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Pestalozzi, Johann Heinrich (1746–1827)

Pestalozzi, Johann Heinrich (17461827)


Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi was a writer, political and social reformer, and educator. Born and educated in Zurich, Switzerland, in 1765 he ended his university studies abruptly due to his active engagement in the radical republican youth movement aiming towards the restoration of republican values and morals. Influenced by the ancient Roman ideal of the citizen as "landed man" and inspired by Jean-Jacques Rousseau's Julie ou la Nouvelle Héloïse (1761) and the fifth book of Émile (1762), Pestalozzi apprenticed himself to a farmer (17671768). In 1769 Pestalozzi married Anna Schulthess, of a wealthy burgher family. Overhasty purchase of a large tract of land in Birr in the Swiss canton of Aargau (under the control of Bern), debts on his Neuhof estate, and the agricultural crisis in Europe in 17711772 led Pestalozzi into great financial difficulties. He attempted to avert financial disaster by employing children of the poor in a proto-industrial enterprise at Neuhof, promising parents education of their children. However, he had overestimated the children's productivity and was soon forced to raise funds through public appeals to charity. But the monies collected were not sufficient, and the institution closed in 1780. Nevertheless, Pestalozzi's public reflections on the meaning and purpose of education of the poor led to his career as a commentator on politics, education, and economics. His novel Lienhard und Gertrud, published in 1781, enjoyed great literary success; three further volumes had a lesser reception.

It was during this phase of his work that Pestalozzi first used the term childhood. Although Pestalozzi revised his understanding of childhood many times, his idea of childhood as a period of transformation remained constant throughout his long life. In Lienhard und Gertrud, the predominant idea is a sensualistic view of childhood as the life phase when the young child is shaped by external conditions.

Pestalozzi's efforts and experiences at proto-industry forced him to revise his agrarian-oriented republicanism. After 1782 he came into contact with the Berliner Enlightenment, which led him to political reflections upon natural law and the theories of the social contract. For Pestalozzi, who remained under the influence of republican ideals, the life of the family, which would be a largely independent economic unit, would allow for family socialization and thus the instilling of virtues. Here Pestalozzi equates childhood with the human being in a natural state but in contrast to Rousseau, the connotation is a negative one: in a passage in the fourth volume of Lienhard und Gertrud (1787) entitled "the philosophy of my book," Pestalozzi wrote, "By nature, and when people grow up left to their own devices, they are lethargic, ignorant, careless, thoughtless, foolish, gullible, timorous, greedy without bounds, crooked, sly, insidious, distrustful, violent, foolhardy, vindictive, and prone to acts of atrocity" (p. 330). It therefore follows that stringent socialization to the constraints of societal life through work and the workplace must precede religious moral training.

The development of the human race and the development of the individual were seen to take a parallel course. Pestalozzi thus interpreted childhood as an unspoiled, natural state, in whichfollowing Rousseauneeds and faculties, or powers, are in perfect equilibrium. However, Pestalozzi did not believe that this natural state could be maintained, for in the life of an individual it existed only at the moment of birth. Through life's experiences, the needs of young persons growing up were greater than their ability to satisfy them. It was thus unavoidable that the person became "depraved." In an ideal political system, education could bring the person to recreate the self, to develop into a "moral" being. Pestalozzi maintained that "the circumstances make the man," but in an extension based on Christianity, he found that human beings had within themselves the power to influence those circumstances according to their own will and to create ideal contexts. This faculty, or "self-power," was seen as highly individual and independent of natural and societal determinants. Human beings achieved morality (in a religious sense) dependent upon two conditions: politics and education. Pestalozzi made it his own principle to follow the noble principle of Jesus Christ: to first make the inner person pure in order to make the outside pure. This religiously inspired theory of education was based on the principle of the family, to which the school should also acquiesce.

Philipp Albert Stapfer, Minister of Arts and Sciences of the Helvetic Republic, believed that Pestalozzi would be the ideal person to help him enact various school reforms. His hope was based on a belief that Pestalozzi had developed a completely unique method of teaching children to read. Paradoxically, Pestalozzi became a national educator just at the time when he had lost faith in the restoration of the republic, and he was given responsibility for a modern school system just as he had wanted to subordinate schooling to education within the family.

