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and famous. At this time he published How Gertrude
Teaches Her Children.

Pestalozzi was obliged to give up the building at Bui^-
dorf for government use, and in 1805 he established his
school in an old fortress at Yverdun. There the eyes of
the civilized world were turned upon him. Teachers
came to him to learn their profession anew
and statesmen to find in his system a new
source of life and vigor for their countries. At last all
his ideas had an opportunity to take form in practice,
and different departments of school work were developed
in harmony with his views by skilful teachers.

Nearly every feature characteristic of the methods em-
ployed in our elementary schools to-day was tried in the



THE GREAT EDUCATORS 289

school at Yverdun. Pupils learned numbers by number-
ing objects. They developed mastery of language by
conversing and writing about things which were brought
under their observation. They studied birds and trees
and flowers ; and, under supervision, drew pictures of
them, and talked and wrote about them. They made
excursions into the country for health and observation.
They studied the valley of the Rhone, and modelled its
structure with clay carried back from it. They were
introduced to the study of geometry by cutting out or
modelling geometrical figures. It was from Yverdun
that the new schools of Prussia and other parts of Ger-
many took their form and drew their spirit.

Pestalozzi seemed at last to be on the highway to suc-
cess and fortune, but dissensions among the teachers
weakened the school, and finally broke it up. It was
closed in 1825, and, two years after, its founder's life
went out in disappointment and sorrow.

It is easy to see that Pestalozzi, like Comenius, believed
in education as a primary means of regenerating society,
that it reaches society through the individual,

*' *' Review.

and that it means for the individual the pro-
motion of a natural development. " Sound education,"
he said, "stands before me symbolized by a tree planted
near fertilizing waters. A little seed, which contains the
design of the tree, its form and proportions, is placed in
the soil. See how it germinates and expands into trunk,
branches, leaves, flowers, and fruit ! The whole tree is
an uninterrupted chain of organic parts, the plan of
which existed in its seed and roots."

He believed that intellectual growth has its basis in

19



290 HISTORY OF EDUCATION

direct observation, in the proper use of the senses. He
sought to use language, drawing, and modelling as actual
forms of expression for thoughts and feelings already
acquired. " We learn to do by doing," the proposition
first formulated by Comenius, he accepted, but gave it a
wide range of application. He was convinced that to
lead a child to perform a virtuous act cheerfully is worth
more than a learned discourse on the subject of virtue.
At Stanz he persuaded the children to make a sacrifice
for similarly unfortunate children in another district by
reminding them of what had been done for them.

He carried his analysis of school work to extremes.
Object-teaching was to result in a knowledge of form,
number, and speech. These he reduced to their ele-
ments, and insisted on having children drilled in these.
He wanted elementary sounds repeated by the mother
to the baby in her arms. He also had an exaggerated
notion of the resemblance between the school and the
home. He endeavored to introduce the relations and
methods of home into the school, and those of the
school into the home. He tried to so simplify the pri-
mary work of the school that mothers, as the best
teachers for the child, might easily apply the methods at
home. Out of these efforts grew the Kindergarten.

To the ideas and work of Pestalozzi must be attributed
also the normal school as we know it now in the United
States. It differs radically from the earlier institutions
designed to prepare teachers. They were, in the strictest
sense, training schools, inasmuch as all they sought to
accomplish was to make teachers skilful in certain fixed
methods of teaching the different branches and of main-



THE GREAT EDUCATORS 291

taining discipline. Sometimes they were little more than
reviewing schools.

Other men have been able to think more systemati-
cally and comprehensively on education than Pestalozzi ;
it is probable that not a single one of his main ideas
was entirely original with him ; but yet he is the prince
among modern educational reformers. With unsur-
passed breadth of philanthropic spirit he seized upon
every vital idea that had yet been advocated for the
reform of education. What had been thoughts and
ideas to others became more to him : they became the
enthusiasm of his soul. He was willing to dedicate his
life to them and to make sacrifice for their realization.

