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and other climes, content to borrow from their treasures, and to be guided by their labours.
If this is the age of revolution, we hope it will also prove the age of improvement and reform. While the attention of man is occupied in discussing the principles, the operations, and the results of all systems, we trust that those, which, like education, affect the welfare of the human family, will not be disregarded, but that our speculative inquiries will lead to prompt and efficient action.
Under these impressions we feel always solicitous to examine the arrangements of foreign schools, their modes and processes of instruction, that comparing the opinions and practices of distant and different nations, we may profit by their experience, and incorporate into our own plans all that is excellent and successful in theirs. Of all the nations of the globe, Germany may, at present, be considered as the one where education is most varied, most extensive, most profound; where most means have been prepared for the communication of knowledge, and most care taken that those means shall be skilfully applied; where the “materiel" of learning has been most abundantly provided, and the master-workmen who are to employ these implements, are, themselves, most thoroughly instructed, and cautiously selected. We, therefore, feel gratified with the opportunity of presenting, to our readers, a fair view of the system of education as now pursued in Germany, exhibiting its merits and defects, and enabling us to compare, on this subject, the state, condition and opinions of that country with those of our own. If this comparison should show great deficiencies in our methods the patriotism of our countrymen will, we trust, induce them to apply such remedies as are within their power.
The works which we have prefixed to this article are the latest that we have seen, which treat of this subject, and one of them, at least, deserves a careful perusa).
Mr. Russell, who visited Germany in 1820–1821-1822, appears to have carried with him all the prejudices of his countrymen. He views every thing with the supercilious feelings of an Englishman. No fault escapes him. The errors which he perceives, or thinks he perceives in the systems of that country, are all detailed and exaggerated—the good only remains unnoticed. While the quarrels and the riots of the students occupy very many of his pages, their zeal, their literary enthusiasm, their wonderful acquirements are passed over in silence. When obliged to acknowledge the attainments of the professors, he accompanies it with a sarcasm on the dull, plodding character of the nation, and ascribes to them no other merit than patient industry-a merit, let us add, however, in human affairs, of the very highest possible value. We shrewdly suspect, indeed, that Mr. Russell is not a scholar, and has, therefore, exhibited in detail only that portion of scholastic life which he could readily comprehend.
Mr. Dwight, the son of one of our most distinguished teachers of youth, himself a literary man, passed a part of the years 1825 and 1826 in examining the schools and universities of the north of Germany, and making himself acquainted with the state of literature in that interesting portion of Europe. The information he has obtained on these points he has presented fully and fairly in the work before us, and we shall follow his footsteps over this interesting soil with pleasure.
It is unnecessary, we suspect, to premise that the system of education in Germany is a most laborious one. The learned men of that country have discovered no royal road to knowledge. The great attaininents of its distinguished scholars have not been acquired, as, in the United States, wisdom is frequently supposed to come-by intuition. They are the results of patient, assiduous, unwearied toil. The example of such men and such institutions is worthy of all praise; and the people of the United States, who---relieved by their power and the freedom of their institutions, both civil and religious, from the necessity of bending to any political creed or combination-stand like the Eclectics among the ancient philosophers, should borrow and adopt from them, as well as from every other nation, whatever may merit approbation, discarding the dross and errors and abuses of antiquated habits and opinions.
It is not the least remarkable fact, connected with Germany and its literary establishments, in contradiction to much of the cant that is so fashionable in our day and land, that the monarchs of that country, even in those states where the government is most despotic, have been distinguished for their exertions in behalf of education and of literature. The rulers of Prussia, Saxony, Saxe Weimar, Hanover in the north of Germany; of Bavaria, Wirtemberg, Baden in the South, have endowed most liberally, the schools and universities in their respective dominions. Those who consider themselves not amenable to public opinion, who hold rank and power, in their own view, by hereditary and' divine right, have yet done more to correct and enlighten public opinion, than the people or statesmen of countries where the popular will is all powerful, and the intelligence of the people essential to the welfare and even safety of society. Monarchs, on this theme, may put Republicans to shame, and the citizens of the United States, whose wealth seems so exhaustless, when canals or rail roads, or steam-boats, or internal improvements, as they are technically termed, are brought to their view, are only poor when called upon to support the first of all internal improvements, that which affects, not, perhaps, the pecuniary resources, but the rank, the character, the
reputation of their country, nay, even the stability and duration of their civil institutions.
