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Education in Prussia.
Is it always given for good scholarship, or is it sometimes applied to good conduct?
What punishments do you use?
Does the punishment, especially the corporal punishment, always follow immediately upon the commission of the crime, or is it sometimes found useful to defer it?
What forms of corporal punishment seem to have t'.e mos salutary moral tendency?
In all your stories, lessons, inferences, precepts, examples, rewards and punishments, do you endeavor to consult the highest good of the pupil, both here and hereafter?
Do you suppose that which injures the mind or body, injures also his soul, and vice versa? That in this respect, if one of the members suffer, all the members suffer with it?
Is it therefore your untiring effort, as a teacher, to form whole beings, rather than mere fragments of beings?
And do you then consider, finally, that the formation of MORAL CHARACTER, in its largest sense, should be the grand end and aim of all instruction and education?
DR JULIUS ON THE SCHOOLS OF PRUSSIA.
Much has been said recently of the state of education in Prussia. Prof. Stowe of Lane Seminary, Ohio, has recently furnished us with the following condensed, but most interesting statements on this subject, made by Dr Nicholas Henry Julius, during an examination before the Education Committee of the British House of Commons, July 7, 1834, the Earl of Kerry in the Chair. The character of Dr Julius is well known in this country ; and what he says in regard to the Prussian schools, may be regarded as of the most undoubted authority.
British un examinatibject, madeondensed, but has recently rus
Are you a native of Prussia ?
Have you been in the habit of making inquiries respecting the state of Education in Prussia ?
I conducted a Journal partly devoted to popular Education, a great portion of it filled by official documents furnished me by
the Ministry of Instruction, presided over by Baron Altonstein, and consequently I am well aware of what is going on in this branch in Prussia. The whole Journal was conducted under the patronage of the Prussian Government, which took a number of copies and distributed them among the Regencies and Schools throughout the country,
Have you been in the habit of visiting the Schools yourself?
Are the inhabitants of Prussia very much divided in their religion?
Yes. In the Rhenish Provinces, in Westphalia, in Silesia, the number of Protestants and Catholics is nearly equal. But in the whole Kingdom, the proportion is eight Protestants to five Catholics.
Do the latest returns indicate a state of continual prosperity in the Schools ?
Yes, a continued increase of the number of Schools, of the number of Seminaries for Teachers, and the number of pupils.
Can you state to the committee the expense of the primary schools to the Government?
The general expense of the whole education is not less than three hundred thousand pounds sterling, and makes more than a twenty fifth part of the whole expenditures of the Monarchy.
That is exclusive of the expense borne by the different communes?
Yes—which is probably three or four times as much more. Does this include the Universities?
Yes-it does; I am not able to separate that from elementary instruction.
What is the salary of a schoolmaster in a common elementary school in Prussia ?
Many have not more than ten pounds (sterling) a year, and some have thirty; and in Berlin it may amount to sixty pounds.
Does that include the house?
If there is not any land when commons are divided, there must be set apart so much land as would be necessary for feeding a cow, and for growing such vegetables as the family of the schoolmaster shall require. Sometimes he gets also a certain quantity of potatoes, hay, corn, or fuel.
How much should you think, in an agricultural district, he would require to make him comfortable ?
His Character and Rank. At least fourteen pounds. What would be the salary of a clergyman in such a district ? From twenty to thirty pounds.
We have a number of schools in Prussia erected by voluntary subscription, for criminal boys and girls, and for the offspring of convicts and vagrants. There are at present twentyseven such institutions. In Eastern Prussia, one of the poorest of th: Provinces, there are small towns of 2,500 or 3000 inhabitants, which have erected such schools for 6 or 12 children. It would be impossible to collect money enough to keep them in a separate house. Some half dozen or a dozen christian, moral and religious families are sought out, mostly schoolmasters, mechan'ics and fariners, and in each one of these, one of the criminal children is placed. There they attend the public schools ; on Sundays they attend the church service, after which they are catechized, the religious instruction of the whole week is repeated, and those parts of their education that have been neglected, are gone through with. The whole expense of each child in such a family is not more than two pounds per annum.
