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Democracy and Education by John Dewey

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germination and nutrition of plants, the reproduction of fruits,
etc., thus making a transition to deliberate intellectual

The illustration is intended to apply, of course, to other school
occupations, -- wood-working, cooking, and on through the list.
It is pertinent to note that in the history of the race the
sciences grew gradually out from useful social occupations.
Physics developed slowly out of the use of tools and machines;
the important branch of physics known as mechanics testifies in
its name to its original associations. The lever, wheel,
inclined plane, etc., were among the first great intellectual
discoveries of mankind, and they are none the less intellectual
because they occurred in the course of seeking for means of
accomplishing practical ends. The great advance of electrical
science in the last generation was closely associated, as effect
and as cause, with application of electric agencies to means of
communication, transportation, lighting of cities and houses, and
more economical production of goods. These are social ends,
moreover, and if they are too closely associated with notions of
private profit, it is not because of anything in them, but
because they have been deflected to private uses: -- a fact which
puts upon the school the responsibility of restoring their
connection, in the mind of the coming generation, with public
scientific and social interests. In like ways, chemistry grew
out of processes of dying, bleaching, metal working, etc., and in
recent times has found innumerable new uses in industry.

Mathematics is now a highly abstract science; geometry, however,
means literally earth-measuring: the practical use of number in
counting to keep track of things and in measuring is even more
important to-day than in the times when it was invented for these
purposes. Such considerations (which could be duplicated in the
history of any science) are not arguments for a recapitulation of
the history of the race or for dwelling long in the early rule of
thumb stage. But they indicate the possibilities--greater to-day
than ever before -- of using active occupations as opportunities
for scientific study. The opportunities are just as great on the
social side, whether we look at the life of collective humanity
in its past or in its future. The most direct road for
elementary students into civics and economics is found in
consideration of the place and office of industrial occupations
in social life. Even for older students, the social sciences
would be less abstract and formal if they were dealt with less as
sciences (less as formulated bodies of knowledge) and more in
their direct subject-matter as that is found in the daily life of
the social groups in which the student shares.

Connection of occupations with the method of science is at least
as close as with its subject matter. The ages when scientific
progress was slow were the ages when learned men had contempt for
the material and processes of everyday life, especially for those
concerned with manual pursuits. Consequently they strove to
develop knowledge out of general principles -- almost out of
their heads -- by logical reasons. It seems as absurd that
learning should come from action on and with physical things,
like dropping acid on a stone to see what would happen, as that
it should come from sticking an awl with waxed thread through a
piece of leather. But the rise of experimental methods proved
that, given control of conditions, the latter operation is more
typical of the right way of knowledge than isolated logical
reasonings. Experiment developed in the seventeenth and
succeeding centuries and became the authorized way of knowing
when men's interests were centered in the question of control of
nature for human uses. The active occupations in which
appliances are brought to bear upon physical things with the
intention of effecting useful changes is the most vital
introduction to the experimental method.

3. Work and Play. What has been termed active occupation
includes both play and work. In their intrinsic meaning, play
and industry are by no means so antithetical to one another as is
often assumed, any sharp contrast being due to undesirable social
conditions. Both involve ends consciously entertained and the
selection and adaptations of materials and processes designed to
effect the desired ends. The difference between them is largely
one of time-span, influencing the directness of the connection of
means and ends. In play, the interest is more direct -- a fact
frequently indicated by saying that in play the activity is its
own end, instead of its having an ulterior result. The statement
is correct, but it is falsely taken, if supposed to mean that
play activity is momentary, having no element of looking ahead
and none of pursuit. Hunting, for example, is one of the
commonest forms of adult play, but the existence of foresight and
the direction of present activity by what one is watching for are
obvious. When an activity is its own end in the sense that the
action of the moment is complete in itself, it is purely
physical; it has no meaning (See p. 77). The person is either
going through motions quite blindly, perhaps purely imitatively,
or else is in a state of excitement which is exhausting to mind
and nerves. Both results may be seen in some types of
kindergarten games where the idea of play is so highly symbolic
that only the adult is conscious of it. Unless the children
succeed in reading in some quite different idea of their own,
they move about either as if in a hypnotic daze, or they respond
to a direct excitation.

The point of these remarks is that play has an end in the sense
of a directing idea which gives point to the successive acts.
Persons who play are not just doing something (pure physical
movement); they are trying to do or effect something, an
attitude that involves anticipatory forecasts which stimulate
their present responses. The anticipated result, however, is
rather a subsequent action than the production of a specific
change in things. Consequently play is free, plastic. Where
some definite external outcome is wanted, the end has to be held
to with some persistence, which increases as the contemplated
result is complex and requires a fairly long series of
intermediate adaptations. When the intended act is another
activity, it is not necessary to look far ahead and it is
possible to alter it easily and frequently. If a child is making
a toy boat, he must hold on to a single end and direct a
considerable number of acts by that one idea. If he is just
"playing boat" he may change the material that serves as a boat
almost at will, and introduce new factors as fancy suggests. The
imagination makes what it will of chairs, blocks, leaves, chips,
if they serve the purpose of carrying activity forward.

From a very early age, however, there is no distinction of
exclusive periods of play activity and work activity, but only
one of emphasis. There are definite results which even young
children desire, and try to bring to pass. Their eager interest
in sharing the occupations of others, if nothing else,
accomplishes this. Children want to "help"; they are anxious to
engage in the pursuits of adults which effect external changes:
setting the table, washing dishes, helping care for animals, etc.
In their plays, they like to construct their own toys and
appliances. With increasing maturity, activity which does not
give back results of tangible and visible achievement loses its
interest. Play then changes to fooling and if habitually
indulged in is demoralizing. Observable results are necessary to
enable persons to get a sense and a measure of their own powers.
When make-believe is recognized to be make-believe, the device of
making objects in fancy alone is too easy to stimulate intense
action. One has only to observe the countenance of children
really playing to note that their attitude is one of serious
absorption; this attitude cannot be maintained when things cease
to afford adequate stimulation.

When fairly remote results of a definite character are foreseen
and enlist persistent effort for their accomplishment, play
passes into work. Like play, it signifies purposeful activity
and differs not in that activity is subordinated to an external
result, but in the fact that a longer course of activity is
occasioned by the idea of a result. The demand for continuous
attention is greater, and more intelligence must be shown in
selecting and shaping means. To extend this account would be to
repeat what has been said under the caption of aim, interest, and
thinking. It is pertinent, however, to inquire why the idea is
so current that work involves subordination of an activity to an
ulterior material result. The extreme form of this
subordination, namely drudgery, offers a clew. Activity carried
on under conditions of external pressure or coercion is not
carried on for any significance attached to the doing. The
course of action is not intrinsically satisfying; it is a mere
means for avoiding some penalty, or for gaining some reward at
its conclusion. What is inherently repulsive is endured for the
sake of averting something still more repulsive or of securing a
gain hitched on by others. Under unfree economic conditions,
this state of affairs is bound to exist. Work or industry offers
little to engage the emotions and the imagination; it is a more
or less mechanical series of strains. Only the hold which the
completion of the work has upon a person will keep him going.
But the end should be intrinsic to the action; it should be its
end -- a part of its own course. Then it affords a stimulus to
effort very different from that arising from the thought of
results which have nothing to do with the intervening action. As
already mentioned, the absence of economic pressure in schools
supplies an opportunity for reproducing industrial situations of
mature life under conditions where the occupation can be carried
on for its own sake. If in some cases, pecuniary recognition is
also a result of an action, though not the chief motive for it,
that fact may well increase the significance of the occupation.
Where something approaching drudgery or the need of fulfilling
externally imposed tasks exists, the demand for play persists,
but tends to be perverted. The ordinary course of action fails
to give adequate stimulus to emotion and imagination. So in
leisure time, there is an imperious demand for their stimulation
by any kind of means; gambling, drink, etc., may be resorted to.
Or, in less extreme cases, there is recourse to idle amusement;
to anything which passes time with immediate agreeableness.
Recreation, as the word indicates, is recuperation of energy. No
demand of human nature is more urgent or less to be escaped. The
idea that the need can be suppressed is absolutely fallacious,
and the Puritanic tradition which disallows the need has entailed
an enormous crop of evils. If education does not afford
opportunity for wholesome recreation and train capacity for
seeking and finding it, the suppressed instincts find all sorts
of illicit outlets, sometimes overt, sometimes confined to
indulgence of the imagination. Education has no more serious
responsibility than making adequate provision for enjoyment of
recreative leisure; not only for the sake of immediate health,
but still more if possible for the sake of its lasting effect
upon habits of mind. Art is again the answer to this demand.

Summary. In the previous chapter we found that the primary
subject matter of knowing is that contained in learning how to do
things of a fairly direct sort. The educational equivalent of
this principle is the consistent use of simple occupations which
appeal to the powers of youth and which typify general modes of
social activity. Skill and information about materials, tools,
and laws of energy are acquired while activities are carried on
for their own sake. The fact that they are socially
representative gives a quality to the skill and knowledge gained
which makes them transferable to out-of-school situations.
It is important not to confuse the psychological distinction
between play and work with the economic distinction.
Psychologically, the defining characteristic of play is not
amusement nor aimlessness. It is the fact that the aim is
thought of as more activity in the same line, without defining
continuity of action in reference to results produced.
Activities as they grow more complicated gain added meaning by
greater attention to specific results achieved. Thus they pass
gradually into work. Both are equally free and intrinsically
motivated, apart from false economic conditions which tend to
make play into idle excitement for the well to do, and work into
uncongenial labor for the poor. Work is psychologically simply
an activity which consciously includes regard for consequences as
a part of itself; it becomes constrained labor when the
consequences are outside of the activity as an end to which
activity is merely a means. Work which remains permeated with
the play attitude is art -- in quality if not in conventional

Chapter Sixteen: The Significance of Geography and History

1. Extension of Meaning of Primary Activities. Nothing is more
striking than the difference between an activity as merely
physical and the wealth of meanings which the same activity
may assume. From the outside, an astronomer gazing through a
telescope is like a small boy looking through the same tube. In
each case, there is an arrangement of glass and metal, an eye,
and a little speck of light in the distance. Yet at a critical
moment, the activity of an astronomer might be concerned with the
birth of a world, and have whatever is known about the starry
heavens as its significant content. Physically speaking, what
man has effected on this globe in his progress from savagery is a
mere scratch on its surface, not perceptible at a distance which
is slight in comparison with the reaches even of the solar
system. Yet in meaning what has been accomplished measures just
the difference of civilization from savagery. Although the
activities, physically viewed, have changed somewhat, this change
is slight in comparison with the development of the meanings
attaching to the activities. There is no limit to the meaning
which an action may come to possess. It all depends upon the
context of perceived connections in which it is placed; the reach
of imagination in realizing connections is inexhaustible.
The advantage which the activity of man has in appropriating and
finding meanings makes his education something else than the
manufacture of a tool or the training of an animal. The latter
increase efficiency; they do not develop significance. The final
educational importance of such occupations in play and work as
were considered in the last chapter is that they afford the most
direct instrumentalities for such extension of meaning. Set
going under adequate conditions they are magnets for gathering
and retaining an indefinitely wide scope of intellectual
considerations. They provide vital centers for the reception and
assimilation of information. When information is purveyed in
chunks simply as information to be retained for its own sake, it
tends to stratify over vital experience. Entering as a factor
into an activity pursued for its own sake--whether as a means or
as a widening of the content of the aim--it is informing. The
insight directly gained fuses with what is told. Individual
experience is then capable of taking up and holding in solution
the net results of the experience of the group to which he
belongs--including the results of sufferings and trials over long
stretches of time. And such media have no fixed saturation point
where further absorption is impossible. The more that is taken
in, the greater capacity there is for further assimilation. New
receptiveness follows upon new curiosity, and new curiosity upon
information gained.

