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Alexander Bruno Hanschmann.

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THE LIBRARY

OF

THE UNIVERSITY
OF CALIFORNIA

LOS ANGELES




W. N. HAILMANN
MEMORIAL

UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA
AT LOS ANGELES




THE KINDERGARTEN SYSTEM



ITS ORIGIN AND DEVELOPMENT



THE

KINDERGARTEN SYSTEM

Its Origin and Development

AS SEEN IN THE LIFE OF FRIEDRICH FROEBEL,

TRANSLATED AND ADAPTED FROM THE WORK OF ^, ^^

^o "^

ALEXANDER BRUNO HANSCHMANN /> &

f *%-

%

jfor tbe use of jEnfllfsb ftinOergarten Students ^



"(C

FANNY FRANKS

WITH AN APPENDIX ON "THE EDUCATION OF MAN"




LONDON

SWAN SONNENSCHEIN & CO., LIM.

SYRACUSE, NEW YORK : C. W. BARDEEN
1897



PLYMOUTH :

WILLIAM BKKNDON AND SON,
PRINTERS.



Ed. - Psych.
Librtry



637



Defcfcatefc

TO

ENGLISH MOTHERS



241.842



PREFACE

I HAVE often wished to hand on to other students
the benefit I myself derived from the reading of
Hanschmann's Life of Froebel, for I know no other
piece of Froebel literature that presents so complete
an account of the progress and development of
Froebel's educational thought.

I think it is a good thing for the student to see
how, in his search for a scientific basis for the
education of man, Froebel turns from the unpre-
paredness of the school -boy back to the earliest
period of infancy, thence to the mother, and finally
to the maiden, some day to become a mother.

It is also an excellent lesson for the young teacher
to watch the care and conscientiousness with which
this born educator prepares himself for his office.

It was my sense of its value that led me to obtain
Mr. Hanschmann's permission to translate the book.
The task has been a difficult one, however; for, in
order to make the book practically serviceable for
the Kindergarten student, I have had to recast,
transpose, or shorten some passages, and omit others,
which would either distract attention from the matter



Vlll PREFACE

of main interest, or encroach on ground already
covered by translations.

The chief omissions are the chapter on "The
Education of Man," already published in English as
a complete work, and certain passages that seemed
to me to be too metaphysical or speculative for the
probable reader of the book.

The curtailments consist chiefly in making as short
as possible the account of certain periods of Froebel's
life already in the hands of the English reader, and
in giving here and there a summary, rather than the
actual contents of a passage. These alterations, it is
true, prevent my offering the book to the public as
a translation pure and simple; on the other hand, I
trust they do not obscure Mr. Hanschmann's view
of the great educator, nor, what is still more im-
portant, Froebel's inner history and scientific theory
of education.

Out of a large book I have made a small one,
which, though far from being all I could wish, will, I
think, fill up a little gap in the accounts we already
possess of Froebel's life and work.

I should like here to acknowledge my obligations
to Mr. Hanschmann for having allowed me to modify
the book in this way, and also to those of my friends
who have contributed notes and criticisms.

FANNY FKANKS.
18, YORK PLACE, W.



CONTENTS
fffrst part.

CHAPTER I.

; 178
STADT-ILM NEUHAUS



PAGE

CHILDHOOD AND YOUTH : 1782 TO 1799 OBERWEISSBACH



CHAPTER II.
YOUTH : 1799 TO 1807 JENA FRANKFURT . 14

CHAPTER IIL
FROEBEL AND PESTALOZZI : 1807 TO 1811 FRANKFURT

YVEKDUN . . . ... 36

CHAPTER IV.
THE UNIVERSITY THE BATTLEFIELD THE MINERALOGICAL

MUSEUM : 1811 TO 1816 GOTTINGEN AND BERLIN . 56

CHAPTER V.
FROEBEL'S SCHOOL FOR BOYS: 1816 TO 1826 GRIESHEIM

AND KEILHAU . . . ... 72

CHAPTER VI.
TROUBLED TIMES: 1826 TO 1829 KEILHAU GOTTINGEN 104



CONTENTS

Second part.

CHAPTER VII.

