Page images

as day is from night; it is in fact the only new and interesting as they all were, could way to be really unselfish."

not keep us from noting that our prairie “But Miss A.”, said James, “it must be sunflower was still with us but with a still that soil and dryness have much to do with further shortened stem. At Gray, Montana, the growth of trees : on the bluff west of we took bronchos and started for the sumhere there is a deep forest, you know, and mit of Gray's Peak. Torry, Gray and other yet the trees are small. The soil is rocky peaks shut in a great amphitheatre at their and does not hold moisture." "Yes," said

” 'Yes,” said feet carpeted with stemless flowers. The Miss A., “the entire environment of tree or prairie sunflower was there with many of its man must be considered. Struggle is not friends that had accompanied it with their enough, or the fox jumping after grapes shortening stems from the plains. It was a would have grown strong; Oak Bluffs is a view never to be forgotten,-a circuit of bare summer outing on the east coast of Martha's peaks above, passing below into a circuit of Vineyard-the only soil is sand blown up snow, and this joined from side to side by a from the coast into hills by the east wind : floor of many-colored flowers. The struggle the oaks growing there are small and they with storm and frost and an unfriendly soil always will be, just as they are in some of has reduced these flowers to the bare necesthe Knob Stone regions of Indiana. In 1887 sities of existence. It is the lesson of life I went to the summit of Gray's Peak. As we everywhere, that so much struggle as is necpassed through the prairies of Illinois, prai- essary to bring the powers to their highest rie sunflowers were on every hand

development and leave time and freedom to *Ten thousand saw I at a glance

employ them in productive ways, is necesTossing their beads in sprightly dance.' sary to the highest attainments of which the These grew on tall stems ten or fifteen feet individual or the race is capable.” high. Persons riding on horse-back could The reporter of these school lessons, one hardly reach to pull one. As we approached day in 1890, missed his connection with a Denver, however, where the soil is poor and steamer on the east side of Loch Long. The the altitude is something like a mile above scene can be different from what it is there, sea level, we had to stoop to gather prairie it hardly can be more enchanting; the road sunflowers. From Denver we passed up on the east shore of the lake for miles is Clear Creek cañon, one of the loveliest jour- lined with holly trees : Cowper incidentally neys it is possible for any one to make. The describes the adaptation of this tree to its high granite hills, the great engineering environment: skill it required to construct a railroad up

“Below, a circling fence, its leaves are seen the cañon, the miners washing the gravel Wrinkled and keen; from the gold in long troughs, Georgetown No grazing cattle through their prickly round with its mountain rim, Silverplume with

Can reach to wound; its white mounds and smoking chimneys,

But above, where nothing is to fear,

Smoothe and unarmed the pointless leaves appear." the irrigation canals, which mean so much all our western country, here cut in solid rock We gathered and mounted one of these and there crossing gorges in huge wooden “ prickly” leaves from “ below,” and also conduits, Idaho Falls with its baths, Green one of the “smoothe, unarmed” ones from Lake which we journeyed to see, with its “above," and brought them to show to our unrivaled beauty and its lonely but majestic friends. setting almost at the limit of vegetation, RICHMOND, IND.



[ocr errors]

“The seal, once laid on pliant wax,

was Christopher Dock, the first writer on
Stamps its own image, cancelled never ; pedagogy in America.
The teacher's lineaments on the soul

We are accustomed in our thinking of
Their vivid impress leave forever.
Lay careful hand on head and heart,

America to give New England the credit for
While waits the youth at life's fair portal ; everything. We credit her with all that is
So shall your work, in beauty wrought, good in politics, religion, art, literature, edu-
Be beauty, stamped with life immortal.”

cation and what-not. We have done this so -Samuel Francis Smith.

long that New England actually thinks she HE great teacher everywhere and in all '

deserves the praise, and in turn tells us that times has been characterized by great if we would drink from the fountain head we earnestness. He has never been satisfied

must come to her. Perhaps in the future with mere intellectual development. He when some historian tears himself loose from has never been willing to stop short of his New England influence and gives himself pupil's salvation. His definition of salva

without reserve to the study of the Schuyltion has not always been orthodox, but it kill valley, it will be found that here where has always included the idea of self-freedom.

the Dunker, Mennonite, Schwenkfelder, PiThe fundamental motive, either explicit etist and Quaker lived together in peace or implicit in the mind of every great edu- and harmony, many of the things which we cator from Plato to Arnold has been, “I hold dear either had their origin or were must so teach my pupil the truth, that greatly modified. The student of the history through it he shall become free," free may be of education soon finds that it is to this field from the state, free possibly from the devil, i he must look for much of his knowledge of or perhaps free from self.

colonial schools. To this region came a suEvery great teacher has also been con- perior class of people. They were thinking scious of the very large part that he indi- people--that is why they left Europe. vidually has in this struggle for freedom.

