chapter  I
Influences
Pages 20

Tolstoi began to interest himself in school-teaching; a revival of education was beginning to manifest itself. 'There spring up thousands of theories, of the strangest and most diverse kind, devoid of foundation, such as those of Rousseau, Pestalozzi and Froebel'. Moreover, these names express the evolution of one and the same stream of thought; thesis, antithesis and synthesis, as Hegel would say. Rousseau, an inspired theorist, launches the idea; Pestalozzi adapts it to his own temperament, and, man of feeling and action as he is, applies it. Lastly, Froebel aims at giving a stricter theoretical expression to the practical side of Pestalozzi. It was in Switzerland that Pestalozzi submitted the new idea to the fiery test of practice. Pestalozzi finds himself the initiator of 'thing-teaching', which with him takes the form of Anschauungsunter-rieht. Life and nature, freedom and activity-such are the themes to which Rousseau continually recurs. That which to him was potential became actual to Pestalozzi and Froebel.