The Child Under Eight
E.R. Murray and Henrietta Brown Smith

Part 4 out of 4

quite orderly, but not yet without an occasional accident or struggle.
There is much less fighting, but primitive man is still there. The most
marked development is in the growth of the idea of "taking turns"; the
children have begun to master this all-important lesson of life. The
strong pugnacious habit in the little punching boy reached a point that
showed he was unable to conquer it from within: about two months after
his arrival the teacher consulted his mother, who confirmed all that the
teacher had experienced: her prescription was smacking. After a good
deal of thought and many ineffectual talks and experiments with the boy,
the teacher came to the conclusion that the mother was right: she took
him to the cloakroom after the next outbreak and smacked his hands: he
was surprised and a little hurt, but very soon forgot and continued his
practices: on the next occasion the teacher repeated the punishment and
it was never again necessary. For a few days he was at a loss for an
occupation because punching had become a confirmed habit, but soon other
interests appealed to him: he has never changed in his trust in his
teacher of whom he is noticeably very fond, and he has now realised that
he must control a bad habit. This example has been given at length to
illustrate the relation of government to freedom.

If these children had been in the ordinary Baby Room, subject to a
time-table, to constant plans by the teacher for their activities, few
or none of these occasions would have occurred: the incipient so-called
naughtiness would have been displayed only outside, in the playground or
at home: there would have been little chance of chaos, of fighting, of
punching, of trying to get the best thing and foremost place, there
would have been little opportunity for choice and less real absorption,
because of the time-table. The children would have been happy enough,
but they would not have been trained to live as individuals. Outward
docility is a fatal trait and very common in young children; probably it
is a form of self-preservation. But the real child only lies in wait to
make opportunities out of school. The school is therefore not preparing
him for life.

* * * * *

Freedom in the transition and the junior school must be differently
applied: individual life begins to merge into community life, and the
children begin to learn that things right for individuals may be wrong
for the community. But the problem of freedom is not as easy as the
problem of authority: standards must be greatly altered and outward
docility no longer mistaken for training in self-control. Individual
training cannot suddenly become class discipline, neither can children
be switched from the Nursery School to a full-blown class system.

The idea of class teaching must be postponed, for out of it come most of
the difficulties of discipline, and it is not the natural arrangement at
this transitional period. A teacher is imposing on a number of very
different individuals a system that says their difficulties are alike,
that they must all work at one rate and in one way: and so we have the
weary "reading round" class, when the slow ones struggle and the quick
ones find other and unlawful occupation: we have the number lessons
broken by the teacher's breathless attempts to see that all the class
follows: we have the handwork that imposes an average standard of work
that fits nobody exactly. Intellectual freedom can only come by
individual or group work, while class teaching is only for such
occasions as a literature or a singing lesson, or the presentation of an
occasional new idea in number. Individual and group work need much
organisation, but while classes consist of over forty children there is
no other way to permit intellectual and moral freedom. Of course the
furniture of the room will greatly help to make this more possible, and
it is hoped that an enlightened authority will not continue to supply
heavy iron-framed desks for the junior school, those described as "desks
for listening."

The prevailing atmosphere should be a busy noise and not silence--it
should be the noise of children working, oftener than of the teacher
teaching, _i.e._ teaching the whole class. The teacher should be more
frequently among the children than at her desk, and the children's
voices should be heard more often than hers.

Such children will inevitably become intellectually independent and
morally self-controlled. Most of the order should be taken in hand by
children in office, and they should be distinguished by a badge: most
questions of punishment should be referred to them. This means a
constant appeal to the law that is behind both teacher and children and
which they learn to reach apart from the teacher's control.

"Where 'thou shalt' of the law becomes 'I will' of the doer, then we are


The aim of the following chapters is to show how principles may be
applied to what are usually known as subjects of the curriculum, and
what place these subjects take in the acquisition of experience. An
exhaustive or detailed treatment of method is not intended, but merely
the establishment of a point of view and method of application.



It is always difficult to see the beginnings of things: we know that
stories form the raw material of morality, it is not easy to trace
morality in _Little Black Sambo, The Three Bears, Alice in Wonderland,_
or _The Sleeping Beauty,_ but nevertheless morality is there if we
recognise morality in everyday things. It is not too much to say that
everybody should have an ideal, even a burglar: his ideal is to be a
good and thorough burglar, and probably if he is a burglar of the finer
sort, it is to play fair to the whole gang. It is better to be a burglar
with an ideal than a blameless person with very little soul or
personality, who just slides through life accepting things: it is better
to have a coster's ideal of a holiday than to be too indifferent or
stupid to care or to know what you want.

Now ideals are supposed to be the essence of morality and morality comes
to us through experience, and only experience tests its truth. The
story with a moral is generally neither literature nor morality, except
such unique examples as _The Pilgrim's Progress _or _Everyman_. The kind
of experience with which morality is concerned is experience of human
life in various circumstances, and the way people behave under those
circumstances. The beginning of such experience is our own behaviour and
the behaviour of other people we know, but this is too limited an
experience to produce a satisfactory ideal; so we crave for something
wider. It is curious how strong is the craving for this kind of
experience in all normal children, in whom one would suppose sense
experiences and especially muscular experiences to be enough. The need
to know about people other than ourselves, and yet not too unlike, in
circumstances other than our own, and yet not too strange, seems to be a
necessary part of our education, and we interpret it in the light of our
own personal conduct. Out of this, as well as out of our direct
experience, we build our ideal. When one realises how an ideal may
colour the whole outlook of a person, one begins to realise what
literature means to a child. The early ideal is crude; it may be Jack
the Giant-Killer, or an engine-driver, Cinderella, or the step-cleaner;
this may grow into Hiawatha or Robinson Crusoe, for boys, and a fairy
tale Princess or one of the "Little Women" for girls. In every hero a
child half-unconsciously sees himself, and the ideal stimulates all that
hidden life which is probably the most important part of his growth. As
indirect experiences grow, or in other words as he hears or reads more
stories, his ideal widens, and his knowledge of the problems of life is
enlarged. This is the raw material of morality, for out of his answers
to these problems he builds up standards of conduct and of judgement. He
projects himself into his own ideal, and he projects himself into the
experiences of other people: he lives in both: this is imagination of
the highest kind, it is often called sympathy, but the term is too
limited, it is rather imaginative understanding.

There is another side of life grasped by means of this new world of
experience, and that is, the spiritual side that lies between conduct
and ideals; children have always accepted the supernatural quite readily
and it is not to be wondered at, for all the world is new and therefore
supernatural to them. Magic is done daily in children's eyes, and there
is no line between what is understandable and what is not, until adults
try to interpret it for them.

They are curious about birth and death and all origins: thunder is
terrifying, the sea is enthralling, the wind is mysterious, the sky is
immense, and all suggest a power beyond: in this the children are
reproducing the race experience as expressed in myths, when power was
embodied in a god or goddess. Therefore the fairy world or the giant
world, or the wood full of dwarfs and witches' houses, is as real to
them, and as acceptable, as any part of life. It is their recognition of
a world of spirits which later on mingles itself with the spiritual life
of religion. That life is behind all matter, is the main truth they
hold, and while it is difficult here to disentangle morality from
religion, it is supremely evident that a very great and significant side
of a child's education is before us.

It is by means of the divine gift of imagination, probably the most
spiritual of a child's gifts, that he can lay hold of all that the world
of literature has to offer him. Because of imagination he is independent
of poverty, monotony, and the indifference of other people; he has a
world of his own in which nothing is impossible. Edwin Pugh says of a
child of the slums who was passionately fond of reading cheap
literature:--"It was by means of this penny passport to Heaven that she
escaped from the Hell of her surroundings. It was in the maudlin fancies
of some poor besotted literary hack maybe, that she found surcease from
the pains of weariness, the carks and cares of her miserable estate."

A teacher realising this, should feel an almost unspeakable sense of
responsibility in having to select and present matter: but the problem
should be solved on the one hand by her own high standard of story
material, and on the other by her knowledge of the child's needs.
According to his experiences of life the interpretation of the story
will differ: for example, it was found that the children of a low slum
neighbourhood translated _Jack the Giant-killer_ into terms of a street
fight: to children living by a river or the sea, the _Water-Babies_ would
mean very much, while _Jan of the Windmill_ would be more familiar
ground for country children. Fairy stories of the best kind have a
universal appeal.

