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ledge, but were dull or wrong-headed, could never be made good schoolmasters. No latitude whatever must be left to the Commission of Examination at departure. Here, intelligence must show itself in positive attainments, since opportunity to acquire them has been given. Nothing but negligence can have stood in their way, and that negligence would be the greatest of all faults. This latter examination, therefore, must be directed to ascertain the acquired, and not the natural fitness. But in the examination on entering, I wish that the Commission should more particularly inquire into the talents and natural bent, and, above all, into the moral character and disposition. A little discretionary power ought to be confided to it. This applies more especially to those Normal Schools, the course of which lasts two or three years. Three years of study will not give intelligence; but they will give all the necessary attainments in abundance.
VII. It is my earnest desire, that conferences* should be formed among the schoolmasters of each canton. I wish it, but have but little hope of it, at least at first. Such conferences suppose both too great a love for their 'profession, and too great a familiarity with the spirit of association. A thing much more easy to accomplish is, that during the vacations of the primary schools, a certain number of masters should repair to the Normal School of the department to perfect themselves in this or that particular branch, and to receive lessons appropriate to their wants, as is the case in Prussia. This time would be very usefully, and even very agreeably employed; for the young masters would be brought into contact with their old instructors and companions, and would have an opportunity of renewing and cementing old friendships. Here would be an interesting prospect for them every year. For such an object, we must not grudge a little expense for their journey and their residence. I should therefore wish that the vacations of the primary schools, which must be regulated by certain agricultural labors, should always precede those of the primary Normal Schools, in order that the masters of the former might be able to take advantage of the lessons in the latter, and might be present at the parting examinations of the third year, which would be an excellent exercise for the young acting masters.
I am convinced of the utility of having an inspector of primary schools for each department, who would spend the greater part of the year in going from school to school, in stirring up the zeal of the masters, in giving a right direction to that of the communal committees, and in keeping up a general and very beneficial harmony among the maires and the cures. It is unnecessary for me to say, that this inspector ought always to be some old master of a Normal School, selected for his talents, and still more for his tried character. But if this institution, which is universal in Germany, were not popular among us, nearly the same results might be obtained by authorizing the director, or in default of him, some masters of the Normal School, to visit a certain number of the schools of the department every year, during the vacation of their own school, and to do what would be done by the inspector above named. They would find great facilities from their old habits of intercourse and friendship with most of the masters, over whom they would exercise almost a paternal influence. On the other hand, they would gain by these visits, and would acquire a continually increasing experience, which would turn to the advantage of the Normal Schools. You have seen that in Prussia, besides the visits of the circle-inspectors, the directors of Normal Schools make visitations of this kind, for which they receive some very slender remuneration; for these little journeys are sources of pleasure to them, as well as of utility to the public.
• See notes to Professor Stowe's Essay, page 239.
VIII. Let solidity, rather than extent, be aimed at, in the course of instruction. The young masters must know a few things fundamentally, rather than many things superficially. Vague and superficial attainments must be avoided at any rate. The steady continuous labor which must be gone through to know anything whatsoever thoroughly, is an admirable discipline for the mind. Besides, nothing is so prolific as one thing well known; it is an excellent starting point for a thousand others. The final examinations must be mainly directed to the elements, they must probe to the bottom, they must keep solidity always in view.
IX. Avoid ambitious methods and exclusive systems: attend, above all, to results, that is to say, to solid acquirements; and, with a view to them, consult experience. Clear explanations on every subject, connectedness and continuity in the lessons, with an ardent love for the business of teaching, are worth all the general rules and methods in the world.
X. A branch of study common to all schools ought to be the French tongue; the just pronunciation of words, and thc purity and correctness of language. By this means the national language would insensibly supersede the rude unintelligible dialects and provincialisms. In the Normal Schools where German is still the language of the people, German and French must both be taught, in order not to offend against local attachments, and at the same time to implant the spirit of nationality.
