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demanded of the child what it is his joy to give, action. Pestalozzi gave object lessons, by which he taught the child through his instinct of curiosity. It was a great ad


vance upon the teaching that had gone before. Froebel gave, not object lessons, but action, lessons in which the child not only saw, but produced. In this, he was a whole age in advance of Pestalozzi. In that vein of mingled philosophy and poetry so characteristic of him, Froebel says: "The world is sick of thinking, the only cure is doing." A child who is stupid enough in school is bright and active at his plays, full of mental as well as of physical energy. The school, by its false method, benumbs his powers and makes the bright boy a lazy dunce. "Let us try," says Froebel, "to have the child embody all its perceptions in actions; only thus can laziness and inertness be overcome from the beginning."

The Kindergarten is not a primary school. Froebel called the schools for little children "Hot-house-forcing-institutions." He describes the purposes of the Kindergarten to be to "take the oversight of the child before

leading to the Origin of all life and to union with Him."

His whole method founded itself upon the child's nature. A child is social, therefore he must have companions and not be left to the solitude of his home. He is active and fond of making-keep him busy, and help him to produce things. He loves the earth-give him a garden patch. He is an artist-give him music, imitative action, and other appropriate means of expression. He is curious teach him to think and discover. He is religious-lead him to trust in God. On this last he said: "God-trust, rock-firm God-trust, has died out of the world. The Kindergarten shall bring it back so that the next generation of children shall be God's children."

Here is work for a child, not against the grain, but with it; not in violation of God's law in the child's nature, but in loving obedien ence to it. Instead of punishing the lad who


makes pictures upon his slate, the loving Kindergarten master puts him to making pictures, and gently shows him how to produce with his fingers the pictures that float in his brains. Instead of rebuking his curiosity

and constructiveness, the Keilhau schoolmaster yokes them to his purpose. Instead of checking the child's sweetest impulse the impulse to play-he consecrates it. Jean


Paul has said: "Play is the child's first poetry." It was a wise and poetic saying of a poet. But Froebel was not a poet, but a schoolmaster and a philosopher. He went deeper, and said the supreme word about play when he called it "the first work of childhood." It is the child's chief business. Use play to serve the ends of education you may, but to do away with it is the unpardonable sin of the prevalent method of teaching.

It was not in theory alone, however, that Froebel advanced beyond his predecessors, but in the practical devices by which he realized his theory. I have spoken of the "Mother's Cosseting Songs "songs accompanied by gestures. Let us come now to the entrance of the child into the Kindergarten at three years of age; for, since a child craves society, he must have fellows of his own age. Froebel rejected the idealism which insisted that a child must be taught only at home. Few mothers are qualified to teach children, few have the leisure, and no homes can satisfy the child's love of society.

The first "gift" which Froebel puts in the hands of a child is a ball, or rather six soft colored balls. A sphere is of uniform surface, without angles or anything else that can exact of the child the exercise of the faculty of distinguishing one from the other as applied to form. This simplicity is the true significance of the sphere in the child's education. I have no sympathy with the enthu

siastic philosophizing of some of the ablest writers on the Kindergarten, who point out that the sphere is the fundamental form of nature in the cell and the final form in the worlds of the universe. Since the little child playing with colored balls does not and cannot know this, the fact goes for nothing in education, and the idealistic glamour which it throws over the Froebellian system is well calculated to prejudice practical people. In playing with his ball, the child readily considers it as a whole; its qualities of size, weight, color, and form, are taken in their simplicity. Besides, it is a plaything-he rolls, tosses, swings it; his imagination transforms it into living things, and the delightful mental activity produced by it is all but endless. And with the six colored balls, he learns to distinguish the primary and secondary colors.

After the ball, which is the A, B, C book of the Kindergarten, the child receives a sphere, a cylinder, and a cube made of wood. This is the second gift. He must now distinguish forms. "To complete the child's knowledge of the ball," says Miss Blow in language as clear as it is concise, "he must compare it with something else, and as his powers are too weak to discern slight divergences, he needs an object which presents to it the completest possible contrast. Instead of the unity of the ball, we have in the cube variety; instead of the simplicity of the ball, we have in the cube complexity; instead of the unvarying uniformity of the ball, we have in the cube an object which



changes with every modification of position, and every acceleration of movement; instead of the ready movableness of the ball, we have in the cube an object which, as it were, embodies the tendency to repose." The cylinder, again, is the connecting link between the sphere and the cube. With it the pupil is exercised in making yet nicer distinctions, in seeing likenesses to both the companion objects, and in pointing out differences.

