Imagens da página
PDF
ePub

the years from seven to fifteen or sixteen years of age. While many leave at fourteen and immediately after confirmation, to complete the full course in their study-plan requires till the eighteenth year of diligent application. It is mainly from these schools those graduate, who, after finishing the entire course, enter the higher professional and scientific schools, agricultural, commercial, teachers' seminaries, technic, polytechnic, etc., being admirably prepared in these noble schools which correspond to the best English High School, though their study-plan is somewhat more extended, embracing the English and French as well as the Latin languages.

I will give a synopsis of the full course in one of the best schools of this class which I visited, and which probably has few equal to it in Germany, the Frederic William Real School, Berlin, under the direction of Prof. Dr. Ranke, brother of the historian Ranke. There are six hundred and thirty students connected with it, ranging from seven to eighteen years of age. Its study-plan is :

I. In Language. (a) German, reading, spelling, writing, its grammar, history and literature most thoroughly.

(b) French, from the second year and through the entire course. This prominence given the French is due (1) to the systematic construction of the language, thus forming an excellent mental drill for the student, and (2) to the prestige of everything French throughout Continental Europe.

(c) English, from the fourth year through the

course.

(d) Latin, from the first year through the entire

course.

It is thus seen that every graduate from these schools has a very thorough knowledge of four languages, reading, writing and conversing in either with fluency.

II. Mathematics. A thorough course, continuing through the entire eight or ten years and which is quite extended.

III. Geography and History. These branches are usually combined and are taught in an interesting as well as thorough manner through the entire course.

IV. Natural History. Also a thorough and extended course continuing from the first to the year previous to graduating.

V. Physics and Chemistry, during the last three years, with experiments in the laboratory the last year.

VI. Mechanics, the last year.

VII. Drawing, most systematically through the whole eight or ten years.

VIII. Religion, with such attention and thoroughness the first seven years, and till confirmation, that Luther or even Calvin would be perfectly satisfied.

IX. Singing, continued through the entire course.

X. Turning or Gymnastics. These are the variety termed heavy gymnastics, and are continued throughout the whole course.

The pupils have thirty-two recitations of fifty minutes each, each week during the first school year

during the second year thirty-three recitations per week, the third thirty-four, during the fourth thirtytwo, and during all the remaining years thirty-two, until the last year, thirty-four.

In the Real School in Newstadt, Dresden, the number of recitations somewhat exceed the above, and generally they equal it. Thus can be seen the amazing amount of labor required of the students in these schools; nor are any pupils excused from the full number prescribed in the study-plan.

I must not omit the Höheren Burger Schule of Nassau and the Gewerbe Schule of Prussia and Saxony, also called Real School, second degree. These are nearly identical in their study-plan, which differs from that of the Real School proper, in omitting the Latin entirely and giving greater attention to the modern languages, French and English and to those branches relating to practical life. These schools are exceedingly popular and successful, being demanded, as with us, by those who do not value drill in Latin as important in preparation for the duties of an unprofessional life; but as the study-plan in these schools differs from that of the one described, only in the above particulars, it is unnecessary to give it here. In the schools of this type which I visited in Berlin and Wiesbaden, their appearance impressed me very agreeably. They seemed more intellectually active than any similar class of schools I visited. It had struck me in visiting the Real Schools of the old type, that the pupils were studying Latin with heart and head reluctant.

GYMNASIUMS

rank as highest of all secondary schools in Germany. It is from these that students graduate to enter the Universities, and they correspond very nearly to our best Latin schools and colleges combined, receiving lads at seven and graduating them at eighteen years of age, and most remarkable schools these are. I will not give the extended study-plans.

From that of the Vitzthume Gymnasium of Dresden, probably the most renowned institution of this class in Germany, and justly; from its study-plan it is shown that the number of recitations each week varies with the different years, from twenty-five to thirty-two exclusive of singing and turning.

The course of study in these Gymnasiums is of the most thorough and broad character, demanding the utmost devotion of their students during the entire course of eleven years, and graduating them with a more thorough and comprehensive knowledge of the classics than is often found in the graduates of our best colleges in the United States.

The above named schools are all, in effect, that are embraced in the justly celebrated system of public instruction for boys in Germany.

It has seemed to me that in no department of school training and culture, can we of the United States derive so great advantage from Germany, as by transplanting the wonderfully true and beautiful system of Fröebel's Kinder-garten, — conceived, wrought out and put in practice by the consummate genius of Fröebel and transferred to the written page by his pupil and kindred spirit, the highly accomplished and nobly self-sacrificing Frau Von Marenholtz-Bulow. This system is very little known, even by educators, in this country, else there would be less of that vague talk concerning it, when forming a topic of discussion. A professional gentleman of Massachusetts returning from Europe, remarked“I have visited the Kinder-gardens of Germany, and in not one of them did I find a garden which compared with hundreds I have seen in this country!”

Fortunately, through the learning, the ability, and devotion of Elizabeth Peabody whom we are all proud to claim as our country-woman, this beautiful system has been presented and interpreted to us.

I am informed that an accomplished and successful “ Kinder-garterin,” the late chief teacher in Frau Fröebel's Kinder-garten in Hamburg,- Fraülein Marie Bölte, has been engaged through the efforts of Miss Peabody, to open a Kinder-garten in New York this autumn.

I predict that the time is near when the name of Elizabeth Peabody will be honored as few other American educators, and chiefly for her able and disinterested efforts in behalf of this system, destined to do so much for the happiness and right development of children during the three or four years previous to the ordinary school age.

It is not an invention, hence imperfect, but a discovery of God's truth as relating to his children's development, and as such is perfect, and not sus

« AnteriorContinuar »