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Formerly Headmaster of the Grocers' Company's Schools, 

Hackney Downs; lately University Lecturer at 

Cambridge on the Theory of Education 



Stack Collection 



For many years I have been a student of FroebePs 
principles and methods, not only in books, — Froebel's 
own and those written by others, — but also in actual 
practice in the kindergarten. My attention was first 
called to his system when, as headmaster of a large 
London school many years ago, I had occasion to 
notice the extra brightness and teachableness of some 
little boys who had been, at least partly, trained on 
Froebel's plan. Some years after this, when under 
the direction of a small band of public-spirited educa- 
tional reformers, I endeavored to establish a train- 
ing college for schoolmasters in secondary schools, my 
attention naturally was drawn with redoubled force 
to Froebel. The attempt failed ; partly through lack 
of funds (one of Froebel's constant troubles), and 
partly through lack of support in the schools. But 
my four years' labor taught me many things ; and 
amongst others it taught me to sympathize keenly 
with those who, in furtherance of new ideas, struggle 
to found educational institutions. What is more to 
the present purpose, however, is that during that 
period I learned to see clearly that Froebel's system 
is the only system in which the details of actual 
practice are the real outcome of sound psychological 


principles, and in their application are continuously 
governed by those j)rinciples. As our knowledge of 
psychology grows, the principles will certainly require 
some modification; and in consequence the practice 
will have to be slightly changed here and there. But 
if ever the practice ceases to be the distinct expres- 
sion of the psychology, the plan will cease to be 

Ever since the period I have mentioned I have been 
a frequent observer of kindergartens and of the chil- 
dren in them ; and of late years I have had much to 
do with the examining of students who are trained 
to be kindergarten teachers. Naturally enough I 
have often been led to speak and lecture on Froebel's 
principles and methods, in London, at Cambridge, and 
elsewhere ; and through the courtesy of the editor of 
the (London) Journal of Education some of my lee-, 
tures have from time to time appeared in his pages. 
And now, again through his courtesy, I am allowed to 
freely use such parts of those printed lectures as seem 
to me useful for my present purpose. They were in- 
deed written with the idea of their some day forming 
part of a book; but, as they stand in the following 
pages, they are much altered, added to, and abridged. 
The chapters of which they form parts are chaps, iii, 
iv, vi, and viii. 

The plan which I have adopted for expounding my 
subject, will, no doubt, reveal almost at once a certain 
amount of repetition. This I am quite aware of; 
though I may say that the amount of repetition is 
not great. I have chosen this mode of treatment 
because I have learnt from long experience that it is 


the one best suited to students. After giving a brief 
life of Froebel in chaps, i and ii, I plunge at once 
into The Education of Man in chap, iii, — but only to 
deal with such of its leading principles and views as 
are fundamental and at the same time are likely to 
offer difficulties to beginners. In chap, iv I enter 
more into the details of the Mutter- unci Kose-lieder, 
and restate some of the principles already spoken of, 
but now in connection with the games and songs 
which the book sets forth. It is not until I come to 
chap V that I attempt any complete statement of 
Froebel's principles and methods, as far as they refer 
to physical and intellectual training, — leaving the 
ethical training for chap. vi. 

When through a long period of time one has been a 
constant student of some particular subject, it becomes 
extremely difficult to attribute to their right sources 
all the ideas concerning it in possession of which one 
happens to find oneself, — and quite out of the ques- 
tion if the possible sources are numerous. Besides, in 
common politeness to oneself one must consider some 
of the ideas home-grown, even though they resemble 
ideas to be found elsewhere. I have, however, done 
my best to acknowledge all conscious borrowings ; and 
if it is to be my unhappy fate to have others brought 
to my consciousness later on, I apologize beforehand, 
and will make due reparation in other editions. 

I have added two appendices at the end of the book ; 
one giving a chronological list of Froebel's writings, 
and the other giving the names of such books on Froe- 
bel and his sj^stem as I myself have found valuable. 
To have given a complete bibliography of Froebel- 


literature would have doubled the size of this volume. 
I am conscious that there must be many American 
books on Froebel which I have not mentioned. But 
though several of these are known to me by name, 
I have been unfortunate enough never to have seen 

While the pages of this book were passing through 
the press they had the very great advantage of being 
read by Madame Michaelis ; and the Index at the end 
is due to the chivalrous help of my friend Mr. G. F. 
Bridge. To both I offer my sincerest thanks. , The 
book will always be associated in my mind with the 
memory of their kindness. 


3 York Street, Portman Square, 
London, W. 

September 15, 1892. 



I. Introductiox — Early Days — Education at 

School and University. 1782-1816. . . 1 
II. Froebel's Experience as a Teacher and Edu- 
cational Reformer. 1816-1852 , . .22 

III. The " Education of Man " — Some of Froebel's 

Leading Principles 43 

IV. The Mutter- und Kose-lieder — Infant Games 

AND Songs, their Meaning and Educational 

Value 63 

V. Froebel's Theory of Education . . .90 

VI. Froebel's Views on Character, Conduct, and 

Religion 108 

VII. The Kindergarten — The General Nature of 

ITS Processes — Gifts and Occupations. . 124 
VIII. Transition Classes — Their Aim and Methods 

— Nature-study ...... 152 

IX. The Bearing of Froebel's Principles on the 
School and on Technical Instruction — Man- 
ual Training — Froebel and Pestalozzi — 
Conclusion . . . . . . . .178 

APPENDIX A — Froebel's Writings . . . .197 

APPENDIX B — Some Books on Froebel Likely to 
be of Use to the Students ..... 202 






Some writers on education, like Locke and Rous- 
seau, direct their attention mainly to the rearing of 
individuals of a particular class, or at any rate indi- 
viduals separated from other individuals ; others, like 
Milton and Rabelais, dwell most on the results of 
education ; others again, like Mulcaster, Hoole, and 
Brinsley, are chiefly busied with the work of a school ; 
others, like Comenius and Pestalozzi, taking a wider 
view, bring forward the question of popular instruc- 
tion, and endeavor to found a philosophy and a sci- 
ence of education — though Pestalozzi remains to the 
end more of a philanthropist than a philosopher. Of 
all these Froebel most resembles Pestalozzi. Indeed, 
in more senses than one Froebel is the disciple of 
Pestalozzi. Not only did he receive his first impulse 
as a teacher from a study of the writings of the great 
Swiss philanthropist, but for two years he attached 
himself to the institute at Yverdon in order to acquire 



a personal knowledge of Pestalozzi and his work and 
methods. Moreover, apart from this, and from his 
often expressed admiration, his able and enthusiastic 
exposition of The Book for Mothers in his letter 
to the Princess Eegent of Schwarzburg-Eudolstadt 
would alone suffice to show that, in his earlier years 
at least, Froebel looked upon Pestalozzi as his master. 
But Froebel is more than a disciple. He is himself 
an original thinker and an original worker; and in 
one department of education — and that by no means 
the least important — he stands by himself, without a 

The old, unsound and narrow traditions of the 
Kenascence lingered on in the latter half of the eigh- 
teenth century — as indeed they linger still here and 
there both in England and America. Exce23t to fond, 
and not always wise, mothers the child remained 
supremely uninteresting until he could be put to his 
book ; and when he was old enough for this, " putting 
him to his book " was all that education meant in fact 
as well as word. 

There had been some improvement in the curriculum 
of schools used by the less rich classes of the com- 
munity, an example of which will be found in the 
school to which Froebel was sent as a boy ; but beyond 
this by no means general reform of the curriculum 
things had changed but little anywhere. 

With all his enthusiasm for education and his 
desire to found it on a scientific basis, Comenius had 
had but little scientific knowledge of child-nature, 
and troubled himself not at all to acquire it. He 
constantly insisted, it is true, upon the exercise of 


the senses, and an education in accordance with nature ; 
but his exercise of the senses soon reduced itself in 
the main to the use of pictures with a view to a readier 
and more intelligent acquirement of language, and 
even in his ergastula Uteraria, or literary workshops, 
the manual and other work introduced was intended 
to aid poor children iu partly getting their own living 
while at school, rather than to exercise faculty ; 
while his "nature" was as quaint and conventional 
as that in a pre-raphaelite picture. None the less, 
however, Comenius was the true founder of educa- 
tional method. Locke's psychology was based on a 
knowledge of adult mind, uot child mind. He knew 
little about children under the age of ten or eleven. 
He wrote about education in a common-sense, man-of- 
the-world manner rather than as a man of science; 
and so his book, though highly suggestive and stimu- 
lating, does not always help us, and is at times un- 
sound. Eousseau was the first to show us where and 
why w^e were all blundering, when in his brilliant, 
incisive way he declared that we did not understand 
children; that knowledge of child-nature and child- 
mind was the prime requisite for every teacher ; that 
we made far too much of books, and introduced them 
far too soon; and that we were in such a hurry to 
force children out of childhood and into manhood or 
womanhood that we ran great risk of hurrying them 
into their graves. " Let childhood ripen in children " 
is the keynote of the new gospel. But when he 
turned to sketch a practical plan, Kousseau's love of 
paradox, the disgust he felt for the artificialities of 
society, the tendency which was in the air to separate 


the individual from the general mass and to proclaim 
his rights, and probably also the example of Locke — 
all this led him to propound a scheme as fantastic 
and impossible as ever entered the wayward mind of 
a madman — to separate the child from his fellows, 
and set him in a wilderness. 

But Eousseau inspired Pestalozzi — to such an ex- 
tent, indeed, that Pestalozzi actually tried to carry 
out the plan with his own son. The folly and danger 
of the attempt, however,- soon became apparent, and 
it was dropped and never resumed. The best of 
Eousseau's doctrines, nevertheless, were not aban- 
doned; and it was through Eousseau's admirable and 
convincing exposition that Pestalozzi was persuaded 
to base everything in his own system on intuition, 
that is, on the effect produced in the mind by direct 
intelligent perception of real things, — to which Pes- 
talozzi himself added a simultaneous training in lan- 
guage as the means to express the mental activity 
produced by intuitive exercises. This was a service 
of great importance to education ; and on it his repu- 
tation as an originator will always chiefly rest. The 
department of language-teaching benefited immensely 
by the plan; but, unfortunately, the study of com- 
mon objects suffered in proportion, for only too fre- 
quently the object itself was not in any true sense 
observed or made to produce an intuitive exercise, but 
was simply employed as something about which more 
and more elaborate statements might gradually be 
built up. Still, this was not always so, and tke 
applications of the principle of intuition to the studies 
of form and of number by Pestalozzi's colleagues 


under his auspices, have been the prime cause of 
most of the improvements in method which have 
since found their way into our schools, — the prime 
cause, but needing much modification in the mode 
of procedure. But what Pestalozzi failed to see — at 
least to see very distinctly — was that before intuition 
there is a period consisting mainly of sensation and 
confused emotions, commencing in the very hour of 
birth, during which the consciousness of the child is 
endeavoring to work its way towards clearness and 
precision. He does not ignore the period, as his Book 
for Mothers shows. But he fails to grasp its facts 
and to arrive at any clear practicable method for its 
treatment. He provides his mothers, as Professor 
J. H. Von Fichte points out in his Problem of Popu- 
lar Education, with an ABC of intuitions, whereas 
what they require is an A B C of sensations and emo- 
tions. It is precisely in this period that the genius 
of Froebel is most at home and most original. Froe- 
bel was possessed of large and generous views on 
education as a whole, and on its methods and results 
as wholes ; but it is the work which he did for the 
education of infants between the ages of three and 
seven that chiefly demands our gratitude, so far as 
his aims have been realized up to the present ; in the 
future, unless I am seriously mistaken, his greatest 
service will lie in the reforms which his principles 
and methods will have forced on our schools and col- 
leges. What those principles and methods are it is 
the purpose of this book to make clear. But before 
entering on my exposition, it will be best, I think, to 
briefiv relate the events of Froebel's life and educa- 


tion and to give a short account of his experience as 
a teacher and educational reformer, in order that my 
readers may form some conception of the kind of man 
he was, and forever put from their minds the idea 
that ho was an enthusiastic but ignorant peasant who 
was fond of children — an idea which not infre- 
quently seems to haunt the obscurer recesses of the 
minds of those who even now are bold enough to scoff 
at kindergartens and their means and methods, and is 
only too liable to be confirmed by the mere sentimen- 
talities about little children which at times still 
masquerade as Froebelian doctrine. 

Friedrich Wilhelm August Froebel was born on 
April 21, 1782, at Oberweissbach, a village in the 
Thuringian Forest, in the principality of Schwarz- 
burg-Rudolstadt. His father, Johann Jacob Froebel, 
belonged to the old Lutheran Church, and was the 
chief pastor of the district.^ His mother died before 
he was a year old, so that he could not even remem- 
ber her. Johann Froebel's parish was a large and 
scattered one, and gave him far too much to do to 
leave any great amount of time for the proper ordering 
of his home, or at least for that constant attention 
which young children need. The consequence was, 

1 1 draw my facts in this chapter mainly from Froebel's Auto- 
biography, contained in a letter to the Duke of Meiningen written 
in 1827, and from a somewhat similar letter to Krause in 1828, and 
in part also from Dr. Wichard Lange's Reminiscences of Froebel, 
and Hanschmann's well-known Life of Froebel, together with 
articles in various encyclopaedias. The Autobiography, though 
of very great value, was not written till Froebel was forty-five 
years of age, and some allowance must be made for this when we 
are considering what he says about his earliest years. 


that the child was left very much to the care of the 
servants, who kneAV how to take advantage of their 
master's absorption in his work, and in their turn 
handed the little boy over to the care of his brothers, 
who were somewhat older than himself.^ Throughout 
the whole of his life, he tells us, he was practically a 
stranger to his father, whose severe religious views 
hung heavily on the little boy and who never suc- 
ceeded in understanding the troublesome, dreamy, 
neglected child. When he was four years old, his 
father married again, and for awhile the new mother 
was loving and careful of her stepson. But as soon 
as she rejoiced in a son of her own, the motherless 
boy was left once more mainly to the care of his brothers 
and the servants. That he should become mischiev- 
ous and unruly, as he tells us he did, was only natural ; 
for of education he seems for some time to have had 
none but that which his playfellows, and woods, and 
flowers, and birds, of which he was always passion- 
ately fond, unconsciously afforded. When he could 
get leave — and probably sometimes without waiting 
to ask for it — he would wander with the others in the 
forest on the slopes of the Kirchberger Hill, — which 
rose from the very churchyard in the front -of his 

1 These were as follows: (1) August, who died youug. (2) Chris- 
toph, who became the clergyman of Griesheim after having studied 
at the University of Jenfi, and died in 1813. He was the father of 
Julius, Karl, and Theodor, to educate whom their uncle, Friedrich, 
settled in Griesheim in 1816. (3) Christian Ludwig, first a manu- 
facturer at Osterode, and afterwards (from 1820) associated with 
Friedrich, — born 1770, died 1851. (4) Traugott, who studied medi- 
cine at Jena, became a medical man, and was burgomaster of 
Stadt-Ilm. There wese no sisters. 


liome, — listening to the wind amidst the branches, and 
watching the movements of the wild animals ; or at 
times he would work among the plants and flowers 
of his father's garden. His father taught him to 
read, but only with great difficulty ; and felt too 
discouraged to attempt anything more ; while very 
unfortunately, the pastor had some difference with the 
headmaster of the boys' school, and could not send 
Friedrich there. So, till his tenth year, the boy re- 
ceived no direct regular education of any kind except 
what he could pick up in the girls' school of the 
village, where the work consisted chiefly in learning 
Bible-texts and hymns by heart. 

At the end of 1792, when Friedrich was ten years 
of age, his mother's brother, Superintendent Hoffman, 
who had long since lost both wife and child, expressed 
a desire to have the youngest son of the sister he had 
loved dearly to live with him for the purpose of edu- 
cation. The wish was granted; and for four years 
the boy had a free and happy life. Hoffman, who 
held a position of some dignity in the church at Stadt- 
Ilm, a little city not far off, was as humane as he was 
distinguished, and as gentle as he was earnest and 
decided. He sent the boy at once to the town school, 
where he found plenty of companionship, though 
through his general backwardness and lack of strength 
and agility, it was some time before he could take his 
proper share in the games. But the boy felt that in 
his uncle's home he was loved and trusted, a,nd was 
perfectly happy. Looking back at the Stadt-Ilm 
school some thirty years later, he tells us in his Auto- 
biography that the subjects best taught were reading, 


writing, arithmetic, and religion. " Latin was miser- 
ably taught, and still worse learnt. Here, as in so 
many similar schools, the teaching entirely lacked the 
foundation of first principles." In arithmetic he made 
some progress. But in physical geography, he says : 
"We repeated our tasks parrot-wise, speaking much 
and knowing nothing ; for the teaching on the subject 
had not the very least connection with real life, nor 
had it any actuality for us, though at the same time 
we could rightly name our little specks and patches of 
color on the map. I received private tuition, also, 
in this subject. My teacher wished to advance fur- 
ther with me ; and so took me to the geography 
of England. I could find no connection between 
that country and the place and country in which I 
myself dwelt, so that of this instruction also I re- 
tained but little. As for actual instruction in Ger- 
man, it was not to be thought of; but we received 
directions in letter-writing and in spelling. I do not 
remember with what subject the teaching of spelling 
was connected; I think it was not connected with 
any ; it hung loosely in the air. I had, besides, les- 
sons in singing and pianoforte playing, but without 
result." Not a bad list of subjects, certainly, had 
they only been properly taught ; but unfortunately of 
the two schoolmasters from whom he received in- 
struction, " one was pedantic and rigid ; the other 
was large-hearted and free. The first never had any 
influence over his class ; the second could do (or have 
done) whatever he pleased with us " ; but somehow 
it did not occur to him to make much use of his op- 
portunity. The consequence was that when Froebel 


returned to his father's house at the age of fourteen, 
he had not learned nearly as much as might have 
been expected; at best, he thinks, he had acquired 
some elementary notions of mathematics, a subject of 
which he afterwards grew to be fond and in which he 
eventually gained considerable proficiency. This, how- 
ever, is probably in part an exaggeration. It is ex- 
tremely difficult to describe accurately in middle life 
the precise origins of the various influences which 
moulded our early childhood ; and still more difficult 
is it to assess the precise amount of each influence. 
Froebel, however, was a dreamy, restless child, who 
cared little for books, and still less for dry, formal 
instruction, and so no doubt got less from his school, 
even such as it was, than he might have done. But 
he had learnt to love and reverence his uncle — a 
lesson he never forgot, and his delighted observation 
of plants and animals had made considerable progress. 
The time had now come for Froebel to choose a 
calling and earn his bread. Two of his brothers, 
Christoph and Traugott, had already devoted them- 
selves to study, and his father's means would not al- 
low of another son at the university. The result was 
that, with his own cordial consent, he became, on Mid- 
summer Day in 1797, a two-years' apprentice to a 
forester in Thuringia, who had also a good reputation 
as a surveyor and valuer. His object was to learn 
forestry, valuing, geometry, and land-surveying, so 
that, by the addition of farming later on, he might 
become a thorough agriculturist — a calling from 
which, on the continent, much was expected just at 
this period. The experiment did not prove wholly a 


success. The forester was too busy to devote much 
time to his apprentice, and though he gave plentiful 
evidence of many-sided knowledge, he did not under- 
stand the art of conveying it to others, '^ especially," 
adds Froebel, "because he had acquired what he knew 
only by dint of actual experience " ; in other words, 
his knowledge was empirical and not scientific. Froe- 
bel's life for two years in the forest had four aspects, 
he tells us : the homelier and more practical life ; the 
life spent with nature, especially forest-nature; the 
life of study, devoted to mathematics and languages, 
for which he found a good supply of books ready to 
hand ; and the time spent in gaining a knowledge of 
plants, in which he was much helped by books on botany 
lent him by a neighboring doctor. Botany became a 
passion with him — so much so that he says, "My 
religious life now changed to a religious communion 
with nature, and in the last half-year I lived entirely 
amongst and with my plants, which drew me towards 
them and fascinated me.'' He spent some time in 
constructing a map of the neighborhood, but a great 
deal was given to solitary reflection. Slowly but 
surely an idea of the oneness, the continuity, which 
underlies all nature began to dawn upon him, but not 
yet in its entirety. Here too, and afterwards at Jena, 
he reflected on his previous education, and came to 
the conclusion that the ordinary school methods, which 
had failed to reach what he felt was within him, were 
of little value. Some strolling actors came into the 
neighborhood, and he was enchanted with them, 
and afterwards suffered a severe reproof from his 
father for the wickedness of play-going. But the two 


years came to an end, and at midsummer, 1799, lie re- 
turned home, though the forester would gladly have 
retained his services. His desire for knowledge — 
especially for knowledge of mathematics and natural 
science — had become so great that nothing could 
turn him aside from pursuing it. He only remained 
at home a few weeks, and then started for the Uni- 
versity of Jena to convey some money to his brother 
Traugott who was studying medicine there. Through 
his brother's intercession he was allowed to stay on 
and finish the term, and then an arrangement was 
made by which he realized some property left him by 
his mother, and formally entered the university. He 
gives a formidable list of the subjects, lectures on 
which he attended : applied mathematics, arithmetic, 
algebra, geometry, mineralogy, botany, natural his- 
tory, physics, chemistry, accounts, cultivation of forest 
trees and management of forests, architecture, house- 
building and land-surveying. He also continued his 
topographical drawing. " I heard nothing purely theo- 
retical except mathematics," he says, and grumbles 
at the absence of philosophy. He was dissatisfied. 
The order of progress in the various courses of study 
was arbitrary, he tells us, and showed little or no 
inner connection. He felt this in pure mathematics, 
still more in applied mathematics, and most of all in 
experimental physics. The same criticism has been 
made on other universities outside Germany, and in 
later times than Froebel's. But the reason for his 
failing to get all the good he had hoped from his 
studies lay partly in the fact, which he himself con- 
fesses in the case of mineralogy, that " in consequence 


of his defective preparation he found insuperable diffi- 
culties in his way, and perceived thereby that neglect 
is neither quickly nor lightly to be repaired." More- 
over, his mind was too speculative for the definite 
routine of university work. Instead of studying hard 
at a few things, he was thinking about unity and 
diversity, the relation of the whole of nature to its 
parts, and of the parts to the whole. His life at 
Jena, though necessarily frugal and retired, was 
desultory, and after a year and a half the failure of 
means brought it to a close. For nine weeks he was 
detained in the university '• career " for debt, but 
this being at length, after much wrangling, discharged, 
he returned home, not in the best of spirits. 

His stay at home was short ; but during it he found 
time to begin his acquaintance with German literature ; 
and as he puts it, he began to know the names of Schiller, 
Goethe, and Wieland. Winckelmann's Letters on Art 
he already knew. Soon he went off to Hildburghausen 
to study farming with some relatives on his father's 
side. Here he became distressed — not for the first 
time — at his relations with his hard, but hard-working 
father, who was now an old man. He recognized in 
him " a firm, strong will, and that^ at the same time, 
he was filled with noble, self-sacrificing endeavor. 
He never shirked skirmish nor battle in the cause of 
what he deemed the better part; he carried his pen 
into action as a soldier carries his sword, for the true, 
the good, and the right." While pondering over the 
letter he meant to write in order to reveal himself 
fully to the stern old man, he received (November, 
1801) a letter summoning him home. His father 


was ill and almost bedridden, and wanted his help. 
It is pleasant to know that what was to have been 
attempted by letter became possible by word of 
mouth. Father and son were completely reconciled 
before the former died in February, 1802. 

At Easter in this year Froebel undertook the post 
of actuary clerk in the Forestry Department of the 
Episcopal State of Bamberg; and again spent much 
time out of doors in the companionship of Nature and 
of educated people. In the early spring of 1803, the 
Episcopal State having been transferred to Bavaria, 
Froebel gave up his situation and went to the town of 
Bamberg, knowing that a general survey was in con- 
templation, and hoping to get an abundance of work. 
In this hope he was not deceived ; but no permanent 
employment resulted. In 1804 he held the post of 
secretary and accountant of a large country estate 
belonging to Herr von Voldersdorf in Baireuth ; but 
only for a short time, as he had already arranged to 
go in the same capacity to the estate of Herr von De- 
witz in Gross Milchow, Mecklenburg. He seems to 
have had an agreeable time in both posts, and to have 
been particularly pleased with his experience in the 
orderly management of large affairs. In 1805 his 
uncle Hoffmann died, leaving him a small inheritance ; 
and after consulting with his brother Christoph, Froe- 
bel determined to throw his energies into architecture, 
and to go to Frankfurt-on-]\Iain to study there. In 
April he set out; and after visiting his brother at 
Griesheim on the way, reached his destination in the 
middle of the year. Soon after his arrival the friend 
he had come to join introduced him to Dr. Gruner, 


the headmaster of the Frankfurt Model School. It 
was not long before Dr. Gruner, a disciple of Pesta- 
lozzi's, became convinced that Froebel was a born 
schoolmaster. " Give up architecture/' he said ; " it 
is not your vocation at all. Become a teacher. We 
want a teacher in our school. Say you agree, and the 
place shall be yours." For a while Froebel hesitated ; 
but hearing that his testimonials, which had been 
sent to some one to read, had somehow been lost, he 
accepted this as a sign that providence had broken 
down the bridge behind him, and so fj:ankly and 
gladly accepted the offer. 

Dr. Gruner was right. Work began at once. " The 
subjects of instruction," Froebel says, " which fell to 
my share were arithmetic, drawing, physical geogra- 
phy, and German. I generally taught the middle 
classes. In a letter to my brother I spoke of the 
impression made upon me by my first lesson to a class 
of thirty or forty boys ranging from nine to eleven 
years of age ; it seemed as if I had found something 
I had never known, but always longed for, always 
missed ; as if my life had at last discovered its native 
element. I felt as happy as the fish in the water, the 
bird in the air." But after a while this ecstasy sub- 
sided, and self-searching, now a settled habit with Froe- 
bel, began. In a calmer mood he questioned himself 
strictly as to the means by which he was to satisfy 
the demands of his new position. He did not seem 
to himself to have the kind of knowledge required nor 
the requisite training. ''He perceived very soon," 
says Dr. Lange, "that the method of instruction must 
be directed by the laws of development of the human 


mind as well as by those of the subjects to be taught; 
and that the essence of the method is the art of adapt- 
ing to the momentary stage of development in the 
scholar the corresponding one of the subject. This 
law of development he carefully sought ; this art he 
endeavored to make his own. Dr. Gruner perceived 
the restless striving of his young friend, and gave him 
for his theoretic outline in pedagogy the writings of 
Pestalozzi." Naturally these created in Froebel a 
great desire to know the great teacher and reformer 
who proclaimed an education in accordance with na- 
ture. As soon as the holidays permitted, at the end 
of August, he started off on foot for Yverdon, and 
spent a fortnight in the famous Institute. The ac- 
count he gives of his visit is very interesting ; but we 
have no space for it here.^ He saw much that delighted 
him, much that puzzled him, and some things that defi- 
nitely dissatisfied him. He was deeply impressed by 
the loveableness and enthusiasm of Pestalozzi, but 
got little direct help from him. '^That Pestalozzi 
himself," he says, " was carried away and bewildered 
by this great intellectual machine of his, appears from 
the fact that he could never give any definite account 
of his idea, his plan, his intention. He always said, 
* Go and see for yourself ; it works splendidly ' — very 
good for him who knew how to look, how to hear, how 
to perceive." Froebel determined to study and re- 
flect ; and then to return later. 

All his thoughts and endeavors were now directed 
to the subject of the culture and education of man. 

1 See Autobiography, translation by E. Michaelis and H. Keatley 
Moore, pp. 53-57. 


In October he resumed liis work at Frankfurt ; and 
not long afterwards a public examination of the school 
was held. Froebel's pupils did extremely well ; and 
Dr. Gruner's opinion was justified. But little by 
little the desire grew in him to give up the Model 
School, so as to have time to prepare himself thor- 
oughly for the work of teaching, happy though his 
life at the school was. When two years came to an 
end he found an efficient substitute and retired. Im- 
mediately after this he was earnestly entreated by the 
parents of three boys, to whom he had been giving 
private lessons in arithmetic and language, to take 
complete charge of them. The boys were deteriorat- 
ing rapidly, through bad management, and the mother 
— Frau von Holzhausen — believed that Froebel could 
save them. Somewhat against his will he accepted 
the charge, on condition that the boys should be com- 
pletely handed over to him and live in isolation with 
him — Eousseau's idea — in the country. His new 
work began in July, 1807. Very interesting is the 
account he gives of his observations and reflections at 
this period with his pupils always under his eyes ; of 
his experiment in giving them gardens and the moral 
effects to be produced by the cultivation of plants and 
flowers ; and of his studies in pedagogy. Ere long, 
however, he became convinced that isolation was a 
mistake as a permanency ; that the resulting life was 
narrow and one-sided; and that he himself required 
companionship and training. He requested, therefore, 
and obtained permission to be allowed to take his boys 
with him to Yverdon. In the later part of 1808 they 
reached their destination ; and for two years lived not 


in the Institute, but in close connection with it. The 
best record of what he saw and learnt there is con- 
tained in his letter to the Princess Eegent of Schwarz- 
burg-Kudolstadt (April 27, 1809), which includes his 
well-known criticism on Pestalozzi's Book for Mothers. 
Again, and still more strongly than before, he felt 
the inspiration of Pestalozzi's presence : " He set 
one's soul on fire for a higher and nobler life, though 
he had not made clear or sure the exact road towards 
it, nor indicated the means whereby to attain it." 
Though the power and many-sidedness of the Insti- 
tute made up for many defects, Froebel, neverthe- 
less, felt keenly the lack of unity in the work as a 
whole and in many of its departments, and the ab- 
sence of clear insight into the nature of the means 
and methods employed. Still his stay at Yverdon 
was of immense value to him, and he speaks of his 
two years there as " a glorious time." 

We may note two other points of interest. "I 
studied the boys' play," Froebel says, "the whole 
series of games in the open air, and learned to recog- 
nize their mighty power to awaken and to strengthen 
the intelligence and the soul as well as the body." 
The walks, too, — especially when conducted by Pes- 
talozzi, — struck him as admirable, both as bringing 
boys into cheerful contact with nature and as afford- 
ing delightful and valuable lessons in practical physi- 

In 1810 Froebel returned with his pupils to Frank- 
furt ; and as soon as his work with them was finished, 
proceeded (in July, 1811) to the University of Gottin- 
gen — resolutely determined to fit himself to the ut- 


most for the task of educational reform to which his 
life was henceforth devoted. He felt that his greatest 
deficiency lay in languages ; and at these he worked 
with a will — adding, later, physics, chemistry, min- 
eralogy (always a hobby of his), and natural history 
in general. It is not necessary to enter into the 
views on life and education which were now taking 
definite form in his mind; they will be fully ex- 
plained hereafter. It is only necessary to point out 
that all his work now and for the future was under- 
taken solely for its bearing on the science and means 
of education. The lectures of Professor "Weiss on 
natural history and mineralogy at Berlin were at 
this time attracting great attention ; and in order to 
profit by them Froebel left Gottingen and entered the 
University of Berlin in October, 1812. The lectures 
quite realized his hopes; and more and more there 
ripened in him the conviction, says Dr. Lange, "that 
all life, that is, development into a Avhole, was founded 
upon one law, and that this unity must be the basis 
of all principles of development, its beginning and 
end. This conviction was the result of a profound 
study of nature in its law of development, and the 
most careful contemplation of the child." His study 
of child-nature was continued — and we may add, his 
livelihood in large measure gained — while at Berlin 
by his giving lessons in Plamann's Pestalozzian school 
for boys. 

While Froebel was so occupied the disasters of the 
French in Eussia inspired Prussia and other German 
States with the hope of deliverance from the yoke of 
Napoleon. In February, 1813, Prussia proclaimed a 


general call to arms in behalf of the common cause. 
It was received with great enthusiasm, and probably 
for the first time a consciousness was felt of there 
being a German nation and a German fatherland. 
Froebel felt it as strongly as any one, and hurrying 
oif to Dresden enlisted in the infantry division of 
Liitzow's famous corps at Easter, 1813, and marched 
on with it to Havelberg. Of actual fighting his regi- 
ment saw nothing, but he enjoyed the life and was 
delighted with the idea of German unity. But what 
is more interesting to know is that two Berlin students, 
much younger than himself, William Middendorff and 
Henry Langethal, became his comrades. They soon 
grew keenly interested in him, and in his views and 
projects, and in the end became his most intimate and 
devoted friends and fellow-workers. At the end of 
May, 1814, came peace. In July, Froebel's regi- 
ment was disbanded, and by August he was back agaiu 
in Berlin, and in possession of the post of assistant to 
Professor Weiss in the Eoyal Museum of Mineralogy 
— an appointment which had been promised him 
when he enlisted. Here he could study his beloved 
minerals, attend his university lectures, and have 
plenty of leisure for working out his educational 
plans. Before very long his comrades, Middendorff 
and Langethal, found him out, and their intimacy was 
continued and increased. Things continued so for a 
while. Then in 1815, he was offered a valuable post as 
mineralogist at Stockholm, but declined it as out of 
keeping with his educational purpose. To fulfil this 
purpose he determined, in 1816, to resign his post; 
and after many applications for discharge, and many 


friendly and urgent remonstrances from Professor 
Weiss, his discharge was granted. In October he 
quitted Berlin without confiding to any of his friends 
exactly what he intended to do. He had, however, de- 
clared his ideas to his manufacturing brother. Chris- 
tian, who lived at Osterode in the Harz district; and 
Christian had consented to give him his two sons, Fer- 
dinand and William, to educate. They were his only 
sons, though not his only children, and were aged six 
and eight years respectively. The plan was to edu- 
cate these boys with the three orphan sons of Chris- 
toph, who had died in 1813. Christoph, it will be 
remembered, had been the pastor of Griesheim, and 
his widow and orphan children still lived there. To 
Griesheim, therefore, Froebel made his way, with 
funds in his pocket not much beyond the few crowns 
he had received for a collection of minerals. And so 
in a peasant's cottage, on November 13, 1816, was 
opened the well-known "Universal German Educa- 
tional Institute." 




The i^eriod of learning is now over for Froebel, 
and the period of teaching and creating begins. ISTot 
but that a true teacher must always continue to be in 
some sense a learner ; and Froebel was a true teacher 
to the end of his life. But he will have no more time 
for the acquirement of general knowledge or for gen- 
eral study ; henceforth all his powers will be concen- 
trated on the study of child-naturCj the elaboration of 
methods for rightly dealing with children, and the 
putting of these into actual practice. And here I may 
mention in passing — without laying any stress upon 
it — a trait in Froebel's character to which reference 
is often made. To a man who, after long and patient 
study, is so entirely convinced as he was, contradic- 
tion and opposition, especially from those who prefer 
the light of nature to scientific investigation, must 
always be hard to bear ; and, truth to tell, he bore it 
but ill. Even with those who were learned, discus- 
sion of his plans, in any true sense, was hardly possi- 
ble for him; though he looked upon himself as 
perfectly tolerant. Nor was he particularly skilful in 
expounding his views to the public. This trait made 


living and working with him at times very difficult ; 
and it is only fair to his loyal fellow-workers to men- 
tion it. But geniuses are proverbially difficult as 
companions, and Froebel was no exception to the 
rule. And after all, it is only through the concentra- 
tion and stubborn courage of such men that the world 
gets forced to consider their message. While, on the 
other hand, it must be remembered that the lave and 
self-sacrificing loyalty with which he inspired those 
constantly around him are the best proof that there 
was much in him to love as well as to respect. 

From Osterode, before coming to Griesheim, Froe- 
bel had written to Middendorff at Berlin, inviting him 
and Langethal to help him in working out the new 
system of education. In April, 1817, Middendorff 
came, bringing with him a brother of Langethal, aged 
eleven; and Langethal himself followed in Septem- 
ber.^ In June, however, Christoph's widow had 
moved to a little peasant property she had bought at 
the village of Keilhau in the Schalathal not far from 
Kudolstadt ; and the institute moved with her. Froe- 
bel and jNIiddendorff for some time occupied a wretched 
little hut, with neither door, flooring, nor stove. In 
November a frame-house was set up in the farm-yard. 
In June, 1818, the widow made over her little farm 

1 Langethal's brother Christian was afterwards professor in the 
University of Jena, The autobiographic letter breaks off with 
1816; that to Krause is continued to about 1823. After that we 
have to depend largely on Froebel'sown Letters, the Reminiscences 
of Friedrich Froebel, by Dr. Lange, Barop's Critical Moments in 
the Froebel Community , and for quite the end to the Reminis- 
cences of Friedrich Froebel, by the Baroness von Marenholtz-Biilow. 
Of course, also, there is Hanschmann's Life. 


to Froebel, and went to live at Volkstaclt. By that 
time the school numbered twelve pupils. In Septem- 
ber of this year Froebel married Henrietta Wilhelmine 
Hoffmeister, who was two years his senior, and whom 
he describes as "a lady with a like love of nature and 
of childhood as my own, and a like high and earnest 
conception of education." She was a pupil of Schleier- 
macher and Fichte, and from all we learn must have 
been an admirable, self-sacrificing, and highly cultured 
woman. She and Froebel had met in the museum at 
Berlin. She brought with her an adopted daughter, 
Ernestine Chrispine, who afterwards married Lange- 
thal. Frau Froebers father, who was a war-counsellor 
of Prussia, would give her no dowry ; and a hard 
struggle for existence followed till early in 1820, 
when Christian Froebel joined the community with 
his wife, his three daughters,^ and all his possessions, 
in order to advance the good cause — just as, a little 
before, Middendorff, on the death of his father, had 
devoted the whole of his inheritance to the institute. 
By 1822 such buildings as were absolutely necessary 
were built, and better days began. The number of 
pupils increased, till in 1826 there were fifty-six ; but 
as a matter of fact as long as the administration of 
affairs was in Froebel's hands the institute never 
really prospered as it should have done. In 1823 
Johannes Arnold Barop joined the Keilhau circle, of 
which he eventually became the head. On Ascension 

1 These were Albertine, aged eighteen, who married Middendorff ; 
Emilie, aged fifteen, who married Barop ; and Elise, aged six, who 
eventually married Dr. Siegfried Schaffner, later on one of the 
Keilhau circle. 


Day, in 1826, both Middendorff and Langethal were 
married amidst great rejoicings. For the preceding 
six years Froebel had constantly tried, by means of 
pamphlets, to attract attention to his institute and 
get a hearing for his views. And now, in 1826, he 
brought out the famous Menschen Erzieliung, or The 
Education of Man, and founded the weekly Family 
Journal of Education} Unfortunately Froebel had 
the unbusiness-like idea of publishing these works 
privately at Keilhau, with the natural result, — they 
reached few persons who did not already know him, 
and were a heavy drain on his finances. 

