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Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi

Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi

Overview
Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi (12 January 1746 – 17 February 1827) was a Swiss
Switzerland
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

 pedagogue and educational reformer who exemplified Romanticism
Romanticism
Romanticism was an artistic, literary and intellectual movement that originated in the second half of the 18th century in Europe, and gained strength in reaction to the Industrial Revolution...

 in his approach.

He founded several educational institutions both in German and French speaking regions of Switzerland and wrote novels explaining his revolutionary modern principles of education. His motto "Learning by head, hand and heart" is still a key principle in successful 21st century schools.
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Quotations

The circle of knowledge commences close round a man and thence stretches out concentrically.

Evening Hour of a Hermit (1780)

It is life itself that educates.

Schwanengesang [Swan Song] (1826)
Encyclopedia
Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi (12 January 1746 – 17 February 1827) was a Swiss
Switzerland
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

 pedagogue and educational reformer who exemplified Romanticism
Romanticism
Romanticism was an artistic, literary and intellectual movement that originated in the second half of the 18th century in Europe, and gained strength in reaction to the Industrial Revolution...

 in his approach.

He founded several educational institutions both in German and French speaking regions of Switzerland and wrote novels explaining his revolutionary modern principles of education. His motto "Learning by head, hand and heart" is still a key principle in successful 21st century schools. Thanks to Pestalozzi, illiteracy still prevailing in 18th century Switzerland was overcome almost completely by 1830.

Career



He was born on 12 January 1746 in Zürich
Zürich
Zurich is the largest city in Switzerland and the capital of the canton of Zurich. It is located in central Switzerland at the northwestern tip of Lake Zurich...

, Switzerland
Switzerland
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

. His father died when he was young, and he was brought up by his mother. At the University of Zürich
University of Zurich
The University of Zurich , located in the city of Zurich, is the largest university in Switzerland, with over 25,000 students. It was founded in 1833 from the existing colleges of theology, law, medicine and a new faculty of philosophy....

 he associated himself with Johann Kaspar Lavater
Johann Kaspar Lavater
Johann Kaspar Lavater was a Swiss poet and physiognomist.-Early life:Lavater was born at Zürich, and educated at the Gymnasium there, where J. J. Bodmer and J. J...

 and the party of reform. His earliest years were spent in schemes for improving the condition of the people. The death of his friend Johann Kaspar Bluntschli turned him from politics, however, and induced him to devote himself to education. He married Anna Schulthess in 1769 at twenty-three and bought a piece of waste land at Birr
Birr, Switzerland
Birr is a municipality in the Swiss canton of Aargau and the capital of both the canton and Brugg . The village lies halfway between Lenzburg and Brugg. Birr has grown with its neighbour Lupfig into a conurbation....

, Aargau
Aargau
Aargau is one of the more northerly cantons of Switzerland. It comprises the lower course of the river Aare, which is why the canton is called Aar-gau .-History:...

 called Neuhof (New Farm), where he attempted the cultivation of madder
Madder
Rubia is a genus of the madder family Rubiaceae, which contains about 60 species of perennial scrambling or climbing herbs and sub-shrubs native to the Old World, Africa, temperate Asia and America...

. Pestalozzi knew nothing of business, and the plan failed. Before this he had opened his farm-house as a school, but that plan also met with failure.

His first published book was The Evening Hours of a Hermit (1780), a series of aphorisms and reflections. This was followed by his masterpiece, Leonard and Gertrude (1781), an account of the gradual reformation, first of a household, and then of a whole village, by the efforts of a good and devoted woman. It was avidly read in Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

, and the name of Pestalozzi was rescued from obscurity.

During the French invasion of Switzerland in 1798, a number of orphaned children had been left without food or shelter in the Canton of Nidwalden
Nidwalden
Nidwalden is a canton of Switzerland. It is located in the centre of Switzerland. The population is 40,287 of which 4,046 are foreigners. The capital is Stans.-History:...

. Pestalozzi took some of them under his charge, and he converted a deserted convent into a school for them. During the winter he personally tended them with the utmost devotion, but in June 1799 the building was requisitioned by the French to use as a hospital, and his charges were dispersed.

