Sec. 97. For youth and maidens, especially as they approach manhood and womanhood, the cultivation of the imagination must allow the earnestness of actuality to manifest itself in its undisguised energy. This earnestness, no longer through the symbolism of play but in its objective reality, must now thoroughly penetrate the conceptions of the youth so that it shall prepare him to seize hold of the machinery of active life. Instead of the all-embracing Epos they should now read Tragedy, whose purifying process, through the alternation of fear and pity, unfolds to the youth the secret of all human destiny, sin and its expiation. The works best adapted to lead to history on this side are those of biography—of ancient times, Plutarch; of modern times, the autobiographies of Augustine, Cellini, Rousseau, Goethe, Varnhagen, Jung Stilling, Moritz, Arndt, &c. These autobiographies contain a view of the growth of individuality through its inter-action with the influences of its time, and, together with the letters and memoirs of great or at least noteworthy men, tend to produce a healthy excitement in the youth, who must learn to fight his own battles through a knowledge of the battles of others. To introduce the youth to a knowledge of Nature and Ethnography no means are better than those of books of travel which give the charm of first contact, the joy of discovery, instead of the general consciousness of the conquests of mind.
—If educative literature on the one hand broadens the field of knowledge, on the other it may also promote its elaboration into ideal forms. This happens, in a strict sense, through philosophical literature. But only two different species of this are to be recommended to youth: (1) well-written treatises which endeavor to solve a single problem with spirit and thoroughness; or, (2) when the intelligence has grown strong enough for it, the classical works of a real philosopher. German literature is fortunately very rich in treatises of this kind in the works of Lessing, Herder, Kant, Fichte, Schleiermacher, Humboldt, and Schiller. But nothing does more harm to youth than the study of works of mediocrity, or those of a still lower rank. They stupefy and narrow the mind by their empty, hollow, and constrained style. It is generally supposed that these standard works are too difficult, and that one must first seize them in this trivial and diluted form in order to understand them. This is one of the most prevalent and most dangerous errors, for these Introductions or Explanations, easily-comprehended Treatises, Summary Abstracts, are, because of their want of originality and of the acuteness which belongs to it, much more difficult to understand than the standard work itself from which they drain their supplies. Education must train the youth to the courage which will attempt standard works, and it must not allow any such miserable preconceived opinions to grow up in his mind as that his understanding is totally unable to comprehend works like Fichte's "Science of Knowledge," the "Metaphysics" of Aristotle, or Hegel's "Phenomenology." No science suffers so much as Philosophy from this false popular opinion, which understands neither itself nor its authority. The youth must learn how to learn to understand, and, in order to do this, he must know that one cannot immediately understand everything in its finest subdivisions, and that on this account he must have patience, and must resolve to read over and over again, and to think over what he has read.—
Sec. 98. (3) Imagination returns again within itself to perception in that it replaces, for conceptions, perceptions themselves, which are to remind it of the previous conception. These perceptions may resemble in some way the perception which lies at the basis of the conception, and be thus more or less symbolical; or they may be merely arbitrary creations of the creative imagination, and are in this case pure signs. In common speech and writing, we call the free retaining of these perceptions created by imagination, and the recalling of the conceptions denoted by them, Memory. It is by no means a particular faculty of the mind, which is again subdivided into memory of persons, names, numbers, &c. As to its form, memory is the stage of the dissolution of conception; but as to its content, it arises from the interest which we take in a subject-matter. From this interest results, moreover, careful attention, and from this latter, facility in the reproductive imagination. If these acts have preceded, the fixing of a name, or of a number, in which the content interesting us is as it were summed up, is not difficult. When interest and attention animate us, it seems as if we did not need to be at all troubled about remembering anything. All the so-called mnemonic helps only serve to make more difficult the act of memory. This act is in itself a double function, consisting of, first, the fixing of the sign, and second, the fixing of the conception subsumed under it. Since the mnemonic technique adds to these one more conception, through whose means the things with which we have to deal are to be fixed in order to be able freely to express them in us, it trebles the functions of remembering, and forgets that the mediation of these and their relation—wholly arbitrary and highly artificial—must also be remembered. The true help of memory consists in not helping it at all, but in simply taking up the object into the ideal regions of the mind by the force of the infinite self-determination which mind possesses.
—Lists of names, as e.g. of the Roman emperors, of the popes, of the caliphs, of rivers, mountains, authors, cities, &c.; also numbers, as e.g. the multiplication table, the melting points of minerals, the dates of battles, of births and deaths, &c., must be learned without aid. All indirect means only serve to do harm here, and are required as self-discovered mediation only in case that interest or attention has become weakened.—
Sec. 99. The means to be used, which result from the nature of memory itself, are on the one hand the pronouncing and writing of the names and numbers, and on the other, repetition; by these we gain distinctness and certainty.
—All artificial contrivances for quickening the memory vanish in comparison with the art of writing, in so far as this is not looked at as a means of relieving the memory. That a name or a number should be this or that, is a mere chance for the intelligence, an entirely meaningless accident to which we have unconditionally to submit ourselves as unalterable. The intelligence must be accustomed to put upon itself this constraint. In science proper, especially in Philosophy, our reason helps to produce one thought from others by means of the context, and we can discover names for the ideas from them.—
III. The Logical Epoch.
Sec. 100. In Conception there is attained a universality of intellectual action in so far as the empirical details are referred to a Schema, as Kant called it. But the necessity of the connection is wanting to it. To produce this is the task of the thinking activity, which frees itself from all representations, and with its clearly defined determinations transcends conceptions. The Thinking activity frees itself from all sensuous representations by means of the processes of Conception and Perception. Comprehension, Judgment, and Syllogism, develop for themselves into forms which, as such, have no power of being perceived by the senses. But it does not follow from this that he who thinks cannot return out of the thinking activity and carry it with him into the sphere of Conception and Perception. The true thinking activity deprives itself of no content. The abstraction affecting a logical purism which looks down upon Conception and Perception as forms of intelligence quite inferior to itself, is a pseudo-thinking, a morbid and scholastic error. Education will be the better on its guard against this the more it has led the pupil by the legitimate road of Perception and Conception to Thinking. Memorizing especially is an excellent preparatory school for the Thinking activity, because it gives practice to the intelligence in exercising itself in abstract ideas.
Sec. 101. The fostering of the Sense of Truth from the earliest years up, is the surest way of leading the pupil to gain the power of thinking. The unprejudiced, disinterested yielding to Truth, as well as the effort to shun all deception and false seeming, are of the greatest value in strengthening the power of reflection, as this considers nothing of value but the actually existing objective circumstances.
—The indulging an illusion as a pleasing recreation of the intelligence should be allowed, while lying must not be tolerated. Children have a natural inclination for mystifications, for masquerades, for raillery, and for theatrical performances, &c. This inclination to illusion is perfectly normal with them, and should be permitted. The graceful kingdom of Art is developed from it, as also the poetry of conversation in jest and wit. Although this sometimes becomes stereotyped into very prosaic conventional forms of speech, it is more tolerable than the awkward honesty which takes everything in its simple literal sense. And it is easy to discover whether children in such play, in the activity of free joyousness, incline to the side of mischief by their showing a desire of satisfying their selfish interest. Then they must be checked, for in that case the cheerfulness of harmless joking gives way to premeditation and dissimulation.—
Sec. 102. An acquaintance with logical forms is to be recommended as a special educational help in the culture of intelligence. The study of Mathematics does not suffice, because it presupposes Logic. Mathematics is related to Logic in the same way as Grammar, the Physical Sciences, &c. The logical forms must be known explicitly in their pure independent forms, and not merely in their implicit state as immanent in objective forms.
The Logical Presupposition or Method.
Sec. 103. The logical presupposition of instruction is the order in which the subject-matter develops for the consciousness. The subject, the consciousness of the pupil, and the activity of the instructor, interpenetrate each other in instruction, and constitute in actuality one whole.
Sec. 104. (1) First of all, the subject which is to be learned has a specific determinateness which demands in its representation a certain fixed order. However arbitrary we may desire to be, the subject has a certain self-determination of its own which no mistreatment can wholly crush out, and this inherent immortal reason is the general foundation of instruction.
—To illustrate; however one may desire to manipulate a language in teaching it, he cannot change the words in it, or the inflections of the declensions and conjugations. And the same restriction is laid upon our inclinations in the different divisions of Natural History, in the theorems of Arithmetic, Geometry, &c. The theorem of Pascal remains still the theorem of Pascal, and will always remain so.—
Sec. 105. (2) But the subject must be adapted to the consciousness of the pupil, and here the order of procedure and the exposition depend upon the stage which he has reached intellectually, for the special manner of the instruction must be conditioned by this. If he is in the stage of perception, we must use the illustrative method; if in the stage of conception, that of combination; and if in the stage of reflection that of demonstration. The first exhibits the object directly, or some representation of it; the second considers it according to the different possibilities which exist in it, and turns it around on all sides; the third questions the necessity of the connection in which it stands either with itself or with others. This is the natural order from the stand-point of the scientific intelligence: first, the object is presented to the perception; then combination presents its different phases; and, finally, the thinking activity circumscribes the restlessly moving reflection by the idea of necessity. Experiment in the method of combination is an excellent means for a discovery of relations, for a sharpening of the attention, for the arousing of a many-sided interest; but it is no true dialectic, though it be often denoted by that name.
