How to Teach
George Drayton Strayer and Naomi Norsworthy

Part 3 out of 5

7. Give five examples of problems which you believe will challenge the
brightest pupils in your class. Which would seem real and worth solving
to the duller members of the group?

8. How may the analysis of such ideas as come to mind, and the
abstraction of the part which is valuable for the solution of a
particular problem, be facilitated?

9. How do you distinguish between thinking and reasoning?

10. What are the essential elements in reasoning? Give an example of
reasoning as carried on by one solving a problem in arithmetic or
geometry, in geography, physics, or chemistry.

11. In what respects are the processes of induction and deduction alike?
In what do they differ?

12. At what stage of the inductive process is deduction involved?

13. Give examples of reasoning demanded in school work in which the
process is predominantly inductive. Deductive.

14. Why are the statements "Induction proceeds from particulars to
generals" and "Deduction from generals to particulars" inadequate to
describe either process?

15. In what sense is thinking dependent upon the operation of the laws
of habit?

16. To what degree is it possible to teach your pupils to think? Under
what limitations do you work?

* * * * *


Appreciation belongs to the general field of feeling rather than that of
knowing. The element which distinguishes appreciation from memory or
imagination or perception is an affective one. Any one of these mental
states may be present without the state being an appreciative one. But
appreciation does not occur by itself as an elementary state, it is
rather a complex--a feeling tone accompanying a mental state or process
and coloring it. In other words, appreciation involves the presence of
some intellectual states, but its addition makes the total complex of an
emotional rather than a cognitive nature. The difficulty found in
discussing emotions in general, that of defining or describing them in
language, which is a tool of the intellect, is felt here. The only way
to know what appreciation means is to appreciate. No phase of feeling
can be adequately described--its essence is then lost--it must be felt.
Nevertheless something may be done to differentiate this type of feeling
from others.

Appreciation is an attitude of mind which is passive, contemplative. It
may grow out of an active attitude or emotion, or it may lead to one,
but in either case the state changes from one of appreciation to
something else. In appreciation the individual is quiescent.
Appreciation, therefore, has no end outside of itself. It is a
sufficient cause for being. The individual is satisfied with it. This
puts appreciation into the category of recreation. Appreciation then
always involves the pleasure tone, otherwise it could not be enjoyed. It
is always impersonal. It takes the individual outside and beyond his own
affairs; it is an other-regarding feeling. Possession, achievement, and
the like do not arouse appreciation, but rather an egoistical emotion.

One of the salient characteristics of emotions is their unifying power.
It has aptly been said that in extreme emotional states one _is_ the
emotion. The individual and his emotional state become one--a very
different state of affairs from what is true in cognition. This element
of unification is present to some extent in appreciation, although,
because of its complex nature, to a lesser extent than in a simpler,
more primitive feeling state. Still, in true appreciation one does
become absorbed in the object of appreciation; he, for the time being,
to some extent becomes identified with what he is appreciating. In,
order to appreciate this submerging of one's self, this identification
is necessary.

Appreciation is bound up with four different types of situations which
are of most importance to the teacher--(1) appreciation of the
beautiful, (2) appreciation of human nature, (3) appreciation of the
humorous, (4) appreciation of intellectual powers. The appreciation
found in these four types of situations must vary somewhat because of
the concomitants, but the characteristics which mark appreciation as
such seem to be present in all four. True, in certain of the situations
occurring under these types the emotional element may be stronger than
in others--in some the intellectual element may seem to almost outweigh
the affective, but still the predominant characteristics will be found
to be those of an attitude which has the earmarks of appreciation.

Appreciation of beauty has usually been discussed under the head of
aesthetic emotions. As to what rightfully belongs under the head of
aesthetics is in dispute--writers on the subject varying tremendously in
their opinions. Most of the recent writers, however, agree that the
stimulus for aesthetic appreciation must be a sense percept or an image
of some sense object. Ideas, meanings, in and of themselves, are not
then objects of aesthetic enjoyment. The two senses which furnish the
stimuli for this sort of appreciation are the eye and the ear--the
former combining sensations under space form and the latter under time
form to produce aesthetic feelings. Our senses may cause feelings of
pleasure, but the enjoyment is sensuous rather than aesthetic. Nature,
in all its myriad forms, art, architecture, music, literature, and the
dance are the chief sources of aesthetic appreciation. That there is a
definite connection between physiological processes and the feeling of
appreciation is without doubt true, but just what physiological
conditions in connection with visual and auditory perception are
fulfilled when some experience gives rise to aesthetic appreciation, and
just what is violated when there is lack of such appreciation, is not
known. It is known that both harmony and rhythm must be considered in
music, and that the structure and muscular control of the eye plus the
ease of mental apprehension play important parts in rousing aesthetic
feelings in connection with vision, but further than that little is

The chief danger met in developing the aesthetic appreciation is the
tendency to overestimate its dependence on, in the first place, skill in
creative work and the active emotions involved in achievement, and in
the second place, the intellectual understanding of the situation. It
has been largely taken for granted that the constructive work in the
arts or in music increased one's power of appreciation. That, if a child
used color and painted a little picture, or composed a melody, or
modeled in clay, he would therefore be able to appreciate better in
these fields. And further that the very development of this power to do
necessarily developed the power to appreciate. These two beliefs are
true to some extent, but only to a limited extent, and not nearly so far
as practice has taken for granted. It is true that some power to do
increases power to appreciate, but they parallel each other only for a
short time and then diverge, and either may be developed at the expense
of the other. In most people the power to appreciate, the passive,
contemplative enjoyment, far surpasses the ability to create. On the
other hand, men of creative genius often lack power of aesthetic
appreciation. This result is natural if one thinks of the mental
processes involved in the two. Power to do is associated with muscular
skill, with technique, and with the personal emotions of active
achievement. AEsthetic appreciation, on the other hand, is associated
with neither, but with a mental attitude and feelings which are quite
different. Cultivating one set of processes will not develop the other
to any great extent and may, on the other hand, be antagonistic to their
development. If the aesthetic emotions, if appreciations of the
beautiful, are desired, they must be trained and developed directly.

The second danger to be avoided in developing aesthetic appreciation is
that of magnifying its dependence on the intellectual factors. To
understand, to be able to analyze, to pick out the flaws in a musical
selection, or a painting, is not necessary to its appreciation. True,
some understanding is necessary, but, as in the case of skill, it is
much less than has been taken for granted. Appreciation can go far ahead
of understanding. The intellectual factor and the feeling response are
not absolutely interdependent in degree. Not only so, but the prominence
of the intellectual factor precludes that of the feeling. When one is
emphasized the other cannot be, as they are different sorts of mental
stuff. Continuous and emphatic development of the intellectual may
result in the atrophy of the power of appreciation in any given field
either temporarily or permanently. Many a boy's power to enjoy the
rhythm and melody of poetry has been destroyed by the overemphasis of
the critical facility during his high school course. The fact that a
person can analyze the painting, point out the plans in its composition,
and so on, does not at all mean that he can aesthetically appreciate.
Contemplative enjoyment may be impossible for him--it bores him.
Botanists are not noted for their power of aesthetic appreciation. It is
an acknowledged fact that some art and music critics have lost their
power of appreciation of the things they are continually criticizing.
This discussion is not intended to minimize the value of creative skill,
or of power of intellectual criticism. Both are talents that are well
worth while cultivating. But it is necessary for one to decide which of
the three, aesthetic appreciation, creative skill, or intellectual
criticism, in the fields of art, nature, and music, is most worth while
for the majority of people and then make plans accordingly. No one of
the three can be best developed and brought to its highest perfection by
emphasizing any one of the others.

The second type of appreciation is appreciation of human nature:
appreciation of the value of human life, appreciation of its virtues and
trials, appreciation of great characters, and so on. Some writers would
probably class this type of appreciation under moral feelings--but moral
feelings usually are thought of as active, as accompaniments of conduct,
whereas these appreciations are feelings aroused in the onlooker--they
are passive and for the time being are an end in themselves. These
feelings are stimulated by such studies as literature and history
particularly. Geography and civics offer some opportunity for their
development, and, of course, contact with people is the greatest
stimulus. In this latter type of situation the feelings of appreciation
easily pass over into active emotions, but so long as one remains an
onlooker, they need not do so. This appreciation, sympathy with and
enjoyment and approval of human nature, finds its source in the social
instincts, but it needs development and training if it is to be
perfected. Very much of the time this appreciation is inhibited by the
emphasis put on understanding. The intellectual faculties of memory,
judgment, and criticism are the ones called into play in the study of
history and often of literature. These studies leave the learner cold.
He knows, but it does not make any difference to him. He can analyze the
period or the character, but he lacks any feeling response, any
appreciation of the qualities of endurance and loyalty portrayed, lacks
any _sympathetic_ understanding of the difficulties met and conquered.
As was true of the aesthetic appreciation, a certain amount of
understanding is necessary for true appreciation of any kind, but
overemphasis of the intellectual element destroys the feeling element.

The third type of appreciation to be discussed is the appreciation of
humor. Perhaps this does not belong with the other type, but it
certainly has many of the same characteristics. Calkins defines a sense
of humor as "enjoyment of an unessential incongruity.... This
incongruity must be, as has been said, an unessential one, else the mood
of the observer changes from happiness to unhappiness, and the comic
becomes the pathetic. A fall on the ice which seemed to offer only a
ludicrous contrast between the dignity and grace of the man erect and
the ungainly attitude of the falling figure ceases utterly to be funny
when it is seen to entail some physical injury; and wit which burns and
sears is not amusing to its victim."[12] The ability to appreciate the
humorous in life is a great gift and should be cultivated to a much
greater extent than it is at present.

A fourth type of appreciation has been called appreciation of
intellectual powers--a poor name perhaps, but the feeling is a real one.
Enjoyment of style, of logical sequence, of the harmony of the whole, of
the clear-cut, concise, telling sentences, are illustrations of what is
meant. Enjoyment of a piece of literature, of a debate, of an argument,
of a piece of scientific research, is not limited to the appreciation of
the meanings expressed--in fact, in many cases the only factor that can
arouse the feeling element, the appreciation, is this element of form.
One may _understand_ an argument or a debate as he hears it, but
appreciation, enjoyment of it, comes only as a result of the
consciousness of these elements of form.

