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studied them together. But this was not enough. After, therefore, I had attended the lectures twice, I engaged private lessons from Werner, merely for the sake of going through his excellent collection under his direction. When, in 1811, I was appointed professor of mineralogy at Breslau, I saw that, under the circumstances of that situation, I must pursue a different course from Werner's, and must proceed as much as possible by the way of intuition, and keep the oral part of my instruction in the background, in order that my pupils might gain some actual mineralogical knowledge. For Breslau offered none of the outside assistance which was accessible at Freiberg; the academical collection being the only one from which the students could gather any information.
I shall hereafter describe the method to which I resorted. Besides the students, I had other hearers also. I offered to the rector of the Breslau Gymnasium to instruct any of his scholars who might have a special taste for mineralogy, and had the pleasure of always having some gymnasiasts under my teaching during my eight years' stay there; and my experience in Göttingen was similar.
I was transferred, in 1819, from Breslau to Halle, where I taught on the same plan, and also gave the mining pupils practical lessons, in the neighborhood, in the mode of examining mountains. In 1823 I left Halle and went to Nuremberg. Here, as instructor in a private school, I had an opportunity of instructing boys of frơm ten to fourteen in mineralogy, and had the use of a good collection for the purpose. I also endeavored to make my pupils acquainted with the vegetable kingdom, by the method which I shall hereafter describe.
I received my present appointment to the professorship of natural history and mineralogy at the University of Erlangen in 1827. Here I taught mineralogy to the gymnasiasts in the same manner which I had previously made use of; but to the students in a somewhat different one. Instruction in general patural history was a somewhat novel employment for me. It was evident that in this department I could not, as in mineralogy, begin with the observation of nature herself. How could this be done, for instance, in mathematical and physical geography? It was a matter of course that, as things then were, oral instruction must be the principal resource, notwithstanding that very many points might be made as clear as possible to the senses by means of exhibiting natural objects, pictures, maps, models, &c.
So much I bave said by way of preface, to give the reader a general view of the course which I pursued in learning and teaching natural history; and to make it properly clear that mineralogy was my chief object.
The teacher of natural science might well turn dizzy when he considers the vast compass of his subject, and the mental power and exertion which they demand.
Their extent is increasing daily. Where Hipparchus and Ptolemy saw 1,022 stars, Lalande and Bessel saw 50,000; where the Greeks and Romans knew 1,500 species of plants, Stendel's “ Nomenclator Botanicus” for 1821 gave 39,684, and its second edition, in 1841, no less than 78,005, without reckoning the cryptogamia. Thus the number of botanical species has nearly doubled itself within twenty years. In zoology there has been a similar increase. The twelfth edition of Linnæus' " System” included about 6,000 animals, while Rudolf Wagner, in 1834, enumerated about 78,000. The greatest German mineralogist, Werner, who died thirty years ago, in 1837, would not now know the names of more than one-third of the
species of minerals now recognized.
In physics and chemistry there has been a similar growth. This can not be so well expressed by numbers; but almost any one can recall many of their doctrines, of which nothing was known a hundred years
since. The teacher, in casting his eye over this broad ocean of knowledge, might well despair of being able to fix upon a beginning, a path to pursue, and an object to aim at, for his pupils. And this despair might well increase, on considering how far scientific training is carried in these various sciences, and what demands are made both upon pupil and teacher. In most branches of natural science--including the higher ones—mathematics holds the scepter; and to him who is not master of that study the gates of their paradise seein to be entirely closed.
OBJECTIONS TO NATURAL SCIENCE IN THE GYMNASIUM ANSWERED.
But these difficulties in the nature of the study are not all.
Still others, raised by the adversaries of natural science, arise against its pursuit in the gymnasium; and of these we shall now speak.
Unless, say these adversaries, you propose to claim, with Jacotot, that we ought to be able to teach what we do not understand, you must admit that instruction in natural science must be given up, for the reason that there are no teachers who understand it. swer, It is not to be denied that heretofore the incapacity in this department of many teachers has been plain enough. Without any knowledge of minerals, plants, or animals, they all lectured to the boys out of Raff's or Funke's natural history, made them commit to memory the descriptions of animals, &c., and then questioned them on them. But men always generally escape from such errors as this.
Our hopes of obtaining competent teachers of this department are increasing, because attention has of late been earnestly devoted to the purpose, and because there have been established in the universities, for those who devote themselves to mathematics and natural science, seminaries, corresponding to the philological seminaries.*
But, rejoin our opponents, even supposing that teachers of natural sciences have been trained thus, what good can they do as long as the gymnasia are destitute of the necessary means of instruction ? Have you any expectation that, in times so troubled as the present, and when demands are made upon the income of the state from so many quarters, collections in natural history, physics, &c., will be given to our gymnasia ? Let us be rejoiced if our universities are furnished with all these means of instruction.
Such objections as these are based upon the mistaken idea that all instruction in natural science is superficial unless it is carried to the greatest extent. For the apparatus of instruction must be richer, better, and more costly, in proportion to this extent.
But no such scope in this department is proper for the gymnasia ; and that very scantiness of apparatus, of which so much complaint is made, would actually sometimes be a benefit, by constraining teachers to moderation in pursuing these studies.
