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Revista Interamericana de Bibliografía (RIB)
Número: 2
Título: 1998

ARTICLE

One Spring evening in 1868, some eight-hundred people packed a Washington, D. C. theater to hear a speech on universal suffrage and women’s rights. The speaker was a woman named Anna Elizabeth Dickinson, then twenty-five years of age. Dressed in a “simple black silk suit which . . . revealed all too well the charm of her contours,” and with “short black hair cut like a man’s and parted in the middle,” Miss Dickinson spoke in a voice that was “metallic, penetrating, fluttering.” At one point the young woman wept profusely, calling for full rights for the Freedmen, who had been “liberated” by the recent Civil War. After the address, Miss Dickinson, accompanied by a young man, took a seat in the dining room of a nearby hotel. At the same table sat two South Americans who had heard the speech and were now discussing it over their coffee and oysters. The South Americans were startled to see that “the orator had disappeared, leaving the woman, a woman of ‘apariencia coqueta’” (Varela 1945, 146). The younger of the two gentlemen, José Pedro Varela of Uruguay, age twenty-three, was as impressed by Miss Dickinson’s oratorical performance as by her attractive backstage demeanor. He wrote that “era la primera vez que veía a un orador llorar delante del público y me sentí profundamente conmovido a pesar de no compartir sus ideas . . . Otra cosa serían los pueblos del Plata si tuviéramos siquiera unas veinte mujeres como ésta por allá” (Ibid, 144-45). For Varela, Miss Dickinson represented the United States woman, “Yo la miraba y la miraba sin poderme convencer de que aquella niña aparentemente frívola e insignificante fuera la misma persona que yo acababa de oir disertando con tanto talento sobre tan graves cuestiones. Pero . . . ésa es la mujer norteamericana” (Ibid., 146).1

Varela had been invited to Miss Dickinson’s speech by the Argentine minister to the United States, thirty-four years his senior, Domingo Faustino Sarmiento (1811-1888). The Uruguayan had introduced himself to Sarmiento some time earlier at the Embassy, carrying under his arm his recently published book of verses, Ecos perdidos (Nueva York, Juan M. Macías, 1868). Sarmiento’s reaction was recalled years later by his Secretary, Bartolito Mitre (1845-1900). Sarmiento told Varela,
Déjese de Víctor Hugo, amigo, con toda su grandeza de alma y talento. . . Hay mucho, más serio y más útil, de que ocuparse un hombre como Vd. con honra y provecho para sí y para su patria. . . Vuelva Vd. sus ojos hacia estos pueblos sajones que mira con ánimo prevenido, llena la cabeza de libros franceses, de ideas francesas, de fantasía francesa, muy bueno todo a su tiempo, como el dulce de leche, pero que no nutre, ni lleva a fines prácticos. . . Lea inglés, empezando ya, si hemos de tenerlo por aquí algún tiempo, yo le daré libros. (Caballero 1969 [1885], 673)2
Of special importance to the fatherly Sarmiento was the field of public education. He said to Varela,
Ahí está su campo. . . Estudie estos sistemas [norteamericanos de educación] tan perfeccionados, imprégnese de la esencia americana del mecanismo escolar, desde la renta hasta la banca, y lleve a su país, que lo que necesita son ciudadanos aptos para desempeñar los deberes de tales, esta base inconmovible del engrandecimiento nacional. (Ibid., 678)
Thus began “[la] tarea de desafrancesar a Varela . . . la catequización del joven Varela, que debió pensar que había caído en una casa de locos atacados de la manía sajona” (Ibid., 674). Varela learned to read English by following the political accounts of the newspapers. He learned quickly and well. Around the middle of May 1868, he sent to El Siglo of Montevideo his translations of the New York Herald’s coverage of the impeachment of President Andrew Johnson.

