The Pedagogical Work of Vieth and GutsMuths
Acta Educationis Generalis
Introduction:Philanthropism as it evolved at the end of the 18th century in Germany wanted to break completely with the contemporary methods persisting in education, with the hegemony of classical languages, and with the study of antique authors' works; instead, it laid emphasis on practical and useful knowledge, on teaching modern languages, on acquiring knowledge based on demonstration, and on an intimate connection to nature. The aim of philanthropist education was to train virtuous citizens
... n virtuous citizens who honestly pursue their ordinary profession, in whose training they assigned a central role to physical education. Purpose:In our paper, which is a part of our research exploring the appearance of the pedagogical ideas of philanthropism in Hungary, we set out to investigate the question: What was the focus of physical education in the philanthropinums? As a first step in our investigation, we give an overview of the philanthropists' ideas regarding physical education, then we take a close look at how these ideas were put into practice in two selected institutions, namely among the walls of the philanthropinums in Dessau and Schnepfenthal, by relying on the contemporary works of Gerhard Ulrich Anton Vieth and Johann Christoph Friedrich GutsMuths. Finally, we consider their impact in Hungary. Methods:In this study we apply the source analysis as a traditional research method in the history of education. Conclusions:The impact of philanthropism on contemporary Hungarian public education, especially in the first half of the 19th century, can be clearly detected, which can be accredited to study trips to Germany and the Hungarian translations of German works. The presence of philanthropism can also be perceived in swimming instruction. Basedow and GutsMuths initiated the instruction of swimming and lifeguarding, and the general institutionalization of swimming instruction. The impact of philanthropists could also be felt in Hungary. Károly (Carl) Csillagh's textbook on swimming appeared in German in 1841 with the title "Der philantropische Schwimmmeister" ("The Philanthropist Swimming Instructor"). The first book on swimming in Hungarian appeared in 1842.