網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

BOSTON KINDERGARTEN TRAINING CLASS.

HISTORICAL NOTES. The Boston Kindergarten Training Class at 52 Chestnut street, was opened in 1868 by Madame Kriege and her daughter. Miss Kriege was prepared for her work in Germany by the Baroness Marenholz-Bülow, and taught succes-fully in New Yo'k on her first arrival in America. For four years these ladies worked faithfully in Kindergarten and Normal Class, meeting many discouragements, and overcoming many obstacles; they sowed good seed that is bearing fruit now.

On their return to Germany in 1872 a graduate of theirs took up the work in Boston. Miss Garland had had long experience in teaching, and found in this new way of educating young children an embodiment of many of her own conceptions, and the perfecting of me hods she had been groping for. Her work began with two chil. dren, and the number during the first year was but eight.

It became necessary to form a Normal Class, and among the pupils was Miss R. J. Weston, who had taught very successfully for many years in the Primary Schools of Boston, and had always, leavened the public school methods with the Kindergarten spirit. After her graduation, in the antumn of 1873, Mis: Weston aseocia. ted herself with Miss Garland in the charge of the Kindergarten and Normal Classes, taking also the special care of the Advanced Kindergarten cliss formed that year. Since then the work has made steady progress, and the whole number of pupils for the last three years has been abcut fifty.

The Kindergarten. The Kindergarten proper includes two divisions; the youngest children, usually three and four years of age, chiefly under Miss Garland's care; the next division, including children in their second Kindergarten year, and from five to a little over six years of age, under the care of an assistant. The Intermediate or “ Connecting Class,” in which writing, reading, and written arithmetic are begun while one period is still devoted to Kindergarten work, is mainly under Miss Weston's direction. The children in this class are over six years of age.

Advanced Class. In the advanced class the elementary studies are carried on, and here the children's powers of observation, thought, and expression developed in the Kindergarten are further strengthened and exer. cised by lessons in natural science; knowing through doing not being laid aside in any of the classes. Children thus far have been members of this class to the age of twelve. An effort is made to preserve unity throughout the work, and in all grades to work for the development of the three-fold nature. In some general exer. cises, as in the daily gymnastics, and occasionally in games, all the children in the building are brought together.

Normal Class. The normal class is usually limited to twenty ladies ; these are chosen from among all applicants, according to natural ability and educational fitness, determined by certain informal examinations or tests. The pupils are required to devote seven months to the study, spending four afternoons each week in class work and an average of two forenoons in the Kindergarten department, as well as a number of weeks in the free Kindergartens of the city. The course of study includes, besides the distinctive theory and practice of the Kindergarten, lectures on moral and religious culture; on hygiene and the phy:ical needs of children; on music in its application to the Kindergarten; and lessons in modelling and free hand drawing.

At the end of their course the students receive certificates, if their course has been satisfactory, signifying approval of their work during the time; a blank is left to be filled in after a year or more of service if they prove themselves competent as Kindergartners.

Conferences of Kindergartners. Once a month a meeting of all the Kindergartners of Boston and its vicinity is held. It has grown from a very small beginning to quite large proportions, its list numbering more than eighty names.

The subjects discussed are those that have practical value in the work of the teachers, as: “How can we best cultivate moral independence in children?” “How preserve the balance between spontaneous self-activity and due regard for the rights of others ?”

Difficulties encountered during the month in the guidance of the children or in the application of Kindergarten principles to work or play, are brought before these meetings, and the reflex influence of the discussion has been found of great value.

EDUCATION IN COLLEGE AND UNIVERSITY STUDIES.

HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENT. Mainly from Lecture by Prof. David Ross, Principal of Glasgow Training College.

