History of Education
by Levi Seeley
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1. He gave the German people a language by his translation of the Holy Scriptures.

2. He laid the foundation of the German common school system.

Luther's Pedagogy.—1. Parents are responsible for the education of their children.

2. It is the duty of the State to require regular attendance at school of every child, and the parents must be held accountable for non-attendance.

3. Religion is the foundation of all school instruction.

4. Every child must learn not only the ordinary subjects taught at school, but also the practical duties of life,—boys, a trade; girls, housework.

5. Every clergyman must have pedagogical training and experience in teaching before entering upon a pastorate.[55]

6. The teacher must be trained, and in that training singing is included.

7. Children must be taught according to nature's laws,—the knowledge of the thing must precede its name.

8. Due respect should be shown to the office of teacher, and by example and precept every teacher should be worthy of respect.

9. His course of study included Latin and Greek, history, mathematics, singing, and physical training, besides religion.

10. Every school should have a library.

11. It is the inherent right of every child to be educated, and the State must provide the means to that end.

The principles above stated are fundamental in the German school systems of the present time. Religious instruction, trained teachers, compulsory and universal education, are the central principles of the schools of Germany and of many other nations. Luther could not give his chief attention to education, but with deep insight he saw the necessity of it, and laid the foundations upon which later generations have built a marvelous structure, true to the design of its architect.

MELANCHTHON (1497-1560)

Philipp Melanchthon was the friend, colaborer, and adviser of Luther. Luther was a resolute, energetic, impulsive man; Melanchthon was quiet, reserved, and conciliating. There is no doubt that these two men of such opposite dispositions exerted a salutary influence upon each other,—Luther stimulated and encouraged Melanchthon; Melanchthon checked and restrained Luther. It is certain that each was helpful to the other, and that the great cause of the Reformation, to which they mutually consecrated themselves, was furthered by their friendship and union.

Melanchthon had excellent training as a boy, and early showed signs of unusual ability. At fifteen he took his bachelor's degree at Heidelberg University, and when only eighteen years of age Erasmus said of him, "What hopes may we not conceive of Philipp Melanchthon, though as yet very young, almost a boy, but equally to be admired for his proficiency in both languages! What quickness of invention! What purity of diction! What vastness of memory! What variety of reading! What modesty and gracefulness of behavior! And what a princely mind!"

After completing his course at Heidelberg, he went to Tuebingen, where his studies were directed by Reuchlin, who was his kinsman. He gave public lectures at Tuebingen on rhetoric and on various classic authors, attracting worldwide attention. In 1518 he was called to the Greek professorship at Wittenberg, where he made the acquaintance of Luther. Bishop Hurst says, "The life of Melanchthon was now so thoroughly identified with that of Luther that it is difficult to separate the two. They lived in the same town of Wittenberg. They were in constant consultation, each doing what he was most able to do, and both working with unwearied zeal for the triumph of the cause to which they gave their life."

His success at Wittenberg was assured from the first. Though youthful in appearance, being but twenty-one years of age, his pure logic, his profound knowledge of philosophy, his familiarity with the Scriptures, his perfect mastery of the classic languages, his fine diction, and his broad knowledge awoke enthusiasm at once. Wittenberg, possessing two such great men as Luther and Melanchthon, became the center of humanistic studies, not less than two thousand students being attracted to its university. Melanchthon was an inspiring teacher; among his pupils were men who afterward became leaders of thought in Germany, and who did much to shape the destiny of Europe.

Perhaps Melanchthon's greatest service to the schools was his publication of text-books, which were very much needed. He wrote a Greek grammar for boys when himself but a boy of sixteen. Grammar he defined as "the science of speaking and writing correctly," a definition that has been scarcely improved upon. Ten years later his Latin grammar was published, after being tested for some years in his classes. For more than one hundred years this was the principal Latin grammar in use, and there were not less than fifty-one editions of it.

He wrote also text-books on logic, rhetoric, and ethics. It will be seen that the trivium—grammar, rhetoric, logic—furnished the foundation of his literary activity, so far as the schools are concerned. He was active also in authorship of theological works, producing the first theological work of the Protestant Church, the "Loci Communes," which Luther placed next to the Bible for theological study.

The interest of Melanchthon for education made him the chief adviser and leader among the school men. His advice was constantly sought in the educational movements of Germany. After visiting the schools of Saxony, he drew up the "Saxony School Plan," which furnished the basis of various similar organizations throughout Germany. There were three fundamental principles in this system.

1. There must not be too many studies in the schools, and Latin should be the only language taught.

2. There must not be too many books used.

3. The children should be divided into at least three classes, or grades.

In the first grade, reading, writing, the Lord's Prayer, the Creed, prayers and hymns, and some Latin should be taught. In the second, the Latin grammar, Latin authors, and religion. In the third, completion of the grammar, difficult Latin authors, rhetoric, and logic. Williams calls this "Melanchthon's somewhat artless ideas of a proper school system," which he excuses as being "marked possibly by the crudity of a first effort at organization, but more probably controlled in form by the fewness of teachers in the schools of his time."

Melanchthon is also known as the first Protestant psychologist.

To sum up the educational work of Melanchthon, we find that he was a "born teacher," attracting and inspiring thousands of young men whom he instructed; that he was the author of many text-books for the schools, and of theological works; that he was an educational authority; that he outlined a complete school system; and that he was the adviser and friend of Luther in the work of the Reformation.


[52] See Brother Azarias, "Philosophy of Literature," pp. 122-124.

[53] "History of Pedagogy," p. 112.

Karl Schmidt, in speaking of the spirit of the Reformation, says, "These ideas form the basis of the common school, which up to this time had been sporadically established only in isolated places." "Geschichte der Paedagogik," Vol. III, p. 16.

[54] In 1877, Mr. H. Stevens published at South Kensington, a "List of Bibles in the Caxton Exhibition." He says: "Not only are there many editions of the Latin Vulgate long anterior to that time (1507 A.D.), but there were actually nine German editions of the Bible in the Caxton exhibition earlier than 1483, the year of Luther's birth, and at least three more before the end of the century." The general use of the printing press about this time made popular translations opportune, as it placed the Bible within the reach of all. It thus became a powerful instrument for universal education.

[55] This was because the pastor had an oversight of the school, a practice still very common in Germany.



The educational work of Luther and Melanchthon bore remarkable fruit. Luther had urged parents to see to it that their children should be educated, and had appealed to magistrates to assist the Church in maintaining schools. He insisted upon compulsory education in the memorable words, "The authorities are bound to compel their subjects to send their children to school." As a result schools were organized in Nuremberg, Frankfort, Ilfeld, Strasburg, Hamburg, Bremen, Dantzic, and many other places. Eton, Rugby, Harrow, and other educational institutions were founded about this time in England.

Melanchthon's course of study (Schulplan) for Saxony had appeared in 1528, and in 1558 the school law of Wuertemberg, by far the best yet enacted, went into force. Other German provinces adopted more or less efficient school systems, and for the first time in the history of Christian education, the duty of the State to assume the responsibility of the education of its subjects was recognized. Out of these primitive systems have grown the completer systems of the present, after more than three centuries of experiment, study, and struggle.

The Reformation taught the right of every person to an education, primarily, it is true, for religious ends, and it gradually came to be understood that the State must assume that duty. For the Church had neither the means nor the power to accomplish universal education. But it was not till the nineteenth century that this end was reached, whereby the advantages of education were offered to the child of every parent of whatever rank or station, and the State assumed full control of the schools.

This was the great work marked out by Luther and Melanchthon, and their pupils and disciples carried that work to its fulfillment. Among these immediate followers we may mention Sturm,[56] Trotzendorf, and Neander, who contributed to educational reform.

STURM[57] (1507-1589)

Johann Sturm is counted among the greatest schoolmen that the Reformation produced, though he belonged to the French rather than the German reformers. He received an excellent training in the schools of Germany, and completed his education at Paris, where he afterward became professor of Greek. He soon gained such a wide reputation that when only thirty years of age he was called to the rectorship of the Gymnasium at Strasburg, a position which he held for forty-seven years, and where he gained lasting fame. This fame rests not on his work as a teacher, but as an organizer and an executive. Paulsen doubts his having been a great teacher. He says, "He was a man who gave his attention to great things. He had his hands in universal politics; he was in the service of nearly all the European potentates, drawing his yearly salary from all.... It is not probable that such a wonderful man was also a good schoolmaster."[58]

But his great work was the organization of the Strasburg Gymnasium, especially its course of study, which became the model for the Latin schools for many years. Sturm's counsel was sought by schoolmen all over Europe, and he came to be the recognized leader of educational forces. His school course took the boy at six years of age and provided at first a nine years', afterward a ten years' course, ending at the sixteenth year of age. He added a five years' course to this later, and evidently planned to found a university.[59]

Sturm believed that the mother should have charge of the child for the first six years of its life. In his ten years' course he required ten years of Latin, six of Greek, besides rhetoric, logic, religion, and music. He introduced the practice of translating Latin into German and then translating it back into Latin.[60] His course took no account of German, history, mathematics, or science. He thus sought to reinstate Greece and Rome, but entirely neglected those things which prepare for life. Williams says, "With regard to Sturm's plan of organization, it should be borne in mind that it is the very earliest scheme that we have, looking to an extended, systematic, well-articulated course of studies for a school of several teachers, in which is assigned to each class such portion of the subject-matter of the course of instruction as is suited to the age and stage of advancement of its pupils."[61]

This course of study attracted the attention of all Europe. Karl Schmidt says that in 1578 "his school numbered several thousand students, among whom were two hundred of noble birth, twenty-four counts and barons, and three princes—from Portugal, Poland, Denmark, England, etc."

