Today we’ll meet Herbert Spencer⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
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•He was an English philosopher, biologist, anthropologist, sociologist, and liberal political theorist.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
•He coined the term “survival of the fittest.”⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
•His father ran a school founded on the methods of Pestalozzi.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
•His book Education: Intellectual, Moral, and Physical was adopted as a textbook in nearly all teacher-training colleges in England.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
•He believed repeated associations of ideas were embodied in the formation of specific strands of brain tissue, and these could be passed from one generation to the next. He hoped his work would do for the mind what Newton had done for matter.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
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We find Mason quoting from Spencer’s book Education in Volume 1 {p.3-4}:⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
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“Here are the indisputable facts: that the development of children in mind and body follows certain laws; that unless these laws are in some degree conformed to by parents, death is inevitable; that unless they are in a great degree conformed to, there must result serious physical and mental defects; and that only when they are completely conformed to, can a perfect maturity be reached. Judge, then, whether all who may one day be parents should not strive with some anxiety to learn what these laws are.”⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
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Mason sandwiches Spencer’s ideas with her own: “That the mother may know what she is about…she should have something more than a hearsay acquaintance with the theory of education…” (p.3) and “…it is not too much to say that a parent who does not follow reasonably a method of education, fully thought out, fails…” (p.8)⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
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Yet let us not become discouraged. Mason quickly follows up on the same page with introducing us to the way of her method of education—“easy, yielding, unobtrusive, simple as the ways of Nature herself; yet, watchful, careful, all-pervading, all-compelling…so easy and spontaneous is a method of education based on Natural Law.”⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
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Indisputable, perhaps, yet easily attainable should we strive for it. 💚

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