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(Birucatumai jfytitntt Juries. 




R H. HAYWAED, D.LiT., M.A., B.So. 









" The essential task of education must be to cultivate in the 
mind of the youth the power of vivid and reverent realisation 
of the external and internal universe. . . . Let him have a 
broad general vision of the wonders of his dwelling-place and 
the glories and miseries of his kind." 

" KAPPA " in Let Youth But Know. 

" Not to ' train the mind ' nor ' teach the pupil to think ' 
but to widen the range of intercourse, is the pressing business 
of the school." MR. H. GL WELLS. 

"The child faces two kinds of environment one con- 
sisting of real things and situations, to which adjustment 
is made by intelligent learning ; the other the ' spiritual ' 
environment, consisting of the accumulation of knowledge 
by the race. The school is the instrument of adjustment 
. . . The teacher mediates the products of culture." 


" Education is the process in which the educand assimilates 
the external world and is assimilated by it." 





PART 1. 

The Chaos of the Hour 1 

A Study of Herbart 

CHAP. I. The Moral Aim 21 

CHAP. II. Some Postulates 31 

CHAP. III. Discipline or Government 40 

CHAP, IV. Education Proper. Introduction of 

the Concept of Many-sided Interest 48 
CHAP. V. The Crisis of Herbart's System. 

Moral Value of Interest 55 

CHAP. VI. Character, Many-sided Interest, and 

Individuality ... 65 

CHAP. VII. Anschauung, Attention, Apperception 88 

CHAP. VIII. Interest and Instruction ... ... 98 

CHAP. IX. Method Ill 

CHAP. X. The Curriculum Problem 123 

CHAP. XI. Instruction and Character 132 

CHAP. XII. Herbart and Frobel 141 

CHAP. XIII. Some Concluding Problems of Instruc- 
tion and Training 165 


A Call for Cosmos 186 

APPENDIX I. Notes on a Few of the Terms Used in 

this Book 208 

APPENDIX II. Problems for Students 213 

INDEX 215 



WHEN the proposal came that I should write a series of books 
dealing with the Theory and Practice of Education for 
Certificate candidates and other teachers, I realised that the 
first of those volumes would have to deal so largely with 
Herbart as to be very different from ordinary books on the 
subject. Apart from the thoughts and formulae of that great 
educator, I should have little or nothing to write about 
except heterogeneous details, though the latter, of course, 
might be helpful and important. 

Such interest in Education as I possess, and may be able 
to awaken in others, is solely due to a recognition of the 
great issues that are staked upon the success or failure of 
the primary teacher's work, and this recognition is itself due 
largely to the fact that, a few years ago, Herbart's doctrines 
(though known to me then very imperfectly) laid hold upon 
me powerfully. I said to myself, " How true, how helpful, how 
unifying, or, at any rate, how immensely and immeasurably 
plausible, is this man's way of looking at education 1 " 

Lest, however, I should be led astray by dangerous errors 
lurking behind this plausible structure of Herbartianism, I 
betook myself to Germany for a few months, and collected some 
score or more of the criticisms directed against Herbart's 
educational teaching. Sufficiently chastened in mind, I pub- 
lished these under the title of The Critics of Herbartianism, 
and held forth modestly upon the virtues and vices of the 

I then realised that another duty was incumbent upon me 
the last duty, by the way, that is usually recognised either by 
critics or followers of Herbart. I ought to study Herbart him- 


self: which meant that I ought to study, not merely his Lectures, 
but his General Pedagogy (Allgemeine Pddagogi'k) ; not merely 
play with his concepts, but get to know them at first hand. 
This I set about my mind, after its doings with the " critics," 
being more than usually alert to the possibilities of fallacy 
and inadequacy. Herbart " ignored individuality " ; Herbart 
" forgot the claims of practical life " ; Herbart under-estimated 
Training and thought of nothing but Instruction; Herbart 
under- estimated nay, as one critic said in 1904, was 
" indifferent towards " natural science ; Herbart would 
emasculate school work by making it easy and "inte- 
resting " ; Herbart failed to realise the value of occupational 
and practical subjects the factor emphasised by Frobel ; 
Herbart's system was not "teleological," was " deduced" 
from a false "mechanical" psychology, not built up from 
the concept of an ideal. 

But, lo 1 as I studied the author himself, I discovered 
that all these charges were ridiculously false, were all the 
opposite of the truth. I was surprised, almost dumb- 
founded, by the realisation of how unnecessary had been 
my apologies for Herbart. This man had anticipated every 
criticism. I take the opportunity, therefore, of apologising 
for my apologies, and of offering the best reparation I can 
make. I propose to set forth Herbart's leading ideas in his 
own words, and to challenge critics to deny that those words 
are wonderfully true, helpful, and coherent. 

The following work is therefore predominantly expository 
and defensive ; Herbart speaks and I defend him. Still, there 
is one leading thought, and as I take some pains to press it 
home, the work to that extent is my own. 

In the pages that follow, I have urged, with a certain 
amount of vehemence, that a doctrine, at present on the lips 
of almost all educationists, is misleading if not worse. That 
" education is simply aprocess of drawing-out " I must earnestly 
and ingenuously challenge, or, at the least, hold to be a state- 


raent rapidly becoming sterile or dangerous. It has pretty well 
accomplished all the good that, for the present, it is capable of 
accomplishing, and its influence is now on the side of evil. 
It is leading teachers astray. It is helping to dehumanise 
our schools and to starve the scholars. If I am wrong, I trust 
that someone will be able to clear up my difficulty, and to 
show that the " drawing-out " doctrine is more helpful and 
true than it appears to me. That there is truth in it I do not 
deny, and when, in a succeeding volume, some of the results of 
Child Study are chronicled, readers will appreciate that modi- 
cum of truth at its proper value. But, concerned as I am with 
present-day educational thought, and with the fallacies of 
" theory " that are acting inimically upon "practice," I wish 
to confess, in all sincerity, that this " drawing-out " doctrine 
puzzles me, and that I want further light upon it. Having 
said so much, I revert to the question of the design of the 
present book. 

As already indicated, my ultimate aim is to write a 
series of practical works dealing with the whole province of 
Education, and capable of helping teachers, not only to do 
their daily work, but to pass their examinations. The first 
volume of the regular series would necessarily deal with 
general matters the Aim of Education and the Leading 
Concepts of Education; and in the course of it I should 
have to be constantly referring to Herbart, who, on these 
matters, is precisely the greatest thinker the world has ever 
seen. This would involve either that I should have to devote 
many pages to pure exposition of Herbart, or that I should 
have constantly to refer students to other books, notably to 
the translations of his own works. Neither plan would be 
satisfactory. So I have undertaken to write this little 
expository work of my own, to which, in the succeeding 
volumes I can constantly refer. Part II. of the present 
book consists, then, of an exposition of all Herbart's leading 
ideas, collected from the General Pedagogy, the Lectures, 


and the minor works, but with omission of any detailed treat- 
ment of special subjects. Herbart did much good work of this 
last kind, but the present volume is not the place to set it forth.* 

But Part II. is preceded by a Part I. and followed by a 
Part III. Thereby hangs a tale. 

When a writer indulges in tall talk about Herbart being 
the world's greatest thinker upon such questions as the Aim 
and Leading Concepts of Education ; when he speaks of the 
" helpful, unifying," tendency of Herbart's teaching, the critic 
is likely to retort that Education is going on very nicely 
indeed, and that no voices from distant Gottingen are needed 
to tell us what to teach, or why or how. I commence this 
book, therefore, with a plain demonstration that in the realm 
of educational thought there is absolute chaos at the present 
moment, despite a hundred years of Pestalozzi, fifty years 
of Frobel, and several years of Mr. Harold Gorst and Professor 
Alexander Darroch.f Owing to the utter absence of any 
recognised authority on educational matters, we find the 
non-educational world intruding its suggestions upon the 
educational world ; and, what is worse still, professional 
educators teachers, inspectors, professors at sixes and sevens 
among themselves. 

In Part III. I indicate, though not in seriatim fashion (for 
I wish readers to make certain applications for themselves), 
the sources of some of the contradictions adduced in Part I., 
and I try to show that many of our confusions and difficulties 
will vanish at once when looked at in the light of Herbart's 
doctrines expounded in Part II. I try to show, in fact, that 
Herbartianism is a System of Education, after showing pretty 
conclusively that no other System of Education exists. 

The present book is therefore somewhat peculiar in form 
and matter. So far as I can judge, its chief merit is sincerity. 

* All passages that are both in italics and between quotation marks are- 
Herbart's own. 

-} I think I treated Professor Darroch too severely in my Critics of 
Herbartianism. He only fell into the common blunders about Herbart's 
position, and I have no doubt will do better in the future. 


T do not doubt that I have exposed myself to criticism at 
several points. But I have striven my best to set forth the 
leading ideas of Herbart, and to bring them into connection 
with present-day problems. 

A word as to the quotations. I am greatly indebted to 
Mr. and Mrs. Felkin, and to their publishers, Messrs. Swan 
Sonnenschein and Co., for permission to use their translations 
of Herbart's two chief educational works. It was from those 
translations that I obtained my first knowledge of the subject, 
and I owe a debt to the authors that cannot easily be repaid. 
I trust, nevertheless, that some slight repayment will be 
made if, as a result of the issue of this book, readers are led to 
study the complete works. I have been compelled to omit 
much that is suggestive and cogent, especially in the later 
chapters of the Allgemeine PddagogiJc. 

A word as to the liberties I have taken with Mr. and Mrs. 
Felkin's translation of two words, Eegierung and Zuclit. 

If I were writing for secondary teachers, I should accept 
without hesitation the words selected by the translators, 
" Government " and " Discipline." Indeed, if any secondary 
teachers read this book, I hope they will remain faithful to 
Mr. and Mrs. Felkin's usage, and always read " Government " 
where I write "Discipline," and " Discipline " where I write 
" Training." But, unfortunately, the word " Discipline " has 
come to mean among primary teachers exactly what Herbart 
meant by R"gierung, and accordingly I have been compelled 
to make an alteration which, otherwise, I greatly regret. For 
the sake of clearness I append a table showing the varying 
usage : 



Regierung. " Government." "Discipline" 

(sometimes " Government.") 

Zucht . Discipline . " " Training ' ' 


"Moral Training.") 


Other quotations used in this book are from Dr. Eckoff s 
translation of Herbart's minor works in the International 
Education Series, but as they are not numerous I have 
not thought it necessary to ask permission to use them. 
Some of these works are of peculiar interest, and Dr. Eckoff 
has done good service in making them accessible. Miss 
Mulliner's book, The Application of Psychology to the 
Science of Education (really a translation of Herbart's 
letters), has been used in a similar way ; it is full of " points, * 
aud has an admirable preface. 

I wish most gratefully to thank Professor Adams for kindly 
reading the work when in proof. The influence of his wonder- 
ful book with a forbidding title (Herb artian Psychology Applied 
to Education) will be noticeable throughout. Mr. W. J. 
Saunders, B.Sc., has also kindly helped with the proof- 
reading. F. H. H. 
LONDON, February, 1907. 









1. An Inspector, almost as full as myself of Herbartian 
ideas, once went into a school, and saw a teacher taking 
" Beading." The book used was a Geo- 
Reading is Eeader dealing with England, and 

the particular passage related to the Thames. 
One after another the boys read on ; not a word of comment 
came from the teacher; not a map of the Thames nor of 
England was to be seen. The Inspector inquired, "Why 
do you not refer to the map? Do you not think the lesson 
would be made more interesting and valuable if you briefly 
discussed the subject-matter ? " The teacher instantly replied : 
* Mr. X., one of His Majesty's Inspectors, objected to that; 
he said, ' Beading was Beading.' " 

Yes, Mr. X. had said so ; but Mr. X.'s successor sent in a 
Beport complaining that there was lack of correlation be- 
tween the Geography Scheme and the Geography " Beaders." 
Yet, if Mr. X. lives still, he must disagree with his successor's 
Beport ; for if " Beading is Beading " and the subject-matter 
doesn't count, why object to lack of correlation? Surely a 
Beading Book dealing with the rivers of Kamschatka would 
teach reading just as well as one dealing with the Thames, 


The same Inspector visited a class where an excellent 
book of literary selections was being read. The piece for the 
morning was from the Pilgrim's Progress. Girl after girl 
read on. The Inspector asked a few questions about Bunyan, 
about the meaning of an allegory, and the like. The girls 
knew next to nothing. It was subsequently explained that 
Mr. X. had been to that school. All was now clear. 

2. I was once told of a happy educational district where 
one Inspector was of opinion that it mattered very little 

whether children got their sums right so long 
Mechanical ag ^ Q me thods employed were intelligent; 


Rational while his colleague or successor (I do not 
know which) held a brief for accuracy of 
results. A similar controversy really due to the constantly 
conflicting claims of the mechanical and the rational rages 
elsewhere over the question whether little children should 
always be taught addition and subtraction by the tens method, 
or should be allowed a certain amount of mere counting. The 
arguments are not all on one side ; and when one Inspector 
stands up for this method and his colleague for that, the 
teacher has no more reason to be happy than when one 
Inspector approves of upright writing and his colleague of 

3. Fifteen thousand medical men recently petitioned the 
Board of Education to introduce the teaching of hygiene and 

ne and temperance into Primary Schools. So far, so 

Temperance gd 5 though there is something a little sur- 

Y. prising if surprise is permissible in educational 

History and a ff a i rs j n the fact of such a recommendation 

coming from outside the school itself. But 

surprise gives way to amusement when we hear of the 

supplementary suggestion. 

Coming fresh from their vivisectional failures, the doctors 
proceeded to tell teachers and masters of this country what 
subjects they should leave out in order to make room for 


hygiene and temperance. For some occult reason, they 
decided on the omission or subordination of History and 
Geography ; or perhaps one may more correctly say the lot 
fell upon those hapless subjects, which, accordingly, were 
cast overboard, like Jonah. But History and Geography, like 
Jonah, were not yet done with ; for the Associated Chambers 
of Commerce appeared on the scene. Sir Albert Eollit, within 
a few weeks of the presentation of the medical petition, had 
to prescribe for English schools ; and his prescription was 
a more careful teaching of History and Geography. Thus 
medical men were recommending for schools the omission 
of the very subjects which commercial men were strongly 
urging. Now, if teachers, and inspectors, and professors of 
education had clear views on educational matters, some 
definite sense of educational values, and, above all, some 
show of authority with regard to the educational affairs of 
the nation, they should have the right to tell medical men, 
commercial men, military men, and all non-educators, to 
mind their own business before minding other people's. 

$. Unfortunately, however, chaos and contradiction prevail 
among professional educationists themselves. Take two dis- 
tinguished men like Professor Armstrong of 
England and Professor Stanley Hall of 
America. The former is closely identified 
with the proposals for the teaching of Elementary Science 
issued by the British Association. What is the sum and 
substance of those proposals ? To make our teaching exact 
and quantitative', to base it on measurement. But there 
comes along Dr. Stanley Hall, the great leader of the 
American " child-study " movement, an educator who says 
equally hard things with Dr. Armstrong about the inefficiency 
of science teaching, but prescribes a precisely opposite remedy. 
"When we listen to his words we must 'remember that he 
is condemning in America the very thing that Professor 
Armstrong is advocating in England. " The half -score of 


text-books in physics I have glanced over," says Dr. Hall, 
"seem essentially quantitative, require great exactness, and 
are largely devoted to precise measurements, with too much 
and too early insistence on mathematics. . . . The normal 
boy in the teens is essentially in the popular science age. 
He wants, and needs, great wholes, facts in profusion, but 
few formulae." 

5. Dr. Stanley Hall, in the great work on " Adolescence " 
from which I have just been quoting, has suggested other 
contradictions. " Boys," he tells us, need 

facts m P rofusion '" Now > this is a ver J 
interesting confession, because there is a dead 

set against the giving of "facts," "information," or "mere 
knowledge," made by sundry gentlemen, who, seeing clearly 
enough that the time is educationally out of joint, esteem 
themselves, like Hamlet, born to set it right. For example, 
there is Mr. Harold Gorst, who possesses the double distinc- 
tion of being the son of Sir John Gorst and the father of a 
book called " The Curse of Education." Now, this book, 
which is appearing on railway bookstalls (along with " Dr. 
Nikola " and " Sherlock Holmes ") at the modest figure of 
sixpence, is simply a kind of Eousseau's "Emile," minus 
all the sparkle and plus a few additional fallacies. It 
represents educational reaction dressed in the garb of edu- 
cational radicalism. Of course the author runs down " facts " 
as vigorously as Mr. Gradgrind ran them up. On the first 
page he speaks of the British child being "stuffed" a 
favourite word, "stuffed" with "six pounds of facts," the 
German and French child with "seven pounds"; and he 
recurs again and again to the expression. Mr. Gorst will 
therefore be interested though perhaps also pained to 
hear that Dr. Stanley Hall believes the normal boy to need 
"facts in profusion." What, too, will he think of Eousseau's 
contention that after the age of twelve the boy needs " no 
other instruction than facts " ? What will he think of 


the introduction of a paper on "general information" into 
sundry examinations? The situation is ludicrous. Here, on 
the one side, are people discovering that boys are often grossly 
ignorant of common facts and useful information; here, on 
the other side, are platform orators and writers of books 
with sensational bookstall titles telling us that there is a 
surfeit of " facts " and " information." 

The contrast is really sharply marked. I find it, for 
example, in two gentlemen with whom 1 have been brought 
into slight personal contact. Sir Thomas Acland, whose name 
is known and honoured in the West Country, says that "the 
great purpose of Education is not to accumulate facts, but 
to cultivate the powers of observation " ; while Professor 
Laurie brings it as a complaint against mediaeval education 
that the minds of the pupils did not receive " the nourishment 
of facts." Edward Thrlng, I need scarcely say, was another 
" fact " iconoclast, and so, apparently, is his disciple, Professor 
Armstrong. " Drawing out the powers of the mind," says 
the former, " is different from packing in dead facts, even 
when the packing is neatly done." Now it seems to me an 
extremely difficult task to discover what Edward Thring was 
generally driving at ; so, with regard to the words just quoted, 
I venture merely to claim that the " neat packing in " of 
facts in other words, the conferring of knowledge in accord- 
ance with the psychological laws of the mind is in one sense, 
if not Thring's, a supremely important thing. Nay, I feel 
constrained to quote a fellow-Herbartian, if he will allow me 
to call him so I mean Professor Adams. On page 131 of his 
wonderfully lucid book, compared with which Edward Thring's 
three books seem a London fog variegated with fireworks, he 
says : " Since each new fact is acted upon by the facts which 
form part of the apperceiving soul, it follows that, the more 
facts that have been organised into faculty, the more readily 
ivill the mind act." This, of course, is the invariable attitude 
of Herbartians, who, though they may differ among themselves 


upon many things, are not in the habit of joining the hue and 
cry against "knowledge" and "instruction" and " facts." 

I could find other pairs of writers whose views upon the 
" fact " question are in conflict. The late Mr. Quick's 
attitude was, on the whole, wise and moderate, and showed a 
striking absence of that one-sidedness and partisanship which 
are so often identified with the work of our present-day 
" educational reformers." But in one place he has a tilt at 
what he calls " storing the pupils' memory with facts facts 
about language, about history, about geography." On the 
other side may be adduced a quotation from the well-known 
work, Essays on a Liberal Education, which represented, 
forty years ago, all -that was radical and progressive in 
secondary education. In this work we find Mr. Wilson, now 
Archdeacon Wilson, urging, in connection with the teaching 
of natural science, that " a certain broad array of facts must 
pre-exist before scientific methods can be applied." 

Of course, I do not mean to suggest that these contrasts 
of view are necessarily absolute and irreconcilable. Possibly 
the word "facts" varies somewhat in its meaning and use. 
Some of the critics really mean by the word, "loose facts,'* 
"indiscriminate facts," as distinguished from "knowledge." 
But I do claim that such real or apparent contradictions as 
those I have adduced reveal something unsatisfactory in 
present-day educational thought. Education appears to be 
in a state similar to that which, theologians tell us, pre- 
ceded the formulation of dogma a state in which orthodoxy 
and heterodoxy, apostolic tradition and wild heresy existed 
side by side undifferentiated. 

6. However, general reflections and conclusions must be 
left for another section. 1 hasten to add that certain educa- 
tionists use precisely similar language about 
For and Against {t knowled and in f ormation that others 


use about " facts." This is not surprising, as 

" facts," "knowledge," and "information" mean much the 


same thing. Professor Armstrong tells us that " mere 
knowledge counts for very little," as if there were any 
"mere" knowledge, as if all knowledge did not possess, as 
the Herbartians contend, and as I shall presently try to show, 
enormous possibilities of appercepfcive energy, and as if 
Spencer himself had not declared : " Knowledge is turned into 
faculty as soon as it is taken in." In contrast to Professor 
Armstrong's contention, I will again quote from Essays 
on a Liberal Education. " In the education of the upper 
classes," says Mr. Wilson, " there is too little of positive and 
exact knowledge and too much of mere training and drill. We 
have too much distrusted the virtue of knowledge." Again, 
De Morgan's educational ideal, " to know everything about 
something and something about everything," goes quite 
counter to the somewhat absurd attacks upon " knowledge " 
and " information," to which I have referred ; while Sir 
Oliver Lodge's retort to Mr. Benson is in the same sense. " A 
master's business," Mr. Benson had said, " is to try to see 
that there is mental effort." " Not a bit of it," replied the 
Principal of Birmingham University. " A master's business 
is to supply proper pabulum." 

It is plain from such quotations as these that the 

Herbartian objections to a purely formal or gymnastic ideal 

of education objections put into a classical 

Pa u um or a ^ j ven ^ ure ^ o -think almost an immortal 

Gymnastics ? 

form in the fifth chapter of Professor Adams's 

book are very living and pertinent objections, aimed at real 
dangers. Many of our educationists, in their theoretical 
disquisitions, seem to forget the need for what Sir Oliver 
Lodge calls " proper pabulum." Time was when the mind 
was compared to a sheet of paper on which the teacher had to 
impress certain marks ; when societies were formed for the 
" diffusion of information " among the " working " or other 
classes ; when men spoke of knowledge being " power " ; when 
ideas were supposed to come from without and to enter the 


mind and give it a content and a fullness; when Disraeli's 
words, " The duty of education is to give ideas," would have 
been regarded as sound sense and not as dangerous heresy. 
Now all is changed. On every side is heard the voice of the 
educational prophet (occasionally, too, the educational cheap- 
jack) assuring us that Knowledge is of little worth ; that 
Education is a process of drawing out and not of putting in ; 
that Training is more important than Instruction ; that the 
mind is not a tabula rasa, but a perpetual-motion machine. 
Educational philosophy is daily stressing more and more the 
efferent at the expense of the afferent, forgetting that the 
afferent may become the efferent, or that, in Spencer's words, 
" knowledge " may become " faculty." True, there are voices 
coming from the other side, but they do not so catch the 
popular ear the ear of the Education Committee-man for 
example as the voices depreciatory of knowledge. 

7. And here I have a bone to pick with the followers of 
Frobel. It seems to me that the stress they lay upon the 
efferent side of mental life, very easily lends itself to error 
and perversion. One remembers the words of Professor 
James : " An adult man's interests are almost every one of 
them intensely artificial; they have slowly been built up." 
One remembers, too, that the Churches have always, rightly 
or wrongly, insisted on the early creation in the child's 
mind of certain apperception masses; and I know, from 
personal contact with people, how this factor profoundly 
modifies the whole mental structure. 

Frobel sometimes seems almost to imply that the pro- 
cesses of putting-in or building-up are educationally impossible 
or vicious ; and one of his translators attributes to him (though 
somewhat mistakenly, I now think) the words, " What can be 
put into a man is, properly speaking, there already." I see, 
too, that Professor Welton considers it an error to think that 
" human life can be built up from without, and its form and 
tendency determined by an artificial arrangement by another 


of the ideas it is to assimilate." Well, roughly speaking, I 

think it no " error " at all, and must refer him to the words 

of another Professor of Education quoted in a following section. 

I suppose there must be something wrong with my 

educational opinions. I open an excellent and inspiring 

book, Mr. Skrine's Pastor Agnorum, and I 

Must a Teacher ^^ ^^ <i m p ar ti n g knowledge is not the 

Teach ? 

teacher's business. . . . We know now that 

Education is a name which means what it says, and the 
educator has not to put something into his pupil but to 
draw out from him what is in him" practically what Pro- 
fessor Welton said. It must be true, I suppose. Mr. Skrine 
says it, Professor Welton says it, everybody is saying it. 

And yet and yet and yet with all my reverence for 

Frobel, with all my recognition of the principle of indi- 
viduality and self -activity, I still believe that "imparting 
knowledge is the teacher's business," and that " teaching" 
is "a word that means what it says." Like Herbart, I 
liave no conception of Education without Instruction. 

I very much doubt whether Mr. Fagin the Jew would have 
assented to Professor Welton's definition of Education. He 
was one of the children of this world if ever there was one 
.and it is possible that in some ways he was wiser than the 
children of light. He had had conspicuous success with Mr. 
Dawkins, Mr. Bates, and Mr. Chitling, and he had every 
reason to anticipate a similar success with Mr. Twist. 
Though without strong opinions on the question whether 
*' Virtue " could be " taught," he was firmly convinced 
that Yice could. Of course he was wrong if Education 
meant " drawing out " and nothing more. Do we not 
liear, even from Frobelian authorities, of the immense 
power of " suggestion," and suggestion is scarcely a pro- 
cess of " drawing out." Furthermore, Dr. Barnardo claims to 
have "demonstrated the superiority of environment to 
heredity " by means of his transplanted slum children, 


only two per ceut, of whom have "turned out bad." 
Again, the main differences between a Kadical and a Tory 
are the result of ideas received, and these ideas make 
the motives and actions of the two men diverse in a score 
of ways. Mr. Fagin, too, obviously believed in "putting in,'* 
and was a tolerably efficient master of the process. Surely 
there is a mistake somewhere. Meanwhile, in my unillumined 
fashion I shall persist in believing that the teacher's chief 
business is to teach, and that though there is much truth 
in the "drawing out" doctrine, the doctrine is quite as 
dangerous as it is useful. 

8. It is a short step from Fagin to Sherlock Holmes* 
I have already mentioned both Professor Adams and Pro- 
fessor Armstrong. In reading over their works I came across 
a reference in each to the famous detective, 

n an( j struck by the fact that the two educa- 
Drawing Out. tionists drew exactly opposite inferences from 

his skill and efficiency. Professor Armstrong 
seems to trace it to a process of mental discipline rather than 
to knowledge and apperceptive power ; while Professor Adams 
traces it to these latter. " Holmes's apperception mass," he 
says, " contained the German word ItacJie, which means 
* revenge.' Holmes was right. Lestrade was wrong. But 
it was not a matter of reasoning backwards or forwards; it 
was a matter of knowledge." And here let me say that any 
one who wishes to realise how enormous (superficially, at 
any rate) is the contrast between the only two systems 
that arouse any real educational enthusiasm I mean 
Frobelianism and Herbartianism had better read a chapter 
or two of Professor Adams's book after imbibing a dose of 
"self-activity" and " drawing- out " doctrine. He will then 
read such sentences as the following : "We seem to find ideas 
exercising a power that is independent of the mind. . . . The 
kind of apperception masses in the mind really determines 
what kind of mind it is. ... Ideas enter our minds in spite 


of us." It is no good mincing matters. The two standpoints 
are unreconciled by the educational thought of to-day, though 
I am far from thinking that they are irreconcilable. 

9. I pass on to another contradiction, though one that is, 
perhaps, ultimately traceable to the fluctuating views on the 

knowledge question, to which reference has 
in ing or ^ een ma( j e< Our pseudo-reformers assure us 

that the great thing necessary is to make 
children " think for themselves." Educationists, in fact, seem 
to be slowly, and perhaps unconsciously, separating into two 
camps those who lay stress on power, skill, sharpness, 
efficiency, independence (including this capacity of " thinking 
for oneself ") ; and those who lay stress mainly on goodness, 
and, in consequence, on giving to children what Matthew 
Arnold called an acquaintance with "the best that has been 
thought and said in the world." Education will never begir 
to progress in earnest until these views have been synthesized 
I would like to quote, in reply to the much-in-evidence maxim 
that teachers must make their pupils " think for themselves," 
the words of Mrs. Shelley relative to her own son : " Teach 
him to think for himself ? O my God 1 Teach him to think 
like other people 1 " And the words rose to my mind on 
visiting a school where the process of making children 
"think" had resulted in endemic "guessing./ 

This Frobelian philosophy, with its stress on independence 
and individuality may, in the end, prove to be the true 
philosophy of education. But, meanwhile, let us recognise 
the fact that it is a newcomer in our schools. " Obedience " 
is a word never found (we are told) in Frobel's writings, yeti 
the teaching of i * cheerful obedience to duty" is officially 
declared to be a part of the teacher's work, and Mr. Squeers 
is not the only pedagogue who has contended that " discipline 
must be maintained." When Frobel got to Switzerland he 
found himself bitterly opposed by certain Jesuit priests, who 
knew perfectly well that new wine would not suit old bottles ; 





and even in these days a Church which regards " private 
judgment " as the source of innumerable troubles is not 
likely to wax enthusiastic over " thinking for one-self." 

10. I have a second ground of controversy with the followers 
of Frobel, though, in point of fact, my complaint is mainly 
against some of the unguarded expressions 
which they and others let fall. Mr. G-orst, 


and the educational crusaders who draw their 
inspiration from Frobelian and Pestalozzian 
sources, or rather, perhaps, in the long run, from Bousseau, 
assure us that schools should be less " bookish." Now, I 
need not give or discuss the reasons for the onslaughts of 
these men upon books ; there is always a reason for an 
onslaught, and I would be the last to deny that premature 
devotion to literary work in schools has been a great evil, 
and that the realities of Nature have a prior claim, though 
not a final claim, over the invented symbols, and perhaps 
even the thoughts, of man. But I once lived in a county 
which, however attractive in many ways, stands in no need 
of any anti-book movement, and I therefore welcome the 
words of Mr. H. G. Wells : " The first and most universal 
function of the school is to initiate into the ampler world 
and the more efficient methods of the reading and writing 
man." Miss Charlotte Mason tells us, too, that " No 
education can be worth the name which has not made 
children at home in the world of books." 

Frdbelians may reply that they do not disparage books, 
they only object to their premature introduction into school. 
Well, Mr. W. H. Herford once a neighbour of mine on the 
shores of Tor Bay is an exponent of Frobel. He assures 
as in a work which he edited two or three years ago that 
" one day we shall believe that all we truly know, the stuff 
of all real knowledge, we learn from Nature ; all the rest 
hearsay, rote knowledge being vox et prceterea nihil." That 
is pretty strong, surely! Are, then, the rhapsodies of the 


Hebrew prophets, the " Eepublic " of Plato, and the " Utopia" 
of Sir Thomas More products of "Nature" in a real sense? 
Strange to hear the voice of Kousseau sounding in our ears 
after half a century of Darwin 1 Strange that excellent and 
orthodox ladies do not see, what the Jesuits saw at the 
time, that Frobel's standpoint, when divested of gush and 
delusion, is revolutionary in the highest degree 1 My own 
views on " Nature " are far from definite, and, therefore, I 
do not wish dogmatically to assert that Frobel's mystical 
and symbolical way of contemplating her is wrong ; but I 
would urge that, in the course of evolution, latest develop- 
ments are often the highest developments, and that books, 
in the words of Milton, "are not absolutely dead things, 
but do contain a progeny of life in them ; . . . they do 
preserve as in a vial the purest efficacy and extraction of that 
living intellect that bred them. ... A good book is the 
precious life blood of a master-spirit, embalmed and treasured 
up on purpose to a life beyond life." I prefer this to Words- 
worth's stanza : 

" Books ! 'tis a dull and endless strife : 

Come, hear the woodland linnet, 
How sweet his music 1 on my life 

There's more of wisdom in it." 

11. Another interesting case of chaos and contradiction is 
concerned with the question of "thoroughness." Some 

writers make a great point of this. I heard 

a prominent West Country educationist, who 

had noted the comparative ineffectiveness of much of our 
present-day teaching, say that the multiplication of subjects 
was a grave peril, and he urged the need of " thoroughness." 
But I turn to the pages of Edward Thring and I come across 
these words : " There is something so wise, so unanswerable, 
in the modest yet firm requirement that the lessons must 
be done 'thoroughly,' and a boy not advance till he has 
mastered what he is doing, that the request commands assent 


at once. The fallacy is it cannot be done" I do not 
attempt to adjudicate in this case ; I merely point out that, 
while one earnest educationist urges the need of " thorough- 
ness," another urges its impossibility. 

12. Another controversy rages over the " three K's." From 
the one side come complaints that we no longer, teach the 

"three E's" so efficiently as in the good old 
Three R's, or ..... , .. 

Four or Five ? times of forfcv or sevei % y ears a g> when the 

curriculum was limited and unambitious, and 
troublesome " theorists " had not invaded our shores. But 
from another side comes, with the complaint that the teaching 
of the " three R's " is necessarily a very mechanical business 
to a considerable extent, an exhortation to apply ourselves 
to a " fourth E " namely, Eeasoning. Our pupils have not 
only to read, write, and reckon, but also to reason ; this, in 
the opinion of Professor Armstrong is the " fourth E," which 
is so infinitely more important than the other three. To 
all which it may be replied that Education will have to 
find a place both for the mechanical and for the rational, in 
the same way that it will have to find a place both for the 
receptive and the active factors to which reference has been 
previously made. All these exhortations to apply ourselves 
to a " fourth E " and the like are mere testimonies to the 
fact that we have at present no philosophy of Education that 
possesses any authority. It is just possible that " Eeasoning " 
is out of place with young children some educators have 
thought so ; it is also possible that the " fourth E " most 
needed is " Eeverence " some educators are thinking that 
also. I noted at a certain Trafalgar Square demonstration 
that the " fourth E " there advocated was neither of these : 
" We want," said a banner, " Eeading, wEiting, aEithmetic, 
and EELIGION ! " 

13. There would be some consolation if there was harmony 
among groups at least of thinkers, workers and writers ; if 
theologians, for example, were agreed among themselves 


upon educational principles; if scientific men were agreed 

among themselves, and so on. A teacher could then label 

himself " follower of the Archbishops," or 

Practical "follower of the Scientists," and everyone 
or Not? 

would know where he stood. But even this 

is impossible. Professor Armstrong is an eminent scientist 
interested in education, Sir William Karnsay is another 
eminent scientist interested in education. The former tells 
us " there should be a workshop don't call it a laboratory ; 
this should be fitted as a workshop, simply. And there should 
be no lecture or class room ; all the work should be done at the 
work bench." Professor Eamsay says, on the other hand, that 
" far too much stress is laid, now-a-days, on what is called 
'practical work.' It is possible to have quite an intelligent 
idea of chemistry without ever having handled a test tube or 
touched a balance. Lectures on chemistry may be well illus- 
trated experimentally, and the necessary theories demonstrated 
by the lecturer. ... To spend several hours a day in practical 
work is, if not a waste, often, at least, a work of superero- 

1$. The next on my list of present-day contradictions is 
taken from a Board of Education syllabus. It is, no doubt, 
quite right to prescribe for teachers who have 
to take the Certificate Examination a number 
of famous educational books for study ; but in 
the present state of educational theory or, rather, in the 
present absence of educational theory there is some danger 
of teachers losing all respect for educational books. " How 
much," they say, "have we to accept, and how much to 
reject? How much of Herbert Spencer's book on Education 
is established truth, and how much is error ? " Nobody, 
apparently, can say. I was struck, therefore, by the fact that 
for the Certificate Examination of 1906 Spencer and the two 
Arnolds were given as alternative subjects. Now, Spencer 
despised history and the classics, and laid chief stress on 


science ; while the Arnolds despised science, and laid chief 
stress on history and the classics : at any rate, this statement is 
approximately true. Thus those teachers who study Spencer 
will imbibe exactly opposite principles from those imbibed by 
teachers who study the Arnolds. 

15. Certain of our reformers, not content with attacking 
"mere knowledge," "mere facts," "mere information," and 

the like, have some hard things to say against 

" mere memory." I remember a passage a 
Memory." J ^ 

ludicrous passage, when you consider the ques- 
tion from all sides in which Edward Thring spoke of how 
" secondary " a thing memory is. Could there have been a 
more unsuitable expression? Is not memory the most 
primary and indispensable of all mental functions ? How- 
ever, if one attends long enough to the utterances of educa- 
tional cheap-jacks (Thring was none, and elsewhere he gave 
" memory " its due), one will be certain to come across an 
attack upon "memory," and then, perhaps, on looking at 
the daily paper for January 7, 1905, one will read, in the 
report of a teachers' conference, that a prominent art 
teacher laid stress on the importance of " cultivating the 
memory " ; and those who know Barn's book will remember 
that he said : " The leading inquiry in the Art of Education 
is how to strengthen the memory." 

16. In the report just mentioned one will read that the 
Principal of the Birmingham School of Art spoke of the 

"great danger in the present system of trying 
Design in Art ^ Q ^ eQX ^ ^ es ig n m elementary schools." I speak 

with deference, because art is a department 
of work with which I am not very familiar, but I do know 
that, if the encouragement of design is a wrong thing, then 
Frobel and all his followers are utterly mistaken, and another 
great educational delusion must be added to the historic list. 
I am told by art teachers that on the whole subject of art 
teaching there is complete chaos of view among Government 
examiners and others; some, in the spirit of Frobel, laying 


stress upon a kind of free and easy creativeness, others upon 
exact reproduction of objects and copies. It is the everlasting 
controversy between the claims of the living and the technical, 
between interest and skill. Sooner or later we shall have 
learnt to reconcile these claims. 

17. For an unusually kaleidoscopic example of educational 
chaos I would refer to the two dates February 15, 1905, 

and February 17, 1905. It is not often that, in 
rammar my exc ^ m g researches on educational chaos, 
Hygiene. ^ nave come across an instance of one voice of 
authority unconsciously contradicting another 
within the space of three days. Such, however, is the 
present instance. Sir John E. G-orst, speaking in the House 
of Commons on the King's Speech, urged that, if the young 
mothers of the nation had less grammar and geography 
and a little more knowledge of hygienic questions, it would 
be better for the nation. Two days later I opened a West 
Country newspaper, and read how His Majesty's Inspectors 
were urging that, " in view of the difficulty experienced in 
secondary schools, pupil-teacher centres, and evening classes, 
owing to the lack of knowledge of English grammar on the 
part of many of the pupils coming from elementary schools, 
all children in the standards should receive instruction in the 
elementary principles of grammar, and a certain minimum 
standard knowledge in this subject be expected of pupils in the 
higher standards." 

18. Take now the subject of corporal punishment, upon 
which much difference of opinion makes itself felt. I do not 

propose to argue the case for or against pro- 
Corporal hibition ; but I would point out that defenders 
Punishment .... _ . ' 

for Moral practice and I incline to be one of them 

Offences ? are gravely divided as to the class of offences to 
which it is most suitably applied. Most Educa- 
tion Committees representing popular and empirical opinion 
Beem to regard corporal punishment as legitimate only in the 


case of " grave moral offences." I could quote many rules 
issued upon this basis. But Edward Thring, in one of the 
wisest parts of his suggestive, though often perplexing, writings, 
argues at considerable length and, I think, with success 
that corporal punishment is specially unsuitable for moral 
offences, and should be used for purposes of external discipline 
only. Teachers who follow Edward Thring will have to 
disobey their rulers, and those who obey their rulers will 
have to go counter to the views of Edward Thring. 

Again, I could quote, both from Thring and from Dr. 
Laurie, as well as from other authorities, the recommendation 
that when corporal punishment is administered at all it 
should be administered in private. The Bristol authorities, 
however, are of a different opinion, and ordered expressly that 
it should be administered " in front of the class or school.'* 
Still again, on the question of punishment, I would adduce 
the conflict over what are called " natural 

Natural punishments." The influential little book of 
Punishments ? r 

Herbert Spencer has introduced the man in 

the street to the doctrine that punishments should be 
" natural " ; the child who is late should have to make up for 
the time lost through lateness ; the child who is careless 
should have to repair the destruction caused by carelessness ; 
and so on. In Mr. Llewellyn Williams' s Disciplinary, Civic, 
and Moral Education is found a crude and confusing 
presentation of the same useful though inadequate idea. The 
moment the reader turns to the writings of Dr. Laurie, 
he finds this doctrine of " natural reactions " exposed to 
merciless criticism. 

19. Again, questions like co-education are still absolutely 
unsettled. Dr. Stanley Hall, in his great work on 
"Adolescence," has pronounced an unfavourable verdict 
when a favourable one was expected, and when new co- 
educational schools are being opened in England amid a 
loud flourish of trumpets. 


20. At the present moment proposals are being made to 
introduce Moral Lessons into the school, and men of high 

character are pronouncing opposite verdicts 
upon the advisability of this proposal. Some, 
quite apart from theological predilections, 
urge that moral influence should be a bye-product, that 
" virtue cannot be taught," that " lessons in morality " (though 
these same critics have never, for the most part, been present 
at any such lessons) are dull and ineffective. Others contend 
that the teaching of moral truth is at least as important as the 
teaching of other truth ; that much evil springs from 
ignorance ; and that, with proper safeguards, the subject can 
be treated very profitably. For example, in Mr. Eowntree's 
book on "Betting and Gambling" there is the suggestion 
that in all schools there should be instruction how wrong 
betting is; and similar attempts are made with regard to 
intemperance, cruelty, etc. Is this nonsense ? I wish oppon- 
ents of Moral Instruction (who, no doubt, strongly disapprove 
of the Book of Proverbs, and perhaps of the Ten Command- 
ments) would face the question squarely. 

21. It would be an unforgivable offence to omit a reference 
1io the greatest controversy of all. At the moment I am writing, 

the Education Bill is going through the 

Commons, where some honourable members 

are claiming, with Lord Eobert Cecil, that 
" children live on dogma." Simultaneously we hear of cer- 
tain episcopal books being published, which declare that 
" a child is just the creature who ought to be taught the 
most dogmatic religion possible."* Meanwhile other voices 
are heard resolutely affirming that children are the last 
persons who need or appreciate dogma, that just as creeds 
were late products of religious development in the race, so 
they should be in the individual. An echo of this view seems 
to come from the direction of Keilhau, and Frobel's voice 

^Thoughts on Education^ by Mandell Creighton (late Bishop of London). 


is heard saying something about the " stony, oppressive 
dogmas of theology." 

I turn my head away, wondering when peace will come 
upon the educational world, and I remember what Mr. H. Gr. 
Wells wrote a few years ago : " There is nothing having any 
authority higher than individual opinion ; nothing threshed 
out and permanently established. From one lecturer in educa- 
tion comes one assertion, and from another another, and the 
algebraic result is scarcely a matter for boasting." There are 
hints, prejudices, fanaticisms, half truths, scraps of systems, 
traditions, cynicisms, hopes, disillusionments and there is 
little else. I venture on an answer to my own question. 
" Peace will come only when men have decided with some- 
thing like precision what the Aim of Education ought to be." 
Thus I am brought at once to Herbart. In the course of the 
following study, all or nearly all of the above questions that 
are worth consideration, will receive their answers, and many 
others too. In fact, scores of plausibilities and fallacies will 
be seen in their true folly and nakedness the moment anyone 
becomes familiar with Herbart's doctrines. There may be 
other things to learn priceless conclusions from modern 
Child Study, for example but Herbart never gives us any- 
thing that, as practical teachers, we shall have one day to. 
unlearn. Above all, he gives us a System, as we shall see 1 





The Moral Aim. 

1. Morality Suggested as the One Aim of Education. 

" The one and the whole work of education is summed 
up in the concept Morality." 

These are practically the first words in the official scrip- 
tures of Herbartianism* Many earnest educationists would 
instantly reject the really amazing claim here 

n !L a P u t forward. Education, they would contend, 
or Many? r J 

has many and varied tasks to perform; any 
attempt to resolve these varied tasks into one 
even a great one must result only in a distortion of 
educational views and a comparative neglect of important 
elements in human life. How, for example, can aesthetic 
culture or intellectual keenness be regarded as a part of 
" Morality " ? Needlework, swimming, and a multitude of 
other tasks commonly imposed on the teacher are not they 
a part of Education ? 

This criticism put forward systematically by Dittes and 
others is really as old as Herbart himself. It was, in fact, 
anticipated by him. 

*The AestlietiscJie Darstellung der Welt will now be followed for some sections. 


" We might assume as many problems for Education 
as there are permissible aims for men. But then, this would 
involve as many educational inquiries as problems. . . . All 
parts of the work would be thrown out of their right pro- 
portions. If it is to be possible to think out thoroughly 
and accurately , and to carry out systematically, the business 
of Education as a single whole, it must be previously possible 
to comprehend the ivorJc of Education also as but one." 

Herbartianism, in fact, is an attempt so to unify all 
educational effort as to direct it solely in one direction 
the direction of Morality or Character. The goal is to be 
reached, however, not by depreciating the value of " secular " 
subjects and exalting certain others (e.g., religious instruction) 
as solely character-forming, but by taking in hand the entire 
curriculum and endeavouring to make it morally significant. 
Whether this attempt at unification is a successful one must 
rest with the judgment of the readers of this book, but the 
fact of the attempt the fact that Herbart set out to do what 
prophets and reformers have ever aimed at doing, namely, 
to remove from this world some of its sin and vice must 
be recognised from the outset of the study. " The one and 
the whole work of Education " must somehow be " summed 
up in the concept Morality." It was because moral evil 
often seemed to him connected with the wrong working of 
a psychical machine that he began to plan how that machine 
could be made to produce better things than sin and vice ; in 
this way he was driven to the study of Psychology the science 
of mind. 

