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Deputy, Doctor op Letters, and Professor in the Normal School
of fontenay-aux-roses.



W. H. PAYNE, A.M.,

Chancellor of the University of Nashville, and President of the

State Normal College; late Professor of the Science and the

Art of Teaching in the University of Michigan.




Coptbight, Sept. 30, 1885,

J. S, Cushinq & Co,. Printers, Boston.





Translator's Preface v-vii

Introduction ix-xxii

Chapter I. — Education in Antiquity 1-16

Chapter II. — Education among the Greeks 17-42

Chapter III. — Education at Rome 43-60

Chapter IV. — The Early Christians and the Middle Age. . . 61-82
Chapter V. — The Renaissance and the Theories of Educa-
tion in the Sixteenth Century. — Erasmus,

Rabelais, and Montaigne 83-111

Chapter VI. — Protestantism and Primary Instruction. —

Luther and Comenius 112-137

Chapter VII. — The Teaching Congregations. — Jesuits and

Jansenists 138-163

Chapter VIII. — Fcnelon 164-186

Chapter IX. — The Philosophers of the Seventeenth Century.

— Descartes, Malebranche, and Locke 187-211

Chapter X. — The Education of Women in the Seventeenth
Century. — Jacqueline Pascal and Ma-
dame de Maintenon 212-231

Chaptek XI. — Rollin 232-252

Chapter XII. — Catholicism and Primary Instruction. — La
Salle and the Brethren of the Christian
Schools 263-278




Chapter XIII. — Rousseau and the Emile 278-310

Chapter XIV. — The Philosophers of the Eighteenth Cen-
tury. — Condillac, Diderot, Helvetius,
and Kant 311-339

Chapter XV. — The Origin of Lay and National Education.

— La Chalotais and Rolland 340-361

Chapter XVI. — The Revolution. — Mirabeau, Talleyrand,

and Condorcet 362-389

Chapter XVII. — The Convention. — Lepelletier Saint-Far-

geau, Lakanal, and Daunou 390-412

Chapter XVIII. — Pestalozzi 413-445

Chapter XIX. — The Successors of Pestalozzi. — Froebel

and the Pere Girard 446-477

Chapter XX. — Women as Educators 478-507

Chapter XXI. — The Theory and Practice of Education in

the Nineteenth Century 508-534

Chapter XXII. — The Science of Education. — Herbert Spen-
cer, Alexander Bain, Channing, and
Horace Mann 535-570

Appendix 571-575

Index 577-598


rj^HE two considerations that have chiefly influenced me in
making this translation are the following : —

1. Of the three phases of educational study, the prac-
tical, the theoretical, and the historical, the last, as proved
by the number of works written on the subject, has received
but very little attention from English and American teach-
ers ; and yet, if we allow that a teacher should first of all
be a man of culture, and that an invaluable factor in his
professional education is a knowledge of what has hitherto
been done within his field of activity, there are the best of
reasons why the claims of this study should be urged upon
the teaching profession. For giving breadth of view,
judicial candor, and steadiness of purpose, nothing more
helpful can be commended to the teacher than a critical
survey of the manifold experiments and experiences in
educational practice. The acutest thinkers of all the ages
have worked at the solution of the educational problem, and
the educating art has been practised under every variety of
conditions, civil, social, religious, philosophic, and ethnic.
Is it not time for us to review these experiments, as the
very best condition for advancing surely and steadily?

2. The almost complete neglect of this study among us
has been due, in great measure, to the fact that there have

vi translator's preface.

been no books on the subject at all adapted to the ends to
be attained. A dry, scrappy, and incomplete narration of
facts can end only in bewilderment and in blunting the taste
for this species of inquiry. The desirable thing has been
a book that is comprehensive without being tedious, whose
treatment is articulate and clear, and that is pervaded by a
critical insight at once catholic and accurate. Some years
ago I read with the keenest admiration, the Histoire Critique
des Doctrines de V Education en France depuis le Seizieme
/Sie'cle, by Gabriel Compayre' (Paris, 1879) ; and it seemed
to me a model, in matter and method, for a general history
of education. Within a recent period Monsieur Compayre
has transformed this Histoire Critique into such a general
history of education, under the title Histoire de la Pedagogic.
In this book all the characteristics of the earlier work have
been preserved, and it represents to my own mind very
nearly the ideal of the treatise that is needed by the teach-
ing profession of this country.