—Illustration is especially necessary in the natural sciences and also in aesthetics, because in both of these departments the sensuous is an essential element of the matter dealt with. In this respect we have made great progress in charts and maps. Sydow's hand and wall maps and Berghaus's physical atlas are most excellent means of illustrative instruction; also Burmeister's zooelogical atlas.—
Sec. 106. The demonstrative method, in order to bring about its proof of necessity, has a choice of many different ways. But we must not imagine, either that there are an unlimited number, and that it is only a chance which one we shall take; or that they have no connection among themselves, and run, as it were, side by side. It is not, however, the business of Pedagogics to develop different methods of proof; this belongs to Logic. We have only to remember that, logically taken, proof must be analytic, synthetic, or dialectic. Analysis begins with the single one, and leads out of it by induction to the general principle from which its existence results. Synthesis, on the contrary, begins with a general which is presupposed as true, and leads from this through deduction to the special determinations which were implicit in it. The regressive search of analysis for a determining principle is Invention; the forward progress of synthesis from the simple elements seeking for the multiplicity of the single one is Construction. Each, in its result, passes over into the other; but their truth is found in the dialectic method, which in each phase allows unity to separate into diversity and diversity to return into unity. While in the analytic as well as in the synthetic method the mediation of the individual with the general, or of the general with the individual, lets the phase of particularity be only subjectively connected with it in the dialectic method, we have the going over of the general through the particular to the individual, or to the self-determination of the idea, and it therefore rightly claims the title of the genetic method. We can also say that while the inventive method gives us the idea (notion) and the constructive the judgment, the genetic gives us the syllogism which leads the determinations of reflection back again into substantial identity.
Sec. 107. (3) The active mediation of the pupil with the content which is to be impressed upon his consciousness is the work of the teacher, whose personality creates a method adapted to the individual; for however clearly the subject may be defined, however exactly the psychological stage of the pupil may be regulated, the teacher cannot dispense with the power of his own individuality even in the most objective relations. This individuality must penetrate the whole with its own exposition, and that peculiarity which we call his manner, and which cannot be determined a priori, must appear. The teacher must place himself on the stand-point of the pupil, i.e. must adapt himself; he must see that the abstract is made clear to him in the concrete, i.e. must illustrate; he must fill up the gaps which will certainly appear, and which may mar the thorough seizing of the subject, i.e. must supply. In all these relations the pedagogical tact of the teacher may prove itself truly ingenious in varying the method according to the changefulness of the ever-varying needs, in contracting or expanding the extent, in stating, or indicating what is to be supplied. The true teacher is free from any superstitious belief in any one procedure as a sure specific which he follows always in a monotonous bondage. This can only happen when he is capable of the highest method. The teacher has arrived at the highest point of ability in teaching when he can make use of all means, from the loftiness of solemn seriousness, through smooth statement, to the play of jest—yes, even to the incentive of irony, and to humor.
—Pedagogics can be in nothing more specious than in its method, and it is here that charlatanism can most readily intrude itself. Every little change, every inadequate modification, is proclaimed aloud as a new or an improved method; and even the most foolish and superficial changes find at once their imitators, who themselves conceal their insolence behind some frivolous differences, and, with laughable conceit, hail themselves as inventors.—
Sec. 108. All instruction acts upon the supposition that there is an inequality between present knowledge and power and that knowledge and power which are not yet attained. To the pupil belong the first, to the teacher the second. Education is the act which gradually cancels the original inequality of teacher and pupil, in that it converts what was at first the property of the former into the property of the latter, and this by means of his own activity.
I. The Subjects of Instruction.
Sec. 109. The pupil is the apprentice, the teacher the master, whether in the practice of any craft or art, or in the exposition of any systematic knowledge. The pupil passes from the state of the apprentice to that of the master through that of the journeyman. The apprentice has to appropriate to himself the elements; journeymanship begins as he, by means of their possession, becomes independent; the master combines with his technical skill the freedom of production. His authority over his pupil consists only in his knowledge and power. If he has not these, no external support, no trick of false appearances which he may put on, will serve to create it for him.
Sec. 110. These stages—(1) apprenticeship, (2) journeymanship, (3) mastership—are fixed limitations in the didactic process; they are relative only in the concrete. The standard of special excellence varies with the different grades of culture, and must be varied that it may have any historical value. The master is complete only in relation to the journeyman and apprentice; to them he is superior. But on the other hand, in relation to the infinity of the problems of his art or science, he is by no means complete; to himself he must always appear as one who begins ever anew, one who is ever striving, one to whom a new problem ever rises from every achieved result. He cannot discharge himself from work, he must never desire to rest on his laurels. He is the truest master whose finished performances only force him on to never-resting progress.
Sec. 111. The real possibility of culture is found in general, it is true, in every human being; nevertheless, empirically, there are distinguished: (1) Incapacity, as the want of all gifts; (2) Mediocrity; (3) Talent and Genius. It is the part of Psychology to give an account of all these. Mediocrity characterizes the great mass of mechanical intelligences, those who wait for external impulse as to what direction their endeavors shall take. Not without truth, perhaps, may we say, that hypothetically a special talent is given to each individual, but this special talent in many men never makes its appearance, because under the circumstances in which it finds itself placed it fails to find the exciting occasion which shall give him the knowledge of its existence. The majority of mankind are contented with the mechanical impulse which makes them into something and impresses upon them certain determinations.—Talent shows itself by means of the confidence in its own especial productive possibility, which manifests itself as an inclination, as a strong impulse, to occupy itself with the special object which constitutes its content. Pedagogics has no difficulty in dealing with mechanical natures, because their passivity is only too ready to follow prescribed patterns. It is more difficult to manage talent, because it lies between mediocrity and genius, and is therefore uncertain, and not only unequal to itself, but also is tossed now too low, now too high, is by turns despondent and over-excited. The general maxim for dealing with it is to remove no difficulty from the subject to which its efforts are directed.—Genius must be treated much in the same way as Talent. The difference consists only in this, that Genius, with a foreknowledge of its creative power, usually manifests its confidence with less doubt in a special vocation, and, with a more intense thirst for culture, subjects itself more willingly to the demands of instruction. Genius is in its nature the purest self-determination, in that it lives, in its own inner existence, the necessity which exists in the thing. But it can assign to the New, which is in it already immediately and subjectively, no value if this has not united itself to the already existing culture as its objective presupposition, and on this ground it thankfully receives instruction.
Sec. 112. But Talent and Genius offer a special difficulty to education in the precocity which often accompanies them. But by precocity we do not mean that they early render themselves perceptible, since the early manifestation of gifts by talent and genius, through their intense confidence, is to be looked at as perfectly legitimate. But precocity is rather the hastening forward of the human being in feeling and moral sense, so that where in the ordinary course of nature we should have a child, we have a youth, and a man in the place of a youth. We may find precocity among those who belong to the class of mediocrity, but it is developed most readily among those possessed of talent and genius, because with them the early appearance of superior gifts may very easily bring in its train a perversion of the feelings and the moral nature. Education must deal with it in so far as it is inharmonious, so that it shall be stronger than the demands made on it from without, so that it shall not minister to vanity; and must take care, in order to accomplish this, that social naturalness and lack of affectation be preserved in the pupil.
—Our age has to combat this precocity much more than others. We find e.g. authors who, at the age of thirty years, in which they publish their collected works or write their biography, are chilly with the feelings of old age. Music has been the sphere in which the earliest development of talent has shown itself, and here we find the absurdity that the cupidity of parents has so forced precocious talents that children of four or five years of age have been made to appear in public.—
Sec. 113. Every sphere of culture contains a certain quantity of knowledge and ready skill which may be looked at, as it were, as the created result of the culture. It is to be wished that every one who turns his attention to a certain line of culture could take up into himself the gathered learning which controls it. In so far as he does this, he is professional. The consciousness that one has in the usual way gone through a school of art or science, and has, with the general inheritance of acquisition, been handed over to a special department, creates externally a beneficial composure which is very favorable to internal progress. We must distinguish from the professional the amateur and the self-taught man. The amateur busies himself with an art, a science, or a trade, without having gone through any strict training in it. As a rule, he dispenses with elementary thoroughness, and hastens towards the pleasure which the joy of production gives. The conscious amateur confesses this himself, makes no pretension to mastership, and calls himself—in distinction from the professional, who subjects himself to rules—an unlearned person. But sometimes the amateur, on the contrary, covers over his weakness, cherishes in himself the self-conceit that he is equal to the heroes of his art or science, constitutes himself the first admirer of his own performances, seeks for their want of recognition in external motives, never in their own want of excellence; and, if he has money, or edits a paper, is intoxicated with being the patron of talent which produces such works as he would willingly produce or pretends to produce. The self-taught man has often true talent, or even genius, to whose development nevertheless the inherited culture has been denied, and who by good fortune has through his own strength worked his way into a field of effort. The self-taught man is distinguished from the amateur by the thoroughness and the industry with which he acts; he is not only equally unfortunate with him in the absence of school-training, but is much less endowed. Even if the self-taught man has for years studied and practised much, he is still haunted by a feeling of uncertainty as to whether he has yet reached the stand-point at which a science, an art, or a trade, will receive him publicly—of so very great consequence is it that man should be comprehended and recognized by man. The self-taught man therefore remains embarrassed, and does not free himself from the apprehension that he may expose some weak point to a professional, or he falls into the other extreme—he becomes presumptuous, steps forth as a reformer, and, if he accomplishes nothing, or earns only ridicule, he sets himself down as an unrecognized martyr by an unappreciative and unjust world.
