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tators. Like Pestalozzi, he inspired a large number of minds
by his writings, and through the zeal of Madame von Maren-
holtz, and of some other disciples, his practical work pros-
pered. The Kindergartens have been multiplied in many
places, and particularly in Austria.

547. The Pere Girard (1765-1850). — The Pere Girard
is the most eminent educator of modern Switzerland. Less
celebrated than Pestalozzi and Froebel, he yet has this advan-
tage over them, of having been better prepared for his pro-
fession as an educator. After having finis"hed a thorough
and complete course of classical study, he for a long time
taught the same subjects in the same school. He acquired
experience and wrote his treatises only in an advanced age,
at a time when he was in complete possession of his ideas.
He was in fact seventy-nine years old when he published
his book On the Systematic Teaching of the Mother Tongue.
It is a work of mature thought, and sums up a whole life-
time of labor. Less addicted to system than Froebel and
Pestalozzi, the Pere Girard still carries mere system too
far, and makes a misuse of the principle which consisted in
making of all the parts of instruction the elements of moral

548. Life of the Pere Girard. — Girard was born in
Friburg in 1765. His pedagogic instinct manifested itself


at an early hour. "While still very young he aided his mother
in instructing his fourteen brothers and sisters. Like Froebel,
he was passionately fond of religious questions. One day as
he had heard his preceptor say that there was no salvation
outside of the Roman Church, he sought his mother in tears,
and asked her if the Protestant tradesman who brought her
fruit each day would be damned. His mother reassured
him, and he always remained faithful to what he called "the
theology of his mother," — a tolerant and broad theology
which brought on him the hatred of the Jesuits.

At the age of sixteen he entered the order of the Gra}'
Friars, and completed his novitiate at Lucerne. He then
taught in several convents, in particular at Wurtzburg, where
he remained four years (1785-1788). He returned to Fri-
burg in 1789, and for ten years he devoted himself almost
exclusively to his ecclesiastical functions.

But his vocation as an educator was even then indicated
by some things that he had written.

In 1798, under the influence of the ideas of Kant, whose
philosophical doctrine he had ardently studied, he published
a Scheine of Education for all Helvetia, addressed to the
Swiss minister Stapfer, who was also the patron of Pesta-

It was only in 1804, that Girard devoted himself entirely
to teaching, the very year in which Froebel began his work.
He was appointed to direct the primary school at Friburg,
which had just been entrusted to the Gray Friars. Girard
received the title of " prefect of studies," and for nineteen
years, from 1805 to 1823, he exercised his functions as a
teacher in that school. Very small in the beginning, the
school had a remarkable growth. There was added to it
even a school for girls. At first Girard had Gray Friars for
colleagues ; but he soon replaced them with lay teachers,


who obeyed him better and devoted themselves more entirely
to their task. The teacher of drawing was a Protestant.

549. Success of the School at Friburg. — A disciple
and an admirer of Girard, the pastor Naville, has related in
his work on Public Education 1 the brilliant results obtained
by Girard in his school at Friburg.

' ' He had trained a body of youth the like of which
perhaps no city in the world could furnish. It was
not without a profound emotion that the friends of hu-
manity contemplated a spectacle so new and so touching.
That ignorant and boorish class, full of prejudices, which
everywhere abounds, was no longer met with at Friburg. . . .
The young there developed graces of an amiable deportment
which were never marred by anything disagreeable in tone,
speech, or manner. If, seeing children approaching you
covered with rags, you approached them thinking that } 7 ou
were about to encounter little ruffians, you were wholly sur-
prised to have them reply to you with politeness, with judg-
ment, and with that accent which bespeaks genteel manners
and a careful education. . . . You will find the explanation
in the school, when you observe the groups where these same
children exercise by turns, as in playing, their judgment and
their conscience. Three or four hours a day employed in
this work gave the young that intelligence, those sentiments,
and those manners which delighted you."

