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"The most important work we have upon the subject of moral education." -F. A. Manny, in Elementary School Teacher, 1909
The only way to prepare for social life is to engage in social life. To form habits of social usefulness and serviceability apart from any direct social need and motive, apart from any existing social situation, is, to the letter, teaching the child to swim by going through motions outside of the water. The most indispensable condition is left out of account, and the results are correspondingly partial.
The much lamented separation in the schools of intellectual and moral training, of acquiring information and growing in character, is simply one expression of the failure to conceive and construct the school as a social institution, having social life and value within itself. Except so far as the school is an embryonic typical community life, moral training must be partly pathological and partly formal. Training is pathological when stress is laid upon correcting wrong-doing instead of upon forming habits of positive service. Too often the teacher’s concern with the moral life of pupils takes the form of alertness for failures to conform to school rules and routine. These regulations, judged from the standpoint of the development of the child at the time, are more or less conventional and arbitrary. They are rules which have to be made in order that the existing modes of school work may go on; but the lack of inherent necessity in these school modes reflects itself in a feeling, on the part of the child, that the moral discipline of the school is arbitrary. Any conditions that compel the teacher to take note of failures rather than of healthy growth give false standards and result in distortion and perversion. Attending to wrong-doing ought to be an incident rather than a principle. The child ought to have a positive consciousness of what he is about, so as to judge his acts from the standpoint of reference to the work which he has to do. Only in this way does he have a vital standard, one that enables him to turn failures to account for the future.
The Moral Purpose of the School
The Moral Training Given by the School Community
The Moral Training from Methods of Instruction
The Social Nature of the Course of Study
The Psychological Aspect of Moral Education
bound: 40 pages
publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (February 27, 2017)
isbn: 1544173148, 978-1544173146,
weight: 3.8 ounces (