—It is possible that the amateur may transcend the stage of superficiality and subject himself to a thorough training; then he ceases to be an amateur. It is also possible that the self-taught man may be on the right track, and may accomplish as much or even more than one trained in the usual way. In general, however, it is very desirable that every one should go through the regular course of the inherited means of education, partly that he may be thorough in the elements, partly to free him from the anxiety which he may feel lest he in his solitary efforts spend labor on some superfluous work—superfluous because done long before, and of which he, through the accident of his want of culture, had not heard. We must all learn by ourselves, but we cannot teach ourselves. Only Genius can do this, for it must be its own leader in the new paths which it opens. Genius alone passes beyond where inherited culture ceases. It bears this in itself as of the past, and which it uses as material for its new creation; but the self-taught man, who would very willingly be a genius, puts himself in an attitude of opposition to things already accomplished, or sinks into oddity, into secret arts and sciences, &c.—
Sec. 114. These ideas of the general steps of culture, of special gifts, and of the ways of culture appropriate to each, which we have above distinguished, have a manifold connection among themselves which cannot be established a priori. We can however remark that Apprenticeship, the Mechanical Intelligence, and the Professional life; secondly, Journeymanship, Talent, and Amateurship; and, finally, Mastership, Genius, and Self Education, have a relationship to each other.
II. The Act of Learning.
Sec. 115. In the process of education the interaction between pupil and teacher must be so managed that the exposition by the teacher shall excite in the pupil the impulse to reproduction. The teacher must not treat his exposition as if it were a work of art which is its own end and aim, but he must always bear in mind the need of the pupil. The artistic exposition, as such, will, by its completeness, produce admiration; but the didactic, on the contrary, will, through its perfect adaptation, call out the imitative instinct, the power of new creation.
—From this consideration we may justify the frequent statement that is made, that teachers who have really an elegant diction do not really accomplish so much as others who resemble in their statements not so much a canal flowing smoothly between straight banks, as a river which works its foaming way over rocks and between ever-winding banks. The pupil perceives that the first is considering himself when he speaks so finely, perhaps not without some self-appreciation; and that the second, in the repetitions and the sentences which are never finished, is concerning himself solely with him. The pupil feels that not want of facility or awkwardness, but the earnest eagerness of the teacher, is the principal thing, and that this latter uses rhetoric only as a means.—
Sec. 116. In the act of learning there appears (1) a mechanical element, (2) a dynamic element, and (3) one in which the dynamic again mechanically strengthens itself.
Sec. 117. As to the mechanical element, the right time must be chosen for each lesson, an exact arrangement observed, and the suitable apparatus, which is necessary, procured. It is in the arrangement that especially consists the educational power of the lesson. The spirit of scrupulousness, of accuracy, of neatness, is developed by the external technique, which is carefully arranged in its subordinate parts according to its content. The teacher must therefore insist upon it that work shall cease at the exact time, that the work be well done, &c., for on these little things many greater things ethically depend.
—To choose one's time for any work is often difficult because of the pressure of a multitude of demands, but in general it should be determined that the strongest and keenest energy of the thinking activity and of memory—this being demanded by the work—should have appropriated to it the first half of the day.—
Sec. 118. The dynamical element consists of the previously developed power of Attention, without which all the exposition made by the teacher to the pupil remains entirely foreign to him, all apparatus is dead, all arrangement of no avail, all teaching fruitless, if the pupil does not by his free activity receive into his inner self what one teaches him, and thus make it his own property.
Sec. 119. This appropriation must not limit itself, however, to the first acquisition of any knowledge or skill, but it must give free existence to whatever the pupil has learned; it must make it perfectly manageable and natural, so that it shall appear to be a part of himself. This must be brought about by means of Repetition. This will mechanically secure that which the attention first grasped.
Sec. 120. The careful, persistent, living activity of the pupil in these acts we call Industry. Its negative extreme is Laziness, which is deserving of punishment inasmuch as it passes over into a want of self-determination. Man is by nature lazy. But mind, which is only in its act, must resolve upon activity. This connection of Industry with human freedom, with the very essence of mind, makes laziness appear blameworthy. The really civilized man, therefore, no longer knows that absolute inaction which is the greatest enjoyment to the barbarian, and he fills up his leisure with a variety of easier and lighter work. The positive extreme of Industry is the unreasonable activity which rushes in breathless chase from one action to another, from this to that, straining the person with the immense quantity of his work. Such an activity, going beyond itself and seldom reaching deliberation, is unworthy of a man. It destroys the agreeable quiet which in all industry should penetrate and inspire the deed. Nothing is more repulsive than the beggarly pride of such stupid laboriousness. One should not endure for a moment to have the pupil, seeking for distinction, begin to pride himself on an extra industry. Education must accustom him to use a regular assiduity. The frame of mind suitable for work often does not exist at the time when work should begin, but more frequently it makes its appearance after we have begun. The subject takes its own time to awaken us. Industry, inspired by a love and regard for work, has in its quiet uniformity a great force, without which no one can accomplish anything essential. The world, therefore, holds Industry worthy of honor; and to the Romans, a nation of the most persistent perseverance, we owe the inspiring words, "Incepto tantum opus est, caetera res expediet"; and, "Labor improbus omnia vincit."
—"Every one may glory in his industry!" This is a true word from the lips of a truly industrious man, who was also one of the most modest. But Lessing did not, however, mean by them to charter Pharisaical pedantry. The necessity sometimes of giving one's self to an excess of work injurious to the health, generally arises from the fact that he has not at other times made use of the requisite attention to the necessary industry, and then attempts suddenly and as by a forced march to storm his way to his end. The result of such over-exertion is naturally entire prostration. The pupil is therefore to be accustomed to a generally uniform industry, which may extend itself at regular intervals without his thereby overstraining himself. What is really gained by a young man who has hitherto neglected time and opportunity, and who, when examination presses, overworks himself, perhaps standing the test with honor, and then must rest for months afterwards from the over-effort? On all such occasions attention is not objective and dispassionate, but rather becomes, through anxiety to pass the examination, restless and corrupted by egotism; and the usual evil result of such compulsory industry is the ephemeral character of the knowledge thus gained. "Lightly come, lightly go," says the proverb.—
—A special worth is always attached to study far into the night. The student's "midnight lamp" always claims for itself a certain veneration. But this is vanity. In the first place, it is injurious to contradict Nature by working through the night, which she has ordained for sleep; secondly, the question is not as to the number of hours spent in work and their position in the twenty-four, but as to the quality of the work. With regard to the value of my work, it is of no moment whatsoever whether I have done it in the morning or in the evening, or how long I have labored, and it is of no consequence to any one except to my own very unimportant self. Finally, the question presents itself whether these gentlemen who boast so much of their midnight work do not sleep in the daytime!—
Sec. 121. But Industry has also two other extremes: seeming-laziness and seeming-industry. Seeming-laziness is the neglecting of the usual activity in one department because a man is so much more active in another. The mind possessed with the liveliest interest in one subject buries itself in it, and, because of this, cannot give itself up to another which before had engrossed the attention. Thus it appears more idle than it is, or rather it appears to be idle just because it is more industrious. This is especially the case in passing from one subject of instruction to another. The pupil should acquire such a flexibility in his intellectual powers that the rapid relinquishment of one subject and the taking up of another should not be too difficult. Nothing is more natural than that when he is excited he should go back to the subject that has just been presented to him, and that he, feeling himself restrained, shall remain untouched by the following lesson, which may be of an entirely different nature. The young soul is brooding over what has been said, and is really exercising an intensive activity, though it appears to be idle. But in seeming-industry all the external motives of activity, all the mechanism of work, manifest themselves noisily, while there is no true energy of attention and productivity. One busies himself with all the apparatus of work; he heaps up instruments and books around him; he sketches plans; he spends many hours staring into vacancy, biting his pen, gazing at words, drawings, numbers, &c. Boys, under the protection of so great a scaffolding for work erected around them, often carry on their own amusements. Men, who arrive at no real concentration of their force, no clear defining of their vocation, no firm decision as to their action, dissipate their power in what is too often a great activity with absolutely no result. They are busy, very busy; they have hardly time to do this thing because they really wish or ought to do that; but, with all their driving, their energy is all dissipated, and nothing comes from their countless labors.