The meanings with which activities become charged, concern nature
and man. This is an obvious truism, which however gains meaning
when translated into educational equivalents. So translated, it
signifies that geography and history supply subject matter which
gives background and outlook, intellectual perspective, to what
might otherwise be narrow personal actions or mere forms of
technical skill. With every increase of ability to place our own
doings in their time and space connections, our doings gain in
significant content. We realize that we are citizens of no mean
city in discovering the scene in space of which we are denizens,
and the continuous manifestation of endeavor in time of which we
are heirs and continuers. Thus our ordinary daily experiences
cease to be things of the moment and gain enduring substance.
Of course if geography and history are taught as ready-made
studies which a person studies simply because he is sent to
school, it easily happens that a large number of statements about
things remote and alien to everyday experience are learned.
Activity is divided, and two separate worlds are built up,
occupying activity at divided periods. No transmutation takes
place; ordinary experience is not enlarged in meaning by getting
its connections; what is studied is not animated and made real by
entering into immediate activity. Ordinary experience is not
even left as it was, narrow but vital. Rather, it loses
something of its mobility and sensitiveness to suggestions. It
is weighed down and pushed into a corner by a load of
unassimilated information. It parts with its flexible
responsiveness and alert eagerness for additional meaning. Mere
amassing of information apart from the direct interests of life
makes mind wooden; elasticity disappears.

Normally every activity engaged in for its own sake reaches out
beyond its immediate self. It does not passively wait for
information to be bestowed which will increase its meaning; it
seeks it out. Curiosity is not an accidental isolated
possession; it is a necessary consequence of the fact that an
experience is a moving, changing thing, involving all kinds of
connections with other things. Curiosity is but the tendency to
make these conditions perceptible. It is the business of
educators to supply an environment so that this reaching out of
an experience may be fruitfully rewarded and kept continuously
active. Within a certain kind of environment, an activity may be
checked so that the only meaning which accrues is of its direct
and tangible isolated outcome. One may cook, or hammer, or walk,
and the resulting consequences may not take the mind any farther
than the consequences of cooking, hammering, and walking in the
literal -- or physical -- sense. But nevertheless the
consequences of the act remain far-reaching. To walk involves a
displacement and reaction of the resisting earth, whose thrill is
felt wherever there is matter. It involves the structure of the
limbs and the nervous system; the principles of mechanics. To
cook is to utilize heat and moisture to change the chemical
relations of food materials; it has a bearing upon the
assimilation of food and the growth of the body. The utmost that
the most learned men of science know in physics, chemistry,
physiology is not enough to make all these consequences and
connections perceptible. The task of education, once more, is to
see to it that such activities are performed in such ways and
under such conditions as render these conditions as perceptible
as possible. To "learn geography" is to gain in power to
perceive the spatial, the natural, connections of an ordinary
act; to "learn history" is essentially to gain in power to
recognize its human connections. For what is called geography as
a formulated study is simply the body of facts and principles
which have been discovered in other men's experience about the
natural medium in which we live, and in connection with which the
particular acts of our life have an explanation. So history as a
formulated study is but the body of known facts about the
activities and sufferings of the social groups with which our own
lives are continuous, and through reference to which our own
customs and institutions are illuminated.

2. The Complementary Nature of History and Geography. History
and geography -- including in the latter, for reasons about to be
mentioned, nature study -- are the information studies par
excellence of the schools. Examination of the materials and the
method of their use will make clear that the difference between
penetration of this information into living experience and its
mere piling up in isolated heaps depends upon whether these
studies are faithful to the interdependence of man and nature
which affords these studies their justification. Nowhere,
however, is there greater danger that subject matter will be
accepted as appropriate educational material simply because it
has become customary to teach and learn it. The idea of a
philosophic reason for it, because of the function of the
material in a worthy transformation of experience, is looked upon
as a vain fancy, or as supplying a high-sounding phraseology in
support of what is already done. The words "history" and
"geography" suggest simply the matter which has been
traditionally sanctioned in the schools. The mass and variety of
this matter discourage an attempt to see what it really stands
for, and how it can be so taught as to fulfill its mission in the
experience of pupils. But unless the idea that there is a
unifying and social direction in education is a farcical
pretense, subjects that bulk as large in the curriculum as
history and geography, must represent a general function in the
development of a truly socialized and intellectualized
experience. The discovery of this function must be employed as a
criterion for trying and sifting the facts taught and the methods

The function of historical and geographical subject matter has
been stated; it is to enrich and liberate the more direct and
personal contacts of life by furnishing their context, their
background and outlook. While geography emphasizes the physical
side and history the social, these are only emphases in a common
topic, namely, the associated life of men. For this associated
life, with its experiments, its ways and means, its achievements
and failures, does not go on in the sky nor yet in a vacuum. It
takes place on the earth. This setting of nature does not bear
to social activities the relation that the scenery of a
theatrical performance bears to a dramatic representation; it
enters into the very make-up of the social happenings that form
history. Nature is the medium of social occurrences. It
furnishes original stimuli; it supplies obstacles and resources.
Civilization is the progressive mastery of its varied energies.
When this interdependence of the study of history, representing
the human emphasis, with the study of geography, representing the
natural, is ignored, history sinks to a listing of dates with an
appended inventory of events, labeled "important"; or else it
becomes a literary phantasy -- for in purely literary history the
natural environment is but stage scenery.

Geography, of course, has its educative influence in a
counterpart connection of natural facts with social events and
their consequences. The classic definition of geography as an
account of the earth as the home of man expresses the educational
reality. But it is easier to give this definition than it is to
present specific geographical subject matter in its vital human
bearings. The residence, pursuits, successes, and failures of
men are the things that give the geographic data their reason for
inclusion in the material of instruction. But to hold the two
together requires an informed and cultivated imagination. When
the ties are broken, geography presents itself as that
hodge-podge of unrelated fragments too often found. It appears
as a veritable rag-bag of intellectual odds and ends: the height
of a mountain here, the course of a river there, the quantity of
shingles produced in this town, the tonnage of the shipping in
that, the boundary of a county, the capital of a state. The
earth as the home of man is humanizing and unified; the earth
viewed as a miscellany of facts is scattering and imaginatively
inert. Geography is a topic that originally appeals to
imagination -- even to the romantic imagination. It shares in
the wonder and glory that attach to adventure, travel, and
exploration. The variety of peoples and environments, their
contrast with familiar scenes, furnishes infinite stimulation.
The mind is moved from the monotony of the customary. And while
local or home geography is the natural starting point in the
reconstructive development of the natural environment, it is an
intellectual starting point for moving out into the unknown, not
an end in itself. When not treated as a basis for getting at the
large world beyond, the study of the home geography becomes as
deadly as do object lessons which simply summarize the properties
of familiar objects. The reason is the same. The imagination is
not fed, but is held down to recapitulating, cataloguing, and
refining what is already known. But when the familiar fences
that mark the limits of the village proprietors are signs that
introduce an understanding of the boundaries of great nations,
even fences are lighted with meaning. Sunlight, air, running
water, inequality of earth's surface, varied industries, civil
officers and their duties -- all these things are found in the
local environment. Treated as if their meaning began and ended
in those confines, they are curious facts to be laboriously
learned. As instruments for extending the limits of experience,
bringing within its scope peoples and things otherwise strange
and unknown, they are transfigured by the use to which they are
put. Sunlight, wind, stream, commerce, political relations come
from afar and lead the thoughts afar. To follow their course is
to enlarge the mind not by stuffing it with additional
information, but by remaking the meaning of what was previously a
matter of course.

The same principle coordinates branches, or phases, of
geographical study which tend to become specialized and separate.
Mathematical or astronomical, physiographic, topographic,
political, commercial, geography, all make their claims. How are
they to be adjusted? By an external compromise that crowds in so
much of each? No other method is to be found unless it be
constantly borne in mind that the educational center of gravity
is in the cultural or humane aspects of the subject. From this
center, any material becomes relevant in so far as it is needed
to help appreciate the significance of human activities and
relations. The differences of civilization in cold and tropical
regions, the special inventions, industrial and political, of
peoples in the temperate regions, cannot be understood without
appeal to the earth as a member of the solar system. Economic
activities deeply influence social intercourse and political
organization on one side, and reflect physical conditions on the
other. The specializations of these topics are for the
specialists; their interaction concerns man as a being whose
experience is social.

To include nature study within geography doubtless seems forced;
verbally, it is. But in educational idea there is but one
reality, and it is pity that in practice we have two names: for
the diversity of names tends to conceal the identity of meaning.
Nature and the earth should be equivalent terms, and so should
earth study and nature study. Everybody knows that nature study
has suffered in schools from scrappiness of subject matter, due
to dealing with a large number of isolated points. The parts of
a flower have been studied, for example, apart from the flower as
an organ; the flower apart from the plant; the plant apart from
the soil, air, and light in which and through which it lives.
The result is an inevitable deadness of topics to which attention
is invited, but which are so isolated that they do not feed
imagination. The lack of interest is so great that it was
seriously proposed to revive animism, to clothe natural facts and
events with myths in order that they might attract and hold the
mind. In numberless cases, more or less silly personifications
were resorted to. The method was silly, but it expressed a real
need for a human atmosphere. The facts had been torn to pieces
by being taken out of their context. They no longer belonged to
the earth; they had no abiding place anywhere. To compensate,
recourse was had to artificial and sentimental associations. The
real remedy is to make nature study a study of nature, not of
fragments made meaningless through complete removal from the
situations in which they are produced and in which they operate.
When nature is treated as a whole, like the earth in its
relations, its phenomena fall into their natural relations of
sympathy and association with human life, and artificial
substitutes are not needed.