But the machine the "presentational mechanism," as 
some writers call it, the mechanism of ideas or " presenta- 
tions "* is not the concern of the present section. We 
are dealing here with the "Aim" of Education; and, in 
fact, it was from the "Aim" that Herbart "deduced" 

* " Presentation " (Vorstellung) will often be used in this work as an 
equivalent of "Idea," " Perception," " Sensation," and similar terms standing 
for the simple elements of the intellectual life. 


everything else. The very title of his greatest work is 
"General Pedagogy Deduced from the Aim of Education" 

Now, it is just this fact that causes much of 

Herbart Deduces the f ascma ti on of Herbartianism. The teacher 

from His Aim suddenly realises that he is face to face with 

an aggressive assertion of great issues. No 
system or proposal, political, social, or religious, can> 
under present conditions, affect more than a fraction of the 
community ; whereas all children go to school. " If only this 
system of Education, with its strangely arresting terminology,, 
could effect what it claims, and could be revealed as 
the possessor of a secret for the moral uplifting of humanity 1 
if only 1 if only ! " ; and the teacher who has read 
Dr. Stanley Hall's Adolescence, recalls the words of the 
great American : " Educators must face the fact that the 
ultimate verdict concerning the utility of the school will 
be determined by its moral efficiency in saving children from 
personal vice and crime." 

It is of the utmost importance to remember that, while 
almost all great educationists have regarded " Morality " as 
one of the aims of education, Herbart is probably the only 
writer who has ever deliberately " deduced " a whole 
educational system from that one aim. It is interesting to 
note that he had arrived at the standpoint by the time he was 
thirty years of age and was publishing his Allgemeine 
PddagogiJc. Frobel was forty-four when he produced the 
Mensclienerzieliung (Education of Man), a work which, how- 
ever great, is the reverse of lucid; Pestalozzi was fifty-five 
when he published Wie Gertrude Hire Kinder Lehrt (How 
Gertrude teaches her Children), which, though not his first 
work on education, was the first that possessed much 
precision. The contrast is very marked. Herbart, like his 
system, springs on the scene armed for a fray, and with full 
knowledge of friends and foes, obstacles and resources. 

But the fact that he started with a very precise view of the 


purpose of Education does not prove that the purpose is 
correctly stated. Is Morality " the one and the whole work 
of Education?" Earnestly though we must listen to what 
Herbart has to teach us, is it clear that Education has much 
moral importance ? Are there not many uneducated men who, 
judged by ordinary standards, are " virtuous " and " moral " ? 
" In the way of virtue," as a recent reviewer 

Cannot the g^ ^ e wa y-farmg man, though a fool, shall 
Uncultured Man ^ ru . , .._.. , . 

be Virtuous? n err< When from the Herbartian camp 
there comes a whisper, sometimes rising to a 
loud cry of warning, " Stupid men cannot be virtuous," 
are we not tempted to say, " What nonsense 1 " 

I may as well admit that here is a point of real debate. 

The Herbartian way of looking at things is so unusual that 

the average reader feels impatient when he 

Dangers of hearg of tll e one and only aim of Education 

Lack of , ., . . . ... 

Culture a necessary viciousness of the "stupid 

man." I cannot at this stage give the Her- 
bartian argument in detail by discussing prematurely the 
doctrines of Interest and Apperception ; but thus much maybe 
said even here. First, that the uncultured man the " fool " 
of our phrase is liable to gross vices, because his circle of 
interests is narrow ; his mind, in default of other things to 
engross its attention, turns to the sensual. Secondly, that 
even if, through rigid training, or a stern sense of religious 
duty, or other cause, such a man avoid the grosser vices, his 
moral nature is still imperfect, devoid of delicacy and 
sensitiveness, incapable of either understanding or obeying 
most of the higher calls to moral effort. His " heart is 
hardened," his " eyes are holden." When the late Mr. Hooper, 
an Inspector of Schools who, had he lived, might have done 
great things for Education, said that without imagination 
there was "little discovery in the sphere of Morality," he 
was hinting at a part of the same truth that challenges us 
in Herbart's statement that " stupid men cannot be virtuous," 


and in the old Greek view that "Wisdom" is a part of 

As already said, the working out of this doctrine is not 
our present concern ; but even the slight treatment already 
afforded may suffice to introduce what may be called the 
second of the Herbartian canons. 

2. An Expansion of the Concept of Morality is Required. 

" Morality" says Herbart, " is universally acknowledges 
as the highest aim of humanity, and consequently of educa- 
tion . . . But to set up morality as the WHOLE aim of 
humanity and education, an expansion of the concept is 
required. 11 

The real question is whether, after all, the moral con- 
dition of a soul that is narrow-minded, profoundly unintelligent 
and phlegmatic, is satisfactory, even though 

ega IYO ever y prohibitory moral commandment may 
y. Positive J F J J 

Morality. have been faultlessly obeyed. Do not our 

moral intuitions demand more than this ; 
demand, indeed, that the soul rise far beyond the mere 
avoidance of profanity, impurity, and the like, into a region 
of real moral dignity ; may become positively, and not remain 
merely negatively moral ? Can a stunted soul be morally 
perfect ? Can a starved soul be morally robust ? 

As already hinted, the Herbartian answer is that, except 
in those unaccountable cases which occupy the same place 
morally as genius does intellectually this is impossible. 
The stunted soul the soul of the " fool " (to use the expres- 
sion suggested by the reviewer) may be quite capable of 
obeying prohibitory commandments, and if such obedience 
be an indication of moral perfection, then the " fool " can 
be morally perfect. But if, as the ancient Greeks believed, 
Virtue is more than this, and contains elements which, going 
far beyond mere abstinence, give fuller dignity to life, we 
shall be compelled to admit that the "fool" cannot rise to 
these heights ; and we shall admit also that, if these elements 


are really excluded from the vulgar concept of Virtue, the 
concept requires, as Herbart says, to be " expanded"* 

Experience and history have shown that it is a thankless 
and interminable task to discuss the definition of Virtue, and 
no such discussion will be here attempted. The only point 
for present consideration is that, in the view of the 
Herbartians, as in that of the ancient Greeks, the element 
of Culture or Wisdom is inherent in any complete concept 
of Virtue : man, in their view, is as morally imperfect, if this 
element be missing, as he is imperfect if unjust or intemperate. 
Asked to justify their inclusion of this notion, they reply that, 
being intuitionists who believe that moral notions carry, in 
the end, the marks of their own validity, they can but bid us 
clear the dimness from our eyes and the prejudices from our 
hearts, and ask ourselves whether we can call a man morally 
perfect whose mind is undeveloped, whose outlook is narrow,, 
whose interests are few, whose will is feeble and fickle. 

It would be folly to deny that there have appeared excep- 
tions to this rule ; men of uncultured minds who have been 
endowed with subtle moral insight or with heroic resolution. 
There may be moral geniuses, just as there are scientific 
geniuses and musical geniuses. We cannot very well account 
for the latter ; Herbartianism cannot very well account for the 
former. But what Herbartians urge is that a negative concept 
of Virtue is poor and inadequate ; that a certain richness of 
mind is necessary for perfection of character ; and that, if this 
richness is absent from a person, we may in all normal cases 
find not only that the moral ideal of the person is narrow,, 
but that even the negative virtues are in danger. 
3. Complexity of the Idea of Virtue. 

In the present work no attempt will be made to expound 
Herbart's Ethics in full. But something must be suid on 
the subject. 

* Speaking in another connection, Herbart says, "Hindrance of offences is 
only good when a new activity continually takes tJie place of that restrained."" 
These words voice his whole system. 


Men have tried for centuries to find one simple formula 
from which all moral ideas can be derived. Some have found 

it in " conduciveness to happiness," others 
Ethical Failure. 

in " obedience to the will of God," others in 

"self-realisation." Herbart analysed moral ideas, and came 
to the opinion that these attempts were hopeless. Our moral 
judgments are separate, and must remain so, and the smallest 
number to which they can be reduced is five. 

There is no necessity for the student to understand fully, 
or to agree with, Herbart's ethical views, but they need to 
be known in outline, and the following quotation may assist 
the process of learning. 

" The impartial thinker argues : We all Jcnotu the concept 
of morality ; if it contained but one definite object of com- 
mand, we should know this, together with the concept. There- 
fore it does not contain one definite object. . . . We must 
entirely give up, once and for all, the idea of one supreme 
moral law, as the sole voice of pure reason, of which all other 
moral laws would be only developments. On the contrary, in 
considering the will . . . in the simplest conceivable relation- 
ships . . . there springs up as a result for each of these 
relationships . . . an original, absolutely independent cesthetic 
judgment, self-evident, and of peculiar nature." 

So complex is the notion of virtue on Herbart's view so 

much in need of " expansion," that its various elements are 

not less than five in number ; each as incapable 

of having its validity analysed and shown as 
Moral Ideas. 

a musical chord of having its harmony, or 
dissonance demonstrated. The moral ideas are our divine 
endowment ; a light that lighteth every man who seeks for 
light, a light which, when sent through the analytic prism 
of the philosopher's mind, is found to consist of five strands, 
distinguishable and eternally distinct, though not completely 
separable from each other. These strands are the "five 
moral ideas," the five intuitive judgments which the uncor- 


rupted mind spontaneously passes upon the relationships of 
the human will when these are presented to it. For " each 
of these relationships " there is a moral judgment, and no 
ethical or philosophical subtlety is able to reduce the number. 
Artificial unification is disastrous, whether along theological 
lines (virtue being mere obedience to God) or Kantian lines 
(virtue being reverence for abstract law), or hedonistic lines 
(virtue being the pleasant). Nay, so convinced is Herbart 
that a reduction in the number of "ideas" is impossible 
the reduction of them, for example, to one principle that 
he even admits the possibility of collision among them, a 
possibility which the facts of the moral life seem to confirm. 
It is these disparate moral judgments which constitute con- 
science, and also map out the work of the educator. 

Now, there is no doubt that to put forward " five moral 
ideas," and to confess that they are ultimate and irreducible, 
and may even conflict with each other, seems 
at first sight an avowal of ethical failure. 
Five is not a favourite number. There are three Persons 
in the Trinity, three Theological Virtues, four Cardinal Virtues, 
seven Gifts of the Holy Ghost, twelve Fruits of the Holy 
Ghost, seven Corporal Works of Mercy, seven Spiritual Works 
of Mercy, eight Beatitudes, seven Deadly Sins, four Last 
Things, three Evangelical Councils, ten Commandments; 
three, four, seven, eight, ten, twelve are numbers that have an 
historical status far higher than five. I am not anxious 
to defend Herbart's system of ethics. Partly under the 
influence of evolutionary thought, the origin of our moral 
notions, and the nature of them, is a subject of constant 
discussion. But it is a significant fact that, when Henry 
Sidgwick attempted to discover by searching analysis what 
were the abstract elements in our concept of Virtue, he alighted 
upon three (Eational Egoism, Eational Benevolence, and 
Equity) which were " ultimate and unanalysable " : that he 
found the notion (not necessarily the fact) of Inner Freedom 
to be indissolubly connected with voluntary action : and that 


a fifth notion (" Perfection ") occupied a challenging position 
in Ethics. Now, these five are not exactly identical with 
Herbart's five Inner Freedom, Perfection, Benevolence, 
Justice, Equity ; but there is sufficient resemblance between 
the results of these two quite independent analyses to prevent 
either of them being regarded as reckless or puerile. 

The study of Herbart's ethics is especially necessary for 

those who have been alarmed at the nature of his psychology. 

This man, whose language and ideas seem 

Is Herbart's sometimes almost those of a materialist ; this 

Mechanical? man w -^ seems to regard Virtue as the 

mechanical result of the working of a certain 

apperception-mechanism, and Vice as the inevitable result 

of that mechanism getting out of order this Herbart is an 

" intuitionist " in morals, and attributes to the soul the native 

power of passing judgment on moral relations. True, as his 

critics say, a mere machine, even an " apperceptive machine," 

cannot " judge." They need to be reminded that Herbart 

never said that it could. 

This book will be largely devoted to a consideration of 
the much-abused apperception-mechanism, but as there may 
be some danger of our forgetting the other side of Herbart's 
teaching, it is necessary to emphasise not only the teleological 
spirit of Herbartianism its deliberate aiming at a moral goal 
but the intuitional character of its ethics. How, indeed, 
could Herbart describe Morality as " the one and the whole 
Aim of Education," unless he assumed moral distinctions from 
the first ? With Pope, he would say, after gazing at the 
apperception-mechanism, whose working constituted the main 
part of men's psychical life : 

" Yet, if we look more closely, we shall find 
Most have the seeds of judgment in their mind." 

The apperception-mechanism is a fact ; and that we judge 
actions as good or bad is another fact. Herbart may not 
have succeeded no one ever has, whether theologian or 
philosopher in explaining the entire moral life, and in eluci- 


dating the relations between the mechanical and the teleo- 
logical. But the amazing thing is that, in Herbart's teaching, 
both the mechanical and the teleological get their dues. 

A word or two about the "second moral idea" VollJcom- 

meriheit, commonly translated " Perfection," but much better 

by the alternative expression " Efficiency of 

The Second wnL ,, If we f j quasi . moral a dmira- 

Moral Idea. 

tion for the " bad " man who has a strong 

and consistent will ; and a quasi-moral contempt for the 
"good" man who is weak and inconsistent, then Herbart 
was right in regarding "VollkommenJieit" as a "moral idea." 
He did not mean, as some of his critics absurdly imagine, 
that a character showing only "Vollkommenlieit" was com- 
pletely moral. The burglar, the conqueror, the savant, are 
not necessarily moral, though, in their different ways, they 
may show great " efficiency of will." Herbart simply means 
that this efficiency is necessary to a man if we are to pass 
an entirely favourable moral judgment upon him; but there 
are four other ideas also. VoUTtoirvmenheit stands for the 
demand foreshadowed in the preceding section that the 
human soul shall have outlook, power and coherence, and 
that the human Will shall possess such corresponding 
qualities as breadth, efficiency, and harmony. 

The other " moral ideas " Inner Freedom, Benevolence, 

Bight or Law, and Equity correspond in some measure to 

the common elements recognised in Virtue ; 

e e * they are, indeed, abstract, philosophic forms 

of these. Into their exact significance there 

is no special need to inquire ; the fact that the total concrete 

concept of Virtue is a highly complex one, in the view of the 

Herbartians, has been sufficiently indicated. 

But can Education contribute much to the realisation of 
this great concept ? Does not virtue really spring from a 
mysterious source Transcendental Freedom of Will ; a source 
that cannot be touched by any efforts, however strenuous, 
on the part of the educator ? 




Some Postulates. 

4. Transcendental Freedom of Will Must Be Rejected by the 

"Not the gentlest 'breath of transcendental freedom must 
be allowed to blow through ever so small a chink into the 
teacher's domain. If so, how is he to begin to deal with the 
lawless marvels of a being superior to natural laws, on whose 
assistance he cannot reckon, whose interruptions he can 
neither foresee nor prevent ? " 

When the vision of a completed science of Education first 

rose before Herbart's eyes, he seems to have realised that a 

fatal obstacle to the prestige of such a science 

Rejection of any wou ^ ^ Q ^ ne doctrine held in various forms, 

Alien Kind , 11-1 1-1 * ,-, 

of Freedom PP u ^ ar an< * philosophical, under the name 

of " Free Will." Herbart, did not, of course, 
deny that there was a true kind of " Free Will " " a freedom 
of choice which we all find in ourselves, which we honour as 
the most beautiful phenomenon in ourselves " ; but such 
"freedom" had to find its place within, not outside, the 
future Science of Education ; it had to be regarded, not as 
a foreign power, daily and hourly upsetting the calculations 
of the educationist, but rather as something for which the 
educationist himself was responsible ; a freedom which has 
its own causes, and is thus a kind of determinism yet a 
determinism which the teacher can influence, and is thus 
the reverse of fatalism. He was challenged, in fact, by the 


question, " Can Education really influence the Will to any 
important degree, and thus build up Character ? " If it 
could not do this, the teacher's task was instantly reduced 
to one that was very humble, when compared with the task 
as conceived by Herbart: "He will give up entirely the 
most important part of his business, and finally limit his 
whole care to the presenting of pieces of information"* 
Such "mere instruction," indeed totally 

Importance of ineffective for any great task must be the 
the Question for . _ . , 

the Teacher. mam ro ^ e of * ne educator, as conceived by 
men who believe that the human Will is 
so " free " as to be inaccessible to any educational 
influence. We must ask, then, " Is the good will 
present from the beginning ; * a stream whose origin 
man does not know ' ; a stream over which he can really 
exert no control whatever ? " Such a Will would resemble 
the melancholy of a certain Merchant of Venice : 

" How I caught it, found it, or came by it, 
What stuff 'tis made of, whereof it is born, 
I am to learn." 

Herbart denied that the Will was free in this sense. 
Human action takes place "as an inevitable effect of certain 
mental causes, just as necessarily as every effect in the 
material world, only not in any way according to material 
laws (e.g., of weight, impact, etc.), which latter have not 
the remotest similarity with those of mental operations. The 
teacher, like the astronomer, takes courage to attempt to 
investigate the conformity to law of the phenomena before 
him." It is difficult to see what other attitude could be 
taken up by anyone possessing an interest in Education. 
Admitted that the child is not mere clay in the hands of 
a potter ; that much of its conduct springs from obscure 

* Or " stuffing with knowledge and facts," as moderns would express it. 
This kind of talk about "stuffing" implies, that "knowledge" and "facts'* 
are comparatively unimportant things. 


causes (largely hereditary), causes which may simulate 
" freedom " ; the fact remains that an educator must believe 
in Education, and admit that " the sensuous world, aa 
systematised by the teacher," appears " as influencing the 
pupil's freedom; this suffices ; now we have found our field." 
In Herbart's much later phraseology he never changed his 
opinion on this matter " the fundamental idea of Education 
is the pupil's capacity for cultivation." The teacher's power 
is certainly not absolute ; " an unlimited capacity for culti- 
vation ought not to be assumed by the teacher " ; * but he 
must not admit either the doctrine of fatalism which regards 
teacher and pupil as alike carried along in a strong current 
without will of their own or the doctrine of transcendental 
freedom, which is, to all intents and purposes, and despite 
its name, really a doctrine of fatalism, for the influences of 
Education are regarded as incapable of penetrating into the 
inner sanctuary of the Will ; the Will must thus, to all 
intents and purposes, be left to take its own mysterious course. 
Herbart, in opposition to such views, urges that Education 
nay, Instruction itself can penetrate into the sanctuary 
of the Will ; in his system, therefore, Instruc- of tion has a very honourable place. Others, who 

seem to claim that the Will is inaccessible 

to Instruction, and only capable of being influenced if, 
indeed, even this is possible by means of Training (Zucht)f 
reduce Instruction to a minor matter, "a presentation of 
memoranda. Many, prematurely wearied with these con- 
siderations, will surely throw themselves upon the indolent 
bed of freedom, even if not on that of fate. To such I 
have here absolutely nothing to say. And if the bed of 
thorns upou which they throw themselves does not compel 
them to start up, then their peace will not be easily disturbed 

* In a later section of the present book, the limitations of the teacher 
will be considered. 

i See Preface for the controversy over this word. 


by mere disputation." In other words, to deny that " Virtue 
can be taught," to claim that the Will, whether owing to 
fate or to some unaccountable freedom, is beyond the reach 
of the Educator such a contention is one of '* indolence " and 
despair. No Science of Education need* be dreamt of so long 
as such claims are put forward; the science would not be 
worthy of any sane man's pursuit " As far as the Educator 
is concerned, Morality is an occurrence, something happening 
in Nature" something that has causes of its own. Indeed, 
even the opponents of this view sometimes feel forced 
to recognise at least its partial truth ; the teacher has 
"to furnish occasions to remove hindrances"; thus the 
" absolute " Will is found to be, after all, immeshed in 
the natural mechanism, and not wholly independent of this, 
as some of its advocates would fain contend. 

Possibly Herbart has prejudiced his case by his insistence 

on this point. Anxious to establish the importance and the 

value of a Science of Education, he saw that to 

Danger of the re gard the Will as wholly mysterious as a 

D C wmisa tthe " Faculty '' largely inde P endent of the res t of 
Faculty. the mind and therefore of the teacher's "In- 
struction " would be a fatal obstacle to the 
establishment of such a Science. If medical men were tied 
down to the old belief that every disease had a supernatural 
origin and was the work of devils ; if the astronomer were 
tied down to the belief that the motions of the planets were 
due to certain erratic spirits which severally inhabited them a 
science of medicine and a science of astronomy could scarcely 
arise; at any rate there would be no confidence in its 
conclusions. Herbart was anxious to remove such a 
stumbling-block from the path of his projected Science of 
Education. If the task of Education is to build up good 
moral characters there must be some assurance that Education 
is morally effective, and that good characters are not solely 
or mainly the result of influences beyond the teachers' reach. 


For example, suppose that moral goodness sprang entirely 
from the sacraments of the Church, the teacher's work would 
then be quite ineffective as a character-forming agency, 
however important in other respects. Though no one has 
ever deliberately claimed that Education is morally ineffective, 
Herbart thought it best at the very outset to protest against 
any doctrine of " Freedom " that might be so interpreted or 
twisted as to depreciate the importance of the teacher, and 
throughout the pages that follow the wisdom of this warning 
will be seen. 

5. Possibility of a Science of Education: Need of (a) 
Psychology, (6) Observation of the Pupil, (c) A Definite 
Educational Aim. 

Education, then, must be no longer subjected to the 

dictation of amateurs or of non-educationists, but must become 

a genuine science ; " the centre of a sphere 

Future o f exploration, no longer exposed to the danger 
Independence of . . " 

Education f government by a stranger, as a remote 

tributary province " ; it should cultivate "more 
an independent mode of thought." It can never benefit fully 
from other sources until it has learnt to be true to its 
"intrinsic conceptions" "Only when each science seeks to 
teach in its own way and also with the same force as its 
neighbours, can a beneficial intercourse take place between 
them" Herbart's words point to a time when it will be as 
impossible for medical, commercial, theological, or military 
men, or for men whose eminence lies in other sciences than 
Education, to dictate the methods and curricula of schools, as 
it is for them to dictate the methods pursued in a hospital 
ward. Headers of Part I. will not need to be given examples 
of this interference and dictation. 

But this ideal of a " Science of Education " will not be 
realised so long as teachers glory in mere empiricism. " A 
nonagenarian village schoolmaster has the experience of 
Jiis ninety years 1 routine course; he has the consciousness of 


his long toils ; but has he also the criticism of his work and 

methods ? " Clearly he has not. No one will claim that his 

science least of all, " educational science " 

"Experience" is infallible; but, nevertheless, "nothing is 

Not Enough learnt from ONE experience, and just as 

little from scattered observations" Indeed, a 

single educational " experiment " or " experience " would take 

no less time than half the life of the pupil, for only when 

half his life is passed can we judge of the influence that 

Education has exerted on his character. Scientific knowledge 

is required as well as " experience." 

In considering the possibility of a Science of Education 

we come therefore to realise the need of Psychology: "J 

think I recognize" says Herbart, " the difficulty 

syc o ogy is as W6 ^ as ^ e p 0ss ibmty O f such a science. 


Long will it be before we have it, longer still 

before we can expect it from teachers. Never, however, can 
it be a substitute for observation of the pupil." In fact, 
Psychology will probably never be able to give us the 
individual: "this can only be discovered, not deduced": 
every child is somewhat different from every other child. 
On the other hand Psychology may some day be able 
to lay down the possibilities of Education according as 
these are limited by changing circumstances. Still, such a 
Psychology was, at Herbart's time, little more than a pious 
wish. Herbart himself is regarded as the founder of modern 
empirical Psychology. 

But one thing of the highest importance is possible for us : 
we can have clear views of the Aim of Education. " What 

the Educator should care for must lie open 
A Definite -, /. 7 . -,.-, . ., , ,., ,, 

Aim before him like a map, or, if possible, like the 

plan of a well-built city. . . . With what 
aim the teacher should grasp his work this . . . is 
for me the first half of the Science of Education. . . . 
Such a map I offer here for the inexperienced." 


Herbart's modest references to the condition of Psychology 

must appear significant to those who have been led to believe 

that his educational principles were " deduced " 

Herbart's System Qr Derived " from that science, and that the 

from Psychology. latter was the "starting-point" of his educa- 
cational proposals. It is clear that his 
"starting-point" was in Ethics; or rather (for he had not, at 
the time, formulated any comprehensive system of Ethics) in 
an intense conviction of what Education had to do for the 
moral betterment of man. No doubt, even at this stage in 
his development, he had attained a certain insight into the 
relation between ideas and character, a relation which he 
afterwards represented in a mathematical, technical, and (as 
some would say) "mechanical" form. But at this time no 
"mathematical" or "mechanical" view had been attained; 
Psychology still presented itself to Herbart's mind as a com- 
pletely embryonic science ; nay, he even went so far as to say, 
in his Allgemeine Padagogik that "Education has no time to 
make holiday now till philosophical questions are once for all 
cleared up. Rather it is to be desired that pedagogy shall be 
kept as free as possible from philosophical doubts." Nay, 
even six years later he still spoke of the " lack of 
Psychology." So far as he " deduced " his educational 
principles at all he " deduced " them from an " aim," not from 
Psychology. The very title of his great book is enough to 
indicate this. 

Herbart's Psychology, then, was quite unformulated at the 

time he wrote the Allgemeine Padagogik. And yet the germs 

of his great and characteristic doctrine one of 

"Action Springs ^ e mO st important doctrines ever enunciated 
out of the Circle 
of Thought." ky a human being can be clearly detected in 

that work. "Action springs out of the circle 
of thought;" the task of forming aright the "circle of 
thought" is thus a task of supreme importance. Herbart 

On the Dark Side of Pedagogy, 1812. 


emphasises this in his significant remarks on the importance 

of instruction. 

6. Instruction is vitally important in the Herbartian view. 

"I here at once confess that I have no conception of 
Education without Instruction, just as conversely, in this book 
at least, I do not recognise any Instruction which does not 
educate. Whatever arts and acquirements a young man may 
learn from a teacher for the mere sake of profit are as 
indifferent to the Educator as the colour he chooses for his 
coat. But how his circle of thought is being formed is every- 
thing to the teacher, for out of thoughts come feelings, and 
from them principles and modes of action.' 11 

The connection here suggested by Herbart between Charac- 
ter and Instruction, between action and the circle of thought, 
has not yet been made clear, and cannot be until the doctrines 
of Apperception and Interest have been expounded. But 
Herbart' s point obviously is that the ideas conferred by 
the teacher's Instruction have, somehow, to 

un amen a p ene t ra te into the soul and generate forces ; 
Importance of * 

Instruction. Education has not to remain a mere "presen- 
tation of memoranda" or "cramming with 
facts," supplemented by periodical disturbances of the mere 
feelings. Such a thing as this is "Education ivithout 
Instruction" instead of the "Education through Instruction," 
which Herbart himself aims at. Again and again he tells us 
that the main part of Education lies in the culture or formation 
of the circle of thought, on the ground that this latter is the 
basis of all deliberate action. 

Readers may fail to see the significance of this point. 

For teachers it is really of immense importance. A teacher's 

work is to teach', this, one would think, is 

Is a Teacher's obvious. 53^ there are scores of eminent 

Teach ? though somewhat traditional educationists who 

will say that "Teaching," "Instruction," is 

really far less important for the child than other things : 


than Training, than Example, than Keligion. Such a view 
saps at once the importance of the " teacher." His most 
distinctive task is suddenly deprived of most of its signifiance. 
Readers may here advisably refer back to Mr. Skrine's words.' 1 * 
It was Herbart's great merit to have seen that, if character- 
forming is ever to be accepted as " the one and whole purpose 
of Education," and thus unity take the place of distraction 
and chaos, Instruction would have somehow to occupy the 
highest place among educational agencies. It would be disas- 
trous to hold that character-forming was solely the work of 
Training, while other ends had to be attended to by means of 
Instruction. This would be to admit that there was no " one 
and ivhole purpose of Education." The teacher's main business 
is to teach ; and this business must somehow help the process 
of character-forming. And this, I may add, is one of the- 
many places where Herbart, despite the technical and scientific 
form which he throws round his concepts, is really closer to 
common sense than any other educator. The " man in the 
street" considers that the teacher's business is to teach. 
Unluckily academic educationists consider that his business 
is to form Character somehow, but not by teaching, for 
" Virtue cannot be taught." Herbart had the sublime audacity, 
at the age of thirty, to say that the two tasks must be made 
into one if Education was ever to be placed on a scientific 

* See p. 9. 



Discipline or Government. 

7. The (subsidiary) Position of Discipline or Government* in 
a System of Education. Measures Employed by 
Discipline or Government ; Supervision, Threatening, 
Punishment, Occupation. 

" It is doubtful whether this chapter (on Discipline) belongs 
on the whole to the Science of Education, and should not 
rather be subjoined to those divisions of practical philosophy r , 
which treat of Discipline in General. Care for intellectual 
culture is, in fact, essentially different from care for the 
maintenance of order. 11 

The distinctive, or at least the most prominent, feature in 
the Herbartian system is its emphasis on the connection 
between the intellectual and moral sides of man. Character 
is rooted in the circle of thought ; consequently the forming 
aright of this " circle " constitutes the main, though not the 
exclusive, task of the genuine educator. But another task, 
which looms somewhat large in the lives of most schoolmasters 
that of maintaining external order must be considered. 
Is it, then, a part of Education proper ? 

Critics have questioned the validity of the distinction here 
drawn by Herbart. To regard external Discipline as some- 

* See Preface. 


thing different from Education proper the formation of 
character through action on the circle of thought and 
through Moral Training is, they will tell us, a misleading 
and over-subtle procedure. The two things interlace. 

Herbart knew perfectly well that they interlaced. " It is 
impossible to separate them entirely." But he knew also that 
unless the vital distinction between diverse 
agencies was clearly recognised, no agency 

would be used with full and clear realisation of 
its function. The whole history of Education has been a 
confirmation of this fact. The vast majority of schoolmasters, 
if asked concerning the Moral Education given in their schools, 
will point to Discipline, Biblical lessons, esprit de corps, and 
other special and limited means of building up character; 
the notion of a comprehensive "Educative Instruction" as the 
chief means to this end will not occur to them. There is, in 
fact, immense need for the very distinction that has called 
forth the polemics of Herbart's critics. The great task of 
demonstrating how Instruction can form Character is a task 
which requires "special artists .'. . so that it may be brought 
to perfection by the concentrated power of genius" In 
practice, Instruction, Training, and Discipline overlap, but 
there is great need for " clearness of conception," for distin- 
guishing their diverse though not separable functions, especially 
in the interests of the greatest and most misunderstood of the 
three. I recollect how, at a meeting of teachers in North 
London, on the question of Moral Instruction being referred to, 
one teacher called out, " We are giving it all day long 1 " He 
meant, no doubt, that Discipline and Training were operative all 
day long; he could not have meant exactly what he said. 
Nevertheless, he said it. Now, just as Herbart analyses the 
concrete notion of Morality into five abstract elements, which, 
though distinguishable, cannot exist in complete isolation from 
each other, so, in the interests of clear thought, he distin- 
guishes between Instruction, Training, and Discipline. 


Discipline, then, is an attempt to keep in check the native 
waywardness and lawlessness of the child, who, though in a 
sense " wilful," has yet no true voluntary " will," for the latter 
springs out of the circle of thought. A spirit of order 
precepts of formal or external morality may thus be instilled 
by means of Discipline ; but the latter, per se, makes no 
direct attempt to build up character ; and Herb art has no 
special admiration for the semi-military methods in which 
teachers take such pride. 

Supervision, one of the chief means of Discipline, can 

easily be carried to excess. " It has been my misfortune to 

witness too many examples of the effect of strict supervision in 

public institutions, and perhaps, having due regard to safety 

of life and strength of limb, I am too much 

Herbart possessed with the idea that boys and youths 
Condemns Rigid . , -J - 77 , , . 7 * , 7 

Supervision mus ^ ^ e allowed to run risks ^f they are to 

become men. Suffice it to remember that punc- 
tilious and constant supervision is burdensome alike to the 
supervisor and those he watches over, and is apt therefore 
to be associated on both sides with deceit, and thrown off at 
every opportunity and also that the need for it grows ivith 
the degree in which it is used, and that at last every moment 
of its intermittance is fraught with danger. Further, it 
prevents children from 'knowing and testing themselves, and 
learning a thousand things which are not included in any 
pedagogic system, but can only be found by self-search. . . . 
From those who grow up under the oppression of constant 
observation, no versatility, no inventive power, no spirit of 
daring, no confident demeanour, can be expected.' 11 

The words just quoted will surprise many who view 
Herbartianism as a system destructive of initiative and 
energy. It is perfectly true that the most characteristic 
feature of the system is an emphasis on Instruction ; but 
within its ample folds is found room for every educational 
agency that has proved its value by its success. Indeed, the 


astonishing fact in connection with Herbart's own doctrines is 
their all-embracing character ; the complete absence of one- 
sidedness, exaggeration, and narrow partisanship. Herbart's 
successors may not always have imitated their master, and 
may, in some cases, have laid themselves open to attack on 
the ground that they destroy their pupils' independence ; but 
it is clear that Herbart himself did not give any countenance 
to such a danger. Elementary teachers, who have been com- 
pelled by the existence of large classes to adopt a stiff system of 
" discipline," should ask themselves whether Herbart's verdict 
upon such a system is right. Are those schools where the 
discipline is firmest, the schools which turn out the best boys ? 
Have the boys really been "disciplined" in the true sense; 
have they learnt to be self-reliant, self-governing ? Or has the 
military system under which they have been brought up 
deprived them of inner power, and sent them out into the 
world unprepared for freedom reckless hooligans ? One of 
the chief difficulties that faces a translator of Herbart is the 
fact that the word " Discipline " has two meanings in English ; 
it sometimes means " Training," and corresponds to Herbart's 
Zuclit ; while for primary teachers it always means " Preserva- 
tion of Order," and corresponds to Herbart's Eegierung. 

The dangers of excessive supervision are no argument for 

its abolition. "We must no more expect to form great characters 

by " leaving children to run wild without 

The Immensity supervision and without culture" than by a 

of the Task ... 

of Education, repressive system of Discipline. Difficulties 

confront Education on every side ; everywhere 
are we in danger of falling into one error by seeking to avoid 
another : " Education is a vast whole of ceaseless labour 
which exacts true proportion from beginning to end ; merely 
to avoid a few errors is of no avail." 

Coming to other details we find that Herbart was no senti- 
mentalist in matters of punishment. " It will be in vain to 
try and do entirely without corporal punishment" But one 


remark in the Science of Education is of profound importance 
in this connection. The punishments of Discipline are 
external; the teacher must " scorn to take any notice of the 
bad will, together with the insult implied therein. The 
Discipline of children is powerless to punish the desire to do 
evil; to wound this desire is the business of Education^ which 
only begins after Discipline has done its work." The 
distinction here drawn is similar to the one drawn by 
Edward Thring and Dr. Laurie, which goes counter to most 
popular prejudices on matters of punishment, but is, neverthe- 
less, a profoundly true distinction. These 

Punishments wri t ers urge that moral offences cannot be 

of Mere 
Discipline. eradicated by corporal punishment, and they 

urge Thring, especially, with great clearness 
that such punishment should be frankly recognised as a 
valuable measure of external discipline only, and not be 
associated with moral reproof. This is also Herbart's view. 
The child's " Will" is not yet formed ; his lawless actions have 
to be restrained, perhaps by severe punishment, but they 
have not to be regarded as springing from moral delinquency. 
To speak of the "free will" of a child of eight years as was 
recently done in a court of justice is, on the Herbartian 
premisses, dangerous and inadmissible ; and when writers on 
Education claim that children can " deliberately, and with full 
intent, set up their private wills against the common and 
moral will of the community," the writers are manifesting, in 
the eyes of the Herbartians, an ignorance of psychical causation 
that is appalling. Punish by all means; uphold the majesty of 
external law ; but do not attribute full moral delinquency to 
children. There may be every appearance of this; a child 
may lie or steal ; but, on the Herbartian view, many years will 
have to pass before the child's circle of thought is rich enough 
to generate a will that can, with any plausibility, be called 
moral or immoral. - 

In short, school punishments should not, as a rule, be 


punishments for immorality, but for violation of external order. 
If this principle be a true one, most of the " school board " 
rules relative to punishment, and nearly all school management 
books on the same subject, are drawn up on wrong lines. In 
fact, we have here another indication of the need of establishing 
clear theoretical distinctions in pedagogy; the distinction 
between Discipline and the other tasks of the educator is really 
a vital one, and though some recent Herbartians appear willing 
to abandon it, no one who knows the chaotic state of British 
educational thought will do so. Many a child of nine or ten is 
being regarded as a vicious criminal because the distinction 
drawn by Herbart is unrecognised. 

It may be pointed out that, on this question of punishment 

(including threatening) Herbart is partly in agreement, partly 

in disagreement, with his predecessor Kousseau. 

Reasoning Both writers recognise that the very young 
child cannot be regarded as morally respon- 
sible, or deserving of punishment in any strict 
sense ; but whereas Eousseau infers from this that all punish- 
ment of children should be abolished, Herbart's treatment of 
the question is marked by a careful weighing of the possibilities. 
Young children (here he agrees with Kousseau and disagrees 
with Locke) should not be reasoned with ; at the stage of mere 
discipline, reasoning is out of place, children have to obey. 

Herbart's insistence on the value of Occupation as an aid to 
Discipline shows that contrary to common opinion he 
realised the importance of the motor element in man, an 
element emphasised by his contemporary Frobel and now win- 
ning an increasing recognition every year. He expressly recom- 
mends the giving of "freer scope for the children's activity' 1 
though he sees that his advice is more capable 

a ue of being carried out in country schools than in 

those of towns. "Pleasant and harmless occu- 
pations to provide an outlet for restlessness which cannot be 
pent up " are eminently desirable, though Herbart makes no 


attempt to expatiate upon this department of the teacher's 
work on the ground that " so much has been said on this 
subject.' 11 We have here another instance of the important 
truth which readers of flerbart soon discover for themselves, 
that though Herbart's greatest and most far-reaching task 
was in the realm of Instruction proper, he was always 
conscious of the other departments of work which fall to the 
educator. He may sometimes be over-subtle in distinguishing 
the strictly " educative " from the " non-educative," but he 
never ignores anything of real importance. 

Before this question of Discipline is left, the reader should 
note here, as also he will see at a later stage, how great a 
contrast is on the whole presented between Herbart's actual 
doctrines and the " soft pedagogy " which, in many modern 
circles, is supposed to be deduced from those doctrines. There 
is nothing of the boisterous optimism, nothing of the inverte- 
brate sentinientalism of Kousseau, in the proposals of Herbart 
himself. It is true, Herbartianism is merciful merciful 
in a way that is perhaps only possible with a deterministic 
system for it sees the connection between the moral evils we 
deplore and the causes of those evils ; but in mercy alike to 
the child and to society it refuses to discard even stern 
measures where these seem called for. It bears no malice 
against the child it punishes ; it attributes no moral depravity ; 
but realising, as no other educational system realises, that 
" cause and effect " holds good in the moral as in the physical 
realm it pursues the task of character-building with a steady, 
remorseless persistence. The schoolmaster's task is great; 
time is short, for " in the pupil's seventeenth year Education 
proper is impossible, or at most only possible in those who see 
what they have missed, and in whom the wish to submit them- 
selves to Education is keen." If the child's waywardness 
stand in the way of the execution of an urgent and vital task, 
that waywardness must be crushed. With good teachers the 
task will not be, in normal cases, impossible- though it will be 


unceasing and laborious ; Discipline, by means of Supervision, 

Threatening, Punishment, and Occupation has but to hold the 

fort until the forces which Instruction is calling into existence 

have time to appear on the scene ; but, by 

ew orce g en ^ e means O r by stern means, the task has 
soon J 

to Appear. ^ ^ e accomplished. The child must submit, 

even though the tone of Discipline has to be 
" sliort and sharp." It is right for the child to be convinced of 
the good intentions of the teacher, and thus also of the 
rational necessity for obedience, but anything of the nature of 
elaborate reasoning is out of place, for the child is incapable of 
it. Some day a new nature will have been implanted a mass 
of ideas, a circle of thought, an apperceptive mechanism ; 

then ! 

This is not by any means the Frobelian way of regarding 
Education. Both Herbart and Frobel recognised that there 
was a mysterious "individuality" in the child a mass of 
impulses and instincts, different in each case; and both 
educators recognised that the individuality must be considered 
and allowed for. But, while Frobel regarded the individuality 
as something transcendently divine, Herbart regarded it as 
something more or less crude, primitive, and healthily barbaric. 
His stress was always on the conscious, the deliberate; Frobel's 
stress was largely on the unconscious, the instinctive. Thus 
the idea of Discipline or Government has no place in Frobel's 
teaching ; the idea that there was any " waywardness " 
needing to be " crushed " scarcely crossed his mind. Some 
one has said that the word " obedience " is never mentioned 
by him at all. 



Education Proper. Introduction of the 
Concept of Many=sided Interest. 

8. The Strenuousness of Education. 

We now approach the subject of Education proper. 
Fundamental though the distinction is between this and 
external Discipline, they have one thing in common: each 
is a serious, strenuous business, " cognisant 
Herbartianism o y some thing which may be called corn- 
la not Soft 
Pedagogy pulsion." Though Education is never harsh 

it is " often very strict." Even tears may 
sometimes have to be the lot of the schoolboy. 

Thus at the very outset of his discussion Herbart shows 
how very far from a mere easy-going " interestingness " is the 
task of the educator. "Soft pedagogy" is not true Herbartian 
pedagogy, though it is often identified with it. Indeed, 
Mr. Hughes, in Frobel's Educational Laws, contrasts Herbart 
with Frobel on this very ground, and points out that the 
former made a much larger use of compulsion, both in forcing 
attention to study and in controlling the conduct, than the 
founder of the kindergarten. 

But though there is nothing sentimental or invertebrate in 
Herbart 's system, there is a recognition that the teacher must 
possess a sensibility for whatever is beautiful and attractive in 
humanity and youth. A sour spirit is no equipment for a 


teacher ; it will keep him at arm's length from his pupils. He 
should avoid alike the extremes of stiffness and of excessive 

Another of the common errors with regard to Herbart is 

that his system tends to be so dominating towards the pupils 

that they are swallowed by it, made into its 

Do not Educate pu pp e ^ gt Herbart in these preliminary remarks 
Too Much." r rj ^ 

expressly warns against such a calamity. "Do 

not educate too much; refrain from all avoidable application 
of that power by which the teacher bends his pupils this way 
or that." 

And now he approaches what may be called the crisis of his 
great book. He has declared that Morality is the aim of 
Education the sole aim, or at any rate the highest. But 
Morality is not an isolated phenomenon of the mind. There 
has never been a thinker more opposed than Herbart to the 

" faculty " doctrine, which breaks up the mind 

Moral Culture . , i 

into separate parts or activities ; and we are 
not Isolated. 

therefore not surprised to hear him urge that 
" the problem of Moral Education is not separable from 
Education as a whole, but stands in a necessary far-reaching 
connection with the remaining problems of Education. . . . 
Moral culture pre-supposes other parts of culture. 11 Herbart 
does not deny, of course, that some parts of Education are 
more morally valuable than others, he only protests against 
the view that the formation of Moral Character is a process 
that can go its own solitary way. 

This after all, is only preliminary skirmishing on Herbart's 
part. He has affirmed, somewhat dogmatically, that the 
whole purpose of Education can be summed up in the concept 
" Morality," and he has hinted that Morality is not an isolated 
thing. He now turns aside to consider whether there is any 
other possible educational goal; for, though everyone admits 
that Morality is a necessary goal of Education something at 
which we must aim few would admit that, as commonly 



interpreted, it embraces everything. Temporarily or per- 
manently we have to take other factors into consideration. 

The pupil has ultimately to select this or that trade or 

profession ; we are quite in the dark as to the future ; clearly, 

therefore, the work of the teacher cannot be to prepare him for 

any one calling exclusively. But men insist that Education 

must be, in some sense, a preparation for life. 

.... ' Tell them that its aim is " Morality " and they 

will not be satisfied ; something more mundane, 

practical, utilitarian, seems to be demanded, and yet the 

ordinary school cannot possibly teach particular trades and 

professions ; it can only develop such a general efficiency, such 

a general power of adaptation, that any calling may be 

subsequently followed with a fair chance of success. 

Herbart, looking around him for a term that would meet 
the case, alighted upon " Many-sided Interest." 

9. Many-sided Interest as a Working Concept for the Teacher. 

Frobelian readers will remember how the word " Kinder- 
garten " flashed upon Frobel's mind as the one for which he 
had been seeking long and vainly. Much depends on a word. 
The profoundest truth or the wildest error may be launched on 
a career of dazzling success if it can be summed up in a 
plausible and telling formula. Kousseau's astonishing influence 
was largely due to his use of the ambiguous and seductive 
word " Nature "; and there can be little doubt that Herbart's 
is due as much to the terminological skill which he showed in 
the selection of words like " Interest," as to the inherent truth 
of his doctrines. He was not the inventor of the word, but 
he was the first man in all history to bring out its full 
significance and to give it the place it deserved in educational 

Compared with any other formula, that of " Many-sided 
Interest " possesses undeniable advantages. 

"Harmonious development of all human powers" the 
definition of Education which stands out amid the fluctuations 


of Pestalozzi's doctrines is unsatisfactory for several reasons. 

Firstly, the words " development " and " power," especially the 

latter, almost seem to suggest a condition of 

"Harmonious /. i ,, . , ., 

.. . . fixed attainment, as when we say that a 

Development of 

all Human " scoundrelly " prize-fighter is a " powerful " 
Powers." man, or that his muscles are "well 
developed"; the words are not sufficiently 
suggestive of living energy ; the man whose " powers " have 
been " developed " may at times refuse to use them. Nay, he 
may use them for wrong ends. " Power," skill, and efficiency 
may as much belong to a wicked man as to a good one, and 
may make him doubly or trebly dangerous. This, in fact, is 
the second objection to Pestalozzi's formula; it is not suffi- 
ciently suggestive of useful, wholesome, moral activity. The 
great scoundrels of the world were gifted with " powers " of a 
very high order. Thirdly and lastly Is it certain that all 
human powers should be " developed ? " Just as there are 
useless, or almost useless, parts of the body rudimentary 
organs that are slowly disappearing through atrophy (the 
human toes, the mammary glands of the male, etc.), so there 
may be useless, or almost useless, instincts which Education 
should check rather than foster. No doubt many of the weird 
instincts of childhood and adolescence* can be made use of in 
Education (e.g., the boy's love of wandering, of capturing or 
hunting animals), but it is quite possible that other instincts 
call for absolute repression. Thus, on the whole, the phrase 
41 harmonious development of all human powers " does not give 
a very satisfactory working- definition of Education ; obviously, 
too, the word " harmonious " is full of ambiguity and can be 
made to mean almost anything. 

