Monday, December 26, 2005


by John Milton Gregory
Originally published in 1884
Revised in 1917
Paperback version, 2004 Baker Books
121 pages

In 121 pages, Gregory intends for his readers to see the leading principles and rules of the teaching art groups around seven factors, and that the readers may methodically learn and use them. There are seven laws (pp. 18-19):
  1. A teacher must be one who knows the lesson or truth or art to be taught.
  2. A learner is one who attends with interest to the lesson.
  3. The language used as a medium between teacher and learner must be common to both.
  4. The lesson to be mastered must be explicable in the terms of truth already known by the learner--the unknown must be explained by means of the known.
  5. Teaching is arousing and using the pupil's mind to grasp the desired thought or to master the desired art.
  6. Learning is thinking into one's own understanding a new idea or truth or working into habit a new art or skill.
  7. The test and proof of teaching done--the finishing and fastening process--must be a reviewing, rethinking, reknowing, reproducing, and applying of the material that has been taught, the knowledge and ideals and arts that have been communicated.
In eight chapters, Gregory explains the idea of the laws and the philosophy, rules, and violations for each of the seven laws. If you teach or if you learn, this small volume is highly recommended. Despite its obvious basis in modernist thought, it remains a classic about teaching and learning.


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