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Education In Europe

( Originally Published 1912 )


Infant Education. Some 50,000 children between the ages of four and six are in the kindergarten. The first kindergarten was opened in 1863, and this grade of school was recognized as a part of the educational system in 1872.

Elementary education is given in the Volksschulen, with a five-year course, followed by Burgherschulen with three years additional. Classes for the mentally deficient have been conducted since 1892.

The secondary schools are modeled after the German and are grouped into Gymnasien and Realschulen, the former of eight years and the latter of seven, enrolling some 150,000 students.

Higher education is provided by eight universities, the largest being Vienna, founded in 1365, and enrolling 9000 students.

There is also a system of vocational schools, both technical and commercial, of the three grades : continuation schools, middle schools, and higher schools. Of these last there are eight polytechnica and several professional schools.


Infant Education. Kindergartens have existed since 1842. Today, more than one quarter million children, between three and six, are en-rolled in these schools.

Elementary schools are well organized, in accordance with the law of 1895, and cover the ages seven to fourteen.

Of secondary schools, private and public, there are twenty athenees royaux, seven colleges communaux, and eight colleges j5atronnes.

Higher education is provided in four universities, the largest being Liege, founded in 1817. Women have been admitted to the universities since 1880.

Vocational education is part of the general system. Belgium is "generally credited with having founded the first commercial institute of true university rank" " (Antwerp). There are some dozen institutions of highest rank doing work along technical and professional lines.


Elementary schools extend from six to eight years.

The secondary schools were reorganized in 1903, so that there are now Middle schools of four years, followed by two varieties of Gymnasia, a three-year Latin and a one-year Reale. Den-mark is characterized by a form of continuation school known as the Folkehojskoler (People's High School), the first of which was established in 1844. There are now over seventy of these. They are not considered part of the State's system, but receive State aid. They charge a tuition fee covering board and lodging as well as instruction. They are designed for adults who have had an elementary schooling and desire advanced instruction, cultural and technical.'

The University of Copenhagen was founded in 1479, enrolls about 2,000 students, and since 1875 has admitted women to all the faculties except theology.


Elementary schools are of two grades : the Demotic, lower, of four years, and the Hellenic, higher, also of four years.

The secondary schools are Gymnasia of six years.

The National University is at Athens. It was founded in 1837, and its enrollment exceeds 2500. There are government trade schools at Athens and Patras ; also the Polytechnicon Mezzovin, devoted to painting, sculpture, and mechanics.


There are infant schools for children from three to six.

The elementary schools are divided into three grades: (I) the elementary; (2) higher primary, diverging at about the sixth year to vocational courses of three years for boys and two years for girls ; (3) burgher, connecting with the fourth elementary year, a six-year course for boys and four years for girls.

Secondary education is provided by eight-year, coordinate Gymnasien and Realschulen.

For higher education there are three universities, one polytechnicum, agricultural schools, law academies, etc.


Infant education is provided in the asilo, for pupils from three to six, in which are enrolled some 400,000. The first kindergarten was established in 1850, and the kindergarten spirit dominates most of the asili.

The elementary school is five years in length, divided into an inferior section of three years and a superior of two.

Secondary schooling follows immediately upon the elementary course and consists first of the ginnasii, of five years, and then the licei of three. Graduation from the licei admits to a university. Both grades together enroll about 5o,000.

The universities are famous, Bologna dating to 1119 and Padua to 1222. There are twenty-one in all, seventeen national and four free. Naples (founded 1224) has an enrollment of over 6000, and Rome (1303) of over 3000. Several of the universities, however, have no arts faculty. The course is four or five years, leading to degrees of doctor in medicine, law, etc.

Vocational education is given considerable attention, especially in higher grades. Of secondary rank there are several scuole tecnice (technical institutes), having a four-years course, the first half of which is general, and the latter half specialized into departments. Of higher grade are the superior institutes, agriculture, veterinary medicine, social science, fine arts, etc., a score or so in number.

In the elementary schools coeducation prevails. Beyond that point, there is little provision for girls " higher education is not in Italy as yet a popular question."


There are both public and private kindergartens, with a total of about 125,000 pupils.

Elementary schooling is of six to eight years, with over one third of the pupils attending private institutions supported by the State.

Secondary education is given in the higher burgher schools, in which a four-year course succeeds the elementary, and in gymnasia of the German type.

There are four universities, all nearly three hundred years old. Leyden is the oldest (1575), and the largest (1500 students). In 188o, the first woman student was enrolled in the university of Amsterdam, although the right to enter had never been formally denied to women.


Elementary schooling is urban and rural. The former gives in three divisions a total course of seven years, the latter gives only the two lower of these three divisions. Classes for the mentally deficient were established in 1892, and there are now ten auxiliary schools and eight reformatories.