Paulsen, while not belittling the work of Sturm, thinks that the celebrated course has but little in it different from the courses of the Wittenberg reformers. He says, "If Melanchthon had had the planning of a school course for a large city, it would have been much the same (as Sturm's). The Saxon school plan of 1528 was effective only in small cities and country places. The basis of both (Melanchthon's and Sturm's) is the same,—grammar, rhetoric, dialectics, with music and religion. In the large schools, like those of Nuremberg and Hamburg, a beginning of Greek and mathematics was added."[62]

Sturm's course has the merit of definiteness, thoroughness, and unity. There seems to be some doubt as to his success in carrying it out. It is certain that but few students completed his course compared with the number who began it. Instead of sixty to seventy pupils in the last class, there were only nine or ten. The influence of Sturm, however, spread not only over Germany, but also reached to many other countries, and his Strasburg course of study shaped the work in the classical schools for many years.

TROTZENDORF (1490-1556)

Valentine Trotzendorf was born in poverty and beset by many difficulties in boyhood. His mother was a constant inspiration to him, and when he was disposed to give up the struggle, her words, "My son, stick to your school," led him to continue until he overcame the obstacles. When ready for the university he went to Leipsic, where he studied Greek and Latin for two years. In 1515 he became a teacher in a village near Leipsic, a position that he retained for three years. He then went to Wittenberg, where he studied under Melanchthon for five years, and became very intimate with that great teacher. His fame as a teacher was made at Goldberg, where he was thirty-five years rector of a school. Like Melanchthon, he believed that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and that the school is an adjunct of the Church. With Sturm, he laid great stress upon the classic languages, and insisted that his pupils should speak in the Latin tongue. As a teacher he possessed remarkable power. He loved to mingle with his pupils, converse with and question them, and he had great skill in drawing them out. In his instruction he employed many illustrations, and proceeded from the concrete to the abstract.

His discipline was unique and original. He introduced a practice before unknown, namely, that of self-government on the part of the students, an experiment that has been tried in recent years with excellent results in many American institutions for higher learning. Trotzendorf established a senate of twelve students, a consul, and other officers, who were made responsible for the government of the school. These constituted a court of which he was president. Offenders were brought before the tribunal and tried with great formality and dignity. This body sentenced the culprit to such punishment as his guilt merited, the master reserving to himself the right of being a court of final appeal. Besides the officers above named, there were others who were in charge of the boys in their domestic relations,—such as keeping guard over their punctuality, table manners, diligence in study, etc. It was considered a high honor to hold one of these offices. The scheme worked well under Trotzendorf; it taught self-government, and inculcated the spirit of freedom as well as an intelligent submission to law. Trotzendorf thus gives an example of school government which is quite in accord with the spirit of modern times. He also had his best pupils instruct the lower classes under his supervision, and thus prepared them to go forth as teachers. Teachers from his school were sought for by intelligent patrons of education in all parts of Europe.

NEANDER (1525-1595)

Michael Neander was another of Melanchthon's pupils who became great as a teacher. Neander was for forty-five years the sole teacher of a Latin school at Ilfeld. Though he never had many pupils, his school was pronounced by Melanchthon as "the best seminary in the country." He was a most successful teacher, and the students whom he sent to the university were found to possess the very best preparation, and always stood among the first. He was well versed in medicine and chemistry, and was one of the best Greek and Latin scholars of his time. Contrary to the practice of his contemporaries, he favored the teaching of geography, history, and the natural sciences. His position in regard to the sciences places him in advance of other educators, and in this he was a follower of Melanchthon, who also believed that science should be taught.

Neander is celebrated also for the Greek and Latin text-books which he wrote. Speaking of these books, Paulsen says, "What he especially emphasized is: as few and as short rules as possible, and these rules are to be progressive; at the proper time they are to be committed to memory. The pupil must also commit words, phrases, and sentences to memory, which is equally important." Lastly, he gave a careful outline of the work of a boy for every year from the sixth to the eighteenth. This was especially valuable for that period when parents and teachers alike had nothing to guide them except the monastic course of study, and when the world was giving birth to new theories in education as well as in religion.

Neander's whole life was concentrated on the work of teaching, and in the schoolroom he found his greatest joy. Here, also, he made a lasting impression upon his pupils and upon mankind. His father was mistaken when he addressed the boy, "Into a cloister with you; you will amount to nothing in the world."

* * * * *

Other great teachers in the schools and in the universities carried forward the educational work begun by the great reformers. Many cities had founded schools, and several of the German states had established school systems. The educational ideas of the Protestant Reformation had taken deep root, and were destined to spread over the whole world, gaining in force with each succeeding century.

The practical outcome of this great movement was the establishment of schools in every village in Germany under the direction of the pastor, and where he was unable to teach, under his clerk or assistant. As the chief purpose was to prepare the children for entrance to the church by confirmation, religion was the center of the school course. But reading, writing, arithmetic, and singing were also taught.

The clerk of the church gradually became the schoolmaster, and while the relations of these two offices have materially changed, there is still a close official connection between the two, particularly in the country. In many cases the pastor is the local superintendent of the school, and the teacher is the clerk and chorister of the church. As fast as Lutheran churches were organized, schools were also established in connection with them. Nor were boys alone included in the work of education. Girls' schools were organized and an effort was made at universal education. Many provinces adopted advanced school laws, and the principle of compulsory education was recognized, though by no means successfully carried out.

Thus was born in the middle of the sixteenth century the common school, and thus was recognized the right of all men to an education, and a practical illustration of the means of securing it was given to the world.


[56] Though Sturm was not a Lutheran, he was a Protestant, being a follower of Calvin.

[57] See Quick, "Educational Reformers," and Williams, "History of Modern Education," p. 88.

[58] "Geschichte des Gelehrten Unterrichts."

[59] Sturm's school course appeared in 1538. It was not the oldest school course of the Protestants. The oldest school course for a German school was prepared by Johannes Agricola and Hermann Talich in 1525 for the school at Eisleben, Luther's birthplace. Indeed, Paulsen thinks that Melanchthon had a hand in its preparation. He says ("Geschichte des Gelehrten Unterrichts," p. 182), "This is the oldest published school course of the Reformed Church, which, if not composed by Melanchthon, was without doubt outlined, or at least approved, by him." This was discovered in 1865 by F. L. Hoffmann in the Hamburg city library.

[60] See Ascham, p. 191, and Ratke, p. 210.

[61] "History of Modern Education," p. 91.

[62] "Geschichte des Gelehrten Unterrichts," p. 197.



Literature.Draper, Intellectual Development of Europe; Durrell, A New Life in Education; Dyer, Modern Europe; Fisher, History of the Reformation; Guizot, History of Civilization; Ferris, Great Leaders; Lord, Beacon Lights; Parkman, The Jesuits in North America; White, Eighteen Christian Centuries; Quick, Educational Reformers; Symonds, Renaissance in Italy; Hughes, Loyola; Larned, History for Ready Reference; Schwickerath, Jesuit Education; Chateaubriand, The Genius of Christianity.

The Order.—The remarkable spread of Protestantism, however, was not to go on unchallenged. Already before the rupture of the Church, the need of a better-educated clergy had been acknowledged. We have seen that Luther and the Reformers laid great stress upon the education of the young as a means of propagating the new faith, and they had employed this means with great success. It is not to be gathered from this that the Roman Church had been unmindful of her duty in the training of the young. It has already been shown that the Church maintained education from the beginning of the Christian era down through the Middle Ages, that she never slackened in her zeal for this work, and that she held it to be her right and duty, as she does to this day, to train the young. At this very time she was maintaining many schools. But the "Order of Jesus" was destined to systematize education in such a degree as the Church had never witnessed.

It has been claimed that the founding of the "Society of Jesus" was a "Counter-Reformation," the purpose of which was to check the growth of Protestantism. Whatever may have been the effect of its work in this direction, it seems clear that such was not the purpose for which it was organized. Schwickerath shows that it is doubtful if the founder of the Jesuit order had ever heard the name of the German Reformer. He says,[63] "The Papal Letters and the Constitutions assign as the special object of the Society: 'The progress of souls in a good life and knowledge of religion; the propagation of faith by public preaching, the Spiritual Exercises and works of charity, and particularly the instruction of youth and ignorant persons in the Christian religion.'" It cannot be denied, whatever the original purpose of the Society, that it not only checked the onward march of Protestantism, but it even restored many provinces and communities to their fealty to the Mother Church. How well the last clause of the admonition above quoted was carried out will be seen when we remember that the Jesuits originated the most successful educational system of the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries, a system having a definite end in view, and whose adherents by indomitable energy, by self-sacrifice, by oneness of purpose, secured remarkable success. Let us turn our attention to the founding of the "Order."

