Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 41.djvu/395

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KINDERGARTENS AND MANUAL TRAINING.

provement must be accomplished before they are twelve years old, and we find that the earlier we begin the better."

An instrument seems to be provided in the kindergarten, in which a thoroughly thought-out science of instruction adapted to the child-mind is put in practice with children as soon as they show a longing for the companionship of other children; it is an institution which bridges over the chasm between the nursery and the school.

Philanthropists, looking at human material as a whole, perceive that true economy of force concerns itself with forming, thus preventing the need of reforming. It can be demonstrated from the money standpoint alone, leaving out of view the inevitable misery involved in the latter process.

In New York city there are now 142,519 children under five years of age whose homes are in the tenement-houses. The latest report of the New York Kindergarten Association states the cost of conducting a kindergarten of fifty pupils at fourteen hundred dollars per annum—twenty-eight dollars per capita. At the Elmira Reformatory it costs one hundred and eighty-eight dollars per annum to support one of these children whose manual and moral training has been neglected after the commission of some crime has placed an indelible stain on his name. Mr. Brockway states that very few of these young burdens on society have "any acquaintance with any craft requiring skilled labor, and their parents are just as deficient"; so that the earnest men and women who are now striving to lift the metropolis of the nation toward the level already attained by Boston, San Francisco, St. Louis, and a host of other cities by the establishment of free kindergartens, are taking possession of the largest and most hopeful missionary field still lying unoccupied under the broad arch of heaven. Mr. Gilder truly says, "Plant a free kindergarten in any quarter of this overcrowded metropolis, and you have begun, then and there, the work of making better lives, better homes, better citizens, and a better city."

Pestalozzi saw that the moral forces of the human soul—feeling and will—require to be dealt with in a manner analogous to the cultivation of the intellectual faculties, that a training school is needed for the moral side of cultivation—one in which the power of moral action may be acquired. He said, "There must be a definite system of rules by which always without exception a firm will may be produced"; and the Baroness von Bülow adds, "The development of children into men and women must be brought under the laws of a well-considered system, which shall never fail to accomplish its end, viz., the cultivation in them of a firm and invariably right will."

In discussing the necessity for the kindergarten, physiology and