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The University of Chicago 

Recent agitation and experiments in connection with industrial 
education in public schools have developed a general interest in all 
aspects of industrial training. The present tendency to reject 
formal manual training as inadequate, and to substitute direct 
training in industrial processes, involves a reversion to the type of 
industrial education which Pestalozzi advocated. This Pestalozzian 
scheme finds its best embodiment in some of our juvenile reform 
schools, and in this form can be traced directly to Pestalozzi in its 
origin. It is the purpose of this paper to describe its development. 

General appreciation of necessity of industrial training for juvenile 
delinquents. — The necessity and the value of providing industrial 
occupation and training for orphans and for neglected and delin- 
quent children have been generally recognized. The provisions 
made for such training have assumed different forms corresponding 
to variations in fundamental principles at different times. The 
Pestalozzian basis was prominent during the nineteenth century. 
To indicate the general character of the social problem, however, 
earlier provisions in England and the American Colonies will be 
cited before discussing the Pestalozzian development. 

American colonial laws required training in industry. — The 
early American colonists appreciated the importance of industrial 
training for children and in some cases provided for it by law. The 
necessity for this requirement and its nature was expressed in the 
Massachusetts law of 1642 as follows: 

'In the last two volumes of the Elemenlary School Teacher, a number of articles 
appeared which were intended to illustrate a method of teaching the history of 
education by emphasizing school practice in its relation to social condition. This 
is the sixth article in this series. A textbook entitled A History of Modern Elementary 
Education, constructed on these principles, by the same author will appear in the near 


[The General Court of Massachusetts] taking into consideration the great 
neglect in many parents and masters in training up their children in learning 
and labor and other employments which may be profitable to the Common- 
wealth, do hereupon order and decree that in every town the chosen men 
appointed for managing the prudential affairs of the same .... shall have 
power .... to put forth [as] apprentices the children of such as shall not be 
able and fit to employ and bring them up ... . and they are to take care that 
such as are set to keep cattle be set to some other employment withal, as 

spinning up on the rock, knitting, weaving tape, etc They are also to 

provide that a sufficient quantity of materials, as hemp, flax, etc., may be 
raised in their several towns, and tools and implements provided for working 
out the same. 

In Virginia colony: "in 1646 an elaborate plan for industrial 
education was advanced by the Assembly .... [which] marks 
out the settled policy of the State in the matter of industrial train- 
ing." 1 This law refers back to English precedents in these words: 

Whereas sundry laws and statutes by Act of Parliament established, 
have with great wisdom ordained, for the better education of youth in honest 
and profitable trades and manufactures .... that the justices of peace 
should, at their discretion, bind out children to tradesmen or husbandmen 
to be brought up in some good and lawful calling .... be it therefore 
enacted by the authority of this Grand Assembly, according to the aforesaid 
laudable custom in the Kingdom of England 

The act provided that the commissioners of the several counties 
were to send two poor children from each county to James City to 
be "employed in the public flax houses under such master and 
mistresses as shall there be appointed in carding, knitting and spin- 
ning. " Special dormitories were to be built and each county was 
to send food and other provisions for the children. In 1668 and 
other years, acts were passed empowering county courts to make 
similar provisions for educating and employing poor children. 

Antecedent provisions in English laws. — That the colonial laws 
requiring industrial training were reproductions of antecedent 
English laws of the same nature was definitely stated in the pre- 
amble of the Virginia law of 1646 which we quoted. It is main- 
tained by some authorities that such legislation as this constituted 
the fundamental basis of all English legislation for elementary 
education down to the nineteenth century; in other words, that 

1 Clewes, Educational Legislation of Colonial Governments, p. 355. 


there is a very definite connection between legislation for poor 
relief and apprenticeship and legislation relative to elementary 
educati on. 

