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A Practical Enquiry into the Philosophy of Education

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113 pages
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The Project Gutenberg EBook of A Practical Enquiry into the Philosophy of Education, by James Gall This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.net Title: A Practical Enquiry into the Philosophy of Education Author: James Gall Release Date: January 13, 2009 [EBook #27790] Language: English Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1 *** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK PHILOSOPHY OF EDUCATION *** Produced by Barbara Kosker, Nick Wall and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at http://www.pgdp.net (This file was produced from images generously made available by The Internet Archive/Canadian Libraries) A PRACTICAL ENQUIRY INTO THE PHILOSOPHY OF EDUCATION. BY JAMES GALL, INVENTOR OF THE TRIANGULAR ALPHABET FOR THE BLIND; AND AUTHOR OF THE "END AND ESSENCE OF SABBATH SCHOOL TEACHING," &c. "The Works of the Lord are great, sought out of all them that have pleasure therein."—PSAL. cxi. 2. EDINBURGH: JAMES GALL & SON, 24, NIDDRY STREET. LONDON: HOULSTON & STONEMAN, 65, PATERNOSTER-ROW. GLASGOW; GEORGE GALLIE. BELFAST: WILLIAM M'COMB. MDCCCXL Printed by J. Gall & Son. 22, Niddry Street. [Pg v] PREFACE. The Author of the following pages is a plain man, who has endeavoured to write a plain book, for the purpose of being popularly useful. The philosophical form which his enquiries have assumed, is the result rather of accidental circumstances than of free choice. The strong desire which he felt in his earlier years to benefit the Young, induced him to push forward in the paths which appeared to him most likely to lead to his object; and it was not till he had advanced far into the fields of philosophy, that he first began dimly to perceive the importance of the ground which he had unwittingly occupied. The truth is, that he had laboured many years in the Sabbath Schools with which he had connected himself, before he was aware that, in his combat with ignorance, he was wielding weapons that were comparatively new; and it was still longer, before he very clearly understood the principles of those Exercises which he found so successful. One investigation led to another; light shone out as he proceeded; and he now submits, with full confidence in the truth of his general principles and deductions, the results of more than thirty years' experience and reflection in the great cause of Education. He has only further to observe, that the term "NATURE," which occurs so frequently, has been adopted as a convenient and popular mode of expression. None of his readers needs to be informed, that this is but another manner of designating "THE GOD OF NATURE ," whose laws, as established in the young mind, he has been endeavouring humbly, and perseveringly to imitate. [Pg vi] Myrtle Bank, Trinity, Edinburgh, 8th May, 1840. [Pg vii] CONTENTS PART I. ON THE PRELIMINARY OBJECTS NECESSARY FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT AND IMPROVEMENT OF EDUCATION. CHAP. I. On the Importance of establishing the Science of Education on a solid Foundation, CHAP. II. On the Cultivation of Education as a Science, 13 16 CHAP. III. On the Improvement of Teaching as an Art, CHAP. IV. On the Establishment of Sound Principles in Education, PART II. ON THE GREAT DESIGN OF NATURE'S TEACHING, AND THE METHODS SHE EMPLOYS IN CARRYING IT ON. CHAP. I. A Comprehensive View of the several Educational Processes carried on by Nature, CHAP. II. On the Method employed by Nature for cultivating the Powers of the Mind, CHAP. III. On the Means by which Nature enables her Pupils to acquire Knowledge, CHAP. IV. On Nature's Method of communicating Knowledge to the Young by the Principle of Reiteration, CHAP. V. On the Acquisition of Knowledge by the Principle of Individuation, CHAP. VI. On the Acquisition of Knowledge by the Principle of Association, or Grouping, CHAP. VII. On the Acquisition of Knowledge by the Principle of Analysis, or Classification, CHAP. VIII. On Nature's Methods of Teaching her Pupils to make use of their Knowledge, CHAP. IX. On Nature's Methods of Applying Knowledge by the Principle of the Animal, or Common Sense, CHAP. X. On Nature's Method of applying Knowledge, by means of the Moral Sense, or Conscience, CHAP. XI. On Nature's Method of Training her Pupils to Communicate their Knowledge, CHAP. XII. Recapitulation of the Philosophical Principles developed in the previous Chapters, 25 32 [Pg viii] 37 45 52 56 65 72 [Pg ix] 83 95 101 111 129 141 [Pg x] PART III. ON THE METHODS BY WHICH THE EDUCATIONAL PROCESSES OF NATURE MAY BE SUCCESSFULLY IMITATED. CHAP. I. On the Exercises by which Nature may be imitated in cultivating the Powers of the Mind, CHAP. II. On the Methods by which Nature may be imitated in the Pupil's Acquisition of Knowledge; with a Review of the Analogy betweeen the Mental and Physical Appetites of the Young, CHAP. III. How Nature may be imitated in Communicating Knowledge to the Pupil, by the Reiteration of Ideas, CHAP. IV. On the Means by which Nature may be imitated in Exercising the Principle of Individuation, CHAP. V. On the Means by which Nature may be imitated in Applying the Principle of Grouping, or Association, CHAP. VI. On the Methods by which Nature may be imitated in Communicating Knowledge by Classification, or Analysis, CHAP. VII. On the Imitation of Nature in Teaching the Practical Use of Knowledge, CHAP. VIII. On the Imitation of Nature in Teaching the Use of Knowledge by Means of the Animal, or Common Sense, CHAP. IX. On the Imitation of Nature in Teaching the Practical Use of Knowledge by means of the Moral Sense, or Conscience, CHAP. X. On the Application of our Knowledge to the Common Affairs of Life, CHAP. XI. On the Imitation of Nature, in training her Pupils fluently to communicate their Knowledge, 148 170 177 192 204 218 [Pg xi] 233 245 257 274 288 PART IV. ON THE SELECTION OF PROPER TRUTHS AND SUBJECTS TO BE TAUGHT IN SCHOOLS AND FAMILIES. CHAP. I. On the General Principles which ought to regulate our choice of Truths and Subjects to be taught to the Young, CHAP. II. On the particular Branches of Education required for Elementary Schools, CHAP. III. On the Easiest Methods of Introducing these Principles, for the first time, into Schools already established, 306 [Pg xii] 317 326 Notes, 331 PRACTICAL ENQUIRY, &c. [Pg 13] PART I. ON THE PRELIMINARY OBJECTS NECESSARY FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT AND IMPROVEMENT OF EDUCATION. CHAP. I. On the Importance of establishing the Science of Education on a solid Foundation. Education is at present obviously in a transition state. The public mind has of late become alive to the importance of the subject; and all persons are beginning to feel awake to the truth, that something is yet wanting to insure efficiency and permanence to the labours of the teacher. The public will not be satisfied till some
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