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Low, B. (1927). Humanizing Education: By Samuel D. Schmalhausen. (The New Education Publishing Company, New York, 1926. Pp. 343.). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 8:441-442.

(1927). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 8:441-442

Humanizing Education: By Samuel D. Schmalhausen. (The New Education Publishing Company, New York, 1926. Pp. 343.)

Review by:
Barbara Low

The author of this book undoubtedly possesses a great interest in education and genuine zeal for attempts to revolutionize the educational ideals and systems in vogue to-day. Few people will be found, and certainly none among psycho-analysts, to disagree with such an aim, but unfortunately the author gives little indication of the means of attaining it. His problems are important in themselves and many of them are just those which most need comprehension and insight for their solution: infantilism and automatism in education; sex and civilization; psycho-analysis in education; the tyranny of words. But we are offered as solutions little else than floods of 'oratory' accompanied by sweeping statements, all couched in a peculiar form of blended high-flown and intimate personal style. The following quotation, dealing with the question of authority and headship, will illustrate this: 'Pity the principal: he cannot honestly tell you why he has been promoted to glory and ineptitude. We principals all suffer from mental ankylosis. … It may sound blasphemous to the orthodox, but it is the plainest truth that a majority of principals have no philosophy of education at all. … None whatever. The most astounding dullard—so far as an educational insight into the vexing problems of our social life is concerned—may come out with flying colours as a principal-elect. Another willing routineer has been added to the long procession of machine-men dedicated to the inspiring mission of turning-out (excellent phrase!) certified parrots, monkeys, dogs, oxen, asses—but never, oh, never, vivacious, original, critical, and courageous human beings' (pp.

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