As Varela traveled through Europe and the United States, he published a series of letters in El Siglo (reprinted as Varela 1945). Everywhere he went, the young man was fascinated by the women he saw. In the United States, Varela was particularly impressed with the rapidly expanding role of women in society, a theme that his Impresiones de viaje treat with striking sarcasm,
¿Desde cuándo las mujeres son capaces de pensar? (117) . . . Yo educado en las sanas ideas de la raza latina que con el cristianismo supo sacar a la mujer de la obscura caverna en que la tenían sumida los paganos . . . yo que sé el horizonte de la mujer no puede extenderse más allá de las cuatro paredes de la casa. . . no pude menos de indignarme contra este pueblo que invirtiendo todos los roles, sólo sabe cavar su propia tumba; porque, las naciones donde las mujeres saben hacer algo más que coser están perdidas (118). . . La mujer, como decían nuestros padres, sólo sirve para pegar botones y hacer pucheros . . . ¿No podrá el nivel social de la mujer levantarse un poco más alto de lo que está en una máquina de coser? (120)3
Already in his first article from the United States (January 14, 1968), Varela mentions Sarmiento’s Las escuelas and describes the Argentine ambassador as “uno de los primeros hombres de la América del Sur, que por su talento, por su ilustración, por su infatigable constancia es acreedor al aprecio de todos los que aman la América” (1945, 93). While Sarmiento attributes the rapid development of the United States to public education, others seek an explanation in the liberality of its institutions. Varela looks to a deeper cause,
Reconociendo a ambas ideas su valor y comprendiendo que es imposible ni el progreso ni la felicidad de los pueblos sin la educación y sin libertad, creo sin embargo que no es en ellos donde los americanos han encontrado su elixir de vida, sino en la idea religiosa que los guia . . . Encontramos las ciencias religiosas como la base de todas las ideas del hombre. (1945, 94, 96)
By the middle of May, Varela had deemphasized the impact of liberal Protestant values, adopting Sarmiento’s view of popular education as “base imprescindible de toda verdadera república” (1945, 152; see also Giorgi 1942, 30-32). Also, Varela’s invective strengthens, showing the influence of Sarmiento’s style as well as his ideology, “La América del Sur no sólo es ignorante y orgullosa de su ignorancia, sino que con una fuerza de inercia casi incontrastable rechaza todos los nobles esfuerzos que se hacen para mejorar su condición intelectual” (1945,151). Varela’s Impresiones, in fact, reveal an interpretation of the United States almost identical to that of his Argentine mentor. At the basis of what they believed to be a vibrant, rapidly developing civilization was the universality of public education.

The lives of Varela and Sarmiento offered considerable parallelisms even before the tutorial relationship which developed as the result of their “providential” encounter in the United States (Caballero 1969 [1885], 674). In addition to the geographical proximity of their respective nations, both had earlier been clerks at around the same age, and both were auto-didacts who acquired a number of languages through intense reading (see Jesualdo 1945, 70-71, Altamirano and Sarlo 1994). Both had visited Spain and France immediately prior to their United States visits (Sarmiento before his first visit in 1847), and had similar negative reactions, despite a pro-French attitude before witnessing first-hand the social climate of that nation. In France Varela found “la tradición monárquica perfectamente conservada, la tradición democrática oculta, perdida bajo el manto de púrpura del imperio” (1945, 77). Both men had had considerable contact with the ideas of the Chilean Francisco Bilbao (1823-1865), Sarmiento and Vicente Fidel López (Argentina; 1815-1903) had employed Bilbao in their Liceo, which closed during a polemic on Bilbao’s “extremist” ideas, positions from which Sarmiento worked hard to distance himself (see Rojas 1962, 185-86; Garrels 1994, 285). Bilbao was one of Varela’s first strong influences (see Manacorda 1948, 54-55). However, during the United States period, Sarmiento’s impact on Varela was critical in the latter’s ultimate rejection of Bilbao’s French sources and emphasis on spirituality (see Varela 1945, 94-96). As Ardao has pointed out,
La generación romántica y metafísica admiró por espiritualista la civilización norteamericana, atendiendo a su exaltación de la libertad religiosa a la vez que política, en Europa Tocqueville, en Latino-América Bilbao, encarnan esa forma histórica de admiración. La generación positivista y cientista en cambio, admiró ante todo los aspectos utilitarios de aquella civilización, la efectividad de sus adelantos materiales, en Europa Spencer, en Latino-América Sarmiento encarnan esta otra forma histórica de admiración. Una y otra se enlazan en el común de ‘la educación del pueblo,’ instrumento del progreso espiritual al mismo tiempo que del progreso material. De una y otra fue sucesivamente gran figura representativa en el Uruguay, José Pedro Varela, discípulo de Bilbao antes del viaje y de Sarmiento—con quien convivió en Estados Unidos—después del mismo. (quoted in Jesualdo 1958, 45-46)
It is quite likely that Varela was familiar with Sarmiento’s writings before the two men met in the United States. In 1865 Varela had written an article entitled “Los gauchos,” in which he makes the following statement, “Es por medio de la educación de pueblo que hemos de llegar a la paz, al progreso y a la extinción de los gauchos” (quoted in Ardao’s “Prólogo” to Varela 1964a, I, ix). The “Preface” to Varela’s Ecos perdidos maintains, “Para que la república del Uruguay sea un émulo digo de los Estados Unidos, sólo es necesario que el transcurso de algunos años nos dé por resultado un poco menos de desierto y un poco más de civilización, o más bien, algunos gauchos menos y algunos pensadores más” (Varela 1868, vi). In his Ambas Américas (1867-68) and Las escuelas (1866), Sarmiento explored the educational system of the United States as the basis for its “civilization” and as a model for Latin America. Such themes unquestionably influenced the young Varela during this period. By July 23, 1868, when Sarmiento and Varela left New York together on the Merrimac, the Uruguayan had been converted. Like his Argentine mentor, Varela sees the United States as a “promised land” whose intellectual and pedagogical heartbeat was to be found in Boston, for De Tocqueville, Sarmiento and Varela the “American Athens” (Varela 1945, 92-93). Varela and Sarmiento admire the Yankee aggressiveness they both characterize as “el Go-ahead” (1945, 92); they are both fascinated by statistics, especially demographic and educational. In the United States, Varela and Sarmiento were both impressed by the physical mobility of the populace, the quantity of available reading material, the increasingly common education of women, the breadth of religious sects, and the rapid expansion of social institutions, especially schools, in rural areas. Most importantly, the Uruguayan had adopted Sarmiento’s views on education as the basis for the Republic, and, applying his reading knowledge of English to “propósitos útiles,” was prepared to introduce the rapidly developing educational press of the United States to the Latin American republics. (On Sarmiento and Varela, see Weinberg 1977 and Jesualdo 1945, 41-99.)

