WHAT EDUCATION REALLY MEANS

It Begins at Home and is Continued through Life.

EDUCATION is not nearly so dull as it used to be. Sunshine and air have been let into it, though there is still a suggestion of mustiness left. It is associated in the minds of many people with long hours of drudgery indoors when they wanted to be in the open, with toil-some home-lessons that interfered with play, and the committing to memory of a number of real or alleged facts that the passing of the years and disinclination to retain have forfeited. In these matters time has wrought a mighty change for the better. When Learning was Depressing

Some at least of the fathers and mothers of to-day were at school when it was considered the correct thing for knowledge to be imparted in the most depressing way. This was aided and abetted by text-books written in a dull, listless style considered as adding dignity to the subjects, and printed in small type equally unattractive. Little wonder that students abandoned hope instead of gaining it. The whole scheme was dismal as a foggy November morning. The main idea was a kind of mental forcible feeding. The notion that a child should give as well as receive, should ask questions as well as answer them parrot-fashion, was taboo. Curiosity is a Healthy Sign A CHILD is the most inquisitive creature in the world, and though on occasion it is apt to voice problems that defy answer, the wise parent will never be petulant with the ceaseless Why? How? When? What? Where? Poured forth with such eager anticipation.

Curiosity in a child is a healthy sign. It shows a kcon and active mind, a hunger for knowledge, a desire to know not only what things are, but why they are.

If this desire is checked, if the questioner is put off with: Oh! dont bother me now, Im too busy, the time may come when, through constant damping, the name of curiosity is extinguished. This is disastrous, because without this urge for knowledge a child will go to its lesson in a half-hearted manner, and very little of what it is taught will make any lasting impression on its mind. Interest is all-important.

What Education Means I HE word education comes from a A Latin term meaning to draw out. It can be applied in two ways: Something can be drawn out from the child, and the child can draw out something from the world by means of its intelligence and powers of observation. It has been well said that What man feels is influenced strongly by inherited tendencies; what man docs, or the precise way in which his feelings turn to action, depends largely upon what he has been taught – in other words, upon his education.

The mind is something more than a spongo that absorbs and gives out only what it takes in. Thought may be termed the digestive apparatus of the brain. It works on the crude food of fact, and bj, the process derives mental nourishment or impoverishment as the case may be. Temperament, the natural disposition of the mind, also plays its part.

Astonishing Parliament FEW years ago a member of Parlia- ment astonished the House of Com -mons by stating that of sixty scholars in an isolated country parish none had seen a running stream or a bridge, and when he asked them what a tram-car was, the nearest approach to a tangible answer was that it was something like an aeroplane. Lord Oxford expressed considerable surprise when playing golf at the ignorance of boy and girl caddies in the names of plants and birds, though he added that the efforts of the Boy Scouts and Girl Guides movements had made a marked change for the beitr.

Boys more Original than Girls As a result of tests spread over a number of years, the London County Council discovered that of some 800,000 children, about 10 in every 100 were very clever, and the same percentage dull or backward. A committee of educationists who examined 300,000 essays came to the conclusion that boys are more original than girls and have a keener sense of humour, and that Scottish children show a higher standard of work than children born south of the border. Dr. G. H. Miles asserts that girls generally have better memories than boys, and are usually ahead of the latter in composition, reading and languages. Considered Opinions TT may help us to arrive at an under- standing of tins vital problem, on which the future of the race so largely depends, if we study the considered opinions of those who have made their mark in life and thereby proved their right to express themselves on the matter.

Education, said Lord Haldane, is not a luxury. It is a necessity for each of us who desires to rise in the world. It is a process of striking off the fettera which hold us down and keep us from getting our heads up and becoming aware of the possibilities that are open to each of us, if only we can see them. To the Duchess of Atholl, education is a process by which ones eyes and ears are opened, with the result that one is able to feel awake to the life around one. Hall-marks of the Educated pR. NICHOLAS MURRAY BUTLER, L President of Columbia University, an institution which has more undergraduates than any other seat of learning, says that there are five hall-marks of an educated man. He places them in this order: 1, Correctness and precision in the use of the mother tongue; 2, Refined and gentle manners, which are the result of fixed habits of thought and action; 3, Sound standards of appreciation of beauty and of worth, and a character based on these standards; 4, The power and habit of reflection; 5, Efficiency, or the power to do. Important Years It will be noticed that three of the five hall-marks are stamped, or should be stamped, on the childs personality in the earliest years. Dr. C. W. Kiramins, no mean authority, declares that the period from two to six years is far away the most important of the childs life, when his mental as well as his physical welfare must receive adequate attention. Correct Speech TF a child is to speak correctly, the mother must herself be particular in her pro-nunciation and phraseology, for children are born copyists. Imitation is the sincercst form of flattery only when what is copied is worthy of duplication.

