The author reviews a text which proposes a “Lesson System” to replace the current ineffective Sabbath school model. The new system fixes many of the old system’s errors and has been successfully implemented in a few places.
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Sabbath schools are a valuable part of contemporary morality, though they fall short of their goal. The author questions rote memorization for improving memory at the cost of “higher faculties.” The strongest critique is that Sabbath schools do not teach praxis. To fix this, the author recommends the text being reviewed as a new model for Sabbath school instruction. The “Lesson System” will cultivate “several powers of the mind,” teach useful knowledge, and enable students to communicate and apply that knowledge. Children will not recite if they do not understand. Exercises are modified catechism meant to keep children’s attentions. The reviewer enumerates several exercises from the system, drawing the reactions by a class taught by this method. Some of the described exercises seek to fix the current lack of composition skills in students. The reviewer likewise commends the Lesson System for turning doctrines and lessons to devotional use. More than the current system, the Lesson System helps to reduce vice. The reviewer describes cases in which this system was employed successfully.