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gifts which are here carried out; here, also the occupations are much developed, demanding at this stage greater exactness. Among these we find paper-intertwining, paper-cutting and mounting, as geometrical exercises; also free-cutting, and pca-work, which is so important for the knowledge of forms, and particularly instructive for the conditions of the axis of the geometrical figures; and clay-work, the fore-runner of future modeling; also double-weaving and paper-folding of the triangular, hexagonal, and circular forms.
The multiplicity of color in this department strikes the eye at once. The large safe contains many specimens of the children's work, which, as model-forms, are the ornament of every Kindergarten. These serve also to preserve some of the early indications of aptitude for future occupations--the hatter, cobler, potterer, architect, sculptor, etc. The leaves worked in clay disclose many practical lessons in botany.
It is evident that in this room the real life of the Kindergarten is concentrated; here everything assists to produce the best work. Here all the children assemble in the morning for the opening exercises, which consist of a childlike prayer and morning song, here the children listen to the story, or join in the conversation, which unconsciously trains them to habits of correct expression among themselves,
Division III. of the Elementary Class separates from the other children for about forty minutes in the morning, in order to become initiated, according to the natural method, in the rudiments of reading and writing. The children of this room take conjointly the arithmetic lesson, given with blocks, sticks, and other objects. The luncheon is a feature turned into a means of training in social and personal habits. The birthdays of the children, as they occur, are each celebrated by special work and play; and the children are led to please their friends by the product of their own industry.
Christmas, Valentine's day, Washington's birthday, April-fool's day, Easter, Froebel's birthday, and the 1st of May are celebrated each in its own characteristic way. The poor are specially remembered by various gifts, particularly on Christmas. One of the Christmas festivals is thus described by a correspondent of The World :
“ One of the most charming school reunions of the season was the Christmas celebration in the Model Kindergarten of Professor and Mrs. Kraus in New York. . . Three large Christmas trees were filled with the presents made by the children for their parents and friends, whom they ha invited themselves. These are two marked features of the fine Kindergarten festival of Christmas, viz. : It is a feast that the children prepare for their parents, and in which they are reminded not to forget the poor. One tree was ornamented with presents for the children in the Home of the Friendless. * * *
“ One of the Christmas trees stood in the middle of the cheerful room of the Kindergarten, which was ornamented for the occasion with wreaths anu flowers. The children, from sixty to seventy in number, had been entertained on the second floor with stories until the appointed hour, eleven o'clock. They then marched hand in hand, keeping time to music. After a short childlike prayer, some Christmas and social songs were suny, amongst others 0 how lovely are the ties,' • Tender is the meeting,' etc., accompanied on the piano. Then followed gymnastic exercises under the guise of play. Several movement games followed, representing different trades and occupations; the words accompanying these games were sung alternately in English, French, and German. A so-called 'quiet game' followed, which teaches the children to control themselves, and trains them unconsciously to politeness, while Professor Kraus played very sweet chords pianissimo on the piano, and then invited the children as well as the ladies of the training class around the piano for another Christmas song, viz. : •Silent Night, Holy Night.' Then the children distributed the presents from the Christmas tree to their parents and friends. Once more & circle was formel, a song followed, and the last tree was given up to the children. The festival closed with a hearty good-by song."
It is seldom that an institute will be found where the beneficial influence upon the children, of female and male co-operation, is more felt than in this of Mr. and Mrs. Kraus. Their congeniality, their perfect sympathy and harmony is felt everywhere; and this feature also characterizes their “ Kindergarten Guide." Everything is not only seen through female, but also through male lenses, in an educational point of view. In this connection we may citc from a letter of Mr. John Kraus to Miss Peabody in the Kindergarten Messenger of April, 1874:
“I beg leave to say that I think it a great mistake that men are excluded from the early education in this country. In Europe it has become an acknowledged fact that Kindergartens become only a success, when men and women work together. And why not? It is not good for man to be alone,' said the Creator, and gave to man and woman a joint dominion over the earth. Why should not these natural, heaven-appointed ailies work together in the Paradise of Childhood? Pestalozzi and Froebel have set an example for all times to come in that direction." .. .