A disciple of Pestalozzi's supplemented his work.
This was Friedrich Froebel. He was born in a village in
the Thuringian forest in 1782. He founded the Kinder-
garten, — Garden of Children. This is an insti-

® ' Froebel

tution that has made its founder immortal. and the

It is valuable and important not only in itself, ^^ergarten.
but also because of its effects upon the lower grades of
schools and upon the home life of children. Wherever
its influence has extended, it has beneficently modified
the spirit and exercises of the former and has made the
latter more delightful and wholesome.

Froebel was neglected in childhood. His mother died
when he was an infant. His father, a Lutheran pastor,
amid the cares of a large parish had little time for him.
The new mother, who came in the course Formative
of time, had the proverbial stepmother's influences.
affection for him. In after years the memory of his
early neglect and abuse awakened in his soul a tender



292 HISTORY OF EDUCATION

regard for childhood and a passionate love for chil-
dren.

A maternal uncle took him at the age of ten and sent
him to school in Ilm. He entered on a Monday morning.
It was customary at that time to require the pupils to
repeat on Monday the text of the previous Sunday's ser-
mon. The text repeated by the children this morning
was, " Seek ye first the kingdom of God." The school
otherwise seems to have done him little good, but this
text made a wonderful and lasting impression on his
little mind ; it remained with him a living and fruitful
remembrance.

His father's house was closely shut in, and the clear
mountain sky above it early won his attention. When
his freedom from restraint brought him into contact vvdth
the natural scenery about him, he developed, as had
Rousseau, an intense interest in nature, a love for plant
and flower. This was increased by subsequent experi-
ence. At the age of fifteen he was apprenticed to a
forester, with whom he remained two years. The for-
ester gave him little attention, leaving him with the
trees and his books, mainly botanical works. Froebel
studied both industriously. The love of nature became
with him a religion. By and by there was formed in him
a ruling belief in the unity of nature, a unity of all things,
because of their unity of origin and life in God.

Froebel spent a short time at the University of Jena,
and then drifted from place to place with frequent

Finding his change of OCCUpatioU. At last his true mis-
Mission, sion found him while a student of architec-
ture in Frankfort-on-the-Main. One of his friends in



THE GREAT EDUCATORS 293

Frankfort, named Gruner, was the director of a model
school. This man had learned much of the method and
imbibed much of the spirit of Pestalozzi. He became
intimate with Froebel, and one day told him that he was
a born teacher and could have a position in his school.
Froebel accepted it, and was happy through two years
of labor there. In 1807 he went with three private
pupils to Pestalozzi's school at Yverdun. Here he was
both pupil and teacher. He became warmly devoted
both to the man and to the method, accepting all Pesta-
lozzi's principles with enthusiasm.

Froebel left Yverdun with his life dedicated to teach-
ing. He was filled with new ideas and theories. He
determined to renew his university studies in order to
fit himself more thoroughly for his work. His studies
were interrupted by service in the Prussian army against
the French. Over the camp-fire the ever-recurring
theme of his talk was education, and two of his soldier
companions, Langethal and Middendorf, became devoted
to his theories. After peace was declared, they all, to-
gether with Barop, a relative of Middendorf s, married
and formed an educational community at Keilhau, in
Thuringia. These champions of a new edu- Keiihau and
cation struggled with poverty and disappoint- Bm-gdorf.
ment for years so valiantly that at last their school was
successful, and they planned branch institutions.

One of these branch institutions Froebel opened at
Burgdorf, where Pestalozzi had been before. Two notable
events are connected with this school. The canton
required its elementary teachers to spend three months
every alternate year at Froebel's school to observe the



294 - HISTORY OF EDUCATION

work and receive instruction in principles and methods.
Here, too, Froebel admitted to his school children from
four to six, planning for them a graded course of exer-
cises based on the games in which they delighted most.
This was the beginning of the Kindergarten, though that
institution was neither fully developed nor named
here.

