Introduction to the study of commerce - PDF by Frederick Redman Clow

Introduction to the study of commerce

Introduction to the study of commerce
Introduction to the study of commerce

From introduction:

Mk. Clow's book is significant of a large and beneficial change in the development of secondary education in the United States. The programme of the secondary schools is being steadily broadened and strengthened, and this not only by the better teaching of old subjects but by the introduction of new. The modern languages, the natural sciences, and political and social sciences have been added, and as time has progressed, have been taught with greater detail and with better methods. 

Among the subjects recently added to the programmes in frequent use is economics, and Mr Clow's book constitutes an addition to the tools available for the teacher in this branch of knowledge. I have expressed myself elsewhere^as to the expediency of the addition of economics to the curriculum of the high school. Properly taught, it can be brought within the compass of pupils of high school age; it can be made truly liberalizing and enlightening for them, and it can aid in making them better workers and better citizens. Probably those pupils who propose to go on from the secondary school to the college and university do better in postponing 

In a paper read before the Harvard Teachers' Association, and printed in the Educational Review for May 1899. the subject until they have reached these institutions; but for the great majority, whose education ends with the high school, there is here a profitable field. It is especially profitable in the commercial courses which are coming so much into vogue in our high schools, redeeming them from too exclusive an attention to the aridities of bookkeeping and commercial arithmetic and the mechanical arts of type-writing and shorthand.

 But the usefulness of any new subject, and indeed its very availability, depend mainly on the mode in which the materials for teaching it are at hand. In all the subjects which are taught in the secondary schools — both those traditionally in their pro- grammes and those added of late years — a constant process of experiment and change in the methods of instruction is going -on, due to the awakening of new needs, the perception of old defects, and the better understanding of the principles that underlie the teaching art. Precisely what the outcome in the way of textbooks and manuals will be in the several subjects, must depend largely on the experience of the classroom. 

This will be more particularly the case in the subjects most recently added. Such experience has been indispensable in the natural sciences, and strikingly so in physics and chemistry, where the proper combination of textbook and laboratory practice has been slowly worked out, perhaps not yet with perfectly satisfactory results. The lessons of experience must be awaited at least as guardedly in a subject like economics, of comparatively recent introduction even in the colleges and universities, and hardly subjected to any adequate trial in the secondary schools. 

To the tools of the teacher in economics, Mr Clow now adds this book on Commerce. It must be tested, like every new tool, by actual use. That it has not been constructed without some careful experiment- ing is shown by what the author says of its trial in the school with which he is connected; thus it rests already on a considerable experience. But it is also constructed on sound principles.

Two fundamental principles of teaching — that the pupil shall first observe and understand the things with which he is brought in contact by familiar experience, and shall proceed thence to the study of things unfamiliar; and that he shall be trained to observe, to do, and to think for himself — these Mr Clow has had steadily in mind. Hence his book is not so much a textbook as a manual of directions, an aid and a guide for teachers and pupils. 

As such it assumes that the instruction will be given by a capable teacher, well trained in this particular branch of knowledge; and it calls for careful watching and judicious guidance of pupils. Rightly used, it may be expected to prove stimulating and profitable Foe several years the author of this book has spent much time and thought on the problem of making economics a more satisfactory school study. One of the conclusions to which he has been brought developed itself gradually from his observation and experience before it received any conscious attention. It is that the ten or fifteen weeks frequently allowed for economics should not be occupied with presenting a conspectus of economic theory; it is better to attempt less and do it better. 

During the past two years, the author has been endeavouring to select phases of economics which have unity and completeness when taken by themselves, which possess the highest educational value, and which can be presented successfully under the conditions that exist in secondary schools. One of these phases is trade or commerce, — the mechanism and process of exchange.

note for teachers

To use this book successfully a class must keep in close touch with the actual business. The development of underlying principles is the first aim, but the student can grasp them clearly and realize their meaning only when he sees them arise necessarily and naturally out of the phenomena of business. He must draw freely on his experience, supplemented by that of the teacher and the other members of the class; he must observe the commercial operations going on about him; he must interview businessmen as much as his own time and their patience will permit; he must make some use of original materials, such as government documents, newspapers, market bulletins, and trade publications. 
By thus using commerce in the concrete to illustrate or prove the theory of commerce, a class will take a keen interest in the work and realize benefits afforded by no other study.

the book details :
  • Author: Frederick Redman Clow
  • Publication date: 1901
  • Company: New York, Boston [etc] Silver, Burdett and company

  • Download Introduction to the study of commerce - 4.3 MB

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