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RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE
KINDERGARTEN AND GREAT
BY ELIZABETH HARRISON
Chicago Kinbekgarten Collegk
10 Van Buren Street
By Elizabeth Harrison.
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DONNELLEY & SONS CO., CHICAGO
RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE
KINDERGARTEN AND GREAT
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
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
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
for the work. We need insight, and
the serene ivisdom and itnf altering
jitdgment which come from insight
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
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
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-
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
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
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
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-
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
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
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
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
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
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:
Central Classes. — Freshmen, Junior, Senior, Norma
Central Classes.— Local Branch Classes.
Distant Branch Classes.
SPECIAL LECTURE COURSES
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
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
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.,
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
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
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
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
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.
"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
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,
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.