Sunday, December 06, 2009

Adolph Diesterweg

While Friedrich Adolph Wilhelm Diesterweg was not specifically an advocate for manual training, we was one of the philosophical influences that Cygnaeus drew upon in the formation of the Finnish Folk Schools. He was a prolific writer, with his most notable works being on the role of the Volksshcule (folk school) in the promotion of democracy. As with Friedrich Froebel's Kindergartens, the Kaiser shut his schools down, too. Progressive education and an intelligent populace are inconsistent with the aims of militarism and authoritarianism.

In Diesterweg's writings you can find expressed many of the key concepts that were adopted in Educational Sloyd. The following were some of Diesterweg's instructions to teachers:
Teach naturally! Organize instruction according to the natural developmental stages of the children. Start teaching from the pupil's point of view and direct his progress steadily, firmly and thoroughly. Do not teach anything for which the pupil is not yet ready and do not teach anything with which he is already familiar. Teach in a lively manner. Proceed from the familiar to the unusual, from the simple to the complex, from the easy to the difficult, from the known to the unknown. Do not teach in an academic way (in other words, the lecture-type teaching methods used in higher educational institutions), but simply! Always remember that you are aiming at the abstract (increasing the intellectual capacity) and the material (provision of the curriculum) at the same time.
Diesterweg has been attributed as author for the command, "Learn to do by doing."

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