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From: How to Teach

Habit in its simplest form is the tendency to do, think, or act as one
has done, thought, or acted in the past. t is the tendency to repeat
activities of all kinds. t is the tendency which makes one inclined to
do the familiar action rather than a new one. n a broader sense, habit
formation means learning. t is a statement of the fact that conduct
_is_ modifiable and that such modifications may become permanent.

The fact of learning depends physiologically on the plasticity of the
nervous system. The neurones, particularly those concerned with
intellectual life, are not only sensitive to nerve currents but are
modified by them. The point where the greatest change seems to take
place is at the synapses, but what this modification is, no one knows.
There are several theories offered as explanations of what happens, but
no one of them has been generally accepted, although the theory of
chemical change seems to be receiving the strongest support at present.
There can be no disagreement, however, as to the effects of this change,
whatever it may be. Currents originally passing with difficulty over a
certain conduction unit later pass with greater and greater ease. The
resistance which seems at first to be present gradually disappears, and
to that extent is the conduct modified. This same element of plasticity
accounts for the breaking of habits. n this case the action is double,
for it implies the disuse of certain connections which have been made
and the forming of others; for the breaking of a bad habit means the
beginning of a good one.

The plasticity of neurone groups seems to vary in two respects--as to
modifiability and as to power to hold modifications. The neurone groups
controlling the reflex and physiological operations are least easily
modified, while those controlling the higher mental processes are most
easily modified. The neurone groups controlling the instincts hold a
middle place. So far as permanence goes, connections between
sensorimotor neurone groups seem to hold modifications longer than do
connections between either associative-motor or associative-association.

t is probably because of this fact that habit in the minds of so many
people refers to some physical activity. Of course this is a
misconception. Wherever the nervous system is employed, habits are
formed. There are intellectual, moral, emotional, temperamental habits,
just as truly as physical habits. n the intellectual field every
operation that involves association or memory also involves habits. Good
temper, or the reverse, truthfulness, patriotism, thoughtfulness for
others, open-mindedness, are as much matters of learning and of habit as
talking or skating or sewing. Habit is found in all three lines of
mental development: intellect, character, and skill.

Not only does the law of habit operate in all fields of mental activity,
but the characteristics which mark its operation are the same. Two of
these are important. n the first place, habit formation results in a
lessening of attention to the process. Any process that is habitual can
be taken care of by a minimum of attention. n other words, it need no
longer be in the focal point, but can be relegated to the fringe. At the
beginning of the modification of the neurone tract focal attention is
often necessary, but as it progresses less and less attention is needed
until the activity becomes automatic, apparently running by itself. Not
all habits reach this stage of perfection, but this is the general
tendency. This lessening of the need for attention means that less
energy is used by the activity, and the individual doing the work is
less likely to be fatigued. n the second place, habit tends to make the
process more and more sure in its results. As the resistance is removed
from the synapses, and the one particular series of units come to act
more and more as a unit, the current shoots along the path with no
sidetracking, and the act is performed or the thought reached
unwaveringly with very little chance of error. f the habit being formed
is that of writing, the appropriate movements are made with no
hesitation, and the chances that certain ones will be made the first
time increase in probability. This means a saving of time and an
increase in confidence as to the results.

A consideration of these characteristics of habits makes clear its
dangers as well as its values. The fact that habit is based on actual
changes which take place in the nervous system, that its foundation is
physical, emphasizes its binding power. Most people in talking and
thinking of habit regard it as something primarily mental in nature and
therefore believe all that is necessary to break any habit is the
sufficient exercise of will power. But will power, however strong,
cannot break actual physical connections, and it is such connections
that bind us to a certain line of activity instead of any other, when
once the habit is formed. t is just as logical to expect a car which is
started on its own track to suddenly go off on to another track where
there is no switch, as to expect a nerve current traveling along its
habitual conduction unit to run off on some other line of nervous
discharge. Habit once formed binds that particular line of thought to
action, either good or bad. Of course habits may be broken, but it is a
work of time and must result from definite physical changes. Every habit
formed lessens the likelihood of any other response coming in that
particular situation. Every interest formed, every act of skill
perfected, every method of work adopted, every principle or ideal
accepted, limits the recognition of any other possible line of action in
that situation. Habit binds to one particular response and at the same
time blinds the individual to any other alternative. The danger of this
is obvious. f the habits formed are bad or wasteful ones, the
individual is handicapped in his growth until new ones can be formed. On
the other hand, habit makes for limitation.

