The Mind and Its Education
by George Herbert Betts
Previous Part     1  2  3  4  5  6
Home - Random Browse

We should also decide what interests we should cultivate for our own personal development and happiness, and for the service we are to render in a sphere outside our immediate vocation. We should consider avocations as well as vocations. Whatever interests are selected should be carried to efficiency. Better a reasonable number of carefully selected interests well developed and resulting in efficiency than a multitude of interests which lead us into so many fields that we can at best get but a smattering of each, and that by neglecting the things which should mean the most to us. Our interests should lead us to live what Wagner calls a "simple life," but not a narrow one.


Some educators have feared that in finding our occupations interesting, we shall lose all power of effort and self-direction; that the will, not being called sufficiently into requisition, must suffer from non-use; that we shall come to do the interesting and agreeable things well enough, but fail before the disagreeable.

INTEREST NOT ANTAGONISTIC TO EFFORT.—The best development of the will does not come through our being forced to do acts in which there is absolutely no interest. Work done under compulsion never secures the full self in its performance. It is done mechanically and usually under such a spirit of rebellion on the part of the doer, that the advantage of such training may well be doubted. Nor are we safe in assuming that tasks done without interest as the motive are always performed under the direction of the will. It is far more likely that they are done under some external compulsion, and that the will has, after all, but very little to do with it. A boy may get an uninteresting lesson at school without much pressure from his will, providing he is sufficiently afraid of the master. In order that the will may receive training through compelling the performance of certain acts, it must have a reasonably free field, with external pressure removed. The compelling force must come from within, and not from without.

On the other hand, there is not the least danger that we shall ever find a place in life where all the disagreeable is removed, and all phases of our work made smooth and interesting. The necessity will always be rising to call upon effort to take up the fight and hold us to duty where interest has failed. And it is just here that there must be no failure, else we shall be mere creatures of circumstance, drifting with every eddy in the tide of our life, and never able to breast the current. Interest is not to supplant the necessity for stern and strenuous endeavor but rather to call forth the largest measure of endeavor of which the self is capable. It is to put at work a larger amount of power than can be secured in any other way; in place of supplanting the will, it is to give it its point of departure and render its service all the more effective.

INTEREST AND CHARACTER.—Finally, we are not to forget that bad interests have the same propulsive power as good ones, and will lead to acts just as surely. And these acts will just as readily be formed into habits. It is worth noticing that back of the act lies an interest; in the act lies the seed of a habit; ahead of the act lies behavior, which grows into conduct, this into character, and character into destiny. Bad interests should be shunned and discouraged. But even that is not enough. Good interests must be installed in the place of the bad ones from which we wish to escape, for it is through substitution rather than suppression that we are able to break from the bad and adhere to the good.

Our interests are an evolution. Out of the simple interests of the child grow the more complex interests of the man. Lacking the opportunity to develop the interests of childhood, the man will come somewhat short of the full interests of manhood. The great thing, then, in educating a child is to discover the fundamental interests which come to him from the race and, using these as a starting point, direct them into constantly broadening and more serviceable ones. Out of the early interest in play is to come the later interest in work; out of the early interest in collecting treasure boxes full of worthless trinkets and old scraps comes the later interest in earning and retaining ownership of property; out of the interest in chums and playmates come the larger social interests; out of interest in nature comes the interest of the naturalist. And so one by one we may examine the interests which bear the largest fruit in our adult life, and we find that they all have their roots in some early interest of childhood, which was encouraged and given a chance to grow.


The order in which our interests develop thus becomes an important question in our education. Nor is the order an arbitrary one, as might appear on first thought; for interest follows the invariable law of attaching to the activity for which the organism is at that time ready, and which it then needs in its further growth. That we are sometimes interested in harmful things does not disprove this assertion. The interest in its fundamental aspect is good, and but needs more healthful environment or more wise direction. While space forbids a full discussion of the genetic phase of interest here, yet we may profit by a brief statement of the fundamental interests of certain well-marked periods in our development.

THE INTERESTS OF EARLY CHILDHOOD.—The interests of early childhood are chiefly connected with ministering to the wants of the organism as expressed in the appetites, and in securing control of the larger muscles. Activity is the preeminent thing—racing and romping are worth doing for their own sake alone. Imitation is strong, curiosity is rising, and imagination is building a new world. Speech is a joy, language is learned with ease, and rhyme and rhythm become second nature. The interests of this stage are still very direct and immediate. A distant end does not attract. The thing must be worth doing for the sake of the doing. Since the young child's life is so full of action, and since it is out of acts that habits grow, it is doubly desirous during this period that environment, models, and teaching should all direct his interests and activities into lines that will lead to permanent values.

THE INTERESTS OF LATER CHILDHOOD.—In the period from second dentition to puberty there is a great widening in the scope of interests, as well as a noticeable change in their character. Activity is still the keynote; but the child is no longer interested merely in the doing, but is now able to look forward to the end sought. Interests which are somewhat indirect now appeal to him, and the how of things attracts his attention. He is beginning to reach outside of his own little circle, and is ready for handicraft, reading, history, and science. Spelling, writing, and arithmetic interest him partly from the activities involved, but more as a means to an end.

Interest in complex games and plays increases, but the child is not yet ready for games which require team work. He has not come to the point where he is willing to sacrifice himself for the good of all. Interest in moral questions is beginning, and right and wrong are no longer things which may or may not be done without rebuke or punishment. The great problem at this stage is to direct the interest into ways of adapting the means to ends and into willingness to work under voluntary attention for the accomplishment of the desired end.

THE INTERESTS OF ADOLESCENCE.—Finally, with the advent of puberty, comes the last stage in the development of interests before adult life. This period is not marked by the birth of new interests so much as by a deepening and broadening of those already begun. The end sought becomes an increasingly larger factor, whether in play or in work. Mere activity itself no longer satisfies. The youth can now play team games; for his social interests are taking shape, and he can subordinate himself for the good of the group. Interest in the opposite sex takes on a new phase, and social form and mode of dress receive attention. A new consciousness of self emerges, and the youth becomes introspective. Questions of the ultimate meaning of things press for solution, and what and who am I, demands an answer.

At this age we pass from a regime of obedience to one of self-control, from an ethics of authority to one of individualism. All the interests are now taking on a more definite and stable form, and are looking seriously toward life vocations. This is a time of big plans and strenuous activity. It is a crucial period in our life, fraught with pitfalls and dangers, with privileges and opportunities. At this strategic point in our life's voyage we may anchor ourselves with right interests to a safe manhood and a successful career; or we may, with wrong interests, bind ourselves to a broken life of discouragement and defeat.


1. Try making a list of your most important interests in order of their strength. Suppose you had made such a list five years ago, where would it have differed from the present list? Are you ever obliged to perform any activities in which you have little or no interest, either directly or indirectly? Can you name any activities in which you once had a strong interest but which you now perform chiefly from force of habit and without much interest?

2. Have you any interests of which you are not proud? On the other hand, do you lack certain interests which you feel that you should possess? What interests are you now trying especially to cultivate? To suppress? Have you as broad a field of interests as you can well take care of? Have you so many interests that you are slighting the development of some of the more important ones?

3. Observe several recitations for differences in the amount of interest shown. Account for these differences. Have you ever observed an enthusiastic teacher with an uninterested class? A dull, listless teacher with an interested class?

4. A father offers his son a dollar for every grade on his term report which is above ninety; what type of interest relative to studies does this appeal to? What do you think of the advisability of giving prizes in connection with school work?

