History of Education
by Levi Seeley
Previous Part     1  2  3  4  5  6  7     Next Part
Home - Random Browse

The success of the experiment, however, was never put to the final test, as the duke died before coming to the throne. There seems to be no doubt that the cure was permanent, and it is not believed that, like Nero, he would have relapsed into his former viciousness and cruelty.

One naturally compares Fenelon with Seneca. To both were committed children, heirs apparent to thrones,—willful, cruel, disobedient, and hard to control. In Seneca's pupil the seeds of cruelty remained, to germinate into the awful tyrant; in Fenelon's the evil seemed to be permanently eradicated, and the result was a prince with generous impulses and noble intentions. And this result was largely owing to the difference in the teachers,—Fenelon, the gentle, but firm, patient, painstaking conscientious man; Seneca, the more brilliant, but vacillating and timeserving sycophant.

Fenelon's Pedagogy.—1. There must be systematic care of the body. Therefore regular meals and plain food, plenty of sleep, exercise, etc., are essential.

2. All instruction must be made pleasant and interesting. Play is to be utilized in teaching. In this he anticipated Froebel.

3. Let punishments be as light as possible. Encourage children to be open and truthful, and do not prevent confession by making punishments too frequent or too severe. Punishment should be administered privately, as a rule, and publicly only when all other means have failed.

4. Present the thing before its name,—the idea before the word. Study things, investigate. Employ curiosity. In this he was a disciple of Bacon and Comenius, and a prophet to Pestalozzi.

5. Allow nothing to be committed to memory that is not understood.

6. Girls, also, must share the benefits of education. Especial attention should be given to teaching them modesty, gentleness, piety, household economy, the duties of their station in life, and those of motherhood.

7. Morality should be taught early and by means of fables, stories, and concrete examples.

8. Proceed from the near at hand to the remote, from the known to the unknown. Thus in language, after the mother tongue, teach other living languages, and then the classics. The latter are to be learned by conversation about common objects, and by application of the rules of grammar in connection therewith. In geography and history one's own environment and country should be learned first, then other countries.

9. Example is of great importance to all periods of life, but especially to childhood. This Fenelon practically illustrated by his own life and by the concrete cases which he used. Voltaire says of Fenelon, "His wit was overflowing with beauty, his heart with goodness."


In 1681, La Salle, a devoted priest of the Catholic Church, organized the Brothers of the Christian Schools.

The idea primarily was to awaken interest in elementary education. He perfected the work already done by Peter Faurier, Charles Demia, and others. The method of instruction, up to this time, had been largely individual. The pupils were called up to the teacher, one by one, or at most two by two, and, after the lesson had been heard, they were sent back to their seats to study. La Salle conceived the idea of grading together pupils of the same advancement, and teaching them simultaneously,—a practice now employed in primary schools everywhere. It is known as the Simultaneous Method. Brother Azarias says of this method, "Because we all of us have been trained according to this method, and see it practiced in nearly all of our public and many of our private schools throughout the land, and have ceased to find it a subject of wonder, we may be inclined to undervalue its importance. Not so was it regarded in the days of La Salle. Then a Brothers' School was looked upon with admiration. Strangers were shown it as a curiosity worth visiting."

La Salle laid down many explicit rules concerning punishment, methods of teaching, and school organization in a book called "The Conduct of Schools." While modern criticism would condemn many of these rules, we think, with Compayre, that "whatever the distance which separates these gloomy schools from our modern ideal,—from the pleasant, active, animated school, such as we conceive it to-day,—there is none the less obligation to do justice to La Salle, to pardon him for practices which were those of his time, and to admire him for the good qualities that were peculiarly his own."[114]

He established the first normal school in history at Rheims in 1684, thirteen years before Francke organized his teachers' class at Halle, and fifty years before Hecker founded the first Prussian normal school at Stettin. La Salle magnified the teacher's office, and urgently demanded professional training for instructors of the young. Brother Azarias forcibly sums up La Salle's great work in this respect as follows: "He is the benefactor of the modern schoolmaster. He it was who raised primary teaching out of the ruts of never ending routine, carried on in the midst of time-honored noise and confusion, and, in giving it principles and a method, made of it a science. He hedged in the dignity of the schoolmaster. He was the first to assert the exclusive right of the master to devote his whole time to his school work."[115]

Education, therefore, owes to La Salle three important contributions,—(1) the Simultaneous Method of Instruction, whereby a number of children of the same advancement are taught together; (2) the first Normal School, established at Rheims, France, in 1684; and (3) a dignifying of the teacher's profession by setting apart trained persons who should give all their time to the work of teaching.

Rollin (1661-1741).—This great teacher, connected for many years with the University of Paris, and deposed therefrom in connection with the Jansenists to whom he adhered, was not merely a university lecturer, but also an author of educational works and a student of general education. His most important educational work is his "Treatise on Studies." Rollin anticipated modern practice by seeking to make learning pleasant and discipline humane. He would use the rod only as a last resort—a theory quite contrary to the practice of that time. Too much freedom, he thought, would have a tendency to make children impudent; too frequent appeal to fear breaks the spirit; praise arouses and encourages the child, but too much of it makes him vain. Therefore the teacher must avoid both extremes. While he would have girls know the four ground rules of arithmetic, that is about all they should have except domestic training. Rollin had no connection with elementary schools and but little contact with children; therefore his precepts do not always have the sound basis that experience furnishes. Nevertheless, he exerted a salutary influence upon the education of his time.

Summary of the Educational Progress of the Seventeenth Century.—1. School systems were established and compulsory attendance made efficient in Weimar in 1619, in Gotha in 1642, and in many other cities, showing a growing recognition of the principle of universal education and the duty of the State to assume the responsibility for its attainment.

2. A school of educators, known as the "Innovators," laid emphasis on sense-realism,—the study of things, the contact with nature, the education that is of practical use.

3. Bacon laid the foundation of all future scientific research by his inductive method. This increased the riches of the world beyond calculation, taught how investigation is to be made, laid the foundation of modern science, and gave direction to all later education.

4. Ratke, though erratic and vulgar, instituted wholesome reforms in the teaching of languages, and promulgated theories which, under later reformers, bore rich fruitage.

5. Comenius, one of the greatest educators of all time, produced the first illustrated text-book, planned a general organization for schools in several countries, which is the basis of present systems, and proclaimed theories which are now universally accepted as the guide of modern pedagogical practice.

6. Milton, though primarily a literary man, lent the weight of his genius and his great name to school reform. He marked out a course of study which contemplates a unity of purpose from the elementary school to the university.

7. The great English philosopher, Locke, also found time to devote to education. His principle, "A sound mind in a sound body," directed attention to physical education.

8. In the noble French priest, Fenelon, we find an example of theory practically applied. He gives, also, for the first time, a place in pedagogy to the education of girls.

9. In general, we find that the seventeenth century laid stress upon the principle of utility, gave great impulse to science, called attention to the care of the body, decreased the influence of classic studies, brushed away the fabric which superstition and conservatism had woven, produced some of the greatest educators that have ever lived, and laid the foundations on which modern education is built.


[86] For special reference see Macaulay's "Essays," Vols. II and III.

[87] "Essays," Vol. III, p. 354.

[88] Ibid., Vol. III, p. 368.

[89] For a full description of his trial consult Macaulay's "Essays." Also his biographer, Montagu, whose judgment of Bacon is much milder than Macaulay's.

[90] "Essays," Vol. III, p. 459.

[91] Ibid., Vol. III, p. 470.

[92] Also Rateke, Radtke, and Ratich. Paulsen pronounces the last "an abominable mutilation of Latinization."

[93] "History of Modern Education," p. 141.

[94] Quick, "Educational Reformers," p. 51.

[95] "Educational Reformers," p. 53.

[96] Especial attention is called to Laurie's "Life of Comenius," and Monroe's "Comenius." For other works, see Appendix of Bardeen's edition of Laurie's "Comenius."

[97] Laurie, "Life of Comenius," p. 14.

[98] Preface to the "Prodromus."

[99] Raumer, "Geschichte der Paedagogik."

[100] "Educational Reformers," p. 73.

[101] "History of Modern Education," p. 151.

[102] "History of Pedagogy," p. 122.

[103] See "Orbis Pictus," edited and published by C. W. Bardeen, Syracuse, N.Y.

[104] Laurie's "Life and Works of Comenius," p. 77.

[105] Ibid., p. 105.

[106] For full discussion of the pedagogical principles of Comenius, see Professor Laurie's great work.

[107] "Educational Reformers," p. 59.

[108] "Tractate," p. 3.

[109] See Fowler's "Locke." Also Quick, Compayre, and Williams.

[110] "History of Modern Education," p. 181.

[111] "History of Pedagogy," p. 165.

[112] "Schoolmaster in Comedy and Satire," pp. 73-100.

[113] Especial reference is made to Brother Azarias, "Essays Educational."

[114] "History of Pedagogy," p. 276.

[115] "Essays Educational," p. 238.



Literature.Rein, Encyklopaedisches Handbuch; Strack, Geschichte des Volkschulwesens; Dyer, Modern Europe; Rein, Am Ende der Schulreform? Russell, German Higher Schools.