Mr. Dwight gives due praise and credit to the German gove ernments, and particularly to the Prussian, for its unremitted attention to public improvement; but while, on the score of politics, his sentiments are liberal, on another point his charity often fails. He is perpetually calling to the notice of his readers, the wide difference between Protestant and Catholic Germany, between the enterprize, the intelligence, the radiant brightness of the one race, and the gloom and bigotry and despondence of the other. No one is disposed to pay a higher tribute to the merit of the great reformers than ourselves, or to attach greater inportance to the events which unshackled the human mind from the bondage which ages of domination and terror had imposed upon it, and restored to man that freedom of opinion and discussion by which alone truth can be developed and established. Yet it cannot be denied, neither ought it to be dissembled, that before the reformation was commenced, the dawn of a brighter day had been ushered in by the Catholics themselves. The revival of learning as it is termed, the improvements in pa- ' vigation and in many of the arts, and, above all, the art of printing, the great moral power which now guides or controls the world, preceded the age of Luther, and furnished him and his coadjutors with the means and instruments with which they alternately assailed, or defended themselves, against their adversaries. The thirst of knowledge, the spirit of research, were awakened from a long slumber, and mankind, in some measure, prepared by cowled and cloistered churchmen for the bold opinions which were soon to convulse all civilized nations. These opinions had been formed and expressed, even as early as the revival of letters, with a license scarcely ever surpassed. The indignant denunciations of Dante, the ridicule and pleasantry of Boccacio and Chaucer, the more reserved and elegant censures of Petrarch had been alike directed against the corruptions of the church and the loose lives and evil examples of its ministers. It is not to the particular dogmas of Luther, of Zuinglius, or of Calvin, that the world is essentially 'indebted; for if we except the great rock of offence, the government of the church, the Protestants still agree with the CathoVOL. IV.-N0. 7.
lics in the fundamental articles of Christianity ; it is not that man has been delivered from the persecuting spirit of one churchfor in England, Holland, Scotland, America, and in other countries, Protestants have shewn themselves as much disposed, where they possessed undivided and undisputed power, to bind the human will to forms and ceremonies and creeds as their sworn foe the Catholics—but it is to the freedom of research, to the unrestrained liberty of opinion that inevitably, even if they undesignedly sprung from the great principles of the reformation that the world has been indebted for its highest improvements. In this progressive amelioration, we rejoice to say that Catholics have vied with Protestants, that each can hold forth names pure in character, holy in religion, illustrious in letters, wbom the world would blush to dishonour. If in some countries a bigotted priesthood and bigotted government have opposed themselves to, and retarded all beneficial reforms, yet Catholic France may be opposed to Protestant England; and, even in Germany itself, the improvements in Bavaria, which, by the bye, Mr. Dwight did not visit, may vie with those of Prussia, or of the other Protestant principalities. Neither should it be forgotten that Saxony, the very flower and pride of the Teutonic family, has been governed for more than a century by Catholic sovereigns, and although the majority of the Saxons are Protestants, yet, if Catholicism were essentially hostile to improvement, every one must perceive how in that time, a succession of unrestricted monarchs might have blighted every hope and promise of national prosperity and glory. If Austria, the present bye-word and scorn of the northern Germans, is comparatively unenlightened, if her good sovereign could very honestly declare, as he did at Laybach to some of the savans who came to pay him the tribute of their respect, " that it was not learned men, but good, (that is, we presume, obedient) subjects that he wanted in his dominions," it should, at the same time, be remembered, that Vienna contains many distinguished literary men, and that the two Universities of Vienna and Prague stand in respect to the number of instructors and of pupils in the very first rank amidst the institutions of Germany.
We have glanced at these topics because they are frequently alluded to in the work immediately before us, and have a strong connexion with the state of German literature. If the discussions to which we are now approaching shall not occupy too much space, we may revert to them again before we close this article.
We feel somewhat at a loss in condensing the facts and observations scattered through the letters which compose this volume. It would, in some respects, be more satisfactory to begin with the Universities as the oldest establishments, and the source from which most of the literary improvements of the country have been derived, but the most simple, perhaps, ultimately, the most distinct view will be obtained by presenting first a sketch of the primary schools, and then ascending through the Gymnasia to the Universities.
As the primary schools are established by the government, and in a great degree superintended by its agents, their arrangements, as might be expected, differ in each state. We therefore, will notice only those of Prussia, to communicate some idea of the general system, and the care with which, in that country, tutors are trained for the due performance of their ordinary duties.
“ The elementary schools of Prussia are entirely under the direction of the government. No one is allowed to act as an instructor in them, without a previous examination, and a written permission from the committee of examination. At the present time there are more than twenty thousand of these schools in the kingdom, of which seventeen thousand are in the villages, and the remainder in the towns. For the preparatory education of these instructors, one or more seminaries are established in every province, and are supported by the government. The object in forming these institutions, was to introduce a uniform system of instruction throughout the kingdomn, as well as to prevent any person who was not qualified, from attempting to teach the peasantry. To these seminaries all those who wish to become instructors in the elementary schools are required to repair, where they are taught every thing necessary for their future station. Here they remain from two to three years, the time being regulated by their capacity, and their qualifications at the period when they commenced their course. They study at these seminaries, geography, arithmetic, the German language, and the Bible. Here also they are taught the best modes of educating and of governing children, as well as the subjects they are to teach. After they have finished their course at the seminaries, they are examined, and if found qualified, they receive a certificate to this effect. This paper, with a certificate of their baptism and moral character, which is signed by the pastor of the church they formerly attended, is presented to the government, or its agents, who immediately enter their names on the list of instructors. By the establishment of these institutions, a uniform mode of instruction has been introduced throughout Prussia.
“It is as necessary to educate an individual who designs to instruct others, as to educate a professor for his chair, or a general or commodore for military or naval command. Without such preparation, the instructor will be almost as unqualified to communicate knowledge, as a corporal would be to lead a division into action. In many of our states, we have large funds, the interest of which is appropriated to the maintenance of elementary schools. In Connecticut, this fund will soon be more than sufficient to provide the necessary means of instruction for all the youth of the state. Were the surplus to be applied to the support of a seminary