1902 Encyclopedia > Education > August Hermann Francke (1663-1727)

(Part 14)

August Hermann Francke (1663-1727)

No history of education would be complete without the name of August Hermann Francke, the founder of the school of Pietists, and of a number of institutions which now form almost a suburb in the town of Halle to which his labours were devoted. The first scenes of his activity were Leipzig and Dresden; but in 1692, at the age of 29, he was made pastor of Glaucha near Halle, and professor in the newly established university. Three years later he commenced his poor school with a capital of seven guelders which he found in the poor box of his house. At his death in 1727 he left behind him the following institutions:— a paedagogium, or training college, with 82 scholars and 70 teachers receiving education, and attendants; the Latin school of the orphan asylum, with 3 inspectors, 32 teachers, 400 scholars, and 10 servants; the German town schools, with 4 inspectors, 98 teachers, 8 female teachers, and 1725 boys and girls. The establishment for orphan children contained 100 boys, 34 girls, and 10 attendants. A cheap public dining table was attended by 255 students and 360 poor scholars, and besides this there was an apothecary’s and a booksellers shop. Francke’s principles of education were strictly religious. Hebrew was included in his curriculum, but the heathen classics were treated with slight respect. The Homilies of Macarius were read in the place of Thucydides. As might be expected, the rules laid down for discipline and moral training breathed a spirit of deep affection and sympathy. Francke’s great merit, however, is to have left us a model of institutions by which children of all ranks may receive an education to fit them for any position in life. The Franckesche Stiftungen are still, next to the university, the centre of the intellectual life of Halle, and the different schools which they contain give instruction to 3500 children.

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