« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »
XI. THE GENERAL MEANS OF EDUCATION.
WITH AN ACCOUNT OF A NEW INSTITUTION FOR BOYS.
BY HERMANN KRÜSI.
The following " Coup d'ail" of the General Means of Education, with the Plan of the new Institution which Krüsi afterward organized and managed, was published at Yverdun, in 1818, and presents the ideas and methods of Pestalozzi, as held by one of his early assistants and avowed disciples.
The principal means for the education of man are three, viz., 1. Domestic Life.. 2. Intellectual Education, or the Culture of the Mind. 3. Religious Training.
I. DOMESTIC LIFE. The object of domestic life is the preservation of the body and the development of its powers. It may therefore be considered the basis of physical life.
The body is a seed, enveloping the germ of intellectual, moral and religious activity. Domestic life is the fertile soil in which this seed is deposited, and in which this germ is to expand and prosper.
There are three principal relations of domestic life ; of parents to children, of children to parents, and of children to each other.
In domestic life, love is the center of all the sentiments and actions. It is manifested in the parents by unremitting care and unbounded self-sacrifice; in the children, in return, by perfect confidence and obedience; and among brothers and sisters, by endeavors to promote each other's happiness. Every event, almost every moment, of domestic life, stimulates the entire being, body, mind and soul, into activity. Beyond the domestic circle, and the further we move from it, the more remarkable does the particular tendency and the isolated action of each faculty become.
A seminary should exemplify domestic life in all its purity. The teachers should regard the pupils as their children; the children should regard the teachers as parents, and each other as brothers and sisters. The purest love should inspire all these relations; and the result should be cares, sacrifices, confidence, obedience, and reciprocal endeavors to aid in attaining the objects desired.
Such a domestic life prepares the child for mental improvement and religious development and habits. Without it, religion will gain no access to the heart, and intellectual cultivation will only be a means for satisfying the selfish demands of the animal nature. But with it
, the child is prepared for the successful exercise of the same good qualities and the maintenance of the like relations in a wider sphere as a man, a citizen, and a Christian.
II. INTELLECTUAL EDUCATION. The aim of this should be, on one hand, to develop the faculties, and on the other to develop executive power. The faculties must all be developed together ; an end only to be attained by the exercises of the active and productive faculties. In order to real development, the mind must act of itself; and moreover, the active and productive faculties can not be exercised without at the same time exercising those which are passive and receptive, (namely, those of comprehension and retention,) and preparing them for future service with increased advantage.
That alone can be considered the elementary means of developing the mental
faculties, which is essentially the product of the human mind; which the mind of each individual can, and does in fact, to a certain degree produce, independent of all instruction; that which spontaneously exhibits itself in each department, and is, as it were the germ of attainment in it. These essential productions of the human mind are three; number, form, and language.
The ultimate element of number is unity; of form, a line; of language, ideas, which are interior, and sound, which is exterior. Each of these three means may be employed in two different directions; to develop, on one hand, the power of discerning truth, and on the other, that of discerning beauty.
The faculties of the individual can not be developed without his acquiring, at the same time, a certain amount of knowledge, and a certain bodily skill in the execution of what the mind bas conceived ; and it is an important truth that an enlightened mind will succeed much better than an unenlightened one in the acquirement of knowledge as well as of every kind of executive ability.
Exercises intended to develop the faculties, like those intended to communicate knowledge, should succeed one another in a logical (natural or necessary) order; so that each shall contain the germ of that which is to follow, should lead to it, and prepare for it.
The development of the principal faculties, and the acquirement of a certain amount of information, are necessary to quality every individual for his duties as a man, a citizen, and a Christian. This degree of development, and this amount of information, constitute the province of elementary education, properly so called, which would be the same for all. But beyond these limits, the character and extent of studies should vary, on one hand, according to the indications of nature, which destines individuals by different capacities for different callings; and on the other hand, according to his situation in life.
In the acquisition of knowledge, an elementary path should be followed, introductory and preparatory to a scientific method of study. This is suited 'to the child, because it leads from a series of particular facts, it leads upward to the discovery of general truths. The scientific method is suitable only to mature and enlarged minds, proceeding from general principles, displaying them in their whole extent, and thus arriving at particular truths.
We shall now point out the proper means of development, and the principal objects to be attained by them; afterward considering the different ages of childhood, and the successive steps in development and order of studies.
First means of development. Number * Section 1. Exercises in number, with reference to truth.
