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CHAPTER VII

DEVELOPMENT OF MODERN EDUCATIONAL PRACTICE

Froebel and Herbart as Disciples of Pestalozzi.— Before considering the educational development that took place later as a result of the awakening, it may now be well to take up some of the wider movements that have affected modern educational practice everywhere. In the discussion of naturalism, observation, and industrial training, we have noted great improvements taking place in educational practice and have witnessed the rise of the psychological tendency in education. The germs of this, as of other modern educational movements, were found in the suggestions of Rousseau, and were developed into more constructive and practical suggestions by the philanthropinists, Pestalozzi, and Fellenberg. The positions of Pestalozzi were somewhat vague and were based upon sympathetic insight rather than scientific principles, but, besides leaving a direct influence upon the teaching of certain subjects in the elementary curriculum, they became the basis of the elaborate systems of Herbart and Froebel. And the development Herbart and of educational practice introduced by these latter edu- be considered cators has most profoundly affected the content and contemporary disciples of method of the course in all stages of modern training. Pestalozzi. Herbart and Froebel may be regarded as contemporary disciples and interpreters of the Swiss reformer, who was born a generation before, but they continued his work

Froebel may

along rather different lines. Each went to visit Pestalozzi, and it would seem from their comments upon what they saw that each found in the master the main principle which appealed to him and which he afterward developed more or less consistently throughout his work.

There were two very definite aspects to Pestalozzi's positions, which may at first seem opposed to each other, but are not necessarily contradictory. On the one hand, Pestalozzi seems to have held that education should be a natural development from within; on the other, that it must consist in the derivation of ideas from experience Froebel em with the outside world. The former point of view would aspect of logically argue that every characteristic is innate and implicit in the child at birth in the exact form to which it is afterward to be developed, and that the teacher can and stressed at best only assist the child's nature in the efforts for his activities; its own unfolding.1 This attitude Pestalozzi apparently

phasized the

education as

natural development from within

the child and

borrowed from the psychology implied in Rousseau's naturalism. The other conception of education as sense perception, which is evident in Pestalozzi's observational methods, 2 depends upon the theory that immediate and direct impressions from the outside are the absolute basis of all knowledge, and holds that the contents of the mind must be entirely built up by the teacher. Some such naïve interpretation has been common since speculation began, especially among teachers, and had been formulated in Pestalozzi's day by Locke, Hume, and others. In the main, Froebel took the first of these Pestalozzian viewpoints and rarely admits the other, but

1 This view is especially revealed in the quotations concerning his educational aim, given in Chapter V, pp. 137f.

2 See pp. 139f.

cation as im

and con

the latter phase was developed by Herbart to the almost Herbart in general total disregard of the former. Hence the one educator adopted the laid emphasis upon the child's development and activ- view of eduities, and the other concerned himself with method and pressions from without, the work of the teacher.1 The original contributions of both reformers to educational practice, however, were cerned himlarge, and are deserving of extended description. As with method Herbart began to formulate his principles somewhat and the before Froebel became interested in education, he will here be treated first.

self mainly

teacher.

ditions were

the gymna

The Early Career and Writings of Herbart.-Johann Friedrich Herbart (1776–1841) both by birth and by education possessed a remarkable mind and was well calcu- Herbart's tralated to become a profound educational philosopher. All all intellechis traditions were intellectual. His paternal grandfather tual, and in was rector of the gymnasium at Oldenburg, Herbart's sium and native town, and his father was a lawyer and privy councilor there. Moreover, the mother of Herbart is known to have been 'a rare and wonderful woman,' who was able to assist her son in his favorite studies of Greek, mathematics, and philosophy. While still a youth in the

1 The Ruling Principle of Method by Antonio Rosmini-Serbati (17971855) represents a third possible development of Pestalozzi's theories. It seems to emphasize Pestalozzianism upon the emotional side, as do the doctrines of Herbart and Froebel upon the cognitional and volitional sides respectively. His professed aim was a natural development to moral perfection through obedience to law, human and divine, natural and revealed. The system also unites the ordered evolution of Froebel and the apperception of Herbart. Although it grew out of his subtle system of metaphysics, and is not fully emancipated from the scholastic effort to reduce all intellectual processes to categories, it professes to adopt the observational attitude of modern science and the psychological method. However, outside of Italy, there were few schools conducted upon his principles, and his theories have exerted little influence upon educational practice.

university he distinguished himself in

Greek, mathe

matics, and philosophy.

gymnasium, Herbart distinguished himself by writing essays upon moral freedom and other metaphysical subjects. At the University of Jena, under the inspiration of Fichte, he produced incisive critiques upon the treatises of that philosopher and of the other great idealist of the age, Schelling. He was also influenced here by the enthusiasm for Greek displayed by the advocates of 'new humanism.' This literary movement had its seat near Jena, at Weimar, the abode of Herder, Goethe, and Schiller. Herbart became an ardent student of the OdysEach of the sey, and among other writings produced a treatise on three subjects was destined some musical aspects of the epics of Homer. Likewise, to play a part he continued his interest in mathematics, and his training in each of the three subjects was destined to play a part in his educational theories.

in his edu

cational theories,

Just before graduation, however, Herbart left the university to become private tutor to the three sons of Herr von Steiger-Reggisberg, Governor of Interlaken, Switzerland. During the period of almost three years (17971799) that he occupied this position, he obtained a most valuable practical experience. He was required by his patron to make bi-monthly a written report of the methods he used and of his pupils' progress in their studies and conduct. Five of these letters are still extant, and reveal the germs of the elaborate system that was afterward to bear the name of Herbart. The youthful pedagogue seems to have recognized the individual variations in children, and to have shown a due regard for the respective ages of his pupils, who were eight, ten, and fourteen years old. He also sought, by means of his beloved Odyssey, to develop in them the elements of morality and a 'manysided interest.' This early experience, rather than his

cal experience

real founda

ingenious system of psychology and metaphysics, which but a practihe afterward developed in explanation, was the real as a private foundation of his pedagogy, and furnished him with the tutor was the concrete examples of the characteristics and individ- tion of his ualities of children that appear in all his later works. He pedagogy. ever afterward maintained that a careful study of the development of a few children was the best preparation for a pedagogical career, and eventually made an experience of this kind the main element in his training of teachers.

Having met
Burgdorf, he

Pestalozzi at

undertook

ment that

principles in

two essays.

While still in Switzerland, Herbart met Pestalozzi and was greatly attracted by the underlying principles of that reformer. He paid a visit to the institute at Burg- to interpret dorf in 1799, and during the next two years, while at and suppleBremen completing his interrupted university course, he reformer's undertook to advocate and render more scientific the thought of the Swiss educator. It was at this time that Herbart wrote a sympathetic essay On Pestalozzi's Latest Writing, 'How Gertrude Teaches Her Children,' and made his interpretation of Pestalozzi's Idea of an A B C of Observation. In the former work, Herbart describes what he saw at Burgdorf and defends some of the methods, which had been severely criticized. He also suggests supplementing the observational work of Pestalozzi with a study of triangles. He carries this idea further in the latter treatise, and attempts, as a result of his mathematical bent, to found the methods of Pestalozzi upon a definite theory of mechanics. While in Bremen also he made public addresses in which he tried to explain and expand the Pestalozzian practice.

The Moral Revelation of the World and The Science of Education.—Following this period, from 1802 to 1809,

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