Excerpt from The American Normal Readers, Vol. 3
For the primary teacher the study of history, especially in its beginnings, is extremely important. If we would really understand the minds of children, let us turn back to the pages of the past where we may follow the development of the race as it has been led forward toward perfect adjustment and realization, for in the develop ment of the race we may see that of the typical child.
By actual experience in teaching we learn that certain things appeal most to children and are therefore most effective at specific stages of their advancement. We are often able to determine very nearly the learning point of the child's mind, and by the study of the child in the light of history we come to understand why all this is true. We see that those elements which have entered most persistently into the development of the race are the very things in which the child finds his greatest delight.
This truth has a deep significance in practical education. If we as teachers will be guided by the natural spontaneous interest of children and if we will at the same time direct this interest toward their highest good, following in advance as it were, we shall not be found blindly striving against Nature and perhaps checking many a God-given impulse, but by understanding the child's real need we may be able to supply it more fully and exactly and so to assist the natural course of his advancement.
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