3. History and Present Social Life. The segregation which kills
the vitality of history is divorce from present modes and
concerns of social life. The past just as past is no longer our
affair. If it were wholly gone and done with, there would be
only one reasonable attitude toward it. Let the dead bury their
dead. But knowledge of the past is the key to understanding the
present. History deals with the past, but this past is the
history of the present. An intelligent study of the discovery,
explorations, colonization of America, of the pioneer movement
westward, of immigration, etc., should be a study of the United
States as it is to-day: of the country we now live in. Studying
it in process of formation makes much that is too complex to be
directly grasped open to comprehension. Genetic method was
perhaps the chief scientific achievement of the latter half of
the nineteenth century. Its principle is that the way to get
insight into any complex product is to trace the process of its
making, -- to follow it through the successive stages of its
growth. To apply this method to history as if it meant only the
truism that the present social state cannot be separated from its
past, is one-sided. It means equally that past events cannot be
separated from the living present and retain meaning. The true
starting point of history is always some present situation with
its problems.

This general principle may be briefly applied to a consideration
of its bearing upon a number of points. The biographical method
is generally recommended as the natural mode of approach to
historical study. The lives of great men, of heroes and leaders,
make concrete and vital historic episodes otherwise abstract and
incomprehensible. They condense into vivid pictures complicated
and tangled series of events spread over so much space and time
that only a highly trained mind can follow and unravel them.
There can be no doubt of the psychological soundness of this
principle. But it is misused when employed to throw into
exaggerated relief the doings of a few individuals without
reference to the social situations which they represent. When a
biography is related just as an account of the doings of a man
isolated from the conditions that aroused him and to which his
activities were a response, we do not have a study of history,
for we have no study of social life, which is an affair of
individuals in association. We get only a sugar coating which
makes it easier to swallow certain fragments of information.
Much attention has been given of late to primitive life as an
introduction to learning history. Here also there is a right and
a wrong way of conceiving its value. The seemingly ready-made
character and the complexity of present conditions, their
apparently hard and fast character, is an almost insuperable
obstacle to gaining insight into their nature. Recourse to the
primitive may furnish the fundamental elements of the present
situation in immensely simplified form. It is like unraveling a
cloth so complex and so close to the eyes that its scheme cannot
be seen, until the larger coarser features of the pattern appear.
We cannot simplify the present situations by deliberate
experiment, but resort to primitive life presents us with the
sort of results we should desire from an experiment. Social
relationships and modes of organized action are reduced to their
lowest terms. When this social aim is overlooked, however, the
study of primitive life becomes simply a rehearsing of
sensational and exciting features of savagery. Primitive history
suggests industrial history. For one of the chief reasons for
going to more primitive conditions to resolve the present into
more easily perceived factors is that we may realize how the
fundamental problems of procuring subsistence, shelter, and
protection have been met; and by seeing how these were solved in
the earlier days of the human race, form some conception of the
long road which has had to be traveled, and of the successive
inventions by which the race has been brought forward in culture.
We do not need to go into disputes regarding the economic
interpretation of history to realize that the industrial history
of mankind gives insight into two important phases of social life
in a way which no other phase of history can possibly do. It
presents us with knowledge of the successive inventions by which
theoretical science has been applied to the control of nature in
the interests of security and prosperity of social life. It thus
reveals the successive causes of social progress. Its other
service is to put before us the things that fundamentally concern
all men in common -- the occupations and values connected with
getting a living. Economic history deals with the activities,
the career, and fortunes of the common man as does no other
branch of history. The one thing every individual must do is to
live; the one thing that society must do is to secure from each
individual his fair contribution to the general well being and
see to it that a just return is made to him.

Economic history is more human, more democratic, and hence more
liberalizing than political history. It deals not with the rise
and fall of principalities and powers, but with the growth of the
effective liberties, through command of nature, of the common man
for whom powers and principalities exist.

Industrial history also offers a more direct avenue of approach
to the realization of the intimate connection of man's struggles,
successes, and failures with nature than does political history
-- to say nothing of the military history into which political
history so easily runs when reduced to the level of youthful
comprehension. For industrial history is essentially an account
of the way in which man has learned to utilize natural energy
from the time when men mostly exploited the muscular energies of
other men to the time when, in promise if not in actuality, the
resources of nature are so under command as to enable men to
extend a common dominion over her. When the history of work,
when the conditions of using the soil, forest, mine, of
domesticating and cultivating grains and animals, of manufacture
and distribution, are left out of account, history tends to
become merely literary -- a systematized romance of a mythical
humanity living upon itself instead of upon the earth.

Perhaps the most neglected branch of history in general education
is intellectual history. We are only just beginning to realize
that the great heroes who have advanced human destiny are not its
politicians, generals, and diplomatists, but the scientific
discoverers and inventors who have put into man's hands the
instrumentalities of an expanding and controlled experience, and
the artists and poets who have celebrated his struggles,
triumphs, and defeats in such language, pictorial, plastic, or
written, that their meaning is rendered universally accessible to
others. One of the advantages of industrial history as a history
of man's progressive adaptation of natural forces to social uses
is the opportunity which it affords for consideration of advance
in the methods and results of knowledge. At present men are
accustomed to eulogize intelligence and reason in general terms;
their fundamental importance is urged. But pupils often come
away from the conventional study of history, and think either
that the human intellect is a static quantity which has not
progressed by the invention of better methods, or else that
intelligence, save as a display of personal shrewdness, is a
negligible historic factor. Surely no better way could be
devised of instilling a genuine sense of the part which mind has
to play in life than a study of history which makes plain how the
entire advance of humanity from savagery to civilization has been
dependent upon intellectual discoveries and inventions, and the
extent to which the things which ordinarily figure most largely
in historical writings have been side issues, or even
obstructions for intelligence to overcome.

Pursued in this fashion, history would most naturally become of
ethical value in teaching. Intelligent insight into present
forms of associated life is necessary for a character whose
morality is more than colorless innocence. Historical knowledge
helps provide such insight. It is an organ for analysis of the
warp and woof of the present social fabric, of making known the
forces which have woven the pattern. The use of history for
cultivating a socialized intelligence constitutes its moral
significance. It is possible to employ it as a kind of reservoir
of anecdotes to be drawn on to inculcate special moral lessons on
this virtue or that vice. But such teaching is not so much an
ethical use of history as it is an effort to create moral
impressions by means of more or less authentic material. At
best, it produces a temporary emotional glow; at worst, callous
indifference to moralizing. The assistance which may be given by
history to a more intelligent sympathetic understanding of the
social situations of the present in which individuals share is a
permanent and constructive moral asset.

Summary. It is the nature of an experience to have implications
which go far beyond what is at first consciously noted in it.
Bringing these connections or implications to consciousness
enhances the meaning of the experience. Any experience, however
trivial in its first appearance, is capable of assuming an
indefinite richness of significance by extending its range of
perceived connections. Normal communication with others is the
readiest way of effecting this development, for it links up the
net results of the experience of the group and even the race with
the immediate experience of an individual. By normal
communication is meant that in which there is a joint interest, a
common interest, so that one is eager to give and the other to
take. It contrasts with telling or stating things simply for the
sake of impressing them upon another, merely in order to test him
to see how much he has retained and can literally reproduce.

Geography and history are the two great school resources for
bringing about the enlargement of the significance of a direct
personal experience. The active occupations described in the
previous chapter reach out in space and time with respect to both
nature and man. Unless they are taught for external reasons or
as mere modes of skill their chief educational value is that they
provide the most direct and interesting roads out into the larger
world of meanings stated in history and geography. While history
makes human implications explicit and geography natural
connections, these subjects are two phases of the same living
whole, since the life of men in association goes on in nature,
not as an accidental setting, but as the material and medium of

Chapter Seventeen: Science in the Course of Study

1. The Logical and the Psychological. By science is meant, as
already stated, that knowledge which is the outcome of methods of
observation, reflection, and testing which are deliberately
adopted to secure a settled, assured subject matter. It involves
an intelligent and persistent endeavor to revise current beliefs
so as to weed out what is erroneous, to add to their accuracy,
and, above all, to give them such shape that the dependencies of
the various facts upon one another may be as obvious as possible.
It is, like all knowledge, an outcome of activity bringing about
certain changes in the environment. But in its case, the quality
of the resulting knowledge is the controlling factor and not an
incident of the activity. Both logically and educationally,
science is the perfecting of knowing, its last stage.

Science, in short, signifies a realization of the logical
implications of any knowledge. Logical order is not a form
imposed upon what is known; it is the proper form of knowledge as
perfected. For it means that the statement of subject matter is
of a nature to exhibit to one who understands it the premises
from which it follows and the conclusions to which it points (See
ante, p. 190). As from a few bones the competent zoologist
reconstructs an animal; so from the form of a statement in
mathematics or physics the specialist in the subject can form an
idea of the system of truths in which it has its place.

To the non-expert, however, this perfected form is a stumbling
block. Just because the material is stated with reference to the
furtherance of knowledge as an end in itself, its connections
with the material of everyday life are hidden. To the layman the
bones are a mere curiosity. Until he had mastered the principles
of zoology, his efforts to make anything out of them would be
random and blind. From the standpoint of the learner scientific
form is an ideal to be achieved, not a starting point from which
to set out. It is, nevertheless, a frequent practice to start in
instruction with the rudiments of science somewhat simplified.
The necessary consequence is an isolation of science from
significant experience. The pupil learns symbols without the key
to their meaning. He acquires a technical body of information
without ability to trace its connections with the objects and
operations with which he is familiar--often he acquires simply a
peculiar vocabulary. There is a strong temptation to assume that
presenting subject matter in its perfected form provides a royal
road to learning. What more natural than to suppose that the
immature can be saved time and energy, and be protected from
needless error by commencing where competent inquirers have left
off? The outcome is written large in the history of education.
Pupils begin their study of science with texts in which the
subject is organized into topics according to the order of the
specialist. Technical concepts, with their definitions, are
introduced at the outset. Laws are introduced at a very early
stage, with at best a few indications of the way in which they
were arrived at. The pupils learn a "science" instead of
learning the scientific way of treating the familiar material of
ordinary experience. The method of the advanced student
dominates college teaching; the approach of the college is
transferred into the high school, and so down the line, with such
omissions as may make the subject easier.

The chronological method which begins with the experience of the
learner and develops from that the proper modes of scientific
treatment is often called the "psychological" method in
distinction from the logical method of the expert or specialist.
The apparent loss of time involved is more than made up for by
the superior understanding and vital interest secured. What the
pupil learns he at least understands. Moreover by following, in
connection with problems selected from the material of ordinary
acquaintance, the methods by which scientific men have reached
their perfected knowledge, he gains independent power to deal
with material within his range, and avoids the mental confusion
and intellectual distaste attendant upon studying matter whose
meaning is only symbolic. Since the mass of pupils are never
going to become scientific specialists, it is much more important
that they should get some insight into what scientific method
means than that they should copy at long range and second hand
the results which scientific men have reached. Students will not
go so far, perhaps, in the "ground covered," but they will be
sure and intelligent as far as they do go. And it is safe to say
that the few who go on to be scientific experts will have a
better preparation than if they had been swamped with a large
mass of purely technical and symbolically stated information. In
fact, those who do become successful men of science are those who
by their own power manage to avoid the pitfalls of a traditional
scholastic introduction into it.

