صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني
[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

Religion (not stated) ...........
French (literature, grammar, rhetoric, composition
Latin (literature).....
Greek (literature) ....................
English or German.....
History and geography.....
Arithmetic and mathematics
Physiology and natural history........
Physics and chemistry ....
Penmansbip and drawing ......
Music and gymnastics (pot stated) .........

[ocr errors][merged small]



[ocr errors]













[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]

* Philosophy, logic, ethics, metaphysics. NOTE.-Attention is directed to the total number of hours devoted in French Lycées and in Prussian high schools. If the five to six hours devoted to religion, music, and gymnastics in Prussia be added to the table of French Lycéos the total number of hours spent in school would still be about five hours less than in Prassia.


A cursory review of the foregoing charts and time tables will convince even the most skeptical, that the advancement made in Prussia in the studies of the curriculum is a good deal faster than in America. Several leading college professors and other noted teachers of this coun. try, who have made the European schools a subject of study, claim that the average time gained in German schools as compared with Ameri. can is about three years. That difference ought to be accounted for, and it is easily done. The causes may be enumerated as being (a) the difficult spelling of the English language; (b) the efforts made in learning and applying the tables of our arbitrary measures and weights; (c) the length of the school year; (d) the want of a profession of teachers in this country, and lack of proper teaching. These are not the only causes; there are others of minor importance which might give rise to interesting discussions, but the scope of this work forbids entering into them.

Spelling. The orthography of the English language is most difficult to learn. It is very unruly and arbitrary. The want of rules under which words might be grouped makes the acquirement of correct spelling a case of mere mechanical memory. An hour per day scarcely suffices to make the average child master of the art of writing correctly without constant reference to the dictionary. Spelling, as a daily study, runs through the entire course, and even the graduates of the high school still need constant drill in orthography to keep up a certain standard of perfection. The amount of time a child spends in learning the orthography of the English language is out of all proportion to that given to other studies, though it is necessary; and the energy wasted in acquiring something which does not aid the child intellectually is deplorable. If by general consent of Congress, press, and school, the English orthography were simplified to the degree it has been done in

Germany it would be a saving of an entire year to every school child in this country. From Chart I (see p. 53) it may be seen how comparatively little time is spent in German schools in the study of orthog. raphy, and that it reaches a degree of perfection which is never ex. pected or even hoped for in English or American schools. The time saved in this study is in Germany devoted to history and literature.

Metric system.-Our school children generally spend an entire year in trying to learn and apply tables of measures and weights in arithmetic. The chapter of denominate numbers claims a very large portion of space in our text-books in arithmetic, and its study, like that of orthography, consumes much valuable time that might be profitably employed in natural history and elementary natural science. The child in continental European schools (we must except England, which still clings to the arbitrary measures) has no tables to remember, for he learns the divisions of the metric system, together with notation and enumeration of numbers, during the first two years in school. As soon as he can enumerate and notate between one and one thousand he can measure and weigh according to the metric system. There are only six names of divisions to be remembered : kilo, hecto, deka, and deci, centi, milli, and four measures : metre for distance, are for areas, liter for fluids, and gramme for weights. These ten technical terms are all that are required. If we think of our yard, acre, gallon, bushel, and different pounds, etc., with all their various divisions, and then consider that each of these measures has a different number of divisions, it does not seem improbable that nearly a year's hard study might be removed by adopting the metric system. As our English orthography is a mechanical cause of retarding the children's progress, so are our arbitrary measures. That our pupils are not ad. vanced in their studies as fast as can be done, and is done in Europe, is in a great measure due to these mechanical causes.

The element of time.—The length of the school year in Prussia (and possibly in France) is almost uniformly 104 months or about 250 school days (exclusive of holidays and vacations), while in the United States it varies between 60 and 196 days, with an average of 135 days. This obvious difference alone puts the American school at a disadvantage, but this is not all. . It is not only that in Germany the number of school days is greater, but that the school day is considerably longer than in the United States. It is a simple example of multiplication, to wit:

With us a school day is, at various places and during different seasons, from 5 to 54 hours long, which amounts to 980 to 1,078 hours a year. The German child, on the other hand, has 4 days of 6 to 64 hours each and 2 days of 4 hours each in every week of the school year. Tbis amounts to from 1,323 to 1,406 hours in a year. Or to take average numbers: In the United States the child is under the influence of school during 1,029 hours a year; the German child is under that influence 1,364 hours, or about one-third more than the American cbild.

In the foregoing comparison it should be borne in mind that the reli


gious instruction in German schools commonly consumes from 40 to 60 minutes a day. Hence, leaving this out of consideration, the time remaining for the common branches is about the same in Gerinany as in the United States, though it must be considered that the religious instruction is to a great extent aiding the language work of the school, also the work in history by means of biblical biographies. Besides, German teachers claim that it aids the teacher in maintaining discipline. All this may have some weight when the element of time is considered.

Now this element is not mentioned to show that the schools in this country might be kept open longer, for the time (5 to 51 hours) is, ac cording to the unanimous verdict of all who have observed minutely, the maximum of time children can stand continuous mental exertion under the climatic influences of this country. The temperament of German cbildren and the climate in Germany permit longer school ses. sions. The fact is stated merely as a fact which may not be without weight, when the excellent results of average German schools are considered.

