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could be said that " the spirit of reaction made itself pain-
fully felt in it."

Daunou, who was the principal author of it, doubtless had
high competence in questions of public instruction ; but with
a secret connivance of his own temperament he yielded to the
tendencies of the times.. He voluntarily condescended to
the timidities of a senile and worn-out Assembly, which,
having become impoverished by a series of suicides, had
scarcely any superior minds left within it.

1 Albert Duruy, op. cit. p. 137.


478. Insufficiency of Daunou's Scheme. — Nothing
could be more defective than Daunou's plan. The number
of primary schools was reduced. It is no longer proposed
to proportion them to the population. Daunou goes back to
the cantonal schools of Talleyrand: "There shall be estab-
lished in each canton of the Republic one or more primary
schools." "We are far from Condorcet, who required a school
for each group of four hundred souls, and from Lakanal, who
demanded one for each thousand inhabitants. On the other
hand, teachers no longer receive a salary from the State.
The State merely assures to them a place for a class-i'oom
and lodging, and also a garden ! " There shall likewise be fur-
nished the teacher the garden which happens to lie near these
premises." There is no other remuneration save the annual
tuition paid by each pupil to the teacher. At the same stroke
the teacher was made the hireling of his pupils, and gratuity
of instruction was abolished. Only the indigent pupils, a
fourth of the whole number, could be exempted b} T the muni-
cipal administration from the payment of school fees. Finally,
the programme of studies was reduced to the humblest pro-
portions : reading, writing, number, and the elements of
republican morality.

After so many noble and generous ambitions, after so
many enthusiastic declarations in favor of the absolute gra-
tuity of primary instruction, after so many praiseworthy
efforts to raise the material and moral condition of teachers,
and to cause instruction to circulate to the minutest fibres of
the social tissue, the Convention terminated its work in a
mean conception which thinned out the schools, which im-
poverished the programmes, which plunged the teacher anew
into a precarious state of existence, which put him anew at
the mercy of his pupils, without, however, taking care to
assure him of patronage, and which, for his sole compensa-


tion in case he had no pupils to instruct, guaranteed him the
right to cultivate a garden, if, indeed, there should be one in
the neighborhood of the school! Had the law of 1795 been
in fact the educational will of the Convention, is it not true,
at least, that it is after the manner of those wills extorted by
undue means, where a man by his final bequests recalls his
former acts, and proves himself faithless to all the aspirations
of his life?

No, it is not from Daunou, but from Talleyrand, from
Condorcet, and from Lakanal that we must seek the real
educational thought of the Revolution. Doubtless the meas-
ure of Daunou had over all previous measures the advan-
tages of being applied, and of not remaining a dead letter ;
but the glory of the early Revolutionists should not be belit-
tied by the fact that circumstances arrested the execution of
their plans, and that a century was necessary in order that
society might attain the ideal which they had conceived.
They were the first to proclaim the right and the duty of each
citizen to be instructed and enlightened. We are ceaselessly
urged to admire the past and to respect the work of our
fathers. We do not in the least object to this, but the Rev-
olution itself also forms a part of that past, and we regret
that the men who so eloquently preach the worship of tradi-
tions and respect for ancestors, are precisely those who the
most harshly disparage the efforts of the Revolution.

[479. Analytical Summary. — 1. The educational legis-
lation of the French Revolution, apparently so inconsiderate,
so vacillating, and so fruitless, betrays the instinctive feeling
of a nation in peril, that the only constitutional means of re-
generation is universal instruction, intellectual and moral.

2. Out of the same instinct grew Hie conception that the
starting-point in educational reform is the instruction and



inspiration of the teaching bod} 7 . The normal school lies at
the very basis of national safety and prosperity.

3. The immediate fruitlessness of the educational legisla-
tion of the Revolution, is another illustration of the general
fact that no reform is operative, which in any considerable
degree antedates the existing state of public opinion. Could
there be a revelation of the ideal education, human society
could grow into it onl} T by slow and almost insensible degrees.
While there can be rational growth only through some degree
of anticipation, it is perhaps best that educators have only
that prevision which is provisional.]




