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Education Is Discipline

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A writer in the Wayne County Hcvirw has these sensible words to say: Iu the discussion over " ïuathcmalicul puzzles" and the ]art they ply In our 8y8tein of education, it is i'iitcresting to note tho varions posltion9 taken by school patron8 and readers of the Detroit papers. One writer complains that lils daughter is so ïnuch taken up with the lengthy and intricate proeesses and problems of algebra, that she can give little or no attent Ion to otlier and more important branches. Especially is he displea3ed beoause it is the practice of teachers, pai ticularlv in the high school, tosliarpeu the witsof the pupila now and then by fumishlng tor solution original mathematica) puzzles. One writer in the Free l'ress OOmpluini bitterly Ihat aftera coiuse of two years at the above Inttitutlon he could discover In the case of his daughter uu evidence of advancement save in tlie Oomafu of muthemalic - a branch uliich she hales with intense hatred. He Hkeill the advocates of high mathem-itlcal puzzles to people rowiiig a boat on a river and sudUenly running afoul a snag. They keep on rowing in Ihe liope of getting over It, anyhow, instead of backiug up aud taking iii easier course. "Or the same parties,1' he adds, "it they liad raiaed a mixd brood of ducks aud chickens, would ralse hob if tliechiekens couldn't learn tosaiin as well as the ducks." In the cours-e of Midi reMOnlng the main idea or object of educatlon is over looked. This should be, not so much to fill the miud with knowledfje, as to strengthen and discipline the mental faculties that they may gnpple with anv knowledge. The very meaning of the word education (froni the Laan e and duco) is to lead or draw out, aud as applied to the uiind, has reference to such traiuing as shall most effectually draw out and thus strengtlien its power. Some of theexercisesthrough wliich tlie traiued athiete puts iiis pupil are much more il - tasteful to liim tliau others. If left to follow his own iiiclinations, there would be only such parts of the duily curriculum tollowed as accorded with his own teel Inga. This would never do. The most disagreeable exercises are often the most benelicial. Whatever the particular line of physical eITort to whlch he looks forward, wlthin certain limita his pliysical powers should go forward in a symmetrical aud even-breasted march. The special training, or the developmcnt of certain sets of mutOUM, should be a later consideration. The analogy should hold good in reference to mental gymnastics. If there is a want of clasticity iu our school system, it is more apparent than real. Indeed, to a certain extent it is unavoidable. Whether the study of matl - ematlof accord with the pupils' taste or not, it is scarcely au open question about its importance as rejjards healthful mental discipline.


Ann Arbor Courier
Old News