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Child-gardening. Child's activity.
§ 21. With Rousseau, as Rousseau, as afterwards with Froebel, education was a kind of "child-gardening." "Plants are developed by cultivation," says he, "men by education: On façonne les plantes par la culture, et les hommes pat l'éducation” (Ém. j., 6). The governor, who is the child- | gardener, is to aim at three things: first, he is to shield the child from all corrupting influences; second, he is to devote himself to developing in the child a healthy and strong body in which the senses are to be rendered acute by exercise; third, he is, by practice not precept, to cultivate the child's sense of duty.
§ 22. In his study of children Rousseau fixed on their never-resting activity. "The failing energy concentrates itself in the heart of the old man; in the heart of the child energy is overflowing and spreads outwards; he feels in him life enough to animate all his surroundings. Whether he makes or mars it is all one to him: it is enough that he has changed the state of things, and every change is an action. If he seems by preference to destroy, this is not from mischief; but the act of construction is always slow, and the act of destruction being quicker is more suited to his vivacity.”*
One of the first requisites in the care of the young is
pas briller les gouvernantes et les précepteurs; mais elle forme des hommes judicieux, robustes, sains de corps et d'entendment, qui, sans s'être fait admirer étant jeunes, se font honorer étant grands.
* "L'activité défaillante se concentre dans le cœur du vieillard; dans celui de l'enfant elle est surabondante et s'étend au dehors; il se sent, pour ainsi dire, assez de vie pour animer tout ce qui l'environne. Qu'il fasse ou qu'il défasse, il n'importe ; il suffit qu'il change l'état des choses, et tout changement est une action. Que s'il semble avoir plus de pen. chant à détruire, ce n'est point par méchanceté, c'est que l'action qui forme est toujours lente, et que celle qui détruit, étant plus rapide, convient mieux à sa vivacité." Em. j., 47.
No sitting still or reading.
then to provide for the expansion of their activity. All restraints such as swaddling clothes for infants and "school" and "lessons" for children are to be entirely done away with.* Literary instruction must not be thought of "There must be no other book than the world," says Rousseau, no other instruction than facts. The child who reads does not think, he does nothing but read, he gets no instruction; he learns words: Point d'autre livre que le monde, point d'autre instruction que les faits. L'enfant qui lit ne pense pas, il ne fait que lire ; il ne s'instruit pas, il apprend les mots." (Ém. iij., 181.)†
* It would be difficult to find a man more English, in a good sense, than the present Lord Derby or, whether we say it in praise or dispraise, a man less like Rousseau. So it is interesting to find him in agreement with Rousseau in condemning the ordinary restraints of the schoolroom. "People are beginning to find out what, if they would use their own observation more, and not follow one another like sheep, they would have found out long ago, that it is doing positive harm to a young child, mental and bodily harm, to keep it learning or pretending to learn, the greater part of the day. Nature says to a child, 'Run about,' the schoolmaster says, 'Sit still;' and as the schoolmaster can punish on the spot, and Nature only long afterwards, he is obeyed, and health nd brain suffer."-Speech in 1864.
+ All this is very crude, and so is the artifice by which Julie in the Nouvelle Héloïse entraps her son into learning to read. No doubt Rousseau is right when he says that where there is a desire to read the power is sure to come. But "reading" is one thing in the lives of the labouring classes to whom it means reading aloud in school, and quite another in families of literary tastes and habits with whom the rang、 of thought is in a great measure dependent on books. In such families the children learn to read as surely as they learn to talk. They mostly have access to books which they read to themselves for pleasure; and of course it is absurdly untrue to say that they learn nothing but words and do not think. In my opinion it may be questioned whether the world of fiction into which their reading gives them
Memory without books.
