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The plan of this book was formed during the year 1855. T) fill out the plan much reading as well as much thinking has been done; but to tell to-day what was obtained by the first process and what by the second is an impossibility. Wishing to do justice to everybody, no claim that may be fairly made to any idea in it will be disputed; and it is hoped that some thing may be left even when all claims are satisfied. Nothing, however, has been taken from others and used without digestion. All the facts and principles found in the book, come whence they may, have been fused into a common whole. This whole
This whole -- this collecting and uniting of the scattered fragments of thought concerning education -- this system, is what the author asks credit for, if credit be deemed his due.
The question is a disputed one as to whether Teaching is a science or an art. The settlement of this question depends wholly upon the definitions of sci. ence and art. Teaching seeks an end without itself, and this is a characteristic of art. It comprehends many scientific principles which admit systematic arrangement, and this is a characteristic of science. It applies those principles in the form of rules or precepts in the accomplishment of its ends, and this again exhibits its relationship to the arts. All the principles of Teaching come to it second-hand. They are first found in the material or mental sciences, and are used in Teaching to furnish a ground for its methods of prosedure. But as a body of truths they are among the
broadest and noblest that the human mind can contem
plate, and consequently place Teaching side by side, as the poor of the proudest professions known to mer. Teaching has the same claims to be considered a science as Jurisprudence, Medicine, or practical Ethics; for all these are constructed in a manner precisely like Teaching. All of them borrow their principles, and all of them use these principles in the effort to attain their respective ends. Perhaps, as Mill following Comte suggests, "There ought to be a set of intermediate scientific truths, derived from the higher generalities of science, and destined to serve as the generalia, or first principles, of the various arts.” Some such generalia relating to Teaching are given in this book under the head of Conditioning Principles. These and other principles like them constitute the claim Teaching has to be called a Science. If the claim is not well founded with respect to Teaching, it cannot be well founded with respect to any other profession. I am quite willing to consider Teaching an art, but it is an art based upon scientific principles that should always guide its practice. Let teachers forever discard the degrading idea that the highest and holiest work in which men can engage on earth, the right education of the human soul, is a mere mechanical employment that can be learned by imitation-is a thing so easy that no special preparation is required to do it. Let them hold to the truth, though their pearls be trampled on by vulgar feet, that Teaching lays under contribution all scienco and all art in working out the grandest end that human conception ever realized the perfection of
With grateful thanks for the kind reception accorded to his first volume, the author now hopefully trusts his second to the same generous hands.
STATE NORNAL SCNOOL, January, 1866.
First Class of Reasons.