(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Children's Library | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload
See other formats

Full text of "Relationship between the kindergarten and great literature"

lEL/MTlOPSMBF BETWEEN TB1E 

sfiPBEiQ/^iTEP /SP& mmt 

LlTEl/^TUMl 

IBiflMTE 



BY zuzmmn maEKisei 



RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE 
KINDERGARTEN AND GREAT 
LITERATURE 

BY ELIZABETH HARRISON 



NUMBER TWO 



DANTE 



PUBLISHED BY 

Chicago Kinbekgarten Collegk 

10 Van Buren Street 

CHICAGO 



copyright, 1s93, 
By Elizabeth Harrison. 



Ei)i fLafttjsttif ^PtrsB 

DONNELLEY & SONS CO., CHICAGO 



RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE 
KINDERGARTEN AND GREAT 
LITERATURE. 



No. II — DANTE, 



' ' Of what possible use can that 
mystical, mediaeval poet be to us? 
We are nineteenth century think- 
ers! " exclaimed my friend, one day. 
My reply was : "As kindergartners 
are we not students of human nature? 
Has the man who taught the whole 
Christian world the true and awful 
meaning of sin, of sorrow, and of 
redemption, nothing to teach usf 

As the defenders and protectors 
of childhood, let us keep always in 

3 



4 DANTE. 

mind the meaning of the word 
"education." Most people have 
altogether too narrow a view of the 
subject. Rightly understood, it be- 
comes the chief word of the English 
language. It means to draw out, or 
develop the child physically, men- 
tally and morally. It stops not with 
knowledge of text-books, nor is it 
merely the accumulation of facts, 
valuable and indispensable as such 
accumulations are. Its real aim is 
character-b2iilding. 

Great yet glorious is the task set 
before us ! We are to change these 
young, unformed beings into strong 
and noble men and women — the 
world's greatest need. No dreamy 
enthusiasm, no painstaking, con- 
scientious, but blind, effort will fit us 



DANTE. 5 

for the work. We need insight, and 
the serene ivisdom and itnf altering 
jitdgment which come from insight 
alone. 

Let us remember always that we 
are to strive to comprehend the influ- 
ence of environment. We are to 
understand the evolution of charac- 
ter; we are to know the relationships 
of life ; we are to feel as the most 
vital thing in life the Fatherhood of 
God, the sonship of man. Our work 
is not simply the mastering of the 
gifts, games, occupations, songs and 
stories of the kindergarten. These 
are but tools in our hands. Our real 
work is to fit ourselves by the broad- 
est and highest culture the world can 
give us to "think God's thoughts 
after Him," that we may understand 



6 DANTE. 

His highest creation — a little child — 
and thus help and not hinder the 
sublime unfolding. How can we fill 
our souls more deeply with this true 
enthusiasm than by the study of the 
prophets and seers of the race? 

Let us turn to Dante. We feel at 
once the art-atmosphere which he 
has created, and its effect here, as 
elsewhere, is to lead us away from 
temporary things to eternal things. 
Is there no lesson in this for the bare 
and ugly walls of our school-rooms of 
to-day? Is there no suggestion in it 
for the improvement of the silly, triv- 
ial elementary readers which we put 
before the hungry child-mind ? All 
true art has the element of the eter- 
nal, the universal, in it. This is why 
Dante's types and images have stood 



DANTE. 7 

for ages. They are not merely re- 
flections of his time, but of all time. 
There are eternal pictures which we 
can place before our children. There 
are eternal stories which we can give 
to them. Truth, deep living truth, 
can be told in no other way so effect- 
ually as in an art form. 

What do we find to aid us in the 
study of character development ? Or, 
rather, what do we not find ? The 
soul, not of a man, but of man seems 
to have been searched. Slowly and 
solemnly and with bowed head he 
leads us downward, past the way- 
ward, shallow souls whose lives have 
been spent in frivolous pursuits. They 
had never learned to care for the 
great things of life, and now they are 
punished by the little things, gad- 



O DANTE. 

flies and gnats torment them, and 
their chief occupation in eternity is 
to chase back and forth after a flag 
blown by the wind. We stop for a 
moment to hsten, in gentle pity, to 
the sad but tender voice of Francesca 
da Rimini as she tells the mournful 
story of her fall. But that one mo- 
ment's pause has for six hundred 
years made the heart of every reader 
soften towards those whom love has 
led astray. It was the Christ-voice 
echoing through Dante. 