The English social situation of the sixteenth and seventeenth 
centuries which necessitated such legislation was similar in character 
to the Swiss situation which confronted Pestalozzi later; namely, 
a very large number of unemployed, vagrant, shiftless, untrained 
children and adults. Many factors combined to cause the English 
situation, among them being the suppression of the monasteries 
by Henry VIII which abolished some of the dominant institutions 
for poor relief; and second, the abolishing of guilds by the Chantry 
acts which destroyed another of the important forms of poor relief. 
Other economic factors were causes also, notably the consolida- 
tion of small farms for grazing purposes, and the consequent evic- 
tion of hundreds of small farmers who were thus deprived of 
their means of livelihood. As a consequence we find important 
legislation in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, which included the same 
elements to which we have called attention in the colonial laws. 

Domestic industries the basis of Pestalozzian industrial education. — 
The Pestalozzian industrial education was originally planned to 
meet industrial conditions which existed in places where factory 
systems had not developed; in other words it was based on the 
conditions of domestic industries and handicrafts which prevailed 
generally down to the beginning of the nineteenth century. The 
factory system with the attendant industrial and social revolution, 
necessitated a change in the type of industrial work but not in the 
general scheme which Pestalozzi advocated. 

Factories did not destroy possibilities of Pestalozzi's scheme. — 
Factories were early introduced into Switzerland in certain select 
districts, and Pestalozzi himself commented on the new and pecul- 
iar social problems which they created. But many parts of Switzer- 
land continued in the stage of home or domestic industries and 
handicrafts, even as they do to the present day. The same was 
true of the United States during the early nineteenth century. The 
more primitive forms of industry continued to be practiced in some 
places at the same time that the factory development was dominant 
in others. 


Included in the domestic industries and the handicrafts were 
farming, work with textiles, namely, spinning, weaving, and dyeing 
of cotton and wool, and work with wood, metal, and leather. Ex- 
amples of leather work were the shoe-making and nail- and tack- 
making which many New England farmers engaged in at home 
during the winter months. The early Pestalozzian industrial 
education emphasized especially farming and work with textiles. 
In the later development, under Fellenberg, other trades were 
taught. The enormous development of textile factories soon 
eliminated this form of labor from such schemes of education, but 
there remain, even at the present day, many forms of manual labor 
which are suited to the general purposes of the Pestalozzian indus- 
trial education. 

Moreover, many intellectual and social leaders who have been 
impressed with the social evils that have attended factory develop- 
ment have idealized the former conditions of industry and have 
endeavored to reproduce them on a limited scale. This endeavor is 
represented in the.arts-and-crafts movement of the present day. 
Many who consider this reaction against the factory system to 
be Utopian believe, however, in the educative value of industrial 
training along the lines of domestic activities, agriculture, and 

Pestalozzi's writings described the degraded condition of Swiss 
peasantry. — Two phases of Pestalozzi's own work directly related 
to industrial education were the publication of Leonard and Ger- 
trude (1781) and his experiments at Neuhof and Stanz. Every 
student should spend a few hours reading Leonard and Gertrude 
to get an appreciation of the low moral standards which prevailed 
in the Swiss villages. 

The typical village which Pestalozzi described was governed by 
semi-feudal customs, being under the control of a nobleman who 
lived in a castle outside of the town. Owing to the dishonest 
administration and oppression by his subordinates, the most 
degraded conditions had developed. The elements of viciousness 
in this life, as described by Pestalozzi, included all forms of public 
and private dishonesty, graft and oppression, intrigue and perjury, 
cheating and lying, gambling, drunkenness, hypocrisy in religious 


matters, superstition — including belief in witchcraft and ghosts — 
domestic disorder, idleness, laziness, general shiftlessness, and 

In contrast with all these, Pestalozzi presented examples of 
possible social reforms which would result in a fair, honest, and 
efficient management of the public affairs, in real piety and charity, 
domestic peace, cleanliness and order, appreciation of responsi- 
bility, industry, economy and general thrift, and more intelligent 
methods of labor. 

Condition of neglected and vagrant children. — Other striking 
examples of the prevailing social conditions are contained in 
Pestalozzi's descriptions of the individual children in this establish- 
ment at Neuhof and Stanz. These examples and others show 
that many of the children had not even profited by the meager 
instruction offered in the village schools. When we recall that this 
instruction consisted in a bare memorizing of the catechism, and 
the acquirement of a stumbling facility in reading, we see how 
hopelessly inadequate it was to cope with the social conditions 
that Pestalozzi described. 

