Themes in Composition. — Themes in composition
should follow the law of universal creation. The
fundamental law of the world is a process, a be-
coming, a cycle, a return-to-itself.
should accord and harmonize with the actual
processes of nature. The various members of a
class should write a narration of the complete
process found in the life, growth and development
of an oak tree, for example, to illustrate this funda-
mental principle: The themes should be the acorn,
the process of germination, the roots, the trunk,
the branches, the leaves, the blossoms, the fruit
and the acorn. The movement in the composition
should follow the fundamental movement in the
tree. This process or cycle is a cosmic principle
176 THE EDUCATIONAL PROCESS
which Spinoza says should be thought under the
form of eternity.
THE CYCLE OF THE DRAGON-FLY.
"To-day I saw the dragon-fly-
Come from the wells where he did lie.
An inner impulse rent the veil
Of his old husk; from head to tail
Came out clear plates of sapphire mail. "
This poetry is given simply to illustrate the idea
of the cycle. To emphasize the value of the process,
the becoming, the cycle, the return-to-itself, "The
Cycle of the Dragon- Fly" is given to show the
movement of thought following the movement of
creation. This discussion is taken from an article
in The Inland Educator written by Prof. Howard
Sandison. In order to make the activities of the
mind in the composition correspond to the activi-
ties of the dragon-fly, the arrangement of the proc-
ess is given on page 177.
This cycle shows the metamorphosis or trans-
formation of the dragon-fly. It gradually becomes
more complex, more perfect and more free, and
Iience realizes the purpose of its being. The dragon-
fly attains its physical freedom, and the pupil in
following, mentally, the physical process attains his
spiritual freedom, so far as this object is concerned.
This beautifully illustrates the doctrine that the law
of thinking harmonizes with the law of being. There
are certain objective categories in the dragon-fly
that parallel certain subjective conditions of the
human mind. Those subjective laws or thoughts
are the mind's way of thinking the objective world.
1. The fly attaches its eggs to a stem of a water-plant. 2. The eggs hatch out
into a bug-hke larva. 3. The larva walks about on the bottom of the lake.
4. It leaps through the water. 5. It sees many insects. 6. It devours them.
7. It grows very fast. 8. It grows too large for its shell-like skin. 9. It
bursts its skin. 10. It throws off the bursted skin. 11. It moves through
the water. 12. Its skin gradually hardens. 13. It eats many more insects.
14. It outgrows its skin again. 15. It bursts its skin. IG. It throws off the
outgrown skin. 17. It now appears as a pupa. 18. Its skin soon hardens.
19. It moves about in the water. 20. It eats more insects. 21. It giows
larger. 22. It approaches a water-plant. 23. It climbs upon the stem of a
water-plant. 24. It reaches the open air above the water. 25. It grows too
large for its skin again. 2G. It bursts its skin. 27. It casts off its outgrown
skin. 28. It emerges a Dragon-Hy. 29. It clings to the stem of the water-
plant. 30. Its skin hardens. 31. Its wings become dry. 32. It loosens its
hold of the stem. 33. It flies through the air. 34. It glistens in the sun-
light. 35. It hovers over the lake. 36. It alights on a water-plant. 37.
It attaches its eggs to the stem of the water-plant.
178 THE EDUCATIONAL PROCESS
CATEGORIES OF THINKING AND BEING.
1. Substance. — The dragon-fly is an insect.
2. Quantity. — The dragon-fly is two inches long.
3. Quality. — Its wings become dry.
4. Relation. — It emerges a dragon-fly.
5. Place. — It attaches its eggs to a stem,
6. Time. — It bursts when it grows large.
7. Posture. — It alights upon a water-plant.
8. Condition. — It grows larger.
9. Action. — It flies through the air.
10. Passion. — The dragon-fly is metamorphosed.
The Final Doctrine of Method. — The doctrine of
method is one with the doctrine of philosophy —
to show the relation between the objective world
and the subjective world. It is the law of the hu-
man mind that it parallels in its function the law
of the universe so far as its capacity is able to grasp.