Sarmiento returned to Argentina as President; Varela returned to Uruguay as the apostle of public education. Varela’s letters from the United States had made an impact on popular opinion, “El revuelo de la correspondencia de Varela . . . había preparado el ambiente para atacar de firme y popularizar la enseñanza” (Jesualdo 1945, 77). Some three weeks after his return to Uruguay, Varela made clear his precedents in a University address on public education,
. . . he tomado por guía a los grandes escritores norteamericanos, porque me ha parecido que más provechosas y más adaptables a nuestro país serán las ideas encargadas de ejercer influencia sobre poblaciones democráticas y republicanas que las que tienen que obrar sobre los pueblos artistocráticos de Europa.
Durante mi permanencia en Estados Unidos, en la conciencia, por decirlo así, del pueblo norteamericano, que no concibe la república sin la educación; en los escritos de Horacio Mann, de [James Pyle] Wickersham, de [Massachusetts governor John A.] Andrew, de tantos otros, y sobre todo en las obras y palabras de don Domingo Sarmiento, argentino por nacimiento y por lengua, norteamericano por las ideas y la educación, he adquirido mi entusiasmo por la causa de la educación popular . . . (Varela 1939, 12-13)
On October 6, 1868 the by-laws of the “Sociedad de Amigos de la Educación Popular” were sanctioned (see Araújo 1911, 385-93, 423-70). Thus began a period of intense activity in the creation of a system of public education in Uruguay. Ardao has described three periods of Varela’s activity after his return to Uruguay, 1868-1874 (“propaganda y preparación”); 1874-1876 (“maduración teórica y programación efectiva,” a period corresponding to La educación del pueblo [1874] and De la legislación escolar [1876]); and the period of “la reforma escolar,” from 1876, when Varela was named Supervisor of Public Instruction under General Latorre, until Varela’s death in 1879 (“Prólogo” to Varela 1964a, I, x).

La educación del pueblo was, for Varela, the continuation of Sarmiento’s Educación popular, Ambas Américas and Las escuelas (letter to Sarmiento, November 19, 1874; see Appendix). First outlining the objects and advantages of education as the principal source of public order and prosperity, Varela places public education in the political context of democracy, attacking the study of the Classics as impractical. He goes on to trace a complete curriculum, describing in detail the “Object Lesson” approach to various disciplines, language, drawing, composition, reading, arithmetic, history and geography, moral training, and physical education. After treating practical questions such as the organization of the classroom, Varela describes a system of higher education, “la escuela superior,” characteristics of the school building and equipment, texts, school libraries, and the profession of the “maestro.” Next, Varela treats the Kindergarten, normal schools, and the University (reproducing documents from the University of Berlin). The book ends with a section on the education of women, and a copy of the questionnaire with which Varela hoped to amass statistics on the current status of Uruguay’s schools in the areas of physical plant, teachers, and materials. The questionnaire was closely based on the one developed by Henry Barnard decades earlier, while he was Secretary of the Connecticut Board of Commissioners of Common Schools.

La educación del pueblo and its plan for implementation, De la legislación escolar, show a remarkably broad reading in the field. Varela quotes many scholars and educators from the United States (Barnard, Mann, Canning, Webster), but the most important influences are the English philosopher Herbert Spencer and Domingo F. Sarmiento. Like Sarmiento, Varela emphasizes the external elements of the gaucho as symbolic of his cultural backwardness (the poncho must be replaced by the frac for Sarmiento, the chiripá by the traje modesto for Varela);4 he sees Spanish culture as an unacceptable throw-back to the Colonial era, considering Cervantes especially to be a symbolic cultural anachronism; he traces the progress of the United States to liberal British colonial models; he points to a lack of adequate textbooks in Spanish; he finds racial mixing to be the major cause of what he perceives as a lack of productivity in Latin-American culture; he sees education as a great leveler of social differences for which local support, rather than governmental imposition, is requisite. Varela, by 1876, also critizes the influence of readings exclusively French, “En cuanto a la parte más ilustrada de la sociedad [uruguaya], a aquellos que leen algo más que novelas, que buscan lo que se llama libros serios, con el objeto de estudiar y de instruirse, es innegable que, salvo rarísimas excepciones, sólo leen libros franceses” (Varela 1964b [1876], I, 40).