On down we go. No service of 
Dresden china nor ghtter of cut glass 
saves the glutton from being- revealed 
to us in all his gross swinishness. 
No accumulation of millions, to be 
clutched by means of family name 
even after the grave has closed over 



DANTE. 9 

the gatherer of the pile, hides from 
us the robbery which the deluded 
soul has committed against his own 
divine nature. No lavish coach and 
four, nor Parisian costumes, nor glit- 
ter of jewels, covers up the miserable 
and petty selfishness of the spend- 
thrift. There each soul stands 
naked. The clothing of earth has 
been torn from its limbs.* The an- 
gry, the sullen, the disbeliever in a 
spiritual life, the murderer, the sui- 
cide, the blasphemer, the seducer, 
the flatterer, the abuser of sacred 
trusts, the soothsayers, the barterers 
of public office, the hypocrites, the 
thieves, the evil counselors, the 
breeders of discord, the counterfeit- 
ers, the liars, the traitors, all are 
there . No court of justice can now 



lO DANTE, 

be bribed, no legislature bought up. 
The light of eternity is turned tipon 
the deeds of Time, and all external 
covering of excuses, all calling of 
things by polite names, is done away 
with. The scales fall from our eyes. 
We stand and look upon the human 
soul as God looks upon it. And in- 
voluntarily we cry out, "Lord, have 
mercy upon us, miserable sinners!" 
Never before nor since has such a 
picture gallery of spiritual portraits 
been presented to the world, with 
lurid background changing to suit 
each picture. The monsters and 
demons serve to intensify the loath- 
someness and hideous nature of the 
distorted soul, which, made in the 
image of God, has chosen to become 
a devil — all this terrible revelation 



DANTE. 1 1 

of sin and suffering and sickening 
horrors is but to teach us that it is 
man's yV"*?^ will which makes a hell, 
and not God's wrath. Wonderful 
truth, which the church has not yet 
fully grasped! It is needed daily by 
each one of us, not for ourselves 
alone, but that we may feel the 
great and solemn duty of training the 
child to choose the right or to be will- 
ing to suffer the result of choosing 
the wrong. Such insight as Dante 
gives in this terrible poem nerves the 
weakest, most yielding mother-heart 
to be true in her love for the child 
intrusted to her, and to teach him, by 
not shielding him from the conse- 
quences of his deed, that wrong-do- 
ing must alway bring suffering. 

This leads us to the study of the 



1 2 DANTE. 

Purgatory, where we see men of all 
degrees, learning through weary and 
painful toil, just this lesson — to bear 
patiently and bravely, aye, even joy- 
fully, the consequences of their own 
evil deeds, until through effort and 
suffering they are prepared to see the 
angel of God's mercy standing ready 
to lift them up to a higher plane, or 
to listen to his heavenly voice calling 
to them along what new path the 
climbing must be made. No wonder 
we hear paeans of praise as the beat- 
itudes are chanted with a meaning 
never before felt. Is not Dante 
showing us that the human soul has 
so much of the divine in it that it 
must help the Great Divine in its 
own salvation? The truth comes to 
us with increased significance that 



DAISTE ]3 

character-bitilding is part of religion, 
that as we teach the child to expand 
his lungs and make them strong and 
as capacious as possible that they 
may take into themselves larger and 
still larger quantities of life-giving 
oxygen, so the discipline and the 
training of the will increase and en- 
large the soul's capacity in order that 
more and more of divine grace may 
flow in to enrich and purify the life. 
Is there nothing for us to learn in 
all this? Does this give us no insight 
in our training of the child ? Does 
not such a revelation of the slow and 
oftentimes painful development of 
character give us courage to perse- 
vere in this invisible part of our work 
which so few outside people appre- 
ciate? Is not the law of all will- 



14 DANTE. 

growth here written out for all time? 
Man must, to the utmost extent of 
his abihty, undo the wrong done; 
with the most tremendous effort of 
which he is capable must he strive to 
do the right deed. Then Divine 
grace stands ready to help him. 
With this thought in mind what 
think you of the usual " I'm sorry! " 
as sufficient atonement for the child's 
misconduct? 

