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all kinds of natural objects; but that these should be arranged into certain groups or classes, according to certain resemblances, in order to accustom the youth even from the beginning to make comparison and classification follow after observation. This is, in other words, recommending that those senses should receive instruction which, as we have just said, generally go without,-in order that when the youth comes to the season for reflection and the choice of some special pursuit, he may find his mind stored with those images and impressions which are the foundation of all knowledge of nature. We believe the author of this treatise does not contend for more than this, in a school course.
There are, he remarks, three principal objections made to the introduction of the natural sciences into schools, even by those who admit the usefulness of this knowledge. These objections are want of materials; want of teachers; and want of time. We shall endeavour to give the substance of his answers to these three objections; and first, as to the want of means.
"The want of means: this objection applies very differently to different branches of the subject. As to plants, every place possesses some, and let the teacher confine himself to these, leaving the pupil to learn other plants as he may have opportunities. The same may be said of animals, some of which are found everywhere. A little expenditure would be required for shelves, stuffing, &c. if any attempt was made at forming a collection. The mineral kingdom seems farthest removed from the reach of poor establishments, for little advantage is to be got from the commonest and cheapest stones. It is from crystals that most is to be learned, and it is a pity they are not so plentiful as flowers. However, common crystals. which are also the most instructive, can be got tolerably cheap, and in some situations may be collected by the teacher himself; besides this, duplicates are often found in various collections, which by looking after such things may sometimes be procured. For physics and chemistry very little apparatus is sufficient, if we limit ourselves to what is simple, which indeed is often better adapted to the purpose than anything more elaborate and complex.
Want of teachers: as long as teachers are altogether brought up in philological schools, the thing cannot be remedied. Philology is the first and last thing that they learn, and philology is what they have to teach. Such persons have not time to acquire any other knowledge, even if they had the best inclination. But if part of those, who are intended for teachers, were to devote themselves to languages and history,
and another part to natural knowledge, then we might have teachers of this latter department for all our schools. When a love for this branch of knowledge is once awakened, zeal and talent will overcome all difficulties; of which we have an example in the history of the learned languages. Till the middle of the fifteenth century, there was a great deficiency of teachers of Latin and Greek in Germany, and yet in how short a time was this deficiency supplied! A few zealous teachers animated with a love of the pursuit soon formed other teachers, who in their turn founded fresh schools of philology. In the same way, a few teachers of the natural sciences might easily give an impulse to this branch of study.'
The third objection is the want of time, which is perhaps the most difficult of all to answer fully. We shall endeavour to compress Raumer's arguments into as short a space as possible.
To say that time is wanting, is the same thing as to say that every thing which is taught in schools is of more importance than the knowledge of nature, and that no part of the ordinary instruction can give way to it. Without entering into any examination of the comparative value of philology and natural science, we may remark, that in universities, two main branches of study are recognized, the philological and historical on one side, and the mathematical and natural sciences on the other. The two are thus considered as of equal importance, and as containing between them the elements of complete education. Yet the schools attend to one only, and neglect the other; and the reason given is, that as both cannot be learned together, it is better to learn one thing well than two things imperfectly; and it is the universities, and not schools, that ought to provide instruction for those who wish to occupy themselves with natural science. But to this we may reply, that schools ought to prepare youths for the universities, and of course for all the branches of study taught in them. Do they do this? certainly not in the department of natural science, but they rather send them there with all their feelings deadened towards this branch of knowledge. A distinguished naturalist has remarked, that every student should bring with him to the university, at least a thousand names of natural objects, not mere empty names, but expressions that mark the impressions, which he has received and appropriated from external objects. A youth thus prepared might profitably attend a lecturer, who would then present him with general views, and show him how to fashion into a science the materials that he had brought with him. In fact it is as impossible for a lecturer on the natural sciences to teach
youths who come totally unprepared, as it would be for a professor of philology to read an author with his class when they are unacquainted with the vocabulary. To all this it is replied this may be true, but it is better to learn languages alone at school, and to learn them well, than to learn imperfectly both languages, and something else besides. But we assert on the other hand, that it is possible to do both well-to attend to one, and not neglect the other. Let us consider the period of a child's life from his seventh to his eleventh or twelfth year, and bear in mind how much Latin he learns during this time. So little is it in general, that, as far as our experience goes, we think he could acquire as much in three months when he is eleven or twelve years old, as he gets with great labour in the three or four years before that age. We have known instances of boys, who begun Latin rather late, overtaking in a short time others who had com menced much earlier.
