Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 13.djvu/554

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put an end to the rivalry of the realschule is, that the gymnasium should sacrifice to the needs of the time some of its time-honored but antiquated claims, and conform itself somewhat more to the tendencies of the modern world. So soon as the gymnasium becomes imbued bona fide with a new spirit, and insures fitting preparation even to those who devote themselves to other than intellectual sciences, this rivalry will cease of its own accord. The much-mooted question of the admission of realschulen pupils to faculty classes would thus be settled, for then the realschule would revert to its original intent, and be an industrial school—an institution of great importance in its proper sphere.

What, then, do I demand of the gymnasium so that it shall appear to meet the requirements of the time? Essentially, very little, indeed. First, I demand more mathematics. The mathematical course must include the discussion of equations of the second degree, and a few other plane curves, and must also give an introduction to differential calculus through the theory of tangents. To this end, a greater number of hours must of course be given to mathematics—six or eight, instead of four. In the examinations for advancement and graduation, mathematics must really stand on an equality with the ancient languages and history. The equality of the teacher of mathematics with the teachers of the other branches would in this way be made an actual fact.

It will now, perhaps, be expected that I will further demand a large increase in scientific instruction. But I do not at all purpose to convert the gymnasium into a school for science-teaching. All that I ask is that as much shall be done to meet the wants of the future physician, architect, or military officer, as those of the future judge, or preacher, or teacher of classical languages. Thus, I ask for only so much natural history in the lower classes of the school as will awaken the faculty of observing, and that facilities be given for familiarizing the lads with the method of classification, which is rooted in the depths of the understanding, and whose educational force is so eloquently described by Cuvier. Let Darwinism, of which I am myself an adherent, be excluded from the gymnasium. In the higher classes, for the reasons assigned in my report, I should like to have taught, not physics and chemistry with experiments, but mechanics, the elements of astronomy, also of mathematical and physical geography—to which studies one hour more than heretofore could be devoted without injury.

But how are we to find time for these innovations? In the prima two hours might be gained by doing away with the religious instruction. We cannot understand the use of such instruction in a class whose Protestant pupils have all been confirmed; and yet, in the semi-official plan of studies already quoted, more than half a page of fine print is expended in setting forth the subject-matter of this instruction, while five lines suffice to dispatch the mathematical programme. On reading this half-page and the corresponding half-page for the upper second class, one imagines he has before him the programme of a theological