5. Most children in the elementary school are not interested in technical grammar; why not? Histories made up chiefly of dates and lists of kings or presidents are not interesting; what is the remedy? Would you call any teaching of literature, history, geography, or science successful which fails to develop an interest in the subject?

6. After careful observation, make a statement of the differences in the typical play interests of boys and girls; of children of the third grade and the eighth grade.



The fundamental fact in all ranges of life from the lowest to the highest is activity, doing. Every individual, either animal or man, is constantly meeting situations which demand response. In the lower forms of life, this response is very simple, while in the higher forms, and especially in man, it is very complex. The bird sees a nook favorable for a nest, and at once appropriates it; a man sees a house that strikes his fancy, and works and plans and saves for months to secure money with which to buy it. It is evident that the larger the possible number of responses, and the greater their diversity and complexity, the more difficult it will be to select and compel the right response to any given situation. Man therefore needs some special power of control over his acts—he requires a will.


There has been much discussion and not a little controversy as to the true nature of the will. Just what is the will, and what is the content of our mental stream when we are in the act of willing? Is there at such times a new and distinctly different content which we do not find in our processes of knowledge or emotion—such as perception, memory, judgment, interest, desire? Or do we find, when we are engaged in an act of the will, that the mental stream contains only the familiar old elements of attention, perception, judgment, desire, purpose, etc., all organized or set for the purpose of accomplishing or preventing some act?

THE CONTENT OF THE WILL.—We shall not attempt here to settle the controversy suggested by the foregoing questions, nor, for immediately practical purposes, do we need to settle it. It is perhaps safe to say, however, that whenever we are willing the mental content consists of elements of cognition and feeling plus a distinct sense of effort, with which everyone is familiar. Whether this sense of effort is a new and different element, or only a complex of old and familiar mental processes, we need not now decide.

THE FUNCTION OF THE WILL.—Concerning the function of the will there can be no haziness or doubt. Volition concerns itself wholly with acts, responses. The will always has to do with causing or inhibiting some action, either physical or mental. We need to go to the dentist, tell some friend we were in the wrong, hold our mind to a difficult or uninteresting task, or do some other disagreeable thing from which we shirk. It is at such points that we must call upon the will.

Again, we must restrain our tongue from speaking the unkind word, keep from crying out when the dentist drills the tooth, check some unworthy line of thought. We must here also appeal to the will. We may conclude then that the will is needed whenever the physical or mental activity must be controlled with effort. Some writers have called the work of the will in compelling action its positive function, and in inhibiting action its negative function.

HOW THE WILL EXERTS ITS COMPULSION.—How does the will bring its compulsion to bear? It is not a kind of mental policeman who can take us by the collar, so to speak, and say do this, or do not do that. The secret of the will's power of control lies in attention. It is the line of action that we hold the mind upon with an attitude of intending to perform it that we finally follow. It is the thing we keep thinking about that we finally do.

On the other hand, let us resolutely hold the mind away from some attractive but unsuitable line of action, directing our thoughts to an opposite course, or to some wholly different subject, and we have effectually blocked the wrong response. To control our acts is therefore to control our thoughts, and strength of will can be measured by our ability to direct our attention.


A relatively small proportion of our acts, or responses, are controlled by volition. Nature, in her wise economy, has provided a simpler and easier method than to have all our actions performed or checked with conscious effort.

CLASSES OF ACTS OR RESPONSE.—Movements or acts, like other phenomena, do not just happen. They never occur without a cause back of them. Whether they are performed with a conscious end in view or without it, the fact remains the same—something must lie back of the act to account for its performance. During the last hour, each of us has performed many simple movements and more or less complex acts. These acts have varied greatly in character. Of many we were wholly unconscious. Others were consciously performed, but without feeling of effort on our part. Still others were accomplished only with effort, and after a struggle to decide which of two lines of action we should take. Some of our acts were reflex, some were chiefly instinctive, and some were volitional.

SIMPLE REFLEX ACTS.—First, there are going on within every living organism countless movements of which he is in large part unconscious, which he does nothing to initiate, and which he is largely powerless to prevent. Some of them are wholly, and others almost, out of the reach and power of his will. Such are the movements of the heart and vascular system, the action of the lungs in breathing, the movements of the digestive tract, the work of the various glands in their process of secretion. The entire organism is a mass of living matter, and just because it is living no part of it is at rest.

Movements of this type require no external stimulus and no direction, they are reflex; they take care of themselves, as long as the body is in health, without let or hindrance, continuing whether we sleep or wake, even if we are in hypnotic or anaesthetic coma. With movements of reflex type we shall have no more concern, since they are almost wholly physiological, and come scarcely at all within the range of the consciousness.

INSTINCTIVE ACTS.—Next there are a large number of such acts as closing the eyes when they are threatened, starting back from danger, crying out from pain or alarm, frowning and striking when angry. These may roughly be classed as instinctive, and have already been discussed under that head. They differ from the former class in that they require some stimulus to set the act off. We are fully conscious of their performance, although they are performed without a conscious end in view. Winking the eyes serves an important purpose, but that is not why we wink; starting back from danger is a wise thing to do, but we do not stop to consider this before performing the act.

And so it is with a multitude of reflex and instinctive acts. They are performed immediately upon receiving an appropriate stimulus, because we possess an organism calculated to act in a definite way in response to certain stimuli. There is no need for, and indeed no place for, anything to come in between the stimulus and the act. The stimulus pulls the trigger of the ready-set nervous system, and the act follows at once. Acts of these reflex and instinctive types do not come properly within the range of volition, hence we will not consider them further.

AUTOMATIC OR SPONTANEOUS ACTS.—Growing out of these reflex and instinctive acts is a broad field of action which may be called automatic or spontaneous. The distinguishing feature of this type of action is that all such acts, though performed now largely without conscious purpose or intent, were at one time purposed acts, performed with effort; this is to say that they were volitional. Such acts as writing, or fingering the keyboard of a piano, were once consciously purposed, volitional acts selected from many random or reflex movements.

The effects of experience and habit are such, however, that soon the mere presence of pencil and paper, or the sight of the keyboard, is enough to set one scribbling or playing. Stated differently, certain objects and situations come to suggest certain characteristic acts or responses so strongly that the action follows immediately on the heels of the percept of the object, or the idea of the act. James calls such action ideo-motor. Many illustrations of this type of acts will occur to each of us: A door starts to blow shut, and we spring up and avert the slam. The memory of a neglected engagement comes to us, and we have started to our feet on the instant. A dish of nuts stands before us, and we find ourselves nibbling without intending to do so.

THE CYCLE FROM VOLITIONAL TO AUTOMATIC.—It is of course evident that no such acts, though they were at one time in our experience volitional, now require effort or definite intention for their performance. The law covering this point may be stated as follows: All volitional acts, when repeated, tend, through the effects of habit, to become automatic, and thus relieve the will from the necessity of directing them.

To illustrate this law try the following experiment: Draw on a piece of cardboard a star, like figure 19, making each line segment two inches. Seat yourself at a table with the star before you, placing a mirror back of the star so that it can be seen in the mirror. Have someone hold a screen a few inches above the table so as to hide the star from your direct view, but so that you can see it in the mirror. Now reach your hand under the screen and trace with a pencil around the star from left to right, not taking your pencil off the paper until you get clear around. Keep track of how long it takes to go around and also note the irregular wanderings of your pencil. Try this experiment five times over, noting the decrease in time and effort required, and the increase in efficiency as the movements tend to become automatic.

