Rousseau and American Educational Scholarship
An Incomplete Working Draft
by Robbie McClintock
Unpublished: Written Fall 1980. The third section was published in Spanish, "El nacimiento de la historia de la educación: Los antecedents alemanes de la pedagogía historica." Revista de Educación. Fall 1985.
Length: 31,300 words
I—A Vaccine for the Virus
This unpublished essay was drafted in 1980/81. "Section III—Historical Pedagogy, The German Background" was published in a Spanish translation as "El nacimiento de la historia de la educación: Los antecedents alemanes de la pedagogía historica." Revista de Educación. Fall 1985.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Emile, or Education. Allan Bloom, trans. New York: Basic Books, 1979.
—1:94 To begin, however, let us note a salient fact—in 1979, Allan Bloom, a political theorist, published the first complete, high-quality translation of Rousseau's Émile. That a political theorist did the translation was not an accident, for in political thought Rousseau is a significant presence, a problem, a stimulus, a fit subject for good minds. In educational thought, the situation is entirely different. In schools of education, Rousseau appears neatly niched; to his name are associated an epitome of dead ideas that some occasionally draw on to embellish this or that current cause. That the new translation of Émile, so long so sorely needed, turned out to be the work of a political theorist, not an educational theorist, betokens how scholars in schools of education have failed to care for the humanistic heritage of their field. To improve the quality of education, to make thoughtfulness and sensitivity the norm among teachers and professionals, this situation needs to change, and such change will be no easy task.
I have in mind here the following: Roger D. Masters, The Political Philosophy of Rousseau (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1968); Lester G. Crocker, Rousseau's Social Contract: An Interpretative Essay (Cleveland: The Press of Case Western Reserve University, 1968); Judith N. Shklar, Men and Citizens: A Study of Rousseau's Social Theory Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1969); Anne M. Cohler, Rousseau and Nationalism (New York: Basic Books, 1970); Ronald Grimsley, "Introduction," to Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Du Contrat Social (Oxford: Clarendon, Press, 1972); David Cameron, The Social Thought of Rousseau and Burke: A Comparative Study (Toronto:, University of, Toronto Press, 1973); John C. Hall, Rousseau: An Introduction to his Political Philosophy (London: The Macmillan Press, 1973); Merle L. Perkins, Jean-Jacques Rousseau on the Individual and Society (Lexington: The University of Kentucky Press, 1974); John Charvet, The Social Problem in the Philosophy of Rousseau (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1974); Kennedy F. Roche, Rousseau: Stoic and Romantic (London: Methuen & Co., 1974); Andrew Levine, The Politics of Autonomy : A Kantian Reading of Rousseau's Social Contract (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1976); Stephen Ellenburg, Rousseau's Political Philosophy: An Interpretation from Within (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1976); Madeleine B. Ellis, Rousseau's Socratic Aemelian Myths: A Literary Collation of Emile and the Social Contract (Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 1977); Ramon M. Lemos Rousseau's Political Philosophy: An Exposition and Interpretation (Athens: The University of Georgia Press, 1977); Julius Steinberg, Locke, Rousseau, and the Idea of Consent: An Inquiry into the Liberal-Democratic Theory of Political Obligation (Westport, CN: Greenwood Press, 1978); and Richard Fralin, Rousseau and Representation: A Study of the Development of His Concept of Political Institutions (New York: Columbia University Press, 1978). In addition, the recent noteworthy translations of Rousseau have been by scholars concerned with his social and political thought. See along with Bloom's Émile, his other translation, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Politics and the Arts: Letter to M. D'Alembert on the Theatre (Allan Bloom, trans., Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1960); Jean-Jacques Rousseau, The First and Second Discourses (Roger D. Masters, ed. and Judith R. Masters, trans. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1964); Jean-Jacques Rousseau, On the Social Contract with Geneva Manuscript and Political Economy (Roger D. Masters, ed. and Judith R. Masters, trans., New York: St. Martin's Press, 1978); and Ben Barber's translation of Narcisse.
Mabel Lewis Sahakian and William S. Sahakian, Rousseau as Educator (New York: Twayne Publishers, 1974). This is an unbelievably bad book. For a sample of its acumen, try page 105: Rousseau "anticipated the Puritan ethic in his statement that, rich or poor, everyone should work, for only a cheat does not work." On being asked to review this work, I decided not to on having read it with dismay, thinking that the less said about it the better--alas an error. It has found its way, however, into the bibliography of Doctrines of the Great Educators by Robert R. Rusk and James Scotland (5th ed. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1979). There in a nut shell is the weakness of the field, incompetent secondary studies and undiscriminating texts.
See Terrence Edward Cook, "Rousseau: Educations and Politics" (Ph.D. Dissertation, Princeton University, Department of Politics, 1971). This dissertation deals with its subject well and is far more informative about Rousseau's educational thought than William Boyd's long-dated, but never replaced, study, The Educational Theory of Jean Jacques Rousseau (1911) (New York: Russell & Russell, 1963). According to Dissertation Abstracts, there have been relatively few dissertations on Rousseau classified in Education, and some of these are of the type of Plato, Rousseau, and Dewey and their Significance for Physical Education. Perhaps the strongest of those done in Education on Rousseau is by Fred D Kierstead, Jr., "Education for a Transitional Democracy: A Comparison of Jean Jacques Rousseau's Concept of the General Will to John Dewey's Concept of Collective Intelligence" (Ph.D. Dissertation, The University of Oklahoma, 1974). Although Kierstead's dissertation is ambitious in the range of work mobilized in it, his treatment of Rousseau is largely dependent on a rather limited secondary literature, and as a result, however interesting it is, it breaks no new ground.
Grace Goodyear Roosevelt. "Rousseau on War, Peace, and Education" (Ed.D. Dissertation, Columbia University, Teachers College, 1987).
See Terrence Edward Cook. "Rousseau: Education and Politics" (Ph.D. Dissertation, Princeton University, Department of Politics, 1971). This dissertation deals with its subject well and is far more informative about Rousseau's educational thought than William Boyd's long-dated, but never replaced, study, The Educational Theory of Jean Jacques Rousseau (1911) (New York: Russell & Russell, 1963). According to Dissertation Abstracts, there have been relatively few dissertations on Rousseau classified in Education, and some of these are of the type of Plato, Rousseau, and Dewey and their Significance for Physical Education. Perhaps the strongest of those done in Education on Rousseau is by Fred D Kierstead, Jr., "Education for a Transitional Democracy: A Comparison of Jean Jacques Rousseau's Concept of the General Will to John Dewey's Concept of Collective Intelligence" (Ph.D. Dissertation, The University of Oklahoma, 1974). Although Kierstead's dissertation is ambitious in the range of work mobilized in it, his treatment of Rousseau is largely dependent on a rather limited secondary literature, and as a result, however interesting it is, it breaks no new ground.
—2:94 In recent years, scholars writing in English have contributed much significant commentary on Rousseau's thought, his educational ideas included. Virtually none of it has been by scholars based in schools of education. Almost all of it has been by scholars concerned essentially with Rousseau's political and social thought, most of whom have academic bases in departments of politics or government. For instance, during the decade prior to publication of Bloom's Émile, scholars published at least sixteen books in which they sought to illuminate Rousseau's political and social thought, all serious, thorough studies in which the authors marshal a full command of Rousseau's corpus. In contrast, during this period, scholars in the field of education published only one new book, Rousseau as Educator by Mabel Lewis Sahakian and William S. Sahakian, an execrable essay fraught with errors, dated scholarship, and trivial commentary. The comparison is no better if one looks at dissertations the same period. Terrence Edward Cook's "Rousseau: Education and Politics," a Ph.D. dissertation at Princeton, is a lucid study, far more informative about Rousseau's educational thought than William Boyd's long-dated, but never supplanted, study from 1911, The Educational Theory of Jean Jacques Rousseau. The few dissertation dealing with Rousseau and categorized in the field of education show a thin command of the serious scholarship on Rousseau and often scant command, for that matter, of the French language. The author of the best dissertation done at a graduate school of education chose to categorize her work under political science, and the only dissertation in recent years devoted to a thorough assessment of Rousseau's educational theory was done at Princeton University for a Ph.D. in the Department of Politics. Although work on the history of American education has improved in the past two decades, scholarship on the Western heritage of educational thought remains decrepit. Why is Rousseau a hollow shell in the study of education?
V. D. Musset-Pathay had edited what was then the best edition of Rousseau's writings. His name did not appear on the title page of the first edition, Histoire de la Vie et des Ouvrages de J.-J. Rousseau. (2 vols. Paris: J.-M. Eberhart, 1821).
Marc Girardin (Saint-Marc Girardin), 1801-1873, was an influential critic and Professor at the Sorbonne. His essays on Rousseau appeared posthumously in book form, Saint-Marc Girardin, Jean-Jacques Rousseau: Sa Vie et sea Ouvrages (2 vols. Paris: Charpentier, 1875).
Charles-Augustin Sainte-Beuve, 1804-1869, was a most influential critic. An early appreciation of Romanticism, he cooled towards it in the 1830's. His Causeries du lundi appeared weekly between 1849 and 1869. During the 1850's, the time in which he had most to say about Rousseau, Sainte-Beuve supported Louis Napoleon. The quotation comes from "Jean-Jacques Rousseau's Confessions," Causeries du lundi, 4 November 1850, as translated by Francis Steegmuller and Norbert Gutterman in Sainte-Beuve: Selected Essays (Garden City: Doubleday & Co., 1963, p. 207).
See Madame D'Epinay, Mémoires et Correspondance (3 vols. Paris: Brunet Librarie, 1818), particularly volume 2. For the textual history of this work, see the introduction by Georges Roth to Histoire de Madame de Montbrillant: Les pseudo-Mémoires de Madame D'Epinay (3 vols. Paris: Gallimard, 1951) Vol. 1, pp. vii-xlii.
In 1891, Henri Beaudouin published the last of this type of work in French, striving with vast detail to give a full and dispassionate presentation in La vie et les oeuvres de Jean-Jacques Rousseau (2 vols. Paris: Lamulle & Poisson). Beaudouin's research was not really sufficiently thorough nor was his presentation sufficiently artful for the work to have much impact, one way or another, on the estimate of Rousseau's character and thought. In the early twentieth century, more narrowly defined studies, particularly some of the great thematic studies of Rousseau's work, would be much more significant.
—3:94 To begin answering that question, we need to go back to the nineteenth century. Then, ad hominem reactions to the man heavily influenced most interpretations of Rousseau's work. Throughout the nineteenth century, the major French studies appeared all with variations of a single title, Rousseau's life and work, and in all of them, the assessment of Rousseau's work depended essentially on whether the author found probity in Rousseau's life. The first of them, Histoire de la vie et des ouvrages de J.-J. Rousseau, published in 1821, V. D. Musset-Pathay articulated a very positive judgment of the life. For a time it set the tone for criticism of Rousseau, but even in his life, Rousseau had made many enemies, and as sensibility changed, their animosity became renewed. Consequently, the second major assessment of Rousseau's life and work, published between 1852 and 1856 in the Revue des Deux Mondes, Jean-Jacques Rousseau: Sa vie et sea ouvrages by M. Saint-Marc Girardin, reflected a much more negative estimate of the life. As these essays showed, a general cooling towards Rousseau had set in among French critics, a cooling which had taken hold as Romanticism went out of fashion. Sainte-Beuve, a most influential tastemaker, recognizing Rousseau's literary genius, had nevertheless expressed strong doubts about Rousseau's character. "It is unfortunate, of course, that such achievements are tinged with overweening pride and misanthropy, and that a note of cynicism spoils many a passage of charm and beauty." Those disposed to disparage Rousseau took the purported Mémoires of Madame D'Epinay to be compelling, first-hand evidence of his failings. To assess his ideas properly, the predominant critics believed these memoirs needed be recognized and weighed as essential sources on Rousseau's character.
James Boswell, The Life of Samuel Johnson (3 vols., London: Macmillan and Co., 1922), vol. 1, pp. 375-6. A good description of Rousseau's stay in England will be found in Jean Guéhenno, Jean-Jacques Rousseau (John and Doreen Weightman, trans., 2 vols., New York: Columbia University Press, 1966), vol. 2, pp. 160-203. The stay and the resultant quarrel with Hume has been covered extensively in the Annales de la Société Jean-Jacques Rousseau. See Vol. 6, 1910, pp. 1-313 (Louis-J. Courtois; Vol. 17, 1926, pp. 13-51 (Albert Schinz and Frederick A. Pottle); Vol. 18, 1927-28, pp. 1-331 (Margaret Hill Peoples); and Vol. 32, 1950-1952, pp. 143-154 (L.-A. Boiteux).
Edmund Burke, "Letter to a Member of the National Assembly," in Burke, Reflections on the Revolution in France (A.J. Grieve, ed., London: Everyman's Library, 1910, 1960), p. 263; cf. pp. 262-268. For the enduring influence of Burke's outburst on English views of Rousseau, see Sir Leslie Stephen, History of English Thought in the Eighteenth Century (2 vols., New York: Harbinger Books, 1962), vol. 2, pp. 156-165, 183-191, where he very much takes Burkes part against Rousseau. Edmund Gosse contributed as useful survey, "Rousseau en Angleterre au XIXe siècle," to Annales Rousseau, Vol. 8, 1912, pp. 131-160. He is strongest on the early part of the nineteenth century and writes, p. 156, "Ainsi Rousseau, qui, en 1800, était considers en Angleterre meme par ses ennemis, comme le plus enchanteur des écrivains, était, en 1835, tombé dans 1'opinion publique au point d'être regardé comme méprisable, indigne d'être cité par les gens qui se respectaient et d'être lu autrement qu'en cachette."
John Morley, Rousseau (2nd. ed., 1878, London: Macmillan and Co., 1910).
—4:94 If the French were having trouble appreciating Rousseau in the mid to late nineteenth century, it would be improbable that the English would esteem him more highly. Rousseau himself had left behind, on his departure from England in 1767, a damaging impression on British opinion: to wit, Samuel Johnson—"If you mean to be serious, I think him one of the worst of men; a rascal, who ought to be haunted out of society.... Rousseau, Sir, is a very bad man. I would sooner sign a sentence for his transportation, than that of any felon who has gone from the Old Bailey these many years. Yes, I should like to have him work in the plantations." Further, Edmund Burke had bitterly castigated the principles of Rousseau's thought and the lack of principles in his life, making both emblematic of the worst aspects of the French Revolution. Burke's criticism was passionately ad hominem: "As I had good opportunity of knowing his proceedings almost from day to day, he left no doubt on my mind that he entertained no principle either to influence his heart, or to guide his understanding, but vanity.... It was from the same, deranged, eccentric vanity, that this, the insane Socrates of the National Assembly, was impelled to publish a mad confession of his mad faults, and to attempt a new sort of glory from bringing hardily to light the obscure and vulgar vices, which we know may sometimes be blended with eminent talents." Victorian thinkers could easily concur in such reactions. Hence, in 1873, the most artful, telling of the ad hominem summations of Rousseau's life and work appeared, not in French, but in English Rousseau by John Morley. This book exerted tremendous influence.
Ibid., vol. 2, p. 192; cf., p. 151. On Morley, the fullest recent study is by D.A. Hamer, John Morley: Liberal Intellectual in Politics (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1968). Edward Alexander's book, John Morley (New York: Twayne Publishers, 1972), gives a concise exposition of Morley's major works.
Morley tried to show positive aspects in Rousseau's relation to Therese Levaseur (Vol. 1, pp. 95-131), and he dealt sympathetically with Rousseau during the years of persecution between 1762 and 1766. In these situations his man was down, and propping him up would be safe. Morley did not, however, make a serious effort to comprehend Rousseau's development during his early years, and, in retrospect, Morley was insufficiently critical of apparent evidence concerning Rousseau's relations to Diderot and Grimm. Overall, however, Morley succeeded in creating an appearance of sound evenhandedness in writing on Rousseau. To some in Morley's immediate audience, Rousseau was so beyond the pale that the act of writing a book on his life, an ambitious book crafted to be read, was itself a dangerous form of rehabilitation. Thus a reviewer in The Saturday Review: "for our own part, we cannot help thinking that the personal history of this unhappy creature belongs to the order of things which it is as well to leave underground, and to stir as little as possible" (Jan. 31, 1874, p. 152). The ground having been stirred, the reviewer proceeded to try to convince readers to put Rousseau back underground, concluding, "done into plain prose, Rousseau becomes not only an exceedingly contemptible, but really a very commonplace, humbug.... He was a lazy, selfish, dirty, lying, canting, ill-conditioned vagabond, who shirked honest work, accepted alms and snarled at the hands that fed him, and whined and raved against the world because he was himself such a nasty and ignoble creature" (p. 154). Against such a background, Morley's book could easily appear as a standard work of dispassionate scholarship. As late as 1912, Edmund Gosse could still praise it in the highest terms in "Rousseau en Angleterre au XIXe siècle," op. cit. (n. 11), p. 159. Gosse did note, however, that "ce qui est assez curieux, c'est que le livre de Morley, bien qu'il ait eu un trés grand succés de vente, n'ait guére réussi—ranimer en Grande-Bretagne l'intéret pour l'étude de Rousseau." A close reading of Morley's Rousseau, however, shows that such a revitalization was not Morley's intent.
—5:94 John Morley believed that ideas have a great effect in history and that criticism is a form of public action through which a man of strong will and sound intellect can exercise leadership on the course of events. Further, he found the proper view of government "in the magnificent and immortal pieces of Burke," and shared with that commentator the conviction that Rousseau's work had had a pernicious influence on the French Revolution. Moreover, Rousseau was vulnerable: his works were no longer widely read and to Victorian sensibilities, much that Rousseau bared in his Confessions was highly prejudicial. Morley struck hard at Rousseau. He contrived Rousseau with mastery; given his purpose, his control was perfect. He wrote like a very angry boxer bent on meting mortal damage, delivering a series of punishing blows and then propping up his opponent for a time so that the hated object can recover sufficiently to absorb more punishment, again and again, until no more can be absorbed. Morley's criticism thus flowed in waves of negation spaced by interludes in which he recognized certain minor positive aspects of the man and his work.
There are some interesting reflections on what it would mean to hold someone like Rousseau to be insane in a strict meaning of the word in a three-part review of Morley's Rousseau in The Literary World, April 11, 25, and May 2, 1873, esp. p. 265 (April 25).
Morley, Rousseau, op. cit. (n. 12), pp. 192-5.
—6:94 Over all, the ad hominem tradition in the Rousseau scholarship of the late nineteenth century cast his life and work in a very negative light. Rousseau possessed genius, an idiosyncratic genius more significant for its effects, good and bad, than for its substance. Rousseau's intellect was weak, his emotions and intuitions strong, his was character flawed, his psyche unstable, if not insane. His works, in the view of commentators like Morley, do not stand up to criticism; they are significant, not in their own right, but through the historical accident that they strengthened certain great developments that were already underway and later to bear fruit. Typical is Morley's final appreciation of the Social Contract, voiced with "no attempt to palliate either the shallowness or the practical mischievousness of" it. Yet, Morley granted, the book did help to encourage good people to strive after freedom, to rekindle "the fire of patriotism," to seek the common social good, and to oppose the exploitation of the weak. Credit not Rousseau, however: "in these ways the author of the Social Contract did involuntarily and unconsciously contribute to the growth of those new and progressive ideas, 4g which for his own part he lacked all faith."
