Academic Teaching

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Bolton Hall

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Bolton Hall. "Academic Teaching."

Publication history

  • Bolton Hall, “Academic Teaching,” Life 38, no. 991 (October 31, 1901): 343.
  • Bolton Hall, “Academic Teaching,” American Education 5, no. 9 (May 1902): 531.


"You cannot comprehend," said Prof. B. Fogg, "that since 2 plus 2 equals 4, therefore 2 plus 4 equals 6. I will elucidate. You perceive that numerals are not entities, but representatives of concepts?"

"Yes," said the child, doubtfully.

"But if the aggregate of two entities plus 2 is, assumed to constitute 4 and is represented by that sign, similar signs may be adopted for the superimposed concepts of two representatives more, which is 6. Is that satisfactory?"

The child said, "I don't understand; and my papa says 4 and 2 is 42."

Said Dr. Tucker: " You have no mental vision, child; you are incapable of perception."

"Now let me explain," put in the practical man; " 6 minus 4 equals 2, doesn't it? Now that is equivalent to saying that 2 plus 4 equals 6; for if we transpose the" minus sign, changing it to plus, we have 6 equals 2 plus 4. Isn't that clear?"

The child began to cry.

"Well, maybe it was only 24," sobbed the child. "I saw it on a sign."

"The trouble is," said the practical man, "that the pupil doesn't want to understand." Just then an ignorant man came in. "Here, little one," said he, "there's three pair of dice; now count them up. How many can you make?"

"Why, six," said the child.