When we turn to Dante for the 
portrayal of the ethical world we 
find that it would be impossible to 
understand him at all if we did not 
keep always in mind man's relation- 
ship to man. That whole, wonder- 
ful sweep down into the abyss of sin, 
and the rise up to the summit of the 
Mount of Purification, is based on 



DANTE. 15 

the gradation of sin as measured by 
man's relationship to society. Per- 
sonal sins, no matter how disgusting 
and loathsome, are not placed by 
the poet in as low a circle as sins 
which disturb the ethical life of 
society. Without this institutional 
gauge by which to measure the ex- 
tent of a sin, how could we reconcile 
the putting of a barterer of public 
office for private gain below the sen- 
sualist or glutton? 

In the toilsome journey up the 
purgatorial mountain we find that 
those sins zvliich separate maji from 
his felloio man are the first which 
vnist be purged aivay. Slowly and 
with painful eflort does the repent- 
ant soul learn to acknowledge the 



l6 DANTE. 

brotherhood of mankind, upon which 
bur ethical world is founded. 

It seems almost a waste of time to 
point out the value of this insight to 
a kindergartner. Does it not teach 
that the first duty in the upbuilding 
of the child's character is to lead him 
into that atmosphere of participation 
and sympathetic helpfulness in which 
all virtues flourish and all vice 
withers? Does it not lead her to 
avoid all showing off of the cle\er 
child, by means of which pride is 
fostered ? Does it not guard her 
against injudicious comparison and 
praise, because they cause envy to 
spring up in the young heart ? Does 
it not help her to work ever toward 
a spirit of industry in her young 
brood, knowing, as she now does, that 



DANTE. 17 

sloth is one of the great separators of 
a soul from its fellows? A hundred 
such clear and helpful warnings it 
brings to her. 

Of the lessons to be learned from 
the Paradiso I dare not speak. The 
glory of its environment, the exultant 
rejoicings of the redeemed spirits, 
the tender and mystical relationship 
of the soul to its Maker which the 
Paradiso portrays, is but felt by me 
in a dim way, not comprehended. 
It always leaves me with the impres- 
sion that God is great and good, and 
the nearer man gets to him the hap- 
pier he is. I leave this part of the 
poem to be interpreted and applied 
to our work by a deeper soul than 
mine. 



The Vision of Dante 



A Story for Little Children and a Talk for Their Mothers. 



By Elizabeth Harrison. 

Illustrated bt WALTER CRANE. 



"The Vision of Dante" is a story of Dante's vision 
told to children by that queen of story tellers, Elizabeth 
Harrison, Principal of the Chicago Kindergarten College. 

It is a most valuable addition to Dante literature — 
for a whole literature has grown up as the centuries have 
passed, since that great world genius passed to the higher 
life, more than six hundred years ago. 

Great scholars have written and philosophized and 
speculated upon the Divine Co?nedy all these ages, throw- 
ing scarce a ray of light upon the poem, which is a 
veiled book to the million; but here in Chicago a woman 
has told a story to little children, and lo ! the whole is 
bathed in a soft light that reveals the purpose of the 
poem, and at her call the "buried secret" comes forth 
from the Tomb this Easter Tide, to tell us as always the 
one truth that " Love is the fulfilling of the Law." 
This book is beautifully illustrated by Walter Crane. 

— The Parthenon. 



" The destiny of ?iations lies in the hands of ivomen.'''' 

— Frieurich Froebel. 

Chicago Kindergarten College 

lo Van Buren St., Chicago, III. 

FOR MOTHERS, TEACHERS AND NURSES. 



Mrs. J. N. Crouse, Director. Elizabeth Harrison, Principal. 



The work of the CoUege is divided into the following departments: 
TEACHERS' DEPARTMENT 

Central Classes. — Freshmen, Junior, Senior, Norma 
Branch Classes. 