Later years


In 1801 Pestalozzi gave an exposition of his ideas on education in the book How Gertrude Teaches Her Children. His method is to proceed from the easier to the more difficult. To begin with observation, to pass from observation to consciousness, and then from consciousness to speech. Then come measuring, drawing, writing, numbers, and reckoning. In 1799 he was able to establish a school at Burgdorf, where he remained until 1804. In 1802, he went as deputy to Paris
Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

, and did his best to interest Napoleon
Napoleon I of France
Napoleon Bonaparte was a French military and political leader during the latter stages of the French Revolution.As Napoleon I, he was Emperor of the French from 1804 to 1815...

 in a scheme of national education; but the great conqueror said that he could not trouble himself about the alphabet (see also: Philipp Albert Stapfer
Philipp Albert Stapfer
Philipp Albert Stapfer was a Swiss politician and philosopher.He was the plenipotentiary envoi of the Helvetic Republic to the French consulate in Paris from 1801 till 1803...

). He did not believe in corporal punishment or rote memorization for instructional purposes. He once stated, "The role of the educator is to teach children, not subjects."

In 1805 he moved to Yverdon
Yverdon-les-Bains
Yverdon-les-Bains is a municipality in the district of Jura-Nord vaudois of the canton of Vaud in Switzerland. It is the seat of the district...

 on Lake Neuchâtel
Lake Neuchâtel
Lake Neuchâtel is a lake in Romandy, Switzerland . The lake lies mainly in the canton of Neuchâtel, but is also shared by the cantons of Vaud, of Fribourg, and of Bern....

, and for twenty years worked steadily at his task. He was visited by all who took interest in education: Talleyrand, Capo d'Istria, and Mme de Staël
Anne Louise Germaine de Staël
Anne Louise Germaine de Staël-Holstein , commonly known as Madame de Staël, was a French-speaking Swiss author living in Paris and abroad. She influenced literary tastes in Europe at the turn of the 19th century.- Childhood :...

. He was praised by Wilhelm von Humboldt
Wilhelm von Humboldt
Friedrich Wilhelm Christian Karl Ferdinand Freiherr von Humboldt was a German philosopher, government functionary, diplomat, and founder of Humboldt Universität. He is especially remembered as a linguist who made important contributions to the philosophy of language and to the theory and practice...

 and by Fichte. His pupils included Hippolyte Leon Denizard Rivail, Charles Badham
Charles Badham
Charles Badham was an English university professor, active in Australia.-Early life:Badham was born at Ludlow, Shropshire, the fourth son of Charles Badham senior, a classical scholar and regius professor of physic at Glasgow; and Margaret Campbell, a cousin of Thomas Campbell, the poet. His elder...

, James Pierrepont Greaves
James Pierrepont Greaves
James Pierrepont Greaves , was an English mystic, educational reformer, socialist and progressive thinker who founded Alcott House, a short-lived utopian community and free school in Surrey...

, Ramsauer, Delbrück, Blochmann, Carl Ritter
Carl Ritter
Carl Ritter was a German geographer. Along with Alexander von Humboldt, he is considered one of the founders of modern geography. From 1825 until his death, he occupied the first chair in geography at the University of Berlin.-Biography:Ritter was born in Quedlinburg, one of the six children of a...

, Friedrich Fröbel and Zeller.

Around 1815, rebellion broke out among the teachers of the school, and Pestalozzi's last ten years were marred by weariness and sorrow. In 1825 he retired to Neuhof, the place of his youth, and after writing the adventures of his life, and his last work, the Swans Song, he died at Brugg
Brugg
Brugg or Brügg may refer to the following places:* In Switzerland:** Brugg, Aargau, in the Canton of Aargau*** FC Brugg, a Swiss football club, from the town of Brugg in Canton Aargau...

.

Pestalozzi's complete works were published in Stuttgart
Stuttgart
Stuttgart is the capital of the state of Baden-Württemberg in southern Germany. The sixth-largest city in Germany, Stuttgart has a population of 600,038 while the metropolitan area has a population of 5.3 million ....

 in 1819 and 1826, and an edition by Seyffarth appeared in Berlin
Berlin
Berlin is the capital city of Germany and is one of the 16 states of Germany. With a population of 3.45 million people, Berlin is Germany's largest city. It is the second most populous city proper and the seventh most populous urban area in the European Union...

 in 1881.

