized
with more than one grade at work on the same part of the school course,
if care were taken to segregate children in terms of their capacity. And
even where there is only one teacher per grade, or where one teacher
teaches two or three grades, it should be found possible constantly to
accelerate the progress of children of more than ordinary ability.

The movement throughout the United States for the organization of junior
high schools (these schools commonly include the seventh, eighth, and
ninth school years) is to be looked upon primarily as an attempt to
adjust the work of our schools to the individual capacities of boys and
girls and to their varying vocational outlook. Such a school, if it is
to meet this demand for adjustment to individual differences, must offer
a variety of courses. Among the courses offered in a typical junior high
school is one which leads directly to the high school. In this course
provision is made for the beginning of a foreign language, of algebra,
and, in some cases, of some other high school subject during the seventh
and eighth years. In another course emphasis is placed upon work in
industrial or household arts in the expectation that work in these
fields may lead to a higher degree of efficiency in later vocational
training, and possibly to the retention of children during this period
who might otherwise see little or no meaning in the traditional school
course. The best junior high schools are offering in the industrial
course a variety of shop work. In some cases machine shop practice,
sheet metal working, woodworking, forging, printing, painting,
electrical wiring, and the like are offered for boys; and cooking,
sewing, including dressmaking and designing, millinery, drawing, with
emphasis upon design and interior decoration, music, machine operating,
pasting, and the like are provided for girls. Another type of course has
provided for training which looks toward commercial work, even though it
is recognized that the most adequate commercial training may require a
longer period of preparation. In some schools special work in
agriculture is offered.

Our schools cannot be considered as satisfactorily organized until we
make provision for every boy or girl to work up to the maximum of his
capacity. The one thing that a teacher cannot do is to make all of his
pupils equal in achievement. Whatever adjustment may have been made in
terms of special classes or segregation in terms of ability, the teacher
must always face the problem of varying the assignment to meet the
capacities of individual children, and she ought, wherever it is
possible, especially to encourage the abler children to do work
commensurate with their ability, and to provide, as far as is possible,
for the rapid advancement of these children through the various stages
of the school system.


1. What are the principal causes of differences in abilities or in
achievement among school children?

2. What, if any, of the differences noticed among children may be
attributed to sex?

3. Are any of the sex differences noticeable in the achievements of the
school children with whom you are acquainted?

4. To what extent is maturity a cause of individual differences?

5. What evidence is available to show the fallacy of the common idea
that children of the same age are equal in ability?

6. How important is heredity in determining the achievement of men and

7. To what extent, if any, would you be interested in the immediate
heredity of the children in your class? Why?

8. To what extent is the environment in which children live responsible
for their achievements in school studies?

9. What may be expected in the way of achievement from two children of
widely different heredity but of equal training?

10. For what factor in education is the environment most responsible?

11. If you grant that original nature is the primary cause of individual
differences in intellectual achievements, how would you define the work
of the school?

12. Why are you not justified in grouping children as bright, ordinary,
and stupid?

13. Will a boy who has unusual ability in music certainly be superior in
all other subjects?

14. Why are children who skip a grade apt to be able to skip again at
the end of two or three years?

15. Are you able to distinguish differences in type of mind (or general
mental make-up) among the children in your classes? Give illustrations.

16. What changes in school organization would you advocate for the sake
of adjusting the teaching done to the varying capacities of children?

17. How should a teacher adjust his work to the individual differences
in capacity or in achievement represented by the usual class group?

       *       *       *       *       *


Morality has been defined in many ways. It has been called "a regulation
and control of immediate promptings of impulses in conformity with some
prescribed conduct"; as "the organization of activity with reference to
a system of fundamental values." Dewey says, "Interest in community
welfare, an interest that is intellectual and practical, as well as
emotional--an interest, that is to say, in perceiving whatever makes for
social order and progress, and in carrying these principles into
execution--is the moral habit."[17] Palmer defines it as "the choice by
the individual of habits of conduct that are for the good of the race."
All these definitions point to control on the part of the individual as
one essential of morality.

Morality is not, then, a matter primarily of mere conduct. It involves
conduct, but the essence of morality lies deeper than the act itself;
motive, choice, are involved as well. Mere law-abiding is not morality
in the strict sense of the word. One may keep the laws merely as a
matter of blind habit. A prisoner in jail keeps the laws. A baby of four
keeps the laws, but in neither case could such conduct be called moral.
In neither of these cases do we find "control" by the individual of
impulses, nor "conscious choice" of conduct. In the former compulsion
was the controlling force, and in the second blind habit based on
personal satisfaction. Conduct which outwardly conforms to social law
and social progress is unmoral rather than moral. A moment's
consideration will suffice to convince any one that the major part of
conduct is of this non-moral type. This is true of adults and
necessarily true of children. As Hall says, most of the supposedly moral
conduct of the majority of men is blind habit, not thoughtful choosing.
In so far as we are ruled by custom, by tradition, in so far as we do as
the books or the preacher says, or do as we see others do, without
principles to guide us, without thinking, to that extent the conduct is
likely to be non-moral. This is the characteristic reaction of the
majority of people. We believe as our fathers believed, we vote the same
ticket, hold in horror the same practices, look askance on the same
doctrines, cling to the same traditions. Morality, on the other hand, is
rationalized conduct. Now this non-moral conduct is valuable so far as
it goes. It is a conservative force, making for stability, but it has
its dangers. It is antagonistic to progress. So long as the conditions
surrounding the non-moral individual remain unchanged, he will be
successful in dealing with them, but if conditions change, if he is
confronted by a new situation, if strong temptation comes, he has
nothing with which to meet it, for his conduct was blind. It is the
person whose conduct is non-moral that suffers collapse on the one hand,
or becomes a bigot on the other, when criticism attacks what he held as
true or right. Morality requires that men have a reason for the faith
that is in them.

In the second place, morality is conduct. Ideals, ideas, wishes,
desires, all may lead to morality, but in so far as they are not
expressed in conduct, to that extent they do not come under the head of
morality. One may express the sublimest idea, may claim the highest
ideals, and be immoral. Conduct is the only test of morality, just as it
is the ultimate test of character. Not only is morality judged in terms
of conduct, but it is judged according as the conduct is consistent.
"Habits of conduct" make for morality or immorality. It is not the
isolated act of heroism that makes a man moral, or the single unsocial
act that makes a man immoral. The particular act may be moral or
immoral, and the person be just the reverse. It is the organization of
activity, it is the habits a man has that places him in one category or
the other.

In the third place, morality is a matter of individual responsibility.
It is "choice by the individual," the "perceiving whatever makes for
social order and progress." No one can choose for another, no one can
perceive for another. The burden of choosing for the good of the group
rests on the individual, it cannot be shifted to society or the Church,
or any other institution. Each individual is moral or not according as
he lives up to the light that he has, according as he carries into
execution principles that are for the good of his race. A particular
act, then, may be moral for one individual and immoral for another, and
non-moral for still another.

In the third place, morality is a matter of individual responsibility.
It is "choice be the individual," the "perceiving whatever makes for
social order and progress." No one can choose for another, no one can
perceive for another. The burden of Choosing for the good of the group
rests on the individual, it cannot be shifted to society or the Church,
or any other institution. Each individual is moral or not according as
he lives up to the light that he has, according as he carries into
execution principles that are for the good of his race. A particular
act, then, may be moral for one individual and immoral for another, and
non-moral for still another.

To go off into the forest to die if one is diseased may be a moral act
for a savage in central Africa; but for a civilized man to do so would
probably be immoral because of his greater knowledge. To give liquor to
babies to quiet them may be a non-moral act on the part of ignorant
immigrants from Russia; but for a trained physician to do so would be
immoral. Morality, then, is a personal matter, and the responsibility
for it rests on the individual.

Of course this makes possible the setting up of individual opinion as to
what is for the good of the group in opposition to tradition and custom.
This is, of course, dangerous if it is mere opinion or if it is carried
to an extreme. Few men have the gift of seeing what makes for social
well-being beyond that of the society of thoughtful people of their
time. And yet if a man has the insight, if his investigations point to a
greater good for the group from doing something which is different from
the standards held by his peers, then morality requires that he do his
utmost to bring about such changes. If it is borne in mind that every
man is the product of his age and that it is evolution, not revolution,
that is constructive, this essential of true morality will not seem so
dangerous. All the reformers the world has ever seen, all the pioneers
in social service, have been men who, living up to their individual
responsibility, have acted as they believed for society's best good in
ways that were not in accord with the beliefs of the majority of their
time. Shirking responsibility, not living up to what one believes is
right, is immoral just as truly as stealing from one's neighbor.

The fourth essential in moral conduct is that it be for the social good.
It is the governing of impulses, the inhibition of desires that violate
the good of the group, and the choice of conduct that forwards its
interests. This does not mean that the group and the individual are set
over against each other, and the individual must give way. It means,
rather, that certain impulses, tendencies, motives, of the individual
are chosen instead of others; it means that the individual only becomes
his fullest self as he becomes a social being; it means that what is for
the good of the group in the long run is for the good of the units that
make up that group. Morality, then, is a relative term. What is of
highest moral value in one age may be immoral in another because of
change in social conditions. As society progresses, as different
elements come to the front because of the march of civilization, so the
acts that are detrimental to the good of the whole must change. To-day
slander and stealing a man's good name are quite as immoral as stealing
his property. Acts that injure the mental and spiritual development of
the group are even more immoral than those which interfere with the
physical well-being.

A strong will is not necessarily indicative of a good character. A
strong will may be directed towards getting what gives pleasure to
oneself, irrespective of the effect on other people. It is the goal, the
purpose with which it is exercised, that makes a man with a strong will
a moral man or an immoral man. Only when one's will is used to put into
execution those principles that will bring about social progress is it
productive of a good character.

Thus it is seen that morality can be discussed only in connection with
group activity. It is the individual as a part of a group, acting in
connection with it, that makes the situation a moral one. Individual
morality is discussed by some authors, but common opinion limits the
term to the use that has been discussed in the preceding paragraphs.

If social well-being is taken in its broadest sense, then all moral
behavior is social, and all social behavior comes under one of the three
types of morality. Training for citizenship, for social efficiency, for
earning a livelihood, all have a moral aspect. It is only as the
individual is trained to live a complete life as one of a group that he
can be trained to be fully moral, and training for complete social
living must include training in morality. Hence for the remainder of
this discussion the two terms will be considered as synonymous. We hear
it sometimes said, "training in morals and manners," as if the two were
distinct, and yet a full, realization of what is for social betterment
along emotional and intellectual lines must include a realization of the
need of manners. Of course there are degrees of morality or immorality
according as the act influences society much or little--all crimes are
not equally odious, nor all virtues equally commendable, but any act
that touches the well-being of the group must come under this category.

From the foregoing paragraph, the logical conclusion would be that there
is no instinct or inborn tendency that is primarily and distinctly moral
as over against those that are social. That is the commonly accepted
belief to-day. There is no moral instinct. Morality finds its root in
the original nature of man, but not in a single moral instinct. It is,
on the other hand, the outgrowth of a number of instincts all of which
have been listed under the head of the social instinct. Man has in his
original equipment tendencies that will make him a moral individual _if_
they are developed, but they are complex, not simple. Some of these
social tendencies which are at the root of moral conduct are
gregariousness, desire for approval, dislike of scorn, kindliness,
attention to human beings, imitation, and others. Now, although man
possesses these tendencies as a matter of original equipment, he also
possesses tendencies which are opposed to these, tendencies which lead
to the advancement of self, rather than the well-being of the group.
Some of these are fighting, mastery, rivalry, jealousy, ownership. Which
of these sets of tendencies is developed and controls the life of the
individual is a matter of training and environment. In the last chapter
it was pointed out that morality was much more susceptible to
environmental influences than intellectual achievement, because it was
much more a direction and guidance of capacities and tendencies
possessed by every one. One's character is largely a product of one's
environment. In proof of this, read the reports of reform schools, and
the like. Children of criminal parents, removed from the environment of
crime, grow up into moral persons. The pair of Jukes who left the Juke
clan lost their criminal habits and brought up a family of children who
were not immoral. Education cannot produce geniuses, but it can produce
men and women whose chief concern is the well-being of the group.

From a psychological point of view the "choice by the individual of
habits of conduct that are for the good of the group" involves three
considerations: First, the elements implied in such conduct; second, the
stages of development; third, the laws governing this development.
First, moral conduct involves the use of habits, but these must be
rational habits, so it involves the power to think and judge in order to
choose. But thinking that shall result in the choice of habits that are
for the well-being of the group must use knowledge. The individual must
have facts and standards at his disposal by means of which he may
evaluate the possible lines of action presented. Further, an individual
may know intellectually what is right and moral and yet not care. The
interest, the emotional appeal, may be lacking, hence he must have
ideals to which he has given his allegiance, which will force him to put
into practice what his knowledge tells him is right. And then, having
decided what is for the social good and having the desire to carry it
out, the moral man must be able to put it into execution. He must have
the "will power." Morality, then, is an extremely complex matter,
involving all the powers of the human being, intellectual, emotional,
and volitional--involving the coöperation of heredity and environment.
It is evident that conduct that is at so high a level, involving
experience, powers of judgment, and control, cannot be characteristic of
the immature individual, but must come after years of growth, if at all.
Therefore we find stages of development towards moral conduct.

The first stage of development, which lasts up into the pre-adolescent
years, is the non-moral stage. The time when a child may conform
outwardly to moral law, but only as a result of blind habit--not as a
result of rational choice. It is then that the little child conforms to
his environment, reflecting the characters of the people by whom he is
surrounded. Right to him means what those about him approve and what
brings him satisfaction. If stealing and lying meet with approval from
the people about him, they are right to him. To steal and be caught is
wrong to the average child of the streets, because that brings
punishment and annoyance. He has no standards of judging other than the
example of others and his own satisfaction and annoyance. The non-moral
period, then, is characterized by the formation of habits--which
outwardly conform to moral law, or are contrary to it, according as his
environment directs.

The need to form habits that do conform, that are for the social good,
is evident. By having many habits of this kind formed in early
childhood, truthfulness, consideration for others, respect for poverty,
promptness, regularity, taking responsibility, and so on, the dice are
weighted in favor of the continuation of such conduct when reason
controls. The child has then only to enlarge his view, build up his
principles in accord with conduct already in operation--he needs only to
rationalize what he already possesses. On the other hand, if during
early years his conduct violates moral law, he is in the grip of habits
of great strength which will result in two dangers. He may be blind to
the other side, he may not realize how his conduct violates the laws of
social progress; or, knowing, he may not care enough to put forth the
tremendous effort necessary to break these habits and build up the
opposite. From the standpoint of conduct this non-moral period is the
most important one in the life of the child. In it the twig is bent. To
urge that a child cannot understand and therefore should be excused for
all sorts of conduct simply evades the issue. He is forming habits--that
cannot be prevented; the question is, Are those habits in line with the
demands of social efficiency or are they in violation of it?

But character depends primarily on deliberate choice. We dare not rely
on blind habit alone to carry us through the crises of social and
spiritual adjustment. There will arise the insistent question as to
whether the habitual presupposition is right. Occasions will occur when
several possible lines of conduct suggest themselves; what kind of
success will one choose, what kind of pleasure? Choice, personal choice,
will be forced upon the individual. This problem does not usually grow
acute until early adolescence, although it may along some lines present
itself earlier. When it appears will depend to a large extent on the
environment. For some people in some directions it never comes. It
should come gradually and spontaneously. This period is the period of
transition, when old habits are being scrutinized, when standards are
being formulated and personal responsibility is being realized, when
ideals are made vital and controlling. It may be a period of storm and
stress when the youth is in emotional unrest; when conduct is erratic
and not to be depended on; when there is reaction against authority of
all kinds. These characteristics are unfortunate and are usually the
result of unwise treatment during the first period. If, on the other
hand, the period of transition is prepared for during the preadolescent
years by giving knowledge, opportunities for self-direction and choice,
the change should come normally and quietly. The transition period
should be characterized by emphasis upon personal responsibility for
conduct, by the development of social ideals, and by the cementing of
theory and practice. This period is an ever recurring one.

The transition period is followed by the period of true morality during
which the conduct chosen becomes habit. The habits characteristic of
this final period are different from the habits of the non-moral period,
in that they have their source in reason, whereas those of the early
period grew out of instincts. This is the period of most value, the
period of steady living in accordance with standards and ideals which
have been tested by reason and found to be right. The transition period
is wasteful and uncertain. True morality is the opposite. But so long as
growth in moral matters goes on there is a continuous change from
transition period to truly moral conduct and back again to a fresh
transition period and again a change to morality of a still higher
order. Each rationalized habit but paves the way for one still higher.
Morality, then, should be a continual evolution from level to level.
Only so is progress in the individual life maintained.

Morality, then, requires the inhibition of some instincts and the
perpetuation of others, the formation of habits and ideals, the
development of the power to think and judge, the power to react to
certain abstractions such as ought, right, duty, and so on, the power to
carry into execution values accepted. The general laws of instinct, of
habit, the response by piecemeal association, the laws of attention and
appreciation, are active in securing these responses that we call moral,
just as they are operative in securing other responses that do not come
under this category. It is only as these general psychological laws are
carried out sufficiently that stable moral conduct is secured. Any
violation of these laws invalidates the result in the moral field just
as it would in any other. There is not one set of principles governing
moral conduct and another set governing all other types of conduct. The
same general laws govern both. This being true, there is no need of
discussing in detail the operation of laws controlling moral
conduct--that has all been covered in the previous chapters. However,
there are some suggestions which should be borne in mind in the
application of these laws to this field.

First, it is a general principle that habits, to be fixed and stable,
must be followed by satisfactory results and that working along the
opposite line, that of having annoyance follow a lapse in the conduct,
is uneconomical and unreliable. This principle applies particularly to
moral habits. Truth telling, bravery, obedience, generosity, thought for
others, church going, and so on must be followed by positive
satisfaction, if they are to be part of the warp and woof of life.
Punishing falsehood, selfishness, cowardice, and so on is not enough,
for freedom from supervision will usually mean rejection of such forced
habits. A child must find that it pays to be generous; that he is
happier when he coöperates with others than when he does not. Positive
satisfaction should follow moral conduct. Of course this satisfaction
must vary in type with the age and development of the child, from
physical pleasure occasioned by an apple as a reward for self-control at
table to the satisfaction which the consciousness of duty well done
brings to the adolescent.

Second, the part played by suggestion in bringing about moral habits and
ideals must be recognized. The human personalities surrounding the child
are his most influential teachers in this line. This influence of
personalities begins when the child is yet a baby. Reflex imitation
first, and later conscious imitation plus the feeling of dependence
which a little child has for the adults in his environment, results in
the child reflecting to a large extent the characters of those about
him. Good temper, stability, care for others, self-control, and many
other habits; respect for truth, for the opinion of others, and many
other ideals, are unconsciously absorbed by the child in his early
years. Example not precept, actions not words, are the controlling
forces in moral education. Hence the great importance of the characters
of a child's companions, friends, and teachers, to say nothing of his
parents. Next to personalities, theaters, moving pictures, and books,
all have great suggestive power.

Third, there is always a danger that theory become divorced from
practice, and this is particularly true here because morality is
conduct. Knowing what is right is one thing, doing it is another, and
knowing does not result in doing unless definite connections are made
between the two. Instruction in morals may have but little effect on
conduct. It is only as the knowledge of what is right and good comes in
connection with social situations when there is the call for action that
true morality can be gained. Mere classroom instruction cannot insure
conduct. It is only as the family and the school become more truly
social institutions, where group activity such as one finds in life is
the dominant note, that we can hope to have morality and not ethics,
ideals and not passive appreciation, as a result of our teaching.

Fourth, it is without question true that in so far as the habits fixed
are "school habits" or "Sunday habits," or any other special type of
habits, formed only in connection with special situations, to that
extent we have no reason to expect moral conduct in the broader life
situations. The habits formed are those that will be put into practice,
and they are the only ones we are sure of. Because a child is truthful
in school, prompt in attendance, polite to his teacher, and so on is no
warrant that he will be the same on the playground or on the street.
Because a child can think out a problem in history or mathematics is no
warrant that he will therefore think out moral problems. The only sure
way is to see to it that he forms many useful habits out of school as
well as in, that he has opportunity to think out moral problems as well
as problems in school subjects.[18]

Fifth, individual differences must not be forgotten in moral training.
Individual differences in suggestibility will influence the use of this
factor in habit formation. Individual differences in power of
appreciation will influence the formation of ideals. Differences in
interest in books will result in differing degrees of knowledge.
Differences in maturity will mean that certain children in a class are
ready for facts concerning sex, labor and capital, crime, and so on,
long before other children in the same class should have such knowledge.
Differences in thinking power will determine efficiency in moral
situations just as in others.