"The facility which children possess in these early years of fixing in their memory the impressions made by plants, animals, and stones, cannot have escaped the notice of any observer. It is a kind of instinct by which they are led to make themselves acquainted with all they see around them; and why should we not follow nature's guidance, and teach them during this period, so favourable to lively impressions, something else instead of Latin, which is only taught because children must be kept employed, and most masters can find no better occupation for them? According to our plan, a boy twelve years of age would know more of natural science than most students at the beginning of their university course, and more than many do at the end.'
Our author then goes on to say, that at the age of twelve or thereabouts, the study of languages and history might for a time occupy the whole of the pupil's attention; and he proceeds to show how the study of natural science will have prepared him for that of language. The reasoning under this second head does not appear to us to be so conclusive as what we have just given in the extract; nor do we think the argument requires carrying any further. It will convince those who are already disposed towards the author's views, while any thing more would perhaps only leave the advocates of the opposite system pretty much in the same opinions that they entertain at present. We must confess we think the author's views are sound and practical. We would certainly defer the study of Latin to about the tenth or eleventh year, because we feel convinced, from experience, that a boy would
then learn more in a short time than he can during several years at an earlier period, and he would learn it too with much more pleasure to himself and satisfaction to his master. There is an objection sometimes made to deferring the study of the learned languages, which is also used as an argument for beginning* Greek before Latin-that a boy finds more difficulty in mastering the great variety of forms and inflections at the age of twelve or thirteen than he does at an earlier age-and that from the age of seven or eight to about ten, he is fit for nothing else but committing to memory what he does not understand. If it were necessary to commit grammars to memory, in order to understand a language, the objection might have some little weight; but grammars contain very little of a language; they leave out what is quite as important as they put in, and are, in their present forms, (though things necessary, and also useful, when iu a reasonable shape,) one of the impediments to the acquisition of what they profess to teach. To teach, then, Latin and Greek, we bid the instructor do what is done in every other science-classify; for without classification of words, a pupil will never learn, and by the aid of it ne will learn words and their meanings and their relationship, just as he learns, by a similar process, families of plants, and animals and stones. And all this, which is the only rational way of learning a language, and particularly a dead one, he will do better at the age of twelve or thirteen than at the age of seven or eight.
Our author concludes his answer to the three objections with a remark, which we ought not to omit, as it may prevent any misunderstanding about his views. To prevent misconception of my meaning I must add, that many students of natural science keep themselves on so elevated a pinnacle, that when they hear of instruction in this branch, they think forthwith of what the latest scientific work or journal contains. They have so far forgotten their own childhood and the infancy of science, as to be utterly incapable of letting themselves down to the level of the comprehension of children. Such persons I have heard say," Natural science should not be taught at school." They are right, if, by our term "natural science," we meant to express as they do— "that which is adapted to the comprehension of a man,—that which is mathematically exact." But by "natural science," as taught at a school, we mean only that foundation of sensuous impressions on which all future scientific knowledge must be raised.'
*We are not arguing against beginning Greek before Latin.
As a specimen of the mode of instruction recommended by Raumer, we may give the substance of his style of teaching botany*.
The plants were collected partly in the neighbourhood of Nürnberg, and partly in the garden. Common garden plants, though they may not originally belong to the country, should be included in the course of instruction, just as in natural history, domestic animals, whatever may be their native country, should be considered as the most familiar and more nearly related to man.
'During the hour of instruction one plant was examined after another, and then the name given to it by the teacher. Towards the close of the hour each pupil wrote down on a piece of paper the names, and then transferred them into a book, arranged in the following way:
Time of Year.
Name of Plant. Place brought from.
Remarks, e.g. Has a bulbous root.
Each pupil was at liberty to write under the head of "remarks" just what he pleased, which was generally something about the colour of the flowers, as to a youthful eye this is the most striking of their properties. It is a very great mistake to require from a beginner a comple description of a thing, for this only tends to destroy the general impression by resolving it in more individual qualities.
These little books may be used in the next year as a kind of botanical calendar, which will show the children in what places particular flowers are found at certain seasons. But the instruction of the succeeding year must not be mere repetition; the pupil must advance in the following manner :— (1.) Several natural families of plants, whose varieties are difficult to distinguish, such as umbelliferous plants, grasses, &c. must be accurately examined by the eye, and their differences clearly comprehended.
(2.)—The pupils themselves should learn to classify plants, and assign them to their proper subdivisions and their natural families; and thus the eye will be led to a more exact comprehension of resemblances and differences.
(3.) The pupil can now examine more carefully the various parts of the plants with which he has become acquainted, when the teacher feels convinced that the general impression is so firmly fixed that such an examination of the individual parts cannot destroy it.
C Thus the pupil advances to a more scientific kind of in*This follows his explanation of the way of teaching mineralogy. We have chosen the botany, because it will be more intelligible to most readers,