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Rendering the inner outer.

portance of getting children to think, and to think about their material surroundings. These the child can observe and search into; and in doing this he may discover what is not at first obvious to sight or touch and may even ascertain relations between the several parts of the same thing or connexions between different things compared together. All these discoveries may be made by the child's selfactivity, but only on one condition, viz.: that the child is interested. But in the search interest soon flags and then observation comes to an end. Besides, even while it lasts in full vigour the activity is mental only; it is concerned with perceiving, taking in; and for development something more is needed; the organism must not only take in, it must also give out. And so we find in children a restless eagerness to touch, pull about, and change the condition of things around them. When this activity of theirs, instead of being checked is properly directed, the children are delighted in recognising desirable results which they themselves have brought about; especially those which give expression to what is their own thought. In this way the child "renders the inner outer ;" and in thus satisfying his creative instinct he is led to exercise some faculties both of mind and body.

§ 24. The prominence which Froebel gave to action, his doctrine that man is primarily a doer and even a creator, and that he learns only through "self-activity," may produce great changes in educational methods generally, and not simply in the treatment of children too young for schooling. But it was to the first stage of life that Froebel paid the greatest attention, and it is over this stage that his influence is gradually extending. Froebel held that each age has a completeness of its own (" First the blade, then

Care for "young plants." Kindergarten.

the ear, then the full corn in the ear"), and that the perfection of the later stage can be attained only through the perfection of the earlier. If the infant is what he should be as an infant, and the child as a child, he will become what he should be as a boy, just as naturally as new shoots spring from the healthy plant. Every stage, then, must be cared for and tended in such a way that it may attain its own perfection. But as Bacon says with reference to education, the gardener bestows most care on the young plants, and it was "the young plants" for whom Froebel designed his Kindergarten. Like Pestalozzi he attached the very highest importance to giving instruction to mothers. But he would not like Pestalozzi leave young children entirely in the mother's hands. There was something to be done for them which even the ideal mother in the ideal family could not do. Pestalozzi held that the child belonged to the family. Fichte on the other hand claimed it for society and the state. Froebel, whose mind, like that of our own theologian Frederick Maurice, delighted in harmonising apparent contradictions, and who taught that "all progress lay through opposites to their reconciliation," maintained that the child belongs both to the family and to society; and he would therefore have children prepare for society by spending some hours of the day in a common life and in well-organised common employ


§ 25. His study of children showed him that one of their most striking characteristics was restlessness. This was, first, restlessness of body, delight in mere motion of the limbs; and, secondly, restlessness of mind, a constant curiosity about whaterer came within the range of the senses, and especially a desire to examine with the hand

Child's restlessness: how to use it.

every unknown object within reach.* Children's fondness for using their hands was especially noted by Froebel; and he found that they delighted, not merely in examining by touch, but also in altering whatever they could alter, and further that they endeavoured to imitate known forms whether by drawing or whenever they could get any kind of plastic material by modelling. Besides remarking in them these various activities, he saw that children were sociable and needed the sympathy of companions. There was, too, in them a growing moral nature, passions, affections, and conscience, which needed to be controlled, responded to, cultivated. Both the restraints and the opportunities incident to a well-organised community would be beneficial to their moral nature, and prove a cure for selfishness.

§ 26. As all education was to be sought in rightly directed but spontaneous action, Froebel considered how the children in this community should be employed. At that age their most natural employment is play, especially as Wordsworth has pointed out, games in which they imitate and "con the parts" they themselves will have to fill in after years. Froebel agreed with Montaigne that the games of children were "their most serious occupations," and with Locke that "all the plays and diversions of children should be directed towards good and useful habits, or else they will introduce

* "Little children," says Joseph Payne, "are scarcely ever contented with simply doing nothing; and their fidgetiness and unrest, which often give mothers and teachers so much anxiety, are merely the strugglings of the soul to get, through the body, some employment for its powers. Supply this want, give them an object to work upon, and you solve the problem. The divergence and distraction of the faculties cease as they converge upon the work, and the mind is at rest in its very occupation." V. to German Schools.

Employments in Kindergarten.

ill ones" (Th. c. Ed., § 130). So he invented a course of occupations, a great part of which consisted in social games. Many of the names are connected with the "Gifts," as he called the series of simple playthings provided for the children, the first being the ball, "the type of unity." The "gifts" are chiefly not mere playthings but materials which the children work up in their own way, thus gaining scope for their power of doing and inventing and creating. The artistic faculty was much thought of by Froebel, and, as in the education of the ancients, the sense of rhythm in sound and motion was cultivated by music and poetry introduced in the games. Much care was to be given to the training of the senses, especially those of sight, sound, and touch. Intuition (Anschauung) was to be recognised as the true basis of knowledge, and though stories were to be told, and there was to be much intercourse in the way of social chat, instruction of the imparting and "learning-up" kind was to be excluded. There was to be no 66 dead knowledge ;" in fact Froebel like Pestalozzi endeavoured to do for the child what Bacon nearly 200 years before had done for the philosopher. Bacon showed the philosopher that the way to study Nature was not to learn what others had surmised but to go straight to Nature and use his own senses and his own powers of observation. Pestalozzi and Froebel wished children to learn in this way as well as philosophers.

§ 27. Schools for very young children existed before Froebel's Kindergarten, but they had been thought of more in the interest of the mothers than of the children. It was for the sake of the mothers that Oberlin established them in the Vosges more than a century ago, his first Conductrices de l'Enfance being peasant women, Sara Banzet and Louise Scheppler. In the early part of this century the notion was

No schoolwork in Kindergarten.

taken up by James Buchanan and Samuel Wilderspin in this country (see James Leitch's Practical Educationists) and by J. M. D. Cochin in France. But Froebel's conception differed from that of the "Infant School." His object was purely educational but he would have no "schooling." He called these communities of children Kindergarten, Gardens of children, i.e., enclosures in which young human plants are nurtured.* The children's em

ployment is to be play. But any occupation in which children delight is play to them; and Froebel's series of employments, while they are in this sense play to the children, have nevertheless, as seen from the adult point of view, a distinctly educational object. This object, as Froebel himself describes it, is "to give the children employment in agreement with their whole nature, to strengthen their bodies, to exercise their senses, to engage their awakening mind, and through their senses to bring them acquainted with nature and their fellow-creatures; it is especially to guide aright the heart and the affections, and to lead them to the original ground of all life, to unity with themselves."

§ 28. No less than six-and-thirty years ago Henry Barnard (in his Report to Governor of Connecticut, 1854) declared the Kindergarten to be "by far the most original, attractive, and philosophical form of infant development the world has yet seen." Since then it has spread in all

* I entirely agree with Joseph Payne that where the language spoken is not German, it would be well to discard Kindergarten, Kindergärtner, and Kindergärtnerin. All who have to do with children should master some great principles taught by Froebel, but there is no need for them to learn German or to use German words. The French seem satisfied with Jardin d'Enfants, but we are not likely to be with Children. Garden. Playschool might do.

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