J. A. (James Alexander) McLellan.

Applied psychology. An introduction to the principles and practice of education online

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Online LibraryJ. A. (James Alexander) McLellanApplied psychology. An introduction to the principles and practice of education → online text (page 1 of 28)
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Director of Normal Schools for Ontario. Author of "Mental Arithmetic"
"Elements of Algebra." Etc.


s W n/ ^/9\7x^


Of Michioan University \?

Learn to Do by Knowing and to Know by Doing.



This volume has been prepared at the request of many
teachers and Inspectors that I should publish some of my leo
tures on the Psychology, Principles and Practice of Education,
which have been given from time to time before Teachers' Asso-
ciations. It was urged that though there are many excellent
books on general Psychology, there is still room for one which
more directly meets the needs of the teacher. Some of these
works are too abstract and deal with philosophical questions that
very remotely concern the science of education ; others are
too superficial, 1.0., in their attempts to make psychology easy,
they have made it worthless for the educator as well as for the
student of philosophy. Most writers on psychology declare that
a knowledge of that subject is indispensable in the training of
the teacher ; but it must be confessed that the ordinary teacher,
even after reading psychologies that claim to be specially pre-
pared for teachers, tans to see tne direct bearing of the sub-
ject on the work of instruction.

What is wanted, say the teachers who have the worth ot
psychology so often dinned in their ears, is a more practical
work, that is, one that will show explicitly the Delation of psy-
chology to education, and give the teacher a. clearer and more
thorough knowledge of the principles which underlie true
methods of instruction. It would be too much to expect that


this volume will fully meet these requirements ; but it is hoped
that teachers will find in it some justification of the opinion now
generally held by educationists, and tersely expressed by Herbert
Spencer, that " with complete knowledge of the subject which
a teacher has to teach, a co-essential thing is a knowledge of
psychology ; and especially of that part of psychology which
deals with the evolution of the faculties."

Attention may be called to certain features of the book :

1. The general mode of treatment in the part on mental
science is that of Professor Dewey, whose work on Psychology
has been so well received by students of philosophy. In pre-
paring an analysis of lectures on Educational Psychology, I
consulted the lamented Professor Young, who, while favouring
me with his own ideas on the subject, specially recommended
Dewey's " Psychology." On the basis of that work, accordingly,
lectures were prepared and delivered before Teachers' Associa-
tions ; perhaps it is not too much to say that the deep interest
these lectures have awakened among teachers is a fair test of
the practical worth of the method.

2. The book is not a series of baby-talks on mind The
psychology which requires no thinking is worthless for both
teacher and student. If " education is the hardest and most
difficult problem ever proposed to man," its science cannot be
mastered without thought. But while the book has not ignored
scientific method and so may not be useless as an introduction
to more advanced work the subject, it is hoped, has been so
plainly illustrated that it will prove interesting and intelligible
to the general reader and certainly to any student of common
industry and abilitv


3. As intimated, an attempt has been made to make the book
of practical value to teachers. Besides the deduction of educa-
tional principles from each important topic as discussed, there
is a summary chapter which gives a clear and concise view of the
Basis, Aims and Methods of Instruction, as grounded on psy-

4. It is believed that the chapters on the Method of Interro-
gation will show still more clearly the relation of psychology to
educational method, and prove helpful to the teacher who
wishes to acquire skill in the art of questioning, the ars artium
of his calling.

5. The chapter on Kindergarten Work and Self-Instruction
in Public Schools, abounds, it is thought, in hints and sugges-
tions which will be found of real value in the practical work of
the school-room. The plans and work recommended have stood
the test of experience ; if faithfully carried out they will lighten
the labour of both teachers and pupils, and greatly increase
the efficiency of the public schools.

6. The outline methods on some important branches
based on explicit psychological principles will, perhaps, prove
more serviceable to the teacher than a whole volume of empir-
ical " ways and devices."

