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Glasgow; and to the same purpose the German tells us that instruction deals almost exclusively in mere intellectual notions or exercises of external dexterity, while education has mainly to do with the formation of the character through the emotions.' There is nothing new in this, certainly; but it is a great and important truth; a mere teacher does not do half his work: he must work on the heart and on the habits, as well as on the head of his pupils. A brain is not the only part of a boy; and his. brain is a thing of living growth and arborescence, not an empty box which an adult can furnish with labelled tickets of various arts and sciences, and then say-my work is done, behold an educated young gentleman! Herr Beneke, then, proceeds to divide the Erziehungs-lehre' into three great branches: the training of the intellectual powers, consciousness, conception, memory, imagination, judgment, &c.; the training of the moral, religious, and æsthetical emotions, and the training of the body, or what we commonly call physical education. This exhausts the first volume. The second volume systematises the 'Unterrichts-lehre,' or theory of instruction, in the following order. 1. General views and bearings. 2. Comparative value of the different subjects of instruction. 3. General view of the most famous methods of instruction. 4. View of the special methods for the different subjects. 5. The different sort of schools. 6. The organisation and administration of schools.
From this short outline of the comprehensive contents of the present volumes, the reader will see at once that it would be in vain for us to attempt any thing like a separate discussion of the whole subjects embraced. Under the single head of methods of instruction,' for instance, Pestalozzi alone, and his influence, direct and indirect, on all the modern improvements in pædagogy, would furnish matter for a separate discussion no less curious than instructive; then there are Bell and Lancaster, men most wise of all mortals to transmute a sorry necessity, on occasions, into a sovereign virtue in the teaching of languages again how much might be said in commendation of Hamilton and others, who, though not philosophers of the very highest class, have at least had sense enough to see that, in the art of imitating sounds, a reasoning man may not be ashamed to take a lesson from an unreasoning parrot; and last of all we have Jacotot, a man splendidly made, as Frenchmen are apt to be, with one idea, but in whose one idea, as in all fresh natural ideas, there is an essential truth, which those will certainly find who have toleration enough to exclude nothing from its proper place in the world, and discrimination enough to know where that place is. But there is a wide question, before the discussion of the methods of instruction: and it is one on which
the practical educationists in this country are more disagreed perhaps than on any other. What are you to teach the little boys? Are you to rate their intellectual proficiency by a Latin rudiments and qui, quæ, quod merely, as they do in Aberdeen? or are you to teach them with Biber, to build up castles of cubes architecturally that they may see before them in solid incarnation, the great algebraic mystery a+b=a2+2 a b+b2 ?-or) are you to set them rambling through the fields, and wading through the bogs, that they may finger stamens and pistils, and learn that what was once called a geranium is now called a pelargonium, and that a water-lily is no lily at all, but a nymphæa alba, or lutea as the case may be? Are you to teach this or that or the other, or all the three? These are questions about which all men who philosophise on the subject are not quite agreed; and even when they are agreed, they may beat the air, how often with unapproachable blasts of truth: but there is an army of pedants that have battering rams. To repeat all these blasts, and to encounter the strokes of these battering rams in formal array, and in pitched battle, cannot be our object here; we shall merely, by a few extracts, endeavour to let our readers know how Herr Beneke reconciles the combatants. He has done it, to our judging, with admirable tact: he has given a verdict in favour of both parties; the Humanists and Realists (as the two great educational parties are called in Germany*) are not only tolerated but encouraged; and while each is taught that it is for its own benefit to borrow as much from the other as may be, both are advised for the maintenance of their independent existence, to keep themselves separate: for they have different objects, and belong to different spheres. This is an important catholic truth in education by no means sufficiently recognised in this country; and therefore we particularly request the reader's attention to what follows.
What you are to teach your children, says the professor, depends altogether on what they are meant for: in other words, according to their probable future destiny in life ought to be their present preparation for the business of life in the schools. Now if we take a survey of the different classes of persons claiming education from the state, we shall find that there are three classes, whose position in society, and vocation in life, are so distinct that they do not admit of receiving a well calculated course of education in common. There are, in the first place, those who are destined with material means to work on matter-labourers and artisans: these receive an education fitted for their wants in a
Corresponding to the classical ascendancy and useful knowledge parties among ourselves.
What ought Children to be Taught?
separate class of schools called in Germany Volksschulen,' or schools of the people. Then, above these, there is a large class of men whose destiny it is to work on the same external world, but by intellectual means; thus a mason works on stone and lime with his hand, an architect with his mind Those who are in this position are educated in schools of their own, called 'Mittelschulen' or Bürgerschulen;' middle schools, as being placed midway between the Volkschulen,' and the third class that we are about to mention; Bürgerschulen,' because the mass of those who in commercial and manufacturing cities belong to the 'Bürgher' or citizen class will, under a well-ordered system, find their most appropriate education in these schools. Lastly, there is a class of persons in society whose high privilege it is to work by mind upon mind; to this class, statesmen, clergymen, teachers of youth, literary and scientific men of all kinds belong. For those who are destined to put forth their energies in this sphere, a higher, more extensive, and more speculative education, is necessary. For such theGymnasia' or 'Gelehrte Schulen' are open; and open not as a finishing school, but merely as an introduction to the univer
This threefold division of the great public schools in Germany being distinctly in his eyes, the reader will now be prepared to appreciate the justice of the author's reasoning in the following extract. The question discussed is a much controverted one in Germany, but not less so among ourselves. Whether in schools destined for the sons of the middle classes, in the 'Bürgerschulen,' the learned languages, and especially the Latin, ought to be admitted as a subject of instruction.' Herr Beneke answers decidedly, 'No!' and for the following reasons:
"Those who advocate the claim of the learned languages are wont to bring this forward in the first place, that our modern intellectual culture is historically so intimately connected with antiquity, that into any thorough course of education, going beyond the claims of mere necessity, at least one of the ancient languages ought to be admitted. But the answer to this is evident; our intellectual culture in modern times has made itself gradually more and more free from the influence of ancient literature, in such a manner as that it is now able to stand on its own merits and in a position altogether independent. Those, indeed, whose position in the social system calls upon them to know and to teach, not only what the world now is and ought to be, but also how it came to be, what it is, and through what strange mutations and metamorphoses it has passed, may, nay must, go back to the original germs and farwithdrawn beginnings of things: but for such as mean only to work on the prepared foundation of modern society, and whose activity is principally directed to the external relations of life, such laborious pilgrimages into the remote past are neither necessary nor expedient. It is to be
particularly observed, also, that the ancients, however high they stand in literature and philosophy, are in those branches of science which are most useful to the classes we now speak of, particularly defective; in mathematics and natural history and physics, the staple of a good Bürger education, we can learn little from the ancients that will repay the trouble of studying them; and the little that may be learned, is to be learned by him only who is at once a man of profound science, a philosopher, and a scholar, not certainly by a merchant, an agriculturist, or an engineer.
