1 MOLDING GOD'S CHILDREN: THE HISTORY OF CURRICULUM IN CHRISTIAN SCHOOLS ROOTED IN DUTCH CALVINISM by HARRO WALTER VAN BRUMMELEN B.So, McGill University, 1962 M.Ed., The University of Toronto, 1971 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF EDUCATION in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES Centre for the Study of Curriculum and Instruction Faculty of Education We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA October 1984 © Harro Walter Van Brummelen, 1984 I n p r e s e n t i n g t h i s t h e s i s i n p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t o f t h e r e q u i r e m e n t s f o r an a d v a n c e d d e g r e e a t t h e . U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a , I a g r e e t h a t t h e L i b r a r y s h a l l make i t f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e f o r r e f e r e n c e and s t u d y . I f u r t h e r a g r e e t h a t p e r m i s s i o n f o r e x t e n s i v e c o p y i n g o f t h i s t h e s i s f o r s c h o l a r l y p u r p o s e s may be g r a n t e d by t h e h e a d o f my d e p a r t m e n t o r by h i s o r h e r r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s . I t i s u n d e r s t o o d t h a t c o p y i n g o r p u b l i c a t i o n o f t h i s t h e s i s f o r f i n a n c i a l g a i n s h a l l n o t be a l l o w e d w i t h o u t my w r i t t e n p e r m i s s i o n . Centre f o r the Study of Curriculum and Instruction The U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a 1956 Main Mall V a n c o u v e r , Canada V6T 1Y3 D a t e October 5, 1984 'E-6 (.3/81) i i A B S T R A C T Dutch Calvinists founded and st i l l give key educational leadership to most of the 272 American and 110 Canadian member schools of Christian Schools International. The schools, locally controlled by parent associations, have attempted to implement the claim that Christ ian beliefs should affect their tota l program. Since 1910, therefore, the movement has published curriculum materials in various subject areas and implemented these in many of its schools. This study investigates the schools' Dutch background, their beginnings in nineteenth century America, their Americanization between 1890 and 1920, their "bulwark" mentality during the inter-war years, and their quest for purpose since World War II. It discusses curriculum issues at the national, regional and local levels, taking into account the rapid Canadian growth since 1950. Part icular ly, it focuses on how far the schools have real ized their goals through dist inctive curr icula. Two divergent though overlapping strains of Calvinist thought—a monastic view attempting to protect children from a secular society and an integrationist one intending children to become participants in a Christian cultural transfor-mation of North American society—were rooted in the supporters' religious and social backgrounds. While both views stressed the teaching of B ib l ica l studies, Calvinist moral values and Christian interpretations of l iterature and historical events, their d i f fer ing emphases caused unresolved curricular tensions, especially in Canada in the 1960s and 1970s, about both content choice and pedagogy. i i i The immigrants' desire for social and economic assimilation advanced the schools' integration into the mainstream of North American education. In the U.S., particularly after 1910, their striving for educational excellence and their conservative faith in American patriotism, pragmatism and progress abetted the schools' dependence on public school courses and materials. The various public education curriculum orientations also found somewhat modified parallels in Christ ian schools. The homogenizing influence of the modern state, moreover, affected the schools through curriculum guides, textbook authorizations, and post-secondary entrance requirements. By 1977, when many of the schools were losing some of their religious and cultural cohesiveness, they had not yet demonstrated the possibility of fully implementing their leaders' vision of B ib l i ca l , Christian principles permeating the schools ' tota l program. iv T A B L E OF CONTENTS A B S T R A C T ii LIST OF TABLES AND ABBREVIATIONS vii ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS vi i i INTRODUCTION 1 CHAPTER I. CHRISTIAN SCHOOLS IN THE NETHERLANDS TO 1848 14 The first Christ ian schools operated by an association of parents 14 The philosophical, religious, and pol i t ica l background of nineteenth century Dutch education 21 Education in the Netherlands during the first half of the nineteenth century 26 Het Revei l and De Afscheiding: The Awakening and the Secession 34 The first attempts to establish Christ ian schools 43 The curriculum in early Christian schools 46 De Landverhuizing: the "Great Migrat ion" from the Netherlands to the New World 54 CHAPTER II. CHRISTIAN SCHOOLS IN NINETEENTH CENTURY A M E R I C A : PROMOTING RELIGIOUS AND C U L T U R A L ISOLATION 59 Dutch Calvinist immigrant l i fe in the mid-nineteenth century 59 The Reformed Church in Amer ica: Christ ianizing the public schools 65 The Christ ian Reformed Church: the cradle for North American Christian Schools 69 Early schooling: teaching the essentials in district schools 73 The first parochial Christ ian schools 80 Curriculum and instruction in early parochial Christian schools 86 Education beyond the elementary grades 92 A changing rationale for Christian schools 93 CHAPTER III. CASTING DUTCH CALVINIST SCHOOLS INTO AN AMER ICAN MOLD 98 The new wave of Dutch immigration 98 Dutch Christian school development from 1850 to 1890 that influenced B. 3. Bennink and his colleagues 106 The thinking of Abraham Kuyper 110 Abraham Kuyper 's influence on American Christian schools 115 V Towards professionalism and organization 121 The Americanization of the schools: changing from Dutch to English 129 The Americanization of the schools: inculcating patriotism 135 The rationale for Christian schools: cultural transformation or isolation? 140 CHAPTER IV. THE PROGRAM OF THE SCHOOLS 1890-1920: A SEARCH FOR DISTINCTIVENESS IN AN ERA OF TRANSITION 145 Recognizing the issues 145 The pedagogical framework for the curriculum 150 The scope of the curriculum 158 A dual kingship: Christ and public education 166 Defining an ethic and lifestyle through children's reading books 175 Molding young minds and hearts in accordance with divine commands 185 CHAPTER V. A BULWARK AGAINST THE FORCES OF MODERNISM (1920-1945) 190 Introduction 190 Defending the Calvinist faith 196 Upholding Puritan morality and warding off "modernism" 201 Pedagogical forays: 1. Using the shield of Bavinck 209 Pedagogical forays: 2. Fending off the phantom attacks of progressivism 215 The Gordian knot of the Christian school curriculum 221 Writing geography materials: contentions within the bulwark 230 Sensing the problems within the bulwark 235 CHAPTER VI. CURRICULUM ORIENTATIONS 1945-1977 240 "Marchin On" 240 Developing "freedom of mind" through an academic curriculum orientation 249 Developing "a love for God's grace" through a personal relevance orientation 255 Attempting to forge consensus through eclecticism 261 Developing a curriculum orientation within the National Union of Christian Schools 267 Canadian curriculum voices 275 A quest for purpose 283 vi CHAPTER VII. DEALING WITH CURRICULUM ISSUES: SOME EXAMPLES (1945-1977) 288 Influences on the curriculum 288 The liberal vs. the practical and the traditional vs. the modern 298 The 1953-1966 curriculum interlude in the National Union of Christian Schools 307 Stirrings in and around Ontario 1967-1977 311 Biblical studies in the curriculum 319 Science in the curriculum 330 The basics in Christian education 337 CHAPTER VIII. FEATURES OF THE CURRICULUM AT THE LOCAL LEVEL: SOME POST-WORLD WAR II EXAMPLES 344 Introduction 344 Post-World War II Dutch Calvinist immigrants and their thinking 345 The first Canadian Christian schools 351 Characteristics of some local schools 355 Curriculum influences on local Christian schools 364 Christian Characteristics of the Curriculum 371 Why Christian schools? 382 CHAPTER IX. ISOLATION, CONFORMATION, OR TRANSFORMATION? 388 Why Calvinist Christian schools? 