Despite these dangers, habit is of inestimable value in the development
of both the individual and the human race. t is through it that all
learning is possible. t makes possible the preservation of our social
inheritance. As James says, "Habit is the enormous fly-wheel of society,
its most precious conservative agent." Because of its power of
limitation it is sometimes considered the foe of independence and
originality, but in reality it is the only road to progress. Other
things being equal, the more good habits a person has, the greater the
probability of his doing original work. The genius in science or in art
or in statesmanship is the man who has made habitual many of the
activities demanded by his particular field and who therefore has time
and energy left for the kind of work that demands thinking. Habit won't
make a genius, but all men of exceptional ability excel others in the
number and quality of their habits in the field in which they show
power. As the little child differs from the adult in the number and
quality of his habits, so the ordinary layman differs from the expert.
t is scarcity, not abundance, of habits that forces a man into a rut
and keeps him mediocre. Just as the three year old, having taken four or
five times as long as the adult to dress himself, is tired out at the
end of the task, so the amateur in literature or music or morals as
compared with the expert. The more habits any one has in any line, the
better for him, both from the standpoint of efficiency and productivity,
provided that the habits are good and that among them is found the habit
of breaking habits.

The two great laws of habit formation are the laws of exercise and
effect. These laws apply in all cases of habit formation, whether they
be the purposeless habits of children or the purposive habits of
maturity. The law of exercise says that the oftener and the more
emphatically a certain response is connected with a certain situation,
the more likely is it to be made to that situation. The two factors of
repetition and intensity are involved. t is a common observance that
the oftener one does a thing, other things being equal, the better he
does it, whether it be good or bad. Drill is the usual method adopted by
all classes of people for habit formation. t is because of the
recognition of the value of repetition that the old maxim of "Practice
makes Perfect" has been so blindly adhered to. Practice may make
perfect, but it also may make imperfect. All that practice can do is to
make more sure and automatic the activity, whatever it is. t cannot
alone make for improvement. A child becomes more and more proficient in
bad writing or posture, in incorrect work in arithmetic and spelling,
with practice just as truly as under other conditions he improves in the
same activities. Evidence from school experiments, which shows that as
many as 40 per cent of the children examined did poorer work along such
lines in a second test than in the first which had been given several
months earlier, bears witness to the inability of mere repetition to get
"perfect" results. To get such results the repetition must be only of
the improvements. There must be a constant variation towards the ideal,
and a selection of just those variations for practice, if perfect as
well as invariable results are to be obtained.

The amount of repetition necessary in the formation of any given habit
is not known. t will, of course, vary with the habit and with the
individual, but experimental psychology will some day have something to
offer along this line. We could make a great saving if we knew, even
approximately, the amount of practice necessary under the best
conditions to form some of the more simple and elementary habits, such
as learning the facts of multiplication.

One other fact in connection with repetition should be noted, namely,
that the exercise given any connection by the learner, freely, of his
own initiative counts more than that given under purposive learning.
This method of learning is valuable in that it is incidental and often
saves energy and possible imitation on the part of the child, but it has
certain drawbacks. Habits formed this way are ingrained to such an
extent that they are very difficult to modify. They were not consciously
attended to when they were formed, and hence it is difficult later to
raise them to the focal point. Hence it is best whenever habits are
partial and will need to be modified later, or when the habits must
later be rationalized, or when bad habits must be broken, to have the
process focalized in attention. The methods of gaining attention have
already been discussed.

n the second place, if the habit being formed is connected with an
instinct, the element of intensity is added. This, of course, means that
a connection already made and one which is strongly ready to act is made
to give its support to the new connection being formed. Of course the
instinct chosen for this purpose must be in accord with the particular
habit and with the nature of the learner. They may vary from the purely
personal and physical up to those which have to do with groups and
intellectual reactions. The added impetus of the instinct hastens the
speed of the direction or supervision. The psychology of the value of
self-activity is operative. t should be borne in mind, however, that
the two kinds of exercise must be of the same degree of accuracy if this
better result in self-initiated practice is to be obtained.