Peter Gay, in his useful bibliographical essay, "Reading About Rousseau," The Party of Humanity (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1964), esp. pp. 217-8 on Morley, notes the ill effects on the understanding of Rousseau's thought of the nineteenth-century proclivity to partisanship, pro and con. See also the remark by Gosse quoted above in n. 14. After the first wave of translations in the 1760' and 1770's, there were virtually no translations of Rousseau into English until the end of the nineteenth-century, judging from Jean Sénelier's Biblioqraphie générale des oeuvres de J.-J. Rousseau (Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1950), a not entirely reliable source. The intention embodied in the late nineteenth-century translations of Emile will be discussed below.
Morley, Rousseau, op. cit. (n. 12), Vol. 1, p. 88-9: "Rousseau was a man of singular genius, and he set an extraordinary mark on Europe, but this mark would have been very different if he had ever mastered any one system of thought, of if he had ever fully grasped what systematic thinking means.... In short, Rousseau has distinctions in abundance, but the distinction of knowing how to think, in the exact sense of that term, was hardly among them...." Ibid., p. 186: "Rousseau was always apt to think in a slipshod manner. He sensibly though illogically accepted wholesome practical maxims, as if they flowed from theoretical premises that were in truth utterly incompatible with them." Vol. 2, p. 137: "Let us here remark that it was exactly what strikes us as the desperate absurdity of the assumptions of the Social Contract, which constituted the power of that work, when it accidentally fell into the hands of men who surveyed a national system wrecked in all its parts. The Social Contract is worked out precisely in that fashion which, if it touches men at all, makes them into fanatics."
—7:94 Throughout Morley's Rousseau, and other works like it, the intended effect was to discourage the close study of Rousseau's work. Morley's own criticisms of Rousseau's books were extremely casual and sententious. In writing about Rousseau's more substantial works, Morley contented himself with brief, slipshod exposition, followed with rotund disquisitions on the error of Rousseau's points, however misstated, all this, a prelude to his own explanation of what Rousseau should have thought, had Rousseau been capable of right thinking and right living. Rousseau could infect others, owing to the gift of a brilliant style, and therefore the vaccine against potential contagion needed to be developed. But Rousseau could not reason systematically and there was no cumulative body of thought, carefully wrought, for which he stood, for he lacked the disposition and training, the character or intellect, to achieve such a work, and therefore Rousseau need not be studied. Rousseau reduced to the involuntary and unconscious voice of certain progressive movements is precisely where the Rousseau of the schools of education has since remained.
The American Journal of Education, Vol. 5, 1858, pp. 459. The introductory material (pp. 459-462) is unsigned and not distinguished in format from the translation from Raumer on Rousseau, pp. 463-485. It is clearly not from Raumer's much more extensive and accurate introductory material; see, Karl von Raumer, Geschichte der Pädagogik vom wiederaufblühen klassischer Studien bis auf unsere Zeit (5th ed., 3 vols., Gétersloh: Verlag von G. Bertelsmann, 1879), vol. 2, pp. 153-180. Richard Emmons Thursfield, in his excellent study, Henry Barnard's American Journal of Education (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins Press, 1945), p. 145, n. 22, attributes it to Barnard. The exposition in these pages is extremely compressed and the tone is prophylactic, and there are quite a number of inaccuracies; for instance, Rousseau lived at the Hermitage "about ten years" and he composed the Discourse on Inequality while visiting Geneva; in Venice he lived "a shamelessly vicious life" and Madame de Warens found Rousseau employment as a tutor because she was "disgusted by his unfaithfulness" to her, and so on. If these pages were by Barnard, an eyebrow might be raised in doubt over his ability as an historian.
The American Journal of Education, Vol. 5, 1858, pp. 485.
—8:94 During the latter half of the nineteenth century, Rousseau's educational thought received considerable attention. In 1858, Henry Barnard published a partial translation of the chapter on Rousseau from Karl von Raumer's Geschichte der Pädagogik. Barnard himself prefaced it with a brief survey of Rousseau's life, as survey full of misinformation and very hostile in tone "With these wretched early habits, which had strengthened his natural evil tendencies, ... he entered upon the vagrant and unhappy series of wanderings and adventures which might have been expected." Raumer, too, was no enthusiastic Rousseauist. Émile was a problem for nineteenth-century educators. One could not ignore it; but even more, one could not follow it. Raumer closed his exposition of Émile with a caution that would apply, not only to his, but also to most ensuing presentations. "The sketch which I have given of Émile will be made clearer by regarding it as a book at once instructive and corrupting.... Rousseau is corrupting, because he mingles truth and falsehood, good and evil, in the most cunning manner; so that good and bad are to be distinguished only by an exceedingly watchful and critical reader. I close with repeating my wish, that the proceeding sketch, and the subjoined remarks, may assist the reader in such a critical separation." All the early treatments of Rousseau in the history of educational thought propounded this caution, this attempt to separate the apparent good from the putative bad, this urge to domesticate Émile.
Jean Jacques Rousseau, Emile: or, Concerning Education (Jules Steeg, ed., Eleanor Worthington, trans., New York: D.C. Heath & Co., 1883), pp. 6-7. The selections from Émile are presented under numerous subheadings, which broke up Rousseau's unfolding of his principles as he followed them through a process of hypothetical practice, and the moral theory on which his educational views were based is greatly de-emphasized.
See R.L. Archer, ed., Rousseau on Education (New York: Longmans, Green & Co., 1912), and William Boyd, ed., Emile for Today (London: William Heinemann, 1956; reprinted as William Boyd, trans. and ed., The EMILE of Jean Jacques Rousseau: Selections (New York: Teachers College Press, 1962). Both Archer's and Boyd's versions are a considerable improvement of Steeg's. They nevertheless still accentuate particulars of practice over the informing principles. There is a basic dilemma for anyone trying to abridge Emile: to preserve Rousseau's discussion of his ideas while cutting the book radically in length, one would need to turn it into an abstract set of reflections leaving out almost all Rousseau's exemplifying strategies of working with Emile. Émile may seem digressive, but it is a work from which it is hard to drop anything without serious loss to the whole.
—9:94 Translations of Émile for use by educators embodied this caution. Émile in its entirety is a richly textured, carefully woven, profound and pregnant work, one that when read with care raises numerous questions of great significance and admitting of no easy answers. In 1883, Jules Steeg published a French abridgment of the first three books of Émile by in Heath's Pedagogical Library. It typifies a line of radical abridgments that gut Émile and turn it into a mere illustration of a new, sounder view of childhood and of a preliminary pedagogy founded on the recognition and study of the child as child. "To unfold the powers of children in due proportion to the age; not to transcend their ability; to arouse in them the sense of the observer and of the pioneer; to make them discoverers rather than imitators; to teach them accountability to themselves and not slavish dependence upon the words of others; to address ourselves more to the will than to custom, to the reason rather than to the memory; to substitute for verbal recitations lessons about things; to lead to theory by way of art; to assign to physical movements and exercises a prominent place, from the earliest hours of life up to perfect maturity; such are the principles scattered broadcast in this book, and forming a happy counterpoise to the oddities of which Rousseau was perhaps most proud." The radical abridgments, not Steeg's alone, but also Archer's and Boyd's, both still in print, do little but illustrate such points. And although the points are important, they are far from the sum of Émile.
William H. Payne, trans., Rousseau's EMILE or Treatise on Education (1892) (New York: D. Appleton and Co., 1911). See p. xxxviii for the degree of abridgment. Ellwood P. Cubberley, Syllabus of Lectures on the History of Education (2nd ed., New York: The Macmillan Co., 1904), p. 230 called this the standard translation, although he preferred Steeg's for teaching purposes.
For Harris, see Ibid, pp. vii-xvi, esp. p. xv. For Payne, p. xxxvii.
Payne did not clearly mark in the text where he made omissions; these can be traced fairly easily, however, by making a paragraph by paragraph comparison with Bloom's text, op. cit., n. 1. Payne's first major omission comes on page 12 of his Émile, where ten paragraphs in which Rousseau explained the moral psychology basic to his view that mothers, not nurses, should nurse their children. On page 28, Payne left out several paragraphs concerning infant language, including an important line that shows that Rousseau was in fact thinking, very early in the educational process, about education for sound social involvement "from these tears that we might think so little worthy of attention is born man's first relation to all that surrounds him; here is formed the first link in that long chain of which the social order is formed." (Bloom, trans., Émile, op. cit., n. 1, p. 65. On page 33, Payne omitted a paragraph in which amour-propre was first introduced, and what follows, which begins "this principle once known...," is unintelligible since the principle referred to is in the omitted paragraph. On page 46, nineteen paragraphs were omitted in which Rousseau started to explain his conception of happiness, one of the most important concepts in the work. On page 58, Payne omitted another paragraph dealing with amour-propre and amour de soi. On page 63, fourteen paragraphs were dropped in which Rousseau discussed the formation of the passions and introduced Emile to the idea of property. On pages 65-7, there are numerous omissions, together some fifteen paragraphs, all of which greatly weakens Rousseau's discussion of moral education. The general effect of the omissions in pages 46-67 were to strip from Émile Rousseau's moral philosophy, to trivialize the principle of negative education into a mere precept against prematurely stocking the child's mind with knowledge that he could neither use nor comprehend. From Payne's Emile, one cannot reflect on the relation of education to happiness or to virtue, and one cannot understand what Rousseau had to say about the dangers of a corrupting education. On page 88, two paragraphs were excised again dealing with the corruption of character. There then follows a long stretch in which most of the omissions compress examples relating to the development of Emile's intellectual capacities. On page 150, the conclusion to the long example of the magician and the duck was dropped, a typical omission—the excised reprimand of the tutor by the magician was very important to Rousseau's development of his ideas about how Emile should be prepared to enter the moral world and such omissions made it easier to uphold the cliché the Rousseau was an anti-social individualist.
[Book Four was thoroughly gutted by Payne. Not only was the "Profession of Faith" avoided in its entirety, so too was the build up to it, and the dialogue and exposition following it, see pages 228-236. In addition, the extended discussion of the boy's entry into the moral world through the early part of the Book was severely compressed, with much very important material left out. For instance, on page 196, close to six paragraphs dealing with the relation of sexuality to amour -propre were dropped. On page 210, eight paragraphs on moral education were cut, and on pages 204-5, 28 important paragraphs were compressed into three, including Rousseau's maxims about pity. On page 211, an important paragraph was found unworthy of inclusion—namely a discussion of the difficulty of developing a sound concept of justice in civil society, a discussion that set the level of aspiration that ought to be pursued in the second stage of education, that which comes on entry into the moral world. Toward the end of the Book, pp. 237-240, Rousseau's examination of how pedagogical authority, hitherto hidden as an apparent natural authority, must now emerge as a moral authority, was highly compressed, and the concluding discussion of moral choice in relation to a corrupting world of society and taste is subjected to severe cuts. Of the material in Book V, that dealing with Sophie's education is covered reasonably fully, but what then follows on their courtship and the concomitant problems of ethical action was almost entirely left out, and the translation ended with Emile about to set out on his travels, thus leaving out the place of political thought in education.
[How such omissions can cause serious misinterpretation was evident from William Torrey Harris's "Preface." There (p. xiii) Harris referred to a passage (page 5-6 of Payne's text) in which there was a major omission concerning what Rousseau thought real citizenship consisted in. As it stood in Payne's text, the passage could be made to illustrate a putative failure in Rousseau to recognize the human value of social institutions, a use to which Harris eagerly put the passage. Had the translation been complete, Harris would not have been able to so use the quotation without subjecting himself to criticism for completely distorting Rousseau's meaning by taking his words out of context. A translation such as Payne's greatly facilitated polemic against Rousseau by his critics by conveniently dropping the context of many important things.
—10:94 In 1892, the International Education Series published a somewhat more ambitious abridgment and translation by William H. Payne. It merits some attention for it stood for two decades as the "standard" translation. Actually, it compressed Émile by about one half. In his "Preface," William Torrey Harris was stringently hostile to Rousseau. After dwelling on the fundamental errors in Rousseau's thought, he concluded that despite Rousseau, Émile gave a "great positive impulse" to education by making educators "recognize the sacredness of childhood," a contribution well brought out in the translation. Payne, in his "Introduction," summed up one of the main values that early historians of education saw in the whole field, not only in a domesticated Rousseau, namely, that it could inspire teachers. "If read with kindly feeling and without prejudice, it can not fail to inspire teachers with the noblest ambition, and to quicken their methods with living power.... There is no other book which I can so heartily commend to teachers as a perennial source of inspiration and kindly aid." But only after suitably sterilizing the text: Payne attained some of his abridgment by compressing Rousseau's examples, leaving out here, there, and everywhere, sentences and paragraphs, but the bulk of his abridgment came by certain systematic omissions. Payne's first substantial excision dropped Rousseau's first discussion of the moral psychology underlying the whole work, and Payne kept it up, dropping or compressing into insignificance the major passages in which Rousseau reflected on the relation of education to morality, civic virtue, the corruption of character, and politics. Readers could not plumb the depths of a Rousseau, so expurgated.
—11:94 As the early translations avoided the complexities of Émile, so, too, did the critical studies. Until about 1900, studies of Rousseau's educational thought were very thin. In addition to the translation of Raumer's exposition of Émile, Robert H. Quick devoted a chapter to Rousseau in his Essays on Educational Reformers, but the treatment was slight, a compressed exposition of Émile, occasionally 26 supplemented with material from the New Heloise. At the turn of the century, however, interest in Rousseau's educational thought increased among English and American scholars concerned with the newly emerging educational profession. In 1898, that very curious character, Thomas Davidson, published an acerb study, Rousseau and Education according to Nature, to which we will turn shortly. A few years later, a translation of Gabriel Compayré's exposition of Émile appeared as Jean Jacques Rousseau and Education from Nature. Compayré's essay we can pass over in near silence. It dependably remains in print, evidence not of its strengths, but testimony to the over-all weakness of the educational literature on Rousseau. It was a shallow exposition of a deep and difficult book, harmful only in that it created illusions of facile comprehension, for if these seem to suffice, they will discourage the drive to serious study of Rousseau's work. The same comment applies to the discussions of Rousseau in the growing number of textbooks available at the turn of the century.
Robert Herbert Quick, Essays on Educational Reformers (1868) (2nd ed., New York: D. Appleton and Co., 1890, 1917), pp. 239-272. Quick, pp. 272-4, in keeping with the prevailing opinion, was careful to warn that Rousseau was confused about morality.
Thomas Davidson, Rousseau and Education According to Nature ("The Great Educators," New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1898, 1902).
Gabriel Compayré, Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Education From Nature ("Pioneers in Education," R.P. Jago, trans., New York: Thomas Y. Crowell & Co., 1907). Despite the similarity of titles chosen for their books by Davidson and Compayré, the two works were almost diametrically opposed in underlying conception; Davidson's was a sustained effort to show what was wrong with Rousseau, Compayré's study was written "less to criticize Rousseau than to bring to light the treasures of abiding truth which he has, as it were, buried in a book described truly by him as 'the most useful and considerable' of his writings." (p. 4).
The best of the text-books from this era, and the best of the text-book discussions of Rousseau, was Paul Monroe, A Text-Book in the History of Education (New York: The Macmillan Co., 1905, 1920), pp. 547-577. Monroe recommended Payne's translation of Emile, and relied heavily on Morley and Davidson, see, bibliography, p. 584. The gist of Monroe's presentation was that Rousseau was none too consistent and that his doctrine of negative education would harmfully weaken moral education, but that Rousseau was of great importance because he made people attend to education as a process of development, to the possibility of simplifying education, and to put a positive valuation on the child.
Davidson, Rousseau and Education According to Nature, op. cit., n. 27, p. 73.
Ibid., p. 3.
—12:94 Davidson's diatribe, in contrast, is fascinating for it represented in fullest form what one might call the stiff-necked rejection of any worth in Rousseau. Davidson was Morley, taken to an extreme and applied to the study of Rousseau's educational thought. Both commentators shared a profound antipathy for Rousseau's character, both insisting that it was fundamentally flawed, weak, and unstable. "His character, with its obtrusive independence, due to absence of all acknowledgment of moral ties, is spongy, unmanly, and repellent. We might pity him, if he did not pity himself so much; but we can in no case admire or love him." Both held Rousseau, in himself so weak, to be significant only through historical accident. "If true human greatness consists in deep insight, strong and well-distributed affection, and free, beneficent will, Rousseau was not in any sense a great man. His insight, like his knowledge, was limited and superficial; his affections were capricious and undisciplined; and his will was ungenerous and selfish. His importance in literature and history is due to the fact that he summed up in his character, expressed in his writings, and exemplified in his experience, a group of tendencies and aspirations which had for some time been half blindly stirring in the bosom of society, and which in him attained to complete consciousness and manifestation for the first time." Both saw his work as a dangerous infection that needed counter-action.
Ibid., pp. 119-120.
It would hardly be possible to form a more pitiful conception of human life and education than Rousseau's. There is not a moral or noble trait in it. The truth is, Rousseau was so purely a creature of sense and undisciplined impulse that he never, for one moment, rose to a consciousness of any moral life at all. He could not, therefore, take delight in it. Noblesse oblige, the ruling maxim of the unselfish, moral, and social man, was in him replaced by the maxim of the selfish, undutiful churl and reprobate, Bonheur invite. But, in spite of all this, nay, by reason of it, Rousseau and his theories are most interesting and fruitful objects of study. In days when uncontrolled individualism still has its advocates, it is well fully to realize what it means. And this is what Rousseau has told us, in a siren song of mock-prophetic unction, which readily captivates and lures to destruction vast crowds of thoughtless sentimentalists. He has told us, further, in the same tone, how children may be prepared for a life of individualism; and his sense-drunk ravings, in denunciation of all moral discipline, have been, and still are, received as divine oracles by millions of parents and teachers, who have the training of children in their hands.... Rousseau's education according to Nature, starting from an utterly calumnious notion of child-nature, and of human nature in general, and ignoring all that is characteristic and noble in both, proves to be an education for pure, reckless individualism, destructive of all social institutions, and all true civilization.