Pietism is the name of a movement in Germany which sought to revive spiritual life in the Lutheran Church. In that church, religion had become purely a matter of intellect, instead of heart. Cold formality and adherence to the letter, rather than the spirit, had taken possession of the Protestant Church. Like the Jansenists in France, who had a similar purpose with reference to the Catholic Church, and later the Methodists in England, who sought to awaken religious zeal in the Church of England, the Pietists of Germany endeavored to vitalize religious life, and to lead men away from creeds promulgated by human agency, to the pure word of God. The Pietists differed from the orthodox Lutherans not in doctrine, but in insisting on the necessity of a change of heart and a pious life, instead of mere adherence to formal doctrine.

The Pietists founded the university of Halle, and this remained the center of the movement until it had run its course. Pietism had its inception during the latter part of the seventeenth century, and it extended through the first half of the eighteenth century. Its originator was Philipp Jakob Spener, a man of remarkable zeal and godly life. Though it met with bitter opposition on the part of the orthodox Lutherans, it certainly did great good, not only to its adherents, but to the Church at large, by awakening deeper spiritual life. Its influence was also great in reviving Biblical study in Germany, in improving the character of teachers, and in giving a spiritual direction to the studies of the schools. It has left an enduring monument in the great Institutions that it founded at Halle. The greatest of the Pietists was August Hermann Francke, who is celebrated, not only as a theologian, but as a philanthropist and teacher.

FRANCKE[116] (1663-1727)

Francke's early education was conducted by private teachers, though his parents, who were intelligent and God-fearing people, exerted a strong influence upon him. At thirteen he entered the highest class of the Gymnasium at Gotha, where he remained for one year. Here he was introduced to the reform teachings of Ratke and Comenius. Two years later he entered the university of Erfurt as a student of theology. He studied also at Kiel and Leipsic. While he gave particular attention to Hebrew and Greek, he also learned French, English, and Italian. He seemed to be gifted with a talent for learning languages, for during a short residence in Holland in later life he learned the Dutch language so well that he was able to preach in it. Under the instruction of a Jewish rabbi, he read the Hebrew Bible through seven times in one year. After spending some time as teacher in a private school, he returned to Leipsic as Privat Docent[117] in the university.

Having become acquainted with Spener and his teachings, Francke became an earnest Pietist. His success in lecturing and his zeal in religious work drew around him a large number of students. This awakened the envy of the old professors of the university, and they began a persecution which caused his dismissal. He then went to Erfurt and preached with remarkable success, drawing great crowds by his earnestness and eloquence. Persecution again followed him, and he was banished from the city.

About this time the new university of Halle called Francke to the chair of Greek and oriental languages and afterward to that of theology. He began his work in 1692, and remained in that position for nearly thirty-six years, until his death. As this position did not furnish enough to live upon, he became pastor of the church in the neighboring village of Glaucha. In his pastoral work he came in contact with poverty, drunkenness, and every form of immorality. Moved with pity, he collected small sums of money, which he distributed among the poor after catechising the children.

At Easter, 1695, he found seven guldens ($2.80) in the collection boxes, which he declared to be "A splendid capital with which something of importance can be founded; I will begin a school for the poor with it." This was the beginning of the great orphan asylum at Halle,—an enterprise the magnitude of which we shall describe later. Without visible income, with no means at command, but with a sublime faith in God and humanity, and an overwhelming sense of the ignorance and misery of the children about him, Francke began at once the great work; nor was his faith misplaced, as the result shows. He gathered together a few children and placed a student over them as a teacher. Soon the better class of citizens took an interest, and desired him to provide a school for their children. Two rooms were rented, one for those who could not pay and the other for those who could. This was the foundation of the free school and the citizens' school still connected with the Institutions. In the fall of 1695, Francke founded the orphan asylum. Money flowed in from all parts of the country as people began to understand the great work. Francke was thus able to branch out in many directions. He established a Pedagogium to prepare teachers for his and other schools; free meals were furnished to students who devoted a part of their time to teaching in the institutions; separate schools for boys and girls, a Gymnasium, a Real-school, a bookbindery and printing establishment, and many other institutions were founded.

The Institutions at Halle.—In a few years Francke had in successful operation a marvelous system, a work founded upon love of humanity and dependent upon philanthropy for its support. The results attracted attention from all Europe, and students came from many lands. "At the death of Francke in the year 1727, the following report of the Institutions was sent to King Frederick William I.: (1) In the Pedagogium, 82 scholars, 70 teachers and other persons; (2) in the Latin school, 3 inspectors, 32 teachers, 400 pupils, and 10 servants; (3) in the common school, 4 inspectors, 98 male teachers, 8 female teachers, 1725 boys and girls; (4) orphans, 100 boys, 34 girls, 10 overseers; (5) at the free table, 225 students, 360 poor children; (6) employed in the drug store, bookstore, etc., and other persons in the establishment, 82."[118] This makes a total of over 3200 persons instructed, sheltered, employed, or otherwise connected with these great Institutions. The foundations were so firmly laid that the progress has been steady from that time to this. At present there are no less than twenty-five different enterprises connected with the Institutions, among which may be mentioned a free school for boys, and one for girls; a common school for boys, and one for girls; a royal Pedagogium; a Latin school; a higher girls' school; a Realgymnasium; a preparatory school for the high school; a Real-school; an orphan asylum for boys, and one for girls; a boarding house for students; a Bible house, which has distributed about 6,500,000 Bibles and religious works; a teachers' seminary (normal school) for each sex; a bookstore, a printing house, and a drug store.[119] About 3000 children receive instruction in the various schools, and about 118,000 have been recipients of the benefits since the Institutions were founded two hundred years ago. The cost is about one million marks a year, which is covered by endowments, by tuition fees, by profits from the productive departments (bookstores, printing establishment, etc.), and by moneys received from the State. Francke's idea of depending upon voluntary gifts has been abandoned.

All this work is the result of the energy of a man who began with a capital of less than three dollars, and a vast amount of faith to found "something of importance."

The Training of Teachers.—While Francke's greatest work for mankind was the Institutions mentioned above, we must notice one field of his activity that is of especial importance to us,—that of the training of teachers. We have seen that, on account of the scarcity of funds, he was obliged to rely upon students to do the work of instructing the children committed to his care. The young theologians made use of this opportunity as a stepping-stone to their future calling, the ministry, and Francke, perceiving this, sought to secure the most pious and gifted among his theological students for this work. He also established a pedagogical class (Pedagogium). After two years' membership therein, the student was allowed to teach provided he pledged himself to devote three years to teaching in the schools. This class met once a week for criticism and discussion under the leadership of the inspector of the school, and the various inspectors met Francke every evening for further instruction. The results soon attracted widespread notice, and created a great demand for Francke's teachers. Although this was very crude pedagogical training, it may be regarded as the inception of the normal school, which has now come to be an essential part of every educational system.

The Real-school.—A third service is credited by many to Francke, namely, the founding of the Real-school[120] of Germany. The best authorities give that credit to Professor Erhard Weigel of Jena. Whether or not the idea originated with Francke, he was ready to accept the necessity of such a change, and founded schools for higher learning in which Greek and Latin were not required, and in which more attention was given to modern languages and science.


[116] Rein's "Encyklopaedisches Handbuch," Vol. II, p. 336.

[117] The Privat Docent is the first step in the professor's career in the German university. He is allowed to lecture in the university, but receives no pay except fees from the students who hear him.

[118] K. Schmidt, "Geschichte der Paedagogik," Vol. III, p. 462.

[119] See Rein, "Encyklopaedisches Handbuch," Vol. II, p. 348.

[120] The Real-school is the great rival of the Gymnasium in Germany. The latter is the old established school which bases culture on the Humanities,—the classic languages, and literature. The Real-school is more modern and gives greater attention to the Realities,—to things of practical utility. Precedence is given to the modern languages, sciences, and arts. While the chief purpose of the Gymnasium is to prepare for the learned professions, that of the Real-school is to prepare for practical life. The relation of these two institutions to each other and to the university led to the Berlin Conference in 1890, at which it clearly appeared that the younger is outstripping the older and more conservative institution. See Russell, "German Higher Schools."



Literature.Dyer, Modern Europe; Duruy, The French Revolution; Yonge, Three Centuries of Modern History; Andrews, Institutes of General History; Lord, Beacon Lights; Taylor, History of Germany; Guizot, History of Civilization; Draper, Conflict between Religion and Science; Schwickerath, Jesuit Education.

The history of the world since the seventeenth century has been crowded with events, and characterized by movements of greatest moment to mankind. It is not the purpose of this work to discuss political movements, to chronicle wars, or to study the great upheavals of society except in so far as they have a direct bearing upon educational questions.[121]

The political chains that fettered the nations of the world have gradually been broken until greater liberty has been secured, a more perfect acknowledgment of the rights of the individual brought about, and a more tolerant religious spirit fostered in every civilized land. These things have exerted a tremendous force in the intellectual emancipation of man. At last the long struggle of the centuries begins to bear legitimate fruit, and the supreme educational purpose of Christianity, that of asserting and maintaining the importance of the individual, seems destined to complete realization. The noble truths of brotherly love, equality before God, and human rights were obscured during the long centuries,—obscured sometimes by the very institution whose chief aim is to scatter light and give gladness to men. It has remained for modern education to rediscover the educational principles which the Great Teacher promulgated, and which through the struggle of centuries failed of recognition, and bore indifferent fruit.