Are the elementary schoolmasters for the most part competent to teach the schools well ?
Certainly they are ; they are all examined, severely examined; there is no one appointed without it.
How long does a schoolmaster intended for one of these poorer districts, stay in the Seminary for Teachers ?
Three years is the usual course.
Would a master so qualified be content with ten pounds a year?
Yes. In some parts they cannot get more.
Do those masters never attempt to increase their income by doing anything on their own account?
They have no time to do that, except to take care of their little garden.
Do they not sometimes abandon the profession in consequence of their being so very ill paid ?
It is sometimes the case, but rarely. They are mostly educated at the expense of the Government, and have opportunity of being promoted to other schools furnishing better einolument.
Does the schoolmaster associate with the clergyman, on the footing of equality ?
Not entirely on an equality, for the clergyman has always the superintendence of the school.
Does the schoolmaster expect to be a clergyman ?
What is the general age that a pupil at a semii ary begins to be appointed to a school ?
Effects of Instruction.
From twenty to twentythree.
What is the annual expense which each individual costs to the government ?
I should think about nine or ten pounds annually.
During the time they are in the school they are entirely; and afterwards if unemployed, they are obliged to serve only one year in the army, and not three years, as others do.
From what class do the country schoolmasters principally come ?
Most of the country schoolmasters are the sons of farmers and organists, or those who despair of, or who want the means of studying long enough to get an appointment as clergymen ?
You said one of the motives of the schoolmaster, in addition to the salary received, was the wish to do good. They must generally then be persons of a religious turn of mind ?
The whole teaching of the Seminaries is directed to instil into them a deep feeling of Religion.
How long has this system been established ?
An excellent one. To give a very short account of the good effect of this general instruction, I can present the committee with the number of young criminal delinquents during different years. In the year 1828, the proportion was one to 16,921 inhabitants. In 1829, it was one to 21,524 ; diminishing, therefore. What is the age to which the youths are taken ? Till sixteen years.
You cannot state the proportion before this system came into operation ?
No-nobody knows. This was the first year when the Minister of Public Instruction gave directions to make lists of the juvenile delinquents.
Have you ever found any person enlisted in the army, or coming before the government in any way, not able to read or write ?
It is very rarely the case, since the new system has been introduced.
Has the Prussian Government introduced schools into Posen and the Polish Provinces ?
Yes, both. It is the law that when the language is other than German, both languages are taught.
Has the effect on the Polish population been evident ?
Punishments and Penalties.
There are two or three sources of improvement of Polish population. The first is the training of children in schools, which was never done before. The second is the three years service in the army. We have regimental schools - schools for soldiers and non-commissioned officers, and the officers before being promoted are examined. The Polanders come into the army very uncouth—but they return very nice young men. They give the example, usually marrying after their return, and are of great use to their neighbors. The third source of improvement is the taking away of the immense number of manual taxes, which existed in Poland.
What is the penalty on parents for not sending their children to school?
To pay a fine, or they are sent to prison.
Would the parent be liable to a fine unless it could be shown he had not sent his child ?
Does the same law exist in the manufacturing districts of Prussia ?
Yes. But then the proprietors of the manufactories must send them to the evening schools, and some of them have established at their own expense, schools for the children.
The law then is modified to suit the peculiar circumstances of those districts ?
There is an indulgence given to the manufacturing districts.
Is it found that a child can attend school, and also work in a manufactory, at the same time-in the same day for instance ?
It has been found that it is not always the case. We had in Berlin, evening schools for such children. Those were afterwards changed to morning schools, because it was found that the children were too weak and too drowsy to give attention to what they were taught in the evening.
How many hours a day is the child, who is put to this employment in the manufactory, expected to stay at the school?
Two hours at least- and besides that on Sunday.
Do the clergymen, both Catholic and Protestant, take great pains to see that the children attend school ?
Do you know any instance in which a difficulty has arisen on account of the religious belief of the different parts of the community ?