Like Sarmiento, Varela emphasizes education as the cause of civil order, “[Las] escuelas [de los Estados Unidos] explican su tranquilidad, su libertad y su grandeza” (Varela 1964b [1876], I, 27). Those who held this view considered it corroborated by the United States Civil War, which, many asserted, would not have taken place if there had been adequate education in the Southern states (whose sociocultural parallels with South America were continuously alleged by Sarmiento). Nevertheless, for Varela, education is not a panacea, “no incurriremos nosotros en el error de atribuir a la instrucción del pueblo, y menos aún a un proyecto de ley de la educación, el poder misterioso que la fe religiosa atribuye a la absolución sacerdotal”; change must be broad-based and will take generations (Varela 1964b [1876], I, 164-65). For Sarmiento and Varela, public education—and the “common school”—had been founded upon a spirit of free inquiry ultimately rooted in North-American Protestantism. And, upon his return to Uruguay, Varela, like Sarmiento, would be accused of “yanquimania” (Manacorda 1948, 109; Gálvez 1957, 316).

Having set forth in his principal works the value of public education and the legal and procedural parameters within which it should function, Varela turned his attention to the need for pedagogical materials in Spanish. The concept of his unprecedented Enciclopedia de educación (1878-1880) can once more be traced back directly to the influence of Sarmiento. In August 1865, the Argentine minister had met Henry Barnard (1811-1900), editor of the American Journal of Education (herein AJE, 1855-1882). Barnard, who had been Superintendent of Education in the States of Connecticut and Rhode Island, and President of the University of Wisconsin, was the author of numerous works on pedagogy and school arquitecture, and during Sarmiento’s second visit to the United States was busily preparing the case for a United States Department of Education; he served as this Department’s first Commissioner (1867-1868).5

In 1854, Barnard had forwarded to the American Association for the Advancement of Education, a “plan of Central Agency for the increase and diffusion of knowledge” concerning education. The plan included “the publication of a Journal and Library of Education . . . the whole, when complete, to constitute an Encyclopedia of Education” (Barnard 1866 [1855], 9). Barnard’s “Plan of Publication” (11-12) outlined a quarterly or monthly journal “embracing articles on systems, institutions and methods of education, and the current intelligence of literature and education, and to make an octavo volume annually of at least 600 pages”. In addition, the plan described a “Library of Education” “to consist of a series of independent treatises” on a series of 32 topics, ranging from bibliography, history of education, instruction in Europe, education of women, “self-education, or hints for self-formation,” and educational nomenclature. Barnard concluded, “The Series, when complete, will constitute an Encyclopedia of Education” (12). In Las escuelas, Sarmiento had published a Spanish translation of Barnard’s “Plan del Diario americano de educación” (1952 [1866], 23-24), which Mary Mann called, in her review of the Argentine’s book for the AJE, “a model for a similar work [in Spanish]” (Mann 1866, 534).

On November 19, 1874 Varela sent Sarmiento a copy of his newly-published Educación del pueblo, together with a lengthy letter describing the project (“el mismo plan del Journal of Education aplicado al idioma español”). Varela elicited Sarmiento’s opinion of his work and his assistance in promulgating it in Argentina. Receiving no reply, Varela repeated his request in a letter dated December 3, 1874, attaching a “Prospecto” of the Enciclopedia.
A lo que parece, Sarmiento no le respondió nunca, en el vértigo pasional de sus combates. Pero José Pedro, que le conoce, no se va a desanimar por eso. Sabe que ha hecho un libro que por aquí ninguno haría. Y en cuanto a su proyecto de la ‘Enciclopedia,’ con aplazarlo un poco, seguro está de que llegará la fecha en que pueda hacerlo. (Manacorda 1948, 165)
On October 10, 1878 Varela sent to Sarmiento the first issue of the Enciclopedia de educación, dated September 30, 1878. By September 30, 1880 a total of nine issues of the journal were published, forming five volumes. Each issue consisted of about 330 pages. Like the AJE, the Enciclopedia numbered each article with Roman numerals and began a new article on a new page (Barnard did this to allow easy re-printing in the “Library,” volumes covering a specific theme). The first issue contained a modified version of the “Prospecto” which Varela had sent to Sarmiento in 1874 (in which the content area of “Legislación” had been added to Barnard’s “Plan”: Enciclopedia 1, 1.5-8). In the “Prefacio” which follows (9-16), Varela reveals the genesis of the work:
Muy jóvenes aún, hace once años, y encontrándonos entónces en la ciudad de Nueva York, decianos una vez el Sr. D. Domingo Faustino Sarmiento: ‘Dedíquese á estudiar las cuestiones relativas á la educacion del pueblo: encontrará en ellas un medio de servir eficazmente á su país’ . . . Aceptamos entónces agradecidos el sabio y filosófico consejo del distinguido educacionista argentino. (15-16)
Varela describes the journal as
un trabajo de propaganda en el sentido de obtener el triunfo de determinadas opiniones . . . [N]uestro propósito es aglomerar los materiales necesarios para que cada uno pueda formarse conscientemente sus propias opiniones . . . [No] queremos ser maestros de una doctrina determinada, sino expositores de las ideas, de los esfuerzos y de los trabajos de todos. (11-12)
The title of the journal—taken from Barnard’s description of the AJE— accurately reflects its approach. As MacMullen (1991, 291) pointed out: “The word Encyclopedia is important; Barnard was not claiming to write analytical history but aiming to make available the materials on education, with the widest possible definition, to the American public.” Like Barnard (see Thursfield 1945, 55, 70, 90), Varela sought to avoid controversial political issues, believing that the promulgation of public instruction would motivate positive political change. Thus Varela’s much-criticized acceptance of the position of Director of Instruction under the dictator Lavalle, and his flexibility when several of his recommendations failed to become law. Most notable among these were the loss of the concept of local control and certain modifications in procedures regarding inspections and religious course content (see Ponterotto 1951).6