But we must retrace our steps somewhat in order to 
obtain a public outside view of the school or institute 
which Froebel and his colleagues had created. Ever 
since the emancipation of the German states from 
Napoleonic rule there had been trouble in Germany. 
Amongst the patriots who had fought, and especially 
amongst university students, there was much enthusi- 
asm for German unity and liberty, and here and there 
not a little wild socialistic talk. The students of Jena 
banded themselves into a Bursclienschaft, or Students' 
Club, under the protection of the liberal-minded Duke 
of Saxe-Weimar; and their example was followed in 
many other places. The excitement culminated in the 
murder of Kotzebue, an agent of the Prussian govern- 
ment in Thuringia and South Germany, at Mannheim 
in 1819, by a divinity student. After this Metternich, 
the prime minister of Austria, found little difficulty 
in persuading Frederick William III of Prussia that 

1 A list of Froebel's publications with dates, wherever possible, 
will be found in the Appendix. 


strong measures must be taken. Blow after blow was 
struck from Vienna and Berlin. Many patriotic profes- 
sors were summarily dismissed, the Burschenscliaften 
and other societies were suppressed, and a large num- 
ber of students were sent to prison. In these circum- 
stances it is not w^onderful that such a community as 
that at Keilhau — w^hich indeed was revolutionary, but 
only in educational matters, never in politics — should 
have become suspected ; especially as they had adopted 
the old German dress and let their hair grow long. 
Pressure from Berlin was brought to bear on the 
Prince of Schw^arzburg-Eudolstadt to break up the 
institute. This he met by appointing Superintendent 
Zeh, in September, 1824, to inspect and report upon 
Keilhau and its doings. The inspection took place on 
November 23 ; but, finding that this was not enough, 
the superintendent returned on March 1, 1825, and 
spent another whole day in the institute. His report 
was sent in at the beginning of the following May. 
It has been preserved and Avill be found in vol. i of 
Dr. Lange's Collected Writings of F. Froebel. So inter- 
esting and important is this document that I cannot 
refrain from quoting a few of its statements. I 
abridge, but make no other change. '^Both the days," 
says Superintendent Zeh, "w^hich I passed at the in- 
stitute in the closest intimacy w^ere in every way 
agreeable to me, highly interesting and instructive, 
and have raised and strengthened my respect for the 
institute as a whole, as well as for its director who 
carried it on and upheld it amid stress of want and 
care with rare persistence and w^ith the purest and the 
most unselfish zeal. It w^as very delightful to feel the 


influence which proceeds from the fresh, vigorous, free, 
and yet orderly spirit which pervades this institution 
both in and out of lesson time. I found here what is 
never and nowhere shown in practical life, a truly and 
closely united family of some sixty members, living 
in quiet harmony, all showing that they gladly per- 
form the duties of their various positions ; a family in 
which, because it is held together by the strong bond 
of mutual confidence, and because every member seeks 
the good of the whole, everything, as if of itself, 
thrives in happiness and love. With great respect 
and hearty affection all turn to the principal; the 
little five-year-old children cling to his knees, while 
his friends and colleagues hear and honor his advice 
with the confidence which his insight and experience, 
and his indefatigable zeal for the good of the whole, 
deserve ; while he has bound himself in brotherliness 
and friendship to his fellow-workers, as the supports 
and pillars of his life-work, which to him is truly 
a holy work. That this union, this brotherhood, so 
to speak, among the teachers must have the most sal- 
utary influence on the instruction and training, and 
on the pupils themselves, is self-evident. The love 
and respect in which the latter hold all their teach- 
ers find expression in an attention and an obedience 
which render unnecessary almost all disciplinary se- 
verity. In the merriest liveliness with which after 
lessons they seek the fresh air and jump and frolic 
together, I saw no real ill-breeding, no rough, unman- 
nerly conduct, and not the least immoral behavior. 
Perfectly free and equal among themselves, reminded 
of their privileges of rank and birth neither by their 


dress nor by their names — for eacli pupil is called 
only by his Christian name or some name bestowed on 
him — the pupils, great and small, live in happiness 
and serenity, intermingling freely, as if each obeyed 
only a law of his oavu, like brothers of one family ; 
and while all seem unrestrained and use their powers 
and carry on their games in freedom, they are under 
the constant supervision of their teachers, now this 
teacher, now that, looking after the games and sports, 
and some almost always taking part in them, equally 
subject with the boys to the laws of the game." The 
report then speaks of the excellent effect all this must 
have on the teachers themselves ; and then returning 
to the pupils, continues : " oSTo slumbering power re- 
mains unawakened, each finds the stimulus it needs in 
so large and closely united a family, and also the place, 
small though it may be, where it can express itself; 
every inclination shows itself freely and finds an 
equal or similar inclination which already has found 
a clearer expression, and by which it can strengthen 
itself. ... In this way the boys guide, reprove, 
punish, educate, and cultivate one another uncon- 
sciously by the most varied incitements to activity 
and by mutual restriction. . . . The agreeable im- 
pression which the institution as a whole makes upon 
a visitor is increased by the domestic order which 
everywhere is visible, which alone can give coherence 
to so large a family, by a punctuality free from all 
pedantry, and by a cleanliness which is rarely to be 
met with in educational institutions. To this vigor- 
ous and free, yet well-ordered, outer life corresponds 
perfectly the inner life of mind and heart, which is 


here awakened and fostered. . . . Instruction be- 
gins in the fifth year of the child's life by leading him 
simply to find himself (get the command of his 
senses), to distinguish himself from external things 
and these from one another, to know clearly what he 
sees in his nearest surroundings, and at the same time 
to designate it by the right word, to enjoy his first 
knowledge as the first contribution towards his future 
intellectual treasure. Self-activity of mind is the first 
law of this instruction ; therefore the kind of instruc- 
tion given here does not make the young mind a 
strong-box into which, as early as possible, all kinds 
of coins of the most different values and coinage, such 
as are now current in the world, are stuffed ; but 
slowly, continuous!}', gradually, and always inwardly, 
that is, according to a connection founded on the 
nature of the human mind, the instruction steadily 
goes on without any tricks . . . from the simple 
to the complex, from the concrete to the abstract, so 
well adapted to the child and his needs that he goes 
as readily to his learning as to his play ; indeed, I 
was a witness of how the little ones, whose lesson 
had been somewhat delayed by my arrival, came in 
tears to the principal of the institute and asked 
^ whether to-day they were always to play and never 
to learn, and whether the big boys only were to have 
lessons ? ' " 

The report next speaks of the classical work, which 
had only been begun in 1820, and how in the preced- 
ing half-year the highest form had read Horace, Plato, 
Phaedrus, and Demosthenes, and translated Cornelius 
Nepos into Greek. "I could not but be astonished 



at the progress which had been made and its thorough 
accuracy . . . and I was as thoroughly gratified with 
the instruction as I had been with the educational train- 
ing. . . . The aim (of the institution) is by no means 
knowledge and science merely, but free, self-active 
development of the mind from within ; wherefore noth- 
ing is added to the pupil from without which does not 
enlighten the mind itself, strengthen the pupil's power, 
and add to his joy by enhancing his consciousness of 
growing power. . . . The aim is to develop the ichole 
man, whose inner being rests between the two poles 
of true enlightenment and genuine religion. . . . Sci- 
ence is held of no worth at Keilhau except as it 
becomes a more universal means of awakening the 
mind, of strengthening the individual and guiding 
him to his highest destiny.^ • • . What the pupils 
know is not a formless mass, but has shape and life, 
and is, if at all possible, immediately applied to life ; 
each one is, so to speak, at home within himself ; there 
is not a trace of thoughtless repetition of the words 
of others, nor vague knowledge in the pupils great 
or small. What they give expression to they have 
inwardly seen, and the expression is given as from 
inner necessity with decision and discrimination. . . . 
Everything which they take up they must be able to 
Ithink ; and therefore what they cannot think they do 
not take up. Even dead grammar with its host of 
rules becomes living before them, inasmuch as they 
are taught to study every language with reference to 
the history, habits, and character of the people to 
whom it belongs." 

iThis is an exaggeration ; thougli, no doubt, science was chiefly 
valued for its educative power. 

TEACHP:R and educational reformer 31 

The extracts have been rather long ; but I think they 
will be found valuable. In the whole report there is 
not one word of fault-finding. Of course after such 
a statement from a man of good official standing, the 
Duke could do little or nothing, even had he wished 
to interfere. But the pressure from Berlin was con- 
tinued; so he bade the community dress like other 
people and cut their hair — a very Solomon's judgment, 
for really there was nothing else the matter with them. 

Unfortunately opposition and detraction did not 
cease ; and what was worse, one of FroebeVs col- 
leagues, a Swiss named Herzog, set himself in stub- 
born opposition to the principal, and drew Froebel's 
widowed sister-in-law and her sons to his party. The 
three nephews quarrelled with their uncle, and left 
in 1824; and Herzog followed, and industriously 
libelled the institute for some time to come. The con- 
sequence was that the number of pupils began to fall 
off ; the gentry were frightened ; financial troubles 
returned ; and by 1829 Keilhau had only five pupils. 

Meanwhile an event, not without some significance, 
had occurred. In the autumn holidays of 1828, Froe- 
bel and Middendorff went to Gottingen, chiefly for 
the purpose of making the personal acquaintance of 
the philosopher Krause. They were well received; 
and Krause, who was well read in the works of Come- 
nius, drcAV Froebel's attention to the noble old bishop's 
treatise on the earliest education of children, Scliola 
Materni Gremii ; and thus probably aided in turning 
Froebel's mind to the field in which he was to win 
his greatest triumphs. Xor may we doubt that the 
visit to one so sympathetic and so learned added con- 


siderably to Froebel's interest in Krause's works and 
the views they set forth. 

"When our distress was at its greatest," says Barop, 
writing of this period, " a new and unexpected pros- 
pect suddenly revealed itself to us. Several very 
influential friends of ours spoke to the Duke of Mein- 
ingen of our work. He summoned Froebel to him 
and made inquiries as to his plans for the future. 
Froebel laid before him a plan for an educational 
institute {Volkserzielumgs-Anstalt) fully worked out 
and drawn up by us all in common, in which not only 
the ordinary learned subjects, but also work in the 
concrete, such as carpentering, weaving, bookbinding, 
tilling the ground, etc., were used as means of educa- 
tion." The plan was dated March, 1829.^ One of 
Froebel's fundamental ideas was that a child should 
not be treated as only receptive, but also, and more 
particularly, as a creative, productive being. He was 
always seeking to find the means for exciting in the 
child a true feeling of the need for explanations, and 
to foster his desire for practical usefulness. Manual 
work in the concrete he believed would do both. But 
lack of means and lack of teachers had cramped his 
efforts at Keilhau. Here seemed a golden oppor- 
tunity, and he threw himself into the scheme with all 
his energy and enthusiasm. At first the Duke seemed 
interested and pleased, and things even went so far 
as an agreement that the institute should be put up 
on the estate of Helba near Meiningen. But others 
around the Duke began to grow jealous of Froebel's 

1 It is printed in full in Lange's Reminiscences of Fnedrich 
FroeheL vol. i. 


increasing influence. The old charges were revived 
and circulated. The Duke wavered, and began to 
withdraw ; till Froebel, finding that he was viewed 
with distrust, broke off all negotiations, and went off 
to Frankfurt to discuss educational principles and 
ways and means with his old friends there (May, 
1831). We may notice in passing that in a letter to 
Barop, written while the Helba plan still seemed pos- 
sible (February 18, 1829), Froebel says : "For a long 
time the education and management of little children 
from the third to the seventh year 5f age has occui)ied 
my thoughts." Many reasons, he adds, had made him 
decide "to erect in Helba in connection with the 
People's Educational Institute, an institution for the 
care and development of children of both sexes from 
three to seven years of age. ... I do not call this 
by the name usually given to similar institutions, that 
is, Infant ScliooJs, because it is not to be a school, for 
the children in it will not l)e scJiooIed, but freely devel- 
oped.'' Here we have distinctly the first foreshadow- 
ing of Froebel's great invention, the kindergarten. 

After so many troubles Froebel had almost begun 
to lose faith in himself; and he needed the counsel 
and encouragement of his Frankfurt friends to help 
him to go on. It was while with them that he met 
the well-known musical composer and naturalist 
Schnyder. So interested did the latter grow in 
Froebel's views and projects that he shortly pro- 
posed that Froebel should set up an institute in his 
(Schnyder's) castle at Wartensee in Lucerne. Froe- 
bel started off forthwith for Wartensee with his 
nephew Ferdinand and Schnyder himself, got the 


necessary authority of the Lucerne government, and 
in August issued the prospectus of his new establish- 
ment. It was scarcely open before clerical opposition 
commenced ; and so strong was this, that, in spite 
of the support of such men as Pere Girard and the 
Pfyffers, no pupils entered. Froebel then started a 
school in the castle, to which a few peasants sent 
their children. But soon after the arrival of Barop, 
the situation was found to be untenable. The castle 
was not well adapted to school purposes, and the situ-, 
ation was inconveflient. So the proposal that they 
should migrate to Willisau, a small town not very far 
off, was accepted, and as soon as the preliminaries 
had been settled, Froebel returned in Kovember to 
Keilhau. In the spring of the next year (1833) he 
and his wife rejoined Barop and Ferdinand Froebel ; 
and on the second of May the institute was opened in 
Willisau with thirty-six pupils. Opposition continued 
here ; but in spite of it the institute was successful. 
In the autumn of the year, the Bernese government 
sent five pupil-teachers to learn the new methods at 
Willisau, and requested Froebel to consider a plan 
for the founding of an orphanage at Burgdorf, and to 
come to that town to deliver a course of lectures to 
young teachers. The lectures were delivered earlj^ in 
1834, and were a great success. But before this 
Froebel had accepted the task of founding the or- 
phanage on the condition (which was accepted) that 
others besides orphans should be admitted to the 

Feeling that his mission in Switzerland was finished, 
and anxious to return to his young wife, Barop went 


back to Keilhau at the end of 1832. His place at Wil- 
lisau was taken by Langethal ; who was soon followed, 
early in 1835, by Middendorff and Elise Froebel. 
So Barop became, and henceforth remained, sole 
director of Keilhan ; and by his skill and good man- 
agement contrived in a few years to bring back pros- 
perity to the parent establishment, to pay off all debts, 
and to give assistance to the other branches of the 

In the summer of 1835 Froebel, accompanied by his 
wife and by Langethal, removed to Burgdorf ; and 
shortly afterwards was appointed by the government 
as the director of the orphanage, and in that capacity 
had to give an annual course of lectures to teachers. 
And so at last, in the town where thirty years before 
Pestalozzi had labored with such success, Froebel found 
himself publicly recognized and respected, and his 
system publicly employed. It was here, amidst his 
little orphans, as Barop points out, that the conviction 
grew stronger than ever in Froebel's mind that " all 
school education was yet without a proper initial foun- 
dation, and that therefore until the education of the 
nursery was reformed nothing solid and worthy could 
be attained. The necessity for training gifted, capable 
mothers occupied his mind, and the importance of the 
education of childhood's earliest years became more 
evident to him than ever before." It is in this period 
that his idea of a mission to women may be said to 
have definitely taken shape and significance. At this 
time, too, though only for a short while, Froebel enter- 
tained a project of going to the United States so as to 
be able to establish his system in a new country ; but 


he was persuaded to give it up ; and the brothers of 
his friend Adolph Erankenberg emigrated without him. 
But, as if rest was never to be his, he found ere long 
that it was impossible for him to remain at Burgdorf. 
His wife's health had completely broken down, and 
she was longing to return to Germany. The doctors 
also urged her going. So Langethal and Ferdinand 
Froebel were appointed directors of the orphanage ; ^ 
and in June, 1836, Froebel and his wife bid Switzer- 
land a final farewell and went to Berlin. 

When Froebel came back from Berlin to Keilhau in 
1837, the idea of an institution for the education of 
little children had fully taken shape in his mind. 
Barop took rooms for him in the neighboring small 
town of Blankenburg. And here he forthwith put 
his new scheme into practice, establishing what he 
called " Anstalt fiir Kleinkinderpflege," or an institu- 
tion for the fostering of little children. It soon 
began to attract attention. The dowager Princess of 
Schwarzburg-Eudolstadt came to see his experiment. 
Barop and Frankenburg won the adherence of several 
people both at Dresden and Leipzig. In January, 
1839, Froebel himself gave an address at Dresden at 
which the Queen of Saxony was present ; and a month 
later he gave another at Leipzig. But in the midst 

1 In 1841 Langethal left the community and accepted the direc- 
tion of a girls' school in Bern — a step which Froebel never forgave. 
After Froebel's death he returned to Keilhau and spent his last 
years there. Ferdinand Froebel continued to be director of the or- 
phanage till his death at a somewhat early age, when in recognition 
of his services a public funeral was granted him. Willisau was 
given up as a Froebelian institute when the Jesuits came into 
power in 1839. 


of all this a great sorrow fell upon him and for a 
while completely paralyzed him. His wafe, who had 
been out of health for some time, but who neverthe- 
less had been of the very greatest help to him at 
Blankenburg, died in May. Her loss seemed irre- 
parable ; but soon, to w4n if not consolation at least 
temporary forgetfulness, Froebel plunged more eagerly 
into work than ever. Already several young teachers 
had been sent to him to learn his system ; and now 
he organized a set of training lectures to meet the 
demand. By the end of 1839 two infant schools were 
opened at Frankfurt under masters whom he had 
trained ; while before that Middendorff, the staunch 
and self-sacrificing, had returned to be Froebel's other 
and more eloquent self, after an absence from wife and 
child of four years. Froebel had long racked his 
brains for a really suitable distinguishing name for 
his new institution ; but hitherto without result. 
" Middendorff and I," says Barop, '• were one day 
(about this time) walking to Blankenburg with him 
over the Steiger Pass. He kept on repeating, ' Oh, if 
I could only think of a good name for my youngest 
born ! ' Blankenburg lay at our feet and he walked 
moodily towards it. Suddenly he stood still as if 
riveted to the spot, and his eyes grew wonderfully 
bright. Then he shouted to the mountain so that it 
echoed to the four winds, ' Eureka I Ivixdergartex 
shall the institute be called ! ' '' 

Froebel now determined to make a great effort to 
])ut the whole establishment at Blankenburg on a sat-' 
isfactory footing, and to include in it a training col- 
lege in which women teachers should be shown how 


to deal with little children up to the age of seven. 
On May 1, 1840, an appeal for subscriptions was 
issued ; and meanwhile he took advantage of the four 
hundredth anniversary of the invention of printing 
(June 28), to make his scheme well known to Blank- 
enburg and the neighborhood. He succeeded so far 
as to get the municipality to grant him the free use 
of a place to work in ; but very few of the shares of 
his joint-stock company were taken up either then or 
afterwards. As of old, insufficient means and bad 
management made life a hard struggle. In 1844, 
Blankenburg had to be given up ; and Froebel deter- 
mined to travel about Germany and expound his 
views, taking with him his faithful and eloquent 
friend Middendorff. Just before leaving Blanken- 
burg, however, in 1843, he published a book which 
was destined to become the most popular of all his 
works, the charming song and picture book for mothers 
and little children. Matter- unci Kose-Ueder, Avith which 
I shall presently deal very fully. In the summer of 
1844, Froebel and Middendorff started on their travels ; 
and visited in succession Frankfurt, Heidelberg, Darm- 
stadt, Cologne, Carlsruhe, and Stuttgart. Next year 
they visited Saxony, and had the pleasure of seeing 
at Dresden the kindergarten which had been estab- 
lished there by Adolph Frankenberg, and which was 
directed by his young wife. But the results of this 
journey were few and unsatisfactory ; nor were those 
of the journey of 1846 any better. Discouraged by 
the reception he met with from men, and from pro- 
fessional teachers in general, Froebel henceforth more 
than ever addressed himself to women, — mothers and 


teachers, — and during the winters 1846-47 and 1847-48 
gave courses of lectures specially for them at Keil- 
hau. The number of those who attended was not 
large ; but among them we may mention Middendorlf 's 
daughter Alwine, who afterwards married Dr. Wichard 
Lange, and Luise Levin, who was destined to become 
Froebel's second wife. His constant association with 
women, as M. Guillaume has remarked, is very dis- 
tinctly traceable in the choice of occupations which 
Froebel made for the kindergarten. A congress of 
teachers, called by Froebel, met at Kudolstadt in 1848 ; 
but he made little impression on them, and indeed 
met with considerable opposition ; and in the autumn 
he went off to Dresden to deliver a triple course of 
lectures, theoretical and practical — this time with 
decided success. In the spring of 1849 Froebel re- 
turned to Keilhau ; and then settled at Liebenstein in 
the Duchy of Saxe-Meiningen, intending to train kin- 
dergarten teachers there with Luise Levin as his as- 
sistant. Here it was that he met the ablest and most 
public-spirited of his disciples, the Baroness Bertha 
von Marenholtz-Biilow, to whom as an individual the 
kindergarten movement has owed more than to any 
one else except Froebel himself ; and here he won the 
at least partial adherence of the great Diesterweg, 
who sent him his own daughter as a pupil. Towards 
the close of 1849, at the request of the " Women's 
Union," Froebel went to Hamburg to lecture on 
women's education ; and though at first his audience 
showed that they missed the easy, clear eloquence of 
Middendorff, who had had a great success there earlier 
in the year, in the end he had every reason to be sat- 


isfied. It was on tliis occasion that he made the per- 
sonal acquaintance of Dr. Wichard Lange. Unfor- 
tunately the "Women's Union" had also asked Karl 
Froebel to lecture. He had separated himself from 
liis uncle in 1824, and was now a professor at Zurich. 
Karl Froebel was an advanced liberal, of the party of 
" Young Germany." His talk was somewhat revolu- 
tionary, and his theme the emancipation of women. 
It was inevitable that in the official mind some con- 
fusion should arise between the uncle and the nephew. 
In the spring of 1850 Froebel was back at Lieben- 
stein; and shortly afterwards was able to move to 
Marienthal, a little country-seat in the neighborhood, 
the use of which as a training college had been 
obtained for him by the kind intervention of the 
Baroness von Marenholtz-Biilow. The evening of his 
life seemed likely at last to be calm and happy. In 
August, 1850, he organized a very successful children's 
festival at Altenstein hard by ; and in the same year 
founded a new Weekly Journal of Education under 
the editorship of Dr. Lange. In July, 1851, he mar- 
ried Luise Levin, to give her a home and to have 
some one whom he loved to look after him ; and both 
were calmly and sincerely happy. Suddenly a blow 
was struck at him from Berlin. On August 7 ap- 
peared a decree, issued by the Prussian minister of 
education and religion, von Eaumer, forbidding the 
foundation of kindergartensSj^ Prussian states. " It 
is evident," said the minister, ^^' from a tract entitled 
High JSchools for Girls and Kindergartens, by Karl 
Froebel, that kindergartens form a j)art of the Froe- 
belian socialistic system, the aim of which is to 


teach children atheism. Schools, therefore, which 
are directed on Froebel's or on analogous principles 
cannot be tolerated." The confusion between the 
uncle and the nephew^ was manifest ; and at first 
Froebel and his friends thought that it would be easy 
to get the interdict removed. But all their efforts 
were in vain. It was not for the first time that the 
government had had its eye on Froebel. The min- 
ister would not allow that he was mistaken ; and the 
interdict remained in force till 1860. 

What hurt the old teacher most, who of all men 
was most truly religious, was the accusation of athe- 
ism. But in a little while he plucked up his courage 
again. If Prussia was closed and the movement mis- 
represented and checked, still the rest of Germany 
was open. He threw himself with redoubled ardor 
into his work at Marienthal. On April 21, 1852, — 
his seventieth birthday, — a happy family gathering 
to celebrate the event cheered him considerably. But 
immediately afterwards the Hamburg papers began 
discussing his orthodoxy ; and the old man was deeply 
pained to find that some people considered him anti- 
Christian. At Whitsuntide a general conference of 
teachers was held at Gotha, and Froebel was asked to 
attend. Diesterweg's public approbation, and the 
sense of the injustice of the interdict, no doubt 
strongly influenced those present ; but something 
more was meant when, on the old teacher's entrance, 
the whole assembly rose to their feet. He spoke on 
natural science teaching, and was listened to with 
great respect and attention, and given three hearty- 
cheers. It was a triumph j but the end was near. 


On his return to Marienthal his health gave way 
(June 6), and he took to his bed. Middendorff was 
summoned at once, and did not leave him again. 
During those last days his mind was constantly oc- 
cupied by thoughts of the religious aspect of his 
work. He frequently spoke of this to the friends 
who had gathered round him. He remained quiet 
and happy, and, as of old, showed great delight in 
flowers. But gradually day by day he grew weaker. 
At last, on June 21, murmuring " God the Father, 
the Son, and the Holy Ghost. Amen," the old friend 
and benefactor of children fell asleep. 

Froebel rests in Liebenstein ; and Middendorff, who 
followed his old comrade eighteen months later, lies 
in Keilhau at the foot of the Kirschberg. Christian 
Froebel had died in January, 1851. In the latter part 
of 1852 the Marienthal training college was moved to 
Keilhau, and there carried on by Middendorff and 
Friedrich Froebel's widow. After Middendorff's death 
(Kovember 27, 1853) Froebel's widow continued the 
Avork for a while, and then gave it up to become di- 
rector of the Public Free Kindergarten in Hamburg. 
Dr. Wichard Lange lived and worked for the cause 
till 1884. Barop lived for many years, came into 
a rich inheritance, and enjoyed many honors. The 
University of Jena bestowed on him a doctor's degree 
at its jubilee, and the Prince of Pudolstadt appointed 
him councillor of education. 



The Education of Man was published at Keilhau in 
the year 1826. It is a somewhat condensed, and not 
always very lucid, statement of what Froebel thought 
education should mean — of what he and his friends 
were trying to make it mean in the Institute of Keilhau. 
He begins by setting forth his general conception of 
the universe, and of the meaning of man's life therein ; 
he proceeds next to expound, illustrate, and apply sev- 
eral of his leading principles — occasionally endeavor- 
ing to establish the truth of some of them on a 
sound psychological basis, and following the human 
being, more or less systematically, through childhood, 
boyhood, and youth. Lastly, he explains how he 
would have us deal with the chief subjects of school 
instruction. But in this respect his views were not 
fully worked until much later. He assumes that his 
conception of the universe and his statement of the 
law of evolution will be readily understood and accepted 
without proof. But inasmuch as these assumptions 
are liable to unduly increase our difficulties at the very 
outset, I will, before going any further, endeavor to 
make clearer to younger students the somewhat pan- 



theistic view of creation which Froebel sets forth, and 
state briefly what is here meant by evolution. 

In a quaint okl book, written more than two hun- 
dred and sixty years ago, and called Religio Medici, Sir 
Thomas Browne, amongst a multitude of other things, 
discourses (in part i, sect. 18) on what men call for- 
tune or chance. He tells us that in this world of ours, 
according to his view, " there is no liberty for causes 
to operate in a loose and straggling Avay, nor any effect 
whatsoever,but hath its warrant from some universal or 
superior cause." And then, after showing how much of 
what we call chance can, by the help of a little more 
knowledge, be readily seen to be not chance at all, and, 
like Bacon in his Essay on Atheism, insisting that 
man's ignorance makes him rest in "second causes " 
instead of proceeding to a higher primary cause, he 
sums up his opinion in these words : " Though we 
christen effects by their most sensible and nearest 
causes, yet is God the true and infallible cause of 
all; whose concourse {i.e. concurrence, co-operation), 
though it be general, yet doth it subdivide itself into 
the particular actions of everything, and is that spirit 
by which each singular essence not only subsists, but 
performs its operation." The Education of Man opens 
with almost the very same words. In the De Imitatione 
Christi (bk. i, chap. 3) we read : " The man to whom all 
things are one, who refers all things to one and sees all 
things in one, he can stand firm and be at peace in God." 
So, again, Carlyle's views as described by Froude,^ are 
strikingly like Froebel's : " God to him was the fact 
of facts. He looked upon this whole system of vis- 
1 Life of Carlyle, vol. ii, p. 6. 


ible or spiritual phenoiueiia as a manifestation of 
the will of God in constant forces — forces not 
mechanical but dynamic, interpenetrating and con- 
trolling all existing things from the utmost bounds 
of space to the smallest granule on earth's surface : 
from the making of the world to the lightest action 
of a man. God's law was everywhere ; man's wel- 
fare depended on the faithful reading of it. Society 
was but a higher organism, no accidental agreement 
of individual persons or families to live together on 
conditions which they could arrange for themselves, 
but a natural growth, the conditions of which were 
already laid down. Human life was like a garden ' to 
which the Will was gardener,' and the moral fruits 
and flowers, or the immoral and poisonous weeds, grew 
inevitably according as the rules already appointed 
were discovered and obeyed, or slighted, overlooked, 
or defied." The idea of God in nature was not 
invented bj^ Froebel, nor by Sir Thomas Browne, nor 
by Carlyle. We can follow it back through hundreds 
and hundreds of years. Wherever there has been 
monotheism, or even a tendency to monotheism, there, 
in one form or another, has the idea been present. 
Men starting from the causes they could readily recog- 
nize, and working back to other causes behind these, 
and so back and back from cause to cause, from what- 
ever part of knowledge they might set out, have always 
seemed to be gradually drawing towards one central 
fundamental cause of all. This central first cause 
many have called God. If they hold that this first 
cause has no existence apart from the universe in which 
it works we call them pantheists. But numberless 


others, like Browne and Wordsworth, for instance, 
while recognizing, and even insisting upon, the con- 
stant presence and operation of God in the universe, 
hold that God has also a separate existence of his own. 
This was Froebel's view. It does not contradict Chris- 
tianity. We may call Browne, and Wordsworth, and 
Froebel pantheistic Christians. But here a warning 
is needed. Since all things live and have t heir be ing 
in and through God, and the divine principle that 
works in each thing is the essence of the life of that 
Jhing (sect. 1)/ all things are liable in Froebel's 
mind to become symbols; not only to be adopted 
as and made into symbols, but in their very essence 
to he symbols, made for our learning, part of the in- 
direct means used by God to reveal and express him- 
self. So in sect. 69 of the Education of Man (and 
still more in a treatise written 1811) the sphere 
becomes the symbol of diversity in unity and unity in 
diversity, and of other abstract ideas. In sects. 70-72 
Froebel finds strange sermons in the faces and edges 
of crystals ; and in sect. 73, the numbers 3 and 5 in 
connection with plants and flowers have as many 
mystic meanings as abracadabra. Other instances 
might be added ; but these will be enough to indicate 
the presence here and there in the Education of Man 
of a symbolism which has no real connection with its 
fundamental principles or with the argument drawn 
from them, and which is often very confusing. 

Another difficulty has to do with the theory of 
evolution, or, as it is often called, development. Like 

1 The references throughout are to Haihnanu's translation of the 
Education of Man. 


all other great truths, the law of evolution has only 
"part by part to man revealed the fulness of its 
face." It existed in fragments and partial applica- 
tions before Darwin, and Wallace, and Herbert Spen- 
cer. They proved it and extended it ; but Froebel's 
great claim to distinction will always rest on the fact 
that he was the first to apply the theory soundly and 
completely to education, and, having so applied it, to 
translate it into practice. Even Spencer — whose 
psychology Froebel's most nearly resembles, and 
many pages of whose Essay on Education might have 
been taken straight from the Education of Man — 
stops short at general precepts, not always complete 
nor always possible. Eroebel alone translates psy- 
chological principles into psychological practice. 

Let me try to state, as clearly as I can, this theory 
of development as applied to education {sects. 8, 
23). The first thing to note in the idea of devel- 
opment is that it indicates, not an increase in bulk 
or quantity (though it may include this), but an 
increase in complexity of structure, an improvement 
in power, skill, and variety in the performance of 
natural functions. We say that a thing is fully devel- 
oped when its internal organization is perfect in every 
detail, and when it can perform all its natural actions 
or functions perfectly. If we apply this distinction 
to 'mind, an increase in bulk will be represented by 
an increase in the amount of material retained in 
the mind, in the memory ; development will be a per- 
fecting of, so to speak, the structure of the mind 
itself, an increase of insight into the connectedness of 
knowledge, an increase of power and skill and variety 


in dealing with knowledge, and in putting knowledge 
to all its natural uses. The next thing to consider is 
how this development is produced. How can we aid 
in promoting this change from germ to complete 
organism, from partially developed thing to more 
highly developed thing ? The answer comes from 
every part of creation with ever-increasing clearness 
and emphasis — development is produced by exercise 
of function, use of facult3^ Xeglect or disuse of any 
part of an organism leads to the dwindling, and some- 
times even to the disappearance, of that part. And 
this applies not only to individuals, but stretches also 
from parent to child, from generation to generation, 
constituting then what we call heredity, or what 
Froebel calls the connectedness of humanity. Slowly 
through successive generations a faculty or organ may 
dwindle and decay, or may be brought to greater and 
greater perfection. As Froebel i)uts it, humanity 
past, present, and future is one continuous whole. 
The amount of development, then, possible in any 
particular case, plainly depends partly on the original 
outfit, and partly (and as a rule in a greater measure) 
on the opportunities there have been for exercise, and 
the use made of those opportunities. If we wish to 
develop the hand, we must exercise the hand. If we 
wish to develop the body, we must exercise the body. , 
If we wish to develop the mind, we must exercise the 
mind. If we wish to develop the whole human being, 
we must exercise the whole human being. But will 
any exercise suffice ? Again the answer is clear. 
Only that exercise which is given at the right time, 
which is always in harmony with the nature of the 


thing, and wliicli is always proportioned to the 
strength of the thing, produces true development. 
All other exercise is partially or wholly hurtful. And 
another condition, evident in every case, becomes still 
more evident when we apply these laws to the mind. 
To produce development most truly and effectively, 
the exercise must arise from and be sustained by the 
thing's own activity — its own natural powers, and all 
of them (as far as these are in any sense connected 
with the activity proposed) should be awakened and 
become naturally active. If, for instance, we desire to 
further the development of a plant, what we have 
to do is to induce the plant (and the whole of it) to 
become active in its own natural way, and to help it 
to sustain that activity. We may abridge the time ; 
we may modify the result ; but we must act through 
and by the plant's own activity. This activity of 
a thing's own self we call self-activity {sect. 9). 
The mind is generally considered in the light of its 
three activities of knowing, feeling, and willing. The 
exercise which aims at producing mental development 
must be in harmony with the nature of knowing, 
feeling, and willing, and continually in proportion to 
their strength. And further, it is found that the 
more the activity is that of the whole mind, the more 
it is the mind's own activity — self-produced, and self- 
maintained, and self-directed — the better is the 
result. In other words, knowing, feeling, and willing 
must all take their rightful share in the exercise ; and 
in particular, feeling and willing — the mind's powers 
of prompting and nourishing, of maintaining and 
directing its own activities — must never be neglected. 


These are some of the main principles of that uni- 
versal law to which Froebel so often refers, and of 
which his system is the most thoughtful and diligent 
application. They must, therefore, be the perpetual 
guide of every teacher. But Froebel carries the law 
further. ''To be wise," he says (sect. 4), ''is the 
highest aim of man." Now mankind as a whole, and 
the individual man, just as all other created things, 
are alike subject to this law of evolution. The tru- 
est wisdom, the greatest happiness and peace, lie in 
intelligent, willing, self-submission to, and in intelli- 
gent, vigorous fulfilment of, the law of our being and 
our life — in living by this law and acting the law we 
live by without fear. Man must, therefore, be led to 
a consciousness of, an intelligent insight into, this law 
as the ruling life-principle in nature, in humanity, and 
in himself. For so only will man attain to wisdom : 
so only will mankind and the whole creation move 
forward to godlike completion and fulfilment, and 
" burst at length into the perfect flower." It is Froe- 
bel's ceaseless endeavor to show us how this conscious- 
ness, and insight, and knowledge of the law of all life 
may be awakened and made clear and kept effective. 
This is another essential part of his system. But 
though it is constantly a source of strength, it is also 
at times a source of weakness in the views he sets 
forth ; for in ceaselessly trying to make law and unity 
apparent in everything, Froebel is occasionally drawn 
into artificiality and mere fancy, as, for instance, in 
some of the applications of his " reconciliation of 
opposites," or " connection of contrasts," by which 
he means the rendering evident of likeness and 


relationship underlying difference or apparent opposi- 

I do not propose to rewrite the Education of 3fan, 
but only to bring forward and make clear its main 
principles, and to explain their application to prac- 
tice. And since later on I shall deal very fully with 
the ethical part of Froebel's method, I shall now 
restrict myself almost entirely to what has reference 
to intellectual and physical development. 

