The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 36
* * *I have long been of opinion that what we especially want in England is a just estimate of elementary education; meaning by that term what Pestalozzi and Fröbel meant—the earliest stage in the cultivation of children's minds. In England this conception is generally confounded with that of elementary instruction, with which it is, strictly speaking, but remotely connected; and hence all our efforts are directed to instruction, while education or culture is extensively neglected. Instruction — that is, the systematic imparting of definite knowledge — should be the sequel, not the precursor, of the training of the intellectual powers which are to be employed upon the acquisition. In other words, the object of elementary education is to develop the natural faculties, that of elementary instruction to apply them. It would be easy to show this : if we make instruction our chief aim, we necessarily introduce dogmatic, didactic teaching, which, as a rule, depresses the native powers; whereas if we make education — that is, cultivation — our chief aim, we elicit the native powers, and make the best of them. * * *
* * * The adoption of Pestalozzi's principles by the Governments of Prussia, Saxony, Baden, Würtemberg. etc. , has only been a matter of time, and to their adoption we may fairly ascribe the enlightened teaching, with its excellent results, in the common schools of Germany. When the different States shall add (as Saxony has done) F. Fröbel's methods to those of Pestalozzi, the arrangements for elementary education will probably be as complete as it is possible for ordinary human ingenuity to make them. * * *
(Joseph Payne. A Visit to German Schools. London, 1876.)
Press of E STEIGER, N. Y.