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"Barmen Catechism ” be exclusively used in the Evangelical seminaries, and that the teacher be restricted to seeing that the pupils understand the same, and make it their own, without himself adding anything further to its substance.
It is further requisite that the schoolmaster cherish a warm and lively sympathy with the church life of the present. To this end some knowledge of the past is requisite, but no regular chronological course of church history can be given in the seminary. It shall suffice that the pupils learn the most important facts and names in the method of biographical groups, especial reference being had to the Apostolical period, to the Reformation, the present period, and the extension of the church by missionary enterprise, that the future schoolmaster may be thus qualified for a free and disinterested action in the fields both of the foreign and inner mission, the succor of the poor and the forsaken, and other charitable objects. This is an object which can not be attained so much by lessons as by lending appropriate books, or reading passages out of them, by introducing the pupils to practical participation in the various mission enterprises. It would be desirable that the semninaries, as such, should be enrolled as members of the mission unions.
The next point to be attended to in the religious instruction in the seminary is, to bring this instruction, much more than hitherto, into immediate relation to the religious instruction to be given in the elementary school. To this purpose there is required a clear understanding of the duty of the elementary school in respect of the religious instruction it is called upon to give.
First, it must be firmly established that systematic treatment of Christian doctrine, whether in the way of explanation of catechism, or independent expounding of dogmas or Scripture texts, is not the province of the elementary teacher, but of the clergyman. The catechism lesson in the school is only a lesson preparatory to the confirmation preparation to be given by the pastor, and must be restricted to bringing the catechism in its verbal and material meaning before the understanding, and inculcating it in the memory of the children.
Secondly, Scripture History must be treated as the field in which the elementary school has to solve the problem of founding and extending the Christian life of the youth committed to its charge. It must be pre-supposed that this instruction aiing neither at moral applications nor at abstract dogmatic inferences, but at leading the children to the sure apprehension and the inward and faithful appropriation of the facts of God's treatment of His chosen people and of the whole human race, and thence to deduce for them the eternal ideas of the most important divine and human things. In this view, the whole course of the Biblical history must be gone through with the seminarist, who shall thus be brought to an immediate and intuitional knowledge of the fundamental ideas and truths, by living in and through each step and each personal relation of the religious life under the leading of God's Word.
The future schoolmaster shall be required to be able to repeat, without book, each Scripture history in the form in which it is taught in the school. He shall be further led to handle each of these histories in detail, and with due reference to the general objects of Scripture teaching, in strict connection with the order of the church's year, so that he may know how to establish a connection of his school with the liturgical life, and make the children conscious participators in the same. From this time forth an indispensable condition of admission into the seminary will be an exact acquaintance with these histories as contained in such manuals of those of Zahn, Preuss, or Otto Schultz, and the ability to recite them by heart.
Here follow specific directions for reading the Bible and the gospels and epistles for the year; for learning texts and hymns. The section concludes thus:
Religious instruction, conducted according to these principles, will form teachers clearly aware of what they have to do, possessing within themselves a sufficient knowledge of the word, doctrine, and life of the Evangelic church; it will open to them the entrance upon a God-fearing life, in which they may find practical experience of the course by which God leads us from sin to justi
fication by faith, which worketh by love. To this end, the whole life in the seminary must be brought under the discipline of the Word and the Spirit; teachers and pupils alike must draw from the fountain of grace, and the community must exhibit a pattern of common Christian life.
3. LANGUAGE.—The future teacher is sufficiently qualified to instruct in language and reading in the elementary school, when he knows how to handle
rightly the spelling and reading book. The seminaries hitherto have too much neglected to teach a simple method of learning to read. Consequently, years. have been spent in acquiring, perhaps very imperfectly, what might be attained in months, viz., the mechanical power of reading. To qualify the schoolmaster in this branch, neither theoretical instruction nor yet practice in the model school will alone suffice; but it will be necessary to take the seminarist in the lowest class through a course of practical lessons in all the details of teaching to read, which practice must be continued till the riglit method has been thoroughly mastered by each pupil.