_That_ one possesses these feelings of appreciation, at least to some
degree, is a matter of human equipment, but _what_ one appreciates in
art, literature, human nature, etc., depends primarily on training.
There is almost no situation in life that with all people at all times
will arouse appreciative feelings. Although there are a few fundamental
conditions established by the physical make-up of the sense organs and
by the original capacities of the human race, still they are few, and at
present largely unknown, and experience does much to modify even these.
What is crude, vulgar, inharmonious, in art and music to some people,
arouses extreme aesthetic appreciation in others. Literature that causes
one person to throw the book down in disgust will give greatest
enjoyment to another. What is malice to one person is humorous to
another. What people enjoy and appreciate depends primarily on their
experience for the development of these feelings, depends upon the laws
of association, readiness, exercise, and effect. To raise power of
appreciation from low levels to high, from almost nothing to a
controlling force, needs but the application of these laws. But no one
of them can be neglected with impunity. It must be a gradual growth,
beginning with tracks that are ready, because of the presence of certain
instincts, and working on to others through the law of association. To
expect a child of seven to appreciate a steel engraving, or a piece of
classic music, or moral qualities in another person is to violate the
law of readiness. To expect any one in adult life to enjoy music, or
art, or nature, who has not had experience with each and enjoyed each
continually as a child, is to violate the laws of exercise and effect.

Two or three suggestions as to aids in the application of these laws may
be in place. First, a wealth of images is an aid to appreciation.
Second, the absence for the time of the critical attitude. Third, an
encouragement of the passive contemplative attitude. Fourth, the example
of others. Suggestion and association with other people who do
appreciate and enjoy are among the best means of securing it.

The value of feelings of appreciation are threefold: First, they serve
as recreation. It is in enjoyment of this kind that most of the leisure
of civilized races is spent. It serves on the mental level much the same
purpose that play does, in fact, much of it is mental play of a kind.
Second, they are impersonal. They are valuable in that they take us out
of ourselves, away from self-interests, and therefore make for mental
health and sanity as well as for a sympathetic character. They are also
a means of broadening one's experience. Third, they have a close
relationship with ideals and therefore have an active bearing on
conduct. It is not necessarily true that one will tend in himself or in
his surroundings to be like what he enjoys and appreciates, but the
tendency will be strongly in that direction. If an individual truly
appreciates, enjoys, beautiful pictures, good music and books, he will
be likely, so far as he can, to surround himself with them. If he
appreciates loyalty, openmindedness, tolerance, as he meets them in
literature and history, he may become more so himself. At least, the
developing of appreciations is the first step towards conduct in those
lines. In order to insure the conduct, other means must be taken, but
without the appreciation the conduct will be less sure.

One who would count most in developing power of appreciation upon the
part of children may well inquire concerning his own power of
appreciation. There is not very much possibility of the development of
joy in poetry, in music, or any other artistic form of expression
through association with the teacher who finds little satisfaction in
these artistic forms, who has little power of aesthetic appreciation. It
is only as teachers themselves are sincere in their appreciation of the
nobility of character possessed by the men and women whose lives are
portrayed in history, in literature, or in contemporary social life that
one may expect that their influence will be important in developing such
appreciation upon the part of children. Those pupils are fortunate who
are taught by teachers who have a sense of humor, who are able to grow
enthusiastic over the intellectual achievement of the leaders in the
field of study or investigation in which the children are at work.
Children are, indeed, quick to discover sentimentalism or
pseudo-appreciation upon the part of teachers, but even though they may
not give any certain expression to their enjoyment, they are usually
largely influenced by the attitude and genuine power of appreciation
possessed by the teacher.

In our attempt to have children grow in the field of appreciation we
have often made the mistake of attempting to impose upon them adult
standards. A great librarian in one of our eastern cities has said that
he would rather have children read dime novels than to have them read
nothing. From his point of view it was more important to have children
appreciating and enjoying something which they read than to have their
lives barren in this respect. In literature, in music, and in fine art
the development in power of appreciation is undoubtedly from the simple,
cruder forms to those which we as adults consider the higher or nobler
forms of expression. Mother Goose, the rhymes of Stevenson, of Field, or
of Riley, may be the beginning of the enjoyment of literature which
finds its final expression in the reading and in the possession of the
greatest literature of the English language. The simple rote songs which
the children learn in the first grade, or which they hear on the
phonograph, may lead through various stages of development to the
enjoyment of grand opera. Pictures in which bright color predominates
may be the beginning of power of appreciation which finds its fruition
in a home which is decorated with reproductions of the world's

It is not only in the artistic field that this growth in power of
appreciation from the simpler to the more complex is to be found.
Children instinctively admire the man who is brave rather than the man
who endures. Achievement is for most boys and girls of greater
significance than self-sacrifice. It is only as we adapt our material to
their present attainment, or to an attempt to have them reach the next
higher stage of development, that we may expect genuine growth. All too
often instead of growth we secure the development of a hypocritical
attitude, which accepts the judgment of others, and which never really
indicates genuine enjoyment.

While it is best not to insist upon an analysis of the feelings that one
has in enjoying a picture or a poem or a great character, it is worth
while to encourage choice. Of many stories which have been told,
children may very properly choose one which they would like to tell to
others. Of many poems which have been read in class, a group of boys may
admire one and commit it to memory, while the girls may care for another
and be allowed to memorize it. Wherever such cooeperation is possible,
the picture which you enjoy most is the one that will mean most in power
of appreciation if placed in your room at home. Spontaneous approval,
rather than an agreement with an adult teacher who is considered an
authority, is to be sought for. There is more in the spontaneous
laughter which results as children read together their "Alice in
Wonderland" than could possibly result from an analysis of the quality
of humor which is involved.

We are coming to understand as a matter of education that we may hope to
develop relatively few men and women of great creative genius. The
producers of work of great artistic worth are, for the most part, to be
determined by native capacity rather than by school exercises. We must
think of the great majority of school children as possible consumers
rather than as producers. Schools which furnish a maximum of opportunity
to enjoy music and pictures may hope to develop in their community a
power of discrimination in these fields which will result in
satisfaction with nothing less than the best. The player-piano and the
phonograph may mean more in the development of musical taste in a
community than all of the lessons which are given in the reading of
music. The art gallery in the high school, the folk dances which have
been produced as a part of the school festivals, the reading of the best
stories, may prepare the way for the utilization of leisure time in the
pursuit of the nobler pleasures. The teacher with a saving sense of
humor, large in his power of appreciation of the great men and women of
his time, and all of the time keen in his own enjoyment and in his
ability to interpret for others those things which are most worth while
in literature and in art, may count more largely in the life of the
community than the one who is a master in some field of investigation.


1. What are the characteristics of the mental states which are involved
in appreciation?

2. Name the different types of situations in which appreciation may be
developed. Give examples.

3. Does the power to criticize poetry or music necessarily involve

4. To what degree may skill in creative work result in power of

5. What are the elements involved in appreciating human nature?

6. Give an example of appreciation of intellectual powers.

7. What is the essential element in the appreciation of humor?

8. Explain how the power of appreciation is dependent upon training.

9. What values in the education of an individual are realized through
growth in power of appreciation?

10. Why is it important for a teacher to seek to cultivate his own power
of appreciation?

11. What poems, or pictures, or music would you expect first-grade
children to enjoy? Why?

12. Would you expect fifth-grade children to grow in appreciation of
poetry by having them commit to memory selections from Milton's Paradise
Lost? Why?

13. Why is it important to allow children to choose the poems that they
commit to memory, or the pictures which they hang on their walls?

14. Why would you accept spontaneous expression of approval of the
characters in literature or in history, rather than seek to control the
judgments of children in this respect?

15. How may teachers prove most effective in developing the power of
appreciation upon the part of children?

* * * * *


All human activity might be classified under three heads,--play, work,
and drudgery,--but just what activities belong under each head and just
what each of the terms means are questions of dispute. That the
boundaries between the three are hazy and undefined, and that they shade
gradually into each other, are without doubt true, but after all play is
different from work, and work from drudgery. Much of the disagreement as
to the value of play is due to this lack of definition. Even to-day when
the worth of play is so universally recognized, we still hear the
criticism's of "soft pedagogy" and "sugar coating" used in connection
with the application of the principle of play in education.

Although what we call play has its roots in original equipment, still
there is no such thing as the play instinct, in the sense that there is
a hunting instinct or a fighting instinct. Instead of being a definite
instinct, which means a definite response to a definite situation, it is
rather a tendency characteristic of all instincts and capacities. It is
an outgrowth of the general characteristic of all original nature
towards activity of some kind. This tendency is so broad and so complex,
the machinery governing it is so delicate, that it produces responses
that vary tremendously with subtle changes in the individual, and with
slight modifications of the situation. What we call play, then, is
nothing more than the manifestations of the various instincts and
capacities as they appear at times when they are not immediately useful.
The connections in the nervous system are ripe and all other factors
have operated to put them in a state of readiness: a situation occurs
which stimulates these connections and the child plays. These
connections called into activity may result in responses which are
primarily physical, intellectual, or emotional--all are manifestations
of this tendency towards activity. All habits of all kinds grow out of
this same activity: habits which we call work and those which we call
play. Man has not two original natures, one defined in terms of the play
instinct, and the other in terms of work. Most of the original
tendencies involved in play are not peculiar to it, but also are the
source of work. Manifestation results in making "mud pies and apple
pies"; physical activity results in the kicking, squirming, and
wriggling of the infant and the monotonous wielding of the hammer of the
road mender. The conditions under which an activity occurs, its
concomitants, and the attitude of the individual performing it determine
whether it is play or work--not its source or root.

Much, then, of what we call play is simply the manifestation of
instincts and capacities not immediately useful to the child. If they
were immediately useful, they would probably be put under the head of
work, not play. Many of the activities which seem playful to us and not
of immediate service do so because of the conditions of civilized life.
Were the infants living under primitive conditions, "in such a community
as a human settlement seems likely to have been twenty-five thousand
years ago, their restless examination of small objects would perhaps
seem as utilitarian as their fathers' hunting."[13] Certainly the
tendency of little children to chase a small object going away from
them, and to run from a large object approaching slowly, their tendency
to collect and hoard, their tendency to outdo another engaged in any
instinctive pursuit, would under primitive conditions have a distinct
utilitarian value, and yet all such tendencies are ranked as play when
manifested by the civilized child.

Other tendencies become playful rather than useful because of the
complexity of the environment and of the nervous system responding to
it. In actual life we don't find activity following a neatly arranged
situation--response system. On the contrary, a situation seldom
stimulates one response, and a response seldom occurs in the typical
form required by theory. It is this mingling of responses brought about
by varying elements in the situation that gives the playful effect. In a
less complex environment this complexity would be lessened. Also
experience, habit, tends to pin one type of response to a given
situation and the minor connections gradually become eliminated. For
example, if a boy of nine, alone in the woods, was approached by another
with threatening gestures and scowls, the fighting response would be
called out, and we would not call it play, because it served as
protection. If the same boy in his own garden, with a group of
companions, was approached by another with scowls, a perfectly
good-natured tussle might take place and we would call it play. The
difference between the two would be in minor elements of the situation.
Some of these differences are absence or presence of companions, the
strangeness or familiarity of the surroundings, the suddenness of the
appearance of the other boy, and so on.

