Robert Owen (1); A Biography

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General Books LLC, 2009 - 192 pages
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This historic book may have numerous typos, missing text, images, or index. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. 1907. Not illustrated. Excerpt: ... CHAPTER VII THE NEW LANARK SCHOOLS FROM what has been said in the last chapter it will appear that it would be unprofitable to enquire too closely how far originality can be claimed for Owen's system of education. Ultimately, no doubt, like all other educational reformers since the French-Revolution, he derived his inspiration from Rousseau DEGREES'br from the movement of thought of which Rousseau is the most conspicuous embodiment. The general similarity of his ideas with those of Rousseau and of Rousseau's most prominent disciple, Pestalozzi, leave no room for doubt on this point. But the debt on Owen's part was probably unrecognised. There is no allusion to Rousseau in any of his writings; he no doubt drank in the Genevan prophet's ideas at second-hand, and was ignorant even at the time of their source. Of Pestalozzi he does not seem to have heard until he went, in 1818, to the Continent in company with Professor Pictet, and there visited the schools of Oberlin at Fribourg, of Fellenberg at Hofwyl, and of Pestalozzi himself at Yverdun. Owen warmly approved "the truly catholic spirit" in which Oberlin conducted his school for the children of the poor. But he seems to have taken much pains to demonstrate to the good Father the imperative necessity of taking children whilst still in their earliest years, for, said he, "to a great extent the character is made or marred before children enter the usual schoolroom."' Owen was obviously unaware when, in his extreme old age, he wrote his account of this visit to Fribourg, that Oberlin had anticipated him by some forty years in founding infant schools. In the early years of his pastorate in the Ban de la Roche, Oberlin had established such a school, with young women to act as conductrices. The children were taken at ...

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