Loyola (1491-1556), the originator of the order, was a Spanish nobleman. While recovering from a severe wound received in battle, he read some religious books which made such a profound impression upon him that he resolved to consecrate himself to religious work. Not being an educated man, he devoted some years to study, and while at the university of Paris he gathered around him other young men who also were ready to consecrate themselves to the service of God. They formed themselves into the "Order of Jesus," with the avowed purpose at first of rescuing Jerusalem from the hands of the infidels. This was not to be done by force of arms, as in case of the crusaders, but by peaceful means. This purpose was abandoned, but the zealous missionary spirit of the Jesuits endured. In 1540 Pope Paul III. recognized the new order and gave it the sanction of the Church. The organization was military in character, Loyola becoming its first general.

The Growth of the Society was remarkable from the outset. In 1600 it had 200 schools; in 1710, 612 colleges, 157 boarding or normal schools, 59 houses for novitiates, 340 residences, 200 missions, and 24 universities. The college at Clermont had, in 1651, 2000 students, and in 1675, 3000 students. These institutions controlled the education of the Catholic Church in all Europe, and many Protestant young men also were attracted to the Jesuit schools by their superior teachers and their thorough training.

The society became so strong that various attempts were made to check its power. It spread, however, to China and Hindustan, to the Indian tribes of North America, and to South America. Its spirit and its practices aroused the suspicion of princes and people, of many Catholics as well as Protestants. In 1773 the Jesuits were in possession of 41 provinces, and had 22,589 members, of whom 11,295 were priests. Since that time popes have suppressed them, rulers have expelled them from their countries, their property and power have been taken from them, until their influence has been greatly lessened and their progress checked.

Jesuit Education.—Unlike the monastics, the Jesuits mingled with the world; they assumed no peculiarities of dress, and held themselves ready to act as missionaries to the most remote parts of the world, as agents of the Church to which they so fully consecrated themselves, and as teachers of youth. They established schools everywhere, and placed them in charge of teachers of remarkable skill and pedagogical training.[64] We have seen that their efforts were chiefly directed to higher education, their schools being designed for boys not less than fourteen years of age. In general, primary education did not enter into their scheme. Schwickerath thinks that the "Jesuits could not undertake elementary education" because "they had never men enough to supply the demands for higher education."[65] This shows that they held higher education as of the greater importance, and the same author further adds: "Besides, the whole intellectual training of the Jesuits fitted them better for the higher branches." They reached sons of princes, noblemen, and others who constituted the influential classes,[66] but "the Constitutions expressly laid down that poverty and mean extraction were never to be any hindrance to a pupil's admission."[67] Instruction was free.

Their schools became the most efficient and the most popular means of education furnished throughout Europe,—and justly so, for their work was thorough, their teachers were competent and well trained, and their course of study comprehensive. It is worthy of especial note that all teachers of the Jesuit schools were carefully trained before they were allowed to give instruction. This is the first time in history that the necessity of special preparation for the work of teaching was recognized as an essential element in the work of education.

Every Jesuit school was divided into two departments, the lower, studia inferiora, consisting of five classes, and the higher, studia superiora, requiring two or three years. Boys were admitted to the lower course at the age of fourteen, and the work consisted chiefly of the study of the humanities, while that of the advanced course embraced philosophy and theology.[68] With reference to these courses of study, Quick says, "The Jesuit system stands out in the history of education as a remarkable instance of a school system elaborately thought out and worked as a whole." Again, he says of the Ratio Studiorum:[69] "It points out a perfectly attainable goal, and carefully defines the road by which that goal is to be approached. For each class was prescribed not only the work to be done, but also the end to be kept in view." Surely these are most commendable features of any course of study. The work was remarkably thorough in every detail.

After the society had been in existence some forty years, Claudius Aquaviva became its General Superior. He at once began the study of the educational problem, using all the resources of his office in obtaining information, and employing his executive ability in producing an improved method of study. A committee of twelve most eminent churchmen was appointed in 1581 to study the question, and three years later a commission of six, representing different countries, began the labor of preparing a course of study. Their work, called the Ratio Studiorum,[70] completed in 1599, has remained, with some modifications, the guide of Jesuit institutions of learning.

Emulation.—Emulation was employed to stimulate pupils to work and to secure good conduct. Prizes, decorations, rewards, titles, were offered as a means of attaining desired ends. Emulation is a natural instinct in mankind, and it may be utilized to stimulate endeavor and "foster ambition." The principle ever to be kept in mind should be excellency without degrading others. Schwickerath thinks that such was the spirit in which the Jesuits employed this incentive.[71] He admits, however, that there are dangers connected with prizes, and, on the whole, that certain methods of fostering emulation recommended by the Ratio Studiorum are less suitable to northern countries and less in accordance with modern taste.

While corporal punishment was allowed, it was generally administered by an official disciplinarian. It was seldom used, however, the discipline being mild and humane.

Criticism of Jesuit Education.—As to the efficiency of the instruction in the Jesuit schools, opinions widely differ. Bacon and Descartes indorse it in highest terms, while Leibnitz, Voltaire, and others are equally strong in its condemnation. Bacon remarks, "As to whatever relates to the instruction of the young, we must consult the schools of the Jesuits, for there can be nothing that is better done." Leibnitz, on the other hand, says, "In the matter of education, the Jesuits have remained below mediocrity." Ranke, in speaking of the success of the Jesuit schools, says, "It was found that young persons learned more under them in half a year than with others in two years."

Mr. Quick says: "I have said that the object which the Jesuits proposed in their teaching was not the highest object. They did not aim at developing all the faculties of their pupils, but merely the receptive and reproductive faculties. When the young man had acquired a thorough mastery of the Latin language for all purposes, when he was well versed in the theological and philosophical opinions of his preceptors, when he was skillful in dispute, and could make a brilliant display from the resources of a well-stored memory, he had reached the highest point to which the Jesuits sought to lead him."[72] Some critics of the Jesuits claim that they lack in originality of thinking, and that they neglect training in the power of forming correct judgments. They have produced, however, many great men.

Summary.—Summarizing the educational work of the Jesuits, the following would appear to us to be just:—

1. Their educational system was by far the most efficient and successful of any during the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries.

2. This, however, applies only to higher education, as primary education was not undertaken by them.

3. They made their schools interesting, and learning pleasant. Their work was thorough, their consecration complete, their success as teachers marvelous, they being the greatest schoolmasters of their time.

4. They produced a course of study, the Ratio Studiorum, which lays principal stress upon the humanities and religious instruction.

5. They taught the necessity of trained teachers, and developed a remarkable power and tact in the work of instruction and school management.

6. They made use of emulation as a means of stimulating ambition,—a principle that tends to arouse the baser motives, and which is therefore to be used guardedly.

7. They were indefatigable in missionary enterprise, and zealous in the propagation of their principles, both religious and educational.

8. They stimulated authorship, advanced learning, and produced many great men.

9. They exerted a powerful influence upon the intellectual, social, and political movements of their time.


Opposed to the Jesuits was another body of Catholics, sometimes called Jansenists from the organizer of the movement, and sometimes Port Royalists, because their chief school was at Port Royal near Paris. Their purpose was to check the progress of the Jesuits, to promote greater spirituality in the Church, and to revive the pure Catholicism of St. Augustine. Among their great leaders may be mentioned Pascal, Nicole, and Launcelot. The purpose of the Jansenists was very different from that of the Jesuits, and their methods were more modern. They gave preference to modern languages, while the Jesuits gave chief attention to the classic tongues. Their discipline, like that of the Jesuits, was humane, but firm.

Their greatest contribution to education is the phonic method of spelling. They also laid stress upon the use of objects, the development of the sense perceptions, especially in early childhood. One of their axioms was, "The intelligence of childhood always being very dependent on the senses, we must, as far as possible, address our instruction to the senses, and cause it to reach the mind, not only through hearing, but also through seeing." This appears to be the first instance in which object teaching was taught as a principle, a principle which Bacon, Comenius, Pestalozzi, and Froebel worked out, and which has been one of the most important factors of modern educational progress.


[63] "Jesuit Education," p. 77.

[64] See Hughes, "Loyola," pp. 46, 113, 156, 282. Also Schwickerath, "Jesuit Education," p. 415.

[65] "Jesuit Education," p. 105. See also Hughes, "Loyola," pp. 4, 14, 43, 46, 68, 72, 82, and 86 (lines 12-23).

[66] See Hughes, "Loyola," pp. 72, 151.

[67] "Educational Reformers" p. 26.

[68] K. Schmidt, Vol. III, p. 230.

[69] "Educational Reformers," p. 34.

[70] See Hughes, "Loyola," p. 141, for full description of this work and outline of the course. Also Schwickerath, "Jesuit Education," p. 191.

[71] See Hughes, "Loyola," p. 511.

[72] "Educational Reformers," p. 35.