I said just now that development depends on the 
exercise being given when it is needed, at its being in 
harmony with the nature of the thing, and in propor- 
tion to the strength of the thing exercised. From 
this we get at once the highly important principle that 
there must be continuity in education. As that which is 
exercised grows constant!}^ capable of higher and more 
varied activity, so must the exercise given grow con- 
tinuously higher and more varied in character — keep- 
ing pace with the development, never outrunning it 
too eagerly, nor lagging lazily behind — every stage 
growing naturally out of that which precedes. If we 
now add the principle that we should aim at the 
development, and therefore at the exercise of the 
human being as a whole, we shall see that education 
as a whole should be continuous — every part related 
to every other part, every part helping and advancing 
every other part. The interconnection of all the 
parts of education, and of all the parts of knowledge 

1 Thus,, the opposites "rest" and "motion" are reconciled by 
the idea of the composition of forces. In the former the forces ex- 
actly neutralize one another ; in the latter they do not. (See Edu- 
cation of Man, sect. 25.) This principle will be returned to later. 


used in education, is called by Froebel connectedness. 
This view is considerably strengthened when we ob- 
serve that, to the young child, as to primitive human- 
ity, all knowledge does, as a matter of fact, come as 
one whole, and that the subdivision into subjects and 
departments is a very gradually evolved plan, for the 
most part wholly artificial, and only adopted for the 
sake of convenience. Moreover, the very nature of 
knowledge itself teaches the necessity for connected- 
ness. Facts in isolation, and unrelated to one another, 
do not form knowledge. Facts have to be compared, 
classified, organized, connected, before they become 
Avliat we call knowledge. Knowledge grows when 
new facts are rightly connected with facts already 
arranged and organized, and when the connections 
perceived are made clearer and clearer, and are wi- 
dened and deepened and multiplied. And so, since 
education has largely to do with inducing the right 
acquirement of knowledge and the right use of knowl- 
edge, the task of the educator must largely consist in 
bringing out, and making clear, and maintaining the 
connectedness of facts and things. Education should 
be one connected whole, and should advance with an 
orderly and continuous growth — as orderly, continu- 
ous, and natural as the growth of a plant {sects. 22, 

Now let us apply another part of the law of devel- 
opment — that which requires self-activity. In dealing 
with the material world around him, the child cannot 
add to the quantity or variety of material ; but he can 
observe it, search into it, and find what is not imme- 
diately apparent to look or touch ; and he can discover 


relations between the different parts of a thing, or of 
one thing to other things. All this may be his own 
work, may be produced by self-activity. But the 
interest a child can take in observing is limited and 
of short duration ; the search for what is not immedi- 
ately apparent is often either beyond his powers or 
only yields results as yet unintelligible to him ; the 
discovery of relations deals too much with what is 
more or less abstract to have much meaning or value 
for him at first. Moreover all this, even when it is 
produced by self-activity, does not satisfy other con- 
ditions of development. In two respects it is dis- 
tinctly one-sided : it has to do almost wholly with 
mental activity, and that mainly Icnoicing, the physical 
nature being given little or nothing to do ; and it is 
restricted to taking in and to partial assimilating; 
while development, as we have described it, or as a 
moment's thought will show, consists in taking in, 
assimilating, and giving out. Moreover, knowledge is 
to be given at the right time. Mind-growth is aided 
by the mind being enabled to take in the kind of 
knowledge it needs, just so much of it as it needs, 
and just when it needs this knowledge ; by its being 
enabled to work this knowledge up into its very 
self, and to use it as a means of life. Therefore 
observation and discovery are not enough for our 
purpose — especially in the earlier years. Something 
must be added to them — something which renders 
more of the human being active, and which has to 
do with giving out or expression. Now, though we 
cannot add to the quantity or variety of material, we 
can modify its form, and we can arrange it in new 


combinations. This work, or doing, will call into 
activity more of the mind; will require the co-opera- 
tion of some of the physical powers ; readily takes 
the form of giving outward definite expression to 
ideas and mental images ; and it is easily united to 
observation and discovery, and is immensely improved 
by being so united. This making of new forms and 
combinations (rising from the merest imitation of 
models up to the most original inventions), this giv- 
ing of definite expression to ideas and mental images, 
this "rendering of the inner outer," is the great 
Froebelian doctrine of creatlveness (see sects. 23, 94, 
etc.) It is the practical application of the princi- 
ple of self-activity, and, together with the doctrines of 
continuity and connectedness, it forms the true heart 
of Froebel's system. It gives their very life-blood to 
all the songs and games ; and it is the living principle 
in all the occupations, which without it are mere 
sticks and stones, and bits of paper. We need not 
be dismayed at the quaint religious views at times 
mixed up with it {sect. 23). A religious form of 
expression is as natural to Froebel as foliage to a tree. 
The principle, taken as a clue to difiiculties and a test 
of method, will be found of great assistance. Year 
by year the recognition of it steadily grows ; and it 
may some day change the character of a great part of 
our education. Meanwhile it is not wholly unfamiliar 
to many of us in that somewhat limited application of 
Froebel's precepts which we call Sloyd. 

1 might now go more deeply into the psychological 
aspect of creatlveness, and show how, in aiding the 
child to express itself, we are aiding it in learning to 


discriminate between itself and the sensuous world 
around it, — aiding it in the recognition of its own 
identity, — a most important matter in the growth 
of mind {sect. 44, etc.). But this would take me too 
far into the region of psychology pure and simple, 
and so I will turn to consider some of the most strik- 
ing applications which Froebel makes of this doctrine 
of expression. 

It was natural enough that a disciple of Pestalozzi's 
should have much to tell us about the educational 
values of form, language, and number, and the neces- 
sity for keeping these closely connected; and that 
Froebel himself should constantly deal with them, not 
as parts of knowledge, but as instruments of expres- 
sion. It was natural, too, that a man with Froebel's 
psychological cast of mind and earnest desire to get 
at the inner meaning of things, should seek in all 
of these for their primary components or elements. 
Such an analysis must always be valuable as a train- 
ing, and the resultant knowledge must itself, as a 
guide, be very useful to a teacher. But mankind has 
never begun with elements. Human knowledge and 
the results of human activity have always been at first 
confused, inexact, indefinite, containing much which 
afterwards proved to be useless — though for a time, 
like an alloy in metals, it made the material work 
better. Progress in the race, and in the individual, 
has always been an advance towards clearer percep- 
tion, greater exactness, a more decided marking of 
limits, and the discarding more and more of all that 
is extraneous. A child's work, and a child's knowledge 
must always begin in this way, and progress in this 


way. It does not seem to me that Froebel always 
keeps this fundamental princijole sufficiently in view ; 
or perhaps it would be fairer to say that when he 
wrote the Education of Man^ Froebel had not yet 
fully grasped the value and significance of this prin- 
ciple. Eosmini saw it clearly enough, and suggests 
more than one application of it. But Froebel seems 
now and then to be premature in his insistence on 
the use of elements. In particular his drawing for 
older but still young children, in the Education of Man, 
except in sects. 36 and 37, mainly reduces itself to 
work in checkers with straight and curved lines (which 
he considers elements). He seems to think that chil- 
dren see the outlines of things, and gives them the 
elements of outline to work with. But children — and 
a great mau}^ adults also — do not see outlines at all 
at first, or only very dimly. Things apj)ear to them 
as masses of color, or of light and shade, with edges 
not by any means sharply defined. We should begin 
with masses of color and light and shade, and work 
gradually towards improvement of outline — at least 
so it seems to some of us. I fancy Froebel may have 
at first thought that the drawing of forms of life was 
too difficult and that in it there was too much imita- 
tion and too little inventiveness. I readily allow the 
inventiveness exercised by his plan, and I think the 

1 Froebel •liyed twenty-six years after writiug the Education of 
Man (1826) , and during that time published many valuable articles 
and essays. When shall we have these translated ? It should be borne 
in mind that the system of Gifts and Occupations did not take its 
first form till about 1836 (Gifts 1 to 5), or its final form till about 
1844, In this final form there is a marked advance on much that is 
laid down in the Education of Man. 


checker-work full of useful suggestions, and a valu- 
able introduction to writing — thougli I think the 
sticks and rings are much better. But I hold that the 
inventiveness is far too little free, and very liable to 
resolve itself into what is mainly mechanical. Checker- 
work also affords but little help in exercising expres- 
sion, for that to which it gives outward visible shape 
corresponds but in a very limited way to what is 
in the child's mind. It rather suggests new things 
to the child than expresses thoughts already his. On 
the other hand, I would urge that we do not expect 
children's drawings to be at first much more than 
barely intelligible ; the drawings should be expres- 
sions of what the children think about and care 
for, as Froebel himself says (sects. 36, 37) ; and by 
modifying and rearranging details, or re-grouping 
things as wholes, forms of life may be made to give 
plenty of scope for invention. Nor should we forget 
that if we are to keep education as one connected whole 
all through, then children should draw the things which 
they see and touch, which they count and read about and 
are told of — just as they should be exercised in speak- 
ing about the things they touch and see. This, in fact, 
is the view which Froebel himself more fully adopts 
in his later writings.-^ In the Education of Man his 
methods for little children are only partly worked out ; 
and many of them require the modifications which 
they afterwards received. In many of these the mis- 
take, if I may call it one, consists in building up the 
subject from its elements, instead of working upon 

1 See the paper " Des Kindes Zeiehenlust " (The Child's Delight in 
Drawing) in the volume of Froebel's essays entitled Bie Pddagogik 
des Kindergartens. 


what the child knows, and developing that. It closely 
resembles the mistake of beginning language with 
grammar and grammar-exercises. But here it is 
only the very initial stage which suffers to any ex- 
tent, the higher stages in number and speech being 
in many ways excellently handled; while the treat- 
ment of the initial stage itself was much modified 
when, after 1840, Froebel had had some experience 
in actual kindergarten work. 

The constant theme of the Education of Man, as 
I have said, is the application of the law of evolu- 
tion to education, an exposition of how the devel- 
opment of the whole human being is to be produced 
— not only in early childhood, but from birth con- 
tinuously onward to full-grown manhood. It is 
addressed not only to teachers, but also to parents, 
especially mothers — in many parts mainly to moth- 
ers ; and the 3Iutter- unci Kose-lieder is only a riper 
statement and more detailed exemplification of a part 
of its theories and methods — also chiefly for the 
benefit of mothers. Indeed, there is nothing more 
admirable in both these books than the enthusiastic 
recognition of the high meaning of domestic duty and 
the keen insight into, and the vivid description of the 
educational value of household work. The way in 
which we are made to feel the true dignity and edu- 
cative power of all necessary human labor is some- 
thing almost unique ; and compels us to recognize that 
Froebel is the wisest guide for nursery, and kinder- 
garten, and school, because he deals with their prob- 
lems as one wdio has already attained to a true 
philosophy of life. We do not only gain professional 


knowledge as teachers through studying his books, 
we also learn to live out our own lives more wisely, 
more strenuously, and more fruitfully; and win in 
every way a wider sense of human fellowship. Next 
to this striking, this philosophic utilization of common 
human work, not merely as a means for bread-getting, 
but as a means of spiritual development, what will 
most probably catch a student's attention is the utili- 
zation in the same manner of children's play and their 
love of stories. Many writers before Froebel recog- 
nized the value of play in early childhood. Plato, 
Quintilian, Luther, Fenelon, Locke, Richter, and 
others, all noticed some of its beneficent effects. But 
to Froebel alone belongs the credit of having seen its 
true evolutionary meaning, and the part it should take 
in education. This idea in its fulness did not come to 
him at once. In the Education of Man its significance 
is suggested rather than distinctly described ; and it 
was not till many years later that its application to 
kindergarten methods was completely worked out- 
But that application — which shows such insight, 
resource, and originality — marks an epoch in the 
history of education. Very noticeable too is what is 
said of stories (sect. 98), and how they exercise 
the intellectual, aesthetic, and ethical sentiments — 
though no moral, Froebel Avarns us, is to be tagged 
on to them. But it is in the use to which Froebel 
put them in later years that he is most original. 
They serve to bring the whole of the work of the 
kindergarten into close connectedness and to keep 
it connected. They deal with the things which the 
children have observed and handled and constructed ; 


they use and improve the children's vocabulary and 
mode of expression ; they are enlivened and dramati- 
cally made intelligible by the songs and games ; and 
they are pictured out and made sources of new interest 
by drawings, paintings, and objects of various kinds, 
some new to the children, and some their own work 
freshly constructed for the particular story. The right 
and full use of the story is the most difficult task a 
kindergarten teacher can undertake. A charming 
and fresh manner is much, but it is not everything — 
careful thought is required, and with this a skill like 
that of the conductor of an orchestra, to bring out in 
right place and in right pitch all that every instru- 
ment should contribute to the music of the whole. 
But all this belongs to a later stage in the develop- 
ment of Froebel's views. 

Two other points in this remarkable book must at 
least be referred to here, though the full treatment of 
them must be left for a later chapter : Nature-study and 
the educational value of Art. The importance given 
to nature-study (and with it, later on, gardening and 
the keeping of pet animals) was no doubt originally 
learnt from Pestalozzi. But, like all great artists 
and thinkers, Froebel rarely borrows anything with- 
out giving it a new significance and a wider applica- 
tion. In nature-study the knowledge of external fact 
is not the only thing, nor the chief thing, which he 
seeks. Besides exercising faculty he desires that the 
young should gradually and continuously come to feel 
and to see that laws underlie all organic formation, 
and that conformity with those laws is the funda- 
mental, unvarying condition of all true every-sided 


development towards perfection — in other things 
first, and then in themselves ; while gardening and 
the care of animals shonld, in addition to this, also 
make labor a pleasure and a duty. So, again, when 
using art as an instrument of his system (sects. 84, 
85), he does not undertake to form artists, but seeks 
to awaken the ideal side of human nature, and to 
produce in the young a feeling and a perception that 
in all beauty there is a perfection of the thing after 
its own kind — another experience of the beneficent 
results of law and harmony. 

I have now, I trust, fairly opened out the essentials 
of my subject, so that henceforward I may move more 
freely, and not be obliged, whenever I refer to funda- 
mental ideas and leading doctrines, to describe in each 
case what these are and on what precisely they are 
based. I have not attempted to explain, or even to 
refer to, all that is expounded or suggested in the 
Education of Man. It is not my desire to rewrite the 
book, or to save students the trouble of reading it — 
I should be no true friend to them if I did. My 
endeavor has been to make as clear as in my power 
lies certain matters which experience has shown me 
must be first clearly understood — at any rate, in their 
simpler forms — before any real comprehension and 
appreciation of the rest is in any way easy or perhaps 
possible. When I have examined Froebel's other 
great book, the Mutter- unci Kose-Uecler, I shall return 
to the subject of principles and doctrines, and shall 
endeavor to set these forth more fully and more con- 
nectedly, both in their relations to intellectual and 
physical education and in their relation to ethical 


training and social well-being. Meanwhile it may 
not be out of place here to warn the enthusiastic 
student that Froebel's educational system — which he 
went on modifying and improving to the very last 
month of his life — was not looked on by him as a 
stationary, completed thing, a stereotyped plan to be 
handed from one to another, and to be reproduced 
with mechanical, unchanging imitation ; nor as a light 
and airy fancy which any gentle heart can build on a 
summer's afternoon, — the sole prerequisites for which 
are liveliness and a love of children. Education, in 
Froebel's view, is the application of the law of evolu- 
tion, of the laws of all life, to the training of human 
beings. These human beings and these laws of life 
have both to be studied and understood ; and, there- 
fore, as long as our knowledge of life and of nature 
increases, as long as our knowledge of mankind in- 
creases, as long as our knowledge of children increases 
— as long as all these become clearer, better defined, 
and more accurate — so long must our ideas of educa- 
tion grow and develop, and our methods of education 
be changed and modified and improved. As well as 
liveliness and a love of children, a kindergarten stu- 
dent must possess a knowledge of psychology and a 
mind capable of scientific modes of thought. 



A PERIOD of seventeen years separates the publica- 
tion of the Mutter- unci Kose-Ueder, or Songs for 
Mother and for Nursery, from that of the Education 
of Man — a period of constant school work, of careful 
observation and experiment, and of much thoughtful- 
ness. Just as the Education of Man was in the main 
the outcome of Froebel's ten years' experience in his 
own " Universal German Educational Institute " at 
Keilhau, so the Mutter- und Kose-Ueder was one of 
the results of three years' experience in the kinder- 
gartens of Blankenburg, Rudolstadt, and Gera — and 
of course of the gathered and organized experience of 
all the years which preceded these. In June of 1840 
the first kindergarten was opened at Blankenburg, as 
we have already related. In the next year a small 
collection of Koseliedchen was printed by Froebel. 
And in 1843 this collection was expanded and devel- 
oped into his famous Mutter- und Kose-Ueder. Froe- 
bel's letters ^ to his friends and fellow-workers during 
the three years referred to, show very clearly the care 
with which the songs were collected and submitted to 
mothers for experiment and criticism. Writing to 

1 Edited by Hermann Poesehe, and translated into English by 
Emilie Miehaelis and H. Keatley Moore, B. A., B. Mus. 



Ms cousin, Mrs. Schmidt, in 1841, for instance, and 
referring to the earlier collection — the KoseUedchen 
— Froebel says, "To help the child to use his own 
body, his limbs, and his sensations, and to assist 
mothers, and those who take the place of mothers, to 
the consciousness of their duties towards the children 
and to a lofty conception of those duties, I have care- 
fully preserved several little songs and games as they 
have occurred to me in the course of my life." He 
asks for her severest criticism, and adds, "If you 
could give the little songs to mothers who have quite 
young children, so that they may test them thoroughly, 
or if you are able yourself thus to try them, I should 
be above all things delighted." That Froebel aimed 
at producing something other than a mere everyday 
baby book of rhymes and pictures is evident on even 
the briefest examination. Besides we know that he 
made the Mutter- und Kose-lieder the foundation of his 
own lectures on theory to kindergarten teachers. " I 
have here laid down," he repeatedly said, "the funda- 
mental ideas of my educational principles. Whoever 
has grasped the pivot idea of this book understands 
what I am aiming at." "This book is the starting- 
point of a natural system of education for the first 
years of life ; for it teaches the way in which the 
germs of human dispositions should be nourished and 
fostered, if they are to attain to complete and healthy 
development." Let me give an example — a brief, 
but a fairly representative one, The Weathercock. We 
have a picture — a rough w^ood cut — of a country 
scene. A group of children are in a meadow. The 
wind is blowing. There is a weathercock on the 


church steeple. One boy flies a kite ; another holds 
lip a flag; and a little girl lets her handkerchief 
flutter in the wind. In the background the wind 
blows about the clothes which are hung out on a line 
to dry. More to the front it tosses the branches of 
the trees ; and even rufiies up the feathers of the 
cocks and hens. At the top of the picture is a hand, 
held up so as to represent a weathercock. Beneath 
it are a motto (addressed to the mother) and a little 
song which the mother may sing to her baby. The 
motto runs thus : ^ 

If your child's to understand 

Things that other people do, 
You must let his tiny hand 
Carry out the same things too. 
This is the reason why, 
Never still, 
Baby will 
Imitate whatever' s by. 

The song is to this effect : 

As the cock up on the tower 
Turns in wind and storm and shower, 
Baby can bend his hand and learn 
To get new joy at every turn. 

Even in the original this song is a very poor produc- 
tion, and decidedly below the general level of the rest. 
But, to be quite frank, Froebel is not a good writer of 
verse even for very little people. Later on we are 
given a tune for the song, and Froebel's own explana- 
tion of the picture and the use to be made of it. 
Briefly stated, the subject of the picture is to attract 
1 1 quote from the translation by Frances and Emily Lord. 


the child's attention to its own experiences both past 
and to come, and to serve the mother as a subject to 
talk about to the little one. Either while looking at 
the picture or when looking at a weathercock, the 
child may be given a useful little physical exercise. 
It should be shown how to hold its forearm vertically, 
spread out its fingers horizontally, keeping the thumb 
erect, and then imitate the weathercock by- moving 
the hand slowly to and fro from the wrist, while the 
mother sings the song which baby will also imitate. 
We have thus a little lesson in observation, language, 
physical exercise, and simple singing, fitted for a child 
of about two 3^ears of age ; and it should be noticed 
that it all springs from the picture, which speaks to a 
little child much more intelligibly and forcibly than 
any words can ever do. But this is not all. The child 
can feel the wind and see its effects ; but it cannot see 
the wind. Here then is a force — a something with 
power to do — which can be distinctly perceived and 
yet not seen. Of course we cannot, and Ave should not, 
attempt to explain to the child what the wind is, 
for it would not understand our explanation ; but as 
Froebel points out, the child will get an inkling, a 
hint, of an unseen power in nature — '^ a being that is 
in the clouds and air" to use Wordsworth's phrase — 
and though it is but a very small and dim experience 
of the unseen and the spiritual, yet it will serve. It 
is enough for so small a child, and should not be 
tampered with by any intrusive adult. It is a very 
minute matter, no doubt, but must not be overlooked 
on that account. The whole book is an attempt 
to deal with minute beginnings, fine points leading 


to fine issues, which iu the end are by no means 

It must be borne in mind that the book is in the 
first place addressed to mothers ; and what is set 
forth is intended for home use. But, inasmuch as the 
kindergarten is a continuation and expansion of 
home-life, the same spirit and purpose which should 
inspire and direct the nursery should inspire and 
direct the garden of children, its games and songs and 
stories and occupations. To understand the Mutter- 
und Kose-lieder, therefore, we must study it, not as 
merely containing something to be reproduced in the 
kindergarten, but as containing practical and concrete 
illustrations of principles and modes of action — which 
illustrations will in practice require to be changed 
and modified whenever the circumstances and sur- 
roundings of the child are changed. 

Before entering further into a description and dis- 
cussion of the book, let me mention some of its draw- 
backs, so that these may no further trouble us. I 
have already pointed out that the verses are in gen- 
eral distinctly poor. The pictures too are somewhat 
rough and ill-drawn, but, on the whole, adequate. 
Children do not show any decided preference for 
highly finished and elaborate works of art — any more 
than for extravagantly beautiful dolls and other toys. 
In fact it is just as easy in pictures as in language 
and other things to be much too artistic for little 
people. It is, however, a serious defect to find that 
there is no definite arrangement or sequence in the 
book. In one song the baby is in arms ; in the next 
he is some four or five years old ; and then back we 


come again to the age of two. Instead of addressing 
the mother in the heading or motto only, and making 
the songs the simple wording of the child's own 
natural utterances, or a simple address of the mother 
to her child, Froebel addresses the mother in the 
songs themselves (as in The Little Boy and the 
Moon, etc.). Or, again, here and there, a song and 
game is introduced — as in The Garden Gate, or 
The Little Gardener — not so much for the purpose 
of actual use, as for the sake of drav/ing the mother's 
attention to what the child should do when out of 
doors ; while in a few cases — as in Jjongways and 
Crossivays — the allegorical interpretations are much 
too fanciful and far-fetched. Nevertheless, Froebel 
is right in saying that the book, as a whole, will teach 
us what he is aiming at ; and if we come to it with 
some slight knowledge of his principles, we shall find 
it of the greatest value as a guide to practice. With 
all its imperfections — which after all are not many 
when compared with its merits — it is absolutely in- 
dispensable for a kindergarten teacher ; and to no one 
can it fail to bring renewed assurance of the use and 
entire feasibility of much that otherwise might be set 
down as fancy or mere air-drawn theory. 

According to Froebel, as I have already pointed out, 
education is an all-sided continuous development. In 
its broad outlines it is the same for the individual as 
it has been for the race. Development is produced by 
exercise — exercise of the limbs, of the senses, and of 
the mental powers. The mind is reached through the 
senses, and Froebel urges that from the very first 
the senses should be as far as possible exercised as 


organs of the mind, and not as the organs of mere sen- 
suous pleasure or of mere desire, as in animals ; and 
the activities generally, as far as may be, should be 
made expressions of mind, or at least kept in close 
association with ideas. ^ This is of the utmost impor- 
tance for the growth of the higher or distinctly 
human nature. It may be described as the very life 
and soul of his method. What these ideas are we 
learn partly from the study of infant-child nature and 
partly from the study of the infancy of the race. We 
shall have enough to say about them presently. The 
limbs, the senses, the mind, the child's inner self, are 
awakened into activity by what surrounds the child, 
touches him, attracts his attention. This environ- 
ment Froebel considers under three heads : Nature, 
Man, and God. The first consists of all material 
things, organic and inorganic. The inorganic are 
treated of mainly in the well-known Gifts. The 
organic — which we may divide into animate (birds, 
beasts, etc.) and inanimate (trees, flowers, etc.) — are 
dealt with mainly in the songs and games, and the 
nature-study connected with these. The second head, 
Man, explains itself; it consists first of the mother 
and the nurse, then of the father, brothers, and sisters ; 
and so on. It too forms a large part of the songs and 
games. The third, God, is that living power, which 
the child will learn to feel and perceive pervades all 
things, and gives to all things their existence and 

iSee Beminiscences, by Baroness von Marenholtz Biilow, chap. 
XA'ii. So Wordsworth urges us to acquire the "glorious habit," 
By which sense is made 
Subservient still to moral purposes, 
Auxiliar to diviue. 


life ; ^ on which his own existence and life depend ; 
and which will gradually become for him the creator 
and loving father of humanity. I need scarcely re- 
peat that the Mutter- und Kose-lieder is full of efforts 
to lead the child step by step to a consciousness of 

When attracting the child's attention to physical 
nature, Froebel insists that we should never lose sight 
of the abstract or spiritual side of things ; they 
should suggest or reveal ideas to the child, or be 
associated with ideas. In this way only shall we help 
the child to free itself from the world of material 
and of the senses, and rise into the world of mind 
and spirit. To prepare the child for what is abstract 
he calls its attention to what it can feel and hear, but 
not see, — as the wind in The Weathercock, — to what 
it can see, but not hold or touch — as the light in the 
Light-Bird, and so on. But, perhaps, what he insists 

1 In Wordsworthian language : — 

A motion and a spirit that impels 
All thinking things, all objects of all thought, 
And rolls through all things. 

Here, and frequently again later, I illustrate Froebel's doctrines 
by quotations from Wordsworth, partly to show how much alike 
were the views of these two great prophets of nature; and partly 
to lessen that sense of s'ngularity in Froebel's ideas which seems to 
daunt young students. In many cases one cannot say an idea was 
Froebel's, or this man's, or that man's. It was but one of the 
many ideas, new or newly revived, which at the time were stirring 
through all Europe, and which were part of that general ferment and 
outburst which we call the " French Revolution." In many cases 
also the ideas were undoubtedly of Froebel's originating; and in- 
deed all those which he used may in a sense be called his from the 
way in which he organized them and applied them to education. 


on most, especially when dealing with organic nature, 
is our leading the child to feel and perceive the pres- 
ence of all-pervading law and orderliness, and the 
connectedness of things. Plants and flowers and 
animals help us most to accomplish the former ; and 
the songs and games about them are numerous.^ Con- 
nectedness is introduced on almost every occasion, 
but is brought out most clearly in what relates to 
human occupation. So in Pat-a-cake the cake suggests 
flour and the miller ; these suggest corn and the 
farmer ; the corn, the field where it grows so wonder- 
fully ; its growth, an unseen energizing and fostering 
power. The same point is dwelt upon in Mowing 
Grass, and elsewhere. How things thrive best in 
their proper places is brought out in The Fish. And 
here I must mention another principle. The child — 
as indeed most grown-up people — finds it hard to real- 
ize and understand w^hat is ^vholly or even partly 
subjective ; what is objective is far more noticeable 
and intelligible. The child's inner self is in a man- 
ner made objective (or " outer," as Froebel would 
say) by his own actions and creations, and by notic- 
ing the actions and creations of other children ; and 
just so far as these go does that self become conscious 
and intelligible to the child. And this is one of the 
chief reasons why Froebel makes so much of creative- 
ness or originating self-directed action. In such songs 
and games as The Nest and The Chickens he presents 

1 So Wordsworth says, — 

One impulse from a vernal wood 

May teach you more of man, 
Of moral evil and of good, 
Than all the sages can. 


objectively to the child the watchful care and love of 
a mother for her little ones, and so helps the child to 
more consciously realize its own mother's care and 
love, and its own feeling for its mother ; while the 
exercises for hands and arms besides being physically 
valuable, are first attempts at creativeness ; and 
this, moreover, is fostered by the pictures and by 
such a game as The Little Artist. I shall not attempt 
to give all the points of the Mutter- und Kose-Ueder ; 
but there is one other chief point under this head of 
Nature, which must not by any means be omitted. 
This is that, while tending his pet animals and plants 
(as in The Little Gardener), the child will be awakened 
to the fact that all living things require care and love ; 
that love must show itself in action. He will also 
in this way, gain first impressions of duty and respon- 
sibility; and he will learn to love labor and to use 
labor for the pleasure and help of others (as in the 
song and game of TJie Basket). While if we bear in 
mind the fact that it is generally the sight of animals 
that first awakens in children a desire for knowledge, 
we shall realize more clearly the value of bringing 
children among them and them among children. 

Let me say here in passing that the Taste Song 
and the Smell Song seem to me both unwise and far- 
fetched; in some respects even untrue. The senses 
of taste and smell are of very little value as knowl- 
edge-getters, or as instruments of discrimination, 
though they help the memory in matters of associa- 
tion ; and hence, if at an early period we specially 
call attention to them and specially exercise them, 
and still remain simple, natural, and true, it is inevi- 


table that they should be awakened as ^^the organs of 
mere sensuous pleasure " ; and this we have already- 
agreed with Froebel himself, to be very far from de- 
sirable. The ordinary events of everyday life exercise 
these senses quite sufficiently. 

The child's first relations with mankind begin in the 
family. The first union is between the child and the 
mother, or whoever is allowed to take her place. It 
begins in the complete physical dependence of the 
child. But as the months go by, and the child grows 
less and less physically dependent, the need for 
fostering and developing the union in mind and heart 
grows greater and greater. Here again we have to 
spiritualize and link with ideas what is physical or 
material, if we desire to cultivate the child's human 
love and feeling of community. We must present 
the matter as far as possible objectively, as has 
already been pointed out ; and we may employ another 
Froebelian means, viz., the making of a thing clear 
by the help of its opposite; though this last is 
dangerous wherever the feelings are prominently con- 
cerned, and should onl}^ be used with the greatest 
care. It is this last which Froebel uses in Hide and 
Seek and Bo-peep, endeavoring to make the temporary 
or momentary separation attract attention to, and 
call out and exercise delight in reunion. The danger, 
in the former at any rate, is very evident, as Froebel 
himself acknowledges. Mothers are rather liable to 
indulge in such pleasing inaccuracies as ''I can't tell 
where baby is!" — and these, and the fun itself of 
concealment, are very likely to induce a habit of lying 
and concealing for fun's sake. This idea of fun, as 


we all knoWj is a very common cause — commoner 
than fear — of a child's untruths, when these are 
efforts at hiding facts. Again, in the songs and 
games of The JVmdoivs, in which the contrast between 
light and darkness (the happiness of the former, the 
unhappiness of the latter) is made very prominent, 
there is no small danger of increasing the child's 
dread of darkness rather than his love of light, in 
the simple, direct physical sense. Besides, darkness 
is a perfectly natural normal phenomenon, and should 
therefore be at least not hated. In Bump, see how my 
Baby^s Falling! and Hide, Baby! we have a simpler 
presentation of the mother's protecting love and of 
the value she herself sets on her child. In the former 
the child's nervousness at the exercise is only wak- 
ened to be completely reassured : in the latter, the 
mother will on no account let her little one be carried 
off by any person whatever. The ideas of brotherly 
and home union, and the feeling of community are 
brought out with considerable success in The Family 
and Happy Brothers and Sisters, — though the com- 
mentary of the former contains a most eccentric dis- 
quisition on the marvellous number five. The family 
life, as Froebel says, is the medium best fitted to 
promote the growth and expression of the good, pure 
heart and the thoughtful, pure mind ; the true home 
— and after it and with it the kindergarten — will 
provide ample opportunity for the practice and illus- 
tration, in their earliest forms, of all those many- 
sided virtues which St. Paul binds together under the 
one beautiful name of human charity. But from the 
home as centre the child's human kindliness and de- 


sire to help are to spread in ever-widening circles 
outward till they embrace, for the full-grown man or 
woman, all nations of men whom God hath made for 
to dwell on all the face of the earth — reaching at 
length, and mingling with and becoming one with, 
the love of our Father which is in heaven.^ Froebel 
endeavors to supply exercises for the first stages 
of this outward growth in The Riders and the Good 
Child — " good" in the nursery sense — and The Riders 
and the Cross Child; and his leading idea is that men 
are attracted to, and drawn together by, what is good 
and bright and cheerj^, and repulsed and disunited by 
what is ill-tempered and sulky. By keeping this 
aspect prominent he hopes to avert the danger of con- 
ceit and self-righteousness : — 

Five Riders come riding with all their speed! 

And in our court-yard each stops his steed. 
"And what do you wish, you Riders bold? " 
"To see your child. He's good, we're told. 

For gentle as little pigeons gray, 

And frisky as lambs he is, men say." 

Then, finding the report to be true, after a while 
they ride away singing, " The child is good ! The 
child is good ! " In the other case, without any song, 
they pass on to seek a happy good child elsewhere. 
So again in The Church Door and Window the 

iRow thoroughly Froebelian is the idea expressed in Words- 
worth's well-known lines : — 

Love had he found in huts where poor men lie; 
Hie daily teachers had been woods and rills, 
The silence that is in the starry sky, 
The sleep that is among the lonely hills. 


coming together of men and women to church is used 
to exercise the feeling of community, of oneness. 
With this idea of human fellowship is naturally 
united that of general connectedness and mutual de- 
pendence in working, which I have already mentioned 
as being introduced into almost all the Games and 
Songs relating to human occupations : Mowing 
Grass, Pat-a-caTce, The Charcoal Burner, The Car- 
penter, The Wheehvright, The Joiner, The Shop- 
7nan. To the children whom Froebel contem- 
plated these occupations were all familiar. He kept 
in touch with the children's own everyday lives all 
through. English and American kindergarten teachers 
must remember this when making their selections — 
in every part of the songs and games, but most 
especially in this part — and not choose what is merely 
picturesque and romantic. For what is the great les- 
son — besides those already mentioned — which Froe- 
bel desires to teach here ? It is the dignity of work 
— the high value and religious worth of all into which 
man puts his whole skill and love and strength, 
whether it be the building of a cathedral or the clean- 
ing of a chimney : not the equal outer value of result, 
it is true, but the equal inner value of honest labor 
honestly achieved. Carl3de . himself — who held so 
many of the views which Froebel also held — did not 
see into the religious nature of all true work more 
clearly than Froebel did. "Labor is life; from the 
inmost heart of the worker rises his God-given force, 
the sacred celestial life-essence breathed into him by 
Almighty God; from his inmost heart awakens him 
to all nobleness, to all knowledge — self-knowledge 


— and much else, so soon as work fitly begins." The 
words might have been a quotation from the Edu- 
cation of Man or the book we are now considering. 

This point is of such crucial importance, and is so 
often lost sight of when games and songs are being 
chosen for the kindergarten, that it is almost impossi- 
ble to over-emphasize it. The Mutter- unci 'Kose-Ueder 
were collected and composed and organized some fifty 
years ago for little German children — mainly those 
who were surrounded with country sights and sounds 
and occupations. A very small amount of considera- 
tion will show that for little English or American 
children — especially when they live in cities — some- 
thing different will be required, if a similar effect 
is to be produced.^ We shall require what is Eng- 
lish or American, or what has become such. All of 
physical nature, of the countr}^, that we can actually 
bring into the cities, that we can place and keep within 
the sight and touch of children, we should of course 
use freely. For the rest, we must draw upon the chil- 
dren's homes, and upon the actual life by which they 
are surrounded. To do otherwise is to break at once 
with Froebel. For these little city children we should 
not tell of The FisJi in the Brook but of The Sparrow 
in the Street; not of the Xest with its birdlings, but of 

1 Writing to his cousin, Frau Schmidt, in 1840, Froebel says: 
'* My secoud remark is that it is of no consequence tliat precisely 
these songs and these tunes shall be sung which have been suggested 
by myself. They have been merely put forward by way of example, 
so as to show in a general way the spirit as well as the form and com- 
plexion of the whole scheme ; others may, perhaps, find much prettier, 
more suitable songs, although I have of course taken pains to 
select the best I could find — best in form and feeling, as well as 
having the clearest words and the prettiest tunes." 


The Cat and her Kittens; not of The Char coal-Bur ner, 
but of TJie Costermonger, The Cabman, TJie Newspaper 
Boy, The Watercress Woman; not of The Wolf and the 
Boar, but of The Dog; and even instead of playing at 
" mowing the grass " it would be better for these little 
city children to play at " sweeping the room." 

Actual life and actual nature around them — or which 
can be placed close to them — are the Froebelian means 
of education. Because The Charcoal-Burner is more 
picturesque, more romantic, than The Cabman, that 
does not make him more, it makes him less effective for 
our purpose. It is with cabmen, not charcoal-burners, 
that so many little city children have to do. What 
Froebel bids us is to make the life and doings of the 
cabman interesting — yes, and even beautiful in their 
way — for the little ones who come in contact with 
them ; and so with all the physical world that comes 
within touch of the children ; till the very stones in 
the diugy pavement become wonderful, full of sugges- 
tion, part of the golden chain that links the world to 
God. For children in a higher station we must of 
course treat more prominently of the workers and the 
things which come nearer to them ; but even for them 
we shall never omit anything simply because it is too 
lowly or too ordinary. Our test should always be the 
prominence and closeness of the thing or worker as 
far as the child's own life is concerned ; and gradually 
we should lead the child out into sympathy with a 
wider and wider circle of life, and work, and nature. 

Was immer mit dem Kinde Du auch treibest, 
Mach' dass in Lebens ein' gung Du verbleibest. 

— Mowing Grass. 


Always, whatever with a child you do, 
Remain in touch with its own life all through. 

As Froebel tells us. And again lie says : — 

Doch theuer Dir dabei 
Des Kindes Reinheit sei. 

— The Wolf and the Boar. 

Yet therein dear to you should be 
The child's young spirit's purity. 

I am afraid we are not, even in the kindergarten, 
careful enough with regard to the delicate spirit 
purity of which Froebel speaks. There are kinder- 
gartens in which The Cat and the Mouse is a favorite 
game. I have seen the little people in another acting 
and illustrating Who Killed Cock Robin? To our 
somewhat blunted adult feelings this story may and 
does appear simply droll and picturesque ; but if ex- 
amined more closely, with a view to its use as a 
means of education, it will be seen to be a story of 
violence and a grotesque funeral. At best it is only 
calculated to amuse, and is therefore not Froebelian. 
At worst it is likely to exercise feelings not of the 
tenderest and most reverent kind, and therefore, again, 
most certainly not Froebelian. Let any one contrast 
it for a moment with Blake's Dream, so full of delicate 
sweet sympathy with the tiny emmet, and he will see 
at once what I mean — or rather what Froebel means. 
I do not propose to abolish such rhymes, and other 
kindred fairy and folk stories — which do very well 
for adults — but only to exclude them, when essentially 
coarse in grain, from the kindergarten. Fairy stories 
and folk tales, when essentially beautiful, and when 


sound and sweet in their ways of looking at things, 
have their place always in our gardens of children, — 
and a most important place it is, — but not in the con- 
nection of which I am speaking. Here it is the real 
living life and the personal observation of it with 
which we have to deal. Children, of course, do not 
and cannot understand the theory, the X)hilosophy, of 
the songs and games. That is a matter for the mother 
and the kindergarten teacher. But the pictures, the 
songs, and the games produce on them impressions 
which awaken and stimulate them to renewed obser- 
vations of what is around them, and to consciousness 
of certain feelings. Children must always be receiv- 
ing impressions of some sort. It is the business of 
education to select, make prominent, and regulate 
those which may best contribute to healthy and 
natural development. 

It is part of our common knowledge how the maker 
and what he makes rouse the curiosity of children, 
and rivet their attention — leading them at times to 
try experiments which w^e, their seniors, must per- 
force turn grim at and deplore. Here again stands 
enchantingly open to us one of the doors of knowl- 
edge, which Froebel did not fail to see. From the 
very first he would accustom the child to consecutive 
action and productive occupation — creativeness, as he 
more frequently calls it; and in these games, and 
later in the kindergarten, he has provided ample op- 
portunity for what he aims at. Pictures, here, are of 
great value in their suggestiveness, and as aids to the 
imagination ; and Froebel uses them freely. They are 
indeed, as we all know, the natural written language 


of children from the earliest years ; and even we, 
grown up men and women, often find that they 
express for us clearly and memorably what words can 
only hint at. Speaking of the pictures in the Mutter- 
und Kose-Ueder, Froebel begs us not to be too harshly 
critical on their style and art. " The book is the first 
attempt of the kind [to express teaching by pictures 
for little children] . . . made with such an aim 
and in such a spirit; it was sure to be imperfect." 
Imperfect they are, no doubt, these pictures ; but 
nevertheless of very decided value, as has been al- 
ready stated. Besides as Browning makes Fra Lippo 

Lippi say : — 

We're made so that we love, 
First when we see them painted, things we have passed 
Perhaps a hundred times nor cared to see. 

