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JOURNAL OF EDUCATION.
SPECIALLY DESIGNED AS A
Medium of Correspondence
HEADS OF TRAINING COLLEGES, PAROCHIAL CLERGYMEN, AND ALL
SCHOOL TEACHERS, ETC.
T a time when promotion of Primary Education in public schools is the object of so many discussions and efforts, when various views and schemes to that effect are proposed, it may not be amiss to give a little sketch of the state of Public Education, especially in Primary or
National Schools, in Germany,—a country where sciences and general instruction are acknowledged to be more cultivated, and more universally spread than in any other part of the globe. Whilst here in England some fundamental questions,—as the convenience or admissibility of coercive measures, the exact share which government ought to take upon itself in that matter, the claims of different religious persuasions,—are still under discussion ; in Germany a fixed, complete system has been for a long time in operation, and proved its excellence by striking results, appreciated by those who are directly concerned, as well as by distant observers. Comparing the state of other countries with their own, Germans may well feel proud of their superiority in this respect; and it is not asserting too much that by this time people at large, even the lower classes, have become conscious of the moral and material advantages derived for their children from suitable instruction, and consider the facilities afforded thereto by government a valuable acquisition, which they would be quite as reluctant to give up as any other improvement owing to modern inventions or political institutions. For those who take an interest in the welfare of the rising generation it is therefore well worth while to examine that system, its principle and working, leaving it then to promoters of different views to decide whether the same results may be obtained or compensated for by other means or in a different way. A short preliminary observation is necessary
There is generally a certain degree of indistinctness or confusion of ideas if people speak about institutions in Germany: they very often forget that in many respects there is not one Germany, but from thirty to forty independent States comprised under that name. In order not
VOL. XI. NO. 121, N.S.