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NE needs only to compare the school jour-
It has been the object of this magazine to
The appreciation with which that issue was re-
The study of children has not increased the
to enlighten the community on the results of
appreciation, and the shell of many a dead one has remained for years to retard the healthy growth of innocent children because of the want of intelligence in the community. No individual can live long and do his best for humanity without encouragement, but there can be no true appreciation without understanding. Information, then, is the one thing most needed by the people, and child study seems to furnish the means of bringing it about. To advance this movement it is usually necessary that the fruits of the study should be known.
The subject which has been most neglected, and which recent investigations show to be of first importance, is "The Physical Child." A knowledge of the laws of health, growth, and decay is of too vital value to the present and future generations to be lightly esteemed. We have passed the age in which it was thought necessary to weaken the body in order to attain to the highest degree of spirituality. But we have not yet reached that stage in which the necessity of physical health and strength to mental and spiritual worth is fully realized and appreciated. Too frequently the health of children is sacrificed for temporary gain in work or studies, or what is more often the case, the subject is entirely ignored as being outside of the province of school duties. The disastrous effect of this treatment is becoming more and more apparent and both parents and teachers are beginning to realize that their first duty is to see that their children are strong and healthy.
There has been considerable change of thought upon this subject during the last few years and much valuable literature has ap peared; but it has usually been of such technical nature or so difficult of access that it has not been generally read. I feel sure, therefore, that this number of the MONTHLY will be received with delight by the many busy people who will be pleased to have, in this concentrate form, the latest views on the health and growth of children.
thought of its direct bearing upon the practices of the home and the school and by persons who were selected especially on account of their particular fitness for the work. We thus have in this condensed form the very cream of the subject. Reading Circles and Mothers' Clubs will find here sufficient good for many long and profitable discussions as well as many suggestions of immediate practical value.
It would be difficult to find as much valuable information anywhere else in an equal amount of space.
The articles represent far more than might be attributed to them on first reading. They represent the conclusions reached after many years of study and research by men and women whose success in their particular lines cannot be questioned.
All the contributions to this number merit the most careful and thoughtful consideration, and yet some of the conclusions may well be questioned. Besides the best thought of today may be modified to-morrow. In all this work we are but students looking squarely into the face of the material about us and using every opportunity for understanding it better.
This number of the MONTHLY is the beginning of the better things which are to follow during the year, and may be accepted as a sample of the new departure in educational journalism.
Much credit is due for the contents of this edition to the action of the Nebraska Reading Circle Board and Executive Board of the Federation of Nebraska Women's Clubs in recommending the MONTHLY as the source of material for their work in child study and history.
Child study has done much to increase the sympathy between the school and the home, and it is thought that a study of this subject, "The Physical Child," will aid in strengthening that feeling and be of benefit to the children. I wish, in conclusion, to express my appreciation to the many contributors who have so kindly given of their thought and time in order
Every article has been written with the to make this number what it is.
Play in Education
O many of the ancients, games were one of the most important, and even serious, occupations of life. The Egyptians' idea of heaven was a place for music, dancing, and games. According to Falkener, games were actually of religious origin and were played for the purpose of divination. Plato expressed the thought that man is God's plaything, and hence men and women should pass life in the noblest of pastimes. It is not surprising, therefore, to find that use was made of play in the education of children.
In the women's chamber, for both boys and girls, were the rattle, ball, hoop (trundled by a crook-necked iron), swing, and top. The boys also had stilts and toy carts, and the girls dolls. Children sometimes made their own toys. Aristophanes (says Sonnenschein) speaks of a child who carved ships for himself, made carts of leather, and frogs of pomegranate peel. Plato discountenanced too many toys for the nursery, as discouraging originality, advocated mimic tools for carpentering, and encouraged free play, those "natural modes of amusing which children find out for themselves when they meet."
Outdoor games of Greek children.
The outdoor games of the little Greeks seem very familiar. They played "odd or even," "slap in the dark" (to guess who gave box on the ear), "hunt the slipper," "catch ball," "hide and seek," "heads or tails," оo-pakivda (played with oyster shells), xrpivda (child in the middle, others pinch or slap until one is caught),
"tortoise," a similar game, "brazen fly," like blind man's buff (the eyes of the child in the middle are bandaged; the child says: "I will hunt a 'brazen fly;'" the rest answer: "You will hunt but you will not catch," and strike the catcher with thongs of leather, until someone is caught), "kiss in the ring," "tug," "ride a cock-horse."
Games of the palæstra.
At seven years of age the Greek boy was sent to the palæstra. As he started at break of day for school accompanied by his pedagogue he anticipated a morning of spirited contests. He raced, leaped, and wrestled with the boys of his class, then danced and sang, until the high sun called them all to rest and to lunch. The exercises consisted of (1) running, (2) leaping, (3) discus-throwing, (4) javelin-casting, (5) wrestling; the first two mainly for the legs, the second two for the arms and the eye, the last for the whole body and temper.