388 Other religiously-oriented non-public schools in North America 392 Influences on curriculum and instruction on CSI schools 399 Implications for CSI and other religiously-oriented non-public schools 410 Worldview and curriculum 412 BIBLIOGRAPHY OF SOURCES CITED IN TEXT 418 vi i LIST OF TABLES CHRISTIAN REFORMED CHURCH MEMBERSHIP, DUTCH IMMIGRATION INTO THE U.S.A., AND CHRISTIAN SCHOOL ENROLLMENT, 1880-1920 101 II. SUMMARY OF CURR ICULUM ORIENTATIONS 248 LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS ACSI Association of Christian Schools International, Whittier, Ca l i forn ia CDC CSI Curriculum Development Centre, also known as The Joy in Learning Curriculum Development Centre, Toronto, Ontario. Christian Schools International, Grand Rapids, Michigan. Until 1978 this association was known as NUCS. ICS NUCS Institute for Christ ian Studies, Toronto, Ontario. Until 1983 this institute was operated by an association known as the Association for the Advancement of Christian Scholarship (AACS). National Union of Christian Schools, Grand Rapids, Michigan. This association became CSI in 1978. OACS Ontario A l l iance of Christian Schools, Hamilton, Ontario. This association, one of the districts of CSI/NUCS, changed its name in 1983 to the Ontario A l l iance of Christian School Societies (OACSS). V l l l ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS My thanks are due, in the first place, to the members of my supervisory-committee. Without Dr. George Tomkins' enthusiasm for the history of curriculum in the Canadian context, this dissertation would not have come about. Dr. J. Donald Wilson offered consistently helpful suggestions. Dr. William Bruneau's perceptive questioning about the context in which Dutch Calvinist schools found themselves brought the issues into sharper focus. Dr. Daniel Birch showed genuine interest in the topic at a time when university administrative matters took a great deal of time and energy. All who were approached gave ready access to relevant documents. Mrs. Nettie Janssens, chief archivist of the Heritage Hall Archives at Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Michigan, was particularly helpful making archival materials available. I greatly benefited from this extensive centralized collection of books, magazines, manuscripts and personal papers related to Calvinist Christian schools, and the pleasant cooperation of her staff. Dr. Michael Ruiter, Executive Director of Christian Schools International, provided access to the records and archives of that organization. The school boards of local societies in British Columbia and Washington made available their minutes and other relevant documents, and many individuals connected with these schools, listed in the bibliography, willingly talked to me about their experiences in and with Christian schools. Drs. Remmelt de Boer of Wezep, the Netherlands, provided many Dutch sources and materials. ix Mrs. Mary Kooy suggested many stylistic improvements. Mr. Stan Pilon and his secretaries proved invaluable in transfering my script to computer disc. A Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Doctoral Fellowship greatly facilitated the completion of this dissertation. My employer, the Society of Christian Schools in British Columbia, generously granted me a two year study-leave for my doctoral studies. Perhaps more than anyone else, my father, a committed "Kuyperian Calvinist," wished this dissertation to be written. I worked on some of the last chapters at his deathbed; both my parents, supportive throughout my studies, passed away several months before the completion of this study. Finally, my deepest thanks to my wife Wilma. She gave more moral and concrete support during the past two years than I had a right to expect. Her love and cheerfulness kept our family life on an even keel despite my continual immersion in research and writing. Our children, Tim, Yolanda and Glen also have been very understanding. * * * * * * * The title of the dissertation originated with a quote of B. J. Bennink, the foremost American Christian school leader from 1900 to 1920. Christian schools, and particularly their Biblical studies instruction, he believed, should "mold the young minds and hearts in accordance with the Divine commands of Him who laid His blessed hands upon our children in the covenant of grace" (B. 3. Bennink, Course of Study for the Elementary School for Christian Instruction [Kalamazoo: Michigan Alliance of Christian Schools, 1915], p. 94). 1 INTRODUCTION During the past decade, non-Catholic private schools in North America have experienced remarkable growth. In the United States, enrollment in such schools increased about 150 percent, between 1972 and 1982. Total private school growth in Canada rose 49 percent during the same period while public school enrollment declined fifteen percent. 1 Parents who believe, for one reason or another, that existing public schools are inappropriate for their children, have increasingly established alternative private schools. A large proportion of these schools is an assortment of generally small, locally-controlled, religiously-oriented schools.^ Private or non-public schools have been part of a long North American tradition. Until public schools became widely accepted, churches of various de-nominations operated schools and academies. Roman Catholic parochial or separate schools continued to exist throughout North America even when most other church-controlled schools disappeared. Segments of the Jewish, the German Lutheran, and the Dutch Calvinist communities, among others, have also supported religiously-oriented day school education from their first founding until the present. This study focuses on schools rooted in the Dutch Calvinist tradition. 1 Calculated from the research and information given in Bruce S. Cooper, Donald H. McLaughlin and Bruno V. Manno, "The Latest Word on Private-School Growth," Teachers College Record 85 (Fall 1983): 88-98; and Statistics Canada, "Growth in Private Education—1972-73 to 1982-83," Education Statistics Service Bulletin, Sept. 1983, p. 2. Cooper et al., p. 97. 2 dust when most American schools were moving out of the church's orbit in the mid-nineteenth century, newly-arrived Calvinists from the Netherlands founded their first school in Michigan.3 Their schools remained small in number. Grouped together as the National Union of Christian Schools [NUCS] (since 1978 Christian Schools International),^ they never attracted much attention. Yet in 1969 eighty percent of all families in the major supporting denomination, the 300 000-member Christian Reformed Church, sent their children to NUCS schools.^ In Canada, the schools presently form the largest identifiable and cohesive group of Christian schools other than Catholic ones. Thirty percent of the pupils in i According to Timothy Smith, "An evangelical consensus of faith and ethics had come to so dominate the national culture that a majority of Protestants were now willing to entrust the state with the task of educa-ting children, confident that education would be 'religious' still"—and anti-Catholic (Timothy L. Smith, "Protestant Schooling and American Nationality, 1800-1850," Journal of American History 53 [March 1967]:687). Dutch immigrants who promoted parochial schools seemed to give more con-sideration to conditions in Dutch public schools than in American ones. ^ After 1978 the organization became known as Christian Schools International [CSI]. The organization is not to be confused with the Association ;of Christian Schools International [ASCI], the 1978 amalgama-tion of several other regional Christian school association in the United States. As will become clear in this thesis, CSI has its roots in Dutch Calvinism. In September 1983 it had 382 member schools with a total enrollment of 74 541 students, of which 110 schools with 16 403 students were in Canada (Christian Schools International, Directory 1983-84 [Grand Rapids: CSI, 1983], p. 44). ACSI represents a broader spectrum of evange-lical Protestant schools. In 1982-83 it reported 1933 member schools with an enrollment of 337 554 students (Paul A. Kienel, Your Questions Answered About Christian Schools [Whittier, California: ACSI, 1983], p. 71). ACSI does not publish separate Canadian figures but in Canada is much smaller than CSI (there were two ACSI member schools in British Columbia in September, 1983). This study will use the name National Union of Christian Schools [NUCS] rather than CSI, since the organization was known by the NUCS name until the 1977 cut-off date of this study. ^ Robert P. Swierenga, "The Dutch," in Stephan Thernstrom, ed., Harvard Enclyclopedia of American Ethnic Groups (Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1980), p. 293. 3 non-Catholic private schools in Alberta and British Columbia attend these Calvinist-inspired Christian schools. Ontario's sixty-eight schools, with 9 650 pupils, form the largest concentration of NUCS schools outside of Michigan.6 Nevertheless, Dutch Calvinist persistence in operating these schools has detracted little from the perception that the Dutch assimilate easily into a compatible American or Canadian environment. This conviction has been one reason for the paucity of scholarly work about the Dutch in North America/ The little existing research has seldom dealt with North American Calvinist schools. Until the. 1970s, Dutch immigrants or their descendants founded most NUCS schools. The first major wave of Dutch settlers to the United States in the 1840s and 1850s migrated for both economic and religious reasons. In the 1830s, groups of mainly rural, orthodox Calvinists (or Seceders, as they came to be called) left the national Dutch Reformed Church, resulting in religious oppression. Intolerance towards them (and towards their attempts to establish parochial schools) worsened their already low socio-economic status. Thus the economic depression of the 1840s affected them more than most. Soon, several of their religious leaders recommended emigration to the New World, and between 1846 and 1857 almost 40 000 Dutch peasants and rural artisans left for America.