7. The full analytical table of contents will help the student
to such a mastery of educational principles as established in
this volume that he will be fairly able to test independently any
of the innumerable methods which are urged upon his attention
by distinguished inventors.

To Professor Dewey, whose book on Psychology, already
mentioned should be read by every student of the subject,


I must express my obligations for most valuable assistance in
the preparation of this work.

For the practical part of the chapter on Kindergarten work
and on geography, my thanks are due to Mr. J. Suddaby,
who is regarded as one of our most progressive teachers, and
whose work which I have often inspected has placed the
Berlin Model School in the front rank of training schools.

For nearly forty years the Professional training of teachers
has been perhaps from the force of circumstances largely em-
pirical and imitative ; the essence of this method of training
may be expressed by the single formula, " Observe and Imitate."
This has made teaching a mere " trade," and, as Mr. Fitch says,
" teaching is the sorriest of all trades though the noblest of all
professions." But it has been, and is, plainly the policy of our
leading educators to change all this, to insist on a knowledge
of the laws, principles and results of mental evolution as a
necessary part of a teacher's preparation, to make professional
training something worthy of the name by placing it on 'a
rational, />., a psychological basis, and, in a word, to substitute
for a " sorry trade " the noblest of professions. I sincerely
hope that this book will help, in some degree, to give effect to
that wise and far-seeing policy.



Psychology and its Relations to the Teacher

I. The Educational Importance of Psychology.

1. It is the Science of Mind to be Educated I

(Formal Definition and Discussion of Methods) 2

2. It Reveals the Processes upon which Educational Methods

must be Based 2

a. Definition of Method.

*. Source of Value of Methods.

t. True and False Methods.

II. -The Educational Limitations of Psychology.

I. As a Science it is Generic, while Teaching Deals with Indi-
viduals 4

a. It is Theoretic, while Teaching is Practical. 5

HI. Tho Treatment of Psychology Adopted , 5

A. Discussion of Raw Material or Basis.

B. Of Processes.
C Of Products.

The Bases of Psychical Lift (A).

These Bases are Three Sensation, Interest and Impulse 6

T. Sensation.

I. Definition Contains Three Factors. 6

a. As an element in Knowledge it is :

. Immediate 7

3. Presentative 7


. Characteristics :

Quality, Intensity, Tone, Extensity. Definitions of each. . . 8

4. Conditions :

. Physical Condition Motion 9

(*'.) Dependence of Intensity upon Amplitude of Motion

Illustrated 9

('.) Dependence of Quality upon Velocity Illustrated by

Sound and Color 9

(*.) Dependence of Quality upon Kinds of Vibration,

Illustrated by Timbre of Sound and Shades of Coloi 10
A Physiological Condition Involves Nerve Organ, Conduct-
ing Nerve and Brain IO

('.) The kind of Nerve Organ Receiving Stimulus ii
Basis of Division of Sensations into General and
Specific II

(**.) General Sensations have Tone predominating ; are
vague ; report condition of cfjanism ; are first to

(Hi.) Specific Sensations ha e Quality predominating)
are definite ; report objects outside organism ; ap-
pear later in life el

t. Psychical Condition is Consciousness.

(/) Consciousness Cannot be Derived from Motion.... 12

(*'/) Motion may be Stimulus to Consciousness 12

5. The Senses of Greatest Educational Importance :

.Touch Ij

(i.) Other Senses Differentiated from it

(&) Used to Test Reports of other Senses.

(&'.) Most Closely Connected with Muscular Activity.
t. Hearing, and Sight the Senses of Highest Development 13-14

('.) They Make the Finest Discriminations.

(#.) Sight is the Space Sense.

(/.) Hearing is the Time Sense.
e. Different Sensory Types, Motor, Visual, and Auditory.. 14

6. Educational Principles : 15

a. Necessity of Basing Knowledge of External Objects in


b. Since Sensation is only a Basis, Psychical Processes most

Act upon it
e. Instruction Should be Adapted to Sensory Conditions,


IL -Interest.

