John M. Gregory
Description of author: According to the title page of the book, John Gregory was ‘Ex- Commissioner of the Civil Service of the United States, and Ex-President of the State University of Illinois.’
Comments: This classic on teaching was aimed primarily at Sunday School teachers of the 19th century, but is highly valuable to any teacher in any setting, including parents. The seven laws may seem obvious when stated, but each one is expounded in such a way as to make the reader think beyond the surface. Each law is first stated and described. Then the philosophy of the law, rules for teachers, and common violations and mistakes are considered. The seven laws are as follows: (1) The Law of the Teacher: the teacher must know that which he would teach; (2) The Law of the Learner: the learner must attend with interest to the fact or truth to be learned; (3) The Law of the Language: the language used in teaching must be common to teacher and learner; (4) The Law of the Lesson: the truth to be taught must be learned through truth already known; (5) The Law of the Teaching Process: excite and direct the self-activities of the learner, and tell him nothing that he can learn himself; (6) The Law of the Learning Process: the learner must reproduce in his own mind the truth to be acquired; (7) The Law of Review: the completion, test, and confirmation of teaching must be made by reviews. This book is an excellent reminder of the most basic elements of the teaching and learning process. It reminds us that the human mind and the way of learning have not changed over the course of history. It reminds us that teaching and learning requires a great deal of concentration and work on both the part of the teacher and the student. It reminded me, as a pastor, of the importance of teaching in the Sunday School setting of the church, and therefore of the development of teachers in the church.