Pestalozzi and Pestalozzianism.


from which they were kindled. Some of them are but sickly tapers.

No sham theory has the vitality of Pestalozzianism. Whatever lives so long, flourishes so well, and bears such good fruit as it has done, must be essentially correct. But Pestalozzianism is not the Alpha and Omega of educational possibility. If the truth that is in it be valued, let it not be brought into suspicion by our claiming too much for it. Over-praise may damn a cause as effectually as faint praise. It is as reasonable to believe in the " elixir of life" as to believe that the whole truth has been discovered about education. Let the bust of Pestalozzi occupy its proud niche in the temple of Pedagogics; but the temple must not be filled with busts of Pestalozzi. Perhaps, however, this is uncalled for. The majority will be more likely to under-estimate Pestalozzi than to over-estimate him. The few fanatics that worship the great Switzer, do not need a check so much as the many old fogies who regard him with indifference, need a spur.

Pestalozzi's system is not very definite. Like all great efforts toward reform, it is rather suggestive than exhaustive. It is nowhere given in the form of a complete, logical statement, but consists rather of various essays and maxims expressing earnest convictions struck out of an unselfish soul painfully seeking a higher object and method in human education. His motive was the noblest—the elevation of the common people. He set about his work not as a philosopher, but as a philanthropist. He declares himself to have arrived at his conclusions "rather by accident than by any art or reflection of his own." Perhaps it was not so much “by accident," as by the unconscious insight and inspiration of the seer. True wisdom seems always linked with humility. Lord Bacon reiterated the saying, that the production of the New Organon “ depended more upon a kind of luck than upon any ability or excellency in himself.” There is another point of resemblance between Bacon and Pestalozzi. They both worked avowedly, not for the sake of a system, or for victory, or for ambition, or for reward of any kind, but for the practical benefit of man.

To make men, women, and children wise, contented, active, sincere, religious, was Pestalozzi's constant aim. This aim he kept with simple, beautiful faith as long as he lived. He was not always hopeful, but he was always faithful. He never lost the enthusiasm of youth. “My head was gray; yet I was still a child,” are words that occur in his review of his educational experience.

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He wrote much--twenty or thirty different works. Several of these are translated into English. Concerning him and his philosophy a large number of books have been written in Germany, and a few in France, England, and America. So there is no lack of information respecting this man and his ideas; no lack of his own sayings : no lack of sayings for and against him by others. His Life, by E. Biber, published in London in 1831, is extant. His “Life, Educational Principles, and Methods," has also been edited by Henry Barnard, and is included in Barnard's series of “ Papers for Teachers and Parents.”

The general spirit, motive, and object of Pestalozzi having been touched upon, we are briefly to notice his leading principles, as the founder of a system of education. These principles greatly resemble those of Rousseau as developed in Emilius. Both Rousseau and Pestalozzi follow what they call the Natural System. But Pestalozzi based his doctrines upon religion, while Rousseau arrived at his idea of religion as one of the results of education. God is the root of Pestalozzianism-only an accidental flower of Rousseauism. Here are some of Pestalozzi's aphorisms quoted from Raumer's Life of Pestalozzi:

“All mankind are in their nature alike, they have but one path to contentment. The natural faculties of each one are to be perfected into pure human wisdom. This general education of man must serve as the foundation to every education of a particular rank."

“The faculties grow by exercise.

“The intellectual powers of children must not be urged on to remote distances before they have acquired strength to exercise in things pear them.

“The circle of knowledge commences close around a man, and from thence stretches out concentrically.

“Real knowledge must take precedence of word-teaching and mere talk.

"All human wisdom is based upon the strength of a good heart, obedient to truth. Knowledge and ambition must be subordinated to inward peace and calm enjoyment.

“As the education for the closest relations precedes the education for more remote ones, so must education in the duties of members of families precede education in the duties of citizens. But nearer than father or mother is God, the closest relation of mankind is their relation to Him.

“Faith in God is the confiding, childlike feeling of mankind

Pestalozzi and Pestalozzianism.



towards the paternal mind of the Supreme Being. This faith is not the result and consequence of cultivated wisdom, but is purely an instinct of simplicity; a childlike and obedient mind is not the consequence of a finished education, but the early and first foundation of human culture."

I can not forbear selecting some other aphorisms from Pestalozzi's "Evening Hour of a Hermit":

“Central point of life, individual destiny of man, thou art the book of nature. In thee lieth the power and the plan of that wise teacher; and every school education not erected upon the principles of human development, leads astray.

“Man, it is thou thyself, the inner consciousness of thy powers, which is the object of the education of nature.

“Nature develops all the human faculties by practice; and their growth depends upon their exercise.

A strict and stiff adherence to one order is not nature's way of teaching."