For the first Discours, see Morley,, Rousseau, op. cit., n. , vol. 1, pp. 132-154. Morley, of course, was not enthusiastic about the piece, but he did give a reasonably full exposition of it, and noting its obvious faults, stressed certain positive things in it. Morley's discussion of La nouvelle Heloise is in vol. 2, pp. 20-55. It is interesting that Morley separated his discussion of this work from the chapters devoted to the Social Contract and Emile, which are quite different in tone, even though the three works were published within a year or so of each other, and work on them overlapped. Between La nouvelle Heloise and the other two great works Morley gave an account of the persecution Rousseau underwent in the years following publication of Emile. In this section, Morley spoke highly of the ''Lettre—Monseigneur de Beaumont" (pp. 83ff) and the Letters from the Mountain (pp. 103ff): the former was "a masterpiece of dignity and uprightness" and the latter "a long but extremely vigorous and adroit rejoinder." We see Morley here taking considerable liberty with the chronology of his subject, a liberty that made sense only rhetorically in setting Rousseau up for a climatic critique of Rousseau's major work and the denouement of Rousseau's decline into paranoia.
See Morley, Rousseau, op. cit., n. , vol. 1, pp. 154-186, esp. pp. 171-180. That Rousseau had explicitly created a thought experiment in the second Discourse, could only have been overlooked intentionally by Morley, in order to set up his strictures, pp. 171-2, against purported weaknesses in Rousseau's method. Had Morley included what Rousseau said about the Discourse being hypothetical history, Morley would have been forced to discuss Rousseau's method far more carefully, and what followed, pp. 172-180, would have been patently gratuitous.
—13:94 Vaccines are made of attenuated viruses, and that was the danger to sound scholarship in the intent to vaccinate an audience against the danger of infection by a writer such as Rousseau—it seemingly legitimates a commentator's willful attenuation of a writer's thought. Both Morley and Davidson did this; neither, when it came to explaining what Rousseau wrote, had any intent to do justice to it. Morley was subtle about it. Addressing himself to the whole life and work of Rousseau, for the sake of appearances, he could do justice to the less dangerous works. Thus he was gentle with the Discourse on the Arts and Sciences, quite careful with the New Heloise, which changes in taste had rendered thoroughly innocuous, and respectful of Rousseau's "Letter to Christophe de Beaumont" and the Letters from the Mountain. With works still likely to exert an influence, however, Morley's method of exposition was very different. With the Discourse on the Origin of Inequality, Morley simply made no mention, in explaining what Rousseau had to say about the state of nature, of Rousseau's careful caution not to take the hypothesis he was constructing as having anything to do with factual history. Having mentioned nothing about Rousseau's caution, Morley proceeded throughout his criticism of that Discourse to pillory Rousseau's method for vices it had only in Morley's tendentious exposition and to adduce historical and anthropological findings to call into question an historical validity that Rousseau never claimed for his construct of the state of nature.
Morley, Rousseau, vol. 2, pp. 119-154 for the first movement, pp. 154-183 for the second, and pp. 183-196 for the third, and p. 183 for the quotation.
—14:94 Likewise, the long chapter on the Social Contract, was a travesty of exposition. The chapter comprised three movements, the first a general one about the place of the Social Contract in political thought, suggesting diverse weaknesses in Rousseau's work without engaging Rousseau's argument seriously. In the second, Morley made his motions at dealing with the argument, presenting six of Rousseau's main concerns, each time devoting a paragraph or two to bare restatements of Rousseau's points and then launching into long critiques of them. The third movement concluded the chapter with a presentation of Morley's own, Burkean view of politics as the view that right thinking people would prefer to Rousseau's. Nowhere in the chapter did Morley explain Rousseau's purpose in the Social Contract, namely to find the conditions under which social bonds can be legitimate, and in the concluding movement, in which Morley proceeded to "confront Rousseau's ideas with some of the propositions belonging to another method of approaching the philosophy of government, that have for their keynote the conception of expediency or convenience, and are tested by their conformity to the observed and recorded experience of mankind...," he showed that he never had any intention of seriously entertaining the basic question that had given rise to the Social Contract.
Davidson, Rousseau and Education According to Nature, op. cit., n. , p. 177.
Ibid., p. 147. It is interesting that Davidson did not criticize Pestalozzi for similar illogicality and immorality, even though Pestalozzi argued it much more explicitly, contending that social mores and insensitive legislation were the real cause of a great deal of infanticide; see Thomas Davidson, A History of Education (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1900), pp. 229-232. Neither Rousseau nor Pestalozzi were seeking to substitute mere social engineering for ethical action; they simply sought to define human situations so that the ethical grounds for action could be put to the right people in the right way. They would both hold that in many situations, Davidson's type of moralizing, while ethically valuable, was directed smugly by those favored by unjust, destructive, immoral conditions against those who paid the price—physician, heal thyself! For Pestalozzi's views on this, see his Über Gesezgebung und Kindermord (1783) in Sämtliche Werke (Vol. 9, Berlin: Verlag von Walter de Gruyter & Co., 1930, pp. 1-181.
—15:94 Davidson also, in dealing with Émile, refused to take seriously the central problem the work addressed. Davidson was convinced that Rousseau's working purpose in writing Émile was to justify his own character flaws and to convert them into the operative goals of education. "We know . . . through his Confessions and otherwise, that morality meant nothing to him but a careful calculation of the possibilities of undisturbed sensual enjoyment. We may fairly conclude, therefore, that the aim of Émile's education, thus far, has been to prepare him, not for a life of earnest, determined moral struggle and self-sacrifice, but for a life of quiet, cleanly, assured sensuous delight; not for a life of active enterprise, but for a life of passive dalliance." Since Davidson was writing a commentary on Émile, step-by-step he followed the text more closely than did Morley in writing about any of Rousseau's works. Nevertheless, each time Davidson came close to Rousseau's basic interest in the way that human corruption develops through mis-education, he recoiled in a refusal to examine the issue "As if any one could be forced to do wrong against his will! This illogical and immoral doctrine has made dangerous fanatics without number, and encouraged criminals to hold society responsible for their crimes. It has, further, led to numerous attempts to moralize men by merely altering their surroundings, when the true method would have been to strengthen their wills through discipline, and to teach them that life without virtue is worthless."
Davidson, Rousseau and Education According to Nature, op. cit., n. , p. 138.
Ibid., p. 168.
—16:94 Even if Davidson were right in his sentiments, his eagerness to use Rousseau as a straw-man in proclaiming them seriously weakened the book, at least insofar as he intended the book to help people understand Rousseau's ideas. To write an effective commentary on another's thought, one cannot hold so strongly to one's own sentiments that one becomes incapable of seriously entertaining the other's argument. Repeatedly, Davidson backed away and refused to treat Rousseau's thought seriously. "It is hardly worth while to comment upon this crude, sensuous, chemical psychology. To have been condemned to it was the penalty paid by Rousseau for his superficial acquaintance with philosophy, and his contempt for it." Alternatively, "It would be vain to waste time on these crudities. They are not due to any accurate thinking, or to any real, enlightened desire for the truth, but to an effort to justify a lazy, intellectual habit, in behalf of a foregone scheme of sensuous, unsocial life." Davidson's book was not a study of Rousseau; it was simply a proclamation that Rousseau was not worth studying.
Ibid., p. 91.
—17:94 In sum, at the beginning of twentieth century, the predominant view of Rousseau held that he was morally weak, intellectually fatuous, accidentally significant. The most substantial work on him for educators propounded prophylaxis. "As the virus of Rousseau's social theories, of which his educational system confessedly forms a part, has not yet ceased to poison the minds of men and women of the dalliant order, it may be well to bring out here the nature of this virus, and to show its pernicious effects in social life." Morley's Rousseau, then the most substantial work in English dealing heavily with Rousseau's political thought, was equally dedicated to prophylaxis. The nineteenth-century heritage in English in all fields was one of deep distrust of Rousseau.
See Gustave Lanson, Histoire de la Littérature Française (New edition edited by Paul Tuffrau, Paris: Librairie Hachette, 1951, esp. pp. 773-803; Eugene Ritter, La famille et la jeunesse de J.-J. Rousseau (Paris: Librairie Hachette, 1896); Frederika Macdonald, Jean Jacques Rousseau: A New Criticism (2 vols., London: Chapman and Hall, 1906). These three authors were among the life members of the Société Jean-Jacques Rousseau, which began publishing it Annales in 1905, annual volumes which included substantial articles and sometimes whole books, as well as a great deal of bibliographical material. Of course, the willingness to read Rousseau with care in an attempt to come to terms with his thought did not take hold suddenly and universally. Jules Lemaitre's Jean-Jacques Rousseau (Paris: Colman-Lévy, 1907) was very much in the ad hominem tradition.
—18:94 In the years preceding the bicentennial of his birth, however, this situation began to change. In general, scholars began to take Rousseau's thought more seriously. In 1894, the distinguished literary historian, Gustave Lanson, published his monumental Historie de la Littérature Française, and his treatment of Rousseau was substantial, a powerful suggestion that his thought needed to be taken seriously. In 1896, Eugene Ritter's work, La famille et la jeunesse de J.-J. Rousseau, appeared, a work that reawakened the effort to study Rousseau's life, not to pass judgment on it, but to understand it. Early in the twentieth century, the Société Jean-Jacques Rousseau formed and its Annales began functioning as an effective, international clearinghouse for careful scholarship such as Ritter's book. In England, Frederika Macdonald made a concerted, impassioned effort to rehabilitate Rousseau's reputation. New translations of Rousseau began to appear, which were, at least, improvements on what was available. Scholars published more substantial, serious studies, and Rousseau began again to be a presence worthy of constructive attention.
See William Boyd, The Minor Educational Writings of Jean Jacques Rousseau (1910) (New York: Teachers College Press, 1962); Jean Jacques Rousseau, Émile (Barbara Foxley, trans., 1911) (New York: E.P. Dutton & Co., 1961); William Boyd, The Educational Theory of Jean Jacques Rousseau, op. cit., n. 4; and R.L. Archer, ed., Rousseau on Education, op. cit., n. 22.
—19:94 To understand how the present-day sharp disjunction in the quality of work on Rousseau being done by political theorists and by educational theorists developed, we need to examine how political thinkers and educational thinkers tried to break out of the ad hominem tradition of Rousseau scholarship. Let us look first at what happened in the history of educational thought. In 1910, William Boyd published his translation of The Minor Educational Writings of Jean Jacques Rousseau, the next year Barbara Foxley's full translation of Émile appeared in Everyman's Library and William Boyd published his extended study, The Educational Theory of Jean Jacques Rousseau. One year later, R. L. Archer's translation, Rousseau on Education, came out in the series edited by J. W. Adamson, "Educational Classics." It was quite a flurry of activity. The translations were a considerable improvement on Steeg and Payne. Foxley's effort in particular made something approximating Rousseau's text available in English. Yet to understand the character of this burst of interest in Rousseau's educational thought, we need to turn first to Boyd's study to see how it related to the intensely hostile heritage of commentary that preceded it.
William Boyd, The Educational Theory of Jean Jacques Rousseau, op. cit., n. 4, p. v.
—20:94 In his "Preface," Boyd took note of the ad hominem tradition and professed a response to Rousseau that ran against the current tide: "my interpretation of his view of life is based on a discriminating but firm faith in the essential nobility of the man and in the greatness of his thought." Boyd was no disciple, but equally he was no believer in the prophylactic mission. He sought to deal seriously with Rousseau's thought, but unfortunately, his book was not solid enough to found a tradition of Rousseau scholarship among English and American educators. Rather than fashioning the tools for a significant departure from the ad hominem tradition, Boyd merely softened it, while leaving intact its central point that Rousseau was an historical accident whose work did not really merit serious study for its deepest meanings. The upshot: Boyd's work, as much as Davidson's, attenuated Rousseau's thought.
Sir Henry Maine, Ancient Law, p. 76, quoted in Boyd, op. cit, n. 4, p. 349-350, n. 1.
—21:94 Boyd never really freed himself from the ad hominem tradition. In addition to the stiff-necked strand of that tradition, the tone of which came in large part from a Victorian capacity to be shocked at Rousseau's sexual confessions, both the normal and not so normal, there was a more forbearant strand. Criticism of this type did not heavily rebuke Rousseau's transgressions against the straight-laced virtues; it simply noted Rousseau's weaknesses with a certain ennui, letting them affect the substance, but not the tone, of interpretation. Thus, if the stiff-necked' tradition was informed by animus, resulting in fear of the work, the forbearant was characterized by condescension, resulting in surprise at the work. This forbearant tradition was well voiced by Sir Henry Maine, when he described Rousseau as "that remarkable man, who without learning, with few virtues, and with no strength of character, has nevertheless stamped himself ineffaceably on history by the force of a vivid imagination, and by the help of a genuine and burning love for his fellow-men for which much will always have to be forgiven him."
—22:94 Boyd's study really belonged to the forbearant strand of the ad hominem tradition. The opening two chapters, which deal with Rousseau's education through his late twenties, provide the first clue. A cliché in this time described Rousseau lightly as a genius and left it at that, never probing seriously the formation of that genius under the unusual circumstances in which Rousseau grew up. Forbearant ad hominem criticism began on the assumption that Rousseau had little learning or character, and as a result passed over with a condescending indifference Rousseau's formative period. This was precisely what Boyd did; his opening chapters reflected a stifling lack of curiosity about Rousseau in the making. To be sure, they covered the necessary minimum, following selectively Rousseau's account in the Confessions, supplementing it occasionally with further information and comment.
Ibid., pp. 1-7. Compare to this the ability of Ritter, fifteen years earlier, in La famille et la jeunesse de J.-J. Rousseau,, op. cit., n. 41, to bring these familial influences much more fully to the surface. Michel Launay's first chapter, "L'éducation politique d'un enfant du peuple: le fils de l'horloger (1712-1728)," in his marvelous study, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, écrivain politique (1712-1762), (Grenoble: A.C.E.R., 1971), pp. 13-65, sets a standard of careful elucidation of influences that shows how much will be lost by lazy scholars who pass easily over Rousseau's first years.
Ibid., p. 14.
See Ibid., pp. 29-38. Compare these pages by Boyd with the much richer examination of chapter by Pierre Maurice Masson, "L'autodidacte et son 'Magasin d'idées'," in his La Religion de J.J. Rousseau (3 vols., Paris: Librairie Hachette, 1916), vol. 1, pp. 83-129.
J.W.v. Goethe, Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship (1795) (Thomas Carlyle, trans., New York: Collier Books, 1962) p. 492.
—23:94 We get a flavor of the complacency suffusing Boyd's book from these early chapters. Boyd lacked the drive to fathom the young Rousseau. Thus Boyd said some interesting things about the relation between Rousseau and his father, but did not really try to get inside the intellectual and political climate of the household, to comprehend from the inside the circumstances of Rousseau's childhood. Thus, too, Boyd was easily satisfied about the extent of Rousseau's childhood intellectual acquirements: "except for the two years spent with M. Lambercier—no very serious exception—Rousseau had no teaching of the kind commonly given in schools and colleges. Most of what he learned was learned in a quite casual way without any consciousness of effort." What was it, though, that Rousseau learned? What sort of intelligence developed in him? Boyd neither asked nor answered such questions. Thus, finally, Boyd supplemented Rousseau's account of his studies at Chambéry and Les Charmettes with observations drawn from one of Rousseau's poems from the time, "Le Verger de Madame de Warens," but the account of Rousseau's autodidactic efforts did not go beyond indicating, selectively and superficially, a few potential influences on him. Again Boyd was content to leave unexplored the question of whether Rousseau's developing intellect showed itself in this process of formation to be of unusual power, whether Goethe's great observation "he in whom there is much to be developed will be later in acquiring true perceptions of himself and of the world" -- applies properly to Rousseau.
—24:94 Like most in the ad hominem tradition, Boyd's account of Rousseau's development up to the time, at thirty-seven, when Rousseau wrote his Discourse on the Arts and Sciences, was a mystification: Rousseau was a genius, presumably therefore someone capable of doing uncommonly much with whatever came his way, yet the study of his formative period was something that could be quickly sped over, despite the postulate of his genius, with the confidence that he was doing uncommonly little with whatever came his way. Such procedure reflected, ultimately, a condescending attitude in the critic toward his subject. Evidence was available for use in a real effort to probe Rousseau's development, but Boyd did not exploit because he, like other critics, presumed such probing would yield results not worth the effort. Further, condescension by the critic towards his subject could lead, not only to lazy exploitation of the available material, but also to interpretations of a person's work that fall far from doing justice to it. Boyd, in condescending toward Rousseau, set himself up as understanding Rousseau better than Rousseau understood himself, with the result that in his interpretation, Boyd attenuated Rousseau's work as surely as did Morley and Davidson in confecting theirs from animosity.
William Boyd, The Educational Theory of Jean Jacques Rousseau, op. cit., n. 4, p. 120.
—25:94 As Boyd saw it, Rousseau articulated in his work two fundamentally incompatible views of man, politics, and education. "Speaking broadly, the difference between the two..., both in temper and in principles, is the difference between Cynicism and Stoicism." In part, the difference between the cynical and stoical Rousseau was one between the earlier and later Rousseau, between the two Discourses and Émile and the Social Contract. Yet, the cynical Rousseau, although less prominent in the later works, never completely disappeared, and to extract the value in Rousseau's work, one needed continuously to be aware that at any point cynicism could intrude into it. Like Raumer half a century earlier, Boyd still sought to help readers learn to separate the good and bad, the true and false, that Rousseau so artfully mixed together in his works so to seduce the unwitting into error.
Ibid., p. 66.
—26:94 In Boyd's judgment, the cynical Rousseau was profoundly destructive: "...the fundamental motive of his thought in the discussion of culture and civilization in the Discourse was a mere negation. He writes out of a deep sense of dissatisfaction with all the institutional products of the human spirit, and the result is criticism and condemnation unrelieved by any touch of idealism from faith in a possible better." Fortunately, Boyd suggested, Rousseau developed a more stoical alternative to this destructive position, which began faintly to appear with the Discourse on the Origin of Inequality, and emerged more fully with the nearly simultaneous article on "Political Economy."
Ibid., p 69.
—27:94 It is one thing for a critic to show a writer in the process of rethinking a position and articulating a new one; it is quite another for the critic to suggest that such changes took place in a thinker who was quite oblivious to them and unaware that an alternative view of things had developed in him. Yet that is what Boyd claimed, a claim possible only if a thorough condescension suffuses the critic. "It is obvious that with a mind like [Rousseau 's], which felt its way to the truth rather than forced experience to yield up its meaning to the demands of thought, the co-existence of two irreconcilable views of life was possible without causing any serious inconvenience." Thus, the condescending critic arrived at the conviction that he could speak more truly for the good in Rousseau than Rousseau himself could, that Boyd was the scholarly therapist appointed to redeem Rousseau from philosophic schizophrenia.
Ibid., p. 122.
See Ibid., pp. 126, 129, 136, 144-6, 149-150, 154, 156, and so on.
Ibid., p. 189.