Froebel opened the first fully-organized Kindergarten
at Blankenburg, near Keilhau, in 1837. He himself in-
^jjg vented the name. We have already seen

Kindergarten, what importance Comenius and Pestalozzi
attached to the mother's office as teacher, and what they
expected her to contribute to the child's development.
Froebel was familiar with the opinions of both. He
agreed with them, but recognized the fact that, because
of the lack of time and preparation on the part of the
mothers, there must necessarily remain a gap between
the best training of the home and that of the first school
grade. To bridge this he devised the Kindergarten,

Froebel observed that children are characterized by

restless sense alertness, that they have great physical

activity combined with fondness and taste

Its Basis. /. I 1- e ^

for construction, are eager tor personal
ownership, and are fond of company. Influenced by a
peculiarly involved and mystical philosophy, which he
himself could never formulate with any great degree of
clearness and which an American can scarcely underT
stand at all, and guided by his observations of children,
he devised a number of gifts and exercises adapted to
the natural endowments and activities of children. His
object was to so direct and systematize play that it should



THE GREAT EDUCATORS 295

contribute the highest possible results to the develop-
ment of the individual and the race.

The gifts, as Froebel originally devised them, were
five, — the ball, the sphere, the cube, the cube divided
into eight rectangular parallelopipeds to teach
similarity and dissimilarity, and the cube di-
vided into twenty-seven equal cubes with some of them
divided into prisms. The divided cubes were to be used
as building-blocks. The choice of the ball for the first
gift illustrates the application of his mystical philosophy.
He expected it to exercise a peculiar influence on the
child's mind because it is the symbol of unity. After a
similar manner of thinking the cube was selected to
represent unity m variety.

To these gifts Froebel added others, as thin strips of
wood, little sticks, and colored papers. These were to
be used in construction exercises. The chil-

Occupations,

dren were put to forming figures with these Games,

sticks, to paper-folding, paper-dotting, mat- and songs,
weaving, drawing, coloring, and modelling. He also tried
to give each child a plot of ground to cultivate as its own.

He also devised movement exercises to be accom-
panied with suitable songs. The most popular book he
ever prepared and published was his Mother Play and
Nursery Songs, containmg such songs and exercises with
explanations.

In the course of a few years the Kindergarten at Blank-
enburg began to fail from lack of funds. Froebel had
little more capacity for handling money than Further

Pestalozzi. He finally closed the Kindergar- Activity.
ten and opened an institute for the instruction of young



296 HISTORY OF EDUCATION

teachers. He also lectured in the large towns. The
last four years of his life were spent at Liebenstein in
the Thuringian forest. Here he did great service by
devoting himself to the training of women as educators.
Among the famous women who came under his influ-
ence there was the Baroness von Marenholtz-Biilow.
She became a powerful champion of the Kindergarten,
and has published the best account of Froebel's life and
work.

Froebel expected the German government to adopt the
Kindergarten. He was, however, disappointed. Because
LastDisap- ^^ ^^^ Writings of Karl Froebel, a nephew,
pointment. the uucle also became subject to the sus-
picion of being irreligious and a socialist. The suspicion
was not well founded, but yet, in 1851, the govern-
ment of Prussia forbade the establishment of schools
governed by Froebel's principles. The interdict was
not removed until 1860.

Froebel's greatest literary production is the Education
of Man. It contains the most comprehensive statement
The Education ^f his general philosophy and of his educa-
0/ Man. tional principles and methods, though it was

written before the methods had received their complete
development. It reveals at once profound thought and
remarkable pedagogic insight and skill.

The fundamental thought set forth in the book is that
an eternal law rules and operates in all things. This law
finds expression outwardly in physical nature, and in-
wardly in the spirit. Beneath this all-pervading, all-
powerful law lies God as a single omnipotant cause.
This law, like its cause, is G dlike. The essential life,



THE GREAT EDUCATORS 297

or individuality, of everything is the divine principle
working in it. The destiny of everything is to develop
and exhibit this divine principle. The proper vocation
of a man is to grow conscious of and win a clear insight
into his divine nature, and to develop it in practice in
his life. To educate a man is to provide in unbroken
continuity the ways and means to bring him into con-
sciousness of himself and to incite him to the conscious
practice and fulfilment of the inner divine law of his
being. In other words, education is the promotion of a
natural process of evolution, or development.