The contrast between the expectations of the men who a generation
or two ago strove, against great odds, to secure a place for
science in education, and the result generally achieved is
painful. Herbert Spencer, inquiring what knowledge is of most
worth, concluded that from all points of view scientific
knowledge is most valuable. But his argument unconsciously
assumed that scientific knowledge could be communicated in a
ready-made form. Passing over the methods by which the subject
matter of our ordinary activities is transmuted into scientific
form, it ignored the method by which alone science is science.
Instruction has too often proceeded upon an analogous plan. But
there is no magic attached to material stated in technically
correct scientific form. When learned in this condition it
remains a body of inert information. Moreover its form of
statement removes it further from fruitful contact with everyday
experiences than does the mode of statement proper to literature.
Nevertheless that the claims made for instruction in science were
unjustifiable does not follow. For material so taught is not
science to the pupil.

Contact with things and laboratory exercises, while a great
improvement upon textbooks arranged upon the deductive plan, do
not of themselves suffice to meet the need. While they are an
indispensable portion of scientific method, they do not as a
matter of course constitute scientific method. Physical
materials may be manipulated with scientific apparatus, but the
materials may be disassociated in themselves and in the ways in
which they are handled, from the materials and processes used out
of school. The problems dealt with may be only problems of
science: problems, that is, which would occur to one already
initiated in the science of the subject. Our attention may be
devoted to getting skill in technical manipulation without
reference to the connection of laboratory exercises with a
problem belonging to subject matter. There is sometimes a ritual
of laboratory instruction as well as of heathen religion. 1
It has been mentioned, incidentally, that scientific statements,
or logical form, implies the use of signs or symbols. The
statement applies, of course, to all use of language. But in the
vernacular, the mind proceeds directly from the symbol to the
thing signified. Association with familiar material is so close
that the mind does not pause upon the sign. The signs are
intended only to stand for things and acts. But scientific
terminology has an additional use. It is designed, as we have
seen, not to stand for the things directly in their practical use
in experience, but for the things placed in a cognitive system.
Ultimately, of course, they denote the things of our common sense
acquaintance. But immediately they do not designate them in
their common context, but translated into terms of scientific
inquiry. Atoms, molecules, chemical formulae, the mathematical
propositions in the study of physics -- all these have primarily
an intellectual value and only indirectly an empirical value.
They represent instruments for the carrying on of science. As in
the case of other tools, their significance can be learned only
by use. We cannot procure understanding of their meaning by
pointing to things, but only by pointing to their work when they
are employed as part of the technique of knowledge. Even the
circle, square, etc., of geometry exhibit a difference from the
squares and circles of familiar acquaintance, and the further one
proceeds in mathematical science the greater the remoteness from
the everyday empirical thing. Qualities which do not count for
the pursuit of knowledge about spatial relations are left out;
those which are important for this purpose are accentuated. If
one carries his study far enough, he will find even the
properties which are significant for spatial knowledge giving way
to those which facilitate knowledge of other things -- perhaps a
knowledge of the general relations of number. There will be
nothing in the conceptual definitions even to suggest spatial
form, size, or direction. This does not mean that they are
unreal mental inventions, but it indicates that direct physical
qualities have been transmuted into tools for a special end--the
end of intellectual organization. In every machine the primary
state of material has been modified by subordinating it to use
for a purpose. Not the stuff in its original form but in its
adaptation to an end is important. No one would have a knowledge
of a machine who could enumerate all the materials entering into
its structure, but only he who knew their uses and could tell why
they are employed as they are. In like fashion one has a
knowledge of mathematical conceptions only when he sees the
problems in which they function and their specific utility in
dealing with these problems. "Knowing" the definitions, rules,
formulae, etc., is like knowing the names of parts of a machine
without knowing what they do. In one case, as in the other, the
meaning, or intellectual content, is what the element
accomplishes in the system of which it is a member.

2. Science and Social Progress. Assuming that the development
of the direct knowledge gained in occupations of social interest
is carried to a perfected logical form, the question arises as to
its place in experience. In general, the reply is that science
marks the emancipation of mind from devotion to customary
purposes and makes possible the systematic pursuit of new ends.
It is the agency of progress in action. Progress is sometimes
thought of as consisting in getting nearer to ends already
sought. But this is a minor form of progress, for it requires
only improvement of the means of action or technical advance.
More important modes of progress consist in enriching prior
purposes and in forming new ones. Desires are not a fixed
quantity, nor does progress mean only an increased amount of
satisfaction. With increased culture and new mastery of nature,
new desires, demands for new qualities of satisfaction, show
themselves, for intelligence perceives new possibilities of
action. This projection of new possibilities leads to search for
new means of execution, and progress takes place; while the
discovery of objects not already used leads to suggestion of new

That science is the chief means of perfecting control of means of
action is witnessed by the great crop of inventions which
followed intellectual command of the secrets of nature. The
wonderful transformation of production and distribution known as
the industrial revolution is the fruit of experimental science.
Railways, steamboats, electric motors, telephone and telegraph,
automobiles, aeroplanes and dirigibles are conspicuous evidences
of the application of science in life. But none of them would be
of much importance without the thousands of less sensational
inventions by means of which natural science has been rendered
tributary to our daily life.

It must be admitted that to a considerable extent the progress
thus procured has been only technical: it has provided more
efficient means for satisfying preexistent desires, rather than
modified the quality of human purposes. There is, for example,
no modern civilization which is the equal of Greek culture in all
respects. Science is still too recent to have been absorbed into
imaginative and emotional disposition. Men move more swiftly and
surely to the realization of their ends, but their ends too
largely remain what they were prior to scientific enlightenment.
This fact places upon education the responsibility of using
science in a way to modify the habitual attitude of imagination
and feeling, not leave it just an extension of our physical arms
and legs.

The advance of science has already modified men's thoughts of the
purposes and goods of life to a sufficient extent to give some
idea of the nature of this responsibility and the ways of meeting
it. Science taking effect in human activity has broken down
physical barriers which formerly separated men; it has immensely
widened the area of intercourse. It has brought about
interdependence of interests on an enormous scale. It has
brought with it an established conviction of the possibility of
control of nature in the interests of mankind and thus has led
men to look to the future, instead of the past. The coincidence
of the ideal of progress with the advance of science is not a
mere coincidence. Before this advance men placed the golden age
in remote antiquity. Now they face the future with a firm belief
that intelligence properly used can do away with evils once
thought inevitable. To subjugate devastating disease is no
longer a dream; the hope of abolishing poverty is not utopian.
Science has familiarized men with the idea of development, taking
effect practically in persistent gradual amelioration of the
estate of our common humanity.

The problem of an educational use of science is then to create an
intelligence pregnant with belief in the possibility of the
direction of human affairs by itself. The method of science
engrained through education in habit means emancipation from rule
of thumb and from the routine generated by rule of thumb
procedure. The word empirical in its ordinary use does not mean
"connected with experiment," but rather crude and unrational.
Under the influence of conditions created by the non-existence of
experimental science, experience was opposed in all the ruling
philosophies of the past to reason and the truly rational.
Empirical knowledge meant the knowledge accumulated by a
multitude of past instances without intelligent insight into the
principles of any of them. To say that medicine was empirical
meant that it was not scientific, but a mode of practice based
upon accumulated observations of diseases and of remedies used
more or less at random. Such a mode of practice is of necessity
happy-go-lucky; success depends upon chance. It lends itself to
deception and quackery. Industry that is "empirically"
controlled forbids constructive applications of intelligence; it
depends upon following in an imitative slavish manner the models
set in the past. Experimental science means the possibility of
using past experiences as the servant, not the master, of mind.
It means that reason operates within experience, not beyond it,
to give it an intelligent or reasonable quality. Science is
experience becoming rational. The effect of science is thus to
change men's idea of the nature and inherent possibilities of
experience. By the same token, it changes the idea and the
operation of reason. Instead of being something beyond
experience, remote, aloof, concerned with a sublime region that
has nothing to do with the experienced facts of life, it is found
indigenous in experience: -- the factor by which past experiences
are purified and rendered into tools for discovery and advance.

The term "abstract" has a rather bad name in popular speech,
being used to signify not only that which is abstruse and hard to
understand, but also that which is far away from life. But
abstraction is an indispensable trait in reflective direction of
activity. Situations do not literally repeat themselves. Habit
treats new occurrences as if they were identical with old ones;
it suffices, accordingly, when the different or novel element is
negligible for present purposes. But when the new element
requires especial attention, random reaction is the sole recourse
unless abstraction is brought into play. For abstraction
deliberately selects from the subject matter of former
experiences that which is thought helpful in dealing with the
new. It signifies conscious transfer of a meaning embedded in
past experience for use in a new one. It is the very artery of
intelligence, of the intentional rendering of one experience
available for guidance of another.

Science carries on this working over of prior subject matter on a
large scale. It aims to free an experience from all which is
purely personal and strictly immediate; it aims to detach
whatever it has in common with the subject matter of other
experiences, and which, being common, may be saved for further
use. It is, thus, an indispensable factor in social progress.
In any experience just as it occurs there is much which, while it
may be of precious import to the individual implicated in the
experience, is peculiar and unreduplicable. From the standpoint
of science, this material is accidental, while the features which
are widely shared are essential. Whatever is unique in the
situation, since dependent upon the peculiarities of the
individual and the coincidence of circumstance, is not available
for others; so that unless what is shared is abstracted and fixed
by a suitable symbol, practically all the value of the experience
may perish in its passing. But abstraction and the use of terms
to record what is abstracted put the net value of individual
experience at the permanent disposal of mankind. No one can
foresee in detail when or how it may be of further use. The man
of science in developing his abstractions is like a manufacturer
of tools who does not know who will use them nor when. But
intellectual tools are indefinitely more flexible in their range
of adaptation than other mechanical tools.