1836 FBANKFU
WILLESAU BURGDOBF . . 117



FACE

SWITZEBLAXD : 1830 TO 1836 FBANKFFRT WABTENSEE



CHAPTER VIII.
THE FIRST KIXDEBGARTEN : 1836 TO 1843 BLANKEXBURG

FRANKFURT DRESDEN LEIPZIG . . . 143

*

CHAPTER IX.
THE FKOEBEL PROPAGANDA ix GERMANY AND BELGIUM:

1843 TO 1849 DARMSTADT LEIPZIG DRESDEN* . . 170

CHAPTER X.
FBOEBEL THE APOSTLE OF WOMEX: 1849 TO 1851 MAKI-

ENTHAL . . . . . 188

CHAPTER XL
LAST DAYS: 1851 TO 1852 LIEBENSTEIN GOTHA . . 211

CHAPTER XII.
FEOEBEL'S IMMEDIATE SUCCESSOBS: 1852 TO 1874 . . 228

APPENDIX I.
FBOEBEL'S " EDUCATION OF MAN " . . . 239

APPENDIX II.

DE POKTTTGALL . 245



INTRODUCTION

IT would hardly be fair either to Mr. Hanschmann
or to myself to call this book an actual translation.
It is rather an account of the contents of the book,
with such omissions, curtailings, and transpositions as
seem to me necessary to render the material practi-
cally useful to Kindergarten students and others
interested in the newer and better ways of training
young children.

It shows what kind of man Froebel was, and
how he came to elaborate his system; indeed, his
biography is made the medium for tracing the growth
and development of the Froebel idea from its very
beginnings down to the establishment of the first
Kindergarten. Froebel's life naturally divides itself
into four main periods i.e., the first fifteen years,
during ten of which we have presented to us a
thoughtful, sensitive child, suffering a good deal from
mismanagement and want of management. But the
boy has an affectionate nature, and is apt to look on
the sunny side, and we find him settling down in
the happiest way in the new home provided for him



Xll INTRODUCTION

between his tenth and fifteenth years. He profits
at once by the more congenial atmosphere and more
favourable circumstances. And in the youth of fifteen
we have a simple-minded, pious, aspiring, and nature-
loving creature. He conceives of God as the origin
of all that is good and beautiful, and of nature as
the teacher of humanity. The beauty of the physical
world not only propounds many problems for him,
but so wins his heart that he determines to choose
only such a career in life as shall permit of his
intimate association with nature and natural objects.
The second period of his life covers the ten or fifteen
years which may be called the "Sturm und Drang"
period. He spends the whole of this time striving to
find his natural vocation, and to prepare himself for
it. This is the most interesting period of his life.
From this to the full evolution of the Kindergarten
idea occupies upwards of a quarter of a century, and
furnishes us with a complete history of Froebel's
educational thought from the beginning of his ex-
perience in teaching to the time when he first makes
clear to the world his new system of education. He
at once sees himself to be fitted for the office of
teacher; but the more he studies the boys under his
care, the more he realises the need of a wider culture
and a deeper knowledge of human nature. Several
times he interrupts his teaching in order to study
such subjects as Natural Philosophy, Psychology, and



INTRODUCTION xiil

Pedagogy, because he feels that a more complete
knowledge of man, and of his place in God's universe,
is absolutely necessary for his work. When he is
about thirty, circumstances make him the natural
guardian of some young relatives, and he starts as
an independent schoolmaster. He has discovered
before this that much might be done to render young
boys more fit than they generally are to profit by
school education. He has also pondered much on the
difference of energy and zeal they put into different
employments. He determines to find out the secret
of this good-will on the part of the child, and his
experiments teach him much about boy nature.
Careful observation leads to the discovery of a great
gap in the training of the young, lying somewhere
between the home and the school. He is impressed
with the importance of the home training as giving
the tone to the whole of the child's future ; and since
home training depends upon the mother, it is she
who must learn to understand the aim and end of
education.

The training of women is the crown of Froebel's
work, and entirely absorbs the last fifteen years of
his life. During this last period Froebel studies the
mother's instinctive methods as carefully as he had
previously studied the characteristic tendencies of
childhood ; and just as in the child he wishes to
develop the best and highest of his qualities, in the



XIV INTRODUCTION

same way with the mother his object is to make her
consciously pursue her best methods for the training
of her child. His persistent and continuous effort
for the good of humanity presents to us a remarkable
example of unity of life.

Froebel is a fairly complete representative of the
pedagogic thought of his time. It is difficult to
analyse his intellectual debt either to his predecessors
or his contemporaries; but there is no doubt that he
came strongly under the influence of the philosopher
Krause, and still more strongly under that of the
great teacher of modern times, Pestalozzi.