According to Thursfield, “no single issue of [Barnard’s] Journal can be regarded as typical” (1945, 60). The same can be said of the Enciclopedia. Its first issue, for example, contains a section of legislative documents (Uruguay’s “Ley de Educación Común,” Varela’s “Reglamento” of September 25, 1877, and Sarmiento’s “Ley de Educación Común” and “Reglamento de la Provincia de Buenos Aires”). Also originally in Spanish was Emilio Romero’s essay on “La agricultura en las escuelas primarias.” Principally, however, the journal consisted of a series of translations into Spanish. In the first issue, we find the “Sixth Biennial Report” of Newton Bateman (1822-1897), Superintendent of Schools in Illinois; the 1838 “First Annual Report” of Horace Mann (1796-1859); an abridged version of Barnard’s teacher questionnaire, which had previously been published in La educación del pueblo; portions of the “Letters to a Young Teacher” (1858) by Gideon Thayer (United States, 1793-1864); a study of the teaching of colors through “object lessons” by Marcius Willson (United States; 1813-1905). There are excerpts of Italian works on general pedagogy and the teaching of drawing. The Scottish Pestalozzians Thomas Morrison and James Currie were also represented. Excerpts from their elementary teacher’s manuals had been published both in the AJE and in a separate volume called Papers for the Teacher (Second series, New York, 1860). Varela published a translation of portions of the “Prize Essay” of John Lalor (Ireland; 1814-1856; cf. AJE, XVI [1866], 33-48 and La educación del pueblo, I, 22) and one of many studies on educational systems by the Belgian Émile de Laveleye (1822-1892), taken from his book L’Instruction du peuple (Paris, 1872), one of the sources of Varela’s 1874 La educación del pueblo. There are translated excerpts from the scarcely known Language as a Means of Mental Culture (London, 1853) by Claude Marcel (1793-1876), French Consul at Cork in Ireland. This work has been called a “neglected masterpiece in the history of language teaching and education” (Howatt 1984, 322). The translation follows most of what was published in the AJE in March and June, 1862. The initial issue of the Enciclopedia also includes a Spanish version of “Intellectual Education,” Chapter 2 of Education: Intellectual, Oral and Physical (1860) by Herbert Spencer (1820-1903). The influence of Spencer permeates Varela’s work during the 1870’s, resulting in severe criticism of the Uruguayan’s position from conservative elements.7 Under the influence of Spencer and Alexander Bain (1818-1903)—almost all of whose Education as a Science appeared in the Enciclopedia—the Amigos de la Educación Popular introduced the influence of Rationalism in Uruguay, leading to University reform and a turn toward Positivism in the 1880’s (Ardao 1950; Lasplaces 1944, 121-22).

It is clear from the beginning issue that, if the AJE provided the general format and goals of the Enciclopedia, it was also the source of much, but not all, of the material. Two works appear to have been written specifically for the Enciclopedia (those of Emilio Romero and Berra). Varela had access to such publications as the Proceedings of the Seventh Italian Pedagogical Congress (1871), and to several important interpretations of educational systems and methods from the French pedagogical tradition (Laveleye, Pape-Carpentier, Buisson, Delon, Ferry, Fouillée).

