PSYCHOLOGY AND THE TEACHING ART
William James


"The teachers of this country have its future in their hands."

"Psychology ought certainly to give the teacher radical help."

"It is only the fundamental conceptions of psychology which are of real value to a teacher."

"Psychology is a science, and teaching is an art; and sciences never generate arts directly out of themselves."

"You make a great, very great mistake, if you think that psychology, being the science of the mind's laws, is something from which you can deduce definite programmes and schemes and methods of instruction for immediate schoolroom use."

"The science of logic never made a man reason rightly, and the science of ethics never made a man behave rightly. The most such sciences can do is to help us to catch ourselves up and check ourselves, if we start to reason or to behave wrongly; and to criticise ourselves more articulately after we have made mistakes."

"To know psychology is absolutely no guarantee that we shall be good teachers."

"Ingenuity in meeting and pursuing the pupil, that tact for the concrete situation, though they are the alpha and omega of the teacher's art, are things to which psychology cannot help us in the least."

"In teaching, you must simply work your pupil into such a state of interest in what you are going to teach him that every other object of attention is banished from his mind; then reveal it to him so impressively that he will remember the occasion to his dying day; and finally fill him with devouring curiosity to know what the next steps in connection with the subject are."

"Psychology saves us from mistakes. It makes us more clear as to what we are about. We gain confidence in respect to any method which we are using as soon as we believe that it has theory as well as practice at its back."

"The amount of psychology which is necessary to all teachers need not be very great."

What a teacher needs to know about psychology "might almost be written on the palm of one's hand."

"The worst thing that can happen to a good teacher is to get a bad conscience about her profession because she feels herself hopeless as a psychologist."



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