Among the many social and political changes that have taken place during the last two centuries, we may mention a few that have a direct influence upon education. Preceding centuries had prepared the way,—had broken the ground and sown the seed, and now the world was ready to reap an abundant harvest.

The great political events of this period may be briefly summarized as follows:—

1. The abolition of human slavery.—Great Britain, Spain, France, Russia, and finally our own country have forever removed the shackles of the slave within their borders. Perhaps the greatest of all emancipation acts was that of Russia, which, in 1861, without bloodshed and without serious disturbance, by royal decree, set free forty million serfs. The abolition of slavery in nearly all civilized countries is the greatest political triumph of Christian civilization. Without this there could never have come that higher intellectual emancipation which is the aim sought in all education.

2. The extension of political rights.—This is another victory that must be credited to the period under discussion. At the beginning of the eighteenth century there was scarcely a nation that acknowledged the right of the individual to a part in government, or to personal freedom. Men were in vassalage to their immediate lord, who, in turn, was obliged to acknowledge the "divine right" of the king over him. With the exception of Switzerland, who for centuries had maintained her freedom, and of England, who had secured the rights of man only by much bloodshed, there was scarcely a people in the world that possessed the right of self-government. Even England had secured that right only in the latter half of the seventeenth century under the leadership of Cromwell. This right she did not concede to her colonies, however, until the American Revolution wrested her richest dependency from her, and forever established the principle of self-government for a sovereign people.

Immediately following the American Revolution came the French Revolution, which taught the Old World the ideas so heroically conceived, so bravely supported, and so successfully realized in the New World. Nor is this all. The same principle has compelled the rulers of most of the European nations to divide the responsibility of government with their subjects, and to grant their people enlarged powers but little short of absolute sovereignty.

3. Science has been recognized as a powerful instrument of civilization.—Through scientific discoveries there has been a wonderful accession to material wealth, invention has been stimulated, and progress has been made in all directions. The spirit of investigation has been fostered, old theories and superstitions have been abandoned, and truth has been established upon their ruins. In this direction more has been done by science during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries than during the whole previous history of the world. Man has now become master of heretofore unknown forces which he may utilize as a blessing for the human race. We shall see in later pages that scientific investigation has become the greatest educational principle of modern times.

4. Religious freedom has been attained.—The sixteenth and seventeenth centuries witnessed many struggles for religious liberty, which resulted in no decided victory. It was not until the last two centuries that complete religious freedom was gained. Men are no longer bound to accept ecclesiastical decrees without question, but every one may weigh and consider, and freely decide for himself. Civil law protects, civil society sustains, and public opinion justifies men in the exercise of personal liberty in religious matters.

By the realization of these great principles educational progress has been encouraged. The greatest obstacles have been removed, and the future opens with possibilities of universal brotherhood, universal peace, and universal education.

It remains for us to study some of the men who have contributed to the educational progress of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, to trace the chief movements in the intellectual development of the race, and to examine the school systems of the representative nations of the world at the present time.


[121] It must be freely admitted that such influences are powerful in shaping the destiny of man, and that they have had much to do with education, as we have often shown in the foregoing pages. We must, however, leave the tracing of the movements to each individual student.



Literature.Davidson, Rousseau; Graham, Rousseau; Morley, Life of Rousseau; Rousseau, Emile; Munroe, Educational Ideal; Vogel, Geschichte der Paedagogik; Quick, Educational Reformers; Weir, The Key to Rousseau's Emile (article in Educational Review, Vol. XVI, p. 61); Compayre, History of Pedagogy.

ROUSSEAU (1712-1778)

Jean Jacques Rousseau was born in Geneva, Switzerland. His father was a watchmaker, and upon him devolved the education of the boy, as the mother died in childbirth. Rousseau's father was a man of dissipated habits, careless of responsibility, and of very violent temper. He interested himself in his son far enough to teach him to read, and supplied him with the worthless novels which he himself was fond of reading. This unwise course doubtless had much to do in shaping the character of the boy. Probably it was the evil effects of this early literature that led Rousseau later in life to oppose teaching young children to read. Quick says, "Rousseau professed a hatred of books, which he said kept the student so long engaged upon the thoughts of other people as to have no time to make a store of his own."

Abandoned by his father at the age of ten, he was taken into the family of his uncle, who apprenticed him, first to a notary, and afterward to an engraver. At the age of sixteen he ran away, and began a life of vagabondage. While yet a young man, he became involved in intrigues, which, according to his own account in his "Confessions," were no credit to him. Madame de Warens, a young widow with whom he lived for some years, sent him to school at St. Lazare, where he studied the classics and music; but he soon lapsed again into vagabondage. He picked up a little music, and attempted to give lessons in it, but with small success. He also took a position as private tutor, but he had no talent for teaching. Later in life he married Therese le Vasseur, a woman from the common ranks of life. She bore him five children, all of whom he committed to foundling hospitals without means of identification. He did this because he was not willing that his own comfort or plans should be disturbed by the presence of children. Rousseau had reason to regret this heartless and unnatural course when, in later years, he sought in vain to find some trace of his children. Compayre says, "If he loved to observe children, he observed, alas, only the children of others. There is nothing sadder than that page of the 'Confessions,' in which he relates how he often placed himself at the window to observe the dismission of a school, in order to listen to the conversations of children as a furtive and unseen observer!"[122]

In 1749 Rousseau successfully competed for a prize offered by the Academy of Dijon on the subject, "Has the restoration of the sciences contributed to purify or to corrupt manners?" Rousseau entered this contest quite accidentally. He saw the notice of the contest in a newspaper, and decided at once to compete. Of this event he says, "If ever anything resembled a sudden inspiration, it was the movement which began in me as I read this. All at once I felt myself dazzled by a thousand sparkling lights; crowds of vivid ideas thronged into my mind with a force and confusion which threw me into unspeakable agitation; I felt my head whirling in a giddiness like that of intoxication. A violent palpitation oppressed me; unable to walk for difficulty of breathing, I sank under one of the trees of the avenue, and passed half an hour there in such a condition of excitement that when I rose I saw that the front of my waistcoat was all wet with tears, though I was wholly unconscious of shedding them. Ah, if I could have written the quarter of what I saw and felt under that tree, with what clearness should I have brought out all the contradictions of our social system; with what simplicity should I have demonstrated that man is good naturally, and that by institution only is he made bad."

This essay made him famous, and its publication was the beginning of a remarkable literary career. His principal literary works are his "Confessions," in which he declares that he conceals nothing concerning himself; the "Social Contract," an anti-monarchic work, which many believe incited the French Revolution; "Heloise," a novel over-strained in sentiment and immoral in its teachings, but "full of pathos and knowledge of the human heart"; and "Emile," his greatest work, which contains his educational theories. The "Emile"[123] was an epoch-making book, which excited great interest throughout Europe. It is said that the philosopher Emanuel Kant became so absorbed in reading it that he forgot to take his daily walk.

Pedagogy.—(a) Rousseau's first principle is, "Everything is good as it comes from the hands of the Author of nature; everything degenerates in the hands of man." It follows, then, that education has only to prevent the entrance of evil, and let nature continue the work begun. It is to be a negative, as well as a natural, process. The fallacy of this principle is very forcibly shown by Vogel[124] as follows: "The very first sentence of 'Emile,' that man by nature is good, is a fundamental error; for by nature, that is, from birth, man is neither good nor bad, but morally indifferent. Only when the individual possesses mature self-consciousness does he have a correct idea of good and evil. If man by nature is good, it is inexplicable how evil can originate within him. External things may, indeed, furnish motives to evil, but are never in themselves evil; the evil arises rather from the conduct of the individual toward outside objects. If, then, evil does not come from without, and is not by nature already within the heart, it is impossible that there shall be such a thing as evil."

(b) The first education is physical and it begins at birth. As the physical wants of the child are natural they should be satisfied, but the clothing should be of such character as not to interfere with the perfect freedom of the body. Great care must be taken to distinguish between the real wants of the child and its passing whims. To gratify the latter because of the crying of the child will tend to form bad habits. In this connection may be taught the first moral lessons. It thus becomes important that the speech, gestures, and expressions of the young child shall be carefully studied. This is the first suggestion of the necessity for child study. The idea was later developed by Pestalozzi and Froebel, and is one of the most important features of recent pedagogical activity.

(c) The child's second period begins with his ability to speak and continues till the twelfth year. No attempt must be made to educate the child for his future, but he must be allowed to get the full enjoyment of childhood by freedom to play as he will. Let him run, jump, and test his strength, thereby acquiring judgment of the material forces about him, and learning how to take care of himself. Leave him free to do what he will, let him have what he wishes, but, as far as possible, he should be led to depend upon himself to satisfy his wants. Give him perfect freedom, for freedom is the fundamental law of education. If he disobeys, do not punish him,—disobedience works its own punishment; therefore, do not command him. The training of the senses is the important work of this period; therefore, there should be as little moral training as possible, and absolutely no religious training. The only moral idea for the child to learn is that of ownership. He is to be prevented from vice in a negative manner, that is, by never being allowed to meet it. "The only habit that a child should be allowed to form is to contract no habit."

He is to have a preceptor devoted entirely to him, not to instruct or control him, but to lead him to discover and experience for himself. In regard to his intellectual instruction, Rousseau says of Emile at twelve years of age, "that he has not learned to distinguish his right hand from his left." Books are entirely proscribed, and, indeed, they are useless to him as he cannot read; the only intellectual knowledge the child receives is that which comes from things through his own experience.