" Many-sided Interest " is a much safer phrase. Men can 
criticise it, no doubt, but it has immense advantages over the 
phrase just considered. Firstly, it suggests life and movement, 

*Lombroso tells us that all normal children pass through stages of 
*' passionate cruelty, laziness, lying, and thieving." 


not merely latent "power." Secondly, though scoundrels may 
undoubtedly possess something of " Many-sided Interest," they 
are probably better, not worse men, for possessing it. A Borgia 
or a Catiline is made a more dangerous scoundrel by possessing 
power and efficiency, physical and intellectual; he is made 
a better man by an "Interest" in books or nature. The 
argument could easily be pressed too far, but it is, neverthe- 
less, worth a great deal. Genuine "Interest" is "dis- 
interested"; its possessor, however villainous in some matters, 
does, to a certain extent, lay aside his villainy when indulging 
his "Interests." Thirdly and lastly, the word "Interest" is a 
word possessing dignity; it suggests elevated pursuits of an 
intellectual or aesthetic nature, and gives no encouragement to 
the idea that every crude instinct'has to be gratified. 

Mr. J. L. Paton and many masters in secondary schools 
prefer the word " Effort " to the word " Interest." But surely 

Interest implies Effort, while Effort fails to 
" Effort." 

imply scores of things that fall under 

" Interest." The popularity of the " Effort " theory in 
secondary schools is due to the fact that for a long time 
the curriculum of those schools has been mainly Latin 
and Greek hard rather than interesting subjects. It is not 
because the masters of public schools have always carefully 
thought out educational questions that they place this 
immense stress on "Effort" and ignore scores of other things 
equally important; it is partly because they have had to 
adapt themselves to an exacting curriculum. But how does 
the plan work with regard to intellect ? " The majority of 
boys turned out are ignorant," says Sir Oliver Lodge. How 
does the plan work with regard to morals ? Mr. Skrine, when 
dealing with the ideal of the public school boy, speaks of 
the "narrowness of his moral admirations"; he is "morally 
colour-blind." These grave accusations would not be so 
possible if Interest rather than Effort were accepted as a 
working-formula in secondary schools. 


There are objections to the other formulae commonly put 

forward by educators. Dr. Davidson, in his New Interpretation 

of HerbarVs Psychology and Educational 

Theory, demonstrates the superiority of 

"Many-sided Interest" over "Self -realization"; 

"what is wanted in national, social, and individual life is an 
outlook away from the self." Again, to describe the aim of 
Education as "Adaptation to Environment" is objectionable 
on a score of grounds, the chief of which is that many 
" environments " are bad. To say, with Herbert Spencer, that 
the aim of Education is " Complete Living " brings us close up 
to "Many-sided Interest," but the latter phrase is probably 
the more helpful to the teacher. Frobel's references to 
developing or manifesting "the divine in man," or to pro- 
ducing a " pure, faithful, complete and, therefore, holy life," 
fail just where Herbart's formula succeeds ; they do not 
carry on their face any educational suggestiveness, and the 
one who hears them first will feel doubtful whether the 
work of the teacher or that of the clergyman is under 

On the whole, then, there is less danger, less ambiguity* 
and less vagueness in the phrase " Many-sided Interest " than 
in any other that has been suggested as a working- aim for 
educators. Difficulties there are, and the phrase needs to be 
safeguarded. But it has less need of safeguarding than any of 
its rivals. 

The phrase has another advantage which, I think, has not 
been previously pointed out in any precise way. 

Psychologists analyse mental life into three general 
functions Knowing, Feeling, Willing; Cognition, Emotion, 

Volition. An educational formula should do 
Superiority of justice to aU three< NQW Man gided 
Many-sided ' J 

Interest. Interest" does so in a remarkable manner. 

I leave readers to work this point out for 
themselves, and I am convinced that they will come to 


realise how wonderfully central the idea of Interest is; how 
it implies every kind of psychical process; and how, there- 
fore, it safeguards us against one-sided methods such as 
would be inevitable if, for example, we chose "Effort" as 
our working formula, thus exaggerating Volition however 
crude or ill- directed at the expense of the two other factors. 
I now return to Herbart's exposition. 



The Crisis of Herbart's System. 
Moral Value of Interest. 

10. The Dual Aim. 

11 Is the Aim of Education Single or Manifold ? " Herbart 
asks early in his Allgemeine PddagogiJc', and even now, a 
century later, it is a question that presses implacably upon us. 
He saw clearly enough that to establish an artificial unity 
was useless or pernicious. If it be true that Education, 
however carefully thought out, has a number of tasks which 
remain distinct to the end, e.g., the giving of mechanical or 
professional skill, the teaching of religion, the cultivation of a 
taste for beauty, the sharpening of the wits ; if these are 
really and finally disparate, no object can be gained by 
employing a common name, e.g., "Efficiency," "Perfection," 
" Virtue." " The effort to attain scientific unity often 
misleads the thinker to force into connection . . . things 
many and distinct. 1 ' If Character and Many-sided Interest 
are two, we do no good by pretending that they are one. 
But if they are two, there will always exist an element of 
chaos and perplexity in educational work. No man can serve 
two masters, and no system of Education can aim very success- 
fully at the two distinct ends. There is therefore " great need of 
being able to grasp in one conception the whole idea of a work 
like that of Education, so immeasurably manifold and yet so 


intimately connected in all its parts. From such a conception 
proceeds unity of plan and concentrated power.' 1 

Clearly, there can be no " unity of plan " if we regard 
Character and Will as separate from the other states or 
functions of the mind, and claim that they are linked only to 
transcendental, inaccessible, or unintelligible causes. It is no 
wonder that Education has never gone beyond the stage of 
"passable mediocrity " so long as it has suffered such views to 
prevail. To carry out educational work under a conviction 
that it has "sacred" and "secular" sides, and that these are 
distinct, is exactly as foolish as to carry out medical work 
under the conviction that some diseases are the result of devil- 
influence (for which the medical man has no cure), and others 
the result of natural causes. Herbart seeks to bring the whole 
task of Education down to the teacher's plane ; there are to be 
no nighty, or seductive, appeals to the transcendental until we 
have exhausted what is actually within our reach; for ex- 
ample, Instruction. " Passable mediocrity " is all that can be 
expected so long as people assert or imply that " Virtue cannot 
be taught." 

Still this chaos this conflict between ideals does it not 
threaten Herbart himself? Morality Many-sided Interest; 
two concepts lie before the teacher. Are they identical ? Are 
they reconcilable ? Or must the educator oscillate helplessly 
between them ? 

The Crowning Achievement of Herbart at any rate, his 
crowning task is the demonstration of how closely connected 
are Morality and Many-sided Interest. 

Those men who have criticised Herbart on the ground of 
"dogmatism" would do well to study how cautiously, how 
tentatively, and with what humility, he sought to establish the 
relation between the two central concepts of his system. He 
clung to the view that sooner or later education could be 
unified by the acceptance of Morality as its one aim, but he 
saw facing him this other concept claiming an authority almost 


as great, a concept that fascinated him, yet a concept not 
wholly identical with the other. He felt that an ultimate 
reconciliation was impossible until psychology was a science. 
Six years after the Allgemeine Padagogik was published, he 
expressed the hope " that the time will come wlien it will be 
worth while to make the concept of Virtue in the unity of its 
completeness the principal concept, and to inquire in the case 
of each of its requisites the means to the purpose" But no 
psychology existed adequate for this task, and until a psychology 
capable of revealing the foundations of conduct had come into 
existence, "man would not be able to boast of the possession of 
a pedagogy which was in truth a science." 

-The critics of Herbart have not been remiss in declaring 
that he has never satisfactorily resolved the dualism of his 
system. Morality and Many-sided Interest hold the field, each 
claiming the allegiance of educationists. But the critics do 
Herbart an injustice ; for, in the first place, he has shown how 
closely connected are these two concepts, and has thus effected 
a satisfactory, though not, perhaps, an absolute unification; 
and, in the second place, the criticism upon which his critics 
pride themselves is the one which, with characteristic humility, 
he directs against himself. Natorp, who has recently been 
declaiming against the dogmatic tone assumed by Herbart, has 
surely never caught the spirit of those central chapters of the 
Allgemeine PddagogiTc. 

"How," Herbart asks in one important passage, "will 
Many-sidedness allow itself to be confined within the narrow 
bounds of Morality, and how will the stern simplicity of moral 
humility bear clothing in the gay colours of a Many-sided 
Interest?" And then follow the words of indignant protest 
against those who, refusing to study scientifically the connection 
between Character and the other sides of human nature, allow 
morality to be " rocked to sleep in the belief in transcendental 
powers" while all the time there exist forces such as Many- 
sided Interest which would effect the moral end that is 


aimed at, if only men would seek and study those forces in a 
thoughtful manner. 

However, this task has somehow to be accomplished: 
Morality and Many-sided Interest must be shown to be 
mutually and intimately related or there will exist a dan- 
gerous chasm in educational science. 

And here, be it observed, this chasm is not of Herbart's 
making. The term " Many-sided Interest " may be surrounded 
by difficulty, but the terms which, outside Herbartian circles, 
take its place, are surrounded by still more. Suppose we admit 
that "the harmonious development of all human powers" is 
the educational goal, or make it a collateral goal with 
"Character"; how are we, even then, to reconcile this 
Hellenic notion of all-embracing development with the 
Hebraic notion of stern Morality ? We might parody Herbart's 
words and ask, " How will ' all-round development ' allow 
itself to be confined within the narrow bounds of Morality, 
and how will the stern simplicity of moral humility bear 
clothing in the gay colours of * all-round development ' ? " 

Herbart's merit was threefold. (1) He substituted the 
living concept of "Many-sided Interest" for dead or mis- 
leading concepts like " harmonious development of all human, 
powers." (2) He placed this great educational ideal side by 
side with the only other possible educational ideal Character- 
forming, and he invited himself and the world to bridge over 
the gap between them. (3) He succeeded in bridging over the 
gap; or, at any rate, lie showed that Many-sided Interest 
was very closely related to Virtue. 

How exactly he effected this demonstration will be gradually 
shown in subsequent sections of this work. Here the words 
with which the first book of the Allgemeine Pddagogik comes 
to an end may appropriately indicate the nature of the coming 
demonstration. " The individuality must first be changed 
through widened Interest, and approximate to a general form,. 


before teachers can venture to think they will find it amenable 
to the general obligatory moral law" 

11. Significance of Herbart's Experience with the Steigers. 

English educational thought is in so strange a state that 
Herbart is supposed to have " deduced " his doctrines from 
some stiff and obscure system of metaphysics and psychology, 
whereas, in point of fact, it grew up through personal anxiety 
for certain pupils who were placed under his charge. Her- 
bartianism is so infinitely practical and living, because it was 
the answer of a great man to the demands of a very critical 

In another book* I have shown that from many sides there 

are coming testimonies to the moral value of an " Interest " 

in various intellectual and other pursuits. 

ora a ue j ns ^ ea( j o tracing human sin and vice to 
of Interest. 

causes that are disheartening and mysterious, 

thoughtful men tell us that if only " Interests " in books or 
nature can be aroused, much sin and vice will disappear, and 
that most of it is at present due to an absence of these very 
'* Interests." In fact, when a modern writer deals with 
questions like intemperance, gambling, or hooliganism, he is 
almost certain to use the word " Interest " sooner or later. It 
is like King Charles's head in Mr. Dick's speeches. 

When Herbart was twenty-one years of age (1797), he under- 
took the tuition of three sons of Herr von Steiger-Reggisberg. 
Two years later he wrote to a friend on a solemn occasion, 
" I think I could have surrounded my garden with a fairly 
impenetrable hedge, did not my sick mother's wishes call me 
away." His garden consisted of his three pupils, and 
Herbart's desire was so to surround them by "an impene- 
trable hedge" that the assaults of the venerable Enemy of 
Mankind would be doomed to failure. That hedge was to 
consist, partly at least, of Many-sided Interest. 

*The Secret of Herbart. 


Ludwig Steiger was a youth without any of the more 
delicate traits of character ; he belonged, as his preceptor 
said, " to the world of 'matter rather than of mind." Not 
long after Herbart had commenced a far-seeing course of 
intellectual culture, the pupil was snatched 
u wig f rom him, in order to be plunged into the 
artificial life of military service. Herbart's 
remarks to Herr Steiger are significant. " Can temptation 
anywhere find more dangerous nourishment than the ennui 
which occurs when on guard or in barracks ? If only a spark 
. . . falls on this tinder, a fire may spring up which will 
perhaps glow long in secret, the flames of which cannot after- 
wards be extinguished till they have consumed everything." 
Not that Ludwig was positively bad; he was merely without 
internal resources. " I have never known anyone so absolutely 
without character, so entirely neither good nor bad, as 

Speaking of the youngest (and very different) brother of 
Ludwig, Herbart said in 1798, "How much vivacity have we 
imprisoned, and with what an explosion will it some time or 
other force a way for itself, if we do not provide outlets for 
it. . . . " It was from reflections of this kind that the 
doctrine of the protective value of Interest had its beginnings.* 

Later, in his essay entitled On Pestalozzi's most recent 
Publication: How Gertrude taught Tier Children, Herbart 
gave expression, in a more general form, to the protective 
power of Interest. " The man or the child whose eye and ear 
are given up to nature and human society is to that extent 
withdrawn from the sensations within himself, in other 
words, from his own pleasure or displeasure; egotism is 
rendered impossible in one that pays attention, not to him- 
self, but to the relations of things and of other persons." 
Conversely, in the Allgemeine Pddagogih, " If the intellectual 

*Speaking of the same boy, Herbart said: "Rudolph makes good progress in 
music. I consider it very important to him, on account of the excellent employment 
it provides for idle hours." 


interests are wanting, if the store of thought be meagre, then 
the ground lies empty for the animal desires." 

Herbart's follower, Ziller, described Interest as a 
"protection against sensual passions" as well as an "aid 
to one's earthly activity" and a "salvation amid the storms 
of fate." 

Analysis shows that this order is perhaps one of diminishing 
importance; Interest is a very powerful "protection against 
sensual passions," is, in fact, no less than 


a genuine and friendly rival of religion as a 

protagonist of virtue; it is a less powerful 
"aid to one's earthly activity," conferring on an individual 
a certain power of adaptability to the varied conditions of life ; 
lastly, though in some cases it is a true " salvation amid the 
storms of fate," endowing (to use Dr. Maudsley's words) with 
"internal resources" which enable men "to bear up against 
the strain of calamity," yet its value in this respect is generally 
less than in the other two. 

More recent Herbartians are equally emphatic. Dr 
McMurray says that " a Many-sided Interest . . . implies 
such mental vigour and such pre-occupation with worthy 
subjects as naturally to discourage unworthy desires." Another 
American writer,* whose sympathies with Herbartianism are 
by no means grea,t, urges that "if we would quench interest 
in the saloon, the pool-room, the dance-hall, the dive, the low 
theatre, we must offset them by something rousing a warmer 
and more enduring Interest. 11 

12. Approach to a Synthesis of the Two Educational Aims. 

The two educational ideals which seem to move dis- 
tractingly before us in the early pages of the Allgemeine 
Padagogik are now approaching each other. " Many-sided 
Interest " was suggested as the only educational aim that 
could be reconciled with our ignorance of what calling the 
individual child would some day pursue. Headers who wish 
*Dr. Davidson in his History of Education. 


to test the soundness of this claim can select any intelligent 
work dealing with modern educational and industrial problems ; 
they will find that the chief criticism directed by merchants, 
manufacturers, and sometimes even by military men, against 
modern schooling, is that boys have " Interest" in very little ; 
and this complaint is accompanied, not by a recommendation 
of early specialised training (in shorthand or engineering, for 
example), but of a sounder general education.* " Interest " is 
the noun and " Many-sided " (or its equivalent) is the adjective 
that they use. 

But, as we have seen, there comes from another side the 
testimony that Interest possesses moral implications also; 
and thus the two educational aims which have been placed 
before us are not so embarrassingly and fatally distincb 
as seemed at first to be the case. Not only is Interest 
valuable as an " aid to one's earthly activity " (because it 
sends a boy into the world with a bright, flexible, and 
adaptable mind), but it is also a " protection against sensual 
passions." Thus, the teacher who aims at arousing " Many- 
sided Interest " is at the same time working for the formation 
of Character. It would have been no small service to 
Education if Herbart had merely pointed out that fact, and 
had never advanced a step further. The connection between 
Many-sided Interest and Character is one of immense im- 
portance, and the moment we recognise it we possess the 
power of refuting a good round dozen of present-day fallacies. 

It is still a somewhat premature question (see^>. 56), but so 
important that a further approach to an answer may be 
advisable even now : " Has Herbart succeeded in unifying 

*Por example, A Report of the Consultative Committee upon Higher 
Elementary Schools, 1906. I would suggest, as a whimsical though not useless 
task, that some teacher select a few of the chief works dealing critically with 
modern Education and count up the number of times the word "Interest" 
occurs. He might then take a few works dealing with modern social and 
moral problems (drunkenness, gambling, etc.), and again count up the number 
of times the same word occurs. He will then realise why " Interest " has been 
declared to be the "greatest word in Education"; perhaps it is also the 
"greatest word" in other departments of human activity. Not only is it 
psychologically central (as shown on p. 54), but it is sociologically central too. 


Educational ends? Can we, without gross straining of lan- 
guage, declare that Morality is the only educational goal ? " 
To the best of my knowledge the following is a fair answer : 

It is not quite possible to demonstrate that every educational 
agency conduces in equal measure to moral goodness, or 

that the term " Moral Character" ultimately 

Practical Success 7 7 -, -, . , 

. __ , embraces every a^m, however subora^nate, 

of Herbart's 
Synthesis. which the educator should place before himself; 

but it is clear that the character-forming 
power of Education has never been adequately realised; thus 
Character-forming is almost, and may some day be shown to 
be quite comprehensive of all subordinate educational aims. 
The word " Virtue " or " Morality " is the best word that can 
be chosen to define the educational aim; it may not be a 
completely satisfactory word, but it is far closer to the truth 
than any other. By the use of this word the tasks set before 
the Educator are nearly, but perhaps not quite, unified. 
The conferring of such mental culture as results in Interest is 
a contribution to Character-forming ; and as this kind of 
Instruction is the only kind that Herbart contemplates, he has 
succeeded in giving a degree of unity a high degree, in fact 
to most departments of educational work. 

The pages in which Herbart states this profoundly 
important problem are, in some respects, the most important 
in the Allgemeine Pddagogik. Every thought is pregnant 
with life ; for in these pages is commenced a great battle on 
behalf of the teacher's calling. There is no exaggeration in 
saying that if Herbart's attempt to link up Character and 
Many-sided Interest has failed, the educational profession is 
doomed to occupy at best a secondary place in the modern 
state ; it can never, as some of us dream, come to occupy the 
first place. Education, however important for commercial, 
industrial, and social purposes, will be confessed as eternally 
paralytic with regard to the deeper moral and spiritual aspects 
of life. Teachers who despise " theory " little recognise how 


great are the "practical" issues of some of these Herbartian 

One of the points under dispute may be referred to briefly. 

It may be said it has been said repeatedly by critics of 

Herbart that a man may possess Many-sided Interest and 

yet not be a moral man ; that Character is not 

Many-sidedness. Herbart himself admits this 
is not Virtue. 

in language that is unmistakable ; or rather 
for there is nothing apologetic in his words he urges the fact 
on the notice of his readers. " Many-sidedness is far from 
Virtue" he said in his later Lectures ; while in his earlier work 
he said that while " with the growth of genuine many-sided 
Instruction the Tightness of Character is duly provided for, 
Us firmness, decision, and invulnerability are . . . things 
entirely different." 

Thus, though one of the most essential features of 
Herbartianism is its insistence on the relation between Culture 
and Character, there is never any identification of the two. 
" The stupid man cannot be virtuous ; " still the cultured man 
himself is not necessarily virtuous. The pupil must not be 
allowed to think " that the claims of learning and qualification 
in various accomplishments are the most important, and that t 
in so far as he answers to these claims, he fulfils the essentials 
of moral culture." In fact, the " Second Moral Idea," though 
vitally important as being inconsistent with the soul- destroying 
" stupidity " which prevents Virtue, does not itself constitute 
or ensure Virtue. 

There is need for Moral Training as well as for Instruction ; 
only Instruction is essential. 

But this will become clearer as we proceed. It is hopeless 
to clear up every difficulty at the moment it suggests itself. 
And that there are difficulties will be seen in the two sections- 
that follow. 



Character, Many-sided Interest, and 

13. Moral Character versus Individuality. 

The two possible (and, as it is hoped, ultimately 
reconcilable) aims of Education Character and Many-sided 
Interest may both come into conflict with the innate 
Individuality of the pupil. 

In Mr. Harold Gorst's book The Curse of Education a 
book that conveniently contains almost all the popular fallacies 
of to-day and yesterday disguised under an appearance of 

educational radicalism* we are mournfully 
Present-day told ^^ tfae gch()ol makeg no effort ^ 

Stress on 

Individuality, differentiate between individuals, or to dis- 
cover the natural bent of each particular 
child." "The school does not pretend to discover or to 
encourage individual talents." Mr. Gorst's complaint is no 
new one. Pestalozzi declared that "the idiosyncracies of 
individuals are the greatest blessing of human nature . . . 
and should be respected in the highest degree." Frobel 
protested against " stamping our pupils like coins, and letting 
them flourish with an image and superscription." 

This deification of Individuality, with consequent stress 
upon encouraging pupils to " think for themselves " at the 

* We find the usual undiscriminating attacks on the " bookishness " of 
schools, the usual depreciation of " knowledge " and " facts," etc. 


imminent risk of their failing to know and love " the best 
that has been thought and said in the world," was discussed 
with great frankness by Herbart. Prima facie there is the 
possibility of sharp conflict between Individuality and the 
two educational goals he sets before us Many-sided Interest, 
the immediate goal, and Morality or Character, the ultimate 
goal. There is every reason to believe that lago possessed 
strong Individuality ; also Goneril and Regan. Nothing shows 
better the educational sanity of Herbart than the fact that 
while his contemporaries and successors have glibly and 
sometimes unthinkingly panegyrised Individuality, forgetful 
that there are other things than this in heaven and earth 
needing the educator's attention, he, while yet a young man, 
was weighing its claims against those of its possible rivals. 

First, there is the possibility of a conflict between 
Individuality and Moral Character. There may be traits in a 
pupil's hereditary endowment which require suppression 
boisterous outbursts from beneath, which may break down for 
the moment the fragile barriers of Morality. For, be it observed, 
Moral Character, with Herbart, is not a structure which can 
grow wholly spontaneously from within. The Frobelian 
analogy between the work of the teacher and that of the 
gardener has but little meaning for the Herbartian, who, 
though he may gladly avail himself of such innate tendencies 
in his pupil as co-operate with his own work of forming that 
pupil's Character, expects but little from those tendencies if 
they are allowed to act unaided. I do not suggest that Frobel 
was actually wrong in any of his proposals; but there are 
dangers in all analogies, and the " gardener " analogy is as 
dangerous as it is helpful. The gardener cannot " instruct " 
plants in any true sense. Now Herbart had " no conception of 
Education apart from Instruction," and the reason was that 
with him Character involved Insight, it was essentially a 
mental or spiritual fabric possessing for its web and woof 


Thus he refuses to give the name of " Character" to much 

that is ordinarily called by the name. " Children have very 

marked individualities without possessing Character; they 

are wanting . in what, above all, goes 

Character means iQ ma ^ e up Character in men as reasoning 


Character beings that is, Will, and we mean Will in 

the strict sense, which is far different from 
variations of temper or desire . . . Willing determination 
takes place in consciousness. Individuality, on the other 
hand, is unconscious.' 1 The words are important. Many 
present-day educationists are stressing the more subtle, 
unconscious elements of mental life, such as the vague 
emotions and impulses of childhood and adolescence ; wor- 
shipping at the court of this haute noblesse whose claims 
have been so forgotten amid the proud admiration for upstart 
Keason. Educators, in short, are deliberately discounting 
the conscious, the deliberate, the rational. Mr. Hamilton 
Archibald,* for example, is one among the many who represent 
this present tendency of educational thought, in America at 

Now Herbart insists that " Willing determination takes 
place in consciousness" He does not deny or ignore the 
existence of the subtle and unconscious factors upon which so 
much stress is being laid in these days. But he does urge that 
Education has to deal primarily with conscious states ; that 
morality implies consciousness; that ethical principles have 
to be implanted ; and that serious issues are at stake all along 

the line. Education is not a fancy business. 
A Contrast: j n 1806 he con demned as dangerous the 
1806 and 1906. 

very standpoint so eloquently urged in 1906. 

Mr. Archibald and his co-workers have immense sympathy 
with every wild impulse of childhood and adolescence ; they 
can forgive everything; they have no fears for the future; 

* The interesting lectures of this Canadian exponent of Child Study as 
applied to Sunday School work were largely attended in the autumn of 1906. 


horror strikes them only when they hear of teachers or 
parents " moralising " with children. But bring up a child in 
this way, and then? " The young poacher has their 
sympathy, if he sins with some boldness, and they pardon 
at the bottom of their heart everything which is neither 
ridiculous nor malicious . . . ." Herbart this thirty-years- 
old philosopher of Education rejected with something like 
scorn such an easy-going view of the moral problem. If such 
were the nature of the boy's moral education "we need only 
take care (with Mr. Archibald) that he grows up without being 
teased and insulted in the consciousness of his power, 
and receives certain principles of honour which are easily 
impressed." But what judgment, Herbart asks, shall we 
pass on ourselves if some day the boy, now a man, awakens 
to graver issues ? 

No ; moral education is more than this dilletante and 
optimistic playing with a boy's enchanting impulses. " It is 
never safe to set up as business manager for another if we 
have no mind to do the work well" Now, if " Character " 
involves consciousness, the teacher's task must be that the 
' ideas of right and good in all their clearness and purity 
may become the essential objects of the Will" 

We may, if we choose, object to his way of denning 
Character ; most of Herbart' s definitions can be criticised on 
one ground or another. But his distinctions always possess- 
one excellence they conduce to clearness and precision of 
thought. We can never safely ignore them. In the present 
instance we learn to recognise as perhaps never before 
that the task of Character-forming is no small one; no 
less a task than building up, within the pupil before us, 
a new and spiritual personality such as his unaided 
native impulses can never give rise to', to generate a. 
microcosm within the material, and perhaps hostile, macro- 

It is possible that he laid too much stress upon the. 


ideational nature of the fabric he wished to raise. There are 
signs that innate " Individuality " which Herbart recognises 
as an occasional foe will, by the neo-Herbartians, come 
to be regarded as generally an ally, and that the battle-cry of 
" Many-sided Interest " will give way to the simpler cry of 
"Interest," Herbart being synthesised with Frobel. But 
though this may happen, the value of Herbart's point of view, 
even in its most extreme form, cannot be easily 

over-estimated. A hundred times better that 

the teacher magnify the greatness and 
deliberateness of his task, and feel that moral life and death are 
in his keeping, than that he stand helpless before the vagaries 
of an unknown " Individuality " which he is compelled, by his 
educational philosophy, to reverence, but which, hidden in its 
mysterious stronghold, may as likely possess the lineaments 
of devil as of angel. The Herbartian seeks to penetrate into 
the stronghold itself, to lay his hand upon its inmate, and 
to compel him to receive baptism into a higher life of 
conscious purposes and ideals. 

An illustration of this way of regarding Instruction is 
found towards the end of the Allgemeine Pddagogik, where 

Herbart distinguishes between " a rich measure 

of Benevolence or natural feeling in the 
Instruction, objective side of Character" and the " Idea of 

Benevolence in the subjective side," which is 
to be "fostered to maturity as an object of moral taste." 
"Philosophers" says Herbart, "have never assigned the latter 
its true place and rank" He points out that natural Benevo- 
lence a mere instinct or impulse often passes away with 
experience of the world; the heart grows cold, prudent, 
discreet. The task of Education is to prevent this by basing 
Benevolence on true moral judgment, thus " calling forth 
another wisdom" Our pupils must learn to see the rightness 
of Benevolence, and not merely feel a vague unreliable 



1$. Many-sidedness versus Individuality. 

Herbart has another difficulty to face, a difficulty, however, 
closely connected with the last. 

We have seen him admit that specialisation is necessary, 

but it must not be premature and excessive, and Education 

must not be the agency for stimulating it. " Each man must 

have a love for all activities, each must be a virtuoso in one ; 

but the particular virtuosoship is a matter of choice" not of 

Education. The choice will, of course, be determined by the 

innate endowments and tendencies of the individual. But now 

the question faces us, " How can these particular endowments 

and tendencies be treated in the light of the 

Another Sharp doctrine f Many-sided Interest?" Many- 


sidedness and Individuality seem to be polar 

opposites. Where can a place be found, in the Herbartian 
system, for heredity ? 

Herbart saw that a place had, somehow, to be found. To 
attempt any reduction of all individualities to the same level, 
even to the high level of a uniform Many-sided Interest, was 
not only unwise but impossible. " There results a negative 
rule in relation to the aim of Education, which is as 
important as it is difficult to observe, i.e., to leave the 
Individuality untouched as far as possible . . . The teacher . . . 
makes it a point of honour that the clear impression of person, 
family, birth, and nationality may be seen undefaced in the 
man submitted to his will . . . We know how beneficial it is for 
mankind that different men should resolve upon and prepare 
for different work." 

Of course, this advice sounds very obvious in these days ; 

it is on the lips of every follower of Frobel, and every candidate 

for educational notoriety. Yet we all know in 

que rea our hearts that schools have, in large measure, 
of Herbart. 

to ignore Individuality, and that the most to be 

expected of them is an avoidance of such dangerous rigidity as 
is likely to crush and overwhelm. Schools are for the purpose 


of conferring the elements of general culture ; if each child's 
Individuality is to be the keynote of education, we shall 
have to fall back upon private tuition. The thing I wish 
to point out is that no glib talk ever comes from Herbart; 
he never forgets one problem in his zeal to solve another.* 
His was the most amazingly capacious and judicial mind that 
ever devoted itself to the question of education. All along 
the line of these discussions about Character, Many-sided- 
ness and Individuality, the fact is striking. 

Individuality may even combat the teacher's best efforts ; 
fortunate is he if this is not so. But, at any rate, the problem 
awaits solution: How are the peculiar and innate character- 
istics of the pupil to be reconciled with the wider ideal 
previously put forward as the goal of the educator ? 

" Is Individuality consistent with Many-sidedness ? Can 
the former be preserved while the latter is cultivated? 
Individuality is angular; Many-sidedness is even, smooth, 
rounded. Individuality is described and circumscribed; 
Many-sided Interest, on the contrary, presses outwards in 
all directions" 

The need for Many-sidedness has been sufficiently 
demonstrated in a preceding section ; without it the man 
possesses no adaptability to circumstances, no "receptivity 
and mobility " ; and these qualities are necessary if we once 
admit that the school must prepare for the vicissitudes of life 
as a whole, and not for one calling selected soon after birth. 

Herbart continues: " A large sphere yet remains for 

Individuality in which to exercise its activity to make choice 

of its vocation, and to acquire the thousand 

A Sphere for the ^j habits and comforts which, so long as 

no more value is attached to them than they 

are worth, will do but little harm to the receptivity and 
mobility of the mind." But it is clear that Education cannot 

* If readers doubt this, I would ask them to try and find a mistake an 
educational mistake in Herbart's works. But it must be in his works and not 
in the critic's imagination of what Herbart says. 


take the cultivation of diverse Individualities as its goal ; no 
unity would thus be attained; every child would receive 
different treatment : still starting from the angular outlines of 
each Individuality, Education may seek to reduce such 
angularity of outline. " The projections the strength of 
Individuality may remain, so far as they do not spoil the 
Character ; through them the entire outline may take this or 
that form.' 11 Herbart's verdict, in short, is that while the 
special hereditary bent of the individual may be rightly 
permitted to express itself in the rough outline of the future 
Character, this outline must have its roughness softened, its 
angularity chastened, by the influence of culture. If, as 
Hamlet said, " there's a divinity that shapes our ends, rough- 
hew them how we will," this divinity is, for the Educator, no 
other than Many-sided Interest. As Herbart says in a later 
part of the Allgemeine PddagogiJc, " By no means should 
the presence of incidental prominent tendencies in the years 
of cultivation be regarded as a sign that they are to be further 
strengthened by Education. 11 And yet the Individuality must 
receive its due. It gives most valuable guidance to the teacher. 
He has to build upon what is already present in the child, 
which is only another way of saying that he must take account 
both of the child's Individuality and of the past circumstances 
of his life. " Instruction gladly begins by starting from what 
is nearest. 11 

Herbart, in fact, gives voice to the same conviction that 
is, at the present time, dominating educational thinkers in 
America. "Many-sided Interest " may be good, but cannot 
we attach it somehow to the innate tendencies of our pupils 
rather than introduce it, so to speak, into a region unprepared 
to receive it? In short, is Interest to be something wholly 
built up from without, like a brick-and-mortar structure, or a 
growth from within, nurtured rather than created by the 
manipulator? If we adopt the second view we shall be 
approximating to the position of the Frobelians, who lay stress 


upon the internal principle of Self-activity. Herbart himself 
approximated to this position. "Perfect many-sidedness is 
unattainable. 11 

One of his plainest statements on this question is found in 
his reply to Zippel. (Observations on a Pedagogical Essay. 
1814.) " The excellence of a school does not show solely in the 
Many-sidedness common to all its pupils. It shows quite as 
much in the diversity of specific excellences reciprocally 
distinguishing above each other the scholars that proceeded 
from it. The school of Socrates educates Plato and Xenophon, 
Aristippus and Antisthenes." Multiplicity in school instruc- 
tion may, conceivably, tear away a pupil from " the leisure 
required for self -elaboration . . -. This distraction is to be 
in every possible way prevented." 

But the prevention is to come, not by narrowing, but by 
intensifying and concentrating the curriculum. " Economy 
of time is pre-eminently attainable by the greatest possible 
intensity of interest being excited ; . ; . finally, the inter- 
connections of human knowledge must be investigated in the 
most accurate manner, so as to enable teachers to set any 
interest, once excited, to work immediately in all directions" 
Many-sidedness of Instruction is necessary even for the 
discovery and nurture of special ability. " It is essential to 
discover . . . those centres of gravity . . . those axes 
about which the mind revolves, in order to enable us to heed 
them and to have reference to them. But only Many-sided 
Instruction can discover them. For these points of rest are 
as various as the genius dwelling in them" 

The point just mentioned is one great importance. Unless 

Individuality OUr curriculum is many-sided, there is the 

Itself possibility that Individuality itself will suffer. 

Demands a A child who possesses a genius for a cer- 

Wide tain subject or pursuit may never begin to 

Curriculum. , J . 

employ that genius until, through contact 

with a wide system of school studies, his special liking is 


made manifest. Charles Darwin's genius never showed itself 
at Shrewsbury School, merely because the curriculum was 
not wide enough ; it contained no natural science. Gray's 
Elegy is here full of educational significance. Men with hearts 
pregnant with celestial fire, or with hands that might have 
swayed the rod of empire or waked the living lyre to ecstasy, 
lie forgotten in the churchyard, because : 

" Knowledge to their eyes her ample page, 

Bich with the spoils of time, did ne'er unroll." 

Thus, not only economic conditions (as we have seen), and 
not only moral necessities (as we have also seen), but even the 
claims of Individuality itself drive us to the view that the 
curriculum of our schools must be "many-sided." 

Critics have repeatedly asserted that Individuality is 
ignored in the Herbartian system. Eeaders will now see how 
baseless is such a charge. All teaching, to be effective, must 
start from the pupil's standpoint. Many-sided Interest was 
therefore never regarded by him as an ideal equally attainable 
hi all cases. Pupils differ greatly. " Sometimes it is only 
needful to give the pupil the first start in certain things, and 
the teacher continuing to supply motive and matter, he goes 
fonuard of himself, and is, perhaps, soon beyond the teacher's 
sight. In other cases it is extremely difficult to discover any- 
where in the stupid head a single mobile spot, the merest trace 
of craving interest." On the whole, Herbart [prefers the 
slow to the quick-minded boy, provided the former has the 
chance of receiving from careful Instruction that apperceptive 
sensitiveness which it is the business of Instruction to supply. 
There is more likelihood that Character will become reliable in 
his case than in the case of the over-ready youth. " Those 
individuals ^uho, when left to themselves, stick to one spot, 
who are condemned through their tenacity to a certain one 
sidedness . . . it is in these that it is worth while to arouse 
interest of all kinds, who, in their healthy Will, after it is 


once won, afford education a sound footing. 11 For it is these 
who possess the elements of that most essential feature of 
character firmness; it is these who can develop the "Memory 
of the Will," on which Herbart, later in his book, lays stress ; 
and though they may be deficient in sensitiveness or recep- 
tivity, this quality is precisely the one which Education, begun 
sufficiently early, is capable of imparting. "No one, I hope, 
will fear that such strong natures would oppose too strong a 
resistance to the pliant power of Education. This will 
certainly be the case if we meet them first AS YOUTHS, and do 
not find many points of contact with them ; but a BOY who is 
stronger than a sound instruction, a consistently carried out 
discipline, and a wise training, such a boy is a monster.' 1 

Nevertheless the problem always remained a puzzling one 
for Herbart, as we see more especially in his letters to 
Griepenkerl, in one of which (xxxv.) he asks whether it may 
not be necessary to make the observation of different 
dispositions the foundation of all practical educational activity ; 
and in another (iii.) confesses that it is often impossible to 
avoid yielding to one-sidedness in order to gain any result 
at all. His analysis of the various temperaments is subtle. 
There are "northern natures" and "southern natures 11 ; in 
fact, an almost unlimited number of individual types, dependent 
upon peculiarities of bodily constitution. The Boeotian, for 
instance, "is indifferent to everything 11 ; in other children, 
" evil develops so easily and so early that one is involuntarily 
reminded of original sin 11 ; there are natures in which a real 
change through Education is a "very doubtful 11 matter. 
Similarly, towards the end of the Allgemeine PddagogiJc, he 
distinguishes between those individuals who incline to benevo- 
lence and those whose tendencies are all in the direction of 
inner freedom ; between the warm-hearted and the sternly 

Herbart's Lectures, published late in his life, bear witness 
to his increasing recognition of Individuality. " Never will it 


be possible to raise all pupils to the same plane of proficiency. 

Here, above all, the determining power of Individuality must 

be acknowledged * . . Nay, Interest itself, 

prings o tt ^ 6 j )en g 8 p ar iiy on native capacity, which the 


school cannot create," though it also depends 

on " the subject-matter of Instruction." This is one of the 
many sentences of concentrated wisdom we find in Herbart. 
Interest has a double source/ 1 ' 

The opening sentences of the Lectures breathe a spirit of 
strict moderation on this question. " The fundamental idea 
of Education is the pupil's capacity for cultivation, . . . ' 
yet " an unlimited capacity for cultivation ought not to 
be assumed by the teacher. Psychology will prevent this 
error. The degree in which the child can be determined is 
limited by his Individuality." He tells us, too, that we 
cannot expect the six Interests to be equally powerful in all 

A leading expositor of Herbart goes even so far as to claim 
that " Herbart's ideal of Education, to which he throughout 
his life kept true, is rooted in regard for the Individuality." 
(Felkin's Introduction to Herbart's Letters and Lectures.) 
Enough has at any rate been said to show that Individuality 
does occupy a prominent place in his system. On the other 
hand, Herbart is no idolater. As the same expositor says, 
" With all the force of knowledge and conviction Herbart shows 
this view (viz., that the teacher is merely a ' human gardener') 
to be a false conception of education, because the mind germ 
is not like the vegetable seed passing onward to a pre- 
determined end. . . . The teacher must leaven . . ; the 
better part of the Individuality . . . with thoughts, desires, 
feelings it would never otherwise have known." 

* This is rather baldly put, but I wished to distinguish two factors. Many 
teachers bewail that their pupils have " no interest in poetry" (for example) 
the implication being that they are naturally deficient in the springs of 
Interest. All the time, the fault may be in the mode of presentation ; or the 
subject-matter may be too familiar, or too remote, or too subtle, or ... 


But why, if Herbart stresses Individuality so much, have 
critics asserted the contrary? Because he has given a 
definition of the metaphysical " soul " which seems to exclude 
it. But this " soul " does not concern the educator or 
psychologist at all; it is a pure abstraction. The child's 
mind is not this metaphysical soul, but something incarnate 
in human flesh; individual heredity therefore counts in 
Herbart 's system as in every other sensible system of Edu- 
cation. I would urge all critics to remember that Herbart 
never teaches educational absurdities, and that if ever they 
discover what seems to be one, the blunder is certainly theirs, 
not his. I regret that so many books on Herbart begin with 
a discussion of the " soul." We ought to begin where Herbart 
began if we wish to understand him. His system of meta- 
physics is probably no better and no worse than most other 
systems of metaphysics ; and I cannot too strongly urge that 
we have to judge educationists by their educational proposals,, 
and not condemn Frobel because he was a pantheist, or Locke 
because he was a sensationalist, or Herbart because he was . . 
well, I care not what he was. 

15. The Strenuousness of Interest. 

The Herbartian emphasis on Interest suggests a question. 
Will not the predominance of this educational category emas- 
culate our educational work make it flabby and effeminate ? 
Clearly, if Herbartianism is nothing but a system of " soft 
pedagogy," deficient in backone, and showing, as Hubatsch 
asserts, a coddling preference for easy rather 
H b ti than hard subjects, its claims upon our allegiance 

Invertebrate? must certainly be slight, though even then its 
claims would be at least as valid as those of 
a system which aims at training the mind to strenuous work 
on a basis of mental starvation. In America, the charge 
of being " soft pedagogy " is frequently hurled against 
Herbartianism, and the lawlessness which is said to be 
increasing in the United States has even been attributed by a 


recent writer in the Outlook (New York) to the employment in 
schools of allurement in preference to compulsion. Thus, 
Herbartian writers, especially those hailing from America, feel 
called upon to discuss this charge in some detail. 

Now I should be only be too glad if I could treat Herbart's 
doctrines in a perfectly logical way passing from one to 
another without any overlapping. But for various reasons, 
partly polemical, I find this to be impossible. I have to 
emphasise first one point and then another ; and this involves 
occasional anticipations, as well as repetitions. I am now 
touching the frontiers of the doctrine of Apperception without 
having first explored that large and delightful country. 

Well then, the first reply to those who think we should 
emphasise dogged "Effort" in preference to "Interest," 
is to bring a countercharge: When Mrs. Dombey was 
dying, one wise woman whispered in her ear that she 
should " make an effort." It has always seemed to me that 
those educationists who deprecate " Interest " are adopting the 
same attitude. When the vital forces are running low, either 
through imminent death or through want of food, the idea of 
" Effort " is monstrous. I do not wish to press the " food " 
analogy too far ; the mind is not a stomach ; but I do say that 
there is every whit as much sense in this analogy as in that 
of Sisyphean toil. In other words, I affirm that there 
is as much pedagogical wisdom in saying, 
" Feed your pupils' minds with rich know- 
Exercise, ledge " as in saying " Keep their minds hard at 
work." It is just this that advocates of 
"heuristic" methods sometimes forget. They have stern 
words for those teachers who " cram with facts " ; but they 
forget that the mind needs facts. An empty mind cannot 
adopt a healthy " heuristic " attitude. Nay, I will go so far as 
to say that even if Herbartianism were a system that urged the 
necessity for the pleasant, though passive, assimilation of 
mental food, for the easy, unreflecting, acquisition of ideas, 


its value would be every whit as great as a system that urged 
the necessity for "mental effort 11 and made no provision for 
mental feeding. This truth, an unwelcome one in many high 
quarters at the present day, needs to be kept in mind in all 
discussions on " soft pedagogy." 

But we must now advance a stage further. Herbartianism 
is far more than " soft pedagogy." Genuine Interest always 
involves hard work', the hardest work of the world is done 
under its stimulus. A few great deeds have been effected 
through "the sheer dead lift of the Will" (as De Garmo calls 
it), that is, at the behest of mere naked duty, " against the 
grain." Though even in these cases there may be an element 
of Interest, we must admit that the Herbartians look with 
greater favour upon deeds done "with the grain," deeds that 
spring from the whole intellectual and moral being of the 
pupil or the man, than upon deeds that he feels to be merely 
repugnant necessities. Admitting then, that action should, on 

the Herbartian view, be a joyous thing, we 
Interest InYolYes cannot admit that it ghould be devoid of 
Hard Work* 

strenuousness ; rather we would urge that the 

strenuousness is a function of the joyousness, and would 
point to the world's greatest achievements as having been 
accomplished to an accompaniment of joyous Interest. 
Thermopylae is a witness to patriotic Interest ; Darwin's long 
continued researches on earthworms, a witness to speculative 
Interest. Interest and Strenuousness, nay Interest and 
Duty, are allies rather than rivals. Why rely upon the 
direct lifting power of the human arm if a lever lies at our 
side ; why rely upon " the sheer dead lift of the Will " if 
Interest will increase our efficiency a hundredfold ? 