The reader will observe the distinction made by Monsieur
Compayre' between Pedagogy and Education. Though our
nomenclature does not sanction this distinction, and though
I prefer to give to the term Pedagogy a different connota-
tion, I have felt bound on moral grounds to preserve Mon-
sieur Compayr6's use of these terms wherever the context
would sanction it.

It seems mere squeamishness to object to the use of the
word Pedagogy on account of historical associations. The
fact that this term is in reputable use in German, French,

translator's preface. vii

and Italian educational literature, is a sufficient guaranty
that we may use it without danger. With us, the term
Pedagogics seems to be employed as a synonym for Peda-
gogy. It would seem to me better to follow continental
usage, and restrict the term Pedagogy to the art or practice
of education, and Pedagogics to the correlative science.

I feel under special obligations to Monsieur Compayr£,
aud to his publisher, Monsieur Paul Delaplane, for their
courteous permission to publish this translation. I am also
greatly indebted to nry friend, Mr. C. E. Lowrey, Ph.D., for
material aid in important details of my work.


University of Michigan,
Jan. 4. 1880.

The issue of a second edition has permitted a careful
revision of the translation and the correction of several
verbal errors. In subsequent editions, no effort will be
spared by the translator and his publishers to make this
volume worthy of the favor with which it has been received

by the educational public.

W. II. P.

Aug. 1, 1886.


"What a Complete History op Education would be. —
In writing an elementary history of pedagogy, I do not
pretend to write a history of education. Pedagogy and
education, like logic and science, or like rhetoric and
eloquence, are different though analogous things.

What would a complete history of education not
include? It would embrace, in its vast developments,
the entire record of the intellectual and moral culture
of mankind at all periods and in all countries. It would
be a resumt of the life of humanity in its diverse man-
ifestations, literary iind scientific, religious and political.
It would determine the causes, so numerous and so diverse,
which act upon the characters of men, and which, modi-
fying a common endowment, produce beings as different
as are a contemporary of Pericles and a modern Euro-
pean, a Frenchman of the middle ages and a Frenchman
subsequent to the Revolution.

In fact, there is not only an education, properly so called,
that which is given in schools and which proceeds from
the direct action of teachers, but there is a natural educa-
tion, which we receive without our knowledge or will,


through the influence of the social environment in which
we live. There are what a philosopher of the day has
ingeniously called the occult coadjutors of education, —
climate, race, manners, social condition, political institu-
tions, religious beliefs. If a man of the nineteenth cen-
tury is very unlike a man of the seventeenth century, it
is not merely because the first was educated in a Lycee
of the University and the other in a college of the
Jesuits ; it is also because in the atmosphere in which
they have been enveloped they have contracted differ-
ent habits of mind and heart ; it is because they have
grown up under different laws, under a different social
and political regime; because they have been nurtured
by a different philosophy and a different religion. Upon
that delicate and variable composition known as the human
soul, how many forces which we do not suspect have left
their imprint ! How many unobserved and latent causes
are involved in our virtues and in our faults ! The con-
scious and determined influence of the teacher is not,
perhaps, the most potent. In conjunction with him are
at work, obscurely but effectively, innumerable agents,
besides personal effort and what is produced by the original
energy of the individual.

We see what a history of education would be : a sort
of philosophy of history, to which nothing would be for-
eign, and which would scrutinize in its most varied and
most trifling causes, as well as in its most profound sources,
the moral life of humanity.