This is a brief outline of the erratic, impossible, and inconsistent training that Rousseau provides for Emile during this period when the foundation of character in the child must be laid. Greard says, "Rousseau goes beyond progressive education to recommend an education in fragments, so to speak, which isolates the faculties in order to develop them one after another, which establishes an absolute line of demarkation between the different ages, and which ends in distinguishing three stages of progress in the soul. Rousseau's error on this point is in forgetting that the education of the child ought to prepare for the education of the young man."

(d) The third period extends from the twelfth to the fifteenth year. It is the period of intellectual development. With no habits of thought or study, being little else than a robust animal, in three years Emile is to obtain all needed intellectual training. True, Rousseau excludes everything that is not useful, and places limitations even on that. For example, he naturally lays great stress upon the physical sciences which are to be taught in connection with things themselves,—out of doors, by travel, and in actual life; but he allows no history, or grammar, or ancient languages. No books are permitted save "Robinson Crusoe," which Rousseau finds entirely suitable for Emile. A trade is to be learned during this period.

While in general we condemn Rousseau's scheme of education, there is much in his methods that is most excellent. On this point Compayre comments as follows: "At least in the general method which he commends, Rousseau makes amends for the errors in his plan of study: 'Do not treat the child to discourses which he cannot understand. No descriptions, no eloquence, no figures of speech. Be content to present to him appropriate objects. Let us transform our sensations into ideas. But let us not jump at once from sensible to intellectual objects. Let us always proceed slowly from one sensible notion to another. In general, let us never substitute the sign for the thing, except when it is impossible for us to show the thing.'"[125]

(e) The fourth period of education begins at fifteen, the period of adolescence. At this time, "Emile will know nothing of history, nothing of humanity, nothing of art and literature, nothing of God; but he will know a manual trade." Rousseau himself says, "Emile has but little knowledge, but that which he has is really his own; he knows nothing by halves." He has a mind which, "if not instructed, is at least capable of being instructed." The remaining work to be done in the education of Emile consists in training the sentiments of affection, the moral and the religious sentiments. The feeling of love for his fellow-beings is now to be cultivated. The error of this is shown by Compayre, who says, "For fifteen years Rousseau leaves the heart of Emile unoccupied.... Rousseau made the mistake of thinking that a child can be taught to love as he is taught to read and write, and that lessons could be given to Emile in feeling just as lessons are given to him in geometry."

In morals Rousseau taught that the first duty of every one is to take care of himself; we must love ourselves first of all, and find our greatest interest in those things that best serve us. We must seek that which is useful to us and avoid what harms us, instead of loving our enemies and doing good to those that hate us, as taught by Christ. We must love those who love us, while we must avoid and hate those who hate us.

As to religion, Emile does not yet know at fifteen that he has a soul, and Rousseau thinks that perhaps the eighteenth year is still too early for him to learn that fact; for, if he tries to learn it before the proper time, he runs the risk of never really knowing that he possesses an immortal soul. But as religion furnishes a check upon the passions, it should be taught to the boy when eighteen years of age. He is not to be instructed in the doctrines of any particular sect, but should be allowed to select that religious belief which most strongly appeals to his reason. Modern investigation has proven the utter fallacy of Rousseau's teachings in this respect. Indeed, it seems to be established that the most orthodox period of the child's life occurs before the fifteenth year, the time when Rousseau would begin his religious training. Conformable to this truth, many sects confirm children and receive them into the church at or before the fifteenth year.[126]

(f) Having brought Emile to the period of life at which he is to marry, Rousseau proceeds to create in Sophie the ideal wife. It is not the education of women as such that Rousseau discusses, but their education with reference to man. He says, "The whole education of women should be relative to men; to please them, to be useful to them, to make themselves honored and loved by them, to educate the young, to care for the older, to advise them, to console them, to make life agreeable and sweet to them,—these are the duties of women in every age." Consequently the sole instruction woman needs is in household duties, in care of children, in ways to add to the happiness of her husband. Her own happiness or development does not enter into Rousseau's scheme. This is the weakest part of his educational theory. The world is gradually awakening to the fact that woman's intellectual capacity is not inferior to that of man, and the prejudices of ages are slowly disappearing.

Rousseau's pedagogical theories made a profound impression throughout Europe, and though often inconsistent, extravagant, and visionary, they set the world to thinking of the child and his psychological development. A new direction was thus given to educational theory and practice, and upon this basis Pestalozzi, Froebel, and other modern educators have built. Rousseau must, therefore, be reckoned among the greatest pedagogical writers of modern times. Karl Schmidt pronounces the "Emile" "a Platonic republic of education,—nevertheless, Rousseau's work is a great universal achievement, the importance of which Goethe recognizes when he calls the book the nature-gospel of education."[127]


[122] "History of Pedagogy," p. 286.

[123] "Schoolmaster in Literature," pp. 40-63.

[124] "Geschichte der Paedagogik," p. 127. See also Compayre, "History of Pedagogy," p. 286.

[125] "History of Pedagogy," p. 298.

[126] See address of Professor Earl Barnes, Proceedings of the National Educational Association for 1893, p. 765. Also article by Dr. G. Stanley Hall in Pedagogical Seminary, Vol. I, p. 196. Note also the religious development of Laura Bridgman.

[127] "Geschichte der Paedagogik," Vol. III, p. 559.



BASEDOW[128] (1723-1790)

The name of Basedow is connected with what is known as the Philanthropinic experiment. He was born at Hamburg, his father being a wigmaker. Not being appreciated in his home, the son ran away and bound himself out as servant in the household of a gentleman. Through the influence of this man, who discovered his extraordinary abilities, he was reconciled with his father, and returned home. He was sent to the Gymnasium at Hamburg, and afterward, through the assistance of friends, went to the university of Leipsic, where he studied theology. Here he lived a rather wild life, and upon the completion of his studies was found too unorthodox to take orders. Accordingly, he became tutor (Hauslehrer) to the children of Herr von Quaalen. In this position he showed great aptitude and originality in the instruction of children. His method of teaching included conversation, adaptation of play, and use of the woods, fields, plants, birds, and other works of nature.

"Owing to his original manner of teaching, Basedow obtained the best results. In teaching Latin, for instance, he began by pointing to objects and giving their Latin names. His pupils, in a very short time, learned to speak Latin almost as well as their native language. Basedow himself learned French, after the same manner, of the governess of the house."[129]

He next became Professor of Morals and Polite Literature at Soroee, Denmark, where his unorthodox writings again led him into trouble. He was removed to the Gymnasium at Altona. Rousseau's "Emile" produced a profound impression upon him, as it had done upon many other thinkers in Europe, and many of his theories are probably traceable to that book. Basedow was convinced of the need of a radical reform in the schools of Germany, and set himself the task of effecting it. Bernsdorf, the Danish minister of education, became interested in his writings, and, together with several of the crowned heads of Europe, assisted him in bringing out his "Elementary Book" (Elementarbuch), which foreshadowed his plans. It was modeled after the "Orbis Pictus" of Comenius. The interest of these distinguished patrons shows how urgent was the need of an educational reform. Basedow also made the acquaintance of the great literary men of the time, chief among whom was Goethe. In temperament he was misanthropic and peevish, owing in part, doubtless, to ill health brought on by overwork and worry.

The Philanthropin.—Indirectly through Goethe, Prince Leopold of Dessau was attracted to Basedow. The prince determined to found an institute in which the plans of the great educator could be carried out. The institute, called the Philanthropin, was established, and became celebrated throughout Europe. Quick says: "Then, for the first and probably for the last time, a school was started in which use and wont were entirely set aside, and everything done on 'improved principles.' Such a bold enterprise attracted the attention of all interested in education, far and near; but it would seem that few parents considered their own children vilia corpora (vile bodies), on whom experiments might be made for the public good. When, in May, 1776, a number of schoolmasters and others collected from different parts of Germany, and even from beyond Germany, to be present by Basedow's invitation at an examination of the children, they found only thirteen pupils in the Philanthropin, including Basedow's own son and daughter."[130]

The main purpose of the Philanthropin was to give Basedow an opportunity to carry out his new educational ideas. A prominent feature of the undertaking was that it should be a model institute "for the preparation of teachers in the theory and practice of the new education." The institution, was to be a "school of true humanity. Its name was to give evidence of its object—the education of youth in accordance with the laws of nature and humanity." In it Basedow was to exemplify his ideas of education. The best of teachers were to be employed, the best appliances furnished, and the instruction was to be founded entirely on sense-perception. The Philanthropin was opened in 1774, and at once awoke universal interest.

But this school, conceived in love for humanity, founded with the noblest of purposes, and exemplifying much of sound educational philosophy, was destined to be shortlived. It was abandoned in less than twenty years. This downfall was owing to several causes, some of which may be mentioned. 1. The institution was purely secular in character, and the world was not yet ready for this. Parents were suspicious of a non-sectarian school, the idea of which was so contrary to that of the traditional church-school. Hence the small number of pupils in the Philanthropin, even at the height of its prosperity under Basedow.

