with the theoretical, -with the arts as well as the sciences. It is no
longer limited only to the intellectual and abstract but it touches life
longer at all points.
The school, as an agency of formal education, is limited to the
period of infancy or the period of plasticity. To understand the
function of the school we must understand what this period bears
to human evolution.
In the first place infancy is a period of necessary dependence.
Everything is provided for the child. He has to take no thought of
food, clothing, or shelter so that the energy he would spend in pro
viding for himself can be used for other purposes. In the second place
infancy is a period of plasticity. Man is born with the ceribrum
entirely unorganized and whatever connections are made are due to
the forces of the environments. After these connections or impres
sions are made they become fixed and somewhat inflexible. After
an individual has reached a certain age he loses this plasticity and
it is difficult for him to learn.
Infancy then means a time of leisure when the child has to
take no thought of providing for himself and also when his nervous
system is in a plastic condition. Because he has this leisure time he
can spend it in storing up experiences for future years, and because
he is in this plastic condition experiences will make lasting impressions.
The school then is a specialized agency of formal education
which places experiences before the child while he is in this plastic
stage. It is the duty of the school then to place before the child those
experiences which will help him in his future life. Each branch of
study represents a certain type of experiences regarding the world
about us. The school must impart these experiences to the child. It
must provide him with certain environments which will give him the
experiences that will be serviceable to him in later life.
MAKE THE BEST THAT IN YOU LIES—GOOD WORK'S A THING
THAT NEVER DIES.—A. H. McQuilkin.
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