think from the civilized methods of teaching, that many modern instructors have taken a special delight in rendering all the roads of knowledge unroyal and disagreeable. We have taught the knowledge which is in books as though it were something quite different from that which belongs to things.
The black, dead letters of our books have no vitality. They do not reach the child's feelings, the quickening center of all his intellectual activity. Even the teachers have forgotten what the names and forms of the letters mean.
NATURAL METHODS. We must realize that it is
just as natural for a child to acquire knowledge as it is to breathe. If we conform our methods to the natural laws, then education will become a vital growth and not an artificial process.
Our method must speak to all the senses of the child. These senses are the doors through which all the materials of his knowledge must come. To him this world is a concrete world. It is made up of things. All truths are embodied. They have an outward clothing of substance. Analysis may distinguish separate properties ; we may consider the color of an orange without paying any attention to the fact that it is spherical. Only in this way can knowledge be abstract.
It is in this world of objects that the keen senses and active imagination of the child are perpetually delighted. It is to bring this objective world within the school-room that we invent the color-balls and blocks, the tablets and weaving-slats, the paints and patterns and leaves, for the younger pupils. It is for this that we organize the training shops for the older hands and brains,