Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 26.djvu/34

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24
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

man, and decide that there is nothing at all to complain of. That is the way they always do when fault is found with their neglect of health and bodily culture, and when, every couple of years, complaints are made of the overloading the pupils with work. Moreover, if they withhold and deny their opinions in deference to Government, how can any dependence be placed on their conclusions? At a recent meeting of practical-school teachers, one of them spoke against the extension of the study of Latin in the practical-school, and moved a resolution in reference to it. One of the wiseacres present promptly objected that this ought not to pass, for he knew that the authorities laid great stress on Latin!. . . Conventions of physicians have advanced as a chief reason why admission to the study of medicine should be refused to practical-school graduates, that by this means the social position of physicians would be injured."

To this may be added a few sentences from Herder :

"And then can a view, although it should be recognized as the true one, destroy prejudices deeply rooted since youth, which have become a second nature to the instructors? . . . Can it so seize upon pedantic souls that when it shows itself in full light it shall cause them to act in accordance with it? . . . Oppressed spirits! martyrs of a Latin education! O that you could all cry aloud!"

The reason why the two most widely known German writers can not be quoted with Herder, Pfizer, Richter, and the others, on this side of the question, is thus stated in the pamphlet before me:

"If it occurs to any one that testimony from Goethe and Schiller is almost entirely lacking, let him remember that neither of the poets had attended the higher Normalschule of his time. Schiller was a pupil of the Karlsschule, which had long ceased to occupy the narrow ground of the classical-schools of the time, and Goethe received a careful and varied private instruction, and hence did not suffer from the contemporary school education."

Leaving now the course of study of the classical-schools, the author proceeds to dispel a delusion which the utterances of numerous speakers and writers during the past year has shown to prevail even more in the United States than in Germany.

"Since we have made so many and, in the eyes of many persons, so spiteful attacks on the classical-school, it might be supposed that the modern practical-school is the El Dorado in which we see our pedagogic desires realized. It is, indeed, astonishing, we declare it thankfully, what a fresh and active life the practical-school, formerly treated in such a step-motherly way by the state, has developed in often victorious competition with the sluggish, though officially fondled and fostered, classical-school; how brightly and sturdily there have come up in it not only the natural sciences, but also, to the shame of the classical-schools it must be said, the study of the German language and literature, but we must remain true to our ideal of education and