550. The Last Years of the Pere Girard. — Notwith-
standing the success of his instruction, the Pere Girard was
obliged to abandon the charge of his school in 1823. His
loss of position was the result of the intrigues of the Jes-

iDe Education publique. T'nris, 1833, p. ins. Naville (1784-1846)
founded in 1817, at Vernier, near Geneva, an institute where he applied
with success the educative method of the Fere Girard.


uits, whose college had been re-established in 1818. He left
Friburg amid universal regrets, and retired to Lucerne, where
he taught philosophy till 1834. At that date he returned to
his native city and lived a life of seclusion. It was then
that he wrote his pedagogical works. But through his disci-
ples, and particularly through the pastor Naville, the methods
of the Pere Girard were known before he had published any-

551. Teaching op the Mother Tongue. — Let us now
examine the general spirit of the pedagogy of Girard. It is
in the theoretical work which he published in 1844, and
which was crowned by the French Academy in the same year,
that we must look for the principles of his method. It con-
sisted in ' ' choosing a study which may be considered as one
essential part of the instruction common to all the classes of
society, and which nevertheless is fit for calling into exercise
all the intellectual powers." This study was the mother
tongue, which Girard employed for the moral and religious
development of children.

Villemain, in his report on the books of Girard, has clear-
ly defined the purpose of the common school as conceived by
the educator of Friburg : —

" Where the period of instruction is necessarily short and
its object limited, a wise choice of method is the thing of
first importance, for upon this choice will depend the educa-
tion itself. If that method is purely technical, if its exclu-
sive object is reading, writing, and the rules of grammar and
computation, the child of the common people will be poorly
instructed and will not be educated at all. A difficult task
burdens his memory without developing his soul. A new
process is placed at his disposal, one workshop more is open
to him, so to speak ; but the trace left by that instruction


will not be deep, will sometimes even be lost through lack of
application and exercise, and will not have acted on the
moral nature, too often absorbed eventually by a monotonous
devotion to duty or the excessive fatigue of bodily labor.
The only, the real people's school, is then that in which all
the elements of study serve for the culture of the soul, and
in which the child grows better by the things which he learns
and by the manner in which he learns them."

552. Analysis of this Work. — The book of Girard is
divided into four parts. The first contains general considera-
tions on the manner in which the mother teaches her children
to speak, upon the purpose of a course of instruction on the
mother tongue, and on the elements which should compose it.

The second part is entitled : The Systematic Teaching of
the Mother Tongue considered solely as the Expression of
Thought. It is language considered in itself ; but Girard
desires that the word should always be united to the thought.
It is not necessary that the teaching of grammar should be
reduced to verbal instruction ; it should also serve to develop
the thought of pupils.

In the third part, the Systematic Teaching of the Mother
Tongue considered as the Means of Intellectual Culture, Girard
considers everything which can contribute to the development
of the faculties.

In the fourth part, the Systematic Teaching of Language
employed for the Culture of the Heart, Girard shows how the
teaching of language may assist in moral education.

A fifth part, Use of the Course in the Mother Tongue, is,
so to speak, the material part of the book, and, as it were,
the outline of the great practical work of Girard, the Edu-
cative 1 Course iii the Mother Tongue.

1 I am aware that this term is not found in the latest Webster, but I see
no other way of expressing the force of the word dducatif, which seems to
signify the disciplinary, or rather the culture, value of a study. (P.)


553. The Grammarian, the Logician, the Educator,
— In other terms, Girard places himself in succession at
four different points of view in the teaching of language : —

" Four persons," he says, " ought to concur in construct-
ing the course in the mother tongue : the grammarian, the
logician, the educator, and, finally, the man of letters."

The task of the grammarian is to furnish the material of
the language and its proper forms.

The logician will teach us what must be done in order to
cultivate the intelligence of the young.

The educator will ever be inspired by this grand truth :
" Man acts as he loves, and he loves as he thinks." He will
try to grave in the souls of children all the beautiful and
grand truths which can awaken and nourish pure and noble

Finally, the man of letters has also his part in the course
in language, in the sense that pupils, besides being required
from the beginning of their studies to ipvent propositions
and sentences, will have a little later to compose narratives,
letters, dialogues, etc.