In choosing a story a teacher should be aware of the imperishable part
of it, the truth around which it grew; sometimes the truth may seem a
very commonplace one, sometimes a curious one. For example, very young
children generally prefer stories of home life because round the family
their experience gathers: the subject seems homely, but it is really one
of the fundamental things of life and the teacher should realise this in
such a way that the telling or reading of the story makes the kernel its
central point. To some children the ideal home life comes only through
literature: daily experiences rather contradict it. Humour is an
important factor in morality; unless a person is capable of seeing the
humor of a situation he is likely to be wanting in a sense of balance;
the humor of a situation is often caused by the wrong proportion or
wrong balance of things: for example the humour of _The Mad Tea-Party_
lies, partly at least, in the absurd gravity with which the animals
regarded the whole situation, the extreme literal-mindedness of Alice,
and the exaggerated imitation of human beings: a really moral person
must have balance as well as sympathy, else he sees things out of
proportion. These examples make evident that we are not to seek for
anything very patently high-flown in the stories for children; it is
life in all its phases that gives the material, but it must be true
life: not false or sentimental or trivial life: this will rule out the
"pretty" stories for children written by trivial people in teachers'
papers, or the pseudo-nature story, or the artificial myth of the "How
did" type, or the would-be childish story where the language is rather
that of the grown-up imitating children than that of real children. Of
late years, with the discovery of children, children's literature has
grown, and there is a good deal to choose from past and present writers.

There is no recognised or stereotyped method of telling a story to
children: it is something much deeper than merely an acquired art, it is
the teacher giving something of her personality to the children,
something that is most precious. One of the finest of our English
Kindergarten teachers once said, "I feel almost as if I ought to prepare
my soul before telling a story to young children," and this is the sense
in which the story should be chosen and told. There are, of course,
certain external qualifications which must be so fully acquired as to be
used unconsciously, such as a good vocabulary, power over one's voice, a
recognition of certain literary phases in a story, such as the working
up to the dramatic crisis, the working down to the end so that it shall
not fall flat, and the dramatic touches that give life; these are
certainly most necessary, and should be studied and cultivated; but a
teacher should not be hampered in her telling by being too conscious of
them. Rather she should feel such respect and even reverence for this
side of a child's education that the framework and setting can only be
of the best, always remembering at the same time what is framework and
setting, and what is essence.

Much that has been said about the method and aim of stories might apply
to those taken from the Bible, but they need certain additional
considerations. Here religion and morality come very closely together:
the recognition of a definite personality behind all circumstances of
life, to whom our conduct matters, gives a soul to morality. The Old
Testament is a record of the growth of a nation more fully conscious of
God than is the record of any other nation, and because of this children
can understand God in human life when they read such stories as the
childhood of Moses and of Samuel. Children resemble the young Jewish
nation in this respect: they accept the direct intervention of God in
the life of every day. Their primitive sense of justice, which is an eye
for an eye, will make them welcome joyfully the plagues of Egypt and the
crossing of the Red Sea. It would be premature to force on them the more
mature idea of mercy, which would probably lead to confusion of
judgement: they must be clear about the balance of things before they
readjust it for themselves.

Much of the material in the Old Testament is hardly suitable for very
young children, but the most should be made of what there is: the lives
of Eastern people are interesting to children and help to make the
phraseology of the Psalms and even of the narratives clear to them.
Wonder stories such as the Creation, the Flood, the Burning Bush,
Elijah's experiences, appeal to them on another side, the side that is
eager to wonder: the accounts of the childhood of Ishmael, Isaac,
Joseph, Moses, David and Samuel, and the little Syrian maid, come very
close to them. Such stories should be given to young children so that
they form part of the enchanted memory of childhood--which is permanent.

With the New Testament the problem is more difficult: one hesitates to
bring the life of Christ before children until they are ready to
understand, even in some degree, its significance; the subject is apt to
be dealt with either too familiarly, and made too commonplace and
everyday a matter, or as something so far removed from human affairs as
to be mysterious and remote to a child. To mix Old and New Testament
indiscriminately, as, for example, by taking them on alternate days, is
unforgivable, and no teacher who has studied the Bible seriously could
do so, if she cared about the religious training of her children, and
understood the Bible.

If the children can realise something of the sense in which Christ
helped human beings, then some of the incidents in His life might be
given, such as His birth, His work of healing, feeding and helping the
poor, and some of His stories, such as the lost sheep, the lost son, the
sower, the good Samaritan. It is difficult to speak strongly enough of
the mistreatment of Scripture, under the name of religion: it has been
spoilt more than any other subject in the curriculum, chiefly by being
taken too often and too slightly, by teachers who may be in themselves
deeply religious, but who have not applied intelligence to this matter.
The religious life of a young child is very direct: there is only a
little in the religious experiences of the Jews that can help him, and
much that can puzzle and hinder him; their interpretation of God as
revengeful, cruel and one-sided in His dealings with their enemies must
greatly puzzle him, when he hears on the other hand that God is the
Father of all the nations on the earth. What is suitable should be taken
and taken well, but there is no virtue in the Bible misunderstood.

Poetry is a form of literature which appeals to children _if they are
not made to learn it by rote_. Unconsciously they learn it very quickly
and easily, if they understand in a general way the meaning, and if they
like the sound of the words. Rhythm is an early inheritance and can be
encouraged by poetry, music and movement. The sound of words appeals
strongly to young children, and rhyming is almost a game. The kind of
poetry preferred varies a good deal but on the whole narrative or
nonsense verses seem most popular; few children are ready for sentiment
or reflection even about themselves, and this is why some of Stevenson's
most charming poems about children are not appreciated by them as much
as by grown-up people. And for the same reason only a few nature poems
are really liked.

Without doubt, the only aim in giving poetry to children is to help them
to appreciate it, and the only method to secure this is to read it to
them appreciatively and often.

Besides such anthologies as _The Golden Staircase,_ E.V. Lucas's _Book
of Verses for Children,_ and others, we must go to the Bible for poems
like the Song of Miriam, or of Deborah, and the Psalms; to Shakespeare
for such songs as "Where the Bee Sucks," "I know a Bank," "Ye Spotted
Snakes," either with or without music; to Longfellow's _Hiawatha_ for
descriptive pieces, and to Scott and Tennyson for ballads and songs, and
to many other simple classic sources outside the ordinary collections.

In both prose and poetry, probably the ultimate aim is appreciation of
beauty in human conduct. Clutton Brock says, "The value of art is the
value of the aesthetic activity of the spirit, and we must all value
that before we can value works of art rightly: and ultimately we must
value this glory of the universe, to which we give the name of beauty
when we apprehend it." Again he says, "Parents, nurses and teachers
ought to be aware that the child when he forgets himself in the beauty
of the world is passing through a sacred experience which will enrich
and glorify the whole of his life."

If all this is what literature means in a child's experiences of life,
then it must be given a worthy place in the time-table and curriculum
and in the serious preparation by the teacher for her work.



The first experiences the child gains from the world of nature are those
of beauty, of sound, colour and smell. Flowers at first are just lovely
and sweet-smelling; the keen senses of a child are more deeply satisfied
with colour and scent than we have any idea of, unless some faint memory
of what it meant remains with us. But he begins to grasp real scientific
truth from his experiences with the elements which have for him such a
mysterious attraction; by the very contact with water something in the
child responds to its stimulus. Mud and sand have their charms, quite
intangible, but universal, from prince to coster; a bonfire is something
that arouses a kind of primeval joy. Again, race experience reproducing
itself may account for all this, and it must be satisfied. The demand
for contact with the rest of nature is a strong and fierce part of human
nature, and it means the growth of something in life that we cannot do
without. We induce children to come into our schools when this hunger is
at its fiercest, and very often we do nothing to satisfy it, but set
them in rooms to look at things inanimate when their very being is
crying out for life. "I want something and I don't know what to want" is
the expression of a state very frequent in children, and not infrequent
in grown-up people, because they have been balked of something.