Not only is it true that repetition makes for automaticity, but
intensity is also an aid. Connections which are made emphatically as
well as often tend to become permanent. This is particularly true of
mental habits. There are two factors of importance which make for
intensity in habit formation. First, the focalization of attention on
the connections being made adds intensity. Bagley in his discussion of
this topic makes "focalization in attention" a necessity in all habits.
Although habits may be formed without such concentration, still it is
true that if attention is given to the process, time is saved; for the
added intensity secured increases the speed of learning. n certain
types of habits, however, when incidental learning plays a large part,
much skill may be acquired without focalization of attention in the
process. Much of the learning of little children is of this type. Their
habits of language, ways of doing things, mannerisms, and emotional
attitudes often come as a result of suggestion and imitation rather than
as a result of definite formation of the new habit.

The second great law of habit formation is the law of effect. This law
says that any connection whose activity is accompanied by or followed by
satisfaction tends thereby to be strengthened. f the accompanying
emotional tone is annoyance, the connection is weakened. This law that
satisfaction stamps connections in, and annoyance inhibits connections,
is one of the greatest if not the greatest law of human life. Whatever
gives satisfaction, that mankind continues to do. He learns only that
which results in some kind of satisfaction. Because of the working of
this law animals learn to do their tricks, the baby learns to talk, the
child learns to tell the truth, the adult learns to work with the fourth
dimension. Repetition by itself is a wasteful method of habit formation.
The law of effect must work as well as the law of exercise, if the
results are to be satisfactory. As has already been pointed out, it is
not the practice alone that makes perfect, but the _stressing_ of
improvements, and that fixing is made possible only by satisfaction.
Pleasure, in the broad sense, must be the accompaniment or the result of
any connection that is to become habitual. This satisfaction may be of
many different sorts, physical, emotional, or intellectual. t may be
occasioned by a reward or recognition from without or by appreciation
arising from self-criticism. n some form or other it must be present.

Two further suggestions in habit formation which grow out of the above
laws should be borne in mind. The first is the effect of primacy. n
everyday language, "first impressions last longest." The character of
the first responses made in any given situation have great influence on
all succeeding responses. They make the strongest impression, they are
the hardest to eradicate. From a physiological point of view the
explanation is evident. A connection untraversed or used but a few times
is much more plastic than later when it has been used often. Hence the
first time the connection is used gives a greater set or bent than any
equal subsequent activity. This is true both of the nervous system as a
whole and of any particular conduction unit. Thus impressions made in
childhood count more than those of the same strength made later. The
first few attempts in pronouncing foreign words fixes the pronunciation.
The first few weeks in a subject or in dealing with any person
influences all subsequent responses to a marked degree.

The second suggestion has to do with the effect of exceptions. James
says, "Never allow an exception to occur" in the course of forming a
habit. Not only will the occurrence of one exception make more likely
its recurrence, but if the exception does not recur, at least the
response is less sure and less accurate than it otherwise would be. t
tends to destroy self-confidence or confidence in the one who allowed
the exception. Sometimes even one exception leads to disastrous
consequences and undoes the work of weeks and months. This is especially
true in breaking a bad habit or in forming a new one which has some
instinctive response working against it.

There has been a great deal of work done in experimental laboratories
and elsewhere in the study of the formation of particular habits. The
process of habit formation has been shown by learning curves. When these
learning curves are compared, it becomes clear that they have certain
characteristics in common. This is true whether the learning be directed
to such habits as the acquisition of vocabularies in a foreign language
or to skill in the use of a typewriter. Several of the most important
characteristics follow.

n the first place it is true of all learning that there is rapid
improvement at first. During the beginning of the formation of a habit
more rapid advance is made than at any other time. There are two
principal reasons for this fact. The adjustments required at the
beginning are comparatively simple and easily made and the particular
learning is new and therefore is undertaken with zest and interest.
After a time the work becomes more difficult, the novelty wears off,
therefore the progress becomes less marked and the curve shows