It may surprise some readers to be told that any method 
of "sugaring" the education pill, i.e., of mak- 

ea Y. pu ous .^ ^^ lessons palatable by frivolous devices, 

is distinctly opposed to Herbart's idea of 

Interest. I say " opposed," not merely alien to it. Interest, 


for Herbart, means Interest in a subject for its own sake alone; 
and experience shows that such an Interest is a very strenuous 
and exacting thing. If a teacher finds it necessary to arouse 
"Interest" in a lesson by standing on his head, or letting a 
hedgehog climb a pole, or starting a competition for halfpence 
among his pupils, such devices are a clear proof that 
the lesson itself is not arousing Interest. 

Similarly, if the teacher chooses to be so excessively 
simple or picturesque that real intellectual progress is 
injured, he is faithless to the Herbartian ideal of Interest, 
because the children are probably not acquiring an Interest in 
the subject for its own sake; they are only experiencing a 
temporary excitement which, instead of actively helping them 
onwards in mental growth, is delaying and distracting them. 

A few quotations from Herbart will help to show what his 
attitude was. 

"Instruction must be comprehensible, and yet difficult 
rather than easy, othemvise it causes ENNUI." 

" That which affords only temporary pleasure or light 
entertainment is of too little consequence to determine the 
plan of operation. Nor can the choice of such studies be 
recommended as stand isolated, as do not lead to continued 
effort . . . The first place belongs to those studies which appeal 
to the mind in a variety of ways and are capable of 
stimulating each pupil according to his individuality . . . they 
must be made the object of prolonged diligent effort, and thus 
require time." 

"A view that regards the end as a necessary evil, to be 
rendered endurable by means of sweetmeats, implies an utter 
confusion of ideas. 11 We must not " descend to all kinds of 
amusement and play instead of laying stress on abiding and 
growing interest." Yet (and here comes Herbart's inevitable 
warning against one-sided views of educational work) there may 
be " legitimate occasions even for the sweetening of study, 1 
especially in the case of young children and new subjects. 


In one little-known passage (little -known because occurring 
in his letters to Griepenkerl) Herbart expresses his fear of a 
well-to-do condition of life ; in the lap of fortune, with wants 
satisfied and the future void of care, children receive no 
sufficient impulse to earnest work. (Letter VIII.). 

The general rule for the teacher should be not to employ 
" all manner of entertaining and amusing things," but to 
"work for permanent and increasing Interest." " If the aim 
is looked upon as a necessary evil, and the sweetening process 
as the means to make it tolerable, all conceptions become 

Herbart 's followers are equally emphatic : 

" Self-activity is the keynote of success, here as every 
where." (FINDLAY.) 

" We find that, so far from enervating the pupil, the 

principle of Interest braces him up to endure all manner 

of drudgery and hard work. . . . The theory 

Testimony Q interest does not propose to banish 
from Herbart's 

Followers. drudgery, but only to make drudgery toler- 
able by giving it a meaning." (ADAMS.) 

" If the attainment of an end is truly an expression of 
self, even of the self temporarily or unworthily conceived, then 
we can find in Interest a complete reconciliation of the 
antithesis between Effort and Allurement." (DE G-ARMO.) 

"'Making things interesting to children' . . . suggests a 
wholly erroneous point of view as to what is meant by true 
Interest ... If Interest is there, future energy and activity 
will spring spontaneously out of the acquirements. ... * It is 
our business to make Instruction easy.' It might better be 
said that it is the peculiar business of the teacher to make 
Instruction difficult. . . . The greatest Interest which children 
can feel in their studies is found when they shoulder their own 
tasks manfully, and work their way through their own 
difficulties with the least amount of help. Self-activity is the 
fundamental basis of a strong Interest. . . . Anyone who 


supposes that lie is increasing the Interest of children in their 
school work by directly helping them over all their hard places 
does not understand human nature in children." (McMuRRAY.) 
This section may be conveniently closed by the intro- 
duction of two useful terms. Herbart, indeed, is a perfect 
master of terminology. While all the other educationists in 
history have floundered about helplessly in their attempts to 
discover convenient, convincing, and unambiguous formulae for 
the summarising of their thoughts, and have either failed 
completely or, like Frobel, succeeded in inventing a solitary 
one ("Kindergarten"), Herbart has pre- 

Mediate sented educational literature with a whole 
y. Immediate 

Interest. series of illuminating terms. Two of these 

are " Mediate Interest " and " Immediate 
Interest." An Interest in a subject because of its future 
usefulness, or because some penalty is attached to ignorance 
of it, or because some parent or teacher wishes it to be 
learnt is " Mediate Interest." A much higher thing is 
" Immediate Interest " Interest in a subject for its own sake. 



Anschauung, Attention, Apperception. 

16. Anschauung (Sense-Perception.) 

It will now be necessary to expound, though briefly, some 
of the educational concepts that bear upon the scheme of 
Character-forming set forth in the preceding chapters. The 
first of these concepts is that of Anschauung or Sense- 
Perception. That Herbart has added but little to the doctrine 
of Anschauung (except in the realm of moral 

Herbart ideas) is due to the fact that another great 
Supplements a 4*. -i , , . 

Pestalozzi. Educator had made the doctrine his own. 

Pestalozzi's crowning achievement was to 
direct Education back to reality. The child had to be brought 
face to face with the concrete objects that constitute the 
universe ; he had to learn Arithmetic, Geography, and Science, 
for example, not primarily through rules or definitions or 
books, but through seeing and feeling objects themselves. 

Herbart supplemented and perfected this doctrine by his 
wider doctrine of Apperception ; he never ignored the fact, 
however, that full and rich Anschauung was a necessity for 
mental life. 

" This indispensable, this firmest, broadest bridge between 
man and nature, certainly deserves, as far as it is capable of 
being cultivated by any art, to have dedicated to it one chief 
line of pedagogical endeavour." Such were his words in the 
A'B-G of Anschauung. It is equally important to remember, 


however (and this was one of Herbart's chief contributions to 
educational doctrine), that Anschauung provides but raw 
material for higher processes. "Intellectual inertness," says 
Professor W. H. Payne, " amounting almost to stupidity, 
is frequently the concomitant of an acute and 

persistent sense-training"; and Dr. Stanlev 

Hall speaks of the "low-ranged mentation 

that hovers near the coast-line of matter," and " the tyranny 
of things, the growing neglect or exclusion of all that is 
unseen," in modern Education. "Concrete before abstract" 
is a sound maxim, but it must never be interpreted as 
meaning " Concrete to the exclusion of the abstract." 

Herbart saw that the idea of Anschauung was fundamental. 
But Pestalozzi had worked out the idea "/or only a narrow 
sphere, that of Elementary Education ; it belongs, however" 
said Herbart, " to the whole of Education, but it needs for 
that an extended development" It was this that he provided, 
partly in his special treatise on the A-B-C of Anschauung, 
partly in the general treatment of Apperception, soon to be 
discussed. "We shall see that Anschauung shades into 
Apperception very gradually; even the first time that a 
sensation is repeated, it is no longer a pure sensation ; some 
trace of the old experience supplements the new and gives 
it a certain meaning and significance. 

Herbartians need to remember that all learning is not 
Apperception, at any rate Apperception of a complex kind. 
The latter process cannot take place without a previous 
acquisition of what may be called " raw material " ; Apper- 
ception, in fact, rests on Anschauung. Seeing, handling,, 
and like processes must precede it, and may precede 
it at a considerable distance. For this reason the teacher 
of very young children need not always be nervously 
anxious to present material in a strictly logical succes- 
sion. Material must be acquired somehow, somewhere 
before the higher processes can take place; and the exact 


order of this acquisition cannot be based on considera 
tions of "Apperception," because ex hypothesi, the very 
materials for future Apperception are being stored up. 
Herbart expresses this truth in his detailed discussion of 
"Synthetic Instruction"; "as to the elements, we must take 
care t whenever it is possible, that they lie ready long before 
they are wanted; further ivc ought always to build on a 
somewhat broad foundation" As Professor Adams expresses 
it, " very often the teacher must introduce ideas into the mind 
of the pupil, not so much for their immediate importance as 
for the use to be made of them at some future lesson." 

It is scarcely necessary to point out that the school is not 
one only means by which the child is made acquainted with 
concrete realities. Those critics who accuse Herbart of 
making the teacher into a god can never have read how, 011 his 
view, Instruction has largely to base itself upon the Experience 
and the Intercourse which have previously been the lot of the 
child ; his Experience of material things, his Intercourse with 
his fellows ; in other words, his acquaintance with Nature and 
with Human Nature. 

In a much later section the reader will meet with a 
striking suggestion intended by Herbart to ensure that even 
the baby in the cradle might be richly provided with materials 
for Anschauung. 
17. The Two Kinds of Attention. 

The concept of " Attention " now needs to be studied before 
the consideration of the Interest doctrine is resumed. Interest 
and Attention are closely related. 

But a great difficulty faces us. There are two kinds of 
Attention, and it is of the utmost importance that the terms 
selected to describe them should be as illuminating as possible. 
Yet unluckily the two terms chosen by Herbart will not very 
well bear direct translation into English. 

Interest, as we have seen, involves hard though happy 
work ; the child who has a genuine Interest in a subject or 


pursuit will attend to it with eagerness ; his attention will not 
flag, for he can scarcely help attending ; there is no deliberate 

or painful sense of effort or strain ; the rnechan- 
Att t' n * sm ^ ^ e niind is working smoothly though 

strenuously. Herbart's word to describe such 
Attention is translated by the adjective " involuntary " ; 
but, in point of fact, the child gives himself up in a very 
" voluntary" manner indeed to the thing that is interest- 
ing him ; if he were asked, " Are you doing this voluntarily*!" 
he would answer "yes" with enthusiasm. Thus there is great 
danger in calling such Attention "involuntary." I can think 
of no good word for it at this stage, but as a temporary 
expedient, I propose to call it " willing " or " spontaneous 

Those educationists who speak as if calling forth "Effort" 
were the chief thing for the teacher to aim at (by " Effort " 

they generally mean Effort to do something 
( disagreeable), lay stress upon another kind of 

Attention. Herbart calls it "voluntary," but 
I prefer to call it " forced," because, as already pointed out, 
the word "voluntary" often suggests a kind of happy 
spontaneity, whereas the kind of Attention here being con- 
sidered is quite the opposite of happy or spontaneous ; it is 
stern and dogged ; it involves going " against the grain " ; it 
implies a " sheer dead lift of the Will." 

Now Herbart was not so foolish as to ignore the necessity 
for this latter kind of Attention ; indeed, as already pointed 
out, his recognition of its necessity helps to distinguish him 
from Frobel,' who scarcely ever contemplated the possibility of 
the child being called upon to do work " against the grain." 
Herbart's place, in this as in every controversy, is the place of 
the clear-eyed and unbiased thinker. While secondary 
masters like Mr. Paton lay excessive stress, in their talk 
about "Effort," on the hard kind of Interest, and Frobel 
excessive stress on the easier kind, Herbart recognises both. 


For he had been the tutor of Ludwig Steiger, and with 
that somewhat unintellectual youth, " forced Attention " 
was necessary. But "what at first tried his patience, became 
interesting after long familiarity had made him acquainted 
luith the ideas " ; in other words, " forced Attention " passed 
over into " willing Attention " ; or, to use another expression 
that may be better understood in a short time, " Apperceptive 
Interest " sprang up as soon as a certain " familiarity with 
ideas " had been attained. Thus we see that there is a place 
for " forced Attention'* even in the Herbartian system. Give 
a child knowledge somehow and that knowledge will throw 
a heightened Interest around related things. Thus, if there is 
no better way, the Herbartian uses " forced Attention." 

Luckily, however, there are other educational resources 
available. The Will has not always to be called upon to 
struggle wearily forward. Indeed, the first half of Herbart's 
philosophy of Education may be summed up in the advice, 
" Don't overwork the Will." 

I should like, at this point, to quote a few remarks of the 
late Mr. Quick relative to the Will. He was no Herbartian ; 
in fact, by omitting Herbart from his Educational Reformers 
he has inflicted a deep injury upon Herbartianism ; neverthe- 
less he approaches very closely indeed to Herbart upon a score 
of questions, arid notably upon the question of the vastly 
greater importance of "willing Attention" than "forced 

Thus, to those who regard " Effort " as the main thing to be 
aimed at, Quick says : " It is wonderful how insignificant a part 

the Will plays in the lives of most of us. 

When we have no Interests to guide us, we 
WilL fall into inanities . . . Buffon has said that 

genius is nothing but a power of taking pains, 
and Interests give this power. Certainly the chief characteristics 
of a man are his Interests, and he is strong in proportion to 
the strength of his Interests, and wise according to their 


directions. Interests lead to all kinds of involuntary action. 
But some people have an innate energy prior to Interest, and, 
though, of course, taking its direction from Interests, capable 
of working without them." Quick's view, in fact, is practically 
Herbart's. Both kinds of "Attention" are needed, but 
" willing Attention " (called " involuntary " by both men) is 
immeasurably more significant because of immeasurably wider 
application. It is only occasionally that we have to brace 
ourselves up to perform some dull or odious task ; to lay the 
chief educational stress upon such a rare type of activity is 
thus to commit a blunder of no small magnitude. " Interests 
lead to all kinds of involuntary action," and the best way to 
win the battles of life is to win them through our "Interests." 

One expositor is therefore tempted to say : "Herbart, in his 
high estimate of involuntary Apperceptive Attention somewhat 
lost sight of that direct moral value of voluntary (forced) 
Attention in training the Will to exercise self-control upon 
which Locke insisted."* But though he may " somewhat " 
have lost sight of this, he did not do so altogether ; on the 
contrary, he expressly discusses the rival kinds of Attention 
and estimates their comparative value. He always seems to 
me (I repeat) to have been the only man in the history of 
Education able to place rival concepts in mutual relation- 
ship. It is easier to be a partisan than a philosopher. 

Under " forced Attention " we must thus include all such 
Attention as is brought about by the promise of reward, by the 
stimulus of competition, or by similar means. This kind of 
Attention was all too prone to be "faithless." " It has to be com- 
pelled by threats and admonitions." The other kind "is much 
more desirable and productive. The art of Instruction 
consists in developing it, and in it is contained the Interest 
which we have in view. 11 This will bring us face to face, in a 
few moments, with the doctrine of Apperception. The reader 
should note that " forced Attention " corresponds to " mediate 

* Felkin, Herbart's Letters and Lectures, 


Interest " Interest in things or subjects for some extraneous 
reason; while "willing Attention" corresponds to "immediate 
Interest " Interest in things or subjects for their own sake. 
All four terms are educationally helpful. 

18. The Doctrine of Apperception. 

If it were the case that Interest depended wholly upon 
innate endowment, the educational outlook would be very 
discouraging. Each of us would be fated from birth to 
take an Interest in certain things, and to 
be incapable of Interest in all other things. 
Innate. Education would be able to do little or nothing 
of an original or constructive kind ; its function 
would be merely auxiliary. The teacher would tend the pupil 
in much the same way as the gardener tends the plant ; nay, 
he would be even less powerful, for the gardener, by cross- 
breeding, can bring about many wonderful improvements, 
while the teacher is utterly unable to exercise any control over 
births. It is important to remember that Herbart, like all 
wise observers, recognises that each person's hereditary endow- 
ment does determine very considerably the directions of his 
Interest, but he urges that it is not the only determining 
factor; Education can, to a considerable extent, act creatively* 
In Part I. of the present book I quoted certain words of 
Professor Welton to the effect that human life (here meaning 
" mental life ") could not be " built up from without " ; however 
deliberately the parent or educator may arrange the materials 
intended for the child's Instruction however great the care he 
may take to include certain ideas as mental "pabulum," and to 
exclude certain others the "form and tendency " of the child's 
life cannot be profoundly influenced. I am not able to assent 
to this view. I believe it to be wildly astray from the facts. 
If it were a true view there would be little use in appointing 
teachers at all. 

*The word is a bold one and open to criticism, but so long as it is under- 
stood in the light of the Apperception doctrine no harm is likely to arise. 


Fuller justice will be done in the second volume of this series 
to the " drawing-out " doctrine, for of course there is truth in 
it. But our present concern is with Apperception ; and any 
one who has grasped the significance of this doctrine will not 
be likely to over-estimate the importance of the other. In 
passing, I would call attention to the fact that a certain old 
philosophical principle niliil est in intellectu quod non prius 
fuerit in sensu (" nothing is in the intellect which was not 
first in sensation") tells exactly the opposite story to the 
" drawing-out " doctrine. Pestalozzi, too, says in one place, 
" A child cannot give out what he has not yet taken in." We 
are thus face to face with contradictory formulae. It is my 
belief that the advocates of " drawing- out " methods do not 
explicitly mean all that they say ; the moment they reflect, they 
recognise that Education is more than " drawing-out," and 
begin blushingly to admit that they ought not to make state- 
ments of a wildly misleading character. Nevertheless, they 
make them ; that is the strange fact. 

The best way to realise the meaning and importance of 
Apperception and Apperceptive Interest is to study the people 
we meet. 

Study the Eadical and the Tory : talk to them on 

various subjects ; try to induce the former to 
Practical Study contribute to Eifle clubg Qrthe latter t Libra 
of Apperception. J 

Schemes ; investigate their opinions, their 

emotions, and especially their Interests. Then ask yourself, 
" What brought about this difference ? " 

Study the Catholic and the Protestant in somewhat the 
same manner. " What brought about this difference ? " 

Compare the child of uncultured parents with the child of 
cultured parents ; and study especially their Interests. " What 
brought about this difference ? " 

Ask yourself especially how far the differences were due to 
innate endowment, and your answer must be " Very little." 
The differences were mainly due to ideas received mainly, not 


entirely, for there are men who are Tories by nature or 
Kadicals by nature, just as Newman was a Catholic by nature 
even when a Protestant by profession (anyone can see that who 
reads the opening chapter of his Apologia) : still, nine-tenths of 
our opinions and interests are probably due to education and 
environment, rather than to congenital endowment. 

If teachers, when face to face with sluggish Interest or 
keen Interest on the part of pupils or of adults Interest in 
history, or nature, or anything else will make a point of asking 
themselves, " What is the cause of this ? " they will learn more 
about the meaning of Education than by reading a score of 
present-day books on the subject. They will certainly learn 
that Education is more than merely " drawing out." 

I do not know that I can improve upon an exposition of the 
Apperception doctrine which I put forth two years ago. 

" Take two children born of the same parents and possess- 
ing, so far as we can judge, similar capacities; Bring up one 
amid a narrow environment ; let the other be fed on fairy tales 
and biographies, be brought face to face with nature in her 
manifold forms, move daily amid educated people, and be 
subjected, in short, to all the influences which tend to what we 
call ' culture.' Now, at the age of fourteen try .to apply to 
them the doctrine of Interest. Offer to each of them a book 
on King Alfred the Great. The one child will 
Education as a f ee j no interest ; the other child will feel a keen 
Interest in such a book. Why the difference ? 
Because in the one case no ideas that bear upon 
the new material have ever been accumulated, and thus 
Alfred's name remains meaningless ; in the other case there 
are some ideas, and these ideas go out, so to speak, towards 
the book and give it a meaning. When a group of ideas acts 
in this way, welcoming a new idea or a new fact and inter- 
preting it, a process takes place which is called by the 
Herbartians ' Apperception.' 

" Take any subject in which you are interested, and analyse 


your condition with regard to it. Is it not true that your 
Interest in the subject is connected with the fact that you know 
something about it already, and that thus every new idea 
bearing upon it awakens familiar echoes in your mind ? You 
are never interested in that of which you are wholly ignorant. 
What is the significance of this? The significance is very 
great. When the ideas already in your mind apperceive new 
ideas, Interest flashes up. 

"Now we have seen the enormous importance importance 
for moral purposes of Interest. We have learnt that an 
Interest in books, or in nature, or in special subjects like 
history or astronomy, may help to save from sin and vice. 

. . . And now the Apperception doctrine assures us 

new meets uici. 

that for such an Interest to manifest itself 
there must be (unless some strong hereditary impulse can do 
the work instead) a certain previous accumulation of ideas. 
These ideas will then act as a background against which new 
ideas bearing on the subject can give rise to the scintillations 
and coruscations of Apperceptive Interest. If that background 
does not exist, every province of the soul, except the province 
of sensual passion, will be the poorer." 

If it be. true that we are never interested in that of which 
we are wholly ignorant, it is equally true that ive are never 
interested in that with which we are wholly familiar unless, 
of course, new aspects of the familiar things are being opened 
up. " Eevision lessons" are dull; why? Because they are 
devoted to going over old, familiar ground. Apperception is 
not taking place ; the new is not meeting the old, for there is 
no new. 

There are grades of Apperception, and some are humble. 
I remember how a theatre- audience roared ecstatically when 
an actor, in mock style, called out, " On the knee ! " the 
memory of a 1906 naval controversy was fresh in their minds ; 
in 1905 the exclamation would have been meaningless, and 
therefore devoid of Interest. Possibly much of the delight in 


music is due to Apperception at any rate, to the recurrence 
(with variations) of the same haunting refrain ; heard once, it 
might fail to be specially pleasurable. Certainly most of the 
great scientific hypotheses came upon their creators in the 
form of Apperception flashes. A simple fact commences 
the process ; Archimedes lying in his bath, Newton seeing his 
apple, Darwin and Wallace reading their copy of Malthus; 
then there comes a rush of ideas, a perception of mighty 
analogies, a feeling of intoxicating triumph and a great 
doctrine is born. 

The number of examples that might be given to illustrate 
the Apperception doctrine is illimitable, but I propose to select 
only two more. They bear upon a subject that is not half so 
interesting to our pupils as it should be, mainly because of our 
forgetfulness of this very doctrine I mean biblical knowledge. 
I wish readers to note that in both quotations (one taken from 
the nineteenth and the other from the sixteenth century) there 
is stress upon the fact that Apperceptive Interest is, in a certain 
sense, a new product not something whose germs are innate, 
but something that springs up at the moment when one set of 
ideas marches out to meet another set. 

Sir Leslie Stephen, speaking of ancient Jewish history as 

presented in one of Kenan's works, said : " The study 

becomes correlated with all that we have learnt. 

wo na from analogous studies elsewhere, and the 

whole story (becomes) pregnant with a. 

new Interest." 

Erasmus, advocating the teaching of geography, said : 
" The geography of the Holy Land and Asia Minor has the 
added Interest of association with Scripture." 

Students should note that the "added" Interest of Erasmus 
corresponds to the "new" Interest of Sir Leslie Stephen, and 
that the "association," referred to by the earlier writer, 
corresponds to the " correlation" referred to by the later. 

Dr. Lange's definition of Apperception is now intelligible. 


"Apperception is that psychical activity by which individual 
perceptions, ideas, or idea-complexes are brought into relation 
to our previous intellectual and emotional life, assimilated 
with it, and thus raised to greater clearness, activity, and 

19. Herbart on Apperceptive Interest and Self-Activity. 

At the time when Herbart wrote the Allgemeine Padagogik 

he had not worked systematically at psychological problems, 

consequently the doctrine of Apperception had not then 

assumed a scientific form. Nevertheless, even as early as 1802, 

in one of his Essays, he bids the teacher 

An Early Hint bH thi t d remote "into 

of the Doctrine. 

connection with what is near and of everyday 

occurrence, so as to cast light upon the latter, expand it, 
freshen it, complement it ;" this process is clearly one of 
Apperception. But in earlier works Herbart scarcely uses 
the actual term at all, the fact being that his doctrine of 
Apperception dates from the second or third decade of the 
nineteenth century a clear proof that he did not '* deduce " 
his Allgemeine Padagogik from his psychology, as is so 
often imagined. I would emphasise that even though the 
Apperception doctrine, in the technical form which it assumed 
in Herbart's psychological writings, were proved to be false, 
Herbart" s educational writings would retain exactly their 
present value, because they only take Apperception for granted 
in a general and uncontroversial sort of ivay. 

In the interval between 1806 and 1839 (when his Lectures 
were published) he worked earnestly at philosophical questions ; 
but even in this later book his references to Apperception are 
quite free from any technical subtlety. Herbart points out that 
there is a simple kind of Apperception, and children feel the 
stirrings of Interest, "when they recognise and repeat aloud 
certain words familiar to them, heard in the conversation of 
their elders, when the rest is unintelligible to them. A little 


later the same fact is illustrated when the children 'begin to 
name in their own way familiar objects in a picture book . . . 
We see here presentations suddenly rising into consciousness 
from within, in order to unite with anything allied that 
happens to present itself" 

In the preceding section I pointed out that "revision 

lessons " were generally dull because devoid of any element of 

novelty. But a lesson is always interesting if, as words fall 

from the teacher's lips, masses of ideas surge forward in the 

pupils' minds. I say " masses of ideas " 

is ,f rather than solitary ideas, for these last, 

though they may give meaning to the teacher's 
words, do not necessarily involve the highest degree of Interest. 
" The words must not only be simply comprehensible, they 
must also Interest. To do this, a higher degree of . . . 
Apperception is required" A teacher may tell a story every 
word of which is comprehensible; that is, every word calls 
forth a meaning, or is " apperceived " ; but the richest 
Apperception takes place when the interpretative ideas are, so 
to speak, rushing forward in splendid array. Teachers 
can recognise from the brightness of a child's eye when he is 
" apperceiving " ; and they who rarely call this forth should 
seek a profession other than that of teaching. 

It is true that Apperceptive Interest cannot always be 
relied upon, even by the best teachers. In these cases, 
recourse must be had to " Mediate " Interest, instead of the 
far more valuable " Immediate " kind, as was shown in 
Section 17. But the mere dogged resolution of the pupil 
to attend, stimulated by the thought of reward or punish- 
ment, " leads to no clear comprehension of the subject in 
hand, and to little co-ordination of what is learnt ; 
thus resolution wavers continually, and finally, often enough, 
gives place to disgust." 

For the intelligent, apperceptive grasping of new knowledge 
a groundwork of existent knowledge is obviously required. " The 


elements become a mass of apperceiving presentations capable 
of assisting later studies" Thus there is a fusion of new and 
old ; neither the totally new nor the totally old gives rise, in 
itself, to Apperception. As Herbart said in 1812 (On the Dark 
Side of Pedagogy)', "He who should tarry at what was 
wholly expected ivould meet with almost exhausted receptivity, 
because the presentation already in consciousness is capable of 
but little further gain. On the other hand, he ivho brings in 
the excessively novel, the totally foreign, has to fear the strong 
contrast which it will meet" 

Readers will have noted how true it is that "Interest is 

Self-Activity. 1 ' When the child's apperceptive masses are 

actively playing upon the new material, there is 

Self-Activity a * ee ^ n g tbat * ne Self * s a * work, that power is 
going forth. Thus the praise lavished by 
followers of Frobel upon " Self -Activity " might equally well 
be lavished on Apperception. The main difference between 
what may be called Herbartian Interest and what may be 
called Frobelian Interest is that for the former there must have 
been a previous reception of ideas. But, as Spencer says, 
" knowledge becomes faculty as soon as it is taken in," and thus 
in the end there is no essential difference between the two 
kinds of Interest ; each of them is a form of " Self -Activity." 

The tendency of Herbartian writers is to regard the 

"Apperceiving Ideas " or " Apperception Masses" as endowed 

with energy of their own, and to identify this energy with 

" Self- Activity "; "They are not," says Dr. McMurray, "to be 

drawn out by a purposed effort of the memory, 

e ower j_^ jjj are living forces which have the 
of Ideas. 

active power of seizing and appropriating new 

ideas." "They stand," said the late Professor Lazarus, "like 
well-armed men . . . ready to sally forth and overcome or 
make serviceable whatever shows itself at the portals 
of sense." 

In the light of this doctrine there can be no more 


depreciation of Knowledge. If Darwin and Wallace had 
never read Malthus they might never have thought of 
" Natural Selection." "Knowledge becomes faculty as soon 
as it is taken in"; and the Herbartian agrees that this is 
so, though he may express the fact in a different manner. 
Thus, when Professor Adams says " Herbartianism cannot* 
create faculty, but it gives the best means of utilising- 
faculty," his claim for Herbartianism is modest rather than 
arrogant. I incline to go farther than he has gone. 

But it is now time, after our excursion into the regions of 
Anschauung, Attention, and Apperception, to return to the 
realm of Interest, and to return wiser men. Interest 
depends (partly at least) upon Apperception, and Apperception 
must depend upon early and rich Instruction. We can now 
understand Dr. McMurray's words : 

" In most cases the lives of adults are rendered narrow and 

cramped if their school education was limited to a narrow 

field. ... It is the business of the common 

Foundations sc ^^ s * l a y broad foundations, to awaken all 

those varieties of Interest in the leading fields 

of knowledge which will serve to make men liberal-minded, 

public- spirited, of many-sided intelligence and sympathy in 

adult life. Unquestionably the lives of most people run in too 

narrow a channel. They fail to appreciate and enjoy many of 

the common and important things about them to which their 

eyes were not properly opened in early years." 



Interest and Instruction. 

20. Classification of Interests. 

Herbart, as the apostle of Interest, naturally attempted a 
classification of Interests. 

The child obtains his first " Knowledge " from " Experience " ; 
while " Sympathy" springs from " Intercourse." Instruction 
has to care for both of these great departments of human 
activity. Man has to know the physical universe, he has also 
to be made acquainted with " the best that has been thought 
and said hi the world"; he has to know Nature and Human 
Nature; Education has to embrace both "Bealisin" and 
" Humanism." 

To me there seems no fact more conclusive of Herbart's 

absolute primacy among educational thinkers than his breadth 

of view upon this question. It is so easy to 

Comprehensive- . reputation in the educational world by 

ness of Herbart's J 

Genius. appearing as the champion of some one limited 

type of Education; for example, to exalt 
science (with Spencer) or the classics (with Thring). Even 
Pestalozzi showed a strong bias towards mathematics and 
science to the neglect of history and literature. Herbart's 
genius was too regal for limitations of that kind. 

The world was informed in a review of two years ago that 
Herbart was " indifferent to natural science " ; indeed, there is 


a very general impression abroad that Herbartians regard 
history and literature as far more important than any other 
subjects. It is easy to show how absolutely erroneous is such 
a view. Herbart expressly says, " The sciences are at least 
as essential to a complete education as the humanities." Nay, 
his first group of Interests includes Scientific or " Speculative" 
Interest; and though one of his followers, Ziller, in an 
exuberance of zeal for a " humanistic " curriculum, made 
history the basis for "Concentration," the blunder only serves 
to accentuate the fact that while this educator and that 
educator have yielded to bias in this or that direction, Herbart 
never yielded an inch. I challenge any critic to find a single 
passage in Herbart's educational works that shows the faintest 
trace of narrowness on any question whatever. I assert that 
even on pedagogical questions that were comparatively new in 
Ids time and, therefore, difficult, Herbart's judgment was so 
infallibly sound that, as a matter of fact every critic stands 
dumb, and has to exercise his powers of attack upon the 
iniquities supposed to have been committed by this king of 
educators in the realm of formal psychology or metaphysics. 
I do not claim that there are no omissions in Herbart's 
works; but only that no critic can take any one of his 
educational assertions and demonstrate bias or blindness. 

His sixfold classification of Interests is a sufficient answer 
to half of his critics. 

Corresponding to one great department of Instruction 

that concerned with knowledge of Nature are three kinds of 

Interest: Empirical, Speculative, and Aes- 

Interests ^hetic ^ ne fi rst > an Interest in objects, 
colours, and the like, for their own sake ; the 
second, an Interest in the relations of cause and effect 
" Scientific Interest " we may also call it ; the third, an 
Interest in beauty of form, rhythm, deed, and so on. The 
.second kind is active, and logically " discursive." 


Corresponding to the second great department of Instruc- 
tion that concerned with Mankind are also three kinds of 
Interest : Sympathetic, an Interest in in- 
dividual man; Social, an Interest in the 

wider relations of society; Eeligious, an 
Interest in the destiny of things. 

The first kind in each great group is necessarily the first 
to appear. We acquire familiarity with concrete things and 
persons before we consider the abstract relationships between 
natural objects or between human units. Of the springing up 
of the second kind, Herbart says : " The riddle of the world 
extorts speculation from empiricism, the conflicting claims of 
humanity extort the social spirit of order out of sym- 

Any person who enters an infant room at once engrosses 
the attention of the children. They can no more help gazing 
at him than at brightly coloured or moving objects. Nay, 
even adults even the members of the Eoyal Society will 
stare, as if fascinated, at the lighting of a gas jet or the 
opening of a window ; though some gifted lecturer may all the 
time be expounding the most priceless of truths. Such 
" Interest " is mainly " Empirical." 

As soon as the child has arrived at the stage when he 
asks the reason for everything, or wishes to investigate the 
problem of where he came from, or where God lives, 
Speculative Interest is awake. Social Interest is naturally 
subsequent to Sympathetic Interest ; we do not expect the 
notion of " citizenship " to be an early one. 

The third group of Interests (Aesthetic in the one group, 
Eeligious in the other) are chiefly characterised by their 
restful or contemplative character. 

Probably Herbart's classification may be capable of 
improvement. Professor De Garmo tells us ; 

"If perception, reasoning, and sensibility* are made bases 

* Note the threefold division, corresponding to Herbart's three kinds 
of Interest. 


for the classification of interests, why should not the active 

volitional powers of the mind become a basis likewise ? Some 

claim that pleasure and pain rest primarily 

Proposed n tll e motor side of our activity, rather 

Improvements . . _ . 

of Herbart's ^ nan upon the sensory. Our interest in doing 

Doctrine. is antecedent to our interest in knowing or 
feeling. This fact is fully recognised by all 
Herbartians in the theory of methods, though it finds no 
recognition in their classification of interests." 

Dr. Dewey gives a fourfold classification, " the interest in 
conversation or communication ; in inquiry or finding out 
things ; in making things or construction ; and in artistic 
expression " a classification which seems to ignore, in some 
measure, the Sympathetic and Social Interests which man 
feels in his fellows. 

Dittes considers that Interest should be classified in two 
ways, either according to Form or to Matter. Formally, we 
should have Empirical, Speculative, Contemplative, Mnemonic, 
Productive, Analytic, Synthetic, Systematic, Methodic, etc. 
For example, a person who had a passion for arranging things 
would be endowed with " Systematic Interest." According to 
Matter or Content we should classify Interest as Aesthetic, 
Beligious, Historic, Agricultural, Practical, Scientific, Personal, 
etc. The Interest which Tommy Traddles took in his 
flowerpot might also perhaps be adduced, and named 
" Interest of Proprietorship." 

I cannot see that any classification is quite satisfactory. 
For one thing, the line of demarcation between Instincts and 
Interests is not always so clearly drawn as may, perhaps, be 
ultimately desirable, and I throw out these proposed emen- 
dations of Herbart's classification, mainly because they sug- 
gest a profitable field of work for those whose " Systematic 
Interest " is keen. A thoroughly satisfactory classification of 
Interests has not yet been made. Meanwhile, the existence 
of Interest in Nature and Interest in Man is never to be 


forgotten. It is obvious, too, that Herbart's Interests are 
outward-looking. He is primarily thinking of the great 
educational task of acquainting the child with the facts of 
the Universe; hence, perhaps, his reason for not expressly 
tabulating such secondary Interests as Dittes specifies 
Mnemonic, etc. 

21. Instruction as the Complement of Experience and Inter- 

The adulation of " Nature " in which many educationists, 

notably Eousseau and less emphatically though much more 

unexpectedly the evolutionist Spencer, have 

Nature " indulged, finds no echo in the works of Herbart. 

" To lead man to Nature, or even to wish to 

lead him to and train him up in Nature, is mere folly. For 
what is the Nature of man?' 1 His impulses are largely 
indeterminate ; they can be directed either in good directions 
or in bad ; to chatter about the " Nature " of man is therefore 
useless and may even be harmful. Mankind has to decide 
what it shall become, and the means of carrying out the 
decision are no other than Education. Human Nature is like a 
ship, " constructed and arranged with the highest art that it 
may be able to adapt itself to every change of wind and ivave," 
and awaiting only " the steersman to direct it to its goal . . . 
We know," says Herbart, " our aim. Nature does much to 
aid us, and humanity lias gathered much on the road she has 
already traversed ; it is our task to join them together" 

It has long seemed to me that those four calm words of 
Herbart, " We know our aim," are among the most significant 
in educational literature. Herbart certainly knew his aim ; 
I am perfectly sure that most educationists do not know 

For the carrying out of the educational aim, Herbart has 
indicated, in the words just quoted, that there are two means 
conferring Knowledge of Nature, and awakening Sympathy 
with Human Nature. These are not dependent on scholastic 


Instruction for their commencement ; no sooner is the baby 

born than the possibilities of Knowledge and Sympathy begin. 

But in each case Instruction is required to complete the 

process ; in the first case because our Knowledge of the 

physical universe however accidentally great would remain 

relatively insignificant apart from systematic Instruction; in 

the second case because, however rich our Intercourse with 

parents and friends, it would still be inadequate for all the 

subtle distinctions of Sympathy. " Therefore 

the gaps left by Intercourse in the little sphere 

of feeling, and those left by Experience in the 

larger circle of knowledge, are for us almost equally great, and, 

in the former as in the latter, completion by Instruction must 

be equally welcome" 

Herbart's Anglo-Saxon followers also lay stress upon these 

two departments, regarding them both as necessary to the 

completeness of the curriculum, but inclining to lay slightly 

more stress upon the humanistic than upon the naturalistic 

department. Mr. Hooper, for example, regarded 

The Core of the Nature and Human Nature as the epitome 


of educational studies. Of these twins neither 

should be neglected, although the latter is the more im- 
portant." Dr. McMurray declares that the question " What 
is the most important study ? " must be answered " by putting 
the study of man in history and literature at the head of the 
list. Natural science takes the second place." Most 
Herbartians, indeed, regard these two groups as together 
forming the heart of the curriculum, though Ziller, with 
perhaps excusable enthusiasm for the humanistic department, 
chose this alone as the centre, and, as we shall see, elaborated 
a scheme of " Concentration " on the basis of this choice. All 
Herbartians, however, are agreed that formal and gymnastic 
studies should constitute rather the appendages than the trunk 
of the educational organism. 

To return to Herbart's exposition. Great, he tells us^ 


appear, at first sight, the difficulties in the way of Instruction. 
As contrasted with Experience and Intercourse it is rigid and 
stern, while these are mobile, abundant, vivid; how, in 
particular, can Instruction compete with Intercourse when the 
latter is concerned with living beings, and the former can 
only deal with characters described in books? In reality 
Instruction can never dispense with the other two primary 
agencies ; it is they that give " fulness, strength, individual 
definiteness in all our presentations, practice in the application 
of the general, contact with the real, with the country, and the 
age, patience with men as they are" Herbart, said by some 
shallow critics to " over- value Instruction," sadly confesses and 
laments that " Education has not Experience and Intercourse 
in its power ." The boy in the farmyard has many advantages 
which the child brought up in the fashionable world can never 
share. But circumstances frequently stand in the way of the 
spontaneous development of many-sided Interest ; hence 
Instruction must undertake the task of "enlarging the pupils 
mental scope by description . . . by taking . . . the light of 
the past, and revealing to his ideas the immaterial world." 

And, indeed, despite the threshold difficulties in the way of 
Instruction, there may be certain facilities in its favour. 
" Ought we to conceal from ourselves how often the distant 
space is more exquisitely illuminated in descriptions and 
drawing than the present; how much more satisfying 
and elevating is intercourse with the ancients than with 
contemporaries; how much richer in insight is idea than 
observation, and, indeed, Jww indispensable to action is the 
contrast between the actual and what ought to be ? " In these 
words of Herbart we get a partial justification of the preference 
expressed by his Zillerian followers for stories of the ancient 
world, and, indeed, a justification of all those who lay stress 
upon the training of the imagination as a necessity for moral 

Then follows in Herbart's exposition one of those oft- 


quoted and oft-misunderstood maxims, regarded by many as 
summing-up his teaching, "To be wearisome is the cardinal 

sin of Instruction. 11 Experience and Inter- 

course are sometimes wearisome : Instruction 

must never be. And yet Herbart does not mean that Instruction 
should be merely easy; elsewhere he tells us that it " requires 
toil on the pupil's part . . . if it cannot always wander in 
pleasant valleys, it can train . . . in mountain climbing, and 
reward with the wider prospect. 11 It is the task of Instruction 
to open up vistas rather than to do the " spade work " of life ; 
the task is inevitably pleasant and exhilarating, but not 
necessarily easy. 

Bringing system into the chaos of ideas acquired by 
Experience, bringing full meaning into the operations of 
Intercourse, Instruction thus stands before us as an agency 
of an indispensable kind. " The real kernel of our mental 
being cannot be cultivated with certain results by means 
of Experience and Intercourse. Instruction penetrates more 
deeply into the laboratory of the mind. 11 

" The world and humanity. 11 It is these two great 
hemispheres of thought, together constituting the sum of all 
things, that the teacher has to reveal to the child's vision, 
not, of course, in their completed perfection which would 
be wholly impossible but in their essential elements. 
41 Instruction concentrates all the objects of this Interest in 
the bosom of the young, which is the bosom of the future. 
Without this, Instruction is surely empty and meaningless." 

For any teacher to talk of educating " ivith his ivliole 
soul " is to use " an empty phrase " unless he recognise that 
the greater part of his thought should be devoted to the 
question of " what he imparts to the boy, what he makes 
accessible to him " ; unless Education is concerned with this, 
it has practically nothing of importance to do ; the teacher has, 
in that case, " nothing to bring to completeness through 
Education. 11 Only when the teacher has before him the ideal 


of implanting in the child an Interest in the world and in 

humanity will there " floiv from his full soul 
Mustthe - 7 -_ , ' , . , 

Teacher teach? a J u ^ ness of Instruction which can be compared 

with the fulness of Experience : ... an inter- 
course will grow up between them (teacher and pupil) which 
is, at the least, a foretaste of intercourse with the great men of 
antiquity, or ivith the clearly-drawn characters of the poet. 
Absent historic or poetic characters must receive life from the 
Hf 6 f the teacher. Let him only make a beginning ; the 
youth, even the boy, will soon contribute from his 
imagina tion. ' * 

From these and similar passages we realise how pronounced 
was Herbart's conviction that Education without Instruction 
that is, apart from the ''Aesthetic Presentation of the 
Universe " to the pupils was a meaningless thing. Mere 
formal studies such as arithmetic, mere "knife and fork "* 
studies like writing, are devoid of inherent significance ; such 
significance as they possess is dependent on the successful 
accomplishment of " the chief business of Education,'" this 
"Aesthetic Presentation" of the two great world-hemispheres 
Nature and Man. We see also where lies the latent danger 
of Herbartianism ; that as the "fulness of Instruction flows 
from the full soul" of the teacher, the attitude of the pupil 
may become too passive. And yet, with such Instruction as 
Herbart contemplates, this will be difficult, for it will " impart 
unfettered movement to the listener also " ; the teacher may 
"make a beginning" but the pupil will soon " contribute from 
his imagination." 

In closing the section from which the above quotations are 
taken, Herbart claims that Instruction alone can redress 
any initial one-sidedness of nature. 

Elsewhere in the Allgemeine Pddagogik he mentions what, 
on his view, constitutes the most suitable material for initiating 

* A useful phrase recently used for such studies as are merely instrumental 
to the purveying of actual mental nutriment. 


the child into the two great worlds of Nature and Man; for 
knowledge of nature, the " A B C of Anschauung " to which 
he had devoted a separate work; for knowledge of man, or 
rather for the development of " Sympathy " with man the 
Odyssey. It is in the latter department of educational effort 
that the "culture stages" doctrine has its chief, perhaps its 
only validity. " Taste and sympathy require chronological 
progression from the ancient to the modern ; " Greek should 
precede Latin, Latin modern languages. I need scarcely point 
out that Herbart is here thinking of the middle-class child. 

22. Instruction (continued). Things, Forms, Symbols. 

But there is another way of considering the materials of 
Instruction. They may be classified as Things, Forms, and 

With respect to the third among which, languages hold 
the chief place Herbart had an opinion of a decisive kind. 
" They afford Interest only as the medium for the presentation 
of what they express. . . . They are an obvious burden which, 
if not lightened by the power of Interest in the thing sym- 
bolised, throws both teacher and pupil out of the track of 
progressive culture." 

The doctrine here expounded is one of the most important 

perhaps the most important of all among the practical 

deductions from Herbart' s central convictions. If Character 

is in lar~9 measure a question of Apperceptive 

Symbols as j^erest, those subjects which confer ideas, 
Means, not Ends. 

and thus provide Apperception material, must 

be the most important of all. Now, language and its 
connected arts (writing, reading, etc.), are of immense and 
indispensable value as the means by which ideas are conferred ; 
but, apart from this function, they have little significance. 
Herbartians have therefore little sympathy with language- 
study per se. Disconnected books of extracts, however scienti- 
fically selected for purposes of exercise, awaken no enthusiasm. 


" That book alone lias a claim to be read which interests 
NOW, and can prepare the way for fresh 


Interest in the future. Over no other, 

especially over no sort of chrestomathy 
(book of selections), ought a single week to be lost. 11 

The long monopoly enjoyed in the school by languages 
awakened Herbart's protest ; as commonly taught, languages 
were not a character-forming, but rather a deadening and 
Interest-killing pursuit. " Make therefore a stand as long as 
possible against every instruction in language, ivithout 
exception, which does not lie directly on the high road of the 
culture of Interest. Whether ancient or modern languages, 
it is all the same. 11 

Of course, a certain amount of definite practice in symbols 
is necessary : they are, in a sense, things themselves, capable 
of being perceived, observed, copied ; " the more powerfully 
and variously they impress themselves on the senses, the 
better" Nay, there is no need, in the early stages, to insist 
too hastily upon the meaning of symbols. But the broad 
principle holds good: let us learn symbols for the sake of the 
things symbolised ; this principle will check us if we wish to 
spend undue time upon them. " Only so much should be 
taught as is absolute 1 ^ necessary for the next interesting use 
of them : then the feeling of need for a closer knowledge will 
soon awake, and when this co-operates, all will go on more 
easily. 1 ' Thus, Beading, a form of skill or dexterity, is a 
means to an end, not an end in itself ; a " knife-and-fork 
study," not a " dinner- study "; "if children are slow about 
learning to read, the blunder must not be made of neglecting 
their mental culture in other directions, as though reading 
were its necessary pre-requisite. 11 "Languages alone give 
to a boy a picture neither of bygone ages nor of men. 11 

How modern, how up-to-date, and yet how necessary, is all 
this 1 Teachers are all too prone to forget that unless a child 
acquires a love for Reading that is, a love for History, 


Literature and so forth the mere power to read is useless. 
The remark applies alike to the study of English and of 

other (including the classical) languages. Just 
Reading: ag p r j mar y sc hools for thirty years have 
Power Y. Interest. 

