School discipline, like the poor, is always with us. The subject has so long been treated in educational journals, books, institute and other lectures, that one might well hesitate before attempting to add to the literature of the subject, and a school man could scarcely hope to find a book giving a fresh treatment of this hackneyed topic. Bagley's School Discipline , however, abundantly justifies the author's temerity in undertaking what might well seem a bootless task. Like the other books coming from the facile pen of ...
School discipline, like the poor, is always with us. The subject has so long been treated in educational journals, books, institute and other lectures, that one might well hesitate before attempting to add to the literature of the subject, and a school man could scarcely hope to find a book giving a fresh treatment of this hackneyed topic. Bagley's School Discipline , however, abundantly justifies the author's temerity in undertaking what might well seem a bootless task. Like the other books coming from the facile pen of this versatile writer, its style is so engaging as to invite the reader to read on, even if he does not care to know more about school discipline. Few are the books for teachers which treat a subject so narrow and so technical and at the same time give it something of literary charm. The one before us shows on every page the writer's familiarity with the literature of his profession, past and present, but its phraseology and its vocabulary are the sort which characterize the writings and speech of one who is as much at home in other fields of literature as in the pedagogical one. There is not a dull chapter in the book. There is not one which we could wish omitted. There are few which do not contain discussions and sensible suggestions pertinent to the science and art of instruction as well as that of discipline. This is perhaps only a way of stating that the book gives a fundamental and not a superficial treatment of discipline in the schoolroom. Principles and methods, not devices, are the author's concern. The modern notion of the meaning of good discipline; the fundamental relation of pupils' behavior to the personality of the teacher; the effect of raising the qualitative standards of school work; the importance of individual assignments; the tonic influence of a regimen of work; the doctrine of interest and of effort in their mutual relations to discipline, are all discussed in such a fashion as to lead the teacher to see that the best-disciplined school is likely to be the one best taught, proper discipline coming as a by-product. On the other hand, there is recognition of the fact that the best-laid schemes of teachers gang aft a-gley, as truly as those of mice and men. With this in mind, there are valuable chapters on the place and limitations of coercive measures; the psychology of reward and penalties; the relation of corporal punishment to the larger ideals of the day; contemporary school penalties; and the various types of children recognized as troublesome ones. The book contains numerous concrete illustrations of successful dealing with breaches of conduct of all sorts in many different situations and schools, giving point to discussions of principles necessarily general in their nature and application. The questions and exercises with which each chapter closes must prove stimulating and thought-provoking to the teacher who wishes to do more than passively receive directions, whether from book, lecturer, principal, or superintendent. - University of Chicago School Review , Vol. 23
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