Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub

Of the

Jesuits in 1595, and is still supported by the Church. other catholic Gymnasien of modern Prussia, one was founded in 1450, another in 1474, and seven between 1545 and 1580. The comparatively large number of classical schools still in existence which were established in the latter half of the sixteenth century is an interesting commentary on the work of the Jesuits. In addition to those already mentioned, no fewer than twenty-one of the present Prussian Gymnasien were originally on catholic foundations, but went over to the protestants at the time of the Reformation. One of these schools (Zeitz) had been established as early as 968-two in the twelfth century, five in the thirteenth, nine in the fourteenth, one in the fifteenth, and three in the sixteenth. For example, the city Gymnasium of Königsberg was founded in 1335 by the municipal authorities as a parochial school in connection with the Roman Catholic Church. Under the influence of the head-master who was in charge from 1518 to 1541, himself a convert to Luther's preaching, it became a protestant Latin school. The Kneipfhöfisches Gymnasium (Königsberg), founded probably as early as 1304 as a cathedral school, went over to the Lutherans at about the same time. The Köllnisches Gymnasium of Berlin, probably the oldest classical school of the province, has been protestant since 1540. The present site of the Berlin Gymnasium zum grauen Kloster belonged to the Franciscans from 1290 to 1539, when the monastery was closed. Elector Johann George afterward presented one-third of the cloister to the present Gymnasium, which opened for the first time in 1574. It is something to be thankful for that in those days "conscience money" went for educational purposes.

Old Protestant

Schools on protestant foundations date, for the most part, from the sixteenth century. The steady progress of education and the extension of the school system under the guidance of Luther and Melanchthon are evident from the number of schools still existing in Prussia which sprang up in the sixteenth century. Three of the leading protestant Gymnasien of modern Prussia

Schools.

were established prior to 1530, five others between 1530 and 1540, twelve between 1540 and 1550, and twenty-four others before the close of the century. The majority of these schools were supported by the municipalities in which they were located. Occasionally one received special endowment from some wealthy citizen. Two in particular deserve special mention one, Pforta, which owes its origin to the generosity of Duke Maurice of Saxony, who endowed it in 1543 with the Cistercian Abbey of St. Mary's, on the banks of the Saale, not far distant from Naumburg, the other, Rossleben, a cloistral school founded in 1554 by a nobleman of the province. I shall make mention later of some of the striking characteristics of these two old boarding-schools.

Foundation of Prussian Schools.

There are in Prussia at the present time two hundred and seventy-seven Gymnasien. Of this number it will be seen that seventy-seven, or nearly one-fourth, were established before 1600. In the seventeenth century only thirty-three of the now existent Prussian Gymnasien were established, and most of these were on catholic foundations. Some of the notable exceptions are the Joachimsthalsches Gymnasium of Berlin (1607), the Francke'sche Stiftungen in Halle (1695-1697) and the Französisches Gymnasium of Berlin (1689).

Mention should be made in this place of some of the renowned schools of the other German states. There is so much of the life of the German people, so many In Other States. interesting facts connected with their history, stored up in these venerable institutions, that I find myself seriously tempted to stray from the narrow lines of this chapter. The Fürstenschulen of Meissen and Grimma in Saxony stand side by side with Pforta as monuments of the Elector Maurice. Then in Leipsic are the famous Thomas-Schule (1221), and the Nicolai Gymnasium which was founded by a bull of Boniface IX. in 1395. Hamburg boasts of the Gelehrtenschule des Johanneums, of which Johann Bugenhagen, Luther's apostle to the low Germans, was the first master. The protestant Gymnasium of Strassburg dates

from 1538, when Sturm began his work in that city. Tübingen, Stuttgart, Munich, Augsburg, Würzburg, Nüremberg, and many other cities of South Germany have schools that have come down from the sixteenth century.

Difficulties of Administration.