Most of the older theories of play did not take into account these three
facts, _i.e.,_ the identity in original nature of the roots of play and
work; the fact that man's original nature fits him for primitive not
civilized society; the complexity of the situation--response connection
and its necessary variation with minor elements in the external
situation and in the individual. Earlier writers, therefore, felt the
need of special theories of play. The best known of these theories are,
first, the Schiller-Spencer surplus energy theory; second, the Groos
preparation for life theory; third, the G. Stanley Hall atavistic
theory; fourth, the Appleton biological theory. Each of the theories has
some element of truth in it, for play is complex enough to include them
all, but each, save perhaps the last, falls short of an adequate

Two facts growing out of the theory of play accepted by the last few
paragraphs need further discussion. First, the order of development in
play. The play activities must follow along the line of the developing
instincts and capacities. As the nerve tracts governing certain
responses become ready to act, these responses become the controlling
ones in play. So it is that for a time play is controlled largely by the
instinct of manipulation, at another time physical activity combined
with competition is most prominent, at another period imagination
controls, still later the puzzle-solving tendency comes to the point
followed by all the games involving an intellectual factor. This being
true, it is not surprising to find certain types of play characterizing
certain ages and to find that though the particular games may vary,
there is a strong resemblance between plays of children of the same age
all over the world. It must not be forgotten, however, that the
readiness of nerve tracts to function, and therefore the play responses,
depends on other factors as well as maturity. The readiness of other
tracts to function; past experience and habits; the stimulus provided by
the present situation; absence of competing stimuli; sex, health,
fatigue, tradition--all these and many more factors modify the order of
development of the play tendencies. Still, having these facts in mind,
it is possible to indicate roughly the type of play most prominent at
different ages.

Children from four to seven play primarily in terms of sensory
responses, imagination, imitation, and curiosity of the cruder sort.
Love of rhythm also is strong at this period. From seven to ten
individual competition or rivalry becomes very strong and influences
physical games, the collecting tendency, and manipulation, all of which
tendencies are prominent at this time. Ten to twelve or thirteen is
characterized by the "gang" spirit which shows itself in connection with
all outdoor games and adventures; memory is a large factor in some of
the plays of this period, and independent thinking in connection with
situations engendered by manipulation and the gang spirit becomes
stronger. At this period the differences between girls and boys become
more marked. The girls choose quieter indoor games, chumming becomes
prominent, and interest in books, especially of the semi-religious and
romantic type, comes to the front. In the early adolescent period the
emotional factor is strong and characterizes many of the playful
activities; the intellectual element takes precedence over the physical;
the group interest widens, although the interest in leadership and
independent action still remains strong; teasing and bullying are also
present. This summary is by no means complete, but it indicates in a
very general way the prominent tendencies at the periods indicated.

The second fact needing further elaboration is that of the complexity of
the play activity. Take, for instance, a four-year-old playing with a
doll. She fondles, cuddles, trundles it, and takes it to bed with her.
It is jumped up and down and dragged about. It is put through many of
the experiences that the child is having, especially the unpleasant
ones. Its eyes and hair, its arms and legs, are examined. Questions are
asked such as, "Where did it come from?" "Who made it?" "Has it a
stomach?" "Will it die?" In many instances it is personified. The child
is often perfectly content to play with it alone, without the presence
of other children. This activity shows the presence of the nursing
instinct, the tendency towards manipulation, physical activity,
imitation and curiosity of the empirical type. The imagination is active
but still undifferentiated from perception. The contentment in playing
alone, or with an adult, shows the stage of development of the
gregarious instinct. A girl of nine no longer cuddles or handles her
doll just for the pleasure she gets out of that, nor is the doll put
through such violent physical exercises. The child has passed beyond the
aimless manipulation and physical activity that characterized the
younger child. Instead she makes things for it, clothes, furniture, or
jewelry, still manipulation, and still the nursing instincts, but
modified and directed towards more practical ends. Imitation now shows
itself in activities that are organized. The child plays Sunday, or
calling, or traveling, or market day, in which the doll takes her part
in a series of related activities. But in these activities constructive
imagination appears as an element. Situations are not absolutely
duplicated, occurrences are changed to suit the fancy of the player, as
demanded by the dramatic interest. A fairy prince, or a godmother, may
be participants, but at this age the constructive imagination is likely
to work along more practical lines. Curiosity is also present, but now
the questions asked are such as, "What makes her eyes work?" "Why can't
she stand up?" or they often pertain to the things that are being made
for the doll. They have to do with "How" or "Why" instead of the "What."
The doll may still be talked to and even be supposed to talk back, but
the child knows it is all play; it is no longer personified as in the
earlier period. For the child fully to enjoy her play, she must now have
companions of her own age, the older person no longer suffices.

The outdoor games of boys show the same kind of complexity,--for
instance, take any of the running games. With little boys they are
unorganized manifestations of mere physical activity. The running is
more or less at random, arms and vocal organs are used as much as the
legs and trunk. Imitation comes in-what one does others are likely to
do. The mere "follow" instinct is strong, and they run after each other.
The beginnings of the fighting instinct appear in the more or less
friendly tussles they have. The stage of the gregarious instinct is
shown by the fact that they all play together. Later with boys of nine
or ten the play has become a game, with rules governing it. The general
physical activity has been replaced by a specialized form. Imitation is
less of a factor. The hunting instinct often appears unexpectedly, and
in the midst of the play the elements of the chase interfere with the
proper conduct of the game. The fighting instinct is strong, and is very
easily aroused. The boys now play in gangs or groups, and the tendency
towards leadership manifests itself within the group. The intellectual
element appears again and again, in planning the game, in judging of the
possibility of succeeding at different stages, or in settling disputes
that are sure to arise. So it is with all the plays of children: they
are complexes of the various tendencies present, and the controlling
elements change as the inner development continues.

All activities when indulged in playfully have certain common
characteristics. First, the activity is enjoyed for its own sake. The
process is satisfying in itself. Results may come naturally, but they
are not separated from the process; the reason for the enjoyment is not
primarily the result, but rather the whole activity. Second, the
activity is indulged in by the player because it satisfies some inner
need, and only by indulging in it can the need be satisfied. It uses
neurone tracts that were "ready." Growing out of these two major
characteristics are several others. The attention is free and immediate;
much energy is used with comparatively little fatigue; self-activity and
initiative are freely displayed.

At the other extreme of activity is drudgery. Its characteristics are
just the opposite of these. First, the activity is engaged in merely for
the result--the process counting for nothing and the result being the
only thing of value. Second, the process, instead of satisfying some
need, is rather felt to be in violation of the nature of the one
engaged. It uses neurone tracts that are not "ready" and at the same
time prevents the action of tracts that are "ready." It becomes a task.
The attention necessarily must be of the forced, derived type, in which
fatigue comes quickly as a result of divided attention, results are
poor, and there is no chance for initiative.

Between these two extremes lies work. It differs from play in that the
results are usually of more value and in that the attention is therefore
often of the derived type. It differs from drudgery in that there is not
the sharp distinction between the process and the result and in that the
attention may often be of the free spontaneous type. It was emphasized
at the beginning of this chapter that the boundaries between the three
were hazy and ill defined. This is especially true of work; it may be
indistinguishable from play as it partakes of its characteristics, or it
may swing to the other extreme and be almost drudgery. The difference
between the three activities is a subjective matter--a difference
largely in mood, in attitude of the person concerned, due to the
readiness or unreadiness of the neurone tracts exercised. The same
activity may be play for one person, work for another, and drudgery for
still another. Further, for the same person the same activity may be
play, work, or drudgery, at different times, even within the same day.

Which of the three is the most valuable for educational purposes?
Certainly not drudgery. It is deadening, uneducative, undevelopmental.
Any phase of education, though it may be a seemingly necessary one, that
has the characteristics of drudgery is valueless in itself. As a means
to an end it may serve--but with the antagonistic attitude, the
annoyance aroused by drudgery, it seems a very questionable means.
Education that can obtain the results required by a civilized community
and yet use the play spirit is the ideal.

But to have children engaged in play, in the sense of free play, cannot
be the only measure. There must be supervision and direction. The spirit
that characterizes the activities which are not immediately useful must
be incorporated into those that are useful by means of the shifting of
association bonds. Nor can all parts of the process seem worth while to
the learner. Sometimes the process or parts of it must become a means to
an end, for the end is remote. But all this is true to some extent in
free play--digging the worms in order to go fishing, finding the
scissors and thread in order to make the doll's dress, making
arrangements with the other team to play ball, finding the right pieces
of wood for the hut, and so on, may not be satisfactory in and of
themselves, but may be almost drudgery. They are _not_ drudgery because
they become fused in the whole process, they take over and are lost in
the joy of the undertaking as a whole; they become a legitimate means to
an end, and in so far take over in derived form the interest that is
roused by the whole. It is this fusion of work and play that is
desirable in education. This is the great lesson of play--it shows the
value and encourages the logical combination of the two activities.
Children learn to work as they play. They learn the meaning and value of
work. Work becomes a means to an end, and that end not something remote
and disconnected from the activity itself, but as part and parcel of it.
Thus the activity as a whole imbued with the play spirit becomes

The play spirit is the spirit of art. No great result was achieved in
any line of human activity without much work, and yet no great result
was ever gained unless the play spirit controlled. It is to this
interaction of work and play that each owes much of its value. Work in
and of itself apart from play lacks educative power; it is only as it
leads to and increases the power of play that it is of greatest value.
Its logical place in education is as a means to an end, not as an end in
itself. Play, on the other hand, that does not necessitate some work,
that does not need work in order that it may function more fully, has
lost most of its educational value. To work in play and to play while
working is the ideal combination. Either by itself is dangerous.

Two misconceptions should be mentioned. First, the play spirit advocated
as one of the greatest educational factors must not be limited to the
merely physical activities, nor should it be considered synonymous with
what is easy. This characterization of play as being the aimless trivial
physical activities of a little child is a misconception of the whole
play tendency. It has already been pointed out that any activity which
in itself satisfies, whether that be physical, emotional, or
intellectual, is play, and all these phases of human activity show
themselves in play first. Also the fact that play does not mean ease of
accomplishment has been noted. It is only in the play spirit that the
full resources of child or adult are tested. It is only when the
activity fully satisfies some need that the individual throws himself
whole-souled into it. It is only under the stimulus of the play spirit
that all one's energy is spent, and great results, clear, accurate, and
far reaching, are obtained. Ease of performance often results in
drudgery. To be play, the activity must be suited to the child's
capacity, but leave chance for initiative and change and development.

