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VEGETABLES AND ANIMALS,
land and sea; and the third, that of land, sea, and inland waters.
Another course should then follow, having for its object, to make the pupils acquainted with the economy of nature in the different countries of the earth. Their vegetable productions, and the animals which inhabit them, should be introduced in groups, calculated to show the connexion which they have with each other, and with the nature of the soil on which, and of the climate under which they are placed, so as to form a course of natural history, in which the different creatures of the earth would not be presented according to the artificial distinctions of scientific systems, but according to their localities. A moment's reflection will show how much interest the subject would gain from this mode of treating it; and how much more knowledge of nature would be derived from such peeps into her household, than from a series of unconnected fragments, in which one beast after the other is “accurately described” from the tip of the snout to the extremity of the tail.
Lastly, to close the introduction of geography in a manner adequate to the dignity of the subject, the pupil should have the earth presented to him as the dwelling-place of man. Following the gradual spread of our race over the countries of the globe, the teacher should give a short outline of the state of society, and the destinies of the different generations of inhabitants which have succeeded one another on each particular spot; so that the whole would form a survey of the history of our species, not in chronological, but in geographical order.
Having thus given a pretty detailed outline of the course which we would propose for the instruction of universal geography, it will not be necessary for us to say much about the mode of teaching the special geography of different countries. That in which the pupils themselves live, ought, of course, to be made the subject of particular attention, and the knowledge of it, as far as circumstances will permit,
founded upon ocular inspection. Maps of it should be drawn, and the facts connected with its various localities, communicated upon the same progressive plan, which has been detailed with reference to the globe. As regards foreign countries, their geographical details may conveniently be reserved until an opportunity offers of connecting them with the historical course, of which we shall give a short sketch in a subsequent chapter.
Hints respecting the Instruction of Natural Science.
Negeli's Manual of Singing. Development of the Active Powers of the Body; Gymnastics.
Having in the six preceding chapters detailed those branches of instruction which were developed under Pestalozzi's own auspices, at least to a certain extent, according to the principles of his method, we now proceed to the illustration of several other subjects, which ought, in our opinion, to be comprised in a general plan of education; and which we are the more anxious not to pass over unnoticed on the present occasion, as our silence might tend to confirm in the minds of our readers an erroneous notion, which, we believe, has been very generally spread, that the principles of Pestalozzi's method are only applicable to certain subjects, and that others have successfully baffled every attempt to Pestalozzianize them. It is true, and has already been stated, that Pestalozzi himself, and his immediate disciples, whatever they may have attempted, never succeeded in carrying the practical application of the method beyond the instruction in arithmetic, geometry, drawing, and geography. Even the instruction of the mother-tongue, notwithstanding the valuable materials contained in Pestalozzi's “Spelling-book," and in his “Mother's Manual,” was not brought to any degree of perfection. The instruction in singing was successful only, because Pestalozzi's assistants followed the course traced out by his friends Nægeli and Pfeiffer; and the various experiments that were made, for instance, with foreign languages and history,
UNDEVELOPED BRANCHES OF THE METHOD.
must be candidly confessed to have been complete failures. This, however, though it accounts for the origin, does not prove
the correctness of the notion alluded to. Pestalozzi's plan is not one of those mushroom systems which grow up in one year, to be popular in another, and die away in the third; it does not enable a teacher, within a twelvemonth, to get up a collection of “keys” to all the doors of knowledge, no more than it makes it possible for the pupil to attain any particular branch of knowledge in a given number of “warranted” lessons. The principles on which it is founded, require for their successful application in every particular instance, not only years of research and practical experience, but also a considerable share of talent and information on the subject to which they are to be applied; so that it would have been nothing short of a miracle, if Pestalozzi had been able to collect around him, in the last twenty years of his life, men possessed in an eminent degree of every species of knowledge and acquirements, by whose aid he might have seen his ideas realized in every branch of learning, science, and art. But what he and his first disciples could not, in the nature of things, accomplish, has been done since, or will still be done, by others; for, as long as there are children to be taught, teachers will be found also, who, rising above the mercenary spirit of the mere journeyman schoolmaster, will take a higher interest in the performance of their task, and take for their guide those principles, which Pestalozzi first proclaimed as a sort of charter of the liberties of the youthful mind.
Among the labours thus bequeathed by Pestalozzi to the more distant advocates of his cause, the different branches of natural science ought first to be mentioned, because their proper place is during the earlier periods of education, when they may be turned to account for the purpose of leading the child to observe accurately, and to arrange the results of his observations under general heads. It is with this view that zoology, ornithology, ichtyology, entomology, conchology, botany, mineralogy, &c.; and, at a later period, physiology, chemistry, physical science, &c., should be brought
within the grasp of the child's mind, by discarding altogether the unintelligible nomenclatures, in which, at present, the treasures of those sciences are hid from all but the initiated, and substituting indigenous terms of a corresponding import. Another improvement which the usual mode of presenting those sciences must undergo, to render them fit for elementary instruction, is, that whatever is to be observed, should be presented in that order which is best calculated to give, by means of contrasts and analogies, a clear and comprehensive view of the subject. With these few general remarks we feel inclined to dismiss the head of natural sciences, as we have never paid particular attention to any of them, and have not, until very lately, been called upon to bring the Pestalozzian instruction to bear upon their details. Still, as we feel, how very unsatisfactory it must be to our readers, to see so important a province of education despatched with such leanness, we will subjoin, as an attempt at illustration, a scrap of entomology, in the full confidence, that the candid confession of our great ignorance in these matters, will ensure us the indulgence of our readers, and screen us from impertinent
Suppose the subject of the lesson to be the distinctions of the antenna, of which a compendium of entomology would enumerate the following leading characters:
Amphiophthalma, wholly, or in part, surrounded by
Approximate, close together at their base.
Ciliata, fringed with parallel seta, inserted along the side of the antenna through their whole length.
Clavata, clubshaped, terminating in a knob.