—28:94 Since Rousseau could think for himself only imperfectly, Boyd has to do it for him, carefully unraveling the sound from the unsound. "The fact is that he himself never realized the fundamental change that had taken place in his thought, and his approach to the constructive application of his modified views was hampered by the extremeness of the opposition between the natural and the social which he still formally maintained." Repeatedly, shielded by his condescension towards Rousseau, Boyd dealt with aspects of Rousseau's mature work inconsistent with his construction of the good Rousseau, by insisting that Rousseau did not understand himself, never by questioning whether Boyd understood Rousseau. Before long, Boyd had worked out the rationale for his speaking authoritatively for whatever truth there was in Rousseau. "In the illuminating phrase of Heel's, ...social contrivances are 'mind objective', mind taking external form in institutions. By approaching society too exclusively from the individual or psychological point of view, Rousseau appreciates this very inadequately when he appreciates it at all. The consequence is apparent in his condemnation of all but the simplest phases of social life as artifices alien to the fundamental nature of man, and in the failure to see that social man even at the worst is not less but more natural than his animal and his savage progenitors. The truth indeed is in him—witness the Fourth and Fifth Books of the Émile—but it never gets out into perfectly clear consciousness because of the subjective pre-occupation that 'siklied o'er' his thought about man to the end of his life, and made him suspicious of society in practice even after he had accepted it in theory."
Ibid., p. vii. On pp. 300-301, Boyd quoted Caird on the importance of Rousseau in setting off the democratic movement in Europe, Rousseau's principal positive contribution in the view of both, and on p. 335, Boyd quoted Caird to support his basic criticism of Rousseau, that he did not adequately recognize that spirit is distinctively human and because of it human life can not be treated solely naturally. "Man belongs to the natural world.... But even then [in childhood] he is more that natural. He is spiritual, and therefore not a simple product of growth but the outcome of a free activity which curbs and checks the natural impulses in the interests of a higher life." (p. 335) What is Book Four of Emile all about if not the process by which, through free activity, one enters the moral realm? In referring to Caird, Boyd was citing the essay "Rousseau" in Caird's Essays on Literature (1892) (Port Washington, NY: Kennikat Press, 1968), pp. 103-136, hardly the foundation of Caird's reputation.
Stanley E. Ballinger, "The Natural Man: Rousseau," in Paul Nash, Andreas M. Kazamias, and Henry J. Perkinson, eds., The Educated Man: Studies in the History of Educational Thought (New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1965), p. 234.
So far as I have been able to trace, Boyd's book keep working on this was not widely reviewed. There was a perfunctory notice of it in Annales, 8(1912), p. 326. Lewis Flint Anderson gave it a positive review in The Journal of Educational Psychology, Vol. 111, No. 9, November 1912, pp. 531-3.
—29:94 In his "Preface," Boyd confessed his philosophic indebtedness to Edward Caird, and at two important places in the text, in stating his basic appreciation of Rousseau and his essential criticism, Boyd appealed to Caird's authority. Thus, he defined himself as a progressive neo-Hegelian and in such a context, there is a certain justification for attempting to separate out in the work of a mere man what belongs to the objective process by which the real and rational unfolds itself in history. Nevertheless, such an effort is itself always the work of mere men, and the mere man Boyd asked too little of Rousseau and too little of himself. With continuing consequences: a recent work on educational history, in one of the better texts at that, still refers to Boyd as "the noted Rousseau scholar." Boyd's study and translations are still in print, yet it is hard to understand how his work ever earned its repute among students of the history of educational thought.
Macdonald extensively reviews the development of critical opinion on Rousseau's character in the first two parts of her study, Jean Jacques Rousseau: A New Criticism, op. cit., n. 41, Vol. 1, pp. 1-119. Georges Roth, in his introduction to Histoire de Madame de Montbrillant: Les pseudo-Mémoires de Madame D'Epinay, op. cit., n. 8, Vol. 1, pp. xxxiv-1, gives a somewhat more dispassionate, but telling, review of the matter. In an appendix to The Political Writings of Jean Jacques Rousseau (1915) (2 vols., New York: Burt Franklin, 1971), Vol. 2, pp. 537-559, gives a very good summary of Macdonald's argument, calling attention to the significance of it for interpretations of Rousseau. Gaspard Vallette, one of the leading figures in the Société Jean-Jacques Rousseau, wrote an extensive review of Macdonald's work in Annales, III (1907), pp. 256-267. The issue, at bottom, concerned Rousseau's break with the Diderot-Grimm-d'Epinay circle in 1757 and Rousseau's persecution complex that ever-after plagued him. It is an. extremely tangled matter with respect to which the basic choice is to hold that Rousseau was an impossible character to maintain personal relations with, a very unstable ingratiate who took to accusing others of bad faith and the intent to defame in order to maintain the appearance of his own probity, at least to himself, or that, at a minimum, Frédéric-Melchoir Grimm, manipulated others, especially d'Epinay and Diderot, into perceiving Rousseau as something of a malevolent genius whose influence should be impeded and whose tranquility deserved to be upset. Immediate posterity seemed to hold for Rousseau; his Confessions were much more moving that Diderot's shrill accusations published soon after Rousseau's death. Grimm's collected Correspondance littéraire, published in 1812, and then six years later, the forged Memoires of Madame d'Epinay, tipped the scales, however, and opinion began to swing toward favoring the hypothesis that Rousseau was indeed fully at fault. Scrutiny of the manuscript of the Memoires was successfully avoided by their publishers, and by mid-century, Sainte-Beuve came out fully on the side of Grimm and d'Epinay: "when we read Mme. d'Epinay's Memoires on the one hand, and the Confessions on the other, it is clear that the letters quoted in these works, which might help clarify the question, are differently reproduced in the two books; they were altered by one of the parties: someone lied. I do not think that it was Mme. d'Epinay. As for Grimm, his character emerges in a favorable light because of his very indifference" (Sainte-Beuve, "Grimm," as translated by Francis Steegmuller and Norbert Gutterman in Sainte-Beuve: Selected Essays, op. cit., n. 7, p. 174). Once the critical assumption became established that Rousseau's Confessions not only sometimes erred on matters of recollected fact, inevitable under the circumstances of composition, but were basically untrustworthy, having been composed subtly to alter the historical record and that d'Epinay's Memoires were trustworthy, it seemed to follow then that Grimm's accusations, and Diderot's accusations, and the accusations by many others, were also trustworthy. In such a situation, the Confessions, themselves, became very damaging to Rousseau, for they added, through revelations such as the deposit of his infants in a foundling home, to the evidence against Rousseau without contributing to a comprehension of him on the part of critics who were entirely convinced that comprehending him was impossible. See Arthur M. Wilson's excellent work Diderot (New York: Oxford University Press, 1972), esp. pp. 254-9, 291-306, 608-11, and 691-2, for a careful presentation of the problem from Diderot's point of view, taking full account of presently available evidence.
For such assessments see the work of Roth, Vaughan, and Vallette cited in the previous note.
—30:94 Before leaving Boyd's example, let us look at one final problem in his work, a problem that also stemmed most probably form his condescension toward his subject, and perhaps toward his audience as well. This is the problem of Boyd's scholarly standards. The Educational Thought of Jean Jacques Rousseau never was up to date relative to the scholarship of its time, relative even to the scholarship Boyd cited in his bibliography. Let us attend here to a peculiarity in his use of an important work that he did cite, namely Frederika Macdonald's Jean Jacques Rousseau, A New Criticism, published in two volumes in 1906. Macdonald had taken on the ad hominem tradition head on. She struck at it in the most fundamental way, by seeking to discredit the evidence on which it rested. The ad hominem critics repetitively relied on two bodies of damaging evidence, one stemming from Madame d'Epinay's Mémoires, Grimm's Correspondence litéraire, and various allegations by Diderot, and a second stemming from Rousseau's Confessions. The first body of evidence had seemed to prove that Rousseau was an imbalanced ingratiate, suffering from delusions of persecution; the second concerned Rousseau's children and their notorious deposition at birth in a Parisian foundling hospital. Macdonald sought to discredit both bodies of evidence. In a chapter relative to the second, she maintained the proposition that Rousseau had never in fact had any children. However, she devoted the bulk of her two volumes to the first proposition, showing that d'Epinay's Mémoires had been drafted as a novel and had been revised in the 1760's, and then again shortly before their publication in 1818, to support the otherwise dubious allegations of Grimm and Diderot. Rousseau scholars held that her case that Rousseau died childless was not compelling, but that her demonstration that d'Epinay's Mémoires are worthless as a historical source on Rousseau and that d'Epinay and Grimm, and most probably Diderot, conspired to defame Rousseau while he lived and after he died, is sound.
Boyd, The Educational Thought of Jean Jacques Rousseau., op. cit., n. , pp. 52-3, and n. 1, p. 53 for the citation of Macdonald.
Ibid., pp. 69-70, 108-117, 191 n. 1. In addition, Boyd, p. 68, n. 2, drew on Grimm's Correspondance littéraire for testimony concerning Rousseau's character with no hint that there may have been a strong bias to this testimony.
See William Boyd, The Minor Educational Writings of Jean Jacques Rousseau, op. cit., n. 42, pp. 102-4.
—31:94 What did Boyd do with Macdonald's work? He cited her argument with respect to Rousseau's children, declared against it, and remained silent with respect to all the rest of the work. This procedure would be fine, if Boyd did not make use of d'Epinay's Mémoires, but these were an important source for his over-all treatment of Rousseau's educational thought, coloring his estimate of Rousseau's stature and entering substantively into his interpretation of Rousseau's educational ideas. In The Minor Educational Writings of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Boyd even appended a translated excerpt from the Mémoires. In none of his references to d'Epinay's Mémoires did Boyd so much as hint that they had been exposed as a forgery. Either Boyd was extremely casual in his reading of Macdonald-it is difficult to deal with her forty pages on Rousseau's children without catching on to the gist of the other 780 pages in the workéor Boyd knew the case against d'Epinay, confident that neither his audience would pick him up on it nor that critical care really mattered with a writer like Rousseau, a good part of whose thought had to be jettisoned for the sake of world-historical truth in any case. Boyd's performance here, whether it was a performance of sloppy scholarship or willful evasion of complexity, belied a basic condescension toward subject and audience: neither merited a painstaking work.
Peter Gay, "Reading about Rousseau," The Party of Humanity: Essays in the French Enlightenment (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1964), pp. 211-238, esp. pp. 222-223.
See V.D. Musset-Pathay, Histoire de la Vie et des Ouvrages de J.-J. Rousseau, op cit., n. 5; Gustave Lanson, Histoire de la Littérature Française, op. cit., n. 41; Ernst Cassirer, The Question of Jean Jacques Rousseau (Peter Gay, trans., Bloomington: Midland Books, 1954, 1963); C.E. Vaughan, The Political Writings of Jean Jacques Rousseau, op. cit., n. 58; Pierre Maurice Masson, La Religion de J.J. Rousseau, op. cit., n. 47; Albert Schinz, La Pensée de Jean-Jacques Rousseau: Essai d'interprétation nouvelle (2 vols., Northampton: Smith College, 1929); Robert Derathé, Jean-Jacques Rousseau et la science politique de son temps (Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1950); Martin Rang, Rousseaus Lehre vom Menschen (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1959; Victor Goldschmidt, Anthropologie et Politique: Les Principes du Système de Rousseau (Paris: Librairie Philosophique J. Vrin, 1974); and Michel Launay, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, écrivain politique (1712-1762), op. cit., n. 46.
William Boyd, trans. and ed., The EMILE of Jean Jacques Rousseau: Selections, op. cit., n. 22, p. 197.
—32:94 Peter Gay has rightly suggested that the breakthrough to effective scholarship on Rousseau in the twentieth century has come through a willingness to consider potential unity in Rousseau's thought, taking his corpus in its entirety. Such consideration was precisely that which Rousseau himself requested of his posterity. Such consideration was basic in the sensitive, compassionate work of V. D. Musset-Pathay early in the nineteenth century. Such consideration was renewed by Gustave Lanson at the turn of the twentieth. Such consideration was defined clearly by Ernst Cassirer in Das Problem J.-J. Rousseau (1932). Such consideration informs the major interpretations of Rousseau's thought, those of C. E. Vaughan, Pierre Masson, Albert Schinz, Robert Derathé, Martin Rang, and many others up to Victor Goldschmidt and Michel Launay. By this criterion of being willing to entertain the potential unity of Rousseau's thought, Boyd remained pre-twentieth century throughout all his treatments of Rousseau. As late as 1956 in his "Editor's Epilogue" to his version of Émile, Boyd showed no inkling of a half-century of scholarship that had completely transformed the interpretation of Rousseau. "There is truth in both [of Rousseau's] points of view. Education must make good men: education must make good citizens. Rousseau's mistake was to stop at either-or: either education for individuality, or education for community."
To my mind, the best discussion of Rousseau in the general texts is that in Doctrines of the Great Educators by Robert R. Rusk (now as revised for the 5th edition by James Scotland, New York: St. Martin's Press, 19799, pp. 100-135. It does not rely heavily on Boyd and draws from a wide range of sources, although those sources do not indicate any systematic command of the scholarship on Rousseau. Also see Robert Ulich's History of Educational Thought (Revised edition, New York: American Book Company, 1968), pp. 211-224. Good, but docile to Boyd's influence is Stanley E. Ballinger's "The Natural Man: Rousseau," in Nash, Kazamias, and Perkinson, eds., The Educated Man: Studies in the History of Educational Thought, op. cit., n. 56, pp. 224-246.
There are five studies from France and Germany that are important works on Rousseau's educational thought that are almost never cited by American and English writers on the subject: as a background work, Georges Snyders, La Pédagogie en France aux XVIIe et XVIIIe siècles (Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1965); two French works on Rousseau's educational theory—André Ravier, L'éducation de l'homme nouveau (2 vols., Lyon: Boasc Frères M. & L. Riou, 1941) and Jean Chateau, Jean-Jacques Rousseau: Sa Philosophie de l'éducation (Paris: Librairie Philosophique J. Vrin, 1962); and two substantial studies of Rousseau by German educational historians—Hermann Röhrs, Jean-Jacques Rousseau: Vision und Wirklichkeit (1956) (2nd ed., Heidelberg: Quelle & Meyer, 1966) and Martin Rang, Rousseaus Lehre vom Menschen, op. cit., n. 64. Ulich listed Chateau's work in his bibliography in History of Educational Thought, op. cit., n. 66, p. 426, but outside of that none of these appear anywhere that I have been able to locate.
See the works cited in n. 2, above, especially those by Masters, Shklar, Perkins, Ellenburg, and Ellis, as well as Cook's dissertation cited in n. 4. Most of these, of course, are too recent to appear anywhere but in the new edition of Doctrines of the Great Educators, op. cit., n. 66.
—33:94 Boyd never entered the realm of twentieth-century scholarship on Rousseau, and with Boyd, the history of educational thought in English relative to Rousseau has remained hopelessly dated. The field has stayed with Boyd. In close to seventy years since Boyd's study, the field has generated no other sustained work on Rousseau's educational thought, excepting the Shahikian's travesty. Basically, most of the numerous chapters in the numerous texts follow Boyd, and where they depart, they do so in idiosyncratic ways that have little to do with the main developments in scholarship on Rousseau. None of the ensuing summary treatments of Rousseau in texts indicates in any way that a number of distinguished studies of Rousseau's educational thought in French and German have supplanted Boyd's study. None indicates that historians of political theory writing in English have conducted thorough and profound examinations of Rousseau's educational ideas. Boyd never freed himself from the ad hominem tradition and dependent on Boyd, the field has remained bedeviled by that incubus: Rousseau is dangerous, yet useful, and interpreters must tame and put him to work by sundering what is safe from the corrupting corpus by tactics of triage. Hence, educational scholarship makes less, not of Rousseau, but of ourselves.
See, C. E. Vaughan, The Political Writings of Jean Jacques Rousseau, op. cit., n. 58.
—34:94 Boyd perpetuated the ad hominem critique, while muting its acrimonious tone. Such was not the only way to shed the heritage of hostility toward Rousseau's thought. At the same time that William Boyd was busy with Rousseau's educational thought, another British scholar, C. E. Vaughan was preoccupied with Rousseau's political thought. Vaughan's accomplishment stands out as an accomplishment of an entirely different order in comparison to that of Boyd. In no small part has the excellence of the work done on Rousseau's political thought throughout the twentieth century derived from the excellence of Vaughan's major work, The Political Writings of Jean Jacques Rousseau, published in 1915. Whereas Boyd chose to write an interpretative study and to present certain writings of Rousseau important to his interpretation in translation, Vaughan chose a very different course, one in which he eschewed immediate effect for long-lasting influence. Vaughan chose to present Rousseau in a way that forced those who were going to comment on Rousseau's political thought to deal with it, carefully, substantively, fully. The Political Writings of Jean Jacques Rousseau were precisely that, a critical edition in Rousseau's French of most everything that Rousseau wrote on politics, with thorough introductions to each piece, as well as a long, general introduction sting out with care the problems of interpretation. Vaughan did not speak for Rousseau within a field; he simply ensured that Rousseau would have the opportunity to speak for himself to a field; and since Vaughan's work, Rousseau has continued to speak provocatively to political thinkers, however mush they may argue over what it is he says.
See Volume III of the Pléiade edition of Rousseau's Oeuvres complètes, Du contrat social -- écrits politiques (Paris: Editions Gallimard, 1964). This edition is the standard scholarly edition, and its notes of immense use. One should also be aware, however, of Rousseau's Oeuvres complètes published in the Collection l'Intégrale (3 vols., Paris: Editions du Seuil, 1967, 1971). This edition usefully complements the Pléiade; it does not have extensive critical and interpretative notes to the texts, but it does present numerous texts and excerpts to which Rousseau was often responding, for instance, many of the polemics against the first Discourse and the text of Monseigneur de Beaumont's condemnation of Emile.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Oeuvres completes (4 vols., Paris: Editions Gallimard, 1959, 1964, 1964, and 196 ).
—35:94 We need not here work our way through the substance of Vaughan's work; it is a living work that anyone bent on coming to terms with Rousseau will own and use as the occasion merits even though the editions of Rousseau's writings in have finally been superseded by yet better ones. Yet we do need to note how Vaughan's work brings us to the real question for understanding the development of the history of educational thought, for seeing clearly what needs to be done if something is ever to come of the field. This question is simply, why was there no similar effort by educational historians? Why did no one put out with care and thorough dedication a standard edition, well introduced, of The Educational Writings of Jean-Jacques Rousseau? One can well imagine such a work. It might open with the parts of the Confessions and Reveries covering Rousseau's development, the two versions of his "Plan for the Education of M. de Sainte-Marie," the Discourse on the Arts and Sciences and some of Rousseau's rejoinders to criticism of it, excerpts from The Discourse on Inequality and the article on "Political Economy," the draft essay "On the Origin of Language," the Letter to d'Alembert on the Theater. The centerpiece of it, of course, would be excerpts from La nouvelle Heloise, the "manuscrit Favre" of Émile and Émile itself, the "Lettre—Monseigneur de Beaumont." It would then conclude with excerpts from Rousseau's reflections on the constitutions of Corsica and Poland, parts of Rousseau juge de Jean-Jacques, various letters bearing on education. Throughout it all, a careful commentary would introduce each inclusion and elucidate the problems of interpreting it reflectively in the context the whole. Now, of course, we no longer need such a work, for it is there in the Pléiade edition of Rousseau's Oeuvres complètes. All the same, in Boyd's time, scholars did need it, and we should therefore ask why some educational scholar did not then perform such a labor when the cognate field of political thought so clearly demonstrated the possibility and value of it.
