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April 22, 1724, and died there February 12, 1804. He was
educated in the University of his native city, where, after
serving as a tutor in private families for several years, and
afterwards acting as Privatdocent, he was appointed profes-
sor in the philosophical faculty in 1770. His life was given to
study with great singleness of purpose; he never married,
and it is said that he never traveled beyond the limits of
the small province in which he was born. His philosophic
system, known as the critical philosophy, marks a turning
point in the history of speculative thought. He proved him-
self one of the profoundest thinkers of all time.

With his philosophical system, which had no immediate
or determining influence upon his educational system, we
have here nothing to do. As professor of philosophy Kant
was required to deliver courses of lectures on pedagogy, a
subject in which he had become deeply interested. He had
read Rousseau's " fimile " with delighted attention, and
observed Basedow's experiments with hopeful interest. Un-
fortunately he did not prepare an elaborate work on educa-
tion. What we have are the notes of his lectures, which, not
long before his death, were revised and arranged by his
pupil Rink. They were published in 1803 under the title
" Immanuel Kant iiber Padagogik." It is a comparatively
brief treatise, covering only seventy pages of Kant's collect-
ive works., in which it is now included.



The treatise is divided into three parts, namely, the intro-
duction, physical education, and practical or moral education.
In spite of its lack of careful, systematic development, it is
notable for the lofty spirit in which it is written, and for
the profound pedagogical principles which here and there
appear. The introduction which, with a few minor omis-
sions, is here given, presents pretty fully the various phases
of Kant's system of education. He assigns a high aim to
education the perfection of the individual and lays
great stress upon the importance of moral training. His
pedagogy was not without influence. A number of promi-
nent German educators, among whom may be mentioned
Niemeyer, Schwarz, and Rosenkranz, were stimulated and
directed by the teachings of the Konigsberg philosopher.



I. Man is the only creature that needs to be educated.
By education we understand nurture (attention, food), dis-
cipline, and instruction together with culture. Accordingly
man is infant, child, and pupil.

Animals use their powers, as soon as they are possessed
of them, according to a regular plan, that is, in a way not
to injure themselves. It is indeed wonderful, for example,
that young swallows, newly hatched and still blind, are
careful not to defile their nest. Animals therefore need no
nurture, but at the most food, warmth, and guidance, or a
kind of protection. It is true most animals need feeding,
but they do not require nurture. For by nurture we mean
the tender care that parents exercise in order to prevent
their children from using their powers in a way to be harmful
to them. For instance, should an animal cry at birth, as


children do, it would surely fall a prey to wolves and other
wild animals, which would be attracted by its cry.

2. Discipline or training transforms animal nature into
human nature. An animal is by instinct all that it ever can
be; some other reason has already provided everything for
it. But man needs a reason of his own. Having no in-
stinct, he has to work out a plan of conduct himself. Since,
however, he is not able to do this at once, but comes into
the world undeveloped, others must do it for him.

Through its own efforts the human race is by degrees to
develop all the natural endowments of man. One genera-
tion educates the next. The beginning of this process may
be looked for either in a rude and unformed, or in a perfect
and cultivated condition. If we assume the latter, man must
afterwards have degenerated and lapsed into barbarism.

Discipline prevents man from being turned aside by his
animal impulses from humanity, his appointed end. It must
restrain him, for example, from venturing wildly and
thoughtlessly into danger. Discipline thus is merely nega-
tive, namely, the process by which man is deprived of his
brutality. Instruction, on the contrary, is the positive part
of education.

Brutality is independence of law. Discipline subjects man
to the laws of mankind, and lets him feel their constraint.
But this must take place early. Thus children are at first
sent to school, not so much to learn anything, as to become
accustomed to sitting still and obeying promptly what they
are told, to the end that later in life they may not actually
and instantly follow all their impulses.

3. The love of freedom is naturally so strong in man
that when he has once grown accustomed to it, he will
sacrifice everything for it. For this very reason discipline
must be brought into exercise early; for when this has not
been done, it is difficult afterwards to change the character.


He will then follow every caprice. We see this also among
savage nations which, though they may live in subjection to
Europeans a long time, yet never adopt European customs.
With them, however, this is not a noble love of freedom, as
Rousseau and others imagine, but a kind of savagery, in
which the animal, so to speak, has not yet developed its
humanity. Man should therefore accustom himself early
to submit to the dictates of reason. If a man in his youth
is allowed to follow his own will without opposition, he will
retain a certain lawlessness through life. And it is no ad-
vantage to such a man to be spared in his youth through a
superabundant motherly tenderness, for later on he will
meet with all the more opposition on every side and every-
where encounter rebuffs, when he enters into the business
of the world.

