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Without the idea the "gifts" fail.
civilised lands, and in many of them there are now public Kindergartens, the first I believe having been established in 1873 by Dr. William T. Harris in St. Louis, Mo. But Froebel's ideas are not so easily got hold of as his "Gifts," and the real extension of his system may be by no means so great as it seems. "The Kindergarten system in the hands of one who understands it," says Dr. James Ward, "produces admirable results; but it is apt to be too mechanical and formal. There does not seem room for the individuality of a child, to which all free play possible should be given in the earliest years." (In Parents' Review Ap. 1890.) And Mr. Courthope Bowen has well said: Kindergarten work without the Kindergarten idea, like a body without a soul, is subject to rapid degeneration and decay." So perhaps it will in the end prove that Froebel in his Education of Man which is "a book with seven seals" has left us a more precious legacy than in his "Gifts" and Occupations which are so popular and so easily adopted.
§ 29. It has been well said that "the essence of stupidity is in the demand for final opinions." How our thoughts have widened about education since a man like Dr. Johnson could assert, “Education is as well known, and has long been as well known, as ever it can be!"* (Hill's Boswell's J. ij, 407.) The astronomers of the Middle Ages might as well have asserted that nothing more could ever be known about astronomy.
Was Froebel what he believed himself to be, the Kepler
• Contrast this with what has been said by an eminent thinker of our time: "No art of equal importance to mankind has been so little investigated scientifically as the art of teaching." Sir H. S. Maine, quoted in J. H. Hoose's M. of Teaching.
The New Education and the old.
or the Newton of the educational system? Whoso is wise will not during the nineteenth century lay claim to a "final opinion" on this point. But the "New Education" seems gaining ground. F. W. Parker emphatically declares "the Kindergarten" (by which he probably means Froebel's encouragement of self-activity) to be "the most important farreaching educational reform of the nineteenth century." We sometimes see it questioned whether the "New Education" has any proper claim to its title; but the education which Dr. Johnson considered final and which seems to us old aimed at learning; and the education which aims not at learning, but at developing through self-activity is so different from this that it may well be called New. If we consider the platform of the New Educationists as it stands, e.g., in the New York School Journal, we shall find that if it is not all new in theory it would be substantially new in practice.
§ 30. Let us look at a brief statement of what the "New Education" requires :—
1. Each study must be valued in proportion as it develops power; and power is developed by self-activity.
2. The memory must be employed in strict subservience to the higher faculties of the mind.
3. Whatever instruction is given, it must be adapted to the actual state of the pupil, and not ruled by the wants of the future boy or man.
4. More time must be given to the study of nature and to modern language and literature; less to the ancient languages.
5. The body must be educated as well as the mind.
6. Rich and poor alike must be taught to use their eyes and hands.
The old still vigorous.
7. The higher education of women must be cared for no less than that of men.
8. Teachers, no less than doctors, must go through a course of professional training.
To these there must in time be added another :
9. All methods shall have a scientific foundation, ie, they shall be based on the laws of the mind, or shall have been tested by those laws.
§ 31. When this program is adopted, even as the object of our efforts, we shall, indeed, have a New Education. At present the encouragement of self-activity is thought of, if at all, only as a "counsel of perfection" Our school work is chiefly mechanical and will long remain so. "From the primary school to the college productive creative doing is almost wholly excluded. Knowledge in its barrenest form is communicated, and tested in the barrenest, wordiest way possible. Never is the learner taught or permitted to apply his knowledge to even second-hand, life-purpose. So inveterate is the habit of the school that the Kindergarten itself, although invented by the deep-feeling and far-seeing Froebel for the very purpose of correcting this fault, has in most cases fallen a victim to its influence." So says W. H. Hailmann (Kindergarten, May, 1888) and those who best know what usually goes on in the school-room are the least likely to differ from him.
§ 32. During the last thirty years I have spent the greatest part of my working hours in a variety of schoolrooms; and if my school experience has shown me that our advance is slow, my study of the Reformers convinces me that it is sure.
66 Ring out the old, ring in the new!'
Science the thought of God. Some Froebelians.
It has been well said that to study science is to study the thoughts of God; and thus it is that all true educational Reformers declare the thoughts of God to us. "A divine message, o: eternal regulation of the Universe, there verily is in regard to every conceivable procedure and affair of man ;" and it behoves us to ascertain what that message is in regard to the immensely important procedure and affair of bringing up children. After innumerable mistakes we seem by degrees to be getting some notion of it; and such insight as we have we owe to those who have contributed to the science of education. Among these there are probably no greater names than the names of Pestalozzi and Froebel.
Froebel's Education of Man, trans. by W. N. Hailmann, is a vol. of Appleton's Series, ed. by Dr. W. T. Harris. The Autobiography trans., by Michaelis and Moore, is published by Sonnenschein. The Mutter-uK.-lieder have been trans. by Miss Lord (London, Rice). Reminiscences of Froebel by the Baroness Marenholz-Bülow, is trans. by Mr. Horace Mann. The Child and Child Nature is trans. from the Baroness by Miss A. M. Christie. The Froebel lit. is now immense. I will simply inention some of those who have expounded Froebel in English: Miss Shirreff, Miss E. A. Manning, Miss Lyschinska, Miss Heerwart, Mdme. De Portugall, Miss Peabody, H. C. Bowen, F. W. Parker, W. N. Hailmann, Joseph Payne, W. T. Harris, are the names that first suggest themselves. Henry Barnard's Kindergarten and Child Culture is a valuable collection of papers.
JACOTOT, A METHODIZER.
1. WE are now by degrees becoming convinced that teachers, like everyone else who undertakes skilled labour, should be trained before they seek an engagement. This has led to a great increase in the number of Normal Schools. In some of these schools it has already been discovered that while the study of principles requires much time and the application of much intellectual force, the study of methods is a far simpler matter and can be knocked off in a short time and with no intellectual force at all. Methods are special ways of doing things, and when it has been settled what is to be done and why, a knowledge of the methods available adds greatly to a teacher's power; but the what and the why demand our attention before the how, and the study of methods disconnected from principles leads straight to the prison-house of all the teachers' higher facultiesroutine.
§ 2. I have called Jacotot a methodizer because he invented a special method and wished everything to be taught by it. But in advocating this method he appeals to principles; and his principles are so important that at least