III. The Modality of the Process of Teaching.
Sec. 122. Now that we have learned something of the relation of the teacher to the taught, and of the process of learning itself, we must examine the mode and manner of instruction. This may have (1) the character of contingency: the way in which our immediate existence in the world, our life, teaches us; or it may be given (2) by the printed page; or (3) it may take the shape of formal oral instruction.
Sec. 123. (1) For the most, the best, and the mightiest things that we know we are indebted to Life itself. The sum of perceptions which a human being absorbs into himself up to the fourth or fifth year of his life is incalculable; and after this time we involuntarily gain by immediate contact with the world countless ideas. But especially we understand by the phrase "the School of Life," the ethical knowledge which we gain by what happens in our own lives.
—If one says, Vitae non scholae discendum est, one can also say, Vita docet. Without the power exercised by the immediate world our intelligence would remain abstract and lifeless.—
Sec. 124. (2) What we learn through books is the opposite of that which we learn through living. Life forces upon us the knowledge it has to give; the book, on the contrary, is entirely passive. It is locked up in itself; it cannot be altered; but it waits by us till we wish to use it. We can read it rapidly or slowly; we can simply turn over its leaves—what in modern times one calls reading;—we can read it from beginning to end or from end to beginning; we can stop, begin again, skip over passages, or cut them short, as we like. To this extent the book is the most convenient means for instruction. If we are indebted to Life for our perceptions, we must chiefly thank books for our understanding of our perceptions. We call book-instruction "dead" when it lacks, for the exposition which it gives, a foundation in our perceptions, or when we do not add to the printed description the perceptions which it implies; and the two are quite different.
Sec. 125. Books, as well as life, teach us many things which we did not previously intend to learn directly from them. From foreign romances e.g. we learn, first of all, while we read them for entertainment, the foreign language, history or geography, &c. We must distinguish from such books as those which bring to us, as it were accidentally, a knowledge for which we were not seeking, the books which are expressly intended to instruct. These must (a) in their consideration of the subject give us the principal results of any department of knowledge, and denote the points from which the next advance must be made, because every science arises at certain results which are themselves again new problems; (b) in the consideration of the particulars it must be exhaustive, i.e. no essential elements of a science must be omitted. But this exhaustiveness of execution has different meanings according to the stand-points of those for whom it is made. How far we shall pass from the universality of the principal determinations into the multiplicity of the Particular, into the fulness of detail, cannot be definitely determined, and must vary, according to the aim of the book, as to whether it is intended for the apprentice, the journeyman, or the master; (c) the expression must be precise, i.e. the maximum of clearness must be combined with the maximum of brevity.
—The writing of a text-book is on this account one of the most difficult tasks, and it can be successfully accomplished only by those who are masters in a science or art, and who combine with great culture and talent great experience as teachers. Unfortunately many dabblers in knowledge undervalue the difficulty of writing text-books because they think that they are called upon to aid in the spread of science, and because the writing of compendiums has thus come to be an avocation, so that authors and publishers have made out of text-books a profitable business and good incomes. In all sciences and arts there exists a quantity of material which is common property, which is disposed of now in one way, now in another. The majority of compendiums can be distinguished from each other only by the kind of paper, printing, the name of the publisher or bookseller, or by arbitrary changes in the arrangement and execution. The want of principle with which this work is carried on is incredible. Many governments have on this account fixed prices for text-books, and commissioners to select them. This in itself is right and proper, but the use of any book should be left optional, so that the one-sidedness of a science patronized by government as it were patented, may not be created through the pressure of such introduction. A state may through its censorship oppose poor text-books, and recommend good ones; but it may not establish as it were a state-science, a state-art, in which only the ideas, laws and forms sanctioned by it shall be allowed. The Germans are fortunate, in consequence of their philosophical criticism, in the production of better and better text-books, among which may be mentioned Koberstein's, Gervinus', and Vilmar's Histories of Literature, Ellendt's General History, Blumenbach's and Burmeister's Natural History, Marheineke's text-book on Religion, Schwegler's History of Philosophy, &c. So much the more unaccountable is it that, with such excellent books, the evil of such characterless books, partly inadequate and partly in poor style, should still exist when there is no necessity for it. The common style of paragraph-writing has become obnoxious, under the name of Compendium-style, as the most stiff and affected style of writing.—
Sec. 126. A text-book must be differently written according as it is intended for a book for private study or for purposes of general circulation. If the first, it must give more, and must develop more clearly the internal relations; if the second, it should be shorter, and proceed from axiomatic and clear postulates to their signification, and these must have an epigrammatic pureness which should leave something to be guessed. Because for these a commentary is needed which it is the teacher's duty to supply, such a sketch is usually accompanied by the fuller text-book which was arranged for private study.
—It is the custom to call the proper text-book the "small" one, and that which explains and illustrates, the "large" one. Thus we have the Small and the Large Gervinus, &c.—
Sec. 127. (3) The text-book which presupposes oral explanation forms the transition to Oral instruction itself. Since speech is the natural and original form in which mind manifests itself, no book can rival it. The living word is the most powerful agent of instruction. However common and cheap printing may have rendered books as the most convenient means of education—however possible may have become, through the multiplication of facilities for intercourse and the rapidity of transportation, the immediate viewing of human life, the most forcible educational means, nevertheless the living word still asserts its supremacy. In two cases especially is it indispensable: one is when some knowledge is to be communicated which as yet is found in no compendium, and the other when a living language is to be taught, for in this case the printed page is entirely inadequate. One can learn from books to understand Spanish, French, English, Danish, &c., but not to speak them; to do this he must hear them, partly that his ear may become accustomed to the sounds, partly that his vocal organs may learn correctly to imitate them.
Sec. 128. Life surprises and overpowers us with the knowledge which it gains; the book, impassive, waits our convenience; the teacher, superior to us, perfectly prepared in comparison with us, consults our necessity, and with his living speech uses a gentle force to which we can yield without losing our freedom. Listening is easier than reading.
—Sovereigns e.g. seldom read themselves, but have servants who read to them.—
Sec. 129. Oral instruction may (1) give the subject, which is to be learned, in a connected statement, or (2) it may unfold it by means of question and answer. The first decidedly presupposes the theoretical inequality of the teacher and the taught. Because one can speak while many can listen, this is especially adapted to the instruction of large numbers. The second method is either that of the catechism or the dialogue. The catechetical is connected with the first kind of oral instruction above designated because it makes demand upon the memory of the learner only for the answer to one question at a time, and is hence very often and very absurdly called the Socratic method. In teaching by means of the dialogue, we try, by means of a reciprocal interchange of thought, to solve in common some problem, proceeding according to the necessary forms of reason. But in this we can make a distinction. One speaker may be superior to the rest, may hold in his own hand the thread of the conversation and may guide it himself; or, those who mingle in it may be perfectly equal in intellect and culture, and may each take part in the development with equal independence. In this latter case, this true reciprocity gives us the proper dramatic dialogue, which contains in itself all forms of exposition, and may pass from narration, description, and analysis, through satire and irony, to veritable humor. When it does this, the dialogue is the loftiest result of intelligence and the means of its purest enjoyment.
—This alternate teaching, in which the one who has been taught takes the teacher's place, can be used only where there is a content which admits of a mechanical treatment. The Hindoos made use of it in very ancient times. Bell and Lancaster have transplanted it for the teaching of poor children in Europe and America. For the teaching of the conventionalities—reading, writing, and arithmetic—as well as for the learning by heart of names, sentences, &c., it suffices, but not for any scientific culture. Where we have large numbers to instruct, the giving of the fully developed statement (the first form) is necessary, since the dialogue, though it may be elsewhere suitable, allows only a few to take part in it. And if we take the second form, we must, if we have a large number of pupils, make use of the catechetical method only. What is known as the conversational method has been sometimes suggested for our university instruction. Diesterweg in Berlin insists upon it. Here and there the attempt has been made, but without any result. In the university, the lecture of the teacher as a self-developing whole is contrasted with the scientific discussion of the students, in which they as equals work over with perfect freedom what they have heard. Diesterweg was wrong in considering the lecture-system as the principal cause of the lack of scientific interest which he thought he perceived in our universities. Kant, Fichte, Schelling, Schleiermacher, Wolf, Niebuhr, &c., taught by lectures and awakened the liveliest enthusiasm. But Diesterweg is quite right in saying that the students should not be degraded to writing-machines. But this is generally conceded, and a pedantic amount of copying more and more begins to be considered as out of date at our universities. Nevertheless, a new pedantry, that of the wholly extempore lecture, should not be introduced; but a brief summary of the extempore unfolding of the lecture may be dictated and serve a very important purpose, or the lecture may be copied. The great efficacy of the oral exposition does not so much consist in the fact that it is perfectly free, as that it presents to immediate view a person who has made himself the bearer of a science or an art, and has found what constitutes its essence. Its power springs, above all, from the genuineness of the lecture, the originality of its content, and the elegance of its form: whether it is written or extemporized, is a matter of little moment. Niebuhr e.g. read, word for word, from his manuscript, and what a teacher was he!—The catechetical way of teaching is not demanded at the university except in special examinations; it belongs to the private work of the student, who must learn to be industrious of his own free impulse. The private tutor can best conduct reviews.—The institution which presupposing the lecture-system combines in itself original production with criticism, and the connected exposition with the conversation, is the seminary. It pursues a well-defined path, and confines itself to a small circle of associates whose grades of culture are very nearly the same. Here, therefore, can the dialogue be strongly developed because it has a fixed foundation, and each one can take part in the conversation; whereas, from the variety of opinions among a great number, it is easily perverted into an aimless talk, and the majority of the hearers, who have no chance to speak, become weary.—
Sec. 130. As to the way in which the lecture is carried out, it may be so arranged as to give the whole stock of information acquired, or, without being so exact and so complete, it may bring to its elucidation only a relatively inexact and general information. The ancients called the first method the esoteric and the second the exoteric, as we give to such lectures now, respectively, the names scholastic and popular. The first makes use of terms which have become technical in science or art, and proceeds syllogistically to combine the isolated ideas; the second endeavors to substitute for technicalities generally understood signs, and conceals the exactness of the formal conclusion by means of a conversational style. It is possible to conceive of a perfectly methodical treatment of a science which at the same time shall be generally comprehensible if it strives to attain the transparency of real beauty. A scientific work of art may be correctly said to be popular, as e.g. has happened to Herder's Ideas on the Philosophy of the History of Mankind.