VOLITIONAL ACTION.—While it is obvious that the various types of action already described include a very large proportion of all our acts, yet they do not include all. For there are some acts that are neither reflex nor instinctive nor automatic, but that have to be performed under the stress of compulsion and effort. We constantly meet situations where the necessity for action or restraint runs counter to our inclinations. We daily are confronted by the necessity of making decisions in which the mind must be compelled by effort to take this direction or that direction. Conflicting motives or tendencies create frequent necessity for coercion. It is often necessary to drive our bark counter to the current of our desires or our habits, or to enter into conflict with a temptation.

VOLITION ACTS IN THE MAKING OF DECISIONS.—Everyone knows for himself the state of inward unrest which we call indecision. A thought enters the mind which would of itself prompt an act; but before the act can occur, a contrary idea appears and the act is checked; another thought comes favoring the act, and is in turn counterbalanced by an opposing one. The impelling and inhibiting ideas we call motives or reasons for and against the proposed act. While we are balancing the motives against each other, we are said to deliberate. This process of deliberation must go on, if we continue to think about the matter at all, until one set of ideas has triumphed over the other and secured the attention. When this has occurred, we have decided, and the deliberation is at an end. We have exercised the highest function of the will and made a choice.

Sometimes the battle of motives is short, the decision being reached as soon as there is time to summon all the reasons on both sides of the question. At other times the conflict may go on at intervals for days or weeks, neither set of motives being strong enough to vanquish the other and dictate the decision. When the motives are somewhat evenly balanced we wisely pause in making a decision, because when one line of action is taken, the other cannot be, and we hesitate to lose either opportunity. A state of indecision is usually highly unpleasant, and no doubt more than one decision has been hastened in our lives simply that we might be done with the unpleasantness attendant on the consideration of two contrary and insistent sets of motives.

It is of the highest importance when making a decision of any consequence that we should be fair in considering all the reasons on both sides of the question, allowing each its just weight. Nor is this as easy as it might appear; for, as we saw in our study of the emotions, our feeling attitude toward any object that occupies the mind is largely responsible for the subjective value we place upon it. It is easy to be so prejudiced toward or against a line of action that the motives bearing upon it cannot get fair consideration. To be able to eliminate this personal factor to such an extent that the evidence before us on a question may be considered on its merits is a rare accomplishment.

TYPES OF DECISION.—A decision may be reached in a variety of ways, the most important ones of which may now briefly be described after the general plan suggested by Professor James:

THE REASONABLE TYPE.—One of the simplest types of decision is that in which the preponderance of motives is clearly seen to be on one side or the other, and the only rational thing to do is to decide in accordance with the weight of evidence. Decisions of this type are called reasonable. If we discover ten reasons why we should pursue a certain course of action, and only one or two reasons of equal weight why we should not, then the decision ought not to be hard to make. The points to watch in this case are (a) that we have really discovered all the important reasons on both sides of the case, and (b) that our feelings of personal interest or prejudice have not given some of the motives an undue weight in our scale of values.

ACCIDENTAL TYPE: EXTERNAL MOTIVES.—It is to be doubted whether as many of our decisions are made under immediate stress of volition as we think. We may be hesitating between two sets of motives, unable to decide between them, when a third factor enters which is not really related to the question at all, but which finally dictates the decision nevertheless. For example, we are considering the question whether we shall go on an excursion or stay at home and complete a piece of work. The benefits coming from the recreation, and the pleasures of the trip, are pitted against the expense which must be incurred and the desirability of having the work done on time. At this point, while as yet we have been unable to decide, a friend comes along, and we seek to evade the responsibility of making our own decision by appealing to him, "You tell me what to do!" How few of us have never said in effect if not in words, "I will do this or that if you will"! How few have never taken advantage of a rainy day to stay from church or shirk an undesirable engagement! How few have not allowed important questions to be decided by some trivial or accidental factor not really related to the choice in the least!

This form of decision is accidental decision. It does not rest on motives which are vitally related to the case, but rather on the accident of external circumstances. The person who habitually makes his decisions in this way lacks power of will. He does not hold himself to the question until he has gathered the evidence before him, and then himself direct his attention to the best line of action and so secure its performance. He drifts with the tide, he goes with the crowd, he shirks responsibility.

ACCIDENTAL TYPE: SUBJECTIVE MOTIVES.—A second type of accidental decision may occur when we are hesitating between two lines of action which are seemingly about equally desirable, and no preponderating motive enters the field; when no external factor appears, and no advising friend comes to the rescue. Then, with the necessity for deciding thrust upon us, we tire of the worry and strain of deliberation and say to ourselves, "This thing must be settled one way or the other pretty soon; I am tired of the whole matter." When we have reached this point we are likely to shut our eyes to the evidence in the case, and decide largely upon the whim or mood of the moment. Very likely we regret our decision the next instant, but without any more cause for the regret than we had for the decision.

It is evident that such a decision as this does not rest on valid motives but rather on the accident of subjective conditions. Habitual decisions of this type are an evidence of a mental laziness or a mental incompetence which renders the individual incapable of marshaling the facts bearing on a case. He cannot hold them before his mind and weigh them against each other until one side outweighs the other and dictates the decision. Of course the remedy for this weakness of decision lies in not allowing oneself to be pushed into a decision simply to escape the unpleasantness of a state of indecision, or the necessity of searching for further evidence which will make the decision easier.

On the other hand, it is possible to form a habit of indecision, of undue hesitancy in coming to conclusions when the evidence is all before us. This gives us the mental dawdler, the person who will spend several minutes in an agony of indecision over whether to carry an umbrella on this particular trip; whether to wear black shoes or tan shoes today; whether to go calling or to stay at home and write letters this afternoon. Such a person is usually in a stew over some inconsequential matter, and consumes so much time and energy in fussing over trivial things that he is incapable of handling larger ones. If we are certain that we have all the facts in a given case before us, and have given each its due weight so far as our judgment will enable us to do, then there is nothing to be gained by delaying the decision. Nor is there any occasion to change the decision after it has once been made unless new evidence is discovered bearing on the case.

DECISION UNDER EFFORT.—The highest type of decision is that in which effort is the determining factor. The pressure of external circumstances and inward impulse is not enough to overcome a calm and determined I will. Two possible lines of action may lie open before us. Every current of our being leads toward the one; in addition, inclination, friends, honors, all beckon in the same direction. From the other course our very nature shrinks; duty alone bids us take this line, and promises no rewards except the approval of conscience. Here is the crucial point in human experience; the supreme test of the individual; the last measure of man's independence and power. Winning at this point man has exercised his highest prerogative—that of independent choice; failing here, he reverts toward the lower forms and is a creature of circumstance, no longer the master of his own destiny, but blown about by the winds of chance. And it behooves us to win in this battle. We may lose in a contest or a game and yet not fail, because we have done our best; if we fail in the conflict of motives we have planted a seed of weakness from which we shall at last harvest defeat.

Jean Valjean, the galley slave of almost a score of years, escapes and lives an honest life. He wins the respect and admiration of friends; he is elected mayor of his town, and honors are heaped on him. At the height of his prosperity he reads one day that a man has been arrested in another town for the escaped convict, Jean Valjean, and is about to be sent to the galleys. Now comes the supreme test in Jean Valjean's life. Shall he remain the honored, respected citizen and let an innocent man suffer in his stead, or shall he proclaim himself the long-sought criminal and again have the collar riveted on his neck and take his place at the oars? He spends one awful night of conflict in which contending motives make a battle ground of his soul. But in the morning he has won. He has saved his manhood. His conscience yet lives—and he goes and gives himself up to the officers. Nor could he do otherwise and still remain a man.