Again, in the use of the reading book, it is not enough to instruct the seminarist generally in the mode of interpreting; each portion and passage of the reading book, authoritatively introduced into the schools of the province, must be gone through in the way in which it has to be by them afterwards treated in the elementary school.
In connection with the reading book the pupils must be introduced to German grammar, keeping in view always, that this is a subject which they will not have to teach again in the school.
This is the reading course for the third class. In the two upper classes the object of this branch of instruction is, starting from the knowledge acquired in the lower class, to introduce the pupil to so much of the contents of the language as is necessary for the level of culture, proper for an elementary teacher, and for life among the people. To acquire a good and correct intonation the best method is, to penetrate the sense of what is read. The ability to read difficult passages well forms a tolerably correct measure for judging the amount of formal education possessed by the seminarist. Wackernagel's reading book may be taken, and a selection of pieces in prose and verse made from it, ascending from the easy to the more difficult, and as to their substance bearing on the arrangement of the other parts of the pupils' course. These passages must be worked over till they are thoroughly understood, and have become the learner's own property. Teacher and pupil have here the fittest opportunity to apply the art of concentration of teaching. Witbin the limits of these passages must be acquired the power of understanding and using his own language so far as it is requisite for the elementary master, without any theoretical lessons of etymology, prosody, lexicology, &c. The remaining contents of the reading book may be afterwards read in a more cursory way, without, however, neglecting to understand what is read, or to practice the reproduction of that which has been read.
The written exercises for the lower and middle class must be set in connection with the reading lesson; but in the upper class they may consist in independent reproduction of single parts out of other parts of the course, or in consideration of questions which concern the profession of teacher. Here also the pupil should learn the written forms of office and business which he may have afterwards occasion for.
The students of each year must have a course of private reading pointed out to them, of which they shall be called on from time to time to give an account to the teacher. In the choice of books for this purpose, regard must be had, not merely to the student's own culture, but to the influence which he may hereafter exercise, beyond the limits of the school, upon the character and more als of the people. Accordingly, the so-called classical literature (of Germany) must be prohibited from forming any part of this private course, and nothing must be admitted into it but what has a tendency to promote church life.
Here follows a list of permissible books.
4. HISTORY AND GEOGRAPIIY.—Both these branches shall start from a common point; that of our own country. General history is useless in the seminary, and the instruction shall be confined to German history, with especial
regard to that of Prussia and the history of the province. It must be considered one of the first duties of the school teacher to inculcate in the rising generation a knowledge of the patriotic traditions and characters of the past and present, along with respect and love to the reigning family. This patriotic species of history should be brought into connection with the life of the people, and their inode of thinking, for which purpose the days of patriotic commemoration are. to be put prominently forward, and employed as points of departure. The student should learn the best specimens of popular poetry; both the words and tune; thus making their instruction, both in language and music, serviceable to that of patriotic history. The custom already adopted in some seminaries, of having special celebrations of memorial days for events in our national or ecclesiastical year, which are not already adopted into the church year, is hereby recommended for general imitation. The following dars might be so distinguished:* 18th January, 18th February, 18th and 25th June, 3d August, 15th, 18th, 31st October, and 10th November, leaving other days for particular provincial commemorations to be added. The commemoration may fitly consist in the execution of appropriate music; on the church days chaunting; adding explanations of the respective events commemorated.
As the instruction in history is contined to the two upper classes, so the instruction in geography shall be confined to the two lower classes.
Then follows the programme of the geographical course.
5. KNOWLEDGE OF NATURE.—Natural history shall be taught in the first and second years' classes two hours per week; not in a strictly scientific way, or adopting any classification. The principal indigenous plants and animals shall be brought before the pupils and described to them. In botany a foundation for further future study shall be laid. They shall be taught to distinguish the principal native minerals and rocks. A popular description of the human body shall be given. It is scarcely necessary to say that a necessary condition of this instruction is a religious disposition and tendency. The pupils ought to acquire a love for nature and natural occupations. A practical direction, too, may be given to this branch of instruction by constant reference to gardening, agriculture, industry and trade. In the third year the students may advance to natural philosophy, which shall always be treated in an experimental way, without mathematical formulæ; the common instruments, machines, and mechanical powers may be explained to them, with the phenomena of heat, electricity and magnetism.
