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develop his negative and somewhat inconsistent 'naturalism' into a more positive attempt to reform corrupt society by proper education and a new method of teaching. He therein enlarged for education the social and psychological tendencies begun by Rousseau.

Pestalozzi was inspired

to elevate the

ministry, law,


Pestalozzi's Industrial School at Neuhof.-But to understand the significance of the experiments, writings, by the example of his and principles of this widely beloved reformer, one must mother and make a brief study of his life and surroundings. Johann grandfather Heinrich Pestalozzi was born at Zürich in 1746. After peasantry the death of his father, he was brought up from early through the childhood almost altogether by his mother. Through improved her unselfishness and piety, and the example of his grandfather, pastor in a neighboring village, Pestalozzi was inspired to relieve and elevate the degraded peasantry about him. He first turned to the ministry as being the best way to accomplish this philanthropic purpose. But he broke down in his trial sermon, and then took up the study of law, with the idea of defending the rights of his people. In this, too, he was destined to be balked; strangely enough, through the influence of Rousseau. In common with several other students of the University of Zürich, Pestalozzi was greatly impressed by the Social Contract and the Emile, which had recently appeared, and he ruined his possibilities for a legal and political career through a radical criticism of the government. Then, in 1769, he undertook to demonstrate to the peasants the value of improved methods of agriculture. He took up, after a year of training, a parcel of waste land at Birr, which he called Neuhof ('new farm'). Within five years the experiment proved a lamentable failure. Meantime a son had been born to him, whom he had undertaken

and philan-
thropic edu-
cation at

to rear upon the basis of the Emile, and the results, recorded in a Father's Journal, suggested new ideas and educational principles for the regeneration of the masses. He began to hold that education did not consist merely in books and knowledge, and that the children of the poor could, by proper training, be taught to earn their living and at the same time develop their intelligence and moral


Hence the failure of his agricultural venture afforded Pestalozzi the opportunity he craved to experiment with philanthropic and industrial education. Toward the end of 1774 he took into his home some twenty of the most needy children he could find. These he fed, clothed, and treated as his own. He gave the boys practical instruction in farming and gardening on small tracts, and had the girls trained in domestic duties and needlework. In bad weather both sexes gave their time to spinning and weaving cotton. They were also trained in the rudiments, but were practiced in conversing and in memorizing the Bible before learning to read and write. The scholastic instruction was given very largely while they were working, and, although Pestalozzi had not as yet learned to make any direct connection between the occupational and the formal elements, this first attempt at an industrial education made it evident that the two could be combined. Within a few months there was a striking improvement in the physique, minds, and morals of the children, as well as in the use of their hands. But Pestalozzi was so enthusiastic over the success of his experiment that he greatly increased the number of children, and by 1780 was reduced to bankruptcy.

The Leonard and Gertrude.-Nevertheless, his wider


was closed,

he wrote out

his views in

the Leonard

and Gertrude.

purpose of social reform by means of education was not When his allowed to languish altogether, for a friend shortly experiment persuaded him to publish his views. The Evening Hour of a Hermit,1 a collection of one hundred and eighty aphorisms, was his first production. This work embodied most of the educational principles he afterward made famous, but it could be understood by few of the people, and he was advised to put his thought into more popular form. So in 1781 he wrote his well-known story of Leonard and Gertrude. This work, with subsequent additions, gives an account of the degraded social conditions in the Swiss village of 'Bonnal' and the changes wrought in them by one simple peasant woman. 'Gertrude' reforms her drunkard husband, educates her children, and causes the whole community to feel her influence and adopt her methods. When finally a wise schoolmaster comes to the village, he learns from Gertrude the proper conduct of the school and begs for her continued coöperation. Then the government becomes interested, studies the improvements that have taken place, and concludes that the whole country can be reformed in no better way than by imitating Bonnal. The Leonard and Gertrude appealed especially to the romanticism of the period, and constituted Pestalozzi's one popular success in literature.

His School at Stanz and the Observational Methods.During the last decade of his life at Neuhof, Pestalozzi was busy warding off poverty and starvation, and found no time for writing or educational work. But in 1798

1 Die Abendstunde eines Einsiedlers. A translation of the entire work can be found in Barnard, Vol. VI, pp. 169–179, while its essence is given by de Guimps, Pestalozzi, pp. 75–78.

At fifty-two he took charge

of a throng orphan chil

dren in the

Ursuline con

vent at Stanz

Through experience and observation, rather than books, he taught the

children religion and

morals, number, language, geography, history, and natural history.

a turn in political fortunes gave him another opportunity to continue his educational experiments. In that year Switzerland came under control of the French revolutionists, and the independent cantons were united in a Helvetic Republic under a 'directorate' like that in France. As this movement promised reform, Pestalozzi enthusiastically supported it. He was in turn offered patronage by the new government, but he asked only for a school in which he might carry on his philanthropic work in education. This opportunity was given him at the village of Stanz. The Catholic community in this place had refused to yield to what they considered a foreign and atheistic invasion, and most of the ablebodied adults had been slaughtered. That left the government with a throng of friendless children for whom they felt bound to provide. Pestalozzi, being asked to take charge of them, started an orphan home and school in an Ursuline convent. Here he soon gained the confidence and love of the children, and produced a most noticeable improvement in them physically, morally, and intellectually.

He found it impossible to obtain any assistants, books, and materials, but he felt that none of these conventional aids could be of service in the work he desired to do. Hence he sought to instruct the children rather by experience and observation than by abstract statements and words. This was the real beginning of his influential method of teaching through 'observation,' which was destined thereafter to be more stressed than his idea of intellectual training in connection with manual labor. Religion and morals, for example, were never taught by precepts, but through instances that arose in the

lives of the children he showed them the value of selfcontrol, charity, sympathy, and gratitude. In a similarly concrete way the pupils were instructed in number and language work by means of objects, and in geography and history by conversation rather than by books. While they did not learn their natural history primarily from nature, they were taught to corroborate what they had learned by their own observation. With regard to this whole method Pestalozzi said:

"I believe that the first development of thought in the child is very much disturbed by a wordy system of teaching, which is not adapted either to his faculties or the circumstances of his life. According to my experience, success depends upon whether what is taught to children commends itself to them as true through being closely connected with their own observation. As a general rule, I attached little importance to the study of words, even when explanations of the ideas they represented were given." 1

reduce ob

In connection with his observational method, Pes- He sought to talozzi at this time began his attempts to reduce all servation perception to its lowest terms.2 It was while at Stanz,

its lowest

terms in

reading by syllabaries,"


means of his

similarly to

for example, that he first adopted his well-known plan of teaching children to read by means of exercises known as 'syllabaries.' These joined the five vowels in succes- and hoped sion to the different consonants,-'ab, eb, ib, ob, ub,' simplify all and so on through all the consonants. From the phonetic education. nature of German spelling, he was able to make the exercises very simple, and intended thus to furnish a necessary practice in basal syllables. In a similar way he hoped to simplify all education to such an extent that schools would eventually become unnecessary, and that

1 See How Gertrude Teaches Her Children, I.

2 The resulting elements he soon came to call the 'A B C of observation' (A B C der Anschauung). See p. 139.

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