The result of the mind's return-to-self is spiritual
freedom. The history and evolution of method
bears a close resemblance to the history and develop-
ment of philosophy. Originally, method was con-
sidered an artificial or cunning device and later it
Evolution implied a knowledge of certain psycho-
of Method logical activities. Method is now consid-
ered a fundamental movement of mind harmonizing
with the central organizing principle of a subject.
In the beginning of philosophy, water, fire, air and
the infinite, were respectively elementary principles
of the world. Later, spirit or nous became the
foundation principle of the universe. The modern
and more correct doctrine of the universe seems to
unify mind and matter and that every thing is
THE METHOD 179
material and meaning. Nature is material and
meaning, the piano is material and meaning — each
is not material alone nor thought alone. The
thought ''piano" revealed in and through a par-
ticular material, the material and ideal unified in
a concrete whole, constitute the piano. Method in
teaching must explain this mysterious unity and
show how subjects should be taught to harmonize
with the above doctrine.
The growth process in teaching has a movement,
a method and a purpose. The movement is the
general way in which the mind acts in learning,
in and through the teaching process. The method
is the process of harmonizing and unifying the outer
world (the branches of study) with the inner life
and thought of the pupil. The purpose
of teaching is to inspire pupils to higher
life and make them realize their true worth and
destiny. Each act in teaching is purposive, every
lesson recited has an end, and every process in
education has for its final aim — the evolution of
The Historic Purpose. — The history of education
traces out the aims in education and the purposes
in teaching and gives a setting or background for
Old all educational thought and activity. Long
Education ^^g^ ^^ great thinker said: The true pur-
pose and destiny of man is to perfect himself.
This end was attained by communicating rather
than developing, by telling, showing, disciplining
while the pupils memorized, listened and imitated.
Physical training was cultivated simultaneously
with mind training; thinking and talking, with
running and jumping. Early educators insisted
on a sound mind in a sound body and taught that
THE PURPOSE 181
the real purpose in teaching is to arouse the self-
activity of the pupil. To begin with sense-intui-
tion, observation, induction, and experimentation,
were fundamental principles, and all learning was
thought to be naturally agreeable, provided the
teacher starts with known truths and known concepts.
Modern education as well as modern philosophy
begin with the proposition, ''I think, therefore,
I am." The individuaPs essential nature is found
to be thought, mind, soul, intelligence, New
reason, and that all education has for its Education
ultimate purpose — the training in thought power.
This led to the doctrine that spiritual activity
ends in knowledge, and that knowledge enables the
individual to act rationally and, therefore, makes
him free. The whole educational movement be-
comes a process; the school is a process; teaching
is a process; thinking is a process; life is a process,
and the universe itself is a process. Teachers began
to preach the gospel of universal education and
insisted upon a harmonious and uniform develop-
ment of all the powers and faculties of mind. The
ultimate purpose in teaching is realized by using the
1. Activity is the law of childhood; educate the hand; accustom
the child to do.
2. Cultivate the faculties in their natural order; first form the
mind — then furnish it.
3. Begin with the senses and never tell a child what he can find
out for himself.
4. Reduce every subject to its element; one difficulty at a time
is enough for a child.
182 THE EDUCATIONAL PROCESS
5. Proceed step by step; the measure of informa-
Of'Teaching *^^^ ^^ ^°* what the teacher can give but what the
child can receive.
6 Let every lesson have a point, either immediate or remote.
7. Develop the idea and then give the term; cultivate language.
8. Proceed from the known to the related unknown; from the
particular to the general; from the concrete to the abstract; from
the simple to the difficult.
9. First synthesis and then analysis, not the order of the sub-
ject, but the order of nature.
These fundamental principles of teaching are next
combined with the old education, and psychical
life is considered a kind of dynamic chemistry
The Old in of idcas, and consciousness is said to
The New dcpcud upou the tcusion and intensity
of ideas. If ideas are pressed below the threshold
of consciousness they become impulses. This
psychology (called by some mythical) explains how
new ideas are assimilated to old ones — apperception.