From this time in his life onwards, Pestalozzi was to head a number of educational institutions. His efforts at education theory centered upon the development of a comprehensive method of elementary education that would promote the natural acquisition of basic learning in all disciplines and, at the same time, go hand in hand with the unfolding of the child's moral-religious as well as physical propensities. A first draft of his main principles of education was presented in 1801 in his book Wie Gertrud ihre Kinder lehrt (How Gertrude teaches her children). The underlying concept was that human nature is made up of mechanically structured innate predispositions and self-powers, whereby the innate teleological structured predispositions are too weak to develop on their own. According to this view, Pestalozzi equated childhood with the need for (Pestalozzi's) object lesson books, the only lesson books that succeeded in drawing out and evolving children's God-given inherent propensities.

After 1802, Pestalozzi began to develop a more organic perspective of mankind. He did not follow the contemporary discussion of the Romantic period in Germany, which in 1800inspired by Rousseauequated childhood with a state of holiness and propagated the historical-philosophical progression of Paradise, The Fall, and Redemption. Pestalozzi saw in the child a natural innocence, but even the holy in the child could not develop without the necessity of education. In this apolitical view, it is the mother who takes on the central role in the process of societal regeneration; in her religious mission, she becomes first of all the natural "intermediary between the child and the world" before she deflects the child's love of herself towards God. It is this sacred educational function that allows the child to maintain itself as an independent and religious person in the face of a corrupted world.

For Pestalozzi, children have divine predispositions, which must be fostered. Pestalozzi believed that he himself had discovered the correct method of education. He made frequent references to his own very difficult biography full of privation in his writings. In this connection Pestalozzi saw himself as an educational Jesus Christ.

Following great personal difficulties and the death of Pestalozzi's wife in 1815, his third institute at Yverdon slowly fell apart, and in 1825, Pestalozzi returned to Neuhof in Birr at the age of 79. He died two years later, largely forgotten by the world. It was only through the efforts of teachers, who were becoming organized in the nineteenth century, and through a need in Switzerland (torn religiously and politically) for a guiding, unifying figure that the tireless reformer came to be remembered and honored. It was as an educator that Pestalozzi became the most important national figure in Switzerland, providing sense and a purpose to the whole nation. However, his books were little read, and his pedagogical concepts of the "method" were not put into practice.

See also: Basedow, Johann Bernhard; Child Development, History of the Concept of; Education, Europe; Salzmann, Christian Gotthilf

bibliography

Pestalozzi, Johann Heinrich. 19271996. Complete Works, Critical Edition, ed. Artur Buchenau et al. Zurich, Switzerland: Orell Füessli Verlag.

Pestalozzi, Johann Heinrich. 19461996. Complete Letters, Critical Edition, ed. Emanuel Dejung. Zurich, Switzerland: Orell Füessli Verlag.

Daniel TrÖhler

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Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi

Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi

The Swiss educator Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi (1746-1827) envisioned a science of education based on the psychology of child development. He laid the foundation of the modern primary school.

Johann Pestalozzi was born in Zurich on Jan. 12, 1746. His father died shortly afterward, and Pestalozzi was raised in poverty. This early experience with the life of degradation of the poor developed in him an acute sense of justice and a determination to help the underprivileged. He chose to enter the ministry, but his studies in theology at the University of Zurich were without distinction. He tried law and politics, but his humanitarianism was mistaken for radicalism and he became very unpopular even with those he sought most to help. In 1769 he settled on his farm, "Neuhof, " at Birr, Switzerland, where he planned to fight poverty by developing improved methods of agriculture.

At Neuhof, Pestalozzi realized that schoolteaching was his true vocation and that as a schoolmaster he could fulfill his desire to improve society by helping the individual to help himself. In 1775 he turned his farm into an orphanage and began to test his ideas on child rearing. In 1780 he wrote The Hours of a Hermit, a series of generally sad maxims reflecting his view of man's somber plight in the world and the failure of his own attempts at reform at Neuhof. He first experienced success with Leonard and Gertrude (1783), which was widely acclaimed and read as a novel and not, as it was intended to be, as an exposition of his pedagogical ideas.

