« PreviousContinue »
individuals aided liberally in forming these classes in other places, and in the endowment of new institutions. Seminaries for the training of teachers were shortly opened at Vienna, Prague, Lemberg, Parvia, and Padua, and considerable appropriations were granted for the aid of aspirants to teacherships. To insure uniformity in carrying out the new system of instruction and an interchange of opinions among the teachers, conferences of directors and teachers in all the provinces were encouraged, and chiefly through the exertions of Bonitz a journal devoted to the interests of the gymnasiums was established.
The new organization did not include instruction in religion. Negotia. tions were entered into by the Minister with the convention of Bishops assembled at Vienna in 1849, and it was agreed that this instruction should be under the direction of the bishops in their respective districts. The old text-books in all branches were at once removed, the bishops discarding also those that had been used in religious instruction, and though the principal dependence was necessarily at first upon books of for. eign production, yet measures were immediately taken for the composition and publication within the Empire of suitable text-books of every grade. Moreover, for the furtherance of gymnasial reform, school statistics were found to be an indispensable need, and were taken in hand simultaneously by the Gymnasial Journal and the statistical bureau.
In 1753, Exner fell a sacrifice to his excessive labors, leaving his work still incomplete. His place was supplied by Kleemann. Increased consistency and completeness were gradually given to the new system by additional enactments, and on the 9th of December, 1854, it was decisively approved. To this were added regulations respecting the official rank of teachers, and in 1856 the final law upon the examination of candidates for teacherships.
There was of course no want of violent opposition to the new order of things. A considerable portion of the clergy and of the higher officials syinpathized with those who favored an exclusively Austrian nationality. Loud complaints were continually arising of the complete supplanting of the old by the new, of a disposition to favor whatever was of foreign origin, and systematic attempts at Germanization, of the overburdening of the pupils, of the neglect of religious instruction, of a deficiency of Latin instruction, and of the severity of the maturity examination. The Ministry of Instruction opposed with determined earnestness the efforts of the national party, and even went so far beyond the early plan of reorganization as to make the German language an obligatory study at all gymnasiums and the prevalent language of instruction except in Lombardy and Venice. But on the other hand the views of the ministry coincided in many respects with the other demands of the opposition, and subsequent enactments indicated a wavering of purpose in regard to the plan of studies and its operation. This attitude of the government towards its own work was not without its influence upon the agents appointed for its execution, and from official circles complaints began to arise of the unsatisfactory results of the system. The seminaries, indeed, were actively engaged in their duties, the Journal ably investigated various important questions, and school literature grew in compass and in depth, but many faults in the carrying out of the system, which in the zeal of earlier years had been overlooked, now excited attention and became an element of strength to the opposition.
In 1857 the Ministry of Instruction published a series of proposed modifications, and required the Gymnasial Journal to open its columns to a discussion of their merits. The proposals, however, as a whole, found but a single defender, the many remaining writers agreeing that the changes in view would prove substantially an overthrow of the existing system, making the lower gymnasium for the most part a mere Latin school, and removing it from its position as preparatory to the higher. thus again •burdening the latter, as the philosophical course had been before, with the whole weight of real instruction, to the certain deterioration of the classical studies. These views were emphatically sustained by other members of the press, and as at the convention of the philologists and schoolmen of Germany, held at Vienna in September, 1858, the weight of their authority was thrown in favor of the existing system and of the assimilation of the Austrian school system to that of Germany, it was continued in operation as before. The only important ordinance of the last year of Thun's ministry, (1859,) again removed from all but the State gymnasiums the prescription of German as the language of instruction in the higher classes.