Z. Meaning of Interest 16

2. Distinctions of Interest from Information 17

a. It is Emotional
*. Subjective.
c. Individual.

3. Importance of Interest 17

4. Educational Principle 18

Education must be Based on Interest

XII. -Impulse.

1. Definition of Impulse 19

2. Importance of Impulse 19

3. Impulse and Instinct 20

4. Impulses Classified

a. Impulses of Sensation 20

b. Impulses of Perception 21

c. Imitative Impulses 21

d. Impulses to Expression 21

Gesture Language Speech

5. Educational Principles.

0. Training the Senses means Training Impulses 22

k. Instruction should Seize Instincts at the Height of their

Development 22

c. Instruction should make use of the various Classes of Im-
pulses 2324

The Psychical Processes (B).

I . Classification of Contents of our Minds 14

Simultaneous Groups.
Successive Uncontrolled Trains.
Successive Controlled Trains.


II- -Classification of Processes Corresponding to these

Non- Voluntary Attention.
Voluntary Attention.


L Non-Voluntary Attention/** (J^ "^*^

I. Definition. ..JUl(Av3wf f>^.. * 26

a. Conditions of Non- Voluntary Attention :

a. Natural Interest 26

(i.) Quantity 27

(.) Tone 27

4. Acquired Interest 27

(*.) Familiarity 27

(.) Novelty 28

(Hi.) Familiarity and Novelty in Connection 28

3. Effects of Non- Voluntary Attention :

a. Negative Effect Exclusion from Consciousness. 29

6. Positive Effects :

(*'.) Bringing Differences to Consciousness 30

(it.) Uniting Elements in One Presentation. 30

(1) May Unite any Number of Elements 30

(2) May Unite Elements Unconnected in themselves 31

4. Educational Principles:

a. Must be some Activity of Attention 33

b. Teacher must not only Present Material, but must Induce

this Activity 33

<.flt must be Induced Indirectly by Arousing Interest 34

d. Interest Accompanies all Mental Activity 34

#. Also the Exercise of Play-Impulse 35

/. Also Dependent upon Relations of Novelty and Familiarity 35

g. Suggestions as to Cultivating Non- Voluntary Attention.. 36

n. Association.

1. Definition3<3^^v^l^^

2. Conditions Original Union ; Integration and Redintegration. 38

3. Varieties of Association :

. Contiguity External 38

(i.) Spatial.
('.) Temporal.


b. Similarity Internal 39

Includes Contrast 4

4. Resalts:

a. Mental Order. 4

6. Mental Freedom 41

Similarity Superior in these respects to Contiguity 41

t. Formation of Habits :
(i.) Definition of Habit .

(ii. ) Active and Passive Habits .V 42

(Hi.) Functions of Habit :

(1) Give Self-Control in some Directions 43

(2) Frees Intelligence and Will from Supervision of

Details 43

J. Educational Principles , 44

Based on stages of Intellectual Growth, of which there are Three
. Is " Mechanical " Stage :

(/.) Association of Activities rather than of Ideas 44

(ii.) Based on Repetition . 45

(ill.) Has Discipline (which is not Mechanical for its

object) 45

Meaning of Discipline . 46

(rv.) Relation of Knowing to Doing, in Mechanical

Stage 46

J. Is Stage of Forming Connections

(i.) May be between Sense Impressions 47

(ii.) Or between Ideas 47

(i.) Sensuous Associations Should be Subordinate.... 48
(iv.) Hence, Principle of Teaching only what has Mean-
ing 49

(r. ) Importance of Habit in Education 49

e. Is Stage of Culture 49

Based especially on Association by Similarity 50

HE. Voluntary Attention.

