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facts and truths without much regard to perspective or relative value of the facts presented, not centring sufficiently upon the more important ideas.
The formal steps call for the exhaustive inductive treatment of a few important truths in any study. This inductive process of the five steps is far too elaborate a piece of method machinery with which to attack the multitude of truths, little and big, with which our text-books are crowded. If our wheatfields were fenced off into a multitude of quarter-acre lots, it would hardly pay to apply the elaborate machinery of a reaper and self-binder to each one. The fields should be large enough to make the use of that kind of machinery most efficient; and so in the studies.
Having observed these points of contrast the practical question is this: Can text-book methods of instruction be improved by modifying them in conformity to the principles of the formal steps? The answer is that they can be so improved. In reviewing the situation as stated above, we find that the primary difficulty, for which no single teacher is responsible, is the fact that the subject-matter is not arranged into suitable lesson unities. The number of topics is too great to admit of proper treatment. But for the thoughtful teacher there is a remedy for these faults which still admits of a liberal use of the text-books. The teacher needs to survey the text-book material judiciously, cull out the more important truths that
deserve full treatment, and bring the secondary and minor facts into relation to these central points. If necessary, omit some of the less important topics and thus gain time to collect, from other sources, the concrete examples needed for developing the leading general truths. One of the most important conclusions from our entire discussion is that any topic to be worked over by the formal steps must be important and typical enough to receive a full treatment leading up to the unfolding and application of a general truth.
In any case a clear grasp of the simple principles of the formal steps cannot fail to show the teacher how to put new life into text-book material. Any teacher who constantly draws from the children's home experience, from his own reading and larger observation, who sets up clear aims in the class room, and encourages children to the thoughtful working out of their own problems, is working both inductively and deductively.
It is evident from the entire discussion that any sudden revolution of our methods of teaching by introducing systematically the principles of the inductive-deductive process is not looked for. It is a labor of educating teachers out of traditional into rational methods. Wherever teachers in training classes, in normal schools and in teachers' colleges, in institutes, and in any meetings for careful discussion, are searching for the simple elements of method, the inductive process of developing general truths and applying them will give them a clear insight into the fundamental law of good instruction.
From the pupil's standpoint this sets up everywhere the problem of self-realization. What he needs is a chance to think and apply the truths which make up the usual text-book, an opportunity to develop and organize them into a body of related knowledge. This is, in fact, exactly what is accomplished in classes where a skilful teacher works inductively. The summaries and conclusions arrived at in class instruction, all systematically entered in the student's note-book, become a skeleton outline of the subject similar to that of a text-book.
Text-books are always in place when used to review and summarize ideas that have been well developed in instruction.
The text-book is also indispensable as an outline of the subject taught. The children need such an outline, not only for the purpose of guiding them into definite and systematic courses, but also to help out the irregularities of school work. Pupils who are absent often need such a text-book to find out the work accomplished and as a means of recovering the ground lost.
In trying to lay down uniform principles of method the question naturally arises whether there can be one method flexible enough to apply to all studies and to children of different ages. Teachers are prone to think that such a single method must
Are these laws flexible enough?
produce a dull uniformity in the treatment of all studies. On the contrary, we claim that the laws of teaching embodied in the formal steps lead naturally to a great variety in the recitation work in different studies. Perhaps the chief reason for this is found in the diversity of general truths or laws worked out in arithmetic, history, geography, etc., and in the wide variety of concrete materials out of which these truths are developed. An examination of the processes of treating these contrasted topics in different studies will show how great is the variety in method coupled with uniformity in fundamental principles.
In geography for example, in such topics as Minneapolis as a trade centre, irrigation in the West, a coal mine, the Rhine River, cotton raising in the South, etc., the chief burden of work is met in the first and second steps, where each topic is fully discussed and reproduced by the children. On the other hand, the general truth which is developed in the third and fourth steps can be derived quickly, requiring only a small portion, relatively, of the recitation time. The fifth step may be briefly handled or 'brought in by comparison in discussing later · topics.
This emphasis of the second step in geography calls for a definite kind of knowledge and skill. The teacher must know the full concrete details of his subject and be able to present them in a graphic
way. In primary, intermediate, and even in grammar grades this abundance of interesting material is peculiarly appropriate to the mental condition of the children and brings into full action the senses and the imagination.
What has just been said of geography is largely true of history. In the history lessons of intermediate and grammar grades there is great need for fulness of biographical particulars and much dramatic and picturesque narrative. In contrast with this requirement our text-books are filled up with general statements, important enough in themselves, but not understood for lack of background and detail coloring. In history, therefore, as in geography, the formal steps point out the exact spot where the greatest improvement is now called for; namely, in the largely increasing amount of personal, individual, narrative material, which should be introduced to give keener relish and clearer understanding of historical or geographical truths. For younger children in their first approaches to history, simple and interesting biographies are strikingly suited. The reasonableness of this demand for historical biographies is so generally felt that many of the recent books introductory to history have made this idea the basis of their treatment.
In history the time given to comparisons and to the formal statement of general truths is relatively brief, as in geography. This is illustrated in the lessons on King's Mountain, In Unity is Strength,