Another characteristic of the learning curve is the presence of the
so-called "plateaus." Plateaus show in the curve as flat, level
stretches during which there has apparently been no progress. The
meaning of these level stretches, and whether or not they can be
entirely done away with in any curve, is a matter of dispute. These
pauses may be necessary for some of the habits to reach a certain degree
of perfection before further progress can be made. However this may be,
there are several minor causes which tend to increase the number of
plateaus and to lengthen the time spent in any one. n the first place
an insecure or an inaccurate foundation must result in an increase of
plateaus. f at the beginning, during the initial spurt, for instance,
the learner is allowed to go so fast that what he learns is not
thoroughly learned, or if he is pushed at a pace that for him makes
thoroughness impossible, plateaus must soon occur in his learning curve.
n the second place a fruitful cause of plateaus is loss of
interest,--monotony. f the learner is not interested, he will not put
forth the energy necessary for continued improvement, and a time of no
progress is the result. The attitude of the learner toward the work is
extremely important, not only in the matter of interest, but in the
further attitude of self-confidence. Discouragement usually results in
hindering progress, whereas confidence tends to increase it. The
psychological explanation of this is very evident. Both lack of interest
in the learning and the presence of discouragement are likely to result
in divided attention and that, as has already been shown, results in
unsatisfactory work. A third cause for plateaus is physiological. Not
only must the learner be in the right attitude towards the work, but he
must feel physically "fit." There seem to be certain physiological
rhythms that may disturb the learning process whose cause cannot be
directly determined, but generally the feeling of unfitness can be
traced to a simple cause,--such as physical illness, loss of sleep,
exercise, or food, or undue emotional strain.

The older psychology has left an impression that improvement in any
function is limited both as to amount and as to the period during which
it must be attained. The physiological limit of improvement has been
thought of as one which was rather easily reached. The loss of
plasticity of the nervous system has been supposed to be rather rapid,
so that marked improvement in a habit after one has passed well into the
twenties was considered improbable. Recent experiments, however, seem to
show that no such condition of affairs exists. There is very great
probability that any function whatsoever is improvable with practice,
and in most cases to a very marked degree. To find a function which has
reached the physiological limit has been very rare, even in experimental
research, and even with extended practice series it has been unusual to
reach a stage of zero improvement even with adults. Thorndike says, "Let
the reader consider that if he should now spend seven hours, well
distributed, in mental multiplication with three place numbers, he would
thereby much more than double his speed and also reduce his errors; or
that, by forty hours of practice, he could come to typewrite (supposing
him to now have had zero practice) approximately as fast as he can write
by hand; or that, starting from zero knowledge, he could learn to copy
English into German script at a rate of fifty letters per minute, in
three hours or a little more."[3] t is probably true that the majority
of adults are much below their limit of efficiency in most of the habits
required by their profession, and that in school habits the same thing
is true of children. Spurious levels of accomplishment have been held up
as worthy goals, and efficiency accepted as ultimate which was only two
thirds, and often less than that, of what was possible. Of course it may
not be worth the time and energy necessary to obtain improvement in
certain lines,--that must be determined by the particular case,--but the
point is, that improvement; is possible with both children and adults in
almost every habit they possess with comparatively little practice.
Neither the physiological limit of a function nor the age limit of the
individual is reached as easily or as soon as has been believed.

There are certain aids to improvement which must be used in order that
the best results may be obtained. Some of them have already been
discussed and others will be discussed at a later time, so they need
only be listed here, the right physiological conditions, the proper
distribution of the practice periods, interest in the work, interest in
improvement, problem attitude, attention, and absence of both excitement
and worry.

Habits have been treated in psychology as wholes, just as if each habit
was a unit. This has been true, whether the habits being discussed were
moral habits, such as sharing toys with a younger brother; intellectual
habits, such as reading and understanding the meaning of the word "and";
or motor habits, such as sitting straight. The slightest consideration
of these habits makes obvious that they differ tremendously in
complexity. The moral habit quoted involves both intellectual and motor
habits--and not one, but several. From a physiological point of view,
this difference in the complexity of habits is made clear by an
examination of the number of neural bonds used in getting the habit
response to a given situation. n some cases they are comparatively
few--in others the number necessary is astonishing. n no case of habit
will the bonds used involve but a single connection.

Just what bonds are needed in order that a child may learn to add, or to
spell, to appreciate music, or to be industrious, is a question that
only experiment and investigation can answer. At present but little is
known as to just what happens, just what connections are formed, when
from the original tendency towards vocalization the child just learns to
say the word "milk," later reads it, and still later writes it. One
thing is certain, the process is not a unitary one, nor is it a simple
one. Just so long as habit is discussed in general terms, without any
recognition of the complexity of the process or to the specific bonds
involved, just so long will the process of habit formation be wasteful
and inefficient.

