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BOOKS AND PERIODICALS.
Reviews and Notices of Books and Journals dealing with all subjects relating to Child Life appear
under this neading.
How is it possible to review a system, a new science, a new philosophy of education in a few hundred words? This book is nothing less than a new revelation. “The Montessori Method " was, as the Athenæum said of it, “a book of pregnant significance," but its object was rather to justify a new method for the earlier stages than to challenge the whole sysem of education, as brought up to date by its latest professors. It is such a challenge that Dr. Montessori throws down in her latest book. There is no suggestion of truce, no room for compromise. If the teacher is so much as to enter the promised land, he must veritably be born again, undergoing a transformation as complete as the changing of a leopard's spots or an Ethiopian's skin. “It is unquestionable that the preparation of the teacher must be made ex novo (p. 127).
The preparation for science and the preparation for sanctity should form a new soul (p. 138), for the attitude of the teacher should be at once positive, scientific, and spiritual. Positive and scientific because he has an exact task to perform and it is necessary that he should put himself into immediate relation with the truth by means of rigorous observation, that he should strip off all illusions.
To achieve such an attitude long practice is necessary and a wide observation of life under the guidance of the biological sciences. . . . The scientific laboratory, the field of Nature where the teacher will be initiated into
the observation of the phenomena of the inner life' should be the school in which free children develop. . When he experiences an insatiable eagerness in observing them, then he will know that he is initiated. Then he will begin to become a teacher.” (p. 141.) After marking passage after passage which might afford a clue to the principles underlying this revolutionary system I have deliberately used up nearly all my quotation space over this transformation of the teacher, because it seems best to bring home the vast and staggering newness of it all. The only use of this notice can be to send readers to the book, and even that will almost certainly prove of little avail, unless they can first strip themselves of all prepossessions, inherited or acquired. When I first visited the “Montessori ” schools in Rome I experienced love at first sight. I had, in fact, long been tending ignorantly to worship. But I realized that as a teacher I had to begin over again. And now for six years that effort of change has been going on, and every day I find myself sinning through sheer force of habit against the new knowledge. Nevertheless, the revolution goes on its way. I find a change of spirit spreading not only upwards from the
Montessori” department, but downwards from the boys and girls of the VIth and Vth, and I find that what requires a surgical operation in the adult can capture the child mind by gradual suggestion and peaceful penetration. The difficulties to be surmounted before an English public school can be Montessorized are stupendous, but the conservatism of the pupils themselves is not the obstacle. And now
to attempt the irreducible minimum of explanation: (1) The Discovery.-Every child contains in himself the desire (even-until it be crushed-the determination) to develop his powers and the innate faculties necessary for this task. His needs are but two, viz., not to be thwarted by prohibitions enforced by his elders, or by poverty of material upon which to employ his faculties. (2) The Method.–To avoid the prohibitions and to supply the material in the shape of (literally) educational apparatus. (3) The Science and Art of Education.-(a) By biological studies to determine the nature, physical, mental, and spiritual—of children. (b) By observation of children under “ free” conditions (i.c., secured from prohibitions which would hinder the natural growth of their faculties) to construct a new science-psychological pedagogyenabling the teacher to present the right educational material at the right moment. (c) Not otherwise to interiere. (4) Errors of Existing Educational Systems.-(a) The child is introduced (like Gulliver) into a world where nothing is made to suit him-a giant's house, giant's stairs, giant's furniture. (b) He is given toys instead of real things, exasperating help instead of encouragement to conquer, condescension in place of reverence, our time and place without regard for his, our imagination in lieu of a realm for his own. (c) Experimental psychology has proved futile, supplying tests which prove nothing and “confronting us with a mass of unsolved problems.” “ It is obvious that a real experimental science which shall guide education
is not yet born; when it appears, it will be to the so-called · sciences' that have sprung up in connection with the diseases of martyred childhood as chemistry to alchemy and as positive medicine to the empirical medicine of bygone centuries” (p. 65). (d) Educational hygiene has imprisoned and bound the child and then applied palliatives to render his prison and bonds as little harmful as may be. “ The educator will seek to alleviate the injury which instruction necessarily entails." (Claparède, quoted p. 63.) (5) Spiritual Development.-". barely indicated. A book on this subject should form a sequel to this volume” (p. 357). But the child " is perhaps the Parsifal for whom we waiting, depressed and sick at heart, while because of the impurity of our hands the dove can no longer descend in the Holy Grail towards the chalice filled with the blood of Peace” (p. 350).