The first real effort along this line was James L. Axtell, ed., The Educational Writings of John Locke: A Critical Edition (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1968).
—36:94 In a trivial sense, the answer to this question is obvious—the labor was not performed because no one stepped forward to perform it. Yet there is a deeper sense to the question, for anyone at all acquainted with the history of the history of educational thought in English will realize that it simply would not have occurred to a scholar in the field that such a labor could be of value. English and American historians of educational thought did not do this kind of work; they produced no full and careful edition of the pedagogical corpus of any major figure. To ask why the work was not done on Rousseau is to ask why it was not done on any thinker, to ask why loose, partial translations were the norm, why no educational thinker was dealt with in depth, no holds barred. To begin answering this question, we need to look more carefully at how the field developed in English from the mid nineteenth century up approximately to the start of World War I, to see what its controlling aims and standards were as these took shape, in order to understand how these have continued ever since to cripple the field and to saddle it with stifling, inadequate aspirations.
II—Beyond Bailyn, or the Task at Hand
That historians continually rewrite history is part of the lore of historiography. That the practice results from sound reasons is best explained by the great historicist historiographers. See especially R. G. Collingwood, The Idea of History (1946) (New York: Galaxy Books, 1956) and Wilhelm Dilthey, Einleitung in die Geisteswissenschaften: Versuch einer Grundlegung für das Studium der Gesselschaft and der Geschichte (1883) (Gesammelte Schriften, Vol. 1, Stuttgart: B. G. Teubner, 1962).
—37:94 Historians interpret the past and in doing that they become part of the account they give. Since the concerns of living historians continually change, they continually rewrite history and thus disclose new aspects of past experience, cumulatively probing in essays at comprehension and evaluation. Thus, each generation of historians rewrites history. One can observe this process in most areas of historical interest, but not in the history of educational thought. In English, the cumulative reinterpretation of past educational thought has not begun.
Bernard Bailyn, Education in the Forming of American Society: Needs and Opportunities for Study (1960) (New York: Vintage Books, n.d.), pp. 3-15.
Lawrence A. Cremin, American Education: The Colonial Experience, 1607-1783 (New York: Harper and Row, 1970), passim., particularly, Book I, Part 1. For a thorough review of recent literature in the field, see Geraldine Joncich Clifford, "Education: Its History and Historiography," in Lee S. Shulman, ed., Review of Research in Education,, Vol. 4, 1976 (Ithaca, IL: F. E. Peacock, 1977) pp. 210-267. In The Wonderful World of Ellwood Patterson Cubberley: An Essay on the Historiography of American Education (New York: Teachers College Press, 1965), Lawrence A. Cremin called attention to "the need for a radical revision in our understanding of Western educational history, one that would bring education back into the mainstream of more general developments. Thus, in place of Cubberley's emphasis on the 'pedagogical' greats of the nineteenth century—an emphasis he, in turn, borrowed from Barnard and Barnard's translations of Von Raumer—one might inquire into the broader educational influence of such men as Marx, Darwin, Hegel, Comte, Nietzsche, Ruskin, Fichte, Goethe, Arnold, and Mill." (n. 66, p. 70) In order to do this, we need to recognize that the undertaking is more radical than simply revising the field as it exists in English. Even as it pertains to "the pedagogical greats," scholarship in English has been sporadic and out of touch with far better work being done in German, French, Italian, and Spanish. To mount the inquiry Cremin calls for a field needs to be created, and for that to happen, a set of generating questions need to be put and means for the pursuit of them defined.
—38:94 What passes for the history of educational thought in English is a series of repetitive and static textbooks, a small repertoire of more specialized studies written long ago and continuously reprinted, and a few more recent studies, some good, some bad, but in the aggregate, insufficient to nurture a scholarly field. Such a criticism sounds much like the one that Bernard Bailyn so effectively mounted in Education in the Forming of American Society, showing the insufficiencies of the history of American education. The criticism here mounted is a reiteration of Bailyn's critique, but not simply a reiteration, which will become apparent as we probe some ways in which weaknesses in the traditional history of American education differ from those in the traditional history of educational thought. First, let us simply note that the reawakening of American educational history during the past twenty years has largely passed over the history of educational thought. Lawrence A. Cremin is devoting a considerable portion of his American Education to the history of educational ideas in America, but other than that, the great range of work that now underway concentrates on the social causes and effects of changes in American education. Bailyn did not call for a rewriting of the history of educational thought, and scholars have not yet begun systematically rewriting it.
There is no sustained discussion of the historiography of educational thought in English. At first glance, William K. Medlin's The History of Educational Ideas in the West (New York: The Center for Applied Research in Education, 1964), appears to be one, but it turns out to be more of a survey of the subject. Sir John Adams devoted a chapter to "The Historical Aspect of Educational Theory" in The Evolution of Educational Theory (London: Macmillan and Co., 1912), pp. 72-103, but this chapter, and the whole book, was more concerned with the philosophy of history than it was with historiography and its effects in defining the field have been modest. Of the general studies of the history of educational thought, most jump into a survey of the subject after, at most, brief prefaces that do little to illuminate the field. E. B. Castle's Educating the Good Man: Moral Education in Christian Times (1958) (New York: Collier Books, 1962) is an historiographically interesting work, but Castle said nothing more about its relation to the field than to indicate its kinship to The Growth of Freedom in Education: A Critical Interpretation of some Historical Views by W. J. McCallister, 2 vols., (1931) (Port Washington, NY: Kennikat Press, 1971). Of fairly general works, the two last mentioned, along with Christopher Dawson's The Crisis of Western Education (1961) (Garden City: Doubleday Image Books, 1965), are the most significant attempts in English to pursue significant questions through the history of educational thought, but they do not give shape to a field of scholarship. A related area, of considerable significance to the history of educational thought, has taken on clear, scholarly form in English, namely the history of the classical tradition, and a sense of the difference between a field in definition and one out of it can be attained by comparing the above works and general texts in the history of educational thought with The Classical Heritage and its Beneficiaries by R. R. Bolgar (1954) (New York: Harper Torchbooks, 1964) and The Classical Tradition: Greek and Roman Influences on Western Literature (1949) (New York: Galaxy Books, 1957). For the advanced state of the historiography of educational thought in German, see Klaus Schaller and Karl-H. Schafer, eds., Bildungsmodelle and Geschichtlichkeit: Ein Reportorium zur Geschichte der Pädagogik (Hamburg: Leibniz-Verlag, 1967), esp. 128-169.
—39:94 By the history of educational thought, I mean the study of past thinking about education, of inquiry into its limits and possibilities, of assessment of its repertoire of worthwhile goals and available means, of reflection on the significance of educational achievements for life, personal and collective. As early as men ceased living by instinct alone, as soon as men became cultural beings, defined by qualities not completely transmitted by genetic inheritance, education, the acquisition of character and culture, became a necessary component of life. There is a history of what people have thought concerning this component of life, of their hopes, expectations, and worries concerning it, their aspirations and plans for it, their reflections and regrets about it. All this is the history here in question. Scholars should make such a history of educational thought a significant part of the history of education, and since the late nineteenth century, when educators began to write a history of education began in English, they devoted a fair amount of attention to the history of educational thought. Yet the area has not become a real field of sustained and systematic scholarship, and our problem is to find out why that has been the case.
In discussing the available literature in the field, I will mix together works done by British and American scholars, for most significant work has been available to anyone interested in it on both sides of the Atlantic. In discussing the institutionalization of the field, the definition of its uses, I will be primarily concerned with American patterns, although through the early stages of the process, approximately to World War I, the differences between the English and American patterns seem to me rather insignificant. It is my basic conviction that neither in America nor Great Britain is the history of educational thought a healthy field of scholarship and that the critique here mounted, although primarily directed at the situation in the United States, is basically valid for that in England as well. My impression, however, is that British scholars have contributed more solid work in the history of educational thought than have American, I suspect because British educationists fairly early became less isolated from high-level scholarship than did American educationists. I hold, however, that the field of educational history has not developed on either side of the Atlantic as it might for one basic reason, a failure to pursue a sufficiently demanding purpose for the field.
These emphases overlap within the early texts in the field. E. L. Kemp's History of Education (Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott Co., 1901) reflects a primary concern with the history of educational institutions, as does Frank Pierrepont Graves' more extended History of Education, 3 vols., (New York: Macmillan Co., 1909, 1910, 1913). Of works primarily concerned with the history of ideas about educational aims and practices, Grabriel Compayré's History of Pedagogy, W. H. Payne, trans., (Boston: D. C. Heath & Co., 1886), long held the field. So too, Robert Herbert Quick's Essays on Educational Reformers (1868, 2nd ed., 1890) (New York: D. Appleton and Co., 1917) created the type concerned primarily with educational biographies. Joseph Payne's Lectures on the History of Education (London: Longmans, Greene, and Co., 1892) were primarily concerned with the history of didactic method. Ellwood P. Cubberley, in his Syllabus of Lectures on the History of Education (New York: Macmillan Co., 1902), emphasized national school systems, particularly in the second half of the work. F. V. N. Painter, in A History of Education (1886) (New York: D. Appleton and Co., 1908), made the rise of Protestantism an essential development in his account. Levi Seeley's History of Education (New York: American Book Company, 1899) and Thomas Davidson's History of Education (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1900) both depicted the history of education as the story of mankind's conscious evolution, although Seeley's account was much more cluttered than was Davidson's. Of the pre-twentieth-century syntheses, the most balanced in its coverage was The History of Modern Education by Samuel G. Williams (1892) (Syracuse: C. W. Bardeen, 1886). Early in the twentieth century, Paul Monroe's Text-Book in the History of Education (New York: Macmillan Co., 1905) became the dominant text, at least in the United States.
Bailyn, Education in the Forming of American Society (1960), pp. 5-8, contrasted Davidson's History of Education and Eggleston's Transit of Civilization, remarking that the latter "was laid aside as an oddity, for it was irrelevant to the interests of the group then firmly shaping the historical study of American education," while the former was greeted with enthusiasm. Harry Hutton and Philip Kalisch have pointed out that Bailyn's comparison has at best rhetorical value, for Davidson's book, except in the eyes of Paul Monroe, was a dud; see "Davidson's Influence on Educational Historiography," History of Education Quarterly, VI, 4 (Winter 1966), pp. 79-87. The point here is simply that the early historians of education, who may have, as a sidelight to their work, firmly shaped the historical study of American education, really had an historical concern quite different from Bailyn's. To point this out is not to defend the quality of their achievements, but to define accurately their undertaking. Their main concern, for better or for worse, was not with the history of American education, but with the history of Western education, which was the staple course, the year-long introductory history of education, that they were all seeking to make the vehicle for enthusing educators with a sense of the dignity of their profession. The extent to which this course was taught can be gauged from Arthur 0. Norton, "The Scope and Aims of the History of Education," Educational Review, Vol. 27, May 1904, pp. 443-455, and Henry Suzzallo, "The Professional Use of the History of Education," Proceedings of the Society of College Teachers of Education, 1908, pp. 29-67.
See Jesse B. Sears and Adin D. Henderson, Cubberley of Stanford (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1957), p. 119: 79,623 copies of Public Education through 1934; 66,121 for The History of Education through 1939. It is unclear whether the latter figure includes sales for the Brief History of Education published in 1922. During these years, The History of Education had considerable competition, not only from Monroe's Text-Book, but also from William Boyd's History of Western Education, published in 1921, and Edward H. Reisner's Historical Foundations of Modern Education, published in 1931.
—40:94 As educators began to study the history of education in English, writers in the field mixed together all sorts of material. Hence, in viewing the early development of the history of educational thought, we need to start with the history of education in general; this was in part the history of educational institutions throughout Western history; in part the history of ideas about educational aims and practices; in part a sequence of educational biographies devoted to the great pedagogical reformers; in part a history of didactic rigidity and change; in part a history of national school systems and policies. Bailyn, in his Education in the Forming of American Society, anachronistically projected a specific interest in the history of American education upon the first American historians of education. To begin with, the field was much more amorphous than that and the most widely taught variant was a grand survey of Western education, susceptible internally to several emphases -- cultural, biographical, and institutional. Well into the twentieth century, this survey was the staple course: Cubberley's History of Education, published in 1920, sold almost as many copies as did his Public Education in the United States, and the former shared the market early on with a number of other successful texts. Thus to understand the early development of the history of educational thought, we need to follow critically the emergence of the history of education, an often, but still imperfectly studied phenomenon.
Bernard Bailyn, Education in the Forming of American Society, (1960), pp. 3-15, 53-58.
—41:94 Consequently, let us start our effort to find the reasons why the history of educational thought has not become a field of scholarship by criticizing certain aspects of Bailyn's argument in Education in the Forming of American Society, for there are points at which Bailyn's critique was too impassioned, with the result that significant distinctions were blurred. The blurring of these distinctions made it difficult to understand precisely what caused the traditional history to be weak and what constituted Bailyn's real achievement, what gave his critique its leavening power. The main points of that critique are by now well known: the history of American education had been a repetitive, anachronistic search for the origins of the twentieth-century educational system, particularly the system of public schooling; it had been based on a narrow definition of education as schooling, one of interest to a narrow professional audience but unsuited to guide investigation of the role of education in American history; the tone of the whole endeavor arose from the effort to dignify and enthuse the educational profession, not to speak truthfully to the disinterested intellect; and the main workers in the field were set apart, institutionally and intellectually, from other American historians, content with their isolation from history as long as what they wrote had an audience in education.
—42:94 One need only survey the fruits that have followed to be convinced of the substantial validity in Bailyn's critique, and we shall see all the problems that he identified in the history of American education richly exemplified in the history of educational thought. But two questions need to be raised about Bailyn's forays into the history of education, one concerning his assessment of what caused the weaknesses in the traditional history of education, and another concerning what it was in his critique that proved so liberating, so constructive, what quality in Education in the Forming of American Society provoked so much further work. Let us turn to the first of these problems and probe it with some care, with particular reference to the early history of educational thought, with the hope of coming to a more precise comprehension of how and why the characteristic limitations of that history arose. Having done that, we will be able to return to Bailyn's book and better understand the reasons for its intellectual influence.
Ibid., p. 9.
Bernard Bailyn, "Education as a Discipline, Some Historical Notes," in John Walton and James L. Kuethe, eds., The Discipline of Education (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1963), p. 131.
—43:94 Why did the early history of education in English develop with such an anachronistic interest in formal schooling and with such a parochial audience and evangelical tone? Bailyn essentially contended that these qualities developed because professional historians did not write the early histories, which were instead the work of professional educators, who often lacked training as historians and who almost invariably allowed certain educational goals to guide their work. "The main emphasis and ultimately the main weakness of the history written by the educational missionaries of the turn of the century derived directly from their professional interests." This statement, I think, is true, but not quite precise; it leaves unclear whether the problem arose because early educational historians had paramount educational interests at all, or because they had professional educational interests of a particular nature, as distinct from other possible professional educational interests, that caused their history to be weak. Bailyn seems to have held the former, general diagnosis, for he did not try to resolve out the particular professional interests at work and he wrote elsewhere that "one cannot avoid concluding that a process of desiccation set in as the result of the emphasis upon the peculiar concerns of education, reinforced by institutional barriers that served for two generations to limit contacts between the general practitioners of history and the specialists in education."
Lawrence A. Cremin, The Wonderful World of Ellwood Patterson Cubberley (New York: Teachers College Press, 1965), pp. 43-6.
Ibid., pp. 46-52.
Recent educational historians have failed to address the question of the relationship of the history of education to education effectively, with potentially serious results. As the argument of this study unfolds it will become increasingly clear that history, and the related disciplines in which real human activities are studied in real human settings, to wit, anthropology, sociology, politics, economics, social psychology, philosophy, are the best means for developing knowledge, purpose, and skill with respect to educational work. To anticipate the argument: from the very start, historians of education accepted a trivial conception of the relation of their endeavor to the study of education and to the education of educators. In the recent revitalization of the history of education, that trivial conception has been perpetuated, perhaps even trivialized further, and not only the historians, but all the practitioners of the human sciences, are laboring, and are being belabored, without an adequate conception of the significance of their work for the work of education. As a result, the questions they put in their research and teaching are less demanding, of themselves and others, than they could be, and the influence of their work, on themselves and others, is far less than it should be.
—44:94 Cremin has already objected that Bailyn was too pat in suggesting that the traditional history of education was anachronistic, parochial, evangelical, and isolated because educationists, not historians, wrote it. Some historians showed the same faults when addressing educational topics, and some educationists very pointedly objected to these faults. But Cremin, too, did not really search out the causes of the problem. He merely pointed out that professional historians were as much responsible for the weaknesses of traditional educational history as were educationists and turned to the task at hand, revealed by Bailyn's achievement, of thoroughly revising the traditional interpretation of American educational history. That historians of education based in schools of education can write good history is patent. What remains unclear, and it is becoming a matter of some urgency to clarify, is the proper relationship of good educational history to the study of education. Scholars have performed only half of the critical task: we have become well aware of the shortcomings of traditional educational history as history. The question remains, however: what was the relation of traditional educational history to education and how did that relation affect the quality of work in the field both as history and as education?
William W. Brickman complains of this parochialism in "Revisionism and the Study of the History of Education," History of Education Quarterly, 4(1964), p. 220.
Brickman, Ibid., pp. 211-4, rather disjointedly points out various classical, renaissance, and early modern trials at the history of education. These works, however interesting, are not what is important here. As a field of scholarship, the history of education started to develop in late-eighteenth-century Germany and took substantial form early in the nineteenth century. A scholarly field is not static, for its driving questions and leading sources can change as practitioners of it mutually develop and criticize their work, but a scholarly field is coherent and trans-personal, for at any time there must be at least partial consensus within a group of practitioners over what questions are relevant, what procedures are acceptable, and what purposes are significant. The field is, in a sense, the transpersonal, coherent cultivation, discussion, and development of the questions, procedures, and purposes in force at any time. The first two chapters of Carl Diehl's excellent study, Americans and German Scholarship 1770-1870 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1978 , pp. 7-48, give a good sense of how German philology came to cohere into a field of scholarship. Stephen Toulmin's Human Understanding is a very important discussion, in a much broader context, of the concept of a field in relation to the very possibility of knowledge.
These generalizations anticipate results that will be documented in the ensuing chapters. Suffice it for now to note here that Werner Jaeger wrote Paideia: The Ideals of Greek Culture, 3 vols., (Gilbert Highet, trans., Vol. 1, 2nd ed., New York: Oxford University Press, 1945, 1943, 1944) with definite educational purposes in mind, stated clearly in the introduction to Vol. 1, pp. xiii-xxix, and that these were the same purposes he had voiced speaking directly to the educational issues of the time in "Humanismus and Jugenbildung" (1921) in Jaeger, Humanistische Reden and Vortrage (2nd ed., Berlin: Walter de Gruyter & Co., 1960), pp. 41-67.