Precision is apt to be confused with abruptness, which is often mere rudeness. Precision is saying with exactness, so that the listener may be under no misappre-hension. Some people have the unfortunate habit of making a statement and following it by another beginning with: What I mean to say is this .

An explanation of an explanation. There is nobody more distasteful than the pedant and the prig, but there is neither pedantry nor priggishness in stating exactly what one wishes to convey. Slovenly speech means slovenly thought. One of the things that every mother instils in her child is the wickedness of telling a he, but it is too readily forgotten that it is easy to convey a wrong impression by slipshod speech, though no such misinter-pretation is intended. A Stepping-stone to Success rT HE late Admiral Lord Fisher once remarked that many a man has spoilt his chances of success in life by kissing the wrong girl. However this may be, it is certain that many men and women have marred the likelihood of a successful career because too little attention was paid in childhood to correct pronunciation. Words are slurred, vowels or consonants missed out, and syllables clipped. How often one hears, for instance, the word secretary turned into secetary – the r is completely forgotten; perhaps was never known. The vocabulary is unnecessarily limited. The same term is repeated over and over again, whereas English is particularly rich in synonyms, or alternative words.

Success depends to a very appreciable extent on ones power of expression, both in speaking and writing. A youth who fumbles for words as if for small change has little likelihood of impressing a would-be employer, or anybody else for that matter.

Refinement in Thought and Deed TR. BUTLERS second hall-mark is – refined and gentle manners, which are the result of fixed habits of thought and action. Here, again, home training must count for much, for the early years are the formative years, when any tendency to grow crooked on the part of the human sapling may be corrected, just as a gardener adjusts a young tree which leans sideways.

Courtesy is the oil which enables the outward and visible machinery of life to run without unnecessary jangling and jarring, and is the product of an inward and invisible refinement. In 1S27 the Dey of Algiers struck the French consul with a fly -swatter. As a sequel Hussein lost his country, and France gained a colony. The Appreciation of Beauty QOUND standards of appreciation ofbeauty and of worth have much to do with the making or marring of happiness. Most children love flowers, for example, though it is rare for them to be taught how to handle them without destroying their fragile loveliness. Every boy and girl should be taught how to cultivate his or her miniature garden. Mere digging may be excellent physical exercise, but a child soon discerns that churning up mould in a haphazard way does not produce the results evident in fathers flower beds. When it is old enough it should be shown how to sow the seed, how to prick out and plant, and when to water. It should be allowed to pick the resulting blooms, and to place them in a little vase in the nursery. If the manifold beauties of a blossom are shown to a child as one would point out notable figures in a picture, a definite impression is made on the plastic mind. It should be taught the names of the plants.

To inspire a child with a sense of wonder is to awaken its interest, and once awakened that interest is unlikely to slumber. The old Greek proverb: Those whom the gods love die young, ha3 nothing whatever to do with premature doceaso, though it is misconstrued as such. It means that at whatever age a person ma dio he should dio young in heart; that though his arteries may have hardened, his mind has not. A Tribute to Mothers THE power and habit of reflection is really a prelude to efficiency, or the power to do. There is no need to impress these hall-marks in early childhood, though often enough children are little philosophers in a way that is altogether appealing. A start may be made by asking a child a little while before bed-time to relate some of the incidents of the day. This is, of course, memory-training rather than reflection; but the power and habit of thinking things over is necessarily based on that exceedingly important faculty.

For the most part it will be found that the world owes a debt of gratitude to the mothers of its great men. This is no disparagement to fathers, who are from the very necessity of the case precluded from exercising their influence to so marked an extent, if for no other reason than that in the early formative years they are at work when the children are up and about, and only return home when the bairns are in bed. Sir James Barries Inspiration

OIR JAMES BARRIE, creator of Peter k Pan and many another fine character, writes of the tears lying on the mute bluo eyes, in which I have read all I know and would ever care to write. For when you looked into my mothers eyes you know, as if He had told you, why God sent her into the world – it was to open the minds of all who looked to beautiful thoughts. And that is the beginning and end of literature. Those eyes have guided me through life, and I pray God they may remain my only earthly judge to the last. They were never more my guide than when I helped to put her to earth, not whimpering because my mother had been taken away after seventy-six glorious years of life, but exulting in her even at the grave.

Spare no time or trouble to render each piece as perfect as you can, and then leave the event without one anxious thought. I have always admired a saying of one of the old heathen philosophers. When a friend was condoling with him that he so well deserved of the gods, and yet that they did not shower their favours on him, as on some others less worthy, he answered: I will, however, continue to deserve well of them. So do you, my dearest.