His newfound fame brought Pestalozzi to Stanz, where he took over an orphanage in 1798, and then to Burgdorf, where he ran a boarding school for boys from 1800 to 1804. In 1801 he published How Gertrude Teaches Her Children, a sequel to his earlier novel and an expansion of his educational thought. But it was at Yverdun, where he was the director for the next 20 years of a boarding school for boys of many nationalities, that Pestalozzian principles of education were applied and observed by world leaders.

According to Pestalozzi, "the full and fruitful development" of the child according to his own nature is the goal of education. The school and teachers provide only the environment and guidance, respectively, most appropriate to free expression that allows the natural powers of the child to develop. Instruction should be adapted to each individual according to his particular changing, unfolding nature. Rather than from books, the child should learn by observing objects of the real world. Sense perceptions are of supreme importance in the development of the child's mind. Pestalozzi described such a detailed methodology both for child development and for the study of the child that a definite system of teacher training evolved also.

Honors flowed in; Yverdun became a showplace. These were two causes of the ultimate collapse of the school. Pestalozzi's fame brought out some of his more disagreeable characteristics, and the original atmosphere of fellowship disappeared in the influx of visitors to the school. The school closed amid disputes and lawsuits; Pestalozzi died an embittered man on Feb. 17, 1827, in Brugg. But his ideas were used in establishing national school systems during the 19th century, and his influence among educators continues to be great to this day.

Further Reading

The best books on Pestalozzi are in German. In English the two works of J. A. Green, The Educational Ideas of Pestalozzi (1907) and Life and Work of Pestalozzi (1913), are still useful. Gerald L. Gutek, Pestalozzi and Education (1968), explores Pestalozzi's contributions to contemporary educational theory and practice.

Additional Sources

Downs, Robert Bingham, Heinrich Pestalozzi, father of modern pedagogy, Boston, Twayne Publishers 1975. □

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Pestalozzi, Johann Heinrich

Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi (yō´hän hīn´rĬkh pĕs´tälôt´sē), 1746–1827, Swiss educational reformer, b. Zürich. His theories laid the foundation of modern elementary education. He studied theology at the Univ. of Zürich but was forced to abandon his career because of his political activity on behalf of the Helvetic Society, a reformist Swiss political organization. From 1769 to 1798 he lived at his farm "Neuhof" near Zürich, where he conducted a school for poor children. He then directed a school at Burgdorf (1799–1804), and from 1805 until his retirement (1825) to "Neuhof" he was director of the experimental institute at Yverdon-les-Bains, which was established on Pestalozzian principles. Pestalozzi's theory of education is based on the importance of a pedagogical method that corresponds to the natural order of individual development and of concrete experiences. To Pestalozzi the individuality of each child is paramount; it is something that has to be cultivated actively through education. He opposed the prevailing system of memorization learning and strict discipline and sought to replace it with a system based on love and an understanding of the child's world. His belief that education should be based on concrete experience led him to pioneer in the use of tactile objects, such as plants and mineral specimens, in the teaching of natural science to youngsters. Running through much of Pestalozzi's writing is the idea that education should be moral as well as intellectual. Never losing his commitment to social reform, Pestalozzi often reiterated the belief that society could be changed by education. His theories also influenced the development of teacher-training methods. Although he respected the individuality of the teacher, Pestalozzi nevertheless felt that there was a unified science of education that could be learned and practiced. His belief that teacher training should consist of a broad liberal education followed by a period of research and professional training has been widely adopted throughout Europe and the United States. Pestalozzi's writings in English translation include The Hours of a Hermit (1780, tr. 1912), Leonard and Gertrude (4 parts, 1781–87; rev. ed. 1790–92, 1819–20; tr. 1801, 1894), and How Gertrude Teaches Her Children (1801, tr. 1915).

See W. S. Monroe, History of the Pestalozzian Movement in the United States (1907, repr. 1969); J. A. Green, The Life and Work of Pestalozzi (1912) and The Educational Ideas of Pestalozzi (1914, repr. 1969); M. R. Heafford, Pestalozzi: His Thought and Its Relevance Today (1967); K. Silber, Pestalozzi: The Man and His Work (2d ed. 1974).