How pregnant of thought these sentences. Hundreds, nay thousands of sayings equally suggestive, may be found in Pestalozzi's writings. Some passages, it has been frequently observed, seem to contradict others; but, taken as a whole, these carefully pondered axioms point to one of the grandest and most inspiring theories of human development conceivable. There are certain latter-day educational saints who hint that we have got past the wisdom of Pestalozzi here in the United States, or, at least, have greatly improved upon his methods, if not upon his principles. The latter is probably true. But how many teachers are there in America who have got past, or even come up to Pestalozzi's ideal of the scope and grandeur of education ? It is true, a hun. dred years have passed since Pestalozzi and Krüsi put forth the first maxims of the system by which their names are remembered. But true words do not grow useless in a hundred years. It often takes a hundred years for the truest and wisest of words to be comprehended by the world. We are only beginning to grasp the broad views that were clear to the mind of the man of Zurich long ago. We have realized some of the details of his methods of teaching, but have scarcely reached the grand spirit of his purpose. We make the unhappy term, “ Object Teaching,"

” synonymous with Pestalozzianism. So far so good. Object Teaching is an important part of Pestalozzianism. That all knowledge comes by observation, is a fundamental proposition with Pestalozzi. But if we begin at second hand with methods without a clear conception of principles, we shall work in dark

a ness and not in light. But whether we work in the light of principles or in the darkness of mechanical imitation, if we use object lessons we shall work with good tools. We may do as Pestalozzi did, or better, though we can not see as he saw. It is easy to follow a stated rule, though it may be hard to make & rule or even to demonstrate it after it is made. Only it is requisite that we have confidence in the correctness of the rule. So it is necessary that we should implicitly trust those who make our books on “Object Lessons." Fortunately for those who have not time or inclination to study first principles, conscientious and capable apostles of Pestalozzianism are abroad in the land putting his methods into trustworthy formulæ for use.




There are many words in the English language the pronunciation of which is unsettled, that yet belong to classes in respect to which as classes good use is entirely harmonious. It is much to be desired that the pronunciation of such words should be conformed to the principles of the language, and not be allowed by blind and inconsiderate use to add still more to the abundant anomalies of the English tongue. It is proposed to notice some of these words in relation to the principle which is recognized as applying to others of the same class.

First, there is a large number of words baving a vowel at the end of an unaccented syllable, the sound of which is unsettled and varying. Thus, infamy is pronounced sometimes with the sound of a in father, sometimes with the sound of this element in fate, but with short quantity in both cases; direct is pronounced by some with the sound of i in pine, by others with the sound of i in pit. Worcester denotes this vowel-sound by a mark which, he says, " is employed rather to indicate a slight stress of voice than to denote any particular quality of sound." His treatment of the difficulty, as might be anticipated from its inherent vagueness, only leads to confusion, and tends to perpetuate the discordant pronunciation. The revised edition of Webster's American Dictionary says “the a has properly a brief sound of the



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Studies in English Orthoepy.


Italian a, as in Cuba, amuse, America; but, in familiar speech, it is almost always so slighted and obscured as to be indistinguishable from the neutral vowel, or u in urge, murmur, etc.”; while i " has more commonly its short sound as in philosophy, direct, etc. But,” it adds, “ the i is usually long in the initial syllables i, bi, chi, cli, pri, tri, as in idea, biology, etc.” It quotes from Smart the remark : * The inquirer must be sent to the dictionary to learn, in each particular case, the true pronunciation.”

These quotations sufficiently indicate the fact of the unsettled and variant usage.

Now there are certain received principles applicable to this class of words which, being intelligently apprehended, may help to settle usage aright.

In the first place, we have the general rule, as already cited, that at the end of an accented syllable a takes the sound of a in fate, while in an open unaccented syllable it takes the sound of a in father. Two exceptions, finding their ground and warrant in the very spirit of the rule, will cover all or nearly all the cases of difficulty that can arise here. First, if the vowel receive a secondary or weak accent, it inclines just in the degree of the accentuation to take the long sound. We should pronounce it long, thus, in miscellany, momentary, advocacy, legislature, etc., if we put a secondary accent on the penultimate syllable; but if, as the best usage seems to require, we withhold the accent, we should give to the a the sound of a in father. Secondly, the a before another vowel has its sound as in fate, as in aerial, aorta, chaotic. In the half-dozen words of this class in our vocabulary, exclusive of proper nouns, the a by its very position assimilates itself to the accented element, and therefore takes the long sound under the rule.

E ending a syllable, if sounded, always takes the sound given it in mete, o always the sound heard in note. To give this latter element the sound of short u unaccented in words ending in ony and ory, said in the revised Webster's Dictionary to be "according to universal usage in England," should be utterly reprobated. The u at the end of a syllable has the sound of 00 preceded by the slight sound of i in pit. The American authorities except the case of u after r as in erudition, which they would pronounce eroodition, not eryudition. No warrant can be assigned for this dev ition from a general rule, but a partial usage. It is doubted whether this exceptional pronunciation is more widely prevalent than the regular pronunciation; if it were vastly more preva.

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