As would be expected, the United States educational system was an important topic of the Enciclopedia, representing 26% of the material. Newton Bateman’s “The American Idea of Popular Education” (1865-66) was a survey of “virtue-training” which called for the invocation of God in the schools, and a specifically democratic approach to education. For Bateman, the lack of education would lead to despots, a view expressed frequently by Varela. Gideon Thayer’s “Letters to a Young Teacher” stressed upright character and a strong moral sense as requirements for the teacher. John S. Hart’s “Schools for the Professional Education of Teachers” was an elementary survey of the Normal Schools and the art of asking questions. Barnard’s own study on Normal Schools, published in the AJE in 1868, complemented Hart’s survey with a detailed description of curricula, organized by state. There is a study on the organization of Teacher’s Institutes by William F. Phelps (1822-1907), President of the Normal School in Winona, Minnesota, who had met Sarmiento and arranged for a number of schoolteachers to go to Argentina during the 1870’s (see Phelps 1905, Michelson 1940, Luiggi 1952, 1959). James H. Fairchild’s “Co-education of the Sexes” was a report on the progress of that “experiment” at Oberlin College, where the Reverend Fairchild was President between 1866 and 1889. William H. Payne (1836-1907), Superintendent of the Adrian, Michigan public schools from 1869 to 1879 and a specialist in teacher education, was the author of forty tight paragraphs translated by Varela as “Naturaleza y valor de la supertendencia,” on choosing teachers, the scientific nature of education, and the roles, rights, and duties of school inspectors and superintendents. Payne held one of the United States’ first Chairs in Education, at the University of Michigan, from 1879. Varela also translated portions of the work American Education: Its Principles and Elements (1850) by Edward Deering Mansfield (1801-1880). The excerpts emphasize the personal attributes necessary for the teacher. Passages such as these demonstrate Varela’s desire to professionalize the schoolteacher, insisting on certain personal traits and on the specialized training required to enhace these with knowledge.

In the area of teaching methodology, the Enciclopedia de educación reveals a strong preference for the “object lessons” in vogue at the time. Stemming from Comenius and Pestalozzi, this approach favors the use of inductive techniques and the encouragement of student creativity, beginning with “input” and class discussion concerning common, everyday objects. As Varela had stated in La educación del pueblo,
Las Lecciones sobre Objetos, que recién en los últimos años han empezado a formar parte del programa de las escuelas primarias, son, sin embargo, tan antiguas como el hombre, y en todas las épocas y en todos los pueblos han sido puestas en práctica por las madres, esos maestros ex cathedra, como les llama Horacio Mann. . . pero una vez que la ciencia de la educación, abandonando la errada vía que durante largos siglos había recorrido, siguió la ruta señalada por Comenius en la segunda mitad del siglo XVIII, trazada por Pestalozzi a fines del siglo pasado, y delineada definitivamente por los grandes pensadores de la Alemania, la Inglaterra y los Estados Unidos, en los últimos añós —una vez que la enseñanza sobre objetos ha pasado de un movimiento instintivo de los padres, a un método científico y armónico, ha adquirido proporciones que pueden llamarse colosales y está llamada a ocupar el lugar más prominente en todos las escuelas regularmente organizadas. (1964a [1874], I, 138-39)
The Sociedad de Amigos de la Educación Popular had published Varela and Emilio Romero’s translation of Norman Allison Calkins’ Manual de lecciones sobre objetos in the journal Educación popular in 1869, and in a volume in 1872. The translation was provided to Uruguayan teachers as required reading, and hundreds of copies were ordered from Argentina by President Sarmiento late in 1872. However, many teachers did not understand the method well and taught from the text by rote (Ponterotto 1951, 330). Barnard and others had voiced the same criticisms of the use of the “Object Lesson” texts in the United States (see Thursfield 1945, 207-08).

The Enciclopedia published numerous studies of the “Object Lesson” methods: Marcel (the excerpts from whom were titled by Barnard “Conversations on Objects”: see Thursfield 145, 206 n.), Pape-Carpentier, Buisson, Delon, and, most importantly, Edward A. Sheldon (1823-1897), Superintendent of Schools in Oswego, New York, a principal center of object teaching. There are also passages from The Theory and Practice of Teaching (1847) by David P. Page (United States; 1810-1848), a guide on how to become a teacher and how a teacher must live. Page’s work was during the nineteenth century “one of the most widely used and influential pedagogical books in the United States” (Ohles 1978, II, 983); more than a half-century after its appearance Bardeen called it “the most popular of all American books on pedagogy” (1901, 187).

Passages of a number of German works are included in the Enciclopedia. Karl Von Raumer (1783-1865) published, between 1843 and 1854, the Geschichte der Pädagogik vom Wieder-aufblühen klassischer Studien bis auf unsere Zeit, called by Cubberley “the first important history of education to be written” (1948, 545 n.). The Enciclopedia published the portion on the “Life and Educational System of Pestalozzi”, which had appeared in the AJE in June and September of 1857. Of similar importance was the work of Johann Karl Rosencranz (1805-1879), Professor of Philosophy at the University of Koenigsberg, a brief discussion of which is entitled “System of Pedagogics” in the AJE (XXVIII [1878], 25-32). This influential work was a Hegelian interpretation of educational principles and practices.8 Meanwhile, issue six (31 December, 1879) contains Henry Barnard’s description of primary education in Germany, and there are passages of the book German Universities: A Narrative of Personal Experience (1874) by James Morgan Hart (1839-1916). With the possible but unlikely exception of the Rosencranz material, it appears that in no instance were Varela or his colleagues obliged to translate directly from the German.