MOTHERS' DEPARTMENT 

Central Classes.— Local Branch Classes. 
Distant Branch Classes. 

NURSES' DEPARTMENT 
LITERARY DEPARTMENT 
PHILANTHROPIC DEPARTMENT 
SPECIAL LECTURE COURSES 
PUBLICATION DEPARTMENT 

In the Teachers' Department the work of the Central Classes 
includes a three rears' course, wliicli is supplemented by a 
distinct Normal covirse for those who desire to fit themselves 
.for Training Teachers. Branch classes include a one 3'ear's 
course. 

The riothers' Department also includes a three years' course, 
and is composed of three classes. 

The Literary Department includes lectures on Great Literature 
and studies in tlie same. These lectures and studies lead up 
to and culminate each year in a Literary School, which con- 
sists of ten lectures given by the most eminent scholars in 
literature. 

College Re=opens October 3, 1893. 

Organized under the name of Kindergarten Training Class in 1885. 
Re-organized under the name of Chicago Kindergarten College in 1890. 
Registration in 1885. Registration in 1802-3. 

Teachers, . .51 Teachers, . . 101 
Mothers, . . • Jl_ I Mothers, . . . 453 
Total, . "■f Total, . 557 

Total No. Students enrolled, 465 ) 'r„i.„i r> :„t,.^i.:„„ o qst 

Total No. Mothers enrolled, 2.-522 \ Total Registration, 2,987 

Kindergartens supervised by the College in 1892-1893, . 47 
For Ciirriculums and AJ>/>lication Bia?tks, address 

Chicago Kindergarten College, 

Art Institute BIdg., 10 Van Buren St., 

CHICAGO, ILL. 



BOOKS AND BOOKLETS 

PUBLISHED BY THE 

CHICAGO KINDERGARTEN COLLEGE. 

A Study of Child Nature. By Elizabeth Harrison. The book Is 
printed on laid paper, neatly bound in cloth, with gilt top. Price Jl.OO 
net. 

The Vision of Dante. By Elizabeth Harrison. Illustrated by Walter 
Crane. A story for children. This book is printed on Windsor 

hand-made paper, beautifully bound. Price $2.50 net. 

SERIES No. I. 

The Life of Friedrich Wilhelm Frobel. By Frau Frobel. Price 
25 cents. 

The Kindergarten. By Susan L. Blow. Price 25 cents. 

The Value of the Kindergarten Study. By Elizabeth Harrison. 
Delivered Oct 1, lt>90. The opening lecture ol a three years' course 
for mothers, in connection with the Mother's Department of the Chi- 
cago Kindergarten College. Price 25 cents. 

The Kindergarten as an Influence in Modern Civilization. By 
Elizabeth Harrison. Opening lecture before the Mothers' Depart- 
ment, Oct , 1891. Price 25 cents. 

SERIES No. 2. 

Story of Christopher CoLUMiiUs. By Elizabeth Harrison. Price 10 
cents. 

The Kindergarten and lis Opportunities for Women. By Mrs. 
J. N. Crouse. A paper read before the Federation of Clubs in Chi- 
cago, May 13, 1S92 Price 20 cents. 

The Root of the Temperance Question, from a Kindergarten 
Standpoint. By Elizabeth Harrison. Price 20 cents. 

The Educational Value of Toys. From " A Study of Child Nature." 
By Elizabeth Harrison. Price 20 cents. 

The Legend of the Christ Child. Adapted from the German, by 
Elizabeth Harrison. Price 20 cents. 

SERIES No. 3. 

Kindergarten Tales and Talks : 

1. Friedrich Froebel. By Elizabeth Harrison. Price 10 cents. 

2. The Caterpillar and Butterfly. Adapted by Elizabeth Harrison. 

Price 10 cents. 

3. Science Lessons. By Elizabeth Harrison. Price 10 cents. 

4. Story of the Raindrop. Adapted by Elizabeth Harrison. Price 

10 cents. 

A List of Books for Mothers. Recommended by Elizabeth Harri- 
son, Price 10 cents. 

A List of Books for Children. Recommended by Elizabeth Harri- 
son. Price 10 cents. 