The more carefully we consider the problem of moral social conduct, the
more apparent it becomes that the work of the school can be modified so
as to produce more significant results than are commonly now secured.
Indeed, it may be contended that in some respects the activities of the
school operate to develop an attitude which is largely individualistic,
competitive, and, if not anti-social, at least non-social. Although we
may not expect that the habits and attitudes which are developed in the
school will entirely determine the life led outside, yet one may not
forget that a large part of the life of children is spent under school
supervision. As children work in an atmosphere of coöperation, and as
they form habits of helpfulness and openmindedness, we may expect that
in some degree these types of activity will persist, especially in their
association with each other. In a school which is organized to bring
about the right sort of moral social conduct we ought to expect that
children would grow in their power to accept responsibility for each
other. The writer knows of a fourth grade in which during the past year
a boy was absent from the room after recess. The teacher, instead of
sending the janitor, or she herself going to find the boy, asked the
class what they were going to do about it, and suggested to them their
responsibility for maintaining the good name which they had always borne
as a group. Two of the more mature boys volunteered to go and find the
boy who was absent. When they brought him into the room a little while
later, they remarked to the teacher in a most matter-of-fact way, "We do
not think that he will stay out after recess again." In the corridor of
an elementary school the writer saw during the past year two boys
sitting on a table before school hours in the morning. The one was
teaching the multiplication tables to the other. They were both
sixth-grade pupils,--the one a boy who had for some reason or other
never quite thoroughly learned his tables. The teacher had suggested
that somebody might help him, and a boy had volunteered to come early to
school in order that he might teach the boy who was backward. A great
many teachers have discovered that the strongest motive which they can
find for good work in the field of English is to be found in providing
an audience, both for the reading or story-telling, and for the English
composition. The idea which prevails is that if one is to read, he ought
to read well enough to entertain others. If one has enjoyed a story, he
may, if he prepares himself sufficiently well, tell it to the class or
to some other group.

Much more emphasis on the undertakings in the attempt to have children
accept responsibility, and to engage in a type of activity which has a
definite moral social value, is to be found in the schools in which
children are responsible for the morning exercises, or for publishing a
school paper, or for preparing a school festival. One of the most
notable achievements in this type of activity which the writer has ever
known occurred in a school in which a group of seventh-grade children
were thought to be particularly incompetent. The teachers had almost
despaired of having them show normal development, either intellectually
or socially. After a conference of all of the teachers who knew the
members of this group, it was decided to allow them to prepare a
patriot's day festival. The idea among those teachers who had failed
with this group was that if the children had a large responsibility,
they would show a correspondingly significant development. The children
responded to the motive which was provided, became earnest students of
history in order that they might find a dramatic situation, and worked
at their composition when they came to write their play, some of them
exercising a critical as well as a creative faculty which no one had
known that they possessed. But possibly the best thing about the whole
situation was that every member of the class found something to do in
their coöperative enterprise. Some members of the class were engaged in
building and in decorating the stage scenery; others were responsible
for costumes; those who were strong in music devoted themselves to this
field. The search for a proper dramatic situation in history and the
writing of the play have already been suggested. The staging of the play
and its presentation to a large group of parents and other interested
patrons of the school required still further specialization and ability.
Out of it all came a realization of the possibility of accomplishing
great things when all worked together for the success of a common
enterprise. When the festival day came, the most common statement heard
in the room on the part of the parents and others interested in the work
of the children was expressed by one who said: "This is the most
wonderful group of seventh-grade children that I have ever seen. They
are as capable as most high school boys and girls." It is to be recalled
that this was the group in whom the teachers originally had little
faith, and who had sometimes been called in their school a group of

Some schools have found, especially in the upper grades, an opportunity
for a type of social activity which is entirely comparable with the
demand made upon the older members of our communities. This work for
social improvement or betterment is carried on frequently in connection
with a course in civics. In some schools there is organized what is
known as the junior police. This organization has been in some cases
coordinated with the police department. The boys who belong pledge
themselves to maintain, in so far as they are able, proper conditions on
the streets with respect to play, to abstain from the illegal use of
tobacco or other narcotics, and to be responsible for the correct
handling of garbage, especially to see that paper, ashes, and other
refuse are placed in separate receptacles, and that these receptacles
are removed from the street promptly after they are emptied by the
department concerned. In one city with which the writer is acquainted,
the children in the upper grades, according to the common testimony of
the citizens of their community, have been responsible for the cleaning
up of the street cars. In other cities they have become interested, and
have interested their parents, in the question of milk and water supply.
In some cases they have studied many different departments of the city
government, and have, in so far as it was possible, lent their
coöperation. In one case a group of children became very much excited
concerning a dead horse that was allowed to remain on a street near the
school, and they learned before they were through just whose
responsibility it was, and how to secure the action that should have
been taken earlier.

Still another type of activity which may have significance for the moral
social development of children is found in the study of the life
activities in the communities in which they live. There is no reason why
children, especially in the upper grades or in the high school, should
not think about working conditions, especially as they involve
sweat-shops or work under unsanitary conditions. They may very properly
become interested in the problems of relief, and of the measures taken
to eliminate crime. Indeed, from the standpoint of the development of
socially efficient children, it would seem to be more important that
some elementary treatment of industrial and social conditions might be
found to be more important in the upper grades and in the high school
than any single subject which we now teach.

Another attempt to develop a reasonable attitude concerning moral
situations is found in the schools which have organized pupils for the
participation in school government. There is no particular value to be
attached to any such form of organization. It may be true that there is
considerable advantage in dramatizing the form of government in which
the children live, and for that purpose policemen, councilmen or
aldermen, mayors, and other officials, together with their election, may
help in the understanding of the social obligations which they will have
to meet later on. But the main thing is to have these children come to
accept responsibility for each other, and to seek to make the school a
place where each respects the rights of others and where every one is
working together for the common good. In this connection it is important
to suggest that schemes of self-government have succeeded only where
there has been a leader in the position of principal or other
supervisory officer concerned. Children's judgments are apt to be too
severe when they are allowed to discipline members of their group. There
will always be need, whatever attempt we may make to have them accept
responsibility, for the guidance and direction of the more mature mind.

We seek in all of these activities, as has already been suggested, to
have children come to take, in so far as they are able, the rational
attitude toward the problems of conduct which they have to face. It is
important for teachers to realize the fallacy of making a set of rules
by which all children are to be controlled. It is only with respect to
those types of activity in which the response, in order to further the
good of the group, must be invariable that we should expect to have
pupils become automatic. It is important in the case of a fire drill, or
in the passing of materials, and the like, that the response, although
it does involve social obligation, should be reduced to the level of
mechanized routine. Most school situations involve, or may involve,
judgment, and it is only as pupils grow in power of self-control and in
their willingness to think through a situation before acting, that we
may expect significant moral development. In the case of offenses which
seem to demand punishment, that teacher is wise who is able to place
responsibility with the pupil who has offended. The question ought to be
common, "What can I do to help you?" The question which the teacher
should ask herself is not, "What can I do to punish the pupil?" but
rather, "How can I have him realize the significance of his action and
place upon him the responsibility of reinstating himself with the social
group?" The high school principal who solved the problem of a teacher
who said that she would not teach unless a particular pupil were removed
from her class, and of the pupil who said that she would not stay in
school if she had to go to that teacher, by telling them both to take
time to think it through and decide how they would reconcile their
differences, is a case in point. What we need is not the punishment
which follows rapidly upon our feeling of resentment, but rather the
wisdom of waiting and accepting the mistake or offense of the pupil as
an opportunity for careful consideration upon his part and as a possible
means of growth for him.

There has been considerable discussion during recent years concerning
the obligation of the school to teach children concerning matters of
sex. Traditionally, our policy has been one of almost entire neglect.
The consequence has been, on the whole, the acquisition upon the part of
boys and girls of a large body of misinformation, which has for the most
part been vicious. It is not probable that we can ever expect most
teachers to have the training necessary to give adequate instruction in
this field. For children in the upper grades, during the preadolescent
period especially, some such instruction given by the men and women
trained in biology, or possibly by men and women doctors who have made a
specialty of this field, promises a large contribution to the
development of the right attitudes with respect to the sex life and the
elimination of much of the immorality which has been due to ignorance or
to the vicious misinformation which has commonly been spread among
children. The policy of secrecy and ignorance cannot well be maintained
if we accept the idea of responsibility and the exercise of judgment as
the basis of moral social activity. In no other field are the results of
a lack of training or a lack of morality more certain to be disastrous
both for the individual and for the social group.


1. How satisfactory is the morality of the man who claims that he does
no wrong?

2. How is it possible for a child to be unmoral and not immoral?

3. Are children who observe school rules and regulations necessarily
growing in morality?

4. Why is it important, from the standpoint of growth in morality, to
have children form socially desirable habits, even though we may not
speak of this kind of activity as moral conduct?

5. What constitutes growth in morality for the adult?

6. In what sense is it possible for the same act to be immoral, unmoral,
and moral for individuals living under differing circumstances and in
different social groups? Give an example.

7. Why have moral reformers sometimes been considered immoral by their

8. What is the moral significance of earning a living? Of being prompt?
Of being courteous?

9. What are the instincts upon which we may hope to build in moral
training? What instinctive basis is there for immoral conduct?

10. To what extent is intellectual activity involved in moral conduct?
What is the significance of one's emotional response?

11. What stages of development are distinguishable in the moral
development of children? Is it possible to classify children as
belonging to one stage or the other by their ages?

12. Why is it true that one's character depends upon the deliberate
choices which he makes among several possible modes or types of action?

13. Why is it important to have positive satisfaction follow moral

14. How may the conduct of parents and teachers influence conduct of

15. What is the weakness of direct moral instruction, e.g. the telling
of stories of truthfulness, the teaching of moral precepts, and the

16. What opportunities can you provide in your class for moral social

17. Children will do what is right because of their desire to please,
their respect for authority, their fear of unpleasant consequences,
their careful, thoughtful analysis of the situation and choice of that
form of action which they consider right. Arrange these motives in order
of their desirability. Would you be satisfied to utilize the motive
which brings results most quickly and most surely?

18. In what sense is it true that lapses from moral conduct are the
teacher's best opportunity for moral teaching?

19. How may children contribute to the social welfare of the school
community? Of the larger social group outside of the school?

20. How may pupil participation in school government be made significant
in the development of social moral conduct?

       *       *       *       *       *


Formal discipline or transfer of training concerns itself with the
question as to how far training in one subject, along one line,
influences other lines. How far, for instance, training in reasoning in
mathematics helps a child to reason in history, in morals, in household
administration; how far memorizing gems of poetry or dates in history
aids memory when it is applied to learning stenography or botany; how
far giving attention to the gymnasium will insure attention to sermons
and one's social engagements. The question is, How far does the special
training one gets in home and school fit him to react to the environment
of life with its new and complex situations? Put in another way, the
question is what effect upon other bonds does forming this particular
situation response series of bonds have. The practical import of the
question and its answer is tremendous. Most of our present school
system, both in subject matter and method, is built upon the assumption
that one answer is correct--if it is false, much work remains to be done
by the present-day education.

The point of view which was held until recent years is best made clear
by a series of quotations.

     "Since the mind is a unit and the faculties are simply phases
     or manifestations of its activity, whatever strengthens one
     faculty indirectly strengthens all the others. The _verbal_
     memory seems to be an exception to this statement, however,
     for it may be abnormally cultivated without involving to any
     profitable extent the other faculties. But only things that
     are rightly perceived and rightly understood can be _rightly_
     remembered. Hence whatever develops the acquisitive and
     assimilative powers will also strengthen memory; and,
     conversely, rightly strengthening the memory necessitates the
     developing and training of the other powers." (R.N. Roark,
     Method in Education, p. 27.)

     "It is as a means of training the faculties of perception and
     generalization that the study of such a language as Latin in
     comparison with English is so valuable." (C.L. Morgan,
     Psychology for Teachers, p. 186.)

     "Arithmetic, if judiciously taught, forms in the pupil habits
     of mental attention, argumentative sequence, absolute
     accuracy, and satisfaction in truth as a result, that do not
     seem to spring equally from the study of any other subject
     suitable to this elementary stage of instruction." (Joseph
     Payne, Lectures on Education, Vol. I, p. 260.)

     "By means of experimental and observational work in science,
     not only will his attention be excited, the power of
     observation, previously awakened, much strengthened, and the
     senses exercised and disciplined, but the very important habit
     of doing homage to the authority of facts rather than to the
     authority of men, be initiated." (_Ibid_., p. 261.)

The view maintained by these writers is that the mind is made up of
certain elemental powers such as attention, reasoning, observation,
imagination, and the like, each of which acts as a unit. Training any
one of these powers means simply its exercise irrespective of the
material used. The facility gained through this exercise may then be
transferred to other subjects or situations, which are quite different.
The present point of view with regard to this question is very
different, as is shown by the following quotations:

     "We may conclude, then, that there is something which may be
     called formal discipline, and that it may be more or less
     general in character. It consists in the establishment of
     habitual reactions that correspond to the form of situations.
     These reactions foster adjustments, attitudes, and ideas that
     favor the successful dealing with the emergencies that arouse
     them. On the other hand, both the form that we can learn to
     deal with more effectively, and the reactions that we
     associate with it, are definite. There is no general training
     of the powers or faculties, so far as we can determine."
     (Henderson, 10, p. 307 f.)

     "One mental function or activity improves others in so far as
     and because they are in part identical with it, because it
     contains elements common to them. Addition improves
     multiplication because multiplication is largely addition;
     knowledge of Latin gives increased ability to learn French
     because many of the facts learned in the one case are needed
     in the other. The study of geometry may lead a pupil to be
     more logical in all respects, for one element of being logical
     in all respects is to realize that facts can be absolutely
     proven and to admire and desire this certain and
     unquestionable sort of demonstration...." (Thorndike, '06, pp.
     243-245, _passim_.)

     "Mental discipline is the most important thing in education,
     but it is specific, not general. The ability developed by
     means of one subject can be transferred to another subject
     only in so far as the latter has elements in common with the
     former. Abilities should be developed in school only by means
     of those elements of subject-matter and of method that are
     common to the most valuable phases of the outside environment.
     In the high school there should also be an effort to work out
     general concepts of method from the specific methods used."
     (Heck, '09, Edition of '11, p. 198.)

     "... No study should have a place in the curriculum for which
     this general disciplinary characteristic is the chief
     recommendation. Such advantage can probably be gotten in some
     degree from every study, and the intrinsic values of each
     study afford at present a far safer criterion of educational
     work than any which we can derive from the theory of formal
     discipline." (Angell, '08, p. 14.)

These writers also believe in transfer of training, but they believe the
transfer to be never complete, to be in general a very small percentage
of the special improvement gained and at times to be negative and to
interfere with responses in other fields instead of being a help. They
also emphasize the belief that when the transfer does occur, it is for
some perfectly valid reason and under certain very definite conditions.
They reject utterly the machine-like idea of the mind and its elemental
faculties held by the writers first quoted. They hold the view of mental
activity which has been emphasized in the discussion of original
tendencies and inheritance from near ancestry, _i.e._, that the physical
correlate of all types of mental activity is a definite forming of
connections between particular bonds-these connections, of course,
according to the laws of readiness exercise, and effect, would be
determined by the situation acting as a stimulus and would, therefore,
vary as the total situation varied. They believe in a highly specialized
human brain, which reacts in small groups of nerve tracts--not in gross
wholes. They would express each of the "elemental" powers in the plural
and not in the singular.

The basis of this change of view within the last fifteen or twenty years
is to be found in experimental work. The question has definitely been
put to the test as to how far training in one line did influence others.
For a full description of the various types of experiments performed the
reader is referred to Thorndike's "Psychology of Learning," Chapter 12.
Only an indication of the type of work done and the general character of
the results can be given here. Experiments in the effect of cross
education, in memorizing, in observing and judging sensory and
perceptual data, and in forming sensori-motor association habits have
been conducted in considerable numbers. A few experiments in special
school functions have also been carried out. Investigations in the
correlation between various parts of the same subject and between
different subjects supposed to be closely allied also throw light upon
this subject. The results from these different lines of experiment,
although confusing and sometimes contradictory, seem to warrant the
belief stated above. They have made it very clear that the question of
transfer is not a simple one, but, on the contrary, that it is extremely
complex. They make plain that in some cases where large transfer was
confidently expected, that little resulted, while, on the other hand, in
some cases when little was expected, much more occurred. It is evident
that the old idea of a large transfer in some subtle and unexplained way
of special improvements to a general faculty is false. But, on the other
hand, it would be equally false to say that no transfer occurred. The
general principle seems to be that transfer occurs when the same bonds
are used in the second situation to the extent that the alteration in
these particular connections affects the second response. Both the
knowledge of what bonds are used in various responses and to what extent
alteration in them will affect different total responses is lacking.
Therefore, all that is at present possible is a statement of conditions
under which transfer is probable.

In general, then, transfer of training will occur to the extent that the
two responses use the same bonds--to the extent, then, that there is
identity of some sort. This identity which makes transfer possible may
be of all degrees of generality and of several different types. First,
there may be identity of content. For instance, forming useful
connections with six, island, and, red, habit, Africa, square root,
triangle, gender, percentage, and so on, in this or that particular
context should be of use in other contexts and therefore allow of
transfer of training. The more common the particular responses are to
all sorts of life situations, the greater the possibility of transfer.
Second, the identity may be that of method or procedure. To be able to
add, to carry, to know the method of classifying an unknown flower, to
have a definite method of meeting a new situation in hand-work, to know
how to use source material in history, to have gained the technique of
laboratory skill in chemistry, to know how to study in geography, should
be useful in other departments where the same method would serve. Some
of these methods are, of course, of much more general service than
others. In establishing skill in the use of these various procedures,
two types of responses are needed. The learner must form connections of
a positive nature, such as analyzing, collecting material, criticizing
according to standard, picking out the essential and so on, and he must
also form connections of a negative character which will cause him to
neglect certain tendencies. He must learn not to accept the first idea
offered, to neglect suggestions, to hurry or to leave half finished, to
ignore interruptions, to prevent personal bias to influence criticism,
and so on. These connections which result in neglecting certain elements
are quite as important as the positive element, both in the production
of the particular procedure and in the transfer to other fields. Third,
the identity may be of still more general character and be in terms of
attitude or ideal. To learn to be thorough in connection with history,
accurate in handwork, open-minded in science, persistent in Latin,
critical in geometry, thorough in class and school activities; to form
habits of allegiance to ideals of truth, coöperation, fair play,
tolerance, courage, and so on, _may_ help the learner to exhibit these
same attitudes in other situations in life. Here again the connections
of neglect are important. To neglect selfish suggestions, to ignore the
escape from consequences that falsehood might make possible, to be dead
to fear, to ignore bodily aches and pains, are quite as necessary in
producing conduct that is generous, truthful, and courageous as are the
positive connections made in building up the ideal.

In the discussion of transfer because of identity, it was emphasised
that the presence of identity of various types explained cases of
transfer that exist and made transfer possible. In no case must it be
understood, however, that the presence of these identical elements is a
warrant of transfer. Transfer _may_ take place under such conditions,
but it need not do so. Transfer is most sure to occur in cases of
identity of substance and least likely in cases of identity of attitude
or ideals. To have useful responses to six, above, city, quart, and so
on, in one situation will very likely mean responses of a useful nature
in almost all situations which have such elements present. It is very
different with the ideals. A child may be very accurate in handwork, and
yet almost nothing of it show elsewhere; he may be truthful to his
teacher and lie to his parents; he may be generous to his classmates and
the reverse to his brothers and sisters. Persistence in Latin may not
influence his work in the shop, and the critical attitude of geometry be
lacking in his science. Transfer in methods holds a middle ground. It
seems that the more complex and the more subtle the connections
involved, the less is the amount and the surety of the transfer.

In order to increase the probability of transfer when connections of
method or attitudes are being formed, first, it should be made
conscious, and second, it should be put into practice in several types
of situations. There is grave danger that the method will not be
differentiated from the subject, the ideal from the context of the
situation. To many children learning how to study in connection with
history, or to be critical in geometry, or to be scientific in the
laboratory, has never been separated from the particular situation. The
method or the ideal and the situation in which they have been acquired
are one--one response. The general elements of method or attitude have
never been made conscious, they are submerged in the particular subject
or situation, and therefore the probability of transfer is lessened. If,
on the other hand, the question of method, as an idea by itself, apart
from any particular subject, is brought to the child's attention; if
truth as an ideal, independent of context, is made conscious, it is much
more likely to be reacted to in a different situation, for it has become
a free idea and therefore crystallized. Then having freed the general
somewhat from its particular setting, the learner should be given
opportunity to put it in practice in other settings. To simply form the
method connections or the attitude responses in Latin and then blindly
trust that they will be of general use is unsafe. It is the business of
the educator to make as sure as he can of the transfer, and that can
only be done by practicing in several fields. These two procedures which
make transfer more sure, i.e., making the element conscious and giving
practice in several fields, are not sharply divided, but interact.
Practice makes the idea clearer and freer, and this in turn makes fresh
practice profitable. It is simply the application of the law of analysis
by varying concomitants.