“The State and the Child.” By W. Clarke Hall, Magistrate of the Children's Court, Old Street Police Court, London, E.C. 2. London: Headley Bros., Kingsway House, Kingsway, W.C. Pp. 210. 1918. Price 2s. 6d, net.
This forms one of a valuable series of frank and thoroughgoing examinations of our current social postulates. The title is the most disappointing part of the book, which does not discuss the State's relationship to the child, but is concerned only with the relatively small class of delinquent children. The author is the well-known Magistrate at Old Street, whose Children's Court serves a population of about one million, chiefly poor persons. Child welfare from his point of view includes such problems as the punishment of juvenile offenders, the conduct of a Children's Court, the methods of industrial and reformatory schools, the system of probation, and the provision for illegitimate children. The final chapter deals with three social experiments for which the author is enthusiastic, viz., “ The Little Commonwealth,” the Women's Training Colony, Berkshire, and the Caldecott Community. We like the kindly human outlook of the book. The writer expresses high appreciation of child nature, even as he sees it in Court. He has no faith in birching as a cure except in a few cases of morbid cruelty. He warmly applauds the Children Act of 1908, but name
mes point after point in which it now needs amendment. Several chapters close with lists of suggested legal or administrative changes, or of further social provision needed. Ten of the more important may be noted here : (1) Power to combine probation with other punishment, such as fines, and to inflict punishment on a child for failure during probation without thereby terminating it. (2) A more complete scheme for combining the services of trained probation officers with those of voluntary workers. (3) Larger powers in dealing with the custody of children, and new power to commit them up to the age of 18 to approved voluntary homes. (4) More direct control and classification of certified schools. (5) Removal of such schools to the country, with more practical instruction and less of the iron heel. (6) Illegitimate children to be made Wards
of Court of Summary Jurisdiction, and may be grouped under four heads : (1) fit and willing persons appointed to safe- Curtailment, on physiological lines, of guard their interests. (7) Abolition in the hours of sale of alcohol. (2) Provisuch cases of present limitation of weekly sion of facilities for non-alcoholic repayment to 55. (8) Paternity when known freshment, notably by the establishment to be registered, but both parents to share of canteens for munition and transport right of control of child. (9) Extended workers. (3) Prohibition of the sale of powers of adoption and secured rights of spirituous liquors of excessive strength. adoptive parents. (10) The multiplica- (4) Prohibition of incentives to excessive tion of social experiments, e.g., “There consumption, such as treating, credit
, is no more useful or hopeful philanthropic, and canvassing for liquor orders. The enterprise that could be undertaken than volume is a remarkable history of rethe provision of training ships on the strictive measures and constructive enterThames to which boys from the London prises which have gone far to initiate Courts could be sent." Mr. Clarke Hall's new social habits and establish national vast clinical experience makes this book forces which may successfully oppose inof rich practical suggestion towards the fluences inimical to efficiency. The work solution of the difficult problem of the is one which affords convincing evidence delinquent child.
of the necessity for securing State purARTHUR BLACK. chase of the drink trattic, together with
democratic control. The benefits gained ". The Control of the Drink Trade: A
by restrictive measures during the War Contribution to National Efficiency, 1915
must not be allowed to lapse under after-1917." By Henry Carter. With a Preface war conditions. Lord D'Abernon, in the by Lord D’Abernon. Pp. xvi + 323. closing paragraph of his preface, forcibly London : Longmans, Green and Company, presents this necessity : “No scheme for 39, Paternoster Row, E.C. 1. 1918. Price the future regulation of the liquor traffic 7s. 6d. net.