"taught Heading," and yet have often failed 

to make children love English books, so secondary schools 
for three hundred years have taught Latin and Greek, and 
yet have often failed to make their pupils love Latin and 
Greek literature. Primary teachers should remember that 
children can be introduced to good English literature long 
before they can read ; secondary teachers should remember 
the value of classical translations and of ancient history. 

I pass on to the second of the three matters with which 
Instruction is concerned " Forms." Herbart claims that 
these the abstract or general ideas derived from contemplation 
and comparison of concrete things are not only interesting 
in themselves, but of much practical value. All such abstrac- 
tions, however, are based upon the concrete : and it is a, 
mistake to elevate them into a false independence. 

Even the "formal discipline" of mathematics awakened 
but a modified sympathy in Herbart's mind, great though his 
admiration of the subject was. The mere performance of 
mathematical "feats of ingenuity " was incomparably less 
important than "familiarity with the facts of nature;" for 
though " Self-activity " is an educational goal it is only a 
subordinate one, unless interpreted in a wide Herbartian 
sense. All along the line in Herbart's system we find 
that " skill " and merely " formal " culture are sharply con- 
trasted with " Interest." " Skill of various sorts can be 
obtained by force, but it is of no value to general culture when 
the corresponding Interest is lacking." Men claim that " if 
this or that had been converted earlier into 

a V ability to do, greater progress would have been 

Power v. Interest. 

made. But when Interest has not been aroused, 

and cannot be aroused, compulsory acquisition of skill is not 


only worthless, leading as it does to soulless mechanical 
activity, but positively injurious, because it vitiates the 
pupil's mental attitude and disposition" This is exactly the 
message which many teachers, inspectors, and other people 
need to-day. 

Thus the stress of the Herbartian system is ever on 
"things" not on "forms" or "symbols" The world of 
Nature and of Human Nature has to be revealed to the young. 
" Forms " and " symbols " have their place and value, but even 
they will never come to their due rights if to them is assigned 
a supremacy which they do not intrinsically deserve. 

A quotation from Herbart's follower, Ziller, may suffice to 
suggest the unanimity of Herbartians upon this point. The 
teaching of "forms" and " symbols " is so dreary a task that 
men have invented a doctrine to sanction their methods the 
doctrine that the hard work involved in learning these dry 
subjects is splendid training. Ziller remarks, on the other 
hand: "It is a mistake to find in the simple pressure of 
difficulties a source of culture, for it is the opposite of 
culture. It is a mistake to call the pressure of effort, the 
feeling of burden and pain, a source of proper will training." 

There is very little doubt that if teachers will arouse an 
Interest in books (to take the most obvious example), their 
teaching of Spelling, Composition, and almost every other 
subject, will be a far easier task than it is at present. An 
educational "theory" that places "Interest" in the fore- 
front, is really the most "practical" thing that any teacher 
can be presented with. 




23. Instruction, Analytic and Synthetic.* "Heuristic" 

In these wonderful days, when some educationists are 

telling us that "the imparting of knowledge is not the 

teacher's business," while others are urging 

Work up the } ia ^he teacher's business is "to supply 
Old and add , , ., . .. , 

the New proper pabulum, it is consoling to know that 

a hundred years ago Herbart declared that 
Instruction had to be both Analytic and Synthetic. 

At the moment when the teacher commences his work of 
Instruction he finds that the pupil already possesses a Circle of 
Thought based on Experience and Intercourse. Two things 
are possible in the first instance : the teacher may seek to 
analyse and systematise the stores of thought already existent 
in the child's mind, or he may seek to add to these stores, 
bringing forward material akin to that already provided by 
Experience and Intercourse, and therefore capable of being 
"placed in the light which radiates from them. From the 
horizon which bounds the eye we can take measurements by 
ivhich, through descriptions of the next-lying territory, that 
horizon can be enlarged" Sometimes young teachers are 

* I am not entering into Herbart's threefold classification of Instruction as 
analytic, merely presentative, and synthetic. 


so laboriously " analytic " that they seek, by questions, to 
" educe " facts of geography which are simply unknown. 

Word-pictures of foreign towns, countries, customs, or of 
historical events ; pictures in the literal sense also these are 
some of the " synthetic " means that have to be used to increase 
the child's knowledge ; but we must also take familiar things, 
and abstract from them, or discover " analytically " in them, their 
inherent properties or laws. There should be similar analysis 
in the case of Intercourse if the feelings are to be made pure 
and fervent. The result of such Instruction is to facilitate and 
assist all kinds of judgments. " For the matter to be judged 
is there purified from confusing side issues ; . . . distraction 
caused by the number and variety (of presentations] is at an 
end." The scientific imagination, the power of drawing logical 
conclusions from out of the confused materials presented by 
experience, is likewise aided by careful analysis of familiar 
objects and events. 

The mention of science suggests a brief consideration of 
the " heuristic " problem. 

The scientist aims at discovering the laws of nature 
underlying concrete facts. It is true this task is not always 
possible or advisable in the early years of life ; " on the other 
hand, it is just as little desirable to leave the mind altogether 
impractised in speculation till those years when an impatient 
longing for certitude develops of itself, and obstinately seizes 
the best theory which first comes to hand, with which to 
satisfy itself. . . . The teacher must seek out, ENTIRELY 
REGARDLESS OF HIS OWN SYSTEM, the least dangerous ways to 
prepare, as much as possible, the capacity for investigation. 

In these last three words we find another proof how 
massive and all-embracing was Herbart's genius. At this 
moment there are prominent men, mainly scientists, who lay 
stress upon the development of a " heuristic " attitude of mind 
towards the facts and occurrences of nature ; they are 
advocates of the " method of discovery." Years ago, Mr. 


Spencer urged that " children should be led to make their 
own investigations, and to draw their own inferences. They 
should be told as little as possible " ; they should " become 
their own teachers." The most prominent present-day advo- 
cate in Britain of this doctrine is, of course, Professor Arm- 
strong; but there are many, even among classical teachers, 
who subscribe to it; indeed, it is clear that the "heuristic" 
attitude can be assumed, not only in connection with natural 
science, but, to a certain extent, in connection with historical 
and literary pursuits. Thus the teacher might set " problems " 
on the Civil War or on the characters of Shakespeare. 

Heuristic methods are sometimes advocated as an exempli- 
fication of the " culture stages " doctrine to be expounded 
later. Just as the human race has discovered scientific facts 
in a certain order, so the child should be led to discover the 
facts in the same order. 

In contrast to the " heuristic " attitude on the part of the 
pupil stands the purely receptive. I would remind my readers, 
in order to suggest what great issues are here at stake, that 
some educationists lay the primary stress on " Eeverence " (a 
very different quality from "being one's own 
teacher"); similarly, that Matthew Arnold 
urged the value of imparting to children " the 
best that has been thought and said in the world " (" thought " 
by others, not " discovered " by the pupil) ; and that a great 
historic Church regards "private judgment" as the peril of 
the age. What does Herbart say? As ever, he sees the 
truth on both sides. 

It has been supposed that the logical outcome of Herbart's 
doctrine is an encouragement of the receptive attitude. The 
stress he lays upon Instruction, upon the Circle of Thought, 
has given rise to this impression. In point of fact, he saw, 
fifty years before the publication of Mr. Spencer's book, the 
need for stimulating " Speculative Interest," but he also saw 
which many moderns do not see that Education has a far 



greater task than this ; that the mind must be fed as well as 
exercised ; that the chief work of Education is to give an 
.^Esthetic Presentation of the Universe in its two great aspects. 

But not only did Herbart admit the necessity (though not 
the sole necessity) for awakening "heuristic" or speculative 
Interest, he gave to it a very wide field of activity. Mathe- 
matics, which had " unfortunately degenerated into a game, 
assisted by lines and formula" had to be " led back, as far 
as possible, to the thinking out of the concepts themselves" 
" Logic" says Herbart, " is also serviceable, but too much 
must not be expected from it. Among the problems of 
philosophical speculation, those are to be most thoroughly 
developed which are connected ivith mathematics, physics, 
chemistry ; the youthful mind can, under skilful guidance, 
be variously employed to its great advantage in those w hich 
concern liberty, morality, happiness, right, and the State" 

In his later Lectures Herbart says that the tendency on 
the part of children " to ash questions, should, generally 
speaking, receive constant encouragement" Nay, in a far 
more significant passage (significant, that is, in view of the 
common belief that Herbart ignored self-activity, and signifi- 
cant also because only in the last few years has " Composition " 
begun to oust the over- valued subject "Dictation " from English 
schools) he says, " Three lines of the pupil's 

\ - c IYI y. Qwn wor f c (i n composition] are better than 
three pages written by directions. It may take years before 
the self-deception due to leading -string methods is superseded 
by a true estimate of the pupiU s actual power " Forty years 
before (first letter to Herr Steiger) Herbart had encouraged a 
" watchful spirit of research " in his eldest pupil by means of 
experiments in natural science. Indeed, if emphasis upon the 
value of natural science is to be regarded in Spencer and 
others as a sign of inspired nineteenth-century wisdom, a high 
place must be given to Herbart, who was actually teaching 
science twenty-three years before Spencer was born. In 


his A B C of Anschauung he describes it as a " cardinal 

fault" that men had not "assigned to the investigation of 

nature its true place and rank among the 

forces that must co-operate in the mind of an 

bciGnce, 1797* 

educated person, and hence in a mind that is 
being educated. Whenever this is done," he continues, " mathe- 
matics, the indispensable handmaid, will also soon be put in 
possession of her rights.'" She is, in fact, " a gymnastic of the 
thinking powers, needful even in the earlier years of child- 
hood," as well as essential to the interpretation of physical 
nature. Herbart, as already indicated, saw much value even 
in the imperfect chemistry of his day, but, because of experi- 
mental difficulties, preferred it to be taught, not to young 
children, but to youths whose earlier education had been 
neglected, like Ludwig Steiger.* 

24. Absorption and Reflection. 

In the course of considering " Interest " Herbart felt con- 
strained to utter a warning. There is a danger that " many- 
sidedness " may fritter away concentration of mind. A mere 
butterfly existence was not the " many-sidedness " he advo- 
cated. "All the interests of a single con- 
Many-Sidedness sciousness must find their place in the person 

_, . .... like different surfaces of one body. . . . 

The frivolous man is a new person every 
moment . ... he himself is properly nothing at all." The 
truth is that many-sidedness contains the promise both of 
danger and of safety ; danger of frivolity, safety in the matter 
of sensitiveness and moral accessibility ; while of the opposite 
quality (" narrow-mindedness ") exactly the opposite may be 
said. Borrowing two of Matthew Arnold's famous terms, one 
might say that at first sight many-sidedness has all the glories 
and defects of Hellenism, while narrow-mindedness has all the 

* Herbart's remarks on " ^Esthetic Interest " are omitted, not because they 
are unimportant, but because space is valuable. I would suggest that the 
many beautiful pictures provided in London schools may be used by teachers 
far more than they are. 


glories and defects of Hebraism. One of Herbart's chief 
services to Education was to show that Hellenism is necessary 
for the development of some of the finer shades of Hebraism ; 
the mind must be " changed through widened Interest " if full 
moral development is expected. 

Still, with the dangers of the situation looming up 
before him, Herbart saw the necessity for some strenuous 
mental factor that might act in the opposite direction to 
frivolity and diffuseness. He finds it in " Absorption." The 
mind must, at times, give itself up wholly and con amore to a 
single object. " A suitable Attention is due to everything 
worthy of being observed, thought, or felt, in order to under- 
stand it wholly and correctly, and to transport oneself into it" 
And yet, if this attitude of mind be persistent in relation to 
any one object or any few objects, there is a danger that 
everything else coming to a man will be falsified or disregarded. 
Hence the counter necessity for Eeflection, which preserves 
the unity of consciousness by assembling together the contents 
of the mind. Acts of Absorption are followed by acts of 
Keflection ; the many-sided man is the one who is able at will 
to concentrate his mind, now on this matter and now on that, 
and to embrace all these acts of Absorption or Concentration 
within his own Eeflection. There is moral significance in this. 
There may be contradiction between one act of Absorption and 
another : a man may have two or more selves (a " business 
self," a " Sunday self," and so on) ; or the blending of the 
selves may be imperfect, as in the case of the savant, pedant, 
or " scholar " (in the bad sense) whose scholastic notions form 
in large measure a closed circle, a circle apart from the rest 
of the affairs of his life. 

Elsewhere in his works, Herbart compares the alternations 
of Absorption and Eeflection with acts of respiration. The 
discussion takes up an inordinate space in the Allgemeine 
PddagogiJc, and gives some colour to the charge put forward 
by Dittes that Herbart dresses a comparatively common- 


place thought in elaborate and technical attire. In this 
case the thought is commonplace and obvious, but not to 
be despised ; we must first strive to know in- 
MentalLife Dividual things or groups, and then must com- 
pare them. Confusion of ideas is injurious to 
mental life. " There can be no system, no order, no relation- 
ship without clearness in single things. Relationship . . . exists 
only amid separated and re-united parts." 

Summing up the situation, I would say that the pupil must 
be able both to concentrate himself on a subject and to take 
stock at other times of all the subjects and concerns of his life. 
Once again we observe how Herbart does justice to rival 

25. The Doctrine of the Formal Steps of Instruction. 

We have now arrived at the " Formal Steps " doctrine, 
elaborately developed by Ziller from the few hints dropped by 
Herbart in the Allgemeine PddagogiJc and the fuller hints in 
the Lectures. Much has been made of it ; a highly technical 
form has been given to it ; but its essential features are, after 

all, not difficult to understand, and are 
The Five Steps .^ free frQm gubtlet From concrete 

facts to abstract laws, and then to practical 

applications," is a summary of the doctrine ; " Observ- 
ing, Thinking, Applying" is Dorpfeld's formula; "first 
Observation, then Varied Observation, Comparison with Earlier 
Observation, and finally as the crown and completion of 
these particular experiences the new, higher form of 
Thought " is Dr. Findlay's ; and it is defective only in its 
omission of the last step Application. Herbart's outline is 
similar, though not quite identical : " clearness of every 
particular, association of the manifold, coherent ordering of 
what is associated, practice in progression through this 
order.' 1 The mind, " absorbed " for a time in particular facts, 
passes on to that relaxation, or at least amplification, of atten- 
tion which Herbart calls Eefiection ; and then, when general 


principles have been attained, these are applied deductively to 
new, concrete cases. There is nothing here that is really 
profound or novel; any apparent novelty is in the form and 
the systematic presentation of the doctrine. 

Only in one particular have Herbart's four steps been 
seriously altered by his followers. The first of the four has 
been sub-divided into two, usually named " Preparation " and 
" Presentation " ; the former is of the nature of a preliminary 
chat, intended to bring into the pupils' minds such apper- 
ceiving ideas as are related or pertinent to the matter about 
to be presented. Herbart, like Ziller, condemned purely 
" lecture methods " ; in his reply to Zippel he recommends that 
pupils take a certain part in the general discussion ; thus " some 
freedom is given to accidental associations of ideas. 11 In his 
Lectures he gives as a " cardinal rule " that " immediately 
before the pupils are expected to work independently they must 
be placed in that circle of thought connected with their work. 
Thus, especially at the beginning of a lesson, a short resume 
should be given of the coming lecture or reading," a suggestion 
developed by Ziller into the rule that the " aim " of a lesson 
should always be stated clearly to the pupils. 

Perhaps it will be best at this stage to set forth the " Five 
Steps " in their most modern form : 




The " first step " has been already described ; it is a 
preliminary talk, bearing directly upon the new material to be 
" presented." The chief danger for the teacher is that it may 
be too lengthy and discursive. Unless it really bears on the 
subject in hand, and arouses Interest in it, the teacher may as 
well omit this " step " altogether and plunge at once into 
" Presentation." 


In the " second step " the teacher brings forward the new 
material, whatever it may be : geographical facts, concrete 
objects for observation, etc. 

In the " third step " teacher and pupils compare and 

contrast, so as to discover underlying resemblances, differences, 

and laws. For example, in a lesson on verte- 

Exposition of k ra ^ es var i ous animals of this kind would be 

the Five Steps. 

compared with each other in order that their 

common characteristics might be discovered; vertebrates might 
also be contrasted with other creatures, for contrast aids in the 
discovery of similarity, and the contrast between vertebrates 
and invertebrates helps us to recognise the resemblances 
among the vertebrates themselves. 

The " fourth step " is a precise defining or summarising of 
what has become plain in Step III. For example, we might 
define a vertebrate and an invertebrate. 

In the " fifth step " we apply our new knowledge or defini- 
tion to unknown cases. For example, we might try to decide 
whether such an animal as a worm is a vertebrate or not. 

This plan of " Formal Steps " undoubtedly provides the 
teacher with the most logical scheme for a lesson, or for a 
series of lessons, that has ever been set forth in the history of 
the world. But warnings are necessary. For example : It is 
not always possible or desirable to include all the five " steps " 
in one lesson; in fact, it is rarely possible to do so, and 
teachers should never force their material into unnatural 
forms. Some lessons must consist mainly of " Presentation " 
(Step II.), others mainly of " Application " (Step V.), or of one 
of the others. Again, the scheme is largely or quite 
inapplicable, as Professor Findlay points out, to " skill " 
subjects, such as Singing or Writing; these chiefly involve 
sheer imitation. But, within certain limits, the scheme of 
the " Five Steps " is admirable, and every teacher should be 
familiar with it, and criticise his work by means of it. For 
example, he might ask himself, "Do I lay undue stress, 


in my lessons, on Step I. in other words, is my Introduc- 
tion too elaborate ? Do I tend to forget Step V. in other 
words, do I fail to make my class put their 
alue o te new iy. ac q u j re( j knowledge into practice?" 


This, indeed, is the chief value of any educa- 
tional "theory"; it cannot make a hopeless teacher into a 
good one, but it helps all teachers to criticise their own work. 

Two other points should be mentioned. Ziller was em- 
phatic in urging teachers to state clearly, at the close of 
Step L, the subject of the coming lesson. The 
8 at ng the Aim. ^ agg g^^ fee j no uncer fc a i n ty as to what was 

about to be learnt. Sometimes there is difficulty in carrying 
out this advice, for anything that is largely new and unknown 
cannot be described clearly in advance ; still, teachers should 
be careful that their class is not mystified as to the purpose of 
the lesson. This often happens with young teachers, who beat 
about the bush far too much in their " introductions." 

The other point is that there is no mention of " Repetition" 

or " Eecapitulation " in the scheme of the Five Steps, Her- 

bartians do not despise these things ; but, after all, Eepetition 

or Eecapitulation are not " steps " or ' stages " 

ecapi u a ion^ ^ ^ . they do not imply advance, but merely 
going over the same ground ; whereas each of 
the five, except, of course, the first, does represent move- 
ment beyond its predecessor,. 

26. Dangers of an Exaggerated Methodology. 

To many British readers the chief feature in the Herbartian 
system is the " Five Steps " or " Five Stages of Instruction," 
to which reference has just been made ; and many a critic, if 
not in this country, at any rate abroad, has devoted himself to 
warning teachers against a slavish and mechanical adherence 
to them. Such individuals may learn with surprise that the 
" Five Steps " are nowhere mentioned by Herbart (though, as 
we have seen, he mentions four processes, in large measure 


identical with Ziller's five), and that no man was more earnest 
in advocating a free treatment of lessons than Herbart. 

" Let every affected manner "be banished from instruction/ 

Catechising as well as dogmatising, fun as well as pathos, 

polished speech as well as sharp accent all are distasteful, as 

soon as they seem arbitrary additions, and not to proceed 

from the subject and state of mind. . . . The 

eac mg mus f eac j ier mus t be capable of many happy turns ; 
be Natural. 

he must vary with facility, must adapt himself 

to opportunity, and while playing with the accidental must 
so much the more emphasise the essential." 

During the child's early years no Instruction, Herbart tells 
us, can be completely systematic ; the school can only prepare 
the way for logical system. 

A feeling of ease and freedom is necessary alike for teacher 
and for pupils. "Everyone has his own individual way t 
which he cannot altogether ignore without loss of ease." 

There is a special danger in an over- developed methodology 

that it will check the pupil's " Self -activity," and tend to 

force his mind along a groove that is not the 

No Procrustean ^^ for hig individual cage> Herbart sees the 


danger. " All mannerisms that compel the 

listener's passivity and extract from him a painful negation 
of his proper activity, are in themselves unpleasant and 
oppressive. . . . That manner is the best, which provides the 
greatest amount of freedom within the limit which the work 
in question makes necessary to preserve. 1 ' Instead of being 
rigidly continuous the lesson may "permit interruptions, or 
itself cause them." A little later Herbart stresses the fact 
that much mental work is done spontaneously by the pupil, 
and says that where this is the case " the teacher ought to 
detain neither himself nor the children." I have heard of 
cases (nay, I have seen something of the kind) where teachers 
have carefully worked out a logical lesson ; but, because some 
pupils grasp the main point before the teacher has led up to it 


in his own formal way, he feels aggrieved. " But you don't 
know that yet ! " he says. In point of fact the teacher 
should be glad, not sorry, if his pupils arrive at the point of 
the lesson quicker than he anticipated. It is a compliment 
to both parties. 

In many cases, however, there is no need for a subject to 
be made completely comprehensible to the pupils ; " easy 
assimilation " sometimes regarded by critics as Herbart's 
ideal by no means always wins his favour. "Intrinsic com- 
prehensibleness of the instruction is a matter of far greater 
importance than that the child shall understand on the instant 
what is taught at that instant. . . The lia$py moments of 
comprehension do not fall exactly within determinate lesson 

I sometimes think we " explain" too much in our schools,, 
and are too fond of rummaging for definitions. A teacher who- 
can read impressively, and directs his pupils to stimulating 
sources of information, will not need to ask many "meanings."' 



The Curriculum. 

27. Correlation and Concentration. 

It is supposed in many quarters that in the Herbartian 

system the most distinctive doctrine is " Concentration." 

The curriculum has to he grouped around a 

eanmg o definite central subject humanistic material, 

on Ziller's view ; this central subject has to 

dominate all others, give laws to them, receive apperceptive 
wealth from them. The pupil's thoughts must swing round 
this central material ; other subjects, occupying less favoured 
positions in the plan of studies, must rather support the 
central material than put forward claims of their own. 

The plan was supposed to conduce to various desirable ends, 
among them, unity of mind (in consequence of the supposed 
unification of the circle of thought) ; predominance of moral 
ideas (in consequence of the central position of the humanistic 
material) ; enhanced apperceptive power and Interest (in 
consequence of the fluidity of ideas encouraged by the 
destruction of barriers between subjects) ; and general 
simplification of the curriculum or time-table. As " centre " 
for the first year, Ziller selected certain " fairy-tales " ; for the 
second year, Robinson Crusoe ; for the third year, early Bible 
stories ; and so on to Christianity and modern times. 

Now, though I propose to discuss Ziller's proposal at some 
length, I wish to point out that Herbart never proposed 


"Concentration" in Ziller's sense. At the same time, it is 
easy to quote passages from Herbart that have significance in 
this connection, and we will consider Ziller's proposals in the 
light of Herbart' s words. 

We saw (p. 73) that he laid stress upon establishing the 
" interconnections of human 'knowledge.'" We now learn that 

" great moral energy is the result of broad 

Large Masses . , , , 7 , 7 /. 

of Th uittit mews i an d f ^hole unbroken masses of 

thought"; mere disconnected hints, maxims, 
or stories are not the soundest basis for moral instruction, 
though they may be useful. "Isolated points of contact" 
could not adequately replace " masses of thought" 

We must cultivate " a large circle of thought, closely 
connected in all its parts, possessing the power of overcoming 
what is unfavourable in the environment, and of dissolving 
and absorbing into itself all that is favourable." Personal 
unity is preserved by " Keflection," which (as already 
explained) brings together sundry " Absorptions" other- 
wise detrimental to such unity. The point is, that unless 
our thoughts can move freely from one subject to another, 
and from one Interest of our daily life to another, there is 
the danger of our acquiring several " consciences," several 
inconsistent points of view. " ' Six days shalt thou labour 
and do all thy work, but ' quotes the adult John, and 
feels that he has, by this antithesis, justified his separation 
of the two worlds. If driven into a corner, he settles the 
matter with his ultimatum : * Business is business,' which 
is manifestly only an explicit statement that the system 
of business ideas must stand apart from all other systems."* 
Many men are regarded as hypocrites, or at least as grossly 
inconsistent, in consequence of some such cleavage of their 
mental possessions; and there is no doubt that the narrow 
limits assigned to " sacred " things in other words, the 
overdoing of the distinction between the " sacred " and the 

* Adams. Herbartian Psychology. 


" secular " is one cause of the ineffectiveness of Education to 
" overcome what is unfavourable in environment," and, indeed, 
in heredity also. If it is true that " action springs out of the 
circle of thought," there is immense significance, moral as well 
as other, in Herbart's claim that " the stronger the connections 
in the complexes and series (of presentations) are, the more 
invariable are the laws which govern the movement of the 
presentation-groups in consciousness." 

We turn now to the second purpose aimed at by Ziller. 

By placing humanistic material at the centre of the curriculum 

and linking all other material on to that, he 

Predominance hoped to secure the constant predominance of 

Moral Element mora ^ ideas in *he mind ; just as " all roads 

lead to Rome," all trains of ideas were to lead 

up to the central mass of ideas. The plan was ingenious ; 

perhaps it may fairly be called " Herbartian " ; but it was 

certainly never contemplated by Herbart himself.* 

While he praises unstintedly the value of " humanistic 
material " (history, poetry, and the like) he makes no attempt 
whatever to exalt it into a position that shall cause the rest of 
the curriculum to be overawed or dominated by it. There are, 
for him, two ingredients in that ^Esthetic Presentation of the 
Universe which it is the business of Instruction to confer ; 
Knowledge of Nature, and Sympathy, which is itself based on 
familiarity with the history and aspirations of mankind in 
Matthew Arnold's phrase, with " the best that has been 
thought and said in the world." To subordinate the former to 
the latter in Ziller's way, so that, for example, the properties 
of limestone should be studied for the first time when the 
pupil was introduced to Abraham's wanderings among the 
limestone hills of Canaan, would have seemed to him, as it 
seemed to his stricter followers, a highly artificial and ques- 
tionable procedure. He fully approved, on the grounds of the 

*It is only right to say that Ziller came practically to abandon this view. He 
says many excellent things about the value of natural science. 


Apperception doctrine, of connecting together related facts ; so 
do all his followers ; but a " Correlation " that took the form 
of a literal "Concentration" around one subject, he certainly 
never contemplated. 

It will be useful to bring together the chief passages in his 
works that bear upon the present question. In his reply to 
Zippel (1814), who had aimed at simplifying or concentrating 
the curriculum by having mathematics and natural science 
taught "incidentally" in connection with literary subjects (a 
proposal that recalls Ziller's), Herbart took up a significant 
standpoint. Such a plan was "absolutely impossible" 
" Mathematics and ancient languages " Her- 
Herbart Rejects b ar fc j s 11O ^ thinking of primary instruction 

" will alivays necessarily remain the two trunk 

lines of instruction. The natural sciences in 
the main lean upon the former, history and the whole of 
cesthetic culture on the latter"* 

He uses similar words in his Lectures, and these, in view of 
the fact of Herbart's supposed " indifference to Natural 
Science," are deserving of careful attention. 

" The existent groups of presentations are gained from 
two main sources Experience and Intercourse. From the 
former comes knowledge of Nature, a knoivledge defective and 
crude ; from the latter come opinions concerning individuals, 
by no means always praiseworthy, often, indeed, extremely 
censurable. Correction of these opinions is most necessary, 
but neither must knowledge of Nature be neglected, otherwise 
error, fanaticism, and extravagances of all kinds are to be 

The third reason for attempting " Concentration " is that 
increased Interest arises when one subject helps another. 
Apperception involves the blending of old and new, the inter- 
pretation or illumination of some new fact or experience by 

* The words are a little misleading as they stand ; we shall see that formal 
subjects must really ** lean " on non-formal ones. Herbart means this. 


means of older facts or experiences. " I heard something like 

that before I " says someone to whom you have just imparted 

an idea. Apperceptive Interest has been 

' s ^ awakened, as it would not have been if the 

idea were entirely new or entirely old. Facts 

that are isolated cannot be apperceived cannot awaken 
Apperceptive Interest and though they may themselves leave 
traces in the mind and help in the apperception of other ideas, 
they are not always so consciously retained as ideas which fit 
spontaneously into a system of ideas already possessed. How- 
ever, these practical reasons for " Concentration " are still 
more applicable to the much saner proposals for "Correlation,'' 
and will be discussed in a moment. 

The fourth reason for attempting " Concentration " was the 
multiplicity of subjects the overcrowding of 
Simplification of ^ curriculunlt It dated back from Herbart's 
the Curriculum. 

time, and he has many references to it, especi- 
ally in his little known essays. 

As early as the A B C of Anschauuug, after recounting the 
multitude of demands on school time, he says that " the 
educationist cannot help being frightened at the fearful 
amount. Nor can he help pitying himself and the poor brain 
of his pupil into wliich so many and so heterogeneous things 
require to be croivded." These words of 1802 are as applicable 
as ever to the condition of schools ; nay, since Herbart's time, 
the overcrowding of the curriculum has proceeded apace. 
Twelve years later Herbart wrote : " Great is the number of 
those who have held forth with zeal against the excessive 
number of studies" (Observations on a Pedagogical Essay). 
Herbart's own concept of " many-sided Interest" seemed itself 
to point in this direction. But he could not agree that " the 
quantity of subject matter should, or even might, be dimin- 
ished considerably. 11 His opponent had contended that " mul- 
tiplicity brought about confusion ; " Herbart responded that 
simplicity was equally likely to bring about exhaustion, for the 


reason that the human mind cannot busy itself for more than 
a brief time with any object, however agreeable. " Children 
demand change. One kind of interest, albeit the highest, 
cannot fill their minds. There is, then, such a thing as too 
little, just as there is such a thing as too much. Mid-way 
lies a point of greatest vantage which is to be searched out." 
Once again I would point out the wonderfully judicious and 
judicial attitude taken up by Herbart. 

" This point of greatest vantage " can only be discovered 
such at least is the view of Herbart and his followers by 
moving along the lines of " Correlation." Sub- 
Correlation, no . ctg k ave no ^ necessar iiy to b e diminished in 
Concentration. J 

number, but must be brought into more intimate 

connection with each other. " The interconnections of human 
knoivledge " as we have seen, "must be investigated in the 
most accurate manner, so as to enable teachers to set any 
interest, once excited, to work immediately in all directions, in 
order to accumulate the usury of learning on this interest as 
well as on the capital that has been acquired." But economy 
of time will spring, not only from establishing interconnections 
of knowledge, but from " the greatest possible intens^ty of 
interest being excited ; since what we pleasurably learn ive 
learn very quickly and apprehend profoundly" " The vieiv 
of the intimate connection of all the sciences and of the aid 
they lend each other strengthens the charm of each." 

In his Lectures, Herbart throws out many hints of a more 
concrete kind. Geometry and Arithmetic must be "properly 
combined." In History there must be a grouping of facts 
around " the notable names," and the subject should also 
receive support from Literature so far as to be " accompanied 
by illustrative poetical selections which, although perhaps 
not produced during the different epochs, yet stand in some 
relation to them." Physics and Chemistry, in their early 
stages, should be regarded as one subject, just as Professor 
Armstrong suggests in these later days. Language work 


should be connected with other work. " The interrelations 

of knowledge, as well as its connection with action, must 

be brought before the pupil's mind with the 

greatest possible distinctness. One subject 
Correlation. J 

must not be split into several according to the 

names of its branches. . . . Saving time depends on methods 
better than these. 11 Mathematics must be united with natural 
sciences ; Herbart advises this, not only in his latest work, but 
in his first Steiger letter (1797) : "he (Ludwig Steiger) is 
busy with mathematics and chemistry, which, through their 
close connection with other natural sciences, give to the latter, 
and receive from them, a heightened Interest." Drawing, 
however, Herbart regarded as less capable of being connected 
with other studies an opinion with which many moderns 
would disagree. A passage from the A B C of Anschauung 
may be finally adduced as summarising Herbart's view. The 
way of thinking on the subjects of instruction " as of a mass 
with mutually extraneous parts " was " radically wrong " ; 
and many of the common divisions and sub-divisions might 
very well "disappear by condensation" 

Now these hints and warnings of Herbart are most 
pertinent and helpful at the present time. They might have 
been taken from the recent Suggestions published by the 
Board of Education. The opening words of the present 
book illustrate the point ; a teacher, under the stimulus of 
official dictation, had separated " Beading " from " Geography." 
Now I could give twenty examples of similarly illegitimate 
separations. A child answers a question ungrammatically in 
a Geography or Arithmetic lesson; the teacher omits to 
correct the bad English, because the lesson is 

n0t an " En lish " lesson ' A teacher is 
Correlation. * eacnm g * ne Bible and forgets to use the 

map of Palestine ; or teaching History, and 
forgets to use a map of England; Scripture is "not 
Geography," History is "not Geography"! A boy writes 


down an account of his " Science " lesson ; the teacher 
refuses to consider his " Composition" or " Writing " because 
the real subject is " Science " ; " Composition " or " Writing " 
comes " to-morrow." The " History " of one class may be the 
Tudor period, of another the Plantagenet period ; yet the 
former class is taking Shakespeare's Henry F.for "Literature," 
and the latter Henry VIII. I am convinced that this lack of 
Correlation, for which teachers are not wholly responsible, is 
one of the most conspicuous faults of present-day educational 
method. It is an unintelligent and pernicious fault, rendering 
much school work artificial, unnatural, and uninteresting A 
little further consideration of it will be given in Part III. 

This is not the place to discuss at length the more recent 
attempts, German, American or English, in the direction of 
" Concentration," or rather (for most educationists have 
frankly admitted that a literal " Concentration " is unattain- 
able) in the direction of " Correlation." " Children," says 
Professor De Garmo, " readily form a network of associations 
among various studies if the connections are 

Other Attempts brought into consciousness ; but we must wait 
at Concentration . .. . , . . . . . _ 

or Correlation un ^ ^ ne s * a S es of higher education are reached 
before there can be any intelligent grasp of far- 
reaching interrelations." This, no doubt, is true ; but, on the 
other hand, specialisation must increase with the age of the 
pupils, and therefore there is greater possibility of a literal 
" Concentration " at lower stages than at upper. Subjects can 
be allowed to flow into each other and into the central subject. 
The scheme of " Concentration " worked out by the late 
Colonel Parker of America differs from Ziller's in selecting 
quite different material for the " centre " of ^the curriculum. 
Instead of " humanistic materials " he chose the materials 
dealt with by natural science. Like Ziller, therefore, he had 
departed from Herbart's sane and safe standpoint that the 
study of Nature and the study of Human Nature realistic 
study and humanistic study are two co-ordinate and equally 


indispensable provinces of the teacher's work. But both 
men were faithful to him in holding that merely "formal" 
studies required solid and concrete studies as a basis. I 
have also heard of attempts at "Concentration" round 
Hygiene and other subjects. I suggest that original-minded 
teachers might work at the entire problem here raised. 

Dr. Frick's scheme, on the other hand, was one of 
" Correlation," not of " Concentration " and is a much more 
orthodox presentation of genuine Herbartian thought than 
those just mentioned. The schemes of most recent Her- 
bartians and semi-Herbartians, like Professor Kein, Professor 
Findlay and Miss Dodd, recognise that one centre is impossible, 
.and revert to Herbart's dualistic scheme. 



Instruction and Character. 

28. "Educative Instruction" (Erziehender Unterricht). 

As early as 1802 Herbart had spoken (in his " Introductory 
Lecture to Students in Pedagogy") of "Instruction which at 
the same time is Education." This is the dominant idea of 
his whole teaching. 

It has been already pointed out that no language is more 
common in these days, or more misleading, or more disintegra- 
tive of the teacher's influence, than the claim that " mere 
Instruction " is not "Education"; that "Training" is more 
important than " Teaching." The only justification that can 
be found for such language is that much " Instruction," as 
Herbart says, may not exceed the standard of "passable 
mediocrity." But to depreciate Instruction in general to 
say, as Locke said, that "Instruction is but the least 
part of Education" was impossible for Herbart. For it 
is no theory, but a psychical fact, that presentations or 
ideas are of momentous importance, conferring upon the 
mind an apperceptive sensitiveness to high things and 
the capacity for an Interest in them. If, then, starting 
from the "Interest" standpoint, we work 

Linklng-up backwards to an analysis of the conditions 
Character and .. .. . . _ 

Instruction. under which Interest can be aroused, we shall 

alight upon the doctrine of Apperception. 
Another step backwards will lead us to the conclusion that 


Instruction the conferring of ideas is not the comparatively 
unimportant thing that many educationists would fain 
persuade us that it is. " Many objects of the greatest value," 
says Dr. McMurray (and under " objects " we may include 
spiritual or moral truths) "we pass by with an indifferent 
glance because our previous knowledge is not sufficient to give 
us their meaning." 

But Instruction must be " Educative Instruction " 
Instruction which, by way of Apperceptive Interest, becomes a 
life force. 

29. "Humanistic Instruction" (Gesinnungs-Unterricht). 

But though all true Instruction must, by way of Many- 
sided Interest, help to form Character though all UnterricM 
must be Erziehender Unterricht Instruction in certain sub- 
jects may have greater moral potency than that in others. It 
is quite obvious that Herbart never despised mathematics, 
natural science, or art ; we have seen, indeed, that he was an 
advocate of the teaching of " natural science " long before 
schools had properly awakened to the need. 

Matena < Nevertheless, he undoubtedly laid great stress 
Moral Judgment. 

upon the humanistic subjects, those, like litera- 
ture and history, which provide material for the moral judg- 
ment and help to make it delicate and true. Such subjects 
have been called " the Humanities," because of the humanising 
influence which they exert. 

It is a common charge against a purely mathematical or 

scientific education that, while making men keen, clever, and 

efficient, it may leave them with a large share 

!* n of barbarism in their nature. Such men may 


feel but scant sympathy with the fortunes of 
their fellows, little interest in the moral and social problems of 
the past or present age, little appreciation of the heroic and 
the delicate and the beautiful in word and deed. They may, 
though it is not certain that they will ; for to exclude human- 
istic influences completely is impossible. 


Similarly, though men who have been educated in a 
narrow, utilitarian way, compelled by circumstances to 
face the grinding facts of life when young boys, may possess 
a power and energy of their own, there is almost certain 
to be a lack of moral sensitiveness in their natures, unless, of 
course, they have been brought into exceptionally rich personal 
intercourse with noble and sympathetic people. 

We must never forget this last qualification. Even if no 
schools existed, we should learn much of Human Nature 
from Intercourse, just as we learn much of Nature from 
Experience ; Herbart admits that Education can only fill out 
the deficiencies of Intercourse and Experience. Still, the fact 
remains that if Education fail to provide " humanistic " 
material in rich abundance there is grave peril for the moral 
life, and this peril is especially great in cases where Intercourse 
is limited (as it is with poor children) to a very few persons, 
and those not necessarily of a very noble type. We need to 
know something of the infinite variety of Human Nature if we 
are to sympathise with it. This leads us to Herbart's 
remark : 

" To men above all, to humanity diverse as it is, and as it 
may and luill be found by us, a sympathy is due, 
which cannot merely develop analytically from Intercourse 
with individuals known or described, and which is still less 
likely to grow from any general concept of race, such as 
humanity. Those alone partly possess, and can in some degree 
impart it, who have created within themselves numberless 
varied pictures of humanity only the worthiest, as supplied 
by poets, and next to them by historians.'' 

" History," Herbart says elsewhere, " should be the teacher 

of mankind] if it does not become so, the blame rests largely 

with those who teach history in schools.'" And 

again: "History awakens sympathy with 

distinguished men and the iveal and woe of 

society, indirectly contributing in either case even to religious 


Interest." It must impart to pupils a " glow of sympathy " ; 
it may " co-operate with religious Instruction, otherwise the 
truths of religion stand isolated." 

And yet Herbart was no undis criminating advocate of 
History teaching. Followers or critics who read his Steiger 
letters will find passages which will disabuse them of this 
notion if they possess it, though these letters, of course, are 
not authoritative documents in the same way as his other 

It is significant that Herbart was unwilling to place before 
an unresponsive pupil, like Ludwig Steiger, " in whose bosom- 
so many human emotions slumber, .... the doings and 
sufferings of all the human "beings who have determined our 
present standpoint, who have prepared social security and art 
and science for us, iu whose infinitely manifold forms we 
ourselves are depicted. . . . Where ought we to search for and 
discern a wise providence if not in the sanctuary of history ? 
But what shall the uninitiated do here ? " In a later letter he 
said : " I have never noticed that any single great character 
excited in Ludwig more than cold admiration. . . . It is 
difficult for young people to imagine clearly human beings of 
a remote age in their mode of life and thought" In short, 
the very importance and dignity of history forbid us from 
forcing it prematurely upon pupils devoid of apperceptive 
power. Again, writing to Karl Steiger during the first year of 
the nineteenth century, Herbart remarked that history was, in 
a certain sense, a dangerous study ; the reason being that 
though it afforded material for the exercise and development 
of moral judgment, that judgment might, under certain circum- 
stances, go very wildly astray. Again he says : " Real 
characters are always too uncertain and changeable; their 
differences are too fine, their moral springs of action too 
complex." Imaginary characters have advantages for the 
instruction of the younger children, and are more of the 
nature of " test cases." 


Fortunately, however, history is not the only " humanistic " 

subject ; there is literature of every grade and kind, from the 

highest dramas of Shakespeare down to the ballad and nursery 

rhyme. In literature, characters stand forth in 

"" c * n greater simplicity than in history ; conse- 
quently the moral judgment upon them is less 
likely to err in its individual decisions and more likely to grow 
in delicacy and precision. To study the great characters of 
Shakespeare is a liberal education in itself. 

For very young children, even literature (in the ordinary 
sense) may set forth characters that are morally too complex. 
The young child's "circle of thought" is as yet fragmentary ; 
he has immense physical activity, a love of handling 
material objects, a roving imagination ; but his knowledge of 
motives and of human nature in general is but narrow. Test 
him on some moral question and he will judge in a strangely 
crude and perverse way. If proof of this be needed, it is found 
in the results of the question proposed a few years ago to 
several thousand children ; " What ought to be done to a 
little girl who, being presented with a new box of paints, 
beautified the parlour chairs with them in order to please her 

It was for young children, with unformed moral judgment, 
that Ziller brought forward his " Fairy Tale " proposal. 

" Fairy Tales (Marchen) are adapted, as is nothing else, 
to the individuality of the child, and especially to the 
predominating faculty of imagination, which is by all means 
to be cultivated, since in this are rooted all the higher strivings, 
For this reason the concept matter must be poetic. Only 
poetic thought-material allows the imagination free play, 
especially the fairy-tale material, which contains no names 
of persons or places, whose events are defined precisely 
neither as to space or time. The child who becomes absorbed 
in fairy-tales remains longer a child ; he contemplates them 
with delight, for he himself rises, as do the fairy tales, above 


the conditions of reality ; he vivifies the lifeless ; he animates 

the soulless ; he associates with all the world as with his 

equals, and loses himself in adventurous im- 

Zlller possibilities. Thus to favour the childlike views 
on Fairy-tales. f 

of things by means of, to him, congenial fairy- 
tales, cannot react harmfully upon him, because the fairy-tale 
contains, besides that subjective conception which deviates 
from the nature of things, also an abundance of objective, 
rational, not only aesthetic but also ethical, notions and 
principles, which lead far beyond the sphere of imagination. 
They serve especially to exercise the ethical judgment, and 
because the circle of acquaintance is extended to include 
inanimate things, the child finds a rich field unlocked, where, 
on account of the simplicity and correctness of the cases, it 
learns to decide easily, rapidly, and correctly." 

Child Study has shown that until ten or eleven years of 
age, there is no very definite sense of space and time ; now the 
fairy tales set space and time at defiance, and are thus 
peculiarly suitable for the young child. Again, as Frobel, 
Ziller, and many others have pointed out, the child is an 
" animist," he attributes a human soul to animals, plants, and 
even stones ; so does the fairy tale. 

The tales give wings to the imagination, elasticity to the 
mind; they help to prevent rigidity, unresponsiveness, the 
triumph of the commonplace. They conduce, in short, to 
Apperception and Interest. 

The proposal of Ziller, to use the Kobinson Crusoe story 
as the chief " humanistic " material for the second year, and 
various other proposals for the use of the " Sagas " and the 
like, need not and cannot be discussed here. The main point 
to remember is that the whole Herbartian school stress the 
"Humanities." Any kind of Education that dispenses with 
them, or perverts them into grammar- grind, is drying-up the 
moral nature of the child, making him " morally colour-blind," 
and leaving him with " low moral admirations." 


