] society of Friends of Popular Education conferred the task of dictating to the Pedagogic class to the teachers and those that aspired to this title, they did not suspect the importance that the act would have, nor that these lessons gave Dr. Berra material for a course of pedagogy that would reach the aims of the goal that he started to publish underneath the title of Notes and whose impression was paid for by the Society. Even more, the same author had not yet thought of this and manifested this in the end of his book.
It is clear that the publication of Notes for the course of pedagogy signaled a true event in the pedagogic world, perhaps of greater importance than that which had preceded it by the names of Pestalozzi, Froebel, etc.
The discussion of this work had great repercussions in the breast of the Directive Commission of the Society of Friends. Dr. Berra had perhaps surpassed that which was requested of him. Much is generally promised, great things are announced and when the moment of completion arrives we find that they have not fulfilled even a minimal part of that which was promised. Dr. Berra acted the contrary, he could always be counted upon fulfilling with excess the tasks that he accepted or were imposed upon him. He sometimes carried the idea of fulfilling his duties to an extreme.
His mission as professor of pedagogy had begun to alarm the Society. The society that had so specifically trusted the actions of the professor found what he had already written and published: more than three hundred nurtured pages without having included the subject. His colleagues had desired something more practical and focused on the goals of the teachers of the period and Dr. Berra was engulfed in the study of the human practice of eradicating laws that were subordinate to his physical and mental involvement. That is to say, he proceeded as if there had never been a single constructed pedagogy until that point, although it was true that there had been instruction in physiology and psychology in normal schools (the Oriental Republic of Uruguay had not yet had this), it is also true that these diverse scientific branches appeared without some interdependency.
The battle between all these young and animated men over the noble and selfless purpose of spreading popular education took place in the residence of the president of the Directive Commission of the Society of Friends, don Jose Pedro Varela, as this great worker for education had become bedridden when he discussed Berras work and his final destiny. Berra, Varela, Emilio Romero, Alfredo Vázquez Acevedo, Carlos María de Pena and others, read entire books for the first three were in favor and other three against the doctrine of Notes. His opponents feared that the institution had fused its capital in the publication of a book whose extensiveness could not be calculated and whose ideas seemed confused and contrary to American practices, of which there were hardly one or two manuals about the methods in our language, and among these the one of lessons on the purposes of N. A. Calkins, that the same association had published after entrusting the translation to Varela and Romero.
The work of Dr. Berra triumphed in this discussion, its author continuing until concluding it and finishing its publication, soon being crowned with much success. This publication was exhausted after many years, as it could not satisfy a few orders given to him by Europe.
I. Manual of Methods
The Society of Friends of Popular Education published this work by Dr. Berra in 1880, having itself soon done, various publications that had helped impel the progress of education in Rio de la Plata. This work followed the Manual of Lessons on Objects, by Calkins, whose translation of the eighth edition was done in 1892 by Jose Pedro Varela and Emilio Romero.