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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 24.djvu/312

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

within which is of itself an education, where they find wise and discriminating assistance in their studies, and encouragement and incitement to effort.

But the case is not by any means fully stated. The gymnasium not only gets better material to work upon than its rival, but it has also a superior corps of teachers. The writer was told by a gentleman who was a graduate of a real school, and who had been a teacher in one for some time, but had afterward made up the Greek and Latin of a gymnasium course in order to qualify himself for teaching in a gymnasium, that no teacher of ability and enterprise would remain in a real school any longer than he was obliged to remain there. "There is no career in that line of work," said he, "and only block-heads and lazy hides (Dummköpfe und Faulpelze) stay in it." Of course, that was a great exaggeration, and yet it contained an element of truth, viz., that a process of selection is going on between these two schools, not only in regard to pupils, but also in regard to teachers, and the gymnasium has its pick of both.

The reason is not far to seek. It is to be found in the higher social position which tradition assigns to the office of gymnasial teacher, and the better career which the Government opens to it. How idle, in the face of all these facts, is the assertion that the Berlin report has settled the question between the real school and the gymnasium, or that it is of paramount significance in the deeper question of classical against modern training!

To get a fair idea of the significance of this report, let one imagine the state of things which would exist in this country if the law of the land had for generations permitted no one to practice law or medicine, or enter the ministry or the civil service, or become a teacher in our higher schools and colleges, who had not first completed the classical course in an average college, and then attended a professional school for three years. Suppose that, after such a law had been enforced for a century, a proposition were made to allow such scientific schools as could spring up under those circumstances to present their students for certain subordinate places in the civil service and in the academic career. Can there be any doubt that the adherents of the classical culture would point with pride to the fact that every eminent professional man for several generations had been the graduates of classical schools, and would make that a reason, as they do now in Germany, for refusing to admit any man with a different education to the practice of those professions'? "Would they not dwell on the great danger to the national civilization which would arise from the fact that an element of discord would be introduced into the culture of the people by educating the young along two widely different lines?[1]

  1. This argument plays a large part in the German defense of a single school and a single course in preparation for all higher professions. "Our education," says one, "is homogeneous. Let the real school carry its point, and a hopeless and fatal element of