How, then, can we provide for their experience of this side of life? We
have tried to do so in the past by object and nature lessons, but we
must admit that they are not the means by which young children seek to
know life, or by which they appreciate its beauty. We have been trying
to kill too many birds with one stone in our economic way; "to train the
powers of observation," "to teach a child to express himself," "to help
a child to gain useful knowledge about living things," have been the
most usual aims. And the method has been that of minute examination of a
specimen from the plant or animal world, utterly detached from its
surroundings, considered by the docile child in parts, such as leaves,
stem, roots, petals, and uses; or head, wings, legs, tail, and habits.
The innocent listener might frequently think with reason that a number
lesson rather than a nature lesson was being given. The day of the
object lesson is past, and to young children the nature lesson must
become nature work.

It is in the term "nature lesson" that the root of the mischief lies:
nature is not a lesson to the young child, it is an interest from which
he seeks to gain more pleasure, by means of his own activity: plants
encourage him to garden, animals stir his desire to watch, feed and
protect; water, earth and fire arouse his craving to investigate and
experiment: there is no motive for passive study at this juncture, and
without a motive or purpose all study leads to nothing. Adults compare,
and count the various parts of a living thing for purposes of
classification connected with the subdivisions of life which we call
botany and zoology; but such things are far removed from the young
child's world--only gradually does it begin to dawn on him that there
are interesting likenesses, and that in this world, as in his own, there
are relationships; when he realises this, the time for a nature lesson
has come. But much direct experience must come first.

In setting out the furnishing of the school the need for this activity
is implied. No school worthy of the name can do without a garden, any
more than it can do without reading books, or blackboards, indeed the
former need is greater: if it is possible, and possibilities gradually
merge into acceptances, a pond should be in the middle of the garden,
and trees should also be considered as part of the whole. It is not
difficult for the ordinary person to make a pond, or even to begin a

In a school situated in S.E. London in the midst of rows of monotonous
little houses, and close to a busy railway junction, a miracle was
performed: the playground was not very large, and of the usual
uncompromising concrete. The children, most of whose fathers worked on
the railway, lived in the surrounding streets, and most of them had a
back-yard of sorts; they had little or no idea of a garden. One of the
teachers had, however, a vision which became a reality. She asked her
children to help to make a garden, and for weeks every child brought
from his back-yard his little paper bag of soil which was deposited over
some clinkers that were spread out in a narrow border against the
outside wall; in a few months there was a border of two yards in which
flowers were planted: the caretaker, inspired by the sight, did his
share of fixing a wooden strip as a kind of supporting border to the
whole: in two years the garden had spread all round the outside wall of
the playground, and belonged to several classes.

An even greater miracle was performed in a dock-side school, where to
most of the children a back-yard was a luxury beyond all possibility.
The school playground was very small, and evening classes made a school
garden quite impossible. But the head mistress was one who saw life full
of possibilities, and so she saw a garden even in the sordidness. Round
the parish church was a graveyard long disused, and near one of the
gates a small piece of ground that had never been used for any
graveyard purpose: it was near enough to the school to be possible, and
in a short time the miracle happened--the entrance to the graveyard
became a children's flowering garden.

Inside the school where plants and flowers in pots are numerous, a part
of the morning should be spent in the care of these: few people know how
to arrange flowers, and fewer how to feed and wash them; if there are an
aquarium or chrysalis boxes, they have to be attended to: all this
should be a regular duty with a strong sense of responsibility attached
to it; it is curious how many people are content to live in an
atmosphere of decaying matter.

If the children enjoy so intensely the colour of the leaves and flowers
they will be glad to have the opportunity of painting them; this is as
much a part of nature work as any other, and it should be used as such,
because it emphasises so strongly the side of appreciation of beauty, a
side very often neglected. It is here that the individual paint box is
so important. If children are to have any sense of colour they must
learn to match very truthfully; there is a great difference between the
blue of the forget-me-not and of the bluebell, but only by experiment
can children discover that the difference lies in the amount of red in
the latter. By means of discoveries of this kind they will see new
colours in life around them, and a new depth of meaning will come to
their everyday observations. This is true observation, not the "look and
say" of the oral lesson, which has no purpose in it, and leads to no
natural activity, or to appreciation.

It is difficult to satisfy the interest in animals. In connection with
the Nursery School the most suitable have been mentioned. The transition
and junior school children may see others when they go for excursions.
At this stage, too, children have a great desire to learn about wild
animals, and the need often arises out of their literature: the camel
that brought Rebecca to Isaac, the wolf that adopted Mowgli, the
reindeer that carried Kay and Gerda, the fox that tried to eat the seven
little kids, Androcles' lion, and Black Sambo's tiger, might form an
interesting series, helped by pictures of the creature _in its own
home_. It is difficult to say whether this may be termed literature,
geography, or nature study. The difficulty serves to show the unity of
life at this period. Books such as Seton Thompson's, Long's, and
Kearton's, and many others, supply living experiences of animal life
impossible to get from less direct sources.

As children get older, and have the power to look back, they will feel
the necessity of keeping records; and thus the Nature Calendar,
forerunner of geography, will be adopted naturally.

Another important feature in nature experiences is the excursion.
Froebel says: "Not only children and boys, but indeed many adults, fare
with nature and her character as ordinary men fare with the air. They
live in it and yet scarcely know it as something distinct ... therefore
these children and boys who spend all their time in the fields and
forests see and feel nothing of the beauties of nature and their
influence on the human heart. They are like people who have grown up in
a very beautiful country and who have no idea of its beauty and its
spirit ... therefore it is so important that boys and adults should go
into the fields and forests, together striving to receive into their
hearts and minds the life and spirit of nature." It is evident from this
that excursions are as necessary in the country as in the town, where
instead of the "fields and forests" perhaps only a park is possible, but
there is no virtue in an excursion taken without preparation. The
teacher must first of all visit the place and see what it is likely to
give the children. She must tell them something of it, give them some
aim in going there, such as collecting leaves or fruits, or recording
different shapes of bare trees, or collecting things that grow in the
grass. These are examples of what a town park might yield. Within one
group of children there might be many with different aims. During the
days following the excursion time should be spent in using these
experiences, either by means of painting and modelling, or making
classified collections of things found, or compiling records, oral or
written. Otherwise the excursion degenerates into a school treat without
its natural enjoyment.

With regard to the inevitable gaps in the children's minds in connection
with the world of living things, such pictures as the following should
be in every town school: a pine wood, a rabbit warren, a natural pond, a
ditch and hedge, a hayfield in June, a wild daffodil patch, a sheet of
bluebells, a cornfield at different stages, an orchard in spring and in
autumn, and many others. These must be constantly used when they are
needed, and not misused in the artificial method known as "picture

There is another side to nature work. Froebel says: "The things of
nature form a more beautiful ladder between heaven and earth than that
seen by Jacob; not a one-sided ladder leading in one direction, but an
all-sided one leading in all directions. Not in dreams is it seen; it is
permanent, it surrounds us on all sides."

Froebel believed that contact with nature helps a child's realisation of
God, and any one who believes in early religious experience must agree;
a child's early questions and difficulties, as well as his early awe and
fear show it--he is probably nearer to God in his nature work than in
many of the _daily_ Scripture lessons. All his education should be
permeated by spiritual feeling, but there are some aspects in which the
realisation is clearer, and possibly his contact with nature stands out
as the highest in this respect. There is no conscious method or art in
bringing this about; the teacher must feel it and be convinced of it.

Thus we come to the conclusion that the Nursery School nature work can
be safely left to look after itself, provided the surroundings are
satisfying and the children are free.

In the transition and the junior school there should be no nature
lessons of the object lesson type, but plenty of nature work, leading to
talks, handwork, and poetry. The aim is not economic or informational at
this stage, but the development of pure appreciation and interest. There
can hardly be a regular place on the time-table for such irregular work,
comprising excursions, gardening, handwork, and literature at least, and
depending on the weather and the seasons. There should always be a
regular morning time for attending to plants and animals and for the
Nature Calendar, but no "living" teacher will be a slave to mere
time-table thraldom.



