Percy Arthur Barnett.

Common sense in education and teaching; an introduction to practice online

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or by them. Most of us recall only too easily occasions
on which we have shirked our duty, evaded difficulties,
failed to press home a difficult or disagreeable business,
found our stock of patience or courtesy spent. Most of
our pupils remember such things more easily than we,
and all suffer from them.

We are bound to exact proper respect, but it is our
office as teachers, not ourselves as persons, that claims
most respect at their hands. It is easy to be too prim
and stiff a feminine fault, some people say, rather than
one common in men. Genial " chaff" is a weapon far
more potent and infinitely less dangerous than sternness,
which should be reserved for such serious cases as deserve
moral displeasure.

We become tyrants, if we are not on our guard, in
our own despite. Says Abraham Cowley, " I take the
profession of a school-master to be one of the most

The Making of the Teacher 309

useful, as it ought to be one of the most honourable
in a commonwealth ; yet certainly all his fasces and
tyrannical authority over so many bodies take away
his own liberty more than theirs ".

A gentle and pleasant-sounding voice, a simple manner
and few words, ease of demeanour, all are important
defences against this danger. Even proper care about
personal appearance has its reward ; discipline (in the
common application of the word) has been known to
suffer because of the disrespect bred of so simple a fault
as disorder in dress.

It is a teacher's obvious duty to be in good health.
Petulance of temper, a " jaundiced " view of venial
faults, forgetfulness of one's own youth and youthful
failings, impatience in expecting rapid mental operations
in immature minds, all these and the like faults may
spring out of small malaises but develop into habitual
ill-temper. We must therefore observe the simple rules
of hygiene in our own persons as we would keep tools
of precision in perfect order. Overstrain and over-
fatigue are bad for both body and mind. One of the
first conditions of cheerfulness of soul is soundness of

And it is useless to attend to one set of rules if we
habitually disregard others. The daily out-door exercise
preferably a game ; the morning tub ; carefulness in
food ; the spare use of strong drinks, alcoholic or other ;
these are excellent things to bear in mind. But if when
we get into our class-room we shut all windows, light
gas for purposes of warmth, misuse our voices and so
forth, our other precautions are largely in vain.

For the rest, we cannot aim too high; but it is not
possible to be straining at every moment after a high
ideal. We must cultivate character in ourselves as in

3io Common Sense in Education

our pupils, so that the pursuit of the great aim may be
easy because it is habitual. Every now and then we must
call a halt and refresh ourselves by a review of our own
spiritual forces. This alone, with the aid of the stimulus
provided in great literature, can save us from the tedium
and depression to which the uninspired and vulgar life is
subject. On one condition. We must think nobly of
the individual soul, and no way approve the opinion of
those who, seeing nothing but the poor tenements that
it sometimes inhabits, do not recognise its infinite
capacity for expansion and improvement To educate
well, we must believe in the ultimate triumph of good
education, because we fight on the same side as the stars
in their courses.

Education is a constant force ; so many souls, so much
endeavour to influence other souls. It is as foolish to
say that we have " too much education" as it would be
to say that we have too much Gravity or too much
Electricity. Education operates wherever ideas are
alive ; for good or for evil ; whether we like it or not.
The purpose of the wise organisation of this ever-active
social force is to make it tend to conservation and not
destruction. Of education rightly directed we cannot
have too much.

3 11



"Accomplishments": their place in

the school course, 138.
Activity of children : to be utilised,


^Esthetic standard acquired by study of
Literature, 172, 184.

value of such a standard as a
safeguard, 172.

Affectation in girls' schools : its cause,

Aim of Education, 274.

Algebra : 233. Symbols and simple
problems to be introduced early,
233; caution with regard to sym-
bols, 234.

Analogy: between teacher and physi-
cian, i.

false, between child's mind and
clean sheet of paper, 2, 287 .

false, between children and
primitive races, 122.

Analysis, grammatical : its limited
value in study of English, 176,


rhetorical, its great value, 176.

of sounds, its place in the teach-
ing of reading, 152.

Analytical methods of teaching lan-
guage criticised, 161.

Anger : its value for disciplinary pur-
poses, 62.

Annotated texts, distract attention
from Literature, 189.

destroy initiative and self-reli-
ance, 216.

Answers in complete sentences : a
heresy of German origin, 178.

may be demanded in early com-
position lessons, 177.

not invariable in intelligent con-
versation, 27.

Anthropometrical observations in

school, 71, 90.
Appreciation, 175.

of literature : a valuable step in
pupil's progress, 175.

