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It is to be remembered that only the more important points in the grammar are usually to be studied; as, in etymology, the declension, item the Genus nominum,* item the Conjugationes verborum ; in syntax, barely one rule more than ten: as 1. Adjectivum et Substantivum, etc. 2. Substantivum cum substantivo. 3. Dativos adsciscunt, etc. 4. Ablativo casu efferuntur, etc. 5. Relativum cum antecedente, etc. 6. Nominativus praecedit, etc. 7. Activa verba omnia. 8. Ablativus instrumenti, etc. 9. Quodlibet verbum admittit dativum, etc. 10. Infinitivi adduntur, etc. 11. Accusativus proprius casus, etc.; item about Praepositionibus.
These portions are chiefly to be practiced; with the rest, the boys must not be too soon troubled, delayed or discouraged, since they can learn them just as well afterward, when they have come to the making of sentences, when they can well and quickly learn them in small portions at a time, thus being able to observe for themselves some fructum studii grammatici, not without pleasure and good hopes for the future. When they have come as far as this, then the preceptor may take up the remaining more difficult parts, bringing them forward as supplementary, and explain them one after another, reading thein over often, item making them well and clearly understood by a repeated application of many examples.
When the grammar, with its more important parts, has thus been brought to an end, then the preceptor is to take up the author once more and translate him according to the sense, each scene a couple of times, and then to go on immediately, letting the boys listen only, until he observes that by thus listening they have acquired a good habit in it; and then he may cause them to translate for themselves, helping them at once when they fail.
When the scholars understand the author ad sensum, then may follow exercises in style ; or, as they are called, argument making, that is :
The preceptor shall first for some four weeks himself orally make sentences before the scholars, all in imitation of Terentius, from the beginning again; shall bid the boys attend closely, and repeat to them the German sentence, ad imitationem mutatis personis item temporibus, etc. Immediately after this he is to proceed and give another, as long as the lesson lasts, and the boys are only to listen and observe the imitation in Terentius. Such sentences should be at first only a line long, or should include only one comma; but may afterward be longer and longer, of two or three commas, etc. At last they may be of two or three whole periods; and then he may carefully explain to them the particulas connexionem.
· These are the beginnings of rules from the syntax of Melancthon's Latin grammar.
When this oral sentence-making has been practiced for a while, then first, and not before, may he proceed to written sentences, and these must for the most part, especially in the beginning, for a sufficient time, be only for imitation. And when the sentence has been dictated he is to cause one or another scholar to read it aloud, and to observe whether they have all heard and written correctly, and made the right distinctions. Afterward comes correction; and this to be not silent, but aloud; not with a pen in each book, (for the boys can seldom read and correctly understand such blots.) but aloud. And it is sufficient, when the boys are many, if one sentence is corrected for some four of them, only it must be done aloud, that the others may have advantage of it.
When the boys have come so far, he may begin to talk Latin with them; and they may be put forward ex classe grammaticae Terentiana, into a higher school or class, as Ciceronianam, Virgilianam, etc."
In 1573 appeared a school-plan* for all the Saxon duchies, fortysix
years before Kromayer's School System. This plan was in many respects diametrically opposed to the latter. Grammar was put first in it, learning by rote, and private study next, etc. It is, therefore, not to be wondered at, that Ratich's new method gave great offense in Weimar, so that Kromayer, at the end of his report, was obliged to add that this new organization for schools did not contemplate the destruction of religion. “Especially,” he continues, “ has this excellent school system been opposed by ill-disposed or ignorant persons, as if there was concealed behind it nothing else than a corruption of pure learning, and apostacy from the true Lutheran religion. Such a charge is entirely baseless and false.” He refers in addition, to the fact that “in our schools the Book of Concordance itself, which makes the Lutherans differ from the Calvinists even more than from the Papists, is used continually, in German and Latin, in a manual prepared for the purpose."
I quote so much from Kromayer's report to show that Ratich and his followers had already gone far enough in the road of Hamilton and Jacotot, and had even pushed the method to caricature. For example, Terence, according to Kromayer's directions, would be read three times in German, and more than six times in Latin. The German translation had to be as literal as possible, for the purpose; and if this were so, what justification had they, for causing such matter to be repeatedly read by the young ?
• Method for managing the trivial schools proposed at the visitation of churches and schools under the dukedom of the younger princes of Saxony. Jena, 1573.
† Similar complaints, but with more reason, were made against Rousseau, Basedow, etc., at a later period.
From the explanations of Ratich and the Raticbians, of the method of reading Terence with the boys, I shall further only extract a couple of strange observations.
The teacher, says Ratich, must first read his author very slowly, and syllable-wise, and the scholars are to follow in silence, reading "after bim in their books. The scholars are not to read the lessons over by themselves.* After the lesson, say the Ratichians,f the books are to be left in school. Only the more advanced scholars are to be admitted to repetition. “The understanding acts of itself, and learns naturally," he says in the Articles, " but only when the teacher is present so that he may teach it first. If the pupil is himself wise and intelligent enough to know how he ought to learn and be taught, then he needs no teacher.” Yet before the scholar has heard any thing of Latin grammar, the teacher is to read with him a portion every day, and thus from Monday to Friday, to go over a space which is to be read again on Saturday. Thus the six comedies of Terence were to be read within six weeks.
We shall see further on why the author is to be read before the grammar is studied.