—Beauty is the element which is comprehended by all, and as we declare our enmity to the distorted picture-books, books of amusement, and to the mischievous character of "Compendiums," so we must also oppose the popular publications which style themselves Science made Easy, &c., in order to attract more purchasers by this alluring title. Kant in his Logic calls the extreme of explanation Pedantry and Gallantry. This last expression would be very characteristic in our times, since one attains the height of popularity now if he makes himself easily intelligible to ladies—a didactic triumph which one attains only by omitting everything that is profound or complicated, and saying only what exists already in the consciousness of every one, by depriving the subject dealt with of all seriousness, and sparing neither pictures, anecdotes, jokes, nor pretty formalities of speech. Elsewhere Kant says: "In the effort to produce in our knowledge the completeness of scholarly thoroughness, and at the same time a popular character, without in the effort falling into the above-mentioned errors of an affected thoroughness or an affected popularity, we must, first of all, look out for the scholarly completeness of our scientific knowledge, the methodical form of thoroughness, and first ask how we can make really popular the knowledge methodically acquired at school, i.e. how we can make it easy and generally communicable, and yet at the same time not supplant thoroughness by popularity. For scholarly completeness must not be sacrificed to popularity to please the people, unless science is to become a plaything or trifling." It is perfectly plain that all that was said before of the psychological and the logical methods must be taken into account in the manner of the statement.—
Sec. 131. It has been already remarked (Sec. 21), in speaking of the nature of education, that the office of the instructor must necessarily vary with the growing culture. But attention must here again be called to the fact, that education, in whatever stage of culture, must conform to the law which, as the internal logic of Being, determines all objective developments of nature and of history. The Family gives the child his first instruction; between this and the school comes the teaching of the tutor; the school stands independently as the antithesis of the family, and presents three essentially different forms according as it imparts a general preparatory instruction, or special teaching for different callings, or a universal scientific cultivation. Universality passes over through particularizing into individuality, which contains both the general and the particular freely in itself. All citizens of a state should have (1) a general education which (a) makes them familiar with reading, writing, and arithmetic, these being the means of all theoretical culture; then (b) hands over to them a picture of the world in its principal phases, so that they as citizens of the world can find their proper status on our planet; and, finally, it must (c) instruct him in the history of his own state, so that he may see that the circumstances in which he lives are the result of a determined past in its connection with the history of the rest of the world, and so may learn rightly to estimate the interests of his own country in view of their necessary relation to the future. This work the elementary schools have to perform. From this, through the Realschule (our scientific High School course) they pass into the school where some particular branch of science is taught, and through the Gymnasium (classical course of a High School or College) to the University. From its general basis develop (2) the educational institutions that work towards some special education which leads over to the exercise of some art. These we call Technological schools, where one may learn farming, mining, a craft, a trade, navigation, war, &c. This kind of education may be specialized indefinitely with the growth of culture, because any one branch is capable in its negative aspect of such educational separation, as e.g. in foundling hospitals and orphan asylums, in blind and deaf and dumb institutions. The abstract universality of the Elementary school and the one-sided particularity of the Technological school, however, is subsumed under a concrete universality, which, without aiming directly at utility, treats science and art on all sides as their own end and aim. Scientia est potentia, said Lord Bacon. Practical utility results indirectly through the progress which Scientific Cognition makes in this free attitude, because it collects itself out of the dissipation through manifold details into a universal idea and attains a profounder insight thereby. This organism for the purpose of instruction is properly called a University. By it the educational organization is perfected.
—It is essentially seen that no more than these three types of schools can exist, and that they must all exist in a perfectly organized civilization. Their titles and the plan of their special teaching may be very different among different nations and at different times, but this need not prevent the recognition in them of the ideas which determine them. Still less should the imperfect ways in which they manifest themselves induce us to condemn them. It is the modern tendency to undervalue the University as an institution which we had inherited from the middle ages, and with which we could at present dispense. This is an error. The university presents just as necessary a form of instruction as the elementary school or the technological school. Not the abolition of the university, but a reform which shall adapt it to the spirit of the age, is the advance which we have to make. That there are to be found outside of the university men of the most thorough and elegant culture, who can give the most excellent instruction in a science or an art, is most certain. But it is a characteristic of the university in its teaching to do away with contingency which is unavoidable in case of private voluntary efforts. The university presents an organic, self-conscious, encyclopaedic representation of all the sciences, and thus is created to a greater or less degree an intellectual atmosphere which no other place can give. Through this, all sciences and their aims are seen as of equal authority—a personal stress is laid upon the connection of the sciences. The imperfections of a university, which arise through the rivalry of external ambition, through the necessity of financial success, through the jealousy of different parties, through scholarships, &c., are finitudes which it has in common with all human institutions, and on whose account they are not all to be thrown away.—Art academies are for Art what universities are for Science. They are inferior to them in so far as they appear more under the form of special schools, as schools of architecture, of painting, and conservatories of music; while really it may well be supposed that Architecture, Sculpture, Painting, Music, the Orchestra, and the Drama, are, like the Sciences, bound together in a Universitas artium, and that by means of their internal reciprocal action new results would follow.—Academies, as isolated master-schools, which follow no particular line of teaching, are entirely superfluous, and serve only as a Prytaneum for meritorious scholars, and to reward industry through the prizes which they offer. In their idea they belong with the university, this appearing externally in the fact that most of their members are university professors. But as institutions for ostentation by which the ambition of the learned was flattered, and to surround princes with scientific glory as scientific societies attached to a court, they have lost all significance. They ceased to flourish with the Ptolemies and the Egyptian caliphs, and with absolute monarchical governments.—In modern times we have passed beyond the abstract jealousy of the so-called Humanities and the Natural Sciences, because we comprehend that each part of the totality can be realized in a proper sense only by its development as relatively independent. Thus the gymnasium has its place as that elementary school which through a general culture, by means of the knowledge of the language and history of the Greeks and Romans, prepares for the university; while, on the other hand, the Realschule, by special attention to Natural Science and the living languages, constitutes the transition to the technological schools. Nevertheless, because the university embraces the Science of Nature, of Technology, of Trade, of Finance, and of Statistics, the pupils who have graduated from the so-called high schools (hoehern Buergerschulen) and from the Realschulen will be brought together at the university.—
Sec. 132. The technique of the school will be determined in its details by the peculiarity of its aim. But in general every school, no matter what it teaches, ought to have some system of rules and regulations by which the relation of the pupil to the institution, of the pupils to each other, their relation to the teacher, and that of the teachers to each other as well as to the supervisory authority, the programme of lessons, the apparatus, of the changes of work and recreation, shall be clearly set forth. The course of study must be arranged so as to avoid two extremes: on the one hand, it has to keep in view the special aim of the school, and according to this it tends to contract itself. But, on the other hand, it must consider the relative dependence of one specialty to other specialties and to general culture. It must leave the transition free, and in this it tends to expand itself. The difficulty is here so to assign the limits that the special task of the school shall not be sacrificed and deprived of the means of performance which it (since it is also always only a part of the whole culture) receives by means of its reciprocal action with other departments. The programme must assign the exact amount of time which can be appropriated to every study. It must prescribe the order in which they shall follow each other; it must, as far as possible, unite kindred subjects, so as to avoid the useless repetition which dulls the charm of study; it must, in determining the order, bear in mind at the same time the necessity imposed by the subject itself and the psychological progression of intelligence from perception, through conception, to the thinking activity which grasps all. It must periodically be submitted to revision, so that all matter which has, through the changed state of general culture, become out of date, may be rejected, and that that which has proved itself inimitable may be appropriated; in general, so that it may be kept up to the requirements of the times. And, finally, the school must, by examinations and reports, aid the pupil in the acquirement of a knowledge of his real standing. The examination lets him know what he has really learned, and what he is able to do: the report gives him an account of his culture, exhibits to him in what he has made improvement and in what he has fallen behind, what defects he has shown, what talents he has displayed, what errors committed, and in what relation stands his theoretical development to his ethical status.