Introduction 50 52

1. Relation to Non- Voluntary Attention 50

2. Relation to Association 51

3. Early Forms 52

4. Later and More Complex Forms 52

Activities Involved in Attention 53


I. Adjusting Activity t

(.) Mind more Interested in one Direction than in

Others 53

(ii) Hence, Stretches out to what will Satisfy this

Interest 54

(tit. ) And fixes Certain Groups of Ideas upon Presenta-
tion 54

(iv.) This is Dependent upon Past Experience. 55

a. Selecting Activity :

(t.) Selects what Meets its Interests 55

(tt) Basis of Selection is According to Kind of Interest .. 56

(iii.) Variable and Permanent Interests 56

(iv.) Law of Permanent Interest 56

3. Relating Activity :

(i.) Mind Seizes Relations not Presented 57

(tt.) Especially Relations of Unity and Difference 58

(ui. ) This is Act of Comparison 58

(iv.) Meaning of Unification 58

(t>.) Meaning of Discrimination 59

(z/i.) Goal of Attention 59

IH Educational Principles.

1. Need of Activity to Prevent Mind Wandering 60

2. Need of Permanence or Continuity of Interest 60

3. Need of Store of Ideas in Mind akin to Object of Attention. . . 61

4. Need of Arousing this Store of Ideas . 61

5. Failures in real Attention when these Conditions are not met . . 62

6. Need that the Mind move along Related Points 63

When the Mind Notices or discovers Relations, it is paying

Attention 63

7. Suggestions as to Ways of gaining Attention 64

IV. Apperception and Retention.

The Psychical Processes affect Mind and affect Material Known .... 65

Illustration of Apperception 66

Illustration of Retention 66

Mutual Relations , 67

I. Retention:

a. Nature 67

4. Forms Mental Power 68

f. Forms Dynamical Associations or Tendencies 68


S. Apperception t

a. Nature ^9

b. Basis of Growth of Knowledge 69

$. Educational Principles :

a. End of Education is Mental Development Retention .... 70

t. But this occurs through Development of Knowledge Ap-
perception , 7

& Learning Depends upon Proper Presentation of Material

and upon Proper Preparation of Mind 7'

4 Apperception and Retention form Mental Function, Habit

nd Character 7*

Forms of Intellectual Development.

(First Division of C or Mental Products.)
g 1. Principles of Intellectual Development.

I. Development of Intelligence is from the Presentative to

the Representative 74

n. And from the Sensuous to the Ideal 74

1. Idealizing Activity 75

2. Educational Principles :

a. Necessity of Interpretation 76

b. Necessity of Assimilation 76

III. -And from the Vague and Particular to the Definite

and Universal 77

1. Meaning of Particular and General 78

2. The Definite and Universal Constituted by Relations 79

3. Educational Principles :

a. Necessity of Defining Knowledge 80

(i) Distinction of Definite Object and Definite Know-
ledge 80

(.) Definite Knowledge must come after Indefinite;