To give an example :- The course in botany could be abundantly furnished for all necessary purposes from the flora of each neighborhood. No forcing-house, not an exotic plant, would be requisite in addition. Nor is any place destitute of gardens sufficient to enable the scholars to observe the growth of plants, from their first sprouting to the blossom and fruit; a study worth more than a knowledge ever so thorough of the “ Philosophia Botanica." And, in like manner, every place has its fauna, in its domestic animals, first, and in others. It is most difficult to furnish the needed materials for mineralogy; as, in this study, crystals are required. But even here good specimens can be obtained, with very small means, of the species which occur most frequently, such as quartz, iron pyrites, lead ore, &c.f There may often be found, again, in chemical laboratories, apothecaries' shops, &c., very fine crystals, costing very little, as of alum, &c. Lastly, many gymnasia might obtain assistance from the universities, by gifts of duplicates, &c., from the overplus of the collections of the latter. From the duplicates at Breslau, I furnished small collections, at a very moderate price, to thirteen educational institutions.
But these considerations would not comfort the opponents of pat* Such a one was established at Bonn, in 1825; a second, in 1835, at Konigsberg; and a " Seminary for Real Teachers," at Tubingen, in 1838.
Particularly is small specimens are used.
ural sciences in the gymnasia; they would now come out with their real meaning—the reason of their reasons. The business of the gymnasia, they say, is properly classical education, by and for the classic authors. This requires so exclusive a devotion of all the time and powers of the student, that none can remain over for instruction in natural science. Education should not give the scholar superficially universal learning; it is better for him to learn one thing well than a heterogeneous mixture of many things badly,
This view I have already controverted in my account of Sturm and his gymnasium. This teacher, with the utmost professional skill, was led astray by the idea of our opponents. He taught Latin, and almost Latin only. Greek was next; and no instruction whatever · Was given in Hebrew, German, modern languages, mathematics, history, geography, natural science, or drawing. The simplification can not be pushed further, nor better managed ; and yet Sturm complains of the small results obtained.
One thing well is better than many ill; but the accent should be laid on “ill," not on“ many.” In the gymnasia, many things can be taught with great success, if it is done in the right way, at the right time, and in the right proportions. And, on the other hand, a man may limit himself to one thing, and teach that ill; as, for instance, if he teaches Latin only, and that with the design of enabling his pupils to speak and write it as if it were their mothertongue.
The universities, say our opponents again, should afford the necessary means for those who desire to become acquainted with natural science. Doubtless they should, but not for elementary scholars in that study. They furnish the means for the higher philological studies, but do not undertake to teach beginners mensa and amo.
It is the more proper that the gymnasia should instruct in the elements of natural science, because boys are much better adapted to those studies than youths or men. How easily and firmly do recollections of plants, animals, and ininerals impress themselves upon the mind in our earlier years; and how strongly is a child inclined to make himself acquainted and familiar with every thing which surrounds him! But with the elements of Latin it is wholly different. These have no excitement for the boys. And for the very reason that the material world is so stimulating to him, and occupies him so much, is it so hard for him to busy himself exclusively with the more intellectual elements of language. Let them now be compelled in that direction which is opposed to the tendencies of their child's natures. Will not such a measure result in their becoming unnaturally warped in mind, and ultimately insensible to all the beauty of the
heavens and the earth-and to all the beauty of the classics, too? For to feel the latter there needs a training of eye and ear to elevated enjoyment.
I have mentioned that I instructed gymnasium pupils in mineralogy in Breslau and Erlangen. These usually attended at 11 A. M., at the end of their morning-lessons. It may be imagined that they came so weary as to be disinclined to attend. Very far from it; they came punctually, and of their own free will. They took hold of the study with all their hearts; and indeed showed in most cases far more disposition to like it, and clear comprehension of it, than many older than they. It was here that I learned how well the rudiments of natural science are adapted to boys, and that, when they have been working hard at their studies in language, it is a proper and natural impulse which leads them to refresh and recreate themselves by studying crystals and flowers.
A writer on natural science has required that each pupil should, at least, bring with him to the university a few thousand names in natural science-expressions being by this, of course, intended for correct ideas in natural objects. Without pretending to fix on any precise number, this at least is certain, that, to students possessed of such a supply, lectures could be delivered of a kind very different from those which must now be delivered—lectures which would deal with generalized views, and would treat profoundly of their subjects. The gymnasia must bear the blame of the fact that the universities have to instruct in the very A B C of natural science. If it be asked in what classes of the gymnasium (including the Latin schools) instruction in the natural sciences should be given, I reply, In the lower and lowest ; for experience has shown me that the younger boys are capable of retaining ideas of minerals, plants, and animals as well as, and usually even better, than youths.* And these beginners in Latin, whose school-life is all effort and labor, need something in the nature of refreshment more than any other scholars. It is not until they comprehend the classic authors that they find a pleasure in their studies in language.
But teachers in languages are apprehensive that adequate instruction in natural science will render their boys averse to the former study, not to mention the time that would be occupied. Experience has, however, convinced me of the opposite. Those pupils who distinguished themselves in my mineralogical classes were also among the foremost in the gymnasium.
* The case is different with those departments of natural science which require mathematical knowledge, and do not so much depend upon the intuition of the senses. These-mathematical geography, for instance-should only be laught in the higher classes.