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Schooling German Girls and Women

Schooling German Girls and Women

James C. Albisetti
Copyright Date: 1988
Pages: 354
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  • Book Info
    Schooling German Girls and Women
    Book Description:

    James Albisetti provides the first comprehensive study in any language of the development of secondary schools for girls in the various German states during the nineteenth century, and of the struggles waged by women after 1865 to gain access to higher education and the liberal professions. Through comparisons with contemporaneous developments in other European countries, he points out what was typical and what unique in the German experience in such areas as the operation and curricula of girls' schools, the opportunities for women teachers, the debates over increased educational and employment opportunities for women, and the strategies and tactics adopted by feminist organizations.

    The work is based on a wide variety of published sources and on the previously unexplored archives of the Prussian Ministry of Education. Topics discussed include the divisions between feminists interested in separate educational institutions for women and those wanting coeducational study at both the secondary and the university levels, and the impact of feminists on the major educational reforms introduced in Prussia and other German states between 1900 and 1910. Acknowledging that German women gained the right to matriculate at domestic universities later than did their sisters in most other European countries, the author suggests that an examination of the entire spectrum of educational and employment opportunities for women reveals no discernable German Sonderweg, or special path of modernization, in this area.

    Originally published in 1989.

    ThePrinceton Legacy Libraryuses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

    eISBN: 978-1-4008-5979-5
    Subjects: Education

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. List of Illustrations
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. List of Tables
    (pp. xi-xii)
  5. Preface
    (pp. xiii-xxiv)
  6. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xxv-xxvi)
  7. Abbreviations
    (pp. xxvii-2)
  8. ONE The German Ideal of Womanhood and Education
    (pp. 3-22)

    On 2 January 1824, Goethe commented in one of the conversations faithfully recorded by his friend Johann Eckermann, “We love in a young woman things entirely different from her intelligence.” Although he went on to say that men could respect intelligence in a woman and that it even could be valuable as a means “to bind us when we already love,” Goethe made clear then as well as in his fictional works that other qualities formed the essence of feminine charm.¹ His most famous German female characters, Lotte inThe Sufferings of Young Wertherand Gretchen inFaust,certainly did...

  9. TWO The Rise of the Higher Girls’ Schools
    (pp. 23-57)

    The years between 1800 and 1870 witnessed an unprecedented expansion in the opportunities for German girls to obtain some form of education beyond the elementary level. Not only did the number of schools providing such education grow exponentially, but almost all of these schools gradually increased the number of separate classes they offered and introduced more academic subjects while reducing the time devoted to sewing and “accomplishments.” The teaching staffs, in general, improved in quality, at least as measured by the formal training the teachers had received. In the process, the financial support for girls’ schools from governmental coffers, primarily...

  10. THREE The Rise of Women Teachers to the 1870s
    (pp. 58-92)

    Before the nineteenth century, women in Germany had served as teachers in both public and private capacities. As mentioned in Chapter Two, Catholic teaching orders had operated many schools since the 1600s. Noble and wealthy burgher families had employed governesses as well as male tutors in the eighteenth century, and in many areas widows and other women who needed to support themselves openedWinkelschulen(literally, schools in a corner) in which they taught reading and arithmetic to a handful of children. Around 1800, women such as Karoline Rudolphi and Betty Gleim could establish larger and more advanced girls’ schools even...

  11. FOUR The First Wave of Reform, 1865–1879
    (pp. 93-135)

    Imposing periodization on historical realities that evolve gradually is always difficult, but in the case of female education in nineteenth-century Germany one can identify a very sharp acceleration of this evolution during the mid-1860s. The amount of pamphlet literature devoted to the girls’ schools increased dramatically in this period, many new organizations and institutions concerned with women’s rights and various levels of female education were founded, and for the first time the question of female students at German universities was raised in a serious fashion. At a time when the “woman question” became a major issue throughout much of Europe...

  12. FIVE The Petition Campaigns, 1887–1894
    (pp. 136-167)

    After the shelving of Falk’s comprehensive education bill, the barring of new female auditors at the University of Leipzig, and the failure of Emilie Lehmus, Franziska Tiburtius, and Anna Dahms to obtain certification as physicians, the campaign for improved educational opportunities for German women languished for almost a decade. Not until late in 1887 would it be revived, sparked by a petition to the Prussian Ministry of Education and legislature submitted by Henriette Schrader-Breymann, Helene Lange, and four other women. Accompanying this petition was Lange’s famous pamphlet,The Higher Girls’ School and Its Destiny,more frequently referred to as the...

  13. SIX The Debate over Woman’s Nature and Place
    (pp. 168-203)

    The years between the publication of Helene Lange’s “Yellow Brochure” and the beginning of World War I witnessed the most extensive debate of the “woman question” that Germany had yet experienced. Compared to the discussions of the late 1860s and early 1870s, the revived debate covered a wider variety of issues and involved many more organizations. The paragraphs dealing with women and family matters in the new German Civil Code that was finally adopted around the turn of the century aroused a great deal of controversy. New feminist groups demanding votes for women, although less influential than their British or...

  14. SEVEN Propaganda of the Deed
    (pp. 204-237)

    While the debate over German women’s need for and ability to profit from higher education continued during the 1890s, a few German women demonstrated through a form of “propaganda of the deed” that they were fully qualified to participate in the academic world. Their scholarly and professional activities contributed greatly to changing the attitudes of men in positions of power, a necessary preliminary to the major reforms in women’s education that would come after the turn of the century.

    One aspect of this propaganda involved the continuation—at an accelerated pace—of the practice of pursuing higher education abroad. As...

  15. EIGHT The Decisive Reforms in Female Education
    (pp. 238-273)

    The opening of limited new educational and career opportunities to women during the 1890s left many issues related to female education unresolved. Between 1899 and the beginning of the First World War, however, virtually all German states would introduce comprehensive restructurings of girls’ schooling and allow women to matriculate in their universities. These reforms did not give German girls complete equality with their brothers in secondary curricula or in career privileges, but they did go far toward meeting the demands raised by the various women’s organizations. In this process of expanding government regulation of female education, Prussia continued to lead...

  16. NINE Aftermath, Comparisons, and Conclusions
    (pp. 274-306)

    The reforms of female education introduced in Prussia and most of the other German states in the first years of the twentieth century involved both the creation of many new opportunities for German girls and women and a significant increase in government regulation of the schools and seminars. The reform decrees, however, left many questions unanswered. Not only did most of the interest groups concerned with female education have objections to at least some portions of the reforms, but future developments would depend both on how state governments enforced the new rules and on how cities, private schools, parents, and...

  17. Glossary
    (pp. 307-308)
  18. Bibliographical Note
    (pp. 309-312)
  19. Index
    (pp. 313-327)