—The opposition of the Gymnasia to the demands of the agricultural communities is a very interesting phase of educational history. They were asked to widen their course so as to embrace Mathematics, Physics, Natural History, Geography, and the modern languages. At first they stoutly resisted; then they made some concessions; finally, the more they made the more they found themselves in contradiction with their true work, and so they produced as an independent correlate the Realschule. After this was founded, the gymnasium returned to its old plan, and is now again able to place in the foreground the pursuit of classical literature and history. It was thus set free from demands made upon it which were entirely foreign to its nature.—The examination is, on one side, so adapted to the pupil as to make him conscious of his own condition. As to its external side, it determines whether the pupil shall pass from one class to another or from one school to another, or it decides whether the school as a whole shall give a public exhibition—an exhibition which ought to have no trace of ostentation, but which in fact is often tinctured with pedagogical charlatanism.—
Sec. 133. The Direction of the school on the side of science must be held by the school itself, for the process of the intellect in acquiring science, the progress of the method, the determinations of the subject matter and the order of its development, have their own laws, to which Instruction must submit itself if it would attain its end. The school is only one part of the whole of culture. In itself it divides into manifold departments, together constituting a great organism which in manifold ways comes into contact with the organism of the state. So long as teaching is of a private character, so long as it is the reciprocal relation of one individual to another, or so long as it is shut up within the circle of the family and belongs to it alone, so long it has no objective character. It receives this first when it grows to a school. As in history, its first form must have a religious character; but this first form, in time, disappears. Religion is the absolute relation of man to God which subsumes all other relations. In so far as Religion exists in the form of a church, those who are members of the same church may have instruction given on the nature of religion among themselves. Instruction on the subject is proper, and it is even enjoined upon them as a law—as a duty. But further than their own society they may not extend their rule. The church may exert itself to make a religious spirit felt in the school and to make it penetrate all the teaching; but it may not presume, because it has for its subject the absolute interest of men, the interest which is superior to all others, to determine also the other objects of Education or the method of treating them. The technical acquisitions of Reading, Writing and Arithmetic, Drawing and Music, the Natural Sciences, Mathematics, Logic, Anthropology and Psychology, the practical sciences of finance and the municipal regulations, have no direct relation to religion. If we attempt to establish one, there inevitably appears in them a morbid state which destroys them; not only so, but piety itself disappears, for these accomplishments and this knowledge are not included in its idea.
—Such treatment of Art and Science may be well-meant, but it is always an error. It may even make a ludicrous impression, which is a very dangerous thing for the authority of religion. If a church has established schools, it must see to it that all which is there taught outside of the religious instruction, i.e. all of science and art, shall have no direct connection with it as a religious institution.—
Sec. 134. The Church, as the external manifestation of religion, is concerned with the absolute relation of man, the relation to God, special in itself as opposed to his other relations; the State, on the contrary, seizes the life of a nation according to its explicit totality. The State should conduct the education of all its citizens. To it, then, the church can appear only as a school, for the church instructs its own people concerning the nature of religion, partly by teaching proper, that of the catechism, partly in quite as edifying a way, by preaching. From this point of view, the State can look upon the church only as one of those schools which prepare for a special avocation. The church appears to the State as that school which assumes the task of educating the religious element. Just as little as the church should the state attempt to exercise any influence over Science and Art. In this they are exactly alike, and must acknowledge the necessity which both Science and Art contain within themselves and by which they determine themselves. The laws of Logic, Mathematics, Astronomy, Morals, AEsthetics, Physiology, &c., are entirely independent of the state. It can decree neither discoveries nor inventions. The state in its relations to science occupies the same ground as it should do with relation to the freedom of self-consciousness. It is true that the church teaches man, but it demands from him at the same time belief in the truth of its dogmas. It rests, as the real church, on presupposed authority, and sinks finally all contradictions which may be found in the absolute mystery of the existence of God. The state, on the contrary, elaborates its idea into the form of laws, i.e. into general determinations, of whose necessity it convinces itself. It seeks to give to these laws the clearest possible form, so that every one may understand them. It concedes validity only to that which can be proved, and sentences the individual according to the external side of the deed (overt act) not, as the church does, on its internal side—that of intention. Finally, it demands in him consciousness of his deed, because it makes each one responsible for his own deed. It has, therefore, the same principle with science, for the proof of necessity and the unity of consciousness with its object constitute the essence of science. Since the state embraces the school as one of its educational organisms, it is from its very nature especially called upon to guide its regulation in accordance with the manifestation of consciousness.
[Sidenote: The Modality of the Process of Teaching.]
—The church calls this "profanation." One might say that the church, with its mystery of Faith, always represents the absolute problem of science, while the state, as to its form, coincides with science. Whenever the state abandons the strictness of proof—when it begins to measure the individual citizen by his intention and not by his deed, and, in place of the clear insight of the comprehending consciousness, sets up the psychological compulsion of a hollow mechanical authority, it destroys itself.—
Sec. 135. Neither the church nor the state should attempt to control the school in its internal management. Still less can the school constitute itself into a state within the state; for, while it is only one of the means which are necessary for developing citizens, the state and the church lay claim to the whole man his whole life long. The independence of the school can then only consist in this, that it raises within the state an organ which works under its control, and which as school authority endeavors within itself to befriend the needs of the school, while externally it acts on the church and state indirectly by means of ethical powers. The emancipation of the school can never reasonably mean its abstract isolation, or the absorption of the ecclesiastical and political life into the school; it can signify only the free reciprocal action of the school with state and church. It must never be forgotten that what makes the school a school is not the total process of education, for this falls also within the family, the state, and the church; but that the proper work of the school is the process of instruction, knowledge, and the acquirement, by practice, of skill.
—The confusion of the idea of Instruction with that of Education in general is a common defect in superficial treatises on these themes. The Radicals among those who are in favor of so-called "Emancipation," often erroneously appeal to "free Greece" which generally for this fond ignorance is made to stand as authority for a thousand things of which it never dreamed. In this fictitious Hellas of "free, beautiful humanity," they say the limits against which we strive to-day did not exist. The histories of Anaxagoras, Protagoras, Diagoras, Socrates, Aristotle, Theophrastus, and of others, who were all condemned on account of their "impiety," tell quite another story.—
Sec. 136. The inspection of the school may be carried out in different ways, but it must be required that its special institutions shall be embraced and cared for as organized and related wholes, framed in accordance with the idea of the state, and that one division of the ministry shall occupy itself exclusively with it. The division of labor will specially affect the schools for teaching particular avocations. The prescription of the subjects to be studied in each school as appropriate to it, of the course of study, and of the object thereof, properly falls to this department of government, is its immediate work, and its theory must be changed according to the progress and needs of the time. Niemeyer, Schwarz, and others, have made out such plans for schools. Scheinert has fully painted the Volkschule, Mager the Buergerschule, Deinhard and Kapp the Gymnasium. But such delineations, however correct they may be, depend upon the actual sum of culture of a people and a time, and must therefore continually modify their fundamental Ideal. The same is true of the methods of instruction in the special arts and sciences. Niemeyer, Schwarz, Herbart, in their sketches of Pedagogics, Beneke in his Doctrine of Education, and others, have set forth in detail the method of teaching Reading, Writing and Arithmetic, Languages, Natural Science, Geography, History, &c. Such directions are, however, ephemeral in value, and only relatively useful, and must, in order to be truly practical, be always newly laid out in accordance with universal educational principles, and with the progress of science and art.
—The idea that the State has the right to oversee the school lies in the very idea of the State, which is authorized, and under obligation, to secure the education of its citizens, and cannot leave their fashioning to chance. The emancipation of the school from the State, the abstracting of it, would lead to the destruction of the school. There is no difficulty in Protestant States in the free inter-action of school and church, for Protestantism has consciously accepted as its peculiar principle individual freedom as Christianity has presented it. For Catholic States, however, a difficulty exists. The Protestant clergyman can with propriety oversee the Volkschule, for here he works as teacher, not as priest. In the Protestant church there are really no Laity according to the original meaning of the term. On the contrary, Catholic clergymen are essentially priests, and as such, on account of the unconditional obedience which, according to their church, they have to demand, they usurp the authority of the State. From this circumstance arise, at present, numberless collisions in the department of school supervision.—
PRAGMATICS (EDUCATION OF THE WILL).