480. German Pedagogy. — For two centuries Germany
has been the classical land of pedagogy ; and to render an
account of all the efforts put forth in that country in the
domain of education it would be necessary to write several

From the opening of the eighteenth century, says Dittes,
u a change for the better takes place. Ideas become facts.
The importance of education is more and more recognized ;
pedagogy shakes off the ancient dust of the school and in-
terests itself in actual life ; it is no longer willing to be a
collateral function of the Church, but begins to become an
independent art and science. A few theologians will still
render it important service, but in general they will do this
outside the Church, and often in opposition to it."


While awaiting the grand and fruitful impulsion of Pesta-
lozzi, the history of pedagogy ought to mention at least the
Pietists, " whose educational establishments contributed to
prepare the way for the new methods," and after them, the
Philanthropists, of whom Basedow is the most celebrated

481. The Pietists and Francke (1663-1727). — Francke
played nearly the same part in Germany that La Salle did in
France. He founded two establishments at Halle, the Pceda-
gogium and the Orphan Asylum, which, in 1727, contained
more than two thousand pupils. He belonged to the sect of
Pietists, Lutherans who professed an austere morality, and,
in conformity with the principles of his denomination, he
made piety the supreme end of education.

That which distinguishes and commends Francke, is his
talent for organization. He was right in giving marked at-
tention to the material condition of schools and to needed
supplies of apparatus. The Ptedagogium was installed in 1 7 1 5
in comfortable quarters, and there were annexed to it a
botanical garden, a museum of natural history, physical ap-
paratus, a chemical and an anatomical laboratory, and a shop
for the cutting and polishing of glass.

After him his disciples, Niemeyer, Sender, and Hecker,
continued his work, and, in certain respects, reformed it.
They founded the first real schools of Germany. They kept
up the practical spirit, the professional pedagogy of their
master, and assured the development of those educational
establishments which still exist to-day under the name of
the Institutions of Francke.

482. The Philanthropists and Basedow (1723-1790).—-
With Basedow, a more liberal spirit, borrowed in part from
Rousseau, gained entrance into German pedagogy. Basedow


founded at Dessau a school which received the praise of the
philosopher Kant, and of the clergyman Oberlin. He desig-
nated it by a name which reflects his humanitarian intentions,
the PhiUnithropinum. In the methods which he employed in
it he seems always to have had before bis eyes the exclama-
tion of Rousseau: "Things, things! Too many words!"
The intuitive method, or that of teaching by sight, was prac-
tised in the school of Dessau.

The principal work of Basedow, his Elementary Book, is
scarcely more than the Orbis Pictus of Comenius recon-
structed according to the principles of Rousseau. At Dessau,
the pretence was made of teaching a language in six months.
"Our methods," says Basedow, "make studies only one-
third as long and thrice as agreeable." An abuse was made
of mechanical exercises. The children, at the command of
the master : Imitamini sartorem, — Imitamini sutorem, — all
began to imitate the motions of a tailor who is sewing, or of
a shoemaker who is using his awl. Graver still, Basedow
made such an abuse of object lessons as to represent to chil-
dren certain scenes within the sick-chamber, for the pur-
pose of teaching them their duties aud obligations to their
mothers. 1

483. Schools for the People. — Great efforts were made
in the eighteenth century, in the Catholic, as well as in the
Protestant countries of Germany, towards the development
of popular instruction. Maria Theresaand Frederick II. con-
sidered public instruction as an affair of the Slate. Private
enterprise was added to the efforts of the government. In
Prussia, a nobleman, Rochow (1734-1805), founded village

1 Besides Basedow, there should be mentioned among the educators who
have become noted in Germany under the name of Philanthropists, Salz-
man (1744-1811) and Canine (1746-1818).


schools; and in Austria, two ecclesiastics, Felbiger (1724-
1788) and Kindermann (1740-1801), contributed by their
activity in education to the reform of schools.