Approximations in Arithmetic, 227.
Aptitude for teaching, 293.
Arithmetic : should begin with con-
crete examples, 224.

should be associated with daily
life of pupils, 225.

commercial, might be left to
technical schools, 225.

obsolete forms of, 225.

value of problems requiring in-
genuity, 227.

processes may be taught before
reasons, 228.

excessive preciseness in calculat-
ing results, 226.

Armada, the Spanish : varying scope
of lessons for pupils of different
ages, 4.

treatment of, as example of
generalisation, 16.

Arnold, Dr., and school morals, 51.
Art : its place taken among children
by play, 76, 83.

its main features owe nothing to
science, 240.

Ascham, on re- translation, 208 (foot-

Association of ideas : 10. [See Con-

of word and thing in teaching
foreign tongues, 164.

Athletics : a warning, 70.
Atlas, the use of the, 254, 255.
Atmosphere and perspective in history,

Audible speech, 143. [See Reading

and Voice.]
Authority of Books, 208.




Backsliding, to be guarded against in
discipline of character, 42.

Balance, occasionally lacking in girls'
schools, 128.

Bible, Latin, suitable for beginners,


Biography: its place in the teaching
of History, 255.

its value for moral training, 256.

History, the biography of com-
munities, 255.

Books : the great book the highest
outcome of a nation's life, 169 ;
should be first read as a whole,
174, 189 ; familiarity with great
books the basis of a liberal educa-
tion, 169. [See Literature.]

of small value in teaching young
children, 115.

written to teach morality direct-
ly, wrong in principle, 57.

for children's reading, 57, 64.
[See Library.]

Botany of the simplest kind suitable
for young children, 237.

scientific, not a good school sub-
ject, 239.

Brain exercise necessary to health, 67.
Bread-studies, 107.

Breathing, correct. Its great import-
ance in voice-production, 146.
Breathing-power, tests of, 91.


Caesar, of doubtful use for beginners,


Cant, induced by set lessons on morals

and patriotism, 188.
Caxton, quoted, 173 (note).
Character : discipline of, 35 et seq.

its cultivation a test of curricula,

Chaucer, study of, 186.

Chemistry and Physics, their respective
claims, 237.

Child : a person in process of develop-
ment, 3, 288.

his natural activity, not sinful,
39- .

his mind not a tabula rasa, 2,

his share in his own education.
[See Self-help.]

Child : recent organised study of " child-
nature," 87.

Citizenship, as a school subject, 267,
268, 283.

Civic standard in education, 98.

its shortcomings, 284, 285.
Civitas Dei, 99, 100, 286.

Classical learning : Historical review
of, 196-200, 282.

its claims less pressing than
formerly, 203.

indispensable to certain profes-
sions, 206.

value of the immobility of Latin
and Greek, 203.

objections to classics as school
subjects, 206.

objections to prevailing methods,

value as training in logic, 205.
Classics as language and literature,

196. [See Latin and Greek.]
Cleanliness, growth of habit assisted

by surroundings, 41, 49.
Clubs, their value in schools for char-
acter-discipline, 45.

the teacher's share in manage-
ment, 45.

Co-education of boys and girls, 129.
Coercion, destroys moral initiative, 43.
Co-ordination of the senses and mo-
tions, 73, 74.

of studies, 118, 121.
Colloquial method in foreign lan-
guages, 164, 165.

Commercialism : as bad as militarism,

as a standard in education, 98.
Commercial geography, 254.
Commercial arithmetic, 225.
Comparison, as a stage in the process

of instruction, 14.

needs adaptation to various ages,

essential in History and Geo-
graphy, 253.

a stimulus in study of Literature,

Composition, 161, 178.

improved by rhetorical analysis
of literary masterpieces, 175-177.

begins before teaching of formal
grammar, 177.

lessons should follow literature
lesson, 178.

suggestions for procedure, 178.
Composition, Latin prose, 208, 219.



Conflicts for the possession of schools ,

a sign of vitality, 272.
Concentration of related ideas and

studies, 118, 121.

conduces to unity of intellectual
life, 119.

saves effort in acquisition of
details, 119.

Constitutional History, unsuitable for
school work, 257.

Construing : its value as mental gym-
nastic, 20, 213.

procedure, 19, 214.
Continental systems of education, 98,


examination-papers, 34,
Continuous speech, to be cultivated,


Counting at stops, in reading, 154.

Cowley, quoted, 23.

Criticism of Literature, should consist
largely of rhetorical analysis, 176.

Cruelty in children, 49.