30. Religious Instruction. 

During the course of his general discussion on Synthetic 
Instruction, Herbart feels obliged to refer to the question of 
religious teaching. But his caution is here extreme. " Every- 
thing 'bordering on religion needs great discretion. As long as 
possible the religious feeling, which ought, from the earliest 
years, to depend on a single thought Providence must be 
preserved undisturbed. But all religion has a tendency to 
enter .... into speculation, and expand itself into .... 
dogmas. This tendency will not fail to be aroused in a mind 
beginning to be trained by many-sided culture." But Specu- 
lative Interest, so valuable in other departments, is here, on 

Herbart's view, positively perilous. " It is 
Avoid Dogmas. J * 

time (when the germs of such Interest appear) 

" to speak a serious word of the fruitless attempts of many 
mature minds of all times to find fixed doctrines in religion," 
time, in fact, to dissuade from premature speculation on theo- 
logical matters. "Positive religion does not come into the 
province of the teacher as such, but into that of the church 
and parents" Elsewhere Herbart says that from the stand- 
point of Education, religion must be regarded as subjective 
rather than objective, and again specially warns against the 
premature opening up of dogmatic questions. Eeligion must 
be an atmosphere rather than a formulated body of doctrines ; 
these are no concern of the school at all. " The family should 
be to the child the symbol of the order of the world ; from the 
parents idealised, it should learn the attributes of the Deity" 
Herbart's remarks on this subject may have been suggested 
by his early experience with Ludwig Steiger, a boy whose 
remarkable unresponsiveness to appeal, based upon defective 
powers of Apperception, contributed much to the final form 
assumed by Herbart's doctrines. Ludwig's " religious educa- 
tion " had by no means been neglected. Indeed, Herbarfc 
feared that " the thought of God had already become weari- 
some and repugnant " to the pupil, the inevitable effect of too- 


much direct religious teaching. The boy was intellectually, 
morally, religiously, a " barbarian" despite the teaching he 
had received, and Herbart had to begin at the beginning. 

It may be interesting, in view of the supposed " mechani- 
cal " nature of Herbarfc's educational doctrines, to read one 
of the prayers composed by him for his Swiss pupils and 
referred to in his first Steiger letter. 

Morning Prayer. " Lord God ! our dear Father in 
Heaven, take me into thy keeping I I am Thy child and 

wish to be good. Help me to be so. Let me more 
Herbart's Prayer. 7 ,. 7 -, -, -, 7 ^ 

clearly ana strongly feel day by day wriat ^s 

right and wrong, what is good and ivicked. When I ask 
anything of anyone, let me truly feel whether ivhat I ask be just 
or unjust; when I wish to speak or to act, let me see clearly 
beforehand if what I would say or do is mean, unseemly, or 
even dishonest. Help me to succeed in my work. Bless my 
industry. Give my parents, my brothers and sisters, and all 
other human beings as much happiness and as much good as 
is possible, Thou good Father in Heaven." 

Headers who regard the " five moral ideas " of Herbart as 
unintelligible in their abstract form, may be referred to this 
prayer ; it embodies all the five ideas, and shows their concrete 

In his reply to Zippel (1814) Herbart illustrates the relation 

of religious teaching to the rest of the curriculum by the 

relation of jewellery to the rest of the implements and posses- 

sions kept in a house. " The precious stones would refuse to 

fill (so) much space, it being in kind for them to concentrate 

their preciousness into very little space. Not otherwise can I 

judge of religion. I know and acknowledge 

Unobtrusiveness ^^ ^ mut constitute t j ie ^ eepest foundation 

of Religion. 

and one of the earliest beginnings of . . . . 

Education ; but a religious instruction expanding into a great 
number of regular lessons makes me afraid .... Truly 
religious people often have extremely few articles of faith; 


tliey who have investigated most keenly testify that what we 
know of religion, and consequently can, in the strict sense, 
teach and learn, contracts very narrowly into a few extremely 
simple grounds in support of a reasonable faith." Herbart 
saw more value in devotional and musical exercises than in 
formal instruction ; and though he did not entirely exclude the 
latter, he preferred to see it mainly in the hands of the clergy 
rather than ii those of teachers. However, when the affairs oi 
Ludwig Steiger assumed a critical form, when he was torn 

from his tutor and plunged amid the tempta- 
A Limited Value ,. - . ,, .,., ,. , n -, 

tions of an idle, military life there appeared a 

possible value even in " dogmas impressed 
upon him without proof '," and in his "fear of certain actions 
.... whether such fear were founded on reason or want of 
reason." In fact, Herbart saw cause, on occasion, for the 
adoption of methods which, though unpedagogical and wholly 
alien to his own views, possessed a certain rough efficacy in 
certain cases. 

I have no desire to commit readers to my own view on 
this question, but I think most observant and thoughtful 
people are coming to the opinion that though the school should 
make ample provision for " humanistic " culture, and should 
always keep character-forming before it as its supreme aim, 
the actual teaching of dogma is the business of those who 
have taken the study of theology as their life's work that is, 
ministers of religion. Otherwise the work and training of 
teachers must be quite different in different countries and 
different sects ; there can be no Science of Education on an 
equal footing with the Science of Medicine ; and there can be 
no professional future before teachers. 



Herbart and Frobel. 

31. The Doctrine of Culture-Stages. Stories from the 
Childhood of the World. 

Student-teachers who wish to be abreast of the times 
cannot devote too much study to the doctrine of " Culture- 
stages " one aspect of the doctrine of Evolution. It pervades 
the educational atmosphere ; Erobel is full of it ; modern 
Child Study is bringing new evidence in favour 

of it. What is more to the present purpose, 
of Evolution. 

we find striking hints of it in Herbart's chief 
work, published twenty years before Frobel published his. 
The truth is that the idea of Evolution was powerfully 
influencing many thinkers at the beginning of the nineteenth 
century, though until Darwin's time the difficulties in the way 
of scientific explanation were discouraging. 

Human beings, in their individual development, pass 
through stages roughly corresponding to those through which, 
as it is believed, their whole ancestry has passed in the 
countless ages of time from a tiny cell up through sundry 
intermediate stages to that of fish, and then onwards to that of 
mammal and man. 

At birth most of these stages have already been left 
behind, but the child is not yet a mature being. Twenty 
or more years have to pass before he can catch up to modern 
civilisation and appreciate it as his own. 


In Dr. Stanley Hall's book on Adolescence, and in many 

other works on Child Study, will be found much evidence 

showing that certain moral and intellectual 

Results of qualities normally appear in the child or the 
Child Study* 

youth at fairly definite periods. The passion 

for " fairy tales " is at its height when the child is six or seven. 
The passion for forming bands or " gangs " a sign that the 
meaning of social life is becoming understood appears at 
double that age. Devotion to high ideals is prominent in 
the later teens ; it is then that " conversions " are common, 
with resolutions to become a missionary, scientist, and so on. 

This principle of development is likely to prove itself very 

helpful in educational work. For example, if young children 

really correspond in many ways to the ancient 

Old-world races O f the world, is it not likely that stories 

created by those ancient races will be specially 

suitable for school use? And may not history dealing with 
those races be also attractive to children ? That is exactly 
what Herbart suggested. 

"Here (in history) we are speaking of human beings to 
whom sympathy is due, to whom we ought to bring none but 
sympathising onlookers ; this sympathy comes most naturally 
to those who cannot as yet look with us into the future, 
because they have hitherto not so much as understood the 
present, and for whom, on this very account, the past is the 
true present. . . . A time of youth is depicted (in ancient 
Greek authors) such as we ought to have passed through." 

" A time of youth is depicted " in these stories of the 
ancient Greeks! A time with which our present-day young 
people can spontaneously sympathise, into which they can 
transport themselves, from which they can draw inspiration I 
Such is Herbart's pregnant thought ; and certainly the child 
likes these ancient stories, is marvellously receptive towards 
them, and may thus be regarded as occupying, in certain 
respects, the stage of development they represent. It may be 


objected that the child lives in the present, and is concerned 
with the flowers, animals, and material objects that surround 
it. This, in large measure, is true so far as Knowledge of 
physical nature is concerned ; but on matters of Sympathy, the 
view of Herbart and his followers is probably the right one ; 
the child is here more akin to the feelings of the vanished past 
than to those of the present age. The adult, nay, the youth, 
looks forward into the future, seeing 

" The Vision of the World and all the wonder that shall be ; " 
a Vision that starts from the imperfections of the present and 
would fain remove them. But the young child knows little 
of this, and feels more at home with the 
unreflecting and simple-minded heroes of the 
past than with the wearied and thought-laden 

men who bear 

" The heavy and the weary weight 

Of all this unintelligible world ; " 

and to whom Gray's " Elegy," with its adult view of life and 
death, is intelligible in a way not possible to a child. 

For the child, as Herbart says, the past may be the true 
present. " The adult's sphere is among cultivated people, 
too high, and too much, determined by relationships which we 
would not willingly explain to the little boy if we could." 

The old stories of the Greeks (to which might be added 
stories of Teutonic, Keltic, and other races) may thus possess 
an educational value of the highest kind. 

It is by travelling along the road once travelled by our 
forefathers in the childhood of the world that we can become 
public -spirited and unselfish beings, identified with human 
progress. " If sympathy for society is to arise from simple, 
sincere, transparent feelings . . . then it must follow the 
course of human conditions up to the present, beginning from 
that condition which is the first to express itself clearly 
enough. . . . Truly the past has divulged but a few of 
its conditions ; still more seldom has it impressed itself as 


clearly and many-sidedly as Education might wish. Priceless, 
therefore, are those documents in which it speaks to us with 
full-toned, loving voice ; we must complete the rest in imagina- 
tion. . . . In a patriotically -minded nation . . . 
its little six-year old children will tell you of the ' children of 
an older growth, 1 the heroes of past ages; they relate the 
stories amongst themselves ; they rise upwards in union with 
their country's history; they strive to become men of the 
nation, and they DO become so. The ancients knew their 
Homer by heart ; they did not learn it as men but as boys. 
He it was who formed the general character of the youth, and 
his pupils do him no discredit." 

In the long passage just given we see in what sense the 

teaching of ancient Greek and other legends is truly 

" synthetic " ; it provides images of those sirnp- 

e eac ing o ^ e } emen ^ s o f human nature which enter into 

the more complex forms of modern society. 

Without an early sympathy with human nature in its naive 
forms, there can arise no genuine sense of citizenship or 

Herbart proceeds to amplify his views on the use of Greek 

literature poetical, historical, and philosophical. The value 

of it is not primarily scientific or aesthetic, but humanistic ; it 

represents, " above all, persons and opinions, 11 and asks for 

these "a friendly reception. 11 Consequently translations 

must be extensively used, for the acquisition of the Greek 

language is not the main thing aimed at, but 

Translations ^ e a pp rec j a ^ on o f human thought and feeling. 

Useful. cir 

In the case of the more well-to-do pupils 

immediately under the consideration of Herbart, the Greek 
language itself could be acquired, but even for them the teacher 
must " confine grammatical instruction within the narrowest 
possible limits, 11 though it may be quite sound and scientific 
so far as it goes. The question is not one of the relative ease 
or difficulty of the Greek language, but that we learn it as a 


means, not as an end. " Skill (in the language) must not 
attempt to gain more than the credit of good service. 11 

Books must be selected in accordance with this view of 
their aim. The Odyssey is to be preferred to the Iliad; in 
early years the Philoctetes of Sophocles,* later some of the 
historical works of Xenophon ; still later, when the notion of 
citizenship is developing, the Kepublic of Plato these are 
some of Herbart's suggestions for that humanistic Synthetic 
Instruction which is to complete the imperfect teaching of 
human Intercourse. Such Instruction " must be begun early " ; 
if such has not been the case, the age for the appreciation of 
these writers may be passed ; the teacher must then " leave 
the Greeks on one side," and seek to realise the educational 
goal by an analysis and by supplementing the existent stores 
of thought in the comparatively adult pupil. But normally 
the starting-point must be with Greek ; then will follow Latin ; 
later, modern languages. 

Herbart, of course, is not thinking of primary schools t 
which, indeed, scarcely existed in any numbers when he wrote 
the words. In 1806 Fichte had not uttered his great call for 
popular Education; Pestalozzi had only just gone to Yverdon; 
the House of Lords were about to reject the first bill for 
establishing a public elementary school in every English parish. 
No, Herbart is thinking mainly of the middle -class child. But 
what he says can be applied to the poor man's child in a 
special manner. For the child whose life is to be passed amid 
the dingy grey of London streets stands in special want of 
stories ; he needs to have his imagination fed while there is 
time, far more than any other child. 

And even Herbart's words, concerning translations have their 
value /for the primary teacher. We are too apt to think that 

*Not knowing much Latin or Greek, I did not realise the exact value of 
this suggestion until I examined a translation of the Philoctetes. But all was 
clear when I read of the youthful, heroic Neoptolemus, and the simple but 
pathetic motives that operate in the play. 


poem and story and history must always come from the 

printed page ; that the presentation of these things through 

word of mouth is a poor and weak device, 

, This is only another form of the fallacy 
Primary Schools. 

which prevails in the ranks of secondary 
teachers that unless a boy reads Greek books in the original 
he should not read them at all ; that translations are useless 
and ignominious. But the Herbartians, as already explained 
in Section 22, always lay stress on substance rather than 
form, and therefore do not despise either oral narration or 
prepared translations. 

Dr. Stanley Hall, describing how certain impulses and 
likings make themselves felt at definite times, tells us that 
they are, so to speak, visitations of the Holy Ghost, which must 
not be " sinned away " or allowed to pass fruitless. American 
thought is full of the idea. Headers may be interested to 
know that Herbart, at the age of twenty -one, was in 
possession of it. 

In his first Steiger letter, referring to Ludwig's desire to 
study natural history, he says : " The most important thing of 

all is, he wishes it NOW. This wish, if not 
"There is a . 7 , . . 7 . , 

seized ana ut^L^sea at once, will no more 

return than the pleasure with which Ludwig 
at Karl's age would have read Homer. My own sad experience 
makes me daily regret that so little heed was given, ivhen I 
was young, to such wishes." Here we have a clear suggestion 
of at least two stages of child development. The words 
strongly remind us of some of Frobel's, in which he says that 
if the spontaneous likings of childhood are ignored there will be 
dark places in the intellect and hard spots in the heart for the 
rest of life. " We feel," says Herbart in another place, " that 
something has been left behind which we ought to have with 
us. Vainly would we wish to make it up by efforts" 

There are few other hints in Herbart's chief work of a 
Culture Stages doctrine, though readers must keep in mind 


that it is a doctrine far less prominent with him than with his 

follower Ziller. In fact, the notion is not very characteristically 

" Herbartian " ; the stress is clearly upon a 

Further Hints of ^ organ j c un f o l(Ji n g rather than upon 

the Doctrine. * 

a process of building up a thought-circle. Still, 

Herbart never ignored the principle of heredity, and, with it, 
the principle of unfolding. Once again, indeed, I would affirm 
that he never ignored anything. 

In discussing " Synthetic Instruction " he prescribes " a 
chronological progress from the old to the new." Again, the 
study of speculative systems is begun " most advantageously 
with the oldest and simplest." " The continuous study of 
modern times," we read in the Aesthetische Darstellung 
* belongs to mature youth." These, and a very few more 
hints, are, so far as I know, all the contributions made by 
Herbart to the doctrine now under consideration. They are 
enough to show that in 1806 he was as conscious of its 
importance as Dr. Stanley Hall in 1906. 

If space permitted, I could tell of the many attempts made 
to arrange, not only humanistic subjects, but others also in 
such an order as to conform alike to the historical development 
of the race and the personal development of the child two 
developments that are supposed to run roughly parallel. Ziller's 
Concentration scheme starting from Fairy Tales (supposed to 
.correspond to a very primitive period of human development) ; 

going on to a Kobinson Crusoe period, when 
Ziller's Scheme. D 

man was learning the use of tools, etc. ; on 

again, to the patriarchal period indicated in the book of 
Genesis ; on yet again to the prophetic period, and then to the 
New Testament this scheme is full of suggestiveness, and, 
with modifications, is obtaining a good deal of support from 
leaders of modern pedagogy. Dr. Hall, for example, urges 
that previous to the age of twelve most boys are in an " Old 
Testament" stage, and are incapable of appreciating New 
Testament ethics : such an appreciation can only come, as a 


rule, when adolescence has lifted the boy to a new moral 
plane when he feels the claims of society and finds a new 
meaning in " sin." 

Others are urging that just as theological creeds came 
historically late so they should come educationally late ; that 

just as mathematics began in Egypt with land 
r tl surveying, so practical and concrete measuring 

should, in our schools, precede more abstract 
work ; that science teaching should similarly take account of 
the historical stages of discovery, and so on. 

I would only add one warning. The parallelism between 
racial and individual development is likely to work wonders in 
education, but it must ever be treated with moderation and 
caution. We know all too little about the early history of 
man ; and, moreover, history does not always record a continual 

advance. To attempt to reproduce in every 

Value child the tortuous course of man's evolution 
and Danger of . 

the Doctrine. m a ^ " s com pleteness even if we know it 
completely would probably be pedagogical folly. 
Our business is to study the child's own nature, and ascertain his 
needs at each stage. We can get many a useful hint from 
historical evolution, but we must be careful not to accept 
them uncritically. 

32. The Education of the very young Child; Hints of the 
Kindergarten in Herb art. 

A remarkable passage almost a parenthesis in his discus- 
sion of Synthetic Instruction shows how closely, at one- 
point, Herbart approached to the views of his contemporary, 
Frobel; or, rather, how the principles he enunciated are- 
inclusive of those enunciated by the founder of the Kinder- 

By means of " Synthetic Instruction,' 11 an ^Esthetic- 
Presentation of the Universe is to be given to the child a 
grasp of the sum-total of reality in its two great aspects of 


Nature and Man. But the elements of this great Presentation 
must not be imprinted on the mind through the rote method 
of " learning by heart " ; there must be all kinds of devices, 
examples, symbols, etc. " I suggested marking out with bright 
nails on a board the typical triangles, and placing them 
continually within sight of the child in its cradle. I was 
laughed at. Well, people may laugh at me still more. For, 
I thought, place near this board, sticks and balls painted with 
various colours ; I constantly change, combine, and vary these 
sticks, and later on plants and the child's playthings of every 
kind. I take a little organ into the nursery, and sound simple 
tones and intervals for a minute at a time. I add a pendulum 
. . . that its rhythmic relations may be observed. . . . Yes, who 
knows whether I would not adorn the walls of the nursery ivith 
very large, gaily painted letters ? "* 

Those who have been led to believe that Herbart's system 
is ultra-bookish will read these words with surprise. It is 
true that there are not many passages in his works that lay 
stress on such factors as those mentioned above, and the 
reason is obvious ; Herbart had a right to assume that 
PestalozzVs doctrines were known to his readers. Now, the 
most characteristic of Pestalozzi's doctrines was the one that 
urged the necessity for the handling and observing of concrete 
objects in fact, the doctrine of Anschauung. There was no 
need for Herbart to go over the old ground. 

But he is fully able to justify himself for his advocacy of 
early and rich Anschauung. " The abrupt and troublesome 
process of stamping things on the mind, called earning by 
heart, will be either not necessary or very easy if only the 
elements of synthesis are early made constituent parts of 
the child's experience. They will then, so far as possible, steal 
imperceptibly in among the incomparably greater accumulation 

* A very similar passage is found in the AEG of Anschauung ; in fact, as 
the above passage shows, Herbart's plan had been before the public for some 
time, and had been " laughed at." This was twenty-four years before Frtfbel 
published his Education of Man. 


of things with their names ivhich, at the time of learning to 
speak, can be comprehended luith such wonderful facility. 
But," and here, perhaps, Herbart was thinking of the more 
narrow-minded advocates of Pestalozzian procedure, of whom 
there were already some, " I am not the fool to think the 
salvation of mankind depends on such trifling aids as may, 
more or less, lighten and forward instruction." 

In Herbart's Lectures, published five years after Frobel's 
Education of Man, but not, apparently, influenced by it, we 
find further suggestions for work that may be called Frobelian. 
"Arranging . . . is appropriate for children. That two 
objects may change places from right to left . . . and vice versa 
this is the beginning. The next step is to show that three 
objects admit of six permutations in a straight line. To find 
how many pairs can be formed out of a given number of 
objects is one of the easiest problems . . , not letters, however, 
but objects the children themselves should be changed about, 
permuted, and varied in position. The teaching of a subject 
like this must, in a measure, have the semblance of play . . . 
Use may be made of knitting needles variously placed, of 
domino checks, and of similar objects. Next comes the circle 
. . . The play -impulse remains active for a long time, unless 
checked by conventionality.' 11 Again, " much learning, sitting 
especially useless writing in copy-books are condemned" 

Anyone who knows the interior of a modern infant school 
will recognise in these recommendations of Herbart the very 
methods now adopted for the teaching of number by means of 
sticks, planes, and groups of children. And the reference to 
"play" is significant. I have no desire whatever to exalt 
Herbart by depreciating other reformers, but in the interests 
of truth it should be pointed out that if Frobel presented the 
world with some wonderfully helpful hints with regard to play, 
and other matters, and invented a phrase (" kindergarten ") 
that is occasionally useful, Herbart presented the world with 
the same hints (and dozens more), and invented not one term 


only (and that one open to criticism), but a whole series of" 
helpful, illuminating, and mutually related formulae. However, 
our present concern is with the "Frobelian" aspects of 
Herbart's work. 

His other references to the educational use of play or 
games are significant. In Letter XVI. he gave his approval to 
" a playful kind, of procedure in very early instruction" 
though he condemned the elevation of play to a universal 
method. What could sound more Frobelian than the following, 
published eighteen years before Frobel published anything? 
" We can, we ought to foster, to guide, to watch continuously 
the earliest employments to which the child spontaneously shows 
itself invited by surrounding objects . . . We may always PLAY 
with the child, guide it in playing to something useful, if ive 
have previously understood the earnestness which lies in the 
child's play and the spontaneous efforts with which it will 
work itself out in happy moments." Elsewhere, he says that the 
true teacher " is not misled into turning Instruction into play, 
nor, on the other hand, designedly into work; he sees before 
him a serious business, and tries to forward it with a gentle 
but steady hand." Many times he stresses the value of varied 
occupations and boyish games as a counteractive of lawless- 
ness. Nay, in his last great work, he boldly defines Interest 
as " Self -activity." " Strenuous Effort " is sometimes to be 
the pupil's duty; though " severe tests of this kind must never 
be permitted to become the rule." Conversely, mere " desultory 
play is liable to end in ENNUI." 

Again, we find Herbart laying stress upon "counting, 
measuring, weighing" as an introduction to mathematics the 
. very proposal recently made by the scientists of the British 
Association. There should be " the measuring of lines, angles* 
and arcs (for which many children's games, constructive in 
tendency, may present the first occasion)." He had made the 
same proposal forty years before. " The aim is not merely to 
secure keenness of observation for objects of sense, but, pre~ 


eminently, to awaken geometrical imagination and to connect 
arithmetical thinking with it. Indeed, exercises of this sort 
constitute the necessary, although commonly neglected, 
preparation for mathematics." 

There are many other passages in Herbart's works which 
show, not only how closely he approximated to Frobel on 
many matters, or rather how he anticipated Frobel, but also 
how strictly " Herbartian " are those American writers who 
are seeking to show the identity of " Interest " with " Self- 
activity." He emphasises, as Frobel does, the danger of 
allowing school to be sundered from the other activities of 
life, and he urges (for example, in Letter XXXY. to 
Griepenkerl) the value of active open-air work and of imitating 
this or that mechanic at his toil. He speaks of the pleasure in 
handling material to make it into some shape (Letter 
XXXIV.). And though, for reasons of his own, he built up a 
psychology on presentational foundations, he was filled with a 
sense of how great an influence the bodily constitution exerted 
upon the mind. He sees that many so-called " educational " 
problems are really medical or dietary. 
33. Herbart's Rejection of the "Plant" Analogy of Frobel. 

We have seen that many of the practical suggestions of 
Herbart coincide with those of Frobel, and that most, if not 
all of them, actually preceded Frobel' s in time. 

But the speculative standpoints of the two men seem 
far apart, and there sometimes arises a sharp contrast of 

Herbart asks expressly (he was not replying to Frobel, for 
Frobel was an unknown man in the early years of the nine- 
teenth century) "Does the principle of a man's Education lie 
in himself in the sense in which the whole shape of a plant 
lies prepared in its germ, or does the construction of his 
personality originate in the course of his life ? " The former 
view (afterwards Frobel's) results in making education " pas- 
sive, observant, protective " ; the teacher is a gardener only : 


the latter view though held in limits by the facts of innate 
constitution was Herbart's. " Education," he said, "must 
regard its office in very essence as consisting of giving and 
withdrawing. Education by no means consists merely in 
supervising and tending, like our gardening art that makes 
only plants its care. . . . Man, capable of becoming, as you 
will, a wild animal or personified reason, and formed inces- 
santly by circumstances, needs an art which shall build him 
up and construct him in order that he may receive the form 
that is right." 

The reader is here face to face with great issues. I have 
already quoted words from typical modern educationists like 
Professor Welton and Mr. Skrine to the effect that mental life 
cannot be " built up from without," and that the teacher's 
business is to " draw out what is already in" the pupil. But 
I have also pointed out that, as a matter of fact, mental life 
can be " built up from without " that this is actually being 
done by the Fagins of the world, by the Catholic Church, and 
by other agencies, criminal, ecclesiastical, bad, good, or in- 
different. The Frobelians and many other educationists say 
or imply that it cannot be done (perhaps they do not actually 
mean what they say that is their business) ; the Herbartians 
say that it can. As soon as we have decided which party is 
right, or how far each party is right (for there must be truth 
on both sides), the educational atmosphere will be a little less 
foggy than it is. 

My present concern is to call attention to what Herbart 
says on this vitally important subject. He, at any rate, 
believed that Education could "build up," and he saw, or 
thought he saw, in Pestalozzi's method, signs of agreement 
with his own view. 

" Its peculiar merit consists in having laid hold more 
boldly and more zealously than any former method of the 
duty of building up the child's mind, of constructing in it a 
definite experience .... not acting as if the child had 


already an experience, but taking care that he gets one." 
And yet, as Herbart goes on to point out, the human mind 
must not be regarded as a tabula rasa ; it has an activity of 
its own, and to this, Instruction must in measure seek to adapt 
itself. Still, one of the most characteristic features of Her- 
barfc's teaching is the stress it lays upon the need of 
construction from ivithout. As he says in his Lectures, the 
pupils must be to some extent passive, though the passivity 
must not be an oppressive one but one that stimulates the 
good in them. 

In his suggestive essay of 1812 (On the Dark Side of 
Pedagogy), he again rejects the view that the life of each 
human being is the development along fixed lines of a germ 
whose constitution is settled at birth. Not at birth, but 
during the first one or two decades of human existence, does 
the " germ " take on its more or less " settled " constitution. 
" All the more freedom remains to the educator's activity, who 
in early youth in large part himself forms the germ from 
which subsequently is produced what is apparently organic.'* 

Any teacher who wishes to summarise Herbart's view in its 
opposition to Frobel's can do so in the words just quoted; 
Education can, in large part, "form the germ " or build up 
the soul. 

But Herbart's language, bold though it is, receives all 
necessary qualifications from Herbarb himself. This man 
never gives himself away to his critics, for, to a supreme 
degree, he is ever his own critic. The educator is far more 
than a gardener, but, as time goes on (I am quoting from 
Herbart's essay On the Proper Point of View for Judging the 
Pestalozzian Method of Instruction), Education "grows more 
and more similar to the art of gardening. The blessings of 
Education change more and more into mere almsgiving. . . . 
True giving and withdrawing diminish. In a child's mind a 
definite Interest may be implanted ; the Interest of a youth can 
only be fostered. A child believes what it is told, thinks what 


it has heard, does what it has seen. We build a world for it 
by pictures and tales. In a youth, on the contrary, we can 
only widen or narrow the ivorld in which he lives ; in it he 
builds himself a hut, disdaining a palace built elsewhere 
against his sentiments. 11 

No words could serve better to bring out the distinction 
between the standpoints of the two men. While Herbart does 
not ignore the part played by innate constitution, he realises 
more keenly than Frobel the need of ideas conferred early 
in life; these have a force, an efficacy, that is solemnly, 
tragically great. After a certain age, Interest has taken on 
its main outlines ; Character begins to stiffen ; Apperception 
moves along fairly unchangeable lines. The germ now grows, 
with some inevitableness, to its final form. With Frobel, on 
the other hand, this early formative influence of ideas is, in 
appearance at least, underestimated. The teacher must be a 
gardener from the first; "passive, observant, protective." 

Is Frobel right, or Herbart ? 
34. Physical Health and Exercise. 

The present moment in educational history is seeing an 
increased stress laid on physical training. The air is full of 
proposals for " organised games " and the like, Frobel being 
regarded as the apostle of the movement. 

In point of fact, twenty years before Frobel wrote his 

Education of Man, and indeed a little before he became a 

teacher at all, Herbart, in his ABC of Anschauung, had laid 

stress on manual dexterity and inventiveness. I shall show, 

too, that in his great work of 1806 and his supplementary work 

of 1835 there is the same stress. In spite of all this, Herbart 

is popularly supposed to have been an advocate of purely 

didactic methods. If " action springs out of 

Did Herbart ^ ^^ of thought " ; if Herbart had " no 

Ignore Physical J " 

Education ? conception of Miducation without Instruction ; 

if the formation of the circle of thought 
" is everything to the teacher, for out of thoughts come 


feelings, and from them principles and modes of action ," what 
logical place is there in Herbart's system for any stress on the 
physical ? 

Well, the difficulty can easily be solved ; it is similar to the 
one that arose in connection with Discipline, Instruction, and 
Training. Herbart is careful to draw distinctions when these 
seem necessary for clearness of thought. He recognises nay, 
he stresses in a manner that is remarkable or even prophetic 
in a G-erman of the early nineteenth century the importance 
of the physical factor, but he says that, if we are to develop a 
Science of Education or Pedagogy, we must mark off a 
province for it. 

Now there is a Science of Medicine, and a Science 
of Theology : and there are two professions those of 
physician and clergyman devoted to these two sciences. 
Similarly, there is to be a Science of Teaching, and a 
profession devoted to that science. As far as possible we 
should distinguish between various provinces 

of work. If we do not, we shall find the 

teacher being constantly interfered with and 
dictated to by clergymen, physicians, and other people. In 
point of fact, this is exactly what we do find at the present 
moment, and we should be grateful to Herbart, alike for 
pointing out where the teacher's work ends and the clergyman's 
begins (p. 140), and for indicating that, though a teacher may 
be called upon to look after the health of his pupils, this task 
is not in his peculiar province, but is really a department of 
the physician's work, deputed to the teacher for convenience. 
No doubt, good health is a requisite for Character, but the 
care for good health is a teacher's business only in a derivative 
sense ; his special business I cannot too often repeat this, 
because it is so often denied is to teach. The purpose of 
teaching, the methods of teaching, the arrangement of the 
curriculum, the principles of organisation these are the 
teacher's special and peculiar concern : no other profession is 


competent to deal with them. If ever the teacher is to stand 
on his own feet as a self-respecting professional, it will be when 
he has realised that he has this definite province for his own. 

I am more and more struck, as I study Herbart, by his 

inexhaustible common-sense. He says exactly what the 

" man-in-the-street " says, only he says it out of a fulness of 

knowledge not usually possessed by that type of modern 

level-headedness. The man-in-the-street says 

Herbart s ^^ ^ teacher's business is to teach; Herbart 
Common Sense. 

almost alone among educationists says the 

same. The man-in-the-street says that Education is more 
than " drawing-out " ; Herbart says the same. The man-in- 
the-street says Well, I could point out a dozen matters 

in which Herbart agrees with the man-in-the-street and dis- 
agrees with those educationists who identify Education with 
Paradox ; and one of these matters is that of physical training. 
" The care of health is essentially a part of the Formation 
of Character, though without belonging to the Science of 
Education." " Education is scarcely possible when ill-health 
has to be considered ; a healthy, ordered life therefore must be 
the basis and the first preparation for Education." In the 
first three years of the pupil's life, " care for the body has 
precedence of everything else" though such care falls " outside 
the limits " of the discussion. There must be no excessive 
sitting still ; lessons should be intermitted to 
Herbart's Stress a n ow o f exercise in the open air. "Every 

on Health and 7777^7, ,7 7 7 

. school should have not only spacious school- 

rooms, but also a playground" One of the 
advantages of singing, Herbart points out, is that it promotes 
health.* There were advantages, too, in Pestalozzi's plan of 
simultaneous class-speaking, for thus " on none of the pupils 
was the yoke of inactivity and silence imposed. The craving 
for diversion was satisfied." 

* In my Educational Ideas of Pestalozzi and Frobel (p. 69) I had half- 
heartedly suggested that Herbart ignored Singing ; I am glad to correct the 


Eeference has already been made to Herbart's approval of 
children's games. " We ought . . . to try and give free play 
to youthful energy . . . Those who grow up merely passive, 
as obedient children, have no character when they are released 
from supervision. 11 Youths even boys must be made 
" active agents. 11 " As far as safety permits, the spontaneous 
activity of the child should have free play . . . that lie may 
get practice in the use of every limb. 11 The value of activity 
is not only physical, but moral. The child must jostle with his 
fellows, and get to know the world ; a fugitive and cloistered 
virtue, brought about by a too careful shielding from the evil 
around him, is not a good preparation for life. Children must 
" accommodate themselves to and associate with each other in 
their own way, 11 and be "judiciously left to themselves. If or 
where human beings, big or little, rub against each other, the 
relationships with which moral perceptions are connected 
develop abundantly and spontaneously." Herbart also put in 
a word in favour of children being allowed to form organisa- 
tions, a hint which, along with the others above given, places 
him side by side with the most modern educational thought. 

In a later section, further evidence will be adduced to show 
that however firmly Herbart held to his dictum that " action 
springs out of the circle of thought, 11 he was not, as commonly 
imagined, the advocate of a merely intellectual Education. 

In concluding this section I must re-affirm that almost 
everything of importance taught by Frobel was taught or 
hinted by Herbart. Frobel, however, worked at the problem 
of infant training in a way that was never possible to Herbart, 
and has thus made a priceless contribution that may fairly be 
called his own, to Pedagogy. Herbart's achievement was, 
nevertheless, greater than Frobel's, because while anticipating 
Frobel in his own province, he also sets forth a system of clear 
and coherent educational ideas applicable to every grade and 
problem of Education. 


35. Relation of Herbartianism to the "Practical" Needs 
of Life. 

One of the advantages claimed for Frobel's system is that, 
by dignifying labour and developing practical skill, it helps to 
solve some pressing problems of the day. In an age of com- 
petition, a system of Education must expect to be challenged 
on practical, if not utilitarian grounds. This has happened in 
the case of Herbartianism. 

In one sense, the system is pre-eminently " practical " 
Character-forming is its avowed aim. Knowledge has to 
become a vital thing, nob remain a dead acquirement. Instruc- 
tion has to be " Educative Instruction," Instruction that makes 
for Character by arousing Interest and creating apperceptive 

Now it is clear that Herbartianism, if capable of effecting 

this, is in a true sense though not in the vulgar sense 

"practical." Every blow struck in the interests 

Character- Q ^ Q^J.^^QJ. j s a \ ) [ QW f or succe ss in all worthy 

is "Practical." professions and occupations of life. At least 

half of an artisan's inefficiency is due to defects 
of Character, such as habits of intemperance and indifference 
to duty. 

But the question still remains whether Herbartianism 
allows for that special mode of equipment known as " technical 
education," Education for some definite trade or profession. 

In the strict sense it does not. It is true that Herbart's 
follower, Ziller, suggested the inclusion of special professional 
classes in the school system, such classes to be, of course, for 
elder pupils only. It is equally true that Herbart and his 
successors would no more have denied the necessity for 
technical education than they would the 
,. necessity for food, clothing, or shelter. But 
Education. Herbart would say to permit a confusion oi 
purposes to spring up ; to allow purely techni- 
cal education to be regarded as being on the same level with 


Education proper (Character-forming Education), is as foolish 
and fatal as to confuse mere external Discipline with genuine 
moral Training. This is another instance of how Herbartians 
draw a sharp distinction, not because the agencies in question 
can be rigidly separated in practice, but because, without 
clearness of view, Education can never save itself from 
stagnation and from confusion of aim and motive. 

To show that Herbart did not ignore the technical side of 
training I would mention that in his Lectures he says, referring 
to " trade schools and polytechnics" that these "presuppose a 
completed education, completed to the extent permitted by 

There is a sense, however, in which Herbartianism un- 
doubtedly contributes to professional success. Not only does 
it seek to create moral fervour this, as already said, is an 
essential in the battle of life but it seeks to create an adapta- 
bility, a mental fervour, of no small value in the utilitarian 
sense. Premature specialisation has no severer foe than 
Herbart, but it is Herbart who also says, " the man of many- 
sided culture possesses a many-sided equipment; his choice 
may be made late, for he will easily attain the 

> 1 t\ T" 8 necessar y skilfulness in any case, and by a 
later choice he will gain infinitely in the 
certainty of not going wrong from a mistaken conception of 
his own character, or from changeable circumstances." Ziller 
expresses the same truth when he says that Many-sided 
Interest is " an aid to one's earthly activity ; " and a " salva- 
tion amid the storms of fate;" the narrowly -trained man 
possesses no power of adaptation to the changeable conditions 
of life. 

To attempt a more special preparation for life was severely 
condemned by Herbart. " Education does not work for the 
vocation in life" Some teachers may seek " to cram tlie 
youthful mind by means of divers anxious artifices with a 
number of acquirements for ordinary life," but Herbart is 


convinced that a more general training is in every way prefer- 
able ; " where health and the proper proportions of intellectual 
Interest have been cared for, as much judgment and flexibility 
as a man requires to get throngh life will, in the end, be 
spontaneously forthcoming" Herbart, then, never denies the 
necessity for technical institutions; but he does, with great 
emphasis, put forward the claims of general culture as a 
necessary preliminary to all preparation of a special kind ; and 
he sees that unless this has been acquired, 
General Educa- technical instruction will be in large measure 

Technical was ted J the pupil's flexibility of mind will be 

inadequate for the demands placed upon it. 

" Mental culture is the central point of all education. It is 

only the men who are allowed to grow up with dull minds . . . 

who are ignorant how to get on with the world and themselves." 

Towards the end of his section on Many-sided Interest he 
remarks: "A well-grounded, genuine, many-sided Interest. . . 
will withstand narrowing or contraction, will itself give its 
vote on the plan of life, itself choose and reject ways and 
means, open out prospects, win friends, put the envious to 

Still, when one has admitted the general truth of all these 
contentions, the question may still be raised whether Herbart'a 
system is adequate to meet the stress and strain of modern 
economic conditions. He has been accused of thinking mainly 
of middle-class education, and his own experience with the 
Steigers was not experience with pupils who had to think early 
of the stern realities of life ;* in this respect his career stands 
in sharp contrast to that of Pestalozzi. 

One must, perhaps, conclude that Herbart's plea for 
culture as a necessary pre-requisite for moral sensitiveness 
and force will have to undergo a certain limitation in view 
of the stern conditions amid which many of our poor grow up. 

* In one passage of his first Steiger letter he expresses his regret that 
Ludwig did not feel "Me spur of external circumstances which so often force 
onwards the children of needy parents." 



But a merely " utilitarian " education is out of the question. 
The narrower the lives of people are, the more need that they 
should have glimpses, when at school, of humanising truth. 
But the Herbartian phrase, " Many-sided Interest," may have 
to be displaced by some such phrase as 

"Many-sided" Several-sided Interest " ; and, while a certain 

" Several-sided ?aniount of comprehensive culture must in any 

case be given, the teacher's special aim may be 
rather to create a winning atmosphere for the humdrum tasks 
of life, to show the moral and civic significance of these, than 
to implant many heterogeneous germs of possible interests. 
But, after all, that is what Herbart always insisted upon ; 
Instruction has to build upon Experience and Intercourse, not 
despise them. If our plans, however humanistic, are wholly 
in the air instead of being based securely upon these dual 
foundations, they will inevitably fail; Better, perhaps, a 
narrowly utilitarian education than one whose exalted aims are 
doomed never to be attained. The consoling thing is that the 
materials for Character- forming Instruction are simple and 
accessible : a few books, a few plants, the sky above . . . and 
teachers I 

Looked at fairly, then, Herbartianism is as " practical " as 
Spencer's proposals. Almost in the words of the English 
philosopher, Herbart said, " The most necessary Instruction 
must be that which teaches man what he most needs to know. 
Now, what is needful to us is needful either to our physical 
or our moral nature. We need it either as sensuous beings to 
enable us to live, or we need it as beings in the social relations 
of citizenship, family life, and so forth, in order that we mat! 
know and do our duty." (On Pestalozzi's Most Recent 
Publication, " How Gertrude Teaches her Children.") 

36. What the Teacher Cannot Do. 

From what has just been said, it is clear that Herbart 
never regarded Instruction as all-powerful. His critics have 
been prone to imagine that, because he could see no meaning 
in an Education that did not rest largely on Instruction on 


an ^Esthetic Presentation of the Universe he failed to per- 
ceive the limitations of this. 

But it is perfectly clear that he did perceive these limita- 
tions, though he would not say, with Frobel, that Education 
must be " passive, observant, protective." 

In the first place there are the limitations of Individuality 

which may seriously interfere with the carrying out of the 

educational ideal. Throughout Herbart's letters to Griepenkerl 

we find him emphasising, again and again, 

imi ing Power ^ ^ psychological mechanism is checked or 
of Individuality. 

even, in extreme cases, dislocated by physical 

and psychical peculiarities. Our Science of Education, he tells 
us, cannot overcome an organic hindrance; cannot, for example, 
make an artist out of any child chosen at chance. The 
temperaments and peculiarities of pupils sometimes oppose 
unconquerable hindrances to the teacher, sometimes provide 
advantages of which he must make use. 

When, in elaborating the question of " Steps of Instruc- 
tion" he came to discuss the appearance on the scene of 
Speculative and ^Esthetic activity (two out of the three kinds 
of Interest connected with " Nature," the other being " Em- 
pirical "), Herbart declares most explicitly that " taste, as well 
as speculation (or meditation), is something original ivhich 
cannot be learned" " We ought therefore," he continues, " to 
expect that, in the sphere of sufficiently Jcnoiun objects, both 
must become active luithout delay, if the mind be not other- 
wise distracted or oppressed" 

There are also, in the second great department, innate 
forces at work. " As the most barbarous nations are not with- 
out divinities, so the souls of children have a presentiment of 
an unseen power," which presentiment, the basis of future 
religion, will however, in normal cases, first attach itself to 
parents and guardians a hint for the best method of religious 

Again, Instruction is regarded by Herbart rather as the 
supplement though a priceless and indispensable one of 


Experience and Intercourse, than as an independent agency. 

" We are . . . forcibly impressed with the necessity for a 

preliminary inquiry into the course usually 

Limiting Power ^^ , natures left to themselves in the 

Environment, gradual formation of their Character. For 

we ~know that men formed from any but the 
softest clay, do not ivait for the Character which the teacher 
wishes to give them. Sow often in this respect are labour 
and anxiety thrown away, in the effort to produce what is 
self-formed, and in the end must be taken, when completed, 
as it is found." Even in his early "Introductory Lecture" 
(1802), Herbart had said, " the World and Nature, take them 
as a whole, do much more for the pupil than Education can, 
upon an average, pride itself on doing." 

About the same time (in his essay on Pestalozzi's How 
Gertrude Teaches her Children), he admits that just as 
" everyone is obliged to learn his trade with a master in that 
trade" so "man forms his moral nature for himself, and in 
the midst of life. The school can undertake a part only of 
the Instruction which a man needs. The school is to do as 
much as it can do. For its purposes, therefore, the first and 
most important are those means of Education, the efficacy of 
which extends furthest, begins earliest, and is most frequently 
renewed by opportunity" Similarly, in his reply to Zippel, 
he says (1814) : " What the world, example, converse, family, 
and, above all, the silent self-efficacy of mind ivorking within 
itself contribute, is not under the control of the school. It does 
all that is possible if it puts properly in motion the educative 
force which resides in the sciences." 

Again, there is much that is unpreventable even in school 
work itself. " Mere change of teachers " causes pupils to " make 
comparisons " ; " Instruction is powerless to obviate such evils." 

The above remarks are sufficient to show that Herbart did 
not " neglect Individuality," and did not " neglect Environ- 
ment," as he is sometimes supposed to have done. What ha 
" neglected " was nothing. 



Some Concluding Problems of 
Instruction and Training. 

37. Direct Moral Education. Distinction between the Objective 
and Subjective Sides of Character.* 

In the present exposition of Herbart's ideas my aim is not 
to set forth his proposals with regard to the teaching of this 
or that subject though he made many, as will be shown in 
another volume, and they are wonderfully modern and helpful. 
My desire is that modern teachers may feel he has presented 
us with a system; a series of interconnected and highly 
significant concepts into which all or most matters of detail 
may subsequently be fitted. Instead, therefore, of dealing 
with the many practical hints contained in Herbart's Lectures 
(his last important work) I wish to keep somewhat close to his 
Allgemeine Pddagogi'k^ that wonderful product of his earlier 
years, the most lucid, coherent, and ambitious scheme of 
educational work that, at any rate up to the time when it 
appeared, had ever been given to the world. 

In the preceding pages the importance of Instruction and 
Interest has been indicated. But these concepts do not 
exhaust Herbart's resources. The supposition that he ignores 

*The following sections, though dealing with very important matters, may 
be rather hard for the elementary student of Education. I am inclined to 
suggest that he relieve the tension of his mind by turning over to Part III. and, 
after learning there that the Herbartian questions already discussed are 
pertinent and modern, that he then return to the sections here beginning. 

I have tried to condense and break up Herbart's teaching, but I do not 
suppose that all the difficulties are removed. 


all other educational agencies will not bear a moment's 
investigation. "Many-sided Interest is not Character," say 
his critics. If they will turn to the third book of the 
Allgemeine Padagogik they will discover that Herbart, leaving 
the question of Many-sided Interest behind, passes on to the 
consideration of the very topics he is supposed to have 

He opens this new subject with a helpful distinction, one 
which is sorely needed at the present day by all those who 
discuss Moral Education. He distinguishes the "objective " 
part of Character from the " subjective." 