By means of toys, handwork and games, as well as various private
individual experiments, a child touches on most sides of mathematics in
the nursery class. In experimenting with bricks he must of necessity
have considered relative size, balance and adjustment, form and
symmetry; in fitting them back into their boxes some of the most
difficult problems of cubic content; in weighing out "pretence" sugar
and butter by means of sand and clay new problems are there for
consideration; in making a paper-house questions of measurement evolve.
This is all in the incidental play of the Nursery School, and yet we
might say that a child thus occupied is learning mathematics more than
anything else. Here, if he remained till six, he did a certain amount of
necessary counting, and he may have acquired skill in recognising
groups, he may have unconsciously and incidentally performed
achievements in the four rules, but never, of course, in any shortened
or technical form. Probably he knows some figures. It is best to give
these to a child when he asks for or needs them, as in the case of
records of games. On the other hand he may be content with strokes.
Various mathematical relationships are made clear in his games or trials
of strength, such as distance in relation to time or strength, weight in
relation to power and to balance, length and breadth in relation to
materials, value of material in relation to money or work. By means of
many of his toys the properties of solids have become working knowledge
to him. Here, then, is our starting-point for the transition period.


Undoubtedly the aim of the transition class is partly to continue by
means of games and dramatic play the kind of knowledge gained in the
Nursery School; but it has also the task of beginning to organise such
knowledge, as the grouping into tens and hundreds. This organisation of
raw material and the presenting of shortened processes, as occur in the
first four rules, forms the work also of the junior school. To give to a
child shortened processes which he would be very unlikely to discover in
less than a lifetime, is simply giving him the experience of the race,
as primitive man did to his son. But the important point is to decide
when a child's discovery should end and the teacher's demonstration

This is the period when we are accustomed to speak of beginning
"abstract" work; it is well to be clear what it means, and how it stands
related to a child's need for experience. When we leave the problems of
life, such as shopping, keeping records of games and making measurements
for construction; and when we begin to work with pure number, we are
said to be dealing with the abstract. Formerly dealing with pure number
was called "simple," and dealing with actual things, such as money and
measures, "compound," and they were taken in this order. But experience
has reversed the process, and a child comes to see the need of abstract
practice when he finds he is not quick enough or accurate enough, or his
setting out seems clumsy, in actual problems. This was discussed at
greater length in the chapter on Play.

For instance, he might set down the points of a game by strokes, each
line representing a different opponent:

John ||||||||||||||||

Henry |||||||||||

Tom |||

He will see how difficult it is to estimate at a glance the exact score,
and how easy it is to be inaccurate. It seems the moment to show him
that the idea of grouping or enclosing a certain number, and always
keeping to the same grouping, is helpful:

John |||||||||| |||||| = 1 ten and 6 singles.

Henry |||||||||| | = 1 ten and 1 single.

Tom ||| = 3 singles.

After doing this a good many times he could be told that this is a
universal method, and he would doubtless enjoy the purely puzzle
pleasure in working long sums to perfect practice. This pleasure is very
common in children at this stage, but too often it comes to them merely
through being shown the "trick" of carrying tens. They have reached a
purely abstract point, but they cannot get through it without some more
material help. The following is an example of the kind of help that can
be given in getting clear the concept of the ten grouping and the
processes it involves:

[Illustration: Board with hooks, in ranks of nine, and rings]

The whole apparatus is a rectangular piece of wood about 3/4 of an inch
thick, and about 3x1-1/2 feet of surface. It is painted white, and the
horizontal bars are green, so that the divisions may be apparent at a
distance; it has perpendicular divisions breaking it up into three
columns, each of which contains rows of nine small dresser hooks. It can
be hung on an easel or supported by its own hinge on a table. Each of
the divisions represents a numerical grouping, the one on the right is
for singles or units, the central one for tens, and the left side one
for hundreds: the counters used are button moulds, dipped in red ink,
with small loops of string to hang on the hooks: it is easily seen by a
child that, after nine is reached, the units can no longer remain in
their division or "house," but must be gathered together into a bunch
(fastened by a safety pin) and fixed on one of the hooks of the middle

Sums of two or three lines can thus be set out on the horizontal bars,
and in processes of addition the answer can be on the bottom line. It is
very easy, by this concrete means, to see the process in subtraction,
and indeed the whole difficulty of dealing with ten is made concrete.
The whole of a sum can be gone through on this board with the
button-moulds, and on boards and chalk with figures, side by side, thus
interpreting symbol by material; but the whole process is abstract.

The piece of apparatus is less abstract only in degree than the figures
on the blackboard, because neither represents real life or its problems:
in abstract working we are merely going off at a side issue for the sake
of practice, to make us more competent to deal with the economic affairs
of life. There is a place for sticks and counters, and there is a place
for money and measures, but they are not the same: the former represents
the abstract and the latter the concrete problem if used as in real
life: the bridge between the abstract and the concrete is largely the
work of the transition class and junior school, in respect of the
foundations of arithmetic known as the first four rules.

Games of skill, very thorough shopping or keeping a bankbook, or selling
tickets for tram or train, represent the kind of everyday problem that
should be the centre of the arithmetic work at this transition stage;
and out of the necessities of these problems the abstract and
semi-abstract work should come, but it should _never_ precede the real
work. A real purpose should underlie it all, a purpose that is apparent
and stimulating enough to produce willing practice. A child will do much
to be a good shopkeeper, a good tram conductor, a good banker; he will
always play the game for all it is worth.



In the Nursery School activity is the chief characteristic: one of its
most usual forms is experimenting with tools and materials, such as
chalk, paints, scissors, paper, sand, clay and other things. The desire
to experiment, to change the material in some way, to gratify the
senses, especially the muscular one, may be stronger than the desire to
construct. The handwork play of the Nursery School is therefore chiefly
by means of imitation and experiment, and direct help is usually quite
unwelcome to the child under six. There is little more to be said in the
way of direction than, "Provide suitable material, give freedom, and
help, if the child wants it." But the case is rather different in the
transitional stage. As the race learnt to think by doing, so children
seem to approach thought in that way; they have a natural inclination to
do in the first case; they try, do wrongly, consider, examine, observe,
and do again: for example, a girl wants to make a doll's bonnet like the
baby's; she begins impulsively to cut out the stuff, finds it too small,
tries to visualise the right size, examines the real bonnet, and makes
another attempt. At some apparently odd moment she stumbles on a truth,
perhaps the relation of one form to another in the mazes of
bonnet-making; it is at these odd moments that we learn. Or a boy may be
painting a Christmas card, and in another odd moment he may _feel_
something of the beauty of colour, if, for example, he is copying
holly-berries. No purposeless looking at them would have stirred
appreciation. Whether the end is doing, or whether it is thinking, the
two are inextricably connected; in the earlier stages the way to know
and feel is very often by action, and here is the basis of the maxim
that handwork is a method.

This idea has often been only half digested, and consequently it has led
to a very trivial kind of application; a nature lesson of the "look and
say" description has been followed by a painting lesson; a geography
lesson, by the making of a model. If the method of learning by doing was
the accepted aim of the teacher then it was not carried out, for this is
learning and then doing, not learning for the purpose of doing, but
doing for the purpose of testing the learning, which is quite another
matter, and not a very natural procedure with young children. Many
people have tried to make things from printed directions, a woman may
try to make a blouse and a man to make a knife-box; their procedure is
not to separate the doing and the learning process; probably they have
first tried to do, found need for help, and gone to the printed
directions, which they followed side by side with the doing; and in the
light of former failures or in the course of looking or of
experimenting, they stumbled upon knowledge: this is learning by doing.

Therefore the making of a box may be arithmetic, the painting of a
buttercup may be nature study, the construction of a model, or of
dramatic properties may be geography or history, not by any means the
only way of learning, but one of the earlier ways and a very sound way;
there is a purpose to serve behind it all, that will lead to very
careful discrimination in selection of knowledge, and to pains taken to
retain it. If this is fully understood by a teacher and she is content
to take nature's way, and abide for nature's time to see results, then
her methods will be appropriately applied: she will see that she is not
training a race of box-makers, but that she is guiding children to
discover things that they need to know in a natural way, and ensuring
that as these facts are discovered they shall be used. Consequently
neither haste nor perfection of finish must cloud the aim; it is not the
output that matters but the method by which the children arrive at the
finished object, not forty good boxes, but forty good thinkers. Dewey
has put it most clearly when he says that the right test of an
occupation consists "in putting the maximum of consciousness into
whatever is done." Froebel says, "What man tries to represent or do he
begins to understand."

