Billeder på siden

who can be at once a specialist and a successful all-round teacher, according to these later-day notions. Indeed, the first requirement of the aspirant for tutorial honours in the mothertongue is not that he shall be a specialist, but a form-master. The Berlin conference recognized this fact, and gave it the prominence it deserves. But, with all deference to the superior learning and skill of German school-masters, I am of the opinion that the conditions of highest success in teaching the mother-tongue will be met quite as readily on American soil as in the fatherland. American teachers are to-day perhaps no nearer being form-masters than are German teachers, but a generation at least of gymnasial specialists must pass away before the spirit of the new program will find expression in true heart service.

The key of the situation is admirably put in the closing paragraph of the official instructions accompanying the Prussian syllabus: "The instruction in German, joined with that in religion and history, is ethically the most important in the organism of our schools. Its tasks are extraordinarily difficult, and can be fully discharged only by that teacher who-supported by a thorough understanding of our language and its history, upheld by an enthusiasm for the treasures of our literature and dominated by a deep sense of patriotism-knows how to enkindle the susceptible hearts of our youth with a passion for the German language, the German life and the German spirit."

GENERAL REFERENCES -Hiecke, Der deutsche Unterricht auf deutschen Gymnasien, Berlin, 1852; Laas, Der deutsche Aufsatz in der oberen Gymnasialklassen, Berlin, 1877; Laas, Der deutsche Unterricht auf den höheren Lehranstalten, Berlin, 1872; Hildebrand, Der deutsche Sprachunterricht in der Schule, Leipsic, 1887; Müller, Quellenschriften des deutschsprachlichen Unterrichts, Gotha, 1882; Kern, Zur Methodik des deutschen Unterrichts, 1883; Völcker, Aufgaben des zu verstärkenden deutschen Unterrichts, Schönebeck, 1892; Nagel, Der deutsche Unterricht in den unteren Klassen der höh. Bürgerschulen, Berlin, 1892; Schmidt, Der deutsche Unterricht in der Obersecunda, Borna, 1892; Müller, Der deutsche Unterricht auf Realschulen, Emden, 1892; Hand-Books of Baumeister and Wychgram; Encyclopedias of Schmid and Rein.



Centre of

"THE classical literature is, and will continue to be, the source of all our culture. It must remain, therefore, not only an indispensable, but by far the most im- · portant, study in our higher schools." This thought, expressed a century ago by Frederick Gedike, the first Oberschulrat of Prussia, has been the guiding principle of the Gymnasien to the present time. Through Winckelmann, Lessing, Herder, Goethe and Schiller the German mind was made ready for humanistic training. The ideals of the new humanism were embodied by Frederick August Wolf in his Science of Archæology—a science which included not only the classical languages and lite1 atures, but all that was concerned in the civilizations of Greece and Rome. Its highest aim was "the knowledge of the classical humanity itself." In Wolf's Seminar in Halle the men were trained "who, in the higher schools, universities and educational council of a great part of Germany and of Switzerland, exerted an unparalleled influence upon the subsequent development of the higher culture."

Greek at First


The influence of Wolf and his school, powerful as it was, was insufficient to preserve the spirit of the new movement from violence at the hands of those who were determined to nationalize the school system, and make a knowledge of Greek and Latin the condition of admission to the learned professions and to all positions of honour in the civil service. That classical study should serve other ends than those of pure culture was a

proposition abhorrent to the new humanists. Gesner, the founder of the movement at Göttingen, considered Latin and Greek quite unnecessary for the ordinary trades and professions and for civil and military service. Gedike based his hopes of true educational reform on the conversion of all socalled Latin schools in the smaller cities into genuine Realschulen, and the reception into the Gymnasien only of such pupils as were destined to become learned men. Even Wolf held that the classics were valuable only to the learned; Latin should not be required of candidates in medicine, and Greek should be obligatory only for gymnasial teachers and students of theology.

The place of the ancient languages in the curriculum of the German schools during the greater part of this century has been determined by the shifting of opinAims of Classical ions between these two extremes-between that Study. view which makes the study of the classics purely a formal discipline, and that other view which bases the worth of such study on the acquisition of humanistic culture, on contact with "the best thoughts of the best men of antiquity." In the one case it is considered of equal value as a means of preparation for all trades and professions dependent on intellectual acumen; in the other case it is of worth only for those who can practically apply the technical knowledge thereby acquired, or who may have sufficient leisure to enjoy its æsthetic qualities. It is a question of making the ancient literature a means to an end or an end in itself.