Many persons will admit that their memory or imagination or power of perception is not good, but few will confess to a weak will. Strength of will is everywhere lauded as a mark of worth and character. How can we tell whether our will is strong or weak?

NOT A WILL, BUT WILLS.—First of all we need to remember that, just as we do not have a memory, but a system of memories, so we do not possess a will, but many different wills. By this I mean that the will must be called upon and tested at every point of contact in experience before we have fully measured its strength. Our will may have served us reasonably well so far, but we may not yet have met any great number of hard tests because our experience and temptations have been limited.

Nor must we forget to take into account both the negative and the positive functions of the will. Many there are who think of the will chiefly in its negative use, as a kind of a check or barrier to save us from doing certain things. That this is an important function cannot be denied. But the positive is the higher function. There are many men and women who are able to resist evil, but able to do little good. They are good enough, but not good for much. They lack the power of effort and self-compulsion to hold them up to the high standards and stern endeavor necessary to save them from inferiority or mediocrity. It is almost certain that for most who read these words the greatest test of their will power will be in the positive instead of the negative direction.

OBJECTIVE TESTS A FALSE MEASURE OF WILL POWER.—The actual amount of volition exercised in making a decision cannot be measured by objective results. The fact that you follow the pathway of duty, while I falter and finally drift into the byways of pleasure, is not certain evidence that you have put forth the greater power of will. In the first place, the allurements which led me astray may have had no charms for you. Furthermore, you may have so formed the habit of pursuing the pathway of duty when the two paths opened before you, that your well-trained feet unerringly led you into the narrow way without a struggle. Of course you are on safer ground than I, and on ground that we should all seek to attain. But, nevertheless, I, although I fell when I should have stood, may have been fighting a battle and manifesting a power of resistance of which you, under similar temptation, would have been incapable. The only point from which a conflict of motives can be safely judged is that of the soul which is engaged in the struggle.


Several fairly well-marked volitional types may be discovered. It is, of course, to be understood that these types all grade by insensible degrees into each other, and that extreme types are the exception rather than the rule.

THE IMPULSIVE TYPE.—The impulsive type of will goes along with a nervous organism of the hair-trigger kind. The brain is in a state of highly unstable equilibrium, and a relatively slight current serves to set off the motor centers. Action follows before there is time for a counteracting current to intervene. Putting it in mental terms, we act on an idea which presents itself before an opposing one has opportunity to enter the mind. Hence the action is largely or wholly ideo-motor and but slightly or not at all deliberate. It is this type of will which results in the hasty word or deed, or the rash act committed on the impulse of the moment and repented of at leisure; which compels the frequent, "I didn't think, or I would not have done it!" The impulsive person may undoubtedly have credited up to him many kind words and noble deeds. In addition, he usually carries with him an air of spontaneity and whole-heartedness which goes far to atone for his faults. The fact remains, however, that he is too little the master of his acts, that he is guided too largely by external circumstances or inward caprice. He lacks balance.

Impulsive action is not to be confused with quick decision and rapid action. Many of the world's greatest and safest leaders have been noted for quickness of decision and for rapidity of action in carrying out their decisions. It must be remembered, however, that these men were making decisions in fields well known to them. They were specialists in this line of deliberation. The motives for and against certain lines of action had often been dwelt upon. All possible contingencies had been imaged many times over, and a valuation placed upon the different decisions. The various concepts had long been associated with certain definite lines of action. Deliberation under such conditions can be carried on with lightning rapidity, each motive being checked off as worth so much the instant it presents itself, and action can follow immediately when attention settles on the proper motive to govern the decision. This is not impulse, but abbreviated deliberation. These facts suggest to us that we should think much and carefully over matters in which we are required to make quick decisions.

Of course the remedy for the over-impulsive type is to cultivate deliberative action. When the impulse comes to act without consideration, pause to give the other side of the question an opportunity to be heard. Check the motor response to ideas that suggest action until you have reviewed the field to see whether there are contrary reasons to be taken into account. Form the habit of waiting for all evidence before deciding. "Think twice" before you act.

THE OBSTRUCTED WILL.—The opposite of the impulsive type of will is the obstructed or balky will. In this type there is too much inhibition, or else not enough impulsion. Images which should result in action are checkmated by opposing images, or do not possess vitality enough as motives to overcome the dead weight of inertia which clogs mental action. The person knows well enough what he should do, but he cannot get started. He "cannot get the consent of his will." It may be the student whose mind is tormented by thoughts of coming failure in recitation or examination, but who yet cannot force himself to the exertion necessary safely to meet the ordeal. It may be the dissolute man who tortures himself in his sober moments with remorse and the thought that he was intended for better things, but who, waking from his meditations, goes on in the same old way. It may be the child undergoing punishment, who is to be released from bondage as soon as he will promise to be good, but who cannot bring himself to say the necessary words. It not only may be, but is, man or woman anywhere who has ideals which are known to be worthy and noble, but which fail to take hold. It is anyone who is following a course of action which he knows is beneath him.

No one can doubt that the moral tragedies, the failures and the shipwrecks in life come far more from the breaking of the bonds which should bind right ideals to action than from a failure to perceive the truth. Men differ far more in their deeds than in their standards of action.

The remedy for this diseased type of will is much easier to prescribe than to apply. It is simply to refuse to attend to the contrary thoughts which are blocking action, and to cultivate and encourage those which lead to action of the right kind. It is seeking to vitalize our good impulses and render them effective by acting on them whenever opportunity offers. Nothing can be accomplished by moodily dwelling on the disgrace of harboring the obstructing ideas. Thus brooding over them only encourages them. What we need is to get entirely away from the line of thought in which we have met our obstruction, and approach the matter from a different direction. The child who is in a fit of sulks does not so much need a lecture on the disagreeable habit he is forming as to have his thoughts led into lines not connected with the grievance which is causing him the trouble. The stubborn child does not need to have his will "broken," but rather to have it strengthened. He may be compelled to do what he does not want to do; but if this is accomplished through physical force instead of by leading to thoughts connected with the performance of the act, it may be doubted whether the will has in any degree been strengthened. Indeed it may rather be depended upon that the will has been weakened; for an opportunity for self-control, through which alone the will develops, has been lost. The ultimate remedy for rebellion often lies in greater freedom at the proper time. This does not mean that the child should not obey rightful authority promptly and explicitly, but that just as little external authority as possible should intervene to take from the child the opportunity for self-compulsion.

THE NORMAL WILL.—The golden mean between these two abnormal types of will may be called the normal or balanced will. Here there is a proper ratio between impulsion and inhibition. Ideas are not acted upon the instant they enter the mind without giving time for a survey of the field of motives, neither is action "sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought" to such an extent that it becomes impossible. The evidence is all considered and each motive fully weighed. But this once done, decision follows. No dilatory and obstructive tactics are allowed. The fleeting impulse is not enough to persuade to action, neither is action unduly delayed after the decision is made.


The will is to be trained as we train the other powers of the mind—through the exercise of its normal function. The function of the will is to direct or control in the actual affairs of life. Many well-meaning persons speak of training the will as if we could separate it from the interests and purposes of our daily living, and in some way put it through its paces merely for the sake of adding to its general strength. This view is all wrong. There is, as we have seen, no such thing as general power of will. Will is always required in specific acts and emergencies, and it is precisely upon such matters that it must be exercised if it is to be cultivated.

