The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/Realschulen

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REALSCHULEN, rā-äl'shoo-lĕn, a class of institutions in the German system of secondary education characterized by the emphasis laid upon the study of the sciences, mathematics and modern languages as opposed to the gymnasia in which the classics constitute the principal feature of the curriculum. The Realschule took its rise in Germany in the early part of the 18th century, but did not attain its full development until the second half of the 19th century, when the tremendous progress of science compelled, after a long struggle, the recognition of this type of school as of equal rank with the gymnasia in the national system of education. In the struggle, however, between the classical school and the scientific school a mixed form was developed, approaching more nearly to the Realschule in the importance attached to the non-humanistic branches, but including Latin in its lists of studies. This type of school is known as the Real-gymnasium, and between it and the gymnasium the differences are growing less every year, especially since the study of Greek in the Prussian gymnasia was rendered non-obligatory in 1900. Real-gymnasia are, however, included under the general designation of Realschulen, a term which, in its broadest signification, includes the following classes: (1) Oberrealschulen (Upper Real schools), scientific schools with a nine years' course, giving no instruction in the ancient languages; (2) Realgymnasien (Real-gymnasia), scientific schools with a nine years' course, giving instruction in Latin; (3) Realschulen (in a stricter sense), the same as the Oberrealschulen, without the highest class; (4) Realprogymnasien, bearing the same relation to the Realgymnasien as the Realschulen to the Oberrealschulen; and (5) Höhere Bürgerschulen (higher middle schools), offering a six years' course without Latin. While the Real-gymnasium as been approaching the classical school in character, the Real-schools proper have been extending their scope so as to include various forms of technical and even industrial education. Graduates of Real-schools are ineligible for adimission to various departments and faculties in the universities, the most liberal conditions prevailing in Prussia, where only the faculty of theology is closed to them. See Germany; Education; Gymnasia, and consult Bolton, F. E., ‘The Secondary School System of Germany’ (New York 1900); and Russell, J. E., ‘German Higher Schools’ (ib. 1907).