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not harvest work and the country vacation necessary to maintain the health * * * ..of the torting goperation, and was it not necessary for a great many to be set ::..: ; bičk-fn their studiès so that they required repeated concessions to maintain their rank and thereby continually lower scholastic standards of their classes? That spirit of voluntary service which at the beginning of the war revealed itself in its fairest aspect has now disappeared. Everywhere we lear lamentations over the increasing distaste shown for military services. Pupils collect articles now for the reward, not from patriotism, and the older pupils have their struggles. Shall they take advantage of the opportunity to leave school with a half-completed education, or shall they avoid placing themselves in a position where they will have to enlist for their country? What an unhappy indecision even for the best of them, those who really think about the matter. Furthermore, in those ranks of society which are less influenced by tradition, discipline, and education, we find increasing violations of the law. At the first this manifested itself merely in an increase of theft. More recently it has taken a decided turn toward personal assaults. It is true, the latter are still negligible in proportion to the total number of juvenile offenses, but they are increasing every year. Already the number of violent crimes committed by youths in the city of Berlin is more than three times the number reported in 1914. Thus, dark shadows are falling over the brilliant picture of 1914. Every disciplinary influence, every effort of the still fundamentally sound German nation must be exerted to oppose this tendency, and to lead the children back to the path of rectitude.
Another picture, but one also indicating the difficulties that attend the conduct of the schools, is given in the Leipziger Volkszeitung for February 8, 1918.
The Saxon minister of education recently drew attention in the Saxon Diet to the injurious effects produced by the war on the elementary schools of the Kingdom. In addition to the shortage of fuel, which last year frequently necessitated the closing of schools, and this year has required the removal and amalgamation of whole schools, the unsatisfactory health of the teachers has had an undesirable effect.
War conditions, according to the minister, have caused great emaciation and premature ageing, and have diminished the capacity for work (alike physical and intellectual) and the sharpness of the senses. This state of things is attributed not only to the food supply situation, but also to the increased difficulty and extent of the professional work falling upon teachers (only 8,965 elementary school teachers were at work in Saxony on 1st of October, 1917, as compared with 14,800 before the war), and to the large amount of auxiliary service imposed upon teachers in connection with war economic measures.
These accounts hardly seem to be in keeping with the eulogies heaped on the German school system during the first two years of the war in the daily press, in professional magazines and by the Government. It was then felt very universally that the elementary school, the training ground of the discipline and physical strength and comprehensive culture that characterize the German soldier, had triumphed signally over the illiterate Russians and Italians, as well as the decadent French and the treacherous English. It was the elementary schools that produced the patriotic, loyal, thorough soldier whom the consciousness of a good cause carried to victory. This unguarded flattery of the elementary schools and their teachers helped somewhat to give a new impetus to a movement to which attention had been redirected just before the war. At an educational conference which met at Kiel in June, 1914, and was attended by representatives of all branches of education, it was urged with much enthusiasm that on the basis of a national common school higher education be made accessible to as many classes in Society as possible so that intelligence might be recruited wherever it was found. Opportunity for ability could best be furnished through the establishment of the Einheitsschule or common school system. The program also included the unification of all branches of the teaching profession with the further implication of a uniform system of training for all and equal access for all to the highest positions in the educational profession. The elimination of social and sectarian distinction is another plank in the platform for educational reorganization. The idea of the Einheitsschule has a long history in Germany; it has always been advocated by the leaders of progressive politics and thoughtful educators. When last agitated in the eighties, Prof. Rein and Mr. J. Tews, now the doyen of the elementary school teachers, were associated with the movement as they now are with its revival. The principle underlying the system of the Einheitsschule is that all children between the ages of 6 and 12 shall have a common educational foundation to be followed by educational opportunities thereafter suited to their abilities. This implies the elimination of the Worschule, or special fee-paying school, which prepares pupils from the age of 6 until their entrance into the secondary school at about the age of 9 and which is a distinctly class school. The further implication of the Einheitsschule is the postponement of the beginning of secondary education to 12, a change that has much to commend it on grounds other than the provision of democratic opportunities, and is at least a better age at which a correct choice of a course and a career can be made than 9." A new stimulus was given to the movement in the early days of the war, when politics was adjourned, when enthusiasm and victory had welded the Nation together as one, and when Hindenburg was claimed to be superior to Hannibal and the captain of the Emden to Leonidas. The commercial and industrial classes had, it was generally felt, proved themselves equal to the demands of the hour. The greatest inability to meet the situation had been shown by the politi
"The present account is based on a study of the movement in the Pädagogische Zeitung 'etween 1914–1916, when direct information ceased to be accessible. A valuable analysis of contemporary educational literature is contained in an article on Lcs Projets de Rotorines Scolaires en Allemagne, in Revue Pédagogique, Vol. 69, pp. 250–267, September, 1916; and Vol. 70, pp. 498–517, May, 1917.
