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*BACON, F. Philosophical Works (edited by Spedding, Ellis and Heath).
*ADAMSON, J. W. Pioneers of Modern Education. Chap. III. BARNARD, H. American Journal of Education. Vol. V, pp. 663668.
BARNARD, H. English Pedagogy. Pp. 77-122.
BEARD, C. The Reformation of the Sixteenth Century. Chap. XI. CAIRD, E. University Addresses. Pp. 124-156.
*FOWLER, T. Bacon's Novum Organum.
LAURIE, S. S. History of Educational Opinion since the Renaissance. Chap. X.
MUNROE, J. P. The Educational Ideal. Chap. III.
NICHOL, J. Francis Bacon.
SISSON, E. O. Francis Bacon and the Modern University (Popular Science Monthly, October, 1906) and Francis Bacon on Education (Education, November, 1908).
*SPEDDING, J. Life and Times of Francis Bacon.
RATICH AND HIS EDUCATIONAL CLAIMS
method to the problems
Wolfgang von Ratke (1571-1635), generally called Ratich from an abbreviation of his Latinized name,1 was born in Wilster, Holstein, and first studied for the of education, ministry at the University of Rostock. Later, he con
tinued his studies in England, where he probably became acquainted with the work of Bacon. Before long, realizing that he had an incurable defect in speech which would keep him from success in the pulpit, he decided to devote himself to educational reform. He planned to apply the principles of Bacon to the problems of education in general, but he intended especially to reform the methods of language teaching.
Ratich applied the Baconian
Ratich's Attempts at School Reform
In 1612 Ratich memorialized the imperial diet, while it was sitting at Frankfurt, and asked for an investigation of his methods. Two professors from the University of Giessen were commissioned to examine his propositions, and afterward the University of Jena similarly had four
1 I.e. Ratichius.
to apply his
were uniformly unsuc
of its staff look into the matter, and in each case a favor- His attempts able, not to say enthusiastic, verdict was reached. When, however, on the strength of such reports, the town council of Augsburg gave him control of the schools of that cessful. city, he was not able to justify his claims, and the arrangement was abandoned at the end of a year. Having appealed to the diet again without encouragement, Ratich began traveling from place to place, trying to interest various princes or cities in his system. He was befriended by Dorothea, Duchess of Weimar, who induced her brother, Prince Ludwig of Anhalt-Köthen, to provide a school for Ratich. This institution was furnished with an expensive equipment, including a large printing plant; a set of teachers that had been trained in the Ratichian methods and sworn to secrecy, were engaged; and some five hundred school children of Köthen were started on this royal road to learning. The experiment lasted only eighteen months, and, largely owing to Ratich's inexperience as a schoolmaster, was a dismal failure. The prince was so enraged at his pecuniary loss and the ridiculous light in which he was placed that he threw the unhappy reformer into prison, and released him at the end of three months only upon his signing a statement that he had undertaken more than he could perform. After this, Ratich tried his hand at Magdeburg, where he failed again, mostly as the result of theological differences, and then was enabled to pre
His Claims and Methods
Although there was considerable merit in the printhe teaching ciples of Ratich, he had many of the ear-marks of a moun
His claims concerning
the arts and
of languages, tebank. Such may be considered his constant attempts to keep his methods a profound secret, and the spec
seem extrava- tacular ways he had of presenting the ends they were
were in keep- bound to accomplish. In writing the diet, he promised
ing with realism.
by means of his system: first, to teach young or old Hebrew, Greek, and Latin without difficulty, and in a shorter time than was ordinarily devoted to any one language; secondly, to introduce schools in which all arts and sciences should be thoroughly taught and extended; and, lastly, to establish uniformity in speech, religion, and government. As Ratich stated them, these claims seemed decidedly extravagant, but as far as he expected to carry them out, they were but the natural aims of an education based upon realism and the Baconian method.
sent his principles to Oxenstiern, the chancellor of Sweden, but he never really recovered from his disappointment in Köthen, and died of paralysis in Erfurt before he could hear from Stockholm.
The rules of procedure used by Ratich and his disciples have been extracted by Von Raumer from a work on the Ratichian methods published after the system had
become somewhat known.1 In linguistic training he insisted, like all realists, that one "should first study the vernacular" as an introduction to other languages. He also held to the principle of "one thing at a time and often repeated." By this he meant that, in studying a language, one should master a single book. At Köthen, as soon as the children knew their letters, they were required to learn Genesis thoroughly for the sake of their German. Each chapter was read twice by the teacher, while the pupils followed the text with their finger. When they could read the book perfectly, they were taught grammar from it as a text. The teacher pointed out the various parts of speech and made the children find other examples, and then had them decline, conjugate and parse. In taking up Latin, a play of Terence was used in a similar fashion. A translation was read to the pupils several times before they were shown the original; then the Latin was translated to them from the text; next, the class was drilled in grammar; and finally, the boys were required to turn German sentences into Latin after the style of Terence. This method may have produced a high degree of concentration, but it was liable to result in monotony and want of interest, unless skilfully administered.
Another formulation of Ratich's, whereby he insisted
1 Methodus Institutionis Nova Ratichii et Ratichianorum, published by Johannes Rhenius at Leipzig in 1626.
a time" were the principles upon