GERMAN AMERICAN HISTORY
GERMAN INFLUENCE ON UNIVERSITIES
At Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore the principles of German universities were adopted, among them freedom from all denominational influences; high standards and high ideals; encouragement in every manner of the spirit of research in creation of a school for post-graduate studies, etc. Of the earlier members of the faculty nearly all had received their degree at German universities.
The example, set by Johns Hopkins University, was followed by the University of Chicago, Leland Stanford University in San Francisco, Harvard University in Cambridge, Yale University in New Haven, Columbia University in New York, and by many others since.
To make her system of education accessible to the study of all American pedagogues, Germany presented it at the world's expositions at Chicago and St. Louis in the most comprehensive manner, hoping to perform herewith an act of true friendship toward a young nation, to which it had contributed so many of her own children.
By calling prominent German professors to occupy chairs at American universities, German influence on education has been greatly heightened. At Harvard University on instigation of KUNO FRANCKE, professor of German language and literature, a GERMANIC MUSEUM has been established, which aims by means of excellent casts, engravings, drawings, and photographs to acquaint the American student with the best specimen of German art and craft.
The influence of German methods of education extended also to the lowest grades in schooling, to the kindergarten. This institution, founded by Friedrich Froebel, was started in 1826 in Indiana by the followers of Friedrich Rapp. The next ones were attempted by CAROLINE FRANKENBERG in Columbus, Ohio, and by the wife of Carl Schurz in Watertown, Wisconsin.
Of great influence on American education were also many private schools, established by able German schoolmen in America.
It is of course impossible to ascertain in a statistical or any other way the magnitude and importance of the influence of German methods of teaching on American institutions. But certainly the remarks made by Andrew D. White, President Emeritus of Cornell University, are true: "We may well recognize in Germany another mother country, one with which our own land should remain in warmest alliance. For, from the universities and institutions for advanced learning in Germany, far more than from those of any other land, have come and are coming the influences which have shaped and are shaping advanced education in the United States."
German Influence on Universities presented by
GERMAN-AMERICAN NATIONAL CONGRESS
Philadelphia Chapter (Published DSB 5/2001)