Sec. 137. Both Physical and Intellectual Education are in the highest degree practical. The first reduces the merely natural to a tool which mind shall use for its own ends; the second guides the intelligence, by ways conformable to its nature, to the necessary method of the act of teaching and learning, which finally branches out into an objective national life, into a system of mutually dependent school organizations. But in a narrower sense we mean by practical education the methodical development of the Will. This phrase more clearly expresses the topic to be considered in this division than others sometimes used in Pedagogics [Bestrebungs vermoegen, conative power]. The will is already the subject of a science of its own, i.e. of Ethics; and if Pedagogics would proceed in anywise scientifically, it must recognize and presuppose the idea and the existence of this science. It should not restate in full the doctrines of freedom of duty, of virtue, and of conscience, although we have often seen this done in empirical works on Pedagogics. Pedagogics has to deal with the idea of freedom and morality only so far as it fixes the technique of their process, and at the same time it confesses itself to be weakest just here, where nothing is of any worth without a pure self-determination.
Sec. 138. The pupil must (1) become civilized; i.e. he must learn to govern, as a thing external to him, his natural egotism, and to make the forms which civilized society has adopted his own. (2) He must become imbued with morality; i.e. he must learn to determine his actions, not only with reference to what is agreeable and useful, but according to the principle of the Good; he must become virtually free, form a character, and must habitually look upon the necessity of freedom as the absolute measure of his actions. (3) He must become religious; i.e. he must discern that the world, with all its changes, himself included, is only phenomenal; the affirmative side of this insight into the emptiness of the finite and transitory, which man would so willingly make everlasting, is the consciousness of the absolute existing in and for itself, which, in its certainty of its truth, not torn asunder through the process of manifestation, constitutes no part of its changes, but, while it actually presents them, permeates them all, and freely distinguishes itself from them. In so far as man relates himself to God, he cancels all finitude and transitoriness, and by this feeling frees himself from the externality of phenomena. Virtue on the side of civilization is Politeness; on that of morality, Conscientiousness; and on that of religion, Humility.
Sec. 139. The social development of man makes the beginning of practical education. It is not necessary to suppose a special social instinct. The inclination of man to the society of men does not arise only from the identity of their nature, but is also in certain cases affected by particular relations. The natural starting-point of social culture is the Family. But this educates the child for Society, and by means of Society the individual passes over into relations with the world at large. Natural sympathy changes to polite behavior, and this to the dexterous and circumspect deportment, whose truth nevertheless is first the ethical purity which combines with the wisdom of the serpent the harmlessness of the dove.
Sec. 140. (1) The Family is the natural social circle to which man primarily belongs. In it all the immediate differences which exist are compensated by the equally immediate unity of the relationship. The subordination of the wife to the husband, of the children to their parents, of the younger children to their elder brothers and sisters, ceases to be subordination, through the intimacy of love. The child learns obedience to authority, and in this it gives free personal satisfaction to its parents and enjoys the same. All the relations in which he finds himself there are penetrated by the warmth of implicit confidence, which can be replaced for the child by nothing else. In this sacred circle the tenderest emotions of the heart are developed by the personal interest of all its members in what happens to any one, and thus the foundation is laid of a susceptibility to all genuine or real friendship.
—Nothing more unreasonable or inhuman could exist than those modern theories which would destroy the family and would leave the children, the offspring of the anarchy of free-love, to grow up in public nurseries. This would appear to be very humanitarian; indeed these socialists talk of nothing but the interests of humanity—they are never weary of uttering their insipid jests on the institution of the family, as if it were the principle of all narrow-mindedness. Have these fanatics, who are seeking after an abstraction of humanity, ever examined our foundling-hospitals, orphan asylums, barracks, and prisons, to discover in some degree to what an atomic state of barren cleverness a human being grows who has never formed a part of a family? The Family is only one phase in the grand order of the ethical organization; but it is the substantial phase from which man passively proceeds, but into which, as he founds a family of his own, he actively returns. The child lives in the Family in the common joy and grief of sympathy for all, and, in the emotion with which he sees his parents approach death while he is hastening towards the full enjoyment of existence, experiences the finer feelings which are so powerful in creating in him a deeper and more tender understanding of everything human.—
Sec. 141. (2) The Family rears the children not for itself but for the civil society. In this we have a system of morals producing externally a social technique, a circle of fixed forms of society. This technique endeavors to subdue the natural roughness of man, at least as far as it manifests itself externally. Because he is spirit, man is not to yield himself to his immediateness; he is to exhibit to man his naturalness as under the control of spirit. The etiquette of propriety on the one hand facilitates the manifestation of individuality by means of which the individual becomes interesting to others, and on the other hand, since its forms are alike for all, it makes us recognize the likeness of the individual to all others and so makes their intercourse easier.
—The conventional form is no mere constraint; but essentially a protection not only for the freedom of the individual, but much more the protection of the individual against the rude impetuosity of his own naturalness. Savages and peasants for this reason are, in their relations to each other, by no means as unconstrained as one often represents them, but hold closely to a ceremonious behavior. There is in one of Immerman's stories, "The Village Justice," a very excellent picture of the conventional forms with which the peasant loves to surround himself. The scene in which the townsman who thinks that he can dispense with forms among the peasants is very entertainingly taught better, is exceedingly valuable in an educational point of view. The feeling of shame which man has in regard to his mere naturalness is often extended to relations where it has no direct significance, since this sense of shame is appealed to in children in reference to things which are really perfectly indifferent externalities.—
Sec. 142. Education with regard to social culture has two extremes to avoid: the youth may, in his effort to prove his individuality, become vain and conceited, and fall into an attempt to appear interesting; or he may become slavishly dependent on conventional forms, a kind of social pedant. This state of nullity which contents itself with the mechanical polish of social formalism is ethically more dangerous than the tendency to a marked individuality, for it betrays emptiness; while the effort towards a peculiar differentiation from others, to become interesting to others, indicates power.
Sec. 143. When we have a harmony of the manifestation of the individual with the expression of the recognition of the equality of others we have what is called deportment or politeness, which combines dignity and grace, self-respect and modesty. We call it when fully complete, Urbanity. It treats the conventional forms with irony, since, at the same time that it yields to them, it allows the productivity of spirit to shine through them in little deviation from them, as if it were fully able to make others in their place.
—True politeness shows that it remains master of forms. It is very necessary to accustom children to courtesy and to bring them up in the etiquette of the prevailing social custom; but they must be prevented from falling into an absurd formality which makes the triumph of a polite behavior to consist in a blind following of the dictates of the last fashion-journal, and in the exact copying of the phraseology and directions of some book on manners. One can best teach and practise politeness when he does not merely copy the social technique, but comprehends its original idea.—
Sec. 144. (3) But to fully initiate the youth into the institutions of civilization one must not only call out the feelings of his heart in the bosom of the family, not only give to him the formal refinement necessary to his intercourse with society; it must also perform to him the painful duty of making him acquainted with the mysteries of the ways of the world. This is a painful duty, for the child naturally feels an unlimited confidence in all men. This confidence must not be destroyed, but it must be tempered. The mystery of the way of the world is the deceit which springs from selfishness. We must provide against it by a proper degree of distrust. We must teach the youth that he may be imposed upon by deceit, dissimulation, and hypocrisy, and that therefore he must not give his confidence lightly and credulously. He himself must learn how he can, without deceit, gain his own ends in the midst of the throng of opposing interests.
—Kant in his Pedagogics calls that worldly-wise behavior by which the individual is to demean himself in opposition to others, Impenetrability. By its means man learns how to "manage men." In Lord Chesterfield's letters to his son, we have pointed out the true value of egotism in its relation to morals. All his words amount to this, that we are to consider every man to be an egotist, and to convert his very egotism into a means of finding out his weak side; i.e. to flatter him by exciting his vanity, and by means of such flattery to ascertain his limits. In common life, the expression "having had experiences" means about the same thing as having been deceived and betrayed.—
Sec. 145. The truth of social culture lies in moral culture. Without this latter, every art of behavior remains worthless, and can never attain the clearness of Humility and Dignity which are possible to it in its unity with morality. For the better determination of this idea Pedagogics must refer to Ethics itself, and can here give the part of its content which relates to Education only in the form of educational maxims. The principal categories of Ethics in the domain of morality are the ideas of Duty, Virtue, and Conscience. Education must lay stress on the truth that nothing in the world has any absolute value except will guided by the right.
Sec. 146. Thence follows (1) the maxim relating to the idea of Duty, that we must accustom the pupil to unconditional obedience to it, so that he shall perform it for no other reason than that it is duty. It is true that the performance of a duty may bring with it externally a result agreeable or disagreeable, useful or harmful; but the consideration of such connection ought never to determine us. This moral demand, though it may appear to be excessive severity, is the absolute foundation of all genuine ethical practice. All "highest happiness theories," however finely spun they may be, when taken as a guide for life, lead at last to Sophistry, and this to contradictions which ruin the life.