Froebel's attitude towards Education is rather that
of the constructor than the critic. He is less con-
cerned in condemning the wrong than in pointing
out the right way. His object is to show how, by
an improved system of training, man may become a
more perfect being. In basing his system on spon-
taneous activity, he not only goes with the trend of
the child's mind, and gets the benefit of his energy
and will, but brings about a free and healthy physical,
moral, and intellectual growth. Moreover, he agrees
with his contemporary, Krause, that life and living
are what concern the educator, and that an education
which makes instruction its chief aim and end is
not worthy the name.

Froebel's object is not to infuse " new life into old
forms," but to give the child a completely fresh



INTRODUCTION XV

start. His system is as opposed to the old ways as
possible. In making the nature of the child its
centre, Froebel embodies the spirit of his time
rides, as it were, on the crest of a wave that was
moving towards a new natural science and a new
psychology.

Comenius, in his Panegersia, had insisted that the
child should be educated from the cradle ; Bacon,
the real father of the Pestalozzi and Froebel schools,
had shown the need for a thorough training of the
senses as the gateway into the mind; Eousseau had
eloquently preached the doctrine of nature; but no
one had come so close to the little child as Froebel.
It is as if he said, "Where thou goest, I will go";
hand in hand he goes with the child, fitting his
steps to those of his small guide. No one had
encroached so boldly on the woman's province as
Froebel, or shown her so clearly the special nature
of her work.

Just as Pestalozzi's great contribution to education
was "Anschauung," or observation, thought and deed
in their right order, Froebel's great and final contri-
bution to Pedagogy was the doctrine of "Darstellung,"
or a varied expression of the inner self by spontaneous
activity. It goes hand in hand with the great
Pestalozzian principle, and at the same time starts a
new psychology of the child. It utilises and brings
into its service the child's sportiveness, imaginative-



XVI INTRODUCTION

ness, and love of production. It does not, as Mr.
Herbert Spencer suggested, relegate the activities
that serve for recreation and pleasure to the leisure
moments of life, but embodies them as fundamental
factors of education.

The child, like the savage, thinks of decoration,
beauty, and brightness before it can possibly be
impressed with utility; and Froebel goes with the
stream of the child's inner life, and so advances more
rapidly than did his predecessors in their utilitarian
practices.

The great error of the old education was that it
implied a similarity of method in the child and the
adult. Froebel showed that the child sets about his
work in a totally different way, and with a totally
different object. He is not capable of the persist-
ence, concentration, and energy implied in a perfect
mastery within narrow limits, but he is well able to
follow a variety of pursuits in his simple and natural
way. This is the best way of promoting his general
capability. A modern novelist says it little matters
what we are taught to do after twelve. There is
something of the Froebelian idea in this. In any
case, Froebel thinks it an all-important matter that
the child should do the right things before he is
twelve.



PART I.
LIFE OF FROEBEL

CHAPTEE I.

CHILDHOOD AND YOUTH.
1782 TO 1799. OBERWEISSBACH, STADT ILM, NETJHATJS.

The Home Birth Father Loss of Mother The Stepmother
Influence Contact with Nature Village Girls' School Religious
Worship Idea of Sex Discussions of Doctrine Childish
Troubles Brothers' Intercession Altered Conditions Uncle
Hoffmann The New Home Boys' School Choice of Profession
Apprenticeship Studies Conception of Nature Plan of Study
Jena the Goal Father's Severity Personal Appearance The
Return Home.

SCATTERED over the wooded hills along the VaUey
of the Saal, in Thuringia, are some half-dozen
hamlets forming the village of Oberweissbach. Tower-
ing above one of the clusters of houses is the little
church, which, at the beginning of the century, was the
centre of the religious life of about five thousand souls.
It was under the care of Pastor Johann Jacob Froebel.
Opposite the church was the parsonage, surrounded by
kitchen garden, courtyard and grass plots,, but other-
wise much shut in by buildings, hedges, and stacks.
The country around is undulating and picturesque, and
of a kind to make its impression on a sensitive and

