Wednesday, May 30, 2012


If you look for Fellenberg's Hofwyl in Switzerland 4 miles north of Berne, you might have a bit of trouble unless you were to know that the spelling has changed. Use Google Earth and you can find Hofwil, Switzerland, quick as can be, and you will find a strong resemblance between the map of the school compound from Charles A. Bennett's History of Manual and Industrial Arts Education up to 1870, and what you can currently see from space. Compare these two views, one from the early 1800's and the other from Google Earth, and you will find many of the early buildings are preserved, and what had been an oval orchard is now a forest in the same shape. The roads, too, transit the site at the same angles as they did at the end of the 18th century. You can click on these images to view in a larger size.

Why would any one be interested today in such a place? At some time, perhaps, educators will once again come to their senses and realize the importance of learning through the hands. Fellenberg's Hofwyl, or Hofwil, however you choose to spell it, is hallowed ground. Readers may remember that Fellenberg attempted at Hofwyl to follow Pestalozzi's educational methods and used both crafts and agriculture in the education of children, just as we would today if common sense were to prevail. Hofwil was the home of the first farm school as mentioned in earlier posts.

Make, fix and create...

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