WILL TO BE TRAINED IN COMMON ROUND OF DUTIES.—What is needed in developing the will is a deep moral interest in whatever we set out to do, and a high purpose to do it up to the limit of our powers. Without this, any artificial exercises, no matter how carefully they are devised or how heroically they are carried out, cannot but fail to fit us for the real tests of life; with it, artificial exercises are superfluous. It matters not so much what our vocation as how it is performed. The most commonplace human experience is rich in opportunities for the highest form of expression possible to the will—that of directing us into right lines of action, and of holding us to our best in the accomplishment of some dominant purpose.

There is no one set form of exercise which alone will serve to train the will. The student pushing steadily toward his goal in spite of poverty and grinding labor; the teacher who, though unappreciated and poorly paid, yet performs every duty with conscientious thoroughness; the man who stands firm in the face of temptation; the person whom heredity or circumstance has handicapped, but who, nevertheless, courageously fights his battle; the countless men and women everywhere whose names are not known to fame, but who stand in the hard places, bearing the heat and the toil with brave, unflinching hearts—these are the ones who are developing a moral fiber and strength of will which will stand in the day of stress. Better a thousand times such training as this in the thick of life's real conflicts than any volitional calisthenics or priggish self-denials entered into solely for the training of the will!

SCHOOL WORK AND WILL TRAINING.—The work of the school offers as good an opportunity for training powers of will as of memory or reasoning. On the side of inhibition there is always the necessity for self-restraint and control so that the rights of others may not be infringed upon. Temptations to unfairness or insincerity in lessons and examinations are always to be met. The social relations of the school necessitate the development of personal poise and independence.

On the positive side the opportunities for the exercise of will power are always at hand in the school. Every lesson gives the pupil a chance to measure his strength and determination against the resistance of the task. High standards are to be built up, ideals maintained, habits rendered secure.

The great problem for the teacher in this connection is so to organize both control and instruction that the largest possible opportunity is given to pupils for the exercise of their own powers of will in all school relations.


We have seen in this discussion that will is a mode of control—control of our thoughts and, through our thoughts, of our actions. Will may be looked upon, then, as the culmination of the mental life, the highest form of directive agent within us. Beginning with the direction of the simplest movements, it goes on until it governs the current of our life in the pursuit of some distant ideal.

LIMITATIONS OF THE WILL.—Just how far the will can go in its control, just how far man is a free moral agent, has long been one of the mooted questions among the philosophers. But some few facts are clear. If the will can exercise full control over all our acts, it by this very fact determines our character; and character spells destiny. There is not the least doubt, however, that the will in thus directing us in the achievement of a destiny works under two limitations: First, every individual enters upon life with a large stock of inherited tendencies, which go far to shape his interests and aspirations. And these are important factors in the work of volition. Second, we all have our setting in the midst of a great material and social environment, which is largely beyond our power to modify, and whose influences are constantly playing upon us and molding us according to their type.

THESE LIMITATIONS THE CONDITIONS OF FREEDOM.—Yet there is nothing in this thought to discourage us. For these very limitations have in them our hope of a larger freedom. Man's heredity, coming to him through ages of conflict with the forces of nature, with his brother man, and with himself, has deeply instilled in him the spirit of independence and self-control. It has trained him to deliberate, to choose, to achieve. It has developed in him the power to will. Likewise man's environment, in which he must live and work, furnishes the problems which his life work is to solve, and out of whose solution will receives its only true development.

It is through the action and interaction of these two factors, then, that man is to work out his destiny. What he is, coupled with what he may do, leads him to what he may become. Every man possesses in some degree a spark of divinity, a sovereign individuality, a power of independent initiative. This is all he needs to make him free—free to do his best in whatever walk of life he finds himself. If he will but do this, the doing of it will lead him into a constantly growing freedom, and he can voice the cry of every earnest heart:

Build thee more stately mansions, O my soul! As the swift seasons roll! Leave thy low-vaulted past! Let each new temple, nobler than the last, Shut thee from heaven with a dome more vast, Till thou at length art free, Leaving thine outgrown shell by life's unresting sea!


1. Give illustrations from your own experience of the various types of action mentioned in this discussion. From your own experience of the last hour, what examples of impulsive action can you give? Would it have been better in some cases had you stopped to deliberate?

2. Are you easily influenced by prejudice or personal preference in making decisions? What recent decisions have been thus affected? Can you classify the various ones of your decisions which you can recall under the four types mentioned in the text? Under which class does the largest number fall? Have you a tendency to drift with the crowd? Are you independent in deciding upon and following out a line of action? What is the value of advice? Ought advice to do more than to assist in getting all the evidence on a case before the one who is to decide?

3. Can you judge yourself well enough to tell to which volitional type you belong? Are you over-impulsive? Are you stubborn? What is the difference between stubbornness and firmness? Suppose you ask your instructor, or a friend, to assist you in classifying yourself as to volitional type. Are you troubled with indecision; that is, do you have hard work to decide in trivial matters even after you know all the facts in the case? What is the cause of these states of indecision? The remedy?

4. Have you a strong power of will? Can you control your attention? Do you submit easily to temptation? Can you hold yourself up to a high degree of effort? Can you persevere? Have you ever failed in the attainment of some cherished ideal because you could not bring yourself to pay the price in the sacrifice or effort necessary?

5. Consider the class work and examinations of schools that you know. Does the system of management and control throw responsibility on the pupils in a way to develop their powers of will?

6. What motives or incentives can be used to encourage pupils to use self-compulsion to maintain high standards of excellence in their studies and conduct? Does it pay to be heroic in one's self-control?



We have already seen that the mind and the body are associated in a copartnership in which each is an indispensable and active member. We have seen that the body gets its dignity and worth from its relation with the mind, and that the mind is dependent on the body for the crude material of its thought, and also for the carrying out of its mandates in securing adaptation to our environment. We have seen as a corollary of these facts that the efficiency of both mind and body is conditioned by the manner in which each carries out its share of the mutual activities. Let us see something more of this interrelation.


No impression without corresponding expression has become a maxim in both physiology and psychology. Inner life implies self-expression in external activities. The stream of impressions pouring in upon us hourly from our environment must have means of expression if development is to follow. We cannot be passive recipients, but must be active participants in the educational process. We must not only be able to know and feel, but to do.

THE MANY SOURCES OF IMPRESSIONS.—The nature of the impressions which come to us and how they all lead on toward ultimate expression is shown in the accompanying diagram (Fig. 20). Our material environment is thrusting impressions upon us every moment of our life; also, the material objects with which we deal have become so saturated with social values that each comes to us with a double significance, and what an object means often stands for more than what it is. From the lives of people with whom we daily mingle; from the wider circle whose lives do not immediately touch ours, but who are interpreted to us by the press, by history and literature; from the social institutions into which have gone the lives of millions, and of which our lives form a part, there come to us constantly a flood of impressions whose influence cannot be measured. So likewise with religious impressions. God is all about us and within us. He speaks to us from every nook and corner of nature, and communes with us through the still small voice from within, if we will but listen. The Bible, religious instruction, and the lives of good people are other sources of religious impressions constantly tending to mold our lives. The beautiful in nature, art, and human conduct constantly appeals to us in aessthetic impressions.