In all this matter of transfer it must be borne in mind that a very
slight amount of transfer of some of these more general responses may be
of tremendous value educationally, provided it is over a very wide
field. If a boy's study of high school science made him at all more
scientific in his attitude towards such life situations as politics,
morals, city sanitation, and the like, it would be of much more value
than the particular habit formed. If a girl's work in home economics
resulted in but a slight transfer of vital interest to the actual
problems of home-making, it would mean much to the homes of America. If
a boy's training in connection with the athletics of his school fosters
in him an ideal of fair play which influences him at all in his dealings
with men in business, with his family, with himself, the training would
have been worth while. To discount training simply because the transfer
is slight is manifestly unfair. The kind of responses which transfer are
quite as important as the amount of the transfer.

The idea that every subject will furnish the same amount of discipline
provided they are equally well taught is evidently false. Every school
subject must now be weighed from two points of view,--first, as to the
worth of the particular facts, responses, habits, which it forms, and
second, as to the opportunity it offers for the formation of connections
which are of general application. The training which educators are sure
of is the particular training offered by the subject; the general
training is more problematic. Hence no subject should be retained in our
present curriculum whose only value is a claim to disciplinary training.
Such general training as the subject affords could probably be gained
from some other subject whose content is also valuable. Just because a
subject is difficult, or is distasteful, is no sign that its pursuit
will result in disciplinary training. In fact, the psychology of play
and drudgery make it apparent that the presence of annoyance, of
distaste, will lessen the disciplinary value. Only those subjects and
activities which are characterized by the play spirit can offer true
educational development. The more the play spirit enters in, the greater
the possibility of securing not only special training, but general
discipline as well. Thorndike sums up the present attitude towards
special subjects by saying, "An impartial inventory of the facts in the
ordinary pupil of ten to eighteen would find the general training from
English composition greater than that from formal logic, the training
from physics and chemistry greater than that from geometry, and the
training from a year's study of the laws and institutions of the Romans
greater than that from equal study of their language. The grammatical
studies which have been considered the chief depositories of
disciplinary magic would be found in general inferior to scientific
treatments of human nature as a whole. The superiority for discipline of
pure overapplied science would be referred in large measure to the fact
that pure science could be so widely applied. The disciplinary value of
geometry would appear to be due, not to the simplicity of its
conditions, but to the rigor of its proofs; the greatest disciplinary
value of Latin would appear in the case, not of those who disliked it
and found it hard, but of those to whom it was a charming game."


1. It has been experimentally determined that the ease with which one
memorizes one set of facts may be very greatly improved without a
corresponding improvement in ability to memorize in some other field.
How would you use this fact to refute the argument that we possess a
general faculty of memory?

2. How is it possible for a man to reason accurately in the field of
engineering and yet make very grave mistakes in his reasoning about
government or education?

3. What assurance have we that skill or capacity for successful work
developed in one situation will be transferred to another situation
involving the same mental processes of habit formation, reasoning,
imagination, and the like?

4. What are the different types of identity which make possible transfer
of training?

5. How can we make the identity of methods of work most significant for
transfer of training and for the education of the individual?

6. Why do ideals which seem to control in one situation fail to affect
other activities in which the same ideal is called for?

7. Under what conditions may a very slight amount of transfer of
training become of the very greatest importance for education?

8. Why may we not hope for the largest results in training by compelling
children to study that which is distasteful? Do children (or adults)
work hardest when they are forced to attend to that from which they
derive little or no satisfaction?

9. Which student gets the most significant training from his algebra,
the boy who enjoys work in this field or the boy who worries through it
because algebra is required for graduation from the high school?

10. Why may we hope to secure more significant training in junior high
schools which offer a great variety of courses than was accomplished by
the seventh and eighth grades in which all pupils were compelled to
study the same subjects?

11. Why is Latin a good subject from the standpoint of training for one
student and a very poor subject with which to seek to educate another

       *       *       *       *       *


The exercises which teachers conduct in their classrooms do not commonly
involve a single type of mental activity. It is true, however, that
certain lessons tend to involve one type of activity predominantly.
There are lessons which seek primarily to fix habits, others in which
thinking of the inductive type is primarily involved, and still others
in which deductive thinking or appreciation are the ends sought. As has
already been indicated in the discussion of habit, thinking, and
appreciation in the previous chapters, these types of mental activity
are not to be thought of as separate and distinct. Habit formation may
involve thinking. In a lesson predominantly inductive or deductive, some
element of drill may enter, or appreciation may be sought with respect
to some particular part of the situation presented. These different
kinds of exercises, drills, thinking (inductive or deductive), and
appreciation are fairly distinct psychological types.

In addition to the psychological types of exercises mentioned above,
exercises are conducted in the classroom which may be designated under
the following heads: lecturing, the recitation lesson, examination and
review lessons. In any one of these the mental process involved may be
any of those mentioned above as belonging to the purely psychological
types of lessons or a combination of any two or more of them. It has
seemed worth while to treat briefly of both sorts of lesson types, and
to discuss at some length, lecturing, about which there is considerable
disagreement, and the additional topic of questioning, which is the
means employed in all of these different types of classroom exercises.

_The Inductive Lesson_. It has been common in the discussion of the
inductive development lesson to classify the stages through which one
passes from his recognition of a problem to his conclusion in five
steps. These divisions have commonly been spoken of as (1) preparation;
(2) presentation; (3)comparison and abstraction; (4) generalization; and
(5) application. It has even been suggested that all lessons should
conform to this order of procedure. From the discussions in the previous
chapters, the reader will understand that such a formal method of
procedure would not conform to what we know about mental activity and
its normal exercise and development. There is some advantage, however,
in thinking of the general order of procedure in the inductive lesson as
outlined by these steps.

The step of preparation has to do with making clear to the pupil the aim
or purpose of the problem with which he is to deal. It is not always
possible in the classroom to have children at work upon just such
problems as may occur to them. The orderly development of a subject to
be taught requires that the teacher discover to children problems or
purposes which may result in thinking. The skill of the teacher depends
upon his knowledge of the previous experiences of the children in the
class and his skill in having them word the problem which remains
unsolved in their experience in such a way as to make it attractive to
them. Indeed, it may be said that children never have a worthy aim
unless it is one which is intellectually stimulating. A problem exists
only when we desire to find the answer.

The term "presentation" suggests a method of procedure which we would
not want to follow too frequently; that is, we may hope not simply to
present facts for acceptance or rejection, but, rather, we want children
to search for the data which they may need in solving their problem.
From the very beginning of their school career children need, in the
light of a problem stated, to learn to utilize all of the possible
sources of information available. Their own experience, the questions
which they may put to other people, observations which they may
undertake with considerable care, books or other sources of information
which they may consult, all are to be thought of as tools to be used or
sources of information available for the solution of problems. It cannot
be too often reiterated that it is not simply getting facts, reading
books, performing experiments, which is significant, but, rather, which
of these operations is conducted in the light of a problem clearly
conceived by children.

The step of presentation, as above described, is not one that may be
begun and completed before other parts of the inductive lesson are
carried on. As soon as any facts are available they are either accepted
or rejected, as they may help in the solution of the problem;
comparisons are instituted, the essential elements of likeness are
noticed, and even a partial solution of the problem may be suggested in
terms of a new generalization. The student may then begin to gather
further facts, to pass through further steps of comparison, and to make
still further modifications of his generalization as he proceeds in his
work. At any stage of the process the student may stop to apply or test
the validity of a generalization which has been formed. It is even true
that the statement of the problem with which one starts may be modified
in the light of new facts found, or new analyses instituted, or new
elements of likeness which have been discovered.

In the conduct of an inductive lesson it is of primary importance that
the teacher discover to children problems, the solutions of which are
important for them, that he guide them in so far as it is possible for
them to find all of the facts necessary in their search for data, that
he encourage them to discuss with each other, even to the extent of
disagreeing, with respect to comparisons which are instituted or
generalizations which are premature, and above all, that he develop, in
so far as it is possible, the habit of verifying conclusions.

_The Deductive Lesson._ The interdependence of induction and deduction
has been discussed in the chapter devoted to thinking. The procedure in
a deductive lesson is from a clear recognition of the problem involved,
through the analysis of the situation and abstraction of the essential
elements, to a search for the laws or principles in which to classify
the particular element or individual with which we are dealing, to a
careful comparison of this particular with the general that we have
found, to our conclusion, which is established by a process of
verification. Briefly stated, the normal order of procedure might be
indicated as follows: (1) finding the problem; (2) finding the
generalization or principles; (3) inference; (4) verification. It is
important in this type of exercise, as has been indicated in the
discussion of the inductive lesson, that the problem be made clear. So
long as children indulge in random guesses as to the process which is
involved in the solution of a problem in arithmetic, or the principle
which is to be invoked in science, or the rule which is to be called to
mind in explaining a grammatical construction, we may take it for
granted that they have no very clear conception of the process through
which they must pass, nor of the issues which are involved. In the
search for the generalization or principle which will explain the
problem, a process of acceptance and rejection is involved. It helps
children to state definitely, with respect to a problem in arithmetic,
that they know that this particular principle is not the one which they
need. It is often by a process of elimination that a child can best
explain a grammatical construction, either in English or in a foreign
language. Of course the elimination of the principle or law which is not
the right one means simply that we are reducing the number of chances of
making a mistake. If out of four possibilities we can immediately
eliminate two of them, there are only two left to be considered. After
children have discovered the generalization or principle involved, it is
well to have them state definitely the inference which they make. Just
as in the inductive process we pass almost immediately from the step of
comparison and abstraction to the statement of generalization, so in the
deductive lesson, when once we have related the particular case under
consideration to the principle which explains it, we are ready to state
our inference. Verification involves the trying out of our inference to
see that it certainly will hold. This may be done by proposing some
other inference which we find to be invalid, or by seeking to find any
other law or principle which will explain our particular situation. Here
again, as in the inductive lesson, the skillful teacher makes his
greatest contribution by having children become increasingly careful in
this step of verification. Almost any one can pass through the several
stages involved in deductive thinking and arrive at a wrong conclusion.
That which distinguishes the careful thinker from the careless student
is the sincerity of the former in his unwillingness to accept his
conclusions until they are verified.

_The Drill Lesson._ The drill lesson is so clearly a matter of fixing
habits that little needs to be added to the chapter dealing with this
subject. If one were to attempt to give in order the steps of the
process involved, they might be stated as follows: (1) establishing a
motive for forming the habit; (2) knowing exactly what we wish to do, or
the habit or skill to be acquired; (3) recognition of the importance of
the focusing of attention during the period devoted to repetitions; (4)
variation in practice in order to lessen fatigue and to help to fix
attention; (5) a recognition of the danger of making mistakes, with
consequent provision against lapses; (6) the principle of review, which
may be stated best by suggesting that the period between practice
exercises may only gradually be lengthened.

Possibly the greatest deficiency in drill work, as commonly conducted,
is found in the tendency upon the part of some teachers to depend upon
repetition involving many mistakes. This is due quite frequently to the
assignment of too much to be accomplished. Twenty-five words in
spelling, a whole multiplication table, a complete conjugation in Latin,
all suggest the danger of mistakes which will be difficult to eliminate
later on. The wise teacher is the one who provides very carefully
against mistakes upon the part of pupils. He assigns a minimum number of
words, or a number of combinations, or a part of a conjugation, and
takes care to discover that children are sure of themselves before
indulging in that practice which is to fix the habit.

In much of the drill work there is, of course, the desirability of
gaining in speed. In this field successful teachers have discovered that
much is gained by more or less artificial stimuli which seem to be
altogether outside of the work required to form a habit. In drill on
column addition successful work is done by placing the problem on the
board and following through the combinations by pointing the pointer and
making a tap on the board as one proceeds through the column. Concert
work of this sort seems to have the effect of speeding up those who
would ordinarily lag, even though they might get the right result. The
most skillful teachers of typewriting count or clap their hands or use
the phonograph for the sake of speeding up their students. They have
discovered that the same amount of time devoted to typewriting practice
will produce anywhere from twenty-five to one hundred per cent more
speed under such artificial stimulation as they were in the habit of
getting merely by asking the students to practice. These experiences, of
course, suggest that drill work will require an expenditure of energy
and an alertness upon the part of teachers, and not merely an assignment
of work to be done by pupils.

_Appreciation Lesson._ The work which the teacher does in securing
appreciation has been suggested in a previous chapter. It will suffice
here briefly to state what may be thought of as the order of procedure
in securing appreciation. It is not as easy in this case to state the
development in terms of particular steps or processes, since, as has
already been indicated in the chapter on appreciation, the student is
passive rather than active, is contemplating and enjoying, rather than
attacking and working to secure a particular result. The work of the
teacher may, however, be organized around the following heads: (1) it is
of primary importance that the teacher bring to the class an enthusiasm
and joy for the picture, music, poetry, person, or achievement which he
wishes to present; (2) children must not be forced to accept nor even
encouraged to repeat the evaluation determined by teachers; (3)
spontaneous and sincere response upon the part of children should be
accepted, even though it may not conform to the teacher's estimate; (4)
children should be encouraged to choose from among many of the forms or
situations presented for their approval those which they like best; (5)
the technique involved in the creation of the artistic form should be
subordinated to enjoyment in the field of the fine arts; (6) throughout,
the play spirit should be predominant, for if the element of drudgery
enters, appreciation disappears.

Teachers who get good results in appreciation secure them mainly by
virtue of the fact that they have large capacity for enjoyment in the
fields which they present to children. A teacher who is enthusiastic,
and who really finds great joy in music, will awaken and develop power
of appreciation upon the part of his pupils. The teacher who can enter
into the spirit of the child poetry, or of the fairy tale, will get a
type of appreciation not enjoyed by the teacher who finds delight only
in adult literature. It is of the utmost importance to recognize the
fact that children only gradually grow from an appreciation or joy in
that which is crude to that which represents the highest type of
artistic production. It is important to have children try themselves out
in creative work; but the influence of a teacher may be far greater than
that of the attempts of the children to produce in these fields.

_Lecturing_. Among the various types of methods used in teaching there
is probably no one which has received such severe criticism as the
so-called lecture method. The result of this criticism has been,
theoretically at least, to abolish lecturing from the elementary school
and to diminish the use of this method in the high school, although in
the colleges and universities it is still the most popular method.
Although it is true that the lecture method is not the best one for
continual use in elementary and high school, still its entire disuse is
unfortunate. So is its blind use by those who still adhere to the old
ways of doing things.

The chief criticisms of the method are, first, that it makes of the
learner a mere recipient instead of a thinker; second, that the material
so gained does not become part of the mental life of the hearers and so
is not so well remembered nor so easily applied as material gained in
other ways; third, that the instructor has no means of determining
whether his class is getting the right ideas or wholly false ones;
fourth, the method lacks interest in the majority of cases. Despite the
truth of these criticisms, there are occasions when the lecture or
telling method is the best one--in fact the only one that can accomplish
the desired result.

First, the lecture method may sometimes take the place of books. Often,
even in the elementary school, there is need for the children to get
facts,--information in history or geography or literature,--and the
getting of these facts from books would be too difficult or too
wasteful. In such a case telling the facts is certainly the best way to
give them. A teacher in half a period can give material that it might
take the children hours to find. By telling them the facts, he not only
saves waste of time, but also retains the interest. Very often
discouragement and even dislike results from a prolonged search for a
few facts. Of course in the higher schools, when the material to be
given is not in print, when the professor is the source of certain
theories, methods, and explanations, lecturing is the only way for
students to get the material. It must be borne in mind that human beings
are naturally a source of interest, particularly to children, and
therefore having the teacher tell, other things being equal, will make a
greater impression than reading it in a book.

Second, the lecture method is valuable as a means of explanation.
Despite the fact that the material given may be adapted to the child's
level of development, still it often happens that it is not clear. Then,
instead of sending the child to the same material again, an explanation
by teacher or fellow pupil is much better. It may be just the inflection
used, or the choice of different words, that will clear up the

Third, the telling method should be used for illustration. Very often
when illustration is necessary the lecture method is supplemented by
illustrative material of various types--objects, experiments, pictures,
models, diagrams, and so on. None of this material, however, is used to
its best advantage unless it is accompanied by the telling method. It is
through the telling that the essentials of the illustrative material
gain the proper perspective. Without such explanation some unimportant
detail may focus the attention and the value of the material be lost. It
has been customary to emphasize the need for and the value of this
concrete illustrative material. Teachers have felt that if it was
possible to have the actual object, it should be obtained; if that was
not possible, why then have pictures, but diagrams and words should only
be used as a last resort. There can be no doubt as to the value of the
concrete material, especially with little children--but its use has been
carried to an extreme because it has been used blindly. For instance,
sometimes the concrete material because of its general inherent
interest, or because of its special appeal to some instinct, attracts
the attention of the child in such a way that the point which was to be
illustrated is lost sight of. Witness work in nature study in the lower
grades, and in chemistry in the high school. The concrete material may
be so complex that again the essential point is lost in the
mass of detail. No perspective can be obtained because of the
complexity--witness work with principles of machines in physics and the
circulation of the blood in biology. Sometimes the diagram or word
explanation with nothing of the more concrete material is the best type
of illustration. A fresh application of the principle or lesson by the
teacher is another means of illustration and one of the best, for it not
only broadens the student's point of view and gives another cue to the
material, but it may also make direct connection with his own
experience. Illustrations in the book often fail to do this, but the
teacher knowing his particular class can make the application that will
mean most. Telling a story or incident is another way of illustration.
The personal element is nearly always present in this means, and is a
valuable spur to interest.

Illustrations of all kinds, from the concrete to the story form, have
been grossly misused in teaching, so that to-day teachers are almost
afraid to use any. The difficulty has been that illustrations have been
used as a means of regaining wandering attention. It has been the
sugar-coating. The illustration, then, has become the important thing
and the material nonimportant. The class has watched the experiment or
listened to the story, but when that was over the attention was gone
again. Illustrations should not be the means of holding the attention;
that is the function of the material itself. If the lesson cannot hold
the interest, illustrations are worse than useless. Illustrations, then,
of all kinds must be subordinated to the material--they are only a means
to an end, and that end is a better understanding of the material.
Illustrations, further, should have a vital, necessary connection with
the point they are used to make clearer. Illustrations that are dragged
in, that are not vitally connected with the point, are entirely out of
place. If illustrations always truly illustrated, then children would
not remember the illustration and forget the point, for remembering the
illustration they would be led directly to the point because of the
closeness of the connection.

Fourth, telling or lecturing is the best way to get appreciation. This
was discussed in the chapter on appreciation, so need only be mentioned
here. The interpretation by the teacher of the character, the picture,
the poem, the policy, or what not, not only increases the understanding
of the listener, but also calls up feeling responses. It is in this
telling that the personality of the teacher, his experiences, his
ideals, make themselves felt. One can often win appreciation of and
allegiance to the best in life by the use of the telling method in the
appropriate situations.

Fifth, the lecture method should sometimes be used as a means of getting
the desired mental attitude. The general laws of learning emphasize the
importance of the mind's set as a condition to readiness of neurone
tracts. Five or ten minutes spent at the beginning of a subject, or a
new section of work, in introducing the class to it, may give the
keynote for the whole course. A whole period may be profitably be spent
this way. Not only will the telling method used on such occasions give
the right emotional attitude towards a subject, but also the right
intellectual set as well.

It is evident then that the lecture or telling method has its place in
all parts of the educational system, but its place should be clearly and
definitely recognized. The danger is not in using it, but in using it at
the wrong time, and in overusing it. Bearing in mind the dangers that
adhere to its use, it is always well, whether the method is used in
grades or in college, to mix it with other methods or to follow it by
another method that will do the things that the lecture method may have
left undone.

_The Recitation Lesson._ As has been suggested in the opening of this
chapter, the recitation lesson is not a type involving any particular
psychological process. It is, rather, a method of procedure which may
involve any of the other types of work already discussed. When the
recitation lesson means merely reciting paragraphs from the book with
little or no reference to problems to be solved or skill to be
developed, it has no place in a schoolroom. When, however, the teacher
uses the recitation lesson as an exercise in which he assures himself
that facts needed for further progress in thinking have been secured, or
that habits have been established, or verbatim memorization
accomplished, this type of exercise is justified. It is well to remember
that the thought process involved in the development of a subject, or
the solution even of a single problem, may extend over many class
periods. The recitation lesson may be important in organizing the
material which is to be used in the larger thought whole. Again, this
type of exercise may involve the presentation of material which is to be
used as a basis for appreciation in literature, in music, in art, in
history, and the like. The organization of experiences of children,
whether secured through observations, discussions, or from books, around
certain topics may furnish a most satisfactory basis for the development
of problems or of the gathering of the material essential for their
solution. A better understanding of the conditions which make for
success in habit formation, in thinking, and the development of
appreciation, will tend to eliminate from our schools that type of
exercise in which teachers ask merely that children recite to them what
they have been able to remember from the books which they have read or
the lectures which they have heard.