Among the Pietists, Quakers and MennonThe full realization of the fact that his

ites were many really distinguished scholars. "lineaments may forever leave their im- With such a class of people schools were a press ” on the soul of the learner, can scarcely matter-of-course. The schools were naturally fail to fill him with earnestness and humil- modeled after the best German ideals. It ity. Sometimes a teacher who is really may not be wholly devoid of interest if we great may not be known far from home. study one of these schools and its teacher, He may be a modest man, and he may work Christopher Dock. in a community that is not given to adver- Christopher Dock was a Mennonite who tising. If his work leaves an impress came from Germany to Pennsylvania about upon the community, such that the stranger 1714. Nothing whatever is known of his who comes there years after he is dead can ancestors or of his own early life. We may still find definite traces, we may be sure that reasonably infer that he was a well-educated he was a great teacher. Should you go into young German. He was certainly an enthuthe valley of the Skippack, a tributary of the siastic believer in his church. Its tenets

. Schuylkill, you would be able to find there

were so strongly impressed upon him that some traces of a country-school teacher, they were always the guiding principles of although he has been dead for more than his life. Tradition has it that before coming one hundred twenty-five years. This man to America he was drafted into the German * I am greatly indebted to Judge Pennypacker's sketch. army, but was discharged because of his

[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]

convictions and refusal to bear arms. He opened two schools, one in Skippack and had himself under perfect control, and in one in Salford. These schools. were twenty his whole life was never known to show the miles apart. He taught in one on Monday, slightest anger. Two men who had a dis- Tuesday and Wednesday. On Wednesday cussion about this element of Dock's char- evening he walked over to the other school acter concluded that he had never been and taught it on Thursday, Friday and fully tested or he would show anger. They Saturday, walking back to the first school decided to test him. Soon after, as Dock either Saturday evening or Monday mornpassed along, one of the men reviled him in ing. One will read much history and touch the most bitter and profane manner. Dock's much life before he finds a nobler example only reply was,—“Friend, may the Lord of the higher sacrifice, than this answer have mercy on thee.” This self-control that Christopher Dock gave to what he must certainly have served him well in his believed to be the divine call to duty. long service as a teacher, and is surely not

He did his work so well that his fame exthe least of the many elements that contrib- tended beyond the two townships of Skiputed to his remarkable success.

pack and Salford. In 1750, Christopher Soon after coming to America Dock Sauer, the well-known Germantown pubopened a school among his brethren on the lisher, concluded it would be wise to have Skippack. Although the compensation was Dock write a work on pedagogy for pubvery limited, he continued the school for lication. He said this ought to be done, ten years. He then became a farmer, buy- so "that other school-teachers whose gift is ing a small farm from the Penns. He con- not so great, might be instructed, that those tinued to farm for ten years, teaching, how- who care only for the money they receive, ever, four summer terms of three months might be shamed, and that parents might each in Germantown. All the time he was know how a well-arranged school is conon the farm he had the consciousness that ducted, and how themselves to treat chilhe ought to be in the school-room. He felt dren." Dock was very modest and bethat he was called to be a teacher and he sides he had religious scruples against doing was. What great teacher is not called? | anything that might seem for his own The real teacher receives as divine a call as praise. It required diplomacy to secure ever comes to the preacher. His work, if he from him the desired work. Sauer worked deal with children, is more important than through Dielman Kolb, a prominent Menthat of the preacher. He has it in his power nonite preacher and a very warm friend of to mould life, in fact he comes in contact

Dock. After much persuasion, Kolb fiwith the only really plastic thing in the nally induced Dock to undertake to answer world. The preacher's contact is with certain questions which Sauer had proposed. material that has largely lost its plasticity, Dock completed the work in August, 1750. and as a result he turns out products many

One of his stipulations, however, had been of which are formal. The teacher has it in that it should not be printed during his his power to turn out only real products. lifetime. For nineteen years his wish was This call finally became so emphatic that he respected. Finally, a number of friends

, could resist it no longer, and in 1738 he tired of the long delay, banded together and gave up his farm and returned to the school- succeeded in getting Dock's consent to print. room. He felt that in the school-room he But now the manuscript was lost. Dock could serve God and man best, and to the characteristically wrote to the publisher, school he went. For the remaining thirty- "I should not trouble myself about the three years of his life, he gave himself loss of the writing. It has never been my unselfishly to the cause he loved. He 'opinion that it should be printed in my


lifetime, and so I am very well pleased that in the training of children, since some seek it has been lost." Finally, after more than the welfare and happiness of their children a year's search, the manuscript was found. in teaching and life with their whole hearts, It was immediately published, 1770. The and turn all their energies to advance the title of the work is very long, and it is honor of God. Others are just the opposite usually known as the Schul-Ordnung. in life and teaching, and set evil examples

The importance of the essay consists in before their children. Through this it haptwo things; first, it is the earliest work on pens that not only between the school-master school teaching written and printed in and the children comes this unequal trainAmerica; second, it gives us the only pic- ing, though he otherwise follow his calling ture of the colonial country school. Very truly and uprightly before God and man, few copies of the original publication are in but he is compelled to use unequal zeal and existence, possibly only one-that owned by discipline; whereupon the school-master at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. once gets the name of having favorites, and Sauer issued a second edition in the same of treating one child harder than another, year as the first. Only two or three copies which, as a matter of fact, he must do for of this edition are known to be in existence. conscience sake, in order that the children In 1861 the Mennonites of Ohio made a re- of good breeding be not injured by those of print of the second edition. Dock is also bad breeding. In other respects it is unthe author of A Hundred Rules of Conduct, doubtedly the school-master's duty to be which is perhaps the earliest American work impartial, and to determine nothing by faon etiquette. He wrote some seven or eight voritism or appearance. The poor beggar hymns, some of which are still used in the child, scabby, ragged and lousy, if its conchurch service of the Mennonites.

