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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 78

What is Cram ?

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What is Cram ?

A "Cram" System of Education is one which neglects the body for the sake of the mind, and neglects the mind as a whole for the sake of displaying what can be put into and taken unchanged out of one corner of it.

Cram centres its attention on superficial fugitive memory and narrow formal scholastic reasoning and attainments, with a view to the passing of examinations. It fails to produce even a good memory, since the development of that faculty depends in the long run on interesting or useful associations. Cram ultimately impairs memory and receptiveness, and it stifles independent thought and initiative, along with the natural desire for knowledge.

Cram exalts the "learner" above the "thinker" and the "doer," and gives its prizes to the crammer rather than to the honest worker. Its main end is the passing of examinations, and it has no broad human outlook.

Cram is wrapped up in the schoolroom, and forgets the world of men and women outside its walls. It lives and dies in the present, and does not concern itself with the practical needs of the community or the country.

Cram and examinations have ruled China for thousands of years, and have dominated Education throughout, the civilised world with disastrous result during our time.

Cram is recognised as a leading factor in the production of degeneracy, making many women unfit for maternity and both sexes more or less incompetent. We are using up the strength and energy of the rising generation at the very time when we ought to be developing our future men and women, with a view to the creating of a healthy, capable race and a great country.

If anyone should deem these statements too strong, let him refer to the expressed opinions of the leading thinkers of our day. . . . Some authoritative extracts will be found printed at the end of this pamphlet, and others throughout the text.