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I. (Passages taken from pages 1 to 9.)
"Examine everything, and hold fast to that which is good! If anything better has matured in you, add it in truth and love t what in truth and love I am attempting to give you here!
"The idea of elementary education, to which I have devoted my life, consists in re-establishing the course of Nature, and in developing and improving the tendencies and powers of humanity.
"But what is human nature? It is, at bottom, that which distinguishes the man from the animal, that which should predominate and control whatever they have in common. Thus elementary education must aim at developing heart, mind, and body in such a way as to bring the flesh into subjection to the spirit.
"Now it is evident that this development must follow a certain course, that this course must be the course of Nature, and that it is regulated by immutable laws.
"Indeed, however great the diversities of men may be, they do not in any way affect either the unity of human nature or the universality of the laws which govern its development.
"These laws apply to the whole of a man's nature, and serve to maintain the necessary harmony between his heart, his intellect, and his physical powers. Any educational method which neglects either of these three sides, does but encourage a partial development. False to Nature, it produces no real and lasting results; it is as sounding brass or tinkling cymbal, and exercises a fatal influence on the harmony of the natural development.
"The idea of elementary education involves the equilibrium of a man's powers, and the equilibrium of the powers involves the natural development of each of them. power develops according to the particular laws of its nature, which laws are not the same for heart, mind and body.
"And yet all human powers may be developed in the simplest way by use. Thus a man lays the foundation of his moral life of love and faith, by the practice of these virtues; of his intellectual life of thought, by thinking; of his industrial life, by making use of his physical powers.
"Indeed, man is impelled by the very nature of the powers he possesses to use and train them, and thus to develop and improve them, as far at least as they are susceptible of development and improvement. These powers exist at first but in germ, but the desire to use them increases with every successful attempt, though it decreases and sometimes disappears with failure, especially if the failure should cause suffering.
"Further, the idea of elementary education consists in so regulating the use of the different powers that every effort shall succeed, and none fail; and this must be the case no less with the intellectual and physical than with the moral
"The natural means for this early education are to be looked for in the enlightened love, faith, and tenderness of parents, made wise by a knowledge of all the conquests humanity has won.
"The method of Nature is in its principle holy and Divine, but if left to itself, it is often disturbed and perverted by the predominance of the animal instincts. Our duty, our heart's chief desire, the aim of our faith and wisdom, should be to keep it truly human, to quicken it by means of the Divine element within us.
"Let us now examine the natural and fundamental means of human development, from the three sides of the moral life, the intellectual life, and the industrial life."
II. THE MORAL LIFE (Pages 9 to 15.)
"The first cares of a mother for her child are for its physical needs; she satisfies these with unfailing tenderness, enjoys the child's contentment, smiles at it with love, and receives an answering smile of love, trust, and gratitude. These are the first manifestations of the moral and religious development.
"But the child must also feel the peace which proceeds from satisfied needs; this peace of the soul is indeed an essential condition of the moral development. It is no sooner replaced by anxiety and trouble than love, trust, and gratitude give way to selfishness, pride, and other evil passions.
"This want of peace in a child's soul often results from its needs not being promptly satisfied; after a time, expecta
tion becomes painful, and irritates the child, so that when at last the long looked-for satisfaction arrives, it no longer awakens a quiet pleasure, the source of love, trust, and gratitude, but merely appeals to the violent instincts of an animal.
"This discontent in a child often proceeds too from quite an opposite cause, from the excess of care, that is, with which we try to procure it pleasures by anticipating all its wants and encouraging its pride or animal tastes. In this way, instead of confining ourselves to satisfying real needs, we awaken a certain covetousness, which gives no peace. And as this covetousness cannot always be satisfied, the child is necessarily exposed to disappointments and refusals, which not only sour its temper, but stop the development of good in its heart.
"A good mother tries to avoid each of these two ways of destroying her child's contentment, and is enabled to do so by her tenderness and by the natural tact of her maternal instinct. She is much helped, too, when the circumstances of the home are moderately comfortable, by the ordinary conditions of daily life.