Ideas


Pestalozzi was a Romantic who felt that education must be radically personal, appealing to each learner's intuition. He emphasized that every aspect of the child's life contributed to the formation of personality, character, and reason. He learned by operating schools at Neuhof and Yverdon. The success of the Yverdon school attracted the interest of European and American educators. Pestalozzi's educational methods were child-centered and based on individual differences, sense perception, and the student's self-activity. Pestalozzi worked in Yverdon to 'elementarize' the teaching of ancient languages, principally Latin, but also Hebrew and Greek. In 1819, Stephan Ludwig Roth came to study with Pestalozzi, and his new humanism contributed to the development of the method of language teaching, including considerations such as the function of the mother tongue in the teaching of ancient languages. Pestalozzi was an important influence on the theory of physical education; he developed a regimen of physical exercise and outdoor activity linked to general, moral, and intellectual education that reflected his ideal of harmony and human autonomy.

Pestalozzi's philosophy of education was based on a four-sphere concept of life and the premise that human nature was essentially good. The first three 'exterior' spheres - home and family, vocational and individual self-determination, and state and nation - recognized the family, the utility of individuality, and the applicability of the parent-child relationship to society as a whole in the development of a child's character, attitude toward learning, and sense of duty. The last 'exterior' sphere - inner sense - posited that education, having provided a means of satisfying one's basic needs, results in inner peace and a keen belief in God.

Legacy


As Pestalozzi said himself, the real work of his life did not lie in Burgdorf or in Yverdon. It lay in the principles of education which he practised, the development of his observation, the training of the whole person, and the sympathetic way of dealing with students, of which he left an example in his six months' labors at Stans. He had the deepest effect on all branches of education, and his influence is far from being exhausted.

Schools that are named after Pestalozzi include Kinderdorf Pestalozzi and Pestalozzi-Gymnasium Biberach
Pestalozzi-Gymnasium Biberach
The Pestalozzi-Gymnasium in Biberach an der Riß, Baden-Württemberg, Germany is a Gymnasium founded in 1860. In 2005 it has some 1,250 students and 100 teachers....

 in Germany, Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi Elementary School in Skopje
Skopje
Skopje is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Macedonia with about a third of the total population. It is the country's political, cultural, economic, and academic centre...

, Republic of Macedonia
Republic of Macedonia
Macedonia , officially the Republic of Macedonia , is a country located in the central Balkan peninsula in Southeast Europe. It is one of the successor states of the former Yugoslavia, from which it declared independence in 1991...

 and Colegio Pestalozzi
Colegio Pestalozzi
Colegio Pestalozzi is a school in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Colegio Pestalozzi offers elementary and secondary education as well as a "initial level" for children from two to five years....

 in Argentina. In fact, when the Swiss government joined the international rebuilding effort after the devastating 1963 Skopje earthquake
1963 Skopje earthquake
The 1963 Skopje earthquake was an 6.1 moment magnitude earthquake which occurred in Skopje, SR Macedonia then part of the SFR Yugoslavia, on July 26, 1963 which killed over 1,070 people, injured between 3,000 and 4,000 and left more than 200,000 people homeless...

 by donating funds for the construction of a school in Skopje
Skopje
Skopje is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Macedonia with about a third of the total population. It is the country's political, cultural, economic, and academic centre...

, it enrolled the famous Swiss architect Alfred Roth to design the new school, equipped it with the first modern application of seismic isolation
Base isolation
Base isolation, also known as seismic base isolation or base isolation system, is one of the most popular means of protecting a structure against earthquake forces...

, and named it after the great Swiss pedagogue.

The British charity Pestalozzi International Village
Pestalozzi International Village
Pestalozzi International Village is an educational charitable organisation based in East Sussex, England.-Overview:...

 sponsors students from developing countries
Developing country
A developing country, also known as a less-developed country, is a nation with a low level of material well-being. Since no single definition of the term developing country is recognized internationally, the levels of development may vary widely within so-called developing countries...

to study in the UK; it also sponsors other overseas programs.

External links