A Course of Study in History and Handbook to the State Series Advanced Text (Classic Reprint)

Fb&c Limited, 2016年10月14日 - 176 頁
Excerpt from A Course of Study in History and Handbook to the State Series Advanced d104

There is a growing tendency in the field of education toward a more rigid examination of the subjects which make up the course of study. This is rightly so, especially in the case of the course of study for the grammar school, because it touches vitally the welfare of a larger number of pupils than any other part of our school system. Thousands of dollars of public money, the energy of thousands of school children, not to mention the expense incumbent on parents in keeping children in school, are invested in each and every subject composing the course of study for the grammar school. This is certainly a good and sufficient reason for subjecting each of the subjects which compose the course of study to the closest examination, in order to see whether or not the subject merits the place it holds, to see whether or not it yields a dividend on the investment.

It is very evident why we teach reading and writing in the schools. The goals of these subjects are very apparent. We want children to be able to read and write. These goals are certainly desirable, and experience has proven that they are attainable. But what of history and its goals? What have we tried to do with history as a school subject? What have been the results? Some of the goals we have assigned to history are: the giving of information, the general training and development of the mind, the train ing of memory, imagination, observation, and judgment, the development of character, patriotism, and good citizenship. These are all desirable goals, but what does experience show as regards the actual output.2 Simply this, that only one of these goals is attainable through the teaching of history in the schools as they are, and that is the giving of information. Experience shows clearly that there is one thing we can guarantee to do with history, to give the pupil that knowledge of the nation's past life which the race knows and uses. These other goals, which are most desirable, but which experience shows to be unattainable, are the products of the old-time doctrine of formal discipline, which held that general faculties were developed and trained by the study of certain subjects.

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