The Pestalozzi Method: Mathematics as a Way to the Truth
Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi (1746-1827), the father of modern pedagogy (Soëtard, 1985) , dedicated his life to the pursuit of truth for mankind. This quest considered the education and teaching of children as a whole hence, his famous formula of "head, heart, and hands" was conceived not just as a slogan but, particularly, as a concept of comprehensive education. But how do you get to the truth behind education and teaching? How do you teach and educate children? What method ought to be used for
... this task? Pestalozzi wrote five volumes on his own Method (in Germany), which were later translated into French, and in these, he aimed to address the three questions mentioned above. Ever since the first attempt to explain the Pestalozzi Method, by Marc Antoine JULLIEN in his work Spirit of the Method of Pestalozzi education (Esprit de la Méthode d'Éducation de Pestalozzi) (1812), followed by Daniel Alexandre CHAVANNES in his Elemental Method of H. Pestalozzi (Méthode Élémentaire de H. Pestalozzi) (1819) and the works of Soëtard (1994) and Thröler (2008), many of the Method's concepts have been discussed and defended. However, the various authors do not appear to have settled on a common ground. Nevertheless, this article aims to offer a reflection on the subject based on a reading and analysis of the texts by Pestalozzi that were translated into French. It will attempt to defend the argument that Pestalozzi appropriated the inductive Method of Locke and Comenios who, like himself, were protestants, and whose methodological resources for finding the "Truth" through both education and teaching involved geometry and mathematics; these were elements that Pestalozzi considered useful for approaching and identifying truth and accuracy.