cal and diplomatic leaders who had enjoyed the traditional opportunities for higher education. The demand was at once renewed for the establishment of a common school from which pupils of promise in all classes of society might be recruited to place their intellectual abilities at the service of the state and to furnish an intellectual and spiritual reserve to make up for the physical and intellectual losses incurred during the war. It was no longer a question of providing an easy road (Bahn leicht) for ability but an open road (Bahn frei). The war changed the aspects of the problem; the need of the hour was a German national school with opportunity for all to cooperate in promoting the great aims of the German cultural state. National unity could only be advanced by a national common school, which, according to the progressives, including the Deutsche Lehrerverein and the social democrats, must be established as a free, undenominational and nationally uniform institution placing gifted children of the poorer classes on the same footing for promotion to higher education as the children of the richer classes. Cultural and social equality must be established for the working classes who were anxious to play their proper part in the development of common national aims. They desired not so much to reach the top, but that their abler members should have opportunities opened to them suited to their ability without reference to school privileges and certificates. For the member of the working classes the question is not so much, “How can I raise my son socially through education?” as “How can I secure for my class or rather its abler members appropriate influence in the adminstration of the state and of the community, in industry, commerce, transport, and how can I put an end to the influences of privilege that are socially detrimental?” Selection for educational advantages must in the future be based in the opinion of the advocates of the movement not on privilege but on the common right of all classes. The proposals for the Einheitsschule are well summarized in a resolution passed in June, 1918, by the Association of Prussian Women Teachers, meeting at Hannover: National unity, returning stronger than ever after the war, will demand a unified school system for all Germany. The reco, S. ruction of the whole system will have to be made with a single compulsory elementary school as its foundation. Reasons for this are of different kinds; reasons of social justice, that every gifted child shall be able to advance to a higher education; national and economical reasons, that the state shall be able to make use of all native talent in the most suitable place, and shall be able to economize in the heavy and useless expenses which are incurred by the presence of poorly endowed scholars in the secondary schools. Karl Muthesius, long a leader in educational affairs, is opposed to class barriers and restrictions on intellectual development merely
because of poverty. The elementary school up to 12 must be the
national school offering a common foundation for all; beyond this opportunities must be created for differentiation according to the needs of the individual and of the nation. The common school must be free from clerical control and permitted to be self-directing. He expresses his opposition to the classical tradition in days when German culture is fully developed to furnish a sound basis for education. Prof. Rein, in a work by Fr. Thimme, in which are collected the opinions of leading Germans on the subject under discussion, declares himself most emphatically, as might be expected, in favor of the common school, whose establishment would make a real and effectual contribution to the development of national feeling in the hearts of all children. Such an organization would give inner unity to the whole system of moral culture in Germany. Dr. Kerschensteiner” approaches the whole question of reform from a broader standpoint than any other of its advocates. He not only questions the existing basis and aims of education, but seeks to bring the reform into line with the modern needs of society. The acquisition of knowledge is a secondary and subordinate end; the school's essential task is to make men capable of devotion to the cause of society and of humanity. Character, moral courage, energy, and sense of civic duty are qualities that are more vital than mere information. Contrary to prevailing thought among his countrymen he opposes the theory that the state is a separate entity existing apart from the individuals composing it. He accepts the Roman and Anglo-Saxon view that the state is an association of individuals organized to promote and protect the interests of all. In such a state the free and willing collaboration of citizens should mean the elimination of restraint and coercion. The educational implication, according to Kerschensteiner, is that “it is essential that the school should cease to be the playground of individual ambitions and egoisms, in order that it may become the home of social devotion.” The aim should not be intellectual culture or knowledge for its own sake but training for human intercourse and just action. The sense of civic duty can only be called forth in a state that furnishes scope for the development of personality. “If we wish to realize the true civic spirit, we must subdue the narrow national spirit.” The school must accordingly fulfil a twofold duty—it must take account of individual differences and at the same time keep in the foreground the universal element—practical conduct. Educational reform must start from these premises.
* Thimme, Fr. Wom inneren Frieden des deutschen Volkes. Leipzig, 1916.
* Leutsche Schulerziehung in Krieg und Frieden. Berlin, 1916. Kandel, Jessse D. io-ral Tendencies in German Education. Educational Review, vol. 57, May, 1919. Pp. of f.
The state, says Kerschensteiner, must guarantee the right of every child to an education suited to his ability. He combats all the arguments of opponents of this movement—overcrowding of secondary schools, difficulty of selection, lowering of standards, increase of the intellectual proletariat, and the danger of social conflicts. The Einheitsschule should, therefore, be an educational institution for all up to the age of 22 or 24, with selection all along the line according to individual differences. Unlike Rein, Kerschensteiner does not desire to keep all children together as long as possible but would begin to differentiate as soon as individual bent appears. For such a system flexibility and elasticity are indispensable; bureaucratic control and uniformity are dangerous. Selection might begin at as early an age as nine, when those who show intellectual aptitude may be transferred to secondary schools. For those who remain in the elementary school variety may be afforded by a departmental system. There should be transfers back and forth between schools and departments to give the individual every opportunity for realizing himself.
But whether a child remains in an elementary school or goes on to a secondary or vocational School, the fundamental task of education continues to be the preparation of citizens; the civic spirit must saturate the whole of education; not the emphasis on nationalism or on German language and literature, but the sovereign idea of preparation of all for society, can successfully promote the desired end. Education is a State function, and since the State has claims superior to those of smaller groups and societies, it should have the right to arbitrate and decide between conflicting interests, without, however, ignoring particular characteristics. Centralization that is too strict will stifle local effort and individual initiative; competition and rivalry are essential to life and progress.
Opposition to these claims was immediately aroused and came from the secondary schools, teachers of traditional subjects, school inspectors, administrative officials, and the clerical and conservative elements in politics. The secondary-school teachers in general feared overcrowding of their schools. The specialists were alarmed at the thought of the postponement of the beginning of secondary education from the age of 9 to 12 and the consequent lowering of standards. The inspectors and administrative official produced arguments against a radical change based on considerations of the good of the lower classes; higher education would only lead to unrest and discontent, to dissatisfaction with the social position of parents, and ambitions for higher positions that are limited in number; pupils from poorer homes and humbler environments do not enjoy the same advantages and opportunities that are possessed by the children of the upper classes—a condition that in itself might be fraught with danger consequent on the sudden transfer from a humble to a higher status.