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The seatings are not single desks and chairs, but long benches and desks attached. The normal number of pupils to the teacher varies between 70 and 80, and even at that rate the number of buildings and teachers is not sufficient; hence the authorities resort to half-day schools. According to the official report, 2,604,874 out of 4,838,247, or about 54 per cent., are seated in classes of not more than 75 each; while 2,233,373, or about 46 per cent., are seated in overcrowded schoolrooms. The report mentioned states that there are :
Totai, 2,233,373 children in overcrowded soboolrooms.
Apparatus.-Generally the schools are well supplied with all neces. sary apparatus, such as charts, maps, models, simple instruments, objects of patural history, etc. In this respect the schools in Germany are furnished better than the average scbool in America. Many schools have a little museum and library. All of tbis is easily understood if we remember that in Germany teaching is a profession.
Hygienic precautions.—The school authorities insist upon certain precautionary measures, such as vaccination certificates and ovca. sional visits from physicians; the German school, being subject to a centralized government, is more thoroughly precautionary than in this country. In time of epidemics schools are dismissed by the local authorities on short notice.
Course of study.-The course of study in elementary schools embraces religion, reading, writing, arithmetic, geography, singing, drawing, natural history, natural science, history of man. No text-books are used for natural history, natural science, or history of man; this instruction is oral. While in arithmetic, it may be said, the German schools are less proficient than the American, their course of study is more comprehensive than the average American course, and the adrancement made in Germany in nearly all the studies is more rapid than in America. This fact is easily accounted for by (a) the difficult spelling of the English language; (b) the efforts made in learning and applying the tables of our arbi. trary measures and weights; (c) the greater length of school sessions and terms; and (d) the want of a profession of teaching in this country, and consequent lack of proper teaching. These are the most important causes.
Germany is very rich in text-books. In no country is a greater variety of text books published than in Germany, and though this may
seem a disadvantage, its advantages preponderate. It secures greater variety in teaching and a very beneficial and healthy competition among schools and especially teachers. Of course the children of a school and of a community are required to use the same books.
Methods of teaching. It would be utterly impossible without writing a book to make a comprehensive statement concerning the methods of instruction used in Germany. Suffice it to say, there is no undue prominence given to the memory. Very little is learned by heart or by rote. The first object of the teacher is to make his pupils observe things, comprehend facts, and to lead them from stage to stage, so as to keep up an eager interest. Hon. Sainuel Smith, of England, in his report on the German schools says:
I saw no signs of weariness or apathy among either teachers or scholars. The teaching was all viva voce, the teacher always standing beside the black-board and illustrating his subject by object lessons. The instruction was through the eye and hand as well as the ear, and question and answer succeed so sharply as to keep the whole class on the qui vive.
There is absolutely no compulsion in the selection of methods. Every teacher has the greatest possible liberty in the selection of the methods of teaching. No inspector (or superintendent) prescribes methods; all he would dare to do is to suggest improvements here and there. Since the state attends to the professional training of the teachers, it can safely leavę teachers to their own devices, trusting in their professional spirit and ambition.
The branches of study.--Religion : This instruction is nonsectarian in character, but Protestant, Catholic, and Israelites are, as much as possible, taught in separate schools. Where they attend mixed schools they are separated during the lesson in religion. It must be remembered that in Prussia church and state are not separated as in America; hence the prominence given to religious instruction. Bibli. cal history, catechism with Bible verses, memorizing of bymps, essential points of religious ethics and the creed, are what the public schools are required to teach. Language and reading: Familiarity with tbe mother tongue and a limited knowledge of German literature are, broadly speaking, the sum total of attainable results. Penmanship and drawing: As a rule the penmanship of the pupils is commendable. În drawing particularly rapid progress has been made of late. The exercises cbiefly consist of ornamental drawing and form studies. In the higher grades drawing of solids and modelling is practiced. Arithmetic: This study is less extended than in American schools, but very
From statistics of 1880-87: Of 3,063,000 Protestant children 2,919,000 attended exclusively Protestant schools ; 26,000 attended Catholic schools; 118,000 mixed schools.
Of 1,730,000 Catholic children 1,528,000 attended exclusively Catholic schools ; 55,000 attended Protestant schools, and 93,000 mixed schools. There were 13,249 Jewish children in 318 separate schools, which were also attended by 21 Christian children.
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thorough, chiefly mental work being done, and little figuring on slates and paper. Singing: Vocal music is practiced quite early and contin. ued through the entire course. Three and four part music is not infre. quently found in simple village schools. Geography: This is par. sued without a text-book, unless a small atlas may be termed a textbook. This study stands in close relation with history, which branch is begun quite early with home stories and reference to the child's home and environments. All historical knowledge is offered in biographies. Natural history: In form of object lessons natural history is taught without a text-book. The upper grades take up the study of physics and not infrequently also chemistry. These studies are very elemen. tary but are pursued with the aid of simple, and sometimes home-made, apparatus. Gymnastics : Physical exercises are prescribed in the course, and no school is without suitable apparatus for regular exer. cise. Manual training for boys is not prescribed officially, but private efforts in this direction are greatly encouraged and even subsidized by the government. Industrial education for girls consists in knitting, crocheting, embroidering, sewing, darning, catting, fitting, and patch. ing, and is found in every school.