PROGRESS IN SCOTLAND. PROF. DUGALD STEWART was one of the earliest, if not the earliest, educators in Scotland to recognize in education both a science and an art, resting on the philosophy of the human mind, and to advocate that teaching should be brought into the curriculum of university lectures and instruction, and that teachers should be treated as a learned profession. In his opening lecture, as published in the * Elements of the Philosophy of the Human Mind,” in 1792, Prof. Stewart remarks:

The most essential objects of education are the two following: First, to cultivate all the various principles of our nature, both speculative and active, in such a manner as to bring them to the greatest perfection of which they are susceptible; and, secondly, by watching over the impressions and associations which the wind receives in early life, to secure it against the influence of prevailing errors, and, as far as possible, to engage its prepossession on the side of truth. It is only upon a philosophical analysis of the mind, that a systematic plan can be founded for the accomplishment of either of these purposes, thus realizing Milton's idea of “ that complete and generous culture, which fits a man to perform justly, skillfully, and magnanimously, all the offices, both private and public, of peace and war."

To instruct youth in the languages and in the sciences is comparatively of little importance, if we are inattentive to the habits they acquire, and are not careful in giving to all their different faculties, and all their different principles of action a proper degree of employment. Abstracting entirely from the culture of their moral powers, how extensive and dift. cult is the business of conducting their intellectual improvement! To watch over the associations which they form in their tender years, to give them early habits of mental activity, to rouse their curiosity and to direct it to proper objects, to exercise their ingenuity and invention, to cultivate in their minds a turn for speculation, and at the same time preserve their attention alive to the objects around them, to awaken their sensibilities to the beauties of nature, and to inspire them with a relish for intellectual enjoyment-these form but a part of the business of education; and yet the execution even of this part requires an acquaintance with the general principles of our nature, which seldom falls to the share of those to whom ihe instruction of youth is commonly intrusted. ..

In whatever way we choose to account for it, whether by original organization, or by the operation of moral causes in very early infancy, no fact can be more undeniable than that there are important differences discernible in the minds of children previous to the period at which, in general, their intellectual education commences. There is, too, a certain hereditary character (whether resulting from physical constitution, or caught from imitation and the influence of situation), which appears remarkably in particular families. One race, for a succession of generations, is distinguished by a genius for the abstract sciences, while it is deficient in vivacity, in imagination, and in taste; another is no less distinguished for wit, and gaiety, and fancy, while it appears incapable of patient attention or of profound research. The system of education which is proper to be adopted in particular cases ought, undoubtedly, to have some reference to these circumstances, and to be calculated, as much as possible, to develop and to cherish those intellectual and active principles in which a natural deficiency is most to be apprehended. ...

Thomas Broron, b. 1778; d. 1820. In 1810 Prof. Brown succeeded Prof. Stewart in the chair of Moral Philosophy at Edinburgh, and advocated substantially the same views in his lectures published in 1818.

There is another art, however, to which knowledge of the intellectual and moral nature of man is still more important-that noble art which has the charge of training the ignorance and imbecility of infancy into all the virtue, and power, and wisdom of maturer manhood- of forming of a creature. the frailest and feeblest, perbaps, which Heaven has made, the intelligent and fearless sovereign of the whole animated creation, the interpreter and adorer, and almost the representative of the Divinity. The art which performs a transformation so wondrous, cannot but be admirable itself; and it is from observation of the laws of mind, that all which is most admirable in it is derived. These laws we must follow indeed, since they exist not by our contrivance, but by the contrivance of that nobler wisdom, from which the very existence of the mind has flowed; yet, if we know them well, we can lead them, in a great measure, even while we follow them. And, while the helpless subject of this great moral art is every moment requiring our aid- with an understanding that may rise, from truth to truth, to the sublimest discoveries, or may remain sunk forever in ignorance, and with susceptibilities of vice that may be repressed, and of virtue that may be cherished-can we know too well the means of checking what is evil, and of fostering what is good? It is too late to lie by, in indolent indulgence of affection, till vice be already formed in the little being whom we love, and to labor then to remove it, and to substitute the virtue that is opposite to it. Vice already formed is almost beyond our power. It is only in the state of latent propensity that we can with much rea- : son expect to overcome it by the moral motives which we are capable of presenting; and to distinguish this propensity before it has expanded itself, and even before it is known to the very mind in which it exists—to tame those passions which are never to rage, and to prepare at a distance the virtues of other years—implies a knowledge of the mental constitution which can be acquired only by a diligent study of the nature, and progress, and successive transformations of feeling. It is easy to know that praise or censure, reward or punishment, may increase or lessen the tendency to the repetition of any particular action; and this, together with the means of elementary instruction, is all which is commonly termed education. But the true science of education is something far more than this. It implies a skillful observation of the past, and that long foresight of the future, which experience and judgment united afford. It is the art of seeing, not the immediate effect only, but the series of effects which may follow any particular thought or feeling, in the infinite variety of possible combinations—the art often of drawing virtue from apparent evil, and of averting evil that may rise from apparent good. It is, in short, the philosophy of the human mind, enriching it, indeed, with all that is useful or ornamental in knowledge, but, at the same time, giving its chief regard to objects of greater moment, averting evil, which all the sciences together could not compensate, or producing good, compared with which all the sciences together are as nothing.

