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has been the advancement in every line of progress, that at the present time, if not 'actually the first city in respect to the quality and universality of educational provisions, Vienna is certainly the first city in the world in point of interest and instructiveness for the student of education. To Americans this remarkable educational development in Vienna ought to be especially interesting and instructive, from the fact that the date of its beginning is very nearly the same as the date of the commencement of the movement for the reform and reorganization of our own city-systems of education,
The fruits of a thorough system of universal education are not yet so conspicuous in the population of Vienna as in the population of the most cultivated cities of Northern Germany, but the existing Viennese system of schools is in many respects in advance of what is elsewhere found.
The course pursued in bringing about this salutary change in so short a time is especially worthy of notice. Laying aside all religious and national prejudice, Catholic Vienna has not besitated to appropriate the pedagogical ideas and methods of the Protestant cities of Northern Germany, and the crushing defeat of Sadowa only hastened and intensified the exertions of the Austrian government in the same direction.
It seems to me, therefore, that it would be profitable for us as American educators to see what can be learned from this example.
In the brief time allotted for this paper, I shall not undertake to present a complete analysis of the system for the purpose of comparing it with the typical American system, but only to point out some of the features wherein it appears to be most especially worthy of our consideration.
(1) Provision for secondary education.-There are scarcely any of our American cities which have more than one public school for that grade of instruction which occupies the place between the elementary school and the college, and which we call secondary or high-school-instruction. The two largest American cities have but one each, and those are for boys. The third in size has not even one. There are, perhaps, four or five, all told, of the larger cities of this country, which maintain from two to four or five high schools each, high in name at least, if not very high in the quality of the instruction given.
In the city of Vienna, whose population exceeds that of Philadelphia, but is considerably less than that of New York, there are sixteen public schools for secondary education. These schools consist of two classes or descriptions, namely, the Gymnasia and the Real-schools. In the former, the Latin and Greek languages constitute the basis of the course of instruction, which is designed as a preparation for the university. In the latter, natural science and the modern languages constitute the basis of the course of instruction, which is designed as a preparation for the polytechnic institute. Although the courses of these two descriptions of schools lead to two different kinds of institutions for superior education, they are both calculated to impart a high liberal culture and each is complete in itself.
There is no public high school in America, with the possible exception of the New York College, where the course of education is equal, either in extent or thoroughness, to that of a Gymnasium or a Real-school in Vienna. The teaching staff in these insti. tutions is composed of professors who are more nearly on a par, in respect to learning and culture, with the professors in American colleges, than with the teachers of our high schools. In respect to knowledge of the science and art of education, they are quite superior to the average American college-professor. They have not only received a university-education, but they are also required to pass through a course of pedagogical training in the university-seminaries established for the purpose.
The courses of study in the Gymnasium and the Real-school alike extend over the period of eight years, the pupils entering at 10 or 11 years of age and graduating at 18 or 19.
In respect to equipment, including apparatus and libraries, they are vastly superior to the American high schools. In one of the youngest of these institutions, which is not yet provided with a building for its use, the apparatus, none of which is for ostentation, but all for use, has cost 26,000 Gulden, a sum equivalent to more than the same number of dollars spent here. Several of the buildings which have been recently erected for the scbools are quite superior to any high-school-edifice which has as yet been erected in this country. The tuition is not gratuitous, but it is very cheap, not exceeding fifteen dollars a year for such pupils as have the means to pay, while meritorious pcpils who not able to pay this sum are provided for by charity-funds and in other ways.
But, after all, you may ask, are not these schools, with such comprehensive courses of study and such accomplished professors, small establishments: Far from it. Some of the largest have nearly thirty professors each and six or seven hundred pupils, the aggregate number of their professors being about 375 and the total number of their pupils being no less than 5,500. This number of boys and young men is at least equal to the whole number of boys receiving secondary education in the public high schools of the fifteen largest cities in America. Besides these public secondary schools: there are others which are denominational or private. The Protestants have a very large and excellent school for both sexes, although of a somewhat lower grade.