** 6 Canadian figures calculated from information in Statistics Canada Education Statistics Service Bulletin, Sept. 1983, and CSI Directory 1982-83 and 1983-84. ^ Robert F. Harney, "Preface," in Herman Ganzevoort and Mark Boekelman, eds., Dutch Immigration to North America (Toronto: The Multicultural History Society of Ontario, 1983), pp. vii-viii. ° Based on the figures of Robert P. Swierenga, "Dutch International Labour Migration to North America in the Nineteenth Century," in Ganzevoort and Boekelman, pp. 11-13. 4 In 1856 a handful of these settlers began the first Calvinist school in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Later Dutch immigrants who came to North America between 1880 and World War I and after World War II did not come for religious reasons. Yet these waves also contained a disproportionately large number of Orthodox Calvinists. Most of their leaders encouraged Christian schools, basing their desirability on the perceived Enlightenment and, later, socialist influences on Dutch public schools and their curricula. Successive groups of immigrants brought with them.. fresh . Dutch ideas about the nature and programs of Christian schools—and, often, principals and teachers to implement them. One important theme of this study is that the immigrants' religious and ethnic backgrounds, inextricably intertwined, provided the main contours for the schools and their curricula. The development of North American Calvinist schools cannot be understood without considering their Dutch roots. The Calvinist schools bolstered the religious and ethnic cohesiveness of the Christian Reformed community.9 School leaders from time to time avowed their resolve to broaden the ethnic base of the schools. Partly for that reason, since 1910 associations of parents and not church congregations have operated almost all schools. Nevertheless, close if informal liaison with the Christian Reformed Church continued. In contrast, contact with theologically-close but " One of the differences between the Reformed Church and the Christian Reformed Church has been that the former has not favoured Christian day schools. A sociological survey of persons leaving the Christian Reformed Church (often to join the Reformed Church) in the early 1970s showed that seven percent of them had left because they found the Christian Reformed Church's support of Christian schools unpalatable (William Smit, "Christian School Is a Factor in Leaving the Christian Reformed Church," Christian Educators Journal, Jan. 1973, pp. 4-5). 5 ethnically-distinct Presbyterian groups was almost totally lacking. The schools sustained Dutch Calvinist social patterns and, often against the expressed desires of their proponents, preserved ethnic consciousness, at least until recently.10 The schools' founders were unabashedly Calvinistic in their beliefs as well as in their views of society and the role of Christians in it. The leader of the first Dutch settlement in Michigan intended "to found a kingdom of orthodox Christianity in the primeval forests of Western Michigan ."H Such "orthodox Christianity" held that God ordained persons to both salvation and holiness. Faith involved sound doctrine and godliness based on Biblical precepts. 12 Like the Puritans, these Calvinists believed each person must be educated in order to be able to read and understand the Bible.^ School instruction had to be carried out "in the nurture and admonition of the Lord."^ The school principal who more than anyone else shaped America's Dutch Calvinist schools in the early twentieth century defined education as that process of development of man's body and soul so that all his faculties may reach a state of perfection which enables him to fulfill his obligations 1 0 Swierenga, "The Dutch," p. 293. H Albert Hyma to Mark Fakkema, Feb. 15, 1947 (Hyma personal papers, Heritage Hall Archives, Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Michigan). Historian Hyma wrote this to Mark Fakkema, the General Secretary of the National Union of Christian Schools, during the year his scholarly biography of Albertus C. Van Raalte, leader of the first major Dutch settlement in Michigan, was published. 1^ John H. Randall, The Making of the Modern Mind (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1940), pp. 151-52. i 3 Swierenga, "The Dutch," p. 293. 1* This oft-quoted phrase from the apostle Paul's writings in the Bible (Ephesians 6:4) was used, for example, by the Dutch historian and statesman Groen van Prinsterer when describing the Dutch emigrants in the 1840s: "Men who in strict obedience to the state in all humility and ear-nestness desired only that which in obedience to the highest Lawgiver and Benefactor could not be missed, and who, finally, when this was denied them, with breaking heart, went to far distant shores in order that there they might live as Christians and by their very presence prove that 6 toward God, himself, and his neighbor.^ For Dutch Calvinists, one's obligation to God came first. Only Christian schools could be duly concerned with both "body and soul" and properly define a "state of perfection." Supporters considered public schools, often with* superior facilities and better qualified teachers, philosophically and religiously incompatible with Calvinistic beliefs. Two overlapping but distinct strains of Calvinism affected the North American schools. The original nineteenth century pietistic and individualistic supporters emphasized Calvinistic doctrines and strict personal moral uprightness. Children, they believed, must be shielded from their American environment, and consequently they maintained instruction in Dutch until well into the twentieth century. Even today, their modern counterparts send children to Christian schools primarily to isolate children from unhealthy "worldly" influences. The second group has consisted mainly of followers of Abraham Kuyper, the foremost Calvinist leader in the Netherlands from 1880 to 1920. Without denying the doctrinal and moral facets of Calvinism, the "Kuyperians" attached much greater importance to God calling Christians to be actively engaged in politics, commerce, science* education and the arts. Kuyperians wanted Christian school pupils to analyze and respond to societal phenomena and issues. In obedience to God and in a uniquely Christian way, students must be helped to contribute to the growth and development of society. Around the turn of the century newly-instruction in the nurture and admonition of the Lord was considered in the Netherlands to be a criminal offence" (quoted by Richard Postma in "Marching On!," Christian Home and School, July-Aug. 1947, p. 3). 5 B. J. Bennink in De Calvinist, Dec. 30, 1916. 7 arrived Kuyperians in the U.S. opposed Dutch language instruction since children could understand and influence American society only if fluent in English. They also strove for a socially-relevant curriculum broader in scope than the teaching of Biblical concepts and basic skills. One reason that the differences between the two groups have persisted is that each found elements of social and political thought in the United States that supported their views. Proponents of Calvinist schools have vigorously claimed that Christian beliefs should affect not only the school atmosphere but the total curriculum and hs implementation. The Lordship of Jesus Christ over all creation, they asserted, must affect all aspects of human society, and consequently all subject matter. The first Christian textbooks were developed in the Netherlands while the first schools were being established. The school movement in the United States has published a steady though far from profuse flow of textbooks and other curriculum materials, not only for Biblical studies, but also for social studies, language arts and science. Canadian groups supplemented these with their own products in the 1970s. The intent of all publications was that the curriculum embodied Calvinistic conceptions of the nature of human beings and their relationships to God, the character and utilization of physical reality, the Christian's role in society, and the ultimate purpose of human life on earth. This study considers a number of questions about the history of curriculum and instruction in North American Calvinist schools, taking into account Dutch developments as they influenced North American schools. In what ways has the North American Calvinist curriculum, i.e., the dynamic, ever-changing series of planned learning activities, been distinctive? How far did Calvinistic philosophical and religious views have a bearing on programs and 8 textbooks and their use? How did trends in public education affect curriculum development and classroom instruction? To what extent did the schools make decisions without reference to the general political and educational context? Did the cultural background of the school's supporters lead them to favour one particular curriculum orientation over another (e.g., an academic rather than an experiential one)? Who made the key curriculum decisions and on what basis? How was curriculum influenced by parental wishes? By general societal expectations of schooling? By educational thinkers like Pestalozzi and Dewey? By government recommendations and stipulations? By the Christian Reformed Church? The investigation of such questions will help determine in what ways the goals of the schools have or have not been realized through their curricula. More generally, it will give some indications whether non-public schools can institute and maintain distinctive curricula when one of their major goals is to enable children to function effectively in society around them. The ethnic, rural and socio-economic background of supporters had a bearing on .the schools' curricular and instructional decisions. In 1963, for example, a long-term American NUCS high school teacher concluded that the students' social background contributed to diligence but also to an all-too-ready acceptance of whatever teachers presented. As a result, he wondered, was the curriculum geared too much to indoctrination rather than education?