This is what we should mean by saying that handwork is a method of

But handwork has its own absolute place as well. A child wants to
acquire skill in this direction even more consciously than he wants to
learn: if he has been free, in the nursery class, to experiment with
materials, and if he knows some of his limitations, he is now, in the
transition class, ready for help, and he should get it as he needs it.
This may run side by side with the more didactic side of handwork which
has been described, but it is more likely that in practice the two are
inextricably mixed up; and this does not matter if the two ends are
clear in the teacher's mind; both sides have to be reckoned with.

The important thing to know is the kind of help that should be given,
and when and how it is needed. It is well to remember that in this
connection a child's limitations are not final, but only mark stages:
for example, in his early attempts to use thick cardboard he cannot
discover the neat hinge that is made by the process known as a
"half-cut"; he tries in vain to bend the cardboard, so as to secure the
same result. There are two ways of helping him: either he can be quite
definitely shown and made to imitate, or he can be set to think about
it; he is given a cardboard knife and allowed to experiment: if he
fails, it may be suggested that a clean edge can only be got by some
form of cutting; probably he will find out the rest of the process. The
second method is the better one, because it promotes thinking, while the
first only promotes pure imitation and the habit of reckoning on this
easy solution of difficulties. A dull child may have to be shown, but
there are few such children, unless they have been trained to dulness.

Imitation is not, however, always a medicine for dulness, nor does it
always produce dulness. There is a time for imitation and there is a
kind of imitation that is very intelligent. For example, a child may
come across a toy aeroplane and wish to make one; he will examine it
carefully, think over the uses of parts and proceed to make one as like
it as possible: here again is the maximum of consciousness, the essence
of thinking. Or the imitation may consist in following verbal
directions: this is far from easy if the teacher is at all vague, and
promotes valuable effort if she is clear but not diffuse: the putting of
words into action necessitates a considerable amount of imagining, and
the establishment of very important associations in brain centres. Such
cases might occur in connection with weaving, cardboard and paper work,
or the more technical processes of drawing and painting, where race
experience is actually _given_ to a child, by means of which he leaps
over the experiences of centuries. This is progress.

If a teacher is to take handwork seriously, and not as a pretty
recreation with pleasing results, she should be fully conscious of all
that it means, and apply this definitely in her work: it is so easy to
be trivial while appearing to be thorough by having well-finished work
produced, which has necessitated little hard thinking on the child's
part. Construction gives a sense of power, a strengthening of the will,
ability to concentrate on a purpose in learning, a social sense of
serviceableness, a deepened individuality: but this can only be looked
for if a child is allowed to approach it in the right way, first as an
experimenter and investigator, or as an artist, and afterwards as a
learner, who is also an individual, and learns in his own way and at his
own rate: but if the teacher's ambition is external and economic then
the child is a tool in her hands, and will remain a tool. We cannot
expect the fruits of the spirit if our goal is a material one.

One of the lessons of the war is economy. In handwork this has come to
us through the quest for materials, but it has been a blessing, if now
and then in disguise. In the more formal period of handwork only
prepared, almost patented material was used; everything was
"requisitioned" and eager manufacturers supplied very highly finished
stuff. Not very many years ago, the keeper of a "Kindergarten" stall at
an exhibition said, while pointing to cards cut and printed with
outlines for sewing and pricking, "We have so many orders for these that
we can afford to lay down considerable plant for their production." An
example in another direction is that of a little girl who attended one
of the best so-called Kindergartens of the time: she was afflicted,
while at home, with the "don't know what to do" malady; her mother
suggested that she might make some of the things she made at school, but
she negatived that at once with the remark, "I couldn't do that, you
see, because we have none of the right kind of stuff to make them of

It is quite unnecessary to give more direct details as to the kind of
work suitable and the method of doing it; more than enough books of help
have been published on every kind of material, and it might perhaps be
well if we made less use of such terms as "clay-modelling,"
"cardboard-work," "raffia," and took handwork more in the sense of
constructive or expressive work, letting the children select one or
several media for their purpose; they ought to have access to a variety
of material; and except when they waste, they should use it freely. It
is limiting and unenlightened to put down a special time for the use of
special material, if the end might be better answered by something else:
if modelling is at 11.30 on Monday and children are anxious to make
Christmas presents, what law in heaven or earth are we obeying if we
stick to modelling except the law of Red Tape.



This aspect of experience comes in two forms, the life of man in the
past, with the memorials and legacies he has left, and the life of man
in the present under the varying conditions of climate and all that it
involves. In other words these experiences are commonly known as history
and geography, though in the earlier stages of their appearance in
school it is perhaps better to call the work--preparation for history
and geography. They would naturally appear in the transition or the
junior class, preferably in the latter, but they need not be wholly new
subjects to a child; his literature has prepared him for both; to some
extent his experiments in handwork have prepared him for history, while
his nature work, especially his excursions and records, have prepared
him for geography. That he needs this extension of experience can be
seen in his growing demands for true stories, true in the more literal
sense which he is coming fast to appreciate; undoubtedly most children
pass through a stage of extreme literalism between early childhood and
what is generally recognised as boyhood and girlhood. They begin to ask
questions regarding the past, they are interested in things from
"abroad," however vague that term may be to them.

Perhaps it will be best to treat the two subjects separately, though
like all the child's curriculum at this stage they are inextricably
confused and mingled both with each other, and with literature, as
experiences of man's life and conduct.

The beginnings of geography lie in the child's foundations of
experience. Probably the first real contact, unconscious though it may
be, that any child has in this connection is through the production of
food and clothing. A country child sees some of the beginnings of both,
but it is doubtful how much of it is really interpreted by him; the
village shop with its inexhaustible stores probably means much more in
the way of origins, and he may never go behind its contents in his
speculations. It is true he sees milking, harvesting, sheep-shearing,
and many other operations, but he often misses the stage between the
actual beginning and the finished product--between the wool on the
sheep's back and his Sunday clothes, between the wheat in the field and
his loaf of bread. The town child has many links if he can use them: the
goods train, the docks, the grocer's, green-grocer's or draper's shop,
foreigners in the street, the vans that come through the silent streets
in the early morning; in big towns, such markets as Covent Garden or
Leadenhall or Smithfield; such a river as the Thames, Humber or
Mersey--from any one of these beginnings he can reach out from his own
small environment to the world. A town child has very confused notions
of what a farm really means to national life, and a country child of
what a big railway station or dock involves. All children need to know
what other parts of their own land look like, and what is produced; they
ought to trace the products within reach to their origin, and this will
involve descriptions of such things as fisheries at Hull or Aberdeen,
the coal mines of Wales or Lanarkshire, pottery districts of Stafford,
woollen and cotton factories of Yorkshire and Lancashire, mills driven
by steam, wind and water, lighthouses, the sheep-rearing districts of
Cumberland and Midlothian, the flax-growing of northern Ireland, and
much else, and the means of transit and communication between all these.
The children will gradually realise that many of the things they are
familiar with, such as tea, oranges, silk and sugar, have not been
accounted for, and this will take them to the lives of people in other
countries, the means of getting there, the time taken and mode of
travelling. They will also come to see that we do not produce enough of
the things that are possible to grow, such as wheat, apples, wool and
many other common necessaries, and that we can spare much that is
manufactured to countries that do not make them, such as boots, clothes,
china and cutlery. There will come a time when the need for a map is
apparent: that is the time to branch off from the main theme and make
one; it will have to be of the very immediate surroundings first, but it
is not difficult to make the leap soon to countries beyond. Previous to
the need for it, map-making is useless.

This working outwards from actual experiences, from the home country to
the foreign, from actual contact with real things to things of
travellers' tales, is the only way to bring geography to the very door
of the school, to make it part of the actual life.

The beginning of history, as of geography, lies in the child's
foundations of experience. In the country village he sees the church,
possibly some old cottages, or an Elizabethan or Jacobean house near; in
the churchyard or in the church the tombstones have quaint inscriptions
with reference possibly to past wars or to early colonisation. The slum
child on the other hand sees much that is worn out, but little that is
antiquated, unless the slum happen to be in such places as Edinburgh or
Deptford, situated among the remains of really fine houses: but he
realises more of the technicalities and officialism of a social system
than does the country child; the suburban child has probably the
scantiest store of all; his district is presumably made up of rows of
respectable but monotonous houses, and the social life is similarly
respectable and monotonous.

