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First official approval.
the children of non-burgesses, seventy-three of whom used to assemble under a shoemaker in his house in the suburbs. With this arrangement, however, the shoemaker and the parents of the children were by no means satisfied. "If the burgesses like the new method," they said very reasonably, "let them try it on their own children." Their grumbling was heard, and permission to teach was withdrawn from Pestalozzi.
$ 52. The check, however, was only temporary. His friends were wiser than the shoemaker, and they procured for him admission into the lowest class of the school for burghers' children. In this class there were about 25 children, boys and girls between the ages of 5 and 8: Here he proved that he was vastly different from a mere dreamer. After teaching these children in his own way for eight months he received the first official recognition of the merits of his system. The Burgdorf School Commission after the usual examination, wrote a public letter to Pestalozzi, in which they said: "The surprising progress of your little scholars of various capacities shews plainly that every one is good for something, if the teacher knows how to get at his abilities and develop them according to the laws of psychology. By your method of teaching you have proved how to lay the groundwork of instruction in such a way that it may afterwards support what is built on it. . . Between the ages of 5 and 8, a period in which according to the system of torture enforced hitherto, children have learnt to know their letters, to spell and read, your scholars have not only accomplished all this with a success as yet unknown, but the best of them have already distinguished themselves by their good writing, drawing, and calculating. In them all you have been able so to arouse and excite a liking for history, natural history,
A child's notion of P.'s teaching.
mensuration, geography, &c., that thus future teachers must find their task a far easier one if they only know how to make good use of the preparatory stage the children have gone through with you" (Morf, Pt. I, p. 223).
$53. In consequence of this report, Pestalozzi in June 1800 was made master of the second school of Burgdorf, a school numbering about 70 boys and girls from 10 to 16 years old. With them Pestalozzi did not get on so well. Ramsauer, a poor boy of 10 who afterwards helped Pestalozzi at Yverdun and became one of his best teachers, has left us his remembrances. Two things seemed clear to the child's mind: Ist, that their teacher was very kind but very unhappy; 2nd, that the pupils did not learn anything and behaved very badly. Many schoolmasters have smiled in derision at this account of Pestalozzi's actual teaching; but in reading it several things should be borne in mind. First Ramsauer as a child would have a keen eye and good memory for the master's eccentricities; but how far the teaching succeeded. he could not judge, for he did not know what it aimed at. Then again he saw that Pestalozzi's zeal. was for the whole school, not for individual scholars. But the child who knew of nothing beyond Burgdorf could not tell that Pestalozzi was thinking not so much of the children of Burgdorf as of the children of Europe. For Burgdorf-whether it was pleased to honour or to dismiss Pestalozzi-could not contain him. His aims extended beyond the town, beyond canton Bern, beyond Switzerland even; and he was consumed with zeal to bring about a radical change in elementary education throughout Europe. The truth which was burning within him he has himself expressed as follows:
"If we desire to aid the poor man, the very lowest among the people, this can be done in one way only, that is, by
P. engineering a new road.
changing his schools into true places of education, in which the moral, intellectual, and physical powers which God has put into our nature may be drawn out, so that the man may be enabled to live a life such as a man should live, contented in himself and satisfying other people. Thus and only thus does the man, whom in God's wide world nobody helps and nobody can help, learn to help himself." "The public common school-coach throughout Europe must not simply be better horsed, but still more it must be turned round and be brought on to an entirely new road." (Quoted by Morf, P. I, p. 211.)
§ 54. Pestalozzi was now working heart and soul at the engineering of this "new road." His grand successes hitherto had been gained more by the heart than by the head; but the school course must draw out the faculties of the head as well as of the heart. Pestalozzi made all instruction start from what children observed for themselves. "I laid special stress," he says, " on just what usually affected their senses. And as I dwelt much on elementary knowledge, I wanted to know when the child receives its first lesson, and I soon came to the conviction that the first hour of learning dates from birth. From the very moment that the child's senses open to the impressions of nature, nature teaches it. Its new life is but the faculty, now come to maturity, of receiving impressions; it is the awakening of the germs now perfect which will go on using all their forces and energies to secure the development of their proper organisation; it is the awakening of the animal now complete "hich will and shall become a man. So the sole instruction given to the human being consists merely in the art of giving a helping hand to this natural tendency towards its proper development; and this art consists essentially in the means
of putting the child's impressions in connexion and harmony with the precise degree of development the child has reached. There must be then in the impressions to be given him by instruction, a regular gradation; and the beginning and the progress of his various knowledges must exactly correspond with the beginning and increase in his powers as they are developed. From this I soon saw that this gradation must be ascertained for all the branches of human knowledge, especially for those fundamental notions from which our thinking power takes its rise. On such principles and no others is it possible to construct real school books and books about teaching" (Wie Gertrud, &c., Letter I.).
§ 55. In endeavouring to put teaching, as he said, “on a psychological basis," Pestalozzi compared it to a mechanism. On one occasion when expounding his views, he was interrupted by the exclamation, "Vous voulez mécaniser l'éducation!" Pestalozzi was weak in French, and he took these words to mean, 66 You wish to get at the mechanism of education." He accordingly assented, and was in his turn misunderstood. Soon afterwards he endeavoured to express the new thing by a new word and said, "Ich will den menschlichen Unterricht psychologisieren; I wish to psychologise instruction," and this he explains to mean that he sought to make instruction fall in with the eternal laws which govern the development of the human intellect (Morf, I, p. 227). But this was a task which no one man could accomplish, not even Pestalozzi. The eternal laws which govern the development of mind have not been completely ascertained even after investigations carried on during thousands of years; and Pestalozzi did not know what had been established by previous thinkers. He made a gigantic effort to find both the laws and their application
Singing; and the beautiful.
but if he had continued to stand alone he could have done but little. Happily he attracted to him some young and vigorous assistants, who caught his enthusiasm and worked in his spirit. They did much, but there was one thing the Master could not communicate—his genius.
§ 56. Just at this time, before Pestalozzi found associates in his work, he drew up for a "Society of Friends of Education" an account of his method; and this begins with the words I have already quoted, "I want to psychologise education." Basing all instruction on Anschauung (which is nearly equivalent to the child's own observation), he explains how this may be used for a series of exercises, and he takes as the general elements of culture the following: language, drawing, writing, arithmetic, and the art of measuring. In the education of the poor he would lay special stress on the importance of two things, then and since much neglected, viz., singing and the sense of the beautiful. The mother's cradle song should begin a series leading up to hymns of praise to God. Education should develop in all a sense of the beauties of Nature. "Nature is full of lovely sights, yet Europe has done nothing either to awaken in the poor a sense for these beauties, or to arrange them in such a way as to produce a series of impressions capable of developing this sense. If ever popular education should cease to be the barbarous absurdity it now is, and put itself into harmony with the real needs of our nature, this want will be supplied." (R.'s Guimps, 186.)
§ 57. In the last year of the eighteenth century (1800) Pestalozzi was toiling away, constant to his purpose but not clearly seeing the road before him. In March, 1800, he wrote to Zschokke: "For thirty years my life has been a well