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repeated and earnest endeavors for a union of the two in the so-called realgymnasium. Though such institutions, combining the gymnasium and the real-school, have been started here and there, it cannot be said that these endeavors have, on the whole, been very successful, and the whole subject will remain a mooted question for some time to come.
THE REVIVAL OF NATIONAL LIFE IN GERMANY. The vital power of the German nation was strong enough to oppose to foreign oppression a powerful mental development. This showed itself chiefly in all the higher institutions of learning, such as the universities and gymnasia ; and, as an instance, we mention the foundation of the Berlin University in 1810, the period of Prussia's lowest degradation in a political sense. The influence of highly-educated statesmen, the appointment at the university of eminent teachers, such as F. A. Wolf, F. Schleiermacher, J. G. Fichte, and others, the newly-awakened life in the Protestant church, these and other causes combined in exercising a very beneficial influence on the gymnasia both as regards the method and the matter of instruction.
This influence chiefly showed itself in three directions: first, the history and literature of the German nation became the subject of thorough and enthusiastic study; second, there began to dawn in the German nation the consciousness of its historic mission, and of the place due to it among the other nations of the world; and, third, a greater interest in education generally was awakened by this revival of the national spirit.
The study of German history and literature proved a great gain in various respects. The treasures of ancient German history and literature, which had almost been forgotten, offered rich food for the mind, and, by comparison, brought new life to the kindred studies of antiquity. Now first could the ancient epic and other poetry be truly understood. Niebuhr, the savant, with his statesmanlike views and his intimate acquaintance with higher political life, paved the way for an understanding of the social and political life of antiquity, of which before him but few men had had any conception. The study of the history of the German language increased its knowledge and promoted the desire to have it still more perfected and polished.
This growing consciousness in the German nation of its historic mission has, more than anything else, tended to produce the right measure in the moral and religious appreciation of classic antiquity. Long after the revival of religious life in Germany, frequent and loud complaints were raised regarding the heathenish tendencies of many gymnasia. The people who made these complaints forgot that this was but the natural reaction of that period, when theology and religion had almost become fossilized. This led again to a desire to infuse new life into the religious instruction of the gymnasia; it also led people to remember the original foundation and reformatory character of the Protestant gymnasia of Germany, and produced endeavors to restore this character wherever it had been lost, and it finally led to the zealous study and representation of classic antiquity in its religious and moral aspect. Ackermann, in his work, The Christianity of Plato, was the pioneer in this direction, and Nägelsbach, in
his classic works, Homeric Theology, (Nuremberg, 1840,) and Post-Homeric Theology, (Nuremberg, 1857,) almost exhausted the subject.
IMPORTANT DATA OF MODERN DEVELOPMENT. It is impossible, within the compass of a short article, to give a full description of the rich and many-sided development of the system of secondary education during the last fifty years, more particularly because, in many and important respects, this development is still going on. With irue scientific zeal, and with considerable results, have men of science and educators labored for the advancement of secondary education, while the governments of all the German states, with the greatest conscientiousness and care, have tried to employ the best means for obtaining the best results.
Prussia set the example in this respect. The government had begun to care for the gymnasia as early as the reign of the Great Elector, Frederick William, (1640-'88.) Frederick the Great (1740-'86) greatly furthered their interests by his famous cabinet-order of September 5, 1779, in which he declared that he would never allow the study of Latin and Greek to be abandoned in the gymnasia. More than all his predecessors, did Frederick William III (1797– 1840) do for the cause of secondary schools. The secondary-school-committee, (Oberschul-Collegium,) the highest educational authority for the secondary schools, formed in 1787, existed till the year 1808, when it was transferred to the section of public instruction in the ministry of the interior, of which, and afterward of the ministry of public instruction, it has formed an integral and important part. With the period of the greatest political humiliation of Prussia, under the yoke of Napoleon, does the new and happy era of the Prussian gymnasia begin. Excellent measures for the improvement in their system were at that time introduced by the chief of the section for public instruction, guided by the advice and influence of men like Stein, Hardenberg, Wilhelm von Humboldt, Nicolovius, Süvern, Niebuhr, and others. In 1810, the important regulations for the examinations of persons desiring to become teachers in secondary schools were published; in 1812, the regulations for the final examination, (Maturitäts-Examen ;) in 1816, the revised course of instruction for gymnasia and real-schools; in 1834, the new and revised regulations for the final examinations, (Maturitäts-Examen ;) in 1837, a normal course of instruction for the gymnasia, modified considerably in 1856.
In Saxony, the new regulations for secondary schools were published in 1847, and the new regulations for the examination of persons desirous of becoming teachers in secondary schools in 1848.
In Würtemberg, special committees were appointed to draw up a new course of instruction for the gymnasia, and introduced in 1848.
In Baden, new regulations for secondary schools were published in 1834, and a new course of instruction for the same in 1837.
In Bavaria, a new course of instruction for the secondary schools was published in 1829 and revised in 1830.
The work of reforming the system of secondary education is still going on in all the states of Germany, and, though a great deal has been done, the end has not yet been reached.
PRESENT STATUS OF SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN GERMANY.
As the secondary schools of Prussia are by far the most numerous in Germany, and form in many respects the model and standard for all these schools, at least in Northern Germany, a brief outline of their present status is given, as best calculated to give a correct idea of the nature of these schools, following in this representation the excellent work, Verordnungen und Gesetze für die höheren Schulen in Preussen, (Rules and Regulations for the Higher Schools in Prussia,) by Dr. L. Wiese, privy counselor in the royal ministry of public instruction at Berlin.
