One has just been sent out as a biblical dove, has found nothing green, and slips back
into the darkness of the ark -- Kafka

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Holderlin on Education

At least in his early years Holderlin is making a living as a tutor. I believe (I've not read a full biography, so I'm garnering it from his letters): a live-in tutor.

Thus some fragmentary thoughts on education (at least in this letter he is interacting with Rousseau pretty much throughout):
  • I must waken his humanity
  • But Rousseau is wrong in patiently waiting for humanity to awaken in the child
  • But I would never ask the child whether he had remembered what had been said, for the point is not history itself but its influence on the heart
  • So long as geography is not, as it usually is, reduced to something dead and papery; so long as the maps are enlivened with suitably adapted travel accounts
  • If the child can come to notice day by day that arithmetic is part and parcel of many useful activities he will very likely take pleasure in doing it
  • To teach a child a language systematically will be very difficult if it is to occur before the child is even capable of working towards a freely chosen goal, given that constraints and unjustified demands cannot well be avoided in this case. Yet it is possible to become fairly familiar with a language through conversation. This would probably work best with French
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