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It is frequently said that Christ is the ideal Teacher, the Master, one teaching with authority, but these statements are not sufficiently definite for educational purposes. They do not show the significance of Christ's method for modern teaching, especially the teaching of religion. If religion is to be taught effectively, if the Divine truths are to be imparted to children in such a way as to secure an intelligent understanding of their content, as far as the human mind is capable of understanding them, if the instructor is to engender in the hearts of the children a love for God and a desire to conform their lives to the Divine Model, the method of teaching must be in close agreement with the method used by Christ Himself. The teacher of religion, therefore, is bound by an imperative duty to study Christ's method of teaching, to adopt it as his model, and to exert all his efforts to reproduce in his work, as far as possible, the characteristics that are indelibly stamped upon the method of the Divine teacher. He should not be satisfied with a mere cursory view of this method, but give to it serious and detailed consideration, so that he may value it at its proper worth, appreciate its variations and its manifold applications, and note its relations to the method employed at the present day, not only for the teaching of religion, but for the various subjects of the curriculum. The reason of this obligation is self-evident: the method of teaching religion which was used by Christ, the Founder of the Church, and the exponent of Divine truth, must have been and undoubtedly was the best method; therefore, no other teacher of those same truths can hope to meet with success in his efforts and reach the minds and hearts of his pupils, except by the same methods with which the Master accomplished such lasting results as are to be found even at the present day.

The principles underlying the method of teaching used by Christ, as a thorough study of the Gospels will testify, are mainly those of adaptability or adjustment, imitation, correlation, suggestiveness, and assimilation. Other minor principles are evident in the process of His instruction, but they are an outgrowth or development of those mentioned. There is, as a matter of fact, not a single sound principle in modern education which is not to be found in the teaching of Christ; and yet this modern period of educational activity boasts of the discovery of a body of valuable principles based on the recent findings of psychology. The presence of these fundamental principles in Christ's teaching

makes His instructions models of the highest type in the art of teaching. The pedagogical value of our Saviour's discourses has been ably treated by Severus Raue,1 in his work entitled "Christus als Lehrer und Erzieher," several chapters of which the author devotes to a consideration of the principles and methods exhibited in the work of Christ as the teacher of the multitude in general and of His Apostles in particular.

Perhaps the most fundamental principle of modern education, the principle which holds a foremost place as a necessary basis for correct method in teaching, is apperception. Though the term apperception is of modern origin, and the principle of apperception has been recognized and consciously applied to education at a comparatively recent date, the idea is clearly evident in the method of the teaching of Christ. It shall be my purpose in this dissertation not only to demonstrate the presence of this all-important principle in the pages of the Gospels, but also to show that all of the principles pointed out by Raue and other students of Christ's method can be reduced to this one fundamental principle of apperception. Before undertaking this task, it will be necessary to set forth as clearly as possible the meaning of apperception, and its particular application to the field of education,

1 Raue, Christus als Lehrer und Erzieher. Freiburg, 1902.



The theory of apperception, like all other theories that have at different times occupied men's minds, has in its history passed through several phases of development. The names which are most frequently connected with this subject are those of Leibnitz, Kant, and Herbart. A consideration, therefore, of apperception as understood by these workers in the field of philosophy and psychology will result in a fair knowledge of the process by which this theory has reached its present stage, and the meaning in which the term is now almost exclusively used in the realm of education.

Leibnitz was the first of these to use the term apperception. He defines apperception in his "Nouveaux Essais," in his "Principes de la Nature et de la Grace," and in his "Monadologie." In the first of these works he makes apperception equivalent to a strong perception. The adjective strong is used here in contradistinction to what he calls the little perceptions, i. e. those too weak to enter into the area of consciousness. The apperception is caused in this instance either by the strengthening of a single perception or by the combination of several little perceptions which individually had been before too weak to make one aware of their existence. A perception, according to Leibnitz, is ordinarily purely passive, the mind "ne pouvant éviter d'apercevoir ce qu'il aperçoit actuellement." We experience at every moment a multitude of perceptions, but without apperceiving or reflecting upon them; because they are too insignificant and too numerous, or too much involved to have anything particularly striking about them; but joined together, they do not fail to leave an impression. This is evident from the common experience that if someone calls our attention, for example, to a noise which has just occurred, we remember having experienced that sensation, although we were only conscious of it in a vague way at the time of its occurrence. Thus, therefore, there are perceptions of which we are not immediately conscious, but the apperception comes only when the attention is called to it after an interval of time. A single perception may also become an act of


