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April 03, 2009



Grr. What can you do? People are such a pain!


Let them go. No one will shed a tear... Just two points:

First, there are lots of private schools in Germany - Waldorf schools, Montessori method schools and especially Protestand and Catholic parochial schools - that are unusually protected by the state (Article 7, Paragraph 4 of the Basic Law) BECAUSE of the notorious historical "Gleichschaltung". These are ordinary primary or secondary schools, which are run by private individuals, private organizations or religious groups and they are offering the same types of diplomas like public schools. In addition, Christian education is part of the regular public school curriculum (secular students can trouble-free opt out and choose ethics or philosophy) in all states except stupid Berlin.

(As a non-babtised "pagan" I attented a Protestant Kindergarden which was guided by a sister. No big deal and it really wasn't to my regret. At school, I switched from Protestant education to ethics because of the better grades and the cuter girls...)

Second, it was actually Martin Luther (!) who pushed the idea of PUBLIC schools, also for girls. To provide a good education was seen as a divine command. For instance, in 1524 he published his appeal "To the Councilmen of All Cities in Germany that They Establish and Maintain Christian Schools". He rounded off his ideas about education when in 1530 he published his "A Sermon on Keeping Children in School" and called for a general compulsory education.

According to some economists, not the Protestant work ethic was the main reason for the higher economic prosperity of Protestant regions as Max Weber famously argued but Protestants' higher literacy. See "Was Weber Wrong? A Human Capital Theory of Protestant Economic History"
"Luther and the Girls: Religious Denomination and the Female Education Gap in 19th Century Prussia"


Let them go. But then WE get them!



Very interesting about Luther.

Of course, the link between literacy and prosperity makes a great deal of sense, and may explain the persistence of poverty in certain parts of the US - places like Tennessee.

Don S

Rather too narrow a view of home-schooling I think, David. I knew a home-schooling couple who home-schooled most humanities but 'outsourced' the sciences and math to the local public schools. The kids seemed to be the best of both worlds, rather more advanced in the humanities than the common norm, but also reasonably up to speed in the sciences and math.

We used to go to museums and 'living history' events together - with their kids. It was a lot of fun for the adults and I think for the kids.

I don't doubt that much of the home-school movement is as you write - but let's not glamorize the public schools either. The best education seems to be a mix of public schooling and enrichment offered by other groups or the family. The optimum will depend on how good the local publics are and the range of their offerings, plus other resources available.

Bushama Hussein

Ship them over by the boatload.

America will set them free from sex and witchcraft!

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