Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

I.

ON PEDAGOGICS.

a

1. “ By Pedagogics we mean the science of the realization of the human rational potentiality into actuality. In the human mind lie certain capabilities which do not manifest themselves unless drawn out by external influence or an inherent principle of development. Although there be no development of these faculties, they may still exist, but are not manifest. They remain in a dormant or latent state, they exist as possibilities, or in potentia. By an educating or developing influence these latent capabilities become manifest, and from the state of potentiality pass over to the state of actuality. "To use an illustration, we may say that the seed makes the growth of the plant possible : it contains the possibility of the plant. Hence, to express the same thought in a different way : The seed is the potentiality of the plant ; sun and soil will transform this potentiality into actuality, the plant itself. All actual, finite existence must have passed through the stage of potential existence. Pedagogics is the science of the transition of man from his natural potentiality to actuality.” (Proceedings of the National Educational Association, 1874, p. 246. Paper by Prof. Louis Soldan.)

2. “Pedagogics as a science must (1) unfold the general idea of Education ; (2) must exhibit the particular phases into which the general work of Education divides itself, and (3) must describe the particular standpoint upon which the general idea realizes itself, or should become real in its special processes at any particular time. It busies itself with developing a priori the idea of Education in the universality and necessity of that idea.

Pedagogics as an art is the concrete individualizing of this abstract idea in any given case.

The idea of Pedagogics in general must distinguish, (1) The nature of Education in general ; (2) Its form ; (3) Its limits. (Rosenkranz, Pedagogics as a System, pp. 7-9, ed. 1873. Translated by Anna C. Brackett.)

3. "Pedagogics is the science and art of so developing, by means of conscious influence on the physical, intellectual, and moral powers of man, the ideas of truth, freedom, and love, that lie at the foundation of his God-derived nature, that he can meet spontaneously, and independently, his human responsibilities.” (Schmidt, Geschichte der Erziehung, p. 1, quoted by Dr. C. W. Bennett in History of the Philosophy of Pedagogics, p. 2, a paper published by E. Stei. ger, New York, 1877.)

II.

ON EDUCATION.

4. Man lives upon the earth as a member of a family, as a member of society, as a member of the state, and as an individual. These ethical relations and the natural surroundings constitute the environment which encircle and mould him. Whatever influence this environment has upon his native capacities and faculties to occasion them to grow into powers, or habits, is called Education.

5. “We are born weak, we have need of help ; we are born destitute of every thing, we stand in need of assistance ; we are born stupid, we have need of understanding. All that we are not possessed of at our birth, and which we require when grown up, is bestowed on us by education. This education we receive from nature, from men, or from circumstances. The constitutional exertion of our organs and faculties is the education of nature ; the uses we are taught to make of that exertion constitute the education given us by men ; and in the acquisitions made by our own experience, on the objects that surround us, consists our education from circumstances. We are formed, therefore, by three kinds of masters.

The pupil, in whom the effects of their different lessons are contradictory, is badly educated, and can never be consistent with himself. He, in whom they are perfectly consonant, and always tend to the same point, bath only attained the end of a complete education. His life and actions demonstrate this, and that he alone is well brought up. Of these three different kinds of education, that of nature depends not on ourselves ; and but in a certain degree that of circumstances : the third, which belongs to men, is that only we have in our power : and even of this we are masters only in imagination ; for who

i can flatter himself he will be able entirely to govern the discourse and actions of those who are about a child ?" (Rousseau, Emilius and Sophia, vol. 1, pp. 4, 5. London, 4 vols., 1783.)

6. Education is the influencing of man by man, and it has for its end to lead him to actualize himself through his own efforts. It is the nature of education only to assist in the producing of that which the subject would strive most earnestly to develop for himself if he had a clear idea of himself.

Man, therefore, is the only fit subject for education. We often speak, it is true, of the education of plants and animals ; but even when we do so, we apply, unconsciously perhaps, other expressions, as rais. ing' and training,' in order to distinguish these. The general form of Education is determined by the nature of the mind, that it really is nothing but what it makes itself to be. The mind is (1) immediate (or potential), but (2) it must

[ocr errors]

6

estrange itself from itself as it were, so that it may place itself over against itself as a special object of attention ; (3) this estrangement is finally removed through a further acquaintance with the object.

Education cannot create : it can only help to develop to reality the previously existent possibility ; it can only help to bring forth to light the hidden life. Education seeks to transform every particular condition so that it shall no longer seem strange to the mind or in any wise foreign to its own nature. This identity of consciousness, and the special character of any thing done or endured by it, we call Habit (habitual conduct or behavior) It conditions formally all progress ; for that which is not yet become habit, but which we perform with design and an exercise of our will, is not yet a part of ourselves.

The limits of Education are found in the idea of its nature, which is to fashion the individual into theoretical and practical rationality.” (Rosenkranz, Pedagogics as a System, pp. 7–23, ed. 1872, St. Louis. Translated by Anna C. Brackett.)

7. Education differs from information or knowledge. The latter is of a special character, the purport of which is to fit a man for bringing about certain definite results by the immediate operation of that knowledge which he possesses. We talk, indeed, of the education of a lawyer, a doctor, and a clergyman-of an engineer, a soldier, or a sailor ; generally meaning by it the information or knowledge which he has acquired

« AnteriorContinuar »