Generalization is the counterpart of abstraction. It is the
functioning of an abstraction in its application to a new
concrete experience, -- its extension to clarify and direct new
situations. Reference to these possible applications is
necessary in order that the abstraction may be fruitful, instead
of a barren formalism ending in itself. Generalization is
essentially a social device. When men identified their interests
exclusively with the concerns of a narrow group, their
generalizations were correspondingly restricted. The viewpoint
did not permit a wide and free survey. Men's thoughts were tied
down to a contracted space and a short time, -- limited to their
own established customs as a measure of all possible values.
Scientific abstraction and generalization are equivalent to
taking the point of view of any man, whatever his location in
time and space. While this emancipation from the conditions and
episodes of concrete experiences accounts for the remoteness, the
"abstractness," of science, it also accounts for its wide and
free range of fruitful novel applications in practice. Terms and
propositions record, fix, and convey what is abstracted. A
meaning detached from a given experience cannot remain hanging in
the air. It must acquire a local habitation. Names give
abstract meanings a physical locus and body. Formulation is thus
not an after-thought or by-product; it is essential to the
completion of the work of thought. Persons know many things
which they cannot express, but such knowledge remains practical,
direct, and personal. An individual can use it for himself; he
may be able to act upon it with efficiency. Artists and
executives often have their knowledge in this state. But it is
personal, untransferable, and, as it were, instinctive. To
formulate the significance of an experience a man must take into
conscious account the experiences of others. He must try to find
a standpoint which includes the experience of others as well as
his own. Otherwise his communication cannot be understood. He
talks a language which no one else knows. While literary art
furnishes the supreme successes in stating of experiences so that
they are vitally significant to others, the vocabulary of science
is designed, in another fashion, to express the meaning of
experienced things in symbols which any one will know who studies
the science. Aesthetic formulation reveals and enhances the
meaning of experiences one already has; scientific formulation
supplies one with tools for constructing new experiences with
transformed meanings.

To sum up: Science represents the office of intelligence, in
projection and control of new experiences, pursued
systematically, intentionally, and on a scale due to freedom from
limitations of habit. It is the sole instrumentality of
conscious, as distinct from accidental, progress. And if its
generality, its remoteness from individual conditions, confer
upon it a certain technicality and aloofness, these qualities are
very different from those of merely speculative theorizing. The
latter are in permanent dislocation from practice; the former are
temporarily detached for the sake of wider and freer application
in later concrete action. There is a kind of idle theory which
is antithetical to practice; but genuinely scientific theory
falls within practice as the agency of its expansion and its
direction to new possibilities.

3. Naturalism and Humanism in Education. There exists an
educational tradition which opposes science to literature and
history in the curriculum. The quarrel between the
representatives of the two interests is easily explicable
historically. Literature and language and a literary philosophy
were entrenched in all higher institutions of learning before
experimental science came into being. The latter had naturally
to win its way. No fortified and protected interest readily
surrenders any monopoly it may possess. But the assumption, from
whichever side, that language and literary products are
exclusively humanistic in quality, and that science is purely
physical in import, is a false notion which tends to cripple the
educational use of both studies. Human life does not occur in a
vacuum, nor is nature a mere stage setting for the enactment of
its drama (ante, p. 211). Man's life is bound up in the
processes of nature; his career, for success or defeat, depends
upon the way in which nature enters it. Man's power of
deliberate control of his own affairs depends upon ability to
direct natural energies to use: an ability which is in turn
dependent upon insight into nature's processes. Whatever natural
science may be for the specialist, for educational purposes it is
knowledge of the conditions of human action. To be aware of the
medium in which social intercourse goes on, and of the means and
obstacles to its progressive development is to be in command of a
knowledge which is thoroughly humanistic in quality. One who is
ignorant of the history of science is ignorant of the struggles
by which mankind has passed from routine and caprice, from
superstitious subjection to nature, from efforts to use it
magically, to intellectual self-possession. That science may be
taught as a set of formal and technical exercises is only too
true. This happens whenever information about the world is made
an end in itself. The failure of such instruction to procure
culture is not, however, evidence of the antithesis of natural
knowledge to humanistic concern, but evidence of a wrong
educational attitude. Dislike to employ scientific knowledge as
it functions in men's occupations is itself a survival of an
aristocratic culture. The notion that "applied" knowledge is
somehow less worthy than "pure" knowledge, was natural to a
society in which all useful work was performed by slaves and
serfs, and in which industry was controlled by the models set by
custom rather than by intelligence. Science, or the highest
knowing, was then identified with pure theorizing, apart from all
application in the uses of life; and knowledge relating to useful
arts suffered the stigma attaching to the classes who engaged in
them (See below, Ch. XIX). The idea of science thus generated
persisted after science had itself adopted the appliances of the
arts, using them for the production of knowledge, and after the
rise of democracy. Taking theory just as theory, however, that
which concerns humanity is of more significance for man than that
which concerns a merely physical world. In adopting the
criterion of knowledge laid down by a literary culture, aloof
from the practical needs of the mass of men, the educational
advocates of scientific education put themselves at a strategic
disadvantage. So far as they adopt the idea of science
appropriate to its experimental method and to the movements of a
democratic and industrial society, they have no difficulty in
showing that natural science is more humanistic than an alleged
humanism which bases its educational schemes upon the specialized
interests of a leisure class. For, as we have already stated,
humanistic studies when set in opposition to study of nature are
hampered. They tend to reduce themselves to exclusively literary
and linguistic studies, which in turn tend to shrink to "the
classics," to languages no longer spoken. For modern languages
may evidently be put to use, and hence fall under the ban. It
would be hard to find anything in history more ironical than the
educational practices which have identified the "humanities"
exclusively with a knowledge of Greek and Latin. Greek and Roman
art and institutions made such important contributions to our
civilization that there should always be the amplest
opportunities for making their acquaintance. But to regard them
as par excellence the humane studies involves a deliberate
neglect of the possibilities of the subject matter which is
accessible in education to the masses, and tends to cultivate a
narrow snobbery: that of a learned class whose insignia are the
accidents of exclusive opportunity. Knowledge is humanistic in
quality not because it is about human products in the past, but
because of what it does in liberating human intelligence and
human sympathy. Any subject matter which accomplishes this
result is humane, and any subject matter which does not
accomplish it is not even educational.

Summary. Science represents the fruition of the cognitive
factors in experience. Instead of contenting itself with a mere
statement of what commends itself to personal or customary
experience, it aims at a statement which will reveal the sources,
grounds, and consequences of a belief. The achievement of this
aim gives logical character to the statements. Educationally, it
has to be noted that logical characteristics of method, since
they belong to subject matter which has reached a high degree of
intellectual elaboration, are different from the method of the
learner--the chronological order of passing from a cruder to a
more refined intellectual quality of experience. When this fact
is ignored, science is treated as so much bare information, which
however is less interesting and more remote than ordinary
information, being stated in an unusual and technical vocabulary.
The function which science has to perform in the curriculum is
that which it has performed for the race: emancipation from local
and temporary incidents of experience, and the opening of
intellectual vistas unobscured by the accidents of personal habit
and predilection. The logical traits of abstraction,
generalization, and definite formulation are all associated with
this function. In emancipating an idea from the particular
context in which it originated and giving it a wider reference
the results of the experience of any individual are put at the
disposal of all men. Thus ultimately and philosophically science
is the organ of general social progress. 1 Upon the positive
side, the value of problems arising in work in the garden, the
shop, etc., may be referred to (See p. 200). The laboratory may
be treated as an additional resource to supply conditions and
appliances for the better pursuit of these problems.

Chapter Eighteen: Educational Values

The considerations involved in a discussion of educational values
have already been brought out in the discussion of aims and

The specific values usually discussed in educational theories
coincide with aims which are usually urged. They are such things
as utility, culture, information, preparation for social
efficiency, mental discipline or power, and so on. The aspect of
these aims in virtue of which they are valuable has been treated
in our analysis of the nature of interest, and there is no
difference between speaking of art as an interest or concern and
referring to it as a value. It happens, however, that discussion
of values has usually been centered about a consideration of the
various ends subserved by specific subjects of the curriculum.
It has been a part of the attempt to justify those subjects by
pointing out the significant contributions to life accruing from
their study. An explicit discussion of educational values thus
affords an opportunity for reviewing the prior discussion of aims
and interests on one hand and of the curriculum on the other, by
bringing them into connection with one another.

1. The Nature of Realization or Appreciation. Much of our
experience is indirect; it is dependent upon signs which
intervene between the things and ourselves, signs which stand for
or represent the former. It is one thing to have been engaged in
war, to have shared its dangers and hardships; it is another
thing to hear or read about it. All language, all symbols, are
implements of an indirect experience; in technical language the
experience which is procured by their means is "mediated." It
stands in contrast with an immediate, direct experience,
something in which we take part vitally and at first hand,
instead of through the intervention of representative media. As
we have seen, the scope of personal, vitally direct experience is
very limited. If it were not for the intervention of agencies
for representing absent and distant affairs, our experience would
remain almost on the level of that of the brutes. Every step
from savagery to civilization is dependent upon the invention of
media which enlarge the range of purely immediate experience and
give it deepened as well as wider meaning by connecting it with
things which can only be signified or symbolized. It is
doubtless this fact which is the cause of the disposition to
identify an uncultivated person with an illiterate person--so
dependent are we on letters for effective representative or
indirect experience.

At the same time (as we have also had repeated occasion to see)
there is always a danger that symbols will not be truly
representative; danger that instead of really calling up the
absent and remote in a way to make it enter a present experience,
the linguistic media of representation will become an end in
themselves. Formal education is peculiarly exposed to this
danger, with the result that when literacy supervenes, mere
bookishness, what is popularly termed the academic, too often
comes with it. In colloquial speech, the phrase a "realizing
sense" is used to express the urgency, warmth, and intimacy of a
direct experience in contrast with the remote, pallid, and coldly
detached quality of a representative experience. The terms
"mental realization" and "appreciation" (or genuine appreciation)
are more elaborate names for the realizing sense of a thing. It
is not possible to define these ideas except by synonyms, like
"coming home to one" "really taking it in," etc., for the only
way to appreciate what is meant by a direct experience of a thing
is by having it. But it is the difference between reading a
technical description of a picture, and seeing it; or between
just seeing it and being moved by it; between learning
mathematical equations about light and being carried away by some
peculiarly glorious illumination of a misty landscape. We are
thus met by the danger of the tendency of technique and other
purely representative forms to encroach upon the sphere of direct
appreciations; in other words, the tendency to assume that pupils
have a foundation of direct realization of situations sufficient
for the superstructure of representative experience erected by
formulated school studies. This is not simply a matter of
quantity or bulk. Sufficient direct experience is even more a
matter of quality; it must be of a sort to connect readily and
fruitfully with the symbolic material of instruction. Before
teaching can safely enter upon conveying facts and ideas through
the media of signs, schooling must provide genuine situations in
which personal participation brings home the import of the
material and the problems which it conveys. From the standpoint
of the pupil, the resulting experiences are worth while on their
own account; from the standpoint of the teacher they are also
means of supplying subject matter required for understanding
instruction involving signs, and of evoking attitudes of
open-mindedness and concern as to the material symbolically

In the outline given of the theory of educative subject matter,
the demand for this background of realization or appreciation is
met by the provision made for play and active occupations
embodying typical situations. Nothing need be added to what has
already been said except to point out that while the discussion
dealt explicitly with the subject matter of primary education,
where the demand for the available background of direct
experience is most obvious, the principle applies to the primary
or elementary phase of every subject. The first and basic
function of laboratory work, for example, in a high school or
college in a new field, is to familiarize the student at first
hand with a certain range of facts and problems -- to give him a
"feeling" for them. Getting command of technique and of methods
of reaching and testing generalizations is at first secondary to
getting appreciation. As regards the primary school activities,
it is to be borne in mind that the fundamental intent is not to
amuse nor to convey information with a minimum of vexation nor
yet to acquire skill, -- though these results may accrue as
by-products, -- but to enlarge and enrich the scope of
experience, and to keep alert and effective the interest in
intellectual progress.