What an Elementary History of Pedagogy should
be. — Wholly different is the limited and modest purpose
of history of pedagogy, -which proposes merely to set
forth the doctrines and the methods of educators properly
so called. In this more limited sense, education is reduced
to the premeditated action which the will of one man
exercises over other men in order to instruct them and
train them. It is the reflective auxiliary of the natural
development of the human soul. To what can be done
by nature and by the blind and fatal influences which
sport with human destiny, education adds the concurrence
of art, that is, of the reason, attentive and self-possessed,
which voluntarily and consciously applies to the training
of the soul principles whose truth has been recognized,
and methods whose efficiency has been tested by expe-

Even thus limited, the history of pedagogy still presents
to our inquiry a vast field to be explored. There is scarcely
vi subject that has provoked to the same degree as educa-
tion the best efforts of human thinking. Note the cata-
logue of educational works published in French, which
Buisson has recently prepared. 1 Though incomplete, this
list contains not less than two thousand titles ; and prob-
ably educational activity has been more fruitful, and has
been given a still greater extension in Germany than in
France. This activity is due to the fact, first of all, that

1 See the Dictionnaire de P( : tla<i<>!/ic, by F. Buisson, Article Bibliogra-


educational questions, brought into fresh notice with each
generation, exercise over the minds of men an irresistible
and perennial attraction ; and also to the fact that parent-
hood inspires a taste for such inquiries, and, a thing thai
is not always fortunate, leads to the assumption of some
competence in such matters ; and finally to the very nature
of educational problems, which are not to be solved by
abstract and independent reasoning, after the fashion of
mathematical problems, but which, vitally related to the
nature and the destiny of man, change and vary with the
fluctuations of the psychological and the moral doctrines
of which they are but the consequences. To different
systems of psychology correspond different systems of
education. An idealist, like Malebranche, will not reason
upon education after the manner of a sensationalist like
Locke. In the same way there is in every system of morals
the germ of a characteristic and original system of educa-
tion. A mystic, like Gersou, will not assign to education
the same end as a practical and positive writer like Herbert
Spencer. Hence a very great diversity in systems, or at
least an infinite variet}- in the shades of educational opinion.
Still farther, educational activity may manifest itself in
different ways, either in doctrines and theories or in
methods and practical applications. The historian of ped-
agogy has not merely to make known the general concep-
tions which the philosophers of education have in turn
submitted to the approbation of men. If he wishes to
make his work complete, he must give a detailed account


of what has been accomplished, and make an actual study
of the educational establishments which have been founded
at different periods by those who have organized instruction.
Pedagogy is a complex affair, and there are many ways
of writing its history. One of these which has been too
little considered, and which would surely be neither the
least interesting nor the least fruitful, would consist in
studying, not the great writers on education and their
doctrines, not the great teachers and their methods, but
pupils themselves. If it were possible to relate in minute
detail, supposing that history would furnish us the neces-
sary information on this point, the manner in which a great
or a good man has been educated ; if an analysis could be
made of the different influences which have been involved
in the formation of talent or in the development of virtue
in the case of remarkable individuals ; if it were possible,
in a word, to reproduce through exact and personal biogra-
phies the toil, the slow elaboration whence have issued at
different periods solidity of character, rectitude of purpose,
and minds endowed with judicial fairness ; the result would
be a useful and eminently practical work, something analo-
gous to what a history of logic would be, in which there
should be set forth not the abstract rules and the formal
laws for the search after truth, but the successful experi-
ments and the brilliant discoveries which have little by
little constituted the patrimony of science. This perhaps
would be the best of logics because it is real and in action ;
and also the best of treatises on pedagogy, since there


might be learned from it, not general truths, which are
often of difficult application and of uncertain utility, but
practical means and living methods whose happ}' and effi-
cient applications would be seen in actual use.