2 Leibnitz, Nouveaux Essais. Janet, Paris, 1900. Vol. I, p. 96.

8 Op. cit., p. 19, Preface.

apperception by an increase of its intensity; thus a noise, of which we have a perception but of which we do not take notice, becomes perceptible if it becomes louder or sharper, thus increasing in intensity. The apperception in this case has as a basis the single perception, though apparently unconscious, for, according to Leibnitz, "si ce qui précède ne faisait rien sur l'ame, cette petite addition n'y ferait rien encore, et le tout n'y ferait rien non plus." In order, therefore, that the percep

tion be developed into apperception it is necessary, first that the perception possess something prominent and distinct, and second that a certain amount of attention be combined with our thinking.

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In his "Principles of Nature" apperception is defined by Leibnitz as the consciousness or reflexive knowledge of the inner state, "la conscience ou la connaissance réflexive de cet état intérieur. 995 In other words, apperception is the conscious grasp of the content of thought. This same idea is expressed in his "Monadologie," where Leibnitz says: "C'est par la connaissance des vérités nécessaires et par leurs abstractions que nous sommes élevés aux actes réflexifs, qui nous font penser à ce qui s'appelle moi, et à considérer que ceci ou cela est en nous." The object of the percept or concept is thought of and given the attention of the observer not merely for its own sake, but is considered in its relations to the ego. The observer is conscious of the object, and also of the effects which the perception is producing upon himself. In both of these works, however, are also to be found allusions to the idea of apperception as contained in his "Nouveaux Essais." For example in his "Monadologie," Leibnitz in speaking of the continuity or quick succession of perceptions says, "une perception ne saurait venir naturellement que d'une autre perception, comme un mouvement ne peut venir naturellement que d'un mouvement.””

To summarize then the theory of apperception as set forth by Leibnitz in his "Nouveaux Essais" he takes it in a wide sense as equivalent to consciousness, in which sense it is common to men and animals; in his "Principes de la Nature" and in his "Monadologie" apperception is used in a narrower sense as consciousness coupled with reflection or reflective cognition, in which sense it belongs to man alone.

4 Op. cit., p. 97.

5 Principes de la Nature et de la Grace, p. 725.

6 La Monadologie 30, p. 711.

Kant's theory of apperception is found principally in his great work the "Critique of Pure Reason,"-Kritik der reinen. Vernunft, where he analyzes the various steps in the acquisition of knowledge. The sources of all knowledge, according to Kant, are the senses and the understanding. The senses are both outer and inner; outer in that they receive impressions from without, inner in that the material offered to the mind is obtained from inner experiences of the emotions. By the senses, then, objects are given us and by the understanding they are thought. "Vermittelst der Sinnlichkeit also werden uns Gegenstände gegeben, und sie allein liefert uns Anschauungen; durch den Verstand aber werden sie gedacht, und von ihm entspringen Begriffe. ''8 Sensations are, therefore, the basis of knowledge. Man can acquire no knowledge except by means of the senses; on this point Kant is in perfect agreement with the well-known fundamental principle, "Nihil est in intellectu quod non fuerit prius in sensu." Kant, however, limits sensation to appearances of things, or phenomena; he affirms that sense-knowledge cannot penetrate to the reality of the thing, i. e. to the noumenon, or as stated by Kant, to the "Ding-an-sich."

The process of acquiring knowledge through sensation is treated by Kant in his theory known as "Transcendental Aesthetics." He represents sensation as made up of two elements, the matter or content, and the form. The matter is derived from experience while the form is imposed upon the content by the mind. The form is, therefore, not the product or the outcome of the senses, but is independent of experience. "So ist uns zwar die Materie aller Erscheinungen nur a posteriori gegeben, die Form derselben aber muss zu ihnen insgesammt im Gemüthe a priori bereit liegen." By means of our external sense we represent to ourselves objects as extended in space; and by the internal sense, by means of which the mind perceives itself or its internal state, we represent our conscious states in relations of time.10 Space and time, therefore, are the forms of all sensation; they are, moreover, purely subjective; they do not exist in the object but are applied by the mind to the objects of the external world. The application of these forms of space and time to the impressions experienced by the senses results in sense-perceptions, spoken of by Kant as "Anschauungen."

8 Kant, Kritik der reinen Vernunft, p. 55. Sammtliche Werke, G. Hartenstein, Leipzig, 1867.

Op. cit., p. 56.

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