An analysis of the closely graded lessons for children in the light of the laws of growth
Anderson, Mary Esther
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Religious Educators and other people interested in the subject of Religious Education have been concerned that the several million children in the educational program of the Methodist Church be given the best in curriculum, methods and materials. Therefore it is important to test with careful scrutiny whether the curriculum, methods and materials fulfill the ideals of sound educational theory and to what extent they deviate from such norms if deviation should prove to be the case. It is also significant to determine whether the avowed educational ideals of the Graded Lessons are implemented by the types of materials and methods consistent with these ideals. If the Closely Graded Lessons are found to be adequate in these respects, then teachers may use the lessons with renewed confidence that they are guiding children in experiences commensurate with their stage of maturity and their readiness to learn. The problem of this dissertation is to analyze the Methodist Closely Graded Lessons for Kindergarten, Primary and Junior Children of ages 4 to 11 years in the light of the laws of growth: 1) Law of Readiness, 2) Law of Exercise with a Purpose and 3) Law of Effect. The Law of Readiness considers whether the child has attained a state of maturity such that he is able to act in a certain way. For example the motor control of the eyes precedes that of the fingers; head balance precedes body balance; palmar prehension precedes digital prehension; voluntary grasp precedes voluntary release. Banging comes before poking; vertical and horizontal hand movements before circular and oblique; crawling before creeping; creeping before upright walking; gestures before words; jargon before speech; solitary play before social. The task of the adult is to understand the child, to comprehend the limitations and the configurations of his individuality. Thus there should be kindness and tolerance for the "faults" of children are the symptoms of immaturity.
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