We have just traced the imaginary plan of a history of
pedagogy rather than the exact outline of the series of
lessons which this book contains. However, we have
approached this ideal as nearly as we have been able, by
attempting to group about the principal philosophical and
moral ideas the systems of education which they have
inspired ; by endeavoring to retain whatever is essential ;
by adding to the first rapid sketches studied and elaborate
portraits ; by ever mingling with the expositions of doc-
trines and the analysis of important works the study of
practical methods and the examination of actual institu-
tions ; and, finally, by penetrating the thought of the
great educators, to learn from them how they became such,
and by following them, as they have united practice with
theory, in the particular systems of education which they
have directed with success. 1

Division of the History of Pedagogy. — The abun-
dance and the variety of pedagogical questions, the great
number of thinkers who have written upon education, in
a word, the complexit}' of the subject, might inspire the

1 The book now offered to the public was taught before it was written.
It is the result of the lectures given for three years past, either at the
higher normal school of Fontenay-aux-Roses, or in the normal courses for
men at Sevres and at Saint Cloud.


historian of pedagogy with the idea of dividing his work,
and of distributing his studies into several series. For
example, it would be possible to write the history of educa-
tion in general by itself, and then the history of instruction,
which is but an element of education. As education itself
comprises three parts, physical education, intellectual edu-
cation, and moral education, there would be an opportu-
nity for three series of distinct studies on these different
subjects. But these divisions would present grave incon-
veniences. In general, the opinions of an educator are
not susceptible of division ; there is a connection between
his manner of regarding the matter of instruction and the
solution he gives to educational questions proper. One
mode of thinking pervades his theories or his practice in
the matter of moral discipline, and his ideas on intellectual
education. It is, then, necessary to consider each of the
different systems of education as a whole.

Perhaps a better order of division would be that which,
without regard to chronological order, should distinguish
all pedagogical doctrines and applications into a certain
number of schools, and connect all educators with certain
general tendencies : as the ascetic tendency, that of the
fathers of the church, for example, and of the middle
ages ; the utilitarian tendency of Locke, and of a great
number of moderns ; the pessimism of Port Royal, the
optimism of Ftmelon ; the literary school of the humanists
of the Renaissance, and the scientific school of Diderot
and of Condorcet. Such a mode of procedure would have


its interest, because in the manifestations of educational
thought so apparently different it would sharply distin-
guish certain uniform principles which reappear at all
periods of history ; but this would be rather a philosopiry
of the history of education than a simple history of

The best we can do, then, is to follow the chronological
order and to study in turn the educators of antiquity,
those of the middle ages, of the Renaissance, and of
modern times. We shall interrogate in succession those
who have become eminent as teachers and educators, and
ask of each how he has solved for himself the various
portions of the problems of education. Besides being
more simple and more natural, this order has the advan-
tage of showing us the progress of education .as it has
gradually risen from instinct to reflection, from nature to
art, and after long periods of groping and many halts,
ascending from humble beginnings to a complete and defi-
nite organization. This plan also exhibits to us the beau-
tiful spectacle of a humanity in a state of ceaseless growth.
At first, instruction comprised but few subjects, at the
same time that only a select few participated in it. Then
there was a simultaneous though gradual extension of the
domain of knowledge which must be acquired, of the
moral qualities demanded by the struggle for existence,
and of the number of men who are called to be instructed
and educated, — the ideal being, as Comenius has said,
that all may learn and that everything may be taught.


Utility of the History of Pedagogy. — The history of
pedagogy is henceforth to form a part of the course of
study for the primary normal schools of France. It has
been included in the prescribed list of subjects for the third
year, under this title : History of Pedagogy, — Principal
educators and their doctrines; Analysis of the most important
works. 1