And as Mr. Thring once said to me, in many of our 
schoolbooks pictures would often be much more help- 
ful to the young than the most learned and elaborate 

The relations of man to God are usually classed 
under the head of religion. Now religion, according 
to Froebel, consists in fulfilling the will of God by 
actively, and in every way effectively, living out the 
life which God has given us. To be able to do this, all 
our faculties of body, mind, and soul must be fully 
and harmoniously developed; we must gain a clear 
knowledge of our own natures and of the laws of life ; 
and we must desire, of own free-will, to submit to and 
fulfil those laws. I have already given some idea of 
how that development is to be produced, how the 
1 See the note given later on p._,129 of chap. vii. 


knowledge of the inner self and of life is to be 
gained, and how the desire to fulfil God's purpose in 
humanity is to be fostered and increased. I must now 
enter more into detail. The model for the adult life is 
the life of Jesus. Froebel's aim is to produce the 
power, by the time manhood comes, of living such a life 
as far as may be. The difficulty is what to do to effect 
this, and how to begin. Holding that the develop- 
ment of the individual corresponds in large outlines 
to the development of the race {Education of Ma7i, 
sect. 16), Froebel looked back to the early days of 
humanity to find out how religion began, and in what 
it consisted. He used what he found as a guide for 
the earliest years of the child. He did not, of course, 
find any catechisms and dogmas. It seemed to him 
that the beginnings of all true and ever progressive 
religion lay in the feeling of community, in love and 
wonder, — the religion of fear having on the whole 
steadily dwindled and lost ground.^ He begins, then, 
with love in the family, which is to be gradually 
widened more and more, as I have already described. 
"The child's worship," he said, "is the feeling and 
practice of love." The book we are considering is full 
of this from end to end. I have also pointed out how 
in Pat-Orcake, etc., Froebel delights in leading the 
child back step by step till he is face to face with some 
wonder or mystery of nature or life. Who makes 
the corn grow ? Who taught the bird to build its nest ? 

1 Wordsworth's view is very like this : — 

We live by admiration, hope, and love; 
And even as these are well and wisely fused, 
The dignity of being we ascend. 


Who causes the wind to blow ? But besides these he 
gives us songs and games in which the child is shown, 
and led to delight in, some of the most striking and 
beautiful natural phenomena — Tlie Child and the 
Moon, The Little Boy and the Moon, The Little Girl and 
the Stai's; while in the songs called The Little Window 
and The Window a feeling of joy in, and thankfulness 
for, light and sunshine is drawn out and exercised. I 
cannot say that I approve of the songs of The Wolf 
and The Boar. In the introduction to them Froebel 
bids us, above all things, be careful to guard the 
purity of the child's young spirit, and on this very 
ground I object. The hunting and shooting — which 
are still less defensible in the case of The Hare — are 
little calculated to foster and induce the practice of 
love for living things ; while I fail to see why the 
wolf and the boar, who simply live out the laws of 
their nature, are to be held up as evil. They are not, 
moreover, particularly degraded examples of obedience 
to the lower appetites ; and the dangerous savage side 
of them is not unlikely to alienate a little child from 
the Creator of such enemies to man. The whole mat- 
ter belongs to the question of the nature and destiny of 
evil, the consideration of w^hich, even in its microscopic 
beginnings, does not belong to the kindergarten period. 
There is much in The Bridge which is fanciful and 
far-fetched, but on the whole the game and song are 
both satisfactory. The idea on wdiich they are based, 
of producing in a child a habit of connecting things, 
— concretely first and then later on abstractly — is a 
good one, and is helpful in leading him more and 
more to seek for that connectedness and unity in the 


world and in life, which Froebel hopes will lead him 
up to the conception of unity in the great Cause and 
Creator of all things.^ Froebel constantly endeavors 
to bring this feeling and perception of connectedness, 
of continuity, into the child's own life, as well as 
making it noticeable in what surrounds him. To do 
this the child must ever and anon recall his own little 
past, connect it wdth the present, and, when occasion 
offers, reach forward from them both, though but a 
span's length, into the future. Froebel tells us that 
he intends the pictures and the songs and games (but 
especially the pictures) of the Mutter- und Kose-Ueder 
to be used with this object as the simple, everyday 
history of _little lives. ^ 

General moralit}^ according to Froebel, is to be pro- 
duced by awakening the ideas of the child from the 
very first, by exercising the senses as organs of 
the mind. In this way he seeks to counterbalance 
the sensual desires, and to delay aslongasp)OSsible the 
awakening of the lower appetites. The development 
of the sense of beauty, — especially beauty in nature, — 
while the reflective powers are still sleeping in the 
child's soul, offers the best means, he thinks, for this." 

1 If we view objects "in disconnectiou, dead and spiritless," 
says Wordsworth, we wage 

An impious warfare with the very life 
Of our own souls. 

2 The child is father of the man, 
And I could wish my days to be 
Bound each to each bj' natural piety. — Wordsworth. 

8 See Reminiscences, chap. viii. So "Wordsworth tells us, when 
speaking of the " beauteous forms of nature," — 

I have owed to them, 
In hours of weariness, sensations sweet, 


In the very earliest years, the child's eyes are to be 
opened to forms, colors, etc., his ear to music and 
song, and his weak childish powers are to be pre- 
pared and used in the formation of beautiful things — 
for it is by making beautiful things that we most 
readily become interested in them and learn to see 
their beauty. The beginnings of this are shown in 
The Finger Piano and The Little Artist, but most in 
the constant use throughout his book of both song and 
music. He looked upon the formation of beautiful 
objects as the best means for making the soul sus- 
ceptible to the ideal on every side, and the cultivation 
of the creative powers as most important in overcom- 
ing coarseness and immorality, or rather in prevent- 
ing their development, — and what he thought of work 
has been already told. In the pictures of the Mutter- 
und Kose-lieder, the little people are nearly always 
busily doing something ; and those who look at the 
pictures are to be busy and doing too. 

Felt in the blood, and felt along the heart; 
And passing even into my purer mind, 
With tranquil restoration; feelings too, 
Of unremerabered pleasure: such, perhaps, 
As have no slight or trivial influence 
On that best portion of a good man's life, 
His little, nameless, unremembered acts 
Of kindness and of love. 

And a little further on he speaks of the " blessed mood," when 

With an ej'e made quiet by the power 
Of harmony, and the deep power of joy, 
We see into the life of things. 

I need not quote the passage which comes later in the same 
poem, and tells of the impressive and elevating power of beauty 
in nature. 


Froebel discards catechisms and dogmatic teaching 
for the very young; but it must not be supposed 
therefore that he avoids all allusion to church mat- 
ters and to what is distinctively Christian. On the 
contrary, he prepares the child for these just as he aids 
him in other developments. Pictures of the child 
Jesus and the story of his early life are constantly 
brought into prominent notice, especially at Christmas 
time, and in connection with the Christmas tree and 
Christmas games ; while The Church Door and Window, 
in the Mutter- und Kose-lieder is especially designed to 
call his attention to the flocking together of men and 
women to the church for praise and prayer. The 
mother, with her little one, some two or three years 
old, on her lap, sits at the window on a Sunday morn- 
ing, watching the folk gather, and enter the church 
opposite. She brings before him the idea of human 
fellowship and union — of surrender of self to some- 
thing higher than self; she makes him represent with 
arms and hands the door and the window of the 
church; and she sings him a song about it all, and 
imitates the sound of the organ and the glad pealing 
of the bells. The very watching of a crowd moving 
quietly together for one purpose, is an education in it- 
self, and irresistibly draws out the child's sympathy 
— draws him out of the narrow world of self. And 
love of parents and of neighbors is for the child the 
beginning of the love of God. As of old, by the Sea 
of Galilee, so now also the simple-minded are best 
taught by parables. 

I have but to mention the games of counting on the 
fingers, and the list is complete. Further exposition 


will come later. Here it will be best to conclude with, 
a caution, lest any one should misconceive Froebel's 
position, and imagine that he supposes none but good 
qualities in little children. He is quite aware of the 
law of heredity ; that there is an inheritance of evil 
as well as of good. He knows how easily new evil 
habits are acquired, and he detects as clearly as any 
one the symptoms of degeneration in naturally right 
instincts even at the earliest age. Nor is he blind to 
the fact that there is a marked difference in the 
mental and physical endowments of little children, 
and in their impulses, inclinations, and will. He 
constantly proves and insists that the best education 
must pay attention to individual characteristics, and 
cannot be all of one formal pattern. He seeks to pro- 
duce well-developed, self-directing individuals ; and 
this cannot be done unless the endowment and condi- 
tion of each is duly considered at every stage. What 
teachers have to do is to distinguish carefully between 
whatever in the original dispositions of the young is 
broadly and universally human, and what is singular, 
accidental, anti-social ; and while taking the latter 
properly into account as an existing fact, to seek by 
every means in their power to develop the former — 
remembering that what is exercised in due accordance 
with its nature will grow and increase, and that what 
is unexercised will surely dwindle out of use. Teachers 
may at least hope to add to and improve mankind's 
inheritance of good, and to lessen somewhat its inheri- 
tance of what is evil ; and in very truth we could not 
have a nobler hope. Each of us, like the tiny ants, 
may add his little grain to the general store of good. 



What help does the Mutter- und Kose-liecler give us in selecting 
and organizing songs and games for the kindergarten ? What are 
the points we must look for and decide upon ? Briefly they seem 
to me to he these. We must first examine the means we shall have 
to employ — pictures, words, action, idea, music, symbols, (a) Pic- 
tures. — Are these simple and beautiful in form, color, and expres- 
sion ? Do they give the children something more than mere form 
and color? If so, what? Are they in any way explanative or 
symbolical? And if so, are they well fitted for their purpose? 
(6) Words. — Are they simple, clear, expressive, melodious? Do 
they form bare dead statements, or are they suggestive of some- 
thing beyond ? Do they lend themselves in any way to pantomimic 
expression ? (c) Action. — Does the action really help to make 
clear and intelligible the particular meaning and the general idea 
of the song or story ? If so, how ? Is it a good phj^sical gymnastic 
for body, limbs, organs, voice? Is the imagined action in the story 
itself one that children should imitate ? (d) Idea. — Is the idea of 
the story or song a narrow or accidental or anti-social one, or is it 
broadly human — one that will grow more and more in meaning and 
application as life advances ? Is it readily intelligible to children 
in its simple direct form, or does it involve a long explanation, or 
is it too sad for children ? Does it tend to produce action — right 
action ? Is it beautiful in itself ? [The idea is the life and soul of 
the game and song, and the satisfying of its chief requirements is 
of paramount importance.] (e) Music. — Is it simple, beautiful, 
within the child's range? Does it, as Rosmini would say, afford a 
simple, natural expression for a child's simple, natural feelings? 
Does it aid and make clearer the meaning and feeling of the song, 
or distract attention from these to itself (as most songs nowadays 
do, perhaps advisedly) ? (/) Symbols. — Are these likely to be or to 
become such to children ? What is their immediate direct effect on 
children ? Are they likely to grow in meaning ? Do they interfere 
with the clear, simple meaning of the picture or of the story? Are 
they really symbolic, or is their symbolism too far-fetched and 
merely fanciful ? 

But even now our examination is not at an end. We employ these 
means on which I have just dwelt, to produce certain emotions, and 
to impart and lead up to certain knowledge. The emotions or sen- 


timents are either ethical, i.e. moral, or aesthetic, or intellectual. 
Under each of these heads we must make up our minds as to what 
the effect is to be. The ethic result may be either positive or nega- 
tive, i.e. stimulative or deterrent. For my own part, I think that 
the less deterrents are used during the kindergarten period the 
better. It is always extremely difficult — and often impossible — 
to be sure of all their effects ; they are fertile in misconceptions, 
and are against the principle of letting sleeping faults lie as long as 
possible while we develop the good qualities. And lastly, as Froe- 
bel points out in the Education of Man, they are often the child's 
first introduction to what is undesirable or wrong. As to the aes- 
thetic and intellectual sentiments, it will be sufficient for the pres- 
ent to point out that they must be considered, and that with great 
care. The kinds of knowledge we seek to produce are knowledge of 
things, knowledge of natural law, of life, of the child's own inner 
self. The one all-embracing caution is to restrict ourselves to what 
the children can really see and understand of themselves or when it 
is pointed out to them ; to be simple, direct, and, above all things, 
true ; not forcing our point ; not dragging in anything prematurely, 
or through mere fancy ; not supposing that children must be able 
to see a fact or a principle because it is before them, nor feeling our- 
selves bound to call attention to fact and principle because they are 
present. In any case and every case the knowledge must be such 
as the child can in some way put immediately to use — not such as 
he must keep for years before it will materially influence anything 
he does or thinks about. It must bear directly on development; it 
must prompt and be of service in exercise. 



It is now time to give a more definite and connected 
statement of Froebel's theory of education. The 
way, it is hoped, has been sufiiciently prepared for 
this by the expositions which have been given of the 
chief scientific doctrines and ideas from which his 
theory springs, and by the illustrations which have 
been added of some of the ways in which this theory 
may be practically applied to the education of very 
young children. By too formal a beginning I have 
found that one often defeats his own end — in this 
as in other attempts to produce knowledge. To 
borrow an example from language-teaching, the formal 
grammar may come too soon. In what follows, from 
the very nature of the method I have adopted, there 
must needs be, here and there, some amount of repe- 
tition of what has been already stated ; but this will 
not be great, and will, I trust, only serve to bring 
more thoroughly home to the student the importance 
of particular parts of the theory.^ 

iLet me here state that in addition to Froebel's own writings ou 
the subject there are many others to which I am under obligations 
here and there in this chapter. Chief amongst these I would mention : 
The Child and Child-Nature, and Reminiscences of F. Froebel, by 
the Baroness B. von Marenholtz-Biilow ; a tract on The Problem of 
Popular Education, by Professor J. H. von Fichte ; and a Lecture on 


First, let me recall what has been said about evolu- 
tion or development : how it consists, not so much in 
an increase of bulk or quantity, as in an increase in 
complexity of structure, an improvement in power, 
skill, and variety in the performance of natural 
functions ; how it is produced by exercise, exercise of 
the thing's own self, or what is called self-activity, 
and how this exercise should be rightly timed, in 
harmony with the nature of the thing, and continu- 
ously in proportion to its strength. Both when quite 
a young man, and still more when in later life, he 
took up the study of science in good earnest, Froebel 
seems to have been constantly struck by the fact that 
in every part of organic nature, as each in succession 
came under his notice, life and growth appeared to be 
a progressive development from lower to higher grades 
of being; that development in the individuals of a 
class was regular, and followed the same general order, 
which order remarkably resembled that which the 
class as a whole had gone through, as far as its history 
was known; and that exercise of function produced 
development, while loss of exercise checked or 
destroyed it. Examining more closely what seemed 
to be the laws of development in the different classes 
of organisms, he was convinced of their general 
similarity to one another, — of their ^^ unity," as he 
put it, — and that this unity of law indicated the 
unity of the origin or source of law. Occupying him- 

Froehel and the Kindergarten System, delivered by Professor Joseph 
Payne at the College of Preceptors in 1874. The first and third of 
these, and part of the fonrth, are contained in Dr. Henry Barnard's 
most valuable volume, The Kindergarten and Child-Culture. 


self then more exclusively with human beings, 
especially very young human beings (who are most 
simple and natural, and least self-conscious in their 
revelations), he became firmly convinced that human 
nature, though liable to error, is in its elements as free 
from evil and falsity — as completely what it should 
be — as nature under every other aspect and in every 
other manifestation. He concluded, therefore, that in 
dealing with the young the only wise course to adopt, 
at any rate in the earliest years, was to seek to 
develop human nature's inborn original capacities and 
abilities by a carefully graduated and connected 
progress in every direction in which progress was de- 
manded, and to take as our general guide the progress 
and development of the human race as a whole in the 
order indicated in history. The child's nature being 
what its Creator intended it to be, that is, in its 
essence good, — though liable to error inherited or 
newly induced, — what we have to do at first is 
merely to help its normal growth, by securing for 
it a proper environment, and by supplying it with, 
and enticing it to use, the fitting means for the 
activities which its nature needs for development. 
Nothing which does not spring directly from the 
natural primary outfit of the child, — which is not a 
natural outcome of it, — should be imported into the 
child, in the first stage, nor indeed in any stage to 
which it does not naturally and rightfully belong. 
And, on the other hand, every prescribing, restricting, 
encroaching kind of instruction or education, which 
interferes with natural development, must necessarily, 
if this view be allowed, be considered to operate hurt- 


fully upon the normal child-nature, and should there- 
fore be carefully kept from it. " God does not cram 
in or ingraft/' he says in the concluding section of the 
Education of Man; "he develops the smallest and 
most imperfect thing in continuously ascending stages 
and in accordance with eternal laws grounded in and 
developing from the thing's own self." 

But here a caution is needed. Froebel does not 
propose to leave the child wholly to itself among 
other children, nor does he endeavor to isol ate it as 
RousseaA3_advise£L; but he places it with other chil- 
dren, amid favorable surroundings, and gives it the 
companionship of persons whose knowledge and train- 
ing fit them to guard, guide, and help it in its de- 
velopment. He thus protects it from inherited evil 
tendencies and new inducements to error, and from 
the danger of becoming a law unto itself, before it has 
learnt the laws of its own nature and of humanity. 
He seeks to fit it to become its own true guide, and 
he holds that this cannot be done by making it wholly 
subservient to arbitrary laws and prescriptions lying 
altogether outside it, and which are not its own either 
in meaning or effort.^ 

Such is Froebel's fundamental idea, and he con- 

1 Froebel, however, fully admits {Education of Man, sects. 8, 9) 
that there are cases when, the original outfit having been seriously- 
marred or partially paralyzed, directly mandatory education is 
necessary, at any rate for a time. Hailmann quotes in his trans- 
lation the following from Herbert Spencer's Education : " A higher 
knowledge tends continually to limit our interference with the pro- 
cesses of life. As in medicine, etc., ... so in education, we are 
finding that success is to be achieved only by rendering our measures 
subservient to that spontaneous unfolding which all minds go 
through in their progress to maturity," — precisely Froebel's idea. 


stantly applies it in all its variations. This leads 
to another and a deeper thought, which he sets forth 
in the opening sections of the Education of Man, 
and which may be paraphrased as follows : In every- 
thing there rales and operates an eternal law, which 
always finds its expression with equal clearness out- 
wardly in physical nature, and inwardly in the spirit, 
and also in the life (which is the result of the active 
union of physical nature and spirit). Beneath this 
all-pervading, all-powerful law lies a single omnipo- 
tent cause — God. The Spirit of God rests, lives, and 
works in nature, expresses itself by nature (as an 
artist expresses himself in a work of art), imparts 
itself through nature, continues to shape itself in and 
by nature ; but nature is not the body of God (see 
Education of Man, sect. 63). The all-pervading law 
is like its cause, like God, Godlike. The condition on 
which the existence and the development of things 
depend, is their fundamental harmony with the laws 
of their being, i.e. therefore, their Godlikeness. In 
other words, the Godlike or divine principle work- 
ing in everything is the essential life of that thing or 
what may be called its individuality. Thus, the 
destiny and vocation of everything is to develop and 
fitly exhibit the essential principle of its being, its 
Godlikeness ; to manifest and reveal God outwardly 
by activity and development, in the transitory, visible 
world of things. The particular destiny, the particu- 
lar vocation, of every perceiving and rational human 
being is to develop his essence, his individuality — to 
become himself ; to grow fully conscious of, to win a 
vigorous and clear insight into, his divine nature, so 


as to develop it in practice in his own life, of his own 
free will and desire ; to make it effectual in every 
direction which his inner capacity allows.^ To awaken 
a human being to a full sense of this ; to treat man as 
a thinking, intelligent being who is becoming con- 
scious of himself; to incite him to the pure, inviolate, 
conscious practice and fulfilment of the inner divine 
law of his being ; and to provide him in unbroken con- 
tinuity with the ways and means for this — this is to 
educate man. Education should lead man to clearness 
concerning himself and in himself, to peace with 
nature, and to union with God. It should lift him to 
a knowledge of himself and of mankind, to a knowl- 
edge of God and of nature, and to the pure and holy 
life which such knowledge indicates and conditions. 
All human education culminates, therefore, in religion, 
— which is itself enlightened, vigorous, human en- 

The pantheistic idealism which this way of looking 
at things already reveals, and which, as I have already 
pointed out, is common to other writers of his period 
and before it, is not, perhaps, very helpful to the 
teacher ; and yet it cannot be omitted if a true idea is 
to be given of Froebel's theory and his manner of think- 
ing. It matters very little whether he learnt this 
conception of the universe from Krause ^ or Schelling, 

1 Substantially Plato's view of the Cosmos and of naan's relation 
to it, 

2 Froebel made Krause's personal acquaintance at Gottingen in 
1828, and was by him introduced to the works of Comenius. Five 
years before Krause had criticised, in the Isis, Froebel's explanatory 
essays on Keilhau, wliich had been written in 1822 and had appeared 
in the same journal. 


or from philosophers very much earlier than these. 
To recognize that he made it his own and constantly 
introduced it into his educational writings will be 
sufficient for us here. The main question with us is 
not how Froebel used the theory of evolution, his knowl- 
edge of natural science, and his study of life, to explain 
the unseen and the supernatural, but how he made 
them apply to the education of human beings. That 
the conception referred to intensified the religious 
character of his views — or was itself partly a result 
of their religious intensity — is at once apparent. No 
doubt it largely helped to convince him that religious- 
mindedness and religious-minded industry should be 
the flower and fruit of all education. But this and 
its other results will be dealt with in the next chapter 
when I come to speak of Froebel's ethics. 

As Professor J. H. von Fichte has pointed out, one 
pedagogic principle of great value results at once from 
the theory just set forth. Wherever education really 
permits an unhindered, undisturbed development of 
the original innate capacities, there we find that the 
inherent diversity amongst individuals becomes at 
once visible, — a diversity in consequence of which 
each child, even in the earliest stages, is distinguish- 
able from every other child. From this, then, it must 
follow that, to be in accordance with nature, education 
must not be of one uniform pattern, but must be suited 
to the capacities of each individual; for the differ- 
ences in individuals are fundamental, spring from dif- 
ferences in original endowment and inheritance, are not 
merely the result of an artificial culture, and hence must 
be considered in an education that follows the laws of 


nature. Moreover, as Froebel points out {Education 
of Man, sect. 22), a boy is a boy, not because he has 
reached a certain age, but because he has lived through 
his infancy faithfully to the requirements of his soul, 
mind, and body ; a youth is a youth, because with the 
same efficient faithfulness he has lived through his 
infancy and boyhood ; and just so a man is a man, not 
because he has reached the age of manhood, but only 
because the requirements of his infancy, his boyhood, 
and his youth have been faithfully fulfilled by him. 
And these so-called stages are in no sense separate, 
but together form one continuous, unbroken, harmoni- 
ous development, each part of which vitally depends 
on all that has gone before. I have already spoken 
of "connectedness " as one of the main principles run- 
ning through the whole of Froebel's teaching. Here 
we have it as the connectedness of the different stages 
of life and progress. I have also dealt with it in the 
form of the logical succession and inter-relation of the 
subjects of knowledge, — every subject giving meaning 
and value to all the others. But there is a still further 
kind of connectedness, that, namely, which unites the 
different kinds of mental activity — knowing, feeling, 
and willing — with one another, enabling them to blend 
as one harmonious ivhole and each to aid the others.^ 

1 In a letter to Frau Doris Liitkens of Hamburg, written in 1851, 
Froebel says that, if his plan were followed, " then would the soul 
(whose sphere of action is feeling) acknowledge and esteem the intel- 
lectual power, just as the intellect already recognizes the soul (feel- 
ing) as that which gives true warmth to our lives ; and life (the sphere 
of action of the will) as a whole would make manifest the soul, 
which quickens existence and gives it a meaning, as well as the 
intellect which gives it precision and culture. Intellect, feeling, and 


The former we may call the outer, the latter the 
inner connection. And we may go beyond even this, 
and insist with Froebel on the necessity of effecting 
and maintaining a connection between the inner and 
the outer. What the child already knows, and has 
thus made inner, must be connected with what he is 
learning which is still outer ; and his inner desire for 
activity, his ideas, feelings, and will, must be con- 
nected with what outwardly he does and makes — 
which Froebel calls "making the inner outer,'' or 

But we must return to the main theory. Prom his 
very first breath the child comes under the influence 
of three powers : nature, animate and inanimate ; 
humanity ; and the power which pervades and directs 
these, rising to its highest temporal manifestation in 
the latter, — the power we call God. The child's body 
connects him with organic and inorganic, animate and 
inanimate, nature ; liis heart and mind connect him with 
and make him a part of the great whole — humanity, 
past, present, and future; and his whole being and soul 
depend on and are energized by God. If this be so, 
the child, he thinks, should grow up under the influ- 
ences of nature. There he should gradually, and as 
far as may be in unbroken continuity, learn that laws 
underlie all organic formation, and that conformity 
with those laws is the fundamental, unvarying con- 
will would then unite, a many-sided power, to build up and rightly 
constitute our life ; . . . we should then have the harmonious devel- 
opment of every side of our nature alike, and should be able to build 
up a life which should be everywhere in touch with God, with physi- 
cal nature, and with humanity at large." 


dition of all true progress towards perfection ; should 
catch, glimpses of laws applying to himself; should 
come to see or surmise, gradually and of course only 
very slowly, that all these laws in nature and in himself 
are in reality but various modes and manifestations of 
one law, and thus link together, or " reconcile," by a 
wider conception, what seems separate or opposed; 
should, through the loving care he bestows on animals 
and plants, enlarge his heart and sympathies, and pre- 
pare himself for the loving care he is to bestow on 
human beings ; should, by studying and imitating the 
conformity of God's works, find and love God as the 
creator of nature, and as his own creator ; and should 
breathe in the peace which rules in nature and in 
occupations connected with nature, before the noise 
of the world and sin enter his being. 

The means which nature employs for the develop- 
ment of a child's body is physical movement. There- 
fore let the limbs be carefully and wisely exercised — 
which can only be properly done by one who knows 
something of their structure and mode of action. The 
child's most useful physical instrument is the hand. 
Therefore let the hand and the sense of touch be care- 
fully exercised. One of the most striking instincts 
of childhood is construction ; at first simply imitative, 
and then imaginative and original. Let this, therefore, 
be encouraged and cultivated. The eye — with its 
delight in color first, followed much later by delight 
in form — comes next, and should be amply exercised. 
Then comes the ear, with its delight in sounds ; and 
this, therefore, should be helped in its development 
by song and music. The occupation which Froebel 


thought should be most diligently fostered is the care 
of animals and plants, as has just been pointed out. 
By it the child gains his first glimpses of the wonders 
and beauties of nature far better than by mere gazing, 
and learns to love labor and to use labor for the pleas- 
ure and good of others. Ere very long we shall notice 
in the child a dawning curiosity to know. This, there- 
fore, like all other natural demands, should be attended 
to and the spirit of inquiry encouraged. We must be 
sure, however, that it is a natural, spontaneous demand 
on the child's part, and not the artificial creation of 
our own nervous, fidgety anxiety to hurry the child out 
of infancy and into the period of information and set 
lessons in books. We learn to know by comparing, 
by noticing the broad likenesses and the individual 
differences of things ; and every means for exciting, 
attracting, fostering the child's attention to these 
likenesses and differences should in due season and 
in due measure be placed in his way and the child 
guided in his exercise. In short, Froebel aims at so 
fostering, controlling, and directing the natural and 
spontaneous activity of the child according to its own 
inherent law that the purpose of nature — the com- 
plete development of all the natural powers — shall 
be effectually fulfilled. 

So much for the present as to the child's relations to 
nature. To lead him on from nature to humanity, his 
inborn social impulses, which show themselves in the 
very earliest period, should be drawn out and kept 
livingly active by every possible means. It is in this 
connection that one of the most valuable and most strik- 
ing parts of Froebel's system first comes before us. 


In his study of child-nature one of the most marked 
characteristics which attracted and riveted his atten- 
tion was the child's inborn desire for activity, which 
manifests itself in what we are v\'ont to call '• play." 
He saw and most thoughtfully pondered over the fact 
that any number of children left to themselves invari- 
ably fall to games of some kind, in which they evince 
unmistakable delight. Xature seemed to say to him 
plainly, almost audibly : " I educate children by play. 
If you wish to educate children as I do, encourage 
and organize their play." This was his special inspi- 
ration ; and his organization of the play of children 
in the kindergarten was a stroke of genius. "It is 
through play," says Professor Joseph Payne, "that 
he (the child) learns the use of his limbs, of all his 
bodily organs, and with this use gains health and 
strength. Through play he comes to know the external 
world, the physical qualities of the objects which sur- 
round him, their motions, action, and reaction upon 
each other, and the relation of these phenomena to 
himself, — a knowledge which forms the basis of that 
which will be his permanent stock for life. Through 
play, involving associateship and combined action, he 
begins to recognize moral relations, to feel that he 
cannot live for himself alone, that he is a member of 
a community whose rights he must acknowledge if his 
own are to be acknowledged. . In and through play, 
moreover, he learns to contrive means for securing his 
ends ; to invent, construct, discover, investigate ; to 
bring by imagination the remote near ; and, further, 
to translate the language of facts into the language of 
words, to learn the conventionalities of his mother- 


tongue." Froebel saw all this, and that, by exercising 
a wise and thoughtful choice of games, he could, 
without in any way spoiling the spontaneous delight 
of play, make games the means by which his educa- 
tional ideas might be put into practice in their earli- 
est and most elementary forms. ^ Games of movement 
for the limbs, games for the hand, games of childish 
song, of construction, of comparison, — all these might 
well be collected or invented. These he did collect and 
invent and organize with admirable skill and success. 
The implements for the exercise and development of 
intellectual power and knowledge are called "FroebePs 
gifts " ; the processes for producing skill in the use of 
knowledge are the ''occupations." The employment 
of games, songs, gifts, and occupations in the education 
of little children is the kindergarten system. With 
regard to the games and songs, it is unfortunately still 
necessary to insist that a choice has to be made ; and 
that, when chosen, the games and songs have to be 
organized — adapted to the kindergarten purpose. This 
purpose, this premeditated aim, is of course not dis- 
played to the children — it should not even be notice- 
able by them as a special purpose of the teacher ; but, 
unless it does exist livingly conscious and present in the 
mind of the teacher, the game or song will not be a kin- 
dergarten exercise, but a mere pastime. One game only 
did not require the assistance of his invention. This 
was " gardening," which nature had already made the 

iHailmann quotes from Plato: " If children are trained to sub- 
mit to laws in their plays, the love for law enters their souls with 
the music accompanying the games, never leaves them, and helps in 
their development." 


most delightful of games. All that he had to do here 
was to urge that children should be encouraged and led 
to make use of the results of their infant efforts, in this 
and in every other department, in giving pleasure and 
help to others. This would draw them to their fellows, 
would link them to humanity ; and from love of their 
fellows would be developed the love of God. Work 
which was at the same time the fulfilment of duty he 
saw (as Baroness von Marenholtz-Biilow points out) 
was the only true basis of moral culture : but it was 
nece^ary that such work should not only delight the 
worker, but should also satisfy his instinct of love ; 
it should therefore have an object; and that object 
should be to give pleasure and help to others. To 
make the beginning of all this still more easy the care 
of pet animals was added. 

In the next chapter I shall deal more at large with 
the relations of the child to its fellows and to God. But 
here I cannot refrain from giving the substance of the 
Baroness's charming description of an almost ideal 
kindergarten at work — or rather at play; reminding 
the student, before I do so, that Froebel seeks to give 
the child experience rather than instruction, and to 
educate him by action rather than by books, or any- 
thing in the nature of abstract learning. 

The pleasant sound of children's voices singing 
falls on the ear of the visitor as he enters the kinder- 
garten; and in an open-air space shaded with trees 
(or in winter in a large, pleasantly warmed room) he 
sees a ring of little children from three to five or six 
years of age, led by the kindergarten teacher, and 
moving in rhythmic measures round one of their little 


comrades who is going through an energetic course of 
gesticulations and movements, which the others imi- 
tate while they sing. The movements may represent 
the incidents of husbandry and harvesting, or the 
way in which birds build their nests, and fly out and 
home again, or scenes in the market or the shop. The 
actions are suited to the words and the words to the 
actions, and mutually explain one another. Physical 
and mental exercises go on together. The movements 
exercise the limbs and muscles, the music helps to 
call into activity the ieelings and the imagination, 
the words and the actions rouse the mind to observa- 
tion, and the will is called into play by the desire and 
the effort to imitate. A little farther on in the gar- 
den under an awning will be seen tables, at each of 
which are seated some ten children, — some, perhaps, 
as old as eight — working away busily. At one table 
strips of colored paper, straw, or leatlier are being 
plaited into all sorts of pretty patterns to make letter- 
cS-ses, mats, etc. The patterns of the elder children 
are their own invention, and their little productions 
are destined to be presents to father and mother, 
brothers and sisters, and friends. At the next table 
building with cubes, or bricks, has been going on. 
Before each child stands a structure of his own plan- 
ning, and all are listening attentively to the story the 
teacher is telling, in which each of the objects built is 
made to play a part. Or the children may have been 
counting, and comparing the sizes and shapes of the 
bricks. At a third table paper is being folded into all 
sorts of shapes, representing tools of different kinds, 
boxes, boats, and even flowers. Most of the forms 


which the children produce are arrived at by gradual 
transitions from some fundamental mathematical form, 
and thus first notions of the elements of geometry are 
acquired, not through abstract teaching, but by obser- 
vation and original construction. But the half -hour 
is at an end, and there must be no more sitting still. 
Spades, rakes, and watering-pots are now brought out 
for work in the flower-beds (or, when indoors, in flower- 
boxes or pots), of which each child has one of its own. 
Vegetables, and sometimes fruit, as well as flowers, 
are cultivated by the little people in these small 
patches of ground ; but in the general garden, which 
is in the common charge of all the children, are 
grown corn, field products, and the like. In this 
garden, too, many kinds of animals are kept, — rabbits, 
goats, dogs, chickens, pigeons, — which have all to be 
looked after and cared for. The little ones whom we 
first saw engaged in their childish gymnastics now 
come running up to the table deserted by the elder 
children, and in their turn take their seats, and begin 
laying together and interlacing little laths or sticks 
in symmetrical shapes — forms of beauty, forms of 
knowledge or mathematical figures, forms of practical 
life, or buildings, tools and the like, — a sort of draw- 
ing with concrete lines. The results of many of the 
occupations are to be stored up in the glass cupboard 
in the playroom. They are not all for birthday or 
Christmas presents. A great many of them are to 
go into a common fund by means of which a Christ- 
mas tree is to be dressed, and the poor children of 
the neighborhood are to come and join in the general 
rejoicing — they are, indeed, to be the special guests. 


And now the working-hours are ended, and a song, 
in which all join, sounds through the kindergarten. 
The little ones with their teachers form a circle and 
sing, with childish reverence, words expressing grati- 
tude to God and desire to please him and their par- 
ents. The kindergarten always opens and closes in 
this way. Three, or perhaps four, hours have thus 
passed quickly away for the little people, and now 
they hurry off to join the mothers or sisters or nurses 
who have come to fetch them, eager to tell of all 
the pleasures and work of the morning, and to carry 
on by themselves at home the arts they have been 

That all of this cannot be done in the family, after 
Pestalozzi's plan, must be quite evident. Part of it 
may be, but not all. Mothers for the most part have 
not the time, nor the apparatus, nor have they what 
is still more important, — the trained skill necessary 
for conducting this playful work or workful play prop- 
erly. They may commence it; and they may in 
some measure continue it at home ; but they cannot 
do it entirely. If for no other reason, then for this 
— that the social impulse, the love of others beyond 
the narrow range of self and of one's own home, 
cannot be properly excited and developed except 
where numbers, and these from different homes, are 
gathered together. But in order to commence and 
continue the plan properly, in order to be always 
working in harmony with it, — that is, in harmony 
with the children's natures, — mothers must study 
child-nature and the growth of child-mind much more 
carefully than they do. For the mother is always, 


or should be, the most important factor in the life of 
the child. Froebel does not seek to change this, 
but only to add to it and to make it more effective. 
He is never tired of appealing to mothers to fit them- 
selves for the holy duties of motherhood ; and indeed 
it is directly to mothers that the greater part of what 
he writes is addressed. The kindergarten takes 
away the children for only a few hours in the morn- 
ing, and still keeps them under the guidance and 
skilled care of women. The temporary absence 
should only add to the charm of home by the delight- 
ful excitement of returning, and so be itself a Froe- 
belian means for helping the child to realize its love 
for home and mother. 



