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each subject before commencing his instructions. On this account I recommend the use of a printed text-book. I do it in consideration of the situation of beginners, and, indeed, of most teachers, who, if not always, yet for the most part, want time to prepare their own text-books and course of instruction. The supposition is to be made, that printed text-books have a greater worth and advantage than the unripe productions of a beginner. To deliver a course of instruction in any one department, corresponding to moderate, yet only just demands, is no easy task. Only the most dexterous and profound teachers are equal to it. I therefore advise a beginner not to plan out his own course at first.
The capacity for it is necessarily wanting to him. It can only spring out of experience.
“But neither should he bind himself, life-long or slavishly, to the text-book. Only in the beginning does he need to follow it strictly. The so called selection of the best out of all the known, usually destroys all unity and steadiness of mind. It is far better to follow a one-sided plan, than to work with no plan, or to allow one's self to be ruled by the supposed momentary wants of the scholars, or by one's own caprice, as is sometimes done. I have known young teachers who have tried this selection of the best out of all the known. Generally speaking, nothing comes of it. I therefore lay much stress upon the above counsel.
“ It will easily be perceived that the best text-book, when taken for the ground-work, seldom answers for all purposes, or, in all single parts, suits the case either of individual children or of a school. Such a universal course has not been given, and never will be given. Every
author goes upon certain presumptions, determined conceptions, arising out of the outward relations of the schools and teachers for whom he writes; he himself belongs to the present time, pregnant with new and ever unfolding treasures ; and every single man has, as an individual, his peculiarities. How can it be expected that a guide should ever be written, suitable for all cases, and that would require no change, no improvement ? Such a demand would be unjust. No book can take the place of the mind of the teacher ; therefore every pedagogic author makes the requisition, for the use of his books, that they shall be used with a thoughtful mind, and he is willing to admit of alterations, be they omissions or new arrangements, additions, or amplifications, called for by the circumstances of individual relations, in which a teacher finds himself with his scholars. To enable him to do this, even gradually, there must be conscientious preparation of each particular lesson as it stands, attentive consideration of the scholars’ minds during instruction and recitation, and a particular registering of one's experience. By these means he arrives at last at such a ripeness that he can either do without the text-book, or prepare one of
“ In order that he may give this undivided attention to the scholar, during instruction, I insist upon it that he shall have no text-book in his hand at the time. The real instruction-book, the fountain from which the pupil draws, must be the thinking mind of the teacher, who, with independent sovereignty of the subject matter, gives to each particular scholar what he especially needs,—to one milk, to another meat. The teacher must, to speak fig. uratively, understand the art of cooking. The material out of which the food is to be prepared is the same, and is delivered to him. But the preparation of it, according to the actual appetites and powers of digestion of his scholars, is his own affair ; no one can do it for him.
“A good text-book gives the hints, but the peculiar adaptations are not even supposed, and still less found abundant. If the teacher has not a certain independence of it, a free and gay unfolding of the subject is not to be thought of. If he depend upon the book, as upon a stay, an unfettered mind is rendered purely impossible. There can be no attention to what is passing in the minds around him, no comparison of the natural unfolding of the mind with the plan of the course he is pursuing, therefore no opportunity of improving either. Let our two hints, then, be remembered ; 1st, after perfect acquaintance with the adopted text-book, study other works upon the same subject; and 2d, consult the record of one's own thoughts and experiences, by which one may introduce and hold fast a continuous improvement in a knowledge of different methods, and skill in their application.
“When a teacher is perfectly familiar with a certain text-book, he needs no longer prepare each separate lesson ; but the necessity of amplification of views and
1 of the refreshment of his own mind, never ceases. The latter need increases much with years, and we regret to acknowledge how many teachers lose their original zeal, and at last, perhaps, fall asleep entirely.
There are many causes of this evil. It lies in the nature of stirring minds to fix with distinguished zeal upon those subjects, and also to teach them with ardor, which they have not yet quite penetrated. But as soon as they are satisfac
torily investigated, their interest in them abates, and their zeal cools. The charm of novelty has vanished, and the love of inquiry has received its reward. When the zeal of a young teacher is upheld, therefore, by the pleasure of penetrating a subject upon which he is not quite satisfied, and not by love for teaching, chiefly, we may surely expect that this zeal will gradually cool. The true, undying zeal of a teacher must be grounded in love for his occupation, and interest in the developement of childhood, so that it will be more or less indifferent to him what he teaches. He wishes to teach ; it is his joy, his delight, his calling.
" But in order to interest and refresh the mind continuously,--for what strong man has not felt the need of amplification of views and refreshment of spirit after the eternal recurrence of the same subjects, and the life-long occupation with one and the same thing ?-let him constantly study the writings of other men upon the subject, as well as the workings of the fresh minds under his charge. His refreshment of mind is not to be found in the newness of the material ; it must be sought in the variety of views upon it, and in the manifold ways of handling and treating it. It ever characterizes the cultivated teacher, that he understands how to handle a subject in various ways, and herein lies the advantage of the public school over private education, that it teaches one to consider the same subject on many sides ; indeed, in its adaptation to the peculiarities of each of the assembled minds.
" The essence of culture lies far more in the generality and universality of views than in the mass of knowl
The teacher should, therefore, study other works beside those on the art of teaching. Of peculiar influence upon a teacher's culture is the most accurate possible knowledge of psychology and logic. For psychology or anthropology is the ground science of the teacher's art. Logic unveils to the seeker principles of reasoning and the dependence of the different departments of knowledge on each other, the unfolding of which is the chief work of the teacher. We mean not an outward comprehension of abstract forms and formulas, found in many hard compendiums of logic, but a living, animated comprehension of the forms of the thinking mind, and a living perception of the functions of the knowing mind, in all special manifestations of its activity. If the teacher unites in such a manner the thorough scrutiny of single departments of instruction, with the study of universal works, he arrives at last at the desired ripeness of culture, both in general and in particular.”
* The above principle will surely not be so understood, or misunderstood, as to be interpreted that the essence of culture lies in the knowledge of laws and rules,-in short, of abstractions, without the knowledge of the single, direct, and concrete. That would be a pitíful mistake. For the first reposes upon the last, the former sweeps, without the latter, into empty, hollow space. First comes the knowledge of the single and special; only thereby shall man not remain stationary, but rise into the universal and moral lying with it, recognize the universal in the particular, and then learn to deduce it from all things.--Note by the Author.
[Several observations which were made during the reading of this paper, and which were thought to be rendered necessary by the obscurity of the paper when heard, would doubtless be considered superfluous by the attentive reader; as they were a repetition or amp!ifica tion of the ideas of the German author. ]