Зображення сторінки

as to the purses of what in a provincial town constitute the middle and upper classes. Add to this a “middle-class” girls' school, and we have an educational Utopia. An English town with such an equipment is certainly to be envied, for many of our large towns, having no endowment to “re-organize,” are still dependent on the transitory, irresponsible, and often incompetent, private schoolmaster, and it is still doubtful how the requirements of such unfortunate towns are to be met. But when this difficulty is surmounted, and all our towns are supplied in the Utopian manner just described, it is fondly imagined that our national scheme of education will be indeed complete. For what more, it may be asked, can be wanted than schools for the working classes at ten shillings a year, a school for the middle classes at five pounds a year, and another for the upper classes at fifteen pounds a year, each school teaching such subjects as are considered suitable for that station in life in which their parents have the misfortune or the privilege to move.

Add to this a scheme for granting exhibitions from the lower schools to the middle, and from the middle to the higher, and it seems almost impossible for most people to imagine a state of things more perfect. An English town having, say, in its highest school two hundred boys, in its middle school five hundred, and in its elementary schools the remainder of its children, would be a place to visit and quote in blue-books, or, if one had independence and a family, to go and live at and profit by and be thankful for.

Most people have a vague idea that they are somewhat ahead of us abroad in their educational arrangements, but probably few realize to what an extent we are surpassed by Germany, not only as regards the liberal provision made for higher education, but in the careful manner in which the schools are adjusted to the wants of the people. The only idea which we seem to

have in England about the organization of higher education is with regard to what is called grading. We have our

We have our “first grade," "second grade,” and “third grade ” schools. Our first grade schools prepare for the university and, as a rule, teach much classics,

a some mathematics, and occasionally science. They are for the “upper classes,” and such members of the “ middle classes” as obtain scholarships to assist them in paying the fees, which are generally twice as high as they need be. Our second and third grade schools are generally what is called “modern,” and are for the "middle" and "lower middle" classes. As the boys do not stay long enough to learn Latin and Greek according to our approved English methods without devoting the whole of their time to them, science is generally taught instead to a large extent, partly also because it is popularly, and indeed truly, supposed to be more useful to the classes catered for. This,

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

and our system of scholarships to enable a poor but clever boy to pass upwards from the elementary school to the university, constitutes our "system,” which is, moreover, as I have said, of the most fragmentary and casual description, whole districts being entirely without a higher public school of any kind whatever.

Such being the case, a recent visit to Stuttgart has suggested the idea of giving a brief practical description of the educational equipment of a German town, and of instituting a comparison between what we are trying and hoping to realize in England and what they have already done in Germany.

Most schoolmasters who are interested in their profession, if one may presume to call it so, have no doubt read Mr. Matthew Arnold's book, together with plenty of the other available literature on the subject; but, so far as I can learn, there is not in any accessible form such a detailed account of a German school as can be made of practical use to any English head-master who is desirous of imitating what he may think good in the German system. Moreover, there is no doubt that English schoolmasters do not fully realize how inferior we are to the Germans in educational matters. It is hoped that the following pages will supply them with some useful and practical information, and at the same time emphasize our deficiencies.

The choice of Stuttgart was due to accidental circumstances. I do not know whether it is the best or the worst educated town in Germany. Being, however, the capital of Wurtemburg, a state which has paid much attention to education, it is probably not, at any rate, behind the age.

According to Baedeker (1883), the population of Stuttgart is 117,303.

Besides the Polytechnic, which may be regarded as a State, rather than a municipal, institution, the town possesses three day schools of the highest grade :

« НазадПродовжити »