Teaching is a profession.-In Prussia the stability of the teacher's position is a factor which we must consider in our comparison. A person in Prussia, and for that matter everywhere in Germany, must acquire professional training before he is eligible to a position as teacher. This is offered free of charge in every State of Germany. After he has completed his course in the normal school and in the training depart. ment he is elected by a community, but must serve a probationary term of two years. Whether during this time he is a success or not, at the close of the second year he is obliged to present himself to the State (or provincial) board of examiners, consisting of the faculty of the nearest normal school presided over by a privy school councilor, to pass his "review examination.” This examination lasts several days, during which the academic and professional studies are gone over, and model lessons are given without previous special preparation. If the teacher proves that during the two years he has made commendable progress in the scienco and art of teaching, he is granted a diploma for life. Henceforth he is free from all further examinations and can settle down permanently, since his position is not endangered by “political rotation” or other causes except his own errors, such as gross neglect of duty, etc. Besides, he receives a pension after a certain number of years of service.

The fact that there are no persons teaching in Germany who have not had a three years' professional preparation in academic studies and in the science of teaching, in psychology and the history of education, as well as in the practice of teaching, is perhaps the most important factor of the notable success in German schools, and the rapid advancement of the pupils. Concerning the professional preparation of teach. ers in this country, the state of affairs is so well known that it need not be stated.

All the causes mentioned above, and others of less influence, combine in accounting for the excellent results witnessed in German schools. Some of these causes are at work in France also, and will unquestion. ably have the same beneficial result eventually. Germany, it may be asserted, has an educational atmosphere. This is noticeable from such facts as these :

All schools, lower, middle, and highor, stand in close connection with and intimato relation to the management of art academies, art museums, zoological and botanical gardens, the observatory, the libraries, the gymnastic societies, and even the theaters; in fact, with every institution which in some degree may be influential in assisting the work in school.

Plants are ordered for the study of botany at the botanical gardens. Certain hours are fixed at the zoölogical gardens for visits of the classes in zoölogy; admission free. Classes in drawing are taken to the art collections and museums, where the teacher of advanced classes gires a lesson monthly. The libraries are open to pupils on presentation of a membership ticket issued by the rector of the selool. Classes in literature go with their teachers to see classic performances in the theater. The schools having small but valuable collections for the study of natural history, frequently eschange specimens with the curator of the museum, or even make loans. Churches hare their reserred seats for school children ; gardens and parks are open to them; play-grounds are prorided with flower-beds for children, eto. To every department of the curriculum some institution outside of school offers assistance free of charge. All efforts are made to put public instruction on a rational basis and “make education contagious."


JOTE- These wenses are placed in jartapusion to enable amiante comparison

substance of the master in the briefest terms possible.)

They only give the

I. For a Gymnasium.

II. For a Realscaule.

1 BIO -:

Sal history of the (1) Bern. The same as for the stoC!. and especially the Seu Tesismeni; deats of the Gymnasium, ercept that the Catechism, w: Bidie rers's and çaots- New Testament is not read in Greek, that tions in tradit203 , serriegsserience; language 206 being taaght in these the morale festara's of the charch: schools memurag farorise seis rers:

satance with p at neieats of de regards Skairthe Ser Testame% afwel ingedapters are SOTE- Wor's pristed in brackets [] te le relaide erialienti sesiat are uiditass designed to be used with 20 als with easiekte ostales la stelse ite coarse reegse : s es ved she same as actrestats, though the Re :

Resses cadets heita coracoes are taught

[merged small][merged small][graphic][ocr errors][merged small]


I.-- For a Gymnasiun-Continued. I II.-For a Realschule-Continued. works of modern literature, poetry, and prose; memorizing of selected ballads and memory gems; acquaintance with the NOTE.—While this expresses only the forms of poetry and prose; correct use of end in view, it must be remembered that written language for the purpose of ex- | it is in the individual interpretation and pressing one's own thoughts, and in com in the methods of reaching this end in posing essays on subjects lying within which the different schools vary somethe student's own compass of thought and what. experience; simple rhetorical practice and oral discussion of themes after due preparation in writing.

(3) Latin.-Facility in the application (3) Latin.-Knowledge of etymology of etymology and syntax; acquisition of and the fundamental rules of syntax; aca vocabulary sufficient for the compre- quaintance with important roles of proghension of the writings of the classic ody; acquisition of a vocabulary suffiperiod (as far as their contents are not cient to understand the reading matter specifically tochnical), and for the pursuit of each grade; reading of suitable works of professional studies, as well as suffi- of classical literature; easy Latin compocient for the acquisition of modern languages derived from Latin; reading of selected number of noted works of clas. sical literature suitable to the degree of proficiency of the students. This reading, going hand in hand with grammatical NOTE.—The difference between the analysis, should lead both to comprehen- Latin course of the two schools is signifision of the contents and appreciation of caut. the form. Skill in writing Latin within the limits of expressions learned by reading. Compositions should be made with some degreo of ease and without coarso inaccuracies.

(4) Greek.-Facility in the Attic ety: Greek is omitted. mology and acquaintance with that of the epic dialect; knowledge of the fundaInental rules of syntax; acquisition of a sufficient vocabulary; reading of the most noted works in classic literature, poetry and prose, so that an abiding impression is caused of the value of Greek literature and its influence upon the development of the various modern literatures.

(5) French.-Facility in French otymol- | (4) French.-Facility in French etymology and the fundamental rules of syntax; logy and syntax; acquaintance with synoacquirement of a vocabulary which will nyms; acquisition of a vocabulary suffienable the students to understand Frenchcient to understand the works of prose books of not too difficult a style, and abile and poetry selected ;. reading of a numity to speak and write French within the ber of works suitable to each grade; certain limits. No coarse inaccuracies ability to use French in essays on easy should occur in this.

historical subjects without coarse inaccu| racies; practice in the oral use of French

« السابقةمتابعة »