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DR. HENRY BARNARD,
The first United States Commissioner of Education,
WHO IN A LONG LIFE OF
SELF-SACRIFICING LABOUR HAS GIVEN TO THE ENGLISH
LANGUAGE AN EDUCATIONAL LITERATURE,
THIS VOLUME IS DEDICATED,
WITH THE ESTEEM AND ADMIRATION OF
Οὐ γὰρ ἔστι περὶ ὅτου θειοτέρου ἄνθρωπος ἂν βουλεύσαιτο, ἢ περὶ παιδείας καὶ τῶν αὑτοῦ και τῶν οἰκείων.
(p. 122 B).
Plato in initio Theagis
Socrates saith plainlie, that "no man goeth about a more godlie purpose, than he that is mindfull of the good bringing up both of hys owne and other men's children."-Ascham's Scholemaster. Preface.
Fundamentum totius reipublicæ est recta juventutis educatio.
The very foundation of the whole commonwealth is the proper bringing up of the young.-Cic.
MANY years ago I proposed to my friend Mr. Quick to rewrite his Educational Reformers, making some additions (Sturm and Froebel, for example), and allow me to place it in this series of educational works. I had read his essays when they first appeared, and noted their great value as a contribution to the right kind of educational literature. They showed admirable tact in the selection of the materials; the "epoch-making " writers were chosen and the things that had been said and done of permanent value were brought forward. Better than all was the running commentary on these materials by Mr. Quick himself. His style was popular. taking the reader, as it were, into confidential relations with him from the start, and offering now and then a word of criticism in the most judicial spirit, leaning neither to the extreme of destructive radicalism, which seeks revolution rather than reform, nor, on the other hand, to the extreme of blind conservatism, which wishes to preserve the vesture of the past rather than its wisdom.
I have called this book of Mr. Quick the most valuable history of education in our mother-tongue, fit only to be compared with Karl von Raumer's Geschichte der Pädagogik for its presentation of essentials and for the sanity of its verdicts.
I made my proposal that he "rewrite" his book because I knew that he considered his first edition hastily written and, in many respects, not adequate to the ideal he had conceived of the book. I knew, moreover, that years of continued thinking on a theme necessarily modifies one's views. He would wish to make some changes in inatter presented, some in judgments rendered, and many more in style of presentation.
Hence it has come about that after this lapse of time Mr. Quick has produced a substantially new book, which, retaining all or nearly all of the admirable features of the first edition, has brought up to their standard of excellence many others.
The history of education is a vast field, and we are accustomed to demand bulky treatises as the only adequate ones. But the obvious disadvantage of such works has led to the clearly defined ideal of a book like Mr. Quick's, which separates the gold from the dross, and offers it small in bulk but precious in value.
The educational reformers are the men above all others who stimulate us to think about education. Every one of these was an extremist, and erred in his judgment as to the value of the methods which prevailed in his time, and also overestimated the effects of the new education that he proposed in the place of the old. But thought begins with negations, and originality shows itself first not in creating something new, but in removing the fettering limitations of its existing environment. The old is attacked-its good and its bad are condemned alike. It has been imposed on us by authority, and we have not been allowed to summon it before the bar of our reason and ask of it its credentials. It informs us that it presented these credentials ages ago to our ancestors-men