Education: A First Book

By Edward L. Thorndike | Go to book overview

CHAPTER IV
THE MATERIAL FOR EDUCATION: GENERAL FACTS AND LAWS

The aim of education is, we have seen, to change human beings for the better, so that they will have more humane and useful wants and be more able to satisfy them. Human individuals, especially the young, are the material for education; and knowledge of human nature is necessary if educational changes are to be made economically, securely and without secondary ill effects.

Education and the sciences of human nature.

For this knowledge of the material which it works upon and which it aims to change into nobler and happier natures, education has recourse to physiology, psychology, sociology and all the other sciences of man, and to whatever facts concerning the production and prevention of changes in human nature educational experience itself has demonstrated. Nothing human should be alien to the student of education, though he will be specially interested in:--first, the original nature of man, the tendencies which human beings have apart from all education, and second, the general laws of learning, the ways in

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