To increase the size of schools is not enough. Schools and classes are already far too large. System is not enough. More schools and courses, of greater variety; smaller schools and smaller classes, with greater opportunity for personal contact between teachers and taught; more teachers, of higher native capacity and better training—all these are needed. But these things we shall not have until the common conception of schools and teachers has suffered change. We still think of teaching too narrowly or too vaguely—too narrowly if we look upon teachers as purveyors of learning for its own sake, too vaguely if we think of them as taskmasters in a dubious abstract discipline of mind. The task of the teacher must be reconceived; we must think of him and he must become a guide to worthy living, teaching not only his subject but how to use it and what it is for, making clear its incentives and ideals, its methods and its values, and helping his pupils to interpret life more justly because they have seen it in a new light. This is the larger opportunity of every teacher, but especially of the teacher of a traditional subject in a traditional course. The teacher of stenography may more safely confine himself to skill and speed with dots and dashes than the teacher of Latin to exactness in the use of tenses. The first task of any teacher is to teach his subject well, but he cannot leave the social interpretation and application of education wholly to principals, parents, school pamphlets, and chance. If the public is to value the teacher’s work more highly, he must make it more valuable.

To become more valuable, teaching must develop both a science and a philosophy of its own, teachers must study their problems as physicians study theirs and as statesmen theirs. For the problems of teaching are at once problems of efficiency and problems of destiny. The teaching of any subject calls for scientific study of methods and ethical study of ends. How shall we teach it well? depends for its answer in part on the answer to What shall we teach it for? These questions have not yet been answered with finality for any subject. With due change of wording they may be asked of any school or course: How shall we manage it well? and, What shall we manage it for? All questions of educational practice are thus both scientific and philosophical.

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