^ Whether or not his conclusion was correct, his assumption of the relevance of social background to learning was valid. Societal trends have influenced Christian schools. In the mid-1910s war-generated nativism accelerated the Americanization l b Milo Okkema, "Impressions of Christian High School Students," Christian Home and School, Sept. - Oct. 1963, pp. 12-13. 9 of the schools, as the schools' readers, social studies publications, and even penmanship samples displayed an uncritical devotion to America as the land of liberty and freedom. As in public schools, the increasing percentage of teenagers completing high school in the 1950s and 1960s led to greater curricular diversity. The swings from 1960s social activism and innovation to the late 1970s retrenchment, with corresponding educational moves from neo-progressivism to "back to the basics," also affected Christian schools, though, in muted fashion. The social milieu did not fail to touch the schools and their programs. This study opens the way for a future full social history of this group of schools. One of the themes that recurred repeatedly in the history of Calvinistic schools was that "Christian principles" and "the teaching of the Lord" must permeate all instruction. The schools strove to make curriculum materials and implementation distinctively Christian. But they have not been united about the meaning of "distinctively Christian." In the Netherlands in the 1840s, Seceder schools saturated the curriculum with religious doctrines and personal moral injunctions. This group also stressed "receptacle" learning, i.e., the memorization and regurgitation of information supplied by the teacher. On the other hand, the start of the first interdenominational, parent-controlled school in the Netherlands in 1844 came in opposition to the mechanical inculcation of information prevalent in public schools. This Christian school was founded so that children would be treated as responsible, individual personalities. Teachers were to model a Christian life rather than hold forth about it, and meet the everyday needs of children at their level of development. Later the Kuyperians also took this view, but, unlike both previous groups, stressed that the curriculum should help children "to become a reforming influence in our society and develop a Christian culture 10 and lifestyle according to the norms of God's Word" [i.e, the Bible.]!*7 Curriculum disagreements between the pietistic, protectionist^ position and the more socially relevant one have arisen periodically. Indeed, a recent influx of isolationist ic non-Calvinist Christians into many NUCS schools has once again accentuated this difference of approach. Another prominent theme has been the schools' quest for educational excellence. Religious perspective and content, many supporters believed, should enhance rather than erode education standards. Although founded for religious and moral reasons, schools often took pride in exceeding public school norms on examinations and standardized tests. However, beyond the assumption that such secular standards must be met, little agreement about the characteristics of quality education existed. For some, it meant exhaustive training in basic skills. For others, it consisted of a thorough classical education that trained the powers of the mind. A few believed that excellence would occur only if the structure and content of learning helped children to discover and explore their own particular abilities and identities. Still others felt excellence was attained when students were able to analyze and respond to societal issues in a Christian manner. Often these diverse views represented Calvinistic adaptations of curriculum orientations prevalent in public education. An additional thread in this study is how Dutch Calvinists expressed their changing conceptions of their schools' function in their curricula. Until 1890, parents supported the schools primarily to sustain the religious, moral and cultural tenets of their Dutch Calvinist heritage. Since they believed the preservation of their convictions to depend on a knowledge of the Dutch v' Edmonton Christian High School, Handbook for Students 1976-77, p. 1. Such aims are reminiscent of both Abraham Kuyper and John Calvin. For a description of John Calvin's views of the Christian's role in culture (and his influence on later Calvinism, including that of Kuyper), see 11 language, they considered the schools to be "Dutch schools." On the other hand, Kuyper's followers saw the schools as instruments in bringing about a new, more Calvinistic social order throughout America. In the 1930s, leaders of the schools, like those in other segments of society, tried to erect social and ideological bulwarks in the face of social and economic instability and uncertainty. Schools became safeguards to defend Calvinism against the dangers of modernism and progressivism. The post-World War II Kuyperians, especially in Canada, looked at the schools once again as possible Christian vanguards benefiting all segments of a pluralistic society. During the 1970s, Canadian Christian high school teachers developed a Man in Society course that emphasized contributions Christians could make to Canadian society.18 Long before this, however, most American Christian school supporters had adopted the American civil religion: a faith in the equality of men, in the entrepreneurial spirit and continued progress, in individualism and pragmatism.19 Dutch Calvinists had become American Calvinists, fitting into the American way of life while continuing to uphold their Calvinist doctrines and morals. Many post-World War II Canadian immigrants suspected this American way of life to be Robert D. Knudsen, "Calvinism as a Cultural Force," in W. Stanford Reid, ed., John Calvin: His Influence in the Western World (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan, 1982), pp. 13-29. For Calvin and his followers, culture is "the general term denoting the order that has been brought into being by human agency," embracing "everything that does not come ready-made as part of nature" (p.26). See also note 64, Chapter III. 18 Ary De Moor et al., Man in Society: A Study in Hope (Grand Rapids: CSI publications, 1980). This course was developed by a large number of teachers during a ten-year period. 19 For a description of the American "faith" that defined its nationhood, see Allan Smith, "Metaphor and Nationality in North America," Canadian Historical Review 51 (Sept. 1970): 252-54. 12 inconsistent with true Christianity. As Kuyperians, they wanted Christians to influence not only personal morals but also legal, political, social and economic decisions and the related societal structures. Working within the Canadian "mosaic,"20 Canadian Calvinists felt positive about working towards the implementation of a Kuyperian vision .of society.^f In the late 1960s and the 1970s, many Canadians, dissatisfied with what they felt to be the shallow Christian perspective of American curriculum materials, began developing their own approaches and writing their own materials. Canadian Christian school leaders—supported by a number of Americans—did not want to train children to fit into the individualistic, pragmatic, materialistic American way of life. This study, then, considers how religious and moral beliefs, theoretical thought, social and economic influences, and national identities combined to forge school programs that the Dutch Calvinist community deemed to meet its children's needs at various times and in different places. It investigates the extent to which the curriculum has been unique and in what ways it absorbed past or current ideas in general educational thinking or practice. The motives of the supporters of Christian schools remained hidden sometimes even to themselves. z u Allan Smith contrasts the Canadian tendency towards a "mosaic" and the American "melting pot" model of its society in terms of "diversity in unity" vs. "unity in diversity" (Smith, p. 261). An educational example of Canada's greater openness to diversity was the fact that within a genera-tion of Alberta's Christian schools being founded, Christian school suppor-ters achieved some government financial support. 