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and advocates ideas rather than words.
Milton recommends an encyclopædic program, including sciences, but also a broad training in Latin and Greek,
His Encyclopædic but Humanistic Curriculum
It is not, however, the study of classics in itself that Milton opposes, but the constant harping upon grammar without regard to the thought of the authors, for "though a linguist should pride himself to have all the tongues that Babel cleft the world into, yet if he have not studied the solid things 1 in them as well as the words and lexicons, he were nothing so much to be esteemed as any yeoman or tradesman competently wise in his mother dialect only." In this statement, as well as elsewhere, it is obvious that by 'things' Milton meant ideas and not objects. Even in his recommendation of a most encyclopædic program of studies, which is usually one of the marks of the sense realist, he seems to imply the 'humanistic' rather than the 'sense' realism, although he wrote half a century after Bacon and was a younger contemporary of Comenius. While his curriculum includes large elements of science and manual training, and especially emphasizes a knowledge of nature, it affords the broadest training in Latin and Greek, and, after the fashion of broader humanism in general, undertakes to teach agriculture through Latin, and natural history, geography, and medicine through Greek. On the whole,
1 Italics not in the original.
2 The Tractate is dedicated to Samuel Hartlib, who was also the friend and patron of Comenius, and a well-known sense realist. See footnote on page 2.
it is an education of books, and the enormous load of Italian, Hebrew, Chaldee, and Syriac, as
well as Latin and Greek,
together with mathematics, sciences, and other studies, would make such a course impossible, except, as some one has said, for a 'college of Miltons.'
His Broad Definition of Education
As with some of the other humanistic realists, notably Montaigne, Milton also would have considerable time given, toward the end of the course, to the social sciences, such as history, ethics, politics, economics, and theology, and to such practical training as would bring one in touch with life. He likewise advocates the experience and knowledge that would come from travel in England and abroad. Thus, in the place of the usual restricted conception of humanistic education, Milton would substitute a genuine study and understanding of the classical authors and a real preparation for life. While at first he piously declares that the aim of learning is "to repair the ruins of our first parents by regaining to know God aright," he is more specific later when he frames his famous definition:
"I call therefore a complete and generous education that which fits a man to perform justly, skilfully, and magnanimously all the offices both private and public of peace and war."
time on the
Hence he de
tion from the
fitting one's environment.
The 'Academy' is to
provide a secondary and higher education.
formists in England,
His Educational Institution,
The school in which Milton would carry out his ideal education he calls an Academy, and states that it should be held in "a spatious house and ground about it, big enough to lodge one hundred and fifty persons." This institution should keep the boys from the age of twelve to twenty-one, and should provide both secondary and higher education, "not heeding a remove to any other house of scholarship, except it be some peculiar college of Law or Physic." And he adds: "After this pattern as many edifices may be converted to this use as shall be needful in every city throughout this land."
Influence of Milton's 'Academy' in England and
It was afterward adopted
Strangely enough, this educational curriculum and in a modified organization of Milton's, exaggerated as they were, found
form by the
a partial embodiment and function in a new educational institution that became of great importance in England and the United States. 'Academies' based upon this general plan were organized in many places to meet certain exigencies of the English nonconformists, that arose toward the end of Milton's life. The two thousand dissenting clergymen who were driven from their parishes by the harsh Act of Uniformity in 1662, in many instances found school-teaching a congenial means of
earning a livelihood, and at the same time of furnishing higher education to the young dissenters who were excluded from the universities and 'grammar'1 schools. The first of these academies was that established by Richard Frankland at Rathmill in 1665, and this was followed by the institutions of John Woodhouse at Sheriffhales, of Charles Morton at Newington Green, and of some thirty other educators of whom we have record. While these academies usually followed the humanistic realism of Milton, and, since their chief function was to fit for the ministry, included Latin, Greek, and Hebrew in their course, they were also rich in sciences, mathematics, and the social sciences, and the vernacular was especially emphasized.2 The new tendency was also broadened and amplified by the writings of Locke, whose Thoughts 3 became the great guide for the managers of the Puritan academies. In 1689, when the Act of Toleration put nonconformity upon a legal footing, the academies were allowed to be regularly incorporated.
So in America, when, by the middle of the eighteenth century, the number of religious denominations had greatly increased and the demands upon secondary
1 See footnote on p. 8.
2 A detailed account of the history and curriculum of these academies is given in Brown, Making of Our Middle Schools, Chap. VIII.
3 See pp. 52 ff.
and for seccation
education had expanded, the 'grammar' schools,1 with their narrow denominational ideals and their limitation to a classical training and college preparation, proved inadequate, and an imitation of the English academy arose as a supplement. The first suggestion of an 'academy' was made in 1743 by Benjamin Franklin. He wished to inaugurate an education that would prepare for life, and not merely for college. He accordingly proposed for the youth of Pennsylvania a course in which English grammar and composition, penmanship, arithmetic, drawing, geography, history, the natural sciences, oratory, civics, and logic were to be emphasized. He would gladly have excluded the languages altogether and made the course completely realistic, but for politic reasons he made these subjects elective. His academy was opened at Philadelphia in 1751, and similar institutions sprang up rapidly through the other colonies during the latter half of the eighteenth century. Shortly after the Revolution, partly owing to the inability or the unwillingness of the towns or the counties to maintain grammar schools, the academy quite eclipsed these institutions, and became for a time the representative type of secondary school in the United States.2
1 These 'grammar' schools were secondary institutions, and the classics composed the chief part of the curriculum. They had been borrowed from the (Latin) grammar schools of England by the American colonists. See Graves, History of Education during the Transition, pp. 172-174. 2 See Brown, op. cit., Chap. IX.