Arthur Henry Chamberlain.

Standards in education, with some consideration of their relation to industrial training online

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underlying the doctrine of correlation cannot well be de-
nied. What are these principles, what gives rise to
them, and what are the educational implications of the
doctrine ?

Of the several basic facts as enunciated by Herbart in
his educational philosophy, the doctrine of
ies isolated concentration may claim a prominent place.
To the mind of Herbart, the school life of
the child is too scattered ; the school studies too isolated,
one from another. Just as the several members of a
door-frame, or the parts of a machine have a certain defi-
nite connection or interrelation, so should the various por-
tions of a given subject be connected, and the different
school studies associated together. Then instead of iso-
lation we should have a thread of unity running through
the entire school course.

As an illustration of this thought, take the subject of
literature. We cannot get at the true meaning of the
literature of a people without at the same time coming
into intimate touch with their history, their manners,
their customs. Here again we find that geography, lo-
cation, environment, physical conditions, cli-
reiation mate, soil, are not only part and parcel of,

but in reality are at the very base of, his-
torical study, thus relating back to the literature. Hence,


geography, history and literature are seen to have a di-
rect connection, not superficially, but in fact. It is there-
fore quite clear that history, mathematics or botany
cannot be studied to the best advantage as a subject
isolated, but must be thrown into certain interrela-

The doctrine of Herbart was taken up and enunciated
in Germany by such men as Ziller, Stoy, and Rein and has
had considerable support in our own country. To the
idea as advanced by Herbart regarding the natural unified
nature of the school subjects, must be added Froebel's
thought of the unity of the human being.

In the application of the correlation principle, two
theories at once arise, these growing out of a difference

of opinion as to the social basis of correla-
^ e e a Group tion. It has been held by some, that certain

groups of school subjects naturally lend them-
selves as centers for study, and around these centers the
other school subjects should be arranged. For example,
history and literature form one central group, the biologi-
cal sciences another, while geography, geology and min-
eralogy constitute a third group, and so on, each subject
in these special groups being of equal value, one with
another. Here we have several coordinate groups of

studies. Again, a second theory places
The Individ- eac ^ su bject in turn as the central one ; that

ual Subject . J

aa center is, the subject under consideration is the

thing of concern. As the main element all

other subjects must, for the time, be subsidiary to it and


flow in to enrich its content. In this instance concen-
tration plays the leading part.

Since, however, the child is to be considered as the
real center for study, and for correlation as well, it seems
to be generally admitted that the so-called humanistic
studies, as opposed to the formal, or those that seem to
relate themselves most intimately to the actual social ex-
istence of the child, should claim attention as central sub-
jects. Mathematics, spelling and writing are
Humanistic typical of the formal studies. Those ranking

and Formal

studies as humanistic would seem to include geogra-

phy, history and the natural sciences, while
to these may be added the industrial arts, including con-
struction in any material whatsoever. This last classifi-
cation is justified since the desire for expression on the
part of the child is a controlling motive. It is further
insisted that in the beginning, all else in school is seen in
the light of self-expression and motor activity. To re-
peat, the child is the center as the hub is the center of a
wheel, the various activities and studies radiating as do the
spokes. This makes the matter of correlation something
from within, something intrinsic, something
The child as vital, instead of being added or tacked on to


the outside. In this sense the necessity for
correlation will be seen to exist not in the subject-matter
itself, but in the very nature of the individual.

Dr. Charles McMurry in his General Method says :
" The center for concentrating effort in education is not
so much the knowledge given in any school course as


the child's mind itself. We do not desire to find in the
school studies a new center for a child's life, so much as
the means for fortifying that original stronghold of char-
acter which rests upon native mental characteristics and
early home influences. We have in mind not the objec-
tive unity of different studies considered as complete
and related sciences, nor any general model to which
each mind is to be conformed, but the practical union
of all the experiences and knowledge that find entrance
into a particular mind." *

The one who first in our country put this idea of con-
centration into definite form was Colonel Francis W.
Parker. In his Talks on Pedagogics we find the follow-
ing : " The center of all movement in education is the
child. We must grant that human beings are absolutely
governed by immutable, ever-acting, all-efficient laws of

growth and development, and that all devel-
ment means opment means conformity to the laws of
Conformity being \ nonconformity is decay, degradation,

and death." In the same volume the au-
thor says: "The present trend of study, investigation,
and discovery in the science of education is toward the

correlation and unification of educative sub-
seif-Actiyity j e cts, and their concentration upon human

a Governing

Force development. All subjects, means, and

modes of study are concentrated under this

doctrine upon economization of educative effort. In

the unification and correlation of subjects of thought and

* Chas. McMurry : Elements of General Method, First Edition, p. 98.


expression, each subject, means, mode, and method finds
its absolute and relative educational value, its definite
place in the conditions for self-activity and self-effort."