In a memorable interview between Diesterweg and 
Froebel, described in her Reminiscences, the Baroness 
von Marenholtz-Biilow reports the latter, amongst 
other things, to have said, " The firmament leads us 
to recognize the connectedness of all that exists, and 
leads us up to unity — God." The night was clear, 
bright, and starry, as they drove home from Insels- 
berg to Liebenstein, and the beauty of the heavens 
had set them talking. " No one of the heavenly 
bodies is isolated ; every planet has its centre in the 
sun of its system. All the solar systems are in relation 
and continual interaction with one another. This is 
the condition of all life — everywhere mutual relation 
of parts. As there above, in great things, unbroken 
connection and harmony rule, so also here below, even 
in the smallest thing ; everywhere there are the same 
order and harmony, because the same law rules every- 
where, the one law of God, which expresses itself in 
thousand-fold many-sidedness, but in the last analysis 
is one, for God is himself the law." ''■ That is what 
people call pantheism," remarked Diesterweg. "And 
very unjustly," rejoined Froebel; "I do not say, like 
the pantheists, that the world is God's body, that 


God dwells in it, as in a house, but that the spirit of 
God dwells and lives in nature, produces, fosters, and 
unfolds everything, as the common life principle. As 
the spirit of the artist is found again in his master- 
pieces, so must we find God's spirit (Geist) in his 
works." To the hasty inquirer the difference would 
not, perhaps, be readily apparent — especially on occa- 
sions when Froebel allowed his mystical tendencies to 
intrude themselves; and so more than one adversary 
called him pantheist and anti-christian. Pantheist 
he undoubtedly is, or ideal-pantheist, as I have called 
him ; but in no sense is he anti-christian. The 
question has already been touched upon in a preced- 
ing chapter; and it has been pointed out that it is 
not a matter of essential importance to us, though 
certainly a matter of interest, what ultimate inter- 
pretation of the universe Froebel derived from his 
long and careful study of physical phenomena, and of 
the active manifestations of life and growth. It is 
quite justifiable and consistent to accompany Froebel 
as long as he deals with matters of physical science 
and psychology, but to refuse to follow him beyond 
these, into the region of metaphysics — just as we may 
with great advantage follow Herbart as long as he is 
dealing directly with the results of his own observa- 
tion and practice as a teacher, but may decline to 
accept in its entirety his system of psychology, which 
was only in part derived from those results. Up to 
the confines of metaphysics Froebel is sound enough. 
It is, however, necessary to re-introduce here, though 
but briefly, his particular view as to the ultimate 
meaning of the universe, because he himself mingles 


it so frequently with his ethical teaching; and it 
would seem only fair to give him the opportunity of 
stating his case clearly. Besides, I am not prepared 
to state that his metaphysical views are in my 
opinion wholly wrong, though I cannot accept all of 
them. The particular views referred to are pre- 
sented in many parts of The Education of Man; and 
almost the whole of one section (sect. 63) is devoted 
to the exposition of them. He is speaking of what 
mankind can learn of the nature of God from the 
" book of creation," apart from any direct revelation, — 
in which revelation he constantly shows his belief, — 
and, using once more the simile of the artist, says: 
"As no material part of the human spirit, of the 
artist, is in the work of art, and yet the work of art 
bears within it the whole spirit of its artist, so that 
he lives in it, expresses himself by it ; and as the 
work breathes forth again his spirit even to others, is 
awakened, developed, improved, and formed by his 
spirit ; as thus the man's spirit is related to the work 
produced by him, as the man (as a spirit) is related 
to that which he has produced, so is the spirit of God 
related to nature, and to all created things. The 
spirit of God rests, lives, and works in nature, 
expresses itself by nature, imparts itself through 
nature, continues to shape itself (to give itself visible 
form) in and by nature ; but nature is not the body of 
God." The whole section is of great value for a clear 
understanding of this view, but is too long for quota- 
tion. It may be added, however, that, both from what 
he here says and from the rest of his writings, it is 
quite evident that Froebel does not pretend to give 


a complete account of the Deity, but only of what a 
limited human being can learn from the universe of 
the Deity in his character of Creator of man and of 
the world man lives in. 

From early boyhood Froebel had delighted in the 
sights and sounds of nature. In especial, he himself 
tells us, the w^orld of plants and flowers had been the 
object of his observation and reflection. Even then, 
and still more when he became a fervent student of 
physical science, he was constantly struck by the 
regularity of nature, by the existence of underlying 
law — as has been already described ; and with the 
perception of this he came to feel in the law " a pres- 
ence which disturbed him with the joy of elevated 
thoughts, a sense sublime of something, far more 
deeply interfused " than the mind could directly ob- 
serve through the senses. This law and this presence 
engrossed his attention more and more. He sought 
them everywhere. He had come upon their traces in 
nature ; and it was to nature that he turned to learn 
more of them. He listened to her many voices, con- 
sidered her ways, and learnt her doings. Nature 
became for him the book of God designed for our 
learning. Thus it happens that in Froebel's mind 
science is never, even apparently, antagonistic to re- 
ligion. In fact it becomes a part — a vital part — of 
religion itself. Knowledge of the law of life, of all 
that bears on life, becomes in his view a matter of the 
greatest necessity. A man's highest duty is to live out 
that law here on earth by unceasing outward and up- 
ward activity ; to develop and promote the realization 
of God's idea in humanity. " But this is anti-chris- 


tian/' exclaimed some of his opponents. "By no 
means," answered Froebel; "it is the teaching of Jesus 
himself, whose meat it was to do the will of him 
that sent him ; who was ever about his Father's busi- 
ness. He it was who taught us to call upon his 
Father as our Father, and to pray that God's kingdom 
may come, and his will be done here on earth, even 
as it is in heaven. And you will find that Holy Writ 
in no way contradicts me." The kingdom of G-od upon 
earth is the complete development of humanity and 
of all created things. This development has not yet 
been reached. It is not a stationary, completed thing, 
which has only to be repeated in greater universality ; 
but a grow^th yet to be produced, and only to be pro- 
duced by the living way of individual, free, active 
development and cultivation. This insistence on the 
necessity of development brought another set of 
adversaries into the field, who accuse Froebel of 
despising knowledge, and thinking only of training. 
These I will refer for their answer to what has already 
been said and to what I shall say in the next chapter. 
And meanwhile I will ask my readers to recall what 
Bacon says in his Advancement of Learning (especially 
in bk. i, v. 11), merel}^ pointing out that Froebel 
did, indeed, look upon know^ledge as "a rich store- 
house for the glory of the Creator and the relief of 
man's estate." He did not value it for its own sake, 
but only as it bore on complete living. In that re- 
spect no one has valued it more highly than he. 

But it is time to have done -svith objectors, and to 
turn to the consideration of the ethical bearing on 
the child, the boy, the man, and society in general, 


of Froebel's theory ; for so far, I have only hinted 
at it. 

The infant child lies at first involved in a chaos 
of sensations, and of feelings of comfort and discom- 
fort, acceptableness and offensiveness. Within these 
there is somewhere the germ of a soul or spirit. How 
does he rise out of the confusion, separate himself 
from it, and become conscious of himself — "give birth 
to himself as I," as Fichte would say ? Somehow, by 
his own nature, and own inner power — helped or hin- 
dered by the impressions of outer things. Something, 
therefore, may be done to help or hinder the youngest 
infant — something through the senses and feelings, 
and first infant activities, in aid of discrimination. 
Froebel begiw^ at this earliest period. Nor does he 
find it too soon for a germ of ethics. While aiding the 
child to make clear to himself his elementary sensa- 
tions and feelings, he would, as he said in a conversa- 
tion with Varnhagen {Reminiscences, p. 210), "awaken 
the senses as the organs of the mind, and not as the 
organs of mere sensuous pleasure, or of mere desires, 
as in animals." There should be no pampering in 
food or dress, not too much aimless cosseting; but, 
while enticing the child to use his perceptive faculties 
by drawing his attention to simple, single, striking ob- 
jects, "we should endeavor from the very beginning 
to create such impressions upon the child's mind, 
through material or concrete things, as, according to 
the analogy between thought and its embodiment, 
are the protot3q3es of ideas and conceptions." As 
to how he would do this for the infant, Froebel 
has been explicit enough in his ball games, and the 


games and songs of his Mutter- unci Kose-lieder, by 
which he seeks not only to exercise the infant per- 
ceptions, and the little limbs and muscles, but also, as 
has been pointed out, to utilize the loving union be- 
tween mother and child, so as to draw them both into 
intelligent and delightful relations with the objects 
and simple life around them. " Everything," he says 
{Education of Man, sect. 35), "which enters the child's 
small range of vision, which widens his as yet narrow 
world, is dear to him. The smallest thing is to him a 
new discovery. But it must not come dead into the 
little world ; it must not remain dead in it ; else the 
small range of vision will be darkened, the young 
world crushed." In a previous section {sect. 33) 
Froebel shows admirably how a mother may call out 
a child's consciousness of self by infant play with his 
little limbs and body, beginning with what he can see 
(hands, feet, etc.), and going to what he cannot see 
(ears, eyes, etc.), and from the parts themselves to 
their activities — and how this play may be linked 
with speech. The advent of speech marks the begin- 
ning of another period — that of boyhood or girlhood. 
It is during this period of boyhood or girlhood that 
the child more distinctly comes to feel those various 
influences which Froebel groups under the heads of 
nature, mankind, and God. From intercourse with 
nature, the child, it will be remembered, is to gain an 
anticipatory knowledge of God ; and through the care 
he bestows on plants and animals is to be drawn into 
closer touch with human beings, and to prepare him- 
self for the loving care he is soon to bestow on them ; 
while from love of his fellows is to be developed the 


love of God. Of course Froebel does not suppose 
that all that he counsels us to do under these heads 
can be done in boyhood, — it may not even be accom- 
plished in manhood, — but he thinks it should be the 
guiding principle and aim of every educator at all 
times. The end will not be reached by book-learning, 
listening, or passive contemplation, but only by 
action ; for it is only by action that man learns to 
understand himself and others ; only by studying the 
effects that he gains a knowledge of the cause. Gar- 
dening is one of the occupations Froebel would have 
us most carefully foster. By it the child gains his 
first glimpses of the wonders and beauties of nature ; 
in it he watches the working of an unseen power; 
through it he learns to love labor, to use labor for the 
pleasure and good of others, and gains for himself a first 
touch of a sense of duty and responsibility. A child's 
activities should never, if possible, be left vague and 
purposeless. Just as the senses are to be organs of 
the mind, so the activities are to be expressions of 
the mind — of the mind of the actor, the child. In 
gardening, therefore, and in every other occupation, 
children should be encouraged and led by every possi- 
ble means to make use of the results of their infant 
efforts, by giving pleasure and help to others. Work, 
which is also the fulfilment of duty, Froebel saw to be 
the only true basis of moral culture. In other words, 
if we infuse into work a sense of obligation to the 
community, to one's friends, or even only to one's 
better self, we readily make it a means of spiritual 
development, — a conception most important in its 
bearing on the healthiness and hopefulness of every- 


day, social life. In fact, Froebel demands that physi- 
cal and spiritual development shall be united from the 
first, and shall begin in the earliest childhood, and thus 
continues and completes what Eichter, in his Levana, 
had already more than once hinted at. If, besides 
individual work, children are given work — such as 
gardening — to do in common, a sense of mutual respon- 
sibility and fellowship in duty will still further be 
exercised. It is evident how valuable in this connec- 
tion will be the child's being allowed to take part in 
domestic household work. To help father, mother, or 
nurse is always a privilege as well as a pleasure ; and 
the aim and utility of the work are both always clearly 
manifest. There is no more beautiful sight in this 
world of ours than a little child working for love and 
honor's sake. But by far the most important of the 
spontaneous activities of the young is that of play. 
It is the freest active manifestation of the child's inner 
self, and springs from the need of that inner living 
consciousness to realize itself outwardly. The child 
literally lives in his play, and sees himself living in 
his playmates, just as he sees himself acting and 
doing in the stories he loves so well. All that we 
can do here is to seek to prevent the activity from 
becoming vague, erratic, meaningless.^ It should be 
the expression of some idea in the child; and, 
undoubtedly, those ideas will be best which lead him 
into intelligent, loving harmony with his fellows and 

1 Children often half-consciously confess this by asking some 
sympathetic adult to join in their play. Many a time has a little 
fellow said to me, " Oh, do come and play witli us, and then the 
game is sure to be jolly." The self -directing powers, in games as 
in all else, are slow in growth. 


with nature, and which keep him in touch with his 
own life all through. It should be as little as pos- 
sible merely imitative ; as much as possible creative, 
i.e. the child's own endeavor to realize the idea which 
he possesses. In any case, the idea and the action 
should never be divorced. After what has already 
been said as to Froebel's view of development, there 
will be no need to insist further on the absolute 
necessity of creativeness in every department of a 
child's education, according to his method. As soon 
as this is left out the plan ceases to be Froebel's. We 
need not, therefore, touch upon the other activities 
and occupations. The same spirit and purpose runs 
through them all, — the desire to develop the child's 
own innate powers, and to give him clear percep- 
tions of truth, and of his relations to nature, human- 
ity, and God ; and to keep life and all that surrounds 
him full of beauty, suggestiveness, and peace. 

" It is not enough," says Froebel in a letter to his 
cousin Fran Schmidt, written in 1840 — '-it is not 
enough for man as an intelligent being merely that 
good shall result from his actions ; his dignity, his sta- 
tion as the child of God, is only then duly shown forth 
when he has gained a clear, intelligent consciousness 
of what he does," and its results on himself and his 
fellows. ''Religion," he says {Education of Man, sect. 
60), "is the effort to raise to clear consciousness the 
anticipation that the individual spiritual self, which 
man perceives (the spirit of man) was originally one 
with God, and is to be in union with God, — a union 
founded on this consciousness, — and to continue to 
live in this union with God in every position and 


every relation of life, untroubled and unweakened. 
Eeligion is not a fixture, but a constantly advancing 
effort, and just on that account has a constant exist- 
ence."^ Eeligious instruction consists in making 
this clear to the individual ; in leading him to per- 
ceive and understand the laws of his being as an 
animal, as a man, as part of humanity, as a child of 
God ; and in accustoming him to look for these laws 
in the natural world around him, in himself, in the 
life of humanity and the history of its development, 
and in the sacred books which have applied these 
laws to life, and especially to the individual life of 
each person. " Even in boyhood there may be most 
unequivocal proofs and convictions that God, to speak 
humanly (as we can in general speak in no other 
way of the Divine, or at least in no other comprehen- 
sible, effective way), still uninterruptedly guides hu- 
manity in and towards its development, improvement, 
and outer manifestation, by his fatherly guardianship 
and care, and constantly also accompanies each indi- 
vidual — each as an essential part of the whole — in all 
the occurrences of his life with fatherly loving protec- 
tion and help." Elsewhere he says : "Keligion with- 
out work runs the risk of becoming empty dreaming, 
passing enthusiasm, and an evanescent phantom, as 
work without religion makes man a beast of burden 
or a machine." In this, as in every other department, 
development is produced by exercise, by doing, by 
creating. Morality is produced by moral practices. 

iWhat Froebel means by "union with God" has already been 
made sufficiently clear. It is actively living out the idea and pur- 
pose of God consciously, and of one's own free will and desire. 


Froebel holds that the first germ of religious feel- 
ing lies ill the feeling of comnmnity and that this 
feeling first comes into active consciousness in the 
family life. The family life, therefore, is the basis 
and medium of religious development; as is also 
the school life if based and modelled on that of the 
family. Moral practices, ^Hhe expressions of the 
kind heart, and the thoughtful, pure mind," are what 
he urges both for home and school ; linking these on 
to what has been said above of the child's perception 
and feeling of God's fatherhood, and taking the life of 
Jesus as the model life. "The boy's life," he says, 
" should be an expression in action and production of 
the prayer of Jesus." Here, as everywhere else, he 
objects to dogmatic teaching. " If a man is to under- 
stand many truths, especially religious truths, he 
must be made to experience much, i.e. to become con- 
scious of the events (perhaps small in themselves) of 
his own religious life," — liis own first, and then that 
of others. He muat rise gradually to a knowledge of 
the truths of Christianity. He objects also to the 
inculcating, in early life, of all such precepts as 
" If you are good you will be happy." The child 
can only take them as referring mainly or wholly to 
the outer life ; and of that life they are not true. 
Indeed, Froebel protests strongly against holding out 
bribes to virtue, either for this w^orld or the next. 
Outward incentives are degra^ding to humanity. What 
we should do, as far as possible, is "to make the boy 
observe and realize the reflex action of his conduct, 
not on his outer more or less agreeable position, but 
on his inner spontaneous or fettered, clear or clouded, 


satisfied or dissatisfied, condition of spirit and mind," 
and this only gradually and by the way of experience. 
The child has to have some intuition of and insight 
into his destiny, and how it is to be accomplished, 
before he can understand such a consequence as aris- 
ing from such a cause. Froebel does not desire to 
produce a being learned and fixed in religious dogma, 
but to realize in the individual God's idea in humanity. 
The chief instrument he would use, especially in 
earlier life, is love, which conquers self-seeking, — 
love in action, in the family, in the school, in the 
community ; and from love of his fellows whom he 
has seen should be developed the love of God, whom 
he has not seen with his outer eye, but is learning to 
see with his inner mind and heart. ''All work, all 
exercises which awaken the active powers," writes 
Baroness von Marenholtz-Biilow, " which form the 
capacity for rendering loving services to fellow-creat- 
ures, will help to lay the groundwork of religion in 
the child. The awakening of love goes before that of 
faith ; he who does not love cannot believe, for it is 
love that discovers to us the object or the being 
worthy of our faith. Loving self-surrender to what 
is higher than ourselves, to the highest of all, is the 
beginning of faith. But love must show itself in 
deeds, and this will be impossible unless there be the 
ability to do. A child can no more be educated to a 
life of religion and faith without the exercise of per- 
sonal activity than heroic deeds can be accomplished 
by words only." 

General morality, as we have seen, is held by Froe- 
bel to depend largely on having the ideal side of the 


human being awakened and gratified from the very- 
beginning of life, in order to afford a counterpoise to 
sensual desires, and to delay or prevent as far as 
possible the awakening of the lower appetites. The 
development of the sense of beauty, while the reflec- 
tive powers are still slumbering in the chikl's soul, 
offers the best means for this. Therefore, from the 
earliest infancy onward, the eyes of the child are to 
be opened to forms, colors, etc., and its ear to music ; 
and the weak, childish powers are to be prepared and 
used in the formation and creation of beautiful objects. 
Here again creativeness is to render the soul suscep- 
tible to the ideal. While, moreover, the principles 
which underlie the formation of beauty will, in this 
way, be brought home to the worker, and will be 
another experience in the beneficent results of law 
and harmony ; for beauty is the perfection of a thing 
after its kind.^ 

Froebel would not have the child suspected of evil. 
In this way, by suspicion, the child is robbed of his 
innocence, and is rendered powerless to act ; and it is 
only by action that he can develop the good.^ He by 
no means ignores the presence of evil, both inherited 
and newly acquired ; but he would overcome it by (so 
to speak) starving it and developing what is good. 
To do this we must not be in a hurry to pronounce 
actions as evil, but must look into their springs and 

1 See Reminiscences, chap. viii. 

2 The child thus reduced to inaction — often mistaken for good- 
ness — he compares to the butterfly or beetle, which, from much 
handling, is feeble, " and indeed also footless," and which the 
little boy pronounces to be "quite tame now." — Education of 
Man, sect. 53. 


motives. Often enougli a good meaning and endeavor 
lie behind what is evil in appearance, or evil in reality, 
but due to ignorance and misdirected exuberance of 
young life and growing powers, the exercise of which 
is instinctive and deliglitful. If evil is not wholly 
extirpated in this way, its proportion is, at any rate, 
constantly lessened, and its power continually reduced; 
while the power of will is not paralyzed, but only 
diverted in its action. Punishment is not abolished, 
but the necessity for it almost disappears, and the 
spirit of it is entirely changed. No longer does vir- 
tue need to be avenged, or wicked nature to be re- 
buked and put down. It is rather ignorance that 
needs enlightenment, weakness that needs strength- 
ening, strength that needs a right direction, contami- 
nation that must not be allowed to spread. And if 
the outer life suffers constraint and penalty, the 
inner life is not left unappealed to or uncounselled. 

" The development and cultivation of man to attain 
his destiny, to fulfil his vocation, is a perpetual, un- 
interruptedly continuous, unseparated whole, always 
rising from one stage to another." "By his own ob- 
servation, and his own discovering, by his own notice 
of the living coherence of nature, by direct view of 
nature itself (not by explanations in words and ideas, 
for which the boy has no intuition), there will dawn 
upon him early — and however dimly at the begin- 
ning, yet more and more distinctly — the great thought 
of the inner, continual, living connection of all things 
and phenomena in nature." "No new subject of in- 
struction should come to the scholar of which he does 
not at least conjecture that it is grounded in the pre- 


ceding subject, and how it is so grounded (as shown 
by its application), and concerning which he does 
not, however dimly, feel it to be a need of the 
human spirit." A man, it will be remembered, is a 
man, not because he has reached the age of manhood, 
but only because the requirements of his infancy, his 
boyhood, and his youth, have all been faithfully ful- 
filled by him. These stages are in no sense separate, 
but together form one continuous, unbroken, harmo- 
nious development, every part of which vitally de- 
pends on all that has gone before it. However sad it 
may be, no after-effort can ever wholly remove the 
consequences of earlier neglect. Here and there 
something may be retrieved ; but, in general, things 
can never be the same as if there had been no neglect. 
The activity that should have been called out would 
have produced some result, and that result, at least, 
must be lost. Such are the more important thoughts 
which constantly run in and out amongst Froebel's 
ethical theories. They form, indeed, the skeleton 
which unites and supports the whole body of these 
theories. And further — in a very special sense they 
constitute the ethics of his practice of teaching. 

We might carry our inquiry further, and consider 
the application of Froebel's views to the training of 
youth as well as boyhood. But, if what has already 
been said is sufficiently clear and connected, the repe- 
tition of principles and methods would be too little 
varied to avoid tediousness. 



In a letter to Miss Howe, written from Keilhau in 
1847, and giving her an account of his system and of 
his training-college plans, Froebel says: "But such a 
course (as that just described) of training and occu- 
pations for children, answering to the laws of develop- 
ment and the laws of life, demanded a thoroughly 
expressive medium, in the shape of materials for these 
occupations and games for the child ; therefore, to meet 
his want I designed a series of play materials, under 
the title of 'A Complete Series of Gifts for Play.' " 
It will now be my endeavor to explain more precisely 
the meaning of kindergarten methods, and in par- 
ticular to describe these gifts and occupations, and the 
general nature of their employment in the education 
of the young. 

A few introductory remarks will make everything 
clearer. In whatever way the aims of education, as 
set forth by various writers, may differ as to phraseol- 
ogy, they will be found, on careful examination, to be 
reducible practically to three : the acquirement of 
knowledge, the development of mental and physical 
power, and the production of skill, or effectiveness, in 
doing, especially in the application of knowledge to 


practice. The close interdependence of these three is 
one of the fundamental principles of the kindergarten ; 
so much so that, with Herbert Spencer, we may sum 
them up under one head, and define education as 
preparation for complete living. In order to effect 
the threefold aim of knowledge, power, and skill, we 
employ certain processes. These processes are no 
doubt numerous and varied ; but, when they have 
been analyzed and duly considered, they will be found 
to readily group themselves under the heads of taking 
in, assimilating, and giving out, or expressing. And 
here again the kindergarten holds strongly that the 
effectiveness of each of these kinds of activity depends 
mainly on its intimate connection with the other two, 
and in particular that the assimilating Avill be more or 
less perfect, precisely as tlie activities of talcing in and 
giving out are properly brought into play or not, and 
are or are not self-activities of the mind, in the sense 
already explained. Most of us are fairly well agreed 
as to what is meant by power and by skill, but the 
meaning of knowledge is not always kept quite clear. 
It is frequently confused with information. Accord- 
ing to Froebel, and, indeed, to most psychologists, 
knowledge is information taken in and assimilated — 
placed in its right relations, that is, to what the taker- 
in has already thoroughly made his own. Informa- 
tion becomes knowledge when we have thoroughly 
mastered its meaning, when we have realized its bear- 
ing on other facts and things, when we understand it 
in such a way as to be able to put it to its simple, 
natural uses. In order to understand a fact or a thing, 
we. note its likenesses and unlikenesses to other facts 


and things, — its relations to them, — and so class it 
with its likes and distinguish it from its unlikes. It is 
in connection with the noting of differences — so as to 
bring out the individual characteristics of a thing 
most clearly — that Froebel introduces what has been 
called his " doctrine of contrasts." He places hard- 
ness with softness, darkness with light, rest with 
motion, and so on ; and holds that by their contrasts 
each is rendered more noticeable and more intelligible. 
This helps analysis and the recognition of individual- 
ity. It separates things from the confused general 
mass. But this process has to be followed by another, 
— the bringing of things together again in intelligible 
relations, or what we call synthesis. As Sir William 
Hamilton puts it : " The first procedure of the mind in 
the elaboration of its knowledge is always analytical. It 
descends from the whole to the parts, from the vague 
to the definite. . . . But though analysis be the 
fundamental procedure, it is still only a means towards 
an end. We analyze only that we may comprehend ; 
and we comprehend only inasmuch as we are able 
to reconstruct in thought the complex effects which 
we have analyzed into their elements. This mental 
reconstruction is, therefore, the final, the consumma- 
tive procedure of philosophy. This is familiarly 
known by the Greek word synthesis.'^ This describes 
the mind's movement as a whole. But on the way 
from un-unified facts to completely unified philosophy 
there is a perpetual alternation of analysis and syn- 
thesis, by means of which the general ideas produced 
by the latter become wider and wider, and more and 
more abstract. All this Froebel, like Rosmini, keeps 


steadily in view. He begins with the most striking 
contrasts, and, gradually, as the mind's observing 
powers grow, by his choice of cases, he reduces the 
amount or degree of difference to be observed. And 
always, beneath the difference, he endeavors to bring 
out the underlying likeness or unity ; or, to use his 
own phrase, he endeavors "to reconcile the oppo- 
sites." " The most delightful and fruitful of all the 
intellectual energies," as he says in the Education of 
Man, " is the perception of similarity and agreement, 
by which we rise from the individual to the general, 
trace sameness in diversity, and master, instead of being 
mastered by, the multiplicity of nature." For the pur- 
pose of helping the detection of similarity, he intro- 
duces what he calls ''the reconciling mean" ; something 
intermediate, that is, and partaking of the qualities of 
both the "opposites." So various shades of purple 
will " reconcile " red and blue ; various intermediate 
degrees of temperature will bring out the connection 
between boiling-point and freezing-point ; and so on. 
And here again the degrees of difhculty will be care- 
fully graded, beginning with cases where the under- 
lying likeness is readily made evident, and advancing 
to cases only to be dealt with by the trained observer. 
The history of the growth of human knowledge is, 
in the main, the history of growth in the comprehen- 
sion of the relations between things, or between facts 
— based on careful observation and experiment. And 
this, too, is the history of the growth of knowledge in 
each one of us, however much we may be unconscious 
of, or may strive to interfere with, the process. To 
make a new subject or thing intelligible and interest- 


ing to our pupils, we teachers must make clear and 
establish and maintain its relations to other subjects or 
things already known. To make their understandings 
groio we must make these relations clearer and clearer, 
and we must widen and deepen and add to their 
number, — not only by adding new facts and things, 
but also, and perhaps more, by bringing out new 
connections, which were not at first easy to notice and 
understand. Interest is one of the most powerful 
factors in attention ; and attention is itself one of the 
most powerful factors in understanding. Interest 
lies in connection, not isolation. A thing or a fact, for 
its own sake, is seldom interesting for very long. It 
is in the multitude of its connections and suggestions 
that lasting interest lies. What interests a child 
must be immediate and level to his thoughts. He 
cannot realize a far-off advantage ; or, at any rate, he 
cannot feel it for long. Young and old, we all expe- 
rience delight in discovering, or in being helped to see, 
connections between isolated facts, — especially such 
as we have ourselves picked up ; and how proud we are 
when we can make use of any bit of knowledge or infor- 
mation we have acquired, even if it be only in the least 
useful of ways ! Children are always eager to make use 
of what they know, and to catch glimpses of its bear- 
ing on what they and others do. Knowledge becomes 
valuable in their eyes just in proportion as it helps 
them to do something there and then. Doing and 
feeling are intimately connected; and this doing, 
called into activity by interest, will itself excite 
into activity other feelings, and will enlist the ser- 
vices of the will, — that power of the mind which 


determines, sustains, and directs actions. But the 
effort to express or use knowledge is of even greater 
service than this. Knowledge being what I have de- 
scribed it, the effort to express or use knowledge (not 
mere information) exercises the mind, calls the whole of 
it connectedly into play, and so develops mental power. 
It also exhibits to us, in a very clear and objective 
manner, the true nature and extent of our knowing, 
and causes renewed observation of that which is to be 
expressed, and of the means used to express it.^ We 
never realize how little or how much we know of a thing 
till we try to apply that little or that much to prac- 
tice. Doing, or, rather, expressive doing, reveals to the 
teacher also the nature of his pupil's knowledge; 
exhibits to the pupil new connections, and suggests 
others still ; develops skill or effectiveness in doing, 
as mere exercise of information seldom does, or does 
but feebly ; and trains the muscles, the nerves, and 
the organs of sense to be willing, obedient, effec- 
tive servants of the mind. Lastly, it nourishes and 
clarifies feeling, by giving it definite exercise under 
the control of the will ; and this is by no means the 

1 "Writing to his cousin, Frau Schmidt, in 1841, Froebel says: 
" The representation of facts and circumstances of history, of geog- 
raphy, and especially of e very-day life, by means of building with 
the bricks contained in my boxes of * gifts,' I hold to be, in the 
highest degree, important for children, even if these representations 
are imperfect, and fall far short of their originals. The eye is at 
all events aroused and stimulated to observe with greater precision 
than before the object that has been represented, when next it 
actually comes before the child in nature or in life. And thus, by 
means of perhaps a quite imperfect outward representation, the 
inner perception is made more perfect." — Letters on the Kinder- 
garten, p. 99. 


least of its services, since little children are so liable 
to be driven hither and thither, and at times com- 
pletely overwhelmed, by gusts and storms of feeling. 
Control and direction of feeling are two of the first 
things we have to help the young to learn. 

In these ways, then, — by the processes of taking in, 
assimilating, and expressing, — the child's self is called 
into action; and more particularly by expressing is 
this self-activity produced. I need not again describe 
the nature of self-activity. It will be enough to note 
that the life and growth of the mind, as of the body, 
consists largely in transformation of material, and 
that by this exercise of its functions the powers of 
the mind as a Avhole are developed and strengthened ; 
that the mind is aided in its growth by its taking in 
the kind of knowledge it needs, just so much as it 
needs, and just when it needs this knowledge; and that 
it is to w^ork this up into its very self, and to use it as 
a means of life. 

Most of what I have been saying has had to do 
with taking in and assimilating. I have but opened 
the subject of giving out. I must now enter somewhat 
more into details. One of the chief objects of the 
kindergarten is to help the child to use his knowl- 
edge, and his partially assimilated information, to 
exjDress himself; and this by each and all of those 
modes and means of expression which really lie 
within his power, and are most natural to him. The 
watchwords of the kindergarten are self-activity, 
all-sided connectedness, creativeness, or expressive 
activity, well-ordered physical freedom and activity, 
and happy and harmonious environment. Through 


doing, thinking, and feeling it endeavors to develop 
the child's self — his individuality ; to help him to 
assimilate information, so that it may become knowl- 
edge ; to develop his skill in doing, and his physical 
powers ; and all this in the midst of, and largely by 
means of, surroundings harmonious with and delight- 
ful to child-nature. But what are the child's means 
and modes of expression? First come movement and 
gesture. Watch a child in expectation of some treat, 
or under the impulse of some happ}^ thought, dancing 
along, moving his arms, swaying his body, tossing his 
head and laughing; or, under dread of something 
unpleasant, moving slowly, shrinking himself to- 
gether, twisting his body, hanging his head, — and it 
will be at once seen how powerful a means of 
expression — especially of expressing feeling — move- 
ment is. Or notice him and his fellows at play, how 
they love to imitate the doings of adults around them, 
and to dramatize everything, playing at riding, at 
hunting, at driving, and the rest ; while the girls keep 
house, or go to market, or look after baby. Dra- 
matic 2iGtion, gesture, — often accompanied by strange 
descriptive sounds, — is not only the mode they choose 
for expressing their own meaning, but also the mode 
which most readily conveys to them the meaning of 
some one else. Suiting the action to the word and 
the word to the action is not only a device of great 
value on the stage ; it is also an excellent plan for 
making the meaning of words clear to little children, 
and for helping them to remember and reproduce this 
meaning. Moreover, the free physical exercise pro- 
duced in this way in his games always has a meaning 


for the child, — is closely linked to his ideas and 
thoughts, -;- and therefore is far more interesting and 
far more helpful to him than artificial gymnastics 
ever can be, prescribed for him as they are by others, 
and which are liable to call his attention only to the 
physical side of his nature. Physical exercise should 
in the main be the expression of ideas and feelings, 
however simple ; and that is why school-games, when 
orderly and free, are found in practice to be of much 
greater value than school-gymnastics, especially such 
as are merely acrobatic. But apart from the par- 
ticular kind of exercise here referred to, definite 
physical education must of course always be a part — 
an important part — of all education, and in the form 
of exercise usually adopted in kindergartens, the 
grace and beauty of the movements, and their evident 
physical utility, add just that interest and meaning 
which work in a gymnasium so often lacks. 

Next may be mentioned song, — by which I do not 
mean necessarily songs with words, but rather the giving 
vent to rhythmic sounds, humming, the first beginning 
of music, — sounds to which sense soon weds itself, 
and with sense, words. This is so closely connected 
with the preceding that I need not further enlarge upon 
it here. Then there is the use of the concrete — in 
building when the material is simply put together, 
and in modelling when the shape of the material 
itself is altered. The familiar scene on the sea-beach, 
or in a hay-field, or even in the grimy but most 
wonderful gutter, or the nursery experience with re- 
gard to bricks, and bits of colored paper, and scraps 
of cloth, — all these tell the tale of children's delight 


in constructing with the concrete, in giving outward 
form in material to what is in their minds. And 
again, not only do children express themselves readily 
in this way, but they understand this mode of pre- 
senting information better than any other. The best 
description of a thing is the thing itself — then a 
concrete model of it — then a picture — and, last 
of all (certainly the last with young children), 
a statement in words. How strongly do pictures 
appeal to all of us ! How clearly, vividly, concisely 
they tell their story to us — and in a language 
intelligible to all nations alike, and which all 
children so quickly learn ! And not only do 
children quickly learn to understand this picture- 
speech, they will freely and gladly use it to express 
their own ideas, if the smallest help and encourage- 
ment be given them, or even without any encourage- 
ment at all. Of course one cannot understand a 
child's picture-speech at once, any more than one can 
his other utterances. We must study it and learn it. 
It is not very hard, and it is intensely interesting ; 
and, moreover, it will enable us to learn more about 
the contents of a child's mind than any other plan 
whatever. Indeed, drawing as a means of expression, 
and as a definite test of definite knowledge, is of the 
highest value all through school life, and long after 
that period as well. If I want any one to tell me 
what a plant or a flower is like, I value two or three 
little drawings of it infinitely more than pages of 
words — very nicely put together, no doubt, but 
seldom definite and full enough to enable me to draw 
the thing they describe. Moreover, the desire and 


the effort to draw a thing produce a closer and more 
fruitful observation of details than is produced in 
any other way. Of the value of drawing — or, as I 
call it, graphic representation, on picture X)araplirasiyig — 
in the teaching of literature, I cannot speak here as 
it deserves ; I can only refer to it and pass on.^ 

And last — mingled with these modes of expression, 
growing up out of them, and gradually becoming the 
most powerful of all — comes the child's own use of 
language, verbal speech. As far as the sounds alone 
are concerned, the child usually picks them up quickly 
enough ; but the precise meaning of words and sen- 
tences is another matter altogether. It is mastered 
only very slowly by the child; indeed, it is only 
too evident that the majority of people never com- 
pletely succeed in understanding the definite, precise 
meaning of the words and sentences they themselves 
use. It is a great mistake to presume too far on a 
child's power to understand and to use language. In 
the kindergarten our task is rather to prepare the 
child to use language hereafter in the school as one 
of the chief means he will then have to employ for 
expressing himself and for gaining knowledge. At 

i"It consists in requiring the pupils to represent on paper a 
scene or action or figure from their poem. It induces a close ex- 
amination of what the poet actually says ; it causes the foundation 
of definite, clear mental images ; it allows the pupil to use in express- 
ing himself that kind of language most intelligible to the young, — 
pictures ; and it affords the teacher an excellent means of testing 
how far the pupils have understood what has been described. Our 
object here is not art-work, but the translation of z«orc?-speech 
into/n'c^wre-speech, however clumsy the picture may be." See my 
Enxjlish Literature Teaching in School^ (Percival & Co.). See also 
the note on p. 129 of this chapter. 


first it is not his chief means — and certainly not 
his 07iJy mesius, as some people seem to think — for 
expression and acquisition ; and children's confused 
statements — over which the public, and even teachers, 
often make merry — are simply, in many cases, the 
results of premature and foolish forcing on of the 
use of language, only half understood by the children, 
and not infrequently very hazily used by teachers and 
parents themselves. We shall best succeed in help- 
ing the child to use and understand language aright, 
not by restricting him to language, but by using all 
his modes and means of expression in close con- 
nection with one another, and with language, and 
language in close connection with them all. This 
is just what the kindergarten does. And while it 
does this, mark the connectedness of the whole proc- 
ess — as^shown, for instance, in the use of that 
most difficult and most valuable of all the kindergar- 
ten means of education, the story told by the teacher. 
The story of the week deals with the things the 
children have been led to observe and take an inter- 
est in ; it introduces language and helps the children 
to improve their vocabulary and mode of speaking ; 
it is illustrated by things which the children and the 
teacher have collected from time to time, and by con- 
crete constructions and modellings and pictures made 
by the children ; its meaning is made real, and is 
brought out still more clearly by pictures not drawn 
by the children but exhibited to them ; it is enlivened 
and dramatically made intelligible (especially as to 
feeling) by songs and games which introduce move- 
ment and gesture, and which utilize many a scrap of 


knowledge picked up by the children themselves. 
The story may prompt and direct the other work and 
play, or the work and play may prompt the story ; it 
matters little which, so long as together they pro- 
duce one organic whole, and so long as all the differ- 
ent modes and means of expression are made to 
co-operate and interpret one another. In this way 
the child learns many things and acquires power and 
skill ; and, amongst other things, he acquires power 
and skill in the use of language, far more real and 
varied and valuable than any spelling-book or primer 
can give. 

Such are some of the most characteristic of Froe- 
bel's kindergarten methods. But the most striking 
and original of them all have yet to be described, 
— those, namely, which are connected with what are 
called " gifts " and " occupations," which it took 
Froebel some fifteen years (1835-50) to think out 
and invent. With these I must now endeavor to 

The first plaything with which the child is provided 

1 In 1835 Froebel begins with the study of ball games at Burg- 
dorf. In 1850 he founded The Weekly Journal of Education, in 
the pages of which appeared a description of a tolerably complete 
System of Gifts and Occupations. This and twenty-nine other 
papers on the kindergarten were collected and published by Dr. 
W. Lange in his volume called Die Padagogik des Kindergartens. 
Most of these papers are of very high value ; but, strange to say, 
they have not yet been translated. Those writers, other than 
Froebel, to whom I am most indebted for what I say of the " gifts " 
are Dr. Karl Schmidt (in his Geschichte der Padagogik) and Prof. 
Joseph Payne (in the lecture already referred to, which itself owes 
somewhat to Dr, Schmidt) ; while here and there a hint is taken 
from Miss Shirreff's The Kindergarten at Home, and from Koeh- 
ler's well-known Praxis des Kindergartens. 


is, let us suppose, a ball made of wool, of one of the pri- 
mary colors, say scarlet. It is placed before the baby 
on the floor, rolled along the floor to right, to left, from 
him and to him, thrown into the air and let fall ; or, 
tied to a piece of string, it may be swung as a pendu- 
lum or whirled in a circle. It is given to baby ; he 
takes it into his hand ; grasps it, and by grasping it 
strengthens the muscles of his hand and has his sensa- 
tions directed to one point. He tries to do with the 
ball what he has seen you do — fails — can hardly 
hold it — tries again and again, and at length suc- 
ceeds — and then is never tired of doing something 
with it. All this is play — play which delights him ; 
but it is play that has within it a germ of education. 
The child is gaining his first notion of color (the ball 
is like the curtains, red, but not like the floor or 
mother's dress), of material (the ball is soft and 
fluffy like the rug, but the floor is hard), of form, of 
motion, of direction (to and fro, up and down), 
of action and reaction, as well as of muscular sensi- 
bility. At the same time the mother or the teacher 
associates some of the simplest words with the thing 
and its actions, — red, soft, warm, up, down, to, from, 
right, left, etc., — and so leads the child uncon- 
sciously to associate words with things and actions ; 
and, by constantly employing words in their proper 
sense and in the immediate presence of what they 
tell him, initiates the child into the use of his mother- 
tongue. Baby has begun to be an observer and ex- 
perimenter, and even to express his observations in 
words. Of course all this is in a most elementary 
form — little more than sensation with the microscopic 


beginnings of perception. Sometime or other this 
must begin. Froebel takes the precaution that the 
right environment and means of development shall be 
provided from the very first, and always ready as 
soon as they are needed, however unconscious and 
invisible the need may be. 