2. Altogether too many subjects were included in the course. Quick outlines the work undertaken as follows: "(1) Man. Here he would use the pictures of foreigners and wild men, also a skeleton, a hand in spirits, and other objects still more appropriate to a surgical museum. (2) Animals. Only such animals are to be depicted as it is useful to know about, because there is much that ought to be known, and a good method of instruction must shorten rather than increase the hours of study. Articles of commerce made from the animals may also be exhibited. (3) Trees and plants. Only the most important are to be selected. Of these the seeds also must be shown, and cubes formed of the different woods. Gardeners' and farmers' implements are to be explained. (4) Mineral and chemical substances. (5) Mathematical instruments for weighing and measuring; also the air pump, siphon, and the like. The form and motion of the earth are to be explained with globes and maps. (6) Trades. The use of various tools is to be taught. (7) History. This is to be illustrated by engravings of historical events. (8) Commerce. Samples of commodities may be produced. (9) The younger children should be shown pictures of familiar objects about the house and its surroundings."[131]

There are very many suggestive ideas in Basedow's course, which have been adopted in modern schools; but the trouble was that he demanded too much, and he himself acknowledged later in life that "he had exaggerated notions of the amount boys were capable of learning," and accordingly his curriculum was very much shortened.

3. Another reason for the failure of the Philanthropin was Basedow's indiscriminate condemnation of everything that had been done before, and of all who failed to agree with him. This awoke the antagonism of teachers everywhere. All reformers are apt to be radical in their own views and denunciatory of the opinions of others. Had there been less to criticise in Basedow himself, he would doubtless have triumphed over all opposition. But his educational theories and practices did not produce the results which he predicted for them, and his opponents were quick to mark every weakness that his system betrayed.

4. More fatal still, perhaps, was the unfitness of Basedow for the directorship of the institution. He was capricious, lacking in self-command and proper balance, visionary, and often suspicious of the teachers under his direction. Such causes prevented the experiment at Dessau from fulfilling the bright hopes of Basedow and the friends who assisted him in starting the enterprise.

Basedow retired after four years' leadership, and the institution continued for a few years with varying success, under such men as Campe, Salzmann, and Matthison. Yet, when the Philanthropin was closed in 1793, the teachers, dispersed throughout Germany, carried the new gospel wherever they went, arousing fresh interest in education and doing much for its advancement.

Quick thinks that Basedow's system possessed great merits "for children, say, between the ages of six and ten." Kant was greatly disappointed at the result. Rousseau's "Emile" had awakened his interest in education, and he looked to the experiment at Dessau for an exemplification of the new ideals. His estimate of the work accomplished is as follows: "Experience shows that often in our experiments we get quite opposite results from what we had anticipated. We see, too, that since experiments are necessary, it is not in the power of one generation to form a complete plan of education. The only experimental school which, to some extent, made a beginning in clearing the road, was the Institute at Dessau. This praise at least must be allowed, notwithstanding the many faults which could be brought up against it—faults which are sure to show themselves when we come to the results of our experiments, and which merely prove that fresh experiments are necessary. It was the only school in which teachers had liberty to work according to their own methods and schemes, and where they were in free communication both among themselves and with all learned men throughout Germany."[132]

Writings.—Basedow's chief educational writing is the book called the "Elementary." The "Book of Method" was the first to appear, and was really the first part of the "Elementary." Concerning the "Book of Method," Lang says, "This famous manual was undoubtedly the greatest of Basedow's educational writings.... It was full of valuable suggestions. It set educators to thinking, and has been a powerful motor in bringing about a change in school instruction."

The "Elementary," containing Basedow's complete scheme of education, has been called the "Orbis Pictus of the eighteenth century." The general opinion is that Basedow obtained the root ideas of this work from Comenius, Locke, and Rousseau. There is but little that is original in his pedagogical principles, but he made an effort to carry out the progressive teachings which had entered into the theories of advanced thinkers but had not been worked into practice. Still, the problem of education became through Basedow better understood, and he is deserving of a place among the great educators of the world for his experiment at Dessau toward the solution of that problem. The experiment was crude, but it has borne fruit in modern schools and their methods, in better school buildings and apparatus, in trained teachers, in milder forms of discipline, in the improved study of nature, and in a broader and more philanthropic view of man's duty to his fellow-man.

Jacotot (1770-1840).—Perhaps the most famous of the French educators and writers of this period was Jacotot, for a time professor of languages and mathematics at Paris, and later professor of the French language and literature at Loewen. His principal educational work is entitled "Universal Instruction." Jacotot is best known for his paradoxes, two of the most famous of which are, "Everything is in Everything," and "All men have equal intelligence." But his method rather than his paradoxical statements has proved his greatest contribution to educational progress. His method consisted in the selection of fundamental examples or types, having the pupils commit them to memory, repeating this work daily, amplifying it, deriving the rules or principles in relation to it, until the mastery in all directions is complete. Thus in studying Latin a page of Caesar might be taken and drilled upon until the style, rules of grammar, and meaning of the passage are mastered; in mathematics the fundamental rules,—the Pythagorean theorem must be repeated daily; in geography begin with a map and master all its details. Gain a complete understanding of one subject before taking up another. His method attracted much attention.


[128] Special References, Williams, "History of Modern Education"; Quick, "Educational Reformers," pp. 144, 288; Lang, "Basedow" (Teachers' Manuals, No. 16).

[129] Lang, "Basedow," p. 6.

[130] "Educational Reformers," p. 150.

[131] "Educational Reformers," p. 151.

[132] Kant, "Ueber Paedagogik."



PESTALOZZI (1746-1827)

Literature.De Guimps, Pestalozzi, his Life and Works; Kruesi, Life, Work, and Influence of Pestalozzi; Quick, Educational Reformers; Von Raumer, Life and System of Pestalozzi; Durrell, New Life in Education; Gill, Systems of Education; Skinner, The Schoolmaster in Literature; Barnard, Pestalozzi and Pestalozzianism; Vogel, Geschichte des deutschen Volksschulwesens; Rein, Encyklopaedisches Handbuch der Paedagogik.

Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi was born in Zurich, Switzerland, January 12, 1746. His father was a physician of great intelligence, and his death before the boy reached his sixth year deprived the latter of a wise counselor. The character of the mother is shown by the dying appeal of Pestalozzi's father to his servant Baebeli: "For God's sake and in the name of mercy do not forsake my wife. When I am dead she will be helpless, and my children will fall into the hands of strangers."

Baebeli replied, "I will never leave your wife, if it should please God to take you hence. I will remain with her till death, if she wishes me to do so," a promise which she faithfully kept. Kruesi thinks that, "The sacrifices of a mother for her children do not show more nobility of soul than was displayed by this poor, uneducated girl, who gave up all her worldly interest for a family not her own." Who can say that Pestalozzi himself was not inspired to his long life of devotion to the interests of the lowly by the unselfish consecration of this lowly woman to his family?

Pestalozzi did not care for companions of his own age. He was peculiarly a mother's boy, content to grow up dreamy and impractical at her quiet hearthstone. Consequently he was awkward and reserved, easily imposed upon, and lacking in self-reliance. These qualities remained with him as long as he lived, and caused him many painful failures. On the other hand, the pious example of his mother and the tranquil life he led with her made the boy reflective and imaginative, while his soul became filled with great thoughts for the well-being of mankind. His grandfather, a country pastor, whom he often visited, by his simple, godly life exerted a great influence in shaping Pestalozzi's religious character.

Schooling.—At school he was the butt of ridicule among the scholars because of his awkwardness, his simplicity, and his ingenuousness. His comrades dubbed him "Harry Oddity of Follyville," a nickname that carried no reproach with it, but was intended to express good-natured appreciation of his characteristics. Mr. Quick tells us that "his good nature and obliging disposition gained him many friends. No doubt his friends profited from his willingness to do anything for them. We find that when, on the shock of an earthquake, teachers and scholars alike rushed out of the schoolhouse, Harry Oddity was the boy sent back to fetch out caps and books." While not brilliant as a scholar, he was by no means dull. He was more ready in grasping the content than the form of the subject. Consequently all through life he never overcame his weakness in some of the commonest requirements of education.[133]

Life Purpose.—After completing the work of the elementary schools, he entered the university of Zurich, where he sustained himself with credit. Even while yet a boy he joined a league of students which was intended to resist injustice. Of himself and his fellow-students, he says, "We decided to live for nothing but independence, well-doing, and sacrifice for love of country."

Speaking of society as he saw it, he says, "I saw the unfortunate condition of all mankind, especially of my own countrymen, in all its hollowness. I saw indulgence despoiling the highest moral, spiritual, and civil interests, and sapping the lifeblood of our race as never before in the history of Europe. I saw finally the people of our nation steeped in poverty, misery, and universal want. From youth up the purpose of my life has been to secure to the poor of my country a happier fate by improving and simplifying their educational privileges. But the only sure foundation upon which we may hope to secure national culture and elevate the poor is that of the home where the love of father and mother is the ruling principle. Through the unselfishness, truth, strength, and purity of their love, parents kindle faith in their children. This leads to that implicit obedience which is based on confidence and love."

Love for humanity, desire to ameliorate suffering, and thorough unselfishness furnished the key to Pestalozzi's purpose and lifework.