Nevertheless, the results were still very poor, and the pub-
lic school, especially the village school, remained in a sorry

" Almost everywhere," says Dittes, " there were employed
as teachers, domestics, corrupt artisans, discharged soldiers,
degraded students, and, in general, persons of questionable
morality and education. Their pay was mean, and their
authority slight. Attendance at school, generally very irreg-
ular, was almost everywhere entirely suspended in summer.
Many villages had no school, and scarcely anywhere was the
school attended by all the children. In many countries, most
of the children, especially the girls, were wholly without in-
struction. The people, especially the peasantry, regarded
the school as a burden. The clergy, it is true, always re-
garded themselves as the proprietors of the school, but on
the whole they did but very little for it, and even arrested its
progress. The nobility was but little favorable, in general,
to intellectual culture for the people. . . . Instruction re-
mained mechanical and the discipline rude. It is reported
that a Suabian schoolmaster, who died in 1782, had inflicted
during his experience in teaching 911,527 canings, 124,010
whippings, 10,235 boxes on the ear, and 1,115,800 thumps
on the head. Moreover, he had made boys kneel 777 times
on triangular sticks, had caused the fool's cap to be worn
5001 1 times, and the stick to be held in air 1707 times. He
had used something like 3000 words of abuse. ..."

1 What a painstaking soul to be so exact in his accounts! Doubtless he
had an eye to the future publication of his record as a maitre de fouet !
This account is rather too exact to be trustworthy. (P.)


484. Pestalozzi (1746-1827).— In Switzerland, the sit-
uation of primary instruction was scarcely better. The
teachers were gathered up at hazard ; their pay was wretched ;
in general they had no lodgings of their own, and they were
obliged to hire themselves out for domestic service among the
well-off inhabitants of the villages, in order to find food and
lodgiug among them. A mean spirit of caste still dominated
instruction, and the poor remained sunk in ignorance.

It was in the very midst of this wretched and unpropitious
state of affairs that there appeared, towards the end of the
eighteenth century, the most celebrated of modern educators,
a man who, we may be sure, was not exempt from faults,
whose mind had deficiencies and weaknesses, and whom we
have no intention of shielding from criticism, by covering
him with the praises of a superstitious admiration ; but who
is pre-eminently great by reason of his unquenchable love for
the people, his ardent self-sacrifice, and his pedagogic instinct.
During the eighty years of his troubled life, Pestalozzi never
ceased to work for children, and to devote himself to their
instruction. War or the ill-will of his countrymen destroyed
his schools to no purpose. Without ever despairing, he
straightway rebuilt them farther away, sometimes succeed-
ing, through the gift of ardent speech, which never deserted
him, in communicating the inspiration to those about him ;
gathering up in all places orphans and vagabonds, like a kid-
napper of a new species ; forgetting that lie was poor, when
he saw an occasion to be charitable, and that he was ill, when
it was necessary to teach ; and, finally, pursuing with an un-
conquerable energy, through hindrances and obstacles of
every description, his educational apostleship. " It is death
or success ! " he wrote. " My zeal to accomplish the dream
of my life would have carried me through air or through fire,
no matter how, to the highest peak of the Alps ! "


485. The Education of Pestalozzi. — The life of Pes-
talozzi is intimately related to his educational work. To
comprehend the educator, it is first necessary to have become
acquainted with the man.

Born at Zurich in 1746, Pestalozzi died at Brugg in Argo-
via in 1827. This unfortunate great man always felt the
effects of the sentimental and unpractical education given
him by his mother, who was left a widow with three children
in 1751. He early formed the habit of feeling and of being
touched with emotion, rather than of reasoning and of reflect-
ing. The laughing-stock of his companions, who made sport
of his awkwardness, the little scholar of Zurich accustomed
himself to live alone and to become a dreamer. Later,
towards 1760, the student of the academy distinguished him-
self by his political enthusiasm and his revolutionary daring.
At that early period he had conceived a profound feeling for
the miseries and the needs of the people, and he already pro-
posed as the purpose of his life the healing of the diseases of
society. At the same time there was developed in him an
irresistible taste for a simple, frugal, and almost ascetic life.
To restrain his desires had become the essential rule of his
conduct, and, to put it in practice, he forced himself to sleep
on a plank, and to subsist on bread and vegetables. Life in
the open air had an especial attraction for him. Each year
he spent his vacations in the country at his grandfather's, who
was a minister at Hcengg. Omne malum, ex urbe was his
favorite thought.