Curriculum : its genesis and manipula-
tion, chapters iv. and v.

its importance, 94, 96 ; its rela-
tion to method, 95 ; determined
by public opinion, 96; influence
of tradition, 97 ; tests applied to
" subjects " proposed for curricu-
lum, 98-100, 114 ; cultivation of
character the chief consideration,

the arrangement of, 100 ; definite
sequence and concentration neces-
sary, 100 ; the best guides are (i)
psychology, 120 ; (2) logic, 121 ;
(3) tradition, 102 ; modifications
rendered necessary by different
ages of leaving school, 108, 124;
skeleton of a course extending from
infancy to eighteen, 115 ; advan-
tages of a widely extended cur-
riculum, 120.

should be more liberal in girls'
schools, 126.


Despair, an obstacle to improvement

of character, 42, 43.
Details : teaching of, relation to

thoroughness or accuracy, 115.


crowding out vital points in
public examinations, 34.

Dialect in schools, its treatment, 150.

Dictation in foreign languages, 168.
Dictionaries, their right use to be

taught, 216.
Discipline : is all of character, 35.

definition of, 39.

of consequences, so-called, 40 ;
corporal punishment often prefer-
able, 60.

military, 43.

by suggestion, 63.

of movements, 73.
Disciplinary value of studies, their

highest claim, 100.

Distinctness in native tongue, helped
by speaking a foreign or classical
language, 157.

Diversities of pupils in regard to age,
antecedents and status ; their
significance in theory and prac-
tice, 1-6.

of aim, subject-matter, and
methods of education, 1-6.

Drawing, its educational value through-
out the school, 140.

its relation to writing, 140.
Drill, physical, value in forming habits

of obedience, 41.
Drudges, 133.

Economy of subject-matter important

in curriculum, 115.

Economy, domestic and general, 127.
Education, of man, never completed,


can do its best for a minority
only, 105.

its traditional division, prepara-
tory, liberal, special, 106.

the universal need for a liberal
education, 275, 276.

warnings from the history of,

a liberal education, what it in-
cludes and excludes, 107, 169,

history of, a history of ideals,

systems of, as causes and effects,

Educational Philosophy, limit of its
value, 2.

Educational Politics, what they indi-
cate, 272.

Elegance, to be insisted on in constru-
ing, 205.



" Eliciting," leads to guessing, 9.

generally means increased effort
for the teacher, 10.

frequently irrational, 12, 13.
Empiricism, inevitable in Education,


Employers, unable or unwilling to
teach principles to juniors, 134.

Emphasis, in Reading, 156.

English, generally includes literature,
philology, and literary annals, 173;
the two last to be treated as sub-
sidiary at first, 174.

excessively analytical methods
of teaching, 161. [See Books and

Enjoyment, a necessary condition of
profitable study of literature, 182.

moral value of a cultivated taste,

Environment, more powerful than
heredity, 39.

the school environment a substi-
tute for the Home, 46.

Equality : the standard of a humane
education, 104.

conditioned by individual ca-
pacity and opportunity, 104.

Errors in teaching, the value of a
teacher's record of his own errors,
89, 90.

of aim in education, 274.

in psychology, 287.

of method, 1-4.

in construing, to be utilised for
teaching syntax, 215.

Eutropius, suitable for beginners,


Euclid. [See Geometry.]

Evidence, weighing of, cultivated by
study of the classics, 207 ; by
scientific study of history, 256,
262, 265.

Evolution Theory, its influence on
theories of Education, 3.

Examinations, their effect on educa-
tion, 31, 113, 167.

participation of the teacher, 32,


private and oral, 32.

Continental, contrasted with
English, 34.

Examiners, their qualifications, 39.

Exclusiveness of learned classes of a
nation, 276.

Exercise. [See Games and Gymnas-

Expectancy, a desirable mental attitude

in pupil, 21.
Expression, power of, cultivated by

study of literature, 177.


Fagging, 49.

Fairy stories, justification of their use
in education, 180.

the "wonders of science" not
an adequate substitute, 181.

Family, the primitive school, 103.

its educational aim, 275.

Fiction, its effect on character, 64.

Figures of speech, suggestions for ex-
ercises on, to form part of the
composition lesson, 178.

Force of Character, 64.

Foreign literature, to be illustrated by
English parallels, 173.

Form-master, best as an all-round
man, 295.

Formulas for lesson-giving, their lim-
ited applicability, 7.

Freedom of choice, necessary to
strengthen character, 43.

Froebel, 75, 288. His doctrine that
childhood has a perfection of its
own, 3. [See Kindergarten.]


Games : the teacher's part, 79, 82, 83,

superior to gymnastics and drill,
80, 81.

for girls, 82.

choice and variety, 83.
Generalisation : as a stage in lesson-
giving, 14.

dangerous prevalence of hasty
generalisation, 14, 15.

power of generalising varies
with age of pupils and subject
taught, 15, 1 6.

in experimental sciences is ten-
tative and qualified, 16.