We come now to the "First Gift." This consists of 
a box of six soft woollen balls of six different colors, 
three primary and three secondary, or derived. One 
of these the child recognizes as like the first ball 
known ; the other he sees are unlike it. The same 
games as before are continued. And now let us sup- 
pose half a dozen children to be present. Each child 
has a differently colored ball. The primary colors 
are all contrasted in turn, two and two, and the inter- 
mediate — or, as Froebel would say, the " reconciling '^ 
— color, derived from each pair, is placed between 
them. The idea of comparison is thus introduced, 
and similarity, contrast, and discrimination are brought 
into play. Sensation and perception are also made to 
grow clearer and stronger by a wider and more fre- 
quent exercise. The balls lend themselves to games 
which are numerous beyond all counting. The ball is, 
in fact, man's favorite plaything, indoors and out, from 
cradle-time to tire time when he can play no more. 

The " Second Gift " consists of a box containing 
three objects, all of hard wood, — a sphere (larger 
than the balls we have been using), a cube (next to 
the sphere the simplest regular solid), and the cylin- 
der^ (which combines certain characteristics of both 

1 The cylinder was added somewhere about 1844:. It should be 
noted that in Froebel's article on the gifts and occupations referred 


the sphere and the cube). The sphere is the kuown, 
as far, at least, as shape is concerned, and we must 
use it to help us to pass on to the unknown. But it 
differs somewhat from the woollen balls. It is per- 
haps larger ; it is hard, they are soft ; it is smooth, 
they are rough ; it is heavy, they are light. If 
dropped, it makes a different sound to that made by 
a woollen ball. When this has all been noticed, we 
pass on to the cube. Differences of shape and move- 
ment strike us at once : the sphere is round, with 
one surface, no corners or edges, easily moved, rolls ; 
the cube is not round, with several surfaces, corners 
and edges, not so easy to move, slides. Many little 
games will bring out all this readily. Then the cyl- 
inder is introduced as the Froebelian '^ reconciliation " 
between the sphere and the cube : it possesses some 
of the characteristics and i)Owers of each, and so links 
them together; and yet it differs from each. It 
has a round surface like the sphere, and flat ends like 
the cube. So with regard to movement : the sphere 
and the cylinder roll ; the cylinder and the cube slide ; 
the sphere can roll in every position, the cylinder 
only on its side ; the cube can slide on its six faces, 
the cylinder only on its two ends. By spinning the 

to above, Gift II contains also a cone of revolution, or right cone. 
"As the cylinder," he says, " excludes the iutnition {Anschauung) of 
corners and the fixed rotation upon one point, it calls for and com- 
mands in its turn a body intermediary between all three, that is to 
say. uniting the properties of all three, (which properties are) cor- 
ners or points, edges or lines, sides or surfaces, plane as well as 
curved ; this is the revolving cone." The introduction of this cone 
would simplify many difficulties which kindergarten teachers have 
felt in the development of some important forms. 


cube and cylinder suspended by a string at various 
points on their surfaces, their likeness and unlikeness 
are still farther shown. The surfaces, then the edges, 
then the corners, are all examined ; and so on. Then 
common objects like our three shapes are pointed to 
or named by the children. The sphere is like an 
orange, a head, the beads of a necklace ; the cube is 
like mamma's work-box, a trunk, a book, a chest of 
drawers ; the cylinder is like the ruler on the table, a 
candle, the garden roller, cook's rolling-pin. All these 
various exercises bring into the mind notions of space, 
time, form, motion, relativity in general;^ and, like 
the sun, the rain, and the earth in physical nature, set 
the thought-germs growing and give them the right 

The " Third Gift " is a large wooden cube divided 
into eight small cubes of equal size. The cube is 
known, and we present it to the children as a complete 
whole. We proceed by analysis to call attention to 
the relations of the parts to the whole, and of the 
parts to one another. The cube is larger than that in 
Gift II, but similar in shape. The eight small cubes 
are the same in form as one another and as the cube 
they compose when put together. They are equal to 
one another in size, but smaller than the complete 
cube. The notion of a whole as made up of parts is 
introduced", and of parts going together to compose a 
complete whole ; and this is emphasized by our con- 
stantly in every exercise taking the whole cube to 

1 Relativity is used to express the relation or connection of things 
to or with one another — their bearing on one another — as parts of 
one great whole. 


pieces, arranging the pieces in some symmetrical way, 
and then gradually building the complete cube once 
more. The children acquire the ideas — and perhaps 
also the names — both in immediate connection with 
actual concrete things — of halves, quarters, eighths. 
Imagination is now called in; the cubes are called 
"bricks" : and the instinct of construction is awakened. 
In the buildings and patterns Froebel would have the 
children led to accustom themselves to regularity, 
care, precision, and beauty. They should never be 
allowed to roughly destroy. He lays great stress on 
all the material being used up each time, so that the 
children may become accustomed to reflection, to hav- 
ing always a distinct aim before their eyes, and to 
wasting nothing. The child must reflect in some 
measure, if he feels he has to use up all his bricks. If 
one or two are by chance left over, he must bring 
them in symmetrically as parts of the whole; and 
this will renew and emphasize his attention to the 
symmetry of his construction. Besides, constructions 
are sure to become aimless and vague if only so much 
of the material is employed as the whim of the mo- 
ment prompts. The things constructed will at first 
be imitations from others present before the children, 
either ready-made, or made there and then by the 
teacher, — then they will be made from memory, — 
then they will be original creations. They may be an 
armchair for father, a bench, a throne for the queen, a 
cross, a monument, a doorway, steps — in fact any- 
thing the child likes that has a definite form and a 
name. Our most prominent aims in all this — and in 
the similar exercises with the three following gifts — 


may be described as exciting interest in numbers and 
in their relations to one another, associating number 
with form, and applying number to artistic construc- 
tions. And in all and through all it will be noticed 
that each child employs his own hands, his own mind, 
and his loliole mind on his work. He is himself giv- 
ing outward form and expression to what he has him- 
self conceived. He is, therefore, intensely interested 
and spontaneously happy. 

The '' Fourth," " Fifth," and '' Sixth Gifts " con- 
tinue the analysis of the cube, introducing new forms 
and giving scope for exercises and constructions more 
and more varied. In the " Fourth Gift " the cube is 
divided into eight equal oblong parallelepipeds, or 
common brick forms, by being divided into four equal 
slabs by horizontal sections, these being bisected by a 
vertical cut parallel to two of the faces. The new 
shape brings in a considerable development of the 
notions already referred to, especially in respect to 
vertical building. By means of this gift, also, areas 
may be set out and determined ; by laying one brick 
across another, examples of balance or equilibrium 
may be given ; while by placing all the bricks in a line, 
with the length vertical so that the falling of one 
will cause the others to fall also, the idea of communi- 
cated motion can be introduced. The " Fifth Gift " is 
a development of the " Third." The cube is trisected 
both horizontally and vertically, so that twenty-seven 
small equal cubes are produced, and three of these 
are bisected vertically through a diagonal, and three 
others are quartered in a similar way. This is in some 
ways the most valuable of all the gifts, especially in 
the transition classes just above the kindergarten. Its 


exercises are simply countless. It introduces the tri- 
angle. The parallelogram and the trapezoid can now 
be constructed ; and later on older children can by- 
building see the truth of the statement that the square 
on the hypothenuse of a right-angled triangle is equal 
to the sum of the squares on the other two sides ; while 
in number work they may even learn (should it be 
thought necessary) how to extract the cube root. Of 
course the names of the figures and solids and the 
enunciations of the problems, in the first instance and 
even in the second, need not — and I think should not 
— be given in most cases. The geometrical work 
should be kept informal. The use of this gift should, 
moreover, be continued up into the school itself. 
The "Sixth Gift" continues the development of 
the "Fourth." The cube is divided into twenty- 
seven equal oblong parallelopipeds, and of these, 
three are bisected lengthwise and six are bisected 
breadthwise. This gift, like the fourth, offers excel- 
lent means for working out little problems as to areas. 
What is usually accepted now as the " Seventh Gift " 
introduces surfaces, and consists of quadrangular 
and triangular tablets of thin wood or card-board — 
squares, equilateral triangles, right-angled triangles, 
etc. Sets of these tablets may be colored uniformly 
with the seven colors of the rainbow, and black and 
white, and used for color constructions ; the results, if 
need be, being copied permanently (in j^cqjer-mosaic) by 
pasting bits of similarly colored and similarly shaped 
gummed-paper on to card-board.^ The " Eighth " and 

1 Of course when an exercise other than one in color is intended, 
the tablets should be plain {i.e. of the wood's natural color) or else 


the " Xinth Gifts " are introductory to drawing — are, 
in fact, linear drawing in the concrete. The former 
consists of small sticks or laths; the latter, of circular 
and semi-circular rings. These can be laid in all sorts 
of patterns, and be used to copy all sorts of shapes — 
the former being also specially useful in counting- 
exercises. By introducing small pith, wax, or cork 
balls or soaked peas, the sticks — though wires are 
better — can be used for constructing the skeleton 
outlines of solids. But I need not continue. In each 
case the kinds of exercise, always gradually and con- 
tinuously progressive, are the same as those I have 
described. Observation is called on with increasing 
strictness, relativity is more and more appreciated, 
and opportunities are afforded for countless manifes- 
tations of constructiveness. And all the while impres- 
sions and elementary notions are being formed in the 
mind which will bear geometrical fruit hereafter, and 
fruit of aesthetic kind. The dawning sense of the 
beautiful as well as of the true will have begun to 
gain consistency and power. In the case of the Fifth 
Gift, especially, an experience of some of the funda- 
mental operations of algebra, algebraic and other 
geometry and trigonometry may easily be acquired, 
though only in a most elementary state ; and the con- 
nection of the triangle with the three-faced prisms 
will also be perceived. But enough has been said to 

all of one easily visible but not exciting color, such as reddish- 
brown, — otherwise color, with its contrasts and harmonies, will 
largely engross the children's attention. I may add that in sticking 
the colored paper on to card-board both sides of the paper should be 
wetted, otherwise it will curl up. 


show what a wide fiekl for varied activities is thus 
laid open to the children. 

The gifts, it will be seen, follow a definite order, 
— the order of the natural growth of ideas and of pro- 
gressive power in construction ; at any rate this is so 
up to the Fifth Gift.^ They are intended, as Hail- 
mann puts it, '' to give the child from time to time 
new universal aspects of the external world, suited to 
a child's development. . . . The gift in form and ma- 
terial is determined b}" the cosmic phase {i.e. the uni- 
versal idea) to be brought to the child's apprehension, 
and by the condition of the child's development at the 
period for which the gift is intended." As a rule, the 
first four gifts will last a child up to the end of his 
fourth year. Froebel himself tells us what conditions 
a true gift should satisfy. They amount to these : it 
should enable the child to interpret the external world 
around him, and to giv^e expression to the world 

1 As has already been said, a large number of the exercises with 
the Fifth Gift belong to the Transition Classes and to the school 
proper. It is usually best in the kindergarten to introduce along 
with the Fourth Gift the tablets of Gift VII, closely followed by the 
sticks of Gift VIII, and to postpone the greater part of the exercises 
of Gift V, and all of those of Gift VI, till later. Indeed, Gift VI is 
seldom needed at all till the children are in their seventh or eighth 
year. When, however. Gift VII is introduced with Gift IV, or imme- 
diately after the beginning of Gift V, it should not, I think, contain 
any surfaces which have not been led up to properly. The surfaces 
which are equilateral, obtuse-angled, etc., which Gift VII in- 
cludes, and which have not been led up to, may be introduced through 
the sticks of Gift VIII and card-board ; and, reversing our former 
mode of proceeding, we may, by the help of card-board, construct 
the prisms from which the new surfaces may be derived, just as our 
other surfaces were derived from the other prisms with which we 
have been dealing. 


within him ; each should, as far as may be, include 
those which have gone before and foreshadow those 
which are to follow ; and each should readily make 
prominent the idea of a whole — of a whole as made 
up of parts, and of parts going together^ to form an 
orderly whole. The condition of " expressing the 
world within," however, includes the "occupations" 
as well as the gifts ; and Froebel himself never made 
any clear distinction between them. Gifts and occupa- 
tions are undoubtedly very closely connected ; and, in- 
deed, unless the latter are treated as direct applications 
to practice of what has been learnt from the former, 
they are liable to have very little educational value 
whatever, even when they are connected with the 
games. Still, the distinction between them is not 
hard to see, and, as Hailmann says, has a decided 
value of its own. But let me give a list of the "occu- 
pations " which are most used at the present time. 
The grouping is merely adopted for purposes of ref- 
erence, and not necessarily as an indication of the 
order in which they should be used. 

Solids. — Modelling in clay and in card-board, 
paper-folding (in three dimensions), and, later on, 
wood-carving, or sloyd. 

Surfaces. — Paper-folding (in two dimensions), 
paper-cutting, paper-mosaic, work with color-brush. 

Lines and Points. — Mat-plaiting, slat-weaving, pa- 
per-weaving, kindergarten-sewing, wax or cork work 
with sticks, drawing in chequers and free drawing, — 
and sometimes paper-twisting, — together with bead- 
threading, and sometimes (but not often) perforating. 
All these occupations — whose names fairly well in- 


dicate in what they consist — have mainly to do with 
giving out, or expression ; while the gifts have mainly, 
though not exclusively, to do with taking in and as- 
similating. The former, as Hailmann points out, give 
invention, power, skill ; the latter give discovery, 
insight, ideas. In the construction-exercises the gifts 
only induce arrangement of materials whose individ- 
ual shapes do not change, and this mainly for the pur- 
pose of making noticeable the relations of parts to one 
another and to the whole : the occupations deal with 
materials plastic or easily changed in form, and the 
exercises consist in modifying, changing the form, 
adapting means to ends, creating new wholes from 
parts of other wholes (the concrete counterpart of 
constructive imagination) ; and the wholes are to be 
permanent and, as far as possible, of some practical 
value. And just as in the case of the gifts w^e call 
attention to the likeness of the shapes we are dealing 
with to common objects around us, so in the case of 
the occupations, we use our materials to make copies 
of those common objects; though, of course, we do not 
restrict ourselves to using them in this way, as I have 
just explained. But, as I have already pointed out in 
the earlier part of this chapter, productive or creative 
work, besides resulting in skill, has important intel- 
lectual effects of its own: it corrects faulty taking 
in (or at least calls attention to its faultiness), and 
vigorously assists assimilation by shaking the parts 
of our knowledge into their proper relations ; while it 
enables the learner to feel the reality of those rela- 
tions as nothing else can do. So that, in spite of our 
distinctions, back we come to the very close conuec- 


tion between occupations and gifts. We must be 
conscious of ideas before we can express them, and so 
gift-work must regularly precede occupation-work ; 
and we must have mastery over our material before 
we can use it freely and effectively to express our 
ideas, and so the materials of the occupations must be 
such as come readily within the child's powers of con- 
trol, and be fitted to do the work. Some connections 
are evident at once : clay and card-board modelling go 
with all the first six gifts, as far as exercises in solid 
form are concerned ; paper-folding, paper-cutting, and 
paper-mosaic (or work with colored paper pasted on 
card-board) go with the tablets for exercises on sur- 
faces; drawing and kindergarten-sewing and paper- 
twisting go with the sticks and rings ; and so on. But 
we have to look more closely even than this. As we 
have seen, the gifts lend themselves to a great variety 
of exercises. Sometimes the observations and impres- 
sions refer to solid form, sometimes to number, some- 
times to ideas of plane geometry, sometimes to ideas 
of beauty, and so on. In choosing the occupation we 
are to use, and the way we are to use it as a practical 
sequence to a particular gift-exercise, we must note 
the nature of that exercise, and make our choice ac- 
cordingly. So, for instance, for number — especially 
numbers in groups — mat-plaiting, which markedly 
uses numbers in groups, is an excellent sequence; and 
so too at times is drawing in chequers, or bead-thread- 
-ing. Por plane geometry we may choose paper-cutting 
or paper-folding ; and for ideas of beauty, color-work, 
paper-mosaic, or free drawing. Not that we are to re- 
strict the occupation-work solely to these ideas ; but 


these ideas must at least be very prominent among 
those which we apply. This is why we- cannot ar- 
range the occupations in any definite sequence of 
their own. Tor the rest I need only add that, since 
the occupations distinctly introduce manual exercise 
and demand dexterity, neatness, and accuracy, they 
are of especial value in helping to make the hands and 
the eyes obedient, effective servants of the mind, and 
in particular of the will ; while, moreover, their free- 
dom and suggestiveness never fail to delight and to 
stimulate both little children and even those other 
children who are grown up. It must not, however, 
be supposed that any manual work Avill do as an occu- 
pation. All honest work, certainly, produces a good 
effect ; and domestic service — which is a child's public 
service — most certainly ennobles a child, and, indeed, 
all of us. But just as in the songs and games, so here — 
a choice has to be made ; and what is chosen has to 
be adapted to the kindergarten purpose, — the purpose 
of mental, physical, and moral development. Not 
only has the material of an occupation to be easy for 
a child to manipulate, and well fitted for the work 
required of it ; but the occupation in itself must be 
varied and many-sided in its educative j^ower; must 
not be simply imitative ; must draw into itself what 
has gone before and reach out to what is to follow ; 
and must distinctly form a part of the organic unity 
of the whole kindergarten process. The other kinds 
of work may ver}^ well be left for the freer hours of 
the life at home. 

There is one other centre of interest and source of 
stimulation in the kindergarten to which I must refer, 


though the fuller treatment of it must be postponed 
to the next chapter. I mean the study of nature, or, 
rather, the observation of natural surroundings and 
the stimulation of curiosity concerning them. Na- 
ture-study in any true sense does not belong to the 
kindergarten proper but to the transition classes, 
and still more to the school. What the kindergarten 
endeavors to do is to prepare the children for such a 
study, and to give them an impulse and a bias in 
that direction. Of the general ethical effects which 
should result from a close intercourse and familiarity 
with nature I have spoken in both of the two chapters 
which precede this. With the kindergarten mode of 
procedure I have dealt in the chapter on the Mutter- 
und Kose-Liecler. The plan, it will be remembered, 
though guided by a definite aim in the teacher's 
mind, is essentially an indirect and informal one, 
but all the more effective on that account. The 
children are to be encouraged in their instinctive 
love for flowers and living creatures by means of 
gardening^ and the care of pet animals ; while the 
games and songs are to abound in references to, and 
parables taken from, the children's natural surround- 
ings and especially the lives and habits of birds and 
the small four-footed things with which children 
are acquainted; human beings, especially human 
beings who work, not being omitted from the circle 
of interest. The whole matter, after the plan of 

1 See the Education of Man generally; and more particularly 
Froebel's paper, "Die Garten der Kinder im Kindergarten" (the 
children's gardens in the kindergarten), in the volume entitled Die 
Pddagogik des Kindergartens. 


the kindergarten, is treated as a healthy, happy 
recreation, with just a germ of duty and responsibility 
in it ; and, so treated, will undoubtedly produce the 
result aimed at, — interest in nature. And if this 
delight in the wonder and beauty of nature should, 
as Froebel thinks, be called into play and exercised 
in the country, how much more is it necessary in 
our huge and smoky towns, where little children are 
almost w^holly shut out from nature — from birds, 
and flowers, and streams, and soft green grass. Yet 
very few kindergartens seem to make a really earnest 
effort in this direction. The matter, no doubt, pre- 
sents a certain amount of difficulty ; but it is not 
really so difficult as some seem to imagine. Plants 
and flowers can be grown in pots and boxes ; canaries 
and poultry can be kept ; cats and dogs and tortoises 
are not hard to manage ; and aquariums are by 
no means impossible. I have known all this managed 
in London, and with the happiest results. There 
is no reason why it should not be done elsewhere 
— no reason except that many kindergarten teachers 
are still blind to its value, and are in such a hurry 
to get on to books and book-work that they will 
hardly let childhood ripen in children. Without this 
contact with living nature, however, no kindergarten 
is complete. When it is absent we may only too 
surely suspect that the true understanding of Froebel's 
process as a whole is absent also.^ 

1 In this chapter I have profited in more than one place by the 
good counsel of Madame Michaelis, the best-known authority in 
England on the subject of kindergarten exercises. 



Continuity, it will be remembered, is one of the 
fundamental principles of Froebel's theory of educa- 
tion ; and yet to any one who has followed the kin- 
dergarten plan as it has just been described, and who 
is at all acquainted with schools as they are, it must 
be quite as evident, as it was to Froebel himself, that 
unless very great care is taken a very marked discon- 
tinuity is likely to occur at this point. In a letter to 
Ida Seele, written in 1847, Froebel says : " A school 
is a place in which and by whose method a human 
being obtains knowledge of something outside him- 
self, and is won to the contemplation and acquisition 
of facts placed before him. But the child must first 
himself be something before he can turn to the con- 
templation of strange things not wholly akin to 
his nature." ^ It was this need that the child should 
be something which he had felt very keenly in his 
school work with the younger children and which he 
had set himself to meet by the invention of the kin- 
dergarten. But even then he found that the transition 
from the methods of the kindergarten to those of an 
ordinary school was liable to be too abrupt, the change 

1 Letters on the Kindergarten, y. 291. 


of exercise too sudden, the demand for facts and 
abstractions too new, so that there resulted a distinct 
harm to the child's mind ; and the school itself was 
often perplexed and dissatisfied with the new pupil. 
To avoid this he saw that there must be an inter- 
mediate stage in which, without breaking wholly or 
suddenly with the kindergarten, the child must be 
gradually made ready to profit by the other methods 
and other work of schools such as we find them. To 
do this properly we must of course recall to mind the 
essential characteristics of the kindergarten and those 
of the school ; we must compare them and note their 
likenesses and unlikenesses ; and upon the results of 
this we must found our transitional methods and our 
new choice of subjects, if the discontinuity is to be re- 
duced to a minimum, — which discontinuity would 
wholly disappear if the schools could be persuaded to 
carry on the use of the most fruitful of the kinder- 
garten methods, at any rate throughout their lower 
classes. But long before the year 1840 and the estab- 
lishment of the first kindergarten Froebel's mind had 
been occupied with the problem of this period of tran- 
sition from infancy to boyhood, which may be taken to 
be roughly from the age of six to that of eight, or from 
seven to nine. In the Education of Man the sections 
(sects. 45-59) which treat of " Boyhood " and '' The 
Boy at School," though in the main describing the 
characteristic activities of boyhood and how the 
school should recognize and use them, nevertheless 
constantly refer to the preceding period of infancy or 
childhood, point out the most marked features of the 
transition, and insist upon the necessity for continuity. 


In the first of the sections referred to it is maintained 
that the period of childhood is predominantly that of 
life for the sake of merely living and developing, dur- 
ing which the child should gain knowledge of himself 
and his own powers by making the internal external ; 
while the period of boyhood is predominantly the 
period for learning, for making the external internal. 
The school leads the child to the consideration and 
knowledge of particular relationships and individual 
things external to himself, and of their nature in 
accordance with the laws that lie in them, with a view 
to helping him later on to see a deeper connectedness, 
and to move forward from the particular to the uni- 
versal. Its task is " the conscious communication of 
knowledge for a definite purpose and in a definite 
inner connection, which the teacher must always have 
present in his mind." It should give firmness to the 
will and quicken it, so that it may become pure, and 
strong, and enduring, and manifest itself in a genuine 
human life. Later on we are told that school instruc- 
tion should be by means of example and words. 
Neither example alone nor words alone will do : not 
example alone, for it is particular and special, and the 
word is needed to give to particular individual ex- 
amples universal applicability; nor words alone, for 
example is needed to interpret and explain the word, 
which is general, spiritual, and often ambiguous. But 
even instruction and example are not enough ; there 
should also be a good, pure heart for them to act 
upon, and this should have been produced by the 
proper treatment of the child in the preceding 


There is much else which might be quoted from the 
Education of Man bearing on the question before us. 
But we have a better and more recent source from 
which we may with great advantage draw enlighten- 
ment. During the last years of his life the difficulties 
of this transitional period seem to have constantly 
exercised Froebel's thoughts — so much so that he 
invented a new gift of fourteen solids for the special 
use of the transition or intermediate classes ; and just 
four weeks before his death he wrote a long letter to 
Emma Bothmann, one of his students, dealing solely 
with this matter, and bearing date " Marienthal, May 
25tli, 1852." 1 It is to this letter, I think, we should 
principally turn for direct information as to Froebel's 
own views on the subject; and in doing so we shall 
get still further help if we study once more the par- 
ticular passages in the Education of Man to which he 

"In the kindergarten,-' says Froebel in this letter, 
" we have only to deal with intuition (that is, intelli- 
gent, direct observation) — apprehension — with doing, 
exact designation of a thing by means of the word, as 
also exact designation of that produced by doing ; 
but not yet with perception and re-perception (or 
cognition), detached, as it were, from the object 
perceived. The object and the cognition of it, intui- 
tion and the word, form still in many ways an 
intimate unity, just as the soul and body do. This 
kindergarten stage of education must be maintained 
by the kindergarten teacher, as one very sharply 

1 Die Vermittlungschxde (The Intermediate School), in the 
volume entitled Die Fddagogik des Kindergartens. 


defined. It entirely excludes, for the present, re-per- 
ception and abstract, self-dependent thought, towards 
which the intermediate school leads us for the first 
time." This is precisely the distinction which 
Eosmini makes (MetJiod in Education, sect, iii) between 
cognitions of the first and second orders, the latter 
of which he places in his third period of education, 
and the transition from the first to the second of 
which he considers is mainly assisted by language, 
which, he says, serves the child as a kind of artificial 
memory. But let us mark the^ stages again. The 
first stage — sensation with the accompanying and 
resulting percept — the effect produced on the mind 
by an object actually present ; and the second stage — 
the trace left on the mind when the object is no 
longer present — the mental image, which can be called 
up and re-perceived, and later on, in company with 
other mental images, can be analyzed and elaborated 
(apart from the object) by the mind's own powers. 
This distinction is strongly supported by physical 
reasons, for it is, as a rule, at the close of the seventh 
year that the predominance of the brain is firmly 
established. It has attained very nearly -its maximum 
size, and is firmer, while its structural development 
(shown mainly in a deeper and more intricate furrow- 
ing of the convolutions) henceforth proceeds much 
more rapidly. Physically, therefore, the child is 
better fitted to analyze and elaborate the sense-impres- 
sions and percepts which it has acquired ; and close 
observers of child-mind tell us that this is also plainly 
to be seen in the child's outer manifestations of 
mental activity at this period. The eighth year 


usually introduces us to the critical period of second 
dentition, which demands our most watchful care. 
But when that is safely over, the child forges ahead 
rapidly — often far too rapidly for its physical welfare 
— and its strictly intellectual life may be said to have 
definitely begun. And so, even if there were no 
un-Froebellian school to follow, it would still be 
necessary, between the years of seven and nine, to 
introduce gradually some change in the mental 
exercises, and in the material, which we employ in 
the earlier years. 

But to return to Froebel's letter. '- In the kinder- 
garten the essential thing is tJie cJiild — its nature, its 
growth in strength and efficiency, its development, 
advancement, education. In the school proper this is 
reversed. The essential thing here is the object, its 
nature, and the cognition, the intuition and apprehen- 
sion of its properties and relations ; the formative 
effect on the child being secondary, and, so to speak, 
accessory and accidental. Through the demand made 
on the child for understanding the object, the material 
substance, the thing in its true nature, in its distinct 
properties and clear relations, the child itself is also 
again influenced ; but still the right cognition and 
perception of the object by means of intuition is the 
chief concern. In the school, in fact, we have mainly 
to do with the comprehension of the object by means 
of thought, the internal representation, the abstraction, 
or, so to speak, the unclothing of the body of the 
object. The intermediate school thus forms the 
transition from sensuous and direct intuition to 
abstract thought-comprehension." Again he says : 


"The keystone of the kindergarten activity is the 
transformation of material, and, therefore, the per- 
ception of the nintual connectedness of the various 
solid forms, their derivation from one another, and 
the connection of all with the primary unity of 
space. ... As to the representation of the object by 
the sign, i.e. by drawing: in the kindergarten we 
hear little of this, because the small fingers are still 
too weak; stick-laying su2:)plies its place on the one 
side, and, on the other, the making of round o's, which 
children love so much to do with their pencils, and 
which can be carried forward to the simple drawing 
of flowers and leaves. However, drawing, as writing, 
precisely for the sake of the weak little fingers, has a 
preponderance in the intermediate school, as has also 
exercise in color and in songs and singing, to which 
last the singing in the kindergarten is only prepar- 
atory. Add (to what has been mentioned) the 
introduction to life itself, at first through the move- 
ment-plaj'S, and then through the child's cultivation 
of his little garden-beds, and the personal feeling of 
self and of life awakened and nourished in the child 
by means of these ; and with the advance of this 
(simultaneously given and aroused), a prophetic sense 
of a fatherly Life-giver, and his life-fostering care. . . . 
Add all this, and you have the kindergarten in its 
complete accomplishment, and the child as the pupil 
of the same on the threshold of the intermediate 
school." "You see," he adds, "with what a founda- 
tion, a basis, with what a sum of living germs in the 
life-material which he has gathered, the child passes 
from the kindergarten to the intermediate school. At 


no point does the preparatory direction fail him ; for 
every development demanded by life the impulse has 
been given, as this shows itself in the great whole of 
nature. All this awaits only development from 
unconsciousness, through growing consciousness, to 
consciousness itself ; and this, now, is the task of the 
preparatory school. What path does the preparatory, 
or intermediate school, now follow? It attaches 
itself very closely to the acts, to the phenomena, and 
to the intuitions of the kindergarten ; but it gives to 
the observation of the particular and individual a 
generality of significance, an intellectual apprehension, 
and a thought-form ; for example : my little ball 
moves easily hither and thither, forward and back, up 
and dowm (intuition of the kindergarten). Everywhere 
in space I can imagine three lines, three directions, 
which cut one another at right angles at one point 
{conception of the intermediate sclwol) . . . . A whole, 
two halves ; two halves, a w^hole (intuition of the kin- 
dergarten). I can divide every whole into two halves, 
and can always put together these halves to make the 
whole again (inteUectnal and general conception of the 
intermediate school) y He might have added a still 
more striking contrast between the kindergarten in- 
tercourse with plants and animals as they live and 
grow and the first advance towards formal botany 
and zoology in the intermediate school. 

I have quoted but a few of the passages of this 
remarkable letter which bear most distinctly on the 
general aspect of the question with which I am dealing. 
The whole of the letter, however, is worthy of very 
careful attention, and should have been translated 


long ago. But let us now look at some of the prac- 
tical applications to which these general principles 
readily lend themselves. On the one hand, we have 
the kindergarten, with its activities almost exclusively 
concerned with physical development and with sense- 
impressions, percepts, mental images, and certain rudi- 
mentary feelings chiefly egoistic. On the other, we 
have the school proper, in which we have most to 
do with conception or the formation of general ideas, 
and with judgment and reasoning. Without breaking 
with the former we have gradually to fit the child for 
the latter. Now in our study of the growth of mind 
we have found that the different modes of activity 
show themselves as becoming noticeably prominent 
in a certain order, while the mind is working up its 
material into higher and higher, or more and more 
abstract and universal forms. Between the formation 
of percepts and mental images and the formation of 
general ideas and the rest, two intimately related 
modes of activity emerge clearly into view and demand 
our attention. They are memory and imagination. 
In the intermediate classes, therefore, the earlier forms 
of memory and imagination distinctly indicate them- 
selves as modes of activity in w^hich the mind should 
specially be exercised — though, of course, from the 
first, the mind has already been remembering and 
imagining many things. It is only, however, on the 
earlier and simpler forms of these that I would lay 
any stress — the later and more elaborated forms 
belong to the school proper. Memory and imagination 
— or constructive imagination as it is usually called — 
in the transition classes, or intermediate school, must 


be concerned with what the child brings with it from 
the kindergarten, viz. sense-impressions, percepts, men- 
tal images, and childish feelings. Memory in particu- 
lar will not be merely, nor even chiefly, the mind 
exercising itself on words; it will be memory of the 
eye, memory of the touch, of muscular sensation, and 
also to some extent memory of the ear. Memory of 
words spoken and written will, of course, not be omit- 
ted ; and will be exercised in close connection with 
the things and actions observed, and with the mental 
results of observation. In the higher transition classes 
exercises in rudimentary conception and reasoning, etc., 
will be introduced ; but they will not be effective until 
the mind has made some small progress in dev^eloping 
its powers of observation, memory, and imagination. 
We must remember, moreover, that memory, imagina- 
tion, and the rest are not parts or sections of the 
mind, but simply the kinds or modes of activity in 
which the mind as a whole manifests itself. The 
mind as a whole, therefore, — though only a partially 
developed whole, — is what we must guide, stimulate, 
and nourish. 

I will now go through the various departments of 
the kindergarten, and point out what changes as to 
method, subject-matter, etc., the transition classes 

We must bear in mind that there is to be a general 
movement in the direction of instruction — towards 
the acquiring of knowledge -more or less, though not 
wholly, for its own sake. The stones will more and 
more take the form of biography and real adventure 
— the simple life-story of interesting human beings 


(interesting to the children), and of other interesting 
animals, and also of plants and flowers — stories that 
bring out the most distinctive characteristics and habits 
clearly. This is the beginning of history. Such 
stories will also deal with localities and surroundings 
— a place becomes interesting speedily because of the 
living things in it — and this interest in localities and 
in the haunts of plants and animals is the beginning 
of geography. It is closely connected with nature- 
study, to which I shall presently refer. The so7igs and 
games follow in general the lead of the stories — apart 
from the advance made possible by the improvement 
of organs and limbs. They will have more to do with 
human occupations and industries, and will help con- 
siderably to exercise the mind in memory and imagi- 
nation. The games may also call in the aid of the 
kindergarten occupations, and of other occupations 
specially fitted for the present' stage of the child; and 
so become more practical, with concrete results which 
may be used. In other words, games and occupations 
should draw closer together and become more instruc- 
tive; and the songs may begin to assume what, for 
want of a better term, I must call the first elements 
of a literary tone, i.e. become a little more imaginative 
and be better expressed. As to the child^s own use of 
language, Froebel, you will remember, is very explicit 
in the Education of Man ; and you will find much 
more on the same subject in How Lina learns to Write 
and to Read (note the order), written, I believe, about 
fifteen years later, and which is to be found in the 
same volume as the letter I have just been considering. 
It will be sufficient for our present purpose to quote 


what Madame de Portugal! has said on the subject.^ 
" At the end of every talk the teacher can sum up, in 
a few simple, clear, concise sentences, some elementary 
notions to which the little story or object-lesson has 
led. These short statements, pronounced clearly and 
correctly, are the points of departure for the study of 
the mother-tongue, or rather of its first step, reading. 
Then these statements can be analyzed into words (five 
or six words), the words into syllables, the syllables 
into sounds. . . . Then the symbol, the sign, the let- 
ter, will be given to the child for the sound which he 
knows." The child will reproduce orally the spoken 
statements and imitate in writing their written form, 
as Lina did; for writing teaches us to read just as 
drawing teaches us to observe. This gives us a good 
general idea of the kind of work required. But you 
will remember that Froebel considers writing and 
ciphering as special, and not the easiest, kinds of 
drawing, and begins the teaching of writing some- 
what before that of reading. This, I think, is the 
right order for commencing these exercises, though, of 
course, reading will soon forge ahead of writing ; while 
the drawing which he proposes as preparatory to writ- 
ing is the drawing in checkers. As to the precise 
method to be used for reading, it seems now generally 
agreed that the best is the " Phonic-analytic " method 
— based on the '' Look-and-say," with certain good 
points borrowed from the "Phonic" method. But 

1 Criticisms on Froebel's System and its Extension, a paper in the 
Proceedings of the International Congress at Brussels, 1880, trans- 
lated and printed by Dr. Henry Barnard in Kindergarten and Child- 


over and above this introduction to the use of symbols, 
the child must be constantly exercised in expressing 
itself orally with regard to what it has seen and heard 
and imagined — as it must also express itself by means 
of graphic representation, or childish drawing, and by 
means of songs and games. 

What has been said of ivorcls applies equally to 
numbers. To the transition classes properly belongs 
the introduction of the use of written symbols or 
figures — based on some small rudimentary knowledge 
of linear drawing, or on the drawing in checkers. 
Let us note the most marked stages in the teach- 
ing of number. First, there is the observation and 
manipulation of groups of concrete things (small 
cubes, sticks, beads, etc.) ; the analyzing of these into 
parts or smaller groups ; the recomposition of the 
larger groups ; the arranging of the groups in different 
shapes, etc., — all with a view to discrimination of 
groups as to number of things in them. And into 
this work soon enters a mental activity, which con- 
sists of mentally picturing the groups associated with 
the names of the different numbers — number as a gen- 
eralized abstract notion having so far given no sign of 
existence. Secondly, we have the stage of initial ab- 
straction, and the introduction of symbols — essentially 
the stage of the transition classes. The idea of 
number begins to separate itself from the groups of 
particular concrete things — a process which is much 
assisted by occasional exercises in which each group 
consists of mingled materials. The mental pictures 
are becoming more generalized, and are changing into 
concepts — a process still further helped by the intro- 


duction of figures, and the mental pictures of these. 
In this stage our work is concrete, mental, and sym- 
bolic — with a perpetual interplay of these, and the 
constant translation of each kind into the other two ; 
or by dividing the children of our classes into groups, 
the three kinds of work may be simultaneously em- 
ployed on the same problem. A couple of examples 
will perhaps make this clearer. In the first place, we 
must note that numbers come before children, in the 
gifts and in other matters, as ideas connected with 
groups of things. In the first gift we have six balls, in 
the third gift eight cubes, and so on. The knowledge 
to be gained of individual numbers or of their relations 
to one another should therefore be derived, in the 
first instance, from the analj'sis of groups, and not 
from successive increments of unity. This view is 
further supported by the fact, which has already been 
dwelt on, that ''the first procedure of the mind in the 
elaboration of its knowledge is always analytical " ; 
the next, synthetical; and that thereafter the two 
processes succeed one another alternately. This will 
be our guide. We might begin with the six balls of 
Gift I ; but the varieties of color which these display 
would make the formation of ideas of number need- 
lessly difficult. So we shall begin with the eight cubes 
of Gift III. Having attracted attention to number 
by presenting various groups of things, setting them 
out in patterns and various like plans, we return to 
our cubes and give the idea ^^ eight cubes." Setting 
them out, we divide them symmetrically into two 
groups. This gives the idea ^'four cubes." From 
this analysis we get the fact that eight cubes contain 


or are equivalent to two sets of four cubes ; and syn- 
thetically that two sets of four cubes make one set of 
eight cubes. This we may express symbolically as 

eight = two fours, or 8 = 2 x 4. 
two fours = eight, or 2 x 4 = 8. 
From the former we further learn that 

four = half of eight, or 4 = ^ of 8. 
From the latter, 

half of eight = four, or -i- of 8 = 4. 