School to reproduce conditions of ideal home. — Pestalozzi's plan 
for social reform through training in domestic industries was 
described in Leonard and Gertrude. The central idea was that 
the school should reproduce the typical conditions of a well-ordered 
peasant's or artisan's home. This idea is expressed in the follow- 
ing quotations: 

The school ought really to stand in the closest connection with the life of 

the home, instead of, as now, in strong contradiction to it The school 

ought to be brought into harmony with the developing influence of domestic 

life All verbal instruction, in so far as it aims at true human wisdom 

and at the highest goal of this wisdom, true religion, ought to be subordinated 
to a constant training in practical domestic labor. 

Domestic labor in Gertrude's home. — The home of Gertrude, which 
Pestalozzi described, was his ideal. In addition to receiving careful 
religious and moral training, the children spent a large part of the 
time spinning under the direction of their mother. The following 
quotation presents the picture seen when Gertrude, the mason's 
wife, brings home some children of an unfortunate neighbor, Rudy. 


The mason's children were all at their spinning wheels and although they 
greeted their guests joyfully, they did not stop working for a moment. " Hurry 
and get through and then you can play with your little friends till six o'clock, " 
said Gertrude. Rudy's children stood in open-mouthed wonder at the beauti- 
ful work and the cheerful aspect of the room. "Can you spin?" she asked. 
"No," they answered. "Then you must learn, my dears. My children 
wouldn't sell their knowledge of it at any price, and are happy enough on 
Saturday, when they get their few kreutzers. The year is long, my dears, 
and if we earn something every week, at the end of the year there is a lot of 
money, without our knowing how we came by it. " 

Supplemented by intellectual and religious instruction. — This 
domestic labor constituted the central activity of the home, but 
it was supplemented by intellectual training much of which was 
carried on while the children were doing the manual work. The 
following quotation describes how this was done : 

The children all helped wash the dishes, and then seated themselves at 

their customary places before their work First the children sang their 

morning hymns, and then Gertrude read a chapter of the Bible aloud, which 
they repeated after her, while they were spinning, rehearsing the most instruct- 
ive passages until they knew them by heart. 

The instruction she [Gertrude] gave them in the rudiments of arithmetic 

was intimately connected with the realities of life She made them 

count their threads while spinning, and the number of turns on the reel when 
they wound the yarn into skeins. 

Instruction in spinning in the ideal village school. — Pestalozzi 
believed it possible to organize the village school in imitation of 
Gertrude's home as indicated in the following quotation: 

The lieutenant began his school, and Gertrude helped him in the arrange- 
ment of it. They examined the children with regard to their previous studies. 
.... Besides reading, all were to learn writing and arithmetic, which pre- 
viously had only been taught to the more wealthy in private lessons A 

good, capable woman who came to take charge of the sewing, spinning, etc., 
proved a most valuable and conscientious helper in the work. Whenever a 
child's hand or wheel stopped she would step up and restore things to their 
former condition. If the children's hair was in disorder she would braid it 
while they studied and worked .... and she showed them how to fasten 
their shoes and stockings properly, besides many other things they did not 

Educative labor to be taught in reformatories. — Finally, Pestalozzi 
indicated his belief that such training should be provided, not only 


in the ordinary schools, but also in orphan asylums and houses of 
correction where the inmates should be given definite education 
in manual trades. 

Pestalozzi taught farming and textile work at Neuhoj. — The plan 
which Pestalozzi described in Leonard and Gertrude (1781) he had 
tried to put into practice on his farm at Neuhof from 1774 to 1780. 
When he proposed this experiment, although he had just failed as 
a farmer, several philanthropists provided the necessary funds. 

Most of the children that Pestalozzi took in were vagrants and 
beggars. Many of them were vicious and improved little in the 
short time spent under his care. Others, however, were honest 
and capable and needed only the opportunity which he offered to 
develop into efficient persons. At one time he had thirty-seven 
children, at another fifty, and later eighty. Describing the manage- 
ment of the institution he said: 

I get very valuable help from Miss M. of Strassberg, who is both highly 
gifted and of untiring activity. I have, besides, a master to teach weaving, 
and two skilled weavers; a mistress to teach spinning, and two good spinners; 
a man who winds for the weavers and teaches reading at the same time; and 
two men and two women who are almost always employed on the land. 