It is a common mistake in the education of the great that,
because they are destined to rule, they should never meet
with opposition in their youth. Owing to his love of free-
dom, man needs to have his native roughness smoothed
down ; but with animals instinct renders this unnecessary.

4. Man needs nurture and culture. Culture includes
discipline and instruction. These, so far as we know, no
( animal needs; for none of them learn anything from their
elders, except the birds, which are taught by them to sing.
It is a touching sight to watch the mother bird singing with
all her might to her young ones, which like children at
school, try to produce the same tones out of their tiny

Man can become man only by education. He is nothing
but what education makes him. It is to be noted that man
is educated only by men who have themselves been educated.
Hence lack of discipline and instruction on the part of some
men makes them in turn bad educators of their pupils.
Were some being of a higher nature than man to undertake


our education, we should then be able to see what man might
become. Since some things are imparted to man by educa-
tion, and others only developed, it is difficult for us to esti-
mate accurately his native capabilities. If, by the help of the
great and the cooperative efforts of many persons, the ex-
periment were made, we might gain some idea of the emi-
nence which it is possible for man to attain. But it is just
as important for the philosopher, as it is sad for the philan-
thropist, to see how the great generally care only for their
own interests, and take no part in the weighty experiments
of education, which might bring our nature one step nearer
to perfection.

5. A theory of education is a glorious ideal, and it mat-
ters little, if we are not able to realize it at once. Only we
must not look upon the idea as chimerical, nor decry it as a
beautiful dream, though difficulties stand in the way of its

An idea is nothing else than the conception of a perfec-
tion that has not yet been realized. For instance, the idea
of a perfect republic governed by the principles of justice
is it impossible because it has never existed? First of all
our idea must be correct, and then, in spite of all the hin-
drances that stand in the way of its realization, it is by no
means impossible. If, for example, lying became universal,
would veracity on that account be merely a whim ? And the
idea of an education which will develop all man's natural
gifts is certainly a true one.

6. Under the present system of education man does not
fully attain the object of his being. For how differently
men live! Uniformity can prevail among them, only when
they act according to the same principles, which have be-
come to them a second nature. We can work out a better
system of education, and hand down to posterity such direc-
tions as will enable them by degrees to bring it to realization.


There are many undeveloped powers in man; and it is
our task to unfold these natural gifts in due proportion, to
develop humanity from its germinal state, and to lead man
to a realization of his destiny. Animals unconsciously ful-
fil their destiny themselves. Man must strive to attain it,
but this he can not do, unless he has a conception as to the
object of his existence. The fulfilment of his destiny is
absolutely impossible to the individual. In times past men
had no conception of the perfection to which human nature
might attain. We ourselves have not yet become perfectly
clear on the subject. This much, however, is certain: no
individual man, whatever may be the culture of his pupils,
can insure the fulfilment of their destiny. To succeed in
this high end, not the work of individuals, but that of the
whole human race, is necessary.

7. Education is an art, the practice of which can become
perfect only through many generations. Each generation,
provided with the knowledge, of the preceding one, can more
and more bring about an education, which will develop man's
natural gifts in due proportion and relation to their end, and
thus advance the whole human race towards its destiny.
Providence has willed that man shall develop the good that
lies hidden in his nature, and has spoken, as it were, thus to
him : " Go forth into the world, I have equipped thee with
all the potencies of good. It is for thee to develop them,
and thus thy happiness and unhappiness depend upon thy-
self alone."

Man must develop his talents for the good ; Providence
has not placed a fully formed goodness in him, but merely
capabilities without moral distinction. Man's duty is to
improve himself ; to cultivate his mind, and when he is evil,
to develop moral character. Upon reflection we shall find
this very difficult. Hence education is the greatest and most
difficult problem to which man can devote himself. For


insight depends on education, and education in its turn de-
pends on insight. Hence it follows that education can ad-
vance only by degrees, and that a true conception of the
method of education can arise only when one generation
transmits its stores of experience and knowledge to the fol-
lowing one, which in turn adds something of its own before
handing them down to its successor. What vast culture
and experience does not this conception presuppose! Ac-
cordingly it can originate only at a remote period, and we
ourselves have not fully realized it. The question arises
whether the education of the individual should be con-
formed to the education of the human race through its suc-
cessive generations?

There are two inventions of man which may be regarded
as the most difficult of all, namely, the art of government
and the art of education; and people are still divided as to
their true idea.