Details after Outlines 8l

(Hi.) Mind's Analytic Power Defines Knowledge. 83


4. Necessity of Connecting Knowledge. ..... . ......... ... 83

Mind's Synthetic Power Connects ..... ............... 3

e. Necessity of both Universal and Particular Factor. Re-

lated Facts ...................................... 83

d. Necessity of Treating Intellectual Faculties as Successive

Developments of Same Principle .................. 84

These Successive Developments are :
^Jj.1 Perception which is i

(1) Both Presentative and Representative ........ 85

(2) Sensuous and Ideal and .................... 85

(3) Related .................................. 85

(it.) Memory which is t _

(1) More Representative than Peception ......... 86

(2) More Ideal and ............................ 86

(3) Expresses more Relations .................. 86

(M.) Imagination which is :__

\i) Jbased upon Memory ..................... 87

(2) But is more Representative and Ideal ........ 88

(3) And Involves Wider Relations .............. 88

Thinking whicj

(1) Most Representative or Symbolic of all Stages. . 89

(2) Mostldealand ............................ 89

(3) Expresses Most Relations .................. 90

Hence, the Educational Principle is to Develop

all by Same Methods .................... 90

f 2. Stages of Intellectual Development Training of

L Considered in Itself .................................. 91

1. Should be Accurate and Full ................. . ........ . 91

2. Should be Independent ................ . ................ 92

3. Should Form Habit of Observation ...................... 92

II. Considered in Relation to other Stages.

I. Must be made Basis of Representative Knowledge .......... 93

a. Hence requires large Store of Perceptions prior to In-

struction in wholly Representative Ideas ............ 94

b. That all Representative Ideas be Illustrated by Percep-

tion* ........... c ........... .................. 94


t. Otherwise What is Learned is %

(i) Meaningless 94

(t) Uninteresting * 94

(Hi) Productive of Mind Wandering 95

3. Stages of Intellectual Development, continued- -
Training of the Memory. Contains two Factors :

L -Learning 95

General Principle : Train Memory by the Methods in which Studies

are Appropriated 95

This Principle may be applied :

I. To Memorizing bare Separate Facts 96

a. To Memorizing Coasecutive Statements of Facts 96

. Evils of Memorizing by Sheer Force of Repetition are :

(i) It Employs only Sensuous Association 97

(it*.) It Leaves the Mind Passive 97

(iii.) It Burdens the Mind 97

(iv.) It Leads to Mind Wandering. 97

/. Proper Methods of Memorizing rely :

(*.) Upon Association of Ideas 98

(ii.) Upon Analysis and Synthesis 98

3. To Memorizing Relations of Complex Ideas 99

II. Recollecting Depends upon

1. Repetition. loo


a. Attention to Connected Ideas 100

| 4. Stages of Intellectual Development, continued
Training of Imagination.

/L Necessity of Indirect Training^

^ I. Because of its Free Character loi

2. Because of its Individual Character IO2

3. Because of its Unconscious Growth 102

IL This Indirect Training is Brought About

I. Through Cultivation of Expression of Imagination loa

S. Through Cultivation of the Feelings that Stimulate Imagination:

a. Due partly to Influence of Teacher 103

*. Partly to Development of Religious Emotions 103


Through Providing Material to be Worked Upon t

. Natural Scenes 104

t. Studies like Geography and History 104

t. Study of Literature 104

5. Stages ef Intellectual Development continued-
Training of Thought.

L Indirect Training Brought About by Training other
Lower Stages

Illustrated by :

I. Generalization involved in Perception 105

. Relations involved in all Knowledge. .. 106

3. The Grouping of Facts brought about by Retention 107

n. Direct Training.

I. Given by Language , 107

. Words are Products of Thought. 108

t. Structure of Sentences a Product of Thought 108

e. Connected Discourse a Product of Thought 109

S. Given by Science. 109

. Physical 109

A. Mathematical. 109


The Forms of Emotional Development.

(Second Division of C r Mental Products.)
I. Conditions of Interest.

Feeling Accompanies Activity no

1. Spontaneity of Activity no

2. Strength of Activity. Ill

3. Change of Activity Ill

Monotony and Variety.

4. Harmony of Activities 119

IL Principles of Emotional Growth.

IB General the same as Intellectual. Iff


f. Widening of Feeling :

a. Through Transference 113

b. Through Unconscious Sympathy 113

t. Through Conscious Sympathy 114

2. Deepening of Feeling :

a. Through Repetition 114

b. Through Cooperation 114

[II. The Forms, or Stages, of Emotional Growth.

I. Intellectual 115

a. Leading to the Acquiring of Knowledge :

(.) Wonder 115

(ii.) Curiosity 116

b. Resulting from Acquisition of Knowledge, Feeling of

Freedom, or of Self-Command 1 16

.Aesthetic 117

a. Factors of Beautiful Object i

(i.) Adaptation , 117

(it.) Economy 118

(Hi. ) Harmony 1 1&

(iv.) Freedom 118

A. Factors of Aesthetic Feeling ;

Universality and Ideality 1*9

J. Personal 119

a. Social.