The second misconception is that because present-day educators advocate
play in education, they believe that the child should do nothing that he
doesn't want to. This is wrong on two accounts. First, it is part of the
business of an environment to stimulate--readiness depends partly on
stimulation. The child may never play unless the stimulation is forcibly
and continually applied. Second, after all it is the result we are most
anxious for in education, and that result is an educated adult. By all
means let us obtain this result by the most economical and effective
method, and that is by use of the play spirit. But if the result cannot
be obtained by this means because of the character of civilized ideals,
or the difficulties of group education, or lack of capacity of the
individual--then surely other methods, even that of drudgery, must be
resorted to. The point is, with the goal in mind, adapt the material of
education to the needs of the individual child; in other words, use the
play spirit so far as is possible--after that gain the rest by any means

So far the discussion has been concerned with the characteristics of the
play spirit and its use in connection with the more formal materials of
education. However, the free plays of children are valuable in two
ways--first, as sources of information as to the particular tendencies
ready for exercise at different times, and second, as a means of
education in themselves. A knowledge of just which tendencies are most
prominent in the plays of a group of children, when they change from
"play" to "games," the increase in complexity and organization, the
predominance of the intellectual factors,--all this could be of direct
service to a teacher in the schoolroom. But it means, to some extent,
the observation by the teacher of his particular group of children. Such
observation is extremely fruitful. The more vigorously, the more
wholeheartedly, the more completely a child plays, other things being
equal, the better. A deprivation of opportunity to play, or a loss of
any particular type of play, means a loss of the development of certain
traits or characteristics. An all-round, well-developed adult can grow
only from a child developed in an all-round way because of many-sided
play. Hence the value of public playgrounds and of time to play. Hence
the danger of the isolated, lonely child, for many plays demand the
group. Hence the opportunities and the dangers of supervision of play.

Supervision of play is valuable in so far as it furnishes opportunities
and suggestions which develop the elements most worth while in play and
which keep play at its highest level, and in so far as it concerns the
nature of the individual child, protecting, admonishing, or encouraging,
as the case may require. It is dangerous to the child's best good, in so
far as it results in domination; for domination will mean, usually, the
introduction of plays beyond the child's stage of development and the
destruction of the independence and initiative which are two of the most
valuable characteristics of free play. Valuable supervision of play is
art that must be acquired. To influence, while effacing oneself, to
guide, while being one of the players, to have an adult's understanding
of the needs of child nature and yet to be one with the children--these
are the essentials of the supervision of play.


1. Distinguish between the fighting instinct and the instinctive basis
of play.

2. Under what conditions may an activity which we classify as play for a
civilized child be called work for a child living under primitive

3. What kinds of plays are characteristic of different age periods in
the life of children?

4. Trace the development of some game played by the older boys in your
school from its simpler beginnings in the play of little children to its
present complexity.

5. Name the characteristics common to all playful activity.

6. Distinguish between play and drudgery.

7. What is the difference between work and play?

8. To what degree may the activities of the school be made play?

9. Explain why the same activity may be play for one individual, work
for another, and drudgery for a third.

10. Why should we seek to make the play element prominent in school

11. When is one most efficient in individual pursuits--when his activity
is play, when he works, or when he is a drudge?

12. Under what conditions should we compel children to work, or even to
engage in an activity which may involve drudgery?

13. Explain how play may involve the maximum of utilization of the
abilities possessed by the individual, rather than a type of activity
easy of accomplishment.

14. In what does skill in the supervision of play consist?

* * * * *


It has been indicated here and there throughout the previous chapters
that, despite the fact that there are certain laws governing the various
mental traits and processes, still there is variation in the working of
those laws. It was pointed out that people differ in kind of memory or
imagination in which they excel, in their ability to appreciate, in the
speed with which they form habits, and so on. In other words, that boys
and girls are not exact duplicates of each other, but that they always
differ from each other. Now a knowledge of these differences, their
amounts, interrelations, and causes are very necessary for the planning
of a school system or for the planning of the education of a particular
child. What we plan and how we plan educational undertakings must always
be influenced by our opinion as to inborn traits, sex differences,
specialization of mental traits, speed of development, the respective
power of nature and of nurture. The various plans of promotion and
grouping of children found in different cities are in operation because
of certain beliefs concerning differences in general mental ability.
Coeducation is urged or deplored largely on the ground of belief in the
differing abilities of the sexes.

Exact knowledge of just what differences do exist between people and the
causes of these differences is important for two reasons. First, in
order that the most efficient measures may be taken for the education of
the individual, and second, in order that the race as a whole may be
made better. Education can only become efficient and economical when we
know which differences between people and which achievements of a given
person are due to training, and which are due more largely to original
equipment or maturity. It is a waste of time on the one hand for
education to concern itself with trying to make all children good
spellers--if spelling is a natural gift; and on the other hand, it is
lack of efficiency for schools to be largely neglecting the moral
development of the children, if morality is dependent primarily on
education. Exact knowledge, not opinions, along all these lines is
necessary if progress is to be made.

The principal causes for individual differences are sex, remote
ancestry, near ancestry, maturity, and training. The question to be
answered in the discussion of each of these causes is how important a
factor is it in the production of differences and just what differences
is it responsible for. That men differ from women has always been an
accepted fact, but exact knowledge of how much and how they differ has,
until recent years, been lacking. Recently quantitative measurement has
been made by a number of investigators. In making these investigations
two serious difficulties have to be met. First, that the tests measure
only the differences brought about by differences in sex, and not by any
other cause, such as family or training. This difficulty has been met by
taking people of all ages, from all sorts of families, with all kinds of
training, the constant factor being the difference in sex. The second
difficulty is that of finding groups in which the selection agencies
have been the same and equally operative. It would be obviously unfair
to compare college men and women, and expect to get a fair result as to
sex differences, because college women are a more highly selected group
intellectually than the college men. It is the conventional and social
demands that are primarily responsible for sending boys to college,
while the intellectual impulse is responsible to a greater extent for
sending girls. Examination of children in the elementary schools, then,
gives a fairer result than of the older men and women. The general
results of all the studies made point to the fact that the differences
between the sexes are small. Sex is the cause of only a small fraction
of the differences between individuals. The total difference of men from
men and women from women is almost as great as the difference between
men and women, for the distribution curve of woman's ability in any
trait overlaps the men's curve to at least half its range. In detail the
exact measurements of intellectual abilities show a slight superiority
of the women in receptivity and memory, and a slight superiority of the
men in control of movement and in thought about concrete mechanical
situations. In interests which cannot be so definitely measured, women
seem to be more interested in people and men in things. In instinctive
equipment women excel in the nursing impulse and men in the fighting
impulse. In physical equipment men are stronger and bigger than women.
They excel in muscular tests in ability to "spurt," whereas women do
better in endurance tests. The male sex seems on the whole to be
slightly more variable than the female, i.e., its curve of distribution
is somewhat flatter and extends both lower and higher than does that of
the female; or, stated another way, men furnish more than their
proportion of idiots and of geniuses.

Slight though these differences are, they are not to be disregarded, for
sometimes the resulting habits are important. For instance, girls should
be better spellers than boys. Boys should excel in physics and
chemistry. Women should have more tact than men, whereas men should be
more impartial in their judgments. With the same intellectual equipment
as women, men should be found more often in positions of prominence
because of the strength of the fighting instinct. The geniuses of the
world, the leaders in any field, as well as the idiots, should more
often be men than women. That these differences do exist, observation as
well as experiment prove, but that they are entirely due to essential
innate differences in sex is still open to question. Differences in
treatment of the sexes in ideals and in training for generation after
generation _may_ account for some of the differences noted.

What these differences mean from the standpoint of practice is still
another question. Difference in equipment need not mean difference in
treatment, nor need identity of equipment necessarily mean identity of
training. The kind of education given will have to be determined not
only by the nature of the individual, but also by the ideals held for
and the efficiency demanded from each sex.

Another cause of the differences existing between individuals is
difference in race inheritance. In causing differences in physical
traits this factor is prominent. The American Indians have physical
traits in common which differentiate them from other races; the same
thing is true of the Negroes and the Mongolians. It has always been
taken for granted that the same kind of difference between the races
existed in mental traits. To measure the mental differences caused by
race is an extremely difficult problem. Training, environment,
tradition, are such potent factors in confusing the issue. The
difficulty is to measure inborn traits, not achievement. Hence the
results from actual measurement are very few and are confined to the
sensory and sensorimotor traits. Woodworth, in summing up the results of
these tests, says, "On the whole, the keenness of the senses seems to be
about on a par in the various races of mankind.... If the results could
be taken at their face value, they would indicate differences in
intelligence between races, giving such groups as the Pygmy and Negrito
a low station as compared with most of mankind. The fairness of the test
is not, however, beyond question."[14] The generality of this conclusion
concerning the differences in intelligence reveals the lack of data. No
tests of the higher intellectual processes, such as the ability to
analyze, to associate in terms of elements, to formulate new principles,
and the like, have, been given. Some anthropologists are skeptical of
the existence of any great differences, while others believe that though
there is much overlapping, still differences of considerable magnitude
do exist. At present we do not know how much of the differences existing
between individuals is due to differences in remote ancestry.

Maturity as a cause of differences between individuals gives quite as
unsatisfactory results as remote ancestry. Every thoughtful student of
children must realize that inner growth, apart from training, has
something to do with the changes which take place in a child; that he
differs from year to year because of a difference in maturity. This same
cause, then, must account to some extent for the differences between
individuals of different ages. But just how great a part it plays, what
per cent of the difference it accounts for, and what particular traits
it affects much or little, no one knows. We say in general that
nine-year-old children are more suggestible than six-year-old, and than
fourteen-year-old; that the point of view of the fifteen-year-old is
different from that of the eleven-year-old; that the power of sense
discrimination gradually increases up to about sixteen, and so on. That
these facts are true, no one can question, but how far they are due to
mere change in maturity and how far to training or to the increase in
power of some particular capacity, such as understanding directions, or
power of forced attention, is unknown. The studies which have been
undertaken along this line have failed in two particulars: first, to
distribute the actual changes found from year to year among the three
possible causes, maturity, general powers of comprehension and the like,
and training; second, to measure the same individuals from year to year.
This last error is very common in studies of human nature. It is taken
for granted that to examine ten year olds and then eleven year olds and
then twelve year olds will give what ten year olds will become in one
and two years' time respectively. To test a group of grammar grade
children and then a group of high school and then a group of college
students will not show the changes in maturity from grammar school to
college. The method is quite wrong, for it tests only the ten year olds
that stay in school long enough to become twelve year olds; it measures
only the very small per cent of the grammar school children who get to
college. In other words, it is measuring a more highly selected group
and accepting the result obtained from them as true of the entire group.
Because of these two serious errors in the investigations our knowledge
of the influence of maturity as a cause of individual differences is no
better than opinion. Two facts, however, such studies do make clear.
First, the supposition that "the increases in ability due to a given
amount of progress toward maturity are closely alike for all children
save the so-called 'abnormally-precocious' or 'retarded' is false. The
same fraction of the total inner development, from zero to adult
ability, will produce very unequal results in different children. Inner
growth acts differently according to the original nature that is
growing. The notion that maturity is the main factor in the differences
found amongst school children, so that grading and methods of teaching
should be fitted closely to 'stage of growth,' is also false. It is by
no means very hard to find seven year olds who can do intellectual work
in which one in twenty seventeen year olds would fail."[15]