The rubric of appreciation supplies an appropriate head for
bringing out three further principles: the nature of effective or
real (as distinct from nominal) standards of value; the place of
the imagination in appreciative realizations; and the place of
the fine arts in the course of study.

1. The nature of standards of valuation. Every adult has
acquired, in the course of his prior experience and education,
certain measures of the worth of various sorts of experience. He
has learned to look upon qualities like honesty, amiability,
perseverance, loyalty, as moral goods; upon certain classics of
literature, painting, music, as aesthetic values, and so on. Not
only this, but he has learned certain rules for these values --
the golden rule in morals; harmony, balance, etc., proportionate
distribution in aesthetic goods; definition, clarity, system in
intellectual accomplishments. These principles are so important
as standards of judging the worth of new experiences that parents
and instructors are always tending to teach them directly to the
young. They overlook the danger that standards so taught will be
merely symbolic; that is, largely conventional and verbal. In
reality, working as distinct from professed standards depend upon
what an individual has himself specifically appreciated to be
deeply significant in concrete situations. An individual may
have learned that certain characteristics are conventionally
esteemed in music; he may be able to converse with some
correctness about classic music; he may even honestly believe
that these traits constitute his own musical standards. But if
in his own past experience, what he has been most accustomed to
and has most enjoyed is ragtime, his active or working measures
of valuation are fixed on the ragtime level. The appeal actually
made to him in his own personal realization fixes his attitude
much more deeply than what he has been taught as the proper thing
to say; his habitual disposition thus fixed forms his real "norm"
of valuation in subsequent musical experiences.

Probably few would deny this statement as to musical taste. But
it applies equally well in judgments of moral and intellectual
worth. A youth who has had repeated experience of the full
meaning of the value of kindliness toward others built into his
disposition has a measure of the worth of generous treatment of
others. Without this vital appreciation, the duty and virtue of
unselfishness impressed upon him by others as a standard remains
purely a matter of symbols which he cannot adequately translate
into realities. His "knowledge" is second-handed; it is only a
knowledge that others prize unselfishness as an excellence, and
esteem him in the degree in which he exhibits it. Thus there
grows up a split between a person's professed standards and his
actual ones. A person may be aware of the results of this
struggle between his inclinations and his theoretical opinions;
he suffers from the conflict between doing what is really dear to
him and what he has learned will win the approval of others. But
of the split itself he is unaware; the result is a kind of
unconscious hypocrisy, an instability of disposition. In similar
fashion, a pupil who has worked through some confused
intellectual situation and fought his way to clearing up
obscurities in a definite outcome, appreciates the value of
clarity and definition. He has a standard which can be depended
upon. He may be trained externally to go through certain motions
of analysis and division of subject matter and may acquire
information about the value of these processes as standard
logical functions, but unless it somehow comes home to him at
some point as an appreciation of his own, the significance of the
logical norms -- so-called -- remains as much an external piece
of information as, say, the names of rivers in China. He may be
able to recite, but the recital is a mechanical rehearsal.

It is, then, a serious mistake to regard appreciation as if it
were confined to such things as literature and pictures and
music. Its scope is as comprehensive as the work of education
itself. The formation of habits is a purely mechanical thing
unless habits are also tastes -- habitual modes of preference and
esteem, an effective sense of excellence. There are adequate
grounds for asserting that the premium so often put in schools
upon external "discipline," and upon marks and rewards, upon
promotion and keeping back, are the obverse of the lack of
attention given to life situations in which the meaning of facts,
ideas, principles, and problems is vitally brought home.

2. Appreciative realizations are to be distinguished from
symbolic or representative experiences. They are not to be
distinguished from the work of the intellect or understanding.
Only a personal response involving imagination can possibly
procure realization even of pure "facts." The imagination is the
medium of appreciation in every field. The engagement of the
imagination is the only thing that makes any activity more than
mechanical. Unfortunately, it is too customary to identify the
imaginative with the imaginary, rather than with a warm and
intimate taking in of the full scope of a situation. This leads
to an exaggerated estimate of fairy tales, myths, fanciful
symbols, verse, and something labeled "Fine Art," as agencies for
developing imagination and appreciation; and, by neglecting
imaginative vision in other matters, leads to methods which
reduce much instruction to an unimaginative acquiring of
specialized skill and amassing of a load of information. Theory,
and -- to some extent -- practice, have advanced far enough to
recognize that play-activity is an imaginative enterprise. But
it is still usual to regard this activity as a specially marked-
off stage of childish growth, and to overlook the fact that the
difference between play and what is regarded as serious
employment should be not a difference between the presence and
absence of imagination, but a difference in the materials with
which imagination is occupied. The result is an unwholesome
exaggeration of the phantastic and "unreal" phases of childish
play and a deadly reduction of serious occupation to a routine
efficiency prized simply for its external tangible results.
Achievement comes to denote the sort of thing that a well-planned
machine can do better than a human being can, and the main effect
of education, the achieving of a life of rich significance, drops
by the wayside. Meantime mind-wandering and wayward fancy are
nothing but the unsuppressible imagination cut loose from concern
with what is done.

An adequate recognition of the play of imagination as the medium
of realization of every kind of thing which lies beyond the scope
of direct physical response is the sole way of escape from
mechanical methods in teaching. The emphasis put in this book,
in accord with many tendencies in contemporary education, upon
activity, will be misleading if it is not recognized that the
imagination is as much a normal and integral part of human
activity as is muscular movement. The educative value of manual
activities and of laboratory exercises, as well as of play,
depends upon the extent in which they aid in bringing about a
sensing of the meaning of what is going on. In effect, if not in
name, they are dramatizations. Their utilitarian value in
forming habits of skill to be used for tangible results is
important, but not when isolated from the appreciative side.
Were it not for the accompanying play of imagination, there would
be no road from a direct activity to representative knowledge;
for it is by imagination that symbols are translated over into a
direct meaning and integrated with a narrower activity so as to
expand and enrich it. When the representative creative
imagination is made merely literary and mythological, symbols are
rendered mere means of directing physical reactions of the organs
of speech.

3. In the account previously given nothing was explicitly said
about the place of literature and the fine arts in the course of
study. The omission at that point was intentional. At the
outset, there is no sharp demarcation of useful, or industrial,
arts and fine arts. The activities mentioned in Chapter XV
contain within themselves the factors later discriminated into
fine and useful arts. As engaging the emotions and the
imagination, they have the qualities which give the fine arts
their quality. As demanding method or skill, the adaptation of
tools to materials with constantly increasing perfection, they
involve the element of technique indispensable to artistic
production. From the standpoint of product, or the work of art,
they are naturally defective, though even in this respect when
they comprise genuine appreciation they often have a rudimentary
charm. As experiences they have both an artistic and an esthetic
quality. When they emerge into activities which are tested by
their product and when the socially serviceable value of the
product is emphasized, they pass into useful or industrial arts.
When they develop in the direction of an enhanced appreciation of
the immediate qualities which appeal to taste, they grow into
fine arts.

In one of its meanings, appreciation is opposed to depreciation.
It denotes an enlarged, an intensified prizing, not merely a
prizing, much less -- like depreciation -- a lowered and degraded
prizing. This enhancement of the qualities which make any
ordinary experience appealing, appropriable -- capable of full
assimilation -- and enjoyable, constitutes the prime function of
literature, music, drawing, painting, etc., in education. They
are not the exclusive agencies of appreciation in the most
general sense of that word; but they are the chief agencies of an
intensified, enhanced appreciation. As such, they are not only
intrinsically and directly enjoyable, but they serve a purpose
beyond themselves. They have the office, in increased degree, of
all appreciation in fixing taste, in forming standards for the
worth of later experiences. They arouse discontent with
conditions which fall below their measure; they create a demand
for surroundings coming up to their own level. They reveal a
depth and range of meaning in experiences which otherwise might
be mediocre and trivial. They supply, that is, organs of vision.
Moreover, in their fullness they represent the concentration and
consummation of elements of good which are otherwise scattered
and incomplete. They select and focus the elements of enjoyable
worth which make any experience directly enjoyable. They are not
luxuries of education, but emphatic expressions of that which
makes any education worth while.

2. The Valuation of Studies. The theory of educational values
involves not only an account of the nature of appreciation as
fixing the measure of subsequent valuations, but an account of
the specific directions in which these valuations occur. To
value means primarily to prize, to esteem; but secondarily it
means to apprise, to estimate. It means, that is, the act of
cherishing something, holding it dear, and also the act of
passing judgment upon the nature and amount of its value as
compared with something else. To value in the latter sense is to
valuate or evaluate. The distinction coincides with that
sometimes made between intrinsic and instrumental values.
Intrinsic values are not objects of judgment, they cannot (as
intrinsic) be compared, or regarded as greater and less, better
or worse. They are invaluable; and if a thing is invaluable, it
is neither more nor less so than any other invaluable. But
occasions present themselves when it is necessary to choose, when
we must let one thing go in order to take another. This
establishes an order of preference, a greater and less, better
and worse. Things judged or passed upon have to be estimated in
relation to some third thing, some further end. With respect to
that, they are means, or instrumental values.