(i) Regard for Self 119

(ii) Regard for Others 120

Antipathy 120

Sympathy 120

(1) Origin of Sympathy 120

(2) Development of Sympathy 121

A. Moral.

(i) Contents:

Right ness, Obligation, Approbation 121

(It) Origin 122

(w) Result is the Formation of Moral Groups or Com-
munities 122

The School t

(1) Is Continuation of Family 123

(2) Is Preparation for State 123


(fa) Training:

(1) Should be Concrete 123

(2) Punishment should aim at Development of Moral

Feelings 124

(3) Should be Based en Personal Affections 124

Religious :

(.) Dependence 124

(*.) Peace 124

(ti*.) Faith 125

Forms of Volitional Development.

(Third Division of C or Psychical Products.)

Introduction. Analysis of Volitional Act 125 127

Volitional Act is Intelligent 125

Volitional Aetis Controlled 126

The Reason is that it has an End 126

Definition Volition-Impulses Controlled by Conception of an End 127

L Factors of Volitional Development.

I. Formation of Idea of End 127

a. Beginning of Idea 127

b. Completion of Idea 128

V Subjection of Impulses to Idea, or Training of Impulses . . 129

(*.) Impulses Trained through Development of Intellect 129

(.) Training of Impulses reacts upon Intellect 129

(.) Knowing and Doing are, therefore, Correlative.. . . 129
(to.) When Trained Correlatively, Education is Render*

ed Practical 130

(v.) Education must rest upon Natural Impulses 131

(tri.) And consists in Disciplining them 132

(wii.) Partly by External Arrangements 133

(vffi.) Partly by Internal Arrangements.

(c.) And has its end in Self-Control or Freedom 133


8. Formation of Desire 134

(Desire is Emotional, corresponding to Intellectual Idea.)

a. Origin of Desires 134

t. Object of Desires., 135

t. Training of Desires :

(.) Desires Trained through Development of Feeling. . 135

(it. ) By Satisfying or Thwarting them 1 36

(Hi.) Awakening Idea of Possibilities 136

(.) Through Cultivation of Imagination 137

Imagination Widens and Strengthens ......... . . 137

3. Realization of Desired Idea 138

A. Simple Case End Suggests its Means by Association.. . . 138

t. Complex Cases Conflict of various Desired Ends. 138

Conflict Settled by ;

(t.) Deliberation 138

(it.) Effort 139

(in.) Choice 140

4. Realization of Desired Ends forms Character or Self- Control.. 140

a. Character is the Volitional Aspect of Retention 140

b. Choice is the Volitional Aspect of Apperception, 140

t. Hence Character and Choice are Reciprocal 140

4 Training of Character :

(t.) Through Habitual Action. 141

(it.) Through Influence of Educator upon Habits 143

(tit.) Through Self-Reliance 142

(iv. ) Through Recognition of Law 143

(v.\ Through Conception of Ideal Self. .^ 144

II. Stages of Volitional Development or of Self-Control. . 144

I. Physical :

. Relation to Moral. 145

b. Its Process :

(.) Differentiation of Impulses 146

(ii.) Interconnection of Impulses 146

t. Its Results 146

(i. ) Idea of Act more Extended and Definite 146

(ii.) Abilities and Tendencies are Created 146

(tii. ) Amount of Required Stimulus is Lessened 147


a. Prudential Control t

. Definition . 147

t. Results.

(i.) Action is more Deliberate 148

(.) More Unified 148

(ii. ) More Determined and Persevering 148

(n>.) More Intense or Energetic 149

3. Moral Control :

. Definition 149

4. Based on Physical and Prudential Acts 150

. Which become Moral when Subordinated to Motives of

Right 150

(i.) Hence, Moral Action is Constituted by Motive.... 151

.) Hence, Involves Responsibility 151

(it. ) Hence, Forms Character, as Physical and Pruden-
tial Acts do not 152

ffo.) Hence, in reacting, Develops Sense of Obligation. . 152

Growth of this Sense 152

d. Moral Action is Secured :

Online LibraryJ. A. (James Alexander) McLellanApplied psychology. An introduction to the principles and practice of education → online text (page 1 of 28)