"As little weight are we disposed to allow the argument that Latin ought to be taught in the Bürger-schools as a sort of preparation and test for those who may possibly be advanced from those schools to the gymnasia and the universities; for it is perverse and preposterous for the sake of one or two to miseducate the whole; and, besides this, an elementary instruction in Latin is by no means a thing peculiarly calculated to afford such a preparation and test as is supposed. Many a boy will make admirable proficiency in Latin vocables and paradigms merely because he is too dull and stupid for any thing more intellectual; dead words and formulas will find a ready entrance where the lack of strong vital pulsations leaves the chambers of the brain empty. There are many better ways of judging of a boy's aptitude for the higher branches of learning than by forcing him to tack a few Latin sentences together; and if parents have so miscalculated their son's inclinations and capacities as to send him to a Bürger-school, when he ought to have been sent to a gymnasium, they must just take the consequences and go back to the starting point.
"But the Latin language, we are told further, is in many views the only proper basis of all knowledge. To this I answer directly,-name the branch of knowledge to the attainment of which Latin is now essential, to which Latin is to such an extent the key, that the profit to be obtained will stand in an intelligible relation to the labour expended? That many technical phrases in the different sciences are derived from the Latin, is an argument that scarcely can be advanced seriously. These phrases can easily be explained etymologically as they occur; and besides, this reason, if it were any reason at all, would be a much stronger plea for the introduction of Greek than of Latin into the education of a German merchant or engineer. As for what is commonly said that the Latin is the root of most modern languages, and must, therefore, be studied, if not for its own sake, at least for the sake of these, there is a practical fallacy in this too obvious to demand any laboured refutation. The time spent in the Latin preparation for learning the modern languages, might have been as well spent in learning the languages themselves. The bulk of the language, that is to say, the vocables, can be taken up as readily in an English, or a Spanish, as in a Roman shape. And what should we say of the man who, when building a house, first throws away all his money on a magnificent threshold, and then finds that he has been laboriously constructing an entry to nothing?
Arguments against the Latinists.
is the wisdom of many of those who learn Latin that they may with the greater ease learn French, Spanish, and Italian.
"The next argument is that drawn from the more formal side of the question. Latin, it is urged, however useless as an acquisition, is so admirable as a mental discipline that it cannot be exchanged for any other subject of study that might seem more directly to bear upon the education of the 'Bürger' class. But here also, unfortunately, the advocates of classical ascendancy are found sadly at fault. No well-instructed educationist will deny the superior virtues of the ancient languages as instruments of mental discipline; but this discipline is most beneficial in the higher steps of advancement, when the spirit of ancient literature begins to be breathed sensibly upon the soul of the student ; the mere external elements of language, and the simple combinations of syntax, have comparatively little power in training the intellect; can achieve nothing that may not be attained in a far superior degree by the study of the mother tongue and foreign languages.
"But, continue the Latinists, granting all this, is not the learning of the Latin language, if nothing more, at least one of the best exercises for improving the memory that the circle of school instruction presents? This argument is the weakest of all. For to exercise the memory on that which does not materially advance the understanding is surely any thing but wise; and then considering how rich the materials are which modern science presents for exercising, nay, severely trying the retentive powers of the mind, what need is there that we should resort to the artificial machinery of the vocables of a dead tongue? There is a danger, moreover, that by overtaxing the memory with extraneous things (which Latin words certainly are in a Bürger-school) a general distaste to learning may be generated in the minds of the scholars. And, after all, it is a great mistake in psychology to suppose, that there is any abstract faculty of memory which can be improved by exercise memory is improved by exercise, not absolutely, but only in the particular direction of the exercise; and so it may be that the improvement of the memory in the direction of the dead languages, however great, may, to all the effects and purposes which belong to the educated modern Bürger, be worse than fruitless."
Latin, therefore, is to be altogether excluded from the Bürgerschools, in the opinion of Herr Beneke; and the Berlin professor, it is instructive to see, merely systematises the current opinion of a great class of intelligent citizens in our commercial and manufacturing cities. These men have long been convinced that the old grammar-schools, in which Latin and Greek are exclusive or preponderant, however useful as preparatory palæstræ for philosophising clergymen and gentlemen with a large library, are not the schools for them; and they have, accordingly, in Glasgow and elsewhere, taken various steps, more or less successful, to hunt down the pedantic old autocracy of the Humanists.