The third gift is a cube, divided into eight smaller cubes, pleasing the child's fancy, for taking to pieces and reconstructing in new forms, and restoring again the first form. Here the analytic faculty is exercised in


the simplest way and upon a concrete object. The child plays and learns, and is developed at the same moment. The law of his nature is respected, and the child reaps the benefit. Step by step, the little feet climb up; each gift leads naturally on to its successor. The fourth, fifth, and sixth gifts are cubes divided into blocks of other and different forms, increasing the child's opportunity to distinguish, and his resources for creating new combinations of triangular and oblong blocks with cubes. The passage from the solid to the surface is approached in the oblong blocks into which the cube is divided. In the seventh gift the transition is made, and we have the embodied surface in a series of tablets. But the link of logical progress is never broken. The square tablet is the side of the cube with which the child is already familiar; a diagonal line through the square gives us our first form of the triangle, and every other step is alike carefully connected, and an easy and natural passage is made for the child's mind. The interlacing slats of the eighth gift are the stepping-stone from surface to line, and then sticks and wires are


used until, in the "occupation" of pricking paper with a pin, the child reaches the point. From the solid, which is the concrete, he has traveled to the point, which is the abstract. It is the road to all philosophy.

He has broken the first little foot-path of human thought. It will one day become a highway.

We have now got through with the "gifts," properly speaking, though the German writers call all the material used in the Kindergarten by this name. But Miss Blow, whose published lecture is perhaps the clearest brief statement of the philosophical basis of the Kindergarten that we have yet had in English, insists on drawing a broad line of philosophical distinction between the exercises on the " gifts" and the "occupations." The main purpose in the gifts has been to train the pupil to analyze, to pick to pieces and see the inside, to proceed in a childlike fashion by early steps from the concrete toward the abstract, from the solid

toward the points. In the occupations, which we are about to consider, the main tendency is the other way; here the pupil is put to constructing,-traveling backward from point to line, from line to surface, from surface to solid, from the abstract to the concrete, from the part to the whole. But let us not deceive ourselves by our love of systematic thinking. It is only in the main currents that the two kinds of Kindergarten teaching set in opposite ways. For all through the exercises with the gifts the pupil has been turned back upon his own track. He has analyzed by separating into parts, but he has straightway built the parts into new creations. And more and more, as he approaches the line and point (in the slats and sticks), is he chiefly occupied with creation. And, again, though in the occupations his chief business becomes the making of things, yet at every step he turns and looks back, analyzing that which his hands have made. Thus the two great modes of thought become familiar and easy to him.

It is impossible to describe the occupations with any fullness in a brief and unscientific


article such as this. I must therefore depend | upon the graver's art to present to the eye things which are exceedingly difficult to describe. But neither by pen nor picture can I show, in these limits, the step-by-step progress of the little learner.

With the balls, the blocks, the tablets, the interlacing slats, the sticks and the wires, the pupil has learned to dissect, to rebuild, to count a little, to imitate, as his material will allow, visible objects; to be accurate in description, and careful and precise in handiwork. He has learned to use his eyes, his limbs, and his faculties in ways appropriate to his age, and satisfying to his instincts.


He is now ready to begin the "occupations," technically so called.

The gifts stop with the line in the sticks and wires. The process of abstraction cannot well be carried further until we pass to the more synthetic occupations, though I have seen the laying of pebbles and shells in various forms introduced to complete the series. But there is danger of pushing theory and system too far. It seems to me that Froebel appreciated what some of us forget, that when analysis becomes complete it can go no further. Consequently the point can hardly come at all into the analytic series. The gifts leave off with the line. The occupations begin with the point. The child is given a perforating needle, set in a handle. With this he makes holes in bits of paper, producing here, as with the material of the gifts, a great variety of forms-forms of beauty, or symmetrical figures, forms of life, or imitations of objects, and mathematical forms, or geometric figures. At every step he is encouraged to invent figures of his own, and the free productions of tiny Kindergarteners are the most wonderful things I know. After the form has been produced by perforation, the pupil embroiders it with silk or worsted, or card-board. He is thus taught to think synthetically,-after the

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manner of a child-to make lines out of points.

Having arrived at the line in return from the point toward the solid, the pupil is ready to begin drawing. In the old schools how many a boy got beaten for "making pictures on his slate." In the Kindergarten this irrepressible instinct is encouraged to develop itself, and in its development it is made a powerful engine for the general training of the child. The chief difficulty with a little child is that it cannot "make anything," in all its struggles with a pencil. The figure as conceived in the child's mind mocks the clumsy achievement. But the gentle hand of Friedrich Froebel is stretched out to help the little fellow to do what he seeks to do. Already with block, and slats, and sticks, and wires, and perforating needles, he has produced pictures. He stands, pencil in hand, ready to work, and behold. the practical help which the provident Froebel has put before him. His slate at first is grooved, and afterward his paper is ruled in lines crossing at right angles, Placing his slate pencil in the groove, the trembling and unskilled little fingers are guided. He succeeds from the first in making a straight line. For good, wise old Froebel is holding and guiding his hand. From straight marks one square in length he proceeds progressively. He is able to form triangles by a series of parallel lines, and then symmetric figures by combinations of triangles. At every step he is helped by devices which

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leave him still a great deal of freedom, and give him always a sense of power. He arrives at last at complicated figures.

Next comes the occupation of paperweaving and interlacing. Our pupil has got

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occupation of weaving colored papers gives | him a far larger field for the exercise of his faculties than he had in slat-interlacing. Mark what Froebel expects to accomplish

too, children love to give pleasure to parents and friends. The little mats produced in weaving are used for gifts, and thus the heart is enlarged. The paper-weaving exer

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