"Unfortunately, however, it too often happens that a mother's tenderness is paralyzed by vice and her tact ruined by error and prejudice, and that the circumstances of the home are either so straitened as to prevent the immediate satisfaction of all the child's wants, or so easy that there is a temptation to anticipate them, often indeed to exaggerate them, and increase its real wants by artificial ones.
"When the mother succeeds in keeping the child contented, the benefit is felt by every member of the family. The home becomes a centre of moral and religious life, and the child, whose trust in its parents nothing can shake, loves what they love, believes what they believe, and worships the same God and Saviour.
"But when this peace is wanting from the very cradle, the home, troubled in every part, is no longer a sanctuary of peace and happiness, and its good influence on the moral and religious development disappears."
III. THE INTELLECTUAL LIFE. (Pages 15 to 23.) "The starting-point of thought is sense-impression, the direct impression, that is, produced by the world on our
internal and external senses. Thus the power of thinking is formed and developed first of all by the impressions of the moral world upon our moral sense and by those of the physical world upon our bodily senses.
"These impressions, acting on the understanding of the child, give him his first ideas, and at the same time awaken in him the desire to express them, by signs first, then by words.
"To speak, we must have not only ideas, but practised and supple organs. And further, we can only speak clearly and exactly of those things from which we have received clear and exact impressions.
"To teach a child to talk, then, we must first make him see, hear, and touch many things, and especially things which please him, so that he may readily give his attention to them; we must also make him observe them in order, observing each thoroughly before he proceeds to another. At the same time he must have constant practice in putting his impressions into words. All this is what a good mother does for her child when it is beginning to speak.
"Afterwards a foreign or dead language may be learned differently; partly because the organs of speech have already been trained, partly because most of the fundamental ideas are already there, and lastly, because the mother-tongue supplies the child with a point of comparison.
"6 But before a child can compare things and exercise his judgment about them, his thought must also have practice in the two other chief elements of human knowledge, number and form.
"The fundamental elements, then, that serve to develop the power of thought are language, number, and form, and it is the business of education to present these elements to the child's mind in the simplest possible manner, and in psychological and progressive order."
Pestalozzi here places the following sentence, which he had written in 1824, and which shows that the old man had retained certain illusions to the end:
"What was done at Burgdorf, and what has since been. done, even more thoroughly, at Yverdun, for the elementary study of number and form, has sufficed, in spite of many
dangers, to keep the latter establishment from ruin; and even now, that it seems near its end, I am still, thanks to this spark, inclined to hope great things from it.'
IV. THE INDUSTRIAL LIFE. (Pages 23 to 26.)
"Art, practical knowledge, bodily skill, whatever in short enables a man to make what he has conceived in his mind, is what we call the industrial life. What are its fundamentaĺ elements? How may they be developed?
"Its fundamental elements are two: the power of the thought within, the practical skill of the senses and limbs without. To be completely useful, it must be the outcome of the harmonious development of heart, mind, and body. We have already spoken of the two first; it remains for us now to consider the fundamental elements of physical develop
"Just as elementary exercises in number and form are necessary as training for the intellectual life, so elementary exercises in art and practical work are a necessary part of that physical training which is essential to success in the industrial life. Technical apprenticeship is but one particular form of this training.
"And further, just as our moral and intellectual powers are naturally inclined to be active, and attract us to whatever exercises them, so our industrial powers have a similar natural tendency, and attract us to whatever exercises and develops them.
"The physical instinct which leads us to use our senses and limbs is generally connected with our animal nature, and needs no assistance from us But this instinct must be subordinated to the moral and intellectual elements which constitute the superiority of human nature. To bring about this subordination is the essential work of education.
"The exercise of the physical powers in due subordination to the moral and intellectual powers results naturally from the discipline of a well-regulated and laborious family life.
"This exercise, however, varies enormously with the particular circumstances of each family, but even amidst this diversity is to be found the general law of all human development. Thus the child always begins by fixing his attention and observing; he then proceeds to imitate, at first slavishly,