6. ARIT!IMETIC AND GEOMETRY.—The latter is limited to acquaintance with the principal geometrical figures, plane and solid, their properties and modes of measuring them, without any scientific method or calculus. Arithmetical operations, with three places of figures, are to be practiced as in the elementary school, as follows: In ciphering, the practical end of the people's school vanishes, on the one hand, all the lessons in the theory of number which were formerly given, and, on the other, avoids with equal care the working of problems by the mechanical methods of multiplication table. Mental arithmetic, not permitted as a separate exercise, as a useless fatigue of brain, is used to correct the mechanisin of the slate, and is restricted to the system of enumeration as distinct from that of notation. Setting sums to work in abstract number is to be done as little as possible; in the lower class altogether avoided. The examples should be always in concrete number. This latter rule is deduced from the principle of concentration of teaching, which is further carried through in the requirements, that the four operations shall not be taught as separate processes, each governed by its separate rule, but in their mutual connection; por fractions be made a distinct branch. The true division which is to separate the lower from the upper class in arithmetic, is the magnitude of the quantities dealt with. Thus a child is carried through all the operations, fractional and unitarian, in the tens betore it advances to the hundreds, and so on. Geometry, a favorite subject with the old masters, not now admitted into the one-class school,
* It may be necessary to state the events for which these days are famous : 18th January, 1701, Prussia become a kingdom ; 18th February, 1546, Luther died; 18th June, 1815, Battle of Belle Alliance; 3d Angust, 1770, Frederick William III. born ; 15th October, 1795, King's Birthdny; 18th October, 1213, Battle of Leipzig; 31st October, 1517, Reformation ; 10th November, 1483, Luther born.
though we find it sometimes taught in the upper classes of a six-class school in connection with designing.
For leave to go into the higher parts of arithmetic, proportion, decimals, ex• traction of roots, not for application in the school, but for their own improvement, application may be made the provincial government.
7. WRITING is to be taught with an especial view to acquiring a plain and flowing hand, and, secondly, to learning how to set clear copies of single letters and strokes in proper succession for the school. The copies executed by the pupils are to be at once exercises in caligraphy and an intellectual discipline. The method of teaching to write is to be learnt along with the practice in writing.
8. Drawing in the Seminary must not go beyond introductory lessons in the linear representation of simple objects.
9. Music is cultivated in the seminary for moral and church objects. The art is never to be regarded as its own end. The field of instruction here is one of deep and earnest moral purpose; in great measure a sacred purpose. The seminary has to form, not only the teacher of singing for the school, but the organist and the precentor for the church.
10. GYMNASTIC. 11. GARDENING.—Instruction in gardening, cultivation of fruit-trees, silk, &c., shall be given, or some part of it, in every seminary; but local opportunities will determine their character.
The above is the substance, very greatly compressed, of a document even more than usually involved in vague and abstract language. It relates only to the three years' course in the seminary, and one of its main objects is to restrict the variety and ambitiousness of the previous system. How far even the limited course here prescribed can be carried out, depends necessarily on how far the young men, at their admission to the seminary, are qualified to commence the course here described. As I have already said, the greater part of them come so raw and uncultivated, that they require the greater part of the first year to make them fit to begin their training. On every side in Prussia are hcard complaints of the want of preparation on the part of the präparanden, as they are called, before their entry at the seminary. Yet these youths have all had the advantages of the elementary school, generally a six-class school, up to fourteen, and have since that time been professing to prepare themselves specially for entrance at the seminary. As they can not enter the seminary till eighteen, (in Prussia,) and as the seminary professes to make very little addition to the matters taught in the elementary school, but mainly to practice and fix what has been there learnt, it must excite our wonder, what have these youths been doing in the interval between leaving school and applying for admission at the seminary, that they come so ill prepared ?