THE DIFFERENT KINDS OF SECONDARY SCHOOLS. The essential characteristic of the secondary schools is neither instruction in foreign languages nor final examinations nor special privileges. The secondary school differs from the elementary schools by a course of instruction going beyond the immediate demands of every-day life; from the special school, by the more general character of the courses of instruction; from the university, by its preparatory character. It has the special aim to give that sound basis of scientific and literary education which enables a man to participate in solving the higher problems of life in church, state, and society. In accordance with their historical development, two directions can be clearly traced, viz, the gymnasium and the real-school: the former comprising gymnasia and pro-gymnasia; and the latter real-schools of the first class, realschools of the second class, and higher burgher-schools. The character of these schools will best be seen from their course of instruction, given below.
The highest authority for all secondary schools is the royal ministry for ecclesiastical, educational, and medical affairs. All these schools are subject to it, without regard to denomination.
Each province has its provincial school-authority, whose head is the president of the province. The duties of this provincial school-board (Provinzialschul-Collegium) are, (1) to decide all questions referring to the educational aim of these schools ; (2) to examine the statutes; (3) to examine new rules and regulations and revise existing ones, to regulate discipline, to make suitable proposals to the ministry for correcting abuses ; (4) to examine the text-books and to decide which are to be used and which not; (5) to prepare new textbooks and introduce them after having been sanctioned by the ministry; (6) to appoint examining committees for the final examinations and to examine the transactions of these committees; (7) to appoint, promote, and dismiss teachers. Every three years the provincial school-boards report to the ministry.
NUMBER OF CLASSES IN THE DIFFERENT SCHOOLS. A complete gymnasium has at least six classes, sexta the lowest, and prima the highest. The third and second classes are generally subdivided into two divisions, a higher and a lower one.
A complete pro-gymnasium has the five gymnasium-classes from six to two. Some pro-gymnasia only have the classes six to four or six to three.
A complete real-school has six classes. The higher burgher-schools have the five real-school-classes six to two.
With most of the secondary schools, preparatory elementary schools of one, two, or more classes are connected, where scholars can acquire the knowledge demanded on entering class six of some secondary school.
CONDITIONS OF ADMISSION. Scholars who wish to enter the sixth class of some secondary school must have completed their ninth year, be able to read German, know the parts of speech, write legibly, be able to write from dictation without making bad orthographical mistakes, be well versed in the four fundamental rules of arithmetic, and be thoroughly conversant with the history of the Old and New Testaments.
SCHOLASTIC YEAR AND LENGTH OF COURSE. The scholastic year in some provinces commences at Easter, and in others at Michaelmas, (September 29.) Scholars are, as a general rule, admitted and promoted only once a year.
A full gymnasium, or real-school course occupies nine years, viz, one year each in the sixth, fifth, and fourth classes, and two years each in the third, second, and first classes. The scholars of one class now always go together in all the studies, while formerly some might belong to one class in some study, and to another in another.
The largest number of scholars in one class is so in the lower classes, 40 in the middle classes, and 30 in the higher classes.
COURSE OF INSTRUCTION IN A GYMNASIUM. The course of instruction varies somewhat in the different gymnasia, but the following may be considered as the standard : Number of hours per week in each class.
Classes and number of hours per week in each class. Studies.
VI. | v. | IV. III. II. I.
Instruction in Hebrew, vocal music, and gymnastics is either totally or partially given out of school-hours.
The details of the gymnasium's course are the following:
A. PROTESTANT.— Class VI, (three hours per week :) Biblical histories of the Old Testament as far as Kings, following a compendium of biblical history. Before any of the great church-festivals, (Christmas, Easter, Pentecost,) the history of the respective festival is gone through. The first part of the catechism, with Luther's explanations, is learned by heart; the second and third parts, without Luther's explanations, and avoiding the so-called catechising; learning by heart from eight to ten hymns, chiefly relating to the church-festivals.
Class V, (three hours per week :) Biblical histories of the New Testament, following a compendium of biblical history; general knowledge of the arrangement and succession of the different books of the Bible; repetition of the first part of the catechism, with the explanations; explanation and learning by heart of the second part of the catechism, with Luther's explanations, and suitable passages from Scripture; repetition of the hymns learned in the sixth class, adding about six new ones. Special regard is had in all classes to the ecclesiastical year, mentioning the gospel and epistle for every Sunday in the year. About the time of the reformation-festival, (October 17,) the importance of the festival is impressed upon the minds of the pupils by a brief review of the history of the reformation.
Class IV, (two hours per week :) Important passages from the Old and New Testaments are read from the Bible itself; from the Old Testament, especially those which show the history of the people of Israel; also the more important passages from the Apocrypha; in the New Testament, chiefly passages from Matthew, Luke, and the Acts of the Apostles; further knowledge of the Bible; geography of Palestine; from the catechism, repetition of the first and second parts, with explanations and passages from Scripture; explanation and learning by heart of the third part, with Luther's explanations and passages from Scripture; learning by heart of the fourth and fifth parts. The hymns learned in the sixth and fifth classes are repeated, and about four new ones are added. The scholars are also occasionally made acquainted with the significance of the various religious rites of the church.
Class III,a, and III, 6, (two hours per week:) Reading of portions of the Bible as in IV, with a special view of showing the internal connection of the whole Scriptures; messianic and prophetic passages from the Old Testament; Psalms, portions of the book of Job; life of Jesus from the New Testament; the sermon on the mount; parables; repetition and further extension of Bibleknowledge, giving briefly the lives of the authors and the time when they wrote; repetition of the catechism and the passages of Scripture belonging to it; repetition of the hymns learned by heart in the lower classes, adding new ones, as also some psalms; brief history of the Christian church and of the reforma