VIII.-GRADING AND EXAMINATION OF PUPILS.
The following is an official statement in regard to the progress mado in Prussia in grading pupils. The 4,874,347 pupils enrolled in people's schools are found in 34,016 schoolhouses with 75,097 schoolrooms.
Within fourteen years from the issue of the decree which organized the schools anew (January, 1872), notable progress, that is to say, a better grading, has taken place. This progress, though slow, is made apparent by the following columns of figures. Among one hundred schools there were:
There were 26,289 schools graded in two divisions in purely rural districts in 1886; there were 1,187 schools of six, and 290 schools of seven
and more grades, making a total of 1,477 fully graded schools; these had 16,140 classrooms. The proportion of rural or ungraded schools and of city or graded schools is :
Per cent. Ungraded schools........
........ 35, 51 Schools with two grades
18.61 Schools in rural districts.
................... 54. 16 City graded schools ........
.................. 45. 85
100 Hence less than one-half of the Prussian children were enrolled in graded schools; about one-third in entirely ungraded schools.
Privy-Councilor Dr. Schneider, director of the Bureau of People's Schools in the Department of Education in Berlin, attached to these official figures the opinion :
It is an undisputed fact that the ungraded schools, manned as they are with welltrained graduates of normal schools, accomplish very satisfactory results. * * Skill, endurance, and professional zeal, and last, but not least, the greater physical" strength of their teachers, are naturally of beneficial influence. It is well to remember, then, that the graded city school is not under all circumstances, and hence should Dot, brevi manu, be considered the better school.
There is less of grading in Prussian schools than is commonly ex. pected, and it is omitted purposely, for it is considered detrimental to have an entire class of pupils sifted by means of examinations till they are to all intents and purposes alike in knowledge and skill. There are always two, if not more, classes in one room. As regards examinations of pupils, much less is done in Germany than in this country; compe. tition is considered demoralizing, and promotions are in many instances determined by the teacher's decision. In Saxony and other states of Germany school examinations are held annually and made public. They really consist in a review of what the class was designed to have gone over during the year. Nowhere, except in the upper grades of high schools, are written examinations held. The decision of the teacher is rarely questioned; being a professional man, he is expected to know his business. It would as little occur to a German to question the official acts of the teacher as to question the judgment of his medical adviser.
Discipline.-Ever since the establishment of schools in Germany discipline has been strict. It is based upon the presumption that rev. erence for elders and obedience to the superiors of the children must be expected, and if wanting must be enforced. There being greater docility on the part of German children, harsh measures are not resorted to as frequently as it is commonly believed. No law exists prohibiting corporal punishment, but it is well understood that extreme cases are met and dealt with severely by the functionaries of the law.
School statistics of Prussia for 1887.
(Latest official report. Total population of the kingdom (census of 1885) 28,318,470).
Kindergarten (prirate)..2 to 6 Unknown Both sexes ......... Unknown
- Boys......2, 440, 094
66, 133 "Calonlated to ple's schools.)
Girls... 1. 253
range between 90 Private .............6 to 14 8,7633 Girls
and 95 per cent of
the number enElementary preparatory Classes of socondary 6 to 10
rolled." Infor. 299, 2803 Girls schools.
by an official in Total elementary............ a5, 182, 390
13, 881 Secondary schools: Of a low grade, simi
.92, 084 lar to American 10 to 17
Girls 111, 226 high schools. Of a high grade,
range between 92
(10 to 18
and 96 per cent. of Boys........153, 602
the number en. universities and
10.433 Normal schools .......... 18 to 21
6951 106 schools for men
10 schools for women Universities............. 18 to 22 13, 852 Men only ....
1,363 No data. Total superior....
22, 945 Special schools..........
Sexes taught in sep
* 18.3 per cent of the population.
01-2 per cent of the population
The people's schools are supplemented in the most ideal manner by a variety of institutions which tend to relieve the schools and make them more effective.
(1) Schools for dullards.-Children who are weak-minded, but not idiots, and who retard the progress of the pupils in the elementary schools, are gathered in special classes, where they are treated with due consideration and educated to become useful members of society. Such schools are found only in industrial centers, however.
(2) Asylums for ragrants.—Poor parents, working in factories, have little chance for watching their children at home; hence Knabenhorte are established, in which the boys spend their unocenpied afternoons and evenings in manual labor, plas, singing, and drawing. The fees ane nominal. These institutions are private, but bare the encouragement of the gorernment.
(3) Continuation schools, which may be either day or evening schools, or, as in some places, Sunday schools. These schools are in fact postgraduate courses, and in many places are obligatory.
(4) The state maintains riform scheuls for boys and girls, asylums for the blind, dear sutes, erpsins, and itivts—and in fact for all of Nature's