554. The Grammar of Ideas. — Elementary instruction
should have for its purpose the development of the mind
and the judgment. It is no longer a question of cultivating
the memory alone and of causing words to be learned. The
Pere Girard would have grammar made an exercise in

"The grammars in use," he says, "are intended simply
to teach correctness in speaking and writing. By their aid
we are able finally to avoid a certain number of faults in
style and orthography. . . . This instruction becomes a
pure affair of memory, and the child becomes accustomed
to pronounce sounds to which he attaches no meaning. The


child needs a grammar of ideas. . . . Our grammars of
words are the plague of education."

In other terms, grammar should be made above all else an
exercise in thinking, and, as it were, "the logic of childhood."

555. Discreet Use of Rules. — The Pere Girard does
not proscribe rules. The teaching of language cannot do
without them; "but there is," he says, "a proper manner
of presenting them to children, and a just medium to hold."

In the teaching of grammar we must follow the course
which the grammarians themselves have followed in order to
construct their science: "The rules were established on
facts. It is then to facts that they must be referred in
instruction, in order that by this means children may be
taught to do intelligently what the} T have hitherto done
through blind imitation. . . . Few rules, many exercises.
Rules are always abstract, dry, and for this very reason
poorly adapted to please children, even when they can com-
prehend them. "We ought, then, in general, to make a very
sparing use of them."

So the Pere Girard particularly recommends practical
exercises, oral instruction, the continual use of the black-
board, the active and animated co-operation of all the mem-
bers of the class, rapid interrogation, the Socratic method,
the abuse of which, however, he criticises. 1

556. Moral Arithmetic. 2 — The Pere Girard, like almost
all the men who have conceived an original idea, has fallen

1 See Chap. III. of Book III. paragraph 1st. Just medium between two

2 Here is an example from Pere Girard's arithmetic: —

" A father had the habit of going every evening to the dram-shop, and
often left his family at home without bread. During the live years that
he led this life, he spent, the first year, 1U7 francs, the second, 201 francs,


into the love of systematizing. He believed that not only
language, but all the branches of study might contribute to
moral education.

"He conceived," says Naville, "that by means of a
selection of problems adapted to the development of the
social affections in the family, the commune, and the State,
one might give to arithmetic such a wholesome direction that
it might be made to contribute, not only to making the child
prudent and economical, but even more to extend his views
beyond the narrow circle of selfishness, and to cultivate in
him beneficent dispositions." 1

557. Moral Geography. — It is in the same spirit that
he claimed to find in the study of geography a means of
contributing to the development of the moral nature.

"According to my honest conviction, every elementary
work for children ought to be a means of education. If it
is limited to giving knowledge, if it is limited to developing
the faculties of the pupil, I can approve the order and the
life which the author has known how to put into his work ;
but I am not satisfied Avith it. I am even offended to find
only a teacher of language, of natural history, of geography,
etc. , when I expected something much greater, — an instructor
of the young, training the mind in order to train the heart.
. . . Geography lends itself as marvellously to this sublime
purpose, although in a sphere a little narrower." 2

558. Educative Course in the Mother Tongue.

Girard is not content to state his doctrine in his book On the

the third, 212 francs, and the fourth, 129 francs. How many francs would
this unfortunate father have saved if he had not had a taste for drink ? " (P.)

1 Naville, De V Education publique, p. 411.

2 Explication du plan de Fribourg en Suisse, 1817.


Systematic Teaching of the Mother Tongue ; but in the four
volumes of his Educative Course (1844-1846) he has applied
his method. Full of new and radical views, original in the
arrangement of material as in its system of exposition,
revolutionaiy even in its grammatical terminology, this book
is a mine from which we may borrow without stint, only
we shall not advise wholesale adoption : there is matter to
take and to leave. 1

559. Analysis of this Work. — The title indicates the
general character of the work. In his Cours educatif, Girard
does not separate education from instruction. The purpose
is to develop the moral and religious sentiments of the child,
no less than to teach him his native language.

