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Its abandonment would do much to smooth the road of education, it would make it possible to secure for the child a living interest and a sense of purpose in his work, and it would replace the old wasteful system of compulsion and mere obedience by a community of interest between pupil and teacher. This community of interest would be felt instinctively and immediately by the pupil, but it is very necessary that it should be consciously understood by all those responsible for the education of the young.
This theory has now been critically examined and declared to be of less wide application than was thought.
(page numbers in brackets) Notes on the text The complete report is shown in this single web page. They must feel and, as far as possible, understand the direct interest of these as bearing upon practical life and the equipment for it.
You can scroll through it or use the following links to go to the various chapters. Andrew's Crescent, Cardiff; or 120, George Street, Edinburgh; or through any Bookseller. It has long been accepted, and at the present day it has been reiterated with great force by such [page 9] teachers as the Dean of St. Clutton Brock, that the three main motives which actuate the human spirit are the love of goodness, the love of truth and the love of beauty.
This contact may take place in the intercourse of the classroom, the playground, the home, and the outer world, or solely in the inner world of thought and feeling, through the personal records of action and experience known to us under the form of literature. A quasi-scientific theory has long been accepted that the process of education is the performance of compulsory hard labour, a 'grind' or 'stiffening process', a 'gritting of the teeth' on hard substances with the primary object not of acquiring a particular form of skill or knowledge but of giving the mind a general training and strengthening. At a later stage we shall endeavour to trace the historical process by which the present divorce between education and reality has come about; in the meantime we note the results. It is, in a word, guidance in the acquiring of experience. It proceeds, not by the presentation of lifeless facts, but by teaching the student to follow the different lines on which life may be explored and proficiency in living may be obtained.