The Christian Ministry.—It was this lofty purpose that led him first to attempt the work of the Christian ministry, a work which his aged grandfather encouraged. But he failed in his first sermon, and at once decided that he had mistaken his calling. Kruesi[134] says that "he stopped short in his sermon and made mistakes in the Lord's Prayer. This may have been due to embarrassment, which made the young minister forget the sermon which he had been obliged to commit to memory. More likely, however, it was an exalted idea of the proper qualifications of a clergyman, compared with his own humble merits, which induced him to exchange the study of theology for that of law."

The Law.—His motive in devoting himself to law was the same that had led him to the ministry,—his desire to be a blessing to his fellow-beings. He saw the peasantry cheated and imposed upon because of their ignorance, and determined to become their champion. Kruesi thinks that his study of the law must "have produced negative results by showing him the insufficiency of human legislation to do away with abuses, unless supported by principles of charity and justice." He therefore gave up this enterprise also.

Farming.—The advice of a dying friend, Bluntschli, "Never embark in any operation which might become dangerous to your peace of mind, because of the simplicity and tenderness of your disposition," may have had its effect upon Pestalozzi. He now entered upon his third venture. Having induced a wealthy firm in Zurich to advance him money, he bought about one hundred acres of unimproved land in the canton of Aargau, where he proposed to raise madder as a means of profit. Once more his real purpose was philanthropic, as he intended to show the poor peasants improved methods of farming whereby they could obtain better results for their labor and thereby be enabled to live more comfortably. He named the place Neuhof.

Marriage.—At this time he had just passed his twenty-first year. We pause to mention an event that had much to do with his happiness and with his later life. He had made the acquaintance of Anna Schulthess, a young lady of considerable means, and sought her hand in marriage. His letter to her, proposing marriage, is remarkable for its frankness, for the ingenuous confession of his own weaknesses, and for its correct estimate of himself. A few quotations from this letter must suffice.[135] "My failings, which appear to me the most important in relation to the future, are improvidence, want of caution, and want of that presence of mind which is necessary to meet unexpected changes in my future prospects. I hope, by continued exertions, to overcome them; but know that I still possess them to a degree that does not allow me to conceal them from the maiden I love.... I am further bound to confess that I shall place the duties toward my fatherland in advance of those to my wife, and that, although I mean to be a tender husband, I shall be inexorable even to the tears of my wife, if they should ever try to detain me from performing my duties as a citizen, to their fullest extent. My wife shall be the confidant of my heart, the partner of all my most secret counsel. A great and holy simplicity shall reign in my house.... My dear friend, I love you so tenderly and fervently that this confession has cost me much, since it may even take from me the hope of winning you."

Anna was not discouraged by the picture which the man she loved drew of himself, and she consented to become his wife. They were married in his twenty-fourth year, and thus began a long period of happy wedded life that extended over fifty years. Quick tells us that "the forebodings of the letter were amply realized, ... and yet we may well believe that Madame Pestalozzi never repented of her choice."

Neuhof.—But to return to Pestalozzi's experiment in farming, matters had not progressed well. The Zurich capitalists became suspicious, and after an investigation decided to withdraw their support, thus precipitating failure. Of this Pestalozzi himself says, "The cause of the failure of my undertaking lay essentially and exclusively in myself, and in my pronounced incapacity for every kind of undertaking which requires practical ability." One cannot fail to admire the energy and courage of the man, who, conscious of his own weakness, still persevered in great enterprises until he achieved success.

It was not for himself, but for humanity, that Pestalozzi labored, and no discouragement could daunt, no failure defeat, no lack of appreciation or misunderstanding check, the ardor of his zeal for the great work that absorbed his life. Around him were men and women in poverty and misery, whose children were growing up in vice and ignorance, to perpetuate the evils under which their parents suffered. With the spirit of his divine Master, Pestalozzi sought to elevate and bless those around him.

Accordingly, after the failure caused by the withdrawal of the financial support heretofore mentioned, he started again at Neuhof, using his wife's money. He opened an "industrial school for the poor," which Kruesi calls "the first school of its kind ever conceived, and the mother of hundreds now existing on both sides of the Atlantic." This was in 1775. He gathered fifty children together, and fed, clothed, housed, and taught them without compensation; in return for this they were to work in the fields in summer and at spinning in the winter. But this experiment also was doomed to bring disappointment. The children were lazy, shiftless, and dishonest; their work was of little use to Pestalozzi, because of their lack of skill and their bad habits. They would often run away as soon as they were well fed and had a new suit of clothes. Parents were unappreciative and dissatisfied, demanding pay for the labor of their children. Was there ever a more discouraging situation than this which Pestalozzi had to confront, when people demanded pay for accepting the philanthropic and unselfish measures taken for the good of their children and for their own elevation?

This could not continue long, and in 1780 Pestalozzi was obliged to close his school. He found himself badly in debt, with his wife's property gone. But even under these overwhelming misfortunes he says, "My failure showed me the truth of my plans," and this has long since been verified, both in his ideas of farming and in the industrial school.

Authorship.—The next eighteen years, though passed by Pestalozzi in extreme poverty, were not unfruitful. He began to write pamphlets and books, the first book being, "The Evening Hours of a Hermit," which appeared in 1780. His second book, "Leonard and Gertrude,"[136] was published the year following. It created great interest and brought Pestalozzi immediate fame. The government of Berne presented him a gold medal, which, however, he was obliged to sell to procure the necessities of life for his family. In "Leonard and Gertrude" Pestalozzi gives a homely and touching picture of life among the lowly, and shows how a good woman uses her opportunities for uplifting and educating, first her own family, and then her neighbors. In this work she is aided by the village schoolmaster and the magistrate, who are inspired by her example and leadership. Pestalozzi wrote several other books during this period, but none to equal "Leonard and Gertrude."

Stanz.—In the meantime, the French Revolution broke out, and Pestalozzi, influenced by the writings of Rousseau, became an ardent champion of the new order of things. He seems to have acquired considerable political influence, as the Directors of the Government of Switzerland thought it necessary to win him to their cause by giving him a political office. They therefore asked him what office he wanted, and he replied, "I want to be a schoolmaster." Accordingly, when the French had pillaged the inhabitants and burned their homes, Pestalozzi was sent to Stanz,—the only village left in the canton of Nidwalden,—to establish a school.[137] Now for the first time he found himself in the calling for which his whole nature had yearned, for which he was peculiarly suited, and in which he was destined to become famous.

At the age of fifty-three Pestalozzi began his work at Stanz. The government gave him an empty convent in which to hold his school, and, before it was ready for occupancy, children flocked to it for admission. The devastation of the land by the French and the consequent lack of the necessities of life among the people increased the difficulties of Pestalozzi's task. His own description of the beginning of his work is full of eloquence. Speaking of the school, he says, "I was among them from morning till evening. Everything tending to benefit body and soul I administered with my own hand. Every assistance, every lesson they received, came from me. My hand was joined to theirs, and my smile accompanied theirs. They seemed out of the world and away from Stanz; they were with me and I with them. We shared food and drink. I had no household, no friends, no servants around me; I had only them. Was their health good, I enjoyed it with them; were they sick, I stood at their side. I slept in their midst. I was the last to go to bed and the first to rise. I prayed with them, and taught them in bed till they fell asleep." How true is the saying that, "He lived with beggars in order that beggars might learn to live like men."

Thus living with them, teaching them, inspiring them to be good, devoting his whole thought to their welfare, Pestalozzi, who was described as "either a good-natured fool, or a poor devil, who was compelled, by indigence, to perform the menial office of schoolmaster," began a work that has revolutionized educational method.

But the same discouragements that had met him at Neuhof attended him at Stanz. Parents brought their children to the asylum only to be clothed, and then removed them upon the slightest pretexts. Nevertheless, the work of Pestalozzi at Stanz was not a failure, though the school was rendered houseless by the French soldiers in 1799, and had to be abandoned after less than five months' existence. Kruesi comments upon this period of Pestalozzi's life as follows: "Let those who now witness the mighty changes that have taken place in education pay grateful tribute to the man who first took up arms against the hollow systems of the old school routine, and who showed the path to those delightful regions of thought, in whose well-tilled soil rich harvests will ever be reaped by the patient laborer.

"To the philanthropist and friend of education, Stanz will always be a hallowed spot, exhibiting, as it does, the picture of this venerable teacher sitting among the outcast children, animated by the very spirit of Christ, and by a great idea which not only filled his own soul, but also inspired those who witnessed his labors."[138]

Burgdorf.—But Stanz proved the turning point in Pestalozzi's career. He was soon chosen assistant teacher at Burgdorf. His experience at Stanz, without books and without appliances, had compelled him to invent methods of interesting the children. He was thus brought to the use of objects, and here we have the beginning of practical object teaching. It was not long, however, before the head master of the school became jealous of him because he secured the attention and affection of the pupils, and Pestalozzi's dismissal was obtained on the ground that he did not know how to read and spell correctly, a charge which, as we have seen, was without doubt true. As to his method of teaching, Ramsauer, one of his pupils, tells us that "there was no regular plan, not any time-table.... As Pestalozzi, in his zeal, did not tie himself to any particular time, we generally went on until eleven o'clock with whatever we commenced at eight, and by ten o'clock he was always tired and hoarse. We knew when it was eleven by the noise of the other school children in the street, and then we usually all ran out without bidding good-by." Certainly no one will commend such schoolroom practice, and at first glance Pestalozzi would seem to merit only censure; but his enthusiasm, his zeal for the good of his fellow-beings, and his consciousness of possessing the truth triumphed over his lack of system as well as over other obstacles. The school committee of Burgdorf appreciated this, as is shown by their report. "He (Pestalozzi) has shown what powers are hidden in the feeble child, and in what manner they can be developed. The pupils have made astonishing progress in some branches, thereby proving that every child is capable of doing something if the teacher is able to draw out his talent, and awaken the powers of his mind in the order of their natural development."