Pestalozzi had no administrative ability and the management 
of such an enterprise, calling for unusual skill, was beyond his 
powers. Consequently the experiment was abandoned. In spite 
of its failure, it had served a valuable purpose in demonstrating 
the lines along which industrial education might develop. It 
remained for Emmanuel Fellenberg to organize a successful institu- 
tion on these same lines. 

Emmanuel Fellenberg's Pestalozzian Institutions. Early ac- 
quaintance with Pestalozzi. — Pestalozzi carried on an intimate 
correspondence with Emmanuel Fellenberg in 1792 concerning 
the French Revolution; and in 1804, for a few months, Pestalozzi 
tried to conduct his school under the business management of 
Fellenberg at Miinchenbuchsee. 

Fellenberg active in Swiss social, reform. — Fellenberg's father, 
a high governmental official in Switzerland, was interested in Pesta- 
lozzi's experiments, and thus Emmanuel, while quite young, became 
acquainted with the latter. His mother early directed his atten- 


tion to the care of the poor and unfortunate. He pursued political 
and social studies in German universities; visited Paris in 1795 
to ascertain the French intentions with regard to Switzerland; tried 
in vain to arouse his country to appreciate its danger; led Swiss 
troops against the French when they invaded Switzerland in 1798, 
but was defeated and had to flee the country. Later he was per- 
mitted to return. He occupied important administrative offices 
for a while, but he soon became disgusted with the general dishon- 
esty and lack of interest in public affairs, and turned his attention 
to education. He became convinced that legislation in favor of 
improvements in education was too slow a process and decided 
to use his ample fortune in establishing "a model institution in 
which it should be proved what education could accomplish for 
humanity." For this purpose he purchased a large country 
estate at Hofwyl, near Berne. Here he conducted, from 1806 to 
1844, educational experiments along Pestalozzian lines which were 
as successful from an administrative and economic standpoint as 
Pestalozzi's were unsuccessful. 1 

Included industrial training of rich as well as poor. — Fellenberg's 
aim was to establish an institution in which the poor would be 
trained to work, and the rich trained to appreciate the work of 
the poor and to be efficient in directing it for the public good. He 
believed that agriculture, as the principal occupation of the people, 
was best adapted to produce the harmonious physical and intellec- 
tual development at which he aimed. His aim was broader than 
Pestalozzi's had been at Neuhof , inasmuch as it included not only 
the industrial education of the poor, but also the training of teach- 
ers for rural schools and the training of the rich. 

Many successful phases of the Hofwyl institution. — The Hofwyl 
institution was organized gradually, each element in the organiza- 
tion being well established before another was added. By 1829, 
according to William Woodbridge's contemporary description, 
the institution included the following elements: (1) a farm of about 
600 acres; (2) workshops for manufacturing agricultural imple- 
ments and clothing for the inhabitants; (3) a lithographing 

'Am. Annals of Education, Vol. I (1830), based on a letter from Fellenberg to 
Woodbridge, August 24, 1829. 


establishment where music and other things were printed; (4) 
a literary institution for the education of the wealthy and higher 
classes; (5) an intermediate or practical institution training for 
handicrafts and middle-class occupations; (6) an agricultural 
institution for the education of the poor to be farm laborers and 
for the training of rural school teachers. 

The agricultural institution most significant for elementary educa- 
tion. — It was this sixth phase of the work that was generally copied 
in Switzerland and other European countries. Just as Pestalozzi 
had intended, agriculture was to be used as a means of moral and 
practical education for the poor. It. also made their labors defray 
the expense of their education. In addition to training in 
agriculture, the institution provided training for cart-makers, 
carpenters, joiners, blacksmiths, locksmiths, shoemakers, tailors, 
etc. Fellenberg's practice of giving intending rural school teachers 
a thorough training in scientific agriculture was copied in many of 
the normal schools of Switzerland. The practice of training poor 
children in agriculture and other occupations under the conditions 
of family life was soon copied in most countries except the United 