We might next proceed to the analysis of " four ." 
But as I am not describing complete lessons, but only 
giving examples of the kind of work to be done, I will 
continue with " eight." Setting out our cubes in sets 
of two each we get ideas, which may be written 
symbolically as 8 = 4 x 2, and 4x2 = 8. 

From the former we get 2 = i of 8. 

From the latter ^ of 8 = 2. 

Again moving three of the groups to one side, we next 
get 2 = 8 - 6, and 2 + 6 = 8. 

And then further, 6 = 8 — 2, and 6 + 2 = 8; and so on. 
Later we may proceed to the analysis of "six." 

Work such as this — which I have expressed with 
the utmost brevity, so as to show merely the gen- 
eral mode of procedure — is of course done again and 
again in various lessons, and always consists of results 
derived directly from observation of the cubes which 
the children move about and arrange in various sym- 
metrical patterns — the signs X, — , and + being, of 
course, introduced only in the later stages, and cer- 


taiiily not at first. It will be noticed that in this 
plan division and subtraction precede multiplication 
and addition respectively — which, with Froebel and 
his followers, I believe to be the right order. And 
Froebel gives us another hint — let the primary divi- 
sions of our groups be symmetrical, that is, let the 
minor groups into which we divide the whole be equal : 
little children can deal with them more easily than 
they can with groups that are unequal. Moreover, this 
work of division leads directly to fractions.^ Naturally 
in the higher transition-class there will be a good deal 
of revision of past work of this kind ; and this will be 
the time for making its informalities formal, and for 
arranging our knowledge in an orderly, more closely 
connected, and logical manner ; for, as Froebel puts it, 
number-work as a subject of knowledge is then begin- 
ning to assert its own claims to attention. 

My other example shall deal with addition. I will 
suppose I have a class of six little people between the 
ages of six and seven. They are provided with a num- 
ber of small cubes (edges about half an inch). Ten 
of these will just fill each of the small wooden boxes 
provided ; and ten of these boxes will just fill each of 
the large wooden boxes also provided. Small round 
objects will not do — they roll about, and moreover 
suggest marbles and other games, and so distract atten- 
tion from number. Moreover, when put into bags they 
do not suggest the idea of a ivhole as the cubes do. Some- 
times instead of boxes of ten, we have staves equiva- 
lent to ten cubes joined end on to one another ; and 

1 See also a very suggestive paper, by Hailmann iu Kinder- 
garten, July, 1888. 


instead of boxes of a hundred, tablets equivalent to 
ten staves joined side to side. These are very good 
and handy ; but have this drawback — that when units 
are combined into tens, the actual units themselves 
are not carried forward, but only their equivalent staves ; 
and even so small a matter as this may prove a stum- 
bling-block to a slow little person who is just begin- 
ning to observe and reason. Well, now we are ready. 
We divide the class into three sets of two — one set 
to look after the cubes, one to write on the blackboard, 
and the third to calculate mentally. If the boards of 
the floor give us well-marked columns, so much the 
better ; if not, we must mark three columns. The 
first set of children place a certain number of cubes 
and boxes neatly in the marked columns in a horizon- 
tal line : say six cubes in the right-hand column, three 
ten-boxes in the middle, and four hundred-boxes in the 
left-hand column. The mental worjcers read off " four 
hundred and thirty-six " ; and the blackboard workers 
write 436. Another line of figures and of boxes, etc., 
follows in like manner ; then a third line, and then a 
fourth. Let us suppose these to stand on the black- 
board as 129, 375, 208. The children with the cubes 
read down the right-hand column six, nine, five, eight ; 
the blackboard children have the figures before them ; 
the others work the addition in their heads without 
looking at either board or cubes, and when ready pro- 
claim the result (checked by the others) — 28. Two 
ten-boxes are at once filled with the collected cubes 
and transferred to the top of the ten-box column, the 
eight cubes over being left at the bottom of the cube 
column. On the board 8 is written below the unit 


column and 2 is written above the ten column. And 
so the work goes merrily on to the end, when we find 
that there are as the result eleven hundred-boxes, four 
ten-boxes, and eight cubes on the floor; and on the 
board 1148 ; which all unite in reading as eleven hun- 
dred and forty-eight. Next time the children change 
places, and so change their mode of work. This will, I 
think, give a good idea of what I mean by the inter- 
play of the concrete, the mental, and the symbolic, 
which I hold should be the essential characteristic of 
the transition classes. 

Our third stage of number-work brings us to the 
purely mental and sj^mbolic — or only so far concrete 
that concrete things are spoken of in the problems, 
and so far ungeneralized that figures are still used as 
our symbols. In the fourth stage we should find 
ourselves doing what is called Algebra, or universal 
arithmetic, with symbols of universal application. 
These four stages seem to me to give the right general 
order of number-study. The methods to be employed 
are Froebel's. I need scarcely, I hope, remind you 
that you cannot grade your difiiculties by arranging 
your stages as (1) numbers 1 to 5 ; (2) numbers 5 to 
10; (3) numbers 10 to 20, and so on; which may do 
very well for arranging tickets at a concert, but is 
not educational. You must, however, bear in mind 
that as long as the mental work is the picturing of 
groups of particular concrete things, you cannot em- 
ploy large numbers. There is a decided limit for all 
of us in our power to mentally picture groups ; and I 
very much doubt whether children of seven years can 
ever mentally picture groups of more than ten things, 
or even of so many. 


If we bear in mind that in the transition classes 
there is to be a general move in the direction of 
instruction, and towards ideas slightly generalized, 
we shall, I think, find the gifts of the kindergarten 
still amply sufficient for our exercises in form and 
dimension. I do not think there is any necessity to 
employ the box of fourteen solids which Froebel sent 
with his letter to Emma Bothmann ; partly because 
they are specially designed as an introduction to 
crystallography, which we do not teach in our schools, 
and partly because there is work to be done with the 
gifts we already possess, which must not by any 
means be omitted, viz. the exercises preparatory to 
practical plane geometry. These, as you know, con- 
sist in drawing attention, by means of experiment, to 
the properties and to the relations to one another, of 
areas, of angles, and of lines — properties and relations 
which will become generalized later into the concep- 
tions of pure theoretical geometry. I need only remind 
you of the valuable assistance which is given in this 
work by the geometrical paper-folding of Koehler, 
Froebel's own advice on paper-folding in the volume 
referred to above, and his exercises in paper-cutting 
which have lately been translated and enlarged by 
Fraulein Heerwart. 

The Occupations which most distinctively belong to 
the transition classes are drawing, imhiting, paper- 
foldiyig and cutting, modelling in plastic clay, and card- 
board work ; and I should like to add the extension 
of Gift VII, which I have recommended as affording 
good exercises in color. Froebel has three plans for 
drawing — work in checkers, imitation with the pen- 


cil of the ring and stick designs, and free dra^vN^ng in 
connection with nature-study, with which last painting 
is also connected. The checker-work belongs more 
particularly to the last year of the kindergarten and 
the first of the transition classes ; the other two 
kinds of drawing mainly to the transition period and 
the earlier years at school. In both these, as in the 
kindergarten, free drawing or " graphic representa- 
tion " gives the teacher one of the most powerful means 
of communicating ideas, and affords the child not only 
a valuable exercise in expression, but also a strong 
stimulus to attentive observation. The painting, or 
rather the color-work with brush or chalk, should be 
done, I think, if not always, at any rate frequently, 
without any previously marked outlines. The model- 
ling, besides dealing with geometrical forms, should 
deal largely with forms of life (animals, fruit, etc.), 
and forms of industry (boxes, cups, birds' nests, etc.) 
— much more largely than is usually the case. 

In the Education of Man Froebel deals fully and 
admirably with the subject of Nature-Study, or the 
observation of plants and animals and the external 
world in general. Two sections (§§ 75, 91) are espe- 
cially devoted to the exposition of his views ; and in 
man}^ others we are given hints and side-lights which 
are not a little valuable. Intercourse with plants and 
animals, and an interest in their external characteris- 
tics and habits, form, as we remember, one of the 
most valuable parts of the kindergarten activity. In 
the kindergarten they are encouraged and promoted, 
not for the sake of the knowledge to be gained from 
them, but mainly for the sake of the ethical effect 


which they produce on the children. A somewhat 
more formal study of nature should begin in the 
transition classes and stretch onwards through the 
school itself, becoming slowly, as has been indicated, 
more formal and more scientific ; and so we shall find 
that Froebel has a great deal to tell us about it in 
his letter to Emma Bothmann, to which we shall 
return presently. In the earlier of the sections just 
referred to Froebel says : " Let not the teacher or 
parent object that he himself is as yet ignorant of 
this" (the knowledge of nature and of natural law, 
the educational value of which has just been urged). 
"The question here is by no means the communi- 
cation of knowledge already possessed, but the call- 
ing forth of new knowledge. Let teachers observe, 
lead their pupils to observe, and render themselves 
and their pupils conscious of their observations. An 
apprehension of the prevailing conformity of the 
laws in nature, and of the unity of these laws, does 
not require special technical terms for the objects or 
their attributes, but distinct and accurate observation 
and precise designation of these things in accordance 
with the character of language and of the thing named. 
In rendering the boy familiar with natural objects we 
are by no means concerned with the teaching of names 
nor of preconceived views and opinions, but only with 
presenting the things themselves with their obvious 
attributes, in such a way that the boy may view each 
object as the precise individual object it makes itself 
known to be by its form," etc. Elsewhere (§ 64) he 
observes that boys may " spend all their time in fields 
and forests, and see and feel nothing of the beauties 


of nature, and of their influence on the human heart." 
Our business is to give them the seeing eye and to 
stimulate them to the necessary curiosity and inter- 
est. The boy shoukl begin with his natural surround- 
ings ; be helped to follow out the knowledge these 
give him along the many branching paths which they 
suggest and indicate ; ^ and be led to see how much we 
learn of the nature of a thing by the study of its ordi- 
nary environment. So, whenever possible, plants and 
animals are to be studied living — with their natural 
surroundings and in their habitual localities. There 
is no need to rigidly exclude all that lies outside the 
boy's own particular circle. If chance introduces such 
a thing to the boy's notice we must seek to connect it 
with what is familiar and near to him. But we shall 
generally have quite enough to do without seeking 
after what is strange and foreign — tliough what comes 
from a distance also helps us by widening our horizon, 
giving us a consciousness of things even beyond this 
horizon, and by bringing home to us once more the 
interdependence and conoectedness of mankind. Boys 
are not fitted to begin and continue all this without 
assistance ; and the best assistance will be the sym- 
pathy and enthusiasm of a teacher who feels himself 
to be a fellow-discoverer with his pupils. Learned 
men are not wanted at this stage — except indeed such 
as can readily become once again as little children, and 
humbly once more enter with them the kingdom of 

1 Section 91 of the Education of Man gives a very minute and 
interesting description of how the boy's every day environment may 
lead him out into the great world. 


Some small beginning of classification ma}' be made 
in the higher transition classes ; but it need not nec- 
essarily, Froebel thinks, be the classification adopted 
by science. It should be based at first on what first 
attracts the attention of children ; what they see 
with the natural eye will be quite sufficient. In the 
same way the names employed may be local, or long 
descriptive names, or the inventions of the children, 
if it pleases them to invent names ; and these (both 
names and classes) should later be gradually brought 
into harmony with the terms and classes used by 
science, so that the knowledge acquired may be brought 
into harmony with the common knowledge, and made 
clear and complete by means of it. The great thing 
is to learn to see the orderly, law-abiding energy of 
Nature, to be interested in her workings, to listen to 
her many voices, to consider her ways and learn her 
doings, that thereby we may enter the Kingdom of 
Heaven which is on earth — that Eden in which the 
tree of knowledge is no longer forbidden, but from 
which, alas ! we can still so easily be driven forth. 
Froebel connects the natural sciences, and especially 
botany, with this observation and contemplation of the 
external world in ever-widening circles of knowledge. 
" With botany," he says, in the letter to his student, 
"is connected, in a perfectly organic and living way, 
the knowledge of the surface of the earth ; for many 
plants are companions of the water, and grow on the 
border of brook and river, and give beauty to the 
springs of both ; many plants prefer to deck the turf 
of the meadow and valley, and many love the clear, 
fresh, balmy air of hill or mountain top, many the 


neighborhood of man, and many the deep recesses of 
the woodland ; many the ocean ships bring us from 
distant parts of the world ... to the home-place of 
each one of us, to the garden, and even into our very 
dwelling and room. Thus are plants excellent guides 
and incentives to a knowledge of the earth's surface." 
"And," he adds, '-to the contemplation of the exter- 
nal world, and especially to that of the plant-world, 
the cultivation of the sense of color and form, which 
is the introduction to drawing and painting, is closely 
attached. So important to the child in the intermed- 
iate school is the study of the growth of plants, and 
above all of trees." 

As the gifts — or some of them — gradually drop 
into the background, nature-study should more and 
more take its place as the leading object ; till in the 
school proper it becomes that which reconciles every- 
thing and unites the growing curriculum into one 
organic whole. Some of the occupations, too, are now 
gradually discontinued ; and the rest take on more and 
more the form of preparation for industrial training 
which may follow hereafter, and are drawn into closer 
union with the knowledge of nature. This is to be at 
first an informal knowledge — growing, but only very 
gradually, more and more precise — a knowledge of 
plants and animals, of their external characteristics and 
habits, their localities, their uses to man, and so on — 
including man himself after a while. From this also, 
as from what has gone before, should develop simply, 
naturally, and connectedly the study of form, of color, 
of language, of number, of life, of material, beginning 
with the personally familiar, and proceeding to what 


is not so familiar but still somewhat like, and so 
onward ; and diligently maintaining the mutual con- 
nectedness of everything at every opportunity. It 
does not require any great effort of the imagination to 
see how the whole school curriculum gradually emerges 
from all this : drawing — graphic representation first, 
and later on, art — from the forms of leaves and flow- 
ers and animals ; language, spoken, written, and sung, 
from the talks and stories about plants and animals 
and localities, with literature to follow later ; geogra- 
phy from much the same sources, and from considera- 
tion of the effects of plants and animals (including 
man) on localities, and the effects of localities on them ; 
history, in an informal state, following close on its 
steps ; natural science, from almost everything, and 
particularly from the consideration of the effects on 
plants of the earth in which they grow, and of their 
need of water, air, and light ; geometry from the con- 
sideration of form and measurements and number; 
arithmetic, and that universal arithmetic which we 
call algebra, from the same sources, and from observ- 
ing the physical characteristics of plants and animals. 
Nor need I omit physiology and the knowledge of 
some of those simpler conditions on which health and 
wise living depend. I am far from contending that 
these subjects should be solely developed from this 
source, or even that in the cases of many nature-study 
can ever be their chief source. My aim is rather to 
show the power nature-study has of connecting and 
keeping connected all that the school teaches ; its 
power of adding a living, growing interest to what is 
taught ; and how, as a matter of fact, it does in several 


cases give the best point of departure, indicate the best 
route to follow, and does itself supply most of the 
knowledge needed. ]Sror will its prominence in the 
school be wholly without value if it does no more than 
render some of the work done there a little less 



In the concluding passage of the Education of Man, 
after ably summing up the results which would be 
produced in the first period of school life by the prac- 
tice of his methods, Froebel adds : " Thus we find the 
human being even in the earlier stages of boyhood 
fitted for the highest and most important business of 
life — the fulfilment of his destiny and vocation, which 
is the representation (or outer active manifestation) 
of the divine nature within him. T.iulead tl4is_jiapa- 
bility forward to the acquirement of skill and certainty, 
to lift it into full consciousness, to give it insight and 
clearness, and to exalt it into a life of creative freedom 
by fitting stages of development and cultivation, is the 
business of the years which are now to follow. To 
demonstrating the ways and means for this, and to 
bringing them into the^actual practicejiLlife, a contin- 
uation of this treatise will be devoted, as will also the 
author's own life.'^ Unfortunately, though Froebel 
sketched many school plans, and gave many lectures, 
and wrote many articles on the more advanced periods 
of education, he never gave us any formal continua- 


tion of the Education of Man} The task of inventing 
and developing the practice of the kindergarten, the 
training of kindergarten teachers, and the incessant 
calls upon him for the exposition of his views, left 
him too little time for this. He had set forth his 
ideas, his principles, and his plans mainly in connec- 
tion with the earliest periods of life ; and as the next 
step it seemed wisest to him to show these principles 
and plans practically at work, and to endeavor to pro- 
duce the results in these periods which he had asserted 
would be produced. For the rest, he could point to 
the Institutes at Keilhau, at Willisau, Burgdorf, and 
elsewhere for evidence of the results which the new 
education could produce in the middle and later 
periods of school life, due allowance being of course 
made for the particular circumstances of each case. 
But though he could point to these results, the fact 
that he occupied himself — as did many of his immedi- 
ate friends and disciples — mainly with the education 
of children under eight years of age, has led the public, 
and even the majority of teachers, to imagine that his 
principles apply solely to that earliest period — to that 
period and to no other. That the practice and subject- 
matter of the school must differ markedly in character, 
though not necessarily in kind, from those of the kin- 
dergarten, no one has pointed out more forcibly than 
Froebel himself. That the particular plans best fitted! 

1 The title-page of the first edition of the Education of Man tells 
us that the treatise is an exposition of " the art of education, instruc- 
tion, and training aimed at in the Universal German Educational 
Institute at Keilliau " ; and on it is also the statement, "First 
Volume : To the beginning of boyhood." 


for little children cannot also be best fitted for big 
children he saw probably more clearly than any other 
teacher ever did ; while he was quite convinced that 
during the middle and later periods of school life the 
acquisition of knowledge must be a matter of very great 
importance, though not the only important matter. To 
such an extent did he feel and believe this that it was 
for the express purpose of rendering that acquisition 
as sound, as easy, and as effective as possible, that he 
devoted himself with such zeal and care to the study 
of all that should come before it and be prepara- 
tory to it. All this is so ; and there could not be a 
greater mistake than to imagine that either Froebel 
or his disciples have ever allowed that his principles 
cease to apply as soon as the child emerges from 
infancy. To hold such a view is, in fact, to condemn 
those principles for the period of infancy itself. -AIU 
sided connectedness and unbroken continuity of suc- 
cession are fundamental ideas in Froebel's system. Of 
course the way in which a principle is applied must 
vary continually as the child changes and grows ; and 
the material introduced and made use of must also 
vary. But the principle itself must remain the same 
throughout. If it be true for one period it is true for 

The main principles, it will be remembered, whose 
applications form Froebel's system, are : self -activity, 
to produce development ; all-sided connectedness and 
unbroken continuity, to help the right acquisition of 
knowledge ; creativeness, or expressive activity, to pro- 
duce assimilation of knowledge, growth of power, and 
acquisition of skill; well-ordered physical activity, to 


develop the physical body and its powers ; and happy 
and harmonious surroundings, to foster and help all 
these. If a school, therefore, includes amongst its 
aims the true acquisition of knowledge — as distinct 
from the more or less temporary possession of informa- 
tion — and with this the development of power and the 
production of skill — and most schools at least profess 
to do so — it follows at once that the school must look to 
these same principles for continued guidance and help, 
unless it denies their efficacy altogether, or holds that 
the life of a human being is a series of discontinuous 
separate existences, the natural laws of which differ 
for each successive existence. Some changes the school 
must introduce ; but they should not consist in the 
abandonment of the educational ideas which have 
hitherto guided and helped the pupil's life and devel- 
opment. What is to be changed is the application of 
these ideas ; and this application, as Frbebel tells us,\ 
is to move forward " in fitting stages of development 
and cultivation," always keeping harmoniously in 
touch with the growth and knowledge of the pupil. 
It argues, therefore, an absolute misunderstanding of 
the whole matter to callously and indifferently admit 
that Froebel's ideas are true enough for the kinder- 
garten, and at the same time to deny that they have 
anything to do with the school. 

To some extent, though only indirectly and uncon- 
sciously (and therefore inadequately), the principles 
which this book has been written to expound have 
succeeded in effecting an entrance into some of our 
schools, — mainly those for girls and for the work- 
ing classes. But before dealing with these we must 


first notice certain plans wliich are connected in the 
public mind with the application of these principles. 
Plans for Industrial or Trade Schools, if not the 
schools themselves, are of considerable antiquity ; 
but it is seldom that they contain any really educa- 
tional idea. Their object is philanthropic ; they seek 
to give a poor boy a trade ; and in a measure they 
represent a distaste for over-much bookishness. By 
far the most interesting, and in many ways the best, 
of the plans proposed in England was that by Sir 
William Petty in 1647. He addressed it to "His 
honored friend, Master Samuel Hartlib," to whom 
he probably owed many of his ideas, as he owed not 
a little to their common friend, the good Moravian 
bishop Comenius, the father of modern pedagogy. 
He proposed "that there be instituted Ergastula 
Literaria, literary work-houses, where children may 
be taught as well to do something toAvards their liv- 
ing as to read and write." Poor children are to be 
taught to support themselves as far as their strength 
and understanding will permit ; " and if they cannot 
get their whole living, and their parents can contribute 
nothing at all to make it up, let them stay somewhat 
the longer in the work-house." This is precisely the 
same in character as Pestalozzi's earlier plans ; and 
as far as the use of manual work is concerned, has 
little in it that is educational, — though Sir William 
adds many excellent observations, partly his own and 
partly adaptations from Comenius, on child-nature and 
the value of educational realism. More than one plan 
we owe to Hartlib himself — whom Milton called " one 
sent hither by some good providence from a far coun- 


try (Poland) to be the occasion and the excitement of 
great good to this island." One of these would, in 
1641, have given us something like a Technical Uni- 
versity for London, constructed on lines laid down by 
Comenius ; another plan is entitled " Propositions for 
erecting a College of Husbandry," and was printed in 
London in 1651. The object was "the good of the Com- 
mon-wealth and the relief of the poor therein." The 
main proposition was "that there may be a College 
or School of all sorts and parts of good Husbandry 
erected ; that so the knowledge and practice may become 
more universal, and men may have more sweet invita- 
tions and stronger allurements to seek the knowledge 
of this deep and excellent mystery ; and practice it to 
the advancement of a more general and public good — 
not as now in a sordid, clownish way for mere self- 
profit ; nor as now according to unsound and rather 
customary than rational rules and grounds ; nor as now 
in a dishonorable and drudging way." But once more, 
admirable as the proposition is, it is the philanthropist 
and wise agriculturist who puts it forth rather than 
the educator. But no matter what old plans there 
may have been, there is no doubt at all that the rapid 
spread of Trade or Industrial Schools throughout 
Europe and the United States during the early and 
middle years of this century was due to Pestalozzi and 
the views which he preached. Here are the poor, he 
said, everywhere in great distress and wretchedness, 
and everywhere a constant source of danger. You 
sometimes punish them severely, even savagely ; some- 
times you pauperize them with sentimental, irrespon- 
sible almsgiving. Neither plan will succeed. You 


treat the sj^mptom, and not the disease itself. You 
must make the destitute able to support themselves ; 
and, as far as j^ou can, you must make them intelli- 
gent and self-respecting. This is the purport of most 
of what he wrote before 1787, and in particular in the 
Evenings of a Hermit. Excellent advice it is and pro- 
foundly true, and great has been the good which has 
resulted from it ; but the thought is the thought of 
the philanthropist and social reformer rather than 
that of the educational philosopher. Educational 
philosopher in any true sense Pestalozzi never was — 
beautiful-hearted and noble, and marvellously sugges- 
tive, but not a philosopher ; and though through the 
varied experience of his long life and the help of his 
philosopher friends he eventually to some extent 
acquired a scientific method of thought in his system, 
to the end manual work remained with him rather a 
preparation for industry than a means of education. 

Still later than the rise of Industrial Schools has 
come the widespread adoption of Technical Instruc- 
tion — due plainly enough to the rapid growth of 
scientific knowledge, and to the steadily increasing 
conviction that work not based on some knowledge of 
general principles and how they should be applied 
to particular cases must always remain narrow and 
more or less unintelligent. The aim of Technicali 
Instruction is to attain to skilled work by the righM 
application of the right knowledge — the converse, an<|i 
yet the natural sequence for an adult, of the kindew* 
garten plan, which helps the child to attain to true 
knowledge by the right application of the right work. 
The former plan is best in the main for the adult, the 


latter for the little child ; and yet all through life the 
two plans must constantly alternate with one another 
and be mutually helpful — true knowledge must pro- 
duce sound w^ork, and true work must produce sound 
knowledge ; and the best preparation for the technicalj 
instruction of the adult must be the kindergarten I 
education of the child. We cannot say, however, that ' 
either the Industrial School or Technical Instruction is 
historically the outcome of Froebel's teaching. Never- 
theless, to be rendered thoroughly efficient. Industrial 
Schools will have to be reformed on Froebelian lines ; 
and Technical Instruction will find its greatest gain 
in realizing that the kindergarten is its own natural 
first stage. 

Much as Froebel and Pestalozzi resemble one another, 
and much as the former owes to the latter, there are 
nevertheless some contrasts between the two which 
seem to me instructive (especially at this point), and 
which help us to understand why Industrial Schools, 
which are largely Pestalozzian, have not produced 
results quite as excellent as they were expected to do. 
The first thing, of course, w^hich strikes one forcibly 
is that Pestalozzi, trusting to sympathy and the inspi- 
ration of the moment, plunges straight into practice 
and leaves general principles to take care of themselves, 
or at any rate to come afterwards ; so that his general 
principles are the explanations (not always by himself) 
of what he found fairly successful in practice, rather 
than his practice the application of general principles. 
Froebel is always seeking to arrive at sound generalN 
principles from the results of his observation and 
experience, and to make his educational method the 


application of these principles. Pestalozzi's effective- 
ness lies chiefly in helping the intellect to acquire 
in boyhood a knowledge of the particular and the con- 
crete. Froebel adopts Pestalozzi's plan and goes fur- 
ther, showing great effectiveness in training the sens^\ 
tions and emotions to a right activity, — and that from "^ 
the earliest infancy, — and making this training the 
preparation for later knowledge and religion. Broadly 
speaking, Pestalozzi's plan is one of observing and 
imitating; Froebel's, one of observing and inventing. ^ 
To exercise the creative, originating powers of the childW 
is Froebel's main object; to teach the child to speak ' 
and to do work already prescribed is largely the aim 
of Pestalozzi. Froebel's plan, therefore, more directly 
tends to develop independence and originality of char- 
acter. And lastly — to give one more contrast — 
Pestalozzi often tried to give manual work and instruc- 
tion at the same time ; Froebel made manual work and 
physical activity in general the means of education. 
I am not, of course, attempting to give a full estimate 
of the value, direct and indirect, of the plans and 
general ideas set forth by Pestalozzi and his colleagues. 
But I note that Pestalozzian methods, pure and simple, 
are steadily receding into the background, while those 
of them which Froebel adopted and reformed, and those 
methods which he himself originated, are steadily and 
surely winning public confidence ; ^ and I believe that 
the contrasts I have marked in a great measure explain 

1 The number of candidates who entered for the certificate exam- 
inations of the National Froebel Union of England in 1887, '88, '89, 
'90, '91, and '92 respectively were 75, 138, 169, 231, 261, and 305 ; while 
early in 1892 the certificates were recognized by the Education Depart- 
ment of England as qualifying teachers for work in Infant Schools. 


the reason for this. Besides, with Technical Instruc- 
tion spreading so rapidly amongst us, it seems to me 
high time for the public to cease to confuse the 
methods of these two reformers, especially as regards 
the educational uses of manual work. 

We cannot claim, then, for Froe])el any share in the 
introduction of Trade and Industrial Schools ; and his 
views have only indirectly promoted the idea of Tech- 
nical Instruction. Other forces, I think, have been 
more powerful than kindergarten principles in compel- 
ling the public to attend to this last matter ; though 
we do claim for Froebel's system that it is the indis- 
pensable preliminary to all sound scientific and tech- 
nical training. But on the other hand, we distinctly 
assert that Manual Training and in particular sloyd, 
which have been making such marked progress on both 
sides of the Atlantic of late, are direct and undeniable 
outcomes of Froebel's views ; and that unless they are 
dealt with on Froebelian principles, they are certain 
to be little better than waste of time. The term 
"manual training'' is not a very happy one; for 
though the hand is the chief instrument we employ, 
and though the aim is partly to make hand-work aid 
the pupil in his acquisition and assimilation of knowl- 
edge, we nevertheless endeavor to train much more 
than the hand. The term should be taken to mean train- 
ing through the use of the hand, or exercise in express- 
ing the mind by means of the concrete ; and the New 
Jersey Council of Education summed up the matter 
excellently when (in 1889) it stated that "Manual 
training is training in thought-expression by other 
means than gesture and verbal language, in such a 


carefully graded course of study as shall also provide 
adequate training for tlie judgment and the executive 
faculty." Stated in this way, it will be seen that 
manual training is a direct outcome of the kindergarten 
exercises, and is in fact the necessary intermediate 
stage between those exercises and technical instruction ; 
though it need not advance as far as that instruction. 
As a further development of part of the kindergarten 
activity and creativeness, it has its place as a necessaxy 
part of general education, and should be treated as 
such; otherwise it has no right to be in the school at 
all. If technical instruction is to follow — not unless 
— a gradual movement in the direction of specializa- 
tion may be made in the later school stages ; but this 
should not proceed to the extent of isolating the manual 
exercises. The nature of the change is easy enough to 
see. The aim of the school, besides the production of 
knowledge and of skill in the use of knowledge, should 
be the production of the power to think. We produce 
the power to think by thinking ; and one of the chief 
means which we employ for this is the expressing of 
thought. Manual training will begin in this way, as 
hand-work for the sake of head-work, which will grad- 
ually tend to become head-work for the sake of hand- 
work — in other words, knowledge will be more and 
more brought in and applied for the sake of skilled 
results, and accuracy will be more and more insisted 
upon ; while all through we shall carefully abstain 
from trying to force into the manual work what the 
thought itself, of which it is the expression, does not 
possess. For instance, we shall not begin with a pedan- 
tic and tiresome insistence on accuracy (which is not a 


characteristic of the young mind), but endeavor 
steadily to lead up to it — to grow it — producing at 
the same time an ever-increasing appreciation of its 

I have dwelt only on the intrinsic thought-connec- 
tion between manual training and the kindergarten ; 
but the historical connection is quite as evident and 
is extremely interesting. I can only touch upon it 
here ; and I will restrict myself to that particular kind 
of hand-work Avhich uses wood as its material and is 
called " sloyd/' for this is the form under which the 
movement has spread most rapidly in England in our 
High Schools for Girls. In 1829 Froebel had recently 
won the favor of the Duke of Meiningen, and his hopes 
were high of being able at last to carry out on an ade- 
quate scale some of his most distinctive plans for gen- 
eral education. He wrote at the duke's request a 
description of the kind of institution he proposed to 
establish at Helba near Meiningen ; and the descrip- 
tion has been preserved.^ The training and instruc- 
tion were to rest on the foundation from which 
proceed all genuine knowledge and all genuine prac- 
tical attainments; that is, "on life itself and on 
creative effort, and on the union and interdepend- 
ence of doing and tliinking, representing and perceiving, 
skill and science:^ It will base its work on "the 
pupil's self-activity and self-expression," and make 
these the bases of knowledge and culture. The morn- 
ing is to be devoted to the ordinary school subjects ; 
the afternoon to various kinds of manual work. I 

1 See Froebel's Collected Works, vol. i, pp. 399-417. Die project- 
irte Volkserziehungsanstalt zu Helba. 


cannot attempt to give the long and full list of occu- 
pations here ; suffice it is to say that it covers, and 
more than covers, the ground now usually marked out 
by institutions of this kind. Froebel's hopes were 
disappointed. He never had the chance of carrying 
out this plan. But the description remained, and with 
his other tracts and articles, gained the attention of 
educational thinkers in more than one place. Amongst 
others it attracted Uno Cygna^us, the ''Father of the 
Primary School in Finland." In 1866 Cygnaeus intro- 
duced sloyd as a compulsory part of education into the 
schools of his country. The success of the movement 
in Finland stimulated Sweden, Denmark, and Austria- 
Hungary to like efforts. From Sweden, where it was 
greatly improved by Herr Salomon, the system has 
passed over to England. And indeed in a measure 
all Europe now recognizes it, the spread of kinder- 
garten ideas having prepared the way for it in more 
than one country. I cannot do better than quote 
an extract from a letter written by Cygnseus to Dr. 
Wichard Lange which tells how he came to adopt the 
system.^ " The idea of the introduction of hand-work 
[sloyd]," he says, ''came to me from the study of the 
writings of Pestalozzi and Froebel : I have, therefore, 
derived it from Germany." He goes on to remark on 
the value of Pestalozzi's intuitive teaching, and how 
through its lack of true scientific method it has fallen 
into ill repute, having become so often no better than 
empty chatter. " Then came Froebel, who urged that 

1 1 quote from an interesting article on Cygnreus by Mr. J. S. 
Thornton in The Journal of Education, Sept- 1890. Mr. Thornton 
quotes the above from the Bhemische Bldlter for 1882. 


the child must not only practise intuition, and express 
the representation which he has thus received, but 
should also learn to carry out in play, and in smaller 
pieces of hand-work, what he has grasped — should as 
a productive being be educated from the beginning to 
self-activity and productive energy — should thus be 
educated through work for work. ... In this way 
I was led to the thought that we must introduce into 
the school not only Froebel's gifts and the rest of the 
exercises in work recommended by him, but also estab- 
lish for elder children such kinds of hand-work as 
have for their aim the training of the hand, the devel- 
opment of the sense of form, and of the aesthetic feel- 
ing, and which help young men to a general practical 
dexterity, which shall be useful in every walk of life. 
. . . But all these kinds of work must not be con- 
ducted like trades, but always with reference to the 
aim of general education and as a means of culture." 
Thus wrote the founder of the sloyd system in Finland. 
But after all, sloyd and other modes of manual train- 
ing are but a part of the reform which is needed before 
our schools become in any true sense Froebelian. 
There must be more self-activity, more creativeness, 
and that of greater variety, more connectedness be- 
tween the subjects of instruction, less imitation and 
repetition and more thinking. But unless I have 
wholly failed in the foregoing chapters to express my 
meaning, the general characteristics of the reform 
which I would urge must be quite evident ; and into 
details I cannot enter now. I must draw my forces 
together and conclude. 


True freedom, according to Eroebel, depends on per- 
fect development ; and development is only another 
name for progress according to law. True freedom is 
therefore an active fulfilment of the purpose of our 
existence in conscious and willing submission to law — 
the law of our life as individuals, and as members of 
society ; not a narrow, specialized law, but a broad, 
human, natural law. The large amount of political 
liberty which is common at the present day, can only 
be beneficial to the nation and to individuals, on con- 
dition that the individual is intelligent and law-abid- 
ing, and capable of self-direction for the good of himself 
and his fellows. He must be in some measure con- 
scious of his own vocation and of that of humanity ; 
and must have learnt the necessity and advantage of 
submission to, and fulfilment of, law. The misuse of 
political liberty, which in some quarters has not been 
unfrequent of late years, arises from ignorance of all 
this, from ill-proportioned development, and ill-directed 
powers. Children have too little education in true 
liberty. They are too often the playthings of their 
parents, or are merely a burden. They must either 
be indulged in every way, or suffer unmerited neglect. 
They seldom learn even the wisdom and the necessity 
of submission to natural law — and no mere " citizen " 
readers or primers of biology are of any great avail. 
Citizenship — the flower and fruit of manhood — is a 
growth produced by exercise, not something learnt in a 
book, or presented in a gilt casket. Of all this Froebel 
shows an ever-present consciousness, from the earliest 
stages of his method ; and experience has shown that 
this method is on the whole well fitted to produce the 


result at which he aimed. Education, in his eyes, is 
emancipation — emancipation of the inner self from 
the tyranny of lawlessness and confusion. As the 
Baroness von Marenholtz Billow, his ablest disciple, 
points out, it demands freedom for development ; it 
uses work for development; and its guiding spirit 
should be unity and harmony of development. On 
the perfection of the individual depends the perfection 
of the state ; and he cultivates and fosters individual- 
ity and originality most wisely and well. Happiness 
is the condition most favorable to the growth of moral- 
ity and brotherly-kindness. Xothing is so fruitful and 
frequent a cause of unhappiness as ignorance of, and 
futile opposition to, the laws of nature and of life. 
Froebel trains the child from the first to a recognition 
and appreciation of these laws. Moreover he holds — 
and rightly holds — that not only in childhood, but 
air through life, a free, healthy exercise of powers and 
feelings in a manner which accords with their nature 
and their strength, is a never-failing source of true 
delight and moral (and political) purity and growth. 
And this activity he provides for and promotes. He 
gives to common human work its true dignity by show- 
ing it to be, and by iising it as, the means for spiritual 
and physical progress. It is no longer limited to mere 
bread-getting and material ease ; but becomes, as the in- 
strument and means of development, as the outward and 
visible product of human love, an important and neces- 
sary part of the fulfilment of man's divinely ordered 
destiny. Work connected, consecutive, and productive, 
it will be remembered, is the very foundation of Froe- 
bel's system ; and the chief aim of the Mutter- unci Kose- 


lieder is to show the value, the necessity, and, if I may 
so speak, the divine nature of work — which is not 
man's curse, but his blessing and his privilege. More- 
over, by his spiritualizing of nature and natural proc- 
esses — which, as I have shown, reminds us contin- 
ually of Wordsworth's teaching — he seeks to correct 
and change the view that self-preservation and 
wordly gain and prosperity are the highest aims 
for man. And if such a change is ever to be 
effected, if but greater honesty and more straight- 
forw^ardness are ever to be infused into trade, busi- 
ness, and politics, it can only be done by, in some 
way or other, spiritualizing and ennobling all necessary 
human work ; and by showing that the ordinary every- 
day processes of human occupation are capable, if 
rightly directed, of producing that continuous develop- 
ment which it is man's highest duty to promote and 
to fulfil. And this Froebel claims to have sho\Vn, 
and to be able to do. Religion in his teaching — in 
which he follows the pure, simple view of the Gospels 

— is brotherly-kindness growing up into love of God 

— living, moving, and having its being in the practice 
of love. It is a growing into union w4th humanity 
and with God, by a willing, conscious endeavor to live 
out on earth God's great purpose in humanity — a 
purpose which more than once has been made to 
seem narrow and unattractive, but which, as Froebel 
expounds it, is again worthy of man, of man's Creator. 
This growth, too, Froebel's plan is well fitted to pro- 
duce. And if it be — as sometimes it would seem to 
be — the destiny of nations to grow more and more 
into unity and homogeneousness within themselves, 


and of mankind, as a whole, to become essentially one, 
even as its divine cause is one — there is no better 
method to prepare for and to promote that end than 
the method employed by Froebel. And we should 
bear in mind that, while fostering and cultivating a 
wide feeling of human fellowship, continually by it 
and for it he teaches us the truest wisdom — intelli- 
gent submission to the true conditions of life; and 
that best human virtue, cheerfully to do without 
what we may be justified in wishing for, and cheer- 
fully to bear what is unpleasant, for the good of others ; 
and this in no indolent and merely Stoic spirit, but as 
the honorable duty of a vigorous and ever-striving 

He pleads for the unification of thought and the 
unification of life by means of the unification of the 
materials of thought and the unification of the prepara- 
tion for life ; and bases his plea on the psychological 
necessity of such a change in the means if we are ever 
to attain to such a result in the end ; and on the interest, 
novelty, and intelligibility which a true all-sided con- 
nectedness alone can give to our work, and gives 
unceasingly. He bids us bend all our energies to 
attuning all the subjects, the instruments of knowl- 
edge, and all the varied activities of our nature, so as 
to bring out the full orchestral harmony of thought 
and life. And what is the ideal which he sets before 
us towards which we should strive ? It is the produc- 
tion in a human being of qualities which all of us 
acknowledge to be best. He aims at producing in a 
human being clearness, quickness, and soundness of 
observation ; a mind capable of retaining and readily 


recalling what it has learnt, with power to combine and 
use what it knows, and to imagine and deal with what 
is new ; able to grasp the general ideas and principles 
which underlie particular cases ; rapid and sagacious 
in drawing inferences, sound and wise in reasoning ; 
full of interest and pride in its work, moved by a sense 
of what is good and true and beautiful; energetic, 
honest, strong in purpose, full of kindness. This may 
seem to some an ideal too lofty for a work-a-day life ; 
but the degree in which we draw near to it will be, I 
am certain, the only true measure of our success. 



