Mr. P. W. Search of Los Angeles, California, spoke last evening in Harvard 1, on "Foundations in Education," under the auspices of the Harvard Pedagogical Club.
We are in a world of change, progress and development, said Mr. Search. The old methods are breaking up and new modifications are presenting themselves in all kinds of life; especially in the culture of children.
Great promise lies in the recognition of the fact that all training must have a physiological basis in order to insure a sound body as well as a healthy mind. The conservation of health means the utilization of the gymnasium and the prescription of physical exercise which shall contribute to health and strength. The time is coming when we will pay experts to keep us well as we now pay physicians to make us well. There is nothing in the law of intellectual activity that need obstruct perfect health. Higher education should conserve good health.
Heredity and environment must be considered in making any system of education. While personality can not be undone, we can accept its conditions and build thereon as best we may.
Success or failure in lesson work is very often determined by physical conditions also, and all these elements must be considered in determining the condition of education.
Methods of uniformity have no ethical values in schooling character. The dullard in the average class is not at fault for his backwardness, but the teacher who passes him by. All schools should be measured by their losses as well as their gains.
The most powerful factor in building character is motive. But the system of ranking and giving prizes are unprofitable; the child should be led in school to realize the beauty of law.
It is demonstrated that the mind grows by activity; but there is alimit to mental exertion. Over-mental strain is a sin against the laws of health.
In the new education the individual must be carefully and often examined, and specific exercise prescribed to suit his peculiarities. All his schooling should lead to better health, ethical culture, and better opportunities for working at individual rates of speed.
School work should be expressed in terms of power to do. And the teacher should be willing to keep quiet and let the pupil work.
Such education will allow the economy of work, life, and impulse, that shall make men live up to the very best that is within them.