Such is the superiority of Vienna over American cities in one of the principal departments of public instruction.
(2) Provisions for the normal training of teachers. The parent normal school in Vienna was established a hundred years ago by Maria Theresa. Within a few years this institution has been thoroughly reorganized and reformed, and others have been established, so that there are now in the city four normal schools, besides a trainingschool for Kindergarten-teachers. These institutions are normal schools in the true sense of the word, and not, like too many of the normal schools in this country, simply academic schools with the addition of a slender provision for the instruction of the graduating class in the theory and practice of teaching.
One of these schools for the professional training of teachers, which has recently been established and is called the Vienna Pedagogium, is quite unique in character. It is designed for the further improvement of graduates of the normal schools of the ordinary type and of teachers already engaged in the service of the city. No pupils are admitted who have not already received a graduating diploma from a normal school. The course of training extends through three years. For the purpose of attending this institution, teachers in the public schools may, on application to the city-government, be relieved, to a certain extent, from their ordinary duties.
The directorship is in the hands of one of the foremost pedagogists in Europe, who was called to the post from Northern Germany and induced to accept it by the most liberal offers in respect to salary and official privileges. A palatial structure has just been erected for its accommodation, at a cost which would exceed $300,000 expended in this country. In this building there is an elementary school for boys and also one for girls, each having seven classes, which admirably serve the purpose, not only of practicing-schools for the teachers in training, but also as model schools for the observations of the teachers engaged in the elementary schools of the city, who are not pupils in the Pedagogium. In order to render them available for these purposes, the hours of their sessions are different from those of the other public schools, the rooms being furnished with gas light for the late afternoon-sessions of the winter-season. The classes of these model and practicing-schools are now taught by the best graduates of the Pedagogium, who are mostly young men, and a more accomplished corps of teachers I think I have never seen elsewhere in a public elementary school. They exhibited the most remarkable skill in the handlicg of their classes. This excellent institution has already exerted a powerful influence in elevating the character of the Vienna schools.
Thirty years ago, Horace Mann, in his Report on Foreign Education, in speaking of the increasing favor with which normal schools were regarded by the great European family of nations, which claim to be called enlightened or civilized,” stigmatizes Austria as "the one empire alone which had signalized its name by an opposite course ;" and adds: “Austria, true to the base and cowardly instincts of ignorance and bigotry, disallows the establishment of a free normal school for the improvement of its people." No doubt such language was too strong. But since that time what a change has been brought about! This same Austria can now boast of provision for normal schools far beyond what has been furnished by the governments of the free States of our Republic. And the Austrian minister of public instruction might say, if he wished to draw a comparison between his own country and ours in respect to liberality in providing for the education of the people: “Behold republican America, with all its boastings about the intelligence of the people and the blessings of free institutions, neglecting the establishment of a single free normal school in its Capital for the improvement of the people, that institution which Mr. Mann said truly was one of the greatest of all modern instrumentalities for the improvement of the race, and then look at the normal school in our own capital.”
(3) Special schools.—While it is of the first importance to make ample provision for general education in all its grades and departments, supplementary and special schools are needed to qualify persons of both sexes for the numerous professions, trades, and occupations by means of which they obtain a livelihood. In this respect American cities are far inferior to those of Germany. Vienna is especially conspicuous for the number, variety, and excellence of its special schools. At the head of these stands the government polytechnic school, one of the oldest and foremost in the world, with its 80 professors and 1,000 papils. Below this in rank are numerous industrial schools of various descriptions and grades. There is a large number of schools for art and music. There is also a large number for female-handiwork. The commercial schoo's are especially noteworthy. At the head of the latter class stands the Handel's Academy, with its magnificent edifice, costing 230,000 Gulden, with its 43 professors and 1,000 students; a model establishment, in the true sense of the word. Besides this there are two public commercial colleges of a high character, with 50 instructors aud over 2,000 pupils. And there are still others of a semi-public character. There are numerous excellent schools, with night and Sunday-sessions, for apprentices, and which apprentices must attend as a condition of receiving their licenses to engage in their respective handicrafts. There are schools for carpenters, schools for masops, schools for stonecutters, schools for machinists, schools for weavers, and so on.
