The New International Encyclopædia/Realschule
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REALSCHULE, rắ-äl'shōō'le. A German school of secondary instruction differing from the Gynmasium inasmuch as it offers no instruction in the classical languages and lays stress on science. The Realschule is an outgrowth of the realistic tendencies of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The institutions that Francke established at Halle toward the close of the seventeenth century laid unusual stress on the study of nature. At the same time notable efforts were being made to introduce more science into the classical schools generally. In 1747 Hecker established at Berlin an öconomisch-mathematische Realschule, which may be regarded as the prototype of the Realschule of to-day. It gave instruction in the German, French, and Latin languages, writing, arithmetic, drawing, history, geography, and the elements of geometry, mechanics, and architecture, and also in religion and ethics. Some optional study of various occupations and trades was also provided.
The Realschule of to-day has a six years' course, and its graduates go directly into business life. Those who wish to take the university courses in science and mathematics attend the Oberrealschule, which has a nine years' course. The programme in this school is like that in the Realgymnasium, with the exception of the omission of Latin and the substitution therefor of more work in mathematics, natural history, chemistry, mineralogy, French, and English. Graduates of these two types of schools are regarded as on the same plane educationally, but both are looked upon as somewhat inferior to the graduates of the Gymnasium. Consult: Russell, German High Schools (New York, 1899); Bolton, Secondary School System of Germany (ib., 1900). See National Education; Gymnasia and Realgymnasia.