Literature.H. M. Skinner, The Schoolmaster in Literature, The Schoolmaster in Comedy and Satire; Gill, Systems of Education; Quick, Educational Reformers; Williams, History of Modern Education; Besant, Rabelais; Monroe, Educational Ideal; Collins, Montaigne; Emerson, Representative Men; Vogel, Geschichte der Paedagogik; Carlisle, Two Great Teachers (Ascham and Arnold); Azarias, Essays Educational; Davidson, History of Education.

We have thus far discussed educators who were directly connected with the great Protestant and Catholic movements. There were others who were more or less independent of these movements. Among these we may mention Roger Ascham, Rabelais, and Montaigne.

ASCHAM (1515-1568)

Roger Ascham was the most celebrated English educator of the sixteenth century. He was educated at Cambridge, and studied three years in Germany. He had a thorough knowledge of the classic languages. For these reasons he was chosen tutor to Elizabeth, a position which he held for two years. Upon her accession to the throne, Ascham came to read with her several hours a day, and she retained her affection for her old teacher throughout his life.

His chief literary work is his "Scholemaster," which is the first educational classic in English. Dr. Johnson says of this book, "It contains, perhaps, the best advice that ever was given for the study of languages." This method was as follows, given in Ascham's words: "First, let him teach the child, cheerfully and plainly, the cause and matter of the letter (Cicero's Epistles); then, let him construe it into English so oft as the child may easily carry away the understanding of it; lastly, parse it over perfectly. This done, then let the child by and by both construe and parse it over again; so that it may appear that the child doubteth in nothing that his master has taught him before.

"After this, the child must take a paper book, and sitting in some place where no man shall prompt him, by himself let him translate into English his former lesson. Then showing it to his master, let the master take from him his Latin book, and pausing an hour at the least, then let the child translate his own English into Latin again in another paper book. When the child bringeth it turned into Latin, the master must compare it with Tully's book, and lay them both together, and where the child doth well, praise him, where amiss, point out why Tully's use is better.

"Thus the child will easily acquire a knowledge of grammar, and also the ground of almost all the rules that are so busily taught by the master, and so hardly learned by the scholar in all common schools. The translation is the most common and most commendable of all other exercises for youth; most common, for all your constructions in grammar schools be nothing else but translations; but because they be not double translations (as I do require), they bring forth but simple and single commodity; and because also they lack the daily use of writing, which is the only thing that breedeth deep root, both in the wit for good understanding, and in the memory for sure keeping of all that is learned; most commendable also, and that by the judgment of all authors which entreat of these exercises."[73]

Ascham often refers to his illustrious pupil in claiming merit for his system. He says, "And a better and nearer example herein may be our most noble Queen Elizabeth, who never took yet Greek nor Latin grammar in her hand after the first declining of a noun and a verb; but only by this double translating of Demosthenes and Isocrates daily, without missing, every forenoon, and likewise some part of Tully every afternoon, for the space of a year or two, hath attained to such a perfect understanding in both tongues, and to such a ready utterance of the Latin, and that with such a judgment as there be few now in both universities, or elsewhere in England, that be in both tongues comparable with her Majesty." Mr. Quick thinks that while Ascham may have thus flattered his royal pupil, there is no doubt that she was an accomplished scholar.

We have seen that Sturm made some use of double translation, but Ascham is entitled to full credit for the method, which he adopted from Pliny and perfected. Many teachers of language since that time have employed this method with excellent results.

RABELAIS[74] (1483-1553)

Though there is some obscurity as to the exact date of the birth of Rabelais, it is generally believed that he was born the same year as Luther, 1483. He was the son of a French innkeeper, and, after completing a classical course, was consecrated to the priesthood. His great ability and independent thinking, and his humanistic tendency brought reproof from his superiors, and he was ordered to perform works of penance in his cell; but through the influence of powerful friends he was freed and allowed to go over to the Benedictines, with whom, however, he did not remain long. He became an independent preacher, and as such had many friends among the reformers, chief among whom was Calvin. His intimacy with Calvin led the more radical reformers to be suspicious of him, and not without reason. Walter Besant tells us that, "One hears he is a buffoon—he is always mocking and always laughing. That is perfectly true. He laughs at the pretensions of pope, cardinal, bishop, and priest; he laughs at monkery and monks; he mocks at the perpetual iteration of litanies; he laughs at the ignorance and superstition which he thinks are about to vanish before the new day of modern learning."[75] Nor was his sympathy with the reformers any more marked. Besant further adds, "It was at that time all important that, as in England, the scholars should range themselves on the Protestant side. Rabelais refused to do this. More, he set an example which deterred other scholars, and kept them, in sheer impatience, in the enemy's camp."[76]

The great literary work of Rabelais is embodied in a series of chronicles, the first of which is called "Gargantua" and the second, "Pantagruel." It is believed that these were popular names of giants in the Middle Ages. In these books we find Rabelais's pedagogy.[77] The giant Gargantua attends a school in which scholastic methods are employed. The author skillfully ridicules the methods, and shows the utter inefficiency of the instruction by contrasting the result in Gargantua and Eudemon, a page of the king. Gargantua, a man of fifty-five, is introduced to Eudemon, a boy of twelve. The former is awkward, bashful, and does not know what to say, while the latter meets Gargantua cap in hand, with open countenance, ruddy lips, steady eyes, and with modesty becoming a youth. In reply to the polite and intelligent conversation of the lad, Gargantua "falls to crying like a cow, casting down his face, and hiding it with his cap." Compayre says, "In these two pupils, so different in manner, Rabelais has personified two contrasted methods of education: that which, by mechanical exercises of memory, enfeebles and dulls the intelligence; and that which, with large grants of liberty, develops intelligences and frank and open characters."

The deficiencies of the old education (the scholastic) being thus shown, Rabelais places his pupil under Ponocrates, Eudemon's teacher, who has produced such practical results. He then opens up his system of pedagogy in the plan pursued for the redemption of Gargantua.

Realism in Education.—Compayre's estimate of this pedagogy is as follows: "The pedagogy of Rabelais is the first appearance of what may be called realism in instruction, in distinction from the scholastic formalism. The author of 'Gargantua' turns the mind of the young man toward objects truly worthy of occupying his attention. He catches a glimpse of the future reserved to scientific education, and to the study of nature. He invites the mind, not to the labored subtleties and complicated tricks which scholasticism had brought into fashion, but to manly efforts, and to a wide unfolding of human nature."[78]

In comparing Rabelais with Lucretius, Walter Besant says, "Both, at an interval of fifteen hundred years, anticipated the nineteenth century in its restless discontent of old beliefs, its fearless questioning, its advocacy of scientific research."[79] Compayre thinks that Rabelais is "certainly the first, in point of time, of that grand school of educators who place the sciences in the first rank among the studies of human thought."[80] It would seem, then, that the author of "Gargantua" is worthy of a most honorable place among educational writers. Rabelais began a movement, which was destined to revolutionize educational methods.

The educational scheme of Rabelais embraced the study of letters, of nature, of science, of morals and religion, of the physical well-being,—in short, of everything necessary, as Herbert Spencer would say, to complete living.

MONTAIGNE[81] (1533-1592)

Of a very different character from Rabelais was Montaigne. Rabelais was radical and extravagant, Montaigne conservative and discreet; Rabelais sought development of all the faculties alike, Montaigne gave preference to the training of the judgment; Rabelais would thoroughly master every branch of human knowledge, Montaigne was content to skim over the sciences. And yet, Montaigne must be recognized as an important factor in education, not only for his own teachings, but because undoubtedly Bacon, Locke, Rousseau, and other apostles of reform were greatly influenced by him. Bacon furthered Montaigne's theories concerning the importance of science, and by his inductive method rendered the world a far greater service than his great French contemporary. Locke enlarged upon Montaigne's ideas of physical training. Rousseau accepted a vital doctrine of Montaigne in the following words: "He (Emile) possesses a universal capacity, not in point of actual knowledge, but in the faculty of acquiring it; an open, intelligent genius adapted to everything, and, as Montaigne says, if not instructed, capable of receiving instruction."

Montaigne's father was a French nobleman, who fully appreciated the responsibility laid upon him in the education of his son. Doubtless his training had much to do in shaping the pedagogy of the illustrious son. It was wise, mild but firm, natural, and thorough. The tutors and servants who surrounded him were allowed to speak only in Latin. That tongue thus became as familiar as his native tongue. Indeed, it is said, that at the age of six he was so proficient in the language of Cicero, that the best Latinists of the time feared to address him. Nor was his knowledge confined to Latin alone. He was instructed in modern lore as well. At the age of six he was placed in the college of Guienne, where he remained seven years. His experience there, so contrary to that under which he had been brought up, led him to be utterly opposed to corporal punishment. Of the methods of discipline employed in the school, he says, "The discipline of most of our colleges has always displeased me. They are veritable jails in which youth is held prisoner. The pupils are made vicious by being punished before they become so. Pay a visit there when they are at their work; you will hear nothing but cries,—children under execution, and masters drunk with fury. What a mode of creating in these tender and timid souls an appetite for their lessons, to conduct them to their tasks with a furious countenance, rod in hand!—it is an iniquitous and pernicious fashion. How much more becoming it would be to see the classroom strewed with leaves and flowers than with blood-stained stumps of birch rods! I would have painted up there scenes of joy and merriment, Flora and the Graces, as Speusippus had his school of philosophy: where they are to gain profit, there let them find happiness too. One ought to sweeten all food that is wholesome, and put bitter into what is dangerous."[82]

Here we find a strong plea for humane forms of punishment and a severe criticism of the prevailing practice of flogging, a practice which did not cease until long after Montaigne's time. It is an equally forcible plea for beautiful and pleasant schoolrooms, decorated with works of art intended to awaken and cultivate the aesthetic sense of the children, while contributing to their happiness. It has been left to the educators of the end of the nineteenth century to take up and seriously act upon this suggestion made over three hundred years ago. "The purpose of education," said Montaigne, "is the training, not of a grammarian, or a logician, but of a complete gentleman." Education should be of a practical nature. The child must become familiar with the things about him. He must learn his own language first and then that of his neighbors, and languages should all be learned by conversation.

