QUESTIONS AND EXERCISES
1. Distinguish between a “school teacher” and a “man or woman who teaches school.”
2. Discuss the importance of the following agencies of the school in securing for children “life of a better quality and more abundant”: play; revitalized curricula; vitalized teachers; medical inspection; social centers; moral instruction.
3. Discuss both from the standpoint of present practice and ideal educational principles: “More abundant life rather than knowledge is the chief end of instruction.”
4. What changes are necessary in school curricula and in the methods of school organization, instruction, and discipline, in order that the chief purpose of our schools, “more abundant life,” may be realized?
5. Justify the apparent length of the school day to teachers and pupils, as a means of determining the quality of the work of the school.
6. Some teachers maintain that school is a preparation for life, while the author maintains that “school is life.” Is this difference in the concept of the school a vital one?
7. How may this difference of concept affect the work of the teacher? the attitude of the pupil?
8. What definition of education will best harmonize with the ideals of this chapter?
=Teachers contrasted.=—The vitalized school is an expression of the vitalized teacher. In the hands of the teacher of another sort, the vitalized school is impossible. Unless she can see in the multiplication table the power that throws the bridge across the river, that builds pyramids, that constructs railways, that sends ships across the ocean, that tunnels mountains and navigates the air, this table becomes a stupid thing, a dead thing, and an incubus upon the spirits of her pupils. To such a teacher mathematics is a lifeless thing, without hope or potency, the school is a mere convenience for the earning of a livelihood, the work is the drudgery of bondage, and the children are little less than an impertinence. The vitalized teacher is different. To her the multiplication table pulsates with life. It stretches forth its beneficent hand to give employment to a million workers, and food to a million homes. It pervades every mart of trade; it loads trains and ships with the commerce of nations; and it helps to amplify and ennoble civilization.
=Vitalized mathematics.=—In this table she sees a prophecy of great achievements in engineering, architecture, transportation, and the myriad applications of science. In brief, mathematics to her is vibrant with life both in its present uses and in its possibilities. She knows that it is a part of the texture of the daily life of every home as well as of national life. She knows that it pertains to individual, community,