Reforms of this

With the introduction of the state system of education the courses of study of all schools fitting for the universities became practically uniform. The reforms were carried out by men friendly to the humanistic party, but they encountered strong opposition. Not only were a majority of the classical teachers unable or unwilling to follow the new ideals, but a considerable party in the state was barbarous enough to think that what the nation most needed was an education capable of producing more patriotic citizens. The Napoleonic wars were a rude shock to

[ocr errors]

Lehrplan of 1816.

Goethe's universal Humanitätsideal, and gave decided impetus to all reactionary influence. The gymnasial program of 1816 put much emphasis on mathematics to the disadvantage of Latin, which was reduced to 76 week-hours in a ten years' course, and made Greek obligatory with 50 week-hours. After the entrance of Johannes Schulze into the Education Department in 1818, Latin was again gradually advanced to first place. A plan of supplementary reading followed in the Gymnasium of Dantzic was officially recommended to all directors, the time of mathematics being soon afterward reduced a half in order to make it possible. In this way the schools were able to read the following works: "The entire Iliad and Odyssey, several dramas of Eschylus, Sophocles and Euripides, four books of Herodotus, two books of Thucydides, the Anabasis, several of Plutarch's Lives, Demosthenes' Oration on the Crown, Plato's Phado, all of Vergil except the Georgics, Horace complete, Ovid's Metamorphoses complete and selections from other poets, Cæsar's Gallic War and Civil War complete, five or six books of Livy, all of Sallust, Tacitus' Annals, many of Cicero's Orations and de amicitia, de senectute, de officiis, de divinatione and de natura deorum." The speaking of Latin, which was in common use in the schools at the beginning of the century, gradually fell into disuse. In 1834, however, it was ordered that the final examination in Latin should be conducted in Latin.

Lehrplan of 1837.


In response to a popular demand that the gymnasial requirements should be reduced, a new program was announced in 1837, according to which the seven lower classes had each 10 hours of Latin a week and the two upper classes 8 each-total, 86 week-hours. was taught during seven years 6 hours a week. Pupils were not admitted to the Gymnasien until ten years of age. The prescribed number of weekly lessons-in all, 32—was under no condition to be increased, and compulsory private reading was abolished. The program of 1856 emphasized still more strongly the formal side of classical training. Four to six

Latin essays were required each semester. Greek prose composition was included in the final examination. The oral test in both Greek and Latin was to be conducted in Latin. German literature, French, natural science and philosophy were omitted entirely from the final examination. Until the founding of the German Empire Latin was the main part of the gymnasial course; everything was subsidiary to the classics. The aim was to afford a formal training without any regard whatsoever to the pupil's future position in life. A thorough knowledge of Latin, ability to read, write and speak it with ease, was the one thing necessary.

Lehrplan of 1882.

In the 70's forces which had long been dormant or held in check began to be felt. The needs of a great nation made new demands on the educational system. Baden and Hesse were the first to respond by giving more time to science, mathematics, German and French, at the expense of the classics. The literature was made the central point of the work in Greek and Latin. The Prussian program of 1882 reduced the week-hours of Latin from 86 to 77, and postponed the beginning of Greek to Untertertia with a total of 40 week-hours. The literature was mildly emphasized, but much stress was still put upon the writing of correct Latin. The formal educational value of Latin was specially recognised in the transformation of certain Real-schools into Realgymnasien, i.e., Gymnasien without Greek. During the succeeding decade two important tendencies became more strongly developed: (1) the modern side of education was evidently growing in public favour, stimulated by rapidly increasing industrial needs; and (2) in the reaction against formalism in the teaching of the classics, the revival of new humanistic ideals was becoming more apparent. The reforms of 1892 were, indeed, radical. Emphasis was placed upon the need of a national education Lehrplan of 1892. in practical lines, as distinguished from the theoretical training of the mental faculties. A patriotic citizenship became the chief end of all school work. Vigour of mind and right conduct are conditioned by health of body;

« ForrigeFortsæt »