|THE EDUCATION OF CHILDREN.|
IN studying the plans laid down by Friedrich Froebel for the education of young children, one is reminded of a passage in his letter to Krause, where he says:
Froebel in his own childhood had suffered much from this contradiction in life. He had a severe father and an unsympathetic step-mother; and had himself felt the ill effects of a stern and rigid rule, which merely required conformity to the given law without inquiring if conformity were possible. He had found this kind of rule a hindrance to true development, inasmuch as organic growth can not take place according to rules prescribed from without, but only according to the natural law. Gradually the idea took shape in his mind that this contradiction was not a necessary condition of life, that the soul and the outer world are not meant to be forever at war, that when we have learned to live aright this conflict will cease and they will be at one.
The idea of the introduction of harmony into education and into life seems to be the keynote of all Froebel's teaching. At the time that the thought above quoted from the letter of Krause first came to him he had not as yet realized that this harmony might be effected by a change in education; he came gradually to see that the object for which he was striving was the substitution of development for repression and arbitrary rule. He says again in the same letter:
The principles of Froebel, when rightly understood, are not only a guide enabling us to form natural systems of education,