GHDI logo

Friedrich Diesterweg: "An Educator's Little Book of Crabs" (1856)

page 11 of 12    print version    return to list previous document      next document

11. How to Extinguish All Traces of Nature in a Young Teacher

1. Make him mistrustful of human nature in general.
2. Make him mistrustful of his own nature.
3. Make him especially mistrustful of children's nature.
4. Teach him that salvation comes from without, not within.
5. Teach him that salvation is contained in certain formulaic knowledge.
6. Cause him to blindly submit to the content of these formulae.
7. Convince him that doing so will bring salvation.
8. Tell him that spreading these ideas among humanity ("the kingdom of God") is a worthy service.
9. Threaten him with limited and eternal punishments if he deviates from these principles.
10. Reward and encourage him if he proves himself zealous in the promotion of the one true religion.
11. Withhold from him knowledge of the laws of nature.
12. Keep him ignorant of the nature and laws of intellectual life.
13. Suspect him of reading the works of naturalists and idealists (the national classics) and forbid him to read these. Instead, immerse him in supernatural, positive systems and place him under the supervision of strictly believing theologians.

12. Which Elements Should Be Continued to Secure the Future of a Deficient Class of Teachers

1. Their origins in the lower classes.*
2. Deficient primary education.
3. One-sided education.
4. Premature independence.
5. Isolation.
6. Supervision by men who themselves do not have pedagogical ability (in the sense of the education of the human character) and who, because of their past and their education, can have only a very limited, at the very least one-sided interest in the effectiveness of a school teacher.
7. Lack of literary education.
8. Marriage with partners from the lower classes.
9. The extended families which come along with such marriages.
10. Increased worries and financial limitations which come with a growing number of children.
11. Worries about the fate of one's wife and children in the event of one's death.
12. Economic limitations.

* I know very well and thank God that future talents tend not to sleep in golden cradles, but that next to the loom or the anvil is the bed of a future Luther or Kant. I also know that honor and piety are still found in many modest cottages. But, as a rule, those who live there do not acquire tact or refined feelings, which are not inherited but acquired. This is the quality without which a deep and effective pedagogical ability is impossible. No preparatory course for teachers can overcome this. An upbringing deficient in this area is overcome only in rare cases.

first page < previous   |   next > last page