General basis necessary for special
knowledge in History and Geo-
graphy, 249, 261.

Gentleman, development of the idea
of, 275.

Geography : its scope, divisions, and
connexions, 245, 247.

as a " core " of instruction, 248.



Geography : stages in school geo-
graphy, 249-252.

maps, globes, and models, 250.

necessity of comparison in geo-
graphy, 253.

commercial geography, 254.
Geometry, to begin with the concrete,


its usefulness to be brought
home to pupils, 230.

pupil to make his own defini-
tions, 230.

the object of "riders," 231.

arguments for and against Eu-
clid as a text-book, 232.

Girls' schools, grading of, 126.

less hampered by traditional
and commercial standards, 125.

mischievous results of the ex-
clusively feminine atmosphere, 128,


gymnastics and games, 81, 82.

music and domestic economy,

require more liberal curriculum
than boys' schools, 126.

Girls less uniform than boys, 126.
Gouin method of teaching foreign

languages, 163.
Grades of schools, 124.
Grammar, English : a scientific study,


the objects of the lesson, 5, 192.

procedure in teaching, 193.

to be dropped when the gram-
mar of another language is com-
menced, 193.

overdosing dangerous in the
primary school, 5.

historical, subsidiary to litera-
ture, 1 86.

Greece, conditions affecting education
in, 103.

Greek, its part in the history of educa-
tion, 196-199.

literature unsurpassed as a
subject of study, 205.

greatness of its literature redis-
covered, 199.

Gymnastics, uses and dangers, hygienic
and moral, 81.


Habits : the conservative force oi
human society, 40.

Habits : virtue and vice are habits, 41.

physiological aspect of habit,
4L 46.

and temptation, 42.

obedience, cleanliness, 41 ; self-
ishness, 44 ; accuracy, 45 ; truth-
fulness, 52 ; loafing, 54.

Health : brain-exercise a condition of,

signs of weakness or fatigue to be
noted by teachers, 71.

affected by posture in writing, 142.

affected by use of the voice, 147.

the first duty of teachers, 309.
History of Education, warnings from,


History of Curricula, sketch of, 103.

History of Literature, should be de-
ferred, 185.

special danger of cramming
criticisms, 185.

History of Language, subsidiary to
study of Literature, 186.

History : effects of the study intel-
lectual rather than moral, 255.

the panoramic aspect of, 256.

constitutional, unsuitable for
schools, 257.

importance of correct atmos-
phere, 258.

"ancient," 259, 260.

special branches of, 264.

the comparative method in, 253.

the unity of, 262.

maps, charts, coins in, 266.

of social life, to begin with
simple states of society, 260.

as a means of teaching citizen-
ship, 267.

Historical novels, 268.

Historical speeches as literature, 181.

Home-lessons, should break new

ground, 21, 117.
Home surroundings of pupil condition

the teacher's work, 4, 109, in.
Home, the best nursery of virtue, 46,



Illustrations in teaching : 27-30, 267.

tendency to overdo in primary
school, 28.

right use of graphic illustrations,

effectiveness of rough sketches
in the art of teaching, 29.



Imagination : its part in the learning of
languages, 163.

cultivated by early lessons in
history, 257.

Imitation, its nature, and value in

education, 63, 75, 153.
Indistinct speech : examples of, 149.

its ineffectiveness, 150.
Innate ideas, the doctrine of, 38.
Inquisitiveness of child valuable to

teacher, 84.
Insanity, rarest among educated

people, 68.

Instincts give little guarantee of per-
sonal or social safety, 40.
Institutions and a liberal education,

Intelligence in reading aloud, secured

by previous silent study of the

passage, 154.
Interest, devices for maintaining, 27,

Interference by the teacher : to be

judicious, 37, 83, 84.

in school clubs, 45.
Intonation, in foreign languages, 159.
Introductions (long) to lessons, gener-
ally useless, 8.


Justice, sense of, not developed in a
young child, 50.


Kindergarten methods : their sound
basis, 76, 116.

require modification for English
and American children, 78.

should be studied at their
sources, 78.

Knowledge : its object a unity, 2.

is gained by observation, infer-
ence, or instruction ; cannot be
" elicited," 13.

its repeated subdivision into
subjects misleading, if convenient,

should be unified by rational
concentration, 119.

its common divisions are logical,
not psychological, 101, 121.