486. Pestalozzi an Agriculturist (1765-1775). — Pes-
talozzi's call to be a teacher manifested itself at first only by
some vague aspirations, of which it would be easy to find the
trace in the short essays of his youth, and in the articles
which he contributed in his twentieth year to a students'
journal published at Zurich. After having tried his hand


unsuccessfully at theology and law, he became an agricul-
turist. When he established at Neuhof an agricultural en-
terprise, he thought less of enriching himself than of raising
the material condition of the Swiss peasantry by organizing
new industries. But notwithstanding his good intent, and
the assistance of the devoted woman whom he had married
in 1769, Anna Schultess, Pestalozzi, more enterprising than
skillful, failed in his industrial establishments. In 1775 he
had exhausted his resources. It is then that he formed an
heroic resolution which typifies his indiscreet generosity.
Poor, and scarcely more than able to support himself, he
opened on his farm an asylum for poor children.

487. How Pestalozzi became an Educator. — The asy-
lum for poor children at Neuhof (1775-1780) is, so to speak,
the first step in the pedagogical career of Pestalozzi. The
others will be the orphan asylum at Stanz (1798-1799), the
primary schools at Burgdorf (1 799) , the institute at Burgdorf
(1801-1804), and, finally, the institute at Yverdun (1805-

The first question that is raised when we study systems
of education, is, how the authors of those systems became

The best, perhaps, are those who became such because of
their gnat love for humanity, or because of their tender love
for their children. Pestalozzi is of this class. It is because
he has ardently dreamed from his youth of the moral amelio-
ration of the people ; and it is also because he has followed
with a tender solicitude the first steps of his little son Jacob
on life's journey, that he became a great teacher.

488. The Education- of his Son. — The Father's Jour-
nal^ where Pestalozzi noted from day to day the progress of

1 See interesting quotations from the " Journal d'un pere," in the excel-
lent biography of Pestalozzi, by Roger de Guimps.


his child, shows him intent on applying the principles of
Rousseau. At the age of eleven, Jacob, like Emile, did not
3^et know how to read or to write. Things before words, the
intuition of sensible objects, few exercises in judgment,
respect for the powers of the child, an equal anxiety to hus-
band his liberty and to secure his obedience, the constant
endeavor to diffuse joy and good humor over education, —
such were the principal traits of the education which Pesta-
lozzi gave his son, an education which was a real experiment
in pedagogy, from which the pupil perhaps suffered some-
what, but from which humanity was to derive profit. From
this period Pestalozzi conceived some of the ideas which be-
came the principles of his method. The father had made the
educator. One of the superiorities of Pestalozzi over Rous-
seau is, that he loved and educated his own child.

489. The Asylum at Neuiiof. — Madame de Stael was
right in saying that " we must consider Pestalozzi's school
as limited to childhood. The education which it gives is
designed only for the common people." And, in fact, the
first and the last establishments of Pestalozzi were schools
for small children. In the last years of his life, when he
was obliged to leave the institute of Yverdun, he returned
to Neuhof, and there had constructed a school for poor

The school at Neuhof was to be above all else, in Pesta-
lozzi's thought, an experiment in moral and material regen-
eration through labor, through order, and through instruction.
Many exercises in language, singing, reading of the Bible, —
such were the intellectual occupations. But the greater part
of the time was devoted to agricultural labor, to the cultiva-
tion of madder.

