The Speyer School: Part I. Its History and Purpose: Controlling Ideas in the Curriculum of Kindergarten and the Elementary School
by James E. Russell, F. M. McMurry, C. H. Farnsworth & T. D. Wood - 1902
V. CONTROLLING IDEAS IN CURRICULUM OF KINDERGARTEN AND ELEMENTARY SCHOOL The preceding discussion suggests the outlines of the curriculum desired. The two most prominent controlling ideas in the selection of studies and of topics under them are the requirements of society (including, of course, its ideals as well as its present practices) and the nature of children. The former has been, possibly, the more important determining factor, although the latter follows it closely in influence. At any rate, when the two have come somewhat in conflict, as in the case of spelling as a study, the latter has yielded. In other words, children in the Speyer School learn to spell rather on account of the social demand for correct spelling than because their natures hunger for that kind of mental nourishment. As a rule, however, these two factors work in harmony. The kindergarten, for example, accepts the lead of society in its demand for habits of cheerful cooperation, politeness, kindness, obedience and orderliness, but the nature of the child responds readily to these requirements.
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