網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

have that right was not less important than to have the Constitution itself right. He not only congratulates the people and the legislature on the "evidences of progress," “ the approach of a better day," but he urges the legislature to consider that the new Constitution requires, without any unnecessary delay, the establishment of free schools,” the statistical proof that illiteracy in Indiana “has increased more than one per cent., whilst the population has increased less than fifty per cent.," and “that such facts are significant that the schoolmaster is needed to be abroad in the Commonwealth.” He then analyzes and classifies the resources to be depended on, states the cost of “a good and efficient system of free schools," and the parts that must be incorporated into the new system, as to supervision, township school committees, district superintendents, State superintendent, teachers' institutes, Normal schools, graded schools, school libraries, Board of Education, etc. The style and substance of the entire document are elevated, and are pervaded with an evident satisfaction in the result reached after so many years of labor. “In closing this sixth and last educational address, it is a matter of no slight satisfaction to perceive that the subject of this message and its humble predecessors has awakened an interest and secured a degree of the public attention that warrants the expectation of more intelligent legislation and efficient action in future. These efforts now brought to a close, feeble and imperfect as they may be--and they have been made under very unpropitious circumstances—I wish to be regarded by you, and my fellow citizens at large, as a free will offering to the cause of common school education, and as some faint expression of my desire for the elevation of the masses, the instruction of the youth of our State, and ihe highest welfare of the rising generation. As they were commenced with no sinister purpose to subserve, so they are now terminated with no aspirations for office. I shall deem myself richly rewarded if they may afford you any assistance in consummating the object contemplated, or have contributed in any humble degree to produce the change that has come over the public mind on the subject of popular education since the period of their first issue. I close with the greater satisfaction from the conviction that this subject will hereafter receive a due share of executive recommendation and legislative attention, and that it will become the duty of some one more competent to the task, more favorably situated, and duly authorized to present its claims and advocate its progress."

I trust this protracted commemoration of the important service rendered by Professor Mills to the cause of free schools in Indiana will be pardoned. The aim of his message was lofty, and the result magnificent. It has been my purpose to bring out distinctly enough of what he did to keep the name of Caleb Mills green in the annals of the public schools of Indiana. To state what he did will not detract in the least from what others did in the same great enterprise, whose services I have not had time to sketch. He and they together laid the foundaForty-four Years Ago this Morning." With these words President Tuttle, on the 3d of Dec., 1877, in commemoration of the founding of Wabash College in 1833, began a brief discourse in the college chapel, from which the following paragraphs are taken:

To us who are connected with this institution it is a fact of interest that we can still point out the spot consecrated by the deliberations of the convention of nine men on the 21st of November, 1832, resulting in the resolution to found this college; also the spot on which, two days afterwards, five of the nine knelt in prayer, whilst “in the midst of nature's unbroken loveliness " they dedicated the institution to God and man in the interests of Christian education.

On the 2d of November, 1833, the Rev. John Thomson, Secretary of the Board, inserted an advertisement in the newspapers at Crawfordsville, Lafayette, Greencastle, and Rockville, announcing that “the first session of the Crawfordsville High School will commence on the first Monday of December, and continue four months. Price of tuition, $4.00 for the English Department and $6.00 for the classical. Board for a considerable number can be had for $4.00 per week.” In the same advertisement, headed Crawfordsville High School, “ the Board of Trustees inform the citizens of this place and the public generally that they have obtained a teacher from the East to take charge of the school. He (Mr. Caleb Mills of Dunbarton, N. H.) is now on his way and is expected here in a few days. He comes well recommended, and has with him a considerable number of books and other donations for the use of the school."

The journey, which we can now accomplish in less than two days, then required several weeks. After this tedious journey of several weeks he reached Crawfordsville about the middle of November, and soon began housekeeping in the little house still standing at the rear of Center Church. No doubt during the first two weeks he occasionally visited the building in which he was to teach. The town was then in its eleventh year, and was still closely hugged with the forests. He could not go from the town to the college without passing through woods in which the squirrels were hunted, and in which it is said that even then occasionally the deer and wild turkey were to be seen.

The building was not finished, and on Monday morning, just fortyfour years ago this very morning, Prof. Mills went to that unpretending building on an errand, the results of which are not yet, as we trust, all reached. For a man of so much purpose, buoyancy, and conscience, there would be little sense of discouragement in the uninviting array of educational facilities before him. He there met Rev. James Thomson, the real originator and founder of the College.

At 9 o'clock that Monday morning Mr. Thomson offered the prayer and made an address. Then Prof. Mills enrolled twelve names, and Wabash College was in motion.

How much Wabash College owes to such christian women (as Mrs. Mills) cannot be told. Indeed, no true history of this institution can be written which does not name the wives of its early instructors and friends. Their names do not appear on the catalogues of the college, but they were even as the shower and sunlight, which do not appear in the yellow glories of the wheat-field and granary. These silent and modest forces as truly helped to produce shock and grain as the more obtrusive ox and plow and plowman. And so these noble christian women as truly helped to found and build and nurture the college in times of darkness and peril as did their husbands.

BERTHA VON MARENHOLTZ-BÜLOW

AND THE KINDERGARTEN.

MEVOIR.* The Baroness von Marenholtz-Bülow, whose life work is inseparably associated with the dissemination of Froebel's system of childculture in different countries, belongs to the Redum line of a princely family whose name appears in the time of Charles the Great. Her father, Baron Frederick von Bülow-Wendhausen, the owner of the fine estate of Küblingen in the Duchy of Brunswick, was president of the Ducal Chamber and member of the regency charged with the administration of affairs during the long minority of the Duke. Her mother was the imperial Countess von Wartensleben, of the Mark of Brandenburg.