Secondary schooling is a continuation of the elementary and consists of two divisions, the middle schools of four years (admitting from the fifth elementary-school year), followed by the gymnasia, of three years.

Higher education is provided by a single university at Christiania, founded in 1811, and enrolling 1500. It has a four-year course in all faculties except medicine, which extends two years further.

Girls are now securing recognition in secondary schools. Women have been admitted to the university since 1882,


Infant schools of the maternal type enroll pupils from three to six years of age.

The elementary course is of four years.

The secondary school is a continuation of the elementary, and is of two kinds, the central lycee, of seven years, and the national lycee, of five years. Either course prepares for the university.

Higher education is provided in the University of Coimbra (1288), with 3000 students, and in several scientific and polytechnic academies.


Little attention is paid by the State to elementary education, that being left to the church and private interests.

There are a few kindergartens, some dating back a quarter century.

The elementary schools are of two grades : the primary schools, a four-year course, and the district schools supplementing these. Some of the "town" schools, belonging to this supplementary grade, have a six-year course.

Secondary schools are classical, preparing for the university, or Real. The full gymnasium course is eight years, but there are many pro-gymnasia, carrying only the first four years. In all, over 300,000 pupils are enrolled.

There are nine universities. The oldest is Jurjew (formerly Dorpat), founded in 1632; and the largest are Moscow and St. Petersburg, each enrolling upward of 8000 students.

Vocational schools parallel the regular schools, from artisan schools of elementary grade, training skilled workers in village industries, through technical schools of secondary rank, training skilled designers and mechanics, to numerous polytechnical and other higher grade institutes and schools.

Where possible, girls are taught in separate classes; in some cases, to accomplish this, the girls go to school half the day, and the boys go the other half. In 1870, the girls' gymnasia and progymnasia were made uniform with the boys' in government and program. In the universities, courses in many departments are conducted especially for women.


The elementary and secondary school systems of Spain have been characterized as "excellent on paper but badly carried out."

The secondary " institutions " prepare for the universities.

The universities, ten in number, are centuries old, and well attended. Salamanca dates to 1243. Madrid (1508) is by far the largest, with an enrollment exceeding 5000.


Infant education is of the maternal rather than kindergarten type. There are over 5000 infant schools, called Smaskolar, which prepare for the elementary grades.

The elementary schools are the Volkskolar. The usual course is six years, with occasional continuation courses of one or two years.

Secondary education is given in schools of several grades, viz.: (1) higher, or complete, of nine years ; (2) lower, of from six to three years ; (3) pedagogics, of less than three years. The pupils enter at nine years of age and are admitted to the university upon final examination from a complete school.

The universities are four in number and are of the German type ; two are State and two private. The oldest and largest is Upsala, founded in 1477, with an enrollment approaching 2000. A six- to eight-year course leads to the degree of licentiate in philosophy.

There are three grades of technical schools : the lowest, in the form of continuation schools ; the elementary, for graduates of the Uolkskolar; and the high, both polytechnic and special. There are now more than thirty Folkhogskolar, people's high schools, first imported from Denmark (q.v.) in 1868, giving a course of "human and civic as well as scientific and practical education," to adults of eighteen years and over who have completed the elementary course.

Sweden is the home of manual training instruction. A complete course of tool work for boys was formulated and by 1877 extended to the entire system of folk schools. The Sloyd Seminarium was established in 1874, at Naas, and has been the " backbone of the Swedish system."

The elementary schools are commonly co-educational. Girls are not admitted to public secondary schools. Women have been admitted to the universities since 1870.


Infant schools are chiefly urban, receive pupils from four to six years, and are kindergarten in spirit. They are, however, mostly under private auspices.

Elementary education is provided in schools of two grades : primary, for pupils of from six to ten, and higher primary, or general continuation schools. Over 600,000 pupils receive elementary schooling. Classes for mentally deficient have been conducted since 1892. Auxiliary schools in 1907 numbered 7 for the blind, 15 for the deaf and dumb, 25 for the feeble minded, and 37 reform schools.

Secondary schools are of two types : the Sekundar-Schulen, similar to the American high school, and the other modeled after the German Gymnasium.

There are six universities, on the German pat-tern, with the four faculties complete in nearly all of them. The oldest is Basel, 1460; the largest is Berne with over 2000 students.

Vocational. Of elementary grade there are continuation schools, industrial, commercial, agricultural, and domestic science. Of secondary grade there are schools in very great variety, both general, industrial, and special trade schools. For graduates of these there is the magnificent Polytechnic at Zurich.

Coeducation prevails throughout the elementary grades and, with but few exceptions, in the secondary schools. Women have been admitted to the universities since 1868, and now constitute at least one quarter of the enrollment.

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