Upon his dismissal from this position he united with Hermann Kruesi in founding a private school. Pupils increased in numbers, and at last Pestalozzi was on the road to success as well as fame. He gathered a strong corps of teachers about him, who not only contributed to the success of the institution, but sat at the feet of their recognized master, and loyally supported his measures. During his life at Burgdorf, he issued his work entitled "How Gertrude teaches her Children" (1801), in which he attempts to give his system of education. "A work," says Professor Hunziker,[139] "whose contents in no way meet the demands of the subtitle." (The full title is, "How Gertrude teaches her Children; an Attempt to direct Mothers how to teach their own Children.")

Yverdon.—In 1804 Pestalozzi was obliged to vacate his quarters at Burgdorf, and after some hesitation he moved his school to Yverdon, into an old fortress, "which," says Kruesi, "having stood many a siege of invading armies, was now captured by a schoolmaster; and it was henceforth to become more formidable in its attack upon ignorance, than it had before been in its defense of liberty." At Yverdon Pestalozzi was enabled to carry out the principles of education which he had so long held, and this place must be recognized as the Mecca of Pestalozzianism. His success at Burgdorf had drawn to him the attention of the world, and now educators, philosophers, and princes began to study his theories, while many visited the institution to witness its peculiar workings. Without doubt the many visitors seriously disturbed the work, as Pestalozzi took great pains to show what his pupils could do, especially when men of influence came. During the first five years there was great prosperity, the number of students reaching one hundred and fifty. Pestalozzi usually arose at two in the morning, and commenced literary work; and his example was followed by his teachers, one of whom testifies, "There were years in which not one of us was found in bed after three o'clock, and summer and winter we worked from three to six in the morning."[140]

At first the teachers were thoroughly united, cordially carrying out the teachings of "Father Pestalozzi." But after a time private ambitions and personal jealousies crept in and destroyed harmony. Many of the best teachers left and the school was closed.[141] In 1825, after an existence of twenty years, the institute at Yverdon was abandoned, and once more Pestalozzi saw the apparent failure of his hopes. He died two years later, at the age of eighty-one.

Mr. Quick comments upon this event as follows: "Thus the sun went down in clouds, and the old man, when he died at the age of eighty,[142] in 1829,[143] had seen the apparent failure of all his toils. He had not, however, failed in reality. It has been said of him that his true function was to educate ideas, not children, and when twenty years later the centenary of his birth was celebrated by schoolmasters, not only in his native country, but throughout Germany, it was found that Pestalozzian ideas had been sown, and were bearing fruit, over the greater part of central Europe."[144]

Professor Hunziker says of Pestalozzi's influence, "Eighty years have passed since Pestalozzi was laid in the grave. The social thinker, who pointed out the way of reform for humanity in his 'Leonard and Gertrude,' who attempted to solve the enigmas and inequalities of social life in his 'Inquiries concerning the Course of Nature in the Development of Mankind,' is almost forgotten. But the name of Pestalozzi shines brighter than ever in the field of pedagogics. In every branch of education we hear the warning cry, return to Pestalozzi! Let the watchword for the future be: Pestalozzi forever!"[145]

Summary of Pestalozzi's Work.—No one can study the history of Pestalozzi without discovering the secret of his educational purpose. It is revealed in every enterprise he undertook, in every book he wrote, in his whole lifework.[146] Let us briefly sum up the work he accomplished:—

1. He showed how the theories of Comenius and Rousseau could be applied. By this a decided impulse was given to educational reform, and the way was prepared for the wonderful educational revival of the present century.

2. His greatest pedagogical principle is that education consists in the harmonious development of all the human powers.

3. Development should follow the order of nature. While he doubtless borrowed this thought from Rousseau, unlike Rousseau he held that the order of nature requires the child to be taught with other children.

4. All knowledge is obtained through the senses by the self-activity of the child.

5. Instruction should be based on observation, especially with young children. Hence objects must be freely used. There are three classes of object lessons,—those applying to form, to number, and to speech. Mr. Quick says, "By his object lessons Pestalozzi aimed at,—(1) enlarging gradually the sphere of the child's intuition, that is, increasing the number of objects falling under his immediate perception; (2) impressing upon him those perceptions of which he had become conscious, with certainty, clearness, and precision; (3) imparting to him a comprehensive knowledge of language for the expression of whatever had become or was becoming an object of his consciousness, in consequence either of the spontaneous impulse of his own nature, or of the assistance of tuition."

6. The mother is the natural educator of the child in its early years. "Maternal love is the first agent in education; ... through it the child is led to love and trust his Creator and his Redeemer." It follows, therefore, that mothers should be educated.

7. He illustrated his principles in his methods of instruction. He employed the phonic method in spelling;[147] made use of objects in teaching number; graded the work according to the capacity of the children; taught drawing, language, composition, etc., by use, thus illustrating one of the aphorisms of Comenius,—"We learn to do by doing."

8. But the greatest lesson that Pestalozzi taught is embodied in the word love. He loved little children, he loved the distressed and lowly, he loved all his fellow-men. By the spirit which actuated him, by the methods of instruction employed, by a life of disappointment and apparent failure, by the appreciation of his service after he had gone to his rest, by the accelerated growth of his teachings throughout the world, he more closely resembles the Great Teacher than any other man that has ever lived. Dr. Harris says, "He is the first teacher to announce convincingly the doctrine that all people should be educated,—that, in fact, education is the one good gift to give to all, whether rich or poor."[148] Hence there is no character in educational history more worthy of study and more inspiring to the teacher than Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi.


[133] In regard to the criticisms made against him at Burgdorf, Pestalozzi says: "It was whispered that I myself could not write, nor work accounts, nor even read properly. Popular reports are not always entirely wrong. It is true I could not write, nor read, nor work accounts well."

[134] "Life, Work, and Influence of Pestalozzi," p. 17.

[135] Both Quick and Kruesi give this letter in full.

[136] "Schoolmaster in Literature," pp. 83-110.

[137] See Kruesi, p. 28, for an account of his appointment.

[138] "Pestalozzi," p. 36.

[139] "Encyklopaedisches Handbuch der Paedagogik," Vol. V, p. 315.

[140] "Encyklopaedisches Handbuch," Vol. V, p. 319.

[141] Kruesi, whose father was associated with Pestalozzi, gives a full account of these dissensions. He also tells many interesting incidents connected with Pestalozzi and his school at Yverdon, p. 45.

[142] Should be eighty-one.

[143] 1827.

[144] "Educational Reformers," p. 183.

[145] "Encyklopaedisches Handbuch," Vol. V, p. 320.

[146] "In him the most interesting thing is his life."—QUICK.

[147] Not original with Pestalozzi,—see Port Royalists.

[148] For statement of his principles, see Compayre, p. 438; Williams, p. 312; Kruesi, p. 169.



FROEBEL (1782-1852)

Literature.Lange, Collected Writings of F. Froebel; Kriege, Friedrich Froebel; Bowen, Froebel and Education by Self-activity; Herford, The Student's Froebel; Froebel, Education of Man; Quick, Educational Reformers; Munroe, Educational Ideal; Williams, History of Modern Education; Marenholtz-Buelow, Reminiscences of F. Froebel; Rein, Encyklopaedisches Handbuch der Paedagogik.

Friedrich Wilhelm August Froebel was born at Oberweisbach, a village in the beautiful Thueringian Forest of Germany. The first ten years of his life were spent at home under the instruction of his father, who was a Lutheran clergyman and had six villages under his pastorate. The many cares of his office prevented the pastor from giving his son much attention, and as the stepmother neither understood the boy, nor took much interest in him, he spent most of his time in the woods, with birds and flowers as his companions, and received far less rudimentary training than most boys of his age. But at the age of ten an important change took place in his life. He went to live with his mother's brother, who sent him to school for four years. Here he was taught the elementary branches and a little Latin. He tells us of the profound impression made upon him the first day of school by the text of Scripture that the children repeated. It was, "Seek ye first the kingdom of God." He says, "The verse made an impression on me like nothing before or since. Indeed, this impression was so lively and deep, that to-day every word lives fresh in my memory with the peculiar accent with which it was spoken; and yet since that time nearly forty years have elapsed." His progress in the school does not seem to have been very great.

At fourteen he returned to his father's home, and soon thereafter was apprenticed to a forester. Here he was entirely in his element, and he tells of four aspects of this life: "The homelier and more practical life; the life spent with nature, especially forest nature; the life of study, devoted to mathematics and languages, for which he found a good supply of books ready to hand; and the time spent in gaining a knowledge of plants, in which he was much helped by books on botany lent him by a neighboring doctor."[149] But he obtained little help from the forester, so at the end of three years Froebel withdrew, and soon thereafter entered the university of Jena. He seems to have studied hard during the year and a half he spent at Jena, but to have accomplished little. He became involved in debt, and was imprisoned for nine weeks in the university "Carcer."[150] After his liberation, he left the university.

