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An educational sociology is concerned with the work of socializing the school. This means that the school should be reconstructed so that the pupil will find expression and development in co-operative activities of social value. It means, too, the defining of specific objectives to be attained by the school studies. Keeping in mind the fundamental social aims to be reached by educational methods, the problem is, what are the immediate ends to be sought through geography, history, civics, language, and all other subjects and activities of the school. A few good contributions have already been made along this line, but most of the work is still to be done. It is distinctly the problem of an educational sociology.

Some men prominent in the educational field urge that the immediate objectives are all that require definition. These men have justly revolted against the vague and general educational aims set up in the past. They demand now that the objectives of education be stated wholly in concrete and specific terms. But without the larger sociological view and a grasp of underlying social purposes, the immediate step taken may prove a false one; and again, without them it is more difficult to keep able men in the work. Is it not probable that some of that large number who left the teaching profession the past four years would have remained at their tasks had they grasped the real meaning of education as a force in human advance? "Let education become dynamic, let it thrill with a vision of becoming the chariot horses and the chariot in which society shall urge itself forward to a better day, and men and women of the first rank will arise and consecrate themselves to make the vision full reality."


Outline Study of

"The Cotter's Saturday Night"

(ROBERT BURNS, (1759-1796)

I. PREPARATORY WORK: Burns and his Era; Characterization of "The Cotter's Saturday Night."

II. FIRST READING: Plan and Interpretation of the Poem.

III. SECOND READING: The Vocabulary of the Poem: the Meter: Literary Comment.

IV. SUPPLEMENTARY WORK: Test Questions; Theme Subjects.

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b. Representative Poets: Goldsmith, Gray, Burns, Cow


c. Representative Prose Writers: Samuel Johnson, Edmund Burke.

2. Robert Burns.

a. Nationality and parentage.

b. Often called "the Ayrshire Plowman."

c. General summary of Burns's career.

d. Burns as a poet.

(1) Classification and names of most noted poems.

e. Burns the man.

f. Burns's place in literature.

g. His literary aspirations.

That I for poor auld Scotland's sake

Some useful plan or book could make,
Or sing a sang at least.


Note 1. The Cotter's Saturday Night is a narrative pastoral poem, a religious idyl, a description of a Saturday evening in a humble Scottish home, revealing the joys and the consolations of the poor man's lot. It is said that this poem is a picture of the poet's father and of the home influences under which Burns was reared. The poem consists of a series of vivid pictures interspersed with stanzas of reflective comment, and contains a dedicatory prologue and a reflective epilogue.

"Had he written no other poem, this heartfelt render. ing of a good week's close in a God-fearing home, sincerely devout and yet relieved from all suspicion of sermonizing by its humorous touches, would have secured a permanent place in literature."

The poem, published in 1785, is written partly in the Scottish dialect and partly in English. "Whenever the poet soars from the particular to the universal in sentiment, in humor, and in reflection, he glides from Scottish into English."




1. Title Verse.

2. Dedication verse addressed to Robert Aiken, Esq., of Ayr. Suggestion 1. Quote the lines which state the subject of How does Burns connect the theme of his poem with the person to whom it is dedicated?

the poem.

3. The Narrative.

a. Stanza 1. The close of a chill November day.

(1) The oxen; the crows.

(2) The weary cotter o'er the moor his course does homeward bend.

Note 2. A cotter (or cottar) is a farm laborer who rents a hut and a small piece of land from his employer. The hut or cot is of one story, with stone walls, an earth floor, and a thatch roof. It contains one or two


Note 3. Line 1, stanza 2-The November wind blows with a loud whistling sound. In reading this stanza the word sugh may be pronounced 800, although Burns would have given a gutteral sound to the gh, impossible to imitate. Pleugh and sugh rhyme. Lines 3 and 4.The mud-bespattered (miry) oxen are unyoked; the crows fly homeward. Moil, drudgery; mattock, an implement for digging.

Suggestion 2. Study all the descriptive adjectives and explain their value in each picture. What is the signficance of line 8? Read the passage in Gray's Elegy in a Country Churchyard which suggested line 9.

b. Stanzas 3-5.

(1) The Cot; the children at the door.

(2) The cotter sitting by his clean hearth-stane, the lisping infant prattling on his knee.

(3) The family gathering; Jenny; the mother at her sewing.

Note 4. Line 3, stanza 3. The tiny children, with tremulous (flichterin') cries of joy, run with uncertain steps (stacher) to meet their father. Line 5. His tiny fire (ingle) blazing merrily. Stanza 4. Soon the elder children come in. All are out at service among the neighboring farmers. Some guide the plough; some tend the cows; some run carefully (tentie) on errands. Jennie in her fine (braw) new gown gives to her parents her wages (penny-fee) earned by hard work (sair-won). Line 8, stanza 5. Makes (gars) old clothes look almost as well as new ones. Spiers, inquires; uncos, news; belyve, by and by.

Suggestion 3. Observe the transition from the English of stanza 1 to the Scotch of stanza 2. See Note 1. Put into your own words the first four lines of stanza 5. What must be the pronunciation of deposites in this stanza? Make a list of the Scotch words in these paragraphs. With which of them are you familiar?

c. The father mixes a' wi' admonition due. Stanza 6.

(1) The cotter's admonitions.

Note 5. Younkers, children; jauk, dally or loiter; gang, go. Line 3. And work diligently (eydent hand). Line 6. And say your prayers properly morning and night.

Suggestion 4. Notice the change in narrative form from indirect to direct. What effect is produced? Quote the two lines in which the words are all English words. Justify this change in diction.

d. Stanzas 7-10.

(1) Jenny, blushing, tells her mother how a neebor lad cam o'er the moor, to do some errands and convoy her hame.

(2) The strappan youth, who, blate and laithfu' scarce can weel behave.

(3) The complacent parents.

Note 6. Line 2, stanza 7. Who knows who is knocking at the door. Line 8. Jenny is half afraid to say the name of the lad (hafflins). Lines 1 and 2, stanza 8. Jenny brings the stalwart (strappan) youth into the room

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