A decided weakness in his system is found in his ideas concerning women. He made no provision for their education, and, indeed, expressed great contempt for their abilities of either mind or heart.

Montaigne's chief literary work is his "Essays." Compayre pronounces Montaigne's pedagogy, "a pedagogy of good sense," and further adds that he has "remained, after three centuries, a sure guide in the matter of intellectual education."

Observation and experience were to be abundantly employed, and visits to other lands, together with intercourse with intelligent men everywhere, were to "sharpen our wits by rubbing them upon those of others."

To sum up, we may say that the pedagogy of Montaigne teaches the training and use of the senses; the study of science; the learning of the mother tongue first by conversation, and then the language of our neighbors with whom we come in contact; the abolition of corporal punishment, and the beautifying of schoolrooms. This surely is no small contribution to education. His definition of education is worthy of note. He says, "It is not the mind only, nor the body, but the whole man that is to be educated."[83]

Summary of Educational Progress during the Sixteenth Century.—1. Humanism had reached its climax and begun to decline. It stimulated invention and discovery; it revived classic literature and put it in such form that it could be used; it emancipated the mind; it prepared the way for later reforms; it produced great educators such as Petrarch, Erasmus, and Reuchlin.

2. The Reformation took up the educational work of humanism, and carried it forward. It instituted primary education, the education of the masses, compulsory education and parental responsibility therefor; it asserted the right and duty of the State to demand and secure universal education; it elevated and gave dignity to the office of teacher; it formulated several school systems, and laid the foundation of the present German school system. Among its great educators were Luther, Melanchthon, Sturm, and Neander.

3. The Jesuits established a remarkable system of schools, noted for their thoroughness, for their singleness of purpose, for their rapid growth, and for their trained teachers. They gave little attention to primary education, but sought to reach the higher classes. Emulation was the principal incentive employed.

4. Opposed to the Jesuit education was that of the Port Royalists. They appealed to the intelligence of the children and cultivated the sense-perceptions. They invented the phonic method of spelling.

5. Sturm's celebrated course of study was introduced during this century at Strasburg.

6. The method of double translations in learning a language was taught by Ascham and Sturm.

7. In Rabelais we find the first appearance of realism, which bore rich fruit in later scientific education.

8. Montaigne opposed the use of the rod, and taught that the schoolroom should be made attractive. He also advocated the study of modern languages by conversation, and gave science an honorable place in the curriculum.

It thus appears that the sixteenth century surpassed many previous eras in its contributions to educational progress.


[73] H. M. Skinner, "The Schoolmaster in Literature," p. 20.

[74] For special reference see Besant's "Rabelais."

[75] "Rabelais," 192.

[76] Ibid., 193.

[77] "Schoolmaster in Comedy and Satire," 9-33.

[78] "History of Pedagogy," p. 91.

[79] "Rabelais," p. 187.

[80] "History of Pedagogy," p. 96.

[81] See Collins, "Montaigne."

[82] Collins, "Montaigne," p. 14.

[83] A good summary of Montaigne's educational ideas may be found in Collins's "Montaigne," p. 102.



Literature.Taylor, History of Germany; Guizot, History of Civilization; Schiller, The Thirty Years' War; Dyer, Modern Europe; Lewis, History of Germany; Macaulay, History of England.

Political and Historical Conditions.—The seventeenth century was remarkable for the wars for religious supremacy. The Reformation had challenged the authority of the Church, aroused a questioning spirit, and instilled into men's minds a love for religious liberty. During the latter half of the sixteenth century, Europe had swayed back and forth between Protestantism and Catholicism, according as success in arms had favored one side or the other. The spirit of Protestantism had taken possession more especially of the common people, who formed the bone and sinew of the armies. Bitter animosities existed between the adherents of the papal church and the reformers, which found expression in bloodshed, rapine, and destruction of property.

England was torn asunder by civil war, which resulted in the death of Charles I. and the establishment of the Commonwealth under Cromwell,—the struggle between Cavalier and Roundhead, between established church and Puritan, ending finally in the revolution of 1688. The country was in a religious ferment during the greater part of this century, caused by a growing jealousy for the maintenance of the principle of the right to worship God according to the dictates of one's own conscience. Nor was the struggle less virulent or disastrous in continental Europe. The religious upheaval of the previous century culminated in the terrible conflict known as the Thirty Years' War; this lasted from 1618 till 1648, when the Peace of Westphalia secured religious liberty to all men. Northern Germany, Austria, France, Holland, Denmark, and Sweden, as well as minor countries, were involved in this great war.

Let Bayard Taylor paint the result of this fearful struggle. "Thirty years of war! The slaughters of Rome's worst emperors, the persecution of the Christians under Nero and Diocletian, the invasions of the Huns and Magyars, the long struggle of the Guelfs and Ghibellines, left no such desolation behind them. At the beginning of the century, the population of the German Empire was about 30,000,000; when the Peace of Westphalia was declared, it was scarcely more than 12,000,000! Electoral Saxony, alone, lost 900,000 lives in two years.... The city of Berlin contained but 300 citizens, the whole of the Palatinate of the Rhine but 200 farmers. In Hesse-Cassel, 17 cities, 47 castles, and 300 villages were entirely destroyed by fire; thousands of villages, in all parts of the country, had but four or five families left out of hundreds, and landed property sank to about one twentieth of its former value.... The horses, cattle, and sheep were exterminated in many districts, the supplies of grain were at an end, even for sowing, and large cultivated tracts had relapsed into a wilderness. Even orchards and vineyards had been wantonly destroyed wherever armies had passed. So terrible was the ravage that, in a great many localities, the same amount of population, cattle, acres of cultivated land, and general prosperity was not restored until the year 1848, two centuries afterward!

"This statement of the losses of Germany, however, was but a small part of the suffering endured.... During the last ten or twelve years of the war, both Protestants and Catholics vied with each other in deeds of barbarity; the soldiers were nothing but highway robbers, who maimed and tortured the country people to make them give up their last remaining property.... In the year 1637, when Ferdinand II. died, the want was so great that men devoured each other, and even hunted down human beings like deer or hares, in order to feed upon them.

"In character, in intelligence, and in morality, the German people were set back two hundred years. All branches of industry had declined, commerce had almost entirely ceased, literature and the arts were suppressed, and except the astronomical discoveries of Copernicus and Kepler, there was no contribution to human knowledge. Even the modern High German language, which Luther had made the classic tongue of the land, seemed to be on the point of perishing. Spaniards and Italians on the Catholic, Swedes and French on the Protestant side, flooded the country with foreign words and expressions, the use of which soon became an affectation with the nobility, who did their best to destroy their native tongue.

"Politically, the change was no less disastrous. The ambition of the house of Hapsburg, it is true, had brought its own punishment; the imperial dignity was secured to it, but henceforth the head of the 'Holy Roman Empire' was not much more than a shadow.... As for the mass of the people, their spirit was broken; for a time they gave up even the longing for the rights which they had lost, and taught their children abject obedience in order that they might simply live."[84]

The Educational Situation.—These political conditions had a marked influence upon education. Schools were abandoned, colleges gave up their charters, and people were content to allow their children to grow up in ignorance. Indeed, it was not to be expected that, in the midst of their poverty and sorrow, parents should care for education. And yet, some most important and wise school laws were enacted and put into force, which form the basis of the present German school system, as well as the school systems of many other countries. In 1619 the Duke of Weimar decreed that all children, girls as well as boys, should be kept in school for at least six years,—from six to twelve. This is the first efficient compulsory education law on record intended for all classes of children.

Besides Weimar, Wuertemberg, Hesse-Darmstadt, Mecklenburg, Holstein, Hesse-Cassel, and other provinces were active in school work. They organized schools, appointed teachers, and formulated school regulations. In 1642, Duke Ernst of Gotha adopted a new school regulation which was a century in advance of the time, and this action was taken when the Thirty Years' War was at its height and in a territory sadly devastated by contending armies.