_The Examination and Review Lessons._ In the establishment of habits,
the development of appreciation, or the growth in understanding which we
seek to secure through thinking, there will be many occasions for
checking up our work. Successful teaching requires that the habit that
we think we have established be called for and additional practice given
from time to time in order to be certain that it is fixed. In like
manner, the development of our thought in any field is not something
which is accomplished without respect to later neglect. We, rather,
build a system of thought with reference to a particular field or
subject as a result of thinking, and rethinking through the many
different situations which are involved. In like manner, in the field of
appreciation the very essence of our enjoyment is to be found in the
fact that that which we have enjoyed we recall, and strengthen our
appreciation through the revival of the experience. The review is, of
course, most successful when it is not simply going over the whole
material in exactly the same way. In habit formation it is often
advisable to arrange in a different order the stimuli which are to bring
the desired responses, for the very essence of habit formation is found
in the fact that the particular response can be secured regardless of
the order in which they are called for. In thinking, as a subject is
developed, our control is measured by the better perspective which we
secure. This means, of course, that in review we will not be concerned
with reviving all of the processes through which we have passed, but,
rather, in a reorganization quite different from that which was
originally provided.

The examination lesson is classified here as of the same type as the
review because a good examination involves all that has been suggested
by review. The writer has no sympathy with those who argue against
examinations. The only proof that we can get of the success or failure
of our work is to be found in the achievement of pupils. It is not
desirable to set aside a particular period of a week devoted entirely to
examinations, because examinations in all subjects cannot to best
advantage be given during the same period. There are stages in the
development of our thinking, or in the acquiring of skill, or in our
understanding and appreciation which occur at irregular intervals and
which call for a summing up of what has gone before, in order that we
may be sure of success in the work which is to follow. It is, of course,
undesirable to devote a whole week to examinations on account of the
strain and excitement under which children labor. It is entirely
possible to know of the achievements of children through examinations
which have been given at irregular intervals throughout the term. It
would be best, probably, never to give more than one examination on any
one day, and, as a rule, to devote only the regular class period to such
work. In another chapter the discussion of more exact methods of
measuring the achievements of children will be discussed at some length.

In all of the lesson types mentioned above, one of the most important
means employed by teachers for the stimulation of pupils is the
question. It seems wise, therefore, to devote some paragraphs to a
consideration of questioning as determining skill in teaching.

_Questioning_. The purpose of a question is to serve as a situation
which shall arouse to activity certain nerve connections and thus bring
a response. Questions, oral or written, are the chief tools used in
schools to gain responses. In some situations it is the only means a
teacher may have of arousing the response. Psychologically, then, the
value of the question must be judged by the response.

Questions may be considered from the point of view of the kind of
response they call for. Probably the most common kind of question is the
one that calls for facts as answers. It involves memory--but memory of a
rote type. It does not require thinking. All drill questions are of this
type. The connections aroused are definitely final in a certain order,
and the question simply sets off the train of bonds that leads directly
to the answer. Another type of question involving the memory process is
the one which initiates recall, but here thought is active. The answer
cannot be gained in a mechanical way, but selection and rejection are
involved. The answer is to be found by examining past experience, but
only in a thoughtful way. Questions which call for comparison form
another type. These may vary from those which involve the comparison of
sense material to those which involve the comparison of policies
or epochs. Words, characters, plots, definitions, plans,
subjects--everything with which intellectual life deals is open to
comparison. Comparison is one of the steps in the process of reasoning,
and hence questions of this type are extremely important. Then there are
the questions which arouse the response of analysis. These questions
vary among themselves according to the type of analysis needed, whether
piecemeal attention or analysis due to varying concomitants. The former
drives the thinker through gradual recognition and elimination of the
known elements to a consciousness of the only partly known. The latter,
by attracting the attention to unvarying factors in the changing
situations, forces out the new and until then unknown element. Some
questions require judgment as a response. The judgment may be one
concerning relationships, or concerning worth or value, or be merely a
matter of definition--all questions calling for criticism are of this
type. In any case this type of question involves the thought element at
its best. The question requiring organization forms another type. There
is no sharp line of division between these types of questions. No one of
them should be used exclusively. Some of them imply operations of a
simple type as well as the particular response demanded by that form.
For instance, some of the questions involving analysis imply comparison
and recalling. A judgment question might call for all the simple
processes noted above and others as well. The responses then vary in
complexity and difficulty. The order of advance in both complexity and
difficulty of the response is from the mere drill question to the
judgment question.

Another type of question is the one which desires appreciation as a
response. This question is one of the most difficult to frame, for it
must tend to inhibit the critical attitude and by means of the
associations it arouses or its own suggestive power get the appreciative
response. Questions of this type often call for constructive imagery as
a means to the desired end. Some questions are directive in their
tendency. They require as response an attitude or set of the mind. They
set the child thinking in this direction rather than that. In a sense
they are suggestive, but they suggest the line of search rather than the
response. A final type of question is akin to the one just
discussed--the question whose response is further questions. Here again
the response desired is an attitude, but in this case it is more than an
attitude, it is also a definite response that shall come in the form of
questions. The questions of a good teacher should result in students
asking questions both of people and of books. These last three types of
questions are perhaps the most difficult of all. Because of their
complexity and subtlety they often miss fire and fail of their purpose.
Properly handled they are among the most powerful tools a teacher has.
The type of question used must vary, not only with the particular group
of children, and the type of lesson, but also with the subject.
Questions that would be the best type in mathematics might not be so
good for an art lesson. The kinds of questions used must be adapted to
the particular situation.

Psychologically a question is valuable not only in accordance with the
kind of response it gets, but also in proportion to the readiness of the
response. A question that is of such a character that the response is
hazy, stumbling, hesitating--a question that brings no clear-cut
response because the child does not understand what is wanted, is a poor
question. This does not at all mean that the right response must always
come immediately. Some of the best questions are put with the intention
of forcing the child to realize that he can't answer--that he doesn't
know. If that type of response comes to that question, it is the best
possible answer. Nor need the whole answer come immediately. For
instance, in many of the judgment questions the thinking process aroused
may take some time before the judgment is reached, and meanwhile several
partial answers may be given. But if the question asked started the
process, without waste of time in trying to find out what it meant, the
question is good. With these explanations, then, the second
qualification of a good question is that it secures the appropriate
response readily. In order to do this, these factors must be considered:
First, the principle of apperception must be recognized. Every question
must deal with material that is on a level with the stage of development
of the one questioned. Not only so, but the question must connect
somewhere with the learner's experience. This means a recognition also
of individual differences. The question must also be couched in language
that can be understood easily by the one questioned. To have to try to
understand the language of the question as well as the question, results
in divided attention and delayed responses. Second, the question should
be clear and definite. A question that has these characteristics will
challenge the attention of the class. It is directed straight at the
point at issue, and no time will be lost in wondering what the question
means, or in trying two or three tentative answers. Third, the younger
the child, the simpler the question must be. With little children, to be
good a question may involve only one idea, or relationship. The amount
involved in the question, its scope and content, must be adapted to the
mental development of the learner. It is only a mature thinker who can
carry simultaneously two or three points of issue, or possibilities.
Fourth, the question to gain a ready response must be interesting. Not
only must the lesson as a whole be interesting, but the questions
themselves must have the same quality. Dull questions can kill an
otherwise good lesson. The form of the question is thus a big factor in
gaining a ready response. All the qualities which gain involuntary
attention can be used in framing an interesting question--novelty,
exaggeration, contrast, life, color, and so on.

The third point to be considered in determining a good question is
whether or not it satisfies the demands of economy. This demand is a
fair one both from the standpoint of the best use of the time at the
disposal of the learner, and also from the standpoint of the best means
of gaining the greatest development on the part of the learner in a
given time. The number of questions asked thus enters in as a factor.
When a teacher asks four or five questions when one would serve the same
purpose, she is not only wasting time, but the child is not getting the
opportunity to do any thinking and therefore is not developing. Recent
studies on the actual number of questions asked in a recitation point to
the conclusion that economy both of time and in development is being
seriously overlooked. Economy in response may also be brightened by
preserving a logical sequence between questions. It is a matter of fact
in psychology that associations are systematized about central ideas; it
is also a fact that the set of the mind, in this direction rather than
that, is characteristic of all work. Logical sequence, then, makes use
of both these facts--both of the systematization of ideas and of the
mental attitude.

The fourth test of good questioning is the universality of its appeal.
Some questions which are otherwise good appeal but to comparatively few
in the class. This, of course, means that responses are being gained but
from few. The best questioning stimulates most of the class; all members
of the class are working. In order to secure this result the questions
must be properly distributed over the class. The bright pupils must not
be allowed to do all the work; or, on the other hand, all the attention
of the teachers must not be given to the dull pupils. Not only should
the questions be well distributed, but they must vary according to the
individual ability of the particular child. This has already been
emphasized in dealing with readiness of response. Many a lesson has been
unsuccessful because the teacher gave too difficult a question to a dull
child, and while she was struggling with him, she lost the rest of the
class. The reverse is also true, to give a bright child a question that
requires almost no thinking means that a mechanical answer will be given
and no further activity stimulated. The extent to which all the class
are mentally active is one measure of a good question.


1. Give an example of a lesson which you have taught which was
predominantly inductive. Show how you proceeded from the discovery of
the problem to your pupils to the solution attained.

2. What is involved in the "step" of presentation?

3. Why may we not consider the several "steps" of the inductive lesson
as occurring in a definite and mutually exclusive sequence?

4. In what respect is the procedure in a deductive lesson like that
which you follow in an inductive lesson?

5. Show how verification is an important element in both inductive and
deductive lessons.

6. Give illustrations of successful drill lessons and make clear the
reason for the degree of success achieved.

7. What measures have you found most advantageous in securing speed in
drill work?

8. What are the elements which make for success in an appreciation

9. Upon what grounds and to what extent can lecturing be defended as a
method of instruction?

10. What may be the relation between a good recitation lesson and the
solution of a problem? Growth in power of appreciation?

11. For what purposes should examinations be given? When should
examinations be given?

12. When are questions which call for facts justified?

13. Why are questions which call for comparisons to be considered

14. Why is it important to phrase questions carefully?

15. Why should a teacher ask some questions which cannot be answered

16. What criteria would you apply in testing the questions which you put
to your class?

17. Write five questions which in your judgment will demand thinking
upon some topic which you plan to teach to your class.

       *       *       *       *       *


The term study has been used very loosely by both teachers and children.
As used by teachers it frequently meant something very different from
what children had in mind when they used it. Further, teachers
themselves have often used the term in connection with mental activities
which, technically speaking, could not possibly come under that head.
Much confusion and lack of efficient work has been the result. Recently
various attempts have been made to give the term study a more exact
meaning. McMurry defines it as "the work that is necessary in the
assimilation of ideas"--"the vigorous application of the mind to a
subject for the satisfaction of a felt need." In other words, study is
thinking. Psychologically, what makes for good thinking makes for good
study. Study is controlled mental activity working towards the
realization of a goal. It is the adaptation of means to end, in the
attempt to satisfy a felt need. It involves a definite purpose or goal,
which is problematic, the selection and rejection of suggestions,
tentative judgments, and conclusion. The mind of the one who studies is
active, vigorously active, not in an aimless fashion, but along sharply
defined lines. This is the essential characteristic of all study.

There are, however, various types of study which differ materially from
each other according to the subject matter or to the type of response
required. Some study involves comparatively little thinking. The
directed activity must be present, but the choice, the judgment, may
need to be exercised only in the beginning when methods of procedure
need to be selected, and later on, perhaps, when successes or failures
need to be noted and changes made in the methods accordingly. Another
type of study needs continual thinking of the most active sort all the
way through the period. Just the proportion of the various factors
involved in thinking which is present at any given study period must be
determined by the response. A type of study which would be completely
satisfactory for one subject needing one response, would be entirely
inadequate for another subject needing another response. To illustrate,
in some cases the study must deal with habit formation. The need felt is
to learn a mechanical response of a very definite nature to this
situation; the problem is to get that response. The thinking would come
in in deciding upon the method, in watching for successes, in
criticizing progress, and in judging when the end was obtained. A large
part of the time spent in study would, however, need to be spent in
repetition, in drill. Of such character is study of spelling, of
vocabularies, of dates; study in order to gain skill in adding, or speed
in reading, or to improve in writing or sewing. Much of habit formation
goes on without study--in fact, to some it may seem to be ludicrous to
use the word "study" in connection with the formation of habits. It is
just because the study elements in connection with responses of this
type have been omitted that there has been such a tremendous waste of
time in teaching children to form right habits. This omission also
explains the poor results, for the process has been mechanical and blind
on the part of the student. At the other extreme in types of study is
that which can be used in science and mathematics, in geography and
history, when the major part of the time is given to selecting and
rejecting suggestions and seems required by the goal. In this type the
habituation, the fixing of the material, comes largely as a by-product
of the factors used in the thinking.

Study may, then, be classified according as the response required is
physical habit, memory, appreciation, or judgment. These types overlap,
no one of them can exist absolutely alone, but it is possible to name
them according to the response. Study may also be classified into
supervised study, or unsupervised study, into individual or group study.
We might also classify study as it has to do with books, with people, or
with materials. The term has been rather arbitrarily applied to
activities that dealt with books, but surely much study is accomplished
when people are consulted instead of books, and also when the sources of
information or the standards are flowers, or rocks, or textiles.

Study, then, is a big term, including many different varieties of
activities, of varying degrees of difficulty and responsibility. It
cannot possibly be taught all at once, according to one method, at one
spot in the school curriculum. Power to study is of very gradual growth.
It must proceed slowly, from simple to complex types. From easy to
difficult problems, from situations where there is close supervision and
direction to situations where the student assumes full responsibility.
Knowing how to study is not an inborn gift--it does not come as a matter
of intuition, nor does it come in some mysterious way when the child is
of high school age. It is governed by the laws of learning, or
readiness, exercise, and effect, just as truly as any other ability is.
If adults are to know how to study, if they are to use the technique of
the various kinds of study efficiently, children must be taught how. Nor
can we expect the upper grammar grade or the high school teachers to do
this. Habits of study must be formed just as soon as the responses to
which it leads are needed. Beginning down in the kindergarten with study
in connection with physical and mental habits, the child should be
taught how to study. The type must gradually become more complex; he
must pass from group to individual study, from supervised to
unsupervised, but it must all come logically, from step to step. True,
it is not easy to teach how to study. A careful analysis of the various
types with their peculiar elements should be a help. First, however,
there are some general principles that underlie all study which must be

Study must have, as has already been stated, a purpose. The individual,
in order to exercise his mind in a controlled way, must have an aim. The
clearer and more definite the aim, whether it be little or big, the
better the study will be. From the beginning, then, children must be
taught to make sure they know what they are going to do before beginning
to study. It may be necessary to teach them in the early grades to say
to themselves or to the class just what they are going to accomplish in
the study. Teach them when the lesson is assigned to write down in their
books just what the problem for study is. Warn them never to begin study
without definitely knowing the aim--if they don't know it, make them
realize that the first thing to do is to find out the purpose by asking
some one else. Better no study at all than aimless or misdirected
activity, because of lack of purpose.

No study worthy of the name can be carried on without interest. The
child who studies well must be brought to realize this. The value of
interest can be brought home to him by having him compare the work he
does, the time he spends, and how he feels when studying something in
which he has a vital interest with the results when the topic is
uninteresting. Of course, as will be pointed out later, much of the
gaining of interest lies in the hands of the teacher necessarily, but if
the child realizes the need of it in efficient study, some
responsibility will rest on him to find an interest if it is not already
there. No matter how expert the teacher may be, because of individual
differences no problem will be equally interesting to all pupils in
itself, and no incentive will have an equal appeal to all children.
Therefore children should be taught to find interest for themselves.
Certain devices can be suggested, such as working with another child and
competing with him, "making believe" in study, and finding some
connection with something in which he is interested, working against his
own score, and the like.

Not only do the demands of economy require that the topic of study
receive concentrated attention, but the results themselves are better
when such is the case. Half an hour of concentrated work gives much
better results than an hour of study with scattered attention. An hour
spent when half an hour would do is thus not only wasteful of time, but
is productive of poorer results and bad habits of study as well.
Children need to be taught this from the beginning. Much time is wasted
even by mature university students when they suppose themselves to be
studying. Children can be taught to ignore distractions--to train
themselves to keep their eyes on the book, despite the fact that the
door is opened, or a seat mate is looking for a book. They should be
encouraged to set themselves time limits in various subjects and adhere
to them. It is economical to follow a regular schedule in study--either
in the school or at home. Let each child make out his study schedule and
keep to it. Teach children that the best work is done when they are calm
and steady. That either excitement or worry is a hindrance. Therefore
they should avoid doing their studying under those conditions, and
should do all they can to remove such conditions. Training children to
do their best and then not to worry would not only improve the health of
many upper grammar grade and high school children, but would also
improve their work.

Study requires a certain critical attitude, a checking up of results
against the problem set. In order to be efficient in study a child
should know when he has reached the solution, when the means have been
adapted to the end, when he has reached the goal. This checking up, of
course, means habits of self-criticism and standards. Sometimes all that
is necessary is for the child to be made conscious of this fact so that
he can test himself, for instance, in memory work, or in solving a
problem in mathematics. On the other hand, sometimes he will have to
compare his work with definite standards, such as the Thorndike
Handwriting Scale, or the Hillegas Composition Scale.[19] In other
instances, he will have to search for standards. He will need to know
what his classmates have accomplished, what other people think, what
other text-books say, and so on. Gradually he must be made conscious
that study is a controlled activity, and unless it reaches the goal, and
the correct one, it is useless. He must be made to feel that the
responsibility to see that such results are reached rests on him.

These, then, are the general factors involved in all types of study, and
therefore are fundamental to good habits of study: a clear purpose;
vital interest of some kind; concentrated attention, and a critical
attitude. There are further additional suggestions which are peculiar to
the special type of study.

In study which is directed to habit formation, the student should be
taught the danger of allowing exceptions. He should know the possibility
of undoing much good work through a little carelessness. Preaching won't
bring this home to him--it must come through having his attention
attracted to such an occurrence in his own work or in that of his mates.
After that knowledge of the actual experiences of others, athletes,
musicians, and others will help to intensify the impression. The value
of repetition as one of the chief factors in habit formation must be
emphasized. The child should be encouraged to make opportunities for
practice both in free minutes during the school program, and outside of
school. He must be taught in habit formation to practice the new habit
in the way it is to be used: practicing the sounds of letters in words,
the writing movements in writing words, swimming movements in the water,
and so on. Practicing the whole movements, not trying to gain perfection
in parts of it and then putting it together. It is important also that
the learner be taught to keep his attention on the result to be
obtained, instead of the movements. He should attend to the swing of the
club, the lightness of the song, the cut the saw is making, the words he
is writing, instead of the muscle movements involved. In breaking up bad
habits it is sometimes necessary to concentrate on a part or a movement,
when that is the crux of the error, but in general it is a bad practice
when forming a new habit. The child must also learn to watch the habit
of skill he is forming for signs of improvement and then to try to find
out the reason for it. It has been proved experimentally that much of
the improvement in habits of skill comes unconsciously to the learner,
and necessarily so, but that in order for the improvement to continue
and be effective, it must become conscious. Of course, at the beginning
and for a long time it must be the teacher's duty to point out the
improvement and to help the child to think out the reasons for it, but
if he is to learn to study by himself the child must finally come to
habits of self-criticism which will enable him to recognize success or
failure in his own work. In all this discussion of teaching children to
study it must be constantly borne in mind that it is a gradual
process--and only very slowly does the child become conscious of the
technique. Which elements can be made conscious, how much he can be left
to himself, must depend on his maturity and previous training. In time,
however, he should be able to apply them all--for only by so doing will
he become capable of independent study.

When the study is primarily concerned with memory responses, all the
elements which have just been discussed in connection with habit apply,
for, after all, memory is but mental habit. There are other factors
which enter into and which should be used in this type of study. First,
the child should realize the need for understanding the material that is
to be learned, before beginning to memorize it. He will then be taught
to read the entire assignment through--look up difficult words and
references, master the content, whether prose or poetry, whether the
learning is to be verbatim or not, before doing anything further.
Second, he will need to know the value of the modified whole method of
learning, as well as its difficulties. If in the supervised periods of
study and in class work, this method has been followed, it is very easy
to make him conscious of it and willing to adopt it when he comes to do
independent study. Third, he must be taught to distribute his time so
that he does not devote too long a stretch to one subject. The value of
going over work in the morning, after having studied the night or two
nights before, should be emphasized. Also the value of beginning on
assignments some time ahead, even if there is not time to finish them.
Fourth, the child should be taught not to stop his work the minute he
can give it perfectly. The need for overlearning, for permanent
retention, must be made clear. How much overlearning is necessary, each
child should find out for himself. Fifth, the value of outlining
material as a means of aiding memory must be stressed. Sixth, the child
should be taught to search for associations, connections of all types,
in order to help himself remember facts. He might even be encouraged to
make up some mnemonic device as an aid if these measures fail. If
instead of simply trying to hammer material in by mere repetition
children had been taught in their study to consciously make use of the
other elements in a good memory, much time would be saved. But the
responsibility should rest finally on the child to make use of these
helps. The teacher must make him conscious of them, sometimes from their
value by experiment, and then teach him to use them himself.