Psychology becomes the basis of all work in ped-
agogy and the final purpose of education is moral
training. This pedagogical theory may be con-
trasted with the educational doctrine that education
is conscious evolution. ''The Prince of Educators"
makes all teaching a development of self-activity
induced by certain external stimuli. Acquisition,
assimilation, and expression of knowledge must be
a work of liberty and spontaneity.
The final purpose of teaching and education is to
transform the child's potence into actu-
ality. Education is a growth in self-con-
sciousness and leads the individual into a reflective
consideration of self as estranged from self. Spirit
THE PURPOSE 183
objectifies itself, rethinks itself, and becomes con-
scious of its own essence. This doctrine culminates in
self-realization and perfection, the final and supreme
aim in all teaching and education.
Means and End. — The teacher should have a
clear distinction between efficient cause or means
in teaching and final cause or end in life. The
teaching act employs certain external factors, text-
books, apparatus, and knowledge which are neces-
sary to accomplish a definite aim in life. To the
thoughtful teacher every process in teaching, every
law in government and every principle in Efficient and
education presuppose some definite end ^mai cause
in life thought out. The ideal teacher does not
teach a subject until he realizes what effect it may
have upon the final purpose and destiny of the pupil.
The purpose in the life of a child should be thor-
oughly understood and made the basis of every
movement in teaching. To teach in a hap-hazard
way, without foreseeing the end in each act, is to
fail to teach in the true sense of the word.
The school is an organized product of mind and
has inherent in it a reciprocal relationship between
means and end. There is nothing purposeless in
the school; nothing that is not determined by the
original school idea which brought it into existence.
This fundamental teleological principle organizes
the school and determines the universal law in
teaching. It is that final cause which the teacher
holds in mind while molding the efficient factors
into terms of life. The design in teaching is a
184 THE EDUCATIONAL PROCESS
Teaching moving fopcG which realizes itself in the
Purposive pupil's life through certain efficient forces
found in the recitation. Teaching is a purposive
act and aims not at knowledge acquired, and pages
recited, but at the complete evolution of the in-
dividual into a higher and nobler life. It is not
merely an intellectual, social, sesthetical and moral
process, but has a deep design hidden in its nature
that leads the pupil into unity with the purpose of
When the teacher studies the parts of the school
and their organic relation to each other, he is in
the realm of efficient causes; but when he considers
the purpose of the school, in relation to life, he is
led to contemplate and study final causes of the
educational process. The pedagogical student can-
not understand the aim of a process in teaching
by examining the machinery, but must penetrate
into the inner subjective school to get an idea of
its purpose or design. The nature of a thing is not
found in sense perception, but in reason which
constitutes its essence. To understand the nature
of the school is to penetrate its creative energy and
Purpose to uudcrstaud its creative purpose. The
Creative school cau bc explained only by knowl-
edge of the idea and end of its existence. It is not
based upon mechanical laws, but requires a principle
having a definite end in view. This principle ex-
plains the ultimate purpose of the school and gives
a definite aim in teaching. The teacher must be
able to look beneath the multiplied activities of
THE PURPOSE 185
the school and detect the all-sufficient cause which
gives law to its existence. To distinguish the
teaching process as design from the teaching process
based upon mechanical laws is to understand that
universal factor which determines the various
activities of the school and gives a clue to its purpose.
The understanding conceives the school as a whole
depending upon its parts, while the intuitive in-
sight arrives at the inner content and meaning of
the forces and factors depending upon the whole.
To think the school and its function is to trace
back its final cause which realizes itself through
certain external paraphernalia. The idea of design
bridges the chasm between the objective and sub-
jective school and shows that means in teaching
should be in harmony with the final aim in educa-
tion. To study the aim in teaching is to use the
heuristic principle of inquiring into its inner nature
and to understand the relation between Finality in
means and end. There is a finality in Teaching
every process in teaching which must have a cause.
This cause does not lie in the external objective
school, but in the inner spirit and life of the organism.
The end in thought creates the school and moves
forward to its realization through certain means
adapted to its expression and purpose. To attain
a maximum skill in teaching is to grasp firmly the
fundamental aim in education which is one with
the purpose of life.
