Character in Human Relations

Character in Human Relations

Character in Human Relations

Character in Human Relations

Excerpt

This volume sets forth a point of view with regard to the nature of character and offers an appraisal of the means by which educators have tried to cultivate it in youth. The point of view to be expounded has taken form during the past fifteen or twenty years and will be found expressed not only in scattered articles and books in which I have been particeps criminis, but also, in increasing measure, in the general trend of modern thought toward a genuine objectivity of mind. This objectivity, most fully achieved in natural science, has until recently been looked upon with suspicion by students of human nature.

Recent though it is, however, the interest of science in personality has already begun to permeate the work of education. The so-called progressive movement in education illustrates this tendency, not only as this movement finds expression in private institutions, but also as it affects classroom procedures in every type of school, both secular and religious, from the nursery through the graduate and professional levels. The historic emphasis on character as the chief objective of education has escaped from the formulations of philosophers and historians and has begun to materialize in the conscious practices of teachers.

Naturally the present situation is the scene of conflict between older, uncritical methods, of which teachers have heretofore been hardly aware, so ingrained have they been in the folkways of the people, and the newer, critical methods which are the outgrowth of more recent scientific study. One result of this conflict has been an avalanche of books, articles, and texts having to do with character. Many of these . . .

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