Games for the Playground, Home, School, and Gymnasium. Jessie H. Bancroft

Caroline Crawford
1911 The School Review  
BOOK REVIEWS 277 Thor and Woden, Isis and Osiris, are absent. Of far-famed books, he will find the Iliad and Odyssey, but not the Aeneid. The Divine Comedy and Decameron are omitted, making room for fifteen lines on Fors Clavigera. He will find romanticism but not classicism. Should he then seek relief, he will find julep and sling, but not cocktail; port, claret, Burgundy, Sauterne, but not Bordeaux, Tokay, or chianti; he will find maraschino and curacoa, but not Chartreuse, Benedictine,
more » ... Benedictine, vermouth, or creme de menthe. The humor of this we must characterize as Falstaffan, since the dictionary does not recognize Rabelaisian. To conclude, if one bears in mind its definition of drastic ("active; strong and forcible; thorough"), one is tempted to say that no brief review of this dictionary can be sufficiently drastic. All who are interested in the teaching of games will be grateful to Miss Bancroft for this collection of four hundred. The book is arranged on the best possible working basis for the teacher. The descriptions are clearly and explicitly given. The indexes will be of great help in stimulating the average teacher to try new games, and will assist her to enlarge her repertoire of workable games for all conditions. This stimulus to the teacher is a muchneeded factor in both the school and the playground. It is to be regretted that in so complete a presentation of the games of skill, there is not to be found a handling of the material from the present psychological viewpoint. So much work has been done on the origin and meaning of games that we have come to understand the games of skill as situations or problems which are worked out through the earlier adjustments and coordinations. They differ from more highly evolved problems only in the mode of expression and degree of complexity in the relation between means and end. The mode of expression in most games of skill is through the motor channels that are already capable of a fairly high degree of adjustment. The child is solving problems in practical life when he is measuring his own strength in the "how far," "how much," etc., of any particular game that he chances to play. What Miss Bancroft calls the "playing value" of the game depends upon the effectiveness with which the problem in any game can be handled by a group of players. Until we realize more fully that the problem in the game is the intellectual element of it we shall find ourselves attempting to justify the use of the game in education. The child does not work at one form of problem and play at another; but both works and plays when his whole being is really enlisted in the effort to gain the desired end. The reason we think of any particular form of activity as work and another as play is because, first, we do not realize the necessary relation between play and work in all activity which promotes growth, and, second, we fail to see that many times the child is struggling over the mode of expression rather than over the end he wishes to express. When the mode of expression is sufficiently acquired any activity may become playful in character. BOOK REVIEWS 277
doi:10.1086/435736 fatcat:azbiudvwrvg3nff3nl63spzlfi