Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 44.djvu/63

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THE PESTALOZZIAN SYSTEM.
THE PESTALOZZIAN SYSTEM.

By Hon. GEORGE S. BOUTWELL.

IN the May number of The Popular Science Monthly is an article by Prof. W. W. Aber, entitled The Oswego State Normal School, in which the writer claims for that institution the credit of introducing and promulgating over the country the system of teaching known as the Pestalozzian system.

Upon the statement made the Oswego School was founded in 1853, but upon ideas far away from the system of Pestalozzi, and it was not until 1859 that "lessons on form, color, size, weight, animals, plants, the human body, and moral instruction were prominent."

As to moral instruction it may be said that there was never a time when it was not prominent in the schools of Massachusetts, with object lessons drawn from passing events. In 1850 or even in 1853 nothing could have been gained in Massachusetts from the system of Pestalozzi as to the wisdom or the method of teaching morals in the public schools.

Physiology had been taught in the normal schools of the State and by the aid of the manikin for nearly two decades. It had been introduced and urged by Horace Mann, who disappeared from the Massachusetts schools about the year 1842.

In the year 1859 there were four State normal schools in Massachusetts, three of which had been in existence for about twenty years, and the junior was established in the year 1854.

In all these schools the art of teaching was taught according to the system of Pestalozzi and by well-informed teachers and professors, and with the knowledge that it was the system of Pestalozzi.

In the year 1856 Prof. Hermann Krüsi, who is credited in the article with aiding in the introduction of the system at Oswego, was employed by me in the Teachers' Institutes and Normal Schools, and he continued in that service for about three months in each year until 1860, inclusive. Of the other teachers and professors who were employed in the Teachers' Institutes and Normal Schools in the fifties I may mention President Felton, of Harvard College, Agassiz, Guyot, Alpheus R. Crosby, George B. Emerson, Lowell Mason, and William Russell, all of whom gave lectures and illustrated the art of teaching on the system of Pestalozzi.

I recall examples of the art of teaching grammar, through the aid of an object, given by Mr. Emerson, and I can not imagine that he has been surpassed to this day.

Previous to the year 1859 the art of teaching according to the