There are certain cravings, interests and needs, common to all children,
which come regardless of surroundings. All children want to know certain
things about people who lived before them, not so much their great
doings as their smaller ones; they want to know what these people were
like, what they worked at, and learnt, how they travelled, what they
bought and sold: and there is undoubtedly a primitive strain in all
children that comes out in their love of building shelters, playing at
savages, and making things out of natural material. One of the most
intense moments in _Peter Pan_ to many children is the building of the
little house in the wood, and later on, of the other on the top of the
trees: that is the little house of their dreams. They are not interested
in constitutions or the making of laws; wars and invasions have much the
same kind of interest for them as the adventures of Una and the Red
Cross Knight.

How are these cravings usually satisfied in the early stages of history
teaching of to-day? As a rule a series of biographies of notable people
is given, regardless of chronology, or the children's previous
experiences, and equally careless of the history lessons of the future;
Joan of Arc, Alfred and the Cakes, Gordon of Khartoum, Boadicea,
Christopher Columbus, Julius Caesar, form a list which is not at all
uncommon; there is no leading thread, no developing idea, and the old
test, "the children like it," excuses indolent thinking. On the other
hand, the desire to know more of the Robinson Crusoe mode of life has
been apparent to many teachers for some time, but the material at their
disposal has been scanty and uncertain. It is to Prof. Dewey that we owe
the right organisation of this part of history. He has shown that it is
on the side of industry, the early modes of weaving, cooking, lighting
and heating, making implements for war and for hunting, and making of
shelters, that prehistoric man has a real contribution to give: but for
the beginnings of social life, for realisation of such imperishable
virtues as courage, patriotism and self-sacrifice, children must go to
the lives of real people and gradually acquire the idea that certain
things are, so to speak, from "everlasting to everlasting," while others
change with changing and growing circumstances.

The prehistoric history should be largely concerned with doing and
experimenting, with making weapons, or firing clay, or weaving rushes,
or with visits to such museums as Horniman's at Forest Hill. The early
social history may well take the form best suited to the child, and not
appeal merely to surface interest. And the spirit in which the lives of
other people are presented to children must not be the narrow,
prejudiced, insular one, so long associated with the people of Great
Britain, which calls other customs, dress, modes of: living, "funny" or
"absurd" or "extraordinary," but rather the scientific spirit that
interprets life according to its conditions and so builds up one of its
greatest laws, the law of environment.

The geography syllabus, even more than the history one, depends for its
beginnings at least on the surroundings of the school--out of the mass
of possible materials a very rich and comprehensive syllabus can be
made, beginning with any one of the central points already suggested.
Above all there should be plenty of pictures, not as amplification, but
as material, by means of which a child may interpret more fully; a
picture should be of the nature of a problem or of a map--and picture
reading should be in the junior school what map reading is in the upper

In both history and geography the method is partly that of discovery;
especially is this the case in that part of history which deals with
primitive industries, and in almost the whole of the geography of this
period. The teacher is the guide or leader in discovery, not the
story-teller merely, though this may be part of his function.

The following is a small part of a syllabus to show how geography and
history material may grow naturally out of the children's experiences.
It is meant in this case for children in a London suburb, with no
particular characteristics:--


It grows out of the shops of the neighbourhood and the adjoining railway

_Home-produced Goods_--

A. The green-grocer's shop.
Tracing of fruit to its own home source, or to a foreign country.
Home-grown fruit. The fruit farm, garden, orchard, and wood.
The packing and sending of fruit.--Railway lines.
Covent Garden; the docks; fruit stalls; jam factories.

B. A grocer's or corn-chandler's shop.
Flour and oatmeal traced to their sources.
The farm. A wheat and grain farm at different seasons. A dairy farm
and a sheep farm.
A mill and its processes.
Woollen factories.
A dairy. Making of butter and cheese
Distribution of these goods.

C. A china shop, leading to the pottery district and making of pottery.

_Foreign Goods_--

Furs--Red Indians and Canada.
Dates--The Arabs and the Sahara.
Cotton--The Negroes and equatorial regions.
Cocoa--The West Indies.
The transit of these, their arrival and distribution.

[The need for a map will come early in the first part of the course, and
the need for a globe in the second.]


This grows naturally out of the geography syllabus and might be taken
side by side or afterwards.

The development of industries.
The growth of spinning and weaving from the simplest processes, bringing
in the distaff, spinning-wheel, and loom.
The making of garments from the joining together of furs.
The growth of pottery and the development of cooking.
The growth of roads and means of transit.

[This will involve a good deal of experimental and constructive handwork.]



Reading and writing are held to have lifted man above the brute; they
are the means by which we can discover and record human experience and
progress, and as such their value is incalculable. But in themselves
they are artificial conventions, symbols invented for the convenience of
mankind, and to acquire them we need exercise no great mental power. A
good eye and ear memory, and a certain superficial quickness to
recognise and apply previous knowledge, is all that is needed for
reading and spelling; while for writing, the development of a
specialised muscular skill is all that is necessary. In themselves they
do not as a rule hold any great interest for a child: sometimes they
have the same puzzle interest as a long addition sum, and to children of
a certain type, mechanical work such as writing gives relief; one of the
most docile and uninteresting of little boys said that writing was his
favourite subject, and it was easy to understand: he did not want to be
stirred out of his commonplaceness; unconsciously he had assimilated the
atmosphere and adopted the standards of his surroundings, which were
monotonous and commonplace in the extreme, and so he desired no more
adventurous method of expression than the process of writing, which he
could do well. Imitation is often a strong incentive to reading, it is
part of the craving for grown-upness to many children; they desire to
do what their brothers and sisters can do. But _during the first stage
of childhood, roughly up to the age of six or even later, no child needs
to learn to read or write, taking "need" in the psychological sense:_
that period is concerned with laying the foundation of real things and
with learning surroundings;--any records of experience that come to a
child can come as they did to his earliest forefathers--by word of
mouth. When he wants to read stories for himself, or write his own
letters, then he is impelled by a sufficiently strong aim or incentive
to make concentration possible, without resorting to any of the
fantastic devices and apparatus so dear to so many teachers. Indeed it
is safe to say of many of these devices that they prove the fact that
children are not ready for reading.

When a child is ready to read and write the process need not be a long
one: by wise delay many tedious hours are saved, tedious to both teacher
and children; they have already learnt to talk in those precious hours,
to discriminate sounds as part of language training, but without any
resort to symbols--merely as something natural. It has been amply proved
that if a child is not prematurely forced into reading he can do as much
in one year as he would have done in three, under more strained

With regard to methods a great deal has been written on the subject; it
is pretty safe to leave a teacher to choose her own--for much of the
elaboration is unnecessary if reading is rightly delayed, and if a child
can read reasonably well at seven and a half there can be no grounds for
complaint. If his phonetic training has been good in the earlier stages
of language, then this may be combined with the "look and say" method,
or method of reading by whole words. The "cat on the mat" type of book
is disappearing, and its place is being taken by books where the subject
matter is interesting and suitable to the child's age; but as in other
subjects the book chosen should be considered in reference to the
child's surroundings, either to amplify or to extend.

