[From Education Week,1926]

The Child.

WHILE it is usual to look upon parents and teachers as jointly responsible for the upbringing of the young, when all is said it is the child himself who has to do the growing, and in all educational matters it is to the activity and the interest of the child that we must appeal. The child is the most hopeful, charming, important, .active and progressive member of the family. So our Schools should be the most hopeful, charming, important, active and progressive institutions in our Island community. In most cases, we believe, our Schools and the teachers in them rise to their opportunities.

We sometimes speak of Education as though it began in the Infant School, but before reaching the Infant School, the baby, by exercise of his own powers of observation and imitation, has learned to walk, to talk, to begin to reason, to judge, to use hand and eye for many services. What is learned in infancy is seldom forgotten, and the effect of that learning, whether good or evil, has an influence upon the whole of after life. How necessary it is, therefore, that the greatest care should be devoted to training during these forma tive periods of a child’s existence. The parent should be in close personal touch with the teacher, for each can tell the other much about the child and the best methods of helping him along the happy, but dangerous pathway of life.

The general aim of education is to help the infant to grow into a man or woman with fully developed powers, self-directed towards the highest ends, and to become a well-equipped and loyal member of human society. The special educational organ of the community is the school, although everything that interests a child is affecting its mental growth. The home, the picture-house, the street, the fields, the workshop—all are schools in their way, but the building made of bricks and mortar and designated "The School, " is the most potent factor for good by reason of its mental and moral atmosphere. This very atmosphere in the schools of to-day suggests health and happy work. The schoolboy no longer "creeps like snail unwillingly to school." Discipline is more free and natural than it used to be ; lessons are more varied and more interesting, and the feelings of pride in and loyalty to the school and its traditions combine to attract the child to the school republic.


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