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rapid succession under the youthful eye, not only with a total disregard of first Elements, but even before the mind has been developed and strengthened, or the heart sufficiently trained and practised in the principles of Christianity to make a right use of them. A smattering of many things is thus acquired: a useful degree of knowledge, a strength in nothing. Can this be considered an Education calculated to strengthen the head, to exercise the hand, or to call forth the powers of the heart? Will not its effect rather be to enervate, to indispose to vigorous mental exertion, to lead to indolence and self indulgence, to inspire a feeling of self complacency in superficial acquirements? to give a taste for a passive approval of good, instead of an active exercise of it: to satisfy the heart that all is well, while it only dreams over the excellent thoughts and feelings of others? The surface may appear bright and polished, but if the thinking principle is not educed, and the moral powers called into action, it is but like painting on the air: in vain will be the labour of instruction if the faculties remain in a dormant state. Thought is the exercise of the mental faculties, as motion is of the physical
powers*: both are necessary to our well being.
These humble Hints, so far from pretending to give a view of the whole of Pestalozzi's invaluable ideas on the subject of Education, and a complete detail of the branches of instruction arranged by him, or even pretending to novelty and originality, are principally intended to draw the attention of Parents to a subject which so deeply concerns them; to the first, the most powerful of all duties; to lead them to consider whether, in regard to this vital question, the wisdom of the world may not be foolishness; and, if found to be so, to
* According to Pestalozzi's method, the mind of the pupil cannot be passive in receiving instruction. It is compelled to work its way to knowledge; and having its activity properly directed, is led, step by step, to the perception of Truth.— Hints to Schools.—E. Hamilton.
Since no after-knowledge can be very complete or extensive, which is not built upon a good elementary foundation, we strongly advise Parents to be satisfied with somewhat less of superstructure than is generally demanded, while the pupil has yet the power of enabling himself to enlarge his future acquisitions without pain and degradation. To us it appears of infinitely more importance that Education should be sound and complete, than precocious.—-Plans for the liberal instruction of Boys in large numbers.
deem it their duty boldly to depart from it. Let the Parental character no longer come under this description:
"The slaves of custom and establish'd mode,
But let them assert their rights, claim their children, live with and study them, and learn from this study the true secret of the difficult and little understood science of Education*.
* For what is Education? It is co-operating with the Divine Spirit in forming the mind and heart of an Immortal Being, whose nature is extremely complex, by no means easily understood, and differing greatly in different individuals. Can success be rationally expected unless great pains are taken, and your labours are enlightened and judicious? And can you flatter yourself that you take due pains, or that your labours will have a proper direction, if you give little time to your arduous task, and do not employ proper means for becoming well acquainted with the character of your children?
Babington on Christian Education.
The very small elementary portion attempted to be given in this number, of one of Pestalozzi's branches of instruction, Form, while making the little ones acquainted with some of the most common terms, will exercise the mind, the eye, and the hand; and by producing habits of attention, observation, and accuracy, will be a gradual preparation for reading, writing, drawing, mathematics, &c.
On ne connoit point l'enfance; sur Ies fausses idees qu'on eu a, plus on va, plus on s'egare.—Rousseau.
Experimental Education is yet in its infancy: boundless space for improvement remains.—Edgervorth.
Education has not hitherto accomplished the wonders it is capable of producing. The mode adopted in working the machine, has deprived it, in an incalculable measure, of its power. We are but beginning to see the stupendous results which benevolence, enlightened by science, may obtain from it,— Westminster Review, No. 1.
DENOMINATION OF POINTS AND LINES.
The Mother, when playing with her Child, makes a point with chalk, on a large slate placed upon an easel, and says: Point. Point . Point . The child will readily repeat this, and the mother encourages him to do the same; and he will rejoice when he has produced a point.
She makes two, three, four, five points, letting him try to do the same.
She occasionally shows him other points than those: the point of a needle, of a knife, of a pin, a fork, &c.
In the same manner may she lead him to the line: (what sort of lines she first draws is immaterial.)
Mother. This is a line.
What did I call it?