8. Since the development of man's natural gifts does not
take place of itself, all education is an art. Nature has
placed no instinct in him for that purpose. The origin as
well as the progress of this art is either mechanical and
without plan, ordered according to given circumstances, or
it involves the exercise of intelligent judgment. Educa-
tion is mechanical when on only chance occasions we learn
by experience whether anything is useful or harmful to man.
All education which is merely mechanical must carry with
it many mistakes and deficiencies because it rests on no basal
principle. If education is to develop human nature so that
it may attain its destiny, it must involve the exercise of judg-
ment. Educated parents are models which children use for
imitation. But if childrerf are to progress beyond their
parents, pedagogy must become a study ; otherwise we can
hope nothing from it, and men of defective education will
become the educators of others. Mechanism in education


must be changed into a science ; otherwise it will never be-
come a consistent pursuit, and one generation may pull down
what another had built up.

9. One principle of education which those men espe-
cially who form educational schemes should keep before
their eyes is this children ought to be educated, not for
the present, but for a possibly improved condition of man
in the future ; that is, in a manner which is adapted to the
idea of humanity and the whole destiny of man. This prin-
ciple is of great importance. Parents usually educate their
children in such a manner that they may be adapted to the
present conditions, however degenerate the world may be.
But they ought to give them a better education, in order that
a better condition of things may thereby be brought about
in the future.

10. Here, however, we encounter two difficulties: (i)
Parents usually care only that their children make their way
in the world, and (2) Princes consider their subjects only
as instruments for their own purposes. Parents care for
the home, princes for the state. Neither have as their aim
the universal good and the perfection to which man is des-
tined and for which he has also the natural gifts. But
the basis of a scheme of education must be cosmopolitan.
And is, then, the idea of the universal good hurtful to us
as individuals ? Never ! for though it may appear that
something must be sacrificed with this idea, nevertheless it
furthers the best interests of the individual under his present
conditions. And then what splendid results follow! It is
through good education that all the good in the world arises.
The germs which lie hidden in man need only to be more
and more developed. For the elements of evil are not to be
found in the natural endowments of man. The failure to
bring nature under control this is the cause of evil. In
man there are only germs of good.


11. But by whom is this better condition of the world
to be brought about? By rulers, or by their subjects?
Shall the latter improve themselves so that they meet a good
government half way? If this better condition is to be es-
tablished by princes, then their own education must first be
improved, for their training has long suffered the great mis-
take of not allowing them to meet with opposition in their

Accordingly the management of schools should entirely
depend upon the judgment of the most enlightened experts.
All culture begins with the individual, and radiates from
him as a center. It is only through the efforts of people of
broader views, who take an interest in the general good,
and who are capable of entertaining the idea of a better
condition of things in the future, that the gradual progress
of human nature towards its goal is possible.

12. Thus, in education, man must in the first place, be
made the subject of discipline. Discipline means the effort
to restrain the animal side of our nature, in the individual
as well as in social life, from working harm. It is thus
nothing but the subjugation of our brutality. In the second
place, man must acquire culture. Culture includes informa-
tion and instruction. It is culture that brings out ability.
Ability is the possession of a faculty which is capable of be-
ing adapted to all desired ends. It does not determine ends,
but leaves that to subsequent circumstances. On account of
the multitude of ends, ability is in some sense infinite. In
the third place, man must acquire discretion and be able to
conduct himself in society so that he may be esteemed, and
possess influence. To this end there is needed a kind of
culture which we call refinement. This includes manners,
courtesy, and a certain discretion, which will enable their
possessor to use all men for his own ends. This refinement
changes according to the varying taste of successive ages.


Thus, some decades ago, ceremonies were the fashion in so-
cial intercourse. In the fourth place, moral training must
form a part of education. It is not enough that a man be
fitted for any end, but he must also acquire the disposition
to choose only good ends. Good ends are those which are
necessarily approved by everyone, and which may at the
same time be the aim of everyone.

13. Man may be either broken in, trained, and mechan-
ically taught, or he may be really enlightened. Horses
and dogs are broken in, and man, too, may be broken in.
But it is not enough that children should be merely broken
in ; it is eminently important that they learn to think.
That leads to the principle from which all transactions pro-
ceed. Thus we see that a real education involves a great
deal. But as a rule, in private education, the fourth and
most important point is still too much neglected, for children
are substantially educated in such a way that moral training
is left to the preacher. And yet how infinitely important it
is that children be taught from youth up to detest vice, not
merely on the ground that God has forbidden it, but because
it is in itself detestable.

14. Experimental schools must be established before we
can establish normal schools. Education and instruction
must not be merely mechanical ; they must be based on fixed
principles. Yet education must be not entirely theoretical,
but at the same time, in a certain sense, mechanical.

People commonly imagine that experiments in education
are not necessary, and that we can judge from our reason
whether anything is good or not. But this is a great mis-
take, and experience teaches that the results of our experi-
ments are often entirely different from what we expected.
Thus we see that, since we must be guided by experiments,
no one generation can set forth a complete scheme of educa-


15. Education is either private or public. The latter is
concerned only with instruction, and this can always remain
public. The practice of what is taught is left to private
education. A complete public education is one which unites
instruction and moral culture. Its aim is to promote a good
private education.