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Pestalozzi, Johann Heinrich

Pestalozzi, Johann Heinrich (1746–1827) Swiss educational reformer whose theories formed the basis of modern elementary education. His books include How Gertrude Teaches Her Children (1801).

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Pestalozzi, Johann Heinrich

PESTALOZZI, JOHANN HEINRICH

Swiss educator and social reformer; b. Zurich, Jan. 12, 1746; d. Brugg (Aargau), Feb. 17, 1827. He was born of a distinguished and strict Protestant family and was educated by his devoted mother after the early death of his father. He attended schools in his native town and ultimately the Collegium Carolinum, where such men as Johann Bodmer (16981783) and Johann Breitinger (170176) were his teachers. Influenced by physiocratic ideas, Pestalozzi attempted to organize a farm, Neuhof (near Brugg, Aargau), which he continued as a charity school after its financial ruin in 1773. When the same disaster struck his school, Pestalozzi was forced to support himself only by his writings. During the French Revolution, he sided with the Swiss Unitary State (centralized government) and was in charge of an almshouse in Stans (Nidwalden) in 1798, after the bloody suppression of the popular revolt. In 1799 he taught in Burgdorf (Berne), where he founded an educational establishment (1801), which he transferred to Münchenbuchsee (Berne) and to Yverdon (Neuchâtel) in 1805. Difficulties with his fellow teachers forced him to close this school in 1825. Returning to Neuhof, he wrote autobiographical accounts in which he explained his failure in terms of "lack of foresight and inability to govern," shortcomings that are in sharp contrast to his fervent love for and devotion to mankind. His ideas, however, had profound and lasting influence. In the contemplative review of his life, Die Abendstunde eines Einsiedlers (1780), he paints an ideal picture of a man who is at peace because he has worked for the development of men's inner powers through faith in God, a healthy family life, and an individual, vocational, and professional education adapted to the good of the community.

To Pestalozzi elementary education was the natural right of every child, who should be afforded the opportunity to develop his physical, moral, and intellectual powers. He was convinced that every child, if properly trained, could be prepared to earn a living while developing his intelligence and moral nature. Noting carefully the results of his educational experiments, Pestalozzi declared: "There unfolded itself gradually in my mind the idea of an ABC of observation to which I now attach great importance, and in the working out of which the whole scheme of a general method of instruction in all its scope appeared, though still obscure, before my eyes." He considered it an important principle of instruction to reduce all subject matter to its simplest elements and adapt observation of these elements to the level of the child's development. "The starting point of thought is sense-perception, the direct impression produced by the world on our internal and external senses," he said, adding, "These impressions give the child his first ideas and at the same time awaken the desire to express them, first by signs, then by words." Pestalozzi therefore stressed that sense-perception or observation was the foundation of instruction and that it should be joined with expression in language, for, he says, "We can only speak clearly and exactly of those things from which we have received clear and exact impressions." In keeping with these views, Pestalozzi used a great variety of objects upon which he expected the children to exercise their sensory powers in the process of learning: field trips in the study of geography; elements of computation taught by counting steps and objects about the room; and moral training to grow out of occurrences in the daily lives of the children. There was oral discussion based on observation of the object of the lesson, a separation of the essential from the accidental and eventually the formulation of a definition. The procedure was chiefly oral: textbooks were not used, the pupil was active throughout the process, and the teacher instructed orally. This required of the teacher careful organization, resulting from proper preparation of the materials for each lesson, and skill in the art of questioning.

Influenced by J. J. rousseau's Social Contract and Emile, Pestalozzi introduced a vocational course of instruction as the ideal way to better the condition of the poor. The Neuhof experiment (177480) was intended to further this idea. Here the boys studied farming, the girls were taught sewing and housekeeping, and both learned spinning and weaving in a good home environment. Later in Stanz, (17981825), as he himself related: "I tried to connect study with manual labor, the school with the workshop, and make one thing of them." Earlier he had corresponded with Philip Emmanuel von Fellenberg, Swiss educator and agriculturist, explaining his ideas relative to this. Fellenberg, a man of means, established an institute at Hofwyl that emphasized practical training in agriculture and industrial arts. Pestalozzi did not include history and literature in his program because they were not readily adaptable to object teaching and because of his prejudice against books, which may have been influenced by Rousseau's Emile.