The question as to how far immediate heredity is a cause of differences
found between individuals, can only be answered by measuring how much
more alike members of the same family are in a given trait than people
picked at random, and then making allowance for similarity in their
training. The greater the likenesses between members of the same family,
and the greater the differences between members of different families,
despite similarities in training, the more can individual differences be
traced to differences in ancestry as a controlling cause. The answer to
this question has been obtained along four different lines: First,
likenesses in physical traits; second, likenesses in particular
abilities; third, likenesses in achievement along intellectual and moral
lines; fourth, greater likenesses between twins, than ordinary siblings.
In physical traits, such as eye color, hair color, cephalic index,
height, family resemblance is very strong (the coefficient of
correlation being about .5), and here training can certainly have had no
effect. In particular abilities, such as ability in spelling, the stage
reached by an individual is due primarily to his inheritance, the
ability being but little influenced by the differences in home or school
training that commonly exist. In general achievement, Galton's results
show that eminence runs in families, that one has more than three
hundred times the chance of being eminent if one has a brother, father,
or son eminent, than the individual picked at random. Wood's
investigation in royal families points to the same influence of ancestry
in determining achievement. The studies of the Edwards family on one
hand and the so-called Kallikak family on the other, point to the same
conclusion. Twins are found to be twice as much alike in the traits
tested as other brothers and sisters. Though the difficulty of
discounting the effect of training in all these studies has been great,
yet in every case the investigators have taken pains to do so. The fact
that the investigations along such different lines all bear out the same
conclusion, namely, that intellectual differences are largely due to
differences in family inheritance, weighs heavily in favor of its being
a correct one.

The fifth factor that might account for individual differences is
environment. By environment we mean any influence brought to bear on the
individual. The same difficulty has been met in attempting to measure
the effect of environment that was met in trying to measure the effect
of inner nature--namely, that of testing one without interference from
the other. The attempts to measure accurately the effect of any one
element in the environment have not been successful. No adequate way of
avoiding the complications involved by different natures has been found.
One of the greatest errors in the method of working with this problem
has been found just here. It has been customary when the effect of a
certain element in the environment is to be ascertained to investigate
people who have been subject to that training or who are in the process
of training, thus ignoring the selective influence of the factor itself
in original nature. For instance, to study the value of high school
training we compare those in training with those who have never had any;
if the question is the value of manual training or Latin, again the
comparison is made between those who have had it and those who haven't.
To find out the influence of squalor and misery, people living in the
slums are compared with those from a better district. In each case the
fact is ignored that the original natures of the two groups examined are
different before the influence of the element in question was brought to
bear. Why do some children go to high school and others not? Why do some
choose classical courses and some manual training courses? Why are some
people found in the slums for generations? The answer in each case is
the same--the original natures are different. It isn't the slums make
the people nearly so often as it is the people make the slums. It isn't
training in Latin that makes the more capable man, but the more
intellectual students, because of tradition and possibly enjoyment of
language study, choose the Latin. It is unfair to measure a factor in
the environment and give it credit or discredit for results, when those
results are also due to original nature as well, which has not been
allowed for. It must be recognized by all those working in this field
that, after all, man to some extent selects his own environment. In the
second place, it must be remembered that the environment will influence
folks differently according as their natures are different. There can be
no doubt that environment is accountable for some individual
differences, but just which ones and to what extent are questions to
which at present the answers are unsatisfactory.

The investigations which have been carried on agree that environment is
not so influential a cause for individual differences in intellect as is
near ancestry. One rather interesting line of evidence can be quoted as
an illustration. If individual differences in achievement are due
largely to lack of training or to poor training, then to give the same
amount and kind of training to all the individuals in a group should
reduce the differences. If such practice does not reduce the
differences, then it is not reasonable to suppose that the differences
were caused in the first place by differences in training. As a matter
of fact, equalizing training _increases_ the differences. The superior
man becomes more superior, the inferior is left further behind than
ever. A common occurrence in school administration bears out this
conclusion reached by experimental means. The child who skips a grade is
ready at the end of three years to skip again, and the child who fails a
grade is likely at the end of three years to fail again. Though
environment seems of little influence as compared with near ancestry in
determining intellectual ability _per se_, yet it has considerable
influence in determining the line along which this ability is to
manifest itself. The fact that between 1840-44, 9.4 per cent of the
college men went into teaching as a profession and 37.5 per cent into
the ministry, while between 1890-94, 25.4 per cent chose the former and
only 14 per cent the latter, can be accounted for only on the basis of
environmental influence of some kind.[16]

Another fact concerning the influence of environment is that it is very
much more effective in influencing morality than intellect. Morality is
the outcome of the proper direction of capacities and tendencies
possessed by the individual, and therefore is extremely susceptible to
environmental influences. We are all familiar with the differences in
moral standards of different social groups. One boy may become a bully
and another considerate of the rights of others, one learns to steal and
another to be honest, one to lie and another to be truthful, because of
the influence of their environments rather than on account of
differences in their original natures. We are beginning to recognize the
importance of environment in moral training in the provisions made to
protect children from immoral influences, in the opportunities afforded
for the right sort of recreation, and even in the removal of children
from the custody of their parents when the environment is extremely

Though changes in method and ideals cannot reduce the differences
between individuals in the intellectual field to any marked extent, such
changes can raise the level of achievement of the whole group. For
instance, more emphasis on silent reading may make the reading ability
of a whole school 20 per cent better, while leaving the distance between
the best and worst reader in the school the same. Granting that
heredity, original nature, is the primary cause of individual
differences in intellect (aside from those sex differences mentioned)
there remains for environment, education in all its forms, the
tremendous task of: First, providing conditions favorable for nervous
health and growth; second, providing conditions which stimulate useful
capacities and inhibit futile or harmful capacities; third, providing
conditions which continually raise the absolute achievement of the group
and of the race; fourth, providing conditions that will meet the varying
original equipments; fifth, assuming primary responsibility for
development along moral and social lines.

Concerning those individual differences of which heredity is the
controlling cause, two facts are worthy of note. First, that human
nature is very highly specialized and that inheritance may be in terms
of special abilities or capacities. For instance, artistic, musical, or
linguistic ability, statesmanship, power in the field of poetry, may be
handed down from one generation to the next. This also means that two
brothers may be extremely alike along some lines and extremely different
along others. Second, that there seems to be positive combinations
between certain mental traits, whereby the presence of one insures the
presence of the other to a greater degree than chance would explain. For
instance, the quick learner is slow in forgetting, imagery in one field
implies power to image in others, a high degree of concentration goes
with superior breadth, efficiency in artistic lines is more often
correlated with superiority in politics or generalship or science than
the reverse, ability to deal with abstract data implies unusual power to
deal with the concrete situation. In fact, as far as exact measures go,
negative correlations between capacities, powers, efficiencies, are
extremely rare, and, when they occur, can be traced to the influence of
some environmental factor.

Individuals differ from each other to a much greater degree than has
been allowed for in our public education. The common school system is
constructed on the theory that children are closely similar in their
abilities, type of mental make-up, and capacities in any given line.
Experimentation shows each one of these presuppositions to be false. So
far as general ability goes, children vary from the genius to the
feeble-minded with all the grades between, even in the same school
class. This gradation is a continuous one--there are no breaks in the
human race. Children cannot be grouped into the very bright, bright,
mediocre, poor, very poor, failures--each group being distinct from any
other. The shading from one to the other of these classes is gradual,
there is no sharp break. Not only is this true, but a child may be
considered very bright along one line and mediocre along another.
Brilliancy or poverty in intellect does not act as a unit and apply to
all lives equally. The high specialization of mental powers makes
unevenness in achievement the common occurrence. Within any school grade
that has been tested, even when the gradings are as close as those
secured by term promotions, it has been found in any subject there are
children who do from two to five times as well as others, and from two
to five times as much as others. Of course this great variation means an
overlapping of grades on each side. In Dr. Bonser's test of 757 children
in reasoning he found that 90 per cent of the 6A pupils were below the
best pupils of 4A grade and that 4 per cent of 6A pupils were below the
mid-pupils of the 4A, and that the best of the 4A pupils made a score
three times as high as the worst pupils of 6A. Not only is this
tremendous difference in ability found among children of the same class,
but the same difference exists in rate of development. Some children can
cover the same ground in one half or one third the time as others and do
it better. Witness the children already quoted who, skipping a grade,
were ready at the end of three years to skip again. Variability, not
uniformity, is what characterizes the abilities and rate of intellectual
growth of children in the schools, and these differences, as has already
been pointed out, are caused primarily by a difference in original

There is also great difference between the general mental make-up of
children--a difference in type. There is the child who excels in dealing
with abstract ideas. He usually has power also in dealing with the
concrete, but his chief interest is in the abstract. He is the one who
does splendid work in mathematics, formal grammar, the abstract phases
of the sciences. Then there is the child who is a thinker too, but his
best work is done when he is dealing with a concrete situation. Unusual
or involved applications of principles disturb him. So long as his work
is couched in terms of the concrete, he can succeed, but if that is
replaced by the _x, y, z_ elements, he is prone to fail. There is
another type of child--the one who has the executive ability, the child
of action. True, he thinks, too, but his forte is in control of people
and of things. He is the one who manages the athletic team, runs the
school paper, takes charge of the elections, and so on. For principles
to be grasped he must be able to put them into practice. The fourth type
is the feeling type, the child who excels in appreciative power. As has
been urged so many times before, these types have boundaries that are
hazy and ill defined; they overlap in many cases. Some children are of a
well-defined mixed type, and most children have something of each of the
four abilities characteristic of the types. Still it is true that in
looking over a class of children these types emerge, not pure, but
controlled by the dominant characteristics mentioned.

The same variation is found among any group of children if they are
tested along one line, such as memory. Some have desultory, some rote,
some logical memories; some have immediate memories, others the
permanent type. In imagery, some have principally productive
imagination, others the matter-of-fact reproductive; some deal largely
with object images that are vivid and clear-cut, others fail almost
entirely with this type, but use word images with great facility. In
conduct, some are hesitating and uncertain, others just the reverse;
some very open to suggestions, others scarcely touched at all by it;
some can act in accordance with principle, others only in terms of
particular associations with a definite situation. So one might run the
whole gamut of human traits, and in each one any group of individuals
will vary: in attention, in thinking, in ideals, in habits, in
interests, in sense discrimination, in emotions, and so on. This is one
of the greatest contributions of experimental psychology of the past ten
years, the tremendous differences between people along all lines,
physical as well as mental.

It is lack of recognition of such differences that makes possible such a
list of histories of misfits as Swift quotes in his chapter on Standards
of Human Power in "Mind in the Making." Individual differences exist,
education cannot eliminate them, they are innate, due to original
nature. Education that does not recognize them and plan for them is
wasteful and, what is worse, is criminal.

