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"The first germs, then, of love, gratitude, faith, and obedience grow out of certain instinctive relations between the mother and child, but the after-development of these germs requires most careful art. And even your most careful art, O educator, will remain barren if you lose sight for a moment of their starting-point, for you will then be breaking the thread which unites the growing sentiments to their first germs. This is a very great danger, and must be guarded against at the outset. The child called for his mother's help, loved her, thanked her, trusted her, obeyed her. He called for God's help, loved Him, thanked Him, trusted Him, and obeyed Him. But the first sources of these sentiments have now ceased to exist; he needs his mother no more, and the new world which surrounds him is crying with all its sensuous charm, 'Now, you are mine!'
"The child hears this voice. The instincts of his cradle have disappeared; those of his growing powers have replaced them. The moral sentiments which were the product of his first impressions will soon disappear too, if they are not now indissolubly bound up with the supreme aspirations of our nature, with the duties of life, and the will of the Creator. The world is now beginning to loosen the child from the mother's heart, and if at this time no one is found to reconcile the noblest sentiments of his nature with this new and seductive world, it is all over with him. The child, I say, is snatched from the loving heart; the world is now his mother, its sensual pleasures and proud spirit of dominion are now his god.
แ "Here, for the first time, you can no longer trust Nature; you must, on the other hand, do your utmost to preserve your child from his own blind strength, and give him such rules, principles and powers as the experience of centuries has shown us to be good. The world which is now before his eyes, is no longer as God first created it; not only have its pleasures lost their innocence, but human nature has lost its nobility, and everywhere is war, revolt, usurpation, violence, selfishness, lying and deceit."
We have no space for further quotations from this important work. What we have already quoted furnishes a good example of Pestalozzi's tendency to digress. He took up his pen to set forth the views which the Burgdorf insti
tute was intended to realize; but, as the work proceeded, fresh ideas crowded so thick and fast upon him, that at last, carried away by his feeling and imagination, he launched out into entirely new regions of thought. This explains how it is that the book contains so much more than its title seemed to promise. Morf, who has analyzed the work with much care and penetration, thus resumes its pedagogical principles:
1. "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 development; that is, by a series of steps which are pyschologically connected.
5. "A pause must be made at each stage of the instruction sufficiently long for the child to get the new matter thoroughly into his grasp and under his control.
6. "Teaching must follow the path of development, and not that of dogmatic exposition,
7. "The individuality of the pupil must be sacred for the teacher.
8. "The chief aim of elementary instruction is not to furnish the child with knowledge and talents, but to develop and increase the powers of his mind.
9. "To knowledge must be joined power; to what is known, the ability to turn it to account.
10. "The relations between master and pupil, especially so far as discipline is concerned, must be established and regulated by love.
11. "Instruction must be subordinated to the higher end of education."
We shall not here undertake an examination of the "method," as it is still in course of formation. Pestalozzi's own experiences at Burgdorf tended to modify it somewhat, and, later on, the labours of his assistants had a considerable effect in developing and extending it. Moreover, Pestalozzi worked at it with almost unimpaired intellectual vigour till quite the end of his life, as we see in the Song of the Swan,
written when he was eighty years of age. Not till we have related his whole life, therefore, can we examine the educational method bequeathed to us by his genius and marvellous mental activity.
But what we are in a position to state at once is, that in this book, in which Pestalozzi endeavoured to set forth his educational doctrine at a time when it could not possibly have been affected by any foreign influence, he constantly returns to the idea, so often expressed already in his writings, that the intellectual and moral development of the child is governed by the same organic laws as his physical development or that of the plant or animal; in other words, that there is a human organism which comprises a material, an intellectual, and a moral organism. It is our belief that if Pestalozzi had investigated and formulated the laws of organism so as to be able to apply them to the object of his labours, he would have succeeded in giving his method more clearness and precision.1
We must now give some account of the elementary books to which we have referred in a previous chapter, and which were published during the existence of the Burgdorf insti
The first, which appeared in 1801, and received some pecuniary support from the Helvetian Government, was the Guide for Teaching Spelling and Reading. It was originally supplemented by large letters, which were intended to be gummed on cardboard. The use of these movable letters seems to have constituted Pestalozzi's first real public success, so that it is to him we owe this practical method, still employed in so many families.
