Page images

lower circle of city and country business. There should also be in cach province at least one three-class real school, in which the general branches of the lower school should be carried still farther and special preparation be also given for higher technical studies. Exner more fully developed Feuchtersleben's ideas and adopted the real schools into his “Plan of Organization ” of 1849, not as special schools for mathematics and natural science, but as institutions for a more general education, of which modern language and literature were to be the basis. He divided the school into upper and lower departments, each having three classes, which in the lower or burgher school should also be supplemented by a year's course of practical instruction for those designing to engage immediately in business. There could also exist incomplete burgher schools of two classes, and these, if supplemented by a year of practical instruction, could be established as independent schools. The reorganization of the schools according to these principles commenced in 1850, the two years' course in the fourth high school classes was altered to conform to the two lower classes of the burgher school, either complete or incomplete, and the already existing schools began to be changed to complete real schools. The first new school of the kind was established at Prague, with Czechish as the language of instruction.

But so much doubt existed respecting the possibility of fixing upon the real school the character of an institution for general culture, that a commission was appointed to advise upon the subject, upon whose motion the “Statute" of 1851 was decreed. This statute restored the schools as institutions for special instruction preparatory in part for higher technical studies and in part for certain branches of trade, and made corresponding changes in the course of study. The incomplete two-class burgher schools, formed from the fourth high school classes, still retained their connection with the common school. In 1853 followed regulations for the examination of teachers, and all the relations of the schools were made, with slight modifications, similar to those of the gymnasiums. Through the encouragement and aid rendered by the Emperor, and through the generous contributions and active interest of the communes. the schools were increased between 1851 and 1857 from fourteen institutions with 2,987 pupils to seventeen complete and eight lower real schools with 7, 292 pupils. Besides these there were also established special schools of various kinds in connection with them, such as evening and Sunday schools for apprentices, commercial departments, schools for seamen, &c. Only one complete and one lower real school have been since founded by the State, but the communes have exerted themselves with redoubled zeal as the necessity for the higher education of the producing provinces has become more evident, adding seven complete and six lower real schools and increasing the number of scholars by one-fourth. The real school has met, indeed, with little of the opposition that has been experienced by the gymnasium.

[ocr errors]

A journal had now been established as the organ of the real schools, which immediately opened a vigorous discussion of the question of reform. The establishment of numerous trade and commercial schools had diminished the necessity for making the real school a substitute for such institutions, and the need on the other hand of supplying a means of higher education to the active, producing burgher class and of thus bridging over the chasm that separated them from the classically educated, became constantly more evident and pressing. A closer approach to the gymnasium in grade and organization became the watchword, and as numerous new real schools were projected in 1863 the reform of the plan of study was the more earnestly considered. Tabor and Chrudim took the lead in the endowment of “real gymnasiums," followed by Vienna, Baden, and St. Pölten. No legislative action, however, has been taken, though the Educational Council have expressed an opinion favorable to the prevalent tendency of development, and corresponding changes in the organization of the schools will doubtless soon follow.

2. Present Organization and Condition of the Real Schools. Classification of the Schools. According as the object is simply to give a comparatively complete but still intermediate degree of instruction preparatory to business pursuits, or a more extended course preparatory for the higher technical institutions, the real schools are divided into the lower three-class real school and the complete real school with three additional higher classes. In 1863 there were in Austria twenty-four complete and sixteen lower real schools. Though located chiefly at the capitals or larger cities, the attendance is never local but drawn from all parts of the provinces. All are "public" institutions, i. e. their certificates have full validity throughout the empire, and the larger number (23) are supported wholly or to a great extent by the State and are designated as “imperial royal” institutions. Fourteen are communal schools; two are sustained by endowments; that at Gratz is supported by the province of Styria; and one at Vienna is a private school, organized according to the regulations of the Statute and provided with examined teachers. None are in the hands of the religious orders and the sectarian character is limited to the supervision of the instruction by the bishops and the appointment of none but catholics as directors or regular teachers.