B



2 OBERWEISSBACH, STADT ILM, NEUHAUS.

poetic nature ; and certainly Pastor Froebel's mother-
less little boy may be so described. Friedrich Wilhelm
August Froebel was born at the Parsonage of Ober-
weissbach on the 21st April, 1782. He lost his mother
when hardly a year old, and up to the age of four was
left to the intermittent care of the servants, with a
very scanty amount of attention from the much-
occupied pastor. His best friends at .this time were
his elder brothers; and it is from his letters to these,
to the Duke of Meiningen, and later, to the philosopher
Krause, that the following autobiographical sketch of
his childhood and youth has been gathered. Eeferring
to the early loss of his mother, he says, "When my
dying mother gave me her last kiss, my young life was
delivered over to the world with all its temptations
and evils, and from that moment there arose within
me a struggle with myself and the world, which cast a
gloom upon my early years." The atmosphere of the
home was extremely religious and serious, and the little
boy, having neither mother nor companions of his own
age to sympathise with his infant needs, hardly knew
the meaning of childish play; so that the great treasure
he has assured to generations of children was denied to
himself. The stern control and repression which were
considered necessary for his discipline threw him back
upon himself, and thus his natural reserve was in-
creased by a want of freedom in his home life. His
shy and timid manner repelled those who had been the
cause of it, and his faults were met by hard words and
severe punishments.

One of the worst consequences of all this was that
Friedtich became estranged from his father. Pastor
Froebel was a man of intelligence and culture. He



CHILDHOOD AND YOUTH. 3

devoted himself with untiring energy to the affairs of
his straggling parish, but had little time for the details
of domestic government. The result was that the
lonely little boy was almost fatherless as well as
motherless.

When he was four years old his father married again,
and for a time he was happier, for his stepmother
treated him kindly.

After the birth of her own son, however, her manner to
Friedrich became reserved and stern, even to the extent
of addressing him in the third person,* and the little
boy was practically alone again.

His physical surroundings were less unfavourable, for
though he was not allowed to climb the neighbouring
hills, and his outlook was limited to the garden and
homestead, yet the bright sky and the pure air round
his home had their effect upon him. Pastor Froebel
was fond of his garden, and might be seen working at
it with his boys in the early morning. Both he and his
wife, too, were lovers of order and beauty, and the
children had plenty of opportunity for the exercise of
their intelligence and self-control in the constant
reforms and improvements made in the home. Of
Friedrich's brothers, two especially exercised an im-
portant influence on his future Christoph, who from
the first thoroughly believed in him, and Christian, who
so substantially supported his educational scheme. We
shall hear of these two again. The eldest brother,
August, became a merchant, and died early. The
youngest, Traugott,t took up the profession of medicine.

* To address someone in the third person is a mark of contempt,
e.g , & beggar is often addressed as follows: "Will he leave the
courtyard at once, or I will give him iu charge."

t His half-brother.



4 OBERWEISSBACH, STADT ILM, NEUHAUS.

Friedrich's home was permeated by a somewhat
narrow Christianity, and though the pastor followed
the religious thought of his time, he was inclined to
set a higher value on obedience and faith than upon
intelligent enquiry. Morning and evening the members
of the family were carefully instructed in the
doctrines of Sturm, Stollikofer, and the like. On
such occasions Friedrich was much impressed, and full
of good resolutions, which, however, the carelessness of
childhood prevented him from carrying out.

The pastor taught his elder boys himself, but he had
not the patience to teach Friedrich, and not being on
very friendly terms with the master of the village boys'
school, he sent him to the girls' school. The teaching
was good, and there was a spirit of neatness, order, and
peacefulness in the school which was highly beneficial
to Friedrich. He was soon promoted to work with the
bigger girls. In this class he had to learn a whole
hymn, while the little ones only learned a verse from
the Bible. One or two of these hymns long remained
in his memory, and served to comfort him in
moments of perplexity and trouble. He attended
church twice on Sundays, sitting in the choir, and
taking much interest in his father's sermons, though
he could not always understand the highly figurative
language he used. He was often present during the
instruction given to those preparing for confirmation,
and would listen with no little awe to such expressions
as " going to hell," " coming to Christ," etc., which were
scattered through the exhortations addressed to the
candidates. Thus there grew up in his mind a religious
ideal, and a vague purpose of finding his way to the
goodness and purity of a Christ-like life.



CHILDHOOD AND YOUTH. 5

As he listened to the severe reprimands given by his
father to the married couples who came to him with
their disagreements, it struck him as a sad and regret-
table thing that human beings alone in nature should
be troubled with difference of sex. But here his
brother Christoph came to his help. Seeing his delight
at the crimson threads of the hazel-catkin, he pointed
out to him the two kinds of blossom on the same plant.
This discovery of sex in the vegetable world interested
him extremely, and helped bim a good deal in his
childish attempts to bring some order and connection
into the mass of objects he was so fond of collecting in
and around the vicarage garden.