ALL IMPRESSIONS LEAD TOWARD EXPRESSION.—Each of these groups of impressions may be subdivided and extended into an almost indefinite number and variety, the different groups meeting and overlapping, it is true, yet each preserving reasonably distinct characteristics. A common characteristic of them all, as shown in the diagram, is that they all point toward expression. The varieties of light, color, form, and distance which we get through vision are not merely that we may know these phenomena of nature, but that, knowing them, we may use the knowledge in making proper responses to our environment. Our power to know human sympathy and love through our social impressions are not merely that we may feel these emotions, but that, feeling them, we may act in response to them.

It is impossible to classify logically in any simple scheme all the possible forms of expression. The diagram will serve, however, to call attention to some of the chief modes of bodily expression, and also to the results of the bodily expressions in the arts and vocations. Here again the process of subdivision and extension can be carried out indefinitely. The laugh can be made to tell many different stories. Crying may express bitter sorrow or uncontrollable joy. Vocal speech may be carried on in a thousand tongues. Dramatic action may be made to portray the whole range of human feelings. Plays and games are wide enough in their scope to satisfy the demands of all ages and every people. The handicrafts cover so wide a range that the material progress of civilization can be classed under them, and indeed without their development the arts and vocations would be impossible. Architecture, sculpture, painting, music, and literature have a thousand possibilities both in technique and content. Likewise the modes of society, conduct, and religion are unlimited in their forms of expression.

LIMITATIONS OF EXPRESSION.—While it is more blessed to give than to receive, it is somewhat harder in the doing; for more of the self is, after all, involved in expression than in impression. Expression needs to be cultivated as an art; for who can express all he thinks, or feels, or conceives? Who can do his innermost self justice when he attempts to express it in language, in music, or in marble? The painter answers when praised for his work, "If you could but see the picture I intended to paint!" The pupil says, "I know, but I cannot tell." The friend says, "I wish I could tell you how sorry I am." The actor complains, "If I could only portray the passion as I feel it, I could bring all the world to my feet!" The body, being of grosser structure than the mind, must always lag somewhat behind in expressing the mind's states; yet, so perfect is the harmony between the two, that with a body well trained to respond to the mind's needs, comparatively little of the spiritual need be lost in its expression through the material.


Nor are we to think that cultivation of expression results in better power of expression alone, or that lack of cultivation results only in decreased power of expression.

INTELLECTUAL VALUE OF EXPRESSION.—There is a distinct mental value in expression. An idea always assumes new clearness and wider relations when it is expressed. Michael Angelo, making his plans for the great cathedral, found his first concept of the structure expanding and growing more beautiful as he developed his plans. The sculptor, beginning to model the statue after the image which he has in his mind, finds the image growing and becoming more expressive and beautiful as the clay is molded and formed. The writer finds the scope and worth of his book growing as he proceeds with the writing. The student, beginning doubtfully on his construction in geometry, finds the truth growing clearer as he proceeds. The child with a dim and hazy notion of the meaning of the story in history or literature discovers that the meaning grows clear as he himself works out its expression in speech, in the handicrafts, or in dramatic representation.

So we may apply the test to any realm of thought whatever, and the law holds good: It is not in its apprehension, but in its expression, that a truth finally becomes assimilated to our body of usable knowledge. And this means that in all training of the body through its motor expression we are to remember that the mind must be behind the act; that the intellect must guide the hand; that the object is not to make skillful fingers alone, but to develop clear and intelligent thought as well.

MORAL VALUE OF EXPRESSION.—Expression also has a distinct moral value. There are many more people of good intentions than of moral character in the world. The rugged proverb tells us that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. And how easy it is to form good resolutions. Who of us has not, after some moral struggle, said, "I will break the bonds of this habit: I will enter upon that heroic line of action!" and then, satisfied for the time with having made the resolution, continued in the old path, until we were surprised later to find that we had never got beyond the resolution.

It is not in the moment of the resolve but in the moment when the resolve is carried out in action that the moral value inheres. To take a stand on a question of right and wrong means more than to show one's allegiance to the right—it clears one's own moral vision and gives him command of himself. Expression is, finally, the only true test for our morality. Lacking moral expression, we may stand in the class of those who are merely good, but we can never enter the class of those who are good for something. One cannot but wonder what would happen if all the people in the world who are morally right should give expression to their moral sentiments, not in words alone, but in deeds. Surely the millennium would speedily come, not only among the nations, but in the lives of men.

RELIGIOUS VALUE OF EXPRESSION.—True religious experience demands expression. The older conception of a religious life was to escape from the world and live a life of communion and contemplation in some secluded spot, ignoring the world thirsting without. Later religious teaching, however, recognized the fact that religion cannot consist in drinking in blessings alone, no matter how ecstatic the feeling which may accompany the process; that it is not the receiving, but this along with the giving that enriches the life. To give the cup of cold water, to visit the widow and the fatherless, to comfort and help the needy and forlorn—this is not only scriptural but it is psychological. Only as religious feeling goes out into religious expression, can we have a normal religious experience.

SOCIAL VALUE OF EXPRESSION.—The criterion of an education once was, how much does he know? The world did not expect an educated man to do anything; he was to be put on a pedestal and admired from a distance. But this criterion is now obsolete. Society cares little how much we know if it does not enable us to do. People no longer admire mere knowledge, but insist that the man of education shall put his shoulder to the wheel and lend a hand wherever help is needed. Education is no longer to set men apart from their fellows, but to make them more efficient comrades and helpers in the world's work. Not the man who knows chemistry and botany, but he who can use this knowledge to make two blades of grass grow where but one grew before, is the true benefactor of his race. In short, the world demands services returned for opportunities afforded; it expects social expression to result from education.

And this is also best for the individual, for only through social service can we attain to a full realization of the social values in our environment. Only thus can we enter fully into the social heritage of the ages which we receive from books and institutions; only thus can we come into the truest and best relations with humanity in a common brotherhood; only thus can we live the broader and more significant life, and come to realize the largest possible social self.


The educational significance of the truths illustrated in the diagram and the discussion has been somewhat slow in taking hold in our schools. This has been due not alone to the slowness of the educational world to grasp a new idea, but also to the practical difficulties connected with adapting the school exercises as well to the expression side of education as to the impression. From the fall of Athens on down to the time of Froebel the schools were constituted on the theory that pupils were to receive education; that they were to drink in knowledge, that their minds were to be stored with facts. Children were to "be seen and not heard." Education was largely a process of gorging the memory with information.

EASIER TO PROVIDE FOR THE IMPRESSION SIDE OF EDUCATION.—Now it is evident that it is far easier to provide for the passive side of education than for the active side. All that is needed in the former case is to have teachers and books reasonably full of information, and pupils sufficiently docile to receive it. But in the latter case, the equipment must be more extensive. If the child is to be allowed to carry out his impressions into action, if he is actually to do something himself, then he must be supplied with adequate equipment.

So far as the home life was concerned, the child of several generations ago was at a decided advantage over the child of today on the expression side of his education. The homes of that day were beehives of industry, in which a dozen handicrafts were taught and practiced. The buildings, the farm implements, and most of the furniture of the home were made from the native timber. The material for the clothing of the family was produced on the farm, made into cloth, and finally into garments in the home. Nearly all the supplies for the table came likewise from the farm. These industries demanded the combined efforts of the family, and each child did his or her part.

But that day is past. One-half of our people live in cities and towns, and even in the village and on the farm the handicrafts of the home have been relegated to the factory, and everything comes into the home ready for use. The telephone, the mail carrier, and the deliveryman do all the errands even, and the child in the home is deprived of responsibility and of nearly all opportunity for manual expression. This is no one's fault, for it is just one phase of a great industrial readjustment in society. Yet the fact remains that the home has lost an important element in education, which the school must supply if we are not to be the losers educationally by the change.