There comes a time in the history of our pupils when 
they begin to reflect on their own characters, and judge them 
as morally good or bad; In a sense, therefore, they find their 
characters already formed, though the appearance on the scene 
of the new subjective principle of reflection opens out new 
possibilities of character-forming. That portion of their 
characters which appears as already existent is called by 
Herbart the " objective part" 

How has the " objective part" come into existence ? Innate 
propensities and acquired Interests have had a large share in 
its formation, for they have been operative at a time when he 
was "immersed in things and externals" and had not learnt 
to observe himself or reflect. But " out of an entirely different 
condition of soul than this a new Will has to be generated ; " 
in fact, out of the subjective or conscious side of Character, 
as contrasted with the already existent objective side. 
Character has to come to rest on ideas, and be no longer a 
matter of crude habit or impulse. The Will, with Herbart, 
always means the conscious, deliberate Will. 

Herbart does not deny that we must make such attempts 
with all the power and sagacity at our disposal, for it is by 
thus building up a subjective Character that the imperfections 
of the objective can be counteracted; and, indeed, such an 
influence often " ivorlts poiverfully" 


But however " powerfully " such an influence may operate, 
the preliminary task of Education is the one already outlined 
the task of forming inclinations and Interests in other words* 
of building up the objective side of Character. " If this first 
is in order, results may then be hoped for from the regulating 
poiver of good moral teaching. There will still remain to 
the subjective to give the sanction, the final settlement and 
refinement of the morally formed Character, which it ivill, 
hoivever, easily accomplish" Herbart here repeats, in other 
words, the doctrine expounded in an earlier part of the 
Allgemeine PadagogiJc : " the individuality must first be- 
changed through widened Interest." Wholesome, spontaneous 
Interests must be generated ; then, under the shelter which 
these afford, and equipped with the well-nigh automatic 
apperceptiveness towards moral truth which is also involved, 
the pupil is in a fit condition to appreciate the reflective 
maxims of moral conduct. 

In view of present-day controversies over moral and 
religious Education, Herbart's view is of no small significance. 
The increasing demand for "ethical teaching," as advocated 
by the Moral Instruction League, can be now judged aright. 
Even if premature, such teaching may "work powerfully" \ 
but for its full effect it requires the previous awakening and 
establishment of a Many-sided Interest in Nature and Man. 
Herbartianism therefore gives some support to each of the 
current views on moral teaching. Those who claim that 
" Virtue cannot be taught," may draw satisfaction from the fact 
that Herbart lays more stress upon the creation of wholesome 
Interests than upon the formulation of reflective moral maxims ; 
only these Interests are themselves largely the results of 
Instruction-, thus Virtue can be indirectly taught, but its 
teaching is a long process. On the other hand those who. 
claim that ethical teaching in schools is one of the greatest 
needs of the age, will learn from Herbart that such teaching 
" works powerfully" because there is a " subjective " side of 


Character as well as an "objective"; for every child there is 
the possibility of conscious, deliberate reflection on moral 
truth, and though this should not be prematurely stimulated 
neither should it be ignored. It ultimately rests this is 
Herbart's main point upon the " objective " elements of 
Character. " Only out of the number and variety of occasions 
for moral judgment, of which such an inexhaustible supply 
is afforded in the family, in general Intercourse, and in all 
which falls within the sphere of synthetical and analytical 
Instruction only out of this wealth . . . can the pure non- 
sensual emotion . . .proceed, whereby Character is strengthened 
to true morality.'' 1 

11 Only 11 thus can true morality spring up I It is claims like 
this which make Herbartianism what it is ; a moral movement 
of the first dimensions ; a movement not free from arrogance, 
but arrogant with the same excuse as ecclesiastical movements 
the conviction that it holds a great moral or spiritual secret 
in its keeping. Nay, scarcely has any movement, ecclesiastical 
or other, put forward such an impressive claim as Herbart's; 
for this, be it observed, is one based on the solid facts of 
psychological observation, not on factitious elements. Take 
from a child all chance of receiving that "Aesthetic Pre- 
sentation of the Universe" which is provided by Experience, 
Intercourse, and the all - important complement of these, 
Instruction do this, and the child cannot, cannot become 
a truly and fully moral man. In the proportion that the 
revelation is restricted by defects in these three agencies in 
that proportion is the human being's moral nature eternally 
stunted ; in that proportion is he a dead man; in that propor- 
tion is Apperception of spiritual things impossible for him. One 
may here apply, in a new sense (or, perhaps, we have now dis- 
covered, for the first time, the scientific sense of the old words), 
the statement of Holy Writ : " the natural man receiveth not the 
things of the spirit of God : for they are foolishness unto him ; 
and he cannot know them, because they are spiritually judged." 


Later in his book, Herbarfc enunciates what is probably 
the most telling maxim in the literature of Moral Education. 
" Great moral energy is the result of broad views and of ivhole, 
unbroken masses of thought." 

Let us see the significance of this. Morality rests on 
Insight; it is not a matter of mere impulse or habit, and is 
not created by any mechanical system of drill, though these 
latter factors give it momentum. The circle of Thought is 
thus a vital matter, for insight depends upon its richness. 
Unless a child has had opportunities to pass judgment on 
moral characters and situations he will fail to understand moral 
truth. Virtue has its root in ideas. " The pure POSITIVE 
of morality, of which a man's innermost depth must be full if 
resolution is to be kept safe from humiliation, if the noble 
feeling that VIRTUE is FREE, is to be anything more than a 
brief ecstasy this, ivhich . . . is a force solely of the naked 
judgment to which the desires bend amazed . . . this belongs 
entirely to the Circle of Thought, it depends wholly upon ivhat 
forms that circle" Never has the dependence of Virtue upon 
Thought been expressed in a stronger form than in these words 
of Herbart. [The uncultured man he whose thoughts move 
in a narrow groove, who is deficient in imagination, who cannot 
project himself into other moral situations than the few which 
he himself has occupied may grow up " moral " in a negative 
sense ; he may not outrage any prohibitory rule of conduct ; 
but his moral nature will, nevertheless, remain poverty-stricken 
for ever if his Circle of Thought is narrow. 

Hence, we see again the need for Moral Instruction, based 
on concrete examples of human action, " as means to a 
certain clearness and analysis, and to an encyclopedic 
acquaintance ivith the whole range of the elements of morality 
and with their most general motives in life" Herbart men- 
tions in particular Campe's Children's Library a collection 
of fables, historical stories, and the like as valuable in 
this connection. 


But, as he points out with an emphasis which his critics 
would do well to note, mere acquaintance with the elements, 
the single constituents of morality, is by no means adequate. 
There must be " broad views" and "ivhole, unbroken masses of 
thought" " To attempt to replace the masses of thought . . . by 
a collection of many isolated moral points of contact is folly . . 
The same applies to frequent moral exhortations and sermons, 
indeed, even to individual religious services themselves, in so 
far as the primal ideas of religion have not sunk early into the 
depth of the mind" 

Only an all-embracing intuition of things, the result of an 
Aesthetic Revelation of the Universe, has much ultimate moral 
potency ; isolated aperqus, though not without value, are 
deficient in solid effect ; and when, as so frequently happens, 
they are associated with ecstatic excitement, their final result- 
is mere reaction. Herbart felt that there was far more hope 
for man in wide culture, based on history, literature, and the 
like, than in discreet exhortations, even when these (as is not 
always the case) are illuminated by pertinent illustrations. 

Again, to keep our moral nature alive at a single source by 
means of one only hobby or pursuit (admirable, perhaps, in 
itself) involves a fatal narrowing towards other normal 
Interests. A man may become a sectarian, seeing a few duties 
clearly and ignoring others. 

At this point Herbart pauses. The immensity and solemnity 
of the task set before Education appals even him, for the 
task has almost revealed itself as one containing an inner 
contradiction. " We require a large tranquil body of thought 
as a moral power in man . . . We want a power stronger than 
the idea, and yet pure as the idea . . . I believe all cultured 
men of our day feel this difficulty. I do not mention it here 
in order to resolve it. Were that in my poiver it would have 
been done long ago" 

And yet, though Herbart cannot wholly resolve the Sphinx- 
riddle of the conflict between cold, pure, moral truth and warm 


but impure prejudices, he has done more than any other man 
to indicate the direction of solution. He has shown, or 
has helped to show, the function of the idea. 

38. The Will and the Circle of Thought. 

Of course, if we are to persist in the belief that Virtue and 
Vice are mysteries and not effects, the constant references of 
Herbart to the importance of the Circle of Thought are wasted 
labour ; and Education must be regarded as a task to which 
only tenth-rate and impecunious men and women can justly 
feel themselves called. Again and again, therefore, Herbart 
returns to the point ; again and again he decides that the 
Circle of Thought is important, overwhelmingly important. 
The life of the soul depends on the ideas with which it is 
provided ; and if those ideas are poor, or few, or bad, the soul 
cannot be morally good. 

Despite the predominance of Frobelian or pseudo-Frobelian 
thought in high places, and despite all deifications of the child's 
innate impulses, Herbartians are united on this point. Starve 
the soul and the soul will die ; and the death is none the less 
real because it is partial or unconscious. " The state of a soul 
that is ill-supplied with good ideas calls for little comment. 
Such a soul can hardly be said to be tempted. The soul must 
be continually choosing among the ideas presented to it, and if 
the supply of good ideas is inadequate, it must, of necessity, 
choose the evil."* Of necessity ! 

Mere " Training," therefore, is not morally adequate, 
though, as we shall see, Herbart recognises its importance if 
based on Instruction. 

But the true blessedness of the situation is that the Circle 
of Thought itself possesses potency ; it is not a dead thing, 
requiring to be vitalised from without, or to be attached, like 
the coaches of a train, to some mechanism which may supply 
kinetic energy. There is in Herbart 's system no " faculty " of 

* Prof. Adams. Herbartian Psyclwlogy. 


"Will, no " faculty " of Feeling, to be linked on to the 
intellectual "faculties" of Imagination and the like. The 
Will works along the line of Interest, and Interest works along 
the line of ideas. 

Here, let it be said, modern psychology, though some- 
times rejecting the technical form given by Herbart to 
psychological facts, substantially agrees with him as to the 
potency possessed by ideas. Professor James tells us that " the 
states of consciousness* are all that psychology needs to do her 
work with." " I cannot too strongly urge you," he says to 
teachers, "to acquire a habit of thinking of your pupils in asso- 
ciative! terms . . . thinking of them as so many little systems 
of associating machinery. You will be astonished at the 
intimacy of insight into their operations, and at the practic- 
ability of the results which you will gain. I speak as if ideas 
by their mere presence or absence determined behaviour." 
True, the potency of ideas may really be due to obscure 
physiological or psychological tendencies which are set free by 
the idea in other words, Feeling may be the vital factor 
but the fact remains that the idea is the proximate cause of this 
liberation, and thus possesses incalculable importance, some- 
times even when in comparative isolation. An idea will " act 
itself out " and dominate the whole nature of a neurotic 
person. Hang in a public gallery a picture of a suicidal act 
(a picture such as Die Lebensmiiden at Berlin) and acts of 
suicide will follow. But the crowning evidence for the 
Herbartian is this : that when a fact or experience is such 
that old facts or experiences throw light upon it cause it to 
be " apperceived " there is a flash of pleasurable Interest ; 
and in that flash, repeated again and again till it becomes a 
continuous illumination, infinite possibilities are involved. 
It may be the starting-point of a new mode of life ; it may 
involve salvation itself. The humble, the much-despised 

* Substitute " ideas" here, and we have Herbart's standpoint. 

I " Association of Ideas " obviously means much the same as Apperception. 

Talks with Teachers. 


Instruction of the class teacher is shown, by the Herbartian 
philosophy of Education, to be one of the greatest forces in the 

Herbart anticipates an objection. "To give to our pupils 
an * Aesthetic Presentation of the Universe 'is precisely what 
educationists have always been doing." He replies that 
he is contemplating no mere superficial exhibiting of historical,, 
philosophical, and poetical representations, but a long, serious, 
and impressive task, " which places IN THE CENTRE of the mind 
a weighty and interconnected (and also articulated) body of 
"knowledge, reflections, and opinions, having such influence and 
such points of contact with everything added to it by the flow 
of time, that nothing can pass by it unnoticed, no new thought 
establish itself which has not first adjusted its differences with 
what has gone before. 11 "Points of contact,' 1 a constantly 
recurring expression in Herbart's works, stands, as we have 
seen, for at least half of his practical philosophy of Education. 

In a footnote to the passage just given Herbart tells us that 
" the proof of a perfect Instruction is exactly this that the 
sum of knowledge and the concepts which it has raised by 
clearness, association, system, and method to the highest 
suppleness of thought, is at at the same time capable as a 
mass of Interests of impelling the Will with the utmost energy 
by virtue of the complete penetration of all its parts." The 
"ordinary school rubbish 11 has not proved adequate for sa 
high an educational purpose. Mere " memoranda, 11 without 
vitality and interrelation, do not possess the power of "over- 
coming what is unfavourable in the environment and of 
dissolving and absorbing into itself all that is favourable. If 
the manifold be loosely combined in the Circle of Thought its 
working, as a whole, will be weak." 

And everybody in these early years of the twentieth century 
is bewailing that, for some reason or other, " its working " is 
as "weak 11 as in Herbart's time, a century ago. And, as in- 
his days, too, men are telling us that Instruction is not 


important, and that Training is the main thing to aim at ir 
Education, Training being "direct action on the youthful mind 
with a view to form." 
39. General Remarks on Training (Zucht).* 

We have seen that Government (or " Discipline " in the 
sense employed by the primary teacher) simply aims at the 
maintenance of quiet and order; it has no direct character- 
forming power beyond this. Nay, some observers believe that 
rigid discipline in school actually conduces to ill-behaviour; 
" the bent bow relaxes all the more."f In the United States 
41 martinet " methods have been largely abolished as not really 
helpful to the child in developing reasonable will-power. Thus 
Herbart, instead of establishing an unnecessary distinction 
between Discipline and real Training (as some critics have 
alleged), has really established the very distinction that our 
primary schools badly need to recognise. 

It is a remarkable fact that Edward Thring, in his 
Education and School, published 1867, and Mr. J. L. Paton, in 
Ms lecture at the College of Preceptors, in November, 1906, 
drew an exactly similar distinction. Acts which are merely 
prohibited by school rules, because conducing to disorder, are 
to be punished by a mechanical system of penalties. Acts 
which are indicative of moral imperfection demand a different 
system. Nay, Mr. Paton attributes these to a form of 
"delusion," and thus comes wonderfully close up to Her- 
bart's view that real moral effectiveness is only possible 
through the Circle of Thought. The more I study present- 
day controversies, the more I am convinced that the dis- 
tinctions drawn by Herbart for the purpose of clearing the 
educational atmosphere are exactly the distinctions we need. 
They are not artificial, pedantic, scholastic, but very real, 
necessary, and illuminating. 

*See Preface for the translation of this word in Mr. Felkin's books and in 
the present work. 

t Journal of Education, November, 1903. 


In contrasting methods of Discipline with those of Training 
he tells us that " the educator must be cool, concise and dry, 
and appear to have forgotten all as soon as the matter is 
ever" the reason being that Discipline takes account only of 
the results of actions, while Training looks to motives and 
morals, for it presupposes (on Herbart's view) that the child 
has a Circle of Thought and a certain power of moral judgment 
formed through Experience, Intercourse, and Instruction. 

Training must be "continuous, persevering, penetrating, 
and only ceasing by degrees," 11 and "personal influence acting 
on the mind" should be made use of. Whereas Discipline is 
"short and sharp," Training, which aims at moral improve- 
ment, should employ every means to win the love and respect 
of the pupil. 

Herbart is careful to guard against the view that Training 
is some isolated agency, with mysterious laws of its own. It 
is "primarily but a modification of the art of intercourse ivith 
men" and is largely a matter of tact. "It is properly not so 
much a conjunction of many measures, of wholly separate 
acts, as a continuous treatment, which only now and then, for 
the sake of emphasis, resorts to reivards and punishments and 
similar expedients." In his later Lectures, Herbart describes 
Training as consisting "primarily in a certain personal 
attitude, where possible identical ivith a kind way of treating 
pupils." Without the pupil possessing a certain richness of 
thought, the measures adopted will prove useless. " All will 
pass away like 'music, and no lasting effect will remain, unless 
the stones are raised to the sound of that music into the ivalls 
of a well-defined Circle of Thought" 

Herbart holds that blame, apart from praise and recognition, 
has little cogency; until the pupil has attained to a certain 
self-respect this itself is dependent on the respect of others 
blame is meaningless. " Where mere blame has any effect, 
^elf-respect should be present to a small extent ; it must reach 
nich a degree that blame can lay hold of it" Next in 


importance to the task of forming the Circle of Thought is the 
task of discovering elements worthy of approbation in the 
growing character; however few these may be, they are of 
vital importance. Yet approbation should not be of such a 
kind as to cause pride ; " merit marks," and such like, are 
entirely harmful. Good elements should rather stand out as 
contrasted with the worse self ; in this way moral judgment is 
perfected. Sometimes real mental pain may have to be inflicted. 

In an interesting passage of his last book on Education, 
Herbart briefly discusses what was considered at length a few 
decades ago by Spencer the question of "natural punish- 
ments." He sees that they possess a certain value. " The 
boy who conies late loses the anticipated enjoyment; if he 
destroys his things he must do without them; over-indulgence 
is folloived by bitter medicine, tattling by removal from the 
circle in which matters requiring discretion are discussed. 19 
Such a procedure may "warn and teach a lesson" just as a 
mechanical law of nature may do ; but it " does not subserve 
moral improvement." Herbart, in short, refuses to panegyrise 
the method, but does not attempt to gainsay its applicability to 
many cases. Even the little child must learn " that the flame 
burns, tJiat a pin pricks, that a fall or knock hurts . . . and 
similar experiences must be gained later, provided they do not 
carry the pupil to the verge of serious danger. The boy who, 
by a hasty promise, puts himself in an embarrassing position, 
must be made conscious of the fact. Let his perplexity serve 
as a warning for the future." Dr. Laurie's discussion of 
Spencer's doctrine (Educational Opinion since the Renais- 
sance) is precisely on Herbart's lines, and should serve as a 
refutation of such a presentation of the " natural punishment " 
doctrine as is given in Mr. Llewellyn Williams's incoherent 
book on the subject. 
30. Ineffectiveness of Training apart from Instruction. 

By Training, then, Herbart means a direct effort to build 
up the moral Character. Instruction, on the other hand, 


aims at the creation of Many-sided Interest, and thus helps 
Character indirectly. The relationship of the two agencies 
corresponds to that between the "five moral ideas" and the 
"second moral idea." Training takes all Virtue for its 
province ; Instruction takes only one side of Virtue that 
represented by the " second moral idea "; but this idea is the 
special concern of the teacher, and " stands out above all 
others . . .for the business of Education. 11 

Every moral agency of a direct nature thus falls under 
Training. More especially has the teacher to employ personal 
influence, warning, appeal, and the like. These would be 
almost useless with the very young child devoid of an effective 
" Circle of Thought." " Training is unable to accomplish 
its work except in conjunction with Instruction. 11 

Herbart seems to have arrived at this momentous result 
from his experiences with Ludwig Steiger, a youth who 
" belonged more to the world of matter than of mind" and, 
as a result, was unusually unsusceptible to appeal. This 
susceptibility had, somehow, to be created; "we must tcike 
hold of him somewhere in order to educate him. There must 
be wind in order to sail. Some moving spring ^s necessary to 
call out activity. But there is no such spring in him . . . What 
is there then left except his understanding the PASSIVE 
capacity to receive ivhat we, having carefully prepared before- 
hand, offer him slowly and the hope that from this feeble 
spark, active, independent thought, and the effort to live in 
harmony with insight, will be 'kindled.' 1 Mere restraint, mere 
praise or blame, were useless with such an impassive character 
as Ludwig' s; there was not a sufficiency of ideas to give 
meaning to the two last, while the first on Herbart's view 
never possessed formative power. Yet, he thought, " with 
proper guidance a disposition, such as his, may be cultivated 
to the most complete Many-sidedness of Interest, and to 
extreme clearness of understanding . . . It can further be 

cultivated to great energy of Character on account of the 



violent struggle with sensuality, and finally, on account of his 
joyous temperament, to a happy susceptibility for pleasure of 
every kind. But what an immeasurably difficult task /" 

A year later Herbart wrota: " What we have been able to 
accomplish . . . is proof to me that in a quiet time we should 
have succeeded in making his understanding capable of firm 
convictions, which would influence the Will." 

This view of Herb art 's enunciated so early, and developed 
in his greatest work at considerable length is, in large 
measure, an original contribution to educational doctrine. 
The Will of the child has to be influenced at first indirectly ; 
healthy, objective Interests have to be built up. Then, and 
then only, will arrive the time for training the " subjective " part 
of Character. Even in his later Lectures, though there is 
in them a slight increase of stress on Training, the standpoint 
is substantially unaltered. The child will not learn to apply 
moral principles to his own conduct unless first " his inclina- 
tions and habits have taken a direction in accordance with 
his judgment." 

31. The Parentage of Yolition. 

I now proceed to consider a part of Herbart's teaching 
which has been ignored by many writers, but which serves to 
refute some of the ill-informed criticisms that have been 
directed against him. He is commonly charged with generating 
the Will out of the Intellect ; in other words, with ignoring the 
motor side of life. As well try to develop angels out of sand- 
stone as to develop Will an active, striving " faculty " out of 
Ideas. Such is the objection of the critics. 

But once again the critics are wrong. A crisp, telling 
sentence that occurs towards the end of the Allgemeine 
Pddagogik is fatal to their charge. " Action-^ generates the 
Will out of Desire." 

tThis translation of Herbart's, Die That (deed), is not very satisfactory, 
but nothing better can be suggested. In some cases " Action " is a translation 
of Handeln. Perhaps the word " Activity " might sometimes be better than 


The " Generation of the Will " it is the problem that faces 
all moral reformers, a problem so difficult that many men 
avoid it altogether, and, dubbing the Will a " faculty," and 
calling it " free," pass on to less difficult questions. Herbart is 
almost the only man in history who has watched and described 
the birth of the Will, and has traced its parentage. " Action 
generates the Will out of Desire. 1 ' 

But, at first sight, this affirmation does not seem satis- 
factory. That we "desire" a dinner before we "will" to eat 
it is obvious; that we "desire" to climb Snowdon before we 
" will," to climb it is also obvious; but "Action 11 how does 
this " generate " the Will? 

Well, suppose we "desired" to climb Snowdon and yet 
were paralysed in our limbs, could we " will " to climb it ? 
Or suppose a man's limbs had been bandaged from babyhood, 
could he "will" to climb Snowdon? Clearly not. He must 
have experience of his own limb-movements before he can 
" will " a muscular performance. We must all know the 
means to our ends before we can will our ends. We do not 
" will " to fly, for we have no means of flying, we can only 
" desire." This leads us to a brief consideration of " Desire." 

" Man's activity depends, in the first instance, on the circle 
of his desires. The desires, however, are partly of animal 
origin, and partly spring from intellectual interests."* 

The following diagram gives some idea of the ancestral 
tree of the Will, according to Herbart : 

(A) Animal j 

Experience \ Instincts Desire Action f (c) Capacity 
Intercourse L (B) Interests ) J | \ (*>) Opportunity 



Create an Interest and you create also a Desire ; but before 
Desire can pass into Will, there must have been Experience, 
Activity, or Action, so that the Desire may not remain ineffective 
but, through using all necessary means, realise what is aimed 
&t. "Action generates the Will out of Desire." 


We have, in fact, to learn our capacities. It is no good 
merely to desire a certain course of action ; we must acquire 
such a control over the means and such a knowledge of them 
that we can will the course of action. " The great man acted 
long before in thought he FELT himself acting, he SAW himself 
advancing before the external ACT, the fac-simile of tht 
internal, became visible. . . . A few passing attempts suffice 
to change a fluttering faith into confidence that he will be able 
to realise in act what he sees with inward clearness." 

Thus there is a factor in Character-forming neglected in 
the previous discussions. Thought is not enough ; Interest is 
not enough ; Desire based on Interest is not enough ; there 
must be a knowledge of the appropriate means the Action 
required to transform Desire into Will. " The circle of thought 
contains the store of that tvhich, by degrees, can mount by the 
steps of Interest to Desire, and then by means of Action to 
Volition." Action itself leaves its ideas behind " motoi 
ideas " ; and these become a part of the Circle of Thought. 

Thus are summarised in these telling phrases of Herbart's 
certain aspects of the Frobelian philosophy of Activity. We 
learn our powers, we learn the means to our ends ; and every 
priceless acquisition of this kind is added, as a new mental 
element, to our Circle of Thought. " The whole inner 
activity, indeed, has its abode in the Circle of Thought. 
Here is found tlie initiative life, the primal energy ; here 
all must circulate easily and freely, everything must be in 
its place ready to be found and used at any moment . . k 
The Circle of Thought contains the store upon which all 
the workings of prudence are founded in it are the know- 
ledge and care, without wliich man cannot pursue his 
aims through means." The ideals of life, and the means, 
humble or other, by which those ideals may be brought to 
realisation, have their places within the Circle of Thought; 
if this be cramped by deficient Experience, Intercourse or 
Instruction on the side of Interest and Desire, or by Deficient 


Capacity or Opportunity on the side of Action, a fatal paralysis 
will dominate the whole nature. 

There is a need, too, for readiness of adaptation to new and 
difficult circumstances, if as Ziller expresses it, Many-sided 
Cnterest (which rests upon the rich Circle of Thought here 
desiderated) is ever to be a " salvation amid the -storms of fate." 

With emphasis that becomes more telling with every 
sentence Herbart reiterates his view that in the Circle of 
Thought is not only contained the ideas that generate 
Apperceptive Interest, but the motor ideas that give us power 
and confidence in ourselves. Interest is useless if we have no 
"inner assurance" no consciousness of power, and both factors 
are elements of the Circle of Thought. 

"If inner assurance and the intellectual interests are 
wanting, if the store of thought is meagre, then the ground 
lies empty for the animal desires. Or, as Herbart says else- 
where, "before all other . . . purposes, the general result of 
Instruction should "bethe filling of the mind (or disposition) 
. . . Energy must be given something to do." 

I have almost ceased to wonder at the comprehensiveness of 
Herbart's genius. He forgets nothing, he omits nothing. At 
one moment he tells us that " the first necessitg to moral 
culture is an aesthetic judgment, whereby the pupil dis- 
tinguishes rightly, in given examples, the better willing from 
the worse," and the critic leaps to the conclusion that Herbart, 
ignoring the motor side of conduct, imagines that the Will is 
generated directly out of moral ideas. But if the critic reads 
on he will learn that motor ideas are needed, and that it is 
" Action " which " generates the Will out of Desire ; " thus 
the whole realm of Habit is seen to be included within 
Herbart's ken. " It is Action luhich forms the Character" 

So little has he ignored Habit that he has actually added 
to the literature of Pedagogy a useful term descriptive of 
Habits of Willing. There is a certain endowment " tending to 
stability of Character" What has once been willed is more 


readily willed the second time ; the Will remembers its own 
past, and this remembering is " the chief basis of the objective 
part of Character. A man whose Will does not . . . spon- 
taneously reappear as THE SAME as often as the occasion recurs 
a man who is obliged to carry Jiimself back by reflection to 
his former resolution will have great trouble in building up 
his Character. And it is because natural constancy of Will is 
not often found in children that Training has so much to do." 
Headers will now see the meaning of Herbart's remarkable 
phrase, " The Memory of the Will." 

The Suggestions of the Board of Education tell us that 
through physical training the pupil acquires " self-reliance, 
decision, and a power to obey as well as to command." 
Herbart taught the same doctrine in 1806. 

2. Herbart's Psychology. 

One of the commonest allegations made against Herbart is 
that, starting from a false Psychology which regarded feelings 
and volitions as dependent upon Presentations, he greatly 
exaggerated the value of Instruction and underestimated that 
of other factors like Training. 

In point of fact, his Psychology followed, not preceded, his 

educational views, and these latter were the result, not of rigid 

deduction from theoretical premisses, but of 

Herbart's careful and thoughtful observation. If Herbart 
Psychology was . ,, . .. ., , . . 

Based on US a am an( * a o ain that a P ar <J from such 

Observation. Instruction as creates Many-sided Interest, no 
system of Moral Training in the strict sense 
can be of much value if he rejects the stress placed by 
Rousseau upon the emotional aspects of life and regards the 
culture of the Circle of Thought as the chief work of the edu- 
cator the reason was that he was an observer. 

" He who has noticed into what an abyss of pain and mis- 
fortune a human being may fall, yes, even remain in for long 
periods, and yet, after the time of trouble has passed, rise up 
again apparently almost unchanged as the same person, 


possessing the same aims and disposition, even the same 
manner whoever has noticed this will scarcely expect much 
from . . . swaying of the feelings. . . Above all, when we see 
what degrees of paternal strictness a robust youth will endure, 
and remain untouched; what incentives are wasted on weak 
natures without making them stronger ; how temporary is the 
whole reaction which follows the action; we may well advise 
the educator not to prepare for himself false relations, which 
are usually the only residue of mere Training" Herbart 
regards it as a fault in foreign writers on Education, for 
example, Locke and Eousseau, that crude impulse is allowed 
to hold a sway " barely mitigated by a highly unstable moral 
feeling; " whereas with Germans like Niemeyer (and, we may 
add, with Herbart himself par excellence) there is a conviction 
that the moral life must not be regarded in isolation as based 
on a separate "faculty," or as educable by special agencies but 
that the whole nature must be moralised by the creation of a 
stately Circle of Thought, out of which Virtue may spring. 

After an accumulation of observations, Herbart had arrived 
at the result formulated definitely in his later psychological 
works, but slightly indicated even in the Allgemeine PddagogiJc, 
that " all feelings (Empfindungen) are but passing modifica- 
tions of the existing presentations, and that when the 
modifying cause ceases the Circle of Thought must return by 
itself to its old equilibrium" It is probable that Herbart's 
psychological laws connecting Feeling with the Circle of 
Thought must be rejected in the precise form which he gave 
to them, a form too mathematical to do justice to the infinite 
complexity and subtlety of the phenomena under consideration. 
But the general truth he tries to urge is of 
S reat i m P ortance J that a moral agency, to be 
effective, must succeed in adding to the per- 
manent acquisitions of the mind to the Circle of Thought; 
that no influence of a purely superficial kind, however 
emotionally violent for the time, is of much avail. There is no 


potentiality, no progress, in mere emotion ; while the implant- 
ing of ideas in the mind, perhaps even ideas apparently (for the 
time) colourless and insignificant, may result sooner or later in 
increased power of Apperception, and in the up-springing of a 
harvest of many-sided Interest. 

Dr. Stanley Hall regards Herbart's view of the origin of 
feelings and emotions from presentations or ideas as 
" degrading " ; feeling and emotion are primary, not secondary. 
But though it matters little, in the abstract, which view we 
take, educationally it matters considerably. For presentations 
or ideas are within the reach of the teacher's influence ; and a 
system of Education that " means business" must lay the chief 
stress on them, not denying the potency of the less definite 
elements of mental life, but merely taking these last for 
granted. If Herbart's Psychology is educationally wrong, why 
does he not blunder in his educational proposals ? If he has 
blundered, why do not critics point his blunders out ? 

I cannot argue the matter at length, but I would emphasise 

one thing : Herbart always had educational problems in view. 

His Psychology is an educational psychology which lays stress 

upon the factors most significant for the 

Pract cal e p- ^eacher. Some day Psychology may be able 

Herbart's Yiews. * interpret those factors in a different way 

from Herbart's. But as things stand, his 

interpretation is so practically helpful that we cannot believe 

it to be very wide of the mark ; and, in any case, we are 

enabled to judge of the value of Herbart's educational 

proposals by the fact that they agree with Dr. Hall's of a 

century later. 

And now, with this rough-and-ready and untechnical 
defence of Herbart's Psychology (so far as that Psychology is 
patent in his educational works), and, with one or two final illus- 
trations of Herbart's wisdom, I must bring the present exposi- 
tion to a close. I have done but scant justice to those wonderful 
chapters at the end of the Allgemeine Pddagogik; but I know 


that any student who once looks to Herbart will not hastily 
turn away. 

Training, he points out, has a double purpose. It helps to 
make Instruction possible, and thus contributes indirectly to 
Character. It is impossible to instruct an unruly boy ; he has 
no firm, deep-rooted desire such as Instruction aims at 
forming; thus Training renders Instruction possible, makes 
possible the creation of certain Interests. Secondly, Training 
may act directly in the formation of Character, though this 
function is not so important as the former one, and unless it 
is steady and persistent, possesses no great efficacy. " Excep- 
tional treatment, as well as exceptional events, special punish- 
ments, and rewards, leave impressions behind which do not 

In the "Punishment Books" of many schools, "lying" 
appears as an offence specially meriting corporal punishment. 
Let us see what Herbart says, and then bid him farewell for a 

A settled evil resolve on the part of a pupil is no easy thing 
to deal with. Punishment may be useful "when an isolated 
new inclination breaks out thoughtlessly as a fault for the 
first or second time " ; such an inclination may be checked or 
destroyed by sharp measures. But when a 
L ing 6 C * au ^> su k as lj m g> i g " ingrained," punishment 
merely increases the tendency to deceitfulness. 
Such cases can only be dealt with by the slower but surer 
method of acting on the Circle of Thought. " The whole mind 
must be raised, the possibility of winning for himself respect, 
which is incompatible with lying, must be made perceptible 
and valuable to him. Can anyone accomplish this who does 
possess the art of affecting the Circle of Thought from all 
sides? Or do you think a few isolated speeches and admoni- 
tions will effect it?" 

" The tvhole mind must be raised " that is Herbartianism, 





1. TEACHERS are "practical 5 'people, and some who have read, 
more or less impatiently, the preceding pages have already, 
I doubt not, been condemning them as "theoretical." In point 
of fact, they are some of the most "practical" pages that 
anyone could ever write. 

For "chaos," though exciting, is not "practical," and chaos 
is at present the ruling principle (if, indeed, chaos can be a 
principle) in the educational world. Half of the ineffectiveness 
of present-day teaching is due to the absence of a clear and 
coherent Theory of Education; most of the worries inflicted 
on teachers by inspectors and managers are due to the same 
absence. We are all in a fog ; we are all contradicting each 
other ; and we have no one to appeal to. Just as Dubedat, in 
Mr. Shaw's play, The Doctor's Ditemma, falls a victim to 
medical chaos, so there are millions of children and thousands 
of teachers daily falling victims to educational chaos. 

In these few pages which close the present volume I 
propose to show, among other, things, that the contradictions 
described in Part I. will, in large measure, cease to baffle us 
when we have once adopted the leading ideas of Herbart. I 
shall adduce, too, and try to expose a series of popular fallacies 
at present harassing the educational world, my aim throughout 
being to show that although Herbart has not exhausted the 


subject of Education (thousands of interesting problems being 

left for advocates of Child Study to investigate) he has certainly 

given us a coherent and illuminating series of 

ideas which suggest and involve each other, so 

that, for example, if we start from any one of 
these ideas (say Interest) we shall be forced to the considera- 
tion of others. If coherence is one of the tests of truth, then 
Herbartianism is emphatically true. I hope it will be obvious, 
also, that any teacher who has the Herbartian system in his 
mind possesses several important qualifications : for example, 
the power to criticise himself (which most teachers need), the 
power to solve problems in educational doctrine, and the power 
to assimilate new truths from Frobelian or other quarters. 

By the way, a remarkable thing about the Herbartian 
categories, in addition to their coherence, is their individual 
plausibility. Set one of them before an unwilling witness and 
he at once admits its truth ; set another before another witness 
and he also admits its truth. Link them together in Herbart's 
fashion, and instead of being welcomed as the finest and most 
helpful body of educational doctrines ever framed in the mind 
of man, they are denounced as " theory." And then the 
denouncers proceed to make educational blunders that would 
be impossible if they had ever studied Herbart systematically 
and conscientiously. And then other people arise to denounce 
the denouncers. 

2. The " Drawing Out " Fallacy. 

At the root of many of these blunders lies the idea that 
Education is nothing but a process of " drawing out," an idea 
so strange to me that if asked to assign a motto to the present 
work I should choose ; " Education is primarily the enrichment 
of the soul and not a process of ' drawing out.' " The motto 
sounds unfamiliar, for the " drawing out " doctrine has a 
wonderfully up-to-date and scientific sound. Nevertheless, it 
appears to me, if not false, at any rate immensely unsafe and 
misleading. Some doctrines are saved by being meaningless; 


I wish I could say the same of this. There is enough truth in 
it to make it plausible, and, in certain circumstances, helpful. 
Nevertheless, anyone who has imbibed Herbart's view of 
Education must necessarily hold this " drawing out " doctrine 
in some suspicion. 

Sometimes I think I have misunderstood it; that what 
others intend by " drawing out " is something different from 
what I intend; that essentially the doctrine is as much a secret 
and a mystery to me as Apperception is to non-Herbartians. 
Eminent men seem to be on the other side, and I have tried to 
understand what they mean. I have failed. To try to interpret 
Education merely as a process of "drawing out" makes the 
world of things and men seem to turn topsy-turvy. I cannot 
but think, therefore, that if one person feels difficulty in under- 
standing the doctrine, others may feel the same, and thus my 
frank confession of helplessness or dissent may lead to a 
clearing of the educational atmosphere. 

In the first place, I am not quite sure whether the 

champions of " drawing-out " mean that this is the only 

possible educational method that any other 

What Does method is completely ineffective and fictitious 

Drawing-out ., , ,, n . , ,, . ,, , -, 

9 or that " drawing-out is the only good 

educational method. If they mean the former 
Professor Welton certainly seems to mean it their view 
appears to me demonstrably wrong. The Catholic Church, 
by carefully choosing certain ideas for presentation to the 
child, and certain methods of inculcating those ideas, can 
undoubtedly build into the child's mind a certain mental 
structure. Intellect, feelings, volitions, are all profoundly 
concerned in this process, which is emphatically not one of 
"drawing-out" but of " stamping-in." Again, the Education 
that made the Artful Dodger was no process of " drawing-out." 
If, on the other hand, advocates of the doctrine mean that 
" drawing-out " is the only good educational method, and that 
the teacher who deliberately sets out to convey certain facts 


from his own mind to the minds of his pupils is a bad teacher, 
all I can say is that this view renders Education meaningless 
to me. I mean by Education the introduction of the child to 
the facts of Nature, Life, and Man, and the building-up of an 
Interest in these facts. If this is a process of " drawing- out," 
well and good; but I prefer to use the Herbartian terminology 
as being more illuminative. 

Of course the child is endowed from birth with certain 
proclivities, and the teacher should gratefully make use of 
these, or "draw them out" if they are likely to be helpfuL 
If they are not likely to be helpful, he must try to " draw 
them out " in quite another sense, intelligible to a dentist. 
To imagine that all human proclivities, however decadent or 
moribund, are to be fostered, seems as absurd to me as to 
imagine that all human organs, however rudimentary or 
useless (the toes and the vermiform appendix, for example) , 
are to be subjected to careful culture. I remember when I 
was a boy trying to acquire the art of moving my ears ; 
doubtless, with patience, I should have strengthened the feeble 
muscles of those organs, and " drawn out " their latent power. 
But what good purpose should I have served ? Again, there 
is the mighty sexual passion; what do the " drawing-out '* 
theorists say about this ? From the Herbartian standpoint 
there is no doctrinal difficulty ; we have to aim at Character- 
forming via Instruct ; on, Interest, and Training; but a teacher 
faced by this grave problem and possessing no better phil- 
osophy of Education than the " drawing-out " theory and 
acting on it would be a procurer to the Lords of Hell. 

Thus I cannot agree with Professor Welton or with Mr. 
Skrine (pp. 8-9). I cannot see that " drawing-out " is either the 
only good method or the only possible method of Education. 
E consider that the teacher's chief business is to teach. It may 
be an " error " to say that " human life can be built up from 
without," but it is no " error " at all, in my opinion, to say 
that "its form and tendency can be determined by an .... 


arrangement by another of the ideas it is to assimilate." I can 
only infer that Professor Welton means one thing by these 
words and I another. If he means what I mean, will he allow 
me to put the matter to a test ? Will he allow me, at his 
own expense, to try to bring up a child as a Mohammedan, 
as a criminal, or as some other unusual type ? If not, why 
not? He says it is an "error" to suppose that another can 
determine effectively the course of a child's mental assimila- 
tion ; there can, therefore, be no fear of the consequences of 
the experiment. 

What does it all mean ? I admit that, as we cannot " draw 
blood from a stone," neither can we educate a child to noble 
conduct or intellectual achievement unless there is the 
possibility of these things already latent in him. But I would 
> urge that there is also the possibility of educating him to vile 
conduct and to intellectual incompetence. Consequently 
Education is more than " drawing-out." 

Again, as Frobelians have shown, the child manifests at 
certain ages an active bias in this or that direction ; for 
example, towards constructive work with clay or wood. We 
are quite right in saying that this power may be " drawn out " 
by the teacher. But to claim that all Education is of this 
" drawing out " kind seems to me, if not psychologically false, 
at any rate practically harmful. The result of it is a curri- 
culum deficient in "pabulum" (in history, 
literature, and informative subjects generally), 
and a method that lays too great stress on 
effort, gymnastic, training, etc. I cannot understand the 
universe when I have to look at it through the spectacles of 
the " drawing-out " philosophy. I cannot understand the 
importance of Suggestion, Imitation, Esprit-de-Corps, Zeitgeist, 
and scores of other things. I cannot understand the immense 
differences of Culture and Interest in the world of men. 

How far back is this " drawing-out " doctrine to extend ? 
If every mental power is latent or implicit in a child, must it 


have been latent or implicit in his parents, and in his 
grandparents, and in primitive men, and in the primitive 
amoeba? If so, the doctrine resolves itself into a kind of Weiss- 
manism. In a sense it may be true, but a sense that is 
no good for educational purposes. The builder takes the 
law of gravitation for granted ; he does not worry about it or 
write treatises upon it. The teacher must similarly take for 
\ granted that his pupils are human beings and not stones or 
flowering plants. It is his business to bring them face to face 
with the culture of the world. He must, so far as possible, take 
account of their individual peculiarities, but mainly on grounds 
of economy ; individual peculiarities give him the best starting 
point, provide him with ready-made " apperception centres." 
To press the " drawing-out " doctrine further than this is to 
blunder dangerously, while merely to allege that men have 
capacity, and that this should be given a chance, is merely to 
utter a crude truism. 

I do not wish to dogmatise, but my view is this : Man is 

essentially and pre-eminently plastic ; he can be influenced, 

moulded, built up by his environment. He 

an s cannot be transformed from imbecility to 
Essentially J 

Plastic. genius, or from mediocrity to genius, but his 

purposes, ideals, standards, tastes, interests, 
are very largely dependent upon the environmental forces, 
including Education, that operate upon him. " The ideals 
admired and imitated by the child are not his own, but those of 
his people and his times,"* consequently they cannot be 
" drawn out," but must be conferred. Transplanted gutter- 
children often and often turn out well, and the history of the 
Jukeses a clan of paupers and criminals numbering a 
thousand goes to prove that the only heredity which is really 
v fatal is social heredity, a body of traditions and influences 
handed down. This is another way of saying that environ- 
ment is more important than heredity (in the physiological 

*Kirkpatrick. Fundamentals of Child Study. 


sense) ; for " social heredity " is not heredity at all, but environ- 

I do not deny, and Herbart certainly never denied, that 
each one's Individuality may influence in important ways his 
tastes, interests, and type of character ; but the educational 
stress must not be on this fact ; Individuality will take care of 
itself if only our curriculum is sufficiently nutritive. The 
common talk about modern Education crushing out 
Individuality resolves itself, in the end, to this : our stress on 
the " formal subjects " has been destructive of Interest. 

Dickens introduces us, hi " Hugh " of Barnaby Budge, to a 
type of the wholly uneducated man; and the example may 
serve to elucidate the truth and the error of the " drawing-out " 

" That chap," said Mr. John Willet, "though he has all his 
faculties, somewheres or another, bottled up and corked down, 
has no more imagination than Barnaby has. And why hasn't 
he ? ... Because they was never drawed out of him when he 
was a boy. That's why. "What would any of us have been, if 
our fathers hadn't drawed our faculties out of us ? What 
would my boy Joe have been if I hadn't drawed his faculties 
out of him?" 

There we have the " drawing- out " doctrine in all its 
plausibility and fallacy. What can be more obvious ? Hugh's 
faculties lay dormant, or, as John Willet expressed it, " bottled 
up and corked down"; they should have been " drawed out " 
by means, forsooth, of mathematics or grammar. Who can 
gainsay it ? 

Well, I gainsay it. What was really the matter with Hugh 
was that his mind had never been fed ; he had never been 
introduced to the culture of the race. His " faculties " would 
then pretty well have taken care of themselves. 

To bridge over the chasm between the " drawing-out " and 
the "building-up" doctrines we must cease our constant 
appeals to sub-human analogies. Herbart's rejection of the 


"plant" idea (pp. 154-5) is here notable; and the educa- 
tionist must similarly look with a certain amount of doubt 
upon analogies borrowed from the animal world, 

S Anah>T an Young birds have " mstincts >" no dubt, and 

Dangerous. these are "drawn out" effectively by the 
parents. But the essential feature of human 
life, as distinct from animal life, is its plasticity, adaptability, 
capacity, and modifiability. It was probably just this 
that led to man's success in the struggle for existence. Well, 
can plasticity be " drawn out " ? The question is absurd. 
Plasticity is essentially a receptive quality. Consequently, 
the leading characteristic of human Education must be the 
modifying of the plastic organism in response to the claims of 
the highest Culture of the day. Doubtless the organism is not 
merely plastic : it has its aspects and periods of assertiveness, 
and Education must use them. But the " drawing-out " 
theorists seem to me to ignore what is vastly more significant. 
They talk as if plasticity does not exist, or as if, though 
existing, it was to be discounted at every point. If this is 
modern educational science, it is a science faithless to the 
most characteristic feature of human nature. 

But, after all, what does "drawing out " mean? 

Pending an answer I must continue to declare myself on the 
side of "knowledge," "facts," "information," despised though 
these are by some of our " reformers"; and shall continue to 
believe that Herbart's educational categories are the most 
helpful that have ever been put forward in the history of the 
world. Some further examples of fallacy and paradox may 
illustrate this helpfulness. 