§ 23. If it be objected that, according to Rousseau's pian, there would be a neglect of memory, he replies: "Without the study of books the kind of memory that a child should have will not remain inactive; all he sees, all he hears, strikes him, and he remembers it; he keeps a record in himself of people's actions and people's talk; and all around him makes the book by which without thinking of it he is constantly enriching his memory against the time that his judgment may benefit by it: Sans étudier dans les livres, l'espèce de mémoire que peut avoir un enfant ne reste pas pour cela oisive; tout ce qu'il voit, tout ce qu'il entend le frappe, et il s'en souvient; il tient registre en luimême des actions, des discours des hommes; et tout ce qui l'environne est le livre, dans lequel, sans y sɔnger, il enrichit continuellement sa mémoire, en attendant que son jugement puisse en profiter." (Em. ij., 106.) We should be most careful not to commit to our memory anything we do not understand, for if we do, we can never tell what part of our stores really belong to us. (Ém. iij., 236.)
24. On the positive side the most striking part of Rousseau's advice relates to the training of the senses. "The first faculties which become strong in us," says he, are our senses. These then are the first that should be cultivated; they are in fact the only faculties we forget or
the entrée does not withdraw them too much from the actual world in which they live. The elders find it very convenient when the child can always be depended on to amuse himself with a book; but noise and motion contribute more to health of body and perhaps of mind also. While children of well-to-do parents often read too much, the children of our schools "under government" hardly get a notion what reading is. In these schools "reading" always stands for vocal reading, and the power and the habit of using books for pleasure or for knowledge (other than verbal) are little cultivated.
Use of the senses in childhood.
at least those which we neglect most completely." We find that the 66 child young wants to touch and handle everything. By no means check this restlessness; it points to a very necessary apprenticeship. Thus it is that the child gets to be conscious of the hotness or coldness, the hardness or softness, the heaviness or lightness of bodies, to judge of their size and shape and all their sensible properties by looking, feeling, listening, especially by comparing sight and touch, and combining the sensations of the eye with those of the fingers.”* "See a cat enter a room for the first time; she examines round and stares and sniffs about without a moment's rest, she is satisfied with nothing before she has tried it and made it out. This is just what a child does when he begins to walk, and enters, so to say, the chamber of the world. The only difference is that to the sight which is common to the child and the cat the first joins in his observations the hands which nature has given him, and the other animal that subtle sense of smell which has been bestowed upon her. It is this tendency, according as it is well cultivated or the reverse, that makes children either sharp or dull, active or slow, giddy or thoughtful.
"The first natural movements of the child being then to measure himself with his surroundings and to test in everything he sees all its sensible properties which may concern him, his first study is a kind of experimental
"Il veut tout toucher, tout manier; ne vous opposez point à cette inquiétude; elle lui suggère un apprentissage très-nécessaire. C'est ainsi qu'il apprend à sentir la chaleur, le froid, la dureté, la mollesse, la pesanteur, la légèreté des corps; à juger de leur grandeur, de leur figure et de toutes leurs qualités sensibles, en regardant, palpant, écoutant, surtout en comparant la vue au toucher, en estimant à l'œil la sensation qu'ils feraient sous ses doigts." Em. j., 43.
Intellect based on the senses.
physics relating to his own preservation; and from this we divert him to speculative studies before he feels himself at home here below. So long as his delicate and flexible organs can adjust themselves to the bodies on which they ought to act, so long as his senses as yet uncorrupted are free from illusion, this is the time to exercise them all in their proper functions; this is the time to learn to understand the sensuous relations which things have with us. As everything that enters the mind finds its way through the senses, the first reason of a human being is a reason of sensations; this it is which forms the basis of the intellectual reason; our first masters in philosophy are our feet, our hands, our eyes. Substituting books for all this is not teaching us to reason, but simply to use the reason of other people; it teaches us to take a great deal on trust and never to know anything.
"In order to practise an art we must begin by getting the proper implements; and that we may have good use of these implements they must be made strong enough to stand wear and tear. That we may learn to think we must then exercise our members, our senses, our organs, as these are the implements of our intelligence; and that we may make the most of these implements the body which supplies them must be strong and healthy. We see then that far from man's true reason forming itself independently of his body, it is the sound constitution of the body that makes the operations of the mind easy and certain."*
"Voyez un chat entrer pour la première fois dans une chambre: il visite, il regarde, il flaire, il ne reste pas un moment en repos, il ne se fie à rien qu'après avoir tout examiné, tout connu. Ainsi fait un enfant commençant à marcher, et entrant pour ainsi dire dans l'espace du monde. Toute la différence est qu'à la vue, commune à l'enfant et au