Is argument necessary to justify the place which has
been assigned to this study? In the first place, the history
of pedagogy possesses great interest from the fact that
it is closely connected with the general history of thought
and also with the philosophic explication of human actions.
Certainly, pedagogical doctrines are neither fortuitous
opinions nor events without significance. On the one hand,
they have their causes and their principles in moral, reli-
gious, and political beliefs, of which they are the faithful
image ; on the other, they are instrumental in the train-
ing of mind and in the formation of maimers. Back of
the Patio Studiorum of the Jesuits, back of the Emile
of Rousseau, there distinctly appears a complete religion,
a complete philosophy. In the classical studies organ-
ized bv the humanists of the Renaissance we see the
dawn of that literary brilliancy which distinguished the
century of Louis XIV., and so in the scientific studies
preached a hundred years ago by Diderot and by Condorcet
there was a preparation for the positive spirit of our time.
The education of the people is :it once the consequence

1 Resolution of Aug. 3, 1881,


of all that it believes and the source of all that it is
destined to be.

But there are othei reasons which recommend the study
of educators and the reading of their works. The his-
tory of pedagogy is a necessary introduction to pedagogy
itself. It should be studied, not for purposes of erudi-
tion or for mere curiosity, but with a practical purpose
for the sake of finding in it the permanent truths which
are the essentials of a definite theory of education.
The desirable thing just now is not perhaps so much
to find new ideas, as properly to comprehend those which
are already current ; to choose from among them, and,
a choice once having been made, to make a resolute effort
to apply them to use. When we consider with impar-
tiality all that has been conceived or practised previous
to the nineteenth century, or when we see clearly what
our predecessors have left us to do in the way of con-
sequences to deduce, of incomplete or obscure ideas to
generalize or to illustrate, and especially of opposing
tendencies to reconcile, we may well inquire what they
have really left us to discover.

It is profitable to study even the chimeras and the
educational errors of our predecessors. In fact, these
are so many marked experiments which contribute to the
progress of our methods by warning us of the rocks
which we should shun. A thorough analysis of the
paradoxes of Rousseau, and of the absurd consequences
to which the abuse of the principle of nature leads us,


is no loss instructive than meditation on the wisest
precepts of Montaigne or of Port Royal.

In truth, for him who has an exact knowledge of the
educators of past centuries, the work of constructing a
system of education is more than half done. It remains
only to co-ordinate the scattered truths which have been
collected from their works by assimilating them through
personal reflection, and by making them fruitful through
psychological analysis and moral faith.

Let it be observed that as studied by the men who
first conceived and practised them, pedagogical methods
present themselves to our examination with a sharpness
of outline that is surprising. Innovators lend to what-
ever they invent a personal emphasis, something life-like
and occasionally extravagant ; but it is exactly this which
permits us the better to comprehend their thought, and
the more completely to discover its truth or its falsity.

However, it is not alone the intellectual advantage
which recommends the history of pedagogy ; it is also
the moral stimulus which will be derived from the study.
For the sake of encourag-ins; to noble efforts the men
and women who are our teachers, is it of no moment
to present to them the names of Comenius, Rollin, and
Pestalozzi as men who have attained such high excellence
in their profession? AVill not the teacher who each day
resumes his heavy burden be revived and sustained?
Will he not enter his class-room, where so many diffi-
culties and toils await him, a better and a stronger man


if his imagination teems with articulate memories of those
who, in the past, have opened for him the way, and
shown him by their example how to walk in it? By
the marvellous agency of electricity we are now able to
transport material and mechanical power, and to cause
its transfer across space without regard to distance. But
by reading and by meditation we are able to do some-
thing analogous to this in the moral world ; we are able
to borrow from the ancients, across the centuries, some-
thing of the moral energy that inspired them, and to
make live again in our own hearts some of their virtues
of devotion and faith. Doubtless a brief history of
pedagogy could not, from this point of view, serve as
a substitute for the actual reading of the authors in
question ; but it is a preparation for this work and
inspires a taste for it.

We are warranted in saying, then, that the utility of
the history of pedagogy blends with the utility of ped-
agogy itself. To-day it is no longer necessary for us to
offer any proof on this point. Pedagogy, long neglected

Online LibraryGabriel CompayréThe history of pedagogy → online text (page 1 of 48)