This law required every child to enter school at the beginning of his sixth year, and to remain in school until he could read his mother tongue, had mastered Luther's catechism, and was well grounded in arithmetic, writing, and church songs. A course of study was marked out, the schools were graded, and methods of instruction were outlined. The greatest defect in the system was the lack of competent teachers. Discharged soldiers, worthless students, and degraded craftsmen who could read and write, and who possessed a little knowledge of music, continued for many years to be employed as schoolmasters. But little progress could be made under these adverse circumstances; and the only reason for encouragement was the fact that the duty of parents to keep their children at school was everywhere recognized.

The Innovators.—We must here mention also the Innovators or Reformers, whose period of educational activity falls chiefly within the seventeenth century. Among these appear the names of Francis Bacon, Ratke, Milton, Comenius, Rollin, Fenelon, and Locke. These men started movements which revolutionized education and laid the foundation of modern methods. The demands of the Reformers are summed up by Quick as follows: "First, that the study of things should precede, or be united with, the study of words; second, that knowledge should be communicated, where possible, by appeal to the senses; third, that all linguistic study should begin with that of the mother tongue; fourth, that Latin and Greek should be taught to such boys only as would be likely to complete a learned education; fifth, that physical education should be attended to in all classes of society for the sake of health, not simply with a view to gentlemanly accomplishments; sixth, that a new method of teaching should be adopted, framed 'According to nature.'"[85] In another chapter we shall study the life and work of some of these men.


[84] "History of Germany," p. 409.

[85] Quick, "Educational Reformers," p. 50.



Literature.Church, Bacon; Macaulay, Essays; Spofford, Library of Historical Characters; Lord, Beacon Lights; Montagu, Life of Bacon; Barnard, English Pedagogy; Quick, Educational Reformers; Williams, History of Modern Education; Laurie, Life and Works of Comenius; Comenius, Orbis Pictus; Barnard, Journal of Education; Milton, Tractate on Education; Pattison, Milton; Fowler, Locke; Leitch, Practical Educationists; Gill, Systems of Education; Schwegler, History of Philosophy; Courtney, John Locke; Vogel, Geschichte der Paedagogik; Compayre, History of Pedagogy; Fenelon, Education of Girls; Azarias, Philosophy of Literature; Monroe, Comenius.

BACON[86] (1561-1626)

But little is known of the early years of Francis Bacon, but it is probable that he was well trained, as his father was a man of good education, and the boy was able to enter Cambridge when only a little over twelve years of age. His father was for many years Lord Keeper of the Seals, and this brought Francis in contact with court life, where his precocity made him a favorite with the queen. He thus early acquired that taste for the court, by which he climbed to the height of his ambition only to fall therefrom in ignominious defeat.

He remained at Cambridge only about three years. Lord Macaulay sums up the result of Bacon's university experience in the following words: "Bacon departed, carrying with him a profound contempt for the course of study pursued there, a fixed conviction that the system of academic education in England was radically vicious, a just scorn for the trifles on which the followers of Aristotle had wasted their powers, and no great reverence for Aristotle himself."[87]

Some think that thus early, while not yet fifteen years of age, Bacon began to formulate that inductive system which made him a great benefactor of the human race. There seems to be but little proof of this; and, if it be so, he laid it aside until near the close of his life, and devoted himself to politics. After leaving Cambridge, he went abroad with the English ambassador at Paris, with whom he served until the death of his father compelled his return to England. Unexpectedly finding that his patrimony was gone, he began a career at the bar, and rose step by step, amid many discouragements, until he reached the height of his ambition, the Lord High Chancellorship of the realm. In reaching this position he resorted to many of the tricks of the politician, and sacrificed his best friends to further his selfish interests. Concerning his actions toward his benefactor, Essex, Macaulay says, "This friend, so loved, so trusted, bore a principal part in ruining the earl's fortunes, in shedding his blood, and in blackening his memory. But let us be just to Bacon. We believe that, to the last, he had no wish to injure Essex. Nay, we believe that he sincerely wished to serve Essex, as long as he could serve Essex without injuring himself."[88] Such seeming mitigation of Bacon's ingratitude serves only to bring the Lord Chancellor's cowardice more completely to light.

This lack of principle and greed for office, together with the luxurious tastes which kept Bacon constantly in debt, made him susceptible to corruption. Accordingly he accepted bribes; and, when exposed, his degradation from the highest office under the crown was most complete and humiliating. He was summoned before the bar of Parliament; and, finding the evidence against him complete, he admitted his guilt and pleaded for clemency. These are the words of his confession, "Upon advised consideration of the charges, descending into my own conscience and calling upon my memory to account so far as I am able, I do plainly and ingenuously confess that I am guilty of corruption, and do renounce all defense."

He was found guilty and condemned to imprisonment in the Tower during the pleasure of the king, and to a fine of L40,000; he was forbidden ever to sit in Parliament or come within the verge of the court, and was forever debarred from holding office. He never paid the fine, was released from the Tower after two days, was permitted to visit the court, and was summoned to the meetings of Parliament.[89] He never, however, took any part in public affairs. The king granted him a pension upon which he lived the remainder of his days. Thus disappeared from public life one of England's greatest statesmen, whose political career ended in disgrace. But during the remaining six years of his life, he wrote his principal works, which made him famous for all time, and which mark a new era in education as well as in the world's progress.

In 1620 his greatest work, the "Novum Organum," was published. In this appears his Inductive Method, a great educational discovery, which has been of inestimable value to mankind. It revolutionized science, and suggested the application of the forces of nature to the wants of man, thus opening to man's enterprise an illimitable field for research. In the three centuries since Bacon's discovery, science has made vast strides, and yet is only at the threshold of its possible development. The watchwords of the inductive method—experiment, investigate, verify—have led to the establishment of laboratories, to the founding of experimenting stations, and to the study of Nature herself. As Macaulay puts it, "Two words form the key of the Baconian doctrine, Utility and Progress." Again he says, "The philosophy of Plato began in words and ended in words.... The philosophy of Bacon began in observation and ended in arts."[90]

Macaulay depreciates the work of Bacon, and shows that he was not the original inventor of the inductive method, "which," he says with truth, "has been practiced ever since the beginning of the world by every human being."[91] Nor was he the "first person who correctly analyzed that method and explained its uses," as Aristotle had done so long before. But these facts do not detract from the glory of Bacon any more than the discovery of America by the Norsemen five hundred years before the time of Columbus detracts from his glory. The same process of reasoning would take all credit from every philosopher that has ever lived, for with equal truth it may be said that every mental process "has been practiced ever since the beginning of the world by every human being."

Bacon's teachings resemble those of Montaigne, though Bacon's work was far more important and complete than that of his French contemporary. His pedagogy may be summed up in these pregnant words from his own pen: "A judicious blending and interchange between the easier and more difficult branches of learning, adapted to the individual capabilities and to the future occupation of pupils, will profit both the mental and bodily powers, and make instruction acceptable."

We find in Bacon, then, the beginning of a new era in education. It remained for Comenius, Locke, Rousseau, Pestalozzi, and their compeers to apply to specific educational systems the great truth contained in the inductive method; and to scientists and investigators of all kinds has been intrusted the mission of furthering, through this method, the marvelous scientific development which has almost re-created the world.

RATKE[92] (1571-1635)

Perhaps the first to urge the reforms which constitute the basis of educational theory was Ratke, a German, born in the province of Holstein. He originated a scheme by which he promised to teach any language, ancient or modern, in six months. He traveled throughout Europe, endeavoring to sell his discovery to princes and men of learning. Purchasers had to agree strictly to maintain the secret. Professor Williams speaks of this conduct as follows: "These were the acts of a charlatan peddling some secret quack nostrum."[93] Mr. Quick says, "He would also found a school in which all arts and sciences should be rapidly learned and advanced; he would introduce, and peacefully maintain throughout the continent, a uniform speech, a uniform government, and, more wonderful still, a uniform religion. From these modest proposals we should naturally infer that the promiser was nothing but a quack of more than usual impudence; but the position which the name of Ratich holds in the history of education is sufficient proof that this is by no means a complete statement of the matter."[94]

Many thinkers fully believed that the schools were in bondage to the classic studies, that they did not prepare for life, and that science, which had begun to show signs of awakening, should have a place in education. The extravagant theories of Ratke, therefore, attracted attention. Opportunity was given him to put his theories into practice, first at Augsburg, then at Koethen, and finally at Magdeburg. In each instance he utterly failed, more from want of tact in dealing with men,—with those in authority, as well as with his teachers and pupils,—than from lack of soundness in theory. Of course much of his theory was worthless, especially that referring to the mastery of a language in six months, and that proposing uniformity in speech, government, and religion.

Ratke's method of teaching a language was not original with him, being similar to, though not so effective as, that advocated by Roger Ascham, more than a hundred years before (see p. 191), and suggested first by Pliny, fifteen centuries earlier. Ratke required the pupil to go over the same matter many times, to learn the grammar in connection with translation, and finally to translate back into the original. He proposed to follow the same course with all languages, and have all grammars constructed on the same plan.

The work which Ratke began was more successfully carried out by others who followed him, and thus fruit has been borne to these new and radical ideas.