Here, then, would seem to be the main point of differ-
ence between correlation and concentration, in so far as
those who do not consider the terms as synonymous are
concerned. Correlation has to do largely with school
studies, while concentration covers not only
correlation t h e field of the former term but goes further,

vs. Concen- .

tration penetrating the home life of the pupil ; pro-

jecting itself into his sports, his social expe-
riences ; in fact, having to do with the most fundamental
problems of his nature. Once a correlation exists, then
concentration may step in to relate the study, means, and
modes to life interests.

We have alluded to the term unification in an inciden-
tal way only. What is the force, the application, and the
value of the unification of studies, and wherein does it
differ from the correlation idea ?

In continuing the discussion upon the Report of the

Committee of Fifteen, Doctor Emerson E. White, under

the title Isolation and Unification as Bases of Courses of

Study, speaks thus regarding the indefiniteness of our

educational terminology : " One of the first conditions of

the intelligent reading of a work on psy-

taSSto* 7 chology is the determining of the definite

meaning of the terms used by the author. A

common source of disagreement is the use of words by

one party with a larger or smaller content than the other,


and this is true even when these contents contain a
considerable common element." *

" We have an instructive example of this difficulty in
the discussion of the past year over the place and value
of correlation, coordination, and concentration in school
instruction. The discussion has been a Babel of ideas,
if not of tongues, and well-meant attempts to settle the
pedagogical meaning of these terms have only added to
the confusion. After all that has been said, several writ-
ers for the educational journals are using the incongruous
terms coordination and concentration as synonymous. One
of the surprises of the profession was the expressed ex-
pectation that a recent report on the ' correlation of stud-
ies ' would be devoted to a discussion of the theory of
concentration." f Doctor White then goes on to say that
his desire to avoid misunderstanding has led him to use
the terms isolation, and unification, as denoting opposite
processes and results. As Dr. White's discussion is based
upon reports dealing with the correlation of studies, it
would seem that he intends the term unification to carry
the same content as the former term correlation.

Studies are unified when two, three, or a half dozen
are so brought together as to form a common
branch of study, the facts being so connected
as to produce a rational trend of thought and
the end or purpose to be attained, being a common end.

* Report of the Commissioner of Education, 1895-96, p. 929; also Pro-
ceedings Department of Superintendence, N. E. A., 1896.
t Report of the Commissioner of Education, 1895-96, p. 930.


Here the thought of the precedence of one subject over
another has no place, it being possible for instance, for
any one of several studies to be ranked equally, in their
connection. The point is that there is such a fusion of
subject-matter as to unify into a common whole.

" The unification of subjects," says Parker, " takes for
its hypotheses, first, the unity of the human being in de-
sign ; second, the unity of the Creator and His creations ;
and third, that approximating unity of the human being
to his Creator is the sublime destiny of man. ' For He
made man in His own image.' ' He has crowned him
with glory and honor.' Unity of body, mind and soul,
unity of educative effort, unity of action, unity of thought,
and unity of thought and expression are the aims of the
theory of Concentration." * Here, again we come from
the unifying thought, considered from the point of
view of its genesis, to the application of such thought in
the principle of concentration. It would appear that the
terms are really subjective and objective phases, respec-
tively, of our whole educational fabric.

The question of coordination is bound up in that of
unity. In the unifying of studies, it is conceived by
some, notably by Dr. Harris, that there are certain coor-
dinate groups of studies, as mentioned pre-
Coordination viously under correlation. The groups may

and the J J

Group idea number five, six, or seven, according as this
or that classification appeals to the indi-
vidual. But being coordinate groups, they are of equal

* Talks on Pedagogics, p. 26.


merit one with another. These groups have certain
common features and can be brought into definite rela-
tionships, but never upon the basis of precedence of one
group over another. This, of course, is due to the fact
that they differ in their genesis and in their very nature.
Herein lies the chief difference between coordination
and concentration.

Again, the particular subjects going to make up a coor-

dinate group may within themselves have a

correlation correlative relationship. If history, language,

in Coordi-

nate Groups and art are contained in one group, language

and art may, for the time being, be subordi-
nated to history ; that is, a correlation may exist among
the three subjects. There can be, however, nothing
but an equal relationship existing between the history
group and that formed by the mathematical studies.
" Complete unification is the blending of all subjects
and branches of study into one whole and the teach-
ing of the same in successive sections." " When this
union is effected by making one group or branch of
study in the course the center or core, and subordinating
all other subjects to it, the process is properly called con-
centration of studies."

