German Education -- By: Anthony Lamb
BSac 12:46 (April 1855) p. 312
The question has frequently been asked of late, why the instructors of Germany succeed so much better, generally, than our teachers, in imbuing their pupils with a love for science, and an ardor in the pursuit of knowledge. The inquiry has been suggested by the remarks, upon that subject, of a popular writer of travels, who has lately presented, in a strong light, the contrast observable in this respect between the pupils of the German schools and universities, and those of our own. We allude to the work of Mr. Brace, entitled “Home-Life in Germany,” in which is given a faithful picture of life, and particularly of
BSac 12:46 (April 1855) p. 313
domestic manners, in that country of happy homes. The question is a very interesting one, fruitful in suggestions, and highly important to the interests of education in our country. We have thought, therefore, that the communication of such observations and reflections in relation to it as have occurred to us, during a brief residence in that country, and a brief experience as a teacher at home, might not be uninteresting to the friends of education.
Among the causes to which we attribute the result just named, we present the following:
1. That delightful state of the domestic relations which, as has been universally remarked by travellers, so generally prevails throughout that country. The Germans are eminently a sociable and domestic people. Their highest earthly pleasures, while they are at the same time among the most hospitable and philanthropic people in the world, are enjoyed at home; and their highest temporal gratification springs from the promotion of the comfort and improvement of their families, and particularly from successful exertions in forming the characters, disciplining the intellectual faculties, and storing the minds of their children with useful knowledge. In their ordinary intercourse with each other, and especially in the domestic relations, there is much more expression given, than with us, to the best affections of our nature; much more of an opening of the heart, of that spontaneous and cordial interchange of good feelings by which those who are bound together by the ties of consanguinity or friendship, “are melted into one.” The consequence of this state of society is, that the attachments are very effective in the formation of good habits, and of a love of improvement, not only for its own sake, but also as a means of increasing the good-will and interest of friends. In all families, of any degree of intelligence, the children are objects of more interest and consideration than they are in general with us. Much more attention is devoted to assisting them and encouraging them. The parents and friends of the fam...
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