As a sample of the kind of work being done in connection with special
habits, investigation seems to give evidence that in the habit of simple
column addition eight or nine distinct functions are involved, each of
which involves the use of several bonds. Besides these positive
connections, a child in learning must inhibit other connections which
are incorrect, and these must often outnumber the correct ones. And yet
column addition has always been treated as a simple habit--with perhaps
one element of complexity, when carrying was involved. t is evident
that, if the habit concerned does involve eight or nine different
functions, a child might go astray in any one. His difficulty in forming
the habit might be in connection with one or several of the processes
involved. Knowledge on the part of the teacher of these different steps
in the habit, and appreciation by him of the possibilities of making
errors, are the prerequisites of efficient teaching of habits.

n each one of the subjects there is much need of definite experimental
work, in order that the specific bonds necessary in forming the habits
peculiar to the subject be determined. The psychology of arithmetic, or
of physics, or of spelling should involve such information. Meanwhile
every teacher can do much if she will carefully stop and think just what
she is requiring in the given response. An analysis of the particular
situation and response will make clear at least some of the largest
elements involved, some of the most important connections to be made. t
is the specific nature of the connections to be made and the number of
those connections that need emphasis in the teaching of habits. Not only
must the specific nature of the bonds involved in individual habits be
stressed, but also the specific nature of the entire complex which is
called the habit. There is no such thing as a general curve of learning
that will apply equally well, no matter what the habit. The kind of
curve, the rate of improvement, the possibilities of plateaus, the
permanence of the improvement, all these facts and others vary with the
particular habit.

n habit formation, as is the case in other types of activity, we get
the most satisfactory results only when we secure a maximum of interest
in the work to be done. The teacher who thinks that she can get
satisfactory results merely by compelling children to repeat over and
over again the particular form to be mastered is doomed to
disappointment. ndeed, it is not infrequently true that the dislike
which children get for the dreary exercises which have little or no
meaning for them interferes to such a degree with the formation of the
habit we hope to secure as to develop a maximum of inaccuracies rather
than any considerable improvement. The teacher who makes a game out of
her word drill in beginning reading may confidently expect to have
children recognize more words the next day than one who has used the
same amount of time, without introducing the motive which has made
children enjoy their work. Children who compare their handwriting with a
scale, which enables them to tell what degree of improvement they have
made over a given period, are much more apt to improve than are children
who are merely asked to fill up sheets of paper with practice writing. A
vocabulary in a modern language will be built up more certainly if
students seek to make a record in the mastery of some hundreds or
thousands of words during a given period, rather than merely to do the
work which is assigned from day to day. A group of boys in a
continuation school have little difficulty in mastering the habits which
are required in order to handle the formal processes in arithmetic, or
to apply the formula of algebra or trigonometry, if the application of
these habitual responses to their everyday work has been made clear.
Wherever we seek to secure an habitual response we should attempt to
have children understand the use to which the given response is to be
put, or, if this is not possible, to introduce some extraneous motive
which will give satisfaction.

We cannot be too careful in the habits which we seek to have children
form to see to it that the first response is correct. t is well on many
occasions, if we have any doubt as to the knowledge of children, to
anticipate the response which they should give, and to make them
acquainted with it, rather than to allow them to engage in random
guessing. The boy who in writing his composition wishes to use a word
which he does not know how to spell, should feel entirely free to ask
the teacher for the correct spelling, unless there is a dictionary at
hand which he knows how to use. t is very much better for a boy to ask
for a particular form in a foreign language, or to refer to his grammar,
than it is for him to use in his oral or written composition a form
concerning which he is not certain. A mistake made in a formula in
algebra, or in physics, may persist, even after many repetitions might
seem to have rendered the correct form entirely automatic.

n matters of habit it does not pay to take it for granted that all have
mastered the particular forms which have supposedly been taught, and it
never pays to attempt to present too much at any one time. More
satisfactory work in habit formation would commonly be done were we to
_teach_ fewer words in any one spelling lesson, or attempt to fix fewer
combinations in any particular drill lesson in arithmetic, or assign a
part of a declension or conjugation in a foreign language, or to be
absolutely certain that one or two formulas were fixed in algebra or in
chemistry, rather than in attempting to master several on the same day.
Teachers ought constantly to ask themselves whether every member of the
class is absolutely sure and absolutely accurate in his response before
attempting new work. t is of the utmost importance that particular
difficulties be analyzed, and that attention be fixed upon that which is
new, or that which presents some unusual difficulty.