21 For such an optimistic vision, see, for example, John A. Olthuis, "The Wages of Change," in John A. Olthuis et al., Out of Concern for the Church (Toronto: Wedge, 1970), especially pp. 20-25. Kuyper had similarly-said on his 1898 trip to America that "Calvinism has yet a blessing to bring and bright hope to unveil for the future" of Western civilization (Abraham Kuyper, Lectures on Calvinism [Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1931], p. 40). 13 Their vision of what Christian day schools should be like was often clouded. Conditions and teacher qualifications frequently left something to be desired. Yet the schools not only survived for more than 125 years, but are still growing today and catering to a wide range of evangelical Christians. This study-attempts to answer how the schools' programs have made them attractive alternatives for up to 75 000 American and Canadian pupils—or whether, indeed, reasons for their popularity must be found outside of their curricula. 14 CHAPTER I CHRISTIAN SCHOOLS IN THE NETHERLANDS TO 1848 The First Christian School Operated by an Association of Parents For the 382 North American member schools of Christian Schools International (formerly the National Union of Christian School [NUCS]),1 May 6, 1844 is an important date. That day 116 pupils enrolled in a new school in the city of Nijmegen, a few kilometres from the German border in central Holland. The school was unique: the parents not only agreed to uphold the school's regulations, but also became members of an association that operated the school. They committed themselves to running its affairs and giving it adequate support.2 This was the first Christian school governed by an independent association of parents, a pattern of organization that at present characterizes almost all NUCS schools in North America. More than the school's organizational structure was unique. The school's main leader was the lawyer Justinus 3. L. van der Brugghen, later Prime Minister of the Netherlands. He established the school to teach children the principles of the Christian faith in a vibrant, meaningful way. As chairman of Nijmegen's school commission since 1838, Van der Brugghen had become disillusioned with the city's schools. 1 For a brief description of this organization, see note 4, Introduction. 2 3. Kuiper, Geschiedenis van het Christelijk lager onderwijs, 2nd ed., [History of Christian elementary education] (Amsterdam: H. A. van Bot-tenburg, 1904), p. 86; F. Kalsbeek, 3. Leus, and 3. B. Meijnen, Van strijd 15 However, there had been one exceptional school. In 1840, a group influenced by the Dutch Protestant revival (het Reveil) had started a kindergarten for working-class children. Its aims were to improve their physical care, their intellectual growth, and, especially, their religious development. The teacher was "to tell them in a child-like way about Jesus, so that ignorance [would] not prevent them one day from approaching Him."3 Van der Brugghen, who himself had become part of the revival movement in Nijmegen, was impressed with the kindergarten's program and instructions. Within eighteen months he spearheaded efforts to begin a continuation school/* Those efforts met the stiff resistance of local and provincial authorities. All schools in the Netherlands needed government permission to operate. Such permission could be granted to organizations, to qualified teachers who wanted to operate their own school, and to churches operating free schools for the poor. Early in 1842, Van der Brugghen arranged for the kindergarten graduates to en zegen: gedenkboek van het Christelijk onderwijs [Concerning strife and blessing: remembrance volume of Christian education] (Leiden: Eduard IJdo, 1904), p. 43; P". Oosterlee, Geschiedenis van het Christelijk onderwijs [History of Christian Education] (Haarlem: De Erven F. Bohn, 1929), p. 15. In the Netherlands, schools such as this as well as church-controlled ones are called bijzondere scholen [i.e., special schools]. There is no exact English equivalent, but I will refer to them as "non-public schools" in this thesis. 3 R. Turksma, De geschiedenis van de opleiding tot onderwijzer in Nederland aan de openbare, Protestants-Christelijke en bijzondere-neutrale instellingen [The history of teacher training in the Netherlands in public, Protestant-Christian, and independent-neutral institutions] (Groningen: J. W. Wolters, 1961), p. 5; A. Ponsteen, Honderd jaar Christelijk onderwijs te Nijverdal [One hundred years of Christian education in Nijverdal], published by the local Christian school in 1965, pp. 8-9; Oosterlee, pp. 1-2. The quote is from Oosterlee; translations of Dutch quotes in this thesis are mine unless otherwise indicated. ^ This is evident, for instance, from a letter Van der Brugghen wrote to Guillaume Groen van Prinsterer on December 20, 1841. Groen van Prinsterer (often referred to just as Groen) is the other major figure in the early Christian school movement in mid-nineteenth century Holland. It has taken Dutch scholars since 1925 to collect and publish Groen's _ _16 attend a school operated by an approved teacher, Mr. C. F. Gehne. .This German "revivalist" simultaneously and in the same location operated a Lutheran school for the poor. Van der Brugghen solicited donations for tuition among the Dutch elite. With this arrangement, Gehne no longer feared a loss of students and income because of parental complaints about his religious beliefs. He now took joy in giving Biblical instruction with "clear blessing and support ."^ However, in October Gehne left for a position in an Indonesian school for which he had applied several years earlier. The Lutheran congregation decided to close its school for the poor, but agreed to appoint an instructor for three more months while Van der Brugghen sought permission to start a non-public school. Unfortunately, the new teacher had not taken the necessary-examination and was not licensed by the national government to operate his own school. Consequently, one Friday the police removed all pupils but the twenty-attending as Lutheran school paupers. Van der Brugghen quickly found another teacher permitted to operate his own school and willing to risk the suspension of his license for not remaining religiously neutral in his instruction. As a result, on Monday the other sixty children again received instruction, now in a large house that became known as Den Klokkenberg [The Bell Mountain] because of its correspondence. There are now five volumes available, with a sixth forthcoming. The letter referred to is found in C. Gerretson and A. Goslinga, Groen van Prinsterer: schriftelijke nalatenschap, derde deel: briefwisseling, tweede deel 1833-1848 [Groen van Prinsterer: literary-estate, third volume: correspondence, second volume 1833-1848] (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1964), p. 427. I will refer to this volume as GSN III. J GSN III, p. 431. A balanced account of Van der Brugghen's activi-ties with respect to the school was given by 3. Brouwer, Het binnenste naar buiten: beginselen en activiteiten van Mr. 3. 3. L. van der Brugghen [Externalizing the innermost: principles and activities of lawyer 3. 3. L. van der Brugghen] (Zutphen: De Walburg Pers, 1981), pp. 109-19. This doc-toral dissertation for the Catholic University of Nijmegen also related how the two main streams in Protestant Christian education in the Netherlands have viewed and interpreted Van der Brugghen's work quite differently. A writer like P. Oosterlee considered him the "father" of Christian education 17 location .6 In the meantime, the city council, advised by the regional school inspector, twice denied Van der Brugghen's request to establish a school. An appeal to the provincial authorities received a favourable answer nine months later, while it took eight more months for the Dutch Minister of the Interior to approve the teacher. Once the school could officially open in 1844, enrollment increased rapidly to 190 students of diverse Protestant as well as Roman Catholic and Jewish backgrounds. Only a minority of these were children who had attended the kindergarten for the working class poor. Thus the school's popularity was not based solely on its Christian emphasis; it was partly due to dissatisfaction with existing schools/ Van der Brugghen's own main motive was to have a school in which teachers and students could freely pray and speak about Christ as the Messiah.8 He and his fellow revivalists opposed Rousseau's view that religious instruction should wait until the child was able to make independent religious and moral judgments, a view that had gained some influence in the Netherlands. In the school, Van der Brugghen believed, the Christian gospel had to be present as a whose work was central for its future development in the Netherlands. Someone like H. Bouma mentioned him only in passing [H. Bouma, Een verge- ten hoofdstuk [A forgotten chapter] (Enschede: J. Boersma, 1959). Bouma dealt almost exclusively with Christian schools started by groups of Seceders from the national Reformed Church. The difference between the two groups is described later in this chapter, as it has a bearing on North American developments. 