—45:94 One characteristic of Education in the Forming of American Society is itself extremely parochial—all the works cited in it are in English. Bailyn, so fascinated by the transit of civilization in the colonial period, showed no curiosity about it in the emergence of educational history in the United States. The history of education, however, was one of the many academic fields created in nineteenth-century Germany and imported into the United States and England. Bailyn's study of the early writing of educational history in the United States is like a study of the nineteenth century emergence of the American university that made no mention of the German university. If Bailyn had put the emergence of American educational historiography at all into context, if he had compared it with the development of German educational history, the need to probe more deeply the causes of deficiencies he found in American work would have been evident. German educational history, far from perfect, nevertheless did not prominently manifest the characteristic failings of the American. For the most part, anticipating significant exceptions, German educational history was the work of scholars primarily concerned, not with history, but with education; it was nevertheless, by and large, good history; and however good as history, whether written by historians or educators, it was almost always written with an educational purpose as its raison d'être. That early American educational historians were primarily educators who made their professional educational interests preeminent in their work did not itself cause the weaknesses in their work. The real causality was more complicated.
—46:94 In search of that causality, let us follow with some care the transit of civilization; let us observe how scholars imported the history of education into the English-speaking world. In doing that, three things should become evident. First, educators incorporated the history of education into the university curriculum in a most peculiar way: they defined its pedagogical function prior to the creation any body of scholarship in English in the field, with the result that for several generations they specially tailored the scholarship, if you will, to this pre-determined teaching function. Here was the source of anachronism. Second, the timing of the original transfer of the field from Germany to England and America was such that the transfer brought with it a very unproductive, trivial conception of the role of history in the study of education. Ironically, educational scholars institutionalized this trivial role in the United States and England precisely at the time in Germany and elsewhere that scholars were replacing it with a more significant function. Here was the source of evangelicalism. Third, the special field of the history of education was transported from Germany without importing as well the cultural source of the field itself, namely, the more general philosophic, literary, and academic proclivity to take education, self-cultivation, Bildung, as a matter of fundamental importance, one that should command the attention of all engaged in serious cultural work. Here was the source of parochialism. The upshot of these peculiarities of the early history of education was that the area never became a field of scholarship in the proper sense. Here was Bailyn's real achievement. But let us turn to the beginning.
III—Historical Pedagogy: The German Background
—47:94 In Germany, around 1800, two significant transitions were underway, each of which deeply affected the emergence of the history of education as a field of study. The first involved scholarship: leaders in the steady reform of the German universities had invented and were developing the humanistic disciplines as defined fields of scholarship. The second involved education: greater flexibility, the expectation of change in material and cultural conditions of life, weakened the hold of the traditional education through ascribed rank and great interest built up in finding means to educate people for self-determination. We cannot here do justice to either of these transitions, but a few things should be noted about each.
—48:94 Scholarship is an ancient phenomenon, but scholarly disciplines are a recent invention. Traditionally, the university trained practitioners of three learned professions—theology, law, and medicine. The arts were a propaedeutic. Humanistic and scientific scholarship, while not excluded from the university, did not center in it. Libraries, institutes, academies, publishing houses, patrons, and salons were their foci until recent times. The work of Elizabeth L. Eisenstein has made us well aware of how the development of printing was a necessary condition for the development of modern scholarship, both scientific and humanistic. Yet printing, alone, did not do the trick. The broad availability of dependable printed texts powerfully stimulated work in history, philosophy, the criticism of literature, all the human sciences. Yet another problem impeded their systematic development, namely the happenstance emergence at any particular time of people able to exploit the available materials. As long as scholarship was a labor of love, an amateur endeavor, its progress would be dependent on the accidents of genius and interest. Reforms in the German universities, first at Halle and Göttingen, then with the new University of Berlin, strengthened the arts faculties, and the interaction of institutional imperatives, certain social needs, and important intellectual advances led to the systematization of scholarly disciplines. With these, scholarship became much less dependent on the accidents of genius, for they provided a dependable means of recruitment, if not of genius, at least of talent, by making possible systematic, professional training for prospective scholars in defined fields.
—49:94 In this process, the major step was that of defining the fields -- someone had to set forth, clearly, authoritatively, rigorously, the problems and skills to be mastered in philology, philosophy, history, geography, geology, chemistry, psychology, economics, sociology, physics, and so on. This occurred first in the oldest, least Baconian, of subjects, in the study of classical languages, which, one can say without too much exaggeration, the powerful but inelegant work of F. A. Wolf turned through a stroke into philology. Wolf clearly defined a problem, "the Homeric question," and indicated authoritatively the genesis of the problem and the materials and methods relevant to pursuit of its resolution. With that, a recurrent occupation for learned men became a field of scholarship; the study of classical languages became a discipline with definite boundaries, tested techniques of inquiry, standards of argumentation, and a restricted audience of scholars who shared a mastery of the sources and methods of the field. With the field so defined, its practitioners could develop a new form of advanced education, a university training that inducted the prospective scholar into the pursuit of the discipline. As fields of scholarship emerged around the turn of the nineteenth century, serious educators perceived opportunities to reform the universities with the arts faculty offering an apprenticeship through active research that prepared people for the professional creation of knowledge across a broadening spectrum of disciplines.
—50:94 This invention of disciplines was the technological basis for the reform of German higher education. Without the disciplines, scholarship could not have displaced preparation for the learned professions as the main concern of the universities. Closely associated with the creation of the disciplines was a new teaching technique, the seminar. One attended lectures to learn about a major figure's findings; one worked in a seminar with a major figure to learn how to pursue such findings for oneself. The seminar was the pedagogical expression and presence of the discipline in the university; it was the means by which apprentice and master joined in the continuous enterprise of creative scholarship. The traditional learned professions had been relatively static fields and the traditional university dominated by them had been strictly an agency for the transmission of knowledge, not for its creation. The arts and sciences, so long a propaedeutic, now became the vanguard of a new kind of university, one through which the research imperative would make it a dependable, productive source of new knowledge.
—51:94 At the same time that the creators of academic disciplines were transforming the institutions and activities of higher education, another, more general transition was occurring in Germany and throughout the Western world. Social, technical, economic, political change was becoming a predictable feature of personal experience across the social grades. The educational implications were immense, particularly in Germany where people expressed the implications of anticipated change in the conditions constraining the possibilities of life almost exclusively through education. The traditional European culture was an ascribed culture; across functions and ranks, from peasants and artisans through burgers and nobles, the operative education was a complicated, traditional system of conscious acculturation. We take for granted a culture of acquired characteristics; what traditionally existed was a culture of ascribed characteristics in a relatively stable environment, all the features of which had evolved to work from birth on, according to each person's station, as a powerful acculturating mechanism inducting each generation into its place, the place of its forbearers. Everything was pedagogical drama—a public hanging, harvest work and harvest festival, market days, the liturgies of religious observation, the codified content of song and conversation, the journeyman's travels, the lore of each local, the family tradition, das ganzes Haus, the hearth and home. The stages of life were marked, not by psychological stages of development, but by the traditional, social rituals celebrating the rites of passage-baptism rite, confirmation ceremony, marriage festival, funeral procession. In this context, schooling too served ascribed functions: minimal literacy for the many and mastery of the necessary tools for those destined to the learned professions.
—52:94 As the pace of movement, innovation, communication accelerated in the eighteenth century, as people began to anticipate experiencing significant changes in their social and cultural surroundings, they began to see the pedagogical problem in a radically different light. Traditionally, the infinite repertoire of pedagogical dramas, which all performed continuously for each other, worked to insinuate and enforce the social determination of each person according to station and rank. During the eighteenth century, particularly among burgers of more than modest means, the primary agents of accelerating change, a radically new idea of education developed, one that aimed, not at the formation of a pre-determined self, but one that would eventuate in a sustained capacity for self-determination. In many areas of the Western world, people expressed their growing awareness of the possibilities of self-determination primarily in the pursuit of new political and economic aspirations, but in the German lands, they channeled this awareness primarily through cultural and educational efforts. This transition occurred, at first, not so much through the creation of new educational agencies, but by the revitalization of existing agencies, by finding ways to imbue them with the novel ideal of self-determination. This is perhaps most evident in the wave of Bildungsromane, starting with Goethe's Wilhelm Meisters Lehrjahre, in which the traditional modes of acculturation to an ascribed character were shown to be a potential context for a many-sided, slow and wonderful self-creation of character.
—53:94 Not only through the Bildungsromane, however, were established agencies of ascriptive education reinterpreted as potential means of self-determination, of consciously acquired education. The enterprise was omnipresent. A host of works for household educators propounded this principle, aiming to inform parents, tutors, and pastors first with a better understanding of the processes by which a person develops and matures to moral and intellectual autonomy and second with a better comprehension of the cultural resources of proven use in that endeavor. The early nineteenth-century reform of the traditional classical secondary education in the Gymnasium, and its popularity among the bourgeoisie, arose, in part, from the ideal of self-determination; the new classical curriculum aimed not simply at mastery of Greek and Latin, but at substantial involvement with the culture of Greece and Rome, precisely because people believed such involvement to be conducive to autonomy in thought and action. Structures of law, traditionally mechanisms of imposing ascriptive patterns of conduct on people, were analyzed by Beccarria, Pestalozzi, Bentham, and others as mechanisms influencing, often destructively, the acquisition of character by many caught in anomalous situations, and the idea spread that laws should be reformed so that they would function, at worst as neutral influences, at best as positive influences, in each person's task of self-formation. Pestalozzi's Leonard and Gertrude best summed up the whole vision: this educational novel showed humble, local initiatives transforming, slowly but surely, the entire repertoire of traditional, static, ascriptive acculturation into a new configuration of agencies conducing to self-definition for all the members of the community through humane education.
—54:94 Among those interested in the improvement of education for self-determination were figures active in the academic world. Traditionally teachers, both familial tutors and gymnasium instructors, were recruited from graduates of the theology faculties, who would put in time as teachers while awaiting appointment as pastors, a wait that could sometimes be quite long in a situation where the supply exceeded demand. In theological faculties responsive to the new climate of concern, a trend toward offering work in pedagogy, the theory and practice of education, developed. This initiative was part of the general reform of the university then underway. The pedagogical seminars that developed offered work on a high academic level: a student performed a certain amount of what we would now call practice teaching along with a thorough study of the accumulated knowledge about education, generally organized through categories of anthropology and history. As pedagogical seminars began to be established, a significant question arose: at a time when university professors were preoccupied with the newly emerging, disciplinary bases for their work, so too, those initiating pedagogical seminars had to pay considerable attention to the methodological basis for the study of education. During the early nineteenth century, educational scholars thought the most promising grounding for the systematic study of education was historical and philological: one could best advance the understanding of education by the careful, critical inquiry into past educational experience.
—55:94 August Hermann Niemeyer (1754-1828), a theologian and educational reformer who was a descendant of August Hermann Francke, first widely, albeit tentatively, voiced this role for the history of education. Niemeyer grew up in highly cultured surroundings, and he was at home throughout his life in the intellectual elite of the German world. Trained in theology and philology, he started publishing, at 21, an influential, multi-volume theological study, Charakteristik der Bibel, the fifth volume of which appeared in 1782, the whole thereafter going through several later editions. At 23, he became professor of theology (at 30, ordinarius) at the University of Halle, then one of the most advanced universities. Throughout his life, it remained a center of his activity and he served as its rector from 1808 to 1816. From 1784 on, he maintained a life-long administrative role in the Francke Stiftung, a large complex of schools founded by his forbearer and on which Niemeyer exerted most effective leadership. In 1796, Niemeyer published his Grundsätze der Erziehung and des Unterrichts, which became a very popular book on education, valued for its warm humanity and the wealth of educational experience it communicated. Starting with the third edition in 1799, Niemeyer appended to it an historical outline, Überblick der allgemeinen Geschichte der Erziehung and des Unterrichts. In addition, in 1813, Niemeyer published a compilation of Originalstellen grieschischer und römischer Klassiker über die Theorie der Erziehung and des Unterrichts. To Niemeyer, neither of these efforts was more than a start towards "a complete history of what, from earliest times up to our own, has been thought theoretically and done practically with respect to education and instruction, of the men who have had the most significant influence, of the institutions which have been dedicated to this end, of the literary works which have been written to this purpose. . . . The materials for the whole lie dispersed in the most heterogeneous writings. Niemeyer suggested that educators would find his outline informative and that presenting it might occasion further investigation and treatment of the subject.
—56:94 We should note two qualities in Niemeyer's work. First, his conception of education was a large one. The Grundsätze specifically addressed parents, tutors, and educators, and although Niemeyer paid substantial attention to the particulars of instruction, he set that in a full discussion of cultivation and education. Education cultivated the moral and functional autonomy of the real person living in real conditions, and to do that well one had to work at each part of the process effectively, ever alert to the relation of particulars to the whole endeavor. Hence, he concentrated on the principles of education, for by comprehending these, one would have the capacity to comprehend better how particular aspects of education related to the whole. Although he did not develop his historical overview fully enough to be sure, the way he approached topics in it suggests that he viewed the history of education as an opportunity to search out the principles of education as they operated in the real contexts of human experience and to learn how better to use such principles to understand the interworking of pedagogical particulars in the whole of people's educations. This brings us to the second, notable quality: however sketchy Niemeyer's outline was, the bibliographical Anmerkung to each section were the work of a man in command of classical and biblical philology and a great deal of cultural history. They started the history of education off as a serious intellectual undertaking.
—57:94 Niemeyer based this undertaking on an important conception of the relation between history and education. Education took place in concrete situations in which an extremely complicated interaction of developing personal capacities for both good and bad interacted with the manifold particulars of the surrounding cultural environment, which particulars were likewise an all-too-human mix of the constructive and the destructive. To be helpful in this process, the educator needed experience and insight, which one built up from three sources, from pedagogical introspection concerning one's own educational situation as it had unfolded in one's experience, from pedagogical reflection on the historical experience of the educational process that had been accumulated, observing how individuals and groups had, faced with diverse cultural configurations, succeeded and failed to make these conduce to their human development, and from pedagogical consideration of whatever other thinkers one could find who had thought deeply about educational experience, their own and that of others. Thus, history was an essential source of knowledge for the educator. Basic pedagogical principles existed, but the educator could not understand them in the abstract, for they were principles that existed and functioned only in the full texture of historical life. (See esp. iii, 429-30)(trans in fn.)
—58:94 A few years later, F. H. C. Schwarz (1766-1857) started to fulfill Niemeyer's hope that his "Überblick" might engender further efforts, for Schwarz wrote the first full and coherent history of education in German. Like Niemeyer, Schwarz was both theologian and educational reformer. He acquired extensive experience as a pastor, teacher, and professor; he possessed learning, both deep and broad; he had a mind at once clear, deeply religious, open, and suffused with a simple optimism about human potentiality. In 1804 Schwarz became a theology professor at the University of Heidelberg, where for many years he ran the pädagogische Seminar, which for the first ten years or so met jointly with the philology seminar. In 1808, he spent some time visiting and working with Pestalozzi, whose pedagogy he greatly respected, albeit with some reservation for its excessive reliance on method. Schwarz wrote two major works on education, Erziehungslehre and Lehrbuch der Pädagogik and Didaktik. The first edition of the Erziehungslehre, which appeared in four volumes between 1802 and 1813, culminated with a two part, Geschichte der Erziehung nach ihrem Zusammenhang unter den Volkern von den alten Zeiten bis auf die neuste.
—59:94 In the second edition of 1829, Schwarz expanded this history and moved it to the beginning of the whole work, having come to the conviction that a theory of education should be based on an historical foundation, that a sound theory of education should rest on the cumulative educational experience of mankind. The program he set forth for a history of education was ambitious: "whoever should now want to write such a history must show us, first how the endeavor of education itself has developed, second how education has been conducted through the instructional and cultural institutions for the young, and third what has been learned about the activity of these institutions, which the most important theories on them were, and what literature there is on them. Schwarz's conception of the endeavor of education led not to narrow school histories. "Thus family, state, religion, morals, law, the entire people, and other peoples, in brief the whole infinity of life is indeed needed in order to grasp the being and becoming of a single man. Such a proper history was unattainable, then, perhaps now, yet Schwarz proposed to make a start by somewhat more narrowly defining the task, "namely as Geschichte der Erziehungsidee."
—60:94 I leave untranslated Schwarz's phrase, "history of the educational idea," in order to call attention to the peculiarities of the phrase. For Schwarz it was a single idea, the history was not to be the history of educational ideas in their multiplicity, but of one idea, the idea of education. The human capacity to educate had unfolded in history as people had acted, generation after generation, in manifold concrete situations, guided by the idea of education. The achievements and possibilities wrought with reference to this idea were by no means immediately manifest to anyone. To find what the possibilities of education were, to bring an optimal repertoire of these possibilities to bear in educational effort, and to understand the problems of formative development, people needed a history of the idea of education, a history that would enable them to comprehend the sum of activity the educative idea had guided. Thus, the history of education did more, for Schwarz, than illustrate sound and unsound methods; it did more than inspire educators with professional pride. The history of education empowered people to think and act educationally; it enabled people to grasp the range of educational possibilities that had taken hold in their experience and to achieve further possibilities, they would have to do so by extending further the historical actualities of education. Education existed in history; therefore, scholars could best study it through history.
—61:94 Like Niemeyer, Schwarz thought that history was the source of knowledge from which the educator could gain substantive insight into the principles and practices of his endeavor. Men did not discover or derive the idea of education from reflection or speculation, from acquired knowledge or science. The idea of education was implicit, inherent in the human condition, "with the first family on the earth this idea is met in life. (Ballauf 559) The possible concretizations of the idea of education have come into being, not through thought alone, but through human experience, through thoughtful action. Pedagogical surprise will always be possible, and the full potentiality of the idea of education will come only when the history of man's self-creation has reached a completion in eternity. (ELIi7) We are ever on the way, creating ourselves anew, and we cannot know the end, we can at best only interpret and understand past achievements, to draw on them creatively in our own task of self-creation. It was insufficient to turn to the history of education simply to draw inspiration for a pre-determined course: "we must first see what has up to now happened and how we have been brought to our own education before we can know what we have to do in order to form and educate our children well. (Ibid., p. xiii) To learn from history properly, one had to approach it with a dual expectation: first that it should delineate precisely the stage at which humanity stands at each point and second that it should function instructively in the immediate present with everything submitted to reflection; that it should not only give historical instruction about the past, but that it should also yield us more insight into the present educational task. (Ibid., p. 7)
—62:94 Schwarz gave a significant start to historical pedagogy, an effort to form a sound theory of education through thorough inquiry into the history of education and careful reflection on the results of this inquiry. Such a history of education was more than an ancillary specialty within the broader, university level study of education. Historical pedagogy was the methodological grounding for the early university level study of education. The major contemporary criticism of Schwarz's work took it to task precisely on these methodological grounds. This criticism was the work of none other than J. F. Herbart, who wrote a long review of the 1829 edition of Schwarz's Erziehungslehre. It is instructive about the tensions affecting the ensuing development of historical pedagogy and the methodological grounding of the study of education to note certain of Herbart's criticisms.
