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"Das Wesen der historischen Methode ist forschend zu verstehen.--Droysen."
"The way to that which is general is through that which is special.”- Yäger.
"It is a favorite maxim of mine that history, while it should be scientific in its method, should pursue a practical object."-Seeley.
"Das was heute Politik ist, gehört morgen der Geschichte an."-Droysen.
“ Learn the Past and you will know the Future."-Confucius.
"C'est une vérité banale que l'étude de l'histoire est indispensable aux peuples libres, appelés à se gouverner eux-mêmes. La connaissance du passé fait seule bien comprendre le présent et aide à éviter les écueils sur lesquels nos ancêtres ont fait naufrage. En relevant l'enseignement supérieur de l'histoire, on ne rendrait pas seulement service & la science, mais aussi à la patrie."-Paul Frédéricq.
“Scientia pro Patria."-Motto of the Société Historique el Cercle Saint-Simon, Paris.
HISTORICAL AND POLITICAL SCIENCE
HERBERT B. ADAMS, Editor
History is past Politics and Politics present History - Freeman
SPECIAL METHODS OF HISTORICAL STUDY
AS PURSUED AT THE JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY
AND AT SMITH 'COLLEGE.
The main principle of historical training at the Johns Hopkins University is to encourage independent thought and research. Little heed is given to text-books, or the mere phraseology of history, but all stress is laid upon clear and original statements of fact and opinion, whether the student's own or the opinion of a consulted author. The comparative method of reading and study is followed by means of assigning to individual members of the class separate topics, with references to various standard works. These topics are duly reported upon by the appointees, either ex tempore, with the aid of a few notes, or in formal papers, which are discussed at length by the class. The oral method has been found to afford a better opportunity than essays for question and discussion, and it is in itself a good means of individual training, for the student thereby learns to think more of substance than of form. Where essays are written, more time is usually | expended on style than on the acquisition of facts. If the student has a well-arranged brief, like a lawyer's, and a head full of ideas, he will express himself at least intelligibly, and clearness and elegance will come with sufficient practice. The ex tempore method, with a good brief or abstract (which may be dictated to the class) is one of the best methods for the teacher as well as for the student. The idea should be, in both cases, to personify historical science in the individual who is speaking upon a given topic. A book or an essay, however symmetrical it may be, is often only a fossil, a lifeless thing; but a student or teacher talking from a clear head is a fountain of living science. A class of bright minds quickly discern the difference between a phrase-maker and a man of ideas.
* This article contains extracts from a paper on “History: Its Place in American Colleges," originally contributed in October, 1879, to The Alumnus, a literary and educational quarterly then published in Philadelphia, but now suspended and entirely out of print. A few extracts have also been made from an article on “Co-operation in University work,” in the second number of The Johns Hopkins University Studies in Historical and Political Science. But the body of the article is new, and was written at the request of Dr. G. Stanley Hall, as a contribution to the “Methods of History," Vol. I. of the Pedagogical Library, Boston: Ginn, Heath & Co., 1883. By the kind permission of the publishers, the chapter is here reproduced in connection with a paper on “New Methods of Study in History," which is now for the first time printed, but which is the natural outgrowth of the original paper and, like that, suggested by Dr. G. Stanley Hall, for pedagogical purposes.
As an illustration of the kind of subjects in mediæval history studied in 1878, independently of any text-book, by a class of undergraduates, from eighteen to twenty-two years of age, the following list of essay-topics is appended :
1. Influence of Roman Law during the middle ages. (Savigny, Sir Henry
Maine, Guizot, IIadley). 2. The kingdom of Theodoric, the East Goth. (Milman, Gibbon, Free
man). 3. The conversion of Germany. (Merivale, Milman, Trench). 4. The conversion of England. (Bede, Milman, Freeman, Montalembert,
Trench). 5. The civilizing influence of the Benedictine Monks. (Montalembert,
Gibbon, Milman). 6. Cloister and cathedral schools. (Einhard, Guizot, Mullinger). 7. The origin and character of medieval universities. (Green, History of
England ; Lacroix; various university histories). 8. Modes of legal procedure among the early Teutons. (Waitz, J. L.
Laughlin, Lea). 9. Report of studies in " Anglo-Saxon Law.” (Henry Adams, et al).