will be satisfactory to public opinion at This detailed record of the aims and large which does not maintain the present accomplishments of the Central Control level of temperance and ensure that the Board (Liquor Traitic) should be studied nation does not relapse to the level of by every worker for child welfare and alcoholic excess which prevailed before student of methods and measures mak- the War. It is my conviction that it ing for human betterment. The book should be possible to fulfil these condiis a description of the most scientifically tions without injury to any legitimate conducted and successful social experi- interest and without unduly curtailing ment of modern times. It is written by reasonable enjoyment. Whatever the one possessing intimate knowledge and system adopted is, there must be no rehaving statesmanlike vision, and is free turn to pre-war conditions in so far as from all extravagance, exaggeration, and they were injurious to national efficiency, the fantastic and prejudicial rhetoric so and have been proved to be remediable.” common in the writings of most would- In our schemes for social reconstruction be temperance reformers. Part I gives the drink problem must be dealt with. an historical outline of conditions exist- The Board of Control were appointed as ing before control was initiated; Part II a war-emergency body, and their primary furnishes details of the organization and duty is concerned with the maintenance administration of the measures of State of national efficiency. When their recontrol; while in Part III, the effects of sponsibilities are discharged the nation the work of the Board of Control are will have to make a choice : (1) Shall summarized. The concluding chapter pro- there be a restoration of pre-war facilities vides a particularly able study of “The for the sale and consumption of drink Drink Problem and the Future.” Lord with the probability of a return to inD’Abernon, the Chairman of the Central sobriety on the pre-war scale? or (2) Can Board of Control (Liquor Traffic), of the ground won for national sobriety durwhich the author is a member, furnishes ing the War be held and extended by an illuminating preface, in which it is adequate legislative measures adapted to shown that the principal neasures taken meet the needs and condition of the
people in the time of peace. Mr. Carter, Buckley. With an introduction by the in his anticipation of the future, outlines Hon. Waldorf Astor, M.P. Pp. xiv + 68, the following objectives as among the
with 13 figures and charts. London: The most important means for the suppression
Offices of Country Life, Ltd., 20, Tavistock
Street, Covent Garden, W.C. 1917. of intemperance : (1) Limitation of the hours of sale. (2) Additional restraints Mr. Wilfred Buckley, now our National on the sale of spirituous liquors. (2) In- Director of Milk Supplies, in this handhibition of such incentives to alcoholic
some volume records in detail the results indulgence as treating, the “ long pull," of his experience as a scientific farmer and the retail sale of liquor on credit. and producer of milk. The work furnishes (4) Reduction of the existing excessive a most practical account of the author's number of licensed premises. (5) Recog- experiments at his agricultural centre nition in law, by a substantial increase of
and dairy farm at Moundsmere Manor, penalties, that drunkenness or the supply. Basingstoke. The book has been preof drink to a drunken person is “ a serious pared and published with true patriotic crime against the community.” (6) Provi- spirit, and any profits accruing from its sion for the remedial--as opposed to the sale are to be devoted to the work of the punitive--treatment of inebriety. Mr. National Clean Milk Society. We could Carter also very clearly shows that in wish that this informing monograph addition to the generally accepted dictum might be read by all dairy farmers in that while the traffic in liquor continues this country. It is an able exposition of it must be subject to firm and detailed how the milk problem may be rationally control imposed by law, two other con- dealt with at its source. The first part siderations are of primary importance, of the book deals with farm records. Mr. namely : (1) The drink question should
Buckley's system of business-like methods not be regarded as isolable from the
and proper account keeping is thoroughly whole problem of social well-being of practical and has been tested by time. which it is an integral part; whatever The second part of the book is devoted enhances the wholesomeness of life makes to a consideration of methods for the profor temperance. (2) It is essential that duction of clean milk. Major Waldorf a way should be found for the State, un- Astor in his introduction writes : “ Milk impeded by private interests, to deter- is an essential food for children. They mine, in accord with the will of the
require lots of it and of good quality. people, the drink-policy of the future. Two factors help to maintain the original This statesmanlike study is the
freshness and quality of milk-its cleanlinotable contribution to constructive tem- ness, and the temperature at which it is perance reform that has ever been issued kept. Clean milk, properly cooled after in this country. The work deals mainly milking and kept cool, is, even in warm with the period from the autumn of 1914 weather, a safe, nourishing, and reliable to the spring of 1917, but it is to be hoped food. If we had cleaner milk we should that in subsequent editions it may be have less infantile disease and mortality, found possible to bring all records up to particularly in summer.” Mr. Buckley's date. The volume contains much valuable records and illustrations very convincdata regarding maternity and child wel- ingly indicate how a reliable production fare in relation to the problem, but for of clean milk may be assured. The fine these we must refer our readers to the pictures of the buildings and equipment work itself. Mr. Carter and his colleagues at Moundsmere form notable features of on the Board of Control are accomplish- the volume. In his conclusions Mr. Bucking service of paramount importance to ley states as follows in regard to dairy the national weal, and every patriot and work : “ It is difficult to understand how worker for righteousness should make a
anyone who keeps a dairy can be satisfied point of studying this remarkable record to have animals that may possibly be the in its entirety.
