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What Is and What Might Be A Study of Education in General and Elementary Education in Particular   By: (1850-1936)

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What Is and What Might Be: A Study of Education in General and Elementary Education in Particular by Edmond Holmes is a thought-provoking and insightful exploration of educational philosophy and its implications for the improvement of elementary education. Written in the early 20th century, this book remains surprisingly relevant and still offers valuable perspectives on the purpose and methods of education.

Holmes, a respected educator and philosopher, delves into various aspects of education, including its aims, curriculum, organization, and the role of the teacher. He argues that education should not rely solely on the transmission of knowledge but should also foster the development of critical thinking, creativity, and a deep sense of ethics. This foundational premise sets the stage for Holmes’ examination of existing educational practices and his bold proposals for reform.

One of the most striking qualities of Holmes' work is his ability to critically evaluate the state of education in his time and envision what a progressive and effective educational system might look like. He advocates for a curriculum that encourages active learning, emphasizes problem-solving skills, and aligns with the needs and interests of students. Holmes also emphasizes the importance of the teacher’s role, urging educators to move beyond mere instruction and become facilitators of learning, guiding students towards self-discovery and independent thinking.

Throughout the book, Holmes supports his arguments with compelling evidence, referencing various educational philosophies, historical examples, and statistical data. His thorough research not only informs the reader but also provides a solid foundation for his proposals.

While some of the references and examples used by Holmes may feel outdated, the underlying principles and ideas presented in this book endure. Holmes' vision of education calls for a balanced and holistic approach that nurtures both the intellectual and moral faculties of students, encouraging personal growth and social responsibility. Furthermore, his emphasis on adapting education to meet the evolving needs of society reinforces the relevance of his proposals, even in the present day.

However, it is important to note that this book, although comprehensive, can be dense and theoretical at times. Holmes' writing style may not be easily accessible for those unfamiliar with educational theory or philosophy. Nevertheless, for educators, administrators, and policymakers seeking a deeper understanding of the foundations of education and ideas for its improvement, this book provides a valuable resource.

In conclusion, What Is and What Might Be: A Study of Education in General and Elementary Education in Particular offers a timeless exploration of education's purpose and the paths to its enhancement. Edmond Holmes presents a compelling case for reforming traditional educational practices, emphasizing the role of active learning, critical thinking, and ethics. Despite its age, this book remains an important reference for anyone interested in advancing educational philosophy and transforming elementary education for the better.

First Page:

WHAT IS AND WHAT MIGHT BE

A STUDY OF EDUCATION IN GENERAL AND ELEMENTARY EDUCATION IN PARTICULAR

BY

EDMOND HOLMES

AUTHOR OF "THE CREED OF CHRIST," "THE CREED OF BUDDHA," "THE SILENCE OF LOVE," "THE TRIUMPH OF LOVE," ETC.

LONDON CONSTABLE & COMPANY 1912

First published, May 1911. Second impression, July 1911. Third impression, September 1911. Fourth impression, November 1911. Fifth impression, January 1912. Sixth impression, October 1912.

Transcriber's note: Obvious printer errors have been corrected. All other inconstancies in spelling or punctuation are as in the original.

PREFACE

My aim, in writing this book, is to show that the externalism of the West, the prevalent tendency to pay undue regard to outward and visible "results" and to neglect what is inward and vital, is the source of most of the defects that vitiate Education in this country, and therefore that the only remedy for those defects is the drastic one of changing our standard of reality and our conception of the meaning and value of life. My reason for making a special study of that branch of education which is known as "Elementary," is that I happen to have a more intimate knowledge of it than of any other branch, the inside of an elementary school being so familiar to me that I can in some degree bring the eye of experience to bear upon the problems that confront its teachers... Continue reading book >>




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