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THE RELATION OF SOCIOLOGY TO THE SCIENCE AND ART OF EDUCATION

from The Journal of Social Forces by 1. W. HOWERTH

Educative process (Education as Science and Art )

Education is commonly thought of as an art, that is, chiefly as the work of the school. In this point
of view Art is essentially the control of nature. It is the direction of natural forces to the achievement of
preconceived ends,or it is the utilization of the materials and forces of nature to create or produce
something new something that nature would not achieve, or would not achieve so soon, or with so little
energy, if acting alone. The art of education, then, is simply the control' of the natural educative process,
by which that process is rendered artificial.The best definition of education from this point of view that I
have seen is, that "conscious or artificial education is the art of endowing thehuman being with qualities
and aptitudes which he would not. gain, or would gain more slowly and at a greater cost if left to
himself." The same definition would apply to the group.

Whenever man individually or collectively undertakes to modify or control or direct"nature,his


most practical need is knowledge. This he obtains empirically or it is provided by science.If the control to
be effected is physical, say of any of the physical forces, he turns to the physical sciences; if biological, to
the biological sciences, and so on. His control will be effective only in proportion as these sciences are
able to provide him with the knowledge of how these processes are carried on by nature. "We control
nature only by obeying her." We cannot obey, however, unless we know. The primary function of all
science, then, is to aid man in the control of nature, that is, to artificialize the world.Science, we say, is
organized knowledge. But the organization of knowledge is not its final purpose.Science exists for art's
sake, and from the broad,or high, viewpoint the function of all science like that of all knowledge is as an
aid to action.

Hence, Education as an art is artificial education, is concerned wholly with thedirection of the
natural process of education, and since its successful achievement is dependent upon a thorough
understanding of the mechanism and operation of that process, that branch of science called the
science of education must be primarily concerned with the discovery of such knowledge as will enable
the art to function successfully.This, then, is the main objective of the science of education: It is the
understanding of the natural educative process. Since the understanding of this process, or indeed of
any natural process, is possible only through the comprehension of its laws and principles, and since the
art of education is the application of educational principles,it is plain that the science of education
should concern itself primarily with these things.

A Review on the meanings of Sociology

You are all familiar with the current definitions: "The science of society,""The science of
association," "The science of social phenomena," "The science of achievement,""The science of social
relations," and all the rest. I believe Giddings came close to the mark when he defined it as Han attempt
to account for the origin, growth, structure, and activities of society by the operation of physical, vital
and psychical uses working together in a process of evolution." Note the phrase, "working together in
process."Sociology is the science which undertakes to discover the laws of social evolution that are
applicable to all social groups, and the principles through the operation of which nature builds and
destroys them. Education utilizes the findings of sociology both for scientific and practical purposes.

THE RELATION OF SOCIOLOGY TO EDUCATION

As to the Principles of Education.

Sociology is related to education as it is related to all other sciences and schemes relatingto the
control of social processes. As a pure science it reveals the general laws and general principles of these
processes. As an applied science it shows how these principles may be utilized in the effort consciously
to direct social evolution, that is, in the great social art.

As to Administration.

educational organizerand administrator must depend upon sociology for guidance. He stands in
the same relation to the general objective of education as that in which the teacher stands with respect
to specific objectives. He is therefore as much dependent upon sociology as is the teacher in the conduct
and instruction of the school. The system should function in harmony with the efforts of the
sociallyintelligent teacher, and vice versa. This is enough to show that sociology is related to educational
organization and administration in the most intimate way. It is the guide and foundation of each.

As to the objective

Any sound ideal of social well-being must involve at least three great foundation principles-
social intelligence, social economy,and voluntary coOperation,-and these are plainly and strongly
indicative of the kind of education that should be carried on in the schools. Whatever be the difficulty in
formulating the general social aim of education, it should be plain enough that such formulation is the
business of sociology. By devoting itself to the task it may render the greatest assistance to education.
Such aim is plainly necessary to unify educational effort to promote educational efficiency.

But a general educational objective, however necessary as a remote educational aim, is plainly
not of the highest educational value unless and until it is broken up into the more immediate objectives
of the school, the realization of which is progressively necessary to bring us along the path leading to the
main objective.

As to The Curriculum.

The school curriculum is a part of the machinery, and a most important part, for progressively
realizing the ultimate social objective whatever it is conceived to be.

curriculum must be constructed in terms of specific rather than general objectives. Further analysis is
therefore necessary. This involves what we have come to call job-analysis,and perhaps this analysis must
be made by the curriculum maker himself, for sociology confines itself to the general.
As to the Method.

Method is an intellectual device consciously employed through selected means for the purpose
of saving time,means or energy. It is, therefore, primarily a function of mind, and the highest function of
mind. In education the subject matter and all educational equipment are means. All means are selected
with reference to the ends to be achieved.

These ends, as we have seen, are, so far as education is concerned, primarily and
fundamentallysocial. Hence, sociology stands in the same relationship to education with respect to
method as it does with respect to means; that is to say, the curriculum and equipment.

References

New York University on May 27, 2015 http://sf.oxfordjournals.org/ Downloaded

1.W.Howerth,2015,The Journal of Social Forces

New York University.Oxford Journals.