means of spreading tuberculosis amongst
mankind and of infecting the other cows “Farm Records and the Production of
in the herd with this disease. By the use Clean Milk at Moundsmere." By Wilfred of the tuberculin test a herd entirely free
from tuberculosis can be built up and maintained, but those making use of it should study the subject, for almost every so-called failure can be traced to ignorance on the part of those carrying it out. Whilst the danger to human beings of tubercle in milk is recognized, the greater danger of dirty milk is ignored. When the amount of disease and death caused by dirty milk amongst young children is better known, greater care will be taken in milk production, for people will demand a safe milk for their children, and will be willing to pay a higher price for that which is clean and wholesome. The cleanliness of milk depends far more on the care and intelligence exercised by those occupied in its production than on the buildings in which it is produced, although it is easier to obtain good results in suitable rather than in unsuitable surroundings." Mr. Buckley has accomplished a valuable national service by the publication of his informing and attractive monograph.
The Times Educational Supplement.--Published every Thursday by the Times Publishing Company, Ltd., Printing House Square, London, E.C. 4. Price ld. each number. Annual subscriptions, post free, inland, 6s, 6d., abroad, 8s. 6d.
Among educational periodicals this publication is unique. It is a weekly newspaper of educational progress, reconstruction, and readjustments. Every patriotic educationist should make a point of reading this record of views, experiments, experiences, legislative endeavours, and voluntary enterprises. As a summary of the best thought on educational principles and a reliable register of practical service this periodical is indispensable.
The Chivalry of the Kingdom of God: A record of a Course of Lessons for Senior Boys and Girls given according to the Method of the Catechism.' By C. W. C. Redman, M.A., Sometime Assistant Priest at St. John, at Hackney. Compiled from the Author's Notes by E. K. Garside. Pp. vi + 85. London: National Society's Depository, 19, Great Peter Street, Westminster, S.W. 1. 1917. Price Is. 6d. net.
This unpretentious little volume contains the records of a valuable experiment by one who as teacher and minister is well acquainted with the mind of the boy'. The course outlined in these notes consists of nineteen lessons, and something of their aim and character may be indicated by an enumeration of the titles of some of them : Fortitude, Purity, Truth, Reverence, Loyalty, Love of Country, Liberty, Prayer, The Sacraments. There is a helpful introduction full of wise and serviceable suggestions. The manual will be of special value to clergymen of the Church of England and teachers in Anglican schools, but there is so much that is excellent and likely to prove of benefit for children and adolescents that we commend it to the attention of all ministers of the Christian faith.
NOTES. “ How to Collect and Dry Flowering Plants and Ferns," by Harold Stuart Thompson, F.L.S., published by George Routledge and Sons, Ltd., Broadway House, 68-74, Carter Lane, E.C. (price 7d. net), is a practical manual which will be of value to teachers, scoutmasters, club leaders and others engaged in educational and recreational work among school children and adolescents of both
It contains instruction regarding equipment, methods of collecting, drying, " poisoning” and mounting, and the general formation of a collection of dry flowering plants and ferns. There is also a suggestive section on “How to Send Pressed Plants by Post," and an informing glossary.
“ A Guide to the Art of Stencilling : English and Japanese," by D. Gordon, published by J. Tillver and Co., 6, Blenheim Street, Bond Street, W.1 (price 7d. post free), contains instruction in the artistic pursuit of stencilling. There are excellent reproductions of a series of charming Japanese designs. A descriptive list of necessary materials is given. The directions here provided in stencil cutting and the whole art of stencilling should be sufficiently adequate to start many on this engaging, recreational, and educative artistic work. Teachers may procure full information regarding outfits from Messrs. J. Tillyer and Co.