Quick sums up Ratke's pedagogy in a few words, as follows:[95]—

1. Everything after the order and course of nature.

2. One thing at a time.

3. One thing again and again repeated.

4. Nothing shall be learned by heart.

5. Uniformity in all things.

6. Knowledge of the thing itself must be given before that which refers to the thing.

7. Everything by experiment and analysis.

8. Everything without coercion;[2] that is, by gentle means, and not by the use of the rod.

Others have worked out these principles until they have become thoroughly incorporated into every system of modern pedagogy.

COMENIUS[96] (1592-1670)

By far the greatest educator of the seventeenth century, and one of the greatest in educational history, was Johann Amos Comenius. He was born in Moravia, and belonged to the Protestant body known as the Moravian Brethren. His early education was neglected, a fact that was not without its compensation, for, not beginning the study of Latin until sixteen years of age, he was mature enough to appreciate the defects in the prevalent method of instruction. One of his most valuable services to education grew out of his attempt to remedy the defects thus discovered.

Of the schools he attended, he says, "They are the terror of boys, and the slaughterhouses of minds,—places where a hatred of books and literature is contracted, where ten or more years are spent in learning what might be acquired in one, where what ought to be poured in gently is violently forced in, and beaten in, where what ought to be put clearly and perspicuously is presented in a confused and intricate way, as if it were a collection of puzzles,—places where minds are fed on words."[97]

In speaking of his own experience at school, he says, "I was continually full of thoughts for the finding out of some means whereby more might be inflamed with the love of learning, and whereby learning itself might be made more compendious, both in the matter of charge and cost, and of labor belonging thereto, that so the youth might be brought by a more easy method unto some notable proficiency in learning."[98]

The life of Comenius, which extended over nearly eighty years, was full of vicissitudes and trials. Briefly told, it is as follows: He was left an orphan at an early age, had poor educational advantages in childhood, began the study of Latin at sixteen, and completed his studies at Heidelberg at twenty-two, having previously studied at Herborn. After leaving the university, he was teacher of the Moravian School at Prerau for two years, and then having been ordained to the ministry, became pastor of Fulnek. Here he remained for a number of years, living a happy and useful life. In the meantime, the Thirty Years' War had broken out, the battle of Prague had been lost by the Protestants, and the town of Fulnek sacked. Comenius lost everything he possessed, and this misfortune was soon followed by the death of his wife and child. After hiding in the mountains for some time, he was banished from his native land, together with all the other Protestants. This took place in 1627, when Comenius was thirty-five years old. Though he often longed to return to his fatherland, he was never permitted to do so.

He settled in Poland, and began by the study of the works of Ratke, Bacon, and other writers to prepare himself for the great task of educational reform. Of this experience he writes, "After many workings and tossings of my thoughts, by reducing everything to the immovable laws of nature, I lighted upon my 'Didactica Magna,' which shows the art of readily and solidly teaching all men all things."

He visited England, Sweden, and Hungary in the interests of education, and was invited to France, but did not accept the invitation. While living at Leszno, Poland, for a second time his house was sacked and all his property destroyed. Among other things, his work on Pansophia, and his Latin-Bohemian dictionary, on which he had labored for forty years, were burned. He closed his days at Amsterdam, Holland. In addition to the great honors bestowed upon him by the various countries that sought his advice on educational matters, he was made the chief bishop and head of the Moravian Brethren. Raumer forcibly sums up the life of Comenius as follows: "Comenius is a grand and venerable figure of sorrow. Though wandering, persecuted, and homeless, during the terrible and desolating Thirty Years' War, yet he never despaired, but with enduring courage, and strong faith, labored unweariedly to prepare youth by a better education for a happier future. Suspended from the ministry, as he himself tells us, and an exile, he became an apostle to the Christian youth; and he labored for them with a zeal and love worthy of the chief of the apostles."[99]

Pedagogical Work.—The great educational works of Comenius are his "Gate of Tongues Unlocked," the "Great Didactic," and his "Orbis Pictus." Mr. Quick thinks that the "Great Didactic" contains, in the best form, the principles he afterward endeavored to work out"[100] in his other educational writings. "The services of Comenius to pedagogy," says Professor Williams, "were of a threefold character, in each of which his merit was very great. First, he was the true originator of the principles and methods of the Innovators. Second, he was a great educational systematist. Third, he was the author of improved text-books, which were long and widely famous."[101] This is a fair summing up of the remarkable activity of this man with the exception of the first point. Montaigne, Ratke, and Bacon had previously taught many of the fundamental truths which Comenius merely amplified and brought to practical fruition, and he himself acknowledged the influence of the last two men upon him. That the whole purpose of the life of Comenius was far nobler than that of Ratke or Bacon, there remains no room for doubt. Compayre says, "The character of Comenius equals his intelligence. Through a thousand obstacles he devoted his long life to the work of popular instruction. With a generous ardor he consecrated himself to infancy. He wrote twenty works and taught in twenty cities. Moreover, he was the first to form a definite conception of what the elementary studies should be."[102]

Bacon gave the inspiration and Comenius worked the truth into practical form; Bacon invented a new theory of scientific investigation, Comenius employed that theory in education; Bacon originated and Comenius applied. This does not detract from the merit of Comenius any more than his work detracts from the merit of Rousseau, Pestalozzi, or Horace Mann, all of whom gathered inspiration from him.

Summary of the Work of Comenius.—(1) He was the author of the first illustrated text-book, the "Orbis Pictus."[103] The cost of illustrations was for a long time a serious barrier to their general adoption in schoolbooks; but modern inventions and improvements have removed this obstacle, and many of the text-books of to-day are as valuable for their illustrations as for their text. The "Orbis Pictus" appeared in 1658.

(2) In his "Great Didactic," he presents a scheme for general organization of the school system which covers the first twenty-four years of life. It divides this time into four equal periods of six years, each as follows:—

1. Infancy, or the mother school, from birth up to six years of age.

2. Boyhood, the vernacular or national school, from six to twelve.

3. Adolescence, the Gymnasium or Latin school, from twelve to eighteen.

4. Youth, the university (including travel), from eighteen to twenty-four.

"The infant school should be found in every house, the vernacular school in every village and community, the gymnasium in every province, and the university in every kingdom or large province." This scheme, with variation of details, forms the basis of present school systems: first, the period in the home with the mother till six; second, the period of general education in the common school, from six to twelve or fourteen; third, the period of preparation for the professional schools, from twelve or fourteen to eighteen; and fourth, the professional or university course, from eighteen to twenty-four. The last is usually divided into a college and a university course.

(3) The educational principles of Comenius were revolutionary as to the school practices of the time. They have come to be almost universally accepted at present. We can here state only a few of the most essential.[104]

1. If we would teach and learn surely, we must follow the order of Nature.

2. Let everything be presented through the senses.

3. Proceed from the easy to the difficult, from the near to the remote, from the general to the special, from the known to the unknown.

4. Make learning pleasant by the choice of suitable material, by not attempting too much, by the use of concrete examples, and by the selection of that which is of utility.

5. Fix firmly by frequent repetitions and drills.

6. Let all things advance by indissoluble steps, so that everything taught to-day may give firmness and stability to what was taught yesterday, and point the way to the work of to-morrow.[105]

7. Let everything that is useless be eliminated from teaching.

8. Learn to do by doing.

9. Each language should be learned separately, have a definite time assigned to it, be learned by use rather than precept,—that is, the practice in learning should be with familiar things,—and all tongues should be learned by one and the same method.

10. The example of well-ordered life of parents, nurses, teachers, and schoolfellows is very important for children; but precepts and rules of life must be added to example.

11. As knowledge of God is the highest of all knowledge, the Holy Scriptures must be the alpha and omega of the Christian schools.

Comenius gives explicit directions as to methods of instruction, class management, discipline, courses of study, including a discussion of each branch, and moral and religious teaching. He presents these directions in the most remarkable and complete series of precepts and principles to be found in educational literature.[106]

MILTON (1608-1674)

John Milton was "the most notable man who ever kept school or published a schoolbook." While his fame rests on "Paradise Lost" and other great literary works, he deserves a place among educators for his "Tractate on Education," and for his sympathy with educational reform. He anticipated Herbert Spencer's celebrated definition,—"To prepare us for complete living is the function which education has to discharge,"—in the following words: "I call, therefore, a complete and generous education that which fits a man to perform justly, skillfully, and magnanimously all the offices, both private and public, of peace and war."

He criticised the schools of his time and sought to make them more practical. Like the earlier Innovators, and in harmony with the spirit that was rapidly growing, he thought that too much time was given to the study of Latin, and urged that science, music, physical culture, and language as a means of acquiring a knowledge of useful things, should receive more attention in the schools. Quick says, "A protest against a purely literary education comes with tremendous force from the student who sacrificed his sight to his reading, the accomplished scholar whose Latin works were known throughout Europe, and the author of 'Paradise Lost.'"[107]

Milton's experience in teaching was confined to a small boarding school, such as those usually resorted to for educating the sons of the better classes in England at that time. For pupils he began with two nephews, to whom were soon added a few other boys. These were sons of Milton's friends, and some of them came as boarders, others as day students. Milton seemed to like the work of teaching, and it was during this period that his "Tractate" was written. He probably taught school in this way for eight or nine years, and then was appointed to a small office under the government, which secured his living. The rest of his life was devoted chiefly to literary work.