We may imagine a man who at one time thoroughly enjoys converse
with his friends, at another the hearing of a symphony; at
another the eating of his meals; at another the reading of a
book; at another the earning of money, and so on. As an
appreciative realization, each of these is an intrinsic value.
It occupies a particular place in life; it serves its own end,
which cannot be supplied by a substitute. There is no question
of comparative value, and hence none of valuation. Each is the
specific good which it is, and that is all that can be said. In
its own place, none is a means to anything beyond itself. But
there may arise a situation in which they compete or conflict, in
which a choice has to be made. Now comparison comes in. Since a
choice has to be made, we want to know the respective claims of
each competitor. What is to be said for it? What does it offer
in comparison with, as balanced over against, some other
possibility? Raising these questions means that a particular good
is no longer an end in itself, an intrinsic good. For if it
were, its claims would be incomparable, imperative. The question
is now as to its status as a means of realizing something else,
which is then the invaluable of that situation. If a man has
just eaten, or if he is well fed generally and the opportunity to
hear music is a rarity, he will probably prefer the music to
eating. In the given situation that will render the greater
contribution. If he is starving, or if he is satiated with music
for the time being, he will naturally judge food to have the
greater worth. In the abstract or at large, apart from the needs
of a particular situation in which choice has to be made, there
is no such thing as degrees or order of value. Certain
conclusions follow with respect to educational values. We cannot
establish a hierarchy of values among studies. It is futile to
attempt to arrange them in an order, beginning with one having
least worth and going on to that of maximum value. In so far as
any study has a unique or irreplaceable function in experience,
in so far as it marks a characteristic enrichment of life, its
worth is intrinsic or incomparable. Since education is not a
means to living, but is identical with the operation of living a
life which is fruitful and inherently significant, the only
ultimate value which can be set up is just the process of living
itself. And this is not an end to which studies and activities
are subordinate means; it is the whole of which they are
ingredients. And what has been said about appreciation means
that every study in one of its aspects ought to have just such
ultimate significance. It is true of arithmetic as it is of
poetry that in some place and at some time it ought to be a good
to be appreciated on its own account -- just as an enjoyable
experience, in short. If it is not, then when the time and place
come for it to be used as a means or
instrumentality, it will be in just that much handicapped. Never
having been realized or appreciated for itself, one will miss
something of its capacity as a resource for other ends.

It equally follows that when we compare studies as to their
values, that is, treat them as means to something beyond
themselves, that which controls their proper valuation is found
in the specific situation in which they are to be used. The way
to enable a student to apprehend the instrumental value of
arithmetic is not to lecture him upon the benefit it will be to
him in some remote and uncertain future, but to let him discover
that success in something he is interested in doing depends upon
ability to use number.

It also follows that the attempt to distribute distinct sorts of
value among different studies is a misguided one, in spite of the
amount of time recently devoted to the undertaking. Science for
example may have any kind of value, depending upon the situation
into which it enters as a means. To some the value of science
may be military; it may be an instrument in strengthening means
of offense or defense; it may be technological, a tool for
engineering; or it may be commercial -- an aid in the successful
conduct of business; under other conditions, its worth may be
philanthropic -- the service it renders in relieving human
suffering; or again it may be quite conventional -- of value in
establishing one's social status as an "educated" person. As
matter of fact, science serves all these purposes, and it would
be an arbitrary task to try to fix upon one of them as its "real"
end. All that we can be sure of educationally is that science
should be taught so as to be an end in itself in the lives of
students--something worth while on account of its own unique
intrinsic contribution to the experience of life. Primarily it
must have "appreciation value." If we take something which
seems to be at the opposite pole, like poetry, the same sort of
statement applies. It may be that, at the present time, its
chief value is the contribution it makes to the enjoyment of
leisure. But that may represent a degenerate condition rather
than anything necessary. Poetry has historically been allied
with religion and morals; it has served the purpose of
penetrating the mysterious depths of things. It has had an
enormous patriotic value. Homer to the Greeks was a Bible, a
textbook of morals, a history, and a national inspiration. In
any case, it may be said that an education which does not succeed
in making poetry a resource in the business of life as well as in
its leisure, has something the matter with it -- or else the
poetry is artificial poetry.

The same considerations apply to the value of a study or a topic
of a study with reference to its motivating force. Those
responsible for planning and teaching the course of study should
have grounds for thinking that the studies and topics included
furnish both direct increments to the enriching of lives of the
pupils and also materials which they can put to use in other
concerns of direct interest. Since the curriculum is always
getting loaded down with purely inherited traditional matter and
with subjects which represent mainly the energy of some
influential person or group of persons in behalf of something
dear to them, it requires constant inspection, criticism, and
revision to make sure it is accomplishing its purpose. Then
there is always the probability that it represents the values of
adults rather than those of children and youth, or those of
pupils a generation ago rather than those of the present day.
Hence a further need for a critical outlook and survey. But
these considerations do not mean that for a subject to have
motivating value to a pupil (whether intrinsic or instrumental)
is the same thing as for him to be aware of the value, or to be
able to tell what the study is good for.

In the first place, as long as any topic makes an immediate
appeal, it is not necessary to ask what it is good for. This is
a question which can be asked only about instrumental values.
Some goods are not good for anything; they are just goods. Any
other notion leads to an absurdity. For we cannot stop asking
the question about an instrumental good, one whose value lies in
its being good for something, unless there is at some point
something intrinsically good, good for itself. To a hungry,
healthy child, food is a good of the situation; we do not have to
bring him to consciousness of the ends subserved by food in order
to supply a motive to eat. The food in connection with his
appetite is a motive. The same thing holds of mentally eager
pupils with respect to many topics. Neither they nor the teacher
could possibly foretell with any exactness the purposes learning
is to accomplish in the future; nor as long as the eagerness
continues is it advisable to try to specify particular goods
which are to come of it. The proof of a good is found in the
fact that the pupil responds; his response is use. His response
to the material shows that the subject functions in his life. It
is unsound to urge that, say, Latin has a value per se in the
abstract, just as a study, as a sufficient justification for
teaching it. But it is equally absurd to argue that unless
teacher or pupil can point out some definite assignable future
use to which it is to be put, it lacks justifying value. When
pupils are genuinely concerned in learning Latin, that is of
itself proof that it possesses value. The most which one is
entitled to ask in such cases is whether in view of the shortness
of time, there are not other things of intrinsic value which in
addition have greater instrumental value.

This brings us to the matter of instrumental values -- topics
studied because of some end beyond themselves. If a child is ill
and his appetite does not lead him to eat when food is presented,
or if his appetite is perverted so that he prefers candy to meat
and vegetables, conscious reference to results is indicated. He
needs to be made conscious of consequences as a justification of
the positive or negative value of certain objects. Or the state
of things may be normal enough, and yet an individual not be
moved by some matter because he does not grasp how his attainment
of some intrinsic good depends upon active concern with what is
presented. In such cases, it is obviously the part of wisdom to
establish consciousness of connection. In general what is
desirable is that a topic be presented in such a way that it
either have an immediate value, and require no justification, or
else be perceived to be a means of achieving something of
intrinsic value. An instrumental value then has the intrinsic
value of being a means to an end. It may be questioned whether
some of the present pedagogical interest in the matter of values
of studies is not either excessive or else too narrow. Sometimes
it appears to be a labored effort to furnish an apologetic for
topics which no longer operate to any purpose, direct or
indirect, in the lives of pupils. At other times, the reaction
against useless lumber seems to have gone to the extent of
supposing that no subject or topic should be taught unless some
quite definite future utility can be pointed out by those making
the course of study or by the pupil himself, unmindful of the
fact that life is its own excuse for being; and that definite
utilities which can be pointed out are themselves justified only
because they increase the experienced content of life itself. 3.
The Segregation and Organization of Values. It is of course
possible to classify in a general way the various valuable phases
of life. In order to get a survey of aims sufficiently wide (See
ante, p. 110) to give breadth and flexibility to the enterprise
of education, there is some advantage in such a classification.
But it is a great mistake to regard these values as ultimate ends
to which the concrete satisfactions of experience are
subordinate. They are nothing but generalizations, more or less
adequate, of concrete goods. Health, wealth, efficiency,
sociability, utility, culture, happiness itself are only abstract
terms which sum up a multitude of particulars. To regard such
things as standards for the valuation of concrete topics and
process of education is to subordinate to an abstraction the
concrete facts from which the abstraction is derived. They are
not in any true sense standards of valuation; these are found, as
we have previously seen, in the specific realizations which form
tastes and habits of preference. They are, however, of
significance as points of view elevated above the details of life
whence to survey the field and see how its constituent details
are distributed, and whether they are well proportioned.
No classification can have other than a provisional validity.
The following may prove of some help. We may say that the kind
of experience to which the work of the schools should contribute
is one marked by executive competency in the management of
resources and obstacles encountered (efficiency); by sociability,
or interest in the direct companionship of others; by aesthetic
taste or capacity to appreciate artistic excellence in at least
some of its classic forms; by trained intellectual method, or
interest in some mode of scientific achievement; and by
sensitiveness to the rights and claims of others --
conscientiousness. And while these considerations are not
standards of value, they are useful criteria for survey,
criticism, and better organization of existing methods and
subject matter of instruction.

The need of such general points of view is the greater because of
a tendency to segregate educational values due to the isolation
from one another of the various pursuits of life. The idea is
prevalent that different studies represent separate kinds of
values, and that the curriculum should, therefore, be constituted
by gathering together various studies till a sufficient variety
of independent values have been cared for. The following
quotation does not use the word value, but it contains the notion
of a curriculum constructed on the idea that there are a number
of separate ends to be reached, and that various studies may be
evaluated by referring each study to its respective end. "Memory
is trained by most studies, but best by languages and history;
taste is trained by the more advanced study of languages, and
still better by English literature; imagination by all higher
language teaching, but chiefly by Greek and Latin poetry;
observation by science work in the laboratory, though some
training is to be got from the earlier stages of Latin and Greek;
for expression, Greek and Latin composition comes first and
English composition next; for abstract reasoning, mathematics
stands almost alone; for concrete reasoning, science comes first,
then geometry; for social reasoning, the Greek and Roman
historians and orators come first, and general history next.
Hence the narrowest education which can claim to be at all
complete includes Latin, one modern language, some history, some
English literature, and one science." There is much in the
wording of this passage which is irrelevant to our point and
which must be discounted to make it clear. The phraseology
betrays the particular provincial tradition within which the
author is writing. There is the unquestioned assumption of
"faculties" to be trained, and a dominant interest in the ancient
languages; there is comparative disregard of the earth on which
men happen to live and the bodies they happen to carry around
with them. But with allowances made for these matters (even with
their complete abandonment) we find much in contemporary
educational philosophy which parallels the fundamental notion of
parceling out special values to segregated studies. Even when
some one end is set up as a standard of value, like social
efficiency or culture, it will often be found to be but a verbal
heading under which a variety of disconnected factors are
comprised. And although the general tendency is to allow a
greater variety of values to a given study than does the passage
quoted, yet the attempt to inventory a number of values
attaching to each study and to state the amount of each value
which the given study possesses emphasizes an implied
educational disintegration.

As matter of fact, such schemes of values of studies are largely
but unconscious justifications of the curriculum with which one
is familiar. One accepts, for the most part, the studies of the
existing course and then assigns values to them as a sufficient
reason for their being taught. Mathematics is said to have, for
example, disciplinary value in habituating the pupil to accuracy
of statement and closeness of reasoning; it has utilitarian value
in giving command of the arts of calculation involved in trade
and the arts; culture value in its enlargement of the imagination
in dealing with the most general relations of things; even
religious value in its concept of the infinite and allied ideas.
But clearly mathematics does not accomplish such results, because
it is endowed with miraculous potencies called values; it has
these values if and when it accomplishes these results, and not
otherwise. The statements may help a teacher to a larger vision
of the possible results to be effected by instruction in
mathematical topics. But unfortunately, the tendency is to treat
the statement as indicating powers inherently residing in the
subject, whether they operate or not, and thus to give it a rigid
justification. If they do not operate, the blame is put not on
the subject as taught, but on the indifference and recalcitrancy
of pupils.