A. Mental calculation; to give intuitive knowledge of numbers, and their relations : including
a, exercises on units. b.
compound fractions or complex fractions. In each of these three series there are different degrees, namely, First, (Preparatory,) Numeration, or learning to count. Second, Composition of Numbers; e. g., all numbers are composed of units. All even numbers are composed of twos; all triple ones of threes, &c. Also, decomposition of numbers, e. g. ; all numbers may be decomposed into units; all even numbers into twos; all triple ones into threes, &c. Also, transformations of numbers. That is, the mode of composing new numbers from the threes, twos or units, coming from the decomposition of an old one.
Third, Determinations of simple relations and proportions.
B. Calculations by symbols. (Figures, letters, &c.) The object of this is to give an intuitive knowledge of rules, under which all operations on numbers may be performed, and also the ability to express numbers and operations by signs. Including,
a. A knowledge of the decimal numerical system.
• We state the means of development in the following order; number, form, language; because the development of number is simplest and has fewest applications, those of form are more varied, and language includes number, form, and all human knowledge. When we consider the child at different agts, we shall, on the contrary, begin with language, because by that, begins the development of his understanding,
b. The four simple rules, addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. c. The rule of three, throughout. d. Evolution and involution. e. Algebra.
C. Applications both of mental and written calculation, to the discovery of relations between numbers and the attainment of skill in the common calculations. This application is to four principal objects, viz.,
a. Extent, according to natural and arbitrary measures.
Sec. 2. Exercises on number, with reference to beauty, viz., Measure in music; the other musical element being sound.
Second means of development. Form. Sec. 1. Exercises in form, with reference to truth. (Geometry.) A. Construction of figures from given conditions. a. With lines determined by points. b. With planes determined by lines and points.
B. Valuation of lines and surfaces, either by absolute measures, that is, by comparison of dimensions, or by arbitrary standards.
a. The measure of one dimension (length,) represented by a line.
b. The measure of two dimensions (length and breadth,) represented by surface. (Planimetry.)
c. The measure of three dimensions (length, breadth and thickness,) represented by solids. (Stereometry.) The higher development, of the same exercises leads to trigonometry and conic sections.
Together with the application of these exercises to surveying, drafting, &c. Sec. 2. Exercises in form, with reference to beauty. (Drawing.)
A. Linear drawing, to form the eye and the hand, and to practice invention, under rules and in forms agreeable to the sight.
Third means of development. Language. Sec. 1. The interior view of language, i. e., language considered chiefly with reference to the sense of the words. (Exercises to teach children to make observations and to express them with ease and correctness.)
A. Maternal and domestic language includes what relates to infancy; what a child can comprehend.
a. Exercises in naming objects. Review whatever the child has learned in actual life, and ascertain if he knows and can name the objects of which he must speak.
b. Exercises on the qualities of objects. A quality is explained to the child, and he is to search for objects possessing it. Both here and in every subsequent exercise, the child must be required to give each example in a complete, correct and strictly true proposition. Each example should contain something of positive interest.
c. Exercises on actions and their relations. An action is explained to the child, and he is to inquire and discover who does it, what is its object; its when, where, wherewith, how, why. In this practice of observing every action with reference to the agent, object, time, place, manner, principles and intention, we not only obtain what this exercise is primarily intended to promote, the development of the faculty of language, and thereby of general intelligence—but also the development in the child of a disposition to explain to himself all he does, and all others do; which is likely to have the happiest effect upon his judgment and conduct.
B. Social language; a development of maternal language.
a. Exercises on families of words. A radical word is chosen, and all its derivatives sought for with the child. He is made to distinguish with care the differ
ent meanings, proper or figurative, of each derivative, with a reference to the meaning of the radical word. He must give each word, and each meaning of it, in a phrase complying with these conditions, and those above laid down for propositions.
6. Exercises on synonyms. c. Exercises in definitions. Sec. 2. The exterior of language; i.e., language with reference to the form of speech.
A. Exterior of language, with reference to truth.
2. With given syllables. A final syllable, or an initial and final syllable, is given the child, and he is to find words formed with them ; thus acquiring a knowledge of the roots of words.
3. With simple words. This and the last exercise are preparatory to exercises on the families of words.
b. Composition of phrases.
Besides the discourse of the living voice, which is the original and natural mode of representing our ideas, and which discovers them to the ear, there is an artificial method which displays them to the eye by means of signs called letters.
