Craftsmanship in Teaching eBook

William Bagley
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 183 pages of information about Craftsmanship in Teaching.
and some from the Eskimos,—­how to live in that barren region, and how to travel with dogs and sledges;—­and some, too, from Peary’s own early experiences,—­how he had struggled for twenty years to reach the goal, and had added this experience to that until finally the prize was his.  We may differ as to the value of Peary’s deed, but that it stands as a type of what success in any undertaking means, no one can deny.  And this was the lesson that these eighth-grade pupils were absorbing,—­the world-old lesson before which all others fade into insignificance,—­the lesson, namely, that achievement can be gained only by those who are willing to pay the price.

And I imagine that when that class is studying the continent of Africa in their geography work, they will learn something more than the names of rivers and mountains and boundaries and products,—­I imagine that they will link these facts with the names and deeds of the men who gave them to the world.  And when they study history, it will be vastly more than a bare recital of dates and events,—­it will be alive with these great lessons of struggle and triumph,—­for history, after all, is only the record of human achievement.  And if those pupils do not find these same lessons coming out of their own little conquests,—­if the problems of arithmetic do not furnish an opportunity to conquer the pressure ridges of partial payments or the Polar night of bank discount, or if the intricacies of formal grammar do not resolve themselves into the North Pole of correct expression,—­I have misjudged that teacher’s capacities; for the great triumph of teaching is to get our pupils to see the fundamental and the eternal in things that are seemingly trivial and transitory.  We are fond of dividing school studies into the cultural and the practical, into the humanities and the sciences.  Believe me, there is no study worth the teaching that is not practical at basis, and there is no practical study that has not its human interest and its humanizing influence—­if only we go to some pains to search them out.

V

I have said that the most useful thing that education can do is to imbue the pupil with the ideal of effortful achievement which will lead him to do cheerfully and effectively the disagreeable tasks that fall to his lot.  I have said that the next most useful thing that it can do is to give him a general method of solving the problems that he meets.  Is there any other useful outcome of a general nature that we may rank in importance with these two?  I believe that there is, and I can perhaps tell you what I mean by another reference to a concrete case.  I know a man who lacks this third factor, although he possesses the other two in a very generous measure.  He is full of ambition, persistence, and courage.  He is master of the rational method of solving the problems that beset him.  He does his work intelligently and effectively.  And yet he has failed to make

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Craftsmanship in Teaching from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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