Having thus explained one instance of the methods of instruction of Ratich and his followers, I proceed to the
II. GenerAL PRINCIPLES Of this methodologist, as they appear in the “Articles " and "Aphorisms,” subjoined to the “Praxis.”
1. “Every thing in its order; or, the course of nature. Since nature uses a peculiar method, proper to herself, with which the understanding of men is in a certain connection, regard must be bad to it, also, in the art of teaching; for all unnatural and violent or forcible teaching and learning is harmful, and weakens nature."
But, had Ratich and his school found the true order of nature ? Had they, for instance, in teaching Latin ? Were they not forced, in discipline, to adopt methods of compulsion and beating, quite opposed to the sacred motto of “naturam sequi ?”
2. “Only one thing at a time. Nothing is a greater bindrance to the understanding than to undertake to learn many things together and at once. It is as if one should undertake to cook pap, fruit,
* Methodus, 145. Absente praeceptore omnis privalo repetitio discenti plane interdicta est. t Praxis, 166.
1 Ib. p. 199. S Jb. p. 164. “Thus a comedy will be finished in a week, at one act a day. This shows how much promptness the teacher needs, to finish a whole act in an hour.” (Very true!)
"until, in six weeks, all Terence will have been read and explained. And up to this time the papil has heard nothing of Latin grammar." I lb. pp. 179, 176.
1 lb. pp. 179, 175.
meat, milk and fish, in the same kettle. But things should be taken up orderly, one after another, and one thoroughly dealt with before proceeding to the next. In each language, one author should be studied until the language is well learned. When he is well learned, and, as it were, well swallowed down, others may be read. One should undertake nothing new until that which preceded it has been learned thoroughly and sufficiently for all purposes."
Is this actually according to the "course of nature ?". Is it natural, if one has lived eight months on pap or on fish alone, just as Ratich's scholars were kept at Terence eight months, and more too, not to wish anything else to eat? Is not a variety of reading material like that in the valuable reading books of Jacobs, much more agreeable to the course of nature ?" Just as we do not eat one thing altogether; but, for example, bread with meat; just so it is the problem of the teacher, not to lay before the scholars an everlasting and wearisome monotony. And, as skilful cooks endeavor to find out what viands go together, so as to obtain at once a good flavor and easy digestion, just so nust the skilful pedagogue, even within the same term, teach the same scholars different things, such as may serve as supplements to each other, by their variety may keep the scholar fresh and unsatisfied, and at the same time may bealthily nourish his mind.* And the rule, "one should undertake nothing new until that which precedes has been thoroughly learned,” needs this addition : in proportion to the measure of ability of each scholar.
3. " Each thing should be often repeated. It is incredible, what may be accomplished by the frequent repetition of one thing. For this reason it is that only one and the same material is to be handled, in all lessons, both forenoon and afternoon. For what is often repeated, will become more deeply and correctly impressed upon the understanding. But if one goes over one thing once, and immediately goes on to another, and so to many things, one after another, none of them will be learned well, and the understanding will be confused, overstrained and weakened.”
This is like the previous principle; and like it suspicious, if moderation be not observed in the practice of it.
4. “Every thing first in the mother tongue. For the scholar must do his thinking about what he has to learn, in the mother tongue; and he ought not to have any further trouble about the language of it.” “There is always this advantage, that if knowledge useful and
• A contemporary had already said, " variety of lessons may be of two kinds : one con fused, and the other orderly; this last is not hurtful, since it is directed to a single knowl. odge." Grawerus, 12.
necessary in common life, were put into German and learned in it, every one, whatever his business, could acquire a much better knowledge of it, because he could guide himself and express himself better in all matters connected with it. How important this would be in religion and government, and in human life generally, will easily be imagined, if we reflect what a miserable condition of ignorance and inexperience is most usual."
"After the mother tongue, then the other languages."*
The importance of this article is clear. It aims at the restoration of the mother tongue to its proper rights, and at the removal of the sharp distinction between the Latin learned and the unlatinized laity, and of the demand that the latter shall be educated, and that the mother tongue be the vehicle of their education.
What germs of good, but, from after abuses, of evil too! 5. “Every thing without compulsion.”+
a. “Boys can not be whipped into learning or wishing to learn. By compulsion and blows youth are disgusted with their studies, 90 that study becomes hateful to them. Moreover, this is contrary to nature. For boys are accustomed to be flogged for not remembering what has been taught them; but if you had taught them rightly they would have remembered it, and you would not have needed the blows. And that they should atone for your errors, because you
did not use the right method of teaching, is too great an injustice. Also, the human understanding is so made that it must have pleasure in learning what it is to remember; and this pleasure you destroy with your anger
and blows. But as to what belongs to morals, mores, and virtue, there is a different rule. "Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of correction will drive it far from him,' as
6. The pupil should not be frightened at the teacher, but should hold him in love and reverence. This follows of itself from the foregoing. For if the teacher rightly exercises his office, it will not fail but that the boy shall take up a love for him and for his studies.
All the work comes upon the teacher. For he has to read and explain, and in the mother tongue too; yet this is much easier than the work formerly usual in the schools. For he has not to plague himself with hearing, examining and whipping, but conducts his lessons in a decent way, and is sure that he will gather fruit from them; for this can not fail him if he only does rightly the office of teacher, and pursues the proper method.
* Praxis, p. 182.