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rendering them more perfect representations of parental education, instruction, superintendence, and society.
If it be admitted that union would prove beneficial, it is presumed that it will appear more peculiarly desirable among Pestalozzians, who are so few in number, so widely dispersed, and whose labours, in their present detached and insulated position, are comparatively little known and less appreciated.
Could they be induced to unite on broad Christian and Pestalozzian principles; would they apply their united powers in the establishment of a school, in which none but Pestalozzian education-talent should be allowed; would they, in the spirit of charity, instead of confining the knowledge which they may have acquired of the Pestalozzian system to their own family or small establishment, diffuse, by union and example, its cheering influence on all; would they consent to resign the solitary throne, and to admit (not rivals) but co-adjutors—we might yet indulge the hope of witnessing a Parent Pestalozzian establishment arise, open to the enquiry, the investigation, the improvement of all who were interested and engaged in the same important cause. If a model school be not shortly established, the small remnant of Pestalozzi's disciples will gradually disappear from the scene, without having made an effort to supply their place by competent successors; and the spread of the system may, by this culpable supineness, be delayed to a distant brighter day.
The Pestalozzian spirit is not, cannot be extinguished; but it is so concealed, so smothered, so little brought to bear over the entire scene in establishments professing to be Pestalozzian, for want of co-operation, union of talent, and mutual support, that it is not surprising if it be generally considered as extinct; or that the assertion should be made, that the Pestalozzian system has been tried and has failed. So far from failure, it is at this moment beginning to be practised, in a certain degree, in some few of the new Infant-poor schools. The treatment, and the moral training, which children receive in some of these schools, present a delightful and heart-cheering contrast to that of former times. This improvement is Pestalozzian. Till his ideas and his principles were in some degree understood, valued, and published, nothing of the kind was in existence.
The foundation in these schools appears to be laid, as it should be, in moral cultivation. Instead of endeavouring to correct evil habits, and to instil good principles, through the medium of fear, severity, hasty punishment, and corporal chastisement, time and pains are bestowed on the Heart. The Bible is the guide and the standard to which the children are referred. They are led to take part in their own education, instead of opposing it, (as under the old system,) and this most desirable object is attained by every look, word, and action, convincing' them that their moral good and permanent happiness are the sole end in view: in short, by the teachers having become, in some degree, acquainted with Pestalozzian principles, and by having become at length convinced that education deserves to take precedence of instruction.
Pestalozzi says, that " public education is only of value, inasmuch as it resembles private; and that the striking advantages of the latter, ought to be transferred to the former. Every system of education which is not founded on the combination of domestic relations, tends, in my opinion, to vilify the man. Like the anxious mother, who unceasingly observes her child, and reads in his counter nance all the changes of his soul, the instructor ought to be impressed, in some degree, with maternal anxiety: he ought to live among his pupils, as he would in the bosom of his own family."