The principle which appears to govern that reform of the North German seminaries, which has been accomplished in the last eight years, or is still in progress, may be best described by its contrast to that which it has supplanted. The aim of the seminaries in the last generation was less to train the future schoolmaster for the technical work of teaching children of from eight to fourteen to read, write and cipher, than to give him a complete mental culture. The old seminary was a university on a small scale, and confined to a particular faculty its science of pädagogik. It had some of the excellencies, and many of the defects, of the German university ; it had its elevated, universal, super-professional aim, and breadth of culture; it had also its defects of method; its frittering of the matters taught into so many abstract branches, erected into sciences, and theoretically lectured upon, not taught. The old seminary teacher was a professor, who gave his courses of logic, Pädagogik, Didactik, Methodik, anthropology or psychology. The
seminarists were students who sat listening to these lofty harangues, and writing out their Hleften from them. A few among them caught from him a love of knowledge, and an undefined ambition for intellectual self-development; meanwhile, the great mass of them comprehended little of all they heard, and went away in ignorance of the rudiments, while the technical qualifications for their future vocation were neglected by all. A master so turned out into life was not only not qualified, he was positively unfitted, for his duties. He found himself, with an unsatisfied intellectual craving, condemned to an inferior social position, to a starving salary, without prospect of promo. tion, and bound to a labor which he despised. Even if he liked teaching, his wish was to teach as he had been taught, and he began to lecture his children on natural science, on astronomy, on history or theology, or on the beauties of Schiller, according to his taste. His dissatisfaction with his own lot in life begot a political discontent. Though he dared not utter this, he felt it keenly. The agitations of 1848–9 were a “schoolmasters' revolution.” It is not necessary to inquire here if this be true or not; it is sufficient that such a belief is generally entertained, at least among the governments, and the classes connected with them. The reaction against the old system was rapid in proportion to the imminence of the danger. This reaction was partly one of purely educational theory, partly one of political alarm. A sounder educational opin. ion proscribed at once the aim and the method hitherto pursued. The proper aim of the seminary was perceived to be, not to educate its pupils as men, but to train them as schoolmasters. The forming and development of the understanding were here entirely out of place. The whole scientific furniture of the old seminary was turned out of doors. Pädagogik, name and thing, were banished, and at most, the practical management of a school (Schulkunde) was retained as a subject of lessons for one hour per week. Physics, the favorite branch of the old teachers, were to cease as science, and their place taken by Heimathskunde, or observation of the phenomena of our own neighborhood. The vague and aimless "history," upon which so much time had been hitherto wasted, was supplanted by the more manageable "history of our fatherland,” i. e., of Prussia in Prussian seminaries, of Saxony in the Saxon, &c. The 6 so-called classical literature” of Germany was absolutely prohibited, even for private reading, and in its place a select library, chiefly compilations of modern writers, was ordered for the serninary. Finally, learning by rote was to take the place of the formal exercise of the understanding; and instead of knowledge, the object proposed to the student was the acquisition of the technical facilities which the children were to learn from him.
These were the educational principles of the reform; of the political principles involved it is not necessary that I should speak. It is as much in the interest of the schoolmasters themselves as in that of the existing social order, that they should have learnt to know their own place in it. The spirit of independence, self-reliance and intellectual ambition which the old seminary fostered, made them not only dangerous to church and state, but unhappy in their confined sphere of life. The young teachers whom the seminaries are now turning out, as far as I have had opportunities of observing them, are of a very different temper. The official reports from all the departments concur in stating, in the words of that of Merseberg, (March, 1858,) that “the former cagerness for emancipation on the part of the teachers had disappeared." The older teachers, if they retain the feeling, find it necessary to conceal il. A spirit of subordination, of contentment with their lot, and acquiescence in church authority, is now prevalent. His energy has perhaps gone with it, but at any rate his restlessness has disappeared.
This result has not been attained exclusively by repressive measures. Within the last few years great efforts have been made to improve the salaries of the teachers.