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of the religious life. Both Rabelais and Montaigne alike were, I hold, Humanists, not Realists, although they naturally emphasized the knowledge of things, because (as I have already said) of the time in which they lived and the special evils they had to combat. No one will hesitate to give Rabelais the credit of having recalled attention to the study of Nature and to the poetic enjoyment of it, as elements in the education of
But this does not make him a Sense-Realist. The importance of Physical Training was also first, in modern times, urged by Rabelais, although it had already received practical attention from leading Renaissance schoolmasters. And when the weather will not admit of outdoor athletics, he makes Gargantua give himself to indoor manual occupation. In truth, there is a great deal in Rabelais—brief as his treatment of the subject is.
The large and liberal curriculum contemplated, including gymnastic and military training as well as music, suggests that Milton's Tractate owed not a little to Rabelais, as did also Locke's Thoughts through the mediation of Montaigne.
I would direct your attention to this : the further we extend our study of writers on Education, the more are we struck with the substantial unity of opinion and object among the greatest of them. Rabelais and Montaigne would have subscribed to almost every word of the early Italian Humanists, and these Humanists, again, reproduced Quintilian. All alike have always before them, as the outcome of all sound teaching, a self-active, living mind. “Accendere animos” is the aim. Plutarch reminds us that the soul is not a vessel to fill, but a hearth on which to kindle a fire. And if the intellectual aim is always the same with the best writers, so even still more are they at one on the supreme importance of moral education and the value of gymnastic. It is with the rise of the Baconian school that a new idea
It is, then, chiefly by acquiring that man is to be
educated. Knowledge takes the place of wisdom, moral precepts of moral training and personal discipline. This is what is commonly meant by Realism. But even with Ratke and Comenius and their numerous followers, the ultimate purpose is the same as with other writers, viz. wisdom and virtue ; but they exaggerate the value of mere instruction as insuring these. The contribution to the science of education made by the Baconian school is not so much in the attention they gave to sense-realism as in the department of method. Locke's Thoughts will be found to be a wise mixture of the Baconian views and of Montaigne. In the Conduct of the Understanding, however, the discipline of the intellect is the theme; and that valuable treatise virtually, in my opinion, restores the grammar and dialectic of the Middle Ages, but these based on the vernacular and on the analysis of concrete writings by the pupil, and not to be attained by the study of formal grammars and logics.
NOTE ON ERASMUS ; b. 1466, d. 1536.
Erasmus was the most brilliant man of the second period of the Revival. I have not had time to study all he has said on Education, and I consequently content myself with this note.
The educational programme of this eminent scholar and thinker was that of the Italian Humanists :-Return to the ancients ; classical tongues to be studied in the sources, and no longer in barbarous manuals ; rhetorical exercises to be substituted for useless and obscure dialectic; the study of nature to animate and vivify literary studies; the largest possible diffusion of human knowledge without distinction of age or sex!. He severely criticised universities as the homes of mediaeval barbarism and obscurantism, and he advocated strongly a milder discipline in all schools, and cheerful and sanitary class-rooms.
There can be little doubt that Ascham was as largely influenced by Erasmus as by Quintilian. It is superfluous to say that schoolmasters listened to neither the one nor the other. Even in these days we see that the tendency of the majority of secondary schoolmasters is to look with all the suspicion which ignorance engenders on all serious study of the principles, aims, and methods of the work to which they have devoted their lives. Some have however advanced far enough to write sentimentally and prettily about it. The most important educational works of Erasmus, apart from his Adages and Colloquies, were the following. (In what follows, I quote from Payne's translation of Compayré's History of Pedagogy.]
1 Buisson's Dictionnaire de Pédagogie.
Educational Works of Erasmus.
In his book, On the Order of Study (De Ratione Studii), he seeks out the rules for instruction in literature, for the study of grammar, for the cultivation of the memory, and for the explication of the Greek and Latin authors. Another treatise, entitled Of the First Liberal Education of Children (De Pueris statim ac liberaliter instituendis), is still more important, and covers the whole field of education. Erasmus here studies the character of the child, the question of knowing whether the first years of child-life can be turned to good account, and the measures that are to be taken with early life. He also recommends methods that are attractive, and heartily condemns the barbarous discipline which reigned in the schools of his time.
Erasmus is one of the first educators who comprehended the importance of politeness. In an age still uncouth, when the manners of even the cultivated classes tolerated usages that the most ignorant rustic of to-day would scorn, it was good to call the attention to outward appearances and the social value of politeness. Erasmus knew perfectly well that politeness has a moral side, that it is not a matter of pure convention, but that it proceeds from the inner disposition of a well-ordered soul. So he assigns it an important place in education.
The Instruction of Women was advocated by Erasmus. The scholars of the Renaissance generally did not exclude women from all participation in the literary treasures that a recovered antiquity had disclosed to themselves. Erasmus admits them to an equal share.
In the Colloquy of the Abbé and the Educated Woman, Magdala claims for herself the right to learn Latin, “so that she may hold converse each day with so many authors who are so eloquent, so instructive, so wise, and such good counsellors.” In the book called Christian Marriage, Erasmus banters young ladies who learn only to make a bow, to hold the hands crossed, to bite their lips when they laugh, to eat and drink as little as possible at table, after having taken ample portions in private. More ambitious for the wife, Erasmus recommends her to pursue the studies which will assist her in educating her own children, and in taking part in the intellectual life of her husband?.
1 Ludovicus Vives, a contemporary of Erasmus (1492–1540), a Spanish writer of great eminence, expressed similar ideas on the education of
He recommends young women to read Plato and Seneca.
ROGER ASCHAM, THE HUMANIST';
b. 1515, d. 1568.
The leading topic of Ascham's Scholemaster is the classical languages and literatures as instruments of the education of youth. Mulcaster and Brinsley were the first to advocate the teaching of English”.
"Roger Ascham,” says Thomas Fuller, was born at Kirkby-weik in this County (Yorkshire); and bred in Saint John's Colledge in Cambridge, under Doctor Medcalfe, that good Governour, who, whet-stone-like, though dull in himself, by his encouragement, set an edge on most excellent wits in that foundation. Indeed Ascham came to Cambridge just at the dawning of Learning, and staid therein till the bright-day thereof, his own endeavours contributing much light thereunto. He was Oratour and Greek Professour in the University (places of some sympathy, which have often met in the same person); and in the beginning of the Raign of Queen Mary, within three days, wrote letters to fourty-seven severall Princes, whereof the meanest was Cardinal. He travailed into Germany, and there contracted familiarity with John Sturmius and other learned men; an 1,
The quotations which follow are from Bennet's quarto edition, 1761. 2 There is a great deal of interesting information on the pre-Reformatie in schools in Furnivall's Education in Early England.