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The Use And The Abuse Of The Memory

The Use And The Abuse Of The Memory image
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On this topic, Prof Pnyne of the Uiúveraity, dolivered a able un ddress, probably, as bis ever been listened toby the association, and a synopsis would do but imperfect justice toit. Hq discussed the conflict between the oll and new systems of education, hostila in purpose, and the effect cf whioh is feit iu all branches of education. The points of contrast between the two systems are gu min ar i zea as follows: 1. The uld system niíikes a chi. f purpose of the sc'iool to conaiit in putting the pupil in secure possesaion ot acouuiulated knowlodge ; it makes books the esseutial meana ot instruction.aud mugnifies the office of thn memory. 2. ïhe new . eystem ruutes tbe chief purpose of the school to consist in training the powera of observation by a direct exanihiation of the sensible, the real; it aims at formation, rather than intormation ; seta the pupil on the truck of original discovery; gives a c'ear preference to thintrs over signs; niagnifies the value of observation, and bulittlos tho valuo of momory. The Professor said mömory was like a bank, trom whence we might draw our deposita as occasion might requiro. A botanist who goes through a certain región for specimens woold not stop to examine minutely each specimen, but wou ld gather here and thera a specimen, lay thmn in a receptacle, and at bis leisure would examine minutely what he had gathered. So with memory. - The gieit danger would be of course that we may commit things to meuiory, and not reflect on them. But as the food in the etomach furnishes irritation for its digestión, so the presen ce of knowledge in the ininri, fnrnished the necnssary irritation for its proper mental digestión. He did not boliove in the statement that Dothing that isnot understood ehould be couimitted to memory. Ho would rather ruake a rule to commit thingfl to m 'inory bat you may understand them-. believed that tho two rival systems were the natutal and neoes.-ary counterpart of t!ie otber, that thoy are tho two phases of one great truth, and that a, wise system of educatiou will mediata betwüeu the two extremos, and thus present a symmetrical doctrine and ratioiial muthod.


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