Languages, modern ; when to begin
teaching, 116.

one foreign language should be
known well at sixteen, 125.

not usually taught well by
natives, 158.

accurate pronunciation neces-
sary, 159.

desirability of thinking in the
foreign language, 159.

common faults in prevailing
methods, 160, 164.

the Gouin method, 163.

a scheme for beginners, 166.

the Prendergast system, 167.
Languages, foreign and classical, as

literature, 173.

Languages, claims of the dead lan-
guages, 200-202.

Larynx, diseases of, caused by neglect
and misuse, 146.

Latin : historical causes of its import-
ance, 197, 198 ; stimulated by
revival of Greek, 199 ; debt of all
European languages to, 200 ; fixed
nature of classical Latin and
Greek an advantage, 203.

Grammar, can be taught in-
ductively and at first incidentally,

211, 215.

Prose composition to be pre-
ceded by retranslation of author,
211, 219.

authors suitable for beginners,


construing, 213.

verse composition, 219, 220.

pronunciation and quantities,


Laws and regulations, their beneficial
object to be shown, 45.

Lessons : stages in the giving of, 8
seq. ; preparation, u ; presenta-
tion, 12 ; comparison, 14 ; general-
isation (and cautions), 14-17 ;
application to new particulars, 16 ;
apparent or necessary variations
from this type, 18.

Liberal education, 104, 105, 290.

Libraries for scholars, 189. Hints on
suitable books, 189, 190, 191, 268.

Literature : not to be confounded with
grammar, 5.

best treated by the form-master,


3 1 ?

Literature : its beneficial reaction on
other studies, 171, 184, 260.

cultivates appreciation and ex-
pression, 171.

gives a sound aesthetic standard,

cultivates a reasonable patriot-
ism, 171.

not merely an accomplishment,

its value destroyed by over-
annotation, 171.

what it should achieve in school,

Literary appreciation and criticism,

Loafing, a cause of school vices, 54, 55.

Locke's misleading comparison of
child's mind to a clean sheet of
paper, 2, 37, 287.

Logic : limit of its influence on educa-
tional practice, 2.

as a guide to the sequence of
studies, 102, 121.

value of a training in, to teach-
ers, 54, 306.

to older scholars, 117.

taught indirectly through His-
tory, 256, 262, 265.


11 Make-believe" in child-life, 75.

Man, the centre of literary interest, 172.

Mangnall's questions.

Manual Instruction, often gives a dull
boy a chance to excel, 85 ; teaches
the dignity of labour, 85 ; its
national value, 86 ; its place in
primary and secondary schools, 86.

Maps : relation of, to early geogra-
phical teaching, 250, 254.

to be used in the history lesson,
255, 266.

Marks for exercises, 30, 31 ; to stimu-
late " duffers," 30.

Mathematics. [See also divisions of
the subject.]

admits of safe generalisations,

indispensable as gymnastic, and
for its applications, 221.

- a type of perfect reasoning, 222.

- the unity of mathematics, 233,


to be connected with physical
science as early as possible, 236.

Memory, 116, 170.

Mental Energy, strictly limited in
quantity, 69.

physical effort a drain on same
source as mental effort, 70.

Method : its relative importance in
diverse curricula, 95.

errors of method, 2, 4, 9, 10, 12,
26, 89, 287 and passim.

"Mixed" schools: their distribution,
129 ; advantages, 130.

difficulty of organising, 130.

unsuitable when school is resi-
dential, 130.

Mixed staffs, 131.

Models, geographical, may give wrong

impressions, 251.
Moral training : must be graduated,

36. [See Habits.]

the pupil must do his share, 37.

morality cannot be taught by
precept alone, 55-57.

dangers of preaching, 188.

incidental teaching, in litera-
ture, 187.

Monitors, 44.

Movements of children : to be co-
ordinated, 73.

instrumental in cultivating men-
tal capacity, 86.

to be studied as indications, 72.
Multiplication should begin with left-
hand figure of the multiplier, 227.

Music : its place in curriculum of girls'
schools, 127.

value of, as training, 139.


Names of "subjects" not to be

paraded, 10.
Nature's share in education, 37, 39,

Nerve-power, tests and observation of,


Newman, Cardinal, on Scott, 269,
Note-books, to be kept by scholars,

Notes of Lessons : as an exercise, 20.

" Matter-and-Method " arrange-
ment, generally faulty, 20.

Herbartian's arrangement pref-
erable, 20.

should indicate what lesson may
follow next, 20.

Novels, historical, value as a stimulus,




Obedience, the habit of, 41.
Object-lessons : the right age for, 116.

lend themselves to the standard
treatment, 18.

objects shown to class should
not be too many, 30.

Objections to classics as school subject

considered, 206
Observation over-cultivated may hinder

reflection, 38, 116.

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