The Supreme Purpose. — The supreme aim in
teaching is to transform knowledge into life, to
186 THE EDUCATIONAL PROCESS
make grammar, arithmetic, history and other sub-
jects life unfolding instruments. Teaching unites
the not-self with the self by means of a spiritual
principle which is presupposed in the difference of
subject and object. The entire life of the school is
a reciprocal action between these two forces whose
resultant is knowledge and culture. We can know
the object only in unity with the self and we can
know the subject only as it is realized in the object.
The final aim in teaching is to recognize that sub-
jects of study exist in opposition to and in relation
to the mind and that the self exists only as it realizes
itself in history, grammar, etc. Grammar is opposed
to mind yet contains an element which sustains an
organic relation to mind. Subject-matter and mind
are extreme terms representing a difference which
is essential to rational life. The subject presupposes
the object yet both are rooted in a higher spiritual
principle which indicates a unity in difTerence. It
Final Aim ^^ the purposc of tcachlug to show the
In Teaching pgjation bctweeu subject and object, inner
and outer experience, and to understand how these
two elements are distinguished, yet never dis-
jointed. The teacher's duty is to unite and relate
the consciousness of the subject, to the conscious-
ness of the individual studying. There is no impas-
sable gulf between the inner and outer world, but
there is organic unity in their difference. The life
of the child is not disjointed from all outer experi-
ence for his inner self is nothing but a return upon
himself from the outer world. The teaching process
THE PURPOSE 187
clearly reveals the fact that self-consciousness, cut
off from the objective world, is an absurdity and
that the branches of study can be understood only
in relation to the thinking self. The movement by
which the teacher transforms subject-matter and
makes it the basis for spiritual development, is
an evolutionary process which manifests that
unitary principle conditioning and underlying all
life. A deep study of modern science, literature
and philosophy discloses the fact that the teacher
is the polar opposite of the child and that the ob-
jective world, as the ultimate expression of the
curriculum, is the all-sufficient, unitary, eternal
force which organizes these seemingly contradic-
tory elements into a bond of spiritual freedom.
According to Kant the impulse which stimulates
us to grow is due to three ideas — the world, the self
and God. Our intelligence is based upon a pre-
supposition of these ideas and are the final aims in
knowledge. One purpose in teaching is to demon-
strate the unity of the world amidst its complexities
and to show the interconnections and relations
existing between the different parts and laws. To
interpret the outer world the mind must seek an
ultimate unity revealed in differences between
object and subject. According to a great modern
thinker, ''Every step toward the conception of the
world or of any part of it as a system, every step
toward the comprehension of the unity of the intelli-
gence in all the variety of its activities, every step
toward a rational view of the relation between
188 THE EDUCATIONAL PROCESS
Unitary the intelligence and the intelligible world,
Ideas |g ^ g^^p toward the verification and, in
an etymological sense, the demonstration of the princi-
ples of unity presupposed in the whole process." It
should be the duty of the teacher to reduce the
manifold, in the various lessons, to unitary ideas
to be transmuted into mind substance. The true
purpose in teaching is to trace the multiplicity of
facts in a given subject back to its original creative
source, as the facts of history back to its institu-
tional ideas, and forms of sentences in grammar
back to their original creative principle, and the
numerous problems in arithmetic to the ratio idea
and finally to unify these branches of study into a
To seek constantly for the unity of things lifts
the student finally into the absolute unity of the
world. Both the teacher and the pupil are forced
Divine from the very nature of consciousness
Unity itself to presuppose an Infinite Mind as
the source of all consciousness and the first and
last principle of all knowing and being. The ulti-
mate purpose in teaching is to trace out the divine
unity holding the world together and to induce the
pupil to be a partaker of the divine idea and, there-
fore, to attain his freedom.
This supreme purpose in teaching has been dis-
cussed to lead the teacher and the pupil into the
highest conceptions of life and to make them
responsive to the soul's true worth. These high
ideals give the mind an impulse to know the world,
THE PURPOSE 189
to understand the secrets of the mind and finally
to unify itself with the outer world through an
infinite unity or God.