As at the gymnasium, that language is to be used in instruction with which the scholars are most conversant. Still the German is predominant, both because the majority of the schools are located in the German provinces and because in other provinces German is the more or less prevalent language of the business classes. In thirty-one schools it is almost exclusively used; four are Czechish, one Polish, and five Italian. Like the gymnasiums, the real schools are administered by the Ministry of Worship and Instruction, through the provincial authorities. Lower Austria alone has as yet a real school inspector, the duties of the office being performed in Moravia and Silesia by the gymnasial inspector and


in the other provinces by the common school inspector. The Educational Council, attached to the Ministry of Instruction, has a section for “higher technical institutions, real and special schools,” with a single real school teacher among its members.

Teachers. —The grade and relations of the teachers, their appointment and privileges, are essentially the same as at the gymnasiums. The complete real schools should have twelve, and the lower seven regular teach

The total number has increased from fifty-two regular teachers, (including directors and catechists,) twenty-one assistant and sixteen associate teachers in 1851, to 386 regular, 146 assistant, and 114 associate teachers in 1864, of whom but twenty-nine, besides the catechists, were ecclesiastics and only fifteen belonged to the religious orders. Each regular teacher is obligated to from eighteen to twenty hours of instruction per week, the directors, from ten to fourteen. At the State real schools the income of the regular teachers includes a salary of 630 fl. at the lower schools (840 fl. in Vienna,) and at the complete schools of 630 fl. or 840 fl. according to the relative length of service, (1,050 f. and 1,260 fl. in Vienna,) with a decennial increase of 210 A. The director receives 315 fi. in addition. The catechist, if only engaged in religious instruction, has a fixed salary of 630 f., (840 fl. in Vienna.) In 1863 the average salary of the directors in the State schools was 1,068 f., and of the 160 regular teachers, 838 fi., (ran from 525 A. to 1,680 A.) At the several com nal schools the incomes vary greatly, averaging 995 fl. for the directors, and 817 A. for the remaining regular teachers.

Studies. The distribution of the prescribed branches of study through the course varies to a considerable extent in the several schools, few even of the State institutions following exactly the same arrangement. The principles that should be essentially followed were laid down in the Plan of Organization of 1849, the Statute, and the supplementary instructions of the Ministry to the directors, and the course of instruction recommended may be concisely given as follows.

Religion.-- This includes instruction in the several classes, two hours each week, in the catechism, the liturgy, biblical history, doctrinal relig. ion, Christian morals, and church history.

German, or other Language used in instruction.-Four hours in the two lower classes and five in the remainder, given in the lower department to the study of etymology and syntax, exercises in orthography, the repeating of pieces from memory, and written exercises, with the purpose of assuring a correct and ready use, both in speaking and writing, of the language as employed in ordinary life. Instruction is also given in business composition in its various forms. In the upper classes it is the aim to improve the taste and enlarge the circle of thought of the student by instruction in the elements of rhetoric, rhetorical and logical analysis, reading the most prominent authors in the language, translations, and study of the history of the modern literature especially. Where a second provincial language is made obligatory a like course is to be pursued as

far as possible, three or four hours being given to it in the two lower classes, and two or three in the rest.

Geography and History.—Three hours in the lower and four in the higher classes. Especial attention is here given to the relations of geography to trade and commerce, and to the historical development, present condition, and commercial relations of Austria and of the native province.

Mathematics.-Four hours are given in the two lower classes to arithmetic and the simpler elements of algebra, and three hours in the third class to mercantile arithmetic and book-keeping and the principles of exchange and custom duties. Higher algebra, geometry and trigonometry receive nine hours in the fourth, five in the fifth, and two in the sixth class, while descriptive geometry and its application in machinery occupies two hours in the fourth and four in the higher classes.