Much less can be done as a matter of conscious technique when the
occasion of study is to further appreciation. A few suggestions might be
offered. First, the child should be taught the value of associating with
those who do appreciate in the line in which he is striving for
improvement. He should be encouraged to consciously associate with them
when opportunities for appreciation come. Second, he should know the
need for coming in contact with the objects of appreciation if true
feeling is to be developed. It is only by mingling with people, reading
books, listening to music, that appreciation in those fields can be
developed. Third, the value of concrete imagery and of connections with
personal experience in arousing emotional tone should be emphasized. The
child might be encouraged to consciously call up images and make
connections with his own experience during study.

Study, when the object is to arrive at responses of judgment, is the
type which has received most attention. This type of study includes
within itself several possibilities. Although judgment is the only
response that can solve the problem, still the problem may be one of
giving the best expression in art or music or drama. It may be the
analysis of a course of action or of a chemical compound. It may be the
comparison of various opinions. It may be the arriving at a new law or
principle. It is to one of these types of thinking that the term "study"
is usually applied. Important as it is, the other three types already
discussed cannot be neglected. If children are taught to study in
connection with the simpler situations provided by the first two types,
they will be the better prepared to deal with this complex type, for
this highest type of study involves habit formation often and memory
work always.

In the type of study involving reasoning, because of its complexity, and
because the individual must work more independently, the child must
learn the danger of following the first suggestion which offers itself.
He must learn to weigh each suggestion offered with reference to the
goal aimed at. Each step in the process must be tested and weighed in
this manner. To go blindly ahead, following out a line of suggestions
until the end is reached, which is then found to be the wrong one,
wastes much time and is extremely discouraging. No suggestion of the way
to adapt means to end should be accepted without careful criticism. The
pupil should gradually be made conscious of the technique of reasoning,
analysis, comparison, and abstraction. He must know that the first thing
to do is to analyze the problem and see just what it requires. He must
know that the abstraction depends upon the goal. The learner should be
taught the sources of some of the commonest mistakes in judgment. For
instance, if he knows of the tendency to respond in terms of analogy,
and sees some of the errors to which accepting a minor likeness between
two situations as identity lead, he will be much more apt to avoid such
mistakes than would otherwise be true. If he knows how unsafe it is to
form a judgment on limited data,--if from his own and his classmates'
thinking first, and later from the history of science, illustrations are
drawn of the disastrous effect of such thinking, he will see the value
of seeking sources of information and several points of view before
forming his own judgment. In his study the child should be taught not to
be satisfied until he has tested the correctness of his judgment by
verifying the result. This is a very necessary part of studying. He
should check up his own thinking by finding out through appeal to facts
if it is so; by putting the judgment into execution; by consulting the
opinion of others, and so on.

Study may be considered from the point of view of the type of material
which is used in the process. The student may be engaged on a problem
which involves the use of apparatus or specimens of various kinds, or he
may need to consult people, or he may have to use books. So far as the
first type is concerned, it is obviously unwise to have a student at
work on a problem which involves the use of material, unless the
technique of method of use is well known. Until he can handle the
material with some degree of facility it is waste of time for him to be
struggling with problems which necessitate such use. Such practice
results in divided attention, poor results from the study, and often bad
habits in technique as well. Gaining the technique must be in itself a
problem for separate study.

Children should be taught to ask questions which bear directly on the
point they wish to know. If they in working out some problem are
dependent on getting some information from the janitor, or the postman,
or a mason, they must be able to ask questions which will bring them
what they want to know. Much practice in framing questions, having them
criticized, having them answered just as they are asked, is necessary.
Children should be aware of the question as a tool in their study and
therefore they must know how to handle it. In connection with this
second type of material, the problem of the best source of information
will arise. Children must then be made conscious of the relative values
of various persons as sources of a particular piece of information.
Training in choice of the source of information is very important both
when that source is people and also when it is books.

Teaching children to use books in their study is one of the big tasks of
the teacher. They must learn that books are written in answer to
questions. In order to thoroughly understand a book, students must seek
to frame the questions which it answers. They must also know how to use
books to answer their own questions. This means they must know how to
turn from part to part, gleaning here or there what they need. It means
training in the ability to skim, omitting unessentials and picking out
essentials. It means the ability to recognize major points, minor
points, and illustrative material. Children must be taught to use the
table of contents, the index, and paragraph headings. They must, in
their search for fuller information or criticism, be able to interpret
different authors, use different language, and attack from different
angles, even when treating the same object. Children must in their
studying be taught to use books as a means to an end--not an infallible
means, but one which needs continual criticism, modification, and

Study may be supervised study, or unsupervised study. To some people the
requirements in learning to study may seem too difficult to be possible,
but it should be remembered that the process is gradual--that one by one
these elements in study are taught to the children in their supervised
study periods. These periods should begin in the primary grades, and
require from the teacher quite as much preparation as any other period.
Many teachers have taught subjects, but not how to study subjects. The
latter is the more important. The matter of distributed learning
periods, of search for motive, of asking questions, of criticizing
achievement, of use of books; each element is a topic for class
discussion before it is accepted as an element in study. Even after it
is accepted, it may be raised by some child as a source of particular
difficulty and fresh suggestions added. Very often with little children
it is necessary for the teacher to study the lesson with them. Teachers
need much more practice in doing this, for one of the best ways to teach
a child to study is to study with him. Not to tell him, and do the work
for him, but to really study with him. Later on the supervised study
period is one in which each child is silently engaged upon his own work
and the teacher passes from one to the other. In order to do this well,
the teacher needs to be able to do two things. First, to find out when
the child is in difficulty and to locate it, and second, to help him
over the trouble without giving too much assistance. Adequate
questioning is needed in both cases. It is probably true that
comparatively little new work should be given for unsupervised study.
There is too much danger of error as well as lack of interest unless a
start is given under supervision.

Studying, especially unsupervised, may be done in groups or
individually. The former is a stepping-stone to the latter. There is a
greater chance for suggestions, for getting the problem worded, for
arousing interest and checking results, when a group of children are
working together than when a child is by himself. Two things must be
looked after. First, that the children in the group be taught not to
waste time, and second, that the personnel of the group be right. It is
not very helpful if one child does all the work, nor if one is so far
below the level of the group that he is always tagging along behind.
More opportunities for group study in the grammar grades would be

When it comes to individual study, the student then assumes all
responsibility for his methods of study. He should be taught the
influence of physical conditions or mental reactions. He will therefore
be responsible for choosing in the home and in the school the best
possible conditions for his study. He will see to it that, in so far as
possible, the air and light are good, that there are no unnecessary
distractions, and that he is as comfortable bodily as can be. He must
think not only in terms of the goal to be reached, but also with respect
to the methods to be employed. He should be asked by the teacher to
report his methods of work as well as his results.


1. Are children always primarily engaged in thinking when they study?

2. What type of study is involved in learning a multiplication table, a
list of words in spelling, a conjugation in French?

3. How would you teach a pupil to study his spelling lesson?

4. In what sense may one study in learning to write? In acquiring skill
in swimming?

5. How would you teach your pupils to memorize?

6. Show how ability to study may be developed over a period of years in
some subject with which you are familiar. Reading? Geography? History?
Latin translation?

7. Is the boy who reads over and over again his lesson necessarily

8. Can one study a subject even though he may dislike it? Can one study
without interest?

9. How can you teach children what is meant by concentration of

10. How have you found it possible to develop a critical attitude toward
their work upon the part of children?

11. Of what factors in habit formation must children become conscious,
if they are to study to best advantage in this field?

12. How may we hope to have children learn to study in the fields
requiring judgment? Why will not consciousness of the technique of study
make pupils equally able in studying?

13. What exercises can you conduct which will help children to learn how
to use books?

14. How can a teacher study with a pupil and yet help him to develop
independence in this field?

15. How may small groups of children work together advantageously in

       *       *       *       *       *


The success or failure of the teacher in applying the principles which
have been discussed in the preceding chapters is measured by the
achievements of the children. Of course, it is also possible that the
validity of the principle which we have sought to establish may be
called in question by the same sort of measurement. We cannot be sure
that our methods of work are sound, or that we are making the best use
of the time during which we work with children, except as we discover
the results of our instruction. Teaching is after all the adaptation of
our methods to the normal development of boys and girls, and their
education can be measured only in terms of the changes which we are able
to bring about in knowledge, skill, appreciation, reasoning, and the

Any attempt to measure the achievements of children should result in a
discovery of the progress which is being made from week to week, or
month to month, or year to year. It would often be found quite
advantageous to note the deficiencies as well as the achievements at one
period as compared with the work done two or three months later. It will
always be profitable to get as clearly in mind as is possible the
variation among members of the same class, and for those who are
interested in the supervision of schools, the variation from class to
class, from school to school, or from school system to school system.
For the teacher a study of the variability in achievement among the
members of his own class ought to result in special attention to those
who need special help, especially a kind of teaching which will remove
particular difficulties. There should also be offered unusual
opportunity and more than the ordinary demand be made of those who show
themselves to be more capable than the ordinary pupils.

The type of measurement which we wish to discuss is something more than
the ordinary examination. The difficulties with examinations, as we have
commonly organized them, has* been their unreliability, either from the
standpoint of discovering to us the deficiencies of children, or their
achievements. Of ten problems in arithmetic or of twenty words in
spelling given in the ordinary examination, there are very great
differences in difficulty. We do not have an adequate measure of the
achievements of children when we assign to each of the problems or words
a value of ten or of five per cent and proceed to determine the mark to
be given on the examination paper. If we are wise in setting our
examinations, we usually give one problem or one word which we expect
practically everybody to be able to get right. On the other hand, if we
really measure the achievements of children, we must give some problems
or some words that are too hard for any one to get right. Otherwise, we
do not know the limit or extent of ability possessed by the abler
pupils. It is safe to say that in many examinations one question may
actually be four or five times as hard as some other to which an equal
value is assigned.

Another difficulty that we have to meet in the ordinary examination is
the variability among teachers in marking papers. We do not commonly
assign the same values to the same result. Indeed, if a set of papers is
given to a group of capable teachers and marked as conscientiously as
may be by each of them, it is not uncommon to find a variation among the
marks assigned to the same paper which may be as great as twenty-five
per cent of the highest mark given. Even more interesting is the fact
that upon re-marking these same papers individual teachers will vary
from their own first mark by almost as great an amount.

Still another difficulty with the ordinary examination is the tendency
among teachers to derive their standards of achievement from the group
itself, rather than from any objective standard by which all are
measured. It is possible, for example, for children in English
composition to write very poorly for their grade and still to find the
teacher giving relatively high marks to those who happen to belong to
the upper group in the class. As a result of the establishment of such a
standard, the teacher may not be conscious of the fact that children
should be spurred to greater effort, and that possibly he himself should
seek to improve his methods of work.

Out of the situation described above, which includes on the one hand the
necessity for measurement as a means of testing the success of our
theories and of our practice, and on the other hand of having objective
standards, has grown the movement for measurement by means of standard
tests and scales. A standard test which has been given to some thousands
of children classified by grades or by ages, if given to another group
of children of the same grade or age group will enable the teacher to
compare the achievement of his children with that which is found
elsewhere. For example, the Courtis tests in arithmetic, which consist
of series of problems of equal difficulty in addition, subtraction,
multiplication, and division may be used to discover how far facility in
these fields has been accomplished by children of any particular group
as compared with the achievements of children in other school systems
throughout the country. In these tests each of the problems is of equal
difficulty. The measure is made by discovering how many of these
separate problems can be solved in a given number of minutes.[20]

A scale for measuring the achievements of children in the fundamental
operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division has
been derived by Dr. Clifford Woody,[21] which differs from the Courtis
tests in that it affords opportunity to discover what children can
achieve from the simplest problem in each of these fields to a problem
which is in each case approximately twice as difficult as the problems
appearing on the Courtis tests. The great value of this type of test is
in discovering to teachers and to pupils, as well, their particular
difficulties. A pupil must be able to do fairly acceptable work in
addition before he can solve one problem on the Courtis tests.
Considerable facility can be measured on the Woody tests before an
ability sufficient to be registered on the Courtis tests has been
acquired. In his monograph on the derivation of these tests Mr. Woody
gives results which will enable the teacher to compare his class with
children already tested in other school systems. In the case of all of
these standard tests, school surveys and superintendents' reports are
available which will make it possible to institute comparisons among
different classes and different school systems. One form of the Woody
tests is as follows:

       *       *       *       *       *

                            SERIES A
                          ADDITION SCALE
                         BY CLIFFORD WOODY

    When is your next birthday?......   How old will you be?.....
    Are you a boy or girl?.......    In what grade are you?......

    (1)  (3)  (5)   (7)     (9) (10) (11) (12) (13)  (15) (16)
     2   17   72   3+1=     20   21   32   43   23   100    9
     3    2   26            10   33   59    1   25    33   24
    --   --   --             2   35   17    2   16    45   12
                            30   --   --   13   --   201   15
    (2)  (4)  (6)   (8)     25             --         46   19
     2   53   60   2+5+1=   --                       ---   --
     4   45   37                          (14)
     3   --   --                         25+42=

    (17)  (19)    (21)   (22)     (23)        (26)     (29)
    199  $ .75   $8.00    547   1/3+1/3=      121/2      4 3/4
    194   1.25    5.75    197                 621/2      2 1/4
    295    .49    2.33    685     (24)        121/2      5 1/4
    156  -----    4.16    678    4.0125       371/2      -----
    ---            .94    456    1.5907       ---
                  6.32    393    4.10                   (30)
    (18)   (20)  -----    525    8.673       (27)       2 1/2
    2563  $12.50          240    ------  1/8+1/4+1/2=   6 3/8
    1387   16.75          152                           3 3/4
    4954   15.75          ---                           -----
    2065  ------                    (25)             (28)
    ----                      3/8+5/8+7/8+1/8=      3/4+1/4=

      (31)        (33)      (34)     (35)       (36)      (37)
    113.46         .49   1/6+3/8=  2ft. 6in.  2yr. 5mo.  16 1/3
     49.6097       .28             3ft. 5in.  3yr. 6mo.  12 1/8
     19.9          .63             4ft. 9in.  4yr. 9mo.  21 1/2
      9.87         .95             ---------  5yr. 2mo.  32 3/4
       .0086      1.69                        6yr. 7mo.  ------
     18.253        .22                        ---------
      6.04         .33
    --------       .36                 (38)
                  1.01     25.091+100.4+25+98.28+19.3614=
    (32)           .56
    3/4+1/2+1/4=   .88

       *       *       *       *       *


    When is your next birthday?......How old will you be?.....
    Are you a boy or girl?.......In what grade are you?.......

    (1)  (2)  (3)  (4)  (5)  (6)  (7)  (8)  (9)   (10)   (11)
     8    6    2    9    4   11   13   59   78    7-4=    76
     5    0    1    3    4    7    8   12   37            60
    --   --   --   --   --   --   --   --   --            --

    (12) (13) (14) (15) (16) (17)  (18)   (19)     (20)
     27   16   50   21  270  393   1000  567482   2 3/4-1=
      3    9   25    9  190  178    537  106493
     --   --   --   --  ---  ---   ----  ------

     (21)     (22)       (23)     (24)   (25)       (26)
    10.00  3 1/2-1/2=  80836465  8 7/8  27      4yd. 1ft. 6in.
     3.49              49178036  5 3/4  12 5/8  2yd. 2ft. 3in.
    -----              --------  -----  ------  --------------

        (27)           (28)       (29)         (30)
    5yd. 1ft. 4in.    10-6.25    75 3/4    9.8063-9.019=
    2yd. 2ft. 8in.               52 1/4
    --------------               ------

        (31)            (32)           (33)      (34)      (35)
    7.3-3.00081=   1912 6mo.  8da.  5/12-2/10=  6 1/8  3 7/8-1 5/8=
                   1910 7mo. 15da.              2 7/8
                   ---------------              -----

       *       *       *       *       *

                               SERIES A
                            DIVISION SCALE
                          BY CLIFFORD WOODY

    When is your next birthday?....... How old will you be?......
    Are you a boy or girl?.......... In what grade are you?......

    (1)     (2)     (3)        (4)         (5)    (6)
     __     ___     ___         __         ___     ___
    3)6    9)27    4)28        1)5        9)36    3)39

     (7)      (8)    (9)      (10)        (11)      (12)
    4 ÷ 2 =    __    __    6 × __ = 30     ___     2 ÷ 2 =
              9)0   1)1                   2)13

         (13)         (14)      (15)       (16)      (17)
     ______________   _____  1/4 of 128=    _____  50 ÷ 7 =
    4)24 lbs. 8 oz.  8)5856               68)2108

       (18)      (19)         (20)      (21)      (22)
      ______   248 ÷ 7 =      _____     _____    ______
    13)65065               2.1)25.2   25)9750   2)13.50

      (23)         (24)          (25)           (26)
      ____       ________         _______       _____
    23)469     75)2250300     2400)504000     12)2.76

        (27)           (28)        (29)         (30)
    7/8 of 624 =       ______   3 1/2 ÷ 9 =    3/4 ÷ 5 =

       (31)                 (32)                (33)
    5/4 ÷ 3/5 =        9 5/8 ÷ 3 3/4 =          _____

         (34)                (35)               (36)
    62.50 ÷ 1 1/4 =          ______        ______________
                          531)37722       9)69 lbs. 9 oz.

       *       *       *       *       *

                       SERIES A
                  MULTIPLICATION SCALE
                   BY CLIFFORD WOODY

    When is your next birthday?...... How old will you be?.....
    Are you a boy or girl?....... In what grade are you?.......

      (1)       (2)       (3)       (4)      (5)   (6)    (7)
    3 × 7 =   5 × 1 =   2 × 3 =   4 × 8 =    23   310   7 × 9 =
                                              3     4
                                             --   ---
    (8)   (9)   (10)    (11)    (12)    (13)    (14)   (15)
    50    254    623    1036    5096    8754    165    235
     3      6      7       8       6       8     40     23
    --    ---    ---    ----    ----    ----    ---    ---

    (16)    (17)    (18)    (19)    (20)    (21)     (22)
    7898    145      24     9.6     287     24      8 × 53/4
       9    206     234       4     .05     21/2
    ----    ---     ---     ---     ---     --

      (23)     (24)      (25)      (26)  (27)   (28)  (29)
    11/4 × 8 =  16      7/8 × 3/4 =  9742  6.25  .0123  1/8 × 2 =
              2 5/8                 59   3.2    9.8
             ------                ----  ----  -----
    (30)   (31)           (32)         (33)  (34)
    2.49  12   15  6 dollars 49 cents  2-1/2 × 3-1/2 =  1/2 × 1/2 =
      36  -- × --          8
    ----  25   32  ------------------

    (35)    (36)         (37)          (38)      (39)
    9873/4  3ft. 5in.  21/4 × 41/2 × 11/2 =  .0963 1/8  8ft. 91/2in.
     25      5                        .084         9
    ----  ---------                  ---------  ----------

       *       *       *       *       *

A series of problems in reasoning in arithmetic which were given in
twenty-six school systems by Dr. C.W. Stone furnish a valuable test in
this field, as well as an opportunity for comparison with other schools
in which these problems have been used.[22] A list of problems follows.

     Solve as many of the following problems as you have time for;
     work them in order as numbered:

     1. If you buy 2 tablets at 7 cents each and a book for 65
     cents, how much change should you receive from a two-dollar

     2. John sold 4 Saturday Evening Posts at 5 cents each. He kept
     1/2 the money and with the other 1/2 he bought Sunday papers
     at 2 cents each. How many did he buy?

     3. If James had 4 times as much money as George, he would have
     $16. How much money has George?

     4. How many pencils can you buy for 50 cents at the rate of 2
     for 5 cents?

     5. The uniforms for a baseball nine cost $2.50 each. The shoes
     cost $2 a pair. What was the total cost of uniforms and shoes
     for the nine?

     6. In the schools of a certain city there are 2200 pupils; 1/2
     are in the primary grades, 1/4 in the grammar grades, 1/8 in
     the High School, and the rest in the night school. How many
     pupils are there in the night school?