THE SCHOOL TO TAKE UP THE HANDICRAFTS.—And modern educational method is insisting precisely on this point. A few years ago the boy caught whittling in school was a fit subject for a flogging; the boy is today given bench and tools, and is instructed in their use. Then the child was punished for drawing pictures; now we are using drawing as one of the best modes of expression. Then instruction in singing was intrusted to an occasional evening class, which only the older children could attend, and which was taught by some itinerant singing master; today we make music one of our most valuable school exercises. Then all play time was so much time wasted; now we recognize play as a necessary and valuable mode of expression and development. Then dramatic representation was confined to the occasional exhibition or evening entertainment; now it has become a recognized part of our school work. Then it was a crime for pupils to communicate with each other in school; now a part of the school work is planned so that pupils work in groups, and thus receive social training. Then our schoolrooms were destitute of every vestige of beauty; today many of them are artistic and beautiful.

This statement of the case is rather over-optimistic if applied to our whole school system, however. For there are still many schools in which all forms of handicraft are unknown, and in which the only training in artistic expression is that which comes from caricaturing the teacher. Singing is still an unknown art to many teachers. The play instinct is yet looked upon with suspicion and distrust in some quarters. A large number of our schoolrooms are as barren and ugly today as ever, and contain an atmosphere as stifling to all forms of natural expression. We can only comfort ourselves with Holmes's maxim, that it matters not so much where we stand as in what direction we are moving. And we certainly are moving toward a larger development and greater efficiency in expression on the part of those who pass through our schools.

EXPRESSION AND CHARACTER.—Finally, all that has been said in this discussion has direct reference to what we call character—that mysterious something which we so often hear eulogized and so seldom analyzed. Character has two distinct phases, which may be called the subjective phase and the social phase; or, stating it differently, character is both what we are and what we do. The first of these has to do with the nature of the real, innermost self; and the last, with the modes in which this self finds expression. And it is fair to say that those about us are concerned with what we are chiefly from its relation to what we do.

Character is not a thing, but a process; it is the succession of our thoughts and acts from hour to hour. It is not something which we can hoard and protect and polish unto a more perfect day, but it is the everyday self in the process of living. And the only way in which it can be made or marred is through the nature of this stream of thoughts and acts which constitute the day's life—is through being or doing well or ill.

TWO LINES OF DEVELOPMENT.—The cultivation of character must, then, ignore neither of these two lines. To neglect the first is to forget that it is out of the abundance of the heart that the mouth speaks; that a corrupt tree cannot bring forth good fruit; that the act is the true index of the soul. To omit the second is to leave the character half formed, the will weak, and the life inefficient and barren of results. The mind must be supplied with noble ideas and high ideals, with right emotions and worthy ambitions. On the other hand, the proper connection must be established between these mental states and appropriate acts. And the acts must finally grow into habits, so that we naturally and inevitably translate our ideas and ideals, our emotions and ambitions into deeds. Our character must be strong not in thought and feeling alone, but also in the power to return to the world its finished product in the form of service.


1. Do you find that you understand better some difficult point or problem after you have succeeded in stating it? Do you remember better what you have expressed?

2. In which particular ones of your studies do you think you could have done better if you had been given more opportunity for expression? Explain the psychology of the maxim, we learn to do by doing.

3. Observe various schools at work for the purpose of determining whether opportunities for expression in the recitations are adequate. Have you ever seen a class when listless from listening liven up when they were given something to do themselves?

4. Make a study of the types of laughter you hear. Why is some laughter much more pleasant than other laughter? What did a noted sculptor mean when he said that a smile at the eyes cannot be depended upon as can one at the mouth?

5. What examples have you observed in children's plays showing their love for dramatic representation? What handicrafts are the most suitable for children of primary grades? for the grammar school? for the high school?

6. Do you number those among your acquaintance who seem bright enough, so far as learning is concerned, but who cannot get anything accomplished? Is the trouble on the expression side of their character? What are you doing about your own powers of expression? Are you seeking to cultivate expression in new lines? Is there danger in attempting too many lines?


Action, automatic, 275 classes of, 273 factors involved in, 59 reflex, 274 volitional, 276

Activity, necessity for motor, 56

Adolescence, interests of, 269

Association, and action, 149 chapter on, 144 development of centers, 57 laws of, 150 and methods of learning, 157 and memory, 146 nature of, 144 neural basis of, 145 partial or selective, 153 pleasure-pain motive in, 155 and thinking, 149 training in, 155 types of, 150

Attention, chapter on, 15 effects of, 16 and efficiency, 17 points of failure in, 20 habit of, 27, 73 improvement of, 26 method of, 18

Attention, nature of, 15 rhythms of, 20 types of, 22

Belief, in thinking, 180

Brain, chapter on, 30 and nervous system, 30 quality and memory, 162 relations of mind and, 30

Cerebellum, the, 37

Cerebrum, the, 37

Concept, the, 187 definition of, 189 function of, 187 growth of, 188 and language, 189

Consciousness, content of, 10 known by introspection, 2 the mind or, 1 nature of, 4 personal character of, 1 as a stream, 5 where it resides, 12

Cord, the spinal, 40

Cortex, the, 39 division of labor in, 45

Decision, under effort, 281 types of, 279

Decision and will, 277

Deduction, 196

Development, of association centers, 57 chapter on, 50 and instinct, 209 mental and motor training, 50 of nervous system, 60 through play, 215

Direction, perception of, 105

Disposition, and mood, 232, 230 and temperament, 233

Education, as habit forming, 78

Emotion, chapter on, 239 control of, 243, 246 cultivation of, 247 and feeling, 239 James-Lange theory of, 239 as a motive, 251 physiological explanation of, 240

End-Organ(s) of hearing, 92 kinaesthetic, 96 and sensory qualities, 91 of skin, 94 of smell, 94 of taste, 93 of vision, 91

Environment, influence of, 213

Expression, and character, 303 educational use of, 301

Expression, and impression, 296 learning to interpret, 4 limitations of, 297 self-, and development, 294, 298

Fatigue, and habit, 72 and nervous system, 62

Fear, instinct of, 221 types of, 222

Feeling, chapter on, 226 effects of, 230 and mood, 230 nature of, 227 qualities, 227

Forgetting, rate of, 170

Habit, of attention, 27, 73 chapter on, 66 effects of, 70 emotional, 257 forming as education, 78 and life economy, 70 nature of, 66 and personality, 75 physical basis of, 67 rules for forming, 81 tyranny of, 77

Handicrafts, and education, 302

Hearing, 92

Idea, and image, 111, 114

Image(ry), ability in, 118 chapter on, 111 classes of, 117

Image(ry), cultivation of, 123 and past experience, 111 functions of, 120 and ideas, 111, 114 and imagination, 134 types of, 119

Imagination, chapter on, 127 and conduct, 133 cultivation of, 136, 140 function of, 127 the stuff of, 134 and thinking, 134 types of, 138

Imitation, conscious and unconscious, 212 individuality in, 211 the instinct of, 210 in learning, 211

Induction, 197

Instinct(s), chapter on, 201 definition of, 202 of fear, 221 of imitation, 210 laws of, 205 nature of, 201 of play, 214 as starting points in development, 209 transitory nature of, 206 various undesirable, 222 various useful, 218

Interest(s), chapter on, 254 direct and indirect, 258 and education, 265 and habit, 257 nature of, 254

Interest(s) and nonvoluntary attention, 23 order of development of, 267 selection among, 262 transitoriness of certain, 260

