This page of the book is from "The New Student's Reference Work: Volume 3" by Chandler B. Beach, Frank Morton McMurry and others.
PSYCHOLOGY FOR TEACHERS
PSYCHOLOGY FOR TEACHERS
mind or, in more general terms, of man's immaterial nature. The dividing line between mind and matter cannot be definitely drawn, because neither can be accurately defined; but our reason plainly teaches that there is a fundamental difference, notwithstanding the intimate relation each sustains to the other. To escape the difficulty of distinguishing properly between mind and matter, one school of extremists,1 whose chief apostle was famous Bishop Berkeley, maintains that mind is the only reality in the universe and that all external or visible objects at most are but expressions or manifestations of mental states. Another school, much more numerous, regard all mental acts and states as mere qualities of matter or, at most, as mere results of the force with which matter has been endowed. Thought, feeling, volition, this school tells us, are the prod' et r output of man's brain and physical organization, as a flame of heat is the output of a fire or as rays of light are the output of the sun, under all the physical conditions to which it is subject. It ought to be a sufficient answer to both these sell" ols, that we are conscious of living both in a material realm and in one that is not material; we know that there is an external world, and we also know — to use the language of Scripture — that there is a spirit in man ; we know that we have bodies made of flesh and bone and blood, and we alsc know that we have a being that is not flesh or bone or blood; we know that we have "senses, affections, passions;" and we knov , too, that we have qualities within us that unite us to the unseen and the eternal. "I am a spirit inhabiting a body."
The division of the mental faculties which is now generally accepted is threefold; the intellect; the sensibilities or emotions; and the will. Under each of these are numerous subdivisions. Of late years the science of psychology or mental philosophy has received a large measure of attention; not only in schools and colleges, but from the general public; and we can only refer the reader to the various essays and textbooks — their name is legion — that have been written and published on the subject. See Elementary Psychology by Sorley and Hoffding's Outlines of Psychology.
Psychology for Teachers. The great movement for the professional training of teachers in the latter part of the 19th century was based on the idea that back of education lies a method that can be understood only by those who are versed in psychology. Educational reformers have for nearly three centuries been placing some emphasis on this idea, but only recently can it be said to have become a moving force with a large number of the ank and file among the teachers. During the last 20 years, however, the belief came to be very
generally entertained that psychology, especially physiological and experimental psychology and child-study would revolutionize education. The new education based on these was, in contrast with the old education, to be authoritative and scientific. Perhaps the most notable advocate of this view is President G. Stanley Hall. On the other hand, many psychologists, especially Professors James and Münsterberg, main-tarin'that these hopes are extravagant and that the new psychology, based on physiology and experimant, so far from being likely to revolutionize education, has even less to offer for the guidance of the teacher than the old psychology. Moreover, they regard a knowledge of the old psychology, as, although possibly helpful, by no means indispensable.
In the development of psychology the original movement toward the utilization of mathematics, experiment and scientific methods generally is due to Herbart. To him the most important application of psychology was to education. He founded the positive part of his educational practice on a psychology that did not differ a method essentially from the old except in an untenable employment of mathematics. To careful observation he looked for the discovery of individual differences and abnormalities that hinder the success of that method of teaching which for the average student is psychologically sound.
It must be confessed that physiological and experimental psychology and even child-stucy have so far not given to education much that is of such specific application as to make it a science like engineering In a general way, however, the new psychology and, especially, its spirit of scientific criticism and method have modified and are modifying the attitude and method of teachers in a way that promises to be revolutionary. Moreover, we are learning what we may hope for from psychology. That the study of children will reveal what to teach we have come to doubt. The end of education is no longer thought to be merely general mental discipline or "harmonious development of all the powers." It has come to be conceived as efficiency or adjustment to the conditions of life. Though psychology can reveal the powers of the mind and the laws of their development, it can not show the social and industrial conditions with which these powers should be prepared to deal. But when once we have settled what should be taught, we may look to the psychologist to tell us the proper order and method of presenting it.
Among the most important effects of general psychology upon education may be mentioned the inductive method, involving the method of development (compare Teaching, Method op) and the recognition of the importance of interest (q. v.) in