With the new life that had now been infused into all the relations of the Empire, redoubled activity was shown in multiplying the number of gymnasiums, without aid to any great extent from the State treasury. The number of scholars increased from year to year in all the provinces, notwithstanding the strong feeling in favor of real schools, the increase from 1857 to 1860 being 25 per cent., while that of the population was but 3.3 per cent. The Gymnasial Journal labored on vigorously, and a second journal was established in the interests of the gymnasiums and real schools. The dissolution of the Ministry of Instruction in 1860 was accompanied by rumors of intended changes, which disappeared upon the appointment of Schmerling to the position that had been occupied by Thun. The first session of the representative branch of the government (August, 1861,) brought an unexpected assault from the extreme national party in a motion that the lower gymnasium be changed to a burgher school with class teachers, and a substitution, as far as possible, of the national language for the classical, while the upper gymnasium should be changed to a scientific lyceum, and the maturity examination be abolished. The futility of these changes was conclusively demonstrated by Hochegger and Bonitz, and no action was taken upon the motion by the Reichsrath. The extreme realistic and utilitarian views of the opposition have since
found expression again and again, but with the majority they have met with no sympathy, and when in the autumn or 1863 a strong effort was made for a closer approach of the gymnasium and real school, it was made evident to all that the existing system had become firmly established and was to be sustained—a result which can not fail to favor increased activity and advanced educational development.
II. PRESENT ORGANIZATION OF THE GYMNASIUMS.
Essential Distinctions. — The gymnasiums of Austria are complete or incomplete, the former having all the eight classes of the higher and lower gymnasiums; the latter only the four classes of the lower gymnasium, preparing for the higher gymnasium, but also having a certain degree of completeness and sufficiency in its own course. The number of complete gymnasiums is eighty-of incomplete, twenty-six. These are all "public" institutions, i. e. the certificates granted by them are recognized as legally valid. Such as are sustained exclusively or in a great part from the Educational Fund are known as “State" gymnasiums, and of these there are fifty-eight. Many belong to religious orders and receive nothing, or but small appropriations, from the State. Thus the Pi. arists have sixteen; the Benedictines, nine; the Franciscans, five; the Premonstratensians, three; the Jesuits, three; the Cistercians, two; the Augustinians, two; the Greek-Catholic Basilians, one; and the orthodox Greeks one. The title “Imperial Royal" is borne by nearly all. All also have a confessional character, 103 being Catholic, 1 Evangelical, and 2 orthodox Greek.
As respects the language employed in instruction, the rule prevails that the one with which the students are most familiar, and which is best suited to their general education, shall be employed. Until 1859 the . German was prescribed except in the gymnasiums of Lombardy and Venice, but through the peculiar relations of the Hungarian provinces a change was then induced and this requirement is not adhered to in districts whose population is mostly other than German. The German is exclusively used in Upper and Lower Austria, Salzburg, Styria, Carinthia, Northern Tyrol, Voralburg, and Silesia, and at some gymnasiums in other provinces. Religious instruction may, however, be given in another language to the non-German students, during the whole or a part of the
The gymnasiums of Lombardy and Venice, almost without exception, and some others, make exclusive use of Italian. In a few schools the classes are divided for distinct larguages, and, in fact, much diversity exists in the manner in which the different languages are employed in different branches and different classes.
Supervision and Administration. The State Ministry of Worship and Instruction has the supreme supervision over all the gymnasiums. It grants the right of bestowing certificates, permits the establishment of
new State gymnasiums, appoints the regular teachers and nominates the directors of State gymnasiums, and confirms the directors and teachers in other public institutions. It proposes all legislative measures for the action of the national council and decides in all educational matters relating to several provinces, and upon the more important questions gives regulations for single provinces or gymnasiums. It approves the course of study and rules of discipline of each institution, authorizes text-books, appoints boards for the examination of teachers, and has a voice in the appointment of the educational referees of the provinces. In all matters the State Ministry acts with the advice of the “Council of Education,” whose gymnasial department consists of six members residing in Vienna, (three university professors, a director, and two gymnasial teachers,) to whom are made the reports of the gymnasial inspectors, of the examining boards, and of the Teachers' Seminaries, and who have the initiate in all matters relating to instruction.