You, gentlemen, all know how very, very little has been as yet done in our American cities to provide this special and technical instruction in schools, either of the higher or lower grades. All this must be provided before we can claim equality in this respect with the city of Vienna or the cities of Germany, or Switzerland, or France.
(4) Provision for physical education. For more than sixty years, gymnastic training has constituted a prominent element in Prussian school-education. Jahn, the great early promoter of physical training in Prussia, is now justly reckoned among the benefactors of his country; and, in recognition of the benefits of his labors, a noble statue has been erected to his honor in Berlin, Iu Berlin gymnastics have been longer and more generally cultivated, perhaps, than in any other city. In this city there has existed for a long time a large and well-appointed government-establishment for the training and preparation of teachers of gymnastics for the public schools. Although Vienpa has been comparatively tardy in adopting this educational improvement, she now probably surpasses all other cities in respect to liberality of provision for gymnastics. In every recently-erected school-edifice, whether for elementary or secondary schools, the spacious and lofty gymnastic ball, with adjacent wardrobes and other accommodations, is provided. There are at present 110 special teachers of gymnastics constantly employed by the city in public schools. The educational authorities of Vienna are fully justified in their large expenditures for the physical training, in view of the acknowledged advantages which have been derived from it in Northern Germany. In speaking of physical training in the German schools, Matthew Arnold says: “The teachers (of gymnastics) profess to have adapted their exercises with precision to every age and to all stages of a boy's growth and muscular development. If boys have long work-hours or if they work hard, gymnastics probably do more for their pbysical health in the comparatively short time allotted to recreation than anything else could. In England the majority of public-school-boys work far less than the foreign school-boy, and for this majority the English games are delightful; but for the few bard students with us there is in general nothing but the constitutional,' and this is not so good as the foreign gymnastics."
In the German and Austrian schools, gymnastic training is not provided for boys alone. Girls also receive the benefit of regular physical exercises, especially adapted to the different stages of their muscular growth.
I have long been impressed with the lamentable defect of our city-systems of schools in respect to physical education. After seeing what has been dove for this essential branch of education in Vienna and Berlin, our own deficiency in this respect seems tenfold more glaring. A radical reforın is needed. Fourteen years ago I began my efforts to introduce into all grades of the Boston schools “a thorough system of physical training as a part of school-culture.” Some progress has been made in this direction. For some years the programme has required daily physical exercises in the schools; but as yet our provisions for physical education are very inadequate. So far as I know, there is not a single special, thoroughly-qualified teacher of gymnastics employed by any city in America. To my mind nothing is more certain than that the highest success in intellectual education can be reached only by the aid of the most thorough system of physical training.
(5) Provision for the care and education of children under school-age.-Children are not required to attend school until they have reached the age of 6 years, and as a rule those below this age are not admitted. But in all large cities there are many children from 3 to 6 years of age, whose parents, from poverty and the necessity they are under to engage in labor away from their homes, are incapable of properly caring for them. To meet the wants of this class of children quite extensive provision has been made in Vienna About forty years ago steps were taken, at first by individuals and subsequently by associations of public-spirited and benevolent persons, for the establishment of institutions called Bewahranstalten.
In these useful institutions young children are taken care of, amused, exercised, and appropriately taught during the day, from 8 o'clock in the morning until 5 in the afternoon, a wholesome meal being furnished them at noon. Recently Fröbel's system of Kindergarten-training has been introduced into a number of these infantschools, and with one of them there is connected a normal department, for the training of Kindergarten-teachers. The number of these Bewahranstalten in Vienna is twenty, in which 3,000 children are daily cared for.
Recently the government has made provision regulating the establishment of Kindergärten and all institutions for the care of children under school-age, whether public or private. The character of the accommodations, as well as the qualifications of the managers and teachers, are prescribed by law, and it is expressly provided that no school-instruction, properly so called, shall be given in the schools to children under the school-age.
