Public Education / Gymnasiums
The current public school system, operated by the State, is a disaster. All one needs to do is take a look at the developed ability for critical thinking on an individual level in the United States today to see how decades of mind manipulation has manifested in a mass of group-think-only people. Once the seeds of herd-like obliviousness have been firmly planted during the public education experience, and any sense of rational thought extinguished, students graduate and mainstream media takes over from there to provide a life-long manipulation of the "students" and to cement the dominant social themes desired by the power elite to control their behavior patterns.
In ancient Athens, Gymnasiums were places where teachers gave instruction on sports and physical exercises. The term became associated with learning. The place where instructions were held became an institution for learning. The early Romans didn't use the term, but it was revived during the Italian Renaissance. The model was passed on to the Germans and the Dutch during the 15th century. The modern Gymnasium in Germany was developed by John Sturm in 1538.
In 1586, the Bismarck Gymnasium was founded at the Zwinger Palace in the center of the Durlach Grammar School. In 1874, a new school was built in Bismarchstrasse. The poet Johann Peter Hebel studied at Bismarck Gymnasium from 1774 to 1778 and became director of the school in 1808. Carl Benz, the founder of Mercedes-Benz, and Baron Karl von Drais, who invented the bike, were students at Bismarck.
In 1812, a Prussian regulation ordered all schools that had the right to send their students to University must be called Gymnasia. By the 20th century, all German states followed this practice and the regulation spread to Austria and Russia.
In Austria, Gymnasium classes last for eight years. French, Latin and English are taught, but French can be swapped for Russian, Italian or Spanish. Ancient Greek is mandatory in some cases, and biology, chemistry, physics and geometry are mandatory as well. In Demark, Finland and Sweden Gymnasium study is for a period of three years starting at the age of 16. The last year is similar to the first year of college. There are four kinds of Gymnasiums in Denmark. They focus on special studies like preliminary studies, business classes, technical work, and higher education courses.
In Germany, Gymnasium study is very selective. Gymnasiums can expel under performing students or students that have behavioral issues. Students are required to learn two foreign languages and they also take art, music, chemistry, history, mathematics, biology, social studies, philosophy, religion and physical education classes. Gymnasiums in Berlin added ethics classes as well as the other mandatory courses. German students usually study for six to seven years in Brandenburg and Berlin and eight years in other areas of the country.
Countries around the world use the Gymnasium school system, but they are used at different times in the child's education. Brazil has a few Gymnasium schools that receive help from the German government. Argentina, Albania, Israel, Romania, South Africa, Switzerland and Poland all have Gymnasium-type school systems, but the courses and years of study vary by country.
The Gymnasium system gave rise to public schools, ultimately, and thus the system has been anything but an unadulterated good. Critics say that Otto von Bismarck adopted the system so that children – especially males – could bond together through the grades. At the end of the course of education they could be drafted together and sent to war together. It was a way of facilitating militarism and creating a willingness to die for each other and the State.
In the 20th century and now the 21st, public education has proved overwhelmingly troublesome for the West. John Dewey led the way in America with his notions that education was about training workers and socializing them, not educating them for a life that included the appreciation of ideas. He imported "see and say" into America (and Britain) from the USSR where it had already been debunked. The result: even today in the Anglo-America state-school orbit there is massive illiteracy.
In America, public school systems have reduced education to shambles. Up to 40 percent of children graduating high school have trouble reading or are functionally illiterate. The same can be said for their comprehension of even basic level mathematics. Former US President George W. Bush helped no one with "No Child Left Behind," which mandated testing to ensure that public schools were providing competent education. Now public schools "educate for the test" and real learning receives even less of an emphasis.
The final results are in: Mass public school education, spawned from the Gymnasium model, may produce cannon fodder but as an educational system it is fairy useless. Efforts to make it work more efficiently, like efforts aimed at helping any large bureaucratic program unmoored from the competitive discipline of the Invisible Hand, may raise the cost of the schooling without elevating its abysmal quality.
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