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form or language of the classics. In this way they bravely broke away from bondage to the past, and paved the way for the ultimate use of the mother tongue in secondary schools. Moreover, as disciples of Descartes in psychology, they strove to adapt instruction to the pupil's capacity, thus allying themselves with Comenius, Pestalozzi, and other great reformers of pedagogy. Much freedom was permitted in study and the conduct of recitations. To quote an old French writer: "If study sometimes intrenched upon recreation, recreation also had its turn, for circumstances were taken into account. In winter, when the weather permitted, the teacher gave his lesson while taking a walk. Sometimes they left him to climb a hill or run in the plain, but they came back to listen to him. In summer the class met under the shade of trees by the side of brooks. The teacher explained Vergil and Homer; he commented upon Cicero, Aristotle, Plato, and the fathers of the church. The example of the teachers, their conversation and familiar instruction, all that the pupil saw, all that he heard, inspired him with a love for the beautiful and the good.”

In school discipline the Port Royalists, contrary to prevailing custom, but in line with their rule of reason, relied on wholesome admiration of the teacher rather than on force, and therefore resolutely rejected corporal punishment on the ground that it hinders moral growth and piety. For the same reason, and because the only true rival of the pupil is his own higher self, they condemned the emulation and prizes so sedulously cultivated by the Jesuits. St. Cyran, the founder of the little schools, keeping this great purpose of building character for time and eternity in mind, went to the greatest pain to secure teachers who had the requisite qualifications, laying special stress on self-control, patience, and piety. "Speak little,” said he, "put up with much, and pray still more”-a most admirable rule for any teacher.

Estimate. It is probably true, as has been said, that the atmosphere of excessive piety in the Port Royal school life must have chilled the natural spontaneity of childhood, but the experiment served as a protest to the noise and commotion so prevalent in the schools of the time. We are told that, owing to the exclusion of rivalry, the Port Royalists were “never able to secure the energy, earnestness, and pleasing environment of the Jesuits.” On the other hand, we know that they escaped the deadening formality of routine, and thus promoted that healthy mental growth which must always be the pride of pedagogy.

While it is to be regretted that the “little schools” were closed too soon to do the good which they were meant to do, it was probably best in the long run, for the dispersed teachers turned to writing, thus spreading their views, and in the long run giving Port Royal pedagogy a decided ascendancy over that of the Jesuits in France, an ascendancy which continues. Among the writers through whose books their ideas live are Nicole, the moralist and philosopher, who wrote “The Education of a Prince”; Lancelot, the grammarian, who wrote “Methods of Language Study”; Arnauld, a great theologian, who wrote text-books on grammar, logic, geometry, and “The Regulation of Studies in the Humanities”; Pascal, a literary giant, who wrote the “Provincial Letters" and "Thoughts," most terrible arraignments of the Jesuits; Fénelon, who wrote “The Education of Girls,” and Rollin, who wrote “Treatise on Studies.”


The achievements of Fénelon and Rollin embody the spirit of Jansenism in education most completely, and thus deserve special attention.

François de Fénelon (1651-1715) was of noble lineage. In body he was not robust, but he had remarkable aptness for learning. Through the watchful care of his father, and later of the Marquis de Fénelon, his uncle, he was able to enter the college of Cahors at twelve years of age, and then the University of Paris. It was the wish of his parents that he should study for the priesthood, for which high calling he was fitted by nature. He took up theology at St. Sulpice, and was ordained at the age of twenty-four. He became a famous prelate, but in the meantime served the cause of education as teacher and writer.

Teacher of Girls.-In 1678 the church, because of his special fitness, made him the head of the Convent of New Catholics, an institution whose purpose it was to reclaim young women to Catholicism. In this position, owing largely to his charming personality and good judgment, he achieved great success, remaining there ten years. Almost at the close of this period, and at the suggestion of some friends whom he thus hoped to help, he wrote his first most important work, “The Education of Girls.” Compayré calls it “the first classical work of French pedagogy."

Ideas.-In this valuable treatise Fénelon sets forth in a very systematic way the Jansenistic conception of what should constitute a woman's education. Although he assumed, as was common in his day, that nature had excluded women from the sphere of politics, the law, the ministry, and other high vocations requiring sterner qualities, Fénelon realized with keen perception the marvellous capacity of women for good or evil in the world, and therefore the great importance of an adequate education

The infancy of girls should be piously guarded in body, mind, and character, lest their own future be compromised and the fabric of society be ruined. He held that fiction and the stage produce a wandering imagination and an emotional tension most serious to social and moral welfare.

In order to save girls and to fit them for the high estate to which God was calling them, they were to be instructed in such useful branches as reading, writing, arithmetic, and elementary civics, and after that in history, literature, music, painting, and the like, but always in such a way as to guard against moral injury. Religious instruction was to be specially emphasized, and yet not in such a way as to “frighten her from piety by a useless severity.”

The psychological insight of Fénelon, like that of his fellow Jansenists, was far in advance of his time. He realized the pedagogical value of recreation and companionship, and encouraged the largest possible freedom of thought and action so long as these did not lead to evil. His words to a lady of high rank on the question of her daughter's religious education deserve to be quoted at length. “Accustom her,” said he, "to enjoy herself in every way short of sin, and to find her pleasure apart from debasing amusements. Choose companions for her who will not spoil her, and recreation at such hours as will not give her a distaste for the serious occupations of the rest of the day. Try to make her delight in God; do not suffer that she think of him only as a mighty and inexorable judge, who constantly watches us in order to reprove and restrain us on every occasion; make her see how kind he is, how he suits himself to our needs, and has pity for our weaknesses; familiarize her with him as with a tender and compassionate father.”*

Tutor of a Duke.-In 1689 Fénelon became tutor to the Duke of Burgundy, grandson of Louis XIV. The boy was proudly conscious of his royal lineage, and therefore hard to teach. To make matters worse, although he was by nature warm-hearted, he also had a violent temper, which made control difficult. Fortunately, Fénelon was gifted with marvellous pedagogical insight and literary skill. In order to interest the proud duke in history, he constructed “Dialogues, in which the shades of distinguished men of antiquity discussed all kinds of political, moral, and philosophical questions; "Fables,” in which the duke could see himself morally as in a mirror; and the “Telemachus," a story on the order of Homer's“Odyssey,” full of historical, political, and moral instruction calculated to fit the duke for his high future. This method of indirect instruction was a great success.

Fénelon was equally successful as a characterbuilder. With his psychological insight, and the tender solicitude of the Jansenists for the moral and eternal welfare of souls, Fénelon strove to win the bright and impulsive boy through self-control, patience, and piety,

* Painter, p. 248.

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