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Learn with effort.
Again he writes "Beyond contradiction we get much more clear and certain notions of the things we learn thus of our. selves than of those we derive from other people's instruction, and besides not accustoming our reason to bow as a slave before authority, we become more ingenious in finding connexions, in uniting ideas, and in inventing our implements, than when we take all that is given us and let our minds sink into indifference, like the body of a man who always has his clothes put on for him, is waited on by his servants and drawn about by his horses till at length he loses the strength and use of his limbs. Boileau boasted of having taught Racine to find difficulty in rhyming. Among all the admirable methods of shortening the study of the sciences we might have need that some one should give us a way of learning them with effort."*
§ 37. 4th. However highly we may value our gains from the use of books we must admit that in some ways the
porter. Quand l'entendement s'approprie les choses avant de les déposer dans la mémoire, ce qu'il en tire ensuite est à lui : au lieu qu'en surchargeant la mémoire, à son insu, on s'expose à n'en jamais rien tirer qui lui soit propre." Em. iij., 235.
* "Sans contredit on prend des notions bien plus claires et bien plus sûres des choses qu'on apprend ainsi de soi-même, que de celles qu'on tient des enseignements d'autrui; et, outre qu'on n'accoutume point sa raison à se soumettre servilement à l'autorité, l'on se rend plus ingénieux à trouver des rapports, à lier des idées, à inventer des instruments, que quand, adoptant tout cela tel qu'on nous le donne, nous laissons affaisser notre esprit dans la nonchalance, comme le corps d'un homme qui, toujours habillé, chaussé, servi par ses gens et traîné par ses chevaux, perd à la fin la force et l'usage de ses membres. Boileau se vantait d'avoir appris à Racine à rimer difficilement. Parmi tant d'admirables méthodes pour abréger l'étude des sciences, nous aurions grand besoin que quelqu'un nous en donnât une pour les apprendre avec effort." Em. iij., 193.
Hand-work. The "New Education."
use of books tends to the neglect of powers that should not be neglected. As Rousseau wished to see the young brought up without books he naturally looked to other means of learning, especially to learning by the eye and by the hand. Much is now said about using the hand for education, and many will agree with Rousseau: "If instead of making a child stick to his books I employ him in a workshop, his hands work to the advantage of his intellect: he becomes a philosopher while he thinks he is becoming simply an artisan : Au lieu de coller un enfant sur des livres, si je l'occupe dans un atelier, ses mains travaillent au profit de son esprit il devient philosophe, et croît n'être qu'un ouvrier." (Em. iij., 193).
§ 38. In these essays I have done what I could to shew the best that each reformer has left us. In Rousseau's case I have been obliged to confine myself to his words. "We attach far too much importance to words," said Rousseau, and yet it is by words and words only that Rousseau still lives; and for the sake of his words we forget his deeds. Of the Émile Mr. Morley says: "It is one of the seminal books in the history of literature. It cleared away the accumulation of clogging prejudices and obscure inveterate usage which made education one of the dark formalistic arts; and it admitted floods of light and air into tightly-closed nurseries and schoolrooms" (Rousseau, ij., 248). In the region of thought it set us free from the Renascence; and it did more than this, it announced the true nature of the teacher's calling," Study the subject you have to act upon." In these words we have the starting point of the "New Education." From them the educator gets a fresh conception of his task. We grown people have received innumerable impressions which, forgotten as they are, have left their mark
The Teacher's business.
behind in our way of looking at things; and as we advance in life these experiences and associations cluster around everything to which we direct our attention, till in the end the past seems to dominate the present and to us "nothing is but what is not." But to the child the present with its revelations and the future which will be "something more, a bringer of new things," are all engrossing. It is our business as teachers to try to realize how the world looks from the child's point of view. We may know a great many things and be ready to teach them, but we shall have little success unless we get another knowledge which we cannot teach and can learn only by patient observation, a knowledge of "the subject to be acted on," of the mind of our pupils and what goes on there. When we set out on this path, which was first clearly pointed out by Rousseau, teaching becomes a new occupation with boundless possibilities and unceasing interest in it. Every teacher becomes a learner, for we have to study the minds of the young, their way of looking at things, their habits, their difficulties, their likes and dislikes, how they are stimulated to exertion, how they are discouraged, how one mood succeeds another. What we need we may well devote a lifetime to acquiring; it is a knowledge of the human mind with the object of influencing it.
BASEDOW AND THE PHILAN-
§ 1. ONE of the most famous movements ever made in educational reform was started in the last century by John Bernard Basedow. Basedow was born at Hamburg in 1723, the son of a wigmaker. His early years were not spent in the ordinary happiness of childhood. His mother he describes as melancholy, almost to madness, and his father was severe almost to brutality. It was the father's intention to bring up his son to his own business, but the lad ran away, and engaged himself as servant to a gentleman in Holstein. The master soon perceived what had never occurred to the father, viz., that the youth had very extraordinary abilities. Sent home with a letter from his master pointing out this notable discovery, Basedow was allowed to renounce the paternal calling, and to go to the Hamburg Grammar School (Gymnasium), where he was under Reimarus, the author of the "Wolfenbüttel Fragment." In due course his friends managed to send him to the University of Leipzig to prepare himself for the least expensive of the learned professionsthe clerical. Basedow, however, was not a man to follow the beaten tracks. After an irregular life he left the university too unorthodox to think of being ordained, and in 1749 became private tutor to the children of Herr von Quaalen
B. tries to mend religion and teaching.
in Holstein. In this situation his talent for inventing new methods of teaching first showed itself. He knew how to adapt himself to the capacity of the children, and he taught them much by conversation, and in the way of play, connecting his instruction with surrounding objects in the house. garden, and fields. Through Quaalen's influence, he next obtained a professorship at Soroe, in Denmark, where he lectured for eight years, but his unorthodox writings raised a storm of opposition, and the Government finally removed him to the Gymnasium at Altona. Here he still continued his efforts to change the prevailing opinions in religious matters; and so great a stir was made by the publication or his "Philalethia," and his "Methodical Instruction in both Natural and Biblical Religion," that he and his family were refused the Communion at Altona, and his books were excluded, under a heavy penalty, from Lübeck.
§ 2. About this time Basedow, incited by Rousseau's "Émile," turned his attention to a fresh field of activity, in which he was to make as many friends as in theology he had found enemies. A very general dissatisfaction was then felt with the condition of the schools. Physical education was not attempted in them. The mother-tongue was neglected. Instruction in Latin and Greek, which was the only instruction given, was carried on in a mechanical way, without any thought of improvement. The education of the poor and of the middle classes received but little attention. "Youth," says Raumer, "was in those days, for most children, a sadly harassed period. Instruction was hard and beartlessly severe. Grammar was caned into the memory. so were portions of Scripture and poetry. A common school punishment was to learn by heart Psalm cxix. Schoolrooms were dismally dark. No one conceived it possible