How Did Joseph II Of Austria Reform The Education System?


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Richard Marsden answered
Joseph was opposed to Church-run education. He wanted to establish a system of state schools were children would be trained for their future work. His aims included a desire for Jews and protestants to mix with society, he wanted everyone to learn German and for children to be taught to be loyal and obedient to the state.

Boys were encouraged to become civil servants, farmers or soldiers. Girls were primarily taught how to become good housewives. The reforms were geared towards social engineering. Schooling was made compulsory for children of primary school age, with fines to parents of truants. Primary schools taught basic skills in the local language. Girls went to separate schools. State run publishing provided literature and equipment which was free for poor children. But peasants wanted their children to start work as soon as possible. Early on, there was a 30 percent attendance rate, but by standards at the time, this was impressive. It was the highest attendance and literacy rates of schools in Europe.

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