« 上一頁繼續 »
in your volume: Miss Garland's paper on Fröbel's "Law of Contrasts and their Connection," which is the best statement I have seen made of this fundamental principle, in which lies the secret of the power of the system. There may be other articles you may wish to preserve; especially do I wish to suggest to you to consider Mrs. Aldrich's address to her mothers' class in an article called "Mothers' Unions," in the double number for March 1877.
During 1876 our Kindergarten Messages were put into the New England Journal of Education, but discontinued because the editor advertised and recommended the spurious so-called American Kindergarten; and since 1877 the New Education, edited by Mr. Hailman, has been our Kindergarten Messenger.
The American Fröbel Union commenced, in 1871, the Standard Library for Kindergartners and Parents, by publishing Mrs. Horace Mann's translation of the Baroness Marenholtz's "Reminiscences of Fröbel," and in 1878, a fac simile reproduction of Fröbel's most characteristic work, "Mother Play and Nursery Songs," with the music and engravings; the songs being translated in the very cadence of the music by Miss F. E. Dwight, and the explanatory notes by Miss Josephine Jarvis. When our treasury shall be large enough to afford it, a translation of the Erziehung der Mensch and his posthumous works, edited by Wichard Lange of Hamburg (son-in-law of Middendorf), will be added. Meanwhile the Union considers, as a part of the Standard Library, Mrs. Kraus-Boelté's Guide and Manual, which is in the course of publication by E. Steiger, 25 Park Place, New York, and most of the Kindergarten literature which he publishes, in English and German, and especially his "Kindergarten Tracts," so called, which he sends to all who ask for them, post-paid, on receipt of an order with six cents. The 5th, 9th, and 14th of these tracts have diffused an immense amount of information all over the country. Mr. Steiger also imports all the materials of occupation and gifts and is a truly liberal propagandist of the idea of Fröbel.
But I must here put in a caveat. The interest of manufacturers and of merchants of the gifts and materials is a snare. It has already corrupted the simplicity of Fröbel in Europe and America, for his idea was to use elementary forms exclusively, and simple materials, as much as possible of these being prepared by the children themselves.
And here I would say a word respecting all reputed improve
ments on Fröbel. Of these pretensions we cannot be too jealous. Fröbel, in his half century of experimenting, very thoroughly explored the prime necessities of the Kindergarten age. Children under seven years old, at least at three or four, are very much alike in all countries and ages.
And I am inclined to think that but one harmony of nature, available for earliest education, was left undiscovered by Fröbel, and that is the discovery of Mr. D. Batchellor, of the use to be made of colors in teaching children the elements of music. He is to explain this and his happy experiment in Miss Garland's Kindergarten at our next meeting.
But the heights and depths of the moral and religious nature of children will open more and more on mankind, as progress is made in moral refinement; and will open on the Kindergartners deeper and clearer views of Fröbel's moral idea, which it seems to me is nothing less than Christ's idea of the child, of whom He says, "Of such is the kingdom of heaven," and "He that receiveth a little child in my name receiveth me."
Before you close your projected volume of the history and exposition of Fröbel's reform, I hope we shall have our postponed meeting, and hear the papers from Mr. Batchellor and others, on practical points of Kindergartening; and those of Dr. W. T. Harris, Rev. R. H. Newton, Prof. Felix Adler, Dr. J. S. White, Thomas Cushing, and other principals, on its relations to the state, church, and the progressive education of humanity.
ELIZABETH P. PEABODY.