The tendency in Prussia, as indeed in all the German states, has been for the government to absorb schools on special foundations, and by taking over their endowments to make them purely state schools. IL some instances this has been done with a view to the equalization of school funds; but inasmuch as there is no comprehensive school law in Prussia many serious complications still continue. There are schools existing by special charter which have done a great work in the past, yet whose funds are now so depreciated that retrenchment must follow if state aid cannot be secured; there are schools established by municipalities to which the government makes annual grants; there are state schools supported in part by local rates; there are others which have several sources of income. This mixed state of affairs, which often renders it necessary to search back to records even five or six hundred years old in order to settle some detail of administration, is very unsatisfactory to the school and highly exasperating to the officials. An inspector once told me of a village school in his jurisdiction the teacher of which must look to eighteen different sources for his small income. He gets a fee for being church chorister; something more for conducting an evening continuation school; and even observances long obsolete, such as personally greeting all the families of the village on Christmas day, have each their particular cash value. Now when custom decrees that Christmas calls are no longer the mode, how is the poor school-master to get that portion of his salary which is dependent on this labour of love? Such problems are of vital interest-to the school-masters-and the government cannot pass them by. But it is no easy task to adjust these old legacies to modern requirements; often special acts of Parliament are necessary to overcome conditions imposed by charters centuries old. There are weak

Gymnasien, too, that would gladly become Realschulen, save that some clause in a charter centuries old requires that Latin be taught in that school for all eternity. Between giving up Latin and abandoning the foundation there can be no question. The dead hand rules. Herein are some of the disadvantages of tradition.

The lower schools are often hampered by the uncertain boundary between the rights of the clergy-also a survival of

Schools.

the times when the schools were wholly under In Elementary the control of the church-and the duties of the state inspectors. Conflicts are by no means rare, especially in Roman Catholic communities; and the Minister is careful to avoid establishing any new precedent in these matters which might give rise to political complications.

In Secondary
Schools.

The secondary schools are more fortunate. Difficulties increase with the number of patrons, but as a rule there is a precise understanding as to the rights of patronage. The enormous growth in the population of German cities since 1870 has rendered necessary the establishment of large numbers of secondary schools. Rivalry between competing cities, or the effort to build up a new suburb, is sure to create a demand for additional school facilities. For example, Berlin had in 1872 a population of 864,300; in 1893, 1,691,702. During these twenty years there was an annual average increase of more than 6,000 in the school population. This necessitated, besides many common schools, the establishment of nineteen higher schools, practically an average of one secondary school a year.1

A dozen instances of phenomenal growth of city population could be cited that would compare favourably with the most phenomenal of our western American towns. I shall men

1 Report of Schul-Deputation of Berlin, April, 1894.

See Shaw, The Government of German Cities, Century Magazine, Vol. xlviii.

tion only one. The census of Magdeburg in 1880 showed a population of 97,500; in 1890 it had increased to 202,234. The area within the city walls became altogether inadequate. As a means of relief the city purchased of the Prussian government the site of the old fortifications, paying almost enough, I have heard, to construct still stronger walls at a greater distance out. The city fathers immediately cut up the newly acquired tract into building lots, which were put on the market. But in order to induce a better class of residents and to enhance the value of the land, a Gymnasium was established in 1886 at city expense. At bottom this was a pure speculation, a land-boom of the most approved type, and but for the rapid increase in the population and wealth of the locality it would have become a serious drain upon the city treasury. The result is, however, that a flourishing town has sprung up and the city has made a fortune in the transaction.

Present

Tendencies.

As a rule cities are disposed to found Gymnasien, rather than Real-schools, because of the higher social standing of the former. The town with many Realschulen, or even many Realgymnasien, is popularly supposed to be an industrial centre; while Gymnasien, on the contrary, invariably bespeak a professional or wealthy class. Often the conflict between city and state waxes warm over the kind of school to be established. The state cannot compel the city to found one school rather than another; in fact, it cannot compel the foundation of any school at all. But if the city proposes a plan counter to the policy of the government, some exceptionally strong support, political, social or religious, will be necessary to avoid the Minister's veto. It is no simple matter for a town nowadays to secure an additional classical school. In the words of the Emperor, the times demand "young Germans, upright, God-fearing and patriotic citizens, instead of young Greeks and Romans."

The relations sustained by the municipality to the state in educational affairs, and the general tendencies of the

« ForrigeFortsæt »