XI. Without neglecting physical science, and the knowledge applicable to the arts of life, we must make moral science, which is of" far higher importance, our main object. The mind and the character are what a true master ought, above all, to fashion. We must lay the foundations of moral life in the souls of our young masters, and therefore we must place religious instruction, that is, to speak distinctly, Christian instruction,-in the first rank in the education of our Normal Schools. Leaving to the cure, or to the pastor of the place, the care of instilling the doctrines peculiar to each communion, we must constitute religion a special object of instruction, which must have its place in each year of the Normal course; so that at the end of the entire course, the young masters, without being theologians, may have a clear and precise knowledge of the history, doctrines, and, above all, the moral precepts of Christianity. Without this, the pupils, when they become masters, would be incapable of giving any other religious instruction than the mechanical repetition of the catechism, which would be quite insufficient. I would particularly urge this point, which is the most important and the most delicate of all. Before we can decide on what should constitute a true primary Normal School, we must determine what ought to be the character of a simple elementary school, that is, a humble village school. The popular schools of a nation ought to be imbued with the religious spirit of that nation. Now without going into the question of diversities of doctrine, is Christianity, or is it not, the religion of the people of France? It can not be denied that it is. I ask then, is it our object to respect the religion of the people, or to destroy it ? If we mean to set about destroying it, then, I allow, we ought by no means to have it taught in the people's schools. But if the object we propose to ourselves is totally different, we must teach our children that religion which civilized our fathers; that religion whose liberal spirit prepared, and can alone sustain, all the great institutions of modern times. We must also permit the clergy to fulfil their first duty,—the superintendence of religious instruction. But in order to stand the test of this superintendence with honor, the schoolmaster must be enabled to give adequate religious instruction; otherwise parents, in order to be sure that their children receive a good religious education, will require us to appoint ecclesiastics as schoolmasters, which, though assuredly better than having irreligious schoolmasters, would be liable to very serious objections of various kinds. The less we desire our schools to be ecclesiastical, the more ought they to be Christian. It necessarily follows, that there must be a course of special religious instruction in our Normal Schools. Religion is, in my eyes, the best, perhaps the only, basis of popular education. I know something of Europe, and never have I seen good schools where the spirit of Christian charity was wanting. Primary instruction flourishes in three countries, Holland, Scotland, and Germany; in all it is profoundly religious. It is said to be so in America. The little popular instruction I ever found in Italy came from the priests. In France, with few exceptions, our best schools for the poor are those of the Freres de la Doctrine Chretienne, (Brothers of the Christian Doctrine.) These are facts which it is necessary to be incessantly repeating to certain persons. Let them go into the schools of the poor, let them learn what patience, what resignation, are required to induce a man to persevere in so toilsome an employment. Have better nurses ever been found than those benevolent nuns who bestow on poverty all those attentions we pay to wealth? There are things in human society which can neither be conceived nor accomplished without virtue,- that is to say, when speaking of the mass, without religion. The schools for the middle classes may be an object of speculation; but the country schools, the miserable little schools in the south, in the west, in Britanny, in the mountains of Auvergne, and, without going so far, the lowest schools of our great cities, of Paris itself, will never hold out any adequate inducement to persons seeking a remunerating occupation. There will doubtless be some philosophers inspired with the ardent philanthropy of Saint Vincent de Paule, without his religious enthusiasm, who would devote themselves to this austere vocation; but the question is not to have here and there a master. We have more than forty thousand schools to serve, and it were wise to call religion to the aid of our insufficient means, were it but for the alleviation of the pecuniary burdens of the nation. Either you must lavish the treasures of the state, and the revenues of the communes, in order to give high salaries, and even pensions, to that new order of tradesmen called schoolmasters; or you must not imagine you can do without Christian charity, and that spirit of poverty, humility, courageous resignation, and modest dignity, which Christianity, rightly understood and wisely taught, can alone give to the teachers of the people. The more I think of all this, the more I look at the schools in this country, the more I talk with the directors of Normal Schools and councilors of the ministry, the more I am strengthened in the conviction that we must make any efforts or any sacrifices to come to a good understanding with the clergy on the subject of popular education, and to constitute religion a special and very carefully-taught branch of instruction in our primary Normal Schools.
I am not ignorant that this advice will grate on the ears of many persons, and that Ishall be thought extremely devout at Paris. Yet it is not from Rome, but from Berlin, that I address you. The man who holds this language to you is a philosopher, formerly disliked, and even persecuted, by the priesthood; but this philosopher has a mind too little affected by the recollection of his own insults, and is too well acquainted with human nature and with history, not to regard religion as an indestructible power: genuine Christianity, as a means of civilization for the people, and a necessary support for those on whom society imposes irksome and humble duties, without the slightest prospect of fortune, without the least gratification of self-love.
I am now arrived at the termination of this long report. May it be of use to you in the important work which now engages your attention! My illustrious colleague, M. Cuvier, has already exhibited to France the organization of primary instruction in Holland. The experience of Germany, and particularly of Prussia, ought not to be lost upon us. National rivalries or antipathies would here be completely out of place. The true greatness of a people does not consist in borrowing nothing from others, but in borrowing from all whatever is good, and in perfecting whatever it appropriates.
I am as great an enemy as any one to artificial imitations ; but it is mere pusillanimity to reject a thing for no other reason than that it has been thought good by others. With the promptitude and justness of the French understanding, and the indestructible unity of our national character, we may assimilate all that is good in other countries without lear of ceasing to be ourselves. Placed in the center of Europe, possessing every variety of climate, bordering on all civilized nations, and holding up perpetual intercourse with them, France is essentially cosmopolitan; and indeed this is the main source of her great influence. Besides, civilized Europe now forms but one great family. We constantly imitate England in all that concerns outward life, the mechanical arts, and physical refinements; why, then, should we blush to borrow something from kind, honest. pious, learned Germany, in what regards inward life and the nurture of the soul?
