Chinonye David

The concrete character of the mind consists, then, wholly of the various arrangements formed by the various presentations in their different qualities. The “furniture” of the mind is the mind. Mind is wholly a matter of “contents.” The educational implications of this doctrine are threefold.

(1) This or that kind of mind is formed by the use of objects which evoke this or that kind of reaction and which produce this or that arrangement among the reactions called out. The formation of the mind is wholly a matter of the presentation of the proper educational materials.

(2) Since the earlier presentations constitute the “apperceiving organs” which control the assimilation of new presentations, their character is all important. The effect of new presentations is to reinforce groupings previously formed. The business of the educator is, first, to select the proper material in order to fix the nature of the original reactions, and, secondly, to arrange the sequence of subsequent presentations on the basis of the store of ideas secured by prior transactions. The control is from behind, from the past, instead of, as in the unfolding conception, in the ultimate goal.

(3) Certain formal steps of all methods in teaching may be laid down. Presentation of new subject matter is obviously the central thing, but since knowing consists in the way in which this interacts with the contents already submerged below consciousness, the first thing is the step of “preparation,”—that is, calling into special activity and getting above the floor of consciousness those older presentations which are to assimilate the new one. Then after the presentation, follow the processes of interaction of new and old; then comes the application of the newly formed content to the performance of some task. Everything must go through this course; consequently, there is a perfectly uniform method in instruction in all subjects for all pupils of all ages.

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