This attitude toward subjects is the obverse side of the
conception of experience or life as a patchwork of independent
interests which exist side by side and limit one another.
Students of politics are familiar with a check and balance theory
of the powers of government. There are supposed to be
independent separate functions, like the legislative, executive,
judicial, administrative, and all goes well if each of these
checks all the others and thus creates an ideal balance. There
is a philosophy which might well be called the check and balance
theory of experience. Life presents a diversity of interests.
Left to themselves, they tend to encroach on one another. The
ideal is to prescribe a special territory for each till the whole
ground of experience is covered, and then see to it each remains
within its own boundaries. Politics, business, recreation, art,
science, the learned professions, polite intercourse, leisure,
represent such interests. Each of these ramifies into many
branches: business into manual occupations, executive positions,
bookkeeping, railroading, banking, agriculture, trade and
commerce, etc., and so with each of the others. An ideal
education would then supply the means of meeting these separate
and pigeon-holed interests. And when we look at the schools, it
is easy to get the impression that they accept this view of the
nature of adult life, and set for themselves the task of meeting
its demands. Each interest is acknowledged as a kind of fixed
institution to which something in the course of study must
correspond. The course of study must then have some civics and
history politically and patriotically viewed: some utilitarian
studies; some science; some art (mainly literature of course);
some provision for recreation; some moral education; and so on.
And it will be found that a large part of current agitation about
schools is concerned with clamor and controversy about the due
meed of recognition to be given to each of these interests, and
with struggles to secure for each its due share in the course of
study; or, if this does not seem feasible in the existing school
system, then to secure a new and separate kind of schooling to
meet the need. In the multitude of
educations education is forgotten.

The obvious outcome is congestion of the course of study,
overpressure and distraction of pupils, and a narrow
specialization fatal to the very idea of education. But these
bad results usually lead to more of the same sort of thing as a
remedy. When it is perceived that after all the requirements of
a full life experience are not met, the deficiency is not laid to
the isolation and narrowness of the teaching of the existing
subjects, and this recognition made the basis of reorganization
of the system. No, the lack is something to be made up for by
the introduction of still another study, or, if necessary,
another kind of school. And as a rule those who object to the
resulting overcrowding and consequent superficiality and
distraction usually also have recourse to a merely quantitative
criterion: the remedy is to cut off a great many studies as fads
and frills, and return to the good old curriculum of the three
R's in elementary education and the equally good and equally
old-fashioned curriculum of the classics and mathematics in
higher education.

The situation has, of course, its historic explanation. Various
epochs of the past have had their own characteristic struggles
and interests. Each of these great epochs has left behind itself
a kind of cultural deposit, like a geologic stratum. These
deposits have found their way into educational institutions in
the form of studies, distinct courses of study, distinct types of
schools. With the rapid change of political, scientific, and
economic interests in the last century, provision had to be made
for new values. Though the older courses resisted, they have had
at least in this country to retire their pretensions to a
monopoly. They have not, however, been reorganized in content
and aim; they have only been reduced in amount. The new studies,
representing the new interests, have not been used to transform
the method and aim of all instruction; they have been injected
and added on. The result is a conglomerate, the cement of which
consists in the mechanics of the school program or time table.
Thence arises the scheme of values and standards of value which
we have mentioned.

This situation in education represents the divisions and
separations which obtain in social life. The variety of
interests which should mark any rich and balanced experience have
been torn asunder and deposited in separate institutions with
diverse and independent purposes and methods. Business is
business, science is science, art is art, politics is politics,
social intercourse is social intercourse, morals is morals,
recreation is recreation, and so on. Each possesses a separate
and independent province with its own peculiar aims and ways of
proceeding. Each contributes to the others only externally and
accidentally. All of them together make up the whole of life by
just apposition and addition. What does one expect from business
save that it should furnish money, to be used in turn for making
more money and for support of self and family, for buying books
and pictures, tickets to concerts which may afford culture, and
for paying taxes, charitable gifts and other things of social and
ethical value? How unreasonable to expect that the pursuit of
business should be itself a culture of the imagination, in
breadth and refinement; that it should directly, and not through
the money which it supplies, have social service for its
animating principle and be conducted as an enterprise in behalf
of social organization! The same thing is to be said, mutatis
mutandis, of the pursuit of art or science or politics or
religion. Each has become specialized not merely in its
appliances and its demands upon time, but in its aim and
animating spirit. Unconsciously, our course of studies and our
theories of the educational values of studies reflect this
division of interests. The point at issue in a theory of
educational value is then the unity or integrity of experience.
How shall it be full and varied without losing unity of spirit?
How shall it be one and yet not narrow and monotonous in its
unity? Ultimately, the question of values and a standard of
values is the moral question of the organization of the interests
of life. Educationally, the question concerns that organization
of schools, materials, and methods which will operate to achieve
breadth and richness of experience. How shall we secure breadth
of outlook without sacrificing efficiency of execution? How shall
we secure the diversity of interests, without paying the price of
isolation? How shall the individual be rendered executive in his
intelligence instead of at the cost of his intelligence? How
shall art, science, and politics reinforce one another in an
enriched temper of mind instead of constituting ends pursued at
one another's expense? How can the interests of life and the
studies which enforce them enrich the common experience of men
instead of dividing men from one another? With the questions of
reorganization thus suggested, we shall be concerned in the
concluding chapters.

Summary. Fundamentally, the elements involved in a discussion of
value have been covered in the prior discussion of aims and
interests. But since educational values are generally discussed
in connection with the claims of the various studies of the
curriculum, the consideration of aim and interest is here resumed
from the point of view of special studies. The term "value" has
two quite different meanings. On the one hand, it denotes the
attitude of prizing a thing finding it worth while, for its own
sake, or intrinsically. This is a name for a full or complete
experience. To value in this sense is to appreciate. But to
value also means a distinctively intellectual act--an operation
of comparing and judging--to valuate. This occurs when direct
full experience is lacking, and the question arises which of the
various possibilities of a situation is to be preferred in order
to reach a full realization, or vital experience.

We must not, however, divide the studies of the curriculum into
the appreciative, those concerned with intrinsic value, and the
instrumental, concerned with those which are of value or ends
beyond themselves. The formation of proper standards in any
subject depends upon a realization of the contribution which it
makes to the immediate significance of experience, upon a direct
appreciation. Literature and the fine arts are of peculiar value
because they represent appreciation at its best--a heightened
realization of meaning through selection and concentration. But
every subject at some phase of its development should possess,
what is for the individual concerned with it, an aesthetic

Contribution to immediate intrinsic values in all their variety
in experience is the only criterion for determining the worth of
instrumental and derived values in studies. The tendency to
assign separate values to each study and to regard the curriculum
in its entirety as a kind of composite made by the aggregation of
segregated values is a result of the isolation of social groups
and classes. Hence it is the business of education in a
democratic social group to struggle against this isolation in
order that the various interests may reinforce and play into one

Chapter Nineteen: Labor and Leisure

1. The Origin of the Opposition.

The isolation of aims and values which we have been considering
leads to opposition between them. Probably the most deep-seated
antithesis which has shown itself in educational history is that
between education in preparation for useful labor and education
for a life of leisure. The bare terms "useful labor" and
"leisure" confirm the statement already made that the segregation
and conflict of values are not self-inclosed, but reflect a
division within social life. Were the two functions of gaining a
livelihood by work and enjoying in a cultivated way the
opportunities of leisure, distributed equally among the different
members of a community, it would not occur to any one that there
was any conflict of educational agencies and aims involved. It
would be self-evident that the question was how education could
contribute most effectively to both. And while it might be found
that some materials of instruction chiefly accomplished one
result and other subject matter the other, it would be evident
that care must be taken to secure as much overlapping as
conditions permit; that is, the education which had leisure more
directly in view should indirectly reinforce as much as possible
the efficiency and the enjoyment of work, while that aiming at
the latter should produce habits of emotion and intellect which
would procure a worthy cultivation of leisure. These general
considerations are amply borne out by the historical development
of educational philosophy. The separation of liberal education
from professional and industrial education goes back to the time
of the Greeks, and was formulated expressly on the basis of a
division of classes into those who had to labor for a living and
those who were relieved from this necessity. The conception that
liberal education, adapted to men in the latter class, is
intrinsically higher than the servile training given to the
latter class reflected the fact that one class was free and the
other servile in its social status. The latter class labored not
only for its own subsistence, but also for the means which
enabled the superior class to live without personally engaging in
occupations taking almost all the time and not of a nature to
engage or reward intelligence.

That a certain amount of labor must be engaged in goes without
saying. Human beings have to live and it requires work to supply
the resources of life. Even if we insist that the interests
connected with getting a living are only material and hence
intrinsically lower than those connected with enjoyment of time
released from labor, and even if it were admitted that there is
something engrossing and insubordinate in material interests
which leads them to strive to usurp the place belonging to the
higher ideal interests, this would not--barring the fact of
socially divided classes -- lead to neglect of the kind of
education which trains men for the useful pursuits. It would
rather lead to scrupulous care for them, so that men were trained
to be efficient in them and yet to keep them in their place;
education would see to it that we avoided the evil results which
flow from their being allowed to flourish in obscure purlieus of
neglect. Only when a division of these interests coincides with
a division of an inferior and a superior social class will
preparation for useful work be looked down upon with contempt as
an unworthy thing: a fact which prepares one for the conclusion
that the rigid identification of work with material interests,
and leisure with ideal interests is itself a social product.
The educational formulations of the social situation made over
two thousand years ago have been so influential and give such a
clear and logical recognition of the implications of the division
into laboring and leisure classes, that they deserve especial
note. According to them, man occupies the highest place in the
scheme of animate existence. In part, he shares the constitution
and functions of plants and animals -- nutritive, reproductive,
motor or practical. The distinctively human function is reason
existing for the sake of beholding the spectacle of the universe.
Hence the truly human end is the fullest possible of this
distinctive human prerogative. The life of observation,
meditation, cogitation, and speculation pursued as an end in
itself is the proper life of man. From reason moreover proceeds
the proper control of the lower elements of human nature -- the
appetites and the active, motor, impulses. In themselves greedy,
insubordinate, lovers of excess, aiming only at their own
satiety, they observe moderation -- the law of the mean--and
serve desirable ends as they are subjected to the rule of reason.

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