3. The Fallacy of " Secular Subjects." 

The Roman Catholic Bishop of Clifton, speaking at a 
Newport Conference in 1902, "did not attach much (com- 
parative) importance to the teaching of arithmetic, geography, 
or other (secular) subjects." Well, we Herbartians do attach 
"much importance" to all "secular subjects"; we cannot 


accept the " faculty " doctrine of the Will professed or implied 
by many people and by the Eoman Church ; we believe 
that knowledge and culture conduce to morality by way of 
Interest ; we suggest that an examination of the criminal 
statistics for England point to the fact that the poor Irish 
who land on our shores have nothing but their religion 
however valuable that may be between them 

er and moral lawlessness ; that culture and books 
of Education. 

would have aided them ; and that, therefore, 

the Bishop is wrong. Clearly, too, if the teacher's most 
distinctive work is comparatively unimportant, if the Will, 
in its independence as a haughty "faculty," cannot be 
influenced by means of "secular subjects," the only hope for 
mankind is in " sacred " subjects, persons, places, and things, 
in priests and sacraments and conversions; for if we admit 
one educational mystery (the Will) we must needs admit 
other mysteries to keep it company. Thus the teacher must 
necessarily remain a very humble person indeed if this 
psychology of the Will is true. 

3. The Fallacy of "'How,' not 'What.'" 

Take another fallacy: "It doesn't so much matter what 
you teach, as how." We hear it from platforms, we read it in 
books, it is whispered by Consultative Committees.* And yet 
it is nonsense almost sheer and unadulterated. The non- 
Herbartian is puzzled, non-plussed by it, or assents to it 
dubiously, wearily; the Herbartian rejects it at once as the 
product of ignorance or confusion. What you teach is of the 
very highest importance, because it becomes Apperception 
material, helps to form Interests, and thus to make the soul 
move in this direction or in that. If " any subject will do," 
provided methods of teaching it are good, then, as Professor 
Adams has inimitably urged, f thieving is educationally as 
^useful as history or mathematics, and Fagin was as good a 

* See the Report referred to on p. 62. t Herlartian Psychology. 


schoolmaster as could be desired. Why make additions to the 
curriculum if one subject is as good as another ? Why teach 
History if Geography will do as well? Why Geometry if 
Arithmetic ? It is a shame to educational thought in England 
that, year after year, such twaddle as the above maxim should 
strut forth as educational wisdom. Emphatically I must 
assert that the whole purpose of the " How " is to introduce 
to the " What," and that if only the " What " is properly 
selected, the problem of " How " will be simplified. For the 
41 What " will have an attractiveness of its own for the 
pupil. Next to "What" comes "When," and last of all 

S. The Fallacy of "Formal Education" or "Effort." 

Often the fallacy reappears in another dress and becomes 
a plea for " Formal Education " or " Formal Training." 
Classics, in particular, are supposed to " fortify the mind." 
Even though no Interest is aroused in classical study, and 
no real knowledge acquired, " the training comes all the 

Professor Adams has refuted this brilliantly in the fifth 
-chapter of his book, and no Herbartian accepts the doctrine 
except within narrow limits. It draws off attention from 
" content " to " form," from " pabulum " to " gymnastics." Any 
task, though criminal or useless, can be thus 
Orchard-Robbing justified if only it is laborious. " What could 

ca ^ in ^ P* ay more * a by' s faculties than 
orchard - robbing ? The necessary planning 
'demands prudence, forethought, caution. The choosing of 
the right moment implies careful observation, judicious 
estimate of character, and intelligent calculation of proba- 
bilities. The actual expedition requires the greatest 
courage, firmness, self-control. Climbing the tree and 
seizing the fruit are only possible as the result of the 
most accurate adjustment of means to end. All the results 
aimed at in the most liberal intellectual education are 


here secured."* It being thus easy to justify orchard- 
robbing by the doctrine of " Formal Education," it is still 
easier to justify the parsing and analysis of our elementary 
schools and the classical grind of the secondary. 

The Herbartian is never deceived by this fallacy, though it 
has dogged the steps of Education for centuries and dogs it 
still. Herbart's clean sweep of the "faculty doctrine," whether 
justifiable or not on psychological grounds, was a stroke of 
educational genius. If anyone doubts this he has only to 
read what intelligent moderns, probably guiltless of any 
acquaintance with Herbart, are saying about the effect of 
this very fallacy in secondary schools. I propose to quote 
Mr. A. C. Benson, partly because of the frankness of his con- 
fessions on fchis subject, and partly because, on page 7, I seem 
to enrol him among those who stress " Effort " at the expense 
of " Pabulum," the truth being exactly the opposite. 

After many years experience as a master at Eton he tells us 
that, " so far as the boys were concerned, very little Education 
was the result. They came full of Interest ; they left knowing 
next to nothing, without intellectual interests, and, indeed,, 
honestly despising them." 

He finds the cause of this failure in a false theory of 
Education and of the curriculum. " Instead of simply reading 
away at interesting and beautiful books . . . 
r. . . ei cm a g rea ^ quantity of pedantic grammar was- 
taught." "Boys know nothing of their own 
history or of modern geography." Interesting subjects are 
despised, and hard subjects adhered to because they are- 
supposed to " fortify the mind and make it a strong 
and vigorous instrument. But where," asks Mr. Benson, " is- 
the proof of it?" The system really gives "no grip, no 
vigour, no stimulus." Instead of being a " splendid gymnastic" 
the system is only a rack. In short, the " Effort " doctrine has- 

*ADAMS, Herbartian Psychology \ 


broken down. " You cannot get strenuous and zealous work 
unless you also have interest and belief in work."* 

The very blunder that Mr. Benson exposes the adoption 
of a policy of "intellectual starvation" under the impression 
that it affords a fine " mental training " is exactly that 
against which Herbart protests. So long as the dectrine of 
Apperceptive Interest is ignored, the error will persist. And 
the wonderful thing is that official writers on Secondary Educa- 
tion do ignore it, almost to a man. It has scarcely dawned 
upon them at all. 

I could quote similar complaints from other critics of 
secondary schools, like " Kappa " in Let Youth But Know ; 
but my special point is that all these matters were thrashed 
out a century ago ; and that, when an educational genius like 
Herbart presents the world with a system of helpful ideas, we 
ignore it at our peril; other men will be discovering and 
exposing, for centuries after, the very errors against which he 
has warned us, 

6. The "Faculty "Fallacy (I.) The "Faculty" of Observation. 

The fallacy just considered is closely akin to that of 
" faculty training." One "faculty" that receives special 
patronage at present is " Observation " ; the teacher's 
business is not to "teach facts" but "to cultivate the 
power of observation." 

Now the teacher who knows the Herbarfcian doctrine of 
Apperception sees at once that he is being invited to enter 
a cul de sac. We "observe" what we are " interested " in, 
and Interest depends largely on Apperception, and therefore 
on the possession of previous Knowledge or Facts. This, too, 
Professor Adams has demonstrated clearly in his chapter 
on "Observation." Why on earth should we "cultivate the 
faculty of Observation," except along useful lines? What 
advantage is there in " observing " the number of buttons on 
our waistcoat, or the number of tombstones in the graveyard 

* From a College Window. 


which we pass every morning ? Certainly we must be 
observant, apperceptive, towards all that is important in 
Nature and Human Life that is true, and is precisely what 
Herbartians urge ; but the " Faculty of Observation " in itself, 
and apart from the importance and helpfulness of the things 
observed, needs not to be cultivated, cannot indeed be culti- 
vated, and ought not. Shift the stress from " Faculty " to 
" Ideas," and everything falls into its proper place ; Observa- 
tion (call it Anschauung if you will) is seen in its relations to 
Apperception and Interest and Character. 

7. The Faculty " Fallacy (II.) The "Faculty" of Memory. 

Similarly with the Memory " faculty." Why cultivate it at 
all except along lines of healthy Interest ? Make up your mind 
what kind of a man you wish your pupil to become, and then 
supply him with appropriate " pabulum." He will "remember" 
whatever he is " interested " in, and the things that bear upon 
it. I was once present at an interview where it was my duty 
to remember the leading facts of a delicate case; after the 
nterview was over an incident occurred that subsequently 
proved of considerable importance. But my memory of that 
failed, though I remembered the interview itself completely. 
The reason was that I was interested in the interview and not 
specially interested in the event that followed. Clearly the 
word " Interest " rather than the word " Faculty " needs to be 
stressed in dealing with " Memory." My Memory was strong 
at one moment, pitiably weak five minutes after. No "Faculty" 
doctrine can explain this, but the Interest doctrine can. Again, 
if Memory means mere Eetentiveness, there is every reason for 
doubting whether it can be trained or improved at all. 

8. The "Faculty" Fallacy (III.) The "Faculty" of Reasoning. 

So, too, with Eeasoning. If this were an independent 
" faculty " we ought to begin as soon as possible with the 
child and, by means of hard problems in arithmetic or 
grammar, " teach him to think." In point of fact, such a 


child might very probably grow up singularly feeble even in 
reasoning power. But supply him with plenty of materials for 
thinking, introduce him to Nature and Human Nature, build 
up his Circle of Thought, and then there will be a chance for 
reasoning power to develop. Again the stress is on the 
content of the mind rather than on any abstracted and ghostly 
fragment of the mind. We " think" and "reason" about 
what we are interested in. I have known of cases where, as 
indicated on a previous page, the attempt to make children 
in Standard II. "think" resulted merely in wild and useless 
guessing. What else could be expected from children of 
eight ? 

9. The " Three R's " Fallacy. 

" The chief thing we should aim at is a good grounding in 
the Three R's." So we are told. But what are the " Three 
B's ? " There is Writing but no one learns to write for its 
own sake; it is a purely instrumental subject. There is 
Reading; and if " Reading " means an " Interest in Reading " 
then indeed it is " the chief thing we should aim at " ; but if 
it means only power to transform printed signs into voice, it is 
as insignificant, from the character-forming standpoint, as 
Writing; the child's Circle of Thought is unfed by both. 
Lastly, there is Arithmetic, and this certainly fails to enrich 
the Circle of Thought, though, if operating on an already rich 
Circle of Thought, it clarifies and rationalises it. 

10. The "Time Table" Fallacy. 

" Reading is Reading " the teacher was told (page 1). 
" Geography is Geography " and " Grammar is Grammar " he 
will still tell us, when convicted of allowing ungrammatical 
answers in the Geography lesson ; or " History is History" or 
" Scripture is Scripture " when convicted of neglecting to use 
a map to illustrate those subjects ; or " Science 
is Science" when his boys' Science Notes 
reveal bad Writing or Composition ; or " Arith- 
metic is Arithmetic" when he is found to have ignored the 


algebraic equation presented by every problem in " pro- 
portion." It is not the teacher's fault altogether; he has 
been forced to assign so many minutes to this, so many to 
that, and so many to another subject ; and Inspectors have 
been as guilty as any men of interpreting the Time Table in 
this ruinous way. And yet it is not entirely the fault of 
Inspectors ; for even in secondary schools, as Mr. Benson tells 
us, each of the various subjects " leads off in a separate 
direction and seems to lead nowhere in particular." The real 
fault is with our educational theories. 

Accept the Herbartian view that the stress should be not 
on "faculties" but on Ideas, Apperception, Interest, Mind- 
building and the Time Table fallacy is no more, and Correla- 
tion, with all its vivifying influence, will take its place. " We 
do not chop our lives," says Professor Armstrong, " into three- 
quarters of an hour sections, during each of which we do 
something different. On the contrary, we engage in some task, 
and do incidentally whatever is necessary for the due perform- 
ance of that task. Probably much would be gained by 
assimilating school methods far more closely to those of 
ordinary every-day life." Exactly 1 But Herbart was preaching 
Correlation a century ago. Say what we like, his " presenta- 
tional," " mechanical " psychology seems to have led him right 
on practical matters ; or rather (this is the true explanation), 
his presentational psychology was an honest attempt to explain 
the concrete facts of mental life that were ever before his 

11. The "Questioning" Fallacy. 

I am not surprised that a prominent educationist like 
Professor Welton has spoken of " the fatal heresy of the 
supreme value of questioning." From observation in many 
schools I am convinced that this heresy is doing an immense 
amount of harm ; depriving children of legitimate opportunities 
of information, keeping them in a state approaching to worry 
and irritation and keeping teachers in a similar state. Who. 


looking at the work of a teacher from an a priori standpoint 
and with the spirit of an impartial spectator of time and 
existence, would imagine that ' the teacher's chief method 
would be this ? Surely a teacher's business is primarily to 
teach, secondarily, to direct his pupils where to learn, and 
only thirdly, fourthly, or fifthly to question them ! Doubtless, 
questioning is a valuable means of arresting attention and 
discovering existent knowledge ; doubtless, too, in analytic 
subjects like mathematics and grammar, its place is an 
important one; but in history, geography, literature, and 
perhaps science, questioning should be subsidiary. 

No Herbartian would dream of trying to " question " the 
geography of Scotland out of a class that had never been first 
taught that geography. Yet attempts, hardly less absurd 
than this, are made under the influence of this form of the 
" drawing-out " fallacy. 

12. The "Never Tell Anything" Fallacy. 

Herbert Spencer and many others assure the teacher that 
he should " tell " his pupils as little as possible. Obviously 
this piece of advice is at the root of the " Questioning Fallacy.' 1 

Now if there is one fact more certain than another about 
the early history of man it is that " story-telling "or " tradition " 
was a prominent feature of his life. If there is one educational 
fact more certain than another it is that children love stories 
and crave for them. If deprived of such material in infancy 
and youth, there is every probability that they will grow up 
with minds deficient in certain valuable traits ; possibly, like 
Spencer himself, finding no pleasure in many of the finest 
works of imaginative literature. Someone has said that the 
absence of " fairy-tales " from the early education of the Boers 
has resulted in an absence of delicacy in the character of that 
sturdy race, and I feel sure that many a modern Philistine has 
been manufactured in a similar way. 

So far, then, as stories are concerned, the teacher must 
learn to " tell " them, whatever our wiseacres may say. 


But probably the wiseacres are thinking of subjects other 
than these. 

As to history and geography, most of the facts of these 
subjects must, of course, be " told," or if not " told," read. 
There is no other way. By all means arouse a spirit of 
research, even in these subjects ; set problems and suggest 
sources of information. But in the end there must be telling,, 
if not by the teacher, then by the writer of the books consulted.. 

In science and mathematics, " telling " is less important,, 
though it is far from negligible. We hear a great deal about 
the evils of " mere knowledge"; but the evils of "mere- 
ignorance " are greater. However, the main point is that with 
subjects like these the teacher should not " tell " things if his 
pupil can genuinely find them out by reflection or research. 
If he can ! 

In this case as in the last, the Herbartian denies point-blank 
the assertion that " telling " is always a bad method. He is not 
puzzled or distracted ; he merely rejects the view as absurd. 
In his mind there lies the outline of a mighty system of 
doctrines, and concepts like "Instruction," "Interest," "Circle 
of Thought " are real and familiar to him ; hence, though he 
has no bias in favour of one method over another, so long as 
they all conduce to an Immediate Interest in the things of 
Nature and Man, he has no bias against a "telling" method 
where this seems useful or necessary. 

13. The "Discipline" Fallacy. 

" The discipline of this school is especially good," says 
His Majesty's Inspector; and, indeed, there is no reason for 
surprise at the stress laid in past years on the power of keeping 
order in classes of enormous size. But I am sure that 
many a school (and many a class) whose " Discipline " 
is remarkable shows up badly when tested by the standard 
of Interest and Character. Do the boys crowd the doors 
of the Evening School, thus manifesting that they love 
wisdom better than rubies? They do not. Discipline, 


Government, Orderliness are only means to an end. Herbart 
urged this in 1806, and we in these days need the lesson badly. 

1*. The "Thoroughness" Fallacy. 

"Above all, be thorough." The worst of it is, as Thring 
pointed out, "it can't be done." To know one single thing 
" thoroughly " is to know the universe. Probably the advocates 
of " thoroughness " are really objecting to the giving of 
disconnected " scraps " of information, and thus their advice 
resolves itself into the sensible Herbartian recommendation, 
" Correlate your Instruction ; let one subject help another." 
To that extent the advice is good. But if they mean, " Never 
give information on a subject unless it can be exhaustively 
followed up," they are wildly astray. I am perfectly certain 
that if in all primary schools three lessons a year no more 
were given on the stars, the children being directed to watch 
when the moon rises, or where to look for the leading con- 
stellations, and so forth, an Interest in practical Astronomy 
would be aroused of an intense and helpful kind. Just a few 
apperceiving ideas, and the Interest will spring up. Is this a 
plea for "thoroughness"? Scarcely. And yet it is good 
educational advice, in my belief. 

Sometimes I think that the plea is really one for 
"exactness"; if so, the objections of Dr. Stanley-Hall (pp. 3-4) 
would have to be met. There is much doubt whether vagueness 
should not precede exactness all along the line. 

No Herbartian troubles much about these catchwords. He 
knows there is probably a place for thoroughness, and a place 
for diffusiveness ; a place for exactness and a place for inexact- 
ness. He prefers a different set of categories altogether. 

15. The Fallacy that "Virtue cannot be Taught." 

I have never been able to ascertain why certain eminent 
educationists are convinced that "moral lessons," such as 
those advocated by the Moral Instruction League, are useless 
or dangerous. I cannot discover that there is any philosophy 


or psychology at the back of this conviction ; on the contrary, 
philosophy and psychology are on the other side. Thus the 
late Professor Sidgwick points out that " the obstacles to right 
conduct ... lie partly in the state of our intellect, partly in 
the state of our desires and will. Partly we know our duty 
imperfectly, partly our motives for acting up to what we know 
are not strong enough to prevail over our inclination to do 
something else . . . Let us suppose that our notion of justice 
suddenly became so clear that ... we could at once see what 
justice required . . . Undoubtedly there would be much less 
injustice." In other words, Morality depends 
partly on Insight or Moral Judgment exactly 
what Herbart taught. But Herbart went further and showed 
that by means of Instruction the Will itself could also be 
influenced (via Interest). Thus, in a double sense, Virtue can 
be taught, and the eminent critics who say that it cannot are 
wrong, unless, of course, they have other grounds for their 
opinion. If they have such grounds they keep them strangely 
16. The Fallacy of " Non-Bookishness." 

"Education should be less bookish," we are told. Should 
it ? How then are we to become acquainted with History and 
Literature, and with the life of man in general ? Was Herbart 
wrong in urging that the study of Human Nature has a place 
by the side of the study of Nature ; and is not a good book 
"the precious life-blood of a master-spirit, embalmed and 
treasured up on purpose to a life beyond life ? " No one really 
denies this; but glib protests against "bookishness " serve to 
show in their authors the presence of bias and the absence of 
broad and helpful views. Thus " practice " is affected. The 
teacher's methods may remain much the same, but his time- 
table certainly will not, and his managers may lavish vast 
sums on scientific apparatus while one-tenth of the money, 
devoted to the purchase of suitable books, would be a more 
profitable investment. 


17. The examples above adduced may, perhaps, serve to 
prove my main thesis, that Herbartianism is a coherent body of 
doctrines, sound, modern, helpful, suggestive. Difficult problems 
receive from it their solutions, complete or approximate ; and 
there is nothing in the system to prevent the teacher from 
accepting new light from other sources. For example, none of 
the results of " Child-Study " are unwelcome to the Herbartian ; 
generally he finds them confirmatory of Herbart's views, and 
when they do not confirm they supplement. We have read 
how Dr. Stanley Hall has recently been urging that the present- 
day stress on " exactness " and " thoroughness " in science 
teaching is a mistake ; that the subject should be treated 
more broadly, suggestively, historically, humanistically. He 
may be right or wrong, but his rightnes's or wrongness can 
only be estimated in terms of Herbart's doctrine of Interest. 
Which method awakens the keenest and most permanent 
Interest in Nature ? 

Teachers who disparage " theory " frequently do so under 
the impression that Method, and Method only, is its subject- 
matter. They object, sometimes rightly, to the assumption 
that they could be made better teachers by a fuller knowledge 
of " theory." 

Now I certainly believe that many of them could be made 

better teachers by such a knowledge. For example, the 

Punishment Books of many schools bear wit- 

Herbart's Doc- negg to disorder "inattention," and similar 

trines Help. . 

faults during a grammar lesson, or a revision 

lesson in geography; a knowledge of the springs of Apper- 
ceptive Interest might prevent this. Then, too, an immense 
amount of time is wasted and Interest unused through 
lack of Correlation among subjects. Despite all protests 
(which almost invariably come from individuals who need 
it most of all), many matters of detail would be on a 
better scholastic footing if " theory " were studied more. 
Teachers would possess more power of self-criticism. Any- 


one who does not possess that power is an arrogant empiric, 
the curse and despair of his profession, whatever that pro- 
fession may be. 

But other functions discharged by "theory" remain to 
be mentioned. For one thing, it shows teachers the significance 
of their work by bringing the latter into relation with great 
moral issues and equally great scientific problems. Again, it 
helps to settle the problem of the curriculum. With a 
reference to this last matter I must conclude. 

18. We call books on the subject of Education " School 
Management Books," and they are full of hints how to 
teach this subject or that. 

But far more important than "Method" is "Matter," 
" What we teach," not " How." It is round this problem that 

most of the present-day controversies are rang- 
Exaggerated ^ ^ t part j ^ h N h 

Stress on Method. 

Herbartians have worked industriously at the 

theory of the curriculum. I believe that once we have decided 
what material is suitable and necessary for the child at each 
stage of his development, method will largely take care of itself. 
Children wish to learn ; the things of Nature and of Human 
Nature interest them inevitably. It is because we have been 
engrossed since Pestalozzi's time with the comparatively 
sterile problems of Method that we have made so much less 
progress than we should. 

Two or three examples may serve to indicate that in cer- 
tain quarters the "theory" of Herbart is needed to correct 
the iniquities of past Education Codes. 

(1). School in poor artisan neighbourhood. Standards VI. 
and V1L, "English." 

Parsing and analysis of simple, compound and complex 
sentences. Chief rules of syntax. Correction of faulty 
sentences, with reasons for correction. The parts of speech 
and their inflections taken in detail. Chief Latin roots. 


Where are Shakespeare, Milton, Macaulay ? .... At what 
point, \\ith such a syllabus as that, will the boys or girls ever 
make any contact with English literature in their last year 
at school? The strangest thing of all is that despite this 
elaborate grammar grind, many of the boys and girls may 
leave school unable to utter a respectable sentence, " simple, 
compound, or complex." 

(2). A better type of school whose aim is to prepare pupils 
to take situations as quickly as possible. 

Writing and composition taught as special subjects right 
up to Standard VII. No literary "Reader " in Standard VI. 
or Standard VIL, but one play of Shakespeare taught in each. 
History (Standard VI. and VII.) one hour a week. 

I hesitate to condemn, but I know that if I were a head 
teacher I should wish the pupils to leave school with an 
Interest in the History and Literature of at least one 
nation of the world their own. And I learnt that from 
Herbart, not from Education Codes. I am not sure that 
"writing" or even "composition" should need to be taught 
as such in Standard VII. 

(3). Another good school. 

Recitation (Standard III.) " Casabianca." 

One year of Casabianca^ nothing but Casabianca ! Not so 
do I read the Herbartian doctrine of Interest. For Interest 
needs the new as well as the old, and where would the "new" 
be after three months ? Or perhaps the three months may be 
devoted to one half of "Casabianca"; I have been told of 
such things. A literary whole is murdered because we 
imagine that oar business is the training of a " memory 
faculty," instead of the creating of an Interest. And why 
this passion for poetry on foreign heroism? To inculcate 
cosmopolitan sentiments ? I wish I could think it. No ; it is 
because the Faculty Doctrine makes us forget the Apperception 
Doctrine, with its stress on Experience, Intercourse, and 



I. Notes on a Few of the Terms Used 
in this Book. 

Analytic Instruction. Instruction which works over and 
systematises the knowledge already possessed or implicit. 
Synthetic Instruction brings forward new materials and 
adds them to the child's Circle of Thought. 

Anschauung. Immediate Sense Experience ; commonly trans- 
lated " Observation," but the latter word usually implies 
in addition an active, volitional attitude. The word 
Anschauung is also applied (by an extension of its meaning) 
to immediate experience of our own states of mind (love> 
fear, pain, etc.). 

Apperception. A very useful and comprehensive word standing 
for the interpretation or apprehension of a new experience 
in terms of older experiences. Apperception ranges 
upwards from a mere perception of familiarity (see 
Herbart's words on pp. 94-95) to the perception of the 
most far-reaching scientific analogies (p. 93). Apperception 
is always accompanied by Interest. Apperception 
embraces what is known to English psychology as 
Association of Ideas, but it is a wider, less technical, and 
more educationally helpful term. 

"Apperception Masses." Masses of related ideas capable of 
giving rise to powerful Apperception. A man who has an 
extensive knowledge of the history of Alfred the Great 


would feel a keen " Apperceptive Interest " if, for example, 
a new writer brought forward the theory that Alfred was 
drowned at sea. Where no Apperception Masses exist, 
Apperceptive Interest cannot be aroused. A country 
labourer is not likely to be interested in the mention of 
Moliere or Aurungzebe. 

Attention, Kinds of. Attention, such as that of a child 
to a bright object, is called by Herbart "primitive"; 
when past experience gives an added "interest" to a new 
experience the Attention is " apperceptive." There is 
also the distinction between "forced" ("voluntary") 
Attention and "willing" ("involuntary") Attention, these 
corresponding to "mediate" and "immediate" Interest 

Character-forming Instruction. Such Instruction as helps to 
form the moral judgment. It is the same as Instruction 
based on the " Humanities." 

Correlation. The bringing of the various subjects of the 
curriculum into mutual relationship, thus economising 
time and enhancing Apperceptive Interest. History, 
Geography, Literature, may all throw light on each other ; 
Composition may be based on the familiar themes supplied 
by those subjects ; Algebra may aid Arithmetic ; and 
so on. There is also correlation with experience. 

Concentration. The placing of one subject, or one group of 
subjects, in the " centre ' : of the curriculum, and fitting all 
others on to that. Ziller invented a scheme of " Concen- 
tration " round humanistic material [first year, Fairy 
Tales ; second year, The Story of Kobinson Crusoe ; third 
year, The Patriarchs ; and so on] ; and other attempts of 
the same kind have been made. As a result of Frobel's 
influence there is often a high degree of Concentration 
in Infant Schools. But opinion tends to the view 
that Concentration, when carried to excess, passes 


over to its opposite, and causes dislocation rather than 
unification of the curriculum. The uttermost limit of 
allowable Concentration would appear to be this. The 
Core of the Curriculum should be Humanistic Material 
and Nature Material; "Formal Subjects" (Grammar, 
Mathematics), should be based on these; and mere 
Dexterities like Writing, Spelling, etc., should never usurp 
a chief place. Correlation should be extensively employed. 

Culture Stages or Culture Epochs Doctrine. The Doctrine 
that the child reproduces in miniature the chief stages 
through which the race has ascended. The Doctrine is 
full of suggestiveness. 

Educative Instruction. Herbart's phrase for such Instruction 
as awakens powerful Interest and thus helps to mould life. 

Discipline. In this book the word " Discipline " is used, in the 
primary teacher's sense, for "keeping order." It corre- 
sponds to Herbart's Regierung and Mr. and Mrs. Fel- 
kin's " Government." Often the word possesses a higher 
meaning, and stands for a number of formative influences 
exerted upon the pupil by his school work, his games, his 
positions of responsibility, etc. In this sense we may 
speak of the " discipline of consequences," the " discipline 
of life," " the discipline of the playing fields," and so on, 
but in this book, " Training" (or " Moral Training") is used 
for Discipline in this higher sense. 

"Formal Culture," "Formal Training," "Formal Education." 

'It is held by some educationists that any subject, if 
sufficiently hard, gives " Formal Training." A boy trained 
on Mathematics is supposed to be equipped for almost 
any work ; similarly a boy trained on the Classics. Any 
tolerably hard subject is regarded as a kind of whetstone, 
and the mind receives a permanent sharpness from it. The 
Herbartians reject this view, which goes counter to the 
whole of their teaching about Apperception and Interest. 


They consider that the kind of ideas acquired is of the 
greatest importance; and, moreover, that experience ia 
against the view that training in one subject gives power 
over a very different subject. Considering the amount oi 
labour spent over grammar (English and Latin) during the 
last few decades, the mental keenness of the modern 
Englishman would be remarkable if the doctrine of 
Formal Culture were true. 

" Faculty Doctrine." The view that the human mind consists 
of a number of more or less distinct organs (or "faculties") 
of Memory, Imagination, Eeasoning, Will, etc. The 
danger of the doctrine is that it tends to make the teacher 
ignore the relationship between the so-called "faculties"; 
he thus tries to cultivate them separately from each other. 
Herbart rejected the doctrine as psychologically false and 
educationally mischievous, and preferred to interpret 
mental facts simply by means of ideas (presentations), 
whose various combinations and interactions sufficiently 
explained the various so-called " faculties." 

Interest, Mediate and Immediate. An Interest in a subject 
because of certain ends to which it contributes, or because 
of fear of punishment, or because a loved teacher wishes the 
subject to be learnt, is " Mediate Interest." Interest in a 
subject for its own sake is " Immediate Interest." It is 
the latter on which Herbart lays chief though not exclusive 

Heuristic Method. The " Method of Discovery," especially 
associated in this country with the name of Professor 
Armstrong. The child is to be encouraged to engage in 
research, in finding out for himself (with a certain amount 
of benevolent guidance on the part of the teacher) such 
laws of nature as are accessible to his experiments or 
observations. The doctrine is sometimes blended with 
that of " Culture Stages," and the child is expected to 


reproduce in miniature the course taken by the history of 
science in the race. 

Presentations. A translation of the German Vorstellungen 
which stands for the ultimate intellectual elements 
Sensations, Ideas, etc. 

The Presentational Mechanism. Herbart attempted to explain 
mental life by the rise, fall, interaction, coalescence, etc., 
of "presentations." The systematic way in which he 
attempted this explanation has given rise to the view that 
his psychology is " mechanical." 

" Self- Activity ." The favourite phrase of Frobelian educa- 
tionists, stands for the outgoing, efferent, or motor side 
of human life, in contrast to the receptive, afferent, or 
sensory. The word is often used in special connection 
with "Individuality"; each child is regarded as possessing 
peculiarities of its own, which should be given full liberty 
to reveal or express themselves. In the Herbartian 
system "Interest is Self -Activity." 

" Realism and Humanism." Kealisrn in Education lays stress 
upon giving an acquaintance with physical nature; 
Humanism upon giving an acquaintance with " the best 
that has been thought and said in the world." Science 
(with its "formal" handmaid Mathematics) is the favourite 
subject of Eealists ; Literature (with its " formal " hand- 
maid Grammar) of Humanists. Herbart embraced both 
views of Education. 


II. Problems for Students. 

1. Give illustrations of lack of Correlation, and 

2. Explain why lack of Correlation is educationally bad. 

3. What rival views are held as to the importance of 
exactness in the study of Science in the school ? 

4. State and discuss the rival views upon the question 
whether the children should be given abundance of " facts," 
"information," or " knowledge." 

5. Discuss the question whether, and if so how, the power 
of " observation " should be cultivated. 

6. Consider whether, and if so how far, Education is a 
process of " drawing-out." 

7. Show the relation between Apperception and Observation. 

8. Consider whether "faculties" can be, in any sense, 

9. Bring out the distinction between " knowledge " and 
" drill," with especial reference to the doctrine of Interest. 

10. Bring out the distinction between the " Effort " and the 
" Pabulum " doctrines, and relate each to the doctrine of 
" Interest." 

11. Do you consider that " mechanical methods " of 
Education have any value? 

12. Is there any moral value whatever in" secular subjects?" 
If so, does the value inhere in all, or only in some of them ? 

13. Do you consider that a child of eight ought to " think 
for himself," and if so, to what extent and in what manner ? 

14. Discuss the question whether Education should be 
more, or less, " bookish." 



15. Analyse the value of the " Three E's " from the stand- 
point of Herbart. 

16. Consider whether grammar helps to " train the mind." 

17. Contrast " Eeasoning " with " Eeverence," and consider 
which, on the whole, should come first in time. 

18. What are Natural Punishments? Consider the views 
of Herbart and of other educationists with regard to their 

19. Show some of the ways in which the doctrine of 
Culture Stages has helped Education. 

20. What is Concentration ? Give an example. 

21. Mention any points in which Herbart has anticipated 
the proposals of Frobel. 

22. Consider whether Herbart has ignored (1) heredity, 
(2) environment. 

23. Is there any relation between Interest and Self- 
Activity ? 

24. Consider whether Interest is destructive of Effort, or 
Effort destructive of Interest. 

25. Discuss the reasons for approving of Fairy Tales in 
early Education. 

26. " It is Action that forms the Character." Discuss this 
Show also the place of Insight. 

27. What is meant by a " knife and fork" study and a 
" dinner" study,? On which should the main stress be laid? 

28. Consider the examples of educational chaos adduced in 
Part I., and attempt to solve them. 



Absorption and Reflection. 115-6. 
117, 121 

Acland, Sir T., 5 

Action, 178 ff . 

Adams, Prof., 5, 7, 10, 81, 85, 97, 124, 

171, 194, 195-6, 197 
Adolescence, 148 

Aesthetic Presentation of the Uni- 
verse, 125, 148, 168, and passim 
Aim of Education, 5, 8, 21 ff ., 36-7, 49- 

51, 55, 63, 102, 189 
Anschauung, 83-5, 149, 208 
Apperception, 5, 7, 8, 10, 24, 38, 74, 83, 

84, 89-94, 94, 125-6, 127, 132, 137, 

167, 168, 194, 203, 208 
" Application " ; see The Formal 


Archibald, Mr. H., 67 
Arithmetic, 2, 83, 106, 128, 150, 151-2, 

Armstrong, Prof., 3, 5, 7, 10, 14, 15, 113, 

128, 200 

Arnold, Mattlww, 11, 113, 115, 125 
Arnolds, The, 15, 16 
Art, 16 
Attention, 85-9, 209 

Bain, 16 

Barnardo, Dr., 9 

Benson, Mr. A. C., 1, 198-7, 200 

Bible, 123, 125, 129 

Blame ; see Praise 

Books, " Bookishness," 12, 13, 65, 

149, 204 
Buffon, 87 

Campe, 169 

Cecil, Lord H., 19 

Character, 21 ff., 39, 40, 66-9, 74, 107, 
157, 159, 194; see also Moral In- 
struction ; see also Culture, Inter- 
est, and Morality 

Character, Objective and Subjective 
Sides of, 166 ff. 

Church, 8, 91, 113, 138, 140, 188, 193-4 ; 
see also Religion 

Circle of Thought, The, 37, 38, 40, 107, 
124, 147, 168 ff., 171 ff, 180 ff. ; see 
also Ideas, and Instruction 

Classical Languages, 52, 107, 144-5, 
195-6, 210 

Co-education, 18 

Composition, 207, 209 

Concentration, 73, 99, 103, 123 ff., 147, 

209-10 ; see also Correlation 
" Concrete before Abstract," 84. 100, 

Correlation, 1-2, 73, 123 ff ., 199-200, 203, 

209 ; see also Concentration 
Creighton, Bishop, 19 
Culture, Interest, and Morality, 24-6, 

37, 49, 55-7, 59-64, 91 ff., 194 
Culture Stages or Culture Epochs, 

Doctrine of, 19, 107, 113, 141 ff., 

Curriculum Problem, 123 ff., 206-7 

Darwin, 13, 74, 79, 93, 97, 141 

Davidson, Dr., 53 

Davidson, Dr. (of America), 61 

De Garmo, Prof., 81, 100, 130 

De Morgan, 7 

Design, 16 

Desire, 178 ff. 

" Development of all Human Powers," 

50-1, 58 

Dewey, Dr., 101 
Discipline (Government) 40-8, 174-5, 

202-3, 210 

Distraction ; see Frivolity 
Dittes, 21, 101, 116 
Dodd, Miss, 131 
Dogma, 19, 138-40, 148 
Dorpfeld, 117 
Drawing, 129 
"Drawing-out" v. " Putting-in," 5, 

8-10, 89-90, 91, 153 ff., 187 ff. 

Education ; see Aim 

Effort, 7, 52, 54, 77-82, 86, 87, 95, 151 ; 

see also Soft Pedagogy v. Strenu- 

Environment, 9, 53, 104, 191 ff. ; see 

also Experience and Intercourse 
Erasmus, 93 

Ethics, Herbart's, 26-30 
Experience v. Theoretical Knowledge, 

35-6 ; see also Theory 
Experience and Intercourse, 85, 98, 

102 ff., 134 

Facts, Information, Knowledge, 
Pabulum, 4-10, 32, 65, 78-9, 89, 
95-7, 190, 192, 194 ff. 

Faculties (in non-Herbartian sense), 
34, 49, 171-2, 179, 183, 192 ff., 211 



Faculty (in Herbartian sense) 7-8, 10, 

Fairy Tales ; see Literature 

Felkin, Mr. and Mrs., 76, 88, 210 

Fichte, 145 

Findlay, Prof., 81, 117, 119, 131 

Formal Steps of Instruction, The, 117 

Formal Studies v. Real Studies, 103, 
106, 181, 145-6; see also Formal 
Training, and Facts 

" Formal Training," "Formal Cul- 
ture," "Formal Discipline," 109, 
192, 195-7, 210-1 

Frick, Dr., 131 

Frivolity, Distraction, and Many- 
sidedness, 73 

Frobel, 8, 11, 12, 13, 16, 19, 23, 45, 47, 
48, 50, 53, 65, 70, 73, 86, 96, 137, 
141, 146, 150 ff., 190 

Future Calling, The Pupil's, 50, 61, 62, 
159 ; see also Specialisation 

"Gardener" Analogy, 66, 76, 89> 

152-5, 193 

Geography, 1, 3, 17, 83, 93, 201, 202 
Geometry, 128 
Gorst, Mr. H., 4, 12, 65 
Gorst, Sir John, 17 
Grammar, 17, 137, 144, 196, 201, 206-7, 


Gray, 74, 143 
Gymnastic (Mental), 7, 10, 190 ; see also 

Effort, and Soft Pedagogy v. 


Habit, 181-2 

hall, Dr. Stanley, 3-5, 18, 23, 84, 142, 

147, 184, 203, 205 
Heredity, 9, 66, 70, 72, 74, 89-91, 92, 

147, 191-2 ; see also Individuality 
Herford, Mr. W. H., 12 
"Heuristic" Attitude, 78, 100,112-4, 

202, 211 

History, 3, 128, 134-5, 202 
Hubatsch, 77 
Hughes, Mr., 48 
"Humanities," The, 11, 125, 133 ff., 

and passimt 
Hygiene, 2, 17, 131 
Ideas, Presentations, Power of, 

10-11, 22, 132, 155, 168 ff., 171 ff., 

183 ff., 212. 

Imagination, 104, 136, 145 
Individuality, 11, 36, 47, 65-77, 163, 191 
Insight ; see Moral Judgment 
Instincts, 51, 101 
Instruction, 8, 9, 32, 33, 34, 38 ff., 41, 

42, 47, 66, 72, 76, 85, 97, 102 ff., 

172-3, 177 
Character Forming or Humanistic, 

133, 209 
Synthetic, 85, 111-2, 144, 145, 147, 148, 

149, 208 

Analytic, 111-2, 145, 208 

Educative, 132-3, 159, 210 

Intercourse ; see Experience 

Interest, Many-sided, 8, 17, 24, 48, 50-4, 
59-60, 61-4, 69, 72, 76, 77-82,85,87-9, 
90-4, 94-7, 115, 126-7, 127-8, 137, 151, 
154, 160 ff., 167, 173, 179, 194, 196, 
203, 207, 208 

Mediate and Immediate, 82, 95, 211 
Classification of Interests, 98-102, 
138, 163 

James, Prof., 8, 172 

Kappa, 197 

"Knife and Fork" studies v. "Din- 
ner " studies, 108 

Lange, Dr., 93-4 

Languages, 107-9 

Laurie, Prof., 18, 44, 176 

Lazarus, Prof., 96 

Life, Education and, 81 

Limitations of Education ; see Teacher 

Literature, Fairy Tales, etc., 104, 123, 

128, 136-7, 142 ff., 147, 201 
Locke, 45, 88, 132, 183 
Lodge, Sir Oliver, 7, 52 
Lombroso, Prof., 51 
Lying, 185 

Manual Work, 152, 155 ff. 

Mason, Miss C., 12 

Mathematics, 109, 114, 115, 129, 148, 

151-2, 201, 210 

McMurray, Dr., 61, 81-2, 96, 97,103. 133 
" Mechanical " Psychology of Her- 

bart, 22, 29-30, 37, 139, 163, 183, 

200, 212 

Mechanical v. Rational, 2, 14 
Memory, 6, 16, 120, 198, 207 
Milton, 13 
Moral Evil, 75 
Moral Ideas, The Five, 27-30, 64, 69, 

75, 139, 177 
Moral Judgment, Moral Instruction, 

Moral Insight, 19, 66, 68, 133, 137, 

167-8-9, 181, 203-4 
Motor (Efferent) Side of Mental Life, 

45, 180 

Natorp, Prof., 57 

Natural History ; see Science 

Nature, 12, 13, 50, 102 

Newman, 91 

Niemeyer, 183 

Novelty v. Familiarity, 92, 96 

Obedience, 11, 45, 46, 47 

Observation, 5, 197-8 

Occupation, 45 

Overcrowding of the Curriculum, 127 

Pabulum ; see Facts 

Parker, Colonel, 130 

Paton, Mr. J. L., 52, 86, 174 

Patriotism, 144 

Payne, Prof. W.H.,81 

Pestalozzi, 23, 51, 65, 83, 84, 90, 98, 145, 

149, 153, 161, 206 
Physical Training, 155 ff. 
Plant Analogy ; see Gardener 



Plasticity, 191 ft. 

Play, 149 ft., 158 

Pope, 29 

"Power," 51, 52; see also Develop- 

Praise and Blame, 175 ; see also Dis- 

" Preparation " ; see The Formal Steps 

"Presentation"; see The Formal 

Presentational Mechanism; see Me- 
chanical Psychology 

Presentations ; see Ideas 

Psychology, 22, 36, 37, 53, 57, 94, 172, 
182 ff. 

Punishment, 17, 18, 43, 175, 185 

Questioning, 200-1 
Quick, R. H., 6, 87-8 

Ramsay, Sir W., 15 

Rational v. Mechanical ; see Mechani- 
cal v. Rational 

Reading, 1, 2, 107-9, 199 

Realisation, Self-, 53 

" Realism " and " Humanism," Know- 
ledge and Sympathy, 98, 99-100, 
102-3, 212 

Reason, Reasoning, 45, 198-9 

Recapitulation ; see Memory 

Receptivity and Sensitiveness, 75 

" Reflection " ; see Absorption 

Rein, Dr., 131 

Religion, Religious Instruction, 14, 24, 
134-5, 138, 147-8, 163 

Repetition ; see Memory 

Reverence, 14, 113 

Reward ; see Punishments 

Robinson Crusoe, 123, 137, 147 

Rollit, Sir A., 3 

Rooper, T. G., 24, 103 

Rousseau, 4, 12, 13, 45, 46, 50, 182, 183 

Rowntree, Mr. S., 19 

Sacred v. Secular. See "Secular 

Science, 3, 4, 6, 83, 98, 112-5, 126, 128, 

129, 133, 146, 148, 205 
" Secular Subjects," 22, 56, 124, 193-4 
Self-Activity, Initiative, etc., 42, 43, 

45, 81, 96, 114, 121, 151, 158, 212 ; 

see also Interest and Individuality. 
Sensory, Receptive, or Afferent Side 

of Mental Life, 66 
Shaiv Bernard, 186 
Shelley, Mrs., 11 

Sidgwick, H., 28, 204 

Singing, 119, 157 

Skill, 109, 119, 145 

Skrine, Mr. J. H., 9, 39, 52, 153, 189 

"Soft Pedagogy" v. Strenuousness, 

46, 48, 77-82, 122 
" Soul," The, 77 
Specialisation, 70, 71, 160; see also 

Future Calling 
Spencer, Herbert, 15-16, 18, 53, 96, 98, 

102, 112-3, 162, 176, 201 
Stephen, Sir ., 93 
Suggestion, 9, 190 
Supervision, 42, 43 
Sympathy, 134-5, 143, 144 

Teacher, Power and Limitations 
of, 38, 75, 76, 89 ff., 162-4 

Technical or Professional Education ; 
see Future Calling and Utilitarian 

" Telling," 113, 201-2 

Temperaments, 15 

Temperance, 2 

Theory, Value of, 120, 186 ff., 205-6 

Thinking for Oneself, Reasoning, Effi- 
ciency, 11, 12, 14, 16, 51, 65, 113 

Thoroughness, 13, 203, 205 

Three R's, 14, 107, 199 

Thring, Edward, 5, 13, 16, 18, 44, 98, 
174, 203 

Training, 33, 39, 41, 43, 64, 132, 171, 
174 ff., 176 ff., 210 

Translations, 144-6 

Utilitarian Education, 131, 159 ff. 

Virtue, 9, 34, 167. 203-4 
Volition, Origin of, 38, 42, 44, 67, 75 

Wearisomeness, 105 

Wells, Mr. H. G., 12, 20 

Welton, Prof., 8, 89, 153, 188, 189, 200 

Will, Memory of the, 75, 181-2 

Will, The Human ; Freedom of ; Na- 
ture of, 30-5, 44, 56, 79, 166, 171 ff., 
173, 178 ff . 

Williams, Mr. L., 18, 176 

Wilson, Archdeacon, 6, 7 

Wordsworth, 13 

Writing, 106, 119, 199, 207 

Ziller,' Ql, 99, 103, 104, 110, 117,118, 
120, 123 ff., 130, 136-7, 147, 159, 160, 
181, 209 

Zippel, 118, 126, 139 

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