For my own part, I avow my high esteem and peculiar affection for the German people; and I am happy that my mission proved to them that the revolution of July,--that revolution, as necessary and as just as the legitimate right of self-defense ; that revolution, sprung from the unanimous resistance of a great people to a capricious aggression, an open violation, not of hypothetical rights, but of liberties secured by law,is not, as its enemies pretend, a return to the impiety, the licentiousness and the corruption of a fatal period; but, on the contrary, the signal for a general improvement in opinion and in morals; since one of the first acts of the new government has been the holy enterprise of the amelioration of public education, of which the instruction of the people is the basis."
With this preparation,-a good beginning already made in several departments, and the long and successful experience of Prussia and other German states before him,-a regulation was framed by M. Guizot, and sanctioned by the Council of Public Instruction, by which, in connection with the law of 1833, a system of Normal Schools has been established and is fast regenerating the elementary instruction in France. The following is an outline of the system:
Each department is obliged, either alone or in conjunction with other neighboring departments, to support one Normal School for the education of its schoolmasters.
The expense of this establishment for building, apparatus, and instruction, is borne mainly by the department, whilst the direction of the education given in it is vested in the Minister of Public Instruction, who is responsible to the Chambers, of both of which he is an ex officio member, for the right exercise of his power.
The immediate management of Normal Schools and of the model schools annexed is committed to a Director who is appointed by the Minister, on the presentation of the prefect of the department, and the rector of the academy. These directors are paid wholly or partially from the public funds set apart by the department for public instruction. If the department refuses or neglects to provide sufficient funds, the government enforces the collection of the necessary tax; if the department is overburdened, the government contributes its aid.
To meet the expense of board, the pupils are assisted by gratuities, or bursaries, which the communes, departments, the university, the state, and even individuals, have established for this purpose. These burses are usually granted in halves or quarters, the rest of the expense being borne by the pupils. Of 1944 pupil-teachers in 1834, 1308 were burears of the departments, 118 of the communes, 245 of the state, and 273 were maintained at their own expense.
Every candidate for admission to these institutions, and to the enjoyment of a bourse, or any part of one, must bind himself to follow the profession of a parish schoolmaster for ten years at least after quitting the institution; and to reimburse it for the whole expense of his maintenance, if he fail to fulfill his decennial engagement. He must have completed his sixteenth year; and besides the ordinary elementary acquirements, inust produce evidence both of good previous character, and of general intelligence and aptitude to learn. Most of the bursaries are adjudged upon a comparative trial among competitors, who are likely to become every year more numerous: and the examination for admission is so well arranged and conducted, that it tends to raise higher and higher the standard of previous acquirement.
The course of instruction and training to which the youth is thus introduced, occupies two years of eleven months each, i.e. from the first of October to the first of the ensuing September, and embraces the following objects:
Ist. Moral and religious instruction. The latter, in as far as it is distinct from the former, is given by the clergyman of the particular faith which the pupil happens to profess.
2d. Reading, with the grammar of their own language.
3d. Arithmetic, including an intimate and practical acquaintance with the legal system of weights and measures. This knowledge is made to hold so prominent a part in the program of instruction, as affording the best means of introducing that admirable system into the habits of the French people, among whom, from ignorance and prejudice, it is still far from being generally adopted
4th. Linear drawing, and construction of diagrams, land-measuring, and other applications of practical geometry.
5th. Elements of physical science, with a special view to the purposes of ordinary life. 6th. Músic, taught by the eye as well as by the ear. 7th. Gymnastics.
8th. The elements of general geography and history, and the particular geography and history of France.
9th. The pupils are instructed, and, wherever the locality admits, exercised also, in the rearing of esculent vegetables, and in the pruning and grafting of trees.
10th. They are accustomed to the drawing out of the simpler legal forms and civil deeds.
A library for the use of the pupils is fitted up within the premises; and a sum is set apart every year for the purchase of such works as the Council of Public Instruction may judge likely to be useful to the young schoolmasters.
The course of study is, for the present, limited to two years, instead of three, which is the term ultimately contemplated as the most desirable. During the second of those years, instruction in the principles of the art of teaching is kept constantly in view; and for the last six months, in particular, the pupils are trained to the practical application of the most approved methods, by being employed as assistants in the different classes of the primary schools, which are invariably annexed to the Normal, and form part and parcel of the establishment.
The director, besides general superintendence, is charged with some important branch of the instruction; the rest is devolved on his adjuncts, or assistant masters, who reside in the establishment.
Any graduate of a Normal School can attend any of the courses of in