« PreviousContinue »
advantage to the pupil, they were often disgusted with every species of intellectual effort. They also pointed out the moral corruption which arises from many of the examples and sentiments of the ancients, and especially disapproved that discipline of compulsion and violence, by which children have been forced to this ungrateful employment. They urged the importance of leading by the attraction of knowledge itself, rather than by force. They paid much attention to the developement of the bodily constitution and powers, and professed to aim at forming men, and not mere scholars.
“ But, with the ordinary weakness of human nature, in avoiding ong extreme, they ran into the opposite. They forgot the valuable influence“ of these studies, properly regulated, upon the faculties and habits of the mind.
"Notwithstanding their error, the Philanthropists unquestionably exerted much influence on the improvement of education. The extravagant views of the Humanists were considerably modified; and although many still retain the exclusive maxims of their predecessors, many adınit, as stated in the German • Conversations Lexicon,” that all should be embraced in education which can promote the formation of the man, and prepare him for the eternal destiny of his spirit. The Philanthropists also prepared the way for their successors of the School of Pestalozzi. This remarkable man adopted many of the opinions of his predecessors of the Philanthropic school, especially those which related to the developement of the bodily powers, and the methods of discipline, and religious instruction. He per. ceived, however, that, in assuming practical utility as the exclusive test of the value of particular objects of instruction, they had too much neglected the developement of the mind itself. In seeking to avoid this error, however, he did not entirely escape the other extreme. He assumed, as a fundamental principle, that a certain developement of mind was necessary for every rank and every occupation. The means of this developement he supposed himself to have found, so far as the intellectual faculties were concerned, in the elements of form and number, which are combined in the science of Mathematics, in Language, and in Natural History. The Mathematics appear to have assumed a preponderance in practice, which was unfavorable to the regular and harmonious cultivation of other powers. The senses and the bodily powers he endeavored to develope, in accordance with the views of the Philanthropic school, by the careful examination of the various objects of nature and art, which surround the pupil, by means of music, and by gymnastic exercises, alternatea or combined with labor. Pestalozzi himself was remarkably the creature of powerful impulses, which were usually of the most inild and benevolent kind, and preserved a child-like character in this respect, even to old age. It was probably this temperament which led him to estimate at a low rate the importance of positive religious truth in the education of children, and to maintain that the mere habit of faith and love, if cultivated towards earthly parents and benefactors, would of course be transferred to our heavenly Father, whenever his character should be exhibited to the mind of the child. The fundamental error of this view was established by the unhappy experience of his own institution: and his own example afforded the most striking evidence that the noblest impulses, not directed by established principles, may lead to imprudence and ruin, and thus defeat their own ends.* This principle, combined
* As an example of this, it may be mentioned that, on one of those occasions (fre. quently occurring) on which he was reduced to extremity for want of the means of
with the want of taot in reference to the affairs of common life, materially impaired his powers of usefulness as a practical instructer of youth. The rapid progress of his ideas rarely allowed him to execute his own plans; and, according to his own system, too much time was employed in the profound developement of principles to admit of mụch attention to their practical application. But, as one of his admirers observed, he seemed destined to educate ideas and not children. He combated, with unshrinking boldness, and untiring perseverance, through a long life, both by his example and by his numerous publications, the prejudices and abuses of the age, in reference to education. He attacked, with great vigor and no small degree of success, that favorite maxim of bigotry and tyranny, that obedience and devotion are the legitimate offspring of ignorance. He denounced that degrading system which considers it enough to enable man to procure a subsistence for himself and his offspring - and in this manner to merely place him on a level with the beast of the forest; and which deems every thing lost whose value cannot be estimated in money. He urged upon the consciences of parents and of rulers, with an energy approaching that of the an. cient prophets, the solemn duties which Divine Providence had imposed upon them. in committing to their charge the present and future desti. nies of their fellow beings. In this way he produced an impulse, which pervaded the continent of Europe, and which, by means of his popular and theoretical works, reached the cottages of the poor and palaces of the great. His institution at Yverdun was crowded with men of every nation, not merely those who were led by the same benevolence which inspired him, but by the agents of kings, and noblemen, and public insti. tutions, who came to make themselves acquainted with his principles, in order to become fellow-laborers in his plans of benevolence.
It is to these companions of his labors, most of whom resided in Germany or Switzerland, that we owe the formation of another school, which has been styled the Productive School, and which now predomi. nates in Germany and Switzerland. It might, perhaps, with equal propriety, be termed the Eclectic School ; for it aims at embodying all the valuable principles of previous systems, without adhering slavishly to the dictates of any master, or the views of any party. It rejects alike the idolatrous homage to the classics, which was paid by the Humanists—the unreasonable prejudices of the Philanthropists against classical and merely literary pursuits -- and the undue predilection for the mere expansion of mind, to the neglect of positive knowledge and practical application, which characterized too many of the Pestalozzian School.