From sixteen to eighteen years of age the Greek youth was admitted to the gymnasia, and engaged in the pentathlon, namely, running, leaping, discus-throwing, wrestling, and boxing.
The results of this part of the Greek education are familiar to all. The physical perfection of the Greeks, their wonderful temper, stand out as facts at which we have not yet ceased to feel astonishment. As to the æsthetic value of the public games I wish to quote Prof. Hoppin of Yale. He says that the public games really gave a raison d'etre to sculpture and that, with the abandonment of the games, Greek sculpture declined. The middle ages.
From the Greeks down to Froebel's time no definite system of education by play was followed. Many writers and teachers recog nized its value in education and not a few made practical use of it. Rabelais is as zealous in directing the play of Gargantua as in choosing his studies. Tennis and ball, riding, wrestling, swimming, every species of physical recreation-"there is nothing which Gargan
THE NORTH WESTERN MONTHLY
tua does not do to give agility to his limbs and to strengthen his muscles." Rabelais, in marked contrast to the laborious methods of his time, proposed to teach by play and have his pupil "learn even mathematics through recreation and amusement."
Erasmus, Comenius, and The Jesuits.
Erasmus suggested that the teacher should palliate the tedium of drill in reading and writing by an attractive method. "The ancients modeled toothsome dainties into the forms of the letters, and thus, as it were, made children swallow the alphabet."
Comenius again brought the play interest of the child to notice by his use of objects, pictures, and enigmas.
The Jesuits made a conspicuous endeavor to utilize the game spirit in education by means of their æmulus, a device which they carried to an extreme. Each boy in school was pitted against some other boy in a kind of intellectual wrestling match; not a boy who was not watching to trip his rival. Frequently sides were chosen representing hostile camps, called "Rome" and "Carthage," which engaged in pitch battles on some field of Latin grammar or Greek composition.
Fenelon was an extremist in the matter of making studies agreeable to children. In study and moral discipline "pleasure must do all." "Conceal their studies under the appearance of liberty and pleasure." "Mingle instruction with play." "I have seen certain children who have learned to read while playing."
Locke and Basedow.
Locke laid great stress upon the art of "making all that children have to do sport and play." He mentions a game devised by an acquaintance "of great quality," who pasted the vowels and consonants upon dice, making a play for his children, he winning who threw most words at one cast of the dice, "whereby his eldest son, yet in coats, has played himself into spelling with great eagerness." Locke especially commended wrestling as an exercise for physical training.
A higher and better conception of the nature and use of play in education than that of the Jesuits was Basedow's. Quick gives an illustration in his quotation from "Fred's Journey to Dessau." "They (the little ones) play at
like soldiers, and Herr Wolke is officer. gives the word in Latin, and they must do whatever he says. For instance, when he says 'Claudite oculos,' they all shut their eyes; when he says 'Circumspicite,' they look about them; 'Imitamini sutorem,' they draw the wax thread like the cobblers. Herr Wolke gives a thousand different commands in the drollest fashion. ion. Another game is "the hiding game." Someone writes a name and hides it from the children-the name of some part of the body, or of a plant, or animal, or metal-and the children guess what it is. Whoever guesses right gets an apple or a piece of cake. One of the visitors wrote intestina, and told the children it was a part of the body. Then the guessing began. One guessed caput, another nasus, another os, another manus, another digiti, and so forth for a long time; but one of them hit it at last." Then they guess the name of a beast, a quadruped, then the name of a town. "They had another game, which was this: Herr Wolke gave the command in Latin and they imitated the noises of the different animals, and made us laugh till we were tired. They roared like lions, mewed like cats, just as they were bid." "Herr Wolke asked the children what he should draw. Someone answered 'leonem.' He then pretended he was drawing a lion, but put a beak to it; whereupon the children shouted 'Non est leo-leones non habent rostrum! In the next exercise dice were produced and the children threw to see who should give an account of an engraving. The engraving represented workmen at their different trades, and the child had to explain the process, the tools, etc."
Pestalozzi, Spencer, and Froebel.
Pestalozzi esteemed lightly these "play" lessons, but made it a most important point to gain interest. Spencer philosophizes better than Pestalozzi on this line. Instruction, he says, must excite interest and therefore be pleasurable. Nature has made the healthful exercise of our faculties, both of mind and of body, pleasurable. "Experience is daily showing with greater clearness that there is always a method productive of interest-even of delight-and it turns out that this method proved by all other tests to be the right one." Play, free and spontaneous exercises, are better than gymnastics.
Pestalozzi did not perhaps recognize fully