Natural History.—Two hours in the first three semesters of the lower school and in each of the upper classes are given to zoology, botany and mineralogy in succession, with special reference to such objects as are most frequently met with and of the greatest importance in commerce and the arts, and with a more scientific treatment in the upper classes.

Physics.—Two hours in the first second and fifth classes, and four in the sixth, with instruction in the most important physical laws and their application in the explanation of natural phenomena and in technical operations.

Chemistry.—In the third class (six hours) the instruction extends so far as to explain the principles of its most important applications in the arts, and in the higher classes (two hours) the student is enabled to read chemical works understandingly and to conduct chemical analyses. Organic chemistry is included, and prominence is given throughout to such applications of chemistry as are of especial importance in the respective provinces.

Drawing.-In this prominent branch ten hours are devoted in the two lower classes to geometrical drawing and the relations and laws of geometrical figures, followed in the remaining classes (six hours) by free hand drawing after copies, models, and even from memory, with perspective and the rules of projection and shade, extending to architectural ornamentation and technical designs and, in linear drawing, to plans of machinery and of buildings. In the highest class the instruction is somewhat adapted to the future wants of the several scholars, and modeling may take its place.

Architecture and Machinery.—Four hours are given in the third class to instruction in regard to building materials and the planning of buildings, and two hours in the sixth to the principal motive powers and forms of machinery, their uses, and the advantages and defects of each.

Calligraphy.-Two hours in the four lower classes to German and English running hand and ornamental penmanship.

Practical Course.—The additional year of practical instruction for students who desire farther training without entering the higher department occurs only at the schools at Gumpendorf, Prague, and Pisek. In this course, technology, both mechanical and chemical, is a prominent branch, to which is closely allied a knowledge of commodities, whether raw or manufactured. It also includes mercantile arithmetic and book-keeping in all its branches, business composition and forms, the science of commerce, commercial law and the law of exchange, commercial geography, and drawing

Optional Branches.-Of these the modern languages are most prominent; French is taught at "wenty-five schools, Italian at twenty, and English at seven. Latin has also of late been admitted into the lower classes. Exercises in singing, in which most of the students participate, are held at thirty of the schools and gymnastics have been introduced at nineteen-dancing and instrumental music, each in but a single school. Stenography is taught to pupils of the higher classes in fifteen schools. Instruction in these branches is in some institutions wholly gratuitous, in others the fees vary widely. Classification and other School Regulations.—The same

or similar regulations are in force at the real schools as at the gymnasiums in respect to text books, libraries, cabinets, apparatus, and other means of instruction, the conditions for adınission, admission and tuition fees, vacations, and modes of discipline. The tuition fees at the State institutions vary from ten to twenty florins in each class, and yet more at the other schools. A like semi-annual classification as at the gymnasiums is made of the students according to the notes of the teachers upon their morals, attention, diligence, and progress, and at the close of the year an oral and written examination is made of their fitness for promotion. In drawing all the exercises of the year are taken into account and linear drawing, from its close connection with geometry, has equal weight with other branches. Failure in any single branch necessitates loss of promotion only at the pleasure of the board of teachers. No maturity examination is required. Closing festivities and an annual programme are customary. The admission and examination of rivate pupils are provided for as at the gymnasiums, and there are several private schools at Vienna and Prague whose pupils are enrolled at the public schools and presented there for examination.

Examination ojo Teachers.—Candidates for a regular teachership must have a gymnasial maturity certificate and have spent three years at a university or tochnical institute, except that for descriptive geometry and machinery the certificates of a complete real school are sufficient. The teacherships are divided into the three departments of language, geography and history, and mathematics and natural history, the latter dividing again into mathematics, descriptive geometry and linear drawing, physics and theoretical mechanics, machinery, natural history, and chemistry. The candidates in any division must show on examination a thorough knowledge and capacity in that department, though for teacherships in the lower school those subjects are omitted in the examination which are taught only in the higher classes. Candidates in the language of in


« PreviousContinue »