General adoption of Fellenberg's plan. Farm schools established 
in all cantons of Switzerland. — Henry Barnard wrote in his National 
Education in Europe (1854, p. 488) : 

In each of the cantons of Switzerland, in 1852, there was at least one rural 
or farm school conducted on the basis of a well regulated family. The school 

is open both to girls and boys The number of inmates averages from 

twenty to forty, and when the entire family exceed twenty, it is subdivided 
into lesser ones of twelve or more, who are placed under an assistant "father. " 
The school instruction occupies three hours in summer and four in winter; the 
remainder of the day being devoted to work in the field or garden, or at certain 
seasons of the year and for a class of pupils, in some indoor trade or craft. 

Redemption industrial plan imitated in other European countries. 
— The above-described scheme was imitated in many parts of 
Europe. In Germany, one of the most interesting examples was 
Redemption Institute or "Rauhe Haus," established in 1833, near 
Hamburg. This was a private charity admitting boys and girls 
of the worst type. Ordinarily such children would have been 


identified with the criminal class and would have developed as 

At the beginning of 1844, of 81 children who had left the establishment, 
33 were apprenticed to artisans or mechanics, 7 entered at service as farm- 
laborers or domestics, 7 had become day laborers, n (girls) had become 
servants, 9 had become sailors, 3 entered the army, 1 prepared himself for the 
university, 5 continued at school; the occupation of 3 is unknown, and 2 
children belonging to a family of vagrants could not be kept at any regular 

Only 6 or 7 of these had misbehaved after leaving the school. 

In England the famous Battersea Training Establishment for 
teachers was founded in 1839 in definite imitation of the Swiss 
normal schools. A noted reform school and farm for juvenile 
criminals was established at Red Hill in 1849 by the Philanthropic 
Society. On a farm of 140 acres, without bars or walls or gates, 
criminal children, including some of the most vicious, were trained 
and reformed according to the Pestalozzian-Fellenberg plan. 

Fellenberg manual-labor scheme popularized in the United States 
by Woodbridge (1830). — One of the chief factors in popularizing 
the Fellenberg idea in the United States were the letters of William 
C. Woodbridge describing the Hofwyl institution, which started 
in the American Journal of Education, and ran for almost two years 
(1831-32) in the early volumes of its successor, the American Annals 
of Education. Henry Barnard said that of more than one hundred 
reports concerning Fellenberg's establishment "the most partic- 
ular account and that in which the spirit of the institutions was 
considered by their founder to be best exhibited" was the one by 
Mr. Woodbridge. 

American manual-labor schools mostly for higher education. — In 
the United States, the original Pestalozzian element (moral redemp- 
tion through manual labor) in the Fellenberg scheme was not 
copied until much later than in most European countries. On the 
other hand, Fellenberg's idea was carried out in manual-labor 
institutions, organized to provide secondary or higher education 
along literary lines. These were very common during the second 
quarter of the nineteenth century. The two ideas most prominent 
in this development were: (1) the necessity of physical exercise; 


and (2) the possibility of self-support for poor students. Theo- 
logical seminaries, colleges, and many less important schools were 
established upon these principles from Maine to Tennessee. The 
movement began actively about 1825 and continued for about a 
quarter of a century. In general, it did not realize the hopes of its 
advocates, although some phases of it persist today in the farm 
work for self-support that students carry on in some of the agri- 
cultural colleges. Another phase of the development in the United 
States which is more directly related to elementary education 
remains to be discussed. 

Industrial work in American reformatories. Early reformatories 
organized on prison principles. — We noted in an earlier paragraph 
that industrial training in reform schools on the family plan was 
copied from Switzerland in several European countries but was 
adopted very tardily in the United States. 

In 1824 the House of Refuge for delinquent boys was estab- 
lished in New York City and similar institutions were organized 
in Philadelphia in 1826 and in Boston in 1827. Only a few others 
were established before 1850, but between 1850 and i860 over a 
dozen were established. These institutions were the results of 
the movement which had started in England in the latter part of 
the eighteenth century, to provide separate institutions for juvenile 
delinquents instead of confining them with adult criminals, as was 
the general practice. These new institutions differed from those 
established on the Pestalozzian plan in two fundamental respects: 
(1) they were not homes, but were simply separate prisons for 
children; (2) although they provided industrial work it was not 
"educative labor," but prison-contract labor. The principal 
factor in this labor was the amount of money that the institution 
could make from it. 