     7. If 3-1/2 tons of coal cost $21, what will 5-1/2 tons cost?

     8. A news dealer bought some magazines for $1. He sold them
     for $1.20, gaining 5 cents on each magazine. How many
     magazines were there?

     9. A girl spent 1/8 of her money for car fare, and three times
     as much for clothes. Half of what she had left was 80 cents.
     How much money did she have at first?

     10. Two girls receive $2.10 for making buttonholes. One makes
     42, the other 28. How shall they divide the money?

     11. Mr. Brown paid one third of the cost of a building; Mr.
     Johnson paid 1/2 the cost. Mr. Johnson received $500 more
     annual rent than Mr. Brown. How much did each receive?

     12. A freight train left Albany for New York at 6 o'clock. An
     express left on the same track at 8 o'clock. It went at the
     rate of 40 miles an hour. At what time of day will it overtake
     the freight train if the freight train stops after it has gone
     56 miles?

A different type of measurement is accomplished by using Thorndike's
scale for measuring the quality of handwriting.[23] A typical
distribution of the scores which children receive on the handwriting
scale reads as follows: For a fourth grade one child writes quality
four, two quality six, five quality seven, seven quality eight, eight
quality nine, three quality ten, two quality eleven, two quality twelve,
one quality thirteen, one quality fourteen. In a table the distributions
of scores in penmanship for a large number of papers selected at random
show the following results:

                |                 GRADES
    SCORES      +------+------+------+------+------+------+-----
                |   2  |   3  |   4  |   5  |   6  |   7  |   8
    0           |  --  |  --  |  --  |  --  |  --  |  --  |  --
    1           |  --  |  --  |  --  |  --  |  --  |  --  |  --
    2           |  --  |  --  |  --  |  --  |  --  |  --  |  --
    3           |  --  |  --  |  --  |  --  |  --  |  --  |  --
    4           |   5  |   2  |  --  |  --  |  --  |  --  |  --
    5           |  22  |   2  |   3  |   3  |  --  |   1  |  --
    6           |  21  |  21  |  16  |   3  |   2  |  --  |   1
    7           |  29  |  44  |  24  |  12  |   1  |   3  |   3
    8           |  28  |  86  |  42  |  56  |  20  |  15  |   7
    9           |  42  |  41  |  55  |  61  |  25  |  29  |  11
    10          |   7  |   8  |  20  |  16  |   9  |  11  |   1
    11          |  29  |  13  |  21  |  17  |  32  |  25  |  23
    12          |   5  |   2  |  15  |  15  |  44  |  12  |  21
    13          |   7  |   2  |   2  |   6  |  17  |  19  |   9
    14          |  --  |  --  |   3  |   4  |  10  |  16  |   9
    15          |  --  |  --  |   1  |  --  |   9  |   6  |  15
    16          |   1  |  --  |  --  |   1  |  10  |  12  |  17
    17          |  --  |  --  |  --  |  --  |   6  |   2  |   3
    18          |  --  |  --  |  --  |  --  |   3  |   1  |  --
    Total papers|  196 | 221  | 202 |  194  | 188  | 152  | 124

       *       *       *       *       *


The Unit of the Scale Equals approximately One-Tenth of the Difference
between the Best and Worst of the Formal Writings of 1,000 Children in
Grades 5-8. The Differences 16-15, 15-14, 14-13, etc., represent Equal
Fractions of the Combined Mental Scale of Merit of from 23-55 Competent

Sample 140, representing zero merit in handwriting. Zero merit is
arbitrarily defined as that of a handwriting, recognizable as such, but
yet not legible at all and possessed of no beauty.

[Illustration: qual0.png: ]

Quality 4.

[Illustration: qual4.png: ]

Quality 5.

[Illustration: qual5.png: ]

Quality 6.

[Illustration: qual6.png: ]

Quality 7.

[Illustration: qual7.png: ]

Quality 8.

[Illustration: qual8a.png: ]

[Illustration: qual8b.png: ]

Quality 9.

[Illustration: qual9a.png: ]

[Illustration: qual9b.png: ]

[Illustration: qual9c.png: ]

Quality 10.

[Illustration: qual10.png: ]

Quality 11.

[Illustration: qual11a.png: ]

[Illustration: qual11b.png: ]

[Illustration: qual11c.png: ]

Quality 12.

[Illustration: qual12a.png: ]

[Illustration: qual12b.png: ]

[Illustration: qual12c.png: ]

Quality 13.

[Illustration: qual13a.png: ]

[Illustration: qual13b.png: ]

[Illustration: qual13c.png: ]

[Illustration: qual13d.png: ]

Quality 14.

[Illustration: qual14a.png: ]

[Illustration: qual14b.png: ]

Quality 15.

[Illustration: qual15a.png: ]

[Illustration: qual15b.png: ]

[Illustration: qual15c.png: ]

[Illustration: qual15d.png: ]

Quality 16.

[Illustration: qual16a.png: ]

Quality 17.

[Illustration: qual17.png: ]

Quality 18.

[Illustration: qual18.png: ]

       *       *       *       *       *

This table reads as follows: Quality four was written by five children
in the second grade and two in the third grade, quality five was written
by twenty-two children in the second grade, two children in the third
grade, three in the fourth grade, three in the fifth grade, none in the
sixth grade, one in the seventh grade, and none in the eighth grade, and
so on for the whole table.[24]

A scale for measuring ability in spelling prepared by Dr. Leonard P.
Ayres arranges the thousand words most commonly used in the order of
their difficulty. From this sheet it is possible to discover words of
approximately the same difficulty for each grade. A test could therefore
be derived from this scale for each of the grades with the expectation
that they would all do about equally well. There would also be the
possibility of determining how well the spelling was done in the
particular school system in which these words were given as compared
with the ability of children as measured by an aggregate of more than a
million spellings by seventy thousand children in eighty-four cities
throughout the United States. Such a list could be taken from the scale
for the second grade, which includes words which have proved to be of a
difficulty represented by a seventy-three percent correct spelling for
the class. Such a list might be composed of the following words: north,
white, spent, block, river, winter, Sunday, letter, thank, and best. A
similar list could be taken from the scale for a third, fourth, fifth,
sixth, seventh, or eighth grade. For example, the words which have
approximately the same difficulty,--seventy-three percent to be spelled
correctly by the class for the sixth grade,--read as follows: often,
stopped, motion, theater, improvement, century, total, mansion, arrive,
supply. The great value of such a measuring scale, including as it does
the thousand words most commonly used, is to be found not only in the
opportunity for comparing the achievements of children in one class or
school with another, but also in the focusing of the attention of
teachers and pupils upon the words most commonly used.[25]

One of the fields in which there is greatest need for measurement is
English composition. Teachers have too often thought of English
composition as consisting of spelling, punctuation, capitalization, and
the like, and have ignored the quality of the composition itself in
their attention to these formal elements. A scale for measuring English
composition derived by Dr. M.B. Hillegas,[26] consisting of sample
compositions of values ranging from 0 to 9.37, will enable the teacher
to tell just how many pupils in the class are writing each different
quality of composition. The use of such a scale will tend to make both
teacher and pupil critical of the work which is being done not only with
respect to the formal elements, but also with respect to the style or
adequacy of the expression of the ideas which the writer seeks to
convey. Probably in no other field has the teacher been so apt to derive
his standard from the performance of the class as in work in
composition. Even though some teachers find it difficult to evaluate the
work of their pupils in terms of the sample compositions given on the
scale, much good must come, it seems to the writer, from the attempt to
grade compositions by such an objective scale. If such measurements are
made two or three times during the year, the performance of individual
pupils and of the class will be indicated much more certainly than is
the case when teachers feel that they are getting along well without any
definite assurance of the amount of their improvement.

In one large school system in which the writer was permitted to have the
principals measure compositions collected from the sixth and the eighth
grades, it was discovered that almost no progress in the quality of
composition had been accomplished during these two years. This lack of
achievement upon the part of children was not, in the opinion of the
writer, due to any lack of conscientious work upon the part of teachers,
but, rather, developed out of a situation in which the whole of
composition was thought of in terms of the formal elements mentioned
above. The Hillegas scale, together with the values assigned to each of
the samples, is given below.



     VALUE 0. Artificial sample


     Dear Sir: I write to say that it aint a square deal Schools is
     I say they is I went to a school. red and gree green and brown
     aint it hito bit I say he don't know his business not today
     nor yeaterday and you know it and I want Jennie to get me out.

     VALUE 183. Artificial sample

     _My Favorite Book_

     the book I refer to read is Ichabod Crane, it is an grate book
     and I like to rede it. Ichabod Crame was a man and a man wrote
     a book and it is called Ichabod Crane i like it because the
     man called it ichabod crane when I read it for it is such a
     great book.

     VALUE 260. Artificial sample

     _The Advantage of Tyranny_

     Advantage evils are things of tyranny and there are many
     advantage evils. One thing is that when they opress the people
     they suffer awful I think it is a terrible thing when they say
     that you can be hanged down or trodden down without mercy and
     the tyranny does what they want there was tyrans in the
     revolutionary war and so they throwed off the yok.

     VALUE 369. Written by a boy in the second year of the high
     school, aged 14 years

     _Sulla as a Tyrant_

     When Sulla came back from his conquest Marius had put himself
     consul so sulla with the army he had with him in his conquest
     siezed the government from Marius and put himself in consul
     and had a list of his enemys printy and the men whoes names
     were on this list we beheaded.

     VALUE 474. Written by a girl in the third year of the high
     school, aged 17 years

     _De Quincy_

     First: De Quincys mother was a beautiful women and through her
     De Quincy inhereted much of his genius.

     His running away from school enfluenced him much as he roamed
     through the woods, valleys and his mind became very

     The greatest enfluence of De Quincy's life was the opium
     habit. If it was not for this habit it is doubtful whether we
     would now be reading his writings.

     His companions during his college course and even before that
     time were great enfluences. The surroundings of De Quincy were
     enfluences. Not only De Quincy's habit of opium but other
     habits which were peculiar to his life.

     His marriage to the woman which he did not especially care

     The many well educated and noteworthy friends of De Quincy.

     VALUE 585. Written by a boy in the fourth year of the high
     school, aged 16 years


     The passages given show the following characteristic of
     Fluellen: his inclination to brag, his professed knowledge of
     History, his complaining character, his great patriotism,
     pride of his leader, admired honesty, revengeful, love of fun
     and punishment of those who deserve it.

     VALUE 675. Written by a girl in the first year of the high
     school, aged 18 years

     _Ichabod Crane_

     Ichabod Crane was a schoolmaster in a place called Sleepy
     Hollow. He was tall and slim with broad shoulders, long arms
     that dangled far below his coat sleeves. His feet looked as if
     they might easily have been used for shovels. His nose was
     long and his entire frame was most loosely hung to-gether.

     VALUE 772. Written by a boy in the third year of the high
     school, aged 16 years

     _Going Down with Victory_

     As we road down Lombard Street, we saw flags waving from
     nearly every window. I surely felt proud that day to be the
     driver of the gaily decorated coach. Again and again we were
     cheered as we drove slowly to the postmasters, to await the
     coming of his majestie's mail. There wasn't one of the gaily
     bedecked coaches that could have compared with ours, in my
     estimation. So with waving flags and fluttering hearts we
     waited for the coming of the mail and the expected tidings of

     When at last it did arrive the postmaster began to quickly
     sort the bundles, we waited anxiously. Immediately upon
     receiving our bundles, I lashed the horses and they responded
     with a jump. Out into the country we drove at reckless
     speed--everywhere spreading like wildfire the news, "Victory!"
     The exileration that we all felt was shared with the horses.
     Up and down grade and over bridges, we drove at breakneck
     speed and spreading the news at every hamlet with that one cry
     "Victory!" When at last we were back home again, it was with
     the hope that we should have another ride some day with

     VALUE 838. Written by a boy in the Freshman class in college

     _Venus of Melos_

     In looking at this statue we think, not of wisdom, or power,
     or force, but just of beauty. She stands resting the weight of
     her body on one foot, and advancing the other (left) with knee
     bent. The posture causes the figure to sway slightly to one
     side, describing a fine curved line. The lower limbs are
     draped but the upper part of the body is uncovered. (The
     unfortunate loss of the statue's arms prevents a positive
     knowledge of its original attitude.) The eyes are partly
     closed, having something of a dreamy langour. The nose is
     perfectly cut, the mouth and chin are moulded in adorable
     curves. Yet to say that every feature is of faultless
     perfection is but cold praise. No analysis can convey the
     sense of her peerless beauty.

     VALUE 937. Written by a boy in the Freshman class in college

     _A Foreigner's Tribute to Joan of Arc_

     Joan of Arc, worn out by the suffering that was thrust upon
     her, nevertheless appeared with a brave mien before the Bishop
     of Beauvais. She knew, had always known that she must die when
     her mission was fulfilled and death held no terrors for her.
     To all the bishop's questions she answered firmly and without
     hesitation. The bishop failed to confuse her and at last
     condemned her to death for heresy, bidding her recant if she
     would live. She refused and was lead to prison, from there to

     While the flames were writhing around her she bade the old
     bishop who stood by her to move away or he would be injured.
     Her last thought was of others and De Quincy says, that recant
     was no more in her mind than on her lips. She died as she
     lived, with a prayer on her lips and listening to the voices
     that had whispered to her so often.

     The heroism of Joan of Arc was wonderful. We do not know what
     form her great patriotism took or how far it really led her.
     She spoke of hearing voices and of seeing visions. We only
     know that she resolved to save her country, knowing though she
     did so, it would cost her her life. Yet she never hesitated.
     She was uneducated save for the lessons taught her by nature.
     Yet she led armies and crowned the dauphin, king of France.
     She was only a girl, yet she could silence a great bishop by
     words that came from her heart and from her faith. She was
     only a woman, yet she could die as bravely as any martyr who
     had gone before.

The following compositions have been evaluated by Professor Thorndike,
and may be used to supplement the scale given above.

     VALUE 13

     Last Monday the house on the corner of Jay street was burned
     down to the ground and right down by Mrs. brons house there is
     a little child all alone and there is a bad man sleeping in
     the seller, but we have a wise old monkey in the coal ben so
     the parents are thankful that they don't have to pay any

     VALUE 20

     Some of the house burned and the children were in bed and
     there were four children and the lady next store broke the
     door in and went up stars and woke the peple up and whent out
     of the house when they moved and and the girl was skard to
     look out of the window and all the time thouhth that she saw a

     And the wise monkey reward from going to the firehouse and
     jumping all round and was thankful from his reward and was
     thankful for what he got. $15. was his reward.

     VALUE 30

     A long time ago, I do not know, how long but a man and a woman
     and a little boy lived together also a monkey a pet for the
     little boy it happened that the man and the woman were out,
     and the monkey and little boy, and the house started to burn,
     and the monkey took the little boys hand, and, went out.

     The father had come home and was glad that the monkey had
     saved his little boy.

     And that, monkey got a reward.

     VALUE 40

     Once upon a time a woman went into a dark room and lit a
     match. She dropped it on the floor and it of course set the
     house afire.

     She jumped out of the window and called her husband to come
     out too.

     They both forgot all about the baby. All of a sudden he
     appeared in the window calling his mother.

     His father had gone next door to tel afone to the fire house.

     They had a monkey in the house at the time and he heard the
     child calling his mother.

     He had a plan to save the baby.

     He ran to the window where he was standing. He put his tail
     about his waist and jumped off the window sill with the baby
     in his tail.

     When the people were settled again they gave him a silver
     collar as a reward.

     VALUE 50

     A University out west, I cannot remember the name, is noted
     for its hazing, and this is what the story is about. It is the
     hazing of a freshman. There was a freshman there who had been
     acting as if he didn't respect his upper class men so they
     decided to teach him a lesson. The student brought before the
     Black Avenger's which is a society in all college to keep the
     freshman under there rules so they desided to take him to the
     rail-rode track and tie him to the rails about two hours
     before a train was suspected and leave him there for about an
     hour, which was a hour before the 9.20 train was expected. The
     date came that they planned this hazing for so the captured
     the fellow blindfolded him and lead him to the rail rode
     tracks, where they tied him.

     VALUE 60

     I should like to see a picture, illustrating a part of
     L'allegro. Where the godesses of Mirth and Liberty trip along
     hand in hand. Two beautiful girls dressed in flowing garments,
     dancing along a flower-strewn path, through a pretty garden.
     Their hair flowing down in long curls. Their countenances
     showing their perfect freedom and happiness. Their arms
     extended gracefully smelling some sweet flower. In my mind
     this would make a beautiful picture.

     VALUE 70

     It was between the dark and the daylight when far away could
     be seen the treacherous wolves skulking over the hills. We sat
     beside our campfires and watched them for awhile. Sometimes a
     few of them would howl as if they wanted to get in our camp.
     Then, half discouraged, they would walk away and soon there
     would be others doing the same thing. They were afraid to come
     near because of the fires, which were burning brightly. I
     noticed that they howled more between the dark and the
     daylight than at any time of the night.

     VALUE 80

     The sun was setting, giving a rosy glow to all the trees
     standing tall black against the faintly tinted sky. Blue,
     pink, green, yellow, like a conglomeration of paints dropped
     carelessly onto a pale blue background. The trees were in such
     great number that they looked like a mass of black crepe, each
     with its individual, graceful form in view. The lake lay
     smooth and unruffled, dimly reflecting the beautiful coloring
     of the sky. The wind started madly up and blew over the lake's
     glassy surface making mysterious murmurings blending in with
     the chirping songs of the birds blew through the tree tops
     setting the leaves rustling and whispering to one another. A
     squirrel ran from his perch chattering, to the lofty
     branches--a far and distant hoot echoed in the silence, and
     soon night, over all came stealing, blotting out the scenery
     and wrapping all in restful, mysterious darkness.

     VALUE 90

     Oh that I had never heard of Niagara till I beheld it! Blessed
     were the wanderers of old, who heard its deep roar, sounding
     through the woods, as the summons to an unknown wonder, and
     approached its awful brink, in all the freshness of native
     feeling. Had its own mysterious voice been the first to warn
     me of its existence, then, indeed, I might have knelt down and
     worshipped. But I had come thither, haunted with a vision of
     foam and fury, and dizzy cliffs, and an ocean tumbling down
     out of the sky--a scene, in short, which nature had too much
     good taste and calm simplicity to realize. My mind had
     struggled to adapt these false conceptions to the reality, and
     finding the effort vain, a wretched sense of disappointment
     weighed me down. I climbed the precipice, and threw myself on
     the earth feeling that I was unworthy to look at the Great
     Falls, and careless about beholding them again.

A scale for measuring English composition in the eighth grade, which
takes account of different types of composition, such as narration,
description, and the like, has been developed by Dr. Frank W. Ballou, of
Boston.[27] For those interested in the following up of the problem of
English composition this scale will prove interesting and valuable.

Several scales have been developed for the measurement of the ability of
children in reading. Among them may be mentioned the scale derived by
Professor Thorndike for measuring the understanding of sentences.[28]
This scale calls attention to that element in reading which is possibly
the most important of them all, that is, the attempt to get meanings. We
are all of us, for the most part, concerned not primarily with giving
expression through oral reading, but, rather, in getting ideas from the
printed page. A sample of this scale is given on the following page.

       *        *        *       *       *


    Write your name here...............................
    Write your age.............years............months.

SET _a_

Read this and then write the answers. Read it again as often as you need

John had two brothers who were both tall. Their names were Will and
Fred. John's sister, who was short, was named Mary. John liked Fred
better than either of the others. All of these children except Will had
red hair. He had brown hair.

    1. Was John's sister tall or short?.....................
    2. How many brothers had John?..........................
    3. What was his sister's name?..........................

SET _b_

Read this and then write the answers. Read it again as often as you need

Long after the sun had set, Tom was still waiting for Jim and Dick to
come. "If they do not come before nine o'clock," he said to himself, "I
will go on to Boston alone." At half past eight they came bringing two
other boys with them. Tom was very glad to see them and gave each of
them one of the apples he had kept. They ate these and he ate one too.
Then all went on down the road.

    1. When did Jim and Dick come?...................................
    2. What did they do after eating the apples?.....................
    3. Who else came besides Jim and Dick?...........................
    4. How long did Tom say he would wait for them?..................
    5. What happened after the boys ate the apples?..................