As Teacher.—Meeting with little success in various enterprises in which he engaged, he at last drifted to Frankfurt-am-Main, where he made the acquaintance of Dr. Gruner, head master of the Model School. Dr. Gruner quickly discovered Froebel's talent, and urged him to accept a position under him as teacher. Froebel reluctantly consented, but in speaking later of his first experience in the schoolroom, he says, "It seemed as if I had found something I had never known, but always longed for, always missed; as if my life had at last discovered its native element. I felt as happy as the fish in the water, the bird in the air."

Although Froebel succeeded at once in his new profession, thereby justifying Dr. Gruner's opinion of him, he felt that he needed special preparation for the work of teaching. Accordingly, in 1808, after two years' experience in teaching, having in the meantime visited Pestalozzi at Yverdon, and having read his works, he gave up his position and joined the institute at Yverdon.

He took with him three of his pupils to tutor, and "it thus happened," he tells us, "that I was there both as teacher and scholar, educator and pupil." Froebel spent two years at Yverdon, and his testimony concerning Pestalozzi is interesting. He says, "He set one's soul on fire for a higher and nobler life, though he had not made clear or sure the exact road toward it, nor indicated the means whereby to attain it." This sums up in a word the secret and extent of Pestalozzi's power. Dittes thinks that "the origin of the kindergarten is due to the pedagogical revival of Pestalozzi." Froebel himself, speaking of his experience at Yverdon, says, "I studied the boys' play, the whole series of games in the open air, and learned to recognize their mighty power to awaken and to strengthen the intelligence and the soul as well as the body." Here we find the first suggestion of the kindergarten, which has made Froebel famous.

After leaving Yverdon, Froebel spent about two years at the universities of Goettingen and Berlin in furthering his preparation for educational reform, to which he had devoted himself. In 1813 war for German liberty broke out, and Froebel, with many other students, enlisted. It is not the purpose here to follow his fortunes as a soldier, but while in the army he made the acquaintance of two young men who afterward became associated with him in educational enterprise,—Wilhelm Middendorff and Heinrich Langethal.

His First School.—In 1816 Froebel opened his first school at Griesheim, under the high-sounding title of "Universal German Educational Institute." At first he had his five nephews as his only pupils. Soon after, the school was removed to Keilhau, near Rudolstadt, in the Thueringian Forest. Here he was joined by his old friends Middendorff and Langethal. This institution continued for a number of years with some success, until 1833, when Froebel removed to Burgdorf, Switzerland. The Prussian government, far from giving encouragement to the institution at Keilhau, had regarded it with suspicion. A commission was sent by the government to examine the institution, and although the report was highly complimentary to Froebel's work,[151] the persecution did not cease. In 1851 the government prohibited kindergartens, as forming "a part of the Froebelian socialistic system, the aim of which is to teach children atheism"; and this decree was in force till 1860!

Indeed, to this day, Prussia does not regard the kindergarten as an educational institution, nor does she give aid to it as such. The kindergarten is officially recognized as a sort of day nursery, its teachers are not licensed,—hence have no official standing,—and "everything that pertains to the work of the elementary schools, every specific preparation for the work of the latter, must be strictly excluded, and these schools can in no way be allowed to take the character of institutions of learning. Especially can neither reading nor arithmetic be allowed a place in them."[152]

But Froebel received more encouragement in Switzerland. He admitted children from four to six years of age, and organized a teachers' class to study his theories. Although Froebel did not remain long in Switzerland, that land proved congenial to his ideas, and the kindergarten has flourished there from his time to the present. Great credit is due to this country, which extended its hospitality to the two great educational modern reformers, Pestalozzi and Froebel!

The Kindergarten.—Mr. Herford says of Froebel's institution at Burgdorf, that, "Here we recognize the rise of the kindergarten, not yet so named."[153] The name came to Froebel a few years later as an inspiration. He had returned to Keilhau and opened a school in the neighboring town of Blankenburg. For a long time he had been pondering over a suitable name for the new institution. "While taking a walk one day with Middendorff and Barof to Blankenburg over the Steiger Pass, Froebel kept repeating, 'Oh, if I could only think of a good name for my youngest born!' Blankenburg lay at our feet, and he walked moodily toward it. Suddenly he stood still as if riveted to the spot, and his eyes grew wonderfully bright. Then he shouted to the mountain so that it echoed to the four winds, 'Eureka! Kindergarten shall the institute be called!'"

But, like Pestalozzi, Froebel was wholly incapable of financial management, and the institution at Blankendorf had to be closed. He devoted the remainder of his life to lecturing upon his theories in different parts of Germany. He appealed to mothers, and endeavored to instruct them in the duty of training young children. He taught that the mother is the natural teacher of the child, and that it is her duty to fit herself for the sacred responsibility that God has placed upon her. Froebel's greatest discovery was that education comes only through self-activity, though he never clearly formulated his discovery. The Baroness Bertha von Marenholtz-Buelow has published one of the best accounts of his life and work.[154]

The "Education of Man."—Froebel gives his philosophy of education in his "Education of Man," but his most popular work is "Songs for Mother and Nursery." His chief contribution to the work of educational reform is the kindergarten, an institution that has been ingrafted upon the school systems of many lands, and that is destined to become ever increasingly potent for good. In no country in the world has the kindergarten taken so strong a hold and made so great progress as in America. The purpose of the kindergarten, according to Froebel himself, is, "to take the oversight of children before they are ready for school life; to exert an influence over their whole being in correspondence with its nature; to strengthen their bodily powers; to exercise their senses; to employ the awakening mind; to make them thoughtfully acquainted with the world of nature and of man; to guide their heart and soul in the right direction, and to lead them to the Origin of all life, and to unison with Him."


[149] Bowen, "Froebel," p. 11.

[150] For a part of this debt Froebel's brother, also a student, was responsible. The amount of the debt was less than twenty-five dollars.

[151] The sole recommendation of the commission that might be interpreted as a criticism was that the boys should have their hair cut! See Bowen's "Froebel," p. 26, for the full report of the visiting commission.

[152] Rescript from the Prussian Minister of Education, April 7, 1884.

[153] "The Student's Froebel," XV.

[154] "Handbuch der Froebelischen Erziehungslehre," "Reminiscences of Friedrich Froebel, Child and Child-nature."



HERBART (1776-1841)

Literature.De Garmo, Herbart and the Herbartians; Felkin, Introduction to Herbart; Van Liew, Life of Herbart and Development of his Pedagogical Doctrines; Yearbooks of the Herbart Society; Lange, Apperception; Rein, Outlines of Pedagogics; also, Encyklopaedisches Handbuch der Paedagogik; Willmann, Herbart's paedagogische Schriften.

It is probable that no system of pedagogy is attracting so much attention and awakening so much interest at the present time as that of Herbart. Professor Rein says, "He who nowadays will aspire to the highest pedagogical knowledge, cannot neglect to make a thorough study of Herbart's pedagogy." Johann Friedrich Herbart was born at Oldenburg, May 4, 1776. His grandfather was rector of the Gymnasium at Oldenburg for thirty-four years; his father was a high official under the government; but his mother seems to have wielded the most influence over him. She watched over his studies with greatest care, and, indeed, studied Greek herself to spur him on. Though gentle and mild, she was firm in discipline. The father was satisfied to leave the direction of the education of his son to her. There was, however, little sympathy between the father and mother, and there were frequent family dissensions, that must have had a bad influence on the lad. These disagreements finally led to a separation. A tutor employed for Herbart at this period developed in him a speculative tendency and taught him the power of forcible expression. Herbart learned to play on several musical instruments, and at the age of eleven displayed considerable talent as a pianist.

When twelve years of age he entered the Gymnasium at Oldenburg, and six years later completed the course. He entered the university of Jena in 1794 and became a student of Fichte, who was sure to inspire a young man of Herbart's philosophical bent. His attention seems to have been directed to educational questions, though he had not yet decided to be a teacher.[155]

As Teacher.—After three years at Jena, Herbart became tutor (Hauslehrer) in the family of Herr von Steiger, governor of Interlaken. This was his only experience in teaching children. "Herbart's experience as a teacher," says De Garmo, "would seem too small a thing to mention—some two or three years in a private family in Switzerland with three children aged respectively eight, twelve, and fourteen. Yet to a man who can see an oak tree in an acorn, who can understand all minds from the study of a few, such an experience may be most fruitful." It is certain that Herbart often drew upon this experience in his later writings. While in Switzerland he visited Pestalozzi, with whom he was deeply impressed. Opinions differ as to the harmony of theory between Pestalozzi and Herbart. Professor Rein thinks that, "In the ideas of Pestalozzi are found the outlines of Herbart's pedagogical structure."

Having decided to devote himself to academic teaching, he gave up his position in Switzerland and went to Bremen for further study. During the two years spent there, he wrote several essays on educational subjects, but gave his chief attention to the study of Greek and mathematics.

As Professor.—In 1802 he took the first step in his academic career as Privat Docent at the university of Goettingen. This with him was a period of great literary activity.[156] In 1809, he was called to the chair of philosophy at Koenigsberg once occupied by Kant. He calls this "the most renowned chair of philosophy, the place which when a boy I longed for in reverential dreams, as I studied the works of the sage of Koenigsberg."[157]

Previous Part     1  2  3  4  5  6  7     Next Part
Home - Random Browse