(6) The harmonious adaptation of the parts of the system to each other and to the objects which they are designed to accomplish.—The American primary school, where such a grade exists in our cities, has a distinctive, well-defined character. It has one simple, special object, namely, that of fitting pupils for admission to the gran, mar-school. There is, therefore, nothing undesirable in the relation of these two grades of schools to each other. In other respects, our American schools are not so well harmonized as could be desired. The grammar-school has to perform three different functions, not in harmony with each other. It is expected to adapt its instruction to the needs of those pupils who drop out at the different stages of the course, and for this purpose it must make its instruction as complete a whole as possible at each step in the course; secondly, it must serve as a finishing-school for the mass of pupils who wish to acquire a good elementary education, but cannot go beyond it; and, thirdly, it must answer the purpose of a preparatory school for candidates for the high school. Now, to do the best thing for the pupils who are to remain in the school only a year or two, it is necessary to do what is not best for those who are to remain through the whole course, and vice versa. Again, to do the best thing for the pupils who are not to go beyond the elementary course is not to do the best thing for those who are to pass through the high-schoolgrade. If we go to the high school, we find there, also, incompatible functions required. By a multiplication of courses, it must try to meet the wants of both sexes, the wants of candidates for college, and the wants of the candidates for the technical school, wbile at the same time it is to serve the purpose of a finishing-school for pupils destined for comercial and practical business-careers. From this lack of harmony and adaptation, comes a great loss of time on the part of pupils and teachers.
In Vienna the co-ordination of the schools is more perfect. There are two descriptions of elementary schools, namely, the Volks and the Bürger. Both receive pupils at the age when obligatory attendance begins and both retain them during the continuance of the obligatory period of schooling. The Volks-school is a finishing-school; that is, it is not designed to fit its pupils for a school of a higher grade, but is complete in itself; and, as attendance during its whole course is compulsory, there are no pupils prematurely leaving to be provided for. Hence its function is as simple and definite as is that of our primary school.
The same may be said of the Bürger-school, the first half of its course being substantially the same as that of the first four years of the Volks-school and the last halı corresponding to the first four years of the Real-school. The graduate of the Bürgerschool can therefore enter the fifth class of the Real-school; or, if he terminates his day-schooling at this stage and enters upon an apprenticeship, he attends an industrial school, where practical instruction is given by accomplished professors on week-dayevenings and Sunday-mornings. The graduato of the Volks-school in like manner, after graduation, is expected to attend, for some time, either the industrial school, or an evening school of another kind, designed to supplement and strengthen the instruction already received.
If we go to the middle schools-namely, the Gymnasia and Real-schools-we find the same harmonious completeness of arrangements. We have seen that, during the first four years of the child's schoolivg, in both the Bürger- and Volks-schools, the course is the same. This is all that is required for admission to the middle schools. Boys who enter these schools at 10 or 11 years of age are found, at 14 or 15 years of age, vastly in advance of the boys of the same age who are just passing from the grammar-schools to the high schools in our cities. This superior progress is owing to two causes: first, that the instruction is given by capable professors, who employ good methods, and, secondly, that the aim is simple and direct, the pupils being treated, not with reference to several different destinations, but only with reference to the completion of the course of the institution, which is in itself a harmonious and complete whole. Again, the middle schools on the one hand and the high schools on the othernamely, the university and the polytechnic, the agricultural and the commercial, and the military high schools—are carefully adapted to each other. The candidate holding the graduating-certificate of the Real-school is entitled to admission to either of the four last-named high schools, while the graduate of the Gymnasium is admitted to the university, the commercial and agricultural high schools without further examination, and to the polytechnic school after some further preparation in free-hand-drawing and in geometry.
This harmonious completeness of the organization and arrangement of the different grades of schools affords, it seems to me, an instructive example for our study and consideration.
(7) School-architecture. Within the last few years in many American cities, both large and small, money has been expended freely for the erection of school-houses, both for