Prof. Jardine, 6. 1743; d. 1827, at Glasgow. In 1774 George Jardine, a graduate of the university, who had become acquainted with the advanced views of education held by French writers on the subject during his residence in Paris, as private tutor of a son of Lord Bruce, from 1771 to 1773, was elected to the Chair of Logic and Rhetoric at Glasgow, and soon inaugurated a new method of treating the subjects of his professorship; and in the course of each year illustrated his views of education, both as a science and art, and thus in reality began university instruction in Pedagogics. In 1818 these lectures were published, with the title of Outlines of a System of Philosophical Education, which were characterized by Blackwood's Magazine of that year “as worthy of all praise."*

Prof. James Bryce, A.M., of Glasgowo. In 1828 Prof. Bryce of Scotland, at that date principal of the academy in Belfast, Ireland, in a plan for a system of national education for Ireland, including hints for the improvement of education in Scotland, advocated the establishment of chairs of education in the universities of Scotland and Ireland. In a letter printed in the Educational News for March 24, 1883, Prof. Bryce writes:

In 1828 I published a pamphlet, in one section of which I advocated at length the view, so eloquently set forth by Dugald Stewart and his successor, that education ought to be reduced to a science founded on the philosophy of the mind, and urged that chairs should be established in the universities to teach it. The work of my friend, Professor Pillans, to which Mr. Ross referred, and which advocates the same view more briefly, was published at the same time, neither of us being aware that the other was writing on the subject. This coincidence of view led to more frequent communication between us personally and by letter, which ripened our acquaintance into intimacy. My pamphlet was sent by a common friend to the late Lord Brougham (then Mr. Brougham), whose warm and generous praise of it induced me to call on him the next time I was in London (1830). I found that he had been thinking long and earnestly on the subject, and had gone into it far more profoundly than any man I had ever spoken to.

About the same time another friend, Mr. James Emerson (afterwards Sir J. Emerson Tennant), to whom I had given a copy of my pamphlet when published, wrote me that he had shown it to Mr. Wyse, M.P. for Tipperary, who was preparing a bill to establish a system of national education for Ireland, and who earnestly desired my remarks, and would send me the bill when printed. He did so; I criticised it freely; and the correspondence soon led to an intimate friendship. Before Mr. Wyse

* These lectures were reprinted almost entire in the Academician, New York, for 1818 and 1819 ; aud copious extracts were also published in the American Journal of Education, Boston, in 1827, by Prof. William Russell, who was a pupil of Jardine at Glasgow, where he graduated in 1817, and to whom he acknowledged his indebtedness in his own Lectures on Normal Training. Prof. B. B. Edwards speaks highly of the influence of Jardine's Outlines on American Education in 1832.

« 上一頁繼續 »