« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
I trust that the book may prove helpful not only to teachers, but to readers generally who seek guidance in the study of English Literature.
I desire to express my obligations to the Editor of The Journal of Education, who has kindly permitted me to make use of these two articles contributed by me to his columns: “The Psychologic Basis of Literary Study in Schools” (The Journal of Education, No. 441, Vol. 37); “The Place of Lyric Poetry in the Teaching of English Literature” (id., No. 442, Vol. 37).
THE LOGICAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL BASIS OF
LITERARY STUDY IN SCHOOLS.
THERE are two fundamental points of view—the logical and the psychological—from which it is necessary that a teacher should regard the particular branch of study which he professes.
When it is said that the teacher should regard his subject from the logical point of view, it is meant that he should possess an adequate and coherent knowledge of its content and nature; and this involves a conscious recognition and logical classification of the distinctive elements that constitute his subject as an organised system and branch of study. The value to the teacher of such an orderly and arranged view of his subject is that it indicates to him the general directions that his teaching should take, and the results that he may hope to achieve.
When it is said that the teacher should regard his subject from the psychological point of view, it is meant that he should consider it not merely as a body of logically formulated and discriminated material, not merely as a surveyed and arranged result, but as material resulting from mental processes which, in a modified form, must be reproduced in the pupil's experience: he must consider his subject-matter not in itself, as an abstract and self-contained thing, but in relation to the pupil, as a factor in the pupil's growing experience. He must have studied not only the particular branch of knowledge that he professes, but the general stages of growth in the development of mind. The value to the teacher of this point of view is that it will guide him in the application of suitable methods of teaching, and enable him to vary them according to the particular stage of development of his pupils.
The logical point of view furnishes a firm basis of procedure : it imparts to teaching that stability and authority which results from the teacher's adequate and coherent knowledge of his subject and its possibilities. The psychological point of view modifies the rigidity that would characterise a method based on a purely logical consideration of the subject-matter: it secures that flexibility and practicability which is characteristic of sound method.
The two points of view are not opposed to one another: rather each presupposes and is necessary to the other. While the logical point of view considers a fixed result, the psychological point of view considers the process that produces the result; but a complete understanding of the result necessitates the study of it in relation to the process that leads to it; and a complete understanding of the process necessitates the study of it in the light of the result to which it leads. The teacher's knowledge of his subject-matter, then, is not weakened and distracted, but, on the contrary, is