1902 Encyclopedia > Education > Pedagogy (Science of Education). Jean Paul Richter. Johann Wolfgang Goethe.

(Part 19)

Pedagogy (Science of Education). Jean Paul Richter. Johann Wolfgang Goethe.

The Émile of Rousseau was the point of departure for an awakened interest in educational theories which has continued unto the present day. Few thinkers of eminence during the last hundred years have failed to offer their contributions more or less directly on this subject. Poets like Richter, Herder, and Goethe, philosophers such as Kant, Fichte, Hegel, Schleiermacher, and Schopenhauer, psychologists such as Herbart and Beneke, have left directions for our guidance.

Indeed, during this time the science of education or paedagogics [pedagogy], as the Germans call it, may have been said to have come into existence. It has attracted but little attention in England; but it is an important subject of study at all German universities, and we may hope that the example given by the establishment of chairs of education in the Scotch universities may soon, be followed by the other great centres of instruction in Great Britain.

Jean Paul called his book Levana, after the Roman goddess to whom the father dedicated his new-born child, in token that he intended to rear it to manhood. He lays great stress on the preservation of individuality of character, a merit which be possessed himself in so high a degree.

The second part of Wilhelm Meister [by Goethe] is in the main a treatise upon education. The essays of Carlyle have made us familiar with the mysteries of the paedagogic province, the solemn gestures of the three reverences, the long cloisters which contain the history of God’s dealings with the human race. The most characteristic passage is that which describes the father’s return to the country of education after a year’s absence. As he is riding alone, wondering in what guise he will meet his son, a multitude of horses rush by at full gallop. "The monstrous hurly-burly whirls past the wanderer; a fair boy among the keepers looks at him with surprise, pulls in, leaps down, and embraces his father." He then learns that an agricultural life had not suited his son, that the superiors had discovered that he was fond of animals, and bad set him to that occupation for which nature had destined him.

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