The range of ability possessed by children of the same grade in the
subjects commonly taught seems not always to be clear in the minds of
teachers. It will be discussed at greater length in another chapter, but
it is important for the consideration of individual differences to
present some data at this time. If we rate the quality of work done in
English composition from 10 to 100 per cent, being careful to evaluate
as accurately as possible the merit of the composition written, we will
find for a seventh and an eighth grade a condition indicated by the
following table:

7 8
_No. of Pupils_
Rated at 10 2 1
Rated at 20 6 6
Rated at 30 8 8
Rated at 40 7 8
Rated at 50 2 4
Rated at 60 1 1
Rated at 70 1 1
Rated at 80 1 1
Rated at 90 1 1

The table reads as follows: two pupils in the seventh grade and one in
the eighth wrote compositions rated at 10; six seventh-grade and six
eighth-grade pupils wrote compositions rated at 20, and so on for the
whole table.

A similar condition of affairs is indicated if we ask how many of a
given type of addition problems are solved correctly in eight minutes by
a fifth- and a sixth-grade class.

_No. of Pupils_
0 2 3
1 6 6
2 6 6
3 6 6
4 4 5
5 4 5
6 3 4
7 1 2
8 1 1
9 1 1

In like manner, if we measure the quality of work done in penmanship for
a fifth and sixth grade, with a system of scoring that ranks the
penmanship in equal steps from a quality which, is ranked four up to a
quality which is ranked eighteen, we find the following results:

5 6
_No. of Pupils_
Rated at 4 5 6
Rated at 5 1 1
Rated at 6 0 0
Rated at 7 2 4
Rated at 8 10 4
Rated at 9 12 1
Rated at 10 3 6
Rated at 11 3 8
Rated at 12 3 3
Rated at 13 1 2
Rated at 14 1 1
Rated at 15 0 1
Rated at 16 1 1
Rated at 17 0 0
Rated at 18 0 0

Results similar to those recorded above will be found if any accurate
measurement is made of the knowledge possessed by children in history or
in geography, or of the ability to apply or derive principles in physics
or in chemistry, or of the knowledge of vocabulary in Latin or in
German, and the like.

All such facts indicate clearly the necessity for differentiating our
work for the group of children who are classified as belonging to one
grade. Under the older and simpler form of school organization, the
one-room rural school, it was not uncommon for children to recite in one
class in arithmetic, in another in geography or history, and in possibly
still another in English. In our more highly organized school systems,
with the attempt to have children pass regularly from grade to grade at
each promotion period, we have in some measure provided for individual
differences through allowing children to skip a grade, or not
infrequently by having them repeat the work of a grade. In still other
cases an attempt has been made to adapt the work of the class to the
needs and capacities of the children by dividing any class group into
two or more groups, especially in those subjects in which children seem
to have greatest difficulty. Teachers who are alive to the problem
presented have striven to adjust their work to different members of the
class by varying the assignments, and in some cases by excusing from the
exercises in which they are already proficient the abler pupils.

Whatever adjustment the school may be able to make in terms of providing
special classes for those who are mentally or physically deficient, or
for those who are especially capable, there will always be found in any
given group a wide variation in achievement and in capacity. Group
teaching and individual instruction will always be required of teachers
who would adapt their work to the varying capacities of children. A
period devoted to supervised study during which those children who are
less able may receive special help, and those who are of exceptional
ability be expected to make unusual preparation both in extent and in
quality of work done, may contribute much to the efficiency of the
school. As paradoxical as the statement may seem, it is true that the
most retarded children in our school systems are the brightest.
Expressed in another way, it can be proved that the more capable
children have already achieved in the subjects in which they are taught
more than those who are tow or three grades farther advanced. Possibly
the greatest contribution which teachers can make to the development of
efficiency upon the part of the children with whom they work is to be
found in special attention which is given to capable children with
respect to both the quantity and quality of work demanded of them,
together with provision for having them segregated in special classes or
passed through the school system with greater rapidity than is now
common. In an elementary school with which the writer is acquainted, and
in which there were four fifth grades, it was discovered during the past
year that in one of these fifth grades in which the brighter children
had been put they had achieved more in terms of ability to solve
problems in arithmetic, in their knowledge of history and geography, in
the quality of English composition they wrote, and the like, than did
the children in any one of the sixth grades. In this school this
particular fifth grade was promoted to the seventh grade for the
following year. Many such examples could be found in schools organized
with more than one grade at work on the same part of the school course,
if care were taken to segregate children in terms of their capacity. And
even where there is only one teacher per grade, or where one teacher
teaches two or three grades, it should be found possible constantly to
accelerate the progress of children of more than ordinary ability.

The movement throughout the United States for the organization of junior
high schools (these schools commonly include the seventh, eighth, and
ninth school years) is to be looked upon primarily as an attempt to
adjust the work of our schools to the individual capacities of boys and
girls and to their varying vocational outlook. Such a school, if it is
to meet this demand for adjustment to individual differences, must offer
a variety of courses. Among the courses offered in a typical junior high
school is one which leads directly to the high school. In this course
provision is made for the beginning of a foreign language, of algebra,
and, in some cases, of some other high school subject during the seventh
and eighth years. In another course emphasis is placed upon work in
industrial or household arts in the expectation that work in these
fields may lead to a higher degree of efficiency in later vocational
training, and possibly to the retention of children during this period
who might otherwise see little or no meaning in the traditional school
course. The best junior high schools are offering in the industrial
course a variety of shop work. In some cases machine shop practice,
sheet metal working, woodworking, forging, printing, painting,
electrical wiring, and the like are offered for boys; and cooking,
sewing, including dressmaking and designing, millinery, drawing, with
emphasis upon design and interior decoration, music, machine operating,
pasting, and the like are provided for girls. Another type of course has
provided for training which looks toward commercial work, even though it
is recognized that the most adequate commercial training may require a
longer period of preparation. In some schools special work in
agriculture is offered.

Our schools cannot be considered as satisfactorily organized until we
make provision for every boy or girl to work up to the maximum of his
capacity. The one thing that a teacher cannot do is to make all of his
pupils equal in achievement. Whatever adjustment may have been made in
terms of special classes or segregation in terms of ability, the teacher
must always face the problem of varying the assignment to meet the
capacities of individual children, and she ought, wherever it is
possible, especially to encourage the abler children to do work
commensurate with their ability, and to provide, as far as is possible,
for the rapid advancement of these children through the various stages
of the school system.


1. What are the principal causes of differences in abilities or in
achievement among school children?

2. What, if any, of the differences noticed among children may be
attributed to sex?

3. Are any of the sex differences noticeable in the achievements of the
school children with whom you are acquainted?

4. To what extent is maturity a cause of individual differences?

5. What evidence is available to show the fallacy of the common idea
that children of the same age are equal in ability?

6. How important is heredity in determining the achievement of men and

7. To what extent, if any, would you be interested in the immediate
heredity of the children in your class? Why?

8. To what extent is the environment in which children live responsible
for their achievements in school studies?

9. What may be expected in the way of achievement from two children of
widely different heredity but of equal training?

10. For what factor in education is the environment most responsible?

11. If you grant that original nature is the primary cause of individual
differences in intellectual achievements, how would you define the work
of the school?

12. Why are you not justified in grouping children as bright, ordinary,
and stupid?

13. Will a boy who has unusual ability in music certainly be superior in
all other subjects?

14. Why are children who skip a grade apt to be able to skip again at
the end of two or three years?

15. Are you able to distinguish differences in type of mind (or general
mental make-up) among the children in your classes? Give illustrations.

16. What changes in school organization would you advocate for the sake
of adjusting the teaching done to the varying capacities of children?

17. How should a teacher adjust his work to the individual differences
in capacity or in achievement represented by the usual class group?

* * * * *


Morality has been defined in many ways. It has been called "a regulation
and control of immediate promptings of impulses in conformity with some
prescribed conduct"; as "the organization of activity with reference to
a system of fundamental values." Dewey says, "Interest in community
welfare, an interest that is intellectual and practical, as well as
emotional--an interest, that is to say, in perceiving whatever makes for
social order and progress, and in carrying these principles into
execution--is the moral habit."[17] Palmer defines it as "the choice by
the individual of habits of conduct that are for the good of the race."
All these definitions point to control on the part of the individual as
one essential of morality.

Morality is not, then, a matter primarily of mere conduct. It involves
conduct, but the essence of morality lies deeper than the act itself;
motive, choice, are involved as well. Mere law-abiding is not morality
in the strict sense of the word. One may keep the laws merely as a
matter of blind habit. A prisoner in jail keeps the laws. A baby of four
keeps the laws, but in neither case could such conduct be called moral.
In neither of these cases do we find "control" by the individual of
impulses, nor "conscious choice" of conduct. In the former compulsion
was the controlling force, and in the second blind habit based on
personal satisfaction. Conduct which outwardly conforms to social law
and social progress is unmoral rather than moral. A moment's
consideration will suffice to convince any one that the major part of
conduct is of this non-moral type. This is true of adults and
necessarily true of children. As Hall says, most of the supposedly moral
conduct of the majority of men is blind habit, not thoughtful choosing.
In so far as we are ruled by custom, by tradition, in so far as we do as
the books or the preacher says, or do as we see others do, without
principles to guide us, without thinking, to that extent the conduct is
likely to be non-moral. This is the characteristic reaction of the
majority of people. We believe as our fathers believed, we vote the same
ticket, hold in horror the same practices, look askance on the same
doctrines, cling to the same traditions. Morality, on the other hand, is
rationalized conduct. Now this non-moral conduct is valuable so far as
it goes. It is a conservative force, making for stability, but it has
its dangers. It is antagonistic to progress. So long as the conditions
surrounding the non-moral individual remain unchanged, he will be
successful in dealing with them, but if conditions change, if he is
confronted by a new situation, if strong temptation comes, he has
nothing with which to meet it, for his conduct was blind. It is the
person whose conduct is non-moral that suffers collapse on the one hand,
or becomes a bigot on the other, when criticism attacks what he held as
true or right. Morality requires that men have a reason for the faith
that is in them.

In the second place, morality is conduct. Ideals, ideas, wishes,
desires, all may lead to morality, but in so far as they are not
expressed in conduct, to that extent they do not come under the head of
morality. One may express the sublimest idea, may claim the highest
ideals, and be immoral. Conduct is the only test of morality, just as it
is the ultimate test of character. Not only is morality judged in terms
of conduct, but it is judged according as the conduct is consistent.
"Habits of conduct" make for morality or immorality. It is not the
isolated act of heroism that makes a man moral, or the single unsocial
act that makes a man immoral. The particular act may be moral or
immoral, and the person be just the reverse. It is the organization of
activity, it is the habits a man has that places him in one category or
the other.