—63:94 Herbart began and ended his review by stating his conviction that two systematic disciplines were helpful in constructing a sound pedagogy: ethics, which gave guidance concerning educational ends, and psychology, which helped determine sound educative means. Herbart recognized, very grudgingly at times, that Schwarz had something to contribute to both pedagogical ethics and psychology, but Herbart contended that the empirical density of Schwarz's work marred the usefulness of these contributions. For Herbart, extensive historical inquiry "contributes neither to the resolution, nor even to the illumination, of present-day pedagogical questions. (350) Herbart found that Schwarz not only spent precious time with irrelevant matters, but that he was often insufficiently critical where matters were relevant, that he did not explain past errors in the light of later findings clearly enough. It was not that Schwarz was uncritical of past pedagogical thinkers, but that he explained their failings historically, when, in Herbart's view, "the deficiencies of previous speculative knowledge largely bore the guilt. (362)
—64:94 Herbert and Schwarz disagreed over the function of educational history within the study of education. Both recognized that to make education a practical endeavor, one could never reduce it to a closed, internally consistent, abstract system. Both recognized the importance of seeking some kind of coherence in the complicated texture of educational experience. Herbart suggested, however that they disagreed over the intellectual source of that coherence. "Pedagogy is a practical science in which it is important that one recognize the continuity of its development so that no unnecessary mistrust of it works against it. For pedagogy, however, there is a different continuity that is still more important for it than any historical continuity, namely, the psychological. (371) Herbart welcomed a useful history of education, but he criticized Schwarz's for excessive detail and scope, which would divert the attention of the practical educator from more important matters, and he suggested that Schwarz failed to make his history as practically useful as it might have been had he been more active in turning past practice into exempla of psychologically sound and unsound procedures. For Schwarz, education was a human activity that unfolded in history and had ultimately to be understood through history, without reference to supra-historical constructs valid for all times and places; for Herbart, in contrast, ethics and psychology, properly pursued by speculative reason, could yield a supra-historical pedagogical knowledge, which then could be applied to history to demonstrate its relevance and value for the present.
—65:94 Herbart's criticisms would have marked effects on German students of education and educational history, but they did not take hold immediately. The next major figure in the development of historical pedagogy was Friedrich Cramer (1802-1859), who in 1832 published the first volume of his Geschichte der Erziehung and des Unterrichts im Alterthume, devoted to educational practice, and who followed it in 1838 with a second volume on educational theory in antiquity. One sees in this work, as well as in Cramer's ensuing book on the Geschichte der Erziehung and des Unterrichts in den Niederlanden während des Mittelalters (1843), the start of greater specialization in the treatment of the subject. From 1830 to his death, Cramer devoted himself to educational and cultural activity in the Prussian coastal city of Straslund, where he directed the gymnasium. Through his work, Cramer remained true to Schwarz's aim to develop good educational theory and practice through inquiry into the history of education. "The history of education is a requisite of education, and as there is no true and complete philosophy without the history of philosophy, and generally no science without the history of it, in the same way there is no true educational theory without a basic examination of the history of education. . . . (xxv) Cramer had prepared well for this work. His father was a teacher, and by the age of fourteen, the son decided on an educational career. Musically talented, he supported his studies at the University of Berlin by teaching music. At the university, he studied with many of the leading figures, Schleiermacher, Ranke, Alexander von Humboldt, the philologists, Boeckh and Lachmann, and many others. Perhaps most influential of these was August Boeckh, to whom Cramer dedicated his study of ancient education, and the full mastery of the classical corpus displayed in that work demonstrates that indeed Cramer's philological training had been excellent.
—66:94 Cramer's historical pedagogy, informed by a firm commitment to education and based on a solid competence in philology and history, indicated one path that the whole effort would follow, namely that of a painstaking effort to inform practice through historical inquiry and reflection. Soon, however, another figure began to publish a history of education, one that indicated a very different path of development. He was Karl von Raumer (1783-1865) whose extensive, somewhat disjointed Geschichte der Pädagogik vom Wiederaufblühen klassischer Studien bis auf unsere Zeit began to appear in 1843. Raumer was the younger brother of the great member of the Berlin "historical school," Friedrich von Raumer. Both were many-sided men, but Friedrich seemed to achieve a unity of his qualities that Karl never did. Karl von Raumer set out to study law, but passed from that into a somewhat haphazard study of geology. While completing his geological studies he became enthused with education on reading Pestalozzi and Fichte, and spent some months in 1810 at Iferton acquainting himself with Pestalozzian methods. Between 1811 and 1823, he published quite a bit in the field of geology and taught mineralogy at Breslau and Halle. One would expect from his commitment to geology that his views would have been secular, but throughout his life a strong Lutheran, Augustinian commitment dominated his outlook. In 1823, his superiors suspected him of harboring democratic political views and made his professorial position difficult. He resigned to work in a school in Nuremberg with a strongly religious curriculum, so strongly religious that it progressively lost pupils, having to close in 1826. In 1827, through the intercession of friends, he received a call to be professor of mineralogy at the University of Erlangen, where he remained for the rest of his career. There, in addition to his history of education, he wrote a textbook on geography, edited Augustine's Confessions, and published several collections of hymns. Ultimately, his religiosity was primary: "what he called for," one writer observed, was "simple education on the basis of the Bible and the catechism according to paternal, evangelistic mores. (679)
—67:94 Raumer's Geschichte der Pädagogik was a substantial work, but one that shows the markings of an amateur historian. It filled certain needs that were beginning to be felt, however. For one, the coverage in it answered the criticism Herbart had mounted against Schwarz, for Raumer wasted no time with the crusty middle ages or the ancients. In the first two volumes, Raumer covered the educational history from the renaissance through Pestalozzi, emphasizing education in the German areas, through "a sequence of biographies" of varying length according to his sense of the importance of each leading figure. In this way, he sought to personify the historical development of the "Bildungsideale . . . through which a people, in the sequence of their developmental epochs, are ruled," and at the same time, he aimed to show how, in each epoch, the mature strove to realize the formative ideal in the young. In the third volume, Raumer dealt with the pedagogy of the recent past in Germany under four headings: 1) Family, School, Church, 2) Instruction, 3) Schools of Science and Art, and 4) the Education of Girls. At the end of the section on Instruction, he inserted what had been a short, separate book, with its own Foreword, on Instruction in German, and a long set of aphorisms on the teaching of history. The final volume, which appeared in 1854, was an incomplete but informative study of German universities, highly autobiographical in parts.
—68:94 Through Raumer's History of Pedagogy, one senses an urge to achieve encyclopedic fullness. The first two volumes read as a collection of separate essays. Great men lurch upon the stage, each in his individuality, and the coherence of the whole story derived, not from Raumer's capacity to explain the interconnections, but from the consistent pattern of evaluation that he applied to each figure with whom he dealt. Raumer wrote, in effect, a series of biographical encyclopedia articles, and so too the third volume comprised a series of substantial articles on different aspects of recent practice. The incipient encyclopedism in Raumer's work connected to another, even more important, quality, a changed sense of the use of history. To Raumer, history was not an arena of inquiry to which scholars seeking better answers to open questions turned. Raumer had a definite set of convictions, which he derived not from his study of history, but which he brought as an external framework to his study of history.
—69:94 Raumer forewarned his readers: "free from love and hate, I am not, nor will I be; I will by the best knowledge and scruple hate evil and adhere to the good, just as I neither call the sweet sour nor the sour sweet. (I, vii) Raumer may well have been addressing these remarks to his brother as a self-conscious apology for his own departure from the canons of the historical school, for he introduced his avowal of love and hate by recognizing that historians normally pursue an "objective presentation," although he would not. The history of education in Raumer's hands became a great morality play, illustrative of what he sincerely believed to be pedagogically right and pedagogically wrong. If a reader did not share Raumer's premises, that was the reader's problem "from a church historian who expresses his puritanical convictions dogmatically, no sensible reader expects a nonpartisan evaluation of the Middle Ages. If the reader shared Raumer's premises, he would find the work to be of practical value. "When in this history the ideals and methods of diverse pedagogues are described, readers, particularly practical schoolmen, will be forced to compare their own opinions and procedures to them. When these coincide with those of a reader, he will be gratified and have a feeling of satisfaction; when these diverge, he will be moved to examine both his own and the others, with the result, either that he will preserve his own with even more conviction or that he will change them. I gladly confess that it is, above all, a practical end, as I here describe it, that has driven me to this work and guided me in performing it. (Ibid.)
—70:94 A subtle shift in the purpose of educational history had occurred with Raumer's work. Knowledge of the past rather than inquiry into the past had become the prime desideratum. There was, his account suggested, a practical value in acquiring this knowledge of the past, for it would strengthen the convictions of present-day educators, whether or not they agreed with past practices and ideas. This was essentially the view of educational history Herbart had formed. He thought knowledge about the educational past was useful, especially knowledge about the relevant past. Herbart did not want history, however, to become a source of knowledge about proper educational practice; this knowledge was to come from ethics and psychology. In the Herbartian view, the history of education could have practical worth when used precisely in the way Raumer suggested, when past practice was presented to the present educator in such a way that he could bring a general pedagogy, derived from ethics and psychology, to bear, analyzing what was right and wrong in past practice, thus strengthening his mastery of educational science. Pedagogically, Raumer was not a Herbartian, but his assemblage of knowledge about pedagogy since the renaissance lent itself very well to Herbartian uses, and as a result, the Herbartian movement of the nineteenth century was able to incorporate the history of education into its pedagogical system.
—71:94 For forty years following Raumer's Geschichte der Pädagogik, no history of education appeared in which there was a powerful effort to develop an understanding of educational purpose and practice from a careful, reflective study of the past. Instead, many educational historians busily worked building up information about the educational past. Various groups and individuals wrote textbooks; they published source collections; and they conducted diverse specialized studies. All this activity followed naturally from Raumer's encyclopedic tendencies and it fit well with the Herbartian idea that the history of education should serve as an instructional aid for systematic pedagogy, illustrating sound and unsound developments for prospective educators. Late in the century, K. A. Schmid directed a mammoth synthesis bringing all these diverse contributions together into the Geschichte der Erziehung vom Anfang an bis auf unsere Zeit. With this work, the encyclopedic culmination of the early German history of education was unmistakable, for Schmid's Geschichte really presented in chronological format, materials that Schmid was simultaneously developing for the ten-volume Encyklopädie des gesammten Erziehungs- und Unterrichtswesens, which he published at the same time. Both parts of the enterprise, the Geschichte and the Encyklopédie reflected the conviction that what practical educators needed was not disinterested inquiry into the nature and effects of education in historical experience, but access to practical knowledge about the conduct of education. The Geschichte gave a vast range of information with little effort by the historians to make pedagogical sense of it all: that was the work of systematic pedagogy, not historical pedagogy.
—72:94 Late in the century, Wilhelm Rein gave a clear, pointed statement of the relation of historical and systematic pedagogy. Rein was the last of the great Herbartians, systematizer of the tradition of systematic pedagogy, editor of the Encyklopädisches Handbuch der Pädagogik and author of a three-volume Pädagogik in systematischer Darstellung. These authoritative works were the fulfillment of nineteenth-century German educational science and had great influence over those initiating educational scholarship in the United States and England. Consequently, although Rein was not an historian of education, his treatment of it became the program for educational history imported into the United States and England. In both his book and his plan for the encyclopedic handbook, Rein divided pedagogy into two parts, the systematic and the historical. The table displaying his conception is rather comical: he organized all positive knowledge pertinent to education under the heading of systematic pedagogy; Rein left historical pedagogy, a division nominally equivalent to systematic pedagogy, completely empty, for he held that however informative it might be, it yielded no positive knowledge about education. History was purely illustrative of knowledge achieved through other means. In explaining this conception in the Pädagogik, Rein quoted Schwarz without citation "it is still a widely voiced opinion that we must first see what has up to now happened and how we have been brought to our own education before we can know what we have to do in order to form and educate our children well. . . . We hold this sequence to be false. (i, 100)
—73:94 For Rein, exactly the opposite was true. To write history well, the historian had to master systematic, scientific pedagogy first, before looking at the past, for only then could the historian judge rightly what he found in the past, for only then would the historian have the knowledge requisite to discriminate soundly between what was right and wrong in past practice. "One must first have acquired through speculation and experience a solid, all-around theory before the history of previous efforts can be studied with success. Without such a theory grounded in the systematic study of education and a rigorous ethics and psychology, the student will lack "the standard with which to judge previous efforts. Without an external grounding in systematic pedagogy, the complexity of educational history will discourage the student, who will fall into an "unprincipled eclecticism. It is different for those who seek to create for themselves an entirely grounded standpoint through ethics and psychology "for them, history will really be able to be a veracious teacher. (i, 100-1) One could not imagine a much more authoritative rational for the characteristic weaknesses in the early history of education written in English, both their historical weaknesses and their educational weaknesses.
[The following material will be expanded into section "4 -- Inspiration for an Oppressive Pedagogy," and some of it into the germ of section 5, for which 1 do not yet have a title, perhaps "the foundation of geisteswissenschaftliche Pädagogik"]
—74:94 In England and the United States, the history of education began to develop in the middle of the nineteenth century. This was the time of Raumer's ascendancy in German educational history and his work provided the inspiration and raw materials for the first histories of education in English, particularly in the first wave of work in educational history, occurring in the 1850's and 1860's. Thus in 1868, Robert Herbert Quick remarked in the first edition of his Essays on Educational Reformers: "'Good books are in German,' says Professor Seely. I have found that on the history of education, not only good books, but all books are in German or some other foreign language." The book that Quick averred to be the best, and in this his judgment was shared by his American colleague, Henry Barnard, who had been encouraging interest in the history of education through his American Journal of Education, was, of course, Raumer's Geschichte der Pädagogik.
—75:94 Like Raumer, Barnard and Quick attributed practical value to educational history. They were key participants in the effort to extend schooling, to improve its quality, to professionalize teaching. From roughly 1840 on, the reform of schools was one of the great causes moving people in Europe and America, and the professionalization of teachers was one of the major means through which reformers proposed to improve the schools. To professionalize teachers, they needed formal training in their craft, one major component of which became the history of education. Texts for teachers on the subject became a common staple. Several appeared in German in the 1850's and more followed, their titles specifying, "for pupils in the teachers' seminars," "for clergymen and teachers of both confessions," "for German common school teachers," "for student-teachers in the higher teaching institutions." Barnard and Quick, along with many others, believed the history of education could serve as a useful tool in the preparation of teachers and educators. In 1859, Barnard wrote the Introduction to a History and Progress of Education from the Earliest Times to the Present, a text much like those in German, "a manual for teachers and students. It was important, Barnard suggested, that educators learn something of the history of their craft so that they do not continually repeat errors and reinvent sound practices. Quick had almost exactly the same rationale in mind in writing his Essays. "Practical men in education, as in most other things, may derive benefit from the knowledge of what has already been said and done by the leading men engaged in it, both past and present. (Quick, xiv) Barnard and Quick developed the history of education in English to perform practical functions for the nascent educating profession. Their histories became part of the stock of professional resources, taught to teachers and popularized to the public. The type of educational history Raumer had developed and Schmid had brought to fulfillment exactly suited this purpose. The aim was to build up a broad repertoire of information about past practices and ideas and to put it in a form that would illustrate good practices, enabling teachers and educators to absorb essential norms of their profession.
—76:94 A second wave of contributions to the history of education in English started in the 1880's and continued until the onset of World War I. The authors of these histories had purposes similar to those of Barnard and Quick, and their agenda for the history of educational thought was entirely consistent with that set down by Schmid and Rein. Through this second wave, an extensive set of historical materials for use in the preparation of teachers appeared in English. From the mid 1880's on, year by year scholars published numerous texts, translations, selections from great thinkers on education, and studies of particular periods and institutions. True, there was nothing like K. A. Schmid's comprehensive, detailed Geschichte der Erziehung, unless one counts as such the vast, varied, mish-mash of historical materials Henry Barnard had put out in mid century. Nevertheless, by 1902 there were at least a dozen general texts on the history of education or the development of educational thought. In addition a passel of books on particular periods were available, diminutive little books like George Clark's Education of Children at Rome and thick detailed books like Augusta T. Drane's Christian Schools and Scholars. Most important for the history of educational thought was the endless stream of books devoted to individuals and groups renowned for their educational theories. By 1902, students would find available books on the educational writings and work of a considerable range of figures, among them Alcuin, Aristotle, Richard Busby, Comenius, Descartes, Erasmus, Fénelon, Froebel, Hartlib, Herbart, Loyola and the Jesuits, Luther, Melanchthon, Milton, Montaigne, Mulcaster, Pestalozzi, Plato, Rousseau, and Vittorino da Feltre.
—77:94 A few of these were of high quality, a good instance being Philip Melanchthon, the Protestant Preceptor of Germany, 1497-1560 by James William Richard. Although introductory in style, this book was thoroughly researched, and although appearing in a series called "Heroes of the Reformation," it was objective in presentation, crafted to inform curiosity, not to convert opinion. More typical of the whole lot was F. V. N. Painter's Luther on Education. This was a partisan tract, partisan for Luther and partisan for state supported popular education. Luther's letter to the mayors and aldermen of the cities of Germany on behalf of Christian Schools, Painter held, "must be regarded the most important educational treatise ever written. (iii) As part of the "historical" background needed to comprehend Luther on education, Painter included a chapter on the Papacy and popular education, which dealt almost entirely with late nineteenth-century matters. It concluded: "1. we should carefully observe the insidious movements of the Papacy; 2. recognizing the separation of Church and State . . . , we should nowhere tolerate sectarian legislation; 3. maintaining the right of the State to educate its citizens, we should forbid the appropriation of any public funds to sectarian schools; 4. all public school offices should be filled with recognized friends of popular education. . . . (51) And twenty-three pages later, we learn of course who these recognized friends of popular education were: "in principle and in fact Protestantism is the mother of popular education and the friend of culture. (74)
—78:94 Painter's strong sectarian bias was slightly atypical, although not as much as one might think. Raumer's history, perhaps more subtly, nevertheless rested as fully on a Lutheran faith, as did Painter's. Raumer had closed his third volume with a credo, an elevated statement of a Lutheran pedagogy. "Christ spoke: be perfected as your father in heaven is perfected. Thus he put before us the highest model and reminded us of the lost paradise where man's still unfallen image remained. (III, 443) The difference between Raumer and Painter was simply in the opposition they chose; what the Papacy was for the latter, Rousseau was for the former, the insidious exponent of Pelagian pedagogy. "Already the comparison of the two [Christ and Rousseau] can convince anyone that the division of pedagogy into Pelagian and antipelagian is fundamental and of the greatest practical significance."(III, 442) If a bit distinct in its sectarian bias, the structure and intellectual standards in Painter's book certainly typified numerous contributions to the history of educational thought in English. It included several introductory chapters, which superficially set the scene for translations of two of Luther's short texts on education. We might best characterize the work as a "terminal introduction," written on the assumption that the reader could profit from knowing something about the subject, but making no effort to raise problems for further inquiry or to orient the reader in the sources or literature that might sustain further inquiry.
