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About Hesperian student / (Lincoln [Neb.]) 1872-1885 | View Entire Issue (May 1, 1878)
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Visit to this ihjiimo schools op Munich.
fg m. -nriiwr(irMM- mbm-i i
cr.s, in tliu scliool in question, was in
stiueting u class of girls in tho tlrst year.
Each lonelier nsiuilly retains the same
class through two or three years, thus
lessening the number of changes of teach
ers. There is no co-education of the sexes
in the schools of Bavaria, except for spe
cial reasons. From the lowest class to
the highest, '.lie sexes study and recite in
different rooms, and even on the play,
ground, they do not coino in contact.
Yet I did not converse with a single
teacher, who did not warmly advocate co
education, as the more natural method in
the public schools. Indeed in the "Model
Department" of the Normal school of
Munich, this theory is put in actual prac
tice, and boys and girls sit upon the sumo
benches in the school-room.
Gymnastic exercise is made a promi
nent feature of the instruction. Separate
buildings are provided therefor, titled up
with every modern apparatus and conven
ience, and separate rooms for the sexes.
Each teacher is expected to give in
struction in gymnastics each devoting
a certain number of hours weekly to this
department. Each child performs twice
a week, and the exercises are attended
with songs, designed expressly as an ac
companiment. The chil is never lost sight of by the
teacher; i i his sports on tho play
ground at .vatched over and superin
tended as rigidly as his lessons in the
class-room. Should the teacher mix with
tho children, to suggest and introduce
new games to lay aside his dignity lor
an hour, and become a child with them
iii their romps, I would raise no word of
dissent; but to stand over them ever as a
warder and director, seems to mo to bo a
monstrous trespass upon tho m st sacred
rights of the child, calculated to rob the
spring-time of life of its freshest and most
unalloyed joys. Often, as I have paused
on thoptreet to wnich these children at
their games, and have observed tho bash,
ful, mechanical motions, the spiritless,
solemn movements, unenlivened by a
single ringing shout, and memory
brought back to mo tho rollicking, bois
terous scenes of my own 'common school'
days; did the one before mo seom like a
painful, unnatural farce, and I felt half
tempted to spring over tho fence, and
drive oil' tho dread sentinel, whose bane
ful gaze was friezing the gayety of tho lit
tie victims, and bid tho latter laugh and
scream, and roll inthodirtto their heart's
A peculiar institution connected with
tho scliool is tho Kitchen, where to
those children whoso parents live at a dis
tance, or do not wisli them to return at
noon, are served a bowl of soup and
a portion of bread and meat, at a cost of
8 Pfcnnigc (2 cts.) per diem. To tho chil
drcn of tho needy it is served gratis. The
children are then conducted to the 'Work
Room,' where for the remainder of tho
hour, they are employed in various kinds
of useful labor and manufacture. We
were shown beautiful card-baskets, lamp,
mats, all manner of toys, brackets exec
uted with scroll saws &c, some of them
showing great dexterity and skill, and
made by both girls and boys.
I know not how I shall bo able to ex.
press my admiration for the methods of
instruction employed, which seem to bo
perfect in accordance with nature.
Tho question and answer system is ut.
terly ignored. The whole tendency and
bent of the method is to develop find to
train the perceptive faculty, to teach obser
vation, in short to lead to personal inde
pendent thought on tho part of tho child.
In teaching reading and tho alphabet
tho "word. method" in employed as tho on
ly rational one. Tho prominence given
to "object lessons" throughout tho -whole
course, is worthy of special regard. Not
only is the child given a glance into iho
principles of Natural Philosophy, Botany,
Chemistry mid other brandies of natural
history, but even geography and arilhmo.
tic are thus taught. In tho former sci.
once no regular text-book is employed
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