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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.e., 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. ic) Not otherwise to interfere. (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. (6) 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 are 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. 356).
“The State and the Child." By W. Clarke Hall, Magistrate of the Children's Couri, 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 ames 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 fit and willing persons appointed to safeguard their interests. (7) Abolition in such cases of present limitation of weekly payment to 55. (8) Paternity when known to be registered, but both parents to share right of control of child. (9) Extended powers of adoption and secured rights of adoptive parents. (10) The multiplication of social experiments, e.g., “ There is no more useful or hopeful philanthropic enterprise that could be undertaken than the provision of training ships on the Thames to which boy's from the London Courts could be sent.” Mr. Clarke Hall's vast clinical experience makes this book of rich practical suggestion towards the solution of the difficult problem of the delinquent child.
“ The Control of the Drink Trade: A Contribution to National Efficiency, 1915-1917." By Henry Carter. With a Preface by Lord D’Abernon. Pp. xvi + 323. London : Longmans, Green and Company, 39, Paternoster Row, E.C. 1. 1918. Price 7s. 6d. net.
This detailed record of the aims and accomplishments of the Central Control Board (Liquor Traitic) should be studied by every worker for child welfare and student of methods and measures making for human betterment. The book is a description of the most scientifically conducted and successful social experiment of modern times. It is written by one possessing intimate knowledge and having statesmanlike vision, and is free from all extravagance, exaggeration, and the fantastic and prejudicial rhetoric so common in the writings of most wouldbe temperance reformers. Part I gives an historical outline of conditions existing before control was initiated; Part II furnishes details of the organization and administration of the measures of State control; while in Part III, the effects of the work of the Board of Control are summarized. The concluding chapter provides a particularly able study of “The Drink Problem and the Future.” Lord D'Abernon, the Chairman of the Central Board of Control (Liquor Traffic), of which the author is a member, furnishes an illuminating preface, in which it is shown that the principal measures taken
may be grouped under four heads : (1) Curtailment, on physiological lines, of the hours of sale of alcohol. (2) Provision of facilities for non-alcoholic refreshment, notably by the establishment of canteens for munition and transport workers. (3) Prohibition of the sale of spirituous liquors of excessive strength. (1) Prohibition of incentives to excessive consumption, such as treating, credit and canvassing for liquor orders. The volume is a remarkable history of restrictive measures and constructive enterprises which have gone far to initiate new social habits and establish national forces which may successfully oppose influences inimical to efficiency. The work is one which affords convincing evidence of the necessity for securing State purchase of the drink trattic, together with democratic control. The benefits gained by restrictive measures during the War must not be allowed to lapse under afterwar conditions. Lord D'Abernon, in the closing paragraph of his preface, forcibly presents this necessity : “No scheme for the future regulation of the liquor traffic will be satisfactory to public opinion at large which does not maintain the present level of temperance and ensure that the nation does not relapse to the level of alcoholic excess which prevailed before the War. It is my conviction that it should be possible to fulfil these conditions without injury to any legitimate interest and without unduly curtailing reasonable enjoyment. Whatever the system adopted is, there must be no return to pre-war conditions in so far as they were injurious to national efficiency, and have been proved to be remediable." In our schemes for social reconstruction the drink problem must be dealt with. The Board of Control were appointed as a war-emergency body, and their primary duty is concerned with the maintenance of national efficiency. When their responsibilities are discharged the nation will have to make a choice : (1) Shall there be a restoration of pre-war facilities for the sale and consumption of drink with the probability of a return to insobriety on the pre-war scale? or (2) Can the ground won for national sobriety during the War be held and extended by adequate legislative measures adapted to meet the needs and condition of the
people in the time of peace. Mr. Carter, in his anticipation of the future, outlines the following objectives as among the most important means for the suppression of intemperance : (1) Limitation of the hours of sale. (2) Additional restraints on the sale of spirituous liquors. (2) Inhibition of such incentives to alcoholic indulgence as treating, the “long pull," and the retail sale of liquor on credit. (4) Reduction of the existing excessive number of licensed premises. (5) Recognition in law, by a substantial increase of penalties, that drunkenness or the supply of drink to a drunken person is “a serious crime against the community.” (6) Provision for the remedial--as opposed to the punitive--treatment of inebriety. Mr. Carter also very clearly shows that in addition to the generally accepted dictum that while the traffic in liquor continues it must be subject to firm and detailed control imposed by law, two other considerations are of primary importance, namely : (1) The drink question should not be regarded as isolable from the whole problem of social well-being of which it is an integral part; whatever enhances the wholesomeness of life makes for temperance. (2) It is essential that a way should be found for the State, unimpeded by private interests, to determine, in accord with the will of the people, the drink-policy of the future. This statesmanlike study is the most notable contribution to constructive temperance reform that has ever been issued in this country. The work deals mainly with the period from the autumn of 1914 to the spring of 1917, but it is to be hoped that in subsequent editions it may be found possible to bring all records up to date. The volume contains much valuable data regarding maternity and child welfare in relation to the problem, but for these we must refer our readers to the work itself. Mr. Carter and his colleagues on the Board of Control are accomplishing service of paramount importance to the national weal, and every patriot and worker for righteousness should make a point of studying this remarkable record in its entirety.
Buckley. With an introduction by the Hon. Waldorf Astor, M.P. Pp. xiv + 68, with 13 figures and charts. London: The Offices of Country Life, Ltd., 20, Tavistock Street, Covent Garden, W.C. 1917.
Mr. Wilfred Buckley, now our National Director of Milk Supplies, in this handsome volume records in detail the results of his experience as a scientific farmer and producer of milk. The work furnishes a most practical account of the author's experiments at his agricultural centre and dairy farm at Moundsmere Manor, Basingstoke. The book has been prepared and published with true patriotic spirit, and any profits accruing from its sale are to be devoted to the work of the National Clean Milk Society. We could wish that this informing monograph might be read by all dairy farmers in this country. It is an able exposition of how the milk problem may be rationally dealt with at its source. The first part of the book deals with farm records. Mr. Buckley's system of business-like methods and proper account keeping is thoroughly practical and has been tested by time. The second part of the book is devoted to a consideration of methods for the production of clean milk. Major Waldorf Astor in his introduction writes : “ Milk is an essential food for children. They require lots of it and of good quality. Two factors help to maintain the original freshness and quality of milk-its cleanliness, and the temperature at which it is kept. Clean milk, properly cooled after milking and kept cool, is, even in warm weather, a safe, nourishing, and reliable food. If we had cleaner milk we should have less infantile disease and mortality, particularly in summer.” Mr. Buckley's records and illustrations very convincingly indicate how a reliable production of clean milk may be assured. The fine
ictures of the buildings and equipment at Moundsmere form notable features of the volume. In his conclusions Mr. Buckley states as follows in regard to dairy work : “ It is difficult to understand how anyone who keeps a dairy can be satisfied to have animals that may possibly be the means of spreading tuberculosis amongst mankind and of infecting the other cows in the herd with this disease of the tuberculin test a lo
“Farm Records and the Produc Clean Milk at Moundsmere." BY
from tuberculosis can be built up and maintained, but those mak ng 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.
“ I Guide to the Art of Stencilling : English and Japanese,” by D. Gordon, published by J. Tillyer 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.