The following is the list of Eroebel's writings as 
they appear in Dr. AVichard Lange's Friedrich FrobeVs 
gesammelte jxldagogische Schriften, in three volumes 
octavo, published at Berlin by Enslin in 1861 and 
1862 : — 

Vol. 1. : Autobiographical Letters : (a) to the Duke of Meinin- 
gen, 1827 ; (6) to C. Ch. Fr. Krause, 1828. (Both translated 
in the American Journal of Education^ and by E. Michaelis 
and H. K. Moore.) 

F. Froebel on H. Pestalozzi : letter to the princess-regent of 
Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt. Yverdun, 1800. (Translated in 
American Journal of Education.') 

To our German People. (Written at Keilhau, 1820.) 

Principles, Aim, and Inner Life of the Universal German Edu- 
cational Institute at Keilhau (1821). 

Aphorisms. (Written down in 1821 ; with a preface by Lange.) 

Concerning the Universal German Educational Institute at 
Keilhau (1822). 

On German Education in general, and on the German charac- 
ter of the Institute at Keilhau in particular (1822). 

lleport continued on the Universal German Educational Insti- 
tute at Keilhau (with a plan of study for the year 1823-24:). 

Christmas Festivals at the Institute in Keilhau, 1816-24. (By 
]Middendorff, with an epilogue by Froebel, written in the last 
years of his life.) 



Announcement concerning the People's Educational Institute at 

Helba near Meiningen. (Keilhau-, 1829.) 
At the grave of Wilhelm Carl. (Keilhau, 1830.) 
Announcement of the Institute at Warlensee (1831). 
Fundamental Principles of the Education of Man (1830), with 

a plan of study for the Institute at Willisau (1833). 
Plan for an Educational Institute for the Poor., for the Canton 

of Bern. (Willisau, 1833.) 

Plan of the elementary school and announcement of the Educa- 
tional Institution for the orphanage at Burgdorf. (Burgdorf, 

Appendix: Letter to Christoph Froebel. (Frankfurt, 1807.) 

Vol. ii. : The Education of Man. (Keilhau, 1826.) Trans- 
lated by Miss J. Jarvis, 1885 ; Lovell & Co., New York. Also 
by Mr. W. N. Hailmann, 1887; D. Appleton & Co., New 
York. (Mr. Hailmann' s translation is abridged and somewhat 
free, but is abundantly supplied with excellent notes.) 

Appendix : Essays of the year 1826 : — 

(a) Of the being and destiny of man and of the possibility of 
realising this destiny in life, (b) Betrothal, (c) Plays for 
boys and boyhood, and church and children's festivals, (d) A 
walk in the middle of January , and children sliding on the 
ice. (e) The little child, or the significance of the earliest 
childish activity, (f) From child-life, (g) The knowledge 
of forms and figures, and its higher significance and indica- 
tion, (h) Instruction in earth-knowledge, with a map of the 
Schala district., in which Keilhau is situated. 

The new year 1836 demands the renewing of life. (Burgdorf, 

Vol. iii. : The Pedagogy of the Kindergarten. (A series of 
essays, most of which appeared in the journal Come, let us 
live with our children (1837-40), and most of which deal 
with the games, gifts, or occupations of the kindergarten. 
They form our most valuable original authority for kinder- 
garten methods and practice.) 


The double glance. A new year's meditation. 

Plan of an institution for fostering the impulse to creative 

Child-life. The first activity of a child. 
The Ball, the First plaything of childhood. 
The grain of seed and the child: a comparison. 
Play and the playing of the child. 

The Sphere and the Cube as the Second play-gift for the child. 
First survey of games; or the means for fostenng children's 

need of occupation. 
The Tliird game and cradle-songs. 
The Fourth game of the child. 
The Second survey of games. 
The Fifth Gift. 
Movement games. 
Exposition given in the presence of Her Majesty the Queen of 

Saxony at Dresden., January 7, 1839. 
Friedrich Froebel, his principles, his aim, and his means of 

education in their relations to the needs and aspirations of 

the time, expounded by himself. 
The children''s gardens in the kindergarten. 
How Lena learns to read and lorite. 
Spirit of the developing-educating human culture. 
The child's love of Drawing. 
Child-occupation : directions for Paper-folding. 
Stick-laying (unfinishecl) . 

The 2Sth of June, 1840 (the Gutenberg fete and the inaugura- 
tion of the first kindergarten). 
Plan for the founding of a kindergarten for the year 1840, and 

report upon the expenses for the year 1843. 
Appeal for the establishment of societies for education, ivith 

the statutes of such a society. (Keilhau, 1845.) 
Plan of the training school for kindergarten nurses and teachers. 

(Keilhau, 1847.) 


The intermediate school. (Marienthal, May, 1852.) 

Speech made at the opening of the first municipal kindergarten 
in Hamburg (1850), 

The festival of games at Altenstein (1850). 

A complete written description of the means used for the em- 
ployments of the kindergarten. (Unfinished ; written towards 
the end of Froebel's life.) 

Under the title of Die FrdbelUteratur, Herr Louis 
Walter, a teacher in Dresden, issued in 1881 (pub- 
lished by Alwin Huhle at Dresden) a pamphlet of 
197 pages devoted to the publications which Froebel's 
system had called forth in elucidation, attack, or 
defence since Froebel issued the SonntagsUatt in 
1838. It is fairly, but not altogether, complete as 
far as it goes ; but it is already eleven years old. In 
most cases a brief notice of the contents is added to 
the title of the work mentioned. Herr Walter adds 
the following Avritings of Froebel's to the above : — 

Thorough and satisfactory education for the deteriorating Ger- 
man character, the foundation and springhead needed for the 
German people. (1821.) 

The Family Journal of Education. A weekly journal for the 
education of self and others. (Keilhau, 1826.) 

Come, let us live icith our children. A Sunday paper for like- 
thinkers. (1838-40.) 

A large box of play and occupation for childhood and youth. 
Gifts 1-5. 

FroebeVs personally efficient vjork in Dresden and Leipzig., 1839 ; 
described by himself in fourteen letters to his first wife, and 
published by Dr. Lange in Nos. 2, 3, and 4 of the Bheinische 
Blatter. 1878. (A translation of these letters is appended 
to Miss Shirreff's Short Life of Froebel, published by Chap- 
man & Hall.) 


FroebeVs Weekly Journal. A publication to serve as a link 
between all friends of human education. 1850. Edited by 
Dr. Lange at Hamburg. 

Mutter- unci Kose-lieder (Songs for Mother and Nursery) ; for 
the generous fostering of child-life. A family book. Music 
by Robert Kohl, 1843. (Published for Dr. Lange by Enslin, 
of Berlin, 1806, 1874, 1878. Translated by Miss Dwight and 
Miss J, Jarvis, with introduction by Miss E, Peabody ; Lee 
& Shepard, Boston. Also by Frances and Emily Lord ; Wil- 
liam Rice, London, 1885 and 1888.) 

A Hundred Ball-songs for the games used in the Kindergarten 
at Blankenburg, 1843. (Music by Robert Kohl.) 

A Journal for Friedrich FroebeVs educational aims. Published 
by Froebel and his friends. Edited by Director Marquart in 
Dresden, 1851-52. Six numbers. 

FroebeVs letter to Kern, the teacher of the deaf and dumb in 
Eisenach, 1840. 

Letters of FroebeVs to the Bev. Dr. Felsberg, in Sonneberg, near 

To tlie above must be added : — 

FroebeVs letters on the Kindergarten, 1838-52. Edited by 
Hermann Poesche and published in 1887 ; translated by E. 
Michaelis and H. K. Moore; Sonnenschein & Co., London. 
(Forty-one letters and four addresses to the women of Ger- 



As this list is intended for the ordinary, not the 
advanced, student, I have inserted only very few Ger- 
man books unless they have been translated. 

Encyclopedias, etc. 

Geschichte der Pddagogik. Karl Schmidt. 4 vols. (Kothen, 

Encyklopddie des gesammten Erziehuugs- und Unterrichtswesens. 

K. A. Schmid. 11 vols. (Gotha, Besser.) 
Dictionnaire de Pedagogie. Premiere partie. 2 vols. (Paris, 

Hachette. ) 

(All these contain good articles on Froebel and his system. 
Schmidt's article is very sympathetic; Guillaume's article, in the 
Dictionnaire, is well-informed but uuappreciative.) 
Kindergarten and Child-culture. Edited by Dr. Henry Bar- 
nard. (Hartford, by the Editor.) 

(This is a mine of wealth. It contains (i.) translations of almost 
the whole of Dr. Lange's vol. i. : (ii.) a translation, by Miss A. M. 
Christie, of the Baroness von Marenholtz-Biilow's Child and Child 
Nature : and (iii.) a large number of tracts (some translated) by 
Prof. J. H. von Fichte, Fischer, Guillaum, Madame Schraeder, 
Madame de Portugall, Miss Peabody, Miss Susan E. Blow, Dr. W. 
T. Harris, Mrs. Louise Pollock, Mrs. H. Mann, etc.) 



Friedrich Fr'dbel : die Entwickehuuj seiner Erziehungsidee in 
seinem Leben. Alexander Brimo Hanschmann. (Eisenach, 
J. Bacmeister, ) 

(This is the completest Life we possess ; but is rather diffuse, 
and liere and there somewhat emotional.) 

Life of Froebel. Miss Shirreff. (London, Chapman & Hall.) 
(Short, but interesting. Contains a translation of the fourteen 
Dresden letters to Froebel's first wife.) 

Autobiography of Froehel. Translated by the same. (London, 

Reminiscences of Froebel. Baroness von Marenholtz-Biilow. 
Translated by Mrs. H. Mann. (Boston, Lee & Shepard.) 

(Covers the years 1851-52. Valuable for its incidental exposi- 
tion of theories.) 

Theory axd Practice 

TJie Child and Child Nature. Baroness von Marenholtz-Biilow. 

Translated by Miss A. M. Christie. (London, Sonnenschein.) 
Hand-icork and Head-work. The same author and translator. 

(London, Sonnenschein.) 

The Kindergarten at Home. Miss Shirreff. (London, Joseph 

Kindergarten Essays. Ten lectures by Miss Shirreff and others. 
(London, Sonnenschein.) 

The Home, the Kindergarten, and the Primary School. Miss 

E. P. Peabody. (London, Sonnenschein.) 
Lectures for Kindergartners. The same. (Boston, Heath & 


Praxis des Kindergartens. August Kohler. 3 vols. Weimar, 

FroebeVs First Gifts (abridged from Kohler). Mary Gurney. 

Part i. (London, Myers.) 
FroebeVs Plane Surfaces (do.). Gifts 7-10. The same. Part 

ii. (London, Myers.) 


FroeheVs Course of Paper-cutting. Edited and supplemented 
by Fraulein E. Heerwart. (London, Sonnenschein. ) 

Manuel pratique des jardins d'enfants de Fr. Fr'dbel a Vusage 
des institutrices et des meres de famille. J. F. Jakobs. (Brus- 
sels, Claason.) 

A Practical Guide to the English Kindergarten. J. and B. 
Ronge. (London, Myers.) 

The praxis of the Kindergarten. Hermann Goldammer. Trans- 
lated by "Wright. 

Synoptical Table of FroeheVs Principles. Mme. de Portugall. 
(London, Myers.) 

Principles of the Kindergarten. Miss Lyschinska. (London, 

Kindergarten Draiving. Parts i.-vi. Fraulein E. Heerwart. 
(London, Myers.) 

Manual of Kindergarten Draunng. N.Moore. (London, Son- 
nenschein. ) 

Music for the Kindergarten. Fraulein E. Heerwart. (Lon- 
don, Boosey.) 

Kindergarten Songs and Games. Mrs. Berry and Mme. Michae- 
lis. (London, Myers.) 

Thirty-two Kindergarten Songs. J. F. Borschitzky. (London, 

The Kindergarten Guide. Maria Kraus-Boelte and John Kraus. 
(London, Myers.) 

Nos. 1 and 2. Gifts 1-0. 144 pages, 547 illustrations. 
No. 3. Tablet-laying. 94 pages, 553 illustrations. 
No. 4. Jointed lath, stick-plaiting, stick-laying. 134 pages, 

309 illustrations. 
No. 5. Ring-laying and thread-laying. 82 pages, 468 illus- 

The Paradise of Childhood. Prof. Ed. Wiebe. (London, Son- 


Accuracy, 88. 

Addition, teaching of, 167. 

Advancement of Learning, 112. 

Algebra, 144, 169. 

Analysis, 126. 

Animals and plants, care of, 61, 72, 

Anstalt fUr Kleinkinderplege, 36. 
Areas, setting out of, 142. 
Art, educational value of, 61. 
Assimilation, 125. 
Atheism, Bacon's Essay on, 44. 
Autobiography, Froebel's, 6 note ; 8. 


Bamberg, 14. 

Basket, The, 72. 

Barop, Johannes Arnold, 24, 35, 42. 

Bead-threading, 146, 148. 

Beauty, sense of, 61, 84, 121, 144. 

Biography, teaching of, 161. 

Blankenburg, 36. 

Book for Mothers, Pestalozzi's, 2, 5, 

" Bo-peep," 73. 

Botany, 174. 

Bothmann, Emma, Froebel's letter 
to, 155. 

Brain, growth of, 156. 

Browne, Sir Thomas, 44. 

Browning, Robert, 81. 

Building, 142. 

" Bump, see hoiv my Baby's Fall- 
ing," 74. 

Burgdorf, 34, 35. 

Carlyle, 44. 

Checkers, drawing in (see Draw- 

" Chickens, The," 71. 

Child's relations with mankind, 73. 

" Church-door and the Windotc, 
The," 75, 86. 

Classification, teaching of, 174. 

Cognition, stages of, 156. 

Collected writings of Fr. Froebel, 
Dr. Lange's, 26. 

College of Husbandry, propositions 
for, 183. 

Coraenius, 2. 

Comparison, 138. 

Conception, in intermediate school, 

Concrete, use of, in kindergarten, 

Cone, revolving, 139 note. 

Connectedness, 52, 54, 71, 84, 97, 130, 
195; of humanity, 48. 

Construction, 141. 

Constructive imagination (see Im- 

Continuity, 51, 54, 122, 152. 

Contrasts, Froebel's doctrine of, 126; 
Connection of, 50. 

Creativeness, 54, 72, 80, 98, 117, 121, 
130, 147. 

Critical moments in the Froehelian 
community, 23 note. 

Criticisms on Froebel's system and 
its extension, 163 note. 

Cube, 139, 140 ; analysis of, 142. 



Curiosity, the child's, 80, 100. 
Curriculum, the school's, connection' 

with kindergarten, 176. 
Cygnaeus, Uno, 190. 
Cylinder, 139. 

De Imitatione Christi, 44. 
Dentition, second period of, 157. 
De Portugale, Madame, 163. 
Des Kindes Zeichenlust, bl note. 
Development, 19, 30, 47, 68, 91, 118, 

122 (see also Evolution). 
Development of humanity, 112. 
Diesterweg, 39, 108. 
Dogmatic religious teaching, 86, 119. 
Doing, 54 (see also Creativeness and 

Drawing, 133,146, 158, 164, 171. 
Drawing in checliers, 56, 148, 163, 


Education of Man, The, 25; chap' 

iii; 56, 59, 93, 94, 97, 110, 114, 117, 

127, 150, 153, 155, 171, 173, 178, 179 

Elements, teaching of, 55. 
Environment, child's, 69. 
Ergastula Liter aria, 182. 
Ethics, beginning of, 113. 
Evenings of a Hermit, 184. 
Evil, treatment of, in kindergarten 

period, 83, 87, 121. 
Evolution, general theory of, 46 ; as 

applied to education, 47, 61 ; man 

subject to laws of, 50 (see also 

Expression of knowledge, 125, 129. 
E.Kpres8ion of self, child's, 130. 

Family, The, 74. 

Family Journal of Education, The, 

F^nelon, 59. 
Fichte, J. von, 96. 
Fish, The, 71. 
Frankfurt-on-Main, 14, 17. 

Freedom, 192. 

Froebel, Christian, 7 note, 21, 24, 42. 

Cbristoph, 7 note, 10, 14, 21. 

Frau, death of, 37. 

Friedrich Wilkelm August, 
born, 6; early years, 7; life 
with Hoffmann, 8; school at 
Stadt-Ilm, 9; apprenticed to a 
forester, 10 ; studies at Jena, 
12; at Bamberg, 14; works 
with Dr. Griiner, 15; visits 
Yverdon, 16; has sons of Frau 
von Holzhausen as pupils, 17; 
at Gottingen, 18; at Berlin, 19; 
enlists, 20; assistant to Weiss, 
20; at Keilhau, 23; marries, 
24; at Wartensee, 33; at Burg- 
dorf, 35; at Blankenburg, 36; 
settles atLiebenstein, 39; m:ir- 
ries Luise Levin, 40; at Mari- 
enthal, 40; death, 42. 

Karl. 40. 

Games, 102, 162; choice of (see 

Gardening, 61, 102, 115, 150. 

Geography, beginning of, 162. 

Geometry, plane, 143, 144, 148. 

Gesture, 131. 

Gifts, 69; first nine, 138-144; quali- 
ties of, 145. 

Gift work, relation to occupations, 

Gifts and occupations, system of, 
56 note. 

Giving out (see Expression). 

Godlikeness, 94. 

Gottingen, University of, 18. 

Graphic representation (see Draw- 

Griesheim, 21. 

Griiner, Dr., 14. 

Hanschman (see Life of Froebel), 
" Happy brothers and sisters, The, 



Heerwart, Fraulein, 170. 

Helba, proposed institute at, 33, 1S9. 

Heredity (see Connectedness of 

Herzog, 31. 

Hide and seek, 73. 

" Hide ! baby," 74. 

High Schools for Girls and Kin- 
dergartens, 40. 

Hildburghausen, 13. 

History, beginning of, 162. 

Hoffmann, Superintendent, 8, 14. 

Hoffnieister, Henrietta "Wilhelmine, 
24, 42. 

How Lina learns to write and read, 


Imagination, constructive, 160. 
Individuality in education, 87, 96. 
Industrial schools, 182. 
Intermediate schools, 159 ; chap. viii. 
Intuition, 4, 155, 159. 

Jena, University of, 12. 
Jesus, his life the model, 119. 


Keilhau, 23, 42; report on institute 
at, 26. 

Kindergarten, first idea of, 33; name 
thought of, 37 ; forbidden by Prus- 
sian government, 41 ; methods of, 
chap, vii; the system, 102; de- 
scription of ideal, 103; relation to 
home, 106; to school, 157, 180; 
books on, 136 note. 

Knowledge, meaning of, 125; growth 
of, 127 (see also Expression). 

Koehler, geometrical paper, folding 
of, 170. 

Koseliedchen, 63. 

Kotzebue, 25. 


Lange, Dr. Wichard, 15, 19, 39, 40, 


Langethal, Henry, 20, 23, 35, 36. 
Language, child's use of, 134, 156, 

Law in nature, 98, 108, 111. 
Letters on Art, "SVinckelmann's, 13. 
Levin, Luise, 39, 40. 
Liebenstein, 39. 
Life of Froebel, Hanschmann's, 6 

Little Artist, The, 72. 
Little Gardener, The, 72. 
Locke, 3, 59. 
Luther, 59. 


Manual training, 187. 

Marienthal, 40, 42. 
! Mat-plaiting, 148. 

Mean, the reconciling, 127. 

Meiningen, Duke of, 32, 189. 

Memory in intermediate schools, 160. 

Menschen Erziehung, Die (see Edu- 
cation of Man). 

Method of Education, Rosmini's, 

Middendorff, Alwine, 39. 

Middendorff, William, 20, 23, 35, 38, 

Mind, activities of, 49. 

Modelling, 140, 148; in intermediate 
school, 171. 

Morality, 84, 118, 120. 

Motion, idea of, communicated, 142. 

Movements of bodj-, 99, 131. 

Moioing Grass, 71. 

Music, 88, 99. 

Mutter- und Kose-lieder, 38, 58, 93, 
chap, iv; defects of, 67. 


National Froebel Union, 186 note. 
Nature, knowledge of, 71, 175; study 

of, 60 ; in intermediate school, 172 ; 

ethical effects of contact with, 150. 
JVest, The, 71. 
New Jersey Council of Education, 

Number, teaching of, 164. 



Occupations, 39, 146; relation of to 
gift work, 147; in transition 
classes, 170. 

Opposites (see Reconciliation). 


Padagogik des Kindergartens, 57 
note, 136 note, 150. 

Painting in intermediate school, 171. 

Pantheism, Froebel's, 95, 109. 

Paper-cutting, 148. 

Paper-folding, 146, 148. 

Paper-mosaic, 143, 146, 148. 

Pat-a-cake, 71. 

Payne, Joseph, 101. 

Pestalozzi, 1, 16, 18, 106, 183; rela- 
tion of, to Froebel, 185. 

Petty, Sir William, his plan for an 
Industrial School, 182. 

Phonic-analytic method, 163. 

Physical exercise, 66, 99, 131. 

Pictures, use of, 80, 88, 133. 

Plamann's Pestalozzian School, 19. 

Plato, 59, 95, 102. 

Play, 59, 101, 116. 

Plaything, the first, 136. 

Preparatory School (see Intermedi- 

Problem of Popular Education, von 
Fichte's, 5. 

Punishment, 122. 

Quintilian, 59. 


Reading, methods of teaching, 163. 
Reconciling mean (see Mean). 
Reconciliation of opposites, 50, 127. 
Relativity, 140. 
Religio Medici (see Sir Thomas 

Religion, 81, 111, 194; the child's, 82, 

Religious Instruction, 118. 
Heminiscences of Fr. Froebel, Dr, 

Lange's, 6 note, 23 note; of Bar- 

oness von Marenholtz-Biilow, 23 

note, 69, 84, 113. 
Rosmini, 56, 126 (see also Method of 

Rousseau, 3, 93. 


Salomon, 190. 

Schola Materna Gremii, 31. 

School, functions of, 154; contrasted 
with Kindergarten, 157; applica- 
tion of Froebel's principles to, 181. 

Schnyder, 33. 

Schwarzburg - Rudolstadt, Princess 
Regent of, 18, 36. 

Self-activity, 29, 49, 52, 54, 129, 130. 

Self, comprehension of, by child, 71. 

Senses, exercise of child's, 69; first 
awakening of, 113. 

Sewing, Kindergarten, 146, 148. 

Sloyd, 54, 146, 190. 

Smell, sense of, 72. 

Smell Song, 72. 

Solid forms, 146, 148. 

Song, 132, 162. 

Songs and games, choice of, 88 note; 
in Intermediate Schools, 162. 

Songs relating to human occupa- 
tions, 76; for city children, 77; 
dealing with natural phenomena, 

Speech (see Language). 

Spencer, Herbert, 47, 93 note, 125. 

Sphere, 138. 

Stadt-Ilm, School at, 8. 

Sticks and rings, 57, 148. 

Stories, 59, 135, 161. 

Symbols, 164. 

Symbolism, Froebel's, 46, 88. 

Synthesis, 126. 


Taking in (see Assimilation) 

Taste, sense of, 72. 

Taste Song, 72. 

Technical Instruction, 184. 

Thomas k Kempis, 44. 

Trade Schools (see Industrial). 



Training of mothers, 35. 
Transition classes, chap. viii. 
Trigonometrj', 144. 


Unity, 91. 

Verraittlungschule, Die, 155 note. 

Von Fichte, J. H., 5. 

Von Holzhausen, Frau, 17. 

Von Marenholtz- Billow, Baroness 
Bertha, 39, 120, 193; her descrip- 
tion of a Kindergarten, 108; books 
of, 90 (see also Reminiscences). 


"Wartensee, 33. 

Weather-cock, The, 64. 

Weekly Journal of Education, 40. 

Weiss, Professor, 19, 20. 

" Wio Killed Cock liobinr' 79. 

Whole and parts, teaching of, 140. 

Willisau, 34, 36 note. 

Winckelmann (see Letters on Art). 

Windows, The, 73. 

Women, Mission to, 35. 

Wood-carving (see Sloyd). 

Wordsworth, 46, 69, 70, 71, 75, 82, 84. 

Work, Froebel's views on, 58, 76, 
103, 115, 193; child's share in do- 
mestic, 116, 149. 

Writine, 163. 

Yverdon, 17. 



Zeb, Superintendent, 26. 

Typography by J. S. Gushing & Co., Boston, U.S.A. 
Presswork by Berwick & Smith, Boston, U.S.A. 

' ' Just in the right time to meet the needs of a large number of teach- 
ers who are casting about to find something fundamental and satisfying 
on the theory of education." — Hon. W. T. Harris, U.S. Commissioner 
of Education. 


Edited by NICHOLAS MURRAY BUTLER, Ph.D. Sold separately. 
Each vol., i2mo, net $i.oo. 

A series of volumes giving concise, comprehensive accounts 
of the leading movements in educational thought, grouped 
about the personalities that have influenced them. The treat- 
ment of each theme is to be individual and biographic, as well 
as institutional. The writers are well-known students of edu- 
cation ; and it is expected that the series, when completed, 
will furnish a genetic account of ancient education, the rise 
of the Christian schools, the foundation and growth of uni- 
versities, and that the great modern movements suggested by 
the names of the Jesuit Order, Rousseau, Pestalozzi, Froebel, 
Herbart, and Horace Mann, will be adequately described and 

ARISTOTLE, and the Ancient Educational Ideals. By Thomas 

Davidson, M.A., LL.D. Ready. 
ALCUIN, and the Rise of the Christian Schools. By Andrew F. 

West, Ph.D., Professor of Latin and Pedagogics in Princeton 

University. Ready. 
ABELARD, and the Origin and Early History of Universities. By 

Jules Gabriel Compayre, Rector of the Academy of Poitiers, 

France. Nearly Ready. 
LOYOLA, and the Educational System of the Jesuits. By Rev. 

'I'HOMAS Hughes, S.J., of Detroit College. Ready. 
FROEBEL. By H. Courthope Bowen, M.A., Lecturer on Educa- 
tion in the University of Cambridge. Ready. 
HORACE MANN; or, Public Education in the United States. By 

the Editor. In Preparation. 
BELL AND LANCASTER ; or, The English Education of To-day. 

By J. G. Fitch, LL.D., Her Majesty's Inspector of Schools. In 


Other volumes on "Rousseau; or, Education according to Nature^ 
" Pestalozzi ; or, the Friend and StudeJit of Children," and on " Herbart ; 
or, Moderfi German Education," are ifi preparation. 




"Admirably conceived in a truly philosophic spirit and executed 
with unusual skill. It is rare to find books on pedagogy at once so 
instructive and so interesting. Your plan in this ' Great Educators 
Series ' is a good one, and you will be fortunate if other volumes equal 
that of Professor Davidson. ... I hope to read them all, which is 
more than I can say of any other series." — WILLIAM Preston 
Johnston, Tulane Utiiversity. 

" I am very glad to see this excellent contribution to the history of 
education. It comes just in the right time to meet the needs of a large 
number of American teachers who are casting about to find something 
fundamental and satisfying on the theory of education. Professor 
Davidson's work is admirable. His topic is one of the most profitable 
in the entire history of culture." — W, T. HARRIS, U. S. Commissioner 
of Education. 

" I have examined with much interest Professor West's work — 
' Alcuin and the Rise of the Christian School.' It is founded on care- 
ful researches, is well planned, and is characterized by a high degree of 
hterary merit. I cannot doubt that the series of ' Great Educators,' 
under the general editorial supervision of Professor Butler, will be of 
much value." — George P. Fisher, Yale University. 

" The Great Educators. This is the title of a new series of educa- 
tional works, edited by Professor Nicholas Murray Butler, and intended 
to discuss the great systems which have prevailed from the earliest 
times down to the present day. . . . The plan is to make these 
monographs individual and biographic as well as institutional, and the 
writers are well-known students of education, who can be trusted to 
make each volume in the series valuable and important." — TAe Boston 

" The Scribners are rendering an important service to the cause of 
education in the production of the 'Great Educators Series.' " — Journal 
of Education. 

" We have not too many series devoted to the history and the theory 
of education, and the one represented at the present moment by the 
two volumes before us promises to take an important place — a leading 
place — amongst the few we have." — London Educational Times. 



ARISTOTLE, and the Ancient Educational Ideals. By 
Thomas Davidson, M.A., LL.D. 

The whole of ancient pedagogy is Professor Davidson's 
subject, the course of education being traced up to Aristotle, 
— an account of whose life and system forms, of course, the 
main portion of the book, — and down from that great teacher, 
as well as philosopher, through the decline of ancient civiliza- 
tion. An appendix discusses " The Seven Liberal Arts,'' and 
paves the way for the next work in chronological sequence, — 
Professor Wesfs, on Alcuin. The close relations between 
Greek education and Greek social and political life are kept 
constantly in view by Professor Davidson. The book is divided 
into four portions, — "Introductory,'' "The Hellenic Period," 
"Aristotle," "The Hellenistic Period." A special and very 
attractive feature of the work is the citation, chiefly in English 
translation, of passages from original sources expressing the 
spirit of the different theories described. 

" Delightful reading. I know nothing in English that covers the field 
of Greek Education so well. You will find it very hard to maintain this 
level in the later works of the Series, but I can wish you nothing better 
than that you may do so." — G. STANLEY Hall, C/ark Universiiy. 

" I have had great pleasure in examining the advance sheets of 
Davidson's 'Aristotle, and the Ancient Educational Ideals.' It is a 
happy combination of theory, history, and biography, and these so 
cleverly interwoven that one is at a loss to know just which of these 
features have been uppermost in the mind of the accomplished writer. 
It is a book that appeals to the rank and file of teachers, and its reading 
is sure to give inspiration and pedagogical insight." — WILL S. MONROE, 

" Please forward at once twenty copies of ' Aristotle, or the Ancient 
Educational Ideals,' by Thomas Davidson. It is a great book, and I 
must give my Senior Class a taste of it before they graduate." — }. C. 
Greenough, Sfafe Normal School, Westfield, Mass. 

LOYOLA, and the Educational System of the Jesuits. By 
Rev. Thomas Hughes, S.J. 

This work is a critical and authoritative statement of the 
educational principles and method adopted in the Society 
of Jesus, of which the author is a distinguished member. 
The first part is a sketch, biographical and historical, of the 


dominant and directing personality of Ignatius, the Founder 
of the order, and his comrades, and of the establishment and 
early administrations of the Society. In the second, an elab- 
orate analysis of the system of studies is given, beginning 
with an account of Aquaviva and the Ratio Studiorum, and 
considering, under the general heading of " the formation of 
the master,^' courses of literature and philosophy, of divinity 
and allied sciences, repetition, disputation, and dictation ; and 
under that of '' formation of the scholar,^' symmetry of the 
courses pursued, the prelection, classic literatures, school man- 
agement and control, examinations and graduation, grades and 

" This work places before the English-speaking public, for the first 
time in an English dress, the educational system of the famous Society 
founded by St. Ignatius of Loyola. Its value, therefore, irrespective of 
its intrinsic merits, is unique. . . . The author has exhibited a rare 
grace and skill in addressing his matter to the taste of the literary con- 
noisseur." — CONDE' B. Fallen, in Educational Review. 

" This volume on St. Ignatius of Loyola and the Educational System 
of the Jesuits,' by the Rev. Thomas Hughes, will probably be welcomed 
by others besides tliose specially interested in the, theories and methods 
of education. Written by a member of the Jesuit Society, it comes to 
us wuh authority, and presents a complete and well-arranged survey of 
the work of educational development carried out by Ignatius and his 
followers." — London Saturday Review. 

ALCUIN, and the Rise of the Christian Schools. By 
Andrew F. West, Ph.D., Professor of Latin and Peda- 
gogics in Princeton University. 

Professor West aims to develop the story of educational 
institutions in Europe from the beginning of the influence 
of Christianity on education to the origin of the Universi- 
ties and the first beginnings of the modern movement. A 
careful analysis is made of the effects of Greek and Roman 
thought on the educational theory and practice of the early 
Christian, and their great system of schools, and its results 
are studied with care and in detail. The personality of 
Alcuin enters largely into the story, because of his domi- 
nating influence in the movement. 

" I take pleasure in saying that it seems to me to combine careful 
scholarly investigation with popularity, and condensation with interest 
of detail, in a truly admirable way." — Professor G. T. Ladd, of Yale. 


" I have read it with much profit and interest. Professor West has 
given a vivid and trustworthy picture of the man and his work. The 
estimate of Alcuin's services to the cause of Education in Europe is, it 
seems to me, a very just one, and the book is a contribution to the his- 
tory of the progress of education." — Professor Martin L. D'Ooge, 
University of Michigan, 

" Hochgeehrte Herren : — 

Die von Ihnen mir freundlichst zugeschickte Schrift des Herrn 
Prof. West uber Alcuin habe ich mit lebhaftem Interesse gelesen und 
bin iiberrascht davon in N. America eine so eingehende Beschaftigung 
mit unserer Vorzeit und eine so ausgebreitete Kenntniss der Literatur 
iiber diesen Gegenstand zu finden. Es sind mir wohl Einzelheiten 
begegnet, an denen ich etwas auszusetzen fand, die ganze Auffassung 
und Darstellung aber kann ich nur als sehr wohl gelungen und zutref- 
fend bezeichnen. j^j^ ausgenzeichneter Hochachtung, 

" Berlin, December 1892. Prof. WaTTENBACH." 

" Prof. West's ' Alcuin ' — A very interesting and scholarly treatment 
of an attractive and important theme." — EDWARD H. GRIFFIN, yo/in 
Hopkins University. 

FROEBEL. By H. Courthope Bowen, M.A., Lecturer on 
Education in the University of Cambridge. 

Friedrich Froebel stands for the movement known both in 
Europe and in this country as the New Education, more com- 
pletely than any other single name. His careful analysis of 
child-nature, and his intimate knowledge of children, afforded 
him the practical insight into the early educational process 
that makes his ideas so fruitful and important. The kin- 
dergarten movement, and the whole development of modern 
methods of teaching, have been largely stimulated by, if not 
entirely based upon, his philosophical exposition of education. 
Mr. Bowen passes each of these points in review, and gives 
an analysis of the principle of self-activity in education that 
is extremely suggestive. It is not believed that any other 
account of Froebel and his work is so complete and exhaus- 
tive, as the author has for many years been a student of 
Froebel's principles and methods not only in books, but also 
in actual practice in the kindergarten. Mr. Bowen is a fre- 
quent examiner of kindergartens, of the children in them, 
and of students who are trained to be kindergarten teachers. 

The table of contents contains, among other important 
headings, the following : Froebel's Early Days ; Education at 


School and University ; Principles as Teacher and Reformer ; 
Leading Principles ; The ''Education of Man"; Mutter und 
Kose-Lieder; Infant Games and Songs, — their Meaning and 
Educational Value ; FroebeFs Theory of Education ; Views 
of Character, Conduct, and Religion ; The Kindergarten, — 
its Processes ; Manual Training ; Writings ; Bibliography. 

ABELARD, and the Origin and Early History of Univer- 
sities. By Jules Gabriel Compayre, Rector of the 
Academy of Poitiers, France. 

M. Compayrd, the well-known French educationist, has 
prepared in this volume an account of the origin of the 
great European Universities that is at once the most sci- 
entific and the most interesting in the English language. 
Naturally the University of Paris is the central figure in 
the account; and the details of its early organization and 
influence are fully given. Its connection with the other 
great universities of the Middle Ages and with modern 
university movement is clearly pointed out. Abelard, whose 
system of teaching and disputation was one of the earliest 
signs of the rising universities, is the typical figure of the 
movement; and M. Compayre has given a sketch of his 
character and work from an entirely new point of view 
that is most instructive. 


Many important additions have been made to this valuable 
text-book catalogue, especially in the departments of Science, 
Philosophy, History, and Religion, besides a much enlarged 
list of importations. 





lull., hiiiill 

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^o^^en. F92zbo 


^roebel and education by 

^'■^^^ self-activity;; " " 

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Froebel and education by F92zbO 


Wheelock College Library 

Boston, Mass. 


SEP 1?'?3 ^ 

OCT 1 19?. 

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