Introspection, 2 and imagery, 116 method of, 3

James, quoted, 81 theory of emotion, 239

Judgment, functions of, 192 nature of, 191 in percepts and concepts, 191 and reasoning, 195 validity of, 193

Knowledge, raw material of, 96 through senses, 84

Language, and the concept, 189

Laws, of association, 150 of instinct, 205 of memory, 168

Learning, and association, 157

Localization of function in cortex, 43

Meaning, dependence on relations, 193

Memorizing, rules for, 169

Memory, and association, 146 and brain quality, 162 chapter on, 160 devices, 175 factors involved in, 163 what constitutes good, 171 laws of, 168 material of, 166 nature of, 160 physical basis of, 161

Mind, or consciousness, at birth, 32 and brain, 30 chapter on, 1 dependence on senses, 48 and external world, 32

Mood, and disposition, 230, 232 influence of, 231 how produced, 230

Motive, emotion as a, 257

Neuroglia, 35

Neurone, the, 34

Nerve cells, and nutrition, 50 undeveloped, 57

Nerve fibers, 57

Nervous system, and association, 145 and consciousness, 12 division of labor in, 43 factors determining efficiency of, 50 and fatigue, 62 gross structure of, 36

Nervous system, and nutrition, 64 order of development, 60 structural elements in, 34 and worry, 62

Objects, defined through perception, 101 physical qualities of, 87, 89

Percept, content of, 101 functions of, 103

Perception, chapter on, 98 of direction, 105 function of, 98 nature of, 100 of space, 104 of time, 106 training of, 108

Personality, and habit, 75 influence of, 213

Play, and education, 215 instinct of, 214 and work, 217

Qualities, sensory, auditory, 92 cutaneous, 94 kinaesthetic, 96 objects known through, 85 olfactory, 94 organic, 96 taste, 93 visual, 91

Reason, and judgment, 193 nature of, 193 and the syllogism, 196

Registration, and attention, 163 and memory, 163 recall, 165 recognition, 166

Rhythm, of attention, 20

Self expression and development, 294

Sensation, attributes of, 89 chapter on, 84 cutaneous, 94 factors conditioning, 88 kinaesthetic, 96 nature of, 89 organic, 96 qualities of, 85 qualities of auditory, 92 qualities of olfactory, 94 qualities of taste, 93 qualities of visual, 91

Senses, dependence of mind on, 48 knowledge through, 84 work of, 33

Sentiments, development of, 235 influence of, 236 nature of, 234

Smell, 94

Space, perception of, 104

Stimuli, education and, 60 effects of sensory, 55 end-organs and, 47 sensory, 46

Stimuli, and response, 53

Syllogism, the 196

Taste, 93

Temperament, 233

Thinking, and association, 149 chapter on, 179 child and adult, 184 elements in, 186 good and memory, 171 types of, 179

Time, perception of, 106

Validity, of judgment, 193

Vision, 91

Volition, see will, 271 and decision, 277

Volitional types, 284

Will, and attention, 24 chapter on, 271 content of, 272 freedom of, 290 function of, 272 measure of power, 284 nature of, 271 strong and weak, 283 training of, 288 types of, 285

Work, and play, 217

Worry, effects of, 62

Youth, and habit-forming, 79

* * * * * *



By PAUL KLAPPER, Ph.D., Department of Education, College of the City of New York. 8vo, Cloth, $1.75.

This book studies the basic principles underlying sound and progressive pedagogy. In its scope and organization it aims to give (1) a comprehensive and systematic analysis of the principles of education, (2) the modern trend and interpretation of educational thought, (3) a transition from pure psychology to methods of teaching and discipline, and (4) practical applications of educational theory to the problems that confront the teacher in the course of daily routine. Every practical pedagogical solution that is offered has actually stood the test of classroom demonstration.

The book opens with a study of the function of education and a contrast of the modern social conception with those aims which have been guiding ideals in previous educational systems. Part II deals with the physiological aspects of education. Part III is taken up with the problem of socializing the child through the curriculum and the school discipline. The last part of the book, Part IV, The Mental Aspect of Education, is developed under the following sections: Section A. The Instinctive Aspect of Mind. Mind and its development through self-expression. Self-activity. Instincts. Section B. Intellectual Aspect of Mind. The functions of Intellect, Perception, Apperception, Memory, Imagination, Thought Activities. The Doctrine of Formal Discipline and its influence upon educational endeavor. Section C. Emotional Aspect of Mind. Section D. Volitional Aspect of Mind. Study of will, kinds of volitional action, habit vs. deliberative consciousness. The Education of the Will. Education and Social Responsibility, the problems of ethical instruction, and the social functions of the School.

In order to increase the usefulness of the book to teachers of education there is added a classified bibliography for systematic, intensive reference reading and a list of suggested problems suitable for advanced work.


* * * * * *



By Stephen Pierce Duggan, Ph. D.

Head of the Department of Education, College of the City of New York

12mo., Cloth, $1.30 net

Professor Duggan has produced the text-book in the history of education which has been such a need in our pedagogical work. Growing out of his work as a teacher and lecturer, this book combines the practical pedagogy of a teacher with the scholarship of an undisputed authority on education and its study. There is no book in this field containing such a fund of useful material arranged along such a skillful outline. An experience of years is here condensed and solidified into a splendid unit.

"A Student's Text-Book in the History of Education" presents an authentic account of every educational system which has influenced our present-day scheme of pedagogy from the times of the Hebrews to the Age of the Montessori method. No time is wasted on detailed considerations of other systems. Professor Duggan's book aids the teacher by giving him a better understanding of present-day problems in education; by explaining how Western Civilization developed the educational ideals, content, organization, and practices which characterize it today; and by developing the manner in which each people has worked out the solution of the great problem of reconciling individual liberty with social stability.


* * * * * *


EDUCATION FOR SOCIAL EFFICIENCY By Irving King, Ph. D. Professor of Education, The State University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa.

12mo., Cloth, $1.50 net

Written not so much for the educational specialist as for the practical needs of busy teachers, "Education For Social Efficiency" presents through the medium of illustration, a social view of education which is very prominent. It shows concretely various ways in which parents as well as teachers may contribute something towards the realization of the ideal of social efficiency as the goal of our educational enterprise.

The idea that the school, especially the country school, should provide more than instruction in lessons for the scholars is Professor King's main point. Excellent chapters are included on The School as a Social Center, The School and Social Progress, and the Social Aim of Education. In discussing the rural schools particularly, the author writes on The Rural School and the Rural Community, Adapting the Country School to Country Needs, and an especially valuable chapter on The Consolidated School and Socially Efficient Education for the Country.

The response with which Professor King's "Education for Social Efficiency" has met throughout the country is evidenced by the fact that the States of Iowa, Missouri, Tennessee, South Dakota, and Virginia have adopted it for reading circle use. It has also been adopted by the National Bureau of Education for use in its Rural Teachers' Reading Circles.


* * * * * *


Footnote 1: Donaldson, "The Growth of the Brain," pp. 74, 238.

Footnote 2: Quoted by James, "Psychology," Briefer Course, p. 135.

Footnote 3: "Psychology," vol. i, pp. 123, 124; also, "Briefer Course," p. 145.

Footnote 4: See Betts, "The Distribution and Functions of Mental Imagery."

Footnote 5: Cf. Dewey, "How We Think," p. 2 ff.

Footnote 6: "Psychology," p. 391.


Previous Part     1  2  3  4  5  6
Home - Random Browse