Writing is, in the first instance, a part of reading: when words are
being learnt they must be written, or in the earliest stages printed,
but only those interesting to the children and written for some definite
purpose should be selected: a great aid to spelling is transcription,
and children are always willing to copy something they like, such as a
verse of poetry, or their name and address. As in arithmetic and in
handwork, they will come to recognise the need for practice, and be
willing to undergo such exercise for the sake of improvement, as well as
for the pleasure in the activity--which actual writing gives to some

We must be quite clear about relative values. Reading and writing are
necessities, and the means of opening up to us things of great value;
but the art of acquiring them is of little intrinsic value, and the
recognition of the need is not an early one; nothing is gained by
beginning too early, and much valuable time is taken from other
activities, notably language. The incentive should be the need that the
child feels, and when this is evident time and pains should be given to
the subject so that it maybe quickly acquired. But the art of reading is
no test of intelligence, and the art of writing is no test of original
skill. _The claims of the upper departments must be resisted._



The _first_ thing that matters is what is commonly called the
personality of the teacher; she must be a person, unmistakable from
other persons, and not a type; what she has as an individual, of gifts
or goodness, she should give freely, and give in her own way; that she
should be trained is, of course, as indisputable as the training of a
doctor, but her training should have deepened her personality.
Pestalozzi's curriculum and organisation left much to be desired; what
he has handed down to us came from himself and his own experience, not
from anything superimposed: records of his pupils constantly emphasise
this: it was his goodness assimilated with his outlook on life and
readiness to learn by experience, that mattered, and it was this that
remained with his pupils. The teacher's own personality must dominate
her choice of principles else she is a dead method, a machine, and not a
living teacher. She must not keep her interests and gifts for
out-of-school use; if she has a sense of humour she must use it, if she
is fond of pretty clothes she must wear them in school, if she
appreciates music she must help her class to do the same, if she has
dramatic gifts she must act to them. Her standard of goodness must be
high, and she must be strong enough to adopt it practically, so that she
is unconscious of it: goodness and righteousness are as essential as
health to a teacher: for something intangible passes from the teacher
to her children, however young and unconscious they may be, and nothing
can awaken goodness but goodness.

Part of her personality is her attitude towards religion. It is
difficult to think of a teacher of young children who is not religious,
_i.e._ whose conduct is not definitely permeated by her spiritual life:
young children are essentially religious, and the life of the spirit
must find a response in the same kind of intangible assumption of its
existence as goodness. No form of creed or dogma is meant, only the life
of the spirit common to all. But of course there may be people who
refuse to admit this as a necessity.

The _next_ thing that matters is that all children must be regarded as
individuals: there has been much more talk of this lately, but practical
difficulties are often raised as a bar. If teachers and parents continue
to accept the conditions which make it difficult, such as large classes,
and a need to hasten, there will always be a bar: if individuality is
held as one of the greatest things in education, authorities cannot
continue to economise so as to make it impossible. It is the individual
part of each child that is his most precious possession, his immortal
side: Froebel calls it his "divine essence," and makes the cultivation
of it the aim of education; he is right, and any more general aim will
lead only to half-developed human beings. If we accept the principle
that only goodness is fundamental and evil a distortion of nature, we
need have no fear about cultivating individuals. Every doctor assures us
that all normal babies are naturally healthy; they are also naturally
good, but evil is easily aroused by arbitrary interference or by

The _third_ thing that matters belongs more especially to the
intellectual life; it might be described as the making of right
associations. More than any other side of training, the making of
associations means the making of the intelligent person. To see life in
patches is to see pieces of a great picture by the square inch, and
never to see the relationship of these to each other--never to see the

The _fourth_ thing that matters is the making of good and serviceable
habits: much has been said on this, in connection with the nursery
class, and it is at that stage that the process is most important, but
it should never cease. If a child is to have time and opportunity to
develop his individuality he must not be hampered by having to be
conscious of things that belong to the subconscious region. To start a
child with a foundation of good habits is better than riches.

The _fifth_ thing that matters is the realisation by teachers that
_opportunities_ matter more than results; opportunities to discover, to
learn, to comprehend all sides of life, to be an individual, to
appreciate beauty, to go at one's own rate; some are material in their
nature, such as the actual surroundings of the child in school; others
are rather in the atmosphere, such as refraining from interference,
encouragement, suggestion, spirituality. The teacher has the making of
opportunities largely in her own hands.

The _sixth_ thing, that matters is the cultivation of the divine gift of
imagination; both morality and spirituality spring from this; meanness,
cowardice, lack of sympathy, sensuality, materialism, quickly grow where
there is no imagination. It refines and intensifies personality, it
opens a door to things beyond the senses. It makes possible appreciation
of the things of the spirit, and appreciation is a thousand times more
important than knowledge.

The _last_ thing that matters is the need for freedom from bondage, of
the body and of the soul. Only from a free atmosphere can come the best
things--personality, imagination and opportunity; and all are great
needs, but the greatest of all is freedom.


FROEBEL. The Education of Man. (Appleton.)
MACDOUGALL. Social Psychology. (Methuen.)
GROOS. The Play of Man. (Heinemann.)
DRUMMOND. An Introduction to Child Study. (Arnold.)
KIRKPATRICK. Fundamentals of Child Study. (Macmillan.)
DEWEY. The School and the Child. (Blackie.)
The Dewey School. (The Froebel Society.)
STANLEY HALL. Aspects of Education.
FINDLAY. School and Life. (G. Philip & Son.)
SULLY. Children's Ways. (Longmans.)
CALDWELL COOK. The Play Way. (Heinemann.)
E.R. MURRAY. Froebel as a Pioneer in Modern Psychology. (G. Philip & Son.)
Edited by H. BROWN SMITH. Education by Life. (G. Philip & Son.)
MARGARET DRUMMOND. The Dawn of Mind. (Arnold.)
BOYD. From Locke to Montessori. (Harrap.)
KILPATRICK. Montessori Examined. (Constable.)
WIGGIN. Children's Rights. (Gay & Hancock.)
BIRCHENOUGH. History of Elementary Education. (Univ. Tutorial Press.)
MACMILLAN. The Camp School. (Allen & Unwin.)
HARDY. The Diary of a Free Kindergarten. (Gay & Hancock.)
SCOTT. Social Education. (Ginn.)
TYLOR. Anthropology. (Macmillan.)
KINGSTON QUIGGIN. Primeval Man. (Macdonald & Evans.)
SOLOMON. An Infant School. (The Froebel Society.)
FELIX KLEIN. Mon Filleul au Jardin d'Enfants. I. Comment il s'eleve.
II. Comment il s'instruit. (Armand Colin, Paris.)
E. NESBIT. Wings and the Child. (Hodder and Stoughton.)
WELLS. Floor Games. (Palmer.)
RUSKIN. The Two Paths.
DOPP. The Place of Industries in Industrial Education. (Univ. of Chicago
PRITCHARD AND ASHFORD. An English Primary School. (Harrap.)
HALL. Days before History. (Harrap.)
HALL. The Threshold of History. (Harrap.)
SPALDING. Piers Plowman Histories. Junior. Bk. II. (G. Philip & Son.)
SHEDLOCK. The Art of Story-telling.
BRYANT. How to Tell Stories. (Harrap.)
KLEIN. De ce qu'il faut raconter aux petits. (Blond et Gay.)
The Eurhythmics of Jaques-Dalcroze. (Constable.)
FINDLAY. Eurhythmics. (Dalcroze Society.)
WHITE. A Course in Music. (Camb. Univ. Press.)
STANLEY HALL. How to Teach Reading. (Heath.)
BENCHARA BRANFORD. A Study of Mathematical Education.
Fielden Demonstration School Record II. (Manchester Univ. Press.)
PUNNETT. The Groundwork of Arithmetic. (Longmans.)
ASHFORD. Sense Plays and Number Plays. (Longmans.)


Abrahall, Miss H.,
Adam and Eve question,
Adler, Dr. Felix,
Aim of education and of human life,
America, Kindergartens in,
Anderson, Professor A.,
Animals and nature study,
Apparatus. _See_ Equipment
transition class,
Arnswald, Colonel von,
Art training, drawing, etc.,
_See also_ Colour, Rhythm, etc.,
Assistance, warning,

"Baby Camp",
Barnard, Dr. H.,
Barnes, Prof. Earl,
conduct, appreciation of beauty in,
_See also_ Colour, Rhythm, etc.
Beer, Miss H., notes of,
Beresford's _Housemates_, description of a suburb,
Bermondsey Settlement Free Kindergarten,
Biological view of education,
Bird, Mr., and his family,
Birmingham Kindergartens,
Bishop, Miss Caroline,
Blankenberg Kindergarten,
Blow, Miss,
Bradford Joint Conference,
Brock, Mr. Clutton, quotations, etc.,
Brooke, Stopford,
Brown, Frances, _Grannie's Wonderful Chair_,
Brown's _Young Artists' Headers_,
Buckton, Miss,
Buildings. _See_ Equipment and Surroundings
Caldecott Nursery School,
Camp School,
Child study,
Class discipline,
Cleanliness and order,
Clough, A.H.,
Clouston, Dr.,
aim of education,
experiences of--_See also_ Moral Teaching
Connectedness, continuity. _See_ Unity
Constructive play,
varieties of _making_--_See also_ Handwork
Cook, Mr. Caldwell, _The Play Way_, etc.,
Cooke, Mr. E.,
Co-operation in play,
Infant School programme in Transition period,
present-day Infant Schools,
Country child,
Country life for the child,
Crane, Walter,
Creation. _See_ Constructive Play
Creche. _See_ Nursery School
principle guiding selection,
transition class,