His Book for Mothers was printed in 1803; it came far short of what he had intended to make it, and not only failed to produce the good effect he had expected, but was ignored by the very people for whom it was written.
This failure seems to us to depend upon an error that had crept into Pestalozzi's thought, an error which we must now endeavour to explain, since its consequences were lasting and fatal. This error not only rendered many of the efforts
1 We have given an account of the laws of organism and their application to physical, moral and intellectual education in our first work, Philosophy and Practice of Education. Paris, 1860.
of Pestalozzi and his helpers quite futile, but also served to spread a false idea of his method, and compromised the success and utility of the various elementary books which were afterwards published in his name.
We must say at once that it was not an error of doctrine, but simply a want of due appreciation of the difficulties which the mothers of his time were bound to meet with, in attempting to apply his method to the instruction of their children.
It was assuredly a beautiful and noble thought to ask mothers themselves to begin the reform of education by teaching their children by a method which was to be but a continuation of the natural method suggested to them by the first inspirations of the maternal instinct. But to succeed, it would have been necessary for them to forget the methods by which they had been taught themselves, to break away from those they saw in use around them, and to be as fervently devoted to the new method as they would have been if they had been brought up themselves by Pestalozzi, or even in the spirit of his teaching.
Pestalozzi thought he could avoid this difficulty by simplifying the elements of instruction and multiplying the successive steps, so as to form a series of minute gradations. His idea was to explain the course to be followed in all its details, and supply mothers word for word with all they would have to say to their children. But such a work was too long and monotonous for a mind like Pestalozzi's, so easily carried away by new ideas, and it was left, in a great measure, to his collaborators.
According to the original plan of its author, the Book for Mothers was to lead the child not only to a precise knowledge of the various objects of Nature or of art which were presented to him, but also to an understanding of the relations both of numbers and forms.
The study of that part of the sensible world which lay within the child's comprehension included an infinite variety of objects. Some order was necessary, and a starting-point which should be everywhere the same-a first object of observation, that is, which every mother who was anxious to use these exercises would invariably have before her eyes.
Pestalozzi chose the body of the child itself. He had
indeed said elsewhere: "All I am, all I wish, and all I can do, comes from myself." After the child were to come animals, then plants, then the inorganic world, and then, after the works of God, the works of man.
It was Krusi who wrote the Book for Mothers, under Pestalozzi's directions; but the study of the external parts of the human body, their names, number, relative position, relations, functions, etc., filled a volume, and there the work stopped.
Pestalozzi had written the preface, in which he announced a series of ten exercises, seven only of which were eventually carried out. The seventh, which was drawn up by Pestalozzi himself, consists of a collection of instructive remarks on the functions of the child's various organs, and well repays perusal. The following quotation from an article entitled, Seeing with the Eyes, will give a sufficient idea of it:
"When the child is still but a babe, his mother takes him to the open window, and he sees the sky and earth, the garden before the house, trees, houses, men and animals; he sees things near and things in the distance, great things and small things, some standing alone, some in groups; he also sees white and blue and red and black. But he has no idea of nearness or distance; he knows nothing of size, number, and colour.
"Some weeks later his mother carries him in her arms into the garden, where he finds himself close to the same tree that he had seen from the window. Dogs, cats, cows and sheep pass near him; he sees the fowls peck the grains his mother scatters; he sees the water flowing from the fountain. His mother picks flowers of different colours for him, and putting them into his hand, teaches him to smell them.
"As the months go by, his mother takes him about with her still more; he at last comes quite near to the houses, trees, or steeples, that hitherto he has seen only from afar. Almost before he can walk he is prompted by the twofold desire for pleasure and knowledge to crawl over the paternal threshold, and go and breathe the fresh air and feel the pleasant warmth of the sun in some sheltered nook behind the house. He tries to take hold of everything he sees; he