American reformatories little affected by Pestalozzian principles 
before 1873. — In 1873, Miss Mary Carpenter, one of the leaders 
in juvenile reform work in England, visited America and criticized 
the prison-like character of the reform schools. This criticism 
was one of the influences which was operative in stimulating the 
movement to reorganize these institutions on the Pestalozzian 
basis. I have found no general account of this development but 


the following items are fair examples of it. They are taken from 
the report of the United States Commissioner of Education for 

Pestalozzian basis of organization common in the eighties. Cottage 

The reform school of the present is a decided improvement on those which 
were first established sixty years ago. The changes effected have been stated 
as follows in a pamphlet issued by the Colorado State Industrial School: 

" In the earlier history of these schools, all inmates were classed together. 
For their safe-keeping it was thought necessary to fasten them in cells at night; 

strong iron bars guarded the windows, etc In the modern reformatory 

neither high walls, cells, bolts or bars are found. Nothing in the surround- 
ings distinguishes them from first-class public schools." 

The Ohio Industrial School for Boys, opened at Lancaster, 
Ohio, in 1856, was the pioneer American institution on the cottage 
plan. These cottages were described in 1882 as follows: 

The family buildings are arranged in a segment of a circle around the main 
building with the exception of a double building, called the Ohio, for the use 
of the very youngest boys, which is separated from the main and other build- 
ings nearly half a mile, but is connected with the rest of the institution by a 
good board walk. These family buildings are named after the rivers in the 

The building for the youngest children accommodated 100 boys, 
those for the older children accommodated 50. The large building 
for younger children contained schoolrooms for the "elder brother 
and his family," sitting-rooms for boys in the evening, sleeping- 
rooms for teachers and pupils, a playroom, workshop, etc. Here 
"home life more attractive than they had ever known awaited 
most of the inmates." 

Pestalozzian educative labor replaces prison contract labor. — 
These quotations indicate the change from the spirit of prison 
life to the Pestalozzian spirit of home life. A similar change has 
taken place in the industrial work. On the old plan, this consisted 
of contract sewing and tailoring, cigar-making, brush-making, 
glove-making, knitting, shirt-making, the cane-seating of chairs, etc. 
These were factory industries of little educative or economic value 
for the individual child. For these have been substituted the 
domestic industries of the institutions, and other activities con- 


nected with the maintenance of the plant, such as farming, 
gardening, care of stock, carpentering, blacksmithing, plumbing, 
painting, brickmaking, furniture making, etc. In addition to these, 
other special trades, such as printing and telegraphy, have been 

General educational significance of Pestalozzian industrial educa- 
tion. — The special significance of this movement has been suffi- 
ciently indicated in the previous discussion. Its general significance 
appears when it is compared with the "manual training" move- 
ment, and with the recent tendencies to introduce direct industrial 
training into the public schools. The Pestalozzian movement, 
as successfully organized in practice, antedated the manual train- 
ing movement by over half a century. It differed from the latter 
in aiming, to a considerable degree, directly at special efficiency in 
some trade or occupation. The manual training movement em- 
phasized, on the other hand, general or formal values as opposed 
to specialized efficiency, "making the hand the obedient servant 
of the brain, training the eye for good form and shape, and teaching 
neatness and correctness in the execution of their work." The 
Pestalozzian system has proven effective in special institutions, 
but has not had a chance in the American public schools. Manual 
training has had some opportunity to be tested out in the public 
schools, and many educators affirm that the results have not been 
satisfactory from the standpoint of industrial education. The 
recent movement for industrial education in the United States 
has tended to emphasize the necessity of training in specific 
industrial processes, which was the prominent element in the 
Pestalozzian system. The present tendency seems to be to experi- 
ment in the public schools with the modified Pestalozzian system 
as it is found'in some juvenile reform schools.