The desire of enjoying the ideas of others thus communicated, and of being able, in like manner, to communicate our own, leads to the study of written language, including the following exercises :
a. Combination of the pronunciation of sounds with the knowledge of the signs by which they are indicated to the eye. (Reading.) 6. Tracing these signs. (Writing.) c. Expression of sounds by them. (Orthography.)
d. Knowledge and use of signs which indicate the relations of the members of the phrase or period composed. (Punctuation.)
B. The exterior of language with reference to beauty. (Modulation, accent, prosody, versification.)
C. Sound, the external element of language, developed in an independent manner with reference to beauty; constituting one of the elements of music.
Remarks. The study of the construction of a language constitutes grammar ; whose laws being correspondent to the laws of thought, grammar leads directly to logic, in which are united the studies of the interior and exterior of language.
By exercises in logic, and in the formation of language, the pupil is prepared to compose on given subjects, and to study the rules of composition, (Rhetoric.)
The same exercises will nourish and develop the talent for poetry or eloquence, where it has been given by nature.
Language, as a production of the human mind, and the expression of physical, intellectual, and moral life, should be universally the same in principle, since human nature is everywhere essentially the same. But as the developnient of human faculties, the circumstances of life, social and domestic relations, variously differ, this difference must have caused corresponding differences in this production of the mind; that is, different languages. Men associated in a social body have formed for themselves a certain tongue, which has become their national language. In order to intercourse between different nations, they must learn each other's language; hence the study of foreign tongues. This study enables us in a certain sense to hold intellectual and moral intercourse even with nations no longer existing ; i. e., by the study of the dead languages.
Those whose mother tongue is derivative, must, in order to understand it perfectly, study the primitive language from which it originated.
Sec. 3. Application of language to the acquirement of knowledge. Man is the center of all knowledge. A. Physical man. Knowledge of the body; not anatomical, but of the parts of the animated body.
First degree. Knowledge of the parts of the body. a. Names of the parts. b. Number of parts of each kind. c. Their situation and connection. d. Properties of each. e. Functions of each. f. The proper care of each. Second degree. Knowledge of the senses. a. Distinctions and names of the senses. b. Their organs. c. Functions of these organs. d. Objects of these functions. e. Means of the activity of each organ. f. Consequences of the action of the senses, sensations, disposition, inclinations.
REMARKS. The child acquainted with the physical man, knows the highest link of external nature; the inost perfect of organized beings.
Man belongs to the animal kingdom by his body and by his animal affections. He employs animals for different purposes. The knowledge of physical man conducts therefore to that of the animal kingdom.
Plants are also organized beings, but of an inferior organization.
Man obtains from plants the greater part of his food, his clothing and his remedics. They feed the animals he employs. They adorn bis abode. Their fate in some respect resembles his, like him they grow, they expand, they produce, decline and die. The knowledge of the physical man conducts therefore to that of the vegetable kingdom.
The mineral kingdom forms the ground of our abode and of that of all organized bodies, and all return to it when they die. It supplies us with salt, many remedies, and the greater part of materials for our habitations. The knowledge of the physical man conducts then to that of the mineral kingdom.
Fire, air, water and earth compose all terrestrial bodies, wherefore to the observer, without instruments, they appear as elements. The preservation and the destruction of all bodies depend upon them. The constant property of fire is to consume, of air to volatilize, of water to liquify, of earth to mineralize. It is by their equilibrium that bodies are preserved ; so soon as one of the four overpowers the rest, the body subject to its preponderating action must perish. Thus the study of the three kingdoms of nature leads to that of substances commonly called elements and this is a preparation and an introduction to the study of physic and chemistry.
Physical man, animals, minerals, and elements belong to the terrestrial globe, the knowledge of which constitutes geography. The study of the earth, regarded as a planet, leads to astronomy.
Man as a physical being, stands in relation with beings above him, on a level with him and beneath him. Above him are the elements considered at large and the laws of physical nature. On his level are his fellow creatures, and beneath him the individuals of the three kingdoms of nature, and the elements taken in detail.
B. Intellectual man.
a. Inferior faculties which animals possess in common with man. Faculties of perception and observation.
6. Intermediate faculties. The faculties of comparison, judgment, and inference.
c. Superior faculties. The faculty of seeing abstractly, the essence of each object, and the invariable laws of its nature. The faculty of believing divine revelation, which unites the most elevated powers of the soul and heart.
Faculties formed in each of the preceding degrees, are :
The faculty of devoting the thoughts to one object, excluding every other : (attention.)
The faculty of creating any image : (imagination.)