To Pestalozzi the principal center for the education of children was a well-regulated home, the center of love and cooperation. This spirit should also permeate the atmosphere of the classroom, where a "thinking love" should become the basis of the relationship between teacher and pupil. The school, he maintained, should be the focal point of activity wherein the individuality of the child would be regarded as sacred and instruction would be in harmony with his nature and inborn powers. He believed strongly in the development of head, heart, and hand in surroundings resembling those of a good Christian home.

Fellenberg's application of Pestalozzian principles were used effectively in the rehabilitation of juvenile delinquents in Germany and England. The manual labor movement in American education stemmed from the same source as did, also, the changes brought about in reform schools, e.g., segregation of young offenders from hardened criminals, and the growth of the cottage plan that grouped juvenile delinquents in homelike situations. The spirit and methods of the Swiss reformer later became the foundation of the Prussian system of education whose leaders had studied under him at Burgdorf and Yverdon. The report of Victor Cousin, the French philosopher, on "The Study of Public Instruction in Germany, Particularly Prussia" (1831) influenced French education and its translation into English in 1834 was widely distributed in England and America. Visitors to European schools disseminated their views upon their return through various educational journals, e.g., Henry Barnard's American Journal, the American Annals, and Horace mann's Seventh Report. Pestalozzian methods came to be emphasized in American teacher's institutes. Edward A. Sheldon (182397), Superintendent of Schools

at Oswego, N.Y., introduced the methods into the schools of his district. A teachers training school developed from the in-service training given the teachers, and in 1865 gave rise to the Oswego state normal school whose influence spread throughout the state and the Middle West in what came to be known as the "Oswego Movement."

Pestalozzi was essentially a reformer interested in the social regeneration of the poor, which he thought could best be effected through instruction. His ideas introduced changes ranging from an enlightened atmosphere in the classroom to an improved methodology that was based upon and in accord with the natural development of the child. His experiments and observations emphasized the need for prospective teachers to know how as well as what to teach. This factor, together with his advocacy of universal elementary education, added impetus to the establishment of an increasing number of teacher training institutes in the U.S. and abroad.

Pestalozzi was a religious man and considered religious and moral education a very important aim. However, influenced no doubt by Rousseau, he abandoned dogmatic Christianity, although believing in God, and adhered to a purely rationalistic interpretation of a natural religion. His educational ideals inspired two great German educators, J. F. Herbart and F. W. frÖbel, who developed further many of Pestalozzi's theories.

Bibliography: Sämtliche Werke: Kritische Ausgabe (Zurich 1927). f. delekat, Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi (2d ed. Leipzig 1928). t. litt, Der lebendige Pestalozzi (2d ed. Heidelberg 1961). k. silber, Pestalozzi: Der Mensch und sein Werk (Heidelberg 1957), Eng. tr. (London 1960). h. hoffmann, Die Religion im Leben und Denken Pestalozzis (Bern 1944). w. boyd, The History of Western Education (6th ed. London 1952). e. p. cubberley, Readings in the History of Education (Boston 1920). f. p. graves, Great Educators of Three Centuries (New York 1912). p. j. mccormick, History of Education, ed. f. p. cassidy (3d ed. Washington 1953). p. monroe, Founding of the American Public School System, 2 v. (v.1, New York 1940; v.2 n.d. microfilm). g. o'connell, Naturalism in American Education (Washington 1936). f. v. n. painter, ed., Great Pedagogical Essays (New York 1905). g. comayrÉ, The History of Pedagogy, tr. w. h. payne (5th ed. London 1903). j. h. pestalozzi, How Gertrude Teaches Her Children, tr. l. e. holland and f. c. turner, ed. e. cooke (Syracuse 1915); Pestalozzi's Leonard and Gertrude, tr. and ed. e. channing (Boston 1897). r. h. quick, Essays on Educational Reformers (new ed. New York 1896). h. stettbacher, Lexikon der Pädagogik, ed. h. rombach, 4 v. (3d. ed. Freiburg 1962) 2:373374.

