The New Education in the German Republic

The New Education in the German Republic

The New Education in the German Republic

The New Education in the German Republic

Excerpt

"Educational ideals are the expression of national self-appraisal."

Becker

German school reforms since the war are the resultant of two forces. On the one hand there have been at work the evolving traditions of a well organized school system which had been brought up to a high level of efficiency during the empire. The hold of classicism on German culture) the high standards of their academic institutions, and general habituation to an authoritative system of government have tended to perpetuate conservative practices and to check radicalism in the schools of the republic.

On the other hand, in spite of the conservatives, there has arisen a stream of idealistic and progressive tendencies, many of them deeply rooted in the romantic philosophy of the past and others engendered by the swift, social changes of the modern era. The release brought by the political revolution, the social idealism of the Youth Movement, the general mania for recreation, the popularity of modern trends in art, and a re-statement of philosophy, have all been operative in freeing the schools from the bonds of an outworn tradition. Before 1918 these were only minority movements. Now they have swept the majority of schools and teachers into mass action that is slowly transforming the educational institutions of Germany into a national public school system that will better fit the ideals of democracy.

The German school reform is on a scale of magnitude that commands attention. It is all the more deserving of the interest of educators throughout the modern world because it involves reëxamination of social concepts and because it is a conscious attempt to integrate democracy and education. The essential changes in the German schools are those that may be expected whenever a nation gives up a monarchical form of government and takes on the character of a democracy. At once equality of educational opportunity, scope for individual activity and closer unity between various parts of the school system are demanded.

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