Daleroze, M. Jacques, rhythmic training,
Dale, Miss, phonic reading books,
Decimal system,
Definition of education,
Desert island play,
Dewey, Prof., quotations, etc.,
Dickens on "Infant Gardens,"
Docility _v_. self-control,
Dopp Series,
Dramatic play,
Drill _v_. games,
Drummond, Dr.,

Edinburgh, Free Kindergartens,
Education Act of 1870,
of 1919,
_Education by Life,_
_Education of Man,_
school equipment, etc. _See_ Equipment
source of child's experience,
Equipment and surroundings,
miniature world,
Montessori didactic apparatus,
transition classes and Junior School,
Ewing, Mrs., stories of,
Experience, education by means of,
child's desires and needs,
grouping subjects of experience,
material and opportunities,
morality and indirect experiences,
passing on experience,

Fairy tales,
Field, Eugene, verses of,
Findlay, Miss,
Fisher, Mr.,
Fleming, Marjorie,
_Floor Games_,
Flowers and plants, 93, 201. _See also_ Garden, Nature Work
apparent result at first,
Froebel on,
Montessori, Dr., work of,
vital principle,
warning against interference,
Froebel and Froebelian principles--
aim of education,
biologist educator and Froebel,
definitions of Kindergarten,
impression and expression,
Montessori and Froebelian systems,
Furniture, _See also_ Equipment
Fyleman, Rose, _Chimney sand Fairies,_

activities in a suburban garden,
best use of ground,
possibilities in difficult places,
illustrative syllabus,
Glasgow, Phoenix Park Kindergarten,
Glenconner, Lady,
Grant, Miss,
Greenford Avenue School, Hanwell,

Habits, training in,
physical habits and fixed hours,
Hall, Stanley, references to,
Hansen, G.,
Hardy, Miss L.,
Heerwart, Miss,
Herb garden and sense training,
Herbartian "correlation",
Hewit, Mr. Graily,
High Schools for Girls, Kindergartens in,
discipline in practical reasoning,
illustrative syllabus,
indirect sociology,
practical details,
Hodsman, Miss,
Hoffman, Mr.,
Home surroundings,
reproduction in school,
source of child's experience,
Howden, Miss,
Humour, factor in morality,
_Hygiene of Mind_,

Imagination and literature,
Imitative play,
Individual, child as,
_See also_ Freedom
Infant Schools,
early Infant Schools,
formalism, causes, etc.,
Kindergarten system, perversion of,
present-day schools,
buildings, furniture, etc.,
change in spirit since the 'eighties, effect of child study
movement, etc.,
curriculum, lack of clear aim and continuity,
formalism, promotion and uniformity,
health, care of,
teachers, training of,
transition period,
Interests of a child,
Interference, warning,
International Educational Exposition and Congress of 1854,
Investigation impulse,

Junior School. _See_ Transition Classes and Junior School

Kindergarten Band,
Kindergartens, America,
first English,
Froebelian principles _See_ Froebel,
_Kids' Guards_,
London School Board Infant Schools, proposed introduction,
perversion of system in Infant Schools,
Schrader, Henrietta, work of,
Klein, Abbe,

Language training,
games for,
Lawrence, Miss Esther,
Literature _See also_ Stories and Poetry
Lodge, Sir O.,

Macdonald, George, stories of,
Macdonald, Dr. Greville,
M'Millan, Miss Margaret,
Macpherson, Mr. Stewart,
_Magic Cities_,
Marenholz, Madame von,
transition class,
Maufe, Miss,
Medical view of education, Dr. Montessori,
Meum and tuum training,
Miall, Mrs.,
Michaelis, Madame,
Michaelis Nursery School, Notting Dale,
Mission Kindergarten,
Moltke, von,
Montessori, Dr. Maria--
Froebelian views of,
medical view of education,
play activities, failure to understand,
Moral teaching--
humour as factor in morality,
_See also_ Religion, Service for the Community, Stories
Morgan, Lloyd,
_Mother Songs_,
Kindergarten Band,

Name of school for little children and its importance,
Nature work, experiences of the natural world,
activities in a suburban garden,
aim of,
movement _c._ 1890,
nature calendar,
object lesson and nature lesson,
pictures, use of,
plants and flowers,
religion and nature work,
Necessities of the Nursery School,
_See also_ Equipment and Principles
Nesbit, Mrs., _Magic Cities_,
Net beds,
Number work. _See_ Mathematics
Nursery rhymes and nonsense verses,
Nursery School--
name question,
requirements of,

Obedience _v._ self-control,
Oberlin schools,
Object lessons,
Observation of children,
Odds and ends, use of,
Open-air question,
Owen, Robert, "Rational Infant School",

Parents' evenings,
Payne, Miss Janet,
Peabody, Miss,
Periods of a young child's life,
Pestalozzi-Froebel House,
Phillips, Miss K.,
Phonic method of teaching reading,
Physical requirements,
Picture books,
biologist educator's view,
co-operation in,
courage in the teacher,
distinction from work,
Froebel's theory of,
practice at Keilhau,
Froebel's "Gifts," etc.,
self-expression in,
theories of,
transition class,
_Play Way, The_,
Playground, equipment, etc.,
garden essential,
transition class,
Poor and well-to-do children, different requirements,
Possession, child's need of,
meum and tuum training,
Preparation theory of play,
Priestman, Miss,
Principles, vital principles,
Pugh, Edwin,
Punnett, Miss,

Reading and writing,
age for,
matter and methods, phonic method, etc.,
Recapitulation theory of play,
Recreation theory of play,
Reed, Miss,
age for first teaching, _See also_ Stories
Reproducing, _See_ Imitative Play
Results, payment by,
Rhythm and rhythmic training,
Robinson Crusoe stage of history teaching,
Ronge, Madame,
Rossetti, Christina, verses for children,
Rowland, Miss,
Royee, Prof.,

St. Cuthbert, story of,
Salt, Miss Marie,
_Sayings of the Children_,
Schepel, Miss,
Schiller, _Letters on Aesthetic Education_,
Schiller-Spencer theory of play,
_School and Life_,
_Schools of To-morrow_,
Schrader, Henrietta,
Self-control and external control,
herb garden,
Service for the community, training to--
Froebel and Montessori system,
games, social side,
idea of unity,
religion, part of,
Sesame House for Home-Life Training,
Sharpley, Miss F.,
Shinn, Miss,
Sleep, provision for,
Slum child's experience,
Somers Town Nursery School,
Speech and vocabulary,
Spiritual life and stories,
Spontaneity in play,
Staff question, training, etc.,
_See also_ Teachers
nursery songs,
Stokes, Miss,
Stories and story-telling,
fairy tales,
how to tell,
made by children,
moral teaching,
religious teaching,
repetition or "accumulation" stories,
"true" stories--history, legend, geography,
_Story of a Sand Pile_,
Suburban child's experience,
Supernatural, the child's acceptance of,
Surroundings. _See_ Equipment and Surroundings

Table manners,
personality question,
Thornton-le-Dale Kindergarten,
Time-table thraldom,
instance from a teacher's note-book,
Touch, sense of,
transition classes and Junior School,
Wells, Mr., on,
Transition classes and Junior School,
bridge between freedom and timetable,
equipment, etc.,
freedom and class teaching,
help, methods of,
nature work,
play spirit,

_Ultimate Belief_,
Uniformity in Infant Schools,
Unity of aim and unity in experience,
cases illustrating problem,
previous experience of the child, basing curriculum on,

War, effect on Nursery School movement,
Warne, illustrated stories for children,
Water, attraction of,
Wells, Mr.,
_What is a Kindergarten?_,
"When can I make my little Ship?",
Wiggin, Miss K.D.,
Wilderspin's Infant School,
Wragge, Miss Adelaide,
Writing. _See_ Reading and Writing



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