[j. b. keller/

w. g. wixted]

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Pestalozzi, Johann Heinrich (1746–1827)

PESTALOZZI, JOHANN HEINRICH
(17461827)

Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi was a Swiss educator whose views profoundly affected the history and philosophy of education. Pestalozzi's father, a clergyman in Zürich, then the most lively center of awakening German culture and literature, died when his son was six years old. Pestalozzi's profound piety, the desire to love and to be loved, his compassion for sufferingand his extreme sensitivity and awkwardness in dealing with the practical affairs of lifewere due largely to the exclusive upbringing of his pious mother.

After graduating from the Collegium Humanitatis (a secondary school), he turned to agriculture and experimented at his newly acquired farm, the Neuhof, with a school for the children of the neighboring farmers that was to combine elementary education with practical work. The Neuhof enterprise was a failure, financially as well as educationally, but it brought him the insights that determined his later educational, social, and religious theory and practice. These insights are jotted down in aphoristic style in Die Abendstunde eines Einsiedlers (Evening hour of a hermit; 1780), one of those astounding works of sudden illumination which we sometimes find in the lives of men of rare genius.

As a young man, Pestalozzi sympathized with a liberal student movement which was considered subversive by the patrician government of Zürich. He also sympathized actively with the Swiss and French revolutions at the end of the eighteenth century but was soon disappointed in the development of both.

In 1789 he took over the education of the desolate children of the town of Stans, which had been the scene of a battle between the French and the Swiss and had been badly ransacked by the French victors. Later he founded schools at Burgdorf and Münchenbuchsee, and finally at Iverdon on the shore of the Lake of Neuchâtel, attracting increasingly the attention of reform-minded men and women all over Europe. "Pestalozzianism," as a method of education that emphasized the importance of individual differences and the stimulation of the child's self-activity as against mere rote learning, was transferred also to the United States and resulted, about 1860, in a thorough reorganization of its elementary schools.

Like John Amos Comenius (whom he mentions, without being influenced by him), Pestalozzi was able to fuse his Christ-centered piety with a romantic concept of nature. First impressed by Jean-Jacques Rousseau, whose ideas he later rejected, he used the term nature as synonymous with all that is genuine, authentic, and free from artificiality. He regarded it as the function of education, as of all other social activities, to find the "organic" or "elemental" principles by which the inherent talent of every person could be developed to his fullest individuality, or to his "truth." His concept of truth, therefore, does not aim at logical universality; rather, it is, to use a modern term, existential.

A person can be educated toward maturity only if he has been allowed to sense in his earliest infancy and under the care of his mother and his family the vital element in all human relations, altruistic love. And he can safely pass over to his next developmental stage only if he has fully mastered the experiences and tasks of the preceding stage, if the whole of his personality has been formed by the "education of the heart, the hand and the mind," if the things he has learned have become really his own and have aroused a sense of commitment, and if, finally, he discovers the vertical line, his personal relation to God, without which all relations between man and man, man and nature, and man and knowledge remain empty and meaningless.

According to Pestalozzi, it is the curse of modern civilization that its hasty and primarily verbal education does not give man enough time for the process of Anschauung, a term perhaps best translated as "internalized apperception," or as dwelling on the meaning and challenge of an impression. Thus modern civilization leads a person more and more away from his deeper self into a tangle of self-perceptions, of useless, if not dangerous, knowledge, and of false ambitions, which will make him unhappy.

As in many similar cases, Pestalozzi's fame as an educator has prevented the scholarly world from recognizing the full scope and depth of his interests. Besides a few and often inadequate accounts, little attention has been paid to Pestalozzi as a man of passionate concern for social justice and for new forms of religious education which were intentionally prevented by corrupt ecclesiastical institutions.

Nor has his essay "Meine Nachforschungen über den Gang der Natur in der Entwicklung des Menschengeschlechtes" (On the path of nature in the history of mankind) received sufficient attention, although it is profounder and more realistic than the contemplations on human progress by the Marquis de Condorcet, Anne Robert Jacques Turgot, and other philosophers of the Enlightenment. According to Pestalozzi, the development of the human race is reflected in the life of every person. Each of us has in himself the primitive, the social, and the ethical human. Injustice, therefore, will remain, although we may profit from the experiences of earlier generations. But the state of moral freedom will be achieved by only a few chosen individuals, and they (in this sentence he refers to his own life) will hardly find a niche in the house of humankind.