The unifying idea touches so closely the thought of
the relative value of studies that our problem
ls complicated at this point. No present day

and Relative educator speaks more strongly of a unified

Values . . _

curriculum than does Dr. John Dewey, but
the unity is coupled with the relative values and both have


their roots in the thought of the child as a social being.
I shall quote from Dr. Dewey to illuminate still further
this unification principle and also to point to the social
basis of correlation. In his Ethical Principles Underlying
Education he says : " A casual glance at pedagogical lit-
erature will show that we are much in need of an ultimate
criterion for the values of studies, and for deciding what
is meant by content value and by form value. At pres-
ent we are apt to have two, three, or even four different
standards set up by which different values as disciplinary,
culture, and information values are measured."* " There
is no conception of any unifying principle. The point
here made is that the extent and way in which a study
brings the pupil to consciousness of his social environ-
ment, and confers upon him the ability to interpret his
own powers from the standpoint of their possibilities in
social use, is this ultimate and unified standard." f

There is nothing within the facts themselves, accord-
ing to Dr. Dewey, to determine that they shall be classed
as history, science, literature and the like. All subjects
have the same office, namely, " the conscious experience
of man."

" It is only because we have different interests or dif-
ferent ends, that we sort out the material and label part
of it science, part history, part geography, and so on.
Each of these subjects represent an arrangement of

* Ethical Principles Underlying Education, p. 18.
''(Ethical Principles Underlying Education, p. 1 8. Quoted on p. 27,
this volume.


materials with reference to some one dominant or typical

aim or process of the social life." *

Present methods of school work give an entirely wrong
idea of the relation of studies to each other.
The unit y existm g in the various divisions of
geography, is due, not to some external fact,


but rather to an intrinsic, vital principle, an
"attitude of interest in the human mind toward them."

All this does not mean that the various school studies
must be unified and correlated at every point. It indi-
cates simply the value and necessity for so doing where
the proper conditions exist, the philosophy for such pro-
cedure being found in the life, the activities, the social
phases, the very nature of the child himself. " We should
not seek to make a correlation where none exists," says
Mr. James Chamberlain. A forced unity is not unity
at all.

And right here is where the teacher, anxious to be

abreast of the times, desirous of doing for his

Dangers and pu pii s the best possible service, here it is

ties that the teacher so often makes a mistake.

Enough has been said to show that subjects
cannot be correlated simply by trying to teach several
of them at one and the same time. Results under these
conditions are simply absolute failures. When on the
other hand the subject-matter is so closely classified as
to permit the form only of any given study to be taught,
the work is narrow and barren.

* Ethical Principles Underlying Education, p. 19.


In the grades where a teacher must instruct in several
subjects, there is much greater opportunity for correlation
than exists in the upper school where departmental work
is carried on and a specialist is responsible for each par-
ticular subject. If the mathematics teacher looks only to
the form of his work, if mathematical data are the Alpha
and Omega of his teaching, he may have a class well
drilled in mathematics ; but if he fails to demand a high
standard of excellence when the pupil is called upon to
express himself, if he receives written papers and exercises
careless in execution and bristling with incorrect forms,
if the papers give evidence of careless or slovenly work, if
he permits this simply because the answer is there, and
his is not the English or the Ethics class, he is missing
one of the best opportunities the school affords for teach-
ing the relation of studies, one to another, and of show-
ing the practical application of the language arts to other

In the cooking room we find too frequently no correla-
tion of science with the actual mechanical process in-
volved ; we find cooking only, not domestic science. Here
the student should learn not simply to prepare the food
properly, for this can be learned frequently at home. She
should learn something of the chemistry of foods, the
composition of the raw materials, the physiology of diges-
tion, the effect upon the body of certain foods. And a
score of other lessons should be taught along with that
of how to prepare properly a given dish.

These are only illustrations of the broad truth and

Standards 8


serve to show that so-called correlation is the only logi-
cal, natural method. It is not desirable, however, nor
would the process be one of correlation, if matter not
germane be dragged in and forced to a place in the study
being pursued. If this were done, we should not sim-
plify, but only obscure from the pupil, the lesson or task.

The philosophy of correlation and unification of studies
is therefore seen to lie in the social side of the child's
life, and the necessity for such unity exists to-day as
never before. The spirit is spreading, industrialism is
vastly more far-reaching than formerly, competition is
keener, specialization is the order of the day, and the ap-
plication of the arts and sciences to the affairs of every-
day life is extremely differentiated.