Studies of educational systems in other countries are abundant in the nine issues of the Enciclopedia. We find Laveleye’s sketches of public instruction in Germany, England, Canada, Sweden, and Norway in the first two volumes of the journal. There are also reports by Droz and Schlegel on the educational systems in Switzerland, and a sketch, probably by Barnard, on the Normal School at Kussnacht in the same country. Shorter reports, taken from publications arising from the 1878 World Fair in Paris, outline the educational systems of Portugal and Algeria.

One of Varela’s goals was the modernization of the curriculum through the inclusion of new areas of study. The Enciclopedia published several studies on innovative fields such as music (Hullah), agriculture (Romero), and drawing (Morelli).

The content of the Enciclopedia, judged as a whole, shows the Editor’s clear preference for the practical side of pedagogy. Most prevalent are studies of legislation and teaching methodology, and descriptions of foreign educational systems. The questions of setting up schools and knowing what to do in them dominates the journal’s materials. The Uruguayan journal, therefore, devotes far less attention to educational history and biography than Barnard’s AJE. The following tables (based on a page count of the Enciclopedia and the figures given for the AJE in Davis 1970 [1919], 56-57) show the relative weight of fields covered by the two journals.

Table 1: Fields covered in the Enciclopedia de Educación


Foreign Education
Methodology 
     Historical
Miscellaneous
51%
  45%
    3%
   2%
 

In Davis’ analysis of the AJE, foreign educational systems (which, of course, excluded studies of the United States) accounted for 27% of the material, surpassed only by “History of education,” with 32%, and a category of “various phases of education not previously included” (36%). The descriptions of foreign systems are as follows in the two journals:

Table 2: Percentages of Foreign Studies devoted to Various Countries


Journal
    British
German
    French
  U.S.A
  Swiss
Others
AJE
40% 
43%   
17% 
-
-
-
Enciclopedia
3%
25%
12%
26%
19%
14%
 

In the areas of general pedagogy and methods, the Enciclopedia’s materials are derived from these national traditions:

Table 3: National Origins of Materials in Pedagogy and Methodology


British
    U.S.A.
French
German
Others
40%
20%
14%
6%
19%
 

While the AJE did not omit legislative materials, Barnard’s “Plan” did not specifically mention these. Varela, on the other hand, places “Legislación e Instituciones” as the first subject category in his “Prospecto” (Enciclopedia I, 1.6), and puts special emphasis on the comparative analysis of South-American systems:
Bajo [el] título [‘Legislación’] nos proponemos reunir . . . las leyes de educación vigentes en las principales naciones del globo. Prestaremos, sin embargo, preferente atención a la recopilación de las leyes sud-americanas, porque sancionadas para pueblos que tienen origen, idioma y necesidades comunes, pueden servir de base para un estudio de legislación educacionista americana comparada... (Ibid., 17).
By the middle of 1879, Varela’s always fragile health was deteriorating rapidly. Between the dates of issues five and six of the Enciclopedia, on October 24, 1879, at the age of thirty-four, Varela died. There is little doubt that the enormous task of translating pedagogical works for the Enciclopedia contributed to Varela’s ill health (Herrero y Espinosa 1885, 158). Varela’s “Proyecto” for the journal, presented to the General Council on Public Instruction in June 1878, describes the status of his accumulated translations, his desire to work with no view toward material gain, and his offer to review and edit all translations submitted by others:
Yo cederé gratuitamente para la ‘Enciclopedia de Educación’ todas las traducciones que para ese objeto tengo hechas y que forman reunidas un volumen de 600 a 800 páginas en 8o., y que utilizaré en esa publicación los materiales que he acumulaldo y los que en adelante reúna. . . Las traducciones que sea necesario hacer durante el tiempo en que la ‘Enciclopedia de Educación’ se publique por la Dirección, se harán por cuenta de ésta, siendo revisadas por mí. (“Creación de la ‘Enciclopedia de Educacion’,” 22 de junio de 1878, Enciclopedia de educación 1939, 6-7; see Araújo 1891, 18).
Varela’s death was noted sadly by Sarmiento:
He nombrado con esto a nuestro malogrado amigo don José Pedro Varela. Diez años de trabajo superior a las fuerzas humanas, han acabado con su vida, pero creándole en cambio una gloria eterna. Aun a la otra banda del río se extendió por La Enciclopedia de Educación su influencia benéfica. (Sarmiento 1899[1887], 87)
It is perhaps not coincidental that there is nothing taken from the AJE after the seventh issue (March 31, 1880), when the note “Dirigida por Emilio Romero” appears on the cover for the first time. The final two numbers emphasize French and United States systems and methodology (Hart on the German universities; Peña et al. on examinations in Uruguay; excerpts from Delon, Bert, Fouillée, and Ferry; passages from the writings of Hullah, Johonnot, Page, Phelps, and Mansfield. Romero, having abandoned the Enciclopedia in 1880 for financial reasons, edited its replacement, the Boletín de enseñanza primaria (1888-1899), a periodical which stressed the work of Froebel and the kindergarten movement (Ponterotto 1951, 395).