The first lessons in grammar ought to be lessons in things.
The child is made to name the objects which he knows, — ■ per-
sons, animals, things, — and through these he is made to ac-
quire notions of nouns, common and proper, of gender and
number. He is then induced to find for himself the physical,
intellectual, and moral qualities of objects, and by this means
is made familiar with qualifying adjectives. Care is taken,
moreover, while causing each quality to be named, as farther
on while causing each judgment to be expressed, to ask the
child, " Is this right? Is this wrong?"

The agreement of adjective with noun is learned by prac-
tice. The child is drilled in applying adjectives to the nouns
which he has found, and vice versa.

Once in possession of the essential elements of the propo-
sition, the child begins the study of the proposition itself,
and finally the study of the verb. Girard makes it a princi-
ple always to have the conjugations made by means of propo-

1 See the interesting articles of Lafargue in the Bulletin pedagogique
ie Venseignement secondaire, 1882.


sitions. At first, however, he employs in simple propositions
only the indicative, the infinitive, the imperative, and the
participle ; he postpones till later the study of the conditional
and the subjunctive. It is to be noted, in addition, that he
brings forward simultaneously the simple tenses of all the

The order followed b} r Girard is wholly different from that
of the ordinary grammars. This is how he explains it : —

" In their first part, the grammars set out in a row the nine
sorts of words, and thus give in rapid succession their defini-
tions, distinctions, and variable forms, which introduces a
legion of terms wholly unknown to the child. The second
part of these grammars takes up these words again in the
same order, so as, in an uninteresting way, to regulate
their use in construction, — a tedious and arid S}-stem, which
affords the child no interest."

Elsewhere, speaking of his own work, he writes : —

" My work differs essentially from the grammars which
are put in the hands of children. When we write on lan-
guage for adults, we may adhere to definitions, distinctions,
rules, and exceptions, and formulate statements regarding
their proper use ; but he who writes for children ought to
have the education of the mind and heart in view, and regu-
late on that basis the course and form of instruction. The
course ought to be rigorously progressive, and the pupils
ought, from beginning to end, to assist themselves in con-
structing a grammar of their own."

" So, instead of making generalizations on the noun,
adjective, verb, etc., and of connecting with these parts of
speech all that relates to them, we must apply ourselves to
the substance of language, passing step by step from the
simple to the complex, and teaching children to think, in
order to teach them to comprehend and to speak the language


of man. The little details cannot appear till later, and as
occasion requires. From this there necessarily results a
displacement of grammatical material which has been indus-
triously collected and arranged. Hence, also, a great parsi-
mony in definitions and abstract distinctions which repel

560. Educational Influence of the Pere Girard. —
The influence of the Pere Girard was not extended simply to
Switzerland. It has radiated abroad. His ideas have been
disseminated in Italy, propagated by the Abbe' Lambruschini
and by Enrico Mayer. A journal even has been founded to
serve as the organ of the "Girardists" of the Peninsula.
In France, Michel, in the Journal de l' education pratique,
and Rapet in different works, 1 have commended to public
attention the methods of the Swiss educator. Finally, it
may be remarked that the principles very recently set forth
by the Conseil superieure de Vinstruction publique (1880),
on the teaching of French in the elementary classes of the
lycees, are in great part the echo of the pedagogical doctrine
of the Pere Girard.