As has already been implied, it is important not simply to start with as
strong a motive as possible, but it is also necessary to keep attention
concentrated during the exercises which are supposed to result in habit
formation. However strong the motive for the particular work may have
been at the beginning, it is likely after a few minutes to lack power,
if the particular exercise is continued in exactly the same form. Much
is to be gained by varying the procedure. Oral work alternated with
written work, concert work alternated with individual testing, the
setting of one group over against another, the attempt to see how much
can be done in a given period of minutes,--indeed, any device which will
keep attention fixed is to be most eagerly sought for. n all practice
it is important that the pupil strive to do his very best. f the ideal
of accuracy or of perfection in form is once lost sight of, the
responses given may result in an actual loss rather than in gain in
fixing the habit. When a teacher is no longer able to secure attention
to the work in hand, it is better to stop rather than to continue in
order to provide for a given number of repetitions. Drill periods of
from five to fifteen minutes two or three times a day may almost always
be found to produce better results than the same amount of time used
consecutively. Systematic reviews are most essential in the process of
habit formation. The complaint of a fifth-grade teacher that the work in
long division was not properly taught in the fourth grade may be due in
considerable measure to the fact that she has neglected at the beginning
of the fifth grade's work to spend a week or two in careful or
systematic review of the work covered in the previous year. The
complaint of high school teachers that children are not properly taught
in the elementary school would often be obviated if in each of the
fields in question some systematic review were given from time to time,
especially at the beginning of the work undertaken, in any particular
subject which involves work previously done in the elementary school.
During any year's work that teacher will be most successful who reviews
each day the work of the day before, who reviews each third or fourth
day the particularly difficult parts of the work done during the
previous periods, who reviews each week and each month, and even each
two or three months, the work which has been covered up to that time.
When teachers understand that the intervals between repetitions which
seem to have fixed a habit may only be gradually lengthened, then will
the formation of habits upon the part of boys and girls become more
certain, and the difficulties arising from lapses and inaccuracies
become less frequent.

As has been suggested in previous discussions, it will be necessary in
habit formation to vary the requirements among the individuals who
compose a group. The motive which we seek to utilize may make a greater
appeal to one child than to another. Physiological differences may
account for the fact that a small number of repetitions will serve to
fix the response for one individual as over against a very much larger
number of repetitions required for another. t is of the utmost
importance that all children work up to the maximum of their capacity.
t is very much better, for example, to excuse a boy entirely from a
given drill exercise than to have him dawdle or loaf during the period.
n some fields a degree of efficiency may be reached which will permit
the most efficient children to be relieved entirely from certain
exercises in order that they may spend their time on other work. On the
other hand, those who are less capable may need to have special drill
exercises arranged which will help them to make up their deficiency. The
teacher who is acquainted with the psychology of habit formation should
secure from the pupils in her class a degree of efficiency which is not
commonly found in our schools.


1. n what sense is it true that we have habits of thought?

2. What habits which may interfere with or aid in your school work are
formed before children enter school?

3. Why is it hard to break a habit of speech?

4. Distinguish among actions to which we attribute a moral significance
those which are based upon habit and those which are reasoned.

5. Professor James said, "Habits are the stuff of which behavior
consists." ndicate the extent to which this is true for the children in
your classes.

6. n how far is it advantageous to become a creature of habit?

7. Which of our actions should be the result of reason?

8. Should school children reason their responses in case of a fire
alarm, in passing pencils, in formal work in arithmetic? Name responses
which should be the result of reason; others which should be habitual.

9. Why do we sometimes become less efficient when we fix our attention
upon an action that is ordinarily habitual?

10. Why do children sometimes write more poorly, or make more mistakes
in addition, or in their conjugations or declensions, at the end of the
period than they do at the beginning?

11. How would you hope to correct habits of speech learned at home? What
particular difficulty is involved?

12. When, are repetitions most helpful in habit formation?

13. When may repetitions actually break down or eliminate habitual

14. How may the keeping of a record of one's improvement add in the
formation of a habit?

15. What motives have you found most usable in keeping attention
concentrated during the exercises in habit formation which you conduct?

16. The approval or disapproval of a group of boys and girls often
brings about a very rapid change in physical, moral, or mental habits on
the part of individual children. Why?

17. Why should drill work be discontinued when children grow tired and
cease to concentrate their attention?

18. Why should reviews be undertaken at the beginning of a year's work?
How can reviews be organized to best advantage during the year?

19. What provision do you make in your work to guard against lapses?

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