In the third place, morality is a matter of individual responsibility.
It is "choice by the individual," the "perceiving whatever makes for
social order and progress." No one can choose for another, no one can
perceive for another. The burden of choosing for the good of the group
rests on the individual, it cannot be shifted to society or the Church,
or any other institution. Each individual is moral or not according as
he lives up to the light that he has, according as he carries into
execution principles that are for the good of his race. A particular
act, then, may be moral for one individual and immoral for another, and
non-moral for still another.

In the third place, morality is a matter of individual responsibility.
It is "choice be the individual," the "perceiving whatever makes for
social order and progress." No one can choose for another, no one can
perceive for another. The burden of Choosing for the good of the group
rests on the individual, it cannot be shifted to society or the Church,
or any other institution. Each individual is moral or not according as
he lives up to the light that he has, according as he carries into
execution principles that are for the good of his race. A particular
act, then, may be moral for one individual and immoral for another, and
non-moral for still another.

To go off into the forest to die if one is diseased may be a moral act
for a savage in central Africa; but for a civilized man to do so would
probably be immoral because of his greater knowledge. To give liquor to
babies to quiet them may be a non-moral act on the part of ignorant
immigrants from Russia; but for a trained physician to do so would be
immoral. Morality, then, is a personal matter, and the responsibility
for it rests on the individual.

Of course this makes possible the setting up of individual opinion as to
what is for the good of the group in opposition to tradition and custom.
This is, of course, dangerous if it is mere opinion or if it is carried
to an extreme. Few men have the gift of seeing what makes for social
well-being beyond that of the society of thoughtful people of their
time. And yet if a man has the insight, if his investigations point to a
greater good for the group from doing something which is different from
the standards held by his peers, then morality requires that he do his
utmost to bring about such changes. If it is borne in mind that every
man is the product of his age and that it is evolution, not revolution,
that is constructive, this essential of true morality will not seem so
dangerous. All the reformers the world has ever seen, all the pioneers
in social service, have been men who, living up to their individual
responsibility, have acted as they believed for society's best good in
ways that were not in accord with the beliefs of the majority of their
time. Shirking responsibility, not living up to what one believes is
right, is immoral just as truly as stealing from one's neighbor.

The fourth essential in moral conduct is that it be for the social good.
It is the governing of impulses, the inhibition of desires that violate
the good of the group, and the choice of conduct that forwards its
interests. This does not mean that the group and the individual are set
over against each other, and the individual must give way. It means,
rather, that certain impulses, tendencies, motives, of the individual
are chosen instead of others; it means that the individual only becomes
his fullest self as he becomes a social being; it means that what is for
the good of the group in the long run is for the good of the units that
make up that group. Morality, then, is a relative term. What is of
highest moral value in one age may be immoral in another because of
change in social conditions. As society progresses, as different
elements come to the front because of the march of civilization, so the
acts that are detrimental to the good of the whole must change. To-day
slander and stealing a man's good name are quite as immoral as stealing
his property. Acts that injure the mental and spiritual development of
the group are even more immoral than those which interfere with the
physical well-being.

A strong will is not necessarily indicative of a good character. A
strong will may be directed towards getting what gives pleasure to
oneself, irrespective of the effect on other people. It is the goal, the
purpose with which it is exercised, that makes a man with a strong will
a moral man or an immoral man. Only when one's will is used to put into
execution those principles that will bring about social progress is it
productive of a good character.

Thus it is seen that morality can be discussed only in connection with
group activity. It is the individual as a part of a group, acting in
connection with it, that makes the situation a moral one. Individual
morality is discussed by some authors, but common opinion limits the
term to the use that has been discussed in the preceding paragraphs.

If social well-being is taken in its broadest sense, then all moral
behavior is social, and all social behavior comes under one of the three
types of morality. Training for citizenship, for social efficiency, for
earning a livelihood, all have a moral aspect. It is only as the
individual is trained to live a complete life as one of a group that he
can be trained to be fully moral, and training for complete social
living must include training in morality. Hence for the remainder of
this discussion the two terms will be considered as synonymous. We hear
it sometimes said, "training in morals and manners," as if the two were
distinct, and yet a full, realization of what is for social betterment
along emotional and intellectual lines must include a realization of the
need of manners. Of course there are degrees of morality or immorality
according as the act influences society much or little--all crimes are
not equally odious, nor all virtues equally commendable, but any act
that touches the well-being of the group must come under this category.

From the foregoing paragraph, the logical conclusion would be that there
is no instinct or inborn tendency that is primarily and distinctly moral
as over against those that are social. That is the commonly accepted
belief to-day. There is no moral instinct. Morality finds its root in
the original nature of man, but not in a single moral instinct. It is,
on the other hand, the outgrowth of a number of instincts all of which
have been listed under the head of the social instinct. Man has in his
original equipment tendencies that will make him a moral individual _if_
they are developed, but they are complex, not simple. Some of these
social tendencies which are at the root of moral conduct are
gregariousness, desire for approval, dislike of scorn, kindliness,
attention to human beings, imitation, and others. Now, although man
possesses these tendencies as a matter of original equipment, he also
possesses tendencies which are opposed to these, tendencies which lead
to the advancement of self, rather than the well-being of the group.
Some of these are fighting, mastery, rivalry, jealousy, ownership. Which
of these sets of tendencies is developed and controls the life of the
individual is a matter of training and environment. In the last chapter
it was pointed out that morality was much more susceptible to
environmental influences than intellectual achievement, because it was
much more a direction and guidance of capacities and tendencies
possessed by every one. One's character is largely a product of one's
environment. In proof of this, read the reports of reform schools, and
the like. Children of criminal parents, removed from the environment of
crime, grow up into moral persons. The pair of Jukes who left the Juke
clan lost their criminal habits and brought up a family of children who
were not immoral. Education cannot produce geniuses, but it can produce
men and women whose chief concern is the well-being of the group.

From a psychological point of view the "choice by the individual of
habits of conduct that are for the good of the group" involves three
considerations: First, the elements implied in such conduct; second, the
stages of development; third, the laws governing this development.
First, moral conduct involves the use of habits, but these must be
rational habits, so it involves the power to think and judge in order to
choose. But thinking that shall result in the choice of habits that are
for the well-being of the group must use knowledge. The individual must
have facts and standards at his disposal by means of which he may
evaluate the possible lines of action presented. Further, an individual
may know intellectually what is right and moral and yet not care. The
interest, the emotional appeal, may be lacking, hence he must have
ideals to which he has given his allegiance, which will force him to put
into practice what his knowledge tells him is right. And then, having
decided what is for the social good and having the desire to carry it
out, the moral man must be able to put it into execution. He must have
the "will power." Morality, then, is an extremely complex matter,
involving all the powers of the human being, intellectual, emotional,
and volitional--involving the cooeperation of heredity and environment.
It is evident that conduct that is at so high a level, involving
experience, powers of judgment, and control, cannot be characteristic of
the immature individual, but must come after years of growth, if at all.
Therefore we find stages of development towards moral conduct.

The first stage of development, which lasts up into the pre-adolescent
years, is the non-moral stage. The time when a child may conform
outwardly to moral law, but only as a result of blind habit--not as a
result of rational choice. It is then that the little child conforms to
his environment, reflecting the characters of the people by whom he is
surrounded. Right to him means what those about him approve and what
brings him satisfaction. If stealing and lying meet with approval from
the people about him, they are right to him. To steal and be caught is
wrong to the average child of the streets, because that brings
punishment and annoyance. He has no standards of judging other than the
example of others and his own satisfaction and annoyance. The non-moral
period, then, is characterized by the formation of habits--which
outwardly conform to moral law, or are contrary to it, according as his
environment directs.

The need to form habits that do conform, that are for the social good,
is evident. By having many habits of this kind formed in early
childhood, truthfulness, consideration for others, respect for poverty,
promptness, regularity, taking responsibility, and so on, the dice are
weighted in favor of the continuation of such conduct when reason
controls. The child has then only to enlarge his view, build up his
principles in accord with conduct already in operation--he needs only to
rationalize what he already possesses. On the other hand, if during
early years his conduct violates moral law, he is in the grip of habits
of great strength which will result in two dangers. He may be blind to
the other side, he may not realize how his conduct violates the laws of
social progress; or, knowing, he may not care enough to put forth the
tremendous effort necessary to break these habits and build up the
opposite. From the standpoint of conduct this non-moral period is the
most important one in the life of the child. In it the twig is bent. To
urge that a child cannot understand and therefore should be excused for
all sorts of conduct simply evades the issue. He is forming habits--that
cannot be prevented; the question is, Are those habits in line with the
demands of social efficiency or are they in violation of it?

But character depends primarily on deliberate choice. We dare not rely
on blind habit alone to carry us through the crises of social and
spiritual adjustment. There will arise the insistent question as to
whether the habitual presupposition is right. Occasions will occur when
several possible lines of conduct suggest themselves; what kind of
success will one choose, what kind of pleasure? Choice, personal choice,
will be forced upon the individual. This problem does not usually grow
acute until early adolescence, although it may along some lines present
itself earlier. When it appears will depend to a large extent on the
environment. For some people in some directions it never comes. It
should come gradually and spontaneously. This period is the period of
transition, when old habits are being scrutinized, when standards are
being formulated and personal responsibility is being realized, when
ideals are made vital and controlling. It may be a period of storm and
stress when the youth is in emotional unrest; when conduct is erratic
and not to be depended on; when there is reaction against authority of
all kinds. These characteristics are unfortunate and are usually the
result of unwise treatment during the first period. If, on the other
hand, the period of transition is prepared for during the preadolescent
years by giving knowledge, opportunities for self-direction and choice,
the change should come normally and quietly. The transition period
should be characterized by emphasis upon personal responsibility for
conduct, by the development of social ideals, and by the cementing of
theory and practice. This period is an ever recurring one.

The transition period is followed by the period of true morality during
which the conduct chosen becomes habit. The habits characteristic of
this final period are different from the habits of the non-moral period,
in that they have their source in reason, whereas those of the early
period grew out of instincts. This is the period of most value, the
period of steady living in accordance with standards and ideals which
have been tested by reason and found to be right. The transition period
is wasteful and uncertain. True morality is the opposite. But so long as
growth in moral matters goes on there is a continuous change from
transition period to truly moral conduct and back again to a fresh
transition period and again a change to morality of a still higher
order. Each rationalized habit but paves the way for one still higher.
Morality, then, should be a continual evolution from level to level.
Only so is progress in the individual life maintained.

Morality, then, requires the inhibition of some instincts and the
perpetuation of others, the formation of habits and ideals, the
development of the power to think and judge, the power to react to
certain abstractions such as ought, right, duty, and so on, the power to
carry into execution values accepted. The general laws of instinct, of
habit, the response by piecemeal association, the laws of attention and
appreciation, are active in securing these responses that we call moral,
just as they are operative in securing other responses that do not come
under this category. It is only as these general psychological laws are
carried out sufficiently that stable moral conduct is secured. Any
violation of these laws invalidates the result in the moral field just
as it would in any other. There is not one set of principles governing
moral conduct and another set governing all other types of conduct. The
same general laws govern both. This being true, there is no need of
discussing in detail the operation of laws controlling moral
conduct--that has all been covered in the previous chapters. However,
there are some suggestions which should be borne in mind in the
application of these laws to this field.