Oliver Wendell Holmes most beautifully pic-
tures the purpose of teaching and education:
"Teacher of teachers! Yours the task,
Noblest that noble minds can ask.
High up Ionia's murmurous mount,
To watch, to guard the sacred fount
That feeds the streams below;
To guide the hurrying flood that fills
A thousand silvery rippling rills,
In ever-wadening flow.
" Rich is the harvest from the fields
That bounteous Nature kindly yields;
But fair growths enrich the soil
Ploughed deep by thought's unwearied toil,
In Learning's broad domain.
And where the leaves, the flowers, the fruits.
Without your watering at the roots,
To fill each branching vein?
"Welcome! Author's firmest friends.
Your voice the surest godspeed lends.
For you the growing mind demands
The patient care, the guiding hands
Through all the mists of morn.
You knowing well the future's need.
Your prescient wisdom sows the seed
To flower in years unborn. "
THE TEACHING PROCESS
THE THINKING PROCESS
The fundamental law in teaching parallels the
essential law in thinking. To teach a pupil is to
cause him to think; to think is to translate object
relations into mind substance; to know is to recog-
nize the relations which constitute a thing. The
organic elements of thinking are mind activity and
a process of unifying mind with thought external
to itself. Mind grows by identifying itself with
mind embodied in the external world. It attains
its freedom when it realizes its possibilities, and
when it takes on to itself the spiritual content of
the universe. T. H. Green says:
"Our conception of an order of nature and the relations which
form that order, have a common spiritual source. "
By thinking, the individual enters into the inner
essence of things. The thinker finds behind all
things — thought. He discovers in things his other
self, identifies himself with himself, and thus real-
izes his true nature. In the learning process, the
student finds in subject-matter a self-activity akin
to his own nature. There are just two elements
in all thought processes: the thinking mind and the
thing to be taught. In studying botany the mind
THE LAW 191
is one organic element and the plant is organic
the other. The knowledge called botany ^^^"^'"'^
is a mental synthesis of mind life and plant life.
When the object relations are grounded into sub-
ject relations the result is called botany. In the
ultimate analysis botany is mind rather than
matter. It is that science which treats of the ideas
and structure of plant life as interpreted by thought.
The universal law of thinking may be expressed
by the axiom given in method: The law in the
mind must exactly correspond with the fact in the
thing. The law of thinking requires a knowledge
of mind activity and a scientific knowledge of
things to be taught.
Thinking and Teacliing. — In teaching, the teach-
er unifies the mind process with the object
process by thinking the two together. The move-
ment in teaching differs from the movement in
thinking. The former process consists in following
the thought of the pupil, and the latter process
consists in following the thought of the subject.
Reason or thought is the essence of both the think-
ing mind and the external world to be thought.
If objective reality contains no thought, as a square
fluid or a moral substance, it is unthinkable, for
the mind cannot think that which has no thought
element in it. To think the elephant is Reason
to trace the thoughts embodied in its O'' Thought
structure, in its attributes and in its function.
It is a process of uniting certain relations in the
mind to similar relations in the elephant. If the
192 THE EDUCATIONAL PROCESS
elephant contains no thought relations and there
is nothing to which to tie mind relations, then it,
too, is unthinkable. We are inevitably brought
to the doctrine: *^The rational is the real and
the real is the rational.'^
Essentials in Thinking. — An ancient thinker
set forth the relations by which an object exists.
A modern thinker made these objective relations
the subjective laws of thought. The mind in think-
ing an object takes on to itself a form of thought
harmonizing with the passive thought in the thing.
In the evolution and the history of thought, the
next great thinker announced the doctrine
that the law of thinking is equal to the
law of being. The forms of thought found in things
become the forms of consciousness. These two
elements in thinking are organic because the proc-
ess cannot exist without both. A recent thinker
has worked out the most profound law of human
thinking, as follows: To think a thing in existence
is the same process as thinking the thing as coming
Thinking Genetically. — To think a thing ge-
netically is to trace the thought in the thing as
it comes into existence. To think the house as it
is, is to think it in the process of becoming. To
think the apple genetically is to follow the apple