“ The leading principle of this system, is that which its name indicates - that the child should be regarded not as a mere recipient of the ideas of others, but as an agent capable of collecting, and originating, and producing most of the ideas which are necessary for its education, when presented with the objects or the facts from which they may be derived. While, on the one hand, they are careful not to reduce the pupil to a more machine, to be moved by the will of his instructer in an assigned direc. tion, or a mass of passive matter, to be formed by him according to his own favorite model, they are equally careful to avoid the extreme, into which some of the preceding school have fallen, of leaving him to wander indefinitely, in a wrong direction in search of truth, in order to secure tc him the merit of discovery. They consider a course of education as divided into two parts—the period of developement and the period of acqui. sition. In the first period, which they consider as particularly devoted to developing the faculties and forming the habits of the mind, in order to prepare it as an instrument for future operations, they employ the induc five process chiefly. Time is not here of so much importance as the
habit of investigation and effort, which can only be acquired by meeting and overcoming difficulties. This period, which must be made longer or shorter according to the character of the pupil, or the necessity that his circumstances in life may impose, is succeeded by the period of acquisi. tion, in which the mind is more especially called upon to exercise the powers which have been previously developed and cultivated, in the acquisition of such positive knowledge as may prepare the individual for life and action. The inductive process is still employed as much as possible, not only because it has become, for many cases, the shortest and most agreeable, but because it is important to maintain the habits it has produced, and invigorate the faculties it has served to develope.
" But still it is far less employed than previously, and the pupil is never suffered to waste his time in attempting to create a science for himself, and thus deprived of the benefit of the experience of sages and centuries. On the contrary, they deem his mind capable of being elevated even more rapidly by following the processes of patient investigation, by which the most exalted minds have arrived at results that astonish and delight him, and of thus learning to imitate strides, which seem to him like those of a giant, and to cultivate those habits of untiring attention, which the greatest philosophers have declared to be the principal source of that telescopic glance, that almost unerring power of discrimination, which seems to others so nearly miraculous.
“Such is the Productive System, by which the powers of the pupil are called into complete exercise by requiring him to attempt a task unaided, and then assisting him in correcting his own errors, or returning from his own wanderings, before he is discouraged by the waste of time and the fruitlessness of his efforts. They distinguish carefully between know. ledge and the means of obtaining it. To cultivate the senses, and pre. sent the objects which they are capable of examining, is to open to the child the sources of knowledge-to place before him a book which is ever open, and in which he may every moment read. This, they maintain, is the first and most obvious part of education, according to the dictates of
It is one in which nothing but truth is presented to him, and which, by calling his powers into constant exercise, ensures their improvement, and cultivates a spirit of investigation.”
The preceding extracts are taken from Art. I. Vol. I. No. VI. of the American Journal of Education, New Series. The author avails himself of this opportunity to express his obligations to the conductors of this valuable periodical. A constant perusal of its pages has afforded him many valuable ideas on the subject of education, and he cheerfully acknowledges material assistance derived from it in the preparation of the “Productive System of English Grammar,” which is now respectfully submitted to the candid examination of the public.
I. OF THE NOUN.
What is your name?
What does the word noun mean? Ans. The word noun means name. Q. What, then, may your name be called ? 1. A NOUN. Q. What may all names be called ? 2. Nouns. Q. Boston is the name of a place : is Boston a noun ? and if so, why? 3. Boston is a noun, because it is a name.
Hudson is the name of a river: is Hudson a noun, and why? Q. Book is the name of something to read in: is book a noun, and why ? Q. Will you now inform me what a noun is ? 4. A noun is the name of any person, place, or thing.
Q. Will you mention two nouns the names of persons ? two, the names of things ? iwo, the names of different places ?
Q. Will you tell me which words are the nouns in the following senlences, as I read them to you?
“ Thomas and Joseph are in the house."
Q. What is the meaning of the word number ; as, "The number of but. tons on your coat ?”
5. Number means one or more. Q. What does the word singular mean? 6. It means one. Q. When, then, I speak of one thing only, as chair, what number is it? 7. Singular number. Q. What, then, does the singular number of nouns denote ! 8. The singular number denotes but one thing.
Q. Of what number is book, and why?
9. Book is of the singular number, because it means but one. Q. Of what number is chair, and why?
What does the word plural mean? 10. It means more than one. Q. Of what number is lamps, and why?
11. Lamps is of the plural number, because it means more than one. 8.
Of what number is inkstand, and why?
By adding 8 to dove, we have doves, and es to box, we have boxes. How, then, is the plural number of nouns usually formed ?
12. By adding s or es to the singular.
Q. Will you spell the plural of ounce? glass ? window ? theatre ? antecedent ? church ? labyrinth ?
Q. How many numbers do nouns appear to have, and what are they! 13. Two, the singular and plural.
Q: Will you name a noun of the singular number one of the plural number?
Q. What does the word gender mean?
18. Man is of the masculine gender, because it is the
What does feminine mean? 19. It means female. Q. Susan is the name of a female: of what gender, then, is Susan ? 20. Of the feminine gender. Q. What nouns, then, are said to be of the feminine gender? 21. The names of females. Q. What gender is woman, and why?
22. Woman is of the feminine gender, because it is the name of a female. Q. Of what gender is aunt, and why? daughter ? why?
What does the word neuter mean? 23. It means neither.
Q. Chair is the name neither of a male nor a female : what gender, then, may it properly be called ?