See also Philosophy of Education, History of.

Bibliography

works by pestalozzi

German Editions

Sämtliche Werke, edited by A. Buchenau et al. Berlin: W. de Gruyter, 1927. Critical edition, not yet completed.

Gesammelte Werke in zehn Bänden, edited by Emilie Bosshart et al. Zürich, 19441947.

Werke, edited by Paul Baumgartner. Zürich: Rotapfel, 19441949.

Translations

Leonard and Gertrude. Translated by Eva Channing. Boston, 1885.

How Gertrude Teaches Her Children, edited by Ebenezer Cooke, and translated by L. E. Holland and Francis Turner. London, 1894.

Pestalozzi's Main Writings, edited by J. A. Green. New York, 1912.

works on pestalozzi and selections

Anderson, L. F., ed. Pestalozzi. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1931.

Gutek, Gerald Lee. Pestalozzi and Education. New York: Random House, 1968.

Silber, Käte. Pestalozzi: The Man and His Work. 3rd ed. New York: Schocken Books, 1973.

Ulich, Robert. History of Educational Thought, 258270. New York: American Book, 1950.

Ulich, Robert. Three Thousand Years of Educational Wisdom, 480507. Cambridge, MA, 1959.

Robert Ulich (1967)

Bibliography updated by Michael J. Farmer (2005)

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Pestalozzi, Johann Heinrich (1746–1827)

Pestalozzi, Johann Heinrich (1746–1827)

Pestalozzi, Johann Heinrich (1746–1827), Swiss educator. Johann Pestalozzi envisioned a science of education based on the psychology of child development. He laid the foundation of the modern primary school.

Johann Pestalozzi was born in Zurich on Jan. 12, 1746. His father died shortly afterward, and Pestalozzi was raised in poverty. This early experience with the life of degradation of the poor developed in him an acute sense of justice and a determination to help the underprivileged. He chose to enter the ministry, but his studies in theology at the University of Zurich were without distinction. He tried law and politics, but his humanitarianism was mistaken for radicalism and he became very unpopular even with those he sought most to help. In 1769 he settled on his farm, "Neuhof," at Birr, Switzerland, where he planned to fight poverty by developing improved methods of agriculture.

At Neuhof, Pestalozzi realized that schoolteaching was his true vocation and that as a schoolmaster he could fulfill his desire to improve society by helping the individual to help himself. In 1775 he turned his farm into an orphanage and began to test his ideas on child rearing. In 1780 he wrote The Hours of a Hermit, a series of generally sad maxims reflecting his view of man's somber plight in the world and the failure of his own attempts at reform at Neuhof. He first experienced success with Leonard and Gertrude (1783), which was widely acclaimed and read as a novel and not, as it was intended to be, as an exposition of his pedagogical ideas.

His newfound fame brought Pestalozzi to Stanz, where he took over an orphanage in 1798, and then to Burgdorf, where he ran a boarding school for boys from 1800 to 1804. In 1801 he published How Gertrude Teaches Her Children, a sequel to his earlier novel and an expansion of his educational thought. But it was at Yverdun, where he was the director for the next 20 years of a boarding school for boys of many nationalities, that Pestalozzian principles of education were applied and observed by world leaders.

According to Pestalozzi, "the full and fruitful development" of the child according to his own nature is the goal of education. The school and teachers provide only the environment and guidance, respectively, most appropriate to free expression that allows the natural powers of the child to develop. Instruction should be adapted to each individual according to his particular changing, unfolding nature. Rather than from books, the child should learn by observing objects of the real world. Sense perceptions are of supreme importance in the development of the child's mind. Pestalozzi described such a detailed methodology both for child development and for the study of the child that a definite system of teacher training evolved also.

Honors flowed in; Yverdun became a showplace. These were two causes of the ultimate collapse of the school. Pestalozzi's fame brought out some of his more disagreeable characteristics, and the original atmosphere of fellowship disappeared in the influx of visitors to the school. The school closed amid disputes and lawsuits; Pestalozzi died an embittered man on Feb. 17, 1827, in Brugg. But his ideas were used in establishing national school systems during the 19th century, and his influence among educators continues to be great to this day.

EWB

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