Sec. 147. (2) Virtue must make actual what duty commands, or, rather, the actualizing of duty is Virtue. And here we must say next, then, that the principal things to be considered under Virtue are (a) the dialectic of particular virtues, (b) renunciation, and (c) character.
Sec. 148. (a) From the dialectic of particular virtues there follows the educational maxim that we must practise all virtues with equal faithfulness, for all together constitute an ethical system complete in itself, in which no one is indifferent to another.
—Morality should recognize no distinction of superiority among the different virtues. They reciprocally determine each other. There is no such thing as one virtue which shines out above the others, and still less should we have any special gift for virtue. The pupil must be taught to recognize no great and no small in the virtues, for that one which may at first sight seem small is inseparably connected with that which is seemingly the greatest. Many virtues are attractive by reason of their external consequences, as e.g. industry because of success in business, worthy conduct because of the respect paid to it, charity because of the pleasure attending it; but man should not practise these virtues because he enjoys them: he must devote the same amount of self-sacrifice and of assiduity to those virtues which (as Christ said) are to be performed in secret.—
—It is especially valuable, in an educational respect, to gain an insight, into the transition of which each virtue is empirically capable, into a negative as well as into a positive extreme. The differences between the extremes and the golden mean are differences in quality, although they arrive at this difference in quality by means of difference in quantity. Kant has, as is well known, attacked the Aristotelian doctrine of the ethical [Greek: mesotes], since he was considering the qualitative difference of the mind as differentiating principle; this was correct for the subject with which he dealt, but in the objective development we do arrive on the other hand at the determination of a quantitative limit; e.g. a man, with the most earnest intention of doing right, may be in doubt whether he has not, in any task, done more or less than was fitting for him.—
—As no virtue can cease its demands for us, no one can permit any exceptions or any provisional circumstances to come in the way of his duties. Our moral culture will always certainly manifest itself in very unequal phases if we, out of narrowness and weakness, neglect entirely one virtue while we diligently cultivate another. If we are forced into such unequal action, we are not responsible for the result; but it is dangerous and deserves punishment if we voluntarily encourage it. The pupil must be warned against a certain moral negligence which consists in yielding to certain weaknesses, faults, or crimes, a little longer and a little longer, because he has fixed a certain time after which he intends to do better. Up to that time he allows himself to be a loiterer in ethics. Perhaps he will assert that his companions, his surroundings, his position, &c., must be changed before he can alter his internal conduct. Wherever education or temperament favors sentimentality, we shall find birth-days, new-year's day, confirmation day, &c., selected as these turning points. It is not to be denied that man proceeds in his internal life from epoch to epoch, and renews himself in his most internal nature, nor can we deny that moments like those mentioned are especially favorable in man to an effort towards self-transformation because they invite introspection; but it is not to be endured that the youth, while looking forward to such a moment, should consciously persist in his evil-doing. If he does, we shall have as consequences that when the solemn moment which he has set at last arrives, at the stirring of the first emotion he perceives with terror that he has changed nothing in himself, that the same temptations are present to him, the same weakness takes possession of him, &c. In our business, in our theoretical endeavors, &c., it may certainly happen that, on account of want of time, or means, or humor, we may put off some work to another time; but morality stands on a higher plane than these, because it, as the concrete absoluteness of the will, makes unceasing demand on the whole and undivided man. In morality there are no vacations, no interims. As we in ascending a flight of stairs take good care not to make a single mis-step, and give our conscious attention to every step, so we must not allow any exceptions in moral affairs, must not appoint given times for better conduct, but must await these last as natural crises, and must seek to live in time as in Eternity.—
Sec. 149. (b) From Renunciation springs the injunction of self-government. The action of education on the will to form habits in it, is discipline or training in a narrower sense. Renunciation teaches us to know the relation in which we in fact, as historical persons, stand to the idea of the Good. From our empirical knowledge of ourselves we derive the idea of our limits; from the absolute knowledge of ourselves on the other hand, which presents to us the nature of Freedom as our own actuality, we derive the conception of the resistless might of the genuine will for the good. But to actualize this conception we must have practice. This practice is the proper renunciation. Every man must devise for himself some special set of rules, which shall be determined by his peculiarities and his resulting temptations. These rules must have as their innermost essence the subduing of self, the vanquishing of his negative arbitrariness by means of the universality and necessity of the will.
—In order to make this easy, the youth may be practised in renouncing for himself even the arbitrariness which is permitted to him. One often speaks of renunciation as if it belonged especially to the middle ages and to Catholicism; but this is an error. Renunciation in its one-sided form as relying on works, and for the purpose of mortification, is asceticism, and belongs to them; but Renunciation in general is a necessary determination of morals. The keeping of a journal is said to assist in the practice of virtue, but its value depends on how it is kept. To one it may be a curse, to another a blessing. Fichte, Goethe, Byron, and others, have kept journals and have been assisted thereby; while others, as Lavater, have been thwarted by them. Vain people will every evening record with pen and ink their admiration of the correct course of life which they have led in the day devoted to their pleasure.—
Sec. 150. (c) The result of the practice in virtue, or, as it is commonly expressed, of the individual actualization of freedom, is the methodical determinateness of the individual will as Character. This conception of character is formal, for it contains only the identity which is implied in the ruling of a will on its external side as constant. As there are good, strong and beautiful characters, so there are also bad, weak, and detestable ones. When in Pedagogics, therefore, we speak so much of the building up of a character, we mean the making permanent of a direction of the individual will towards the actualization of the Good. Freedom ought to be the character of character. Education must therefore observe closely the inter-action of the factors which go to form character, viz., ([Greek: a]) the temperament, as the natural character of the man; ([Greek: b]) external events, the historical element; ([Greek: g]) the energy of the Will, by which, in its limits of nature and history, it realizes the idea of the Good in and for itself as the proper ethical character. Temperament determines the Rhythm of our external manifestation of ourselves; the events in which we live assign to us the ethical problem, but the Will in its sovereignty stamps its seal on the form given by these potentialities. Pedagogics aims at accustoming the youth to freedom, so that he shall always measure his deed by the idea of the Good. It does not desire a formal independence, which may also be called character, but a real independence resting upon the conception of freedom as that which is absolutely necessary. The pedagogical maxim is then: Be independent, but be so through doing Good.
—According to preconceived opinion, stubbornness and obstinacy claim that they are the foundation of character. But they may spring from weakness and indeterminateness, on which account one needs to be well on his guard. A gentle disposition, through enthusiasm for the Good, may attain to quite as great a firmness of will. Coarseness and meanness are on no account to be tolerated.—
Sec. 151. (3) We pass from the consideration of the culture of character to that of conscience. This is the relation which the moral agent makes between himself as manifestation and himself as idea. It compares itself, in its past or future, with its nature, and judges itself accordingly as good or bad. This independence of the ethical judgment is the soul proper of all morality, the negation of all self-deception and of all deception through another. The pedagogical maxim is: Be conscientious. Be in the last instance dependent only upon the conception which thou thyself hast of the idea of the Good!
—The self-criticism prompted by conscience hovers over all our historical actuality, and is the ground of all our rational progress. Fichte's stern words remain, therefore, eternally true: "He who has a bad character, must absolutely create for himself a better one."—
Sec. 152. Social culture contains the formal phase, moral culture the real phase, of the practical mind. Conscience forms the transition to religious culture. In its apodeictic nature, it is the absoluteness of spirit. The individual discerns in the depths of its own consciousness the determinations of universality and of necessity to which it has to subject itself. They appear to it as the voice of God. Religion makes its appearance as soon as the individual distinguishes the Absolute from himself as personal, as a subject existing for itself and therefore for him. The atheist remains at the stage of insight into the absoluteness of the logical and physical, aesthetic and practical categories. He may, therefore, be perfectly moral. He lacks religion, though he loves to characterize his uprightness by this name, and to transfer the dogmatic determinations of positive religion into the ethical sphere. It belongs to the province of religion that I demean myself towards the Absolute not only as toward that which is my own substance, and that in relation to it not I alone am the subject, but that to me also the substance in itself is a personal subject for itself. If I look upon myself as the only absolute, I make myself devoid of spiritual essence. I am only absolute self-consciousness, for which, because it as idea relates only to itself, there remains only the impulse to a persistent conflict with every self-consciousness not identical with it. Were this the case, such a self-consciousness would be only theoretical irony. In religion I know the Absolute as essence, when I am known by him. Everything else, myself included, is finite and transitory, however significant it may be, however relatively and momentarily the Infinite may exist in it. As existence even, it is transitory. The Absolute, positing itself, distinguishing itself from itself in unity with itself, is always like to itself, and takes up all the unrest of the phenomenal world back again into its simple essence.
Sec. 153. This process of the individual spirit, in which it rises out of the multiplicity of all relations into union with the Absolute as the substantial subject, and in which nature and history are united, we may call, in a restricted sense, a change of heart [Gemuth]. In a wider sense of the word we give this name to a certain sentimental cheerfulness (light-heartedness), a sense of comfort—of little significance. The highest emotions of the heart culminate in religion, whose warmth is inspired by practical activity and conscientiousness.