By C. W. Bending and Edmund King (Auth.)
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Additional resources for Communication and the Schools
The power of objects to elicit intelligent responses without a memory of previous experiences is far more limited. Native Africans in the earlier part of the century, often believed that they had been burned, when they first came into contact with ice, and one has only to consider the beliefs of some country-folk to realize that constant observation and experience do not necessarily lead to correct deductions. In the south of England, for example, there was, until recently, a firmly held belief that stones grew larger during the winter.
Professor Adamson goes on to suggest that there may be a case for occasional divergence by the child into false conclusions for "disciplinary reasons". There are few who would agree with this negative attitude towards the learning process, and yet this same negative factor exists in almost every case where the child is left without direction, to discover for himself either facts or principles. The power of material objects to elicit intelligent responses is a problem of conceptualization that is outside the scope of our work, but within the context of the accepted modes of communication it must be accepted that this power is extremely limited, unless the object already fits into a pattern of conceptual thought.
For all of these endeavours, the new mass media, and the individual communication media, will prove valuable allies, but it is essential, when considering the process of communication, to keep in mind that it is a process, and not to become too involved in isolated methods, nor in the use of particular technical devices. Methods and machines are an integral part of the 20th century, but the part is not greater than the whole, and it is the process of education that is the ultimate concern of educationists.