Milton's "Tractate."—The principal lessons from this educational work are embodied in the following quotation: "The end then of Learning is to repair the ruines of our first Parents by regaining to know God aright, and out of that knowledge to love him, and to imitate him, to be like him, as we may the nearest by possessing our souls of true virtue, which being united to the heavenly grace of faith makes up the highest perfection."[108] This rather cumbersome definition shows how fully Milton was possessed of the Puritan spirit, which then controlled England, and which magnified religious zeal.

Milton's scheme of education may be briefly summed up as follows:—

1. The school premises should consist of a spacious house with large school grounds, intended for about one hundred and thirty students from twelve to twenty-one years of age, who should receive their complete secondary and university education in the same school. This scheme, so unique in Milton's time, is practically carried out in France and the United States, where the connection between the lower and higher schools is direct. In England, the land of its inception, and in Germany, there is no such direct articulation between the lower and the higher schools.

2. The course of study embraces, first, the Latin grammar, arithmetic, geometry, religion, and Greek authors to be read in translation; second, Latin authors, geography, natural philosophy; third, Greek, trigonometry,—intended to prepare for fortification,—architecture, engineering, and navigation, anatomy, and medicine.

This course is supposed to be completed at about the age of sixteen. The harder topics now follow, together with the study of those subjects intended to teach ethical judgment. Milton says, "As they begin to acquire character, and to reason on the difference between good and evil, there will be required a constant and sound indoctrinating to set them right and firm, instructing them more amply in the knowledge of virtue and the hatred of vice." Then come Greek authors, Holy Writ, poetry, and "at any odd hour, the Italian tongue," ethics, and politics. He is consistent with his definition of education,—"that which fits a man to perform justly, skillfully, and magnanimously all the offices, both public and private, of peace and war," when he would train men to be "steadfast pillars of the State." He adds in his course also the study of law, including Roman edicts and English common law, a knowledge of Hebrew, and possibly Syrian and Chaldaic.

Nor were physical exercises omitted. Sword exercises, wrestling, military tactics, riding, etc., were to be daily practiced, each in its proper time. Finally, the young man, when about twenty-three years of age, should travel abroad, and thus, when mature enough to comprehend them, become acquainted with the geography, history, and politics of other countries. This was to be the final preparation for citizenship and service of country. Mr. Browning pronounces this a "magnificent and comprehensive scheme." The most serious criticism of it is, that it marks out much more than the average young man can accomplish.

LOCKE[109] (1632-1704)

John Locke was the son of a Puritan gentleman who took active part in the wars for religious freedom fought during the latter part of the seventeenth century. Without doubt the stirring scenes enacted and the great moral movements which occupied England had a great influence upon Locke's life. He was carefully trained at home until he was about fourteen years old, when he entered Westminster School, a Puritan institution, where he remained for six years. He then entered Oxford, and in due time took his bachelor's and master's degrees. In 1660, when twenty-eight years old, he was made tutor of Christ Church, Oxford, where he lectured on Greek, rhetoric, and philosophy. He interested himself in theology, but never took orders; and he also studied medicine and for a time practiced it. His own health was precarious, he having suffered, from chronic consumption nearly all his life. Nevertheless, he accomplished a tremendous amount of work. The friendship of the Earl of Shaftesbury gave Locke some political prestige. He lived in the family of that nobleman for many years, and was the tutor of his son and grandson.

Locke's great work, on which his fame securely rests, is the "Essay concerning Human Understanding," which stamps him as the greatest of English philosophers. This appeared in 1690. His most important educational work is entitled "Some Thoughts concerning Education." Compayre says, "From psychology to pedagogy the transition is easy, and Locke had to make no great effort to become an authority on education after having been an accomplished philosopher." Further, the same author says concerning the essential principles discussed in "Thoughts concerning Education," "These are: 1, in physical education, the hardening process; 2, in intellectual education, practical utility; 3, in moral education, the principle of honor, set up as a rule for the free self-government of man."

In Locke, for the first time, we find a careful set of rules as to the food, sleep, physical exercise, and clothing of children. While modern science rejects some of these, most of them are regarded as sound in practice. Plenty of outdoor exercise, clothing loose and not too warm, plain food with but little meat or sugar, proper hours of sleep, and beds not too soft, early retiring and rising, and cold baths, are means prescribed to harden the body and prepare it to resist the attacks of disease. "A sound mind in a sound body" is the celebrated aphorism which sums up Locke's educational theory.

As to moral education, Locke declares, "That which a gentleman ought to desire for his son, besides the fortune which he leaves him, is, 1, virtue; 2, prudence; 3, good manners; 4, instruction." In his course of study the idea of utility prevails. After reading, writing, drawing, geography, and the mother tongue are mastered, Locke, like Montaigne, would teach the language of nearest neighbors, and then Latin. Even the Latin tongue should be learned through use, rather than by rules of grammar and by memorizing the works of classic authors.

While his system of education was planned for sons of gentlemen, Locke urged the establishment of "working schools" for children of the laboring classes. This was in line with his utilitarian ideas, as the intent was not so much intellectual training, as the formation of steady habits and the preparation for success in industrial pursuits. Locke's plan was for a sort of manual training school, the first appearance of such a project in history.

Locke did not believe in universal education, nor in the public school. Only gentlemen were provided for in his formal scheme, and herein he followed the path marked out by Alfred the Great eight hundred years before, which England has not completely forsaken to this day. Since he had done all his teaching as a private tutor in the family of a gentleman, one can easily understand his advocacy of that form of instruction for the favored few. Locke's teachings in this respect are gradually losing their hold even in England, the most conservative of all countries in educational matters, and the latest great nation to accept the principle of universal education. During the last quarter of a century England has been earnestly seeking to give every child, whether of gentle or of humble birth, rich or poor, what his birthright demands,—a good common school education.

The influence of Locke upon education, then, has been very great. Williams remarks that "he inspired Rousseau with nearly every valuable thought which appears in the brilliant pages of his 'Emile.' He seems himself to have derived some of his most characteristic ideas from Montaigne, and possibly also from Rabelais."[110] Although Locke differed from other educational reformers in many respects, though he was somewhat narrow in his conception of education, owing to his environment, he opposed the dry formalism that characterized the educational practice of his time, and sought to emancipate man both intellectually and physically.

FENELON (1651-1715)

Fenelon was born of noble parents in the province of Perigord, France. During his early years his father attended very carefully to his education, and later his uncle, the Marquis de Fenelon, became his guardian. Though delicate in health, the boy showed remarkable aptness in learning. At the age of twelve he entered the college of Cahors, and thence went to the university of Paris. He was destined by his parents for the Church, for which, by natural temperament and pious zeal, he was well fitted. He preached at fifteen with marked success, and took up a theological course at St. Sulpice. At the age of twenty-four he was ordained priest. He desired to enter the missionary field, first in Canada, and later in Greece, but had to abandon this purpose on account of ill health.

Saint-Simon, in his "Memoires," describes Fenelon as a man of striking appearance, and says, "His manner altogether corresponded to his appearance; his perfect ease was infectious to others, and his conversation was stamped with the grace and good taste which are acquired by habitual intercourse with the best society and the great world."

For ten years Fenelon was at the head of the convent of the New Catholics, an institution which sought to reclaim Protestant young women to Catholicism. In this position, as well as in all his lifework, though himself an ardent Catholic, Fenelon's course was so temperate and just that he won the warmest admiration even of Protestants, who did not accept his faith. Among his friends were the Duke and Duchess of Beauvilliers, who had eight daughters and several sons. At their suggestion, and for the purpose of helping them in educating their daughters, he wrote his first and most important educational work, "The Education of Girls." Compayre pronounces this "the first classical work of French pedagogy." He further speaks of this book as "a work of gentleness and goodness, of a complaisant and amiable grace, which is pervaded by a spirit of progress."[111] It appeared in 1687.

In 1689, when thirty-eight years of age, Fenelon was chosen preceptor of the grandson of Louis XIV., the young Duke of Burgundy. In this position his remarkable powers as a teacher were brought to light, and he applied the theories which he had promulgated. The young duke, who was eight years of age, was of a passionate nature, hard to control, and yet, withal, of warm-hearted impulses. It is said that "he would break the clocks which summoned him to unwelcome duty, and fly into the wildest rage with the rain which hindered some pleasure." The "Telemachus"[112] of Fenelon, perhaps his greatest literary work, was composed at this time, as were also his "Dialogues of the Dead" and his "Fables." The inspiration of all these works was found in the charge committed to him—that of properly instructing his royal pupil. Fenelon thus created the material through which he interested the boy and taught him the intended lessons. The "Telemachus" was designed for the moral and political instruction of the prince; through his "Dialogues of the Dead" he taught history; and his "Fables" were composed for the purpose of teaching the moral and intellectual lessons which he wished to impart to his illustrious, but headstrong, pupil. Fenelon's success with the prince was phenomenal, as the passionate boy became affectionate, docile, and obedient.

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