Intermediate anıl Elementary Class. The ornamentation and furniture of the room of the first and second elementary divisions show that the method is continued and extended. Desks and tables adapted to other kinds of work, maps, globes, cards representing animals, birds and plants, and other natural objects, attract attention. The manner of employing certain gifts, and the extension and continuation of various occupations, are soon recognized by the experienced eye. The paper square, for instance, is used in folding for practical instruction in geometry. The forms of bodies are represented in outline by peas and sticks, and the bodies by clay and wax. It gives pleasure to the children, after preliminary conversation on the single objects, to produce them alone by the help of the various material, and the usefulness of so doing is obvious; for not only do forms and parts impress themselves more distinctly, but the relations of color become clearer. Thus the varying occupations assist and heighten the conception.
Natural history-animal, vegetable, and mineral, is also here continued and extended. Pictures, models, or living types are presented to the pupils; the forms, magnified, are illustrated on the blackboard, and copied by the pupils on slates and paper. The growth and development of shells give the starting point. The attention is constantly attracted to the gradual transformations of all that is observed in nature, as in the fly, the silk-worm, wasp, mosquito, grasshopper, spider, tadpole, and other living things. Attention is also called to domestic animals, the cat and the dog; to mushrooms and the fungus; to roots in general, and in particular to such as serve for food; to vegetables and fruit, the people and their customs, and birds of various plumage and habits in different countries.
The earth from which the plant derives its nourishment becomes also an object of interest; the difference of the common gardenground, the clay, chalk, and sand, is observed, and what use is made of clay for earthenware and china. Glass-making becomes of interest. Many things are told of the city they live in: of the gas, calcium, and electric light-the substitute for daylight; of the furnace, and how it warms the rooms. The dew and rain-drop, hail, snow-flakes, frost and ice, all become attractive. Flowers, plants in general, and their leaves in particular, are studied, stimulating the children to make coliections. These objects are not only talked about, shown, illustrated, drawn by the children, but, in many cases, reproduced in clay, which assists in making the ideas received better understood. A certain classification, which the children are held to carry out from the beginning of the simplest gifts and occupations in the Kindergarten, is thus continued and extended.
The furniture of the schoolroom leads them to a knowledge of wood and trees. They learn about slates and their manufacture, the material of paper and paper-making, about the rubber, and sponge, and similar articles of daily use. The children also are told of great and good men, whose names are associated with their work. Not a few historical and geographical facts are closely connected with the children's own experience. All the abore-mentioned subjects assist and serve to initiate and perfect the children of this class in the rudiments of all knowledge. Drawing is thus made the first prerequisite and preparation for writing. The method of the Kindergarten is continued here, leading the child to mathematical drawing in the composition of the straight lines. The connection of all kinds of slanting lines, passing from the corners of a square standing “cornei wise,” always two and two lines of the same kind, one in the horizontal the other in the vertical direction, from without and within, give, in the point they traverse each other, a polygon which forms the intermediation to the circle. By further logical process a series of drawing is carried out in the circular lines. This kind of drawing is alternated with so-called “inventive drawing,” consisting of a certain combination of straight or circular lines, either symmetrical or representing objects, carried out according to the child's own idea.
Of course, the members of the intermediate and elementary classes, have gone, almost without exception, through the regular course in
the Kindergarten. Thus, Mr. and Mrs. Kraus are able to show how Froebel intended to continue the system of educational development after the Kindergarten, --whose aim is to enlarge the home-education of children between three and seven years of age, before the time when they are due at the school,—with the same material and the same method in extension.*
Training Class. The instruction given to the Training Class begins in October, and ends in June following-embracing at least five lessons per week, besides the actual practice in the Kindergarten, for all the working portions of one year.
The qualities and qualifications looked for in candidates for the diploma of this class are :
1. A quick and responsive sympathy with children-a real, genuire sympathy, and not simulated.
2. A child and motherly heart--something which inspires the feeling of sister and mother for children, and makes them happy in their company, and gives a clear insight into child nature and life up to the seventh year.