6 Oosterlee, pp. 10-13; Turksma, pp. 66-67; F. Kalsbeek et al., pp. 40-41. 7 Oosterlee, pp. 15, 19; F. Kalsbeek et al., pp. 41-43. 8 F. Kalsbeek et al., p. 37. 18 "re-creating power."9 His intent was to inculcate Christian faith and service. This was not easy. As Van der Brugghen wrote on March 10, 1845, Our school continually gives us much difficulty and anxiety. . . it is so difficult in our nation, in all spheres of Christian action, to find suitable and usable people, because there is much orthodoxy and mysticism present, but little, relentlessly little, living faith and true desire to serve the Lord.10 Van der Brugghen's views opposed the narrow moralism that prevailed in Dutch schools. For him Christ was not just "an excellent teacher of Virtue who gives salutary [moral] prescription." Rather, as the Saviour of sinners he was "the life breath of true culture ... in whom knowledge and art may grow and bloom." The school, therefore, was to have "no exaggeration of Christian forms, no display of insincere affection, no imprinting of truths of faith that are difficult to understand." The way Biblical history was taught, the content of the whole curriculum, the atmosphere that the teacher created—all were to contribute to a living, culture-enriching faith.H These views led Van der Brugghen to search for a "Christian" pedagogy. For this he turned to Franz Ludwig Zahn in Moers, not far across the German border from Nijmegen. Zahn operated the Evangelical Teacher Seminary in the tradition of the German pietist educator August Herman Francke, but tried to " Oosterlee, pp. 26-29. Rousseau's influence in the Netherlands is documented, for example, in S. Rombouts, Historiese pedagogiek, derde deel [Historical pedagogy, third volume] (Tilburg: Jongensweeshuis, 1928), pp. 7-8. 1 0 GSN III, p. 657. H Oosterlee, pp. 5-7, 16; Ponsteen, p. 9. Van der Brugghen thus opposed the study of doctrines and of the catechism, both because of their pedagogical unsuitability and because such teaching belonged in church edu-cation programs. He provided opportunity for churches to give denomina-tional instruction outside of school hours. 19 avoid Francke's harshness. Van der Brugghen sent Gehne to observe this school so that he could apply its methods. Van der Brugghen's search for a more Christian pedagogy was related to his dissatisfaction with the receptacle learning in government schools "in which children learn astonishingly much and after they leave know astonishingly little." Van der Brugghen believed that education, to be Christian, had to enable children to think about and apply knowledge as well as to meet high academic standards. Van der Brugghen. foreshadowed Herman Bavinck, the Dutch pedagogical thinker often referred to by North American Christian school leaders in the first half of the twentieth century, by insisting that instead of becoming pre-programmed rolls on a player piano, pupils must be led to be independent personalities who create and play their own melodies. Further, teachers had to be able to implement the best current educational thinking. To accomplish this, Van der Brugghen started a normal school at Den Klokkenberg a few years later. He also continued to be interested in improving government education. In 1857, when Dutch prime minister, he added five subjects" to the elementary school curriculum and strengthened teacher examinations so that all schools would offer a more balanced and significant program.12 What was the curriculum of Den Klokkenberg school? Daily prayer and hymns were followed by an hour of explanation and discussion of Zahn's German Biblische Histonen [Biblical Histories]. A group of Holland's religious and 1 1 Oosterlee, pp. 8-9, 17, 22; Kuiper, p. 85; Turksma, p. 66; F. Kalsbeek et al., p. 38. Rather than a player piano Van der Brugghen actually used a Dutch barrel organ for his example (Brouwer, p. 102). For a description of August Herman Francke's educational ideas and practices, see James Bowen, A History of Western Education, vol. 3: The Modern West: Europe and the New World (London: Methuen, 1981), pp. 162-67. 20 political leaders led by Van der Brugghen and Guillaume Groen van Prinsterer soon translated these books into Dutch. Once this was done, pupils read their own copies. Now, Van der Brugghen hoped, Bible instruction would not be tainted with the perceived narrow, rationalistic moralism of the public school curriculum.13 Van der Brugghen further added general history, French, German, and later, English, subjects not taught in public schools. To complete a well-rounded curriculum, he engaged the city's music master to teach vocal music four times a week. Further, he stimulated the writing and publication of suitable reading and song books. Van der Brugghen also visited the school each day to encourage and guide the staff. His stature and impact made the school a popular institution. The Den Klokkenberg school, important mainly for its later influence on the development of Dutch Christian Education, was intended to be "a small seed, without much fuss, starting, possibly, to be an example that [would] be followed elsewhere." By 1848 only three similar schools existed.^ Yet the Den Klokkenberg school and the related publication of the Nijmeegsch Schoolblad [Nijmegen's School Journal] from 184.4 tp 1852 and a number of Christian textbooks put an indelible stamp on Dutch Christian education. Indirectly, Van der Brugghen's thinking also affected Christian schools in North America around the l j } While Groen and Van der Brugghen's hope that these books might be used by most schools (public and non-public) was never realized, they were still frequently used "with profit" in Dutch Christian schools in 1904 (Kuiper, p. 86). F. Kalsbeek et al., pp. 39-40, 46; GSN III, p. 427; Kuiper, pp. 86-87. Ponsteen, p. 10. 21 turn of the century. The seed that Van der Brugghen had sown took root, although it did not germinate fully until the turn of the century. Then the Dutch leaders Abraham Kuyper and Herman Bavinck, this time on more explicitly-philosophical grounds, promoted association-controlled Christian schools and developed an outline of a Christian approach to pedagogy. Their ideas influenced North American NUCS schools more directly than Van der Brugghen's. This is best understood in light of the philosophical, religious, and educational context of the first Dutch Christian schools and the factors that led to the Landverhuizing [the Migration] to the U.S. between 1846 and 1848. This migration led to the founding of the first Calvinist Christian schools in the New World. The Philosophical, Religious, and Political Background of Nineteenth Century-Dutch Education The overthrow of the Dutch republic by France in 1795 accelerated the effect of Enlightenment rationalism and morality on Dutch society.16 Also, the Reformed Church lost its status as a state church. The authority of the clergy-was minimized in what was now called the Batavian Republic.I7 Cultural and ecclesiastical changes accompanied the establishment of the Kingdom of Holland under the rule of Napoleon's brother in 1806, its annexation as part of the French republic in 1810, and its renewed independence under King William I in 1813.^ 16 W. Robert Godfrey, "Calvin and Calvinism in the Netherlands," in W. Stanford Reid, ed., John Calvin: His Influence in the Western World (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 1982), p. 115. 1 7 Albert Hyma, "The Survival and Resurgence of Orthodox Calvinism in the Netherlands (1750-1850)," Annual Report of the American Historical Association (Washington: AHA, 1942), vol. 3, p. 61. 1^ L. Kalsbeek, Theologische en wijsgerige achtergronden van de verhouding van kerk, staat en school in Nederland [Theological and philo-sophical backgrounds of the relation among church, state, and school in the Netherlands] (Kampen: Kok, 1976), pp. 83-84; Peter Y. De Jong, The Story of the Schools (Hamilton: The Christian School Herald, n.d.), p. 31. 22 The eighteenth century Philosophies had repudiated basic Christian doctrines, but had often maintained a respectful attitude towards a non-personal Supreme Being or "First Cause." They replaced the authority of the Bible with a faith in Reason, and forged a climate of opinion where grace was transformed into virtue and justification became a human endeavour instead of a divine gift. To be enlightened meant to apply Reason to the book of nature. True religion and morality were founded on natural law revealed to all men. Guided by-Reason and experience, humans were able to become free from ignorance and superstition, become virtuous citizens, and perfect the good life. Faith in rationalism replaced faith in the Trinitarian God.