Education in the home is conducted either by the parents
themselves, or, should the parents not have the time, apti-
tude, or inclination, by others who are paid to assist them.
But in education carried on by these assistants, one very
great difficulty arises, namely, the division of authority be-
tween parent and tutor. The child must obey the regula-
tions of his teacher, and at the same time follow the whims
of his parents. The only way out of this difficulty is for
parents to surrender entirely their authority to the tutor.

16. How far, then, has private education an advantage
over public education, or vice versa? In general it seems to
me that, not merely for the development of ability but also
for the cultivation of civic character, public education is to
be preferred. Private education, -in many cases, not only
fosters family failings, but transmits them to the new gen-

17. One of the greatest problems of education is how to
unite submission to legal restraint with the exercise of free-
will. For restraint is necessary! How am I to develop
freedom in the presence of restraint ? I am to accustom my
pupil to endure a restraint of his freedom, and at the same
time I am to guide him to use his freedom aright. Without
this all education is merely mechanical, and the child, when
his education is over, does not know how to make a proper
use of his freedom. He must be made to feel early the in-
evitable opposition of society, that he may learn the diffi-
culty of supporting himself, enduring privation, and acquir-
ing what is necessary to make him independent.


This great educational reformer, the greatest perhaps
since the Reformation of the sixteenth century, was born
January 12, 1746, in the beautiful town of Zurich. He was
lacking in administrative ability, but possessed a deep love
and noble enthusiasm for humanity. Intellectual force was
subordinate in him to imagination and sensibility. He en-
gaged in several famous educational experiments, all which,
in spite of their failure, were fruitful in blessings to man-
kind. It was through his efforts, unselfish and self-sacrific-
ing, that what was best in educational theory up to his time
obtained permanent recognition. He gave a new impulse
to popular education, from which he expected great im-
provement in the moral, intellectual, and social condition of

Having failed as a farmer, Pestalozzi turned his farm,
to which he had given the name of Neuhof , into an industrial
school for the poor. He soon had fifty children under his
charge to provide for. His plan was to combine study with
remunerative labor; but after five years the school was
closed in 1780, leaving him heavily involved in debt, but
greatly enriched in educational experience.

The next few years were devoted chiefly to authorship as
a means of earning a livelihood. He turned his pedagogical
studies and experience to good account. " The Evening
Hour of a Hermit," an educational treatise in the form of
aphorisms, appeared in 1780. In 1782 he edited for a few


months the Swiss News, a weekly newspaper, in which from
time to time he touched upon educational matters. In 1787
he published the fourth and last volume of " Leonard and
Gertrude," an educational novel descriptive of humble scenes
and conditions in his native land.

In 1798, upon the recommendation of the Swiss directors,
Pestalozzi took charge of nearly a hundred destitute and
homeless children at Stanz. They composed a heterogene-
ous mass that would have been appalling to any one with less
enthusiasm than Pestalozzi. With almost superhuman zeal
he addressed himself to the work of improving their condi-
tion, and in the space of a few months wrought so great a
change in them that they no longer seemed the same beings.
But in less than a year the school was broken up by the
return of the French army, which had previously devastated
the district. In 1799 Pestalozzi wrote a letter to his friend
Gessner, in which he gave a detailed account of the work at
Stanz. This letter, a large part of which follows this sketch,
is interesting for the light it throws on the character and
pedagogy of Pestalozzi.

In 1805 he opened a school at Yverdun, where he at-
tained his greatest triumphs. He achieved a European rep-
utation, and kings and philosophers united in showing him
regard. Yverdun became a place of pilgrimage for philan-
thropists and educators from all parts of Europe. For a
time the progress, happiness, and high moral tone of its
pupils made the school at once a model and an inspiration in
education ; but at length in 1825 internal dissension brought
the work to an ignominious end. The following year Pesta-
lozzi published " The Song of the Swan," in which he gave
a clear statement of his educational labors and principles.
He died February 17, 1827.

The following extracts present Pestalozzi's educational
system with clearness and fulness. The following summary


however, prepared by his biographer Morf, will be found
very helpful :

" i. Sense-impression is the foundation of instruction.

" 2. Language must be connected with sense-impression.

" 3. The time for learning is not the time for judgment
and criticism.

" 4. In each branch instruction must begin with the
simplest elements, and proceed gradually by following the
child's developments ; that is, bv a series of steps which are
psychologically connected.

" 5. A pause must be made at each stage of the instruction
sufficiently long for the child to get the new matter thor-
oughly into his grasp and under his control.

Online LibraryF. V. N. (Franklin Verzelius Newton) PainterGreat pedagogical essays; Plato to Spencer → online text (page 26 of 33)