« EelmineJätka »
Most of the lectures in this volume have not been before published in this country, and the authors of several have kindly revised their productions for the present work. It may
be added that several of the discussions are important not only as presenting the claims and educational value of their subjects, but also as suggesting the best methods of their study. Professor Liebig's late lecture on the “ Development of Ideas in Physical Science” has so direct a bearing upon the position and claims of science, especially in this country, as to deserve a place in the present collection; and an excellent translation of it has been expressly made for this volume.
Nearly all the discussions it contains have been made within the last dozen years, and several of them quite recently; so that they may be regarded as outgrowths and exponents of the present state of thought. Those of Tyndall, Paget, Faraday, Whewell, and Hodgson, were parts of a course delivered before the Royal Institution of Great Britain, on the claims of the various sciences as means of the education of all classes. Although the reader may miss in this volume the connection and coherency of a systematic treatise on the subject by a single writer, and even note some minor points of disagreement, yet he will find that each statement is a section of a comprehensive and essentially harmonious argument which presents an attractive variety of treatment; while the stamp of various and powerful minds, each speaking upon the subject with which he is best acquainted, must give the general discussion far greater authority than the work of
any one man, no matter how able, could possibly pos
The lecture on “ The Scientific Study of Human Nature,” and the introductory essay on “Mental Discipline in Education” have been contributed by the editor, not because he thought himself at all competent to do justice to these interesting topics, but because, holding them to be of the first importance, he was unable to find any discussion of them in a form appropriate to the volume. In the Introduction he has attempted to show that a course of • study, mainly scientific, not only meets the full require
ments of mental training, but also affords the kind of culture or mental discipline which is especially needed in this country at the present time. He has there presented the phases of discipline as successive, and the course of subjects should undoubtedly. conform to the order stated; yet, as President Hill, of Harvard, has pointed out in his admirable pamphlet on “The True Order of Studies,” the pupil's mind requires to be variously exercised from the outset ;-several different lines of acquisition being carried along together. The organization of a scheme of study adapted to American wants is the educational problem immediately before us, and the present volume, it is hoped, will contribute valuable suggestions toward its solution.
NEW YORK, May 1, 1867.
PROFESSOR HENFREY ON THE STUDY OF BOTANY,
PROFESSOR HUXLEY ON THE STUDY OF ZOOLOGY,
DR. JAMES PAGET ON THE STUDY OF PHYSIOLOGY,
DR. HODGSON ON THE STUDY OF ECONOMIC SCIENCE, 253
Sir John Herschel on University Studies,
Professor De Morgan on Thoroughness of Intellectual Attainment,
Professor Edward Forbes on the Educational Uses of Museums,
Prince Albert on the Educational Claims of Science,
Professor Goldwin Smith on Classical and Modern Culture, .
Dr. Acland on Early Physiological Study,
EXTRACTS FROM EVIDENCE BEFORE THE ENGLISH PUBLIC SCHOOLS' COMMISSION.