^ What Carl L. Becker called "the heavenly city of the eighteenth-century philosophers" soon clashed with traditional Calvinism in post-Napoleonic Holland. The followers of the Enlightenment, who provided religious, cultural, political and educational leadership in early nineteenth century- Holland, rejected Calvinist dogmas and faith in divine grace. Jesus was no longer the Son of God and Saviour (a doctrine that could not be brought into agreement with Reason and experience), but a historical human noted for his teaching of virtue and character. Philosophy and science could and should be reconciled with religion. The discord among factions of Christians was to be a thing of the past.20 This summary is based on Carl L. Becker, The Heavenly City of the Eighteenth-Century Philosophers (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1932; 10th printing, 1955), especially pp. 47-58. 20 Crane Brinton, The Shaping of the Modern Mind, The Concluding Half of "Ideas and Men" (New York: New American Library, 1953), pp. 113-14, 143-44; D. Langedijk, De geschiedenis van het protestants-Christelijk onderwijs [The history of Protestant-Christian education] (Delft: Van Keulen, 1953), pp. 2-3; Jantje L. van Essen, "Guillaume Groen van Prinsterer and His Conception of History," Westminster Theological Journal 44 (Fall 1982): 207; Hyma, p. 62. 23 Only Reason could lead to true virtue and break the shackles of an outmoded faith. A thinker such as John Locke, who had lived as a fugitive in Holland from 1683 to 1688, influenced many with his belief in the "natural" religion of God, virtue and immortality. Locke admitted that even though reason was autonomous, man's necessities, passions, vices and mistaken interests got in the way of perfect morality and virtue. These views struck a responsive chord in the Dutch with their Calvinist background.2* Complete unbelief was unnecessary; humans could be perfected through their own efforts to live virtuous lives. Such faith replaced Calvinism and dominated Dutch society, but it also led orthodox Calvinists to react by establishing a new church and Christian schools. In 1816 the King reinstated a government-subsidized national church. He changed its name from Gereformeerde Kerk to Hervormde Kerk (both mean Reformed Church; the latter sounds less severe). He imposed a hierarchical system of -church government with himself as head.22 /\t this time, the "Groningen school" of enlightened theology, which included most Dutch leaders, controlled the direction of the church. For this group, doctrine was immaterial since the end of religion was not salvation but the achievement of virtue. Tolerance, love of peace and unity, moral improvement, and the practice of virtue had replaced more traditional Christian dogmas.2^ The church introduced / ! i Peter A. Schouls, The Imposition of Method: A Study of Descartes and Locke (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1980), pp. 219-29; Langedijk, p. 3; Turksma, p. 12. The impact of John Locke's educational thought on Western Europe, and particularly of his Some Thoughts Concerning Education, are described in James Bowen, Volume Three, pp. 172ff. 2 2 Hyma, p. 62; L. Kalsbeek, pp. 128-29. 2^ James Donald Bratt, "Dutch Calvinism in Modern America: The History of a Conservative Subculture" (Ph.D. dissertation, Yale University, 1978), p. 8; L. H. Wagenaar, Het Reveil en de Afscheiding [The Awakening and the Secession] (Heerenveen: Hepkema, 1880), pp. 7-9. 24 hymns that typified these views, even when parishioners refused to sing them and walked out in protest: "Virtue, oh yes! I find her beautiful,/She stretches herself for the great reward,/I follow her path with joy and courage,/I know that he who does not sin,/Who does not forget his duties,/With reason may be said to be most happy."2^ Similarly the prayers eschewed the key doctrine of the Protestant Reformation, justification through faith, and heralded the rewards of virtuous living. 2^ Christianity was reduced to a system of rational, moral rules. Resistance to such thinking crystallized in two religious movements, het Reveil [the Awakening] and de Afscheiding [the Secession], both of which were closely connected with Christian schooling. Before 1795, though the government was the official "authority" of most elementary .schools, a close bond between the schools and the national church existed.2** With the new education regulations of 1798, the church's influence on the schools declined. An "agent of national instruction" was given central authority over all elementary and secondary schools. He ensured that not only schools but all cultural institutions would "promote the enlightenment and culture" of all citizens. His duties included ".to make such arrangement that [would] 2 4 L. Kalsbeek, pp. 93-96. 2 5 Ibid., p. 91. 2^ How this came about is described, for example, in R. Freeman Butts, The Education of the West: A Formative Chapter in the History of Civili-zation (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1973), pp. 256-57. Roman Catholic children had no choice but to attend schools that were controlled first by Calvinists and later by liberal Protestants. In 1842, when Catholics first joined orthodox Protestants in agitating for the right to establish non-public religiously-oriented schools, only four of the seventy Dutch school inspectors and ten percent of the teachers were Catholic, while the popula-tion was about thirty-eight percent Catholic. For a Catholic account of Protestant domination of Dutch education, see S. Rombouts, Volume 3, espe-cially pp. 1-17. Religious affiliations of the Dutch population since 1849 are given in C. W. Monnich, ed., Encyclopedic van het Christendom, Pro- testants deel [Encyclopedia of Christianity, Protestant volume] (Amsterdam and Brussels: Elsevier, 1955), p. 39. 25 positively modify the National Character and promote good morals."27 The Minister who strengthened centralized control of education in the French-influenced 1806 Act later reflected: ... all legislation with respect to schools and education originates with the principle that the national government is responsible for all opportunities for the education and nurture of youth, no matter of what age or sex, outside of the parental home. . . . Whatever name those opportunities carry—public or non-public—and whatever their inclinations or goals—civic or religious—this neither can nor may make any difference in the care that the government owes its youth.28 Thus, education became a centralized monopoly of the state, and remained so after Holland regained independence in 1813. Teachers were required to instruct children in "all social and Christian virtues" so that they would become "virtuous and useful persons" as well as "rational beings."2^ The 1806 Act also stipulated that non-public schools must obtain permission to operate from municipal governments. Since most school inspectors were clergymen of the liberal "Groningen school" who held that doctrinal discord would undermine the ideals of the Enlightenmentalmost all Roman Catholic and orthodox Protestant 2 7 Remmelt de Boer, "Groen van Prinsterer, Staatspedagoog?" [Groen van Prinsterer, Pedagogue for the state?] (Master's degree major paper [Doctorandus scriptie], University of Groningen, n.d. [ca. 1977]), pp. 10-11, 54. 2 8 A. van der Ende, Geschiedkundige schets van Neerlands schoolwetge- ving [Historical sketch of- school legislation in the Netherlands] (Deventer, 1846), pp. 58-59, quoted in De Boer, p. 18. 2^ The Dutch word I have translated as "virtuous" is "braaf"—which involves a conglomeration of the concepts of honesty, decency, respec-tability, goodness, and virtue. De Boer quotes these phrases from early 19th century Dutch school laws and book list regulations (pp. 15, 19). 3® Langedijk, p. 23; L. Kalsbeek, p. 158; Jan Donner, De vrijheid van het bijzonder wetenschappelijk onderwijs [The freedom of non-public post-secondary education], LL.D. Thesis, Free University of Amsterdam (Zwolle: Tjeenk Willink, 1978), p. 16; N. F. Noordam, Inleiding in de historische pedagogiek [Introduction to Historical Pedagogy] (Groningen: Wolters-Noordhoff, 1968), p. 131; De Boer, pp. 19-20. 26 requests to start non-public schools were denied. Starting in 1834, much frustration and agitation resulted from the vetoed requests to establish such schools. Not until 1848 were non-public schools given the constitutional right to operate freely.31 Education in the Netherlands During the First Half of the Nineteenth Century The Netherlands is at the crossroads of Western Europe. It has been a trading nation both on the seas and on the European rivers. Its ruling House of Orange had. its roots in Germany; France ruled Holland from 1795 to 1813; and Belgium was part of Holland until 1830. The main religion of its northern part, Calvinism, had its roots in France and Switzerland. Moreover, Holland provided refuge to such thinkers as Descartes and Locke, as well as to the French Huguenots and English Puritans. Holland was in close touch with the economic and social life of surrounding nations with their philosophical and intellectual milieux, combining, molding, adapting, and extrapolating the various influences to suit the Dutch temperament and conditions. Thus Dutch education in the early part of the nineteenth century-exemplified a unique blending of European educational thought. Dutch educational historians have traced the influence of Locke and Rousseau on Dutch education.32 j)i J. C. Rullman, Gedenkboek bij het vijftig-jarig bestaan van de Unie "Een School Met Den Bijbel" [Remembrance volume for the fiftieth anniver-sary of the existence of the Union "A School with the Bible"] (Kampen: Kok, 1928), p. 10; Ponsteen, p. 30. 