duct is good, or it is willing to be instructed, One evening in the fall of 1771, Dock did must be as dear to him, though he should not return from his school at the usual time. never receive a penny for it, as that of the Heinrich Kassell, the farmer with whom he rich, from whom he may expect a great relived, made search for him, and he was found ward in this life. The great reward for the in the school-house on his knees-dead. It

poor child follows in the life to come. In was his custom every evening after school to brief, it would take too much time to describe spend some time in the school-house alone all the duties which fall upon a school-master in communion with his God. It was while to perform faithfully toward the young, but trying to gain inspiration and strength for still longer would it take to describe all the the next day's work that the silent messen- difficulties which encompass him at home if ger of death found him. His was certainly he is willing to economize as his duties rea fitting death to a life well spent.

quire. As I took all this into consideration We shall now examine somewhat in detail I foresaw that if I would and should do the picture he gives us of the colonial school. something valuable to the young it was necIn his introductory statement he deplores essary for me, daily and hourly, with David, the fact “that school teaching in this coun- to raise my eyes to the mountains for help.” try is far different from in Germany, since It would be difficult to find a modern eduthere the school stands upon such pillars cator who has more truly grasped the real that the common people cannot overthrow problem of school management. It would it." He fully understood the great diffi- also be hard to find a teacher who goes at culties encountered by the teacher and the his work with better spirit. great responsibility resting upon him. “I The method of receiving a new child at considered," he says, “my own unworthi- school is quaint, interesting, almost amusness, and the unequal influence of parents 'ing. “The child is first welcomed by the


other scholars, who extend their hands to it. erroneous adage of Quintillian, “He teaches It is then asked by me whether it will learn best to another that which he himself has industriously and be obedient. If it prom- just learned." ises me this I explain to it how it must be- The following picture of the opening of hare, and if it can say the A, B, C's in order, school shows much of the spirit of the man: one after the other, and also by way of proof | As the pupils came in the morning they can point out with the forefinger all the

sat on

a bench, the boys on one the designated letters, it is put into the a-b, abs. girls on another. They were then directed When it gets this far its father must give it to some chapter in the testament and witha penny and its mother must cook for it two out having studied it they read in turn. eggs, because of its industry, and a similar While this was occurring Dock sat at a table reward is due it when it goes further into writing the copies for the day. Those who words, and so forth.” After some further made no mistake in reading their explanations, the duty of obedience was im- came to the table and wrote, while those pressed upon the child, and it was again who made mistakes went to the foot of the asked to solemnly promise to obey and work. bench. Those who came in later took their Then the child was stood up before the places in order at the foot of the bench also. school and some older pupil was asked to As they were freed by perfect reading they rolunteer “ to receive this new school-child took their places at the writing-table until and teach and instruct it.” Dock quaintly all were together. The last one to leave the observes "accordingly as the child is strange bench was a "lazy scholar.” After they or known, or is agreeable in appearance or were all together at the writing-table they otherwise, there are generally many or few were carefully examined to see whether they who are ready to offer to instruct it. If were washed and combed. This last practice there are none willing, then I ask, who for a is still regarded everywhere, I believe, as good Script or a Bird will instruct the child for a pedagogy. Cleanliness is next to intellectual certain time, and this rarely fails.”

development. After this examination was It is certainly interesting to note that the successfully terminated a morning hymn idea of having one pupil teach another not was sung and prayer offered. After the so far advanced was seized upon by two men, prayer they again went back to their readLancaster and Bell, nearly fifty years later ing. Those who read without mistake had and made the foundation of a movement a letter “()” marked with chalk upon their which shook to the very center the educa- hands. Those who failed as many as three tional work of England, and exerted a great times, intervals between trials having been influence upon the whole of Europe. Later given for study, were pointed out to the Lancaster came to America and for a time school and all the scholars shouted at him, much attention was given to his method. Lazy!and his name was written down. In Lancaster, Pennsylvania, the city named Concerning this practice Dock says: “Now for him, the plan has been abandoned but a whether a child naturally fears the rod or few years. If Christopher Dock had had does not fear it, this I know from experiless modesty and more ambition he might ence that this shaming cry of the children have been known to history as the originator gives them more pain and drives them more of what we now call the Lancastrian move- to study than if I should hold the rod bement. As near as we can infer from Dock's fore them all the time." He further tells us school and his writings, he never carried the that if the child becomes industrious and idea of pupil-teacher to the extremes reached makes up its deficiency, the school is again by Lancaster and Bell. Of course, they all notified and now all the scholars shout, “Infound justification for their practice in the 'dustrious.” Its name is now rubbed off the

« PreviousContinue »