Friday, April 06, 2012

Ferdinand Kinderman

Ferdinand Kinderman was a clergyman in Bavaria (1740-1801)and it has been said that he set the stage for later educational reform. He said,
"After carefully examining the work of our primary schools, it became apparent to me that the children were least of all occupied with those studies which would be of most service to them after the school period. I became convinced that this was the cause of much laziness and poverty, of unfruitful religious life, of neglect of God's decrees, and of great wickedness. I set myself the task of studying the nature of the child.
"Before long I became convinced that our primary schools, even if they are worthy of being followed as examples in some respects, certainly do not come up to the highest standards, and, besides, do not in any way fulfill the aim of preparing the pupils for their life-work. It is not enough to cram the heads full of information, and take no step to create a love for work. Working classes and reading classes must be combined. This is the only way that industry can be made a national characteristic. I became all the more eager to bring about a reform, as my experience taught me that the most industrious people were always the most moral."
Not being one to simply sit on his notions, Kinderman established a school. It is a relief to see in the news that employment numbers are improving and it will be a greater relief to see all in our nation restored to greater industriousness. Speaking of which, Von Helfest, writing in the late 180s wrote of Kinderman's effect on Bohemia.
"We have little left of Kinderman's great labor, except the healthy efffect that can be traced as a direct result of his work. If Bohemia's industries rank highest in Austria, among the causes that have brought this happy result the influence of Ferdinand Kinderman, will not be forgotten. He had hardly any public support, but by his great wisdom and untiring energy he urged a collaboration with men of all classes. He has made the primary school the foundation of the welfare of our state. If you will ask the majority of those who during the early part of the century were successful farmers, thriving merchants, or wealthy manufacturers, to what cause they would attribute the first source of their material prosperity, I am sure they will without exception answer: 'It was the school which gave the love and desire for work and showed us the blessing of industry, order and economy.'"
What more needs to be said?
Make, fix, and create...

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

We could use a Kinderman these days...

Mario

Doug Stowe said...

Mario, No kidding! It seems we''ve become smart in manipulating statistics and blind to what's right before our very eyes. Kindermann offered straight common sense that conformed to the observations of Comenius.

Anonymous said...

The comments of Kinderman, along with the ones from le Peletier, can be further reinforced by leaving kids to just play on their own and watching what they do. They make, they invent, they learn. And then they go to school and have to give up being creative.

Mario