Notwithstanding his admirable devotion, Pestalozzi did not
long succeed in his philanthropic plans. He had to contend


against the prejudices of parents, and the ingratitude of the
children. Very often the little beggars whom he had gath-
ered up waited only till they had received from him new
clothing, and then ran away and resumed their vagabond
life. Besides, he lacked resources. He became poor, and
fell more and more into debt. His friends, who had aided
him on the start, warned him that he would die in a hospital
or in a mad-house.

" For thirty years," he says himself, " my life was a des-
perate struggle against the most frightful poverty. . . . More
than a thousand times I was obliged to go without dinner,
and at noon, when even the poorest were seated around a
table, I devoured a morsel of bread upon the highway . . . ;
and all this that I might minister to the needs of the poor,
by the realization of my principles."

490. Pestalozzi a Writer. — After the check to his un-
dertaking at Neuhof , Pestalozzi renounced for some time all
practical activity, and it was by his writings that he mani-
fested, from 1780 to 1787, his zeal in education.

In 1780 appeared the Evening Hours of a Recluse, a series
of aphorisms on the rise of a people through education. In
this, Pestalozzi sharply criticised the artificial method of the
school, and insisted on the necessity of developing the soul
through what is tcithin, — through interior culture : —

" The school everywhere puts the order of words before
the order of free nature."

" The home is the basis of the education of humanity."

" Man, it is within yourself, it is in the inner sense of your
power, that resides nature's instrument for your develop-

491. Leonard and Gertrude. — In 1781 Pestalozzi
published the first volume of Leonard and Gertrude. He


had written it within the blank spaces of an old account book.
This book, the most celebrated perhaps of all Pestalozzi's
writings, is a sort of popular romance in which the author
brings upon the stage a family of working-people. Gertrude
here represents the ideas of Pestalozzi on the education of
children. The three other volumes (1783, 1785, 1787) re-
late the regeneration of a village through the concerted action
of legislation, administration, religion, and the school, and
especially the school, " which is the centre whence everything
should proceed."

Leonard and Gertrude is the only one of Pestalozzi's
works which Diesterweg 1 recommends to practical teachers.

" It was nry first word," says Pestalozzi, " to the heart of
the poor and of the abandoned of the land."

In making Gertrude the principal character of his romance,
Pestalozzi wished to emphasize one of his fundamental ideas,
which was to place the instruction and the education of the
people in the hands of mothers.

492. New Experiments in Agriculture. — From 1787
to 1797 Pestalozzi returned to farming. It is from this
period that date his relations with Fellenberg, the celebrated
founder of Agricultural Institutes, and with the philosopher
Fichte, who showed him the agreement of his ideas with the
doctrine of Kant. His name began to become celebrated,
and, in 1792, the Legislative Assembly proclaimed him a
French citizen, in company with Washington and Klopstock.

During these years of farm labor, Pestalozzi had meditated
different works which appeared in 1797.

493. Other Works of Pestalozzi. — Educational thought
pervades all the literary works of Pestalozzi. Thus his
Fables, short compositions in prose, all have a moral and

1 See Chap. XIX.


educational tendency. Also, in his Researches on the Course
of Nature in the Development of the Human Race, he sought
to justify the preponderant office which he accorded to nature
in the education of man. But Pestalozzi was not successful
in philosophical dissertations.

" This book," he says himself, " is to me only another
proof of my lack of ability ; it is simply a diversion of nry
imaginative faculty, a work relatively weak. . . . No one,"
he adds, " understands me, and it has been hinted that the
whole work has been taken for nonsense."

This judgment is severe, but it is only just. Pestalozzi
had an intuition of truth, but he was incapable of giving a
theoretical demonstration of it. His thought all aglow, and
his language all imagery, did not submit to the concise and
methodical exposition of abstract truths.

494. The Orphan Asylum at Stanz (1798-1799).—
Up to 1798 Pestalozzi had scarcely found the occasion to
put in practice his principles and his dreams. The Helvetic
Revolution, which he hailed with enthusiasm as the signal of
a social regeneration for his country, finally gave him the
means of making a trial of his theories, which, by a strange

Online LibraryGabriel CompayréThe history of pedagogy → online text (page 33 of 48)