German Higher Schools - The History, Organisation and Methods of Secondary Education in Germany

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Kiefer Press, 2008 - Education - 476 pages
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GERMAN SCHOOLS THE HISTORY, ORGANIZATION AND METHODS of SECONDARY EDUCATION IN GERMANY BY JAMBS E. RUSSELL, PREFACE No apology is necessary, I assume, in presenting to the reading public a book on the secondary schools of Germany. For many years American educators have drawn professional inspiration from German sources, and more recently it has become apparent that German ideas are taking root in British soil. The history, organization and methods of the German elementary schools are generally well understood. We have grown familiar with the German universities and have prof ited not a little from the relationship. But very little has been written in English on the secondary education which is the foundation of the German xtniversity training and the basis of all professional service in the Fatherland. Yet it is precisely in this sphere that German education can be studied to boat advantage, and from it wo have most to learn. The Regents of the University of the State of New York, at Convocation in July, 1893, appointed me their European Commissioner, and shortly afterwards I was made Special Agent of the Bureau of Education of the United States for the study and investigation of German schools. These keys unlocked all doors. During the two years which I spent in Germany I visited more than forty towns and cities in order personally to acquaint myself with school affairs. By force of circumstances my attention was directed chiefly to the schools of central and northern Germany. It happens, there fore, that this study is concerned principally with the schools vi PEEFAOB of Prussia. But as Prussia is the larger part of the Empire both in area and population, and by far the most importantstate politically in the Confederation, it is doing no great in justice to consider German schools from the Prussian stand point. A foreign institution, however simple it appears to the casual observer, presents a wonderful complexity to the stu dent. And the longer ho studies the moro complex it grows. After a six months residence abroad I was more confident of my ability to interpret the German school system thnn I urn now, at the end of almost five years continuous study and investigation. No one of my readers, I am sure, oun bo moro dissatisfied than I am myself with this attempt to portray Gorman ideals and German methods. The subject is too im portant to be lightly treated and too extensive to bo under stood on short acquaintance. I trust, however, that my work may lighten the labours of other students iu this field and prove to be of some practical worth to educators. Sermonizing on the basis of foreign customs is always of doubtful expediency. It is, indeed, questionable whether there is anything peculiar to the German theory and practice of teaching which is directly applicable to British or Amer ican conditions. Each nation must educate itself in its own way and for its own 0,1 uU The chief value of foreign exam ples consists in a rational understanding of the foreign way of adapting means to ends iu the realization of groat idoals. In this work, therefore, I luivo studiouHly resiwtod the temptation to point out the moral of every talo. The intelligent reader is capable of drawing his own conclusions he who reads merely to imitate noods no encouragement. It has been my aim to make each chapter as complete in it- self as possible, oven at the risk of some repetition of important facts, llof orences have boon cited iu foot-notes whorovor it has seemed necessary to refer to original documents or uu PREFAOB vii thorities of consequence. At the end of each chapter I have appended a short bibliographical list, through which students may easily acquaint themselves with the literature of the various topics...

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