SET _c_

Read this and then write the answers. Read it again as often as you need

It may seem at first thought that every boy and girl who goes to school
ought to do all the work that the teacher wishes done. But sometimes
other duties prevent even the best boy or girl from doing so. If a boy's
or girl's father died and he had to work afternoons and evenings to earn
money to help his mother, such might be the case. A good girl might let
her lessons go undone in order to help her mother by taking care of the

    1. What are some conditions that might make even the best boy leave
    school work unfinished?............................................
    2. What might a boy do in the evenings to help his family?.........
    3. How could a girl be of use to her mother?.......................
    4. Look at these words: _idle, tribe, inch, it, ice, ivy, tide, true,
    tip, top, tit,
    tat, toe._

Cross out every one of them that has an _i_ and has not any _t_ (T) in

SET _d_

Read this and then write the answers. Read it again as often as you need

It may seem at first thought that every boy and girl who goes to school
ought to do all the work that the teacher wishes done. But sometimes
other duties prevent even the best boy or girl from doing so. If a boy's
or girl's father died and he had to work afternoons and evenings to earn
money to help his mother, such might be the case. A good girl might let
her lessons go undone in order to help her mother by taking care of the

    1. What is it that might seem at first thought to be true, but really is

    2. What might be the effect of his father's death upon the way a boy
    3. Who is mentioned in the paragraph as the person who desires to have
    all lessons completely

    4. In these two lines draw a line under every 5 that comes just after a
    unless the 2 comes just after a 9. If that is the case, draw a line
    the next figure after the 5:

    5 3 6 2 5 4 1 7 4 2 5 7 6 5 4 9 2 5 3 8 6 1 2 5 4 7 3 5 2 3 9 2 5 8 4 7
    9 2 5 6
    1 2 5 7 4 8 5 6

       *       *        *       *       *

Many tests have been devised which have been thought to have more
general application than those which have been mentioned above for the
particular subjects. One of the most valuable of these tests, called
technically a completion test, is that derived by Dr. M.R. Trabue.[29]
In these tests the pupil is asked to supply words which are omitted from
the printed sentences. It is really a test of his ability to complete
the thought when only part of it is given. Dr. Trabue calls his scales
language scales. It has been found, however, that ability of this sort
is closely related to many of the traits which we consider desirable in
school children. It would therefore be valuable, provided always that
children have some ability in reading, to test them on the language
scale as one of the means of differentiating among those who have more
or less ability. The scores which may be expected from different grades
appear in Dr. Trabue's monograph. Three separate scales follow.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Write only one word on each blank_
    _Time Limit: Seven minutes_  NAME ..........................


     1. We like good boys................girls.
     6. The................is barking at the cat.
     8. The stars and the................will shine tonight.
    22. Time................often more valuable................money.
    23. The poor baby................as if it.....................sick.
    31. She................if she will.
    35. Brothers and sisters ................ always ................ to
    help..............other and should................quarrel.
    38. ................ weather usually................ a good effect
    ................ one's spirits.
    48. It is very annoying to................................tooth-ache,
    ................often comes at the most................time
    54. To................friends is always................the........
    it takes.

    _Write only one word on each blank_
    _Time Limit: Seven minutes_ NAME..........................


    4. We are going................school.
    76. I................to school each day.
    11. The................plays................her dolls all day.
    21. The rude child does not................many friends.
    63. Hard................makes................tired.
    27. It is good to hear................voice.......................
    71. The happiest and................contented man is the one........
    ........lives a busy and useful.................
    42. The best advice................usually................obtained
    ................one's parents.
    51.................things are................ satisfying to an ordinary
    ................than congenial friends.
    84.................a rule one................association..........

    _Write only one word on each blank_
    _Time Limit: Five minutes_ NAME ............................


    20. Boys and................soon become................and women.
    61. The................are often more contented.............. the
    64. The rose is a favorite................ because of................
    fragrance and.................
    41. It is very................ to become................acquainted
    ................persons who................timid.
    93. Extremely old..................sometimes..................almost as
    .................. care as ...................
    87. One's................in life................upon so............
    factors ................ it is not ................ to state any
    single................for................ failure.
    89. The future................of the stars and the facts of............
    history are................now once for all,................I
    like them................not.

       *       *       *       *       *

Other standard tests and scales of measurement have been derived and are
being developed. The examples given above will, however, suffice to make
clear the distinction between the ordinary type of examination and the
more careful study of the achievements of children which may be
accomplished by using these measuring sticks. It is important for any
one who would attempt to apply these tests to know something of the
technique of recording results.

In the first place, the measurement of a group is not expressed
satisfactorily by giving the average score or rate of achievement of the
class. It is true that this is one measure, but it is not one which
tells enough, and it is not the one which is most significant for the
teacher. It is important whenever we measure children to get as clear a
view as we can of the whole situation. For this purpose we want not
primarily to know what the average performance is, but, rather, how many
children there are at each level of achievement. In arithmetic, for
example, we want to know how many there are who can do none of the
Courtis problems in addition, or how many there are who can do the first
six on the Woody test, how many can do seven, eight, and so on. In
penmanship we want to know how many children there are who write quality
eight, or nine, or ten, or sixteen, or seventeen, as the case may be.
The work of the teacher can never be accomplished economically except as
he gives more attention to those who are less proficient, and provides
more and harder work for those who are capable, or else relieves the
able members of the class from further work in the field. It will be
well, therefore, to prepare, for the sake of comparing grades within the
same school or school system, or for the sake of preparing the work of a
class at two different times during the year, a table which shows just
how many children there are in the group who have reached each level of
achievement. Such tables for work in composition for a class at two
different times, six months apart, appear as follows:


                  |  NUMBER OF CHILDREN
                  |  NOVEMBER |  FEBRUARY
    Rated at 0    |      0    |      0
             1.83 |      1    |      1
             2.60 |      6    |      4
             3.69 |     12    |      6
             4.74 |      8    |     11
             5.85 |      3    |      4
             6.75 |      1    |      3
             7.72 |      1    |      2
             8.38 |      0    |      1
             9.37 |      0    |      0

A study of such a distribution would show not only that the average
performance of the class has been raised, but also that those in the
lower levels have, in considerable measure, been brought up; that is,
that the teacher has been working with those who showed less ability,
and not simply pushing ahead a few who had more than ordinary capacity.
It would be possible to increase the average performance by working
wholly with the upper half of the class while neglecting those who
showed less ability. From a complete distribution, as has been given
above, it has become evident that this has not been the method of the
teacher. He has sought apparently to do everything that he could to
improve the quality of work upon the part of all of the children in the

It is very interesting to note, when such complete distributions are
given, how the achievement of children in various classes overlaps. For
example, the distribution of the number of examples on the Courtis
tests, correctly finished in a given time by pupils in the seventh
grades, makes it clear that there are children in the fifth grade who do
better than many in the eighth.


             ADDITION          |               SUBTRACTION
No. OF  |----------------------+ No. OF   |------------------------
EXAMPLES|        GRADES        | EXAMPLES |       GRADES
FINISHED| 5  |  6  |  7  |  8  | FINISHED | 5  |   6 |  7  |  8
0       | 12 |  15 |  5  |  4  |  0       | 6  |  2  |  2  |  --
1       | 26 |  23 |  14 |  9  |  1       | 5  |  6  |  2  |  1
2       | 27 |  31 |  8  |  6  |  2       | 7  |  8  |  1  |  --
3       | 31 |  27 |  27 |  9  |  3       | 13 |  21 |  3  |  1
4       | 25 |  28 |  19 |  16 |  4       | 21 |  18 |  13 |  2
5       | 16 |  23 |  16 |  15 |  5       | 26 |  30 |  12 |  7
6       | 15 |  22 |  12 |  12 |  6       | 17 |  27 |  15 |  9
7       | 1  |  11 |  8  |  9  |  7       | 15 |  27 |  18 |  9
8       | 3  |  4  |  6  |  11 |  8       | 15 |  20 |  12 |  12
9       | 1  |  2  |  3  |  8  |  9       | 10 |  13 |  9  |  12
10      | -- |  -- |  -- |  6  |  10      | 8  |  6  |  13 |  11
11      | -- |  -- |  1  |  -- |  11      | 6  |  2  |  3  |  12
12      | -- |  -- |  1  |  2  |  12      | 3  |  1  |  7  |  9
13      | -- |  -- |  -- |  -- |  13      | 2  |  2  |  3  |  5
14      | -- |  -- |  -- |  -- |  14      | 1  |  1  |  3  |  7
15      | -- |  -- |  -- |  2  |  15      | -- |  -- |  2  |  3
16      | -- |  -- |  -- |  1  |  16      | -- |  -- |  1  |  2
17      | -- |  -- |  -- |  -- |  17      | -- |  1  |  -- |  1
18      | -- |  -- |  -- |  -- |  18      | -- |  -- |  -- |  1
19      | -- |  -- |  -- |  -- |  19      | -- |  -- |  -- |  4
20      | -- |  -- |  -- |  -- |  20      | -- |  -- |  -- |  2
21      | -- |  -- |  -- |  -- |  21      | -- |  -- |  -- |  1
22      | -- |  -- |  -- |  -- |  22      | -- |  -- |  -- |  --
Total   |    |     |     |     |          |    |     |     |
papers  |157 |  86 | 119 | 111 |          |155 | 185 | 119 | 111


          MULTIPLICATION            |             DIVISION
No. of  |          GRADES           |No. of  |         GRADES
Finished|    5 |   6 |   7 |   8    |Finished|    5 |   6 |   7 |   8
 0 . . .|   10 |   4 |  -- |  --    | 0 . . .|   17 |   7 |   1 |  --
 1 . . .|   10 |   4 |   3 |  --    | 1 . . .|   19 |  17 |   2 |   1
 2 . . .|   19 |  20 |   5 |   1    | 2 . . .|   18 |  22 |   8 |   4
 3 . . .|   21 |  17 |  11 |   5    | 3 . . .|   21 |  26 |   6 |   2
 4 . . .|   28 |  31 |  16 |   3    | 4 . . .|   25 |  27 |   8 |   6
 5 . . .|   26 |  34 |  12 |  13    | 5 . . .|   21 |  27 |  11 |   7
 6 . . .|   24 |  27 |  13 |  13    | 6 . . .|    9 |  15 |  12 |   4
 7 . . .|    9 |  20 |  16 |  10    | 7 . . .|   10 |  15 |  16 |  18
 8 . . .|    5 |  14 |  21 |  19    | 8 . . .|    6 |   7 |  20 |   9
 9 . . .|    3 |   9 |  11 |  13    | 9 . . .|    4 |   7 |  11 |   6
10 . . .|   -- |   4 |   6 |  10    |10 . . .|    4 |   9 |   7 |  13
11 . . .|    1 |  -- |   2 |   9    |11 . . .|    1 |   3 |   3 |   7
12 . . .|   -- |  -- |   2 |   6    |12 . . .|   -- |   2 |  10 |  10
13 . . .|   -- |  -- |   1 |   3    |13 . . .|   -- |   2 |  -- |  10
14 . . .|   -- |  -- |  -- |   3    |14 . . .|    1 |  -- |   1 |   4
15 . . .|   -- |  -- |  -- |  --    |15 . . .|   -- |   1 |   2 |   9
16 . . .|   -- |  -- |  -- |   1    |16 . . .|   -- |  -- |  -- |   2
17 . . .|   -- |  -- |  -- |  --    |17 . . .|   -- |  -- |  -- |   4
18 . . .|   -- |  -- |  -- |   1    |18 . . .|   -- |  -- |  -- |   2
19 . . .|   -- |  -- |  -- |   1    |19 . . .|   -- |  -- |  -- |   1
20 . . .|   -- |  -- |  -- |  --    |20 . . .|   -- |  -- |  -- |   1
21 . . .|   -- |  -- |  -- |  --    |21 . . .|   -- |  -- |  -- |   1
22 . . .|   -- |  -- |  -- |  --    |22 . . .|   -- |  -- |  -- |  --
Total   |      |     |     |        |        |      |     |     |
Papers  |  156 | 184 | 119 | 111    |        |  156 | 187 | 118 | 111

If the tests had been given in the fourth or the third grade, it would
have been found that there were children, even as low as the third
grade, who could do as well or better than some of the children in the
eighth grade. Such comparisons of achievements among children in various
subjects ought to lead at times to reorganizations of classes, to the
grouping of children for special instruction, and to the rapid promotion
of the more capable pupils.

In many of these measurements it will be found helpful to describe the
group by naming the point above and below which half of the cases fall.
This is called the median. Because of the very common use of this
measure in the current literature of education, it may be worth while to
discuss carefully the method of its derivation.[30]

[31]The _median point_ of any distribution of measures is that point on
the scale which divides the distribution into two exactly equal parts,
one half of the measures being greater than this point on the scale, and
the other half being smaller. When the scales are very crude, or when
small numbers of measurements are being considered, it is not worth
while to locate this median point any more accurately than by indicating
on what step of the scale it falls. If the measuring instrument has been
carefully derived and accurately scaled, however, it is often desirable,
especially where the group being considered is reasonably large, to
locate the exact point within the step on which the median falls. If the
unit of the scale is some measure of the variability of a defined group,
as it is in the majority of our present educational scales, this median
point may well be calculated to the nearest tenth of a unit, or, if
there are two hundred or more individual measurements in the
distribution, it may be found interesting to calculate the median point
to the nearest hundredth of a scale unit. Very seldom will anything be
gained by carrying the calculation beyond the second decimal place.

The best rule for locating the median point of a distribution is to
_take as the median that point on the scale which is reached by counting
out one half of the measures_, the measures being taken in the order of
their magnitude. If we let _n_ stand for the number of measures in the
distribution, we may express the rule as follows: Count into the
distribution, from either end of the scale, a distance covered by *_n/2_
measures. For example, if the distribution contains 20 measures, the
median is that point on the scale which marks the end of the 10th and
the beginning of the 11th measure. If there are 39 measures in the
distribution, the median point is reached by counting out 19-1/2 of the
measures; in other words, the median of such a distribution is at the
mid-point of that fraction of the scale assigned to the 20th measure.

The _median step_ of a distribution is the step which contains within it
the median point. Similarly, the _median measure_ in any distribution is
the measure which contains the median point. In a distribution
containing 25 measures, the 13th measure is the median measure, because
12 measures are greater and 12 are less than the 13th, while the 13th
measure is itself divided into halves by the median point. Where a
distribution contains an even number of measures, there is in reality no
median measure but only a median point between the two halves of the
distribution. Where a distribution contains an uneven number of
measures, the median measure is the (_n_+1)/2 measurement, at the
mid-point of which measure is the median point of the distribution.

Much inaccurate calculation has resulted from misguided attempts to
secure a _median point_ with the formula just given, which is applicable
only to the location of the _median measure_. It will be found much more
advantageous in dealing with educational statistics to consider only the
median point, and to use only the _n_/2 formula given in a previous
paragraph, for practically all educational scales are or may be thought
of as continuous scales rather than scales composed of discrete steps.

The greatest danger to be guarded against in considering all scales as
continuous rather than discrete, is that careless thinkers may refine
their calculations far beyond the accuracy which their original
measurements would warrant. One should be very careful not to make such
unjustifiable refinements in his statement of results as are often made
by young pupils when they multiply the diameter of a circle, which has
been measured only to the nearest inch, by 3.1416 in order to find the
circumference. Even in the ordinary calculation of the average point of
a series of measures of length, the amateur is sometimes tempted, when
the number of measures in the series is not contained an even number of
times in the sum of their values, to carry the quotient out to a larger
number of decimal places than the original measures would justify. Final
results should usually not be refined far beyond the accuracy of the
original measures.

It is of utmost importance in calculating medians and other measures of
a distribution to keep constantly in mind the significance of each step
on the scale. If the scale consists of tasks to be done or problems to
be solved, then "doing 1 task correctly" means, when considered as part
of a continuous scale, anywhere from doing 1.0 up to doing 2.0 tasks. A
child receives credit for "2 problems correct" whether he has just
barely solved 2.0 problems or has just barely fallen short of solving
3.0 problems. If, however, the scale consists of a series of productions
graduated in quality from very poor to very good, with which series
other productions of the same sort are to be compared, then each sample
on the scale stands at the middle of its "step" rather than at the

The second kind of scale described in the foregoing paragraph may be
designated as "scales for the _quality_ of products," while the other
variety may be called "scales for _magnitude_ of achievement." In the
one case, the child makes the best production he can and measures its
quality by comparing it with similar products of known quality on the
scale. Composition, handwriting, and drawing scales are good examples of
scales for quality of products. In the other case, the scales are placed
in the hands of the child at the very beginning, and the magnitude of
his achievement is measured by the difficulty or number of tasks
accomplished successfully in a given time. Spelling, arithmetic,
reading, language, geography, and history tests are examples of scales
for quantity of achievement.

Scores tend to be more accurate on the scales for magnitude of
achievement, because the judgment of the examiner is likely to be more
accurate in deciding whether a response is correct or incorrect than it
is in deciding how much quality a given product contains. This does not
furnish an excuse for failing to employ the quality-of-products scales,
however, for the qualities they measure are not measurable in terms of
the magnitude of tasks performed. The fact appears, however, that the
method of employing the quality-of-products scales is "by comparison"
(of child's production with samples reproduced on the scale), while the
method of employing the magnitude-of-achievement scales is "by
performance" (of child on tasks of known difficulty).

In this connection it may be well to take one of the scales for quality
of products and outline the steps to be followed in assigning scores,
making tabulations, and finding the medians of distributions of scores.

When the Hillegas scale is employed in measuring the quality of English
composition, it will be advisable to assign to each composition the
score of that sample on the scale to which it is nearest in merit or
quality. While some individuals may feel able to assign values
intermediate to those appearing on the Hillegas scale, the majority of
those persons who use this scale will not thereby obtain a more accurate
result, and the assignment of such intermediate values will make it
extremely difficult for any other person to make accurate use of the
results. To be exactly comparable, values should be assigned in exactly
the same manner.

The best result will probably be obtained by having each composition
rated several times, and if possible, by a number of different judges,
the paper being given each time that value on the Hillegas scale to
which it seems nearest in quality. The final mark for the paper should
be the median score or step (not the median point or the average point)
of all the scores assigned. For example, if a paper is rated five times,
once as in step number five (5.85), twice as in step number six (6.75),
and twice as in step number seven (7.72), it should be given a final
mark indicating that it is a number six (6.75) paper.

After each composition has been assigned a final mark indicating to what
sample on the Hillegas scale it is most nearly equal in quality, proceed
as follows:

Make a distribution of the final marks given to the individual papers,
showing how many papers were assigned to the zero step on the scale, how
many to step number one, how many to step number two, and so on for each
step of the scale. We may take as an example the distribution of scores
made by the pupils of the eighth grade at Butte, Montana, in May, 1914.

    No. of papers   1   9  32  39  43  22   6   2
    Rated at        0   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9

All together there were 154 papers from the eighth grade, so that if
they were arranged in order according to their merit we might begin at
the poorest and count through 77 of them (n/2 = 154/2 = 77) to find the
median point, which would lie between the 77th and the 78th in quality.
If we begin with the 1 composition rated at 0 and count up through the 9
rated at 1 and the 32 rated at 2 in the above distribution, we shall
have counted 42. In order to count out 77 cases, then, it will be
necessary to count out 35 of the 39 cases rated at 3.

Now we know (if the instructions given above have been followed) that
the compositions rated at 3 were so rated by virtue of the fact that the
judges considered them nearer in quality to the sample valued at 3.69
than to any other sample on the scale. We should expect, then, to find
that some of those rated at 3 were only slightly nearer to the sample
valued at 3.69 than they were to the sample valued at 2.60, while others
were only slightly nearer to 3.69 than they were to 4.74. Just how the
39 compositions rated on 3 were distributed between these two extremes
we do not know, but the best single assumption to make is that they are
distributed at equal intervals on step 3. Assuming, then, that the
papers rated at 3 are distributed evenly over that step, we shall have
covered .90 (35/39 = .897 = .90) of the entire step 3 by the time we
have counted out 35 of the 39 papers falling on this step.

It now becomes necessary to examine more closely just what are the
limits of step 3. It is evident from what has been said above that 3.69
is the middle step 3 and that step 3 extends downward from 3.69 halfway
to 2.60, and upward from 3.69 halfway to 4.74. The table given below
shows the range and the length of each step in the Hillegas Scale for
English Composition.


    0. . . .|    0          |   0- .91[32] |    .91
    1. . . .|  1.83         | .92-2.21     |   1.30
    2. . . .|  2.60         |2.22-3.14     |    .93
    3. . . .|  3.69         |3.15-4.21     |   1.07
    4. . . .|  4.74         |4.22-5.29     |   1.08
    5. . . .|  5.85         |5.30-6.30     |   1.00
    6. . . .|  6.75         |6.30-7.23     |    .93
    7. . . .|  7.72         |7.24-8.05     |    .81
    8. . . .|  8.38         |8.05-8.87     |    .82
    9. . . .|  9.37         |8.88-         |

From the above table we find that step 3 has a length of 1.07 units. If
we count out 35 of the 39 papers, or, in other words, if we pass upward
into the step .90 of the total distance (1.07 units), we shall arrive at
a point .96 units (.90 × 1.07 = .96) above the lower limit of step 3,
which we find from the table is 3.15. Adding .96 to 3.15 gives 4.11 as
the median point of this eighth grade distribution.