3 2 See, for example, F. Kalsbeek et al., pp. 1-4; Kuiper, p. 36; and Rombouts, p. 8. Writers from Calvinist background like F. Kalsbeek tend to emphasize Rousseau's influence, perhaps since the latter's anti-Calvinist views supply a ready rationale for founding Christian schools. However, reference to just one or two thinkers cannot explain the Dutch educational scene around 1800; the picture was far more complex. 27 While Locke's thought had a direct impact on Dutch culture, Rousseau's influence appears to have been mostly indirect. Pedagogy that harmonized with Enlightenment ideas reached Holland largely through the work of the Germans founding the "Philantropinums," Basedow, Salzmann, and Campe. Especially the last two combined the principles_ they inherited from Rousseau with strict moralizing and religious tendencies.33 Friedrich von Rochow worked within their framework, though in addition he strove to provide more educational opportunities for the peasants.^ Designer of the important 1806 Dutch School Act, Adriaan van den Ende, was a "fiery admirer" of Von Rochow, and some of his readers were translated into Dutch.35 The other thinker whose ideas became popular among Dutch educators was Pestalozzi, who had been influenced by Rousseau's Emile but was more acceptable than Rousseau since he favoured non-sectarian Christian moral instruction. Also, he saw the importance of both liberty and obedience, re-uniting what Rousseau had separated.36 His emphasis on the three-fold nature of ->-> S. 3. Curtis and M. E. A. Boultwood, A Short History of Educational Ideas (London:- University Tutorial Press, 1953), pp. 286-87. While this volume is outdated, it is one of the few general survey books in English that deals with these educators. Salzmann, Campe, and Von Rochow are men-tioned in Dutch sources as influencing Dutch educators in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. James Bowen gave a good summary of Basedow's work and influence in a section entitled "Emile in practice: Basedow and the Philanthropinum," pp. 198-201. ^ Curtis and Boultwood, p. 287. ^ Turksma, pp. 13-14; Langedijk, p. 4. Von Rochow also had a direct influence on many popular Dutch readers. See H. Scheepstra and W. Walstra, Beknopte geschiedenis van de opvoeding en het onderwijs, vooral in Nederland, derde herziene druk [Concise history of nurture and education, especially in the Netherlands, third revised printing] (Groningen: Wolters, 1905), pp. 115-17. 36 Bowen, Volume three, pp. 230-32; Butts, Education of the West, p. 360. .. 28 moral education—the arousing of noble feelings, the exercise of self-control, and the formation of personal standards—had an impact on Dutch education.37 /\ major Dutch pedagogue who popularized Pestalozzi, H. J. Niewold, spoke of eliciting the moral good of which "His Majesty the child" was capable early in life.38 The Enlightenment influence of all these educators on Dutch schooling became clear in a number of ways: (1) the school system's faith in the goodness of the child; (2) its promotion of a "natural" religion rather than a doctrinal, catechetical one; (3) its belief that the moral and intellectual aspects of education were closely related, and that therefore pupils' readers must stress examples of various social virtues; and (4) its emphasis on the mother tongue, geography, nature study, and physical education, and its corresponding de-emphasis of history, Latin and Greek. This last point explains why Van der Brugghen was said to have added history to the curriculum of his Christian school. When the first Christian sc'hools39 w e r e started in the 1840s, most Dutch schools taught "common" virtues to all children by means of "natural" religion and morality.^ /\n important intent of learning reading and writing was the i f Curtis and Boultwood, p. 339; P. L. van Eck, Hoe 't vroeger was: schetsen ter inleiding tot de geschiedenis van onderwijs en opvoeding [How it was in the past: sketches to introduce the history of education and nurture] (The Hague: Wolters, 1927), p. 211. 3 8 Van Eck, pp. 116-117. 39 Throughout this thesis I will use "Christian schools" in reference to schools established by persons of Dutch, Calvinist background. This does not imply that schools operated by other groups of Christians, such as Catholics and Lutherans, should also not be considered "Christian." However, my terminology follows common parlance, and there is no other simple designation. 4 0 L. Kalsbeek, p. 151. 29 cultivation of cleanliness and quickness. Arithmetic similarly not only promoted independent thinking and investigation, but also domesticity, cleanliness and practicality.^ The Groningen Normal School director wrote that through education "the human race will eventually stride forward to intellectual and moral perfection." Education would lead children to become more like Jesus, the ideal of human perfection 2 A movement that developed a remarkable influence on Dutch society and on education was a private association, De Maatschappij tot nut van't algemeen [The Society for Public Welfare]. In 1834, fifty years after it had been founded, the Society had 193 branches with almost 12 000 members throughout the Netherlands. By that time it had established four or five normal schools and a substantial number of model schools for children of its members and for poorer citizens. Moreover, it published forty-five books, including both textbooks and general pedagogical books. In line with its Enlightenment philosophy it strongly-favoured a common program in a system attended by all children, whatever their religious background.^ The Society formulated most basic concepts contained in Dutch school legislation of the early nineteenth century Above all, it 4 1 Lea Dasberg and J. W. G. Jansing, "Onderwijs 1844-1875" [Education 1844-1875], in D. P. Blok et al., eds., Algemene geschiedenis der Nederlan- den, vol. 12 [General history of the Netherlands, vol. 12] (Haarlem: Van Dishoeck, 1977), p. 219. 4 2 F. Kalsbeek et al., p. 19. ^3 Van Eck, pp. 142-145; Kuiper, p. 37; Rombouts, p. 7. ^ One author, looking at education rather narrowly, even stated that the history of Dutch public education to 1860 was essentially identical with the history of the Society. The Society also established libraries and savings banks, and set up groups to discuss current social and academic issues. See Noordam, pp. 129-30. 30 promoted a virtuous, tolerant, and enlightened nation.^^ The schools were to stimulate within children the love and practice of the "essential abilities," i.e., of the "most noble religious virtues" of love, thankfulness, and trust An "enlightened" common religion would be the basis for instilling such virtues. One prescribed textbook published by the Society carried the subtitle, "Which supplies natural and reasoned evidence for the existence of God; the extent to which we can know such, a being; and which logical consequences can be concluded."^ A government catechism answered "Which religion is most suitable?" with "All religions are equal in the eyes of the wise as long as their doctrines and morals are in agreement with the laws of the State."'*8 The Society's Christianity was a "bag of virtues" to be accepted by liberal and orthodox Protestants, Catholics, and Jews.^9 i n 1846 Nijmegen's School Journal protested that "the life wisdom sold by the Society for Public Welfare in no way gives life to its owners."^ While the Society became influential and raised educational, standards, in Enlightenment fashion it did not tolerate education based on principles that differed from its own. Eventually the Society's vociferous opposition to Christian and Catholic schools contributed to the Dutch Schoolstrijd [School Struggle]. Its views led to ^ Rombouts, p. 7. ^ 6 Quoted in Van Eck, p. 215. ^ L. Kalsbeek, p. 138. ^ 8 Kuiper, p. 42. ^ 9 Rullman, p. 8. Quoted in T. M. Gilhuis, Memorietafel van het Christelijk onder- wijs: de geschiedenis van de schoolstrijd [Memory register of Christian education: the history of the school struggle] (Kampen: Kok, 1974), p. 63. 31 more secular schooling. The French philosopher and educator Victor Cousin, visiting one of the Society's normal schools, expressed surprise that no positive religious education took place. The director replied that this was in order not to give offense to anyone.-** Though general school regulations prescribed prayer and authorized "proper" use of the Bible, such practices became more and more constricted. By 1820 the Netherlands Bible Society
UBC Theses and Dissertations
Molding God’s children : the history of curriculum in Christian schools rooted in Dutch Calvinism Van Brummelen, Harro W. 1984
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