Another impression stood out in his memory. Many
believed in those days, as indeed they have done in our
own times, that the end of the world was approaching.
Friedrich had a way of reassuring himself on this
subject. " The human race," he said to himself, " will
surely never perish till it has become as perfect as
it is possible to become on earth; and surely the
beautiful world cannot be destroyed till we human
beings have learnt to understand it perfectly."

He would listen with great interest to the warm
discussions on religious questions between his father
and his eldest brother, then a student of theology, and
as each clung obstinately to his opinions, Friedrich
would come to the conclusion that there must be
truth on both sides.

Thus, whilst a good deal of conflict was going on in
the young child's mind, his conclusions were generally
of a hopeful, if not optimistic character. The outward
conditions of his life, however, were not such as to
encourage him. Little attention was paid to his educa-



tion. His faults were made unpleasantly prominent ;
and whenever disputes arose between him and his half-
brothers he was condemned unheard. And there was
no appeal against this injustice; for his father, who
might have put matters right, was so overburdened
with the care of his immense parish, that he could not
investigate the representations made to him about his
little boy, and consequently often did him injustice.
This made Friedrich afraid of his busy father, and of the
stepmother, who might have been his best friend, and
the result was that he became constrained in their pre-
sence and appeared obstinate, and at times untruthful.

It was better for Friedrich when brother Christoph
was at home to plead his cause, for he saw plainly both
the good in the boy and the mismanagement from
which he was suffering. Happily for the permanent
development of the child's character, a change of con-
ditions came to him with his tenth year.

In the summer of 1792 there came on a visit to the
parsonage Friedrich's maternal uncle, Pastor Hoffmann,
from Stadt Ilm, who saw at once the awkward position
of his young nephew. He had been very fond of
Friedrich's mother, and, pitying the boy, asked to have
him at Stadt Ilm for a time. This offer was gladly
accepted by the busy pastor, and by the end of the
year Friedrich was installed in his new home, where,
under the influence of kindly treatment, gentleness,
and encouragement, he soon took heart again. And
not the least valuable of these good influences was the
trust and confidence shown him. At home he might
hardly go out of sight. Here, to his great delight, he
was allowed to ramble alone over hill and dale, and
thoroughly explore the neighbourhood.



CHILDHOOD AND YOUTH. 7

Stadt Ilm lies in the broad part of the Galley of the
Ilm (the river which flows through Weimar, and which,
as Schiller says, " has heard many an immortal song ").
This beautiful region now lay open before him ; and he
enjoyed to the full the freedom to wander about as he
pleased.

Now, too, he was for the first time to have the
advantage of associating with boys of his own age,
being one of forty in the upper class of the grammar
school. In the playground, it is true, he found himself
both physically and mentally at a disadvantage.

The repressed life of his earlier years, together with
his sensitive and reflective nature, little fitted him for
the alertness, the presence of mind, and the physical
skill and readiness required by games in the play-
ground ; and though he did his best to compensate for
the intelligent skill and vigour of his companions by
audacity and daring, it was some time before the boys
permitted him to share their games as an equal. In
the schoolroom he was dreamy and odd. The teachers
failed to interest or stimulate him. Most of the
subjects in the school were but indifferently taught;
and there was no attempt at demonstrating in the con-
crete, nor at any connection in the studies, so that a
good deal of the teaching was over his head, and left
him indifferent and apparently lazy.

But he was always able to give a complete account
of his uncle's gentle and inspiring sermons, and though
the religious instruction he received at school was
rather advanced and philosophical for so young a boy,
his father's previous teaching enabled Friedrich to
follow it with a fair amount of success.

The stories about Jesus touched and. inspired him.



8 OBERWEISSBACH, STADT ILM, NEUHAUS.

The only other subject in which he made any marked
progress was arithmetic. Here he soon learned all his
teachers had to teach. They acknowledged his talent
for mathematics. In reality this subject interested him,
because it helped to explain others that were more
attractive to his mind. Latin was miserably taught,
and the whole school was backward. In geography
there was no attempt to connect that which had to be
learned with what the boys already knew, nor to
demonstrate objectively. There was just as little
method in the teaching of the mother-tongue.

The boy's moral nature, however, expanded under


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