A List of Toys. Classified for Children of different ages, ranging from 
one to six years of age, by the Mothers' Department of the College. 
Price 10 cents. 

A Valuable Series of Five World's Fair Studies. By Denton J. 
Snider. Beginning with "The Four Domes," and ending with "Mid- 
way Plaisance." Price, 15 cents or Series 60 cents 

Suggestions for the Study of Great Literature; (1) Homer, 
(2) Dante, (3) Shakespeare, and (4) Goethe (.not yet ready). By 
Elizabeth Harrison. Price 20 cents each. 
Special Discounts to the Trade, Schools and Sunday Schools. 

All orders should be sent to the Chicago Kindergarten College, 10 Van 

Buren St., Chicago, 111., or to leading booksellers. 



PRESS NOTICES 



"CHILD NATURE," BY ELIZABETH HARRISON. 

This book might be characterized as an ilhiniined text of Froebel's thought. 
The lectures show a mental grasp which is truly remarkable.— Chicago Inter 
Ocean. 

The whole book is so valuable an aid to either mothers or teachers that we 
wish every training school in the land might be in possession of the thoughts it 
contains.— Friends Intelligencer and Journal, Philadelphia. 

This modest little book is full of deep insight and helpful suggestions. It is 
at once simple and philosophical.— Denver Times. 

Every aspiring teacher and earnest mother would seek to possess this little 
book if she knew how much of help and inspiration it contains.— Public School 
Journal, Bloomington, 111. 

The book is invaluable.— American Farmer. 

It is no ordinary work, but one which should be read over and over again. 
Miss Harrison has made the subject a profound and successful study for many 
years.— Democrat, Davenport, Iowa. 

All mothers who read the book, even though they know nothing of Froebel, 
will find there practical and truly philosophical thoughts of great helpfulness to 
them, as tliey strive to develop their children in the best way, physically, men- 
tally and morally. We are sure that all thoughtful persons will arise from the 
reading of tliis book with a conviction that there is a real "science of mother- 
hood." We iiiost heartily wish that this little book of Miss Harrison's might find 
a place in every home, and that Christian kindergartens might be established in 
every part of the land.— The Standard, Chicago. 

We have come to the conclusion after reading this excellent book that the 
mother is father to the man, rather tlian the father. * * * « This book is a 
valuable contribution to the study of children, and deserves a place by the side of 
Preyer and Fe?-ea.— School Journal, New York. 

The author has had large experience in the education of the very young, and 
is in full sympathy with the most advanced educational views.— N. V. Tribune. 

The volume is an admirable study of the art of training children, and of the 
means and methods the parent or teacher possesses of approaching and touching 
the springs of motive. The moral and religious ideas of the book are sound.— 
The Independence, N. Y. 

If every woman could be led to take instruction from this publication, there 
would be fewer weary hands and heads among the mothers of America. Espe- 
cially helpful and interesting are the chapters devoted to the training of the mus- 
cles, affections, the will, and that upon right and wrong punishments.— Bee, 
Omaha, Neb. 

One of the most helpful and intelligent books which has appeared, touching 
the training of young ciiildren. * * * The chapters which make up this 
volume were given as talks to mothers and teachers. They have, therefore, a 
directness of statement and a practical turn at every stage, which they might 
have missed had they been addressed to an imaginary, instead of a real audience. 
—Christian Union, New York. 

The book is at once profound and popular, systematically arranged, and en- 
livened with illustrative anecdote, drawn from her own large experience with all 
phases of child character. Her book shows not only an ample acquaintance with 
life, but also with literature as well. The author claims that the study of child 
culture should be placed upon the broad basis of a science, and her book demon- 
strates the justice of her claim. Sunday School Times, Philadelphia. 

Miss Willard writes :— It is the ablest work on the most significant subject 
that has yet come to my table. It is truly philosophical. * * * * I remember 
with what eagerness mother was wont to read and study every book that came 
into her hands relative to the training of children, but she never had a book like 
this, and, much as I owe to her, I can but think it would have been better for 
me if one so earnest as she was, had known by heart, as she surely would have 
done, had it come under her observation, the 207 pages of this marvelous little 
treatise.— Union Signal, Chicago. 111.