[561. Analytical Summary. — 1 . In this study we have the
third exposition, in historical order, — Rousseau, Pestalozzi,
Froebel, — of the doctrine of nature as applied to education.
This doctrine may be summarized as follows : —

The existing order of things is conceived as an animated
organism, and is personified under the term Nature. Al]
living things, such as plants, animals, and men, are products
of the creative power thai is immanent in nature, and each
is predetermined to an upward development in the line of

1 Monsieurs Bapel and Michel were associated in the publication of the
Cours iducatif de la langue maternelle.


growth. This growth is an unfolding from within outward,
and each individual thing, as a child, has reached the
term of its development when it has grown into the t}-pe of
its kind. In the case of the human species, this growth is
best when it is natural, and it is natural to the degree in
which it takes place without the deliberate intervention of
art. This process of development is Nature's work, and its
synonym is education. Education is best when it is most
natural, that is, when it suffers least from human interfer-
ence. The question of the relative parts to be played by
Nature and by Art in education has given rise to two schools
of educators.

2. In Froebel's application of this doctrine, the original
conception is obscured by three circumstances : 1 . his deism ;
2. his mysticism or symbolism; 3. his dependence on artifi-
cial agents, his " gifts," and his belief in the potency of

3. The Kindergarten has introduced many ameliorations
into primary instruction, and its tendency is to make child-
life happy through self-activity. Its shortcomings are that
it undervalues the acquisition of second-hand knowledge,
obscures the distinction between work and play, and indis-
poses, aud perhaps unfits, the pupil to contend with real
difficulties. 1

4. The effect of this new movement in primary instruction
upon educational science has been wholesome. It has induced
a closer study of child nature, has enlisted the s}'mpathies

1 " Man owes his growth, his energy, chiefly to that striving of the will,
that conflict with difficulty, which we call effort. Easy, pleasant work
does not make rohust minds, does not give men a consciousness of their
powers, does not train them to endurance, to perseverance, to steady force
of will, that force without which all other acquisitions avail nothing."
Dr. Channing.


and affections in support of elementary instruction, and has
profoundly modified the conception of the primary school.

5. Whether the Kindergarten is to be maintained apart,
as an institution sui generis, or whether it is to lose its iden-
tity by the absorption of its spirit into the primary school, is
a question for the future. Probably the latter result will

6. The misuse of a good thought is seen in the attempt of
the Pere Girard to give a distinct moral value to every school
exercise. It is the verdict of experience that the moral
value of science is greatest when it is taught simply as science,
and that the direct teaching of ethics should be conducted
on an independent basis.]



women as educators; madame de genlis (1746-1830); pedagogical
woeks; encyclopaedic education; imitation of rousseau;
miss edgewortii (1767-1849) j miss hamilton (1758-1816) j madame
campan (1752-1822); commendation of home education; prog-
ress in instruction j interest in popular education ;
madame de remusat (1780-1821) ; outline of feminine psy-
chology j the serious in education ; philosophical spirit ;
madame guizot (1773-1827) j letters on education; psychological
optimism; nature of the child; philosophical rationalism;
madame necker de saussure (1765-1841) j madame necker de
saussure and madame de stael j progressive education and
rousseau j originality of madame necker de saussure; divis-
ion of progressive education j development of the facul-
ties ; culture of the imagination; education of women;
madame pape-carpentier (1815-1878) ; general character of
her works j principal works of madame pape-carpentier j
oeject lessons j other women who were educators j du-
panloup and the education of women ; analytical sum-

562. Women as Educators. — One of the characteristic
features of the pedagogy of the nineteenth century is the
constant progress in the education of women. Woman will
be better instructed, and at the same time she will play a
more important part in instruction. Primary schools for girls
did not exist, so to speak, in France, at the commencement
of this century. Fourcroy, who reported the bill of May 1,
1802, declared that "the law makes no mention of girls."
But through the efforts of the monarchy of July, and still


more of the liberal laws of the second and of the third Repub-
lic, the primary instruction of girls will become more and
more general. Secondary public instruction will be created
for women by the law of December 20, 1880, and the equality
of the two sexes, in respect of education, will tend more and
more to become a reality, through the influence of govern-
mental action as well as that of private initiative.

But not less remarkable is the important part which women,
by their abstract reflections or by their practical efforts, have

Online LibraryGabriel CompayréThe history of pedagogy → online text (page 37 of 48)