The Baroness Bertha was born in Brunswick, March 15, 1816, the second of eight sisters. Not yet twenty years old, she was married to Baron v. Marenholtz, lord by primo-geniture of GrossSchwulper and a member of the Privy Council in Brunswick, and afterwards Court Marshal in Hanover. By this marriage she had one son, whose education till his death at the age of twenty, with that of several children of her husband by a prior marriage, was superintended in all its details by the Baroness, who, in addition to the training which the best private teachers could impart to herself and her own sisters, had the higher educative advantage of practical work, by which her own thoughtful mind was always accustomed to the consideration of pedagogical problems. Her own reflections on what she read and did, and what she saw done by her teachers in her own and her father's family, were recorded by her in a book, and which she afterwards found were in singular accord with the principles and methods which Friedrich Froebel had worked out in his profounder study of child-nature and nurture.

When free to act for herself, the Baroness broke 'away from the brilliant but narrow circle of court life to which she was born, and without entering the field of social reform, as the avowed champion of certain ideas, she sought in every way to acquaint herself with

*We are indebted mainly for the facts of this Memoir to a pamphlet of 156 pages by Lous Walter, printed in Dresden in 1881 by Berlag von Alwin Huahe, with the title Bertha 0. Maren rotz Bulow in ihrer Bedeutung für das Werk of Fr. Froebel. 10

(145)

the best methods of education ; and in this spirit in the summer of 1849, while sojourning at the Baths of Liebenstein in Thuringia, introduced herself to Froebel, who had quite recently settled down on a small farm in the neighborhood of the Springs, and was training a class of young women to become Kindergartners. She has told the story of this interview and of their intercourse, which continued during that and her subsequent visits to the Baths, in her charming and instructive volume of “ Reminiscences."*

In these personal interviews she became thoroughly acquainted with the principle of the Kindergarten and its application, both to the actual development of young children, and in the training of young Kindergartners, by the great master himself. To these opportunities of educational study were added elaborate discussions of the philosophy and practice of the new education between its first expounder and Dr. Diesterweg, the acknowledged head of the Pestalozzian method in Germany, and several experienced men of scientific and practical ability who were concerned with actual teaching, and with the administration of systems of public instruction, so admirably described by herself.*

With every advantage for reaching cultivated people which bright and solid mental endowments, improved by tħè best private teaching and select social experience, could give,—with a loving acceptance of the doctrine of human development, by rational methods applied to the earliest conscious action of the child by agencies which necessarily belong to the nurture period of the human being, and extend into school and self-activity, which the insight and experience of such born educators as Pestalozzi, Froebel, and Diesterweg have brought to a good degree of practical efficiency,—thus equipped by nature, study, and observation added to home experience, the Baroness von Marenholtz-Bülow has not only given to the world, and especially to her sex, a beautiful example of a broadly beneficent lifework, but the results of that personal work has already entered into the educational institutions and literature of nations, to an extent not yet recorded of any other woman in the annals of education. Of this, her personal services to the Froebelian Education in different countries, we shall speak elsewhere. We close this brief introduction to a fuller treatment of her own understanding of Froebel's idea of the Child, with a List of her Publications (see page 127, 128), made up from Mr. Walter's pamphlet.

* Reminiscences of Friedrich Froebel. Translated by Mrs. Horace Mann, and published by Lee & Shepard, Boston, 1877, p. 359.

WILLIAM MIDDENDORFF AND THE KINDERGARTEN. Compiled from Lange's and Diesterweg's Notices in Pedagogisches Jahrbuch for 1855.

MEMOIR. William MIDDENDORFF, who in all his working days was associated with Frederick Froebel, and whose name should not be divorced from his in any historical development of the Kindergarten, was born in Brechten on the 20th of September, 1793. He was the youngest child, and only son of six children born to a peasant family in Westphalia. The local surroundings and family occupations were rural, and his were all the inherited traditions of genii and other inspirations of such locality and homes.

These Genii brake the woodland paths
And speak the language of the trees ;
Startle the birds in their green shades,
And watch in meads the browzing kino.
They know where broods the little birds
That guard their fledglings till they fly;
They brown themselves in sun and storm,

And know not human speech nor love.--Thieme. The father had an intense desire that his darling son should be qualified by education to rise into a position of higher culture and influence than his own, and to this end should become a preacher. He soon had caught the brightness and sweetness of the natural scenery round him as he tended the flocks on the hills and followed or watched the kine as they browzed, or wended to and from their wickered sheds night and morning, and all things conspired to develope the poetical side of his nature. In his solitary musings on the impressions which streamed in through eye and ear, “presentments of a life of his own, and of the connection and union of all things" were his, and in this ideal he ever afterwards acted. The fields and the uplands and hill-tops were always full of enjoyment to himself, and themes for the instruction of others.

At the age of ten Middendorff attended the gymnasium of Dortmund, and resided in the family of his uncle, the father of Arnold Barop. A school comrade of that period writes: “He took rank before all others, and was a model to us all—somewhat formal in manner, and terribly orderly and conscientious.". His uncle had destined him for the university of Jena, but his inward promptings (his demon) insisted on his going to Berlin, and go he did, and there listened to the teachings of Fichte, Neander, and Schleiermaeker, and ever after held them all, and especially the latter, in the deepest reverence.

In Berlin he was on very friendly terms with Justinus Kerner, and especially with Gustav Schwab. He was introduced by a countryman

« 上一頁繼續 »