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Foundation Truth, Number 5 (Spring/Summer 2001) | Timeless Truths Publications

Book Reviews

The Seven Laws of Teaching

(revised edition), by John Milton Gregory, published by Baker Books, Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Mr. Gregory’s book, originally written in 1884 and revised in 1917, is a classic. Like all good “coaches,” he focuses on the fundamentals, or basics. From the point of view of the teacher’s part, the seven laws can be briefly stated as the following rules:

  1. The Law of the Teacher: Know thoroughly and familiarly the lesson you wish to teach.
  2. The Law of the Learner: Gain and keep the attention and interest of the pupils upon the lesson.
  3. The Law of the Language: Use words understood in the same way by the pupils and yourself.
  4. The Law of the Lesson: Begin with what is already well known to the pupil upon the subject and with what he has himself experienced—and proceed to the new material by single, easy, and natural steps.
  5. The Law of the Teaching Process: Stimulate the pupil’s own mind to action. Place him in the attitude of a discoverer.
  6. The Law of the Learning Process: Require the pupil to reproduce in thought the lesson he is learning.
  7. The Law of Review and Application: Review, review, review, reproducing the old, deepening its impression, correcting any false views, and completing the true.

They look basic and simple, but anyone who has put their hand to the task of teaching will recognize that problems arise in every one of these laws in practical application, and Mr. Gregory’s book is a wealth of sound counsel in these areas. You can read it through, or use it as a reference, as the book consists of eight chapters, with an introduction to the laws and then a chapter devoted to each. I found a greater sense of appreciation for the Lord’s skill as my teacher after reading this book.