The child in its development, from the very beginning,
comes under the influence of three powers, nature, ani-
mate and inanimate, humanity, and God. God energizes
his whole being and pervades all nature and humanity.
Self-activity in response to this threefold activity is the
basis of the child's development. Physical movement
develops the body ; color and form, the eye ; music, the
ear ; the satisfaction of the spirit of inquiry, the intellect ;
cheerful fellowship with others, the heart and the moral
life. Play is the natural form of a child's activity, and
constructive exercises are the most intelligent and fruit-
ful forms of play. Creative activity is necessary to the
assimilation of knowledge and growth of power. It is
the expression of self, and self is completed in expression.

The ideas which gave rise to the Kindergarten have
been fruitful otherwise. Froebel carried the idea of
activity as self-expression much farther than Review of
Pestalozzi. He declared that a child should services.
be taught to express everything that he learns, and be
made skilful in as many forms of expression as possible.



298 HISTORY OF EDUCATION

He found a value peculiar to itself in each different form
of expression.

This theory has extended its influence through many
grades of school work, and accounts for much of the
stress now laid on composition, drawing, modelling, and
manual training, and the uses to which they are put.
His work also has given a new importance to women as
teachers, and so increased the usefulness of womanhood.
He put a new hand of blessing on the head of childhood,
and his noblest monument is the Kindergarten.

Another man ranks by the side of Pestalozzi and
Froebel in pedagogical leadership. This is John Fred-
erick Herbart, born in Oldenburg, Germany, in 1776.
Herbart. ^^ scholarsliip and training he was clearly

1776-1841. distinguished from the other two of the trio.
He was the son of cultured parents. After receiving
careful private instruction and passing through the gym-
nasium, he took thorough university courses. He
studied philosophy under Fichte at Jena. He became
one of the most noted psychologists and philosophers of
his time, and in 1809 was called to the chair of pliiloso-
phy in the University of Konigsberg. This was the
position that had been held by the great philosopher
Kant.

Before Herbart had completed his university studies,

he was for a time private tutor in Berne, Switzerland.

This intensified the interest he had already

Early •'

Pedagogical felt in educatiou. He placed himself in com-
Expenence. niunicatioii with Pestalozzi and made himself
familiar with the latter's ideas. His first published works
were efforts to give scientific formulation to the ideas



THE GREAT EDUCATORS 299

which he found in the earlier writings of Pestalozzi. His
treatise, PestalozzVs Idea of an A B C of Intuition^ was
a work of special importance. It gave a great impetus
to pedagogical investigation. It was the beginning of
the author's efforts to develop a complete science of edu-
cation, efforts that have been productive of good results.

In addition to his lectures on philosophy at Konigs-
berg, he established there a pedagogical seminary. He
opened a model, or practice, school in con-
nection with it. He taught in this every day Pedagogical
before his students to illustrate his princi- seminary.
pies and methods. After a time the students were also
required to teach, and their work was subjected to criti-
cism.

The supreme end of education, Herbart thought, is
the making of a religiously moral man. To accomplish
the desired result, there must be training and Fundamental
instruction. The first aim of instruction weas.

must be to produce a deep and many-sided interest.
There are two kinds of interest, interest in knowledge
and interest in participation. The latter consists of social
and religious interests. A knowledge interest is pleasure
derived from the act of acquiring knowledge coupled
with a desire for its repetition. A person, for instance,
has interest in history when he not only has satisfac-
tion because of what he already knows, but also has
an appetite for more.

The cause of interest in knowledge is apperce ption^ th p
interpretation of new experiences in terms of old. A
child finds something that seems entirely new. He is
puzzled and bewildered by it ; it does not attract him.



300 HISTORY OF EDUCATION

If, however, he discovers something familiar in the new,
the discovery gives him pleasure, and he links the new
to the old. The fact of apperception is vital in teaching,
and, together with the child's present and future relation
to society, makes the true teacher respect his pupil's
individuality.

Though the child's interest must be many-sided, yet
there must be unity and system in instruction. There
must be a proper sequence and co-ordination, correlation,
of what is to be learned. Instruction must complement
experience and intercourse, and so, also, must training
complement instruction. It must call into exercise judg-
ment and will.

