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How many teachers know how to judge a text-book? What percentage of them have clearly formulated in their minds that elusive blending of purpose, information, method, instructional auxiliaries, and mechanical details which is essential in an ideal text-book? Hall-Quest's The Text-book will not, perhaps, do away with that itinerant educational prophet-pleader, the "bookman," but it will at least fortify the unwary against his wiles! $1.40

Concrete Perplexities Appreciated—and Solved

Davis' The Work of the Teacher is designed to help the teacher to cope successfully with the varied and multitudinous concrete problems which confront her in the discharge of her ordinary duties. In this day of highly specialized contributions in the field of Education, it is refreshing to find a general and intimately helpful handbook of a more composite character. Teachers will constantly recognize as their own the instructional and administrative problems in the "Exercises."


How Do You Spend Your Leisure Hours?

Teachers who may have felt that the public in general and their own superintendents in particular were regarding them too much as mere animated machines for work, will take a keen interest in a new book by Curtis, Recreation for Teachers. Mr. Curtis recognizes the need for more intense endeavor and more successful accomplishment in these times of stress; but he realizes that teachers, like their pupils, are subject to the physical and mental limitations of fatigue, and sees that the best use of their leisure time is the surest road to a greater usefulness. Illustrated. $1.60

Democratic Educational Ideals

It was under the stimulus of war conditions that Mr. Gerwig, a year ago, produced "Schools with a Perfect Score." His book, as an expression of high democratic ideals, as an appreciation of the vital factor that the schools must be in the betterment of our national life, is in perfect accord with the most advanced ideas of today.


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Devoted to the Science, Art, Philosophy and Literature


of Education


H. G. Wells on Education

No. 6



¤ HENEVER a great mind turns its powers upon any problem of human interest a phase of the problem is revealed that compels attention. The versatile and prolific Mr. Wells, after having expressed himself abundantly on politics, religion, war, science, world reconstruction, and so forth, has now crowned his system of thought with a work on education.

It is evident from the very first chapter of the book* that Mr. Wells was aroused to the contemplation of matters educational as a direct result of his political and national views, and particularly his championship of a league of free nations. In fact, Joan and Peter is the culmination of Mr. Wells' system of political philosophy, the outline of a method by which his ideas on social structures and relationships may be realized. Mr. Wells then foresees a new era in educational history as he does a new era in political thought and outlook. We have had a period of liberal education in the Greeks, the practical education of the Romans, the discipline of the Middle Ages, the humanistic education of the Renaissance, the realistic education of the Great Reformers, the naturalistic education of the nineteenth century, the psychological and the modern scientific periods, and now Mr. Wells is calling for a political era that shall have for its slogan, "Education for Intelligent World Citizenship."

*The Education of Joan and Peter, by H. G. Wells, Macmillan.

The plot of this very significant novel is briefly as follows: A colonial administrator, Oswald, comes back from his work in Africa full of zeal for the mission of the British Empire as an agent of civilization and eager for the training of men competent to meet such responsibilities. He finds himself the guardian of two orphans, Joan and Peter, and he sets out to find schools and colleges for them in accordance with his ideas of what education should be in the modern world. Of course he can find none in England. In his search for a school for his wards, Mr. Wells, through Oswald, gives a vivid picture of educational conditions as these have existed in England for the past quarter of a century, and also his own ideas as to what education ought to be.


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Mr. Wells starts out his educational propaganda by giving it a sound political basis. "For some time he (Oswald) had been distressed by the general ignorance in England of the realities of things African, and by the general coarsening and deterioration, as he held it to be, of the imperial idea. His Imperialism was essentially a romantic and generous imagination, a dream of service, of himself serving the Empire and of the Empire serving mankind. He was an Imperialist, but he was beginning to doubt whether the Empire, to the service of which he had dedicated his life, was indeed as good a thing and as great a thing as it assumed to be."

Oswald, therefore, decided to begin at once to make Peter an Imperial citizen, according to the ideas that prevailed before the advent of the New Imperialism-the Imperialism that had for its end the financial exploitation of its colonial possessions rather than the uplift of its subject peoples. "That sort of thing is what we English are for, you know, Peter. We have to go about the world and make roads and keep peace and see fair play. We've got to kill big beasts and climb hard mountains. That's the job of the Englishman. He's a sort of policeman. A sort of working guardian. Not a noisy slave-driver trying to get rich. He chases off slave-drivers. All the world's his beat." And so Peter is to go to school to learn all he can, "science and all sorts of things," so that he can be a useful man wherever he may have

to go.

2. PRESENT EDUCATIONAL CONDITIONS IN ENGLAND. Mr. Wells' picture of existing educational conditions in England is one of chaos and aimlessness. It is as indefinite as the drawing-room of the first school he visits. "People expect me to have a drawing-room. Please let me have that sort of drawingroom that people expect." But people do not know exactly what to expect of education any more than of a drawing-room, outside of a very hazy and general notion. This is in effect what Mr. Mackinder, the first schoolmaster whom Oswald catechises, offers as an "apology" for his school:

"Now for the curriculum," said Oswald. "Do you do classics?" "We do Latin; clever boys do a little Greek. In preparation for the public schools."

"Grammar, of course?

What else?

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Latin, Greek, bits of mathematics, botany, geography, bits of history, bookkeeping, music lessons, some water-color painting; it's very mixed," said Oswald.

"It's miscellaneous."

Mr. Mackinder roused himself to a word of defense: "The boys don't specialize.'

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"But this is a diet of scraps," said Oswald.

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"We are necessarily elementary."

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"It's rather like the White Knight in Alice in Wonderland, packing his luggage for nowhere."

"We have to teach what is required of us," said Mr. Mackinder. "But half this school teaching of yours is like teaching in a dream. You don't teach the boy what he wants to know and L needs to know."

Having determined that education in the preparatory schools is discursive, wasteful, ineffective, crushing individuality and imagination, Mr. Wells seeks the reasons for this condition. He finds a number of causes:

"First, the preparatory school is ruled in its curriculum and method by the schools and colleges that the boy had to go on to, and the preposterous examinations they would have to pass. The

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