—79:94 Early studies in English in the history of educational thought convey the overwhelming impression that the whole field was a terminal introduction for prospective teachers and pedagogical practitioners. Numerous studies and translations—Oliphant's Mulcaster, Lupton's Fénelon, Holman's Pestalozzi, Mackenzie's Hegel, Compayré's Spencer, Jolly's Ruskin, and Crosby's Tolstoy—appeared with virtually no critical apparatus. The better works, often those in Nicholas Murray Butler's series, "The Great Educators," or in William Torrey Harris', "International Education Series," or in Edward Franklin Buchner's "Lippincott Educational Series," were nevertheless introductions for use in courses in teacher training. Most of these would convey to the reader that there was a body of thought about the man in question, but give no real access to it. The treatment was superficial; it would make a figure's accomplishments relevant to contemporary education paramount while glossing over the difficulties of setting the figure's work in the context of his time. Such studies generally segmented a person's pedagogical ideas and activities from the rest of his or her life and work and concentrated on those elements that one could specifically present as educational. So simplified and capsulized, diverse historical figures became predictable and homogeneous, all illustrating variations on the set ideas that reformers believed were useful to teachers and a supportive public -- informative, broadening, inspiring.
—80:94 In its early stages, the history of education, particularly the history of educational thought, consisted almost exclusively of efforts at popularization. The field did not exist as a field of disciplined inquiry. There were no clearly defined problems or research questions in it. Historians of educational thought wrote numerous justifications of it as part of the teacher-training curriculum; none that I have been able to find discussed a research agenda for its practitioners. In early discussions of the history of education, writers would sometimes complain about the poor quality of texts and studies in the field, but such complaints made clear that the standard of quality was the suitability of the texts and studies as teaching instruments in history of education courses. Justifications of the field dealt with it as an area of inquiry only in passing. The field had value in training professional educators; that was its reason for being. "To the teacher the study of the history of education brings three valuable results. It widens his professional horizon and makes him feel the dignity of his calling. It gives him true pedagogic perspective and enables him to estimate accurately the value of courses of study and methods of teaching. It inspires him, for the great teachers with whom it makes him acquainted were sacrificial high priests who mediated to the world its higher life, and they themselves were sacrifices. ("E. L. Kemp. History of Education, vi-vii)
—81:94 Since authors were pursuing no real research questions, they produced work that gave very spotty coverage of the relevant past. Quirks of interest and fashion determined the patterns of coverage, and the tendency to concentrate on single figures in relative isolation from their intellectual and educational context created an impression that educational thought developed by a type of spontaneous generation from a series of unrelated reformers and thinkers. Multiple studies, none of which stood out as truly distinguished, surveyed the educational work of Herbart, Pestalozzi, and Comenius. Other figures like Hegel and Kant were occasional subjects of studies. Edward Franklin Buchner's The Educational Theory of Immanuel Kant gives a good sense of the strengths and weaknesses of this literature. The book comprises close to a hundred pages of introductory material, a translation of Über Pädagogik, and translations of selected fragments from Kant's corpus dealing with education. Buchner's introductory material gives an adequate orientation, a brief survey of Kant's life and work, the textual history of Über Pädagogik, a very brief discussion of some of the sources Kant drew on in forming his educational theory, capsule discussions of Kant's philosophical outlook, his psychological ideas, his concept of development, followed by a summary and then a critique of his theory of education, concluding with a four-page bibliography.(Buchner 1904) The book, like many others of the genre, had a basic weakness: it would give a reader a good sense of what Kant said about education, but a very uncertain comprehension of Kant's significance for education. Neither the discussion of Kant in relation to his predecessors nor of Kant in relation to later developments in educational thought is adequate. The few paragraphs devoted to Rousseau and Kant deal entirely with superficial similarities and differences between their pedagogical prescriptions; they did not reflect a close reading of Rousseau or a sense of the possible basis for the close intellectual sympathy Kant felt for Rousseau. In the same way, in the annotations Buchner made to Kant's texts, he pointed out similarities and differences between Kant's positions and those of later German educational writers, but there was no serious attempt to uncover, define, and explain Kant's impact.
—82:94 Buchner's work condescended towards both the reader and its subject in a way typical of the entire early literature in the history of educational thought. Every field needs an exoteric corpus, which scholars write by leaving aside certain complexities, but no healthy field of study can consist in only an exoteric corpus. Such a situation can come about only when scholars assume that their audience cannot take too much, and that the subject of the field, in the end, really does not merit a thorough probing au fond. The impetus towards writing educational history in the late nineteenth century came from the desire to build effective national school systems staffed by professionals. Leaders of this effort saw themselves culminating a long tradition of educational aspiration; they were at the historical summit. From this perspective, everything was essentially a problem of mobilization; they needed to mobilize resources, to mobilize teachers, to mobilize the public too, and even to mobilize the educational past. How could the past serve their purposes? If the pedagogical present was the summit, the pedagogical past was at best a preparation, and they dealt with it as such. The history of educational thought should inform, caution, and inspire; it should serve the work at hand and when the historical repertoire was suited to this task, it would essentially be complete. As long as educational history served present needs effectively, what they ignored or misinterpreted in it seemed to matter little. An educational history that went too deep, that asked too many questions, that provoked too many reflections, doubts, and unexpected initiatives would not serve well the basic task of mobilization. Informed, cautioned, inspired teachers were wanted; reflective, critical, independent teachers might be too much to absorb into the overriding task of mobilizing effective educational organizations.
—83:94 Ellwood Patterson Cubberley's very ambitious Syllabus of Lectures on the History of Education indicated well how the field as a subject of instruction for prospective teachers and educators completely preoccupied early historians of education. Cubberley sought to mobilize an informative body of knowledge without going too deep into the matter. Through the Syllabus, Cubberley made an extraordinary effort to assemble the field, largely leaving out the history of American education. The work comprised forty outlines, forty-two in the revised version of 1904, which were extremely detailed and comprehensive, but dry and unreflective. The lecture outlines organized a vast amount of information, but posed no questions. For instance, the outline on Rousseau stuck just to the facts—one page sketching his life, half a page on his times, two pages on Émile, and a half a page on his influence. None of it gave any indication that Rousseau presented readers with challenging problems of interpretation.(Cubberley 1904)
—84:94 Each outline incorporated bibliographies, the most valuable part of Cubberley's Syllabus. These cited hundreds of different titles, often with considerable precision and discrimination according to the topic at hand. In the second edition, Cubberley added critical commentaries to these bibliographies, and in them what he had to say about the books always concerned their usefulness, or lack of such, for the study and teaching of the subject at hand. Most of the literature on educational history as it was then available in English, French, and German was there at hand, and what an opportunity Cubberley missed! With almost the entire repertoire of the field assembled coherently, he had nothing to say about what needs and opportunities there were in it for further research and writing. He was uninterested, strikingly uninterested, in conflicts between authorities, concerned instead to identify the resources that would best give the student the proper and seemly information about professional practice. Again, from the section on Rousseau: "of the sources, the translation of the Émile by Payne is the standard translation. . . . The abridged edition, translated by Eleanor Worthington . . . will probably answer the needs of the general student better than the complete [sic] edition. The Confessions, a study in mental pathology, while a valuable side-light . . . , are of little value to the average student and may be passed by with advantage. Davidson gives as much on Rousseau's life as the student will ever need. (Cubberley 1904) Such comments indicate that Cubberley did not care about the history of education as an area of inquiry. Instead, its purpose was to broaden teachers' minds, to caution them against past mistakes, to inspire them to professional pride. He did not need to think about opportunities for needed research because the existing works in the field were quite adequate for his purposes. The task was to organize them for presentation through an efficient course of instruction. Hence, the Syllabus. The closest he came there to suggesting new scholarship in the history of education was to call, to this day unanswered, for the translation into English of La réforme de l'éducation en Allemagne en dix-huitième siècle by Auguste Pinloche.
—85:94 Cubberley's characteristic lack of any driving historical curiosity in seeking to mobilize an informative history of education shows up in certain perplexing omissions in the Syllabus, omissions that the whole field as written in English has shared and perpetuated. For instance, in K. A. Schmid's comprehensive Geschichte der Erziehung, Friedrich Schleiermacher's educational thought and work was covered in 118 pages, and only Pestalozzi, dealt with in 133, and Herbart, in 129, received more extensive treatment.(Schmid 1884-1902) In Rein's Encyklopädisches Handbuch der Pädagogik, the entry on Schleiermacher was one of the longest allotted to a single person.(Rein 1895-1899) In currently standard German histories of education and pedagogy, the coverage of Schleiermacher is always among the most substantial, and there are extensive editions of his pedagogical writings and numerous studies of his educational thought. Cubberley did not mention Schleiermacher, and there has been virtually no mention of Schleiermacher in any of the literature on the history of educational thought in English. Monroe's Cyclopedia of Education allotted a bit over one column to him(Monroe 1968), and in R. Freeman Butts's Cultural History of Western Education, Schleiermacher is mentioned once in passing(Butts 1947). A brief paragraph in The Educational Theories of Herbart and Froebel by John Angus MacVannel deals with Schleiermacher(MacVannel 1905), and that is about it on Schleiermacher's educational thought in English. Dissertation Abstracts lists no dissertation on Schleiermacher in the field of education from 1861 through 1977. There are no books in English on his educational thought; no articles that I have been able to locate; no discussions, however brief, in any of the texts on educational philosophy, educational thought, or the history of Western education. A field animated by a driving sense of curiosity, in which genuine into its subject controlled the patterns of work, would not so completely miss a figure of Schleiermacher's stature.
—86:94 Further, Schleiermacher was not the only omission, and a close look at Cubberley's bibliographies, however, shows that his command of the literature was not as good as it might have appeared at first. Not considering his bibliographies of minor authorities, sources, and general works, concentrating instead on the major secondary authorities pertinent specifically to the educational matters covered in the Syllabus, he cited almost as many books in German as in English. Thus, he appeared fully in command of German pedagogical scholarship. Yet, within the outlines themselves, the coverage of German educational thought slighted significant developments and the scholarship cited reveals important oversights. Within the outlines, Cubberley gave Frederick August Wolf, Wilhelm von Humboldt, Fichte relatively brief coverage; he mentioned Klopstock, Wieland, Lessing, Herder, Goethe, and Schiller mentioned only in passing; most importantly, he entirely omitted Richter and Schleiermacher. In brief, the educational thought of Neuhumanismus received short shrift. Furthermore, Cubberley did not cite certain important German essays and books that, in the late nineteenth-century, were deepening and broadening educational history by resuscitating the idea of historical pedagogy.
—87:94 Here was an important juncture. At the time that American educational scholars uncritically imported the German scholarship of the mid to late nineteenth century, German historians of education adopted a far more ambitious agenda for their work. It is possible here to give only a most general picture of what happened in German educational scholarship, but that general picture is of great importance. In the late nineteenth century, scholars posed a basic question, and with it, they adumbrated a pedagogical alternative, with yet uncertain results. The question in its simplest form was what educates? Following immediately any answer to this question, be it tacit or explicit, was another question in view of what educates, what knowledge will enable educators to set and achieve worthwhile pedagogical goals? The neo-Herbartian agenda assumed a largely tacit answer to the first question: what educated were the intentional efforts of parents, teachers, and institutions to impart learning and virtue to the young. With this answer, the answer to the second question followed along lines of systematic pedagogy so clearly laid out by Rein: in imparting learning and virtue to the young, an ethics prescribing pedagogical ends and a psychology providing effective means was the knowledge that would enable parents, teachers, and institutions make their instructional practice effective in achieving worthwhile goals.
—88:94 Critical historians perceived a serious weakness in these answers to the basic questions, however. Real human experience was full of ironies; intentions were not tantamount to results; what educates was not simply the intentional efforts of parents, teachers, and institutions to impart qualities to the young, but rather the historic actualities of those efforts and all that was pertinent to them. Thus, a simple, confident answer to the first question was not possible, some held, for in many cases, the results of intentional efforts to impart things to the young went far beyond what people had intended or sought and in other cases, they fell far short. In this view, what educates was continuously problematic, and any answer to the second question, how best to deploy that which educates, was at best tentative, uncertain, conditioned by the infinite complexities of historic experience. Hence, to find what educates and to understand how it educates, one needed to turn, not to psychology and ethics, but to history, to reflect on the sum of human experience with educative effort. With this conviction, a number of significant educational thinkers departed from the dominant, neo-Herbartian view of education, and through their work, a remarkable resurgence of historical pedagogy, of Geisteswissenschaftlich Pädagogik, occurred, which has been the most vital, productive side of educational inquiry in German during the twentieth century.
—89:94 In order to understand the strength of this departure from the Herbartian program for pedagogy, we need to recognize that Herbart's program, itself, had been a departure from the main educational concerns of Neuhumanismus, as well as from the predominant educational concerns of Western humanism as a whole, for that matter. Education involves a learner, some form of teacher, and some form of cultural content. The Herbartian program stressed ethics in order to legitimate the ends pursued by the teacher, and most of all psychology in order to sophisticate the means used to impart things to the learner. Relatively little attention was paid in it to the cultural content. Herbart departed from, or at least the Herbartian program as it developed from his work departed from the deep, widespread concern for the educative value of cultural content characteristic of Neuhumanismus and the German classics.
—90:94 During the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, diverse German writers and thinkers had been preoccupied with how human character and intellect forms itself through involvement with different cultural activities and works. Lessing, Goethe, Schiller, Herder, Schelling, Fichte, Hegel, the von Humboldts, Richter, and numerous others made this one of the great eras of educational reflection. We can perhaps best sum up their concern economically by quoting a line from Walter Kaufmann: "Plato's central importance for a humanistic education—and 'humanistic education' is really tautological—is due to the fact that a prolonged encounter with Plato changes a man. (Kaufmann 1961) How do diverse prolonged encounters with cultural activities and works change people and what is the use and value for life of the various potential prolonged encounters? These fundamental questions gave rise to the rich educational reflections of this period. In this manner, scholars queried all sides of life—languages, customs, occupations, religions, literary works,Allgemein Pädagogik, held that sound pedagogical inquiry and practice required the historical, critical evaluation of the cultural contents and contexts of education.
—91:94 With such a heritage, which well-educated German scholars shared as part of their general education, there was at the turn of the century a ready ground for response to the program of Geisteswissenschaftlich Pädagogik. In 1883, the Catholic educational theorist, Otto Willmann, published Didaktik als Bildungslehre nach ihren Beziehungen zur Sozialforschung and zur Geschichte der Bildung. This book was the first fully developed attempt at an historical pedagogy, which, at the conclusion of a series of lectures at the University of Prague twelve years earlier, Willmann had sketched in one of his concluding aphorisms.
1) It seeks to define the concept of education from history. What was educating for various peoples? The subject and substance of education is historically determined.
2) It seeks the constituent parts of our education in history. This or that must be dealt with in our education because they are there in our culture. We are historically conditioned, hence we must be historically educated.
3) It puts history in its widest sense at the center of instructional subjects.
4) It interlaces other instructional areas with history: the history of discoveries, geography, and so on.
5) It requires a system of instruction, which traces the historical development of its subjects.
6) It values earlier modes of education and denies the presumption, which many systems begin, that with it the first sunrise of education has dawned. Freedom rests on the knowledge of dependence through transposition of our unconscious conditioning into conscious conditions.
Here was a set of purposes far more demanding and ambitious than those guiding the writing of educational history in English.
—92:94 We can get a good sense of how Willmann was departing from the dominant pedagogy by comparing the structure of his didactic to the Herbartian program embodied in Wilhelm Rein's plan for the Encyklopädisches Handbuch der Pädagogik. Rein identified ethics and psychology as the basic sciences on which pedagogy rested, ethics establishing the end of pedagogy, psychology the means. Most of his efforts at conceptualization concerned what he called systematic pedagogy, which he divided into a theoretical and a practical branch. Then further, he divided the theoretical branch into two—a theory of ends and a theory of means. In the former, he applied ethics to establish an educational teleology, and through the latter, by far the must extensive side of systematic pedagogy, he stipulated that psychology would establish an educational methodology, with the primary aim of devising effective methods of instruction for all the branches and levels of human knowledge. The second main division of systematic pedagogy, complementing the theoretical, was the practical, again divided into two parts, one dealing with the various forms of education, a second dealing with the direction of schools. In addition to systematic pedagogy, with its theoretical and practical branches, Rein recognized historical pedagogy, but put it in an entirely subsidiary role. "It puts a picture of past educational conditions forward and pursues the development of pedagogical ideas from their origins to the present in close connection with economic and general cultural developments. With that, historical pedagogy turns into a tutor for the systematic; and vice versa the systematic, seeking certain norms for the present and future, can also sharpen the view of what happened in the educational matters of the past. (VI, 492) Here was the rationale for the systematic anachronism of so much of the educational history written in the service of systematic pedagogy.
—93:94 Willmann set out from the premise that neither ethics nor psychology could establish certain norms validly controlling pedagogical activity in the present and future because education was a dimension of the social and historical lives of people. Purposes and practices inhered in the historical conditions of experience. After a long introduction in which he dealt thoughtfully with the implications of the social and historical character of education, he devoted the first volume of the Didaktik to a study of "Die geschichtlichen Typen des Bildungswesens" in which he paid very close attention to the educative power of the cultural content of different historical patterns of human formation. In dealing with each type of human formation—primarily the Greek, Roman, early Christian, medieval, renaissance, enlightenment, and modern—Willmann sought to empathize with each, to take it on its own ground, to show how it worked as an historical, educational ethos. Willmann divided the second volume into four parts, dealing with Bildungszwecke, Bildungsinhalt, Bildungsarbeit, and Bildungswesens—that is, the ends, the content, the work, and the organization of human formation. In all the sections, his discussion was closely linked with his historical analyses, and the longest, most significant section was that on the work of human formation. This concentration on the work of education, rather than on its methods, grew out of the convictions that education exists as historical actuality and that it comes about through the work of student and teacher, of family and school, of the whole culture and all its participants. Good theory of education would come through the careful interpretation of this process, and it must center on the realities of work at human formation, for education, human formation, occurred only as people worked with cultural contents, created them, selected them, organized them, and appropriated them under the complex constraints of their historical conditions.
—94:94 Willmann's Didaktik had little influence in England or the United States; it was not even the major source for Geisteswissenschaftlich Pädagogik in Germany, for Willmann was somewhat peripheral, a Catholic professor at the University of Prague, somewhat distanced from the center of German academic life. At the same time, however, Wilhelm Dilthey took certain initiatives along parallel lines.
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