Communication between the State Ministry and the gymnasiums is made through the provincial authorities, to whom are committed many matters of minor importance and from whom appeal may be made to the Ministry. The “Educational Referee" of the province is also referee for gymnasial affairs, and with him is associated the “Gymnasial Inspector,” who regularly visits the gymnasiums of his province every year, investigating their condition and aiding their advancement so far as his authority permits. The ecclesiastical authorities have no concern in the administration of the gymnasiums beyond the right of the episcopal commissioner to be present at instruction and at the examinations, and to obtain all desired information from the director. The same is true of the committees appointed by the communities, who serve to make mutually known the wants and wishes of the gymnasiums and the communities in which they are located and to facilitate the cooperation of the gymnasium with private instruction. The immediate administration of the affairs of each gymnasium rests with its board of teachers.
Grades and Duties of Teachers.—The “board of teachers” at any gymnasium includes all engaged in instruction, both teachers and assistants. The "regular teachers" are those that have charge of the obligatory branches, while those engaged in the optional studies are designated as “associate teachers.” The director is chosen from among the regular teachers and continues to take part in instruction, the remainder being in every respect equal in rank. Including the director there are at a complete gymnasium eleven regular teachers, and at a lower gymnasium, five -- beside the catechist, who may also be employed in some of the obligatory branches. Where parallel classes exist, the number of teachers may be increased. All are employed as department teachers, but one is designated for each class by the director as “class teacher," or "ordinarius," to whose special guardianship the class and its interests are committed. He therefore holds occasional conferences with his colleagues upon the arrangement of the studies and upon the progress and behavior of the students, reviews all the written exercises of his class, and is the representative of the students and their parents before the school authorities.
The director is the proper representative of the gymnasium, conducting its correspondence and primarily responsible for the prosperity of the institution, and hence obliged to become intimately familiar with all its exercises and concerns. He presides over the meetings of the teachers, which are held regularly each month and on other occasions as found necessary, and are attended by all the teachers and assistants of the obligatory branches-the latter voting only upon questions relating to their own pupils or subjects of instruction. The associate teachers also attend the meetings for determining the classification of the students and the preparation of the annual report. The director has the right, in pressing cases, of acting upon his own authority and contrary to the decision of the teachers, being responsible to the provincial authorities. He alone decides upon the branches to be taught by the several teachers, though their wishes are consulted and put upon record. A meeting of the teachers is also called by the gymnasial inspector at his annual visit, in pursuance of the duties of his office.
The number of regular teachers has increased from 737 in 1851 to 1,006 in 1863, and the associate teachers from 202 to 273—the assistants fall. ing from 358 to 351. These changes were due chiefly to the establishment of new gymnasiums, the formation of parallel classes, the substitution of regular teachers for assistants, &c. Fifty-nine directors are ecclesiastics, but the appointment of such at gymnasiums not belonging to the religious orders has already become the exception. Two of the complete gymnasiums have three catechists each, and thirty-eight have two. Of the remaining regular teachers, 327 are ecclesiastics—of the assistant teachers, 123—and of the associate teachers, 22. Even the religious gymnasiums are often compelled to employ laymen as assistants, and much more frequently as associate teachers.
Appointment of Teachers ; Salaries and Pensions. The conditions requisite to the attainment of a teachership, are Austrian citizenship, the age of forty years, fitness for teaching in the proposed grade of office, and unimpeachable morals. The first two conditions may be in some cases dispensed with Members of a religious order must have the consent of their superior, and relatives of a director within the third degree of consanguinity cannot be appointed to the same gymnasium. Regular teacherships at a religious gymnasium are filled by the superior of the order, and at other gymnasiums generally by the State Ministry after publication for applicants. The Ministry has also the confirmation of all other appointments, upon nomination through the provincial authorities. The catechists are appointed by the bishop, after examination. Assistant and associate teachers are appointed by the directors and confirmed by the provincial authorities. The appointments of all regular teachers are not made permanent until after three years of probationary service. The