The median and the percentiles of any distribution of scores on the
Hillegas scale may be determined in a manner similar to that illustrated
above, if the scores are assigned to the individual papers according to
the directions outlined above.

A similar method of calculation is employed in discovering the limits
within which the middle fifty per cent of the cases fall. It often seems
fairer to ask, after the upper twenty-five per cent of the children who
would probably do successful work even without very adequate teaching
have been eliminated, and the lower twenty-five per cent who are
possibly so lacking in capacity that teaching may not be thought to
affect them very largely have been left out of consideration, what is
the achievement of the middle fifty per cent. To measure this
achievement it is necessary to have the whole distribution and to count
off twenty-five per cent, counting in from the upper end, and then
twenty-five per cent, counting in from the lower end of the
distribution. The points found can then be used in a statement in which
the limits within which the middle fifty per cent of the cases fall.
Using the same figures that are given above for scores in English
composition, the lower limit is 2.64 and the limit which marks the point
above which the upper twenty-five per cent of the cases are to be found
is 5.08. The limits, therefore, within which the middle fifty per cent
of the cases fall are from 2.64 to 5.08.

It is desirable to measure the relationship existing between the
achievements (or other traits) of groups. In order to express such
relationship in a single figure the coefficient or correlation is used.
This measure appears frequently in the literature of education and will
be briefly explained. The formula for finding the coefficient of
correlation can be understood from examples of its application.

Let us suppose a group of seven individuals whose scores in terms of
problems solved correctly and of words spelled correctly are as

CORRECTLY  |        |
  A        |   1    |       2
  B        |   2    |       4
  C        |   3    |       6
  D        |   4    |       8
  E        |   5    |      10
  F        |   6    |      12
  G        |   7    |      14

From such distributions it would appear that as individuals increase in
achievement in one field they increase correspondingly in the other. If
one is below or above the average in achievement in one field, he is
below or above and in the same degree in the other field. This sort of
positive relationship (going together) is expressed by a coefficient of
+1. The formula is expressed as follows:

                  (Sum x · y)
    r = ------------------------------
        (sqrt(Sum x^2))(sqrt(Sum y^2))

Here _r_ = coefficient of correlation.

_x_ = deviations from average score in arithmetic (or difference between
score made and average score).

_y_ = deviations from average score in spelling.

Sum = is the sign commonly used to indicate the algebraic sum (_i.e._
the difference between the sum of the minus quantities and the plus

_x · y _= products of deviation in one trait multiplied by deviation in
the other trait with appropriate sign.

Applying the formula we find:
      |ARITH-|   |            | SPEL- |   |             |             |
      |METIC | x |       x^2  | LING  | y |  y^2        |   x·y       |
    A |     1|-3 |           9|      2|-6 |           36|          +18|
    B |     2|-2 |           4|      4|-4 |           16|           +8|
    C |     3|-1 |           1|      6|-2 |            4|           +2|
    D |     4| 0 |           0|      8| 0 |             |             |
    E |     5|+1 |           1|     10|+2 |            4|           +2|
    F |     6|+2 |           4|     12|+4 |           16|           +8|
    G |     7|+3 |           9|     14|+6 |           36|          +18|
      |   ___|   |          __|    ___|   |          ___|           __|
      | 7 |28|   |Sum x^2 = 28| 7  |56|   |Sum y^2 = 112|Sum x·y = +56|
      |Av. =4|   |            |Av. =8 |   |             |             |
                 Sum x · y                     +56             +56
    r = ---------------------------- = --------------------- = ---- = +1
        (sqrt(Sum x^2)(sqrt(Sum y^2)   (sqrt(28))(sqrt(112))    56

If instead of achievement in one field being positively related (going
together) in the highest possible degree, these individuals show the
opposite type of relationship, _i.e.,_ the maximum negative relationship
(this might be expressed as opposition--a place above the average in one
achievement going with a correspondingly great deviation below the
average in the other achievement), then our coefficient becomes -1.
Applying the formula:

      |ARITH-|   |            | SPEL- |   |             |             |
      |METIC | x |        x^2 | LING  | y |        y^2  |        x*y  |
    A |     1|-3 |           9|     14|+6 |           36|          -18|
    B |     2|-2 |           4|     12|+4 |           16|           -8|
    C |     3|-1 |           2|     10|+2 |            4|           -2|
    D |     4| 0 |            |      8| 0 |             |             |
    E |     5|+1 |           2|      6|-2 |            4|           -2|
    F |     6|+2 |           4|      4|-4 |           16|           -8|
    G |     7|+3 |           9|      2|-6 |           36|          -18|
      |   ___|   |          __|    ___|   |          ___|           __|
      | 7 |28|   |Sum x^2 = 28| 7  |56|   |Sum y^2 = 112|Sum x·y = -56|
      |Av. =4|   |            |Av. =8 |   |             |             |

It will be observed that in this case each plus deviation in one
achievement is accompanied by a minus deviation for the other trait;
hence, all of the products of _x_ and _y_ are minus quantities. (A plus
quantity multiplied by a plus quantity or a minus quantity multiplied by
a minus quantity gives us a plus quantity as the product, while a plus
quantity multiplied by a minus quantity gives us a minus quantity as the

                 (Sum x·y)               -56                   -56
    r = ------------------------------ = ------------------- = ---- = -1.
        (sqrt(Sum x^2))(sqrt(Sum y^2))   (sqrt(28)sqrt(112)) =  56

If there is no relationship indicated by the measures of achievements
which we have found, then the coefficient of correlation becomes 0. A
distribution of scores which suggests no relationship is as follows:

      |ARITH- |    |           |         |    |             |
      |METIC  |  x |      x^2  |Spelling |  y |      y^2    |   x.y
      |       |    |           |         |    |             |  - +
    A |     2 | -2 |         4 |      12 | +4 |          16 | -8 +6
    B |     1 | -3 |         9 |       8 |  0 |             |  0 +4
    C |     4 |  0 |           |       2 | -6 |          36 |  0 +4
    D |     5 | +1 |         1 |      14 | +6 |          36 | -6
    E |     3 | -1 |         1 |       4 | -4 |          16 | -14 +14
    F |     7 | +3 |         9 |       6 | -2 |           4 |
    G |     6 | +2 |         4 |      10 | +2 |           4 |
      |   ____|    |           |     ___ |    |             |
      |   |28 |    |Sum x^2=28 |    7|56 |    | Sum y^2=112 | x·y=0
      | AV.=4 |    |           |   AV.=8 |    |             |

                 (Sum x·y)                       0
    r = ---------------------------- = ------------------- = 0.
        (sqrt(Sum x^2)sqrt(Sum y^2))   (sqrt(28)sqrt(112))

In a similar manner, when the relationship is largely positive as would
be indicated by a displacement of each score in the series by one step
from the arrangement which gives a +1 coefficient, the coefficient will
approach unity in value.

    ARITHMETIC| x  |  x^2      |SPELLING| y  |  y^2       |
     A |1     | -3 |9          |4       | -4 | 16         |+ 12
     B |2     | -2 |4          |2       | -6 | 36         |+ 12
     C |3     | -1 |1          |8       |  0 |            |+ 4
     D |4     |  0 |           |6       | -2 |  4         |+ 4
     E |5     | +1 |1          |12      | +4 | 16         |+ 18
     F |6     | +2 |4          |10      | +2 |  4         |Sx·y=50
     G |7     | +3 |9          |14      | +6 | 36         |
       |Av. =4|    |Sum x^2 =28|Av. = 8 |    |Sum y^2= 112|

             Sum x·y                 +50
    r= --------------------------  = ---- = +.89.
       sqrt(Sum x^2)sqrt(Sum y^2)     56

Other illustrations might be given to show how the coefficient varies
from + 1, the measure of the highest positive relationship (going
together) through 0 to -1, the measure of the largest negative
relationship (opposition). A relationship between traits which we
measure as high as +.50 is to be thought of as quite significant. It is
seldom that we get a positive relationship as large as +.50 when we
correlate the achievements of children in school work. A relationship
measured by a coefficient of ±.15 may _not_ be considered to indicate
any considerable positive or negative relationship. The fact that
relationships among the achievements of children in school subjects vary
from +.20 to +.60 is a clear indication of the fact that abilities of
children are variable, or, in other words, achievement in one subject
does not carry with it an _exactly corresponding_ great or little
achievement in another subject. That there is some positive
relationship, _i.e.,_ that able pupils tend on the whole to show
all-round ability and the less able or weak in one subject _tend_ to
show similar lack of strength in other subjects, is also indicated by
these positive coefficients.


1. Calculate the median point in the following distribution of
eighth-grade composition scores on the Hillegas scale.

    Quality   0  18  26  37  47  58  67
    Frequency         2  68  73   3

2. Calculate the median point in the following distribution of
third-grade scores on the Woody subtraction scale.

    No. problems 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21
    Frequency        2 2 2   3 3 5 4  5  8 16 16 16 23 20 21 11 22 11  2

    22 23 24 +

3. Compare statistically the achievements of the children in two
eighth-grade classes whose scores on the Courtis addition tests were as

    Class A--6, 5, 8, 9, 7, 10, 13, 4, 8, 7, 8, 7, 6, 8, 15, 6, 7, 0, 6, 9,
    5, 8, 7, 10, 8, 4, 7, 8, 6, 9, 5, 7, 2, 6, 8, 5, 7, 8, 7, 8, 5, 8, 10,
    6, 3, 6, 8, 17, 5, 7.

    Class B--10, 4, 8, 13, 11, 9, 8, 10, 7, 9, 11, 10, 18, 7, 12, 9, 10, 8,
    11, 10, 12,
    9, 2, 11, 8, 10, 9, 14, 11, 7, 10, 12, 10, 6, 11, 8, 10, 9, 10, 17, 8,
    9, 7, 9, 11, 8, 12, 9, 13.

4. If the marks received in algebra and in geometry by a group of high
school pupils were as given below, what relationship is indicated by the
coefficient of correlation?

         |MARKS    |MARKS
    1.   |80       |60
    2.   |68       |73
    3.   |65       |80
    4.   |96       |80
    5.   |59       |62
    6.   |75       |65
    7.   |90       |75
    8.   |86       |90
    9.   |52       |63
    10.  |70       |55
    11.  |63       |54
    12.  |85       |95
    13.  |93       |90
    14.  |87       |70
    15.  |82       |68
    16.  |79       |75
    17.  |78       |86
    18.  |79       |75
    19.  |82       |60
    20.  |70       |82
    21.  |52       |86
    22.  |94       |85
    23.  |72       |73
    24.  |53       |62
    25.  |94       |85

5. Compare the abilities of the 10-year-old pupils in the sixth grade
with the abilities of the 14-year-old pupils in the same grade, in so
far as these abilities are measured by the completion of incomplete

(Note: 5 = 5.0-5.999.)

    NO. SENTENCES |              |
    24            |--            |--
    23            |--            |--
    22            |--            |--
    21            |1             |--
    20            |--            |--
    19            |--            |--
    18            |--            |--
    17            |--            |1
    16            |3             |--
    15            |--            |2
    14            |7             |4
    13            |10            |3
    12            |18            |7
    11            |9             |10
    10            |7             |9
    9             |8             |10
    8             |2             |10
    7             |3             |10
    6             |--            |2
    5             |2             |3
    4             |--            |2
    3             |--            |--
    2             |--            |1
    1             |--            |--
    0             |--            |--

6. From the scores given here, calculate the relationship between
ability to spell and ability to multiply. Use the average as the central

    A    |9       |22
    B    |10      |16
    C    |2       |19
    D    |6       |14
    E    |13      |24
    F    |8       |22
    G    |10      |17
    H    |7       |20
    I    |3       |21
    J    |2       |21
    K    |14      |20
    L    |8       |18
    M    |7       |23
    N    |11      |25
    O    |8       |25
    P    |17      |24
    Q    |10      |21
    R    |4       |16
    S    |9       |15
    T    |6       |19
    U    |12      |22
    V    |14      |19
    W    |8       |17
    X    |3       |20
    Y    |11      |18

       *       *       *       *       *


    Achievements of children, measuring the,
      and examinations,
      in English composition,
      in arithmetic,
      arithmetic scale,
      reasoning problems in arithmetic,
      distribution of hand-writing scores,
      handwriting scale,
      spelling scale,
      scale for English composition.
    Æsthetic emotions,
      appreciation and skill,
      appreciation, intellectual factors in.
    Aim of education, I
    Analysis and abstraction, III.
    Angell, J.R.
      types of,
      passive attitude in,
      development in,
      value of,
    Associations, organization of,
      number of.
      situations arousing response of,
      and inhibition,
      breadth of,
      to more than one thing,
      concentration of,
      span of,
      immediate free,
      immediate and derived,
      and habit formation,
      focalization of,
    Ayres, L.P.

    Ballou, F.W.
    Bread-and-butter aim.

    Classroom exercises, types of.
    Coefficient of correlation,
      calculation of,
      values of.
    Comparison and abstraction, step of.
    Concentration, of attention.
      habits of.
    Conduct, moral social.
    Consciousness, fringe of.
    Correlation, coefficient of.
    Courtis, S.A.
    Culture as aim of education.
    Curriculum, omissions from.

    Deduction lesson, the,
      steps in.
    Deduction, process of.
    Dewey, John.
    Differences, individual,
    Disuse, method of.
      lesson, the,
      work, deficiency in.

    Education, before school age.
    Effect, law of.
    Emotions, aesthetic.
    Environment and individual differences.
      limitations of.
    Exceptions, danger of.

    Fatigue and habits.
    Formal discipline.

    Gray, W.S.

    Habit formation,
      and attention,
      laws of,
      and instinct,
      complexity of,
      and interest,
      and mistakes.
    Habits, of concentration,
      modification of the nervous system involved,
      and fatigue,
      and will power,
      and original work.
    Harmonious development of aim.
    Heck, W.H.
    Henderson, E.N.
    Heredity and individual differences.
    Hillegas, M.B.

    Illustrations, use of.
    Imagery, type of,
      and learning,
      productive, types of.
      object and concrete.
    Individual differences,
      causes of,
      and race inheritance,
      and maturity,
      and heredity,
      and environment,
      and organization of
      public education
      in composition
      in arithmetic
      in penmanship
    Induction and deduction
      differences in
      relationship of
    Induction, process of
    Inductive lesson, the
    Inquiry in school work
    Instinctive tendencies
      modifiability of
      inhibition of
      transitoriness of
      delayedness of
      of physical activity
      to enjoy mental activity
      of manipulation
      of collecting
      of rivalry
      of fighting
      of imitation
      of gregariousness
      of motherliness
      an end

    Judd, C.H.
    Junior high school, the

    Kelly, F.J.
    Knowledge aim

      and imagery
      and appreciation
      the inductive

    McMurry, F.M.
    Maturity and individual differences
    Measurement of group
      comparison of seventh-grade scores in composition
      comparison of scores in arithmetic
    Measuring results in education
      calculation of
      whole-part method illustrated
      factors in
      and native retentiveness
      and recall
      part and whole methods
      practice periods
      and forgetting
      permanence of
    Miller, I.E.
    Moral conduct
      development of
      and conduct
      and habit
      and choice
      and individual opinion
      social nature of
      and training for citizenship
      and original nature
      and environment
      stages of development in
      and habit formation
      transition period in
      direct teaching of
      and classroom work
      and service by pupils
      and social responsibility
      and school rules
    Morgan, C.L.

    Original nature
      of children
      and racial inheritance
      and aim of education
      utilization of
      and morality
    Original work and habits

    Payne, Joseph
    Physical welfare of children
      theories of
      types of
      complexity of
      characteristics of
      and drudgery
      and work
      and ease of accomplishment
      and social demands
      supervision of
      steps of
      steps of
    Problems as stimulus to thinking

      types of
      responses to
      number of
      appeal of

    Reasoning and thinking
      technique of
    Recapitulation theory
      social purpose of
    Recitation lesson, the
      power of
    Review lesson, the
    Roark, R.N.

      result of
    Scales of measurement
    School government
      participation in
    Sex differences
    Social aim of education
      and curriculum
      and special types of schools
    Stone, C.W.
      how to
      types of
      and habit formation
      and memorization
      and interest
      necessity for aim in
      and concentrated attention
      involves critical attitude
      general factors in
      for appreciation
      involving thinking
      use of books in
      method of

    Thinking defined
      stimulation of
      and problematic situations
      by little children
      and habit formation
      essentials in process of
      for its own sake
      and critical attitude
      laws governing
      and association
      failure in
      and classroom exercises
    Thorndike, E.L.
    Trabue, M.R.
      transfer of
      identity of response
      probability of
      amount of
    Transfer of training

    Will power and habits
    Woody, Clifford
    Work, independent
    Work and play

Footnote 1: The nervous system is composed of units of structure called
neurones or nerve cells. "If we could see exactly the structure of the
brain itself, we should find it to consist of millions of similar
neurones each resembling a bit of string frayed out at both ends and
here and there along its course. So also the nerves going out to the
muscles are simply bundles of such neurones, each of which by itself is
a thread-like connection between the cells of the spinal cord or brain
and some muscle. The nervous system is simply the sum total of all these
neurones, which form an almost infinitely complex system of connections
between the sense organs and the muscles."

The word synapses, meaning clasping together, is used as a descriptive
term for the connections that exist between neurone and neurone.

Footnote 2: This is synonymous with James's Involuntary Attention,
Angell's Non-Voluntary Attention, and Titchener's Secondary-Passive

Footnote 3: Educational Psychology, Briefer Course, pp. 194-5.

Footnote 4: Thorndike, Psychology of Learning, p. 194.

Footnote 5: How We Think, p. 6.

Footnote 6: The Psychology of Thinking, p. 98.

Footnote 7: How We Think, p. 66.

Footnote 8: How We Think, pp. 69-70.

Footnote 9: Psychology of Thinking, p. 291.

Footnote 10: How We Think, p. 79.

Footnote 11: Thorndike, Educational Psychology, Briefer Course, p. 172.

Footnote 12: Introduction to Psychology, p. 284.

Footnote 13: Thorndike, Origin of Man, p. 146.

Footnote 14: Racial Differences in Mental Traits, pp. 177 and 181.

Footnote 15: Thorndike, Educational Psychology, Briefer Course, p. 374.

Footnote 16: Thorndike, Educational Psychology, Vol. III, p. 304.

Footnote 17: Moral Principles in Education, p. 17.

Footnote 18: For a fuller discussion of this topic see next chapter.

Footnote 19: For a discussion of these scales see Chapter XV.

Footnote 20: The Courtis Tests, Series B, for Measuring the Achievements
of Children in the Fundamentals of Arithmetic, can be secured from Mr.
S.A. Curtis, 82 Eliot Street, Detroit, Mich.

Footnote 21: Measurements of Some Achievements in Arithmetic, by
Clifford Woody, published by the Teachers College Bureau of
Publications, Columbia University, 1916.

Footnote 22: Reasoning Test in Arithmetic, by C.W. Stone, published by
the Bureau of Publications, Teachers College, Columbia University, 1916.

Footnote 23: A Scale for Handwriting of Children, by E.L. Thorndike,
published by the Bureau of Publications, Teachers College, Columbia

Footnote 24: A scale derived by Dr. Leonard P. Ayres of the Russell Sage
Foundation is also valuable for measuring penmanship, and can be
purchased from the Russell Sage Foundation.

Footnote 25: Copies of the Spelling Scale can be secured from the
Russell Sage Foundation, New York, for five cents a copy.

Footnote 26: A Scale for the Measurement of Quality in English
Composition, by Milo B. Hillegas, published by the Bureau of
Publications, Teachers College, Columbia University.

Footnote 27: The Harvard-Newton Scale for the Measurement of English
Composition, published by the Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass.

Footnote 28: Scale Alpha. For Measuring the Understanding of Sentences,
by E.L. Thorndike, published by the Bureau of Publications, Teachers
College, Columbia University.

Scales for measuring the rate of silent reading and oral reading have
been derived by Dr. W.S. Gray, of the University of Chicago, and by Dr.
F.J. Kelly, of the University of Kansas. Reference to the use of Dr.
Gray's scale will be found in Judd's Measuring Work of the Schools, one
of the volumes of the Cleveland survey, published by the Russell Sage
Foundation. Dr. Kelly's test, called The Kansas Silent Reading Test, can
be had from the Emporia, Kansas, State Normal School.

Footnote 29: Completion Test Language Scales, by M.R. Trabue, published
by the Bureau of Publications, Teachers College, Columbia University.

Footnote 30: The student who is not interested in the statistical
methods involved in measuring with precision the achievements of pupils
may omit the remainder of this chapter.

Footnote 31: This explanation of the method of finding the median was
prepared for one of the classes in Teachers College by Dr. M.R. Trabue.

Footnote 32: The third decimal place is omitted in this table.

Footnote 33: In order to discover the relationship which exists between
two traits which we have measured we would use many more than seven
cases. The illustrations given are made short in order to make it easy
to follow through the application of the formula.

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