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CHARACTER BUILDING READERS
ELLEN E. KENYON-WARNER, PD.D.
SELF AND DUTY
HINDS, NOBLE & ELDREDGE
In the Character Building Reader for Eighth Year the effort is to focus the thought engendered in previous numbers upon character study and self-building as a conscious and earnest pursuit for life.
In previous numbers, though every selection has directly or indirectly subserved the purpose of the series, the teaching has been addressed partly to the subconscious mind. Pieces that amused often held the seeds of character growth in forms unrecognizable by the child. The more serious student spirit that the pupil brings to his last year's work in the intermediate school warrants a change to more subjective methods of teaching. The reading matter of this grade should prompt the mind to generalize. That which relates to the student's moral growth should lead him to study principles of conduct and make rules for his own guidance through life.
Lesson lengths are merely suggested. The teacher is the best judge of how long it may be profitable to dwell on each page and paragraph. Sometimes discussion strengthens a moral impression. At others it may weaken one. The teacher who knows the minds of her pupils will avoid giving occasion for the evaporation in debate of those forces which work best in the silence of the individual soul.
The trend of thought in Part I is provocative of introspection and resolve. That in Part II is distinctively extraspective. The student, after dwelling long with the need, purpose, and methods of self-discipline, turns again to the outer contact—the invitation of nature, books, and homethe privilege and duty of losing self in the social function.