Herbart has many followers, especially in Germany
and the United States. There are two schools of Her-
schoois of bartians in Germany, — the Stoy school, close
Herbartians. interpreters, and the Ziller school, free inter-
preters of Herbartian propositions. His followers of
both continents have given rich and varied development
to his fundamental ideas. Whatever objections may be
advanced on psychological and philosophical grounds to
the theories of apperception and correlation, it is still
true that it would be very difficult to find two other
theories equally fruitful in pedagogical activity and results
of a high order.

In 1839 Rosmini-Serbati, a brainy, learned, and
pious Italian priest, began a work, never completed, on
Rosmini- Method in Education. It presents a theory

serbati. closcly resembling the natural development

theory of Froebel, and as closely resembling the apper-
ception theory of Herbart with its concomitant ideas of



THE GREAT EDUCATORS 301

interest and moral development. He fails of a place in
historical importance by the side of Froebel and Herbart
only because, for a number of reasons, his work has not
entered as an equally effective factor into the develop-
ment of present educational theory and practice.



XXVI

GROWTH OF PUBLIC ELEMENTARY
EDUCATION

It was characteristic of tlie social systems of the olden
time to sacrifice the individual to the organization. The
more ignorant and helpless the man was, the more com-
pletely he was suppressed and the more ruthlessly his
claims to a man's right were trampled upon. The tend-
ency in the advanced civilizations of to-day is to sacrifice
the organization for the individual, to use the machinery
of government to lift up the man, increase his oppor-
tunities, and otherwise promote his interests. In noth-
ing else has this tendency been so clearly manifest as in
the general effort to put a good education within the
reach of all, nearly or quite at the public expense. In
nothing else did the civilization of the nineteenth century
prove itself more beneficent, and the beneficence has
already been justified in its results. The increased
interest and participation of the masses of the people in
the general life of the world, their increased productive-
ness, dignity, and comfort not only warrant what is now
done, but also constitute a sufficient and urgent claim
for broader and more generous effort in the future.

The initiative taken by Prussia early in the century
was rapidly followed by nearly all the other German
states. The compulsory laws adopted by one state after
another and the efforts made to increase the extent and

302



GROWTH OF PUBLIC ELEMENTARY EDUCATION 303

improve the character of school-work have been remark-
ably successful. Almost no other lands can show similar
results. In most of the German states illit-

Qermany

eracy has been reduced to a fraction of one and Kindred
per cent,, and in some states the fraction is
exceedingly small. As early as 1877, out of six thousand
recruits furnished the army by Wiirtemberg only one
was unable to read and write.

The elementary schools are called Volksschulen, — the
people's schools. They are open about forty-two weeks
in the year. Attendance is compulsory from six to
thirteen or fourteen. The most serious defect of these
schools is that they are not articulated vdth the second-
ary and higher schools. Pupils who desire to prepare
for professional life must leave the elementary schools
at eight or nine and enter some secondary school.
There are, however, continuation schools for pupils who
wish to review their studies and continue them. In the
country these schools are open in the evening and on
Sunday. In the cities they form a higher citizen's
school, and French, English, and sometimes Latin, are
added to the course. The elementary schools are now
nearly or quite free.

In their main features the schools of Switzerland,
Holland, Denmark, Sweden, and Norway closely resem-
ble those of Germany. In Norway the authorities fur-
nish text-books, and even clothing in case of need, in
order to insure attendance at school. In 1881 the per-
centage of illiterates among army recruits in Denmark
was .36, and in Sweden .39.

In Austria the public schools are left almost entirely



304 HISTORY OF EDUCATION

to the support of local authorities. Though the Austri-
ans have done well, they have not kept pace with their
neighbors in Switzerland and Germany.

Prior to 1833, in spite of all efforts at educational re-
organization consequent upon the Revolution, element-
ary instruction in France was left practically

France.

to the religious orders and to private enter-
prise. At the beginning of the Revolution the Christian
Brothers had come to be a thousand in number, though
not all were engaged in elementary teaching. The Order


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Online LibraryEllwood Leitheiser KempHistory of education → online text (page 18 of 23)