Like Varela, Barnard struggled to maintain adequate funding for his journal, assuming a total loss estimated at between $40,000 and $50,000 (MacMullen 1991, 300). In addition, he suffered from a number of chronic health problems. Nevertheless, Barnard was to live to see the twentieth century, dying in 1900 at the age of 89, known widely as the “Nestor of American Education,” and having lived well past his productive period.

Barnard’s Journal was a monumental effort, consisting of some 24,000 pages and 12,000,000 words (William T. Harris, quoted in Thursfield 1945, 91). Its thirty-one large volumes made it “the most ambitious journalistic project undertaken and sustained by any individual American in the nineteenth century” (Thursfield 1945, 17). By comparison, the nine issues of Varela’s Enciclopedia, published over a period of only twenty-four months, are necessarily less substantial—some 2,919 pages and 1,600,000 words—but reveal a more intense rate of production. Barnard’s periodical survived for twenty-six years, despite irregularities caused by the Civil War, economic difficulties, and the editor’s service as University President and U. S. Commissioner of Education during this period. On the other hand, Barnard’s Journal enjoyed the support of numerous writers in the educational field, some of whom were able to travel to Europe in order to conduct research; he had the backing of a network of “schoolmen” and “schoolwomen,” a number of influential college and university presidents who were subscribers, and the contributions of well-placed benefactors. Barnard’s own financial resources—which he tended to minimize and which had allowed him substantial travel inside and outside of the United States—and his immense collection of schoolbooks—the best in the country at the time— also contributed to the survival of the AJE during the period. No such personnel network nor bibliographical resources existed for Varela, whose work faced the constant challenges of isolation and the lack of funds. While Sarmiento lamented the same difficulties in Argentina, Varela’s situation was even more grave: “menos afortunado, obró en esfera más pequeña, sin recursos, aislado” (Herrero y Espinosa 1885, 4).

The structure and range of subject matter in the Enciclopedia de Educación demonstrate a conscious effort to provide the Latin-American republics with a progression of practical pedagogical materials, from legislation and descriptions of foreign systems, to methods. There is little history of pedagogy. The periodical was not a mere collection of translations from the AJE and other documents. Rather, together with La educación del pueblo and De la legislación escolar, it formed a basis for the specific steps involved in organizing schools, establishing funding for their ongoing operation, and providing them with materials and appropriately-trained personnel.

Especially from the time of Varela’s appointment as Director of Public Instruction in 1876, and the establishment of a system of country-wide inspection, the organization and administration of rural schools was of special interest to Varela. In the Enciclopedia, material such as the “Handbooks” of Page, Phelps, and Payne reflected this interest:
Nuestro punto de mira principal ha sido la campaña. Hasta ahora, por causas diversas, las autoridades se han fijado principalmente, cuando se ha tratado de difundir la enseñanza pública, en los grandes centros de población . . . Pero poco, casi ningún esfuerzo, se ha hecho para variar las condiciones intelectuales y morales de los habitantes de los distritos rurales de nuestra campaña. (quoted in Dermarchi de Mila 1968, 42)
In his homeland, Varela has been called the “Uruguayan Horace Mann” (Herrero y Espinosa 1885, 170). The parallels between the two men are instructive. Mann’s role was evident in four principal areas (see Gutek 1997, 213). First, he articulated the relationship between public education and the social order. Secondly, he sought to develop procedures for the government and support of common schools. Third, he worked to improve the preparation and status of teachers. Finally, Mann identified and emphasized a set of values that common schools were to cultivate. Within this framework, the goal of the common schools was to prepare “literate citizens who would be capable participants in republican political institutions and processes” (Ibid.). For Mattingly (1975, xiii), Mann was part of the “schoolmen” movement of 1830-1860, which was concerned with establishing schools with the purpose of bringing about cultural uniformity within the contexts of the schoolmen’s “social biases, their preocupation with moral goals, their desire for efficient and centralized administration of social agencies, their emphasis on scientific instruction, and . . . their evangelical style” (MacMullen 1991, 205). During the period 1860-1890, the “schoolmen” were followed by a “professional corps of educators.” Barnard straddles these two classes of educators. His role was different from Mann’s: “Barnard’s task was not, as Mann’s had been, to found an educational profession in the United States, but to ensure that the recently founded profession would master, utilize, and improve the great literary, philosophical, and pedagogical heritage of the West” (McClintock 1970, 12). That is, Barnard’s great contribution was to give to the English language “an educational literature” (R. H. Quick, quoted in Ibid., 13, n. 22).

Varela’s position parallels the roles and functions of both Mann and Barnard. In a period of just over ten years, Varela established the legal and curricular basis for a system of public schools and normal schools in Uruguay. Moreover, his Enciclopedia de educación, as monumental in its own way as Barnard’s Journal, gave an “educational literature” to the Spanish-speaking world. Thursfield’s summary of Barnard’s contribution (1945, 91) applies even more to the young man from Uruguay: “His sacrifice was great but so was his accomplishment.”9