3. An exact knowledge and spiritual comprehension united with dextrous handling of the Kindergarten material.
4. Sufficient musical knowledge and vocal ability to sing well the little songs and guide the plays.
5. A cheerful humor, that can easily enter into the child's plays, and is not easily disturbed by occasional frowardness, or real shyness.
* Mr. J. Kraus has already shown, some years ago, how the Kindergarten is to be finally developed in the school-garden, in accordance with the ideas of Dr. Erasmus Schwab, at Vienna, who says in regard to this subject : "For more than a century, thinking pedagogues have been seeking to embody the thought of the school-garden in some practicable method. It was lying near, and is simple in itself ;. but they did not succeed in finding a practical form for it.... A hundred years hence it will seem inexplicable that for centuries there could exist among cultured nations public schools without school-gardens, and that in the nineteenth century, communities and nations in generous emulation could furnish the schools with all things dictated by common-sense, and profit, and care, except, in thousands of cases, an educational medinm that should suggest itself to the mind of even the common man. Surely, before fifty years shall have passed, the schoolgarden will receive the consideration it deserves, as surely as drawing, gymnastics and technical instruction for girls-whose obligatory introduction was deemed iinpossible forty years ago-have found a place in our schools. The school-garden will exert influence upon the heart of the child, and upon his character; it will plant in the children the love of nature, inculcate the love of work, a generous regard for others, and a wholesome aesthetic sense."
In regard to the Organic Link between Kindergarten and School, Mr. Kraus said, in the discussion on the report of the committee appointed at the meeting in Boston, in 1872, to inquire into the form in which Froebel's principles may be most efficiently applied to the educational wants of the country pp. 237-41 of the Addresses and Journal of Proceedings of the National Educ: tional Association Session, of the year 1873, at Elmira, New York): “Kindergarten education w.ll have its fine success only then, wher the organic link between it and the school is created ; such a link will bring great advantage to the school, because the Kindergarten itself gives security for an all-sided, natural training. The school must not be a Kindergarten, and the Kindergarten not a school."
The object of the course is to give the members of the class a clear conception of Froebel's pedagogic aim in his several gifts and occupations, and to show the deep significance of the child's natural play, and breathe a true spirit into employments which become otherwise incomprehensible mechanism. The characteristic of Froebel's method of occupying children to their own development, lies in permitting them unconsciously to bring forth a product by their own feeble efforts, and thus awaken and develop the germs of the creative spirit to produce individual work, and not mere imitation.
To secure a real fusion of learning, work, and play, the objects are not all ready made, and enough only is said or done, so as to invite some independent mental or muscular energy upon the material. Children's activity must be encouraged, and only so far directed, so as to be saved from destructiveness, and prevented from exhausting itself into longuor and thoughtlessness. The danger of the occupations of children degenerating into mere imitation and mechanical routine, must be obviated, by leaving ample scope for exciting and employing the imagination and invention, in their own combination of the material.
Too much is done in our American Kindergartens, and the same defect is noticed in most European institutions, with perfected patterns and elaborated materials ; and great efforts are made in this Training Class to teach its members how to vary the exercises, encourage children to devise patterns, and use, modify, and make up the material for themselves, each in his own way. In their published circular Mr. and Mrs. Kraus say :
“It cannot too often be repeated that the significance of Froebel's system consists in so arranging the gifts and occupations as to encourage and enable the child to transform and recombine the material, and thus strengthen by exercise his bodily and mental faculties. Individuality is thus developed. Froebel gives explanations how to conduct their games : to know them all is quite a study ; to apply them well, an art ; to understand their full significance, a science. No one can master all these details without deep study, much observation, and thoughtful practice. And when mastered, the Kindergartner deserves a rank and remuneration not now accorded to her.”
· Nearly two hundred ladies have availed themselves of the opportunities in training which this Seminary has offered, and hold its diploma. Many of them are now teachers of the Kindergarten method in several Normal Schools, Principals of Ladies High Schools, conductors of independent Kindergartens in some of our chief cities, ladies of education from different parts of the country, with their daughters for their own personal culture, sisters of charity and other devoted women, to qualify themselves to conduct asylums, and infant schools for neglected children.