In the early days the school taught the so-called fun-
damentals. A good general knowledge of
conditions a arithmetic, the ability to express one's self in
strong AT- speech and with the pen in a passable man-

gument for . .... . . , , , ., ,

Correlation ner > the skill to write clearly and legibly, a
general understanding of the geography of
the earth, and the possession of a few of the more im-
portant historical facts, these were the essentials of
school education. In those days there was less necessity
for the unifying of the curriculum than there is now.
With the increase of subjects and the marked tendency
to overcrowd and to make shallow, every effort must be
sought to simplify and unify. In the evolution of society,
children are taken out of touch with things and people.
They should have brought to them in this particular the


opportunities possessed by the children of a half-century
ago. Society, properly considered, sets the standards for
social existence. The child himself is the center ; all true
study has a moral basis, and is concerned with the mani-
festation of Divine thought in the universe and in man.
The child, to come to a realization of self, must see
and appreciate the relation of the various school subjects
one to another. He must see also the relation of school
to home, and be able to connect the whole with the great
throbbing, pulsating life about him. The realization of
this condition will be reached through the proper social-
izing or unifying of the curriculum.


1. The terms correlation, concentration, etc., must not
be used in the abstract, else vague concepts result.

2. Herbart considered school work too scattered, and
advocated a uniform course.

3. Two theories (a) the group idea, and (b) the indi-
vidual subject, as centers.

4. The child is the real center ; the humanistic rather
than the formal studies should be given the chief emphasis.

5. Concentration is more fundamental than correlation ;
unification used by Doctor White in sense of correla-
tion; Parker's thought that unity is the aim of concentra-

6. A unified course means coordinate groups of stud-
ies and correlation may exist between the various coor-
dinate groups.


7. The relative value of studies is closely related
to unification and both relate to the child as a social

8. The individual furnishes the cause for, and aim in,
correlation, and our present day conditions, social, indus-
trial and otherwise, demand a unifying of the curriculum.


1. What school studies lend themselves most readily
to correlation ?

2. Is it possible to get the most from the study of a
subject, unless it is pursued distinctly as a subject in
itself ?

3. Is the correlation idea successfully carried out in
the elementary school of to-day ?

4. Can time be saved by bringing two or more sub-
jects together for study ?

5. If the child is the real center, how may we deter-
mine whether teacher, child, or subject-matter shall point
to the method of correlation at any given time ?

6. When arithmetic or science is the subject to be
taught, and hand work is to be correlated, what large
questions must the teacher determine in laying out the
work ?

7. The value of concentration to the business or pro-
fessional man.

8. Outline a lesson in United States history, on the
origin and work of the Hudson Bay Company, with no
consideration for the correlative principle.



9. What should furnish the basis for determining the
relative value of studies ? Would this standard be the
same for every individual ?

10. Does society consider the facts of everyday life
in an associated sense, or separately ? Are the associa-
tions made after individual study, or vice versa ?


DEWEY Ethical Principles Underlying Education.

School and Society.

GORDY A Broader Elementary Education, chap. 17.

HARRIS Psychologic Foundations.
HERBART Science of Education, p. 123.
HANUS Educational Aims and Educational Values,

chap. i.

PARKER Talks on Pedagogics.
McMuRRY Elements of General Method, p. 98.
WHITE Report of Commissioner of Education, 1895-96,

p. 29.


PERHAPS no question has been more fully discussed
in the educational world during the past few years than
that of the moral training it should be the duty of the
school to impart. The matter has been taken up by
those representing all fields of educational activity, and
press and platform have agitated, at least, even though
they have not settled the question.

As the thought of the value and the purpose of educa-
tion has grown and expanded, it has become more and
more apparent that moral training should hold a broader
and more permanent place in any plan or scheme of school
instruction, than it has done in the past. With the rapid
commercial and industrial growth in our own country,
a growth unparalleled in the history of forty centuries,
with increased mental requirements and with the broad-
ening and deepening of our social obligations, there
comes also, as a logical result of our many-
Necessity sided development, an increased demand for

for Moral \

Training finer ethical sensibilities, a necessity for
higher standards in the moral tone of indi-
vidual and community, a thoroughly appreciated need
for clean, honest, respectful, right-minded, reverent boys



and girls; for tolerant, straightforward, fearless men and
women. Never, I say, has the necessity for this been so
apparent as now, when minds are absorbed by the am-
bition to become possessed of material wealth, when the
struggle for industrial supremacy takes the not always
imaginative shape of a hand to hand encounter, when, in
the hurry and jostle of the never ceasing onward march
of civilization, man is likely to forget the common courte-
sies and civilities he owes his brother and which it is his
duty and privilege to observe. The possibilities for ad-
vancement both from the mental and from the material
side, the freedom for thought and expression in the po-
litical arena and in the religious world, the chances open
for the poorest, least opportunitied boy to become the
master of millions or the leader of a people, these con-
ditions, while giving to us the sturdiest of nations and the
most strenuous men and women, tend too often to pro-
duce citizens less mindful of the rights of others, less
careful of giving the harsh word or of bestowing the un-

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Online LibraryArthur Henry ChamberlainStandards in education, with some consideration of their relation to industrial training → online text (page 7 of 17)