First, it is a general principle that habits, to be fixed and stable,
must be followed by satisfactory results and that working along the
opposite line, that of having annoyance follow a lapse in the conduct,
is uneconomical and unreliable. This principle applies particularly to
moral habits. Truth telling, bravery, obedience, generosity, thought for
others, church going, and so on must be followed by positive
satisfaction, if they are to be part of the warp and woof of life.
Punishing falsehood, selfishness, cowardice, and so on is not enough,
for freedom from supervision will usually mean rejection of such forced
habits. A child must find that it pays to be generous; that he is
happier when he cooeperates with others than when he does not. Positive
satisfaction should follow moral conduct. Of course this satisfaction
must vary in type with the age and development of the child, from
physical pleasure occasioned by an apple as a reward for self-control at
table to the satisfaction which the consciousness of duty well done
brings to the adolescent.

Second, the part played by suggestion in bringing about moral habits and
ideals must be recognized. The human personalities surrounding the child
are his most influential teachers in this line. This influence of
personalities begins when the child is yet a baby. Reflex imitation
first, and later conscious imitation plus the feeling of dependence
which a little child has for the adults in his environment, results in
the child reflecting to a large extent the characters of those about
him. Good temper, stability, care for others, self-control, and many
other habits; respect for truth, for the opinion of others, and many
other ideals, are unconsciously absorbed by the child in his early
years. Example not precept, actions not words, are the controlling
forces in moral education. Hence the great importance of the characters
of a child's companions, friends, and teachers, to say nothing of his
parents. Next to personalities, theaters, moving pictures, and books,
all have great suggestive power.

Third, there is always a danger that theory become divorced from
practice, and this is particularly true here because morality is
conduct. Knowing what is right is one thing, doing it is another, and
knowing does not result in doing unless definite connections are made
between the two. Instruction in morals may have but little effect on
conduct. It is only as the knowledge of what is right and good comes in
connection with social situations when there is the call for action that
true morality can be gained. Mere classroom instruction cannot insure
conduct. It is only as the family and the school become more truly
social institutions, where group activity such as one finds in life is
the dominant note, that we can hope to have morality and not ethics,
ideals and not passive appreciation, as a result of our teaching.

Fourth, it is without question true that in so far as the habits fixed
are "school habits" or "Sunday habits," or any other special type of
habits, formed only in connection with special situations, to that
extent we have no reason to expect moral conduct in the broader life
situations. The habits formed are those that will be put into practice,
and they are the only ones we are sure of. Because a child is truthful
in school, prompt in attendance, polite to his teacher, and so on is no
warrant that he will be the same on the playground or on the street.
Because a child can think out a problem in history or mathematics is no
warrant that he will therefore think out moral problems. The only sure
way is to see to it that he forms many useful habits out of school as
well as in, that he has opportunity to think out moral problems as well
as problems in school subjects.[18]

Fifth, individual differences must not be forgotten in moral training.
Individual differences in suggestibility will influence the use of this
factor in habit formation. Individual differences in power of
appreciation will influence the formation of ideals. Differences in
interest in books will result in differing degrees of knowledge.
Differences in maturity will mean that certain children in a class are
ready for facts concerning sex, labor and capital, crime, and so on,
long before other children in the same class should have such knowledge.
Differences in thinking power will determine efficiency in moral
situations just as in others.

The more carefully we consider the problem of moral social conduct, the
more apparent it becomes that the work of the school can be modified so
as to produce more significant results than are commonly now secured.
Indeed, it may be contended that in some respects the activities of the
school operate to develop an attitude which is largely individualistic,
competitive, and, if not anti-social, at least non-social. Although we
may not expect that the habits and attitudes which are developed in the
school will entirely determine the life led outside, yet one may not
forget that a large part of the life of children is spent under school
supervision. As children work in an atmosphere of cooeperation, and as
they form habits of helpfulness and openmindedness, we may expect that
in some degree these types of activity will persist, especially in their
association with each other. In a school which is organized to bring
about the right sort of moral social conduct we ought to expect that
children would grow in their power to accept responsibility for each
other. The writer knows of a fourth grade in which during the past year
a boy was absent from the room after recess. The teacher, instead of
sending the janitor, or she herself going to find the boy, asked the
class what they were going to do about it, and suggested to them their
responsibility for maintaining the good name which they had always borne
as a group. Two of the more mature boys volunteered to go and find the
boy who was absent. When they brought him into the room a little while
later, they remarked to the teacher in a most matter-of-fact way, "We do
not think that he will stay out after recess again." In the corridor of
an elementary school the writer saw during the past year two boys
sitting on a table before school hours in the morning. The one was
teaching the multiplication tables to the other. They were both
sixth-grade pupils,--the one a boy who had for some reason or other
never quite thoroughly learned his tables. The teacher had suggested
that somebody might help him, and a boy had volunteered to come early to
school in order that he might teach the boy who was backward. A great
many teachers have discovered that the strongest motive which they can
find for good work in the field of English is to be found in providing
an audience, both for the reading or story-telling, and for the English
composition. The idea which prevails is that if one is to read, he ought
to read well enough to entertain others. If one has enjoyed a story, he
may, if he prepares himself sufficiently well, tell it to the class or
to some other group.

Much more emphasis on the undertakings in the attempt to have children
accept responsibility, and to engage in a type of activity which has a
definite moral social value, is to be found in the schools in which
children are responsible for the morning exercises, or for publishing a
school paper, or for preparing a school festival. One of the most
notable achievements in this type of activity which the writer has ever
known occurred in a school in which a group of seventh-grade children
were thought to be particularly incompetent. The teachers had almost
despaired of having them show normal development, either intellectually
or socially. After a conference of all of the teachers who knew the
members of this group, it was decided to allow them to prepare a
patriot's day festival. The idea among those teachers who had failed
with this group was that if the children had a large responsibility,
they would show a correspondingly significant development. The children
responded to the motive which was provided, became earnest students of
history in order that they might find a dramatic situation, and worked
at their composition when they came to write their play, some of them
exercising a critical as well as a creative faculty which no one had
known that they possessed. But possibly the best thing about the whole
situation was that every member of the class found something to do in
their cooeperative enterprise. Some members of the class were engaged in
building and in decorating the stage scenery; others were responsible
for costumes; those who were strong in music devoted themselves to this
field. The search for a proper dramatic situation in history and the
writing of the play have already been suggested. The staging of the play
and its presentation to a large group of parents and other interested
patrons of the school required still further specialization and ability.
Out of it all came a realization of the possibility of accomplishing
great things when all worked together for the success of a common
enterprise. When the festival day came, the most common statement heard
in the room on the part of the parents and others interested in the work
of the children was expressed by one who said: "This is the most
wonderful group of seventh-grade children that I have ever seen. They
are as capable as most high school boys and girls." It is to be recalled
that this was the group in whom the teachers originally had little
faith, and who had sometimes been called in their school a group of

Some schools have found, especially in the upper grades, an opportunity
for a type of social activity which is entirely comparable with the
demand made upon the older members of our communities. This work for
social improvement or betterment is carried on frequently in connection
with a course in civics. In some schools there is organized what is
known as the junior police. This organization has been in some cases
coordinated with the police department. The boys who belong pledge
themselves to maintain, in so far as they are able, proper conditions on
the streets with respect to play, to abstain from the illegal use of
tobacco or other narcotics, and to be responsible for the correct
handling of garbage, especially to see that paper, ashes, and other
refuse are placed in separate receptacles, and that these receptacles
are removed from the street promptly after they are emptied by the
department concerned. In one city with which the writer is acquainted,
the children in the upper grades, according to the common testimony of
the citizens of their community, have been responsible for the cleaning
up of the street cars. In other cities they have become interested, and
have interested their parents, in the question of milk and water supply.
In some cases they have studied many different departments of the city
government, and have, in so far as it was possible, lent their
cooeperation. In one case a group of children became very much excited
concerning a dead horse that was allowed to remain on a street near the
school, and they learned before they were through just whose
responsibility it was, and how to secure the action that should have
been taken earlier.

Still another type of activity which may have significance for the moral
social development of children is found in the study of the life
activities in the communities in which they live. There is no reason why
children, especially in the upper grades or in the high school, should
not think about working conditions, especially as they involve
sweat-shops or work under unsanitary conditions. They may very properly
become interested in the problems of relief, and of the measures taken
to eliminate crime. Indeed, from the standpoint of the development of
socially efficient children, it would seem to be more important that
some elementary treatment of industrial and social conditions might be
found to be more important in the upper grades and in the high school
than any single subject which we now teach.

Another attempt to develop a reasonable attitude concerning moral
situations is found in the schools which have organized pupils for the
participation in school government. There is no particular value to be
attached to any such form of organization. It may be true that there is
considerable advantage in dramatizing the form of government in which
the children live, and for that purpose policemen, councilmen or
aldermen, mayors, and other officials, together with their election, may
help in the understanding of the social obligations which they will have
to meet later on. But the main thing is to have these children come to
accept responsibility for each other, and to seek to make the school a
place where each respects the rights of others and where every one is
working together for the common good. In this connection it is important
to suggest that schemes of self-government have succeeded only where
there has been a leader in the position of principal or other
supervisory officer concerned. Children's judgments are apt to be too
severe when they are allowed to discipline members of their group. There
will always be need, whatever attempt we may make to have them accept
responsibility, for the guidance and direction of the more mature mind.

We seek in all of these activities, as has already been suggested, to
have children come to take, in so far as they are able, the rational
attitude toward the problems of conduct which they have to face. It is
important for teachers to realize the fallacy of making a set of rules
by which all children are to be controlled. It is only with respect to
those types of activity in which the response, in order to further the
good of the group, must be invariable that we should expect to have
pupils become automatic. It is important in the case of a fire drill, or
in the passing of materials, and the like, that the response, although
it does involve social obligation, should be reduced to the level of
mechanized routine. Most school situations involve, or may involve,
judgment, and it is only as pupils grow in power of self-control and in
their willingness to think through a situation before acting, that we
may expect significant moral development. In the case of offenses which
seem to demand punishment, that teacher is wise who is able to place
responsibility with the pupil who has offended. The question ought to be
common, "What can I do to help you?" The question which the teacher
should ask herself is not, "What can I do to punish the pupil?" but
rather, "How can I have him realize the significance of his action and
place upon him the responsibility of reinstating himself with the social
group?" The high school principal who solved the problem of a teacher
who said that she would not teach unless a particular pupil were removed


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