Girls high school

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A girls' school as a forerunner of the later girls ' high schools was described as a higher girls' school or higher girls ' school and regionally also lyceum , or functionally also as a girls' boarding school . In terms of school levels, these schools were comparable to lower secondary level , i.e. the fifth to tenth grade of today's German school system .

The Victoria Lyceum in Berlin, 1893


The alternatively used term higher daughter school is a combination of higher school and daughters or girls. Schools were designated as higher schools, the teaching of which went beyond elementary schools and elementary schools and aimed at a more general “intellectual education” ( Brockhaus 1896/1897). Accordingly, secondary schools for girls were secondary schools for girls.

The term "higher daughter school" was often viewed as a school for higher daughters . Attending a secondary school for girls was partially covered by compulsory schooling (usually comprising eight school years).


Students of the Geestemünder Lyceum 1919

The first schools for further education for girls were founded as early as the beginning of the 18th century. The Gynaecum, founded by August Hermann Francke in 1709, is considered to be the first girls' school . Another example are the Catholic daughter institutes of the English Fräulein in Bamberg, founded in 1717 .

In 1802 the first school with this name was found in Hanover, the “municipal higher daughter school” . In 1806 Johann Heinrich Meier , who had initially worked at the school in Hanover, founded a private educational institution for girls in Lübeck , which existed until 1871. In 1808, a "Madame Wippermann" from Quedlinburg , the wife of the merchant and factory owner Wippermann, founded the Neustädter Grundschule Quedlinburg as the first private secondary school for girls for 40 pupils , which in March 1863 became the property of Quedlinburg as the "Städtische Höhere Töchterschule". From the Erlangen “Höhere Töchterschule”, which was privately run by Johanna Rau, daughter of the Erlangen professor Johann Wilhelm Rau, until 1820 , which was taken over by the municipality in May 1877 and became a “higher female educational institution” at the beginning of the 20th century The attached teacher seminar was expanded, two of today's Erlangen grammar schools emerged, the Marie-Therese-Gymnasium and the Christian-Ernst-Gymnasium .

The Gymnasium am Rotenbühl in Saarbrücken can serve as a further example . Founded as a mixed “club school” with a class of 25 boys and girls in 1832, it was converted into an all-girls school in 1835, known locally as the “Höhere Töchterschule”. Also in 1835, the secondary girls' school in Halle (Saale) was founded by Hermann Agathon Niemeyer in the Francke Foundations .

Sometimes such schools were also set up as pens by women in society. For example, Louise Henriette von Mangoldt's "Institute for Daughters of Higher Classes" , which was established in Tharandt as the Louisenstift in 1857, was a collective school with an associated boarding school.

The main aim was to prepare the young girls for their later domestic duties as wives and mothers. Wealthy (large) bourgeois and noble families who could afford school fees and who wanted their daughters to have a more serious education preferred to send them to private educational institutes or girls' boarding schools , which were more likely to meet the requirements of a "higher school" were fair. Daughters of less well-off families often left secondary school for girls prematurely as soon as they had completed their compulsory schooling because other domestic tasks awaited them and education was not a high priority for young women.

At the end of the 19th century, Prussia had 213 public high schools for girls and 656 private ones.

In contrast to grammar schools , the higher schools for boys, the higher schools for girls lacked the preparatory upper level , as is the aim of today's upper secondary level , and the Abitur qualifying for university studies . The higher daughter school ended around the age of 15 to 16. In this way, girls' education in Germany corresponded to the requirements that also applied in other western countries. For a long time, attending a teacher’s seminar was the only way for young women to receive further and professional education. In the 1890s, special girls 'grammar schools and high school courses were set up to replace the missing upper level in the girls' school.

In 1908, through the commitment of Helene Lange and the leading Prussian cultural politician Friedrich Althoff , as well as numerous other reformers, including the German Empress Auguste Viktoria , the girls' schools were redesigned, which brought significant improvements. The historian Angelika Schaser judged the reform: "The year 1908 undoubtedly marks a significant advance in the field of Prussian girls 'education, and the reform of the girls' school system can be seen as one of the great successes of the German women's movement."

Well-known secondary schools for girls

Use of "Lyceum"

The term Lyceum (after the Greek Lykeion ) is not only used in Germany for schools, although schools with different organizational forms and educational goals can be used. For example, a Lycée in France and a Liceum in Poland a high school for both sexes, leading to high school graduation.


  • Helene Lange : The higher girls' school and its purpose. 1887.

See also

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ↑ The fact that opinions diverged as to whether "higher" related to the type of education or the target group, is shown by the school history of the Mariengymnasium Papenburg , which was expressly promoted around 1835 by a "Miss Julia Brabant" from Neuenkirchen in Oldenburg as a higher daughter's school "The female youth of higher classes" was established. Article in the commemorative publication on the 300th anniversary of the St. Antonius parish in Papenburg in 1980. ( Memento from August 15, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) In: Chronicle of the Mariengymnasium Papenburg. Retrieved October 30, 2010.
  2. Helga Brandes: Woman, in: Werner Schneiders (ed.): Lexicon of the Enlightenment. Germany and Europe . Munich 2000, 127.
  3. Girls schools. In: Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon , 1905 (on Retrieved October 30, 2010.
  4. Claus-Hinrich Offen: School in a Hanseatic civil society: on the social history of the lower school system in Lübeck (1800–1866) , 1990
  5. The 130-year history of the Neustädter Elementary School in Quedlinburg. ( Memento of the original from November 29, 2010 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. In: Chronicle of the Neustädter Elementary School Quedlinburg. Retrieved October 30, 2010.  @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  6. Emmy Noether's school days in Erlangen: From the beginnings of the municipal high school for girls. ( Memento of the original from June 14, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. In: Heinrich Hirschfelder: Erlangen im Kaiserreich 1871–1918. CC Buchners Verlag, Bamberg 2007. Chapter 6 .: "Women and school history (s)." On the website of the SeniorenNetz Erlangen. Retrieved October 30, 2010.  @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  7. Timeline for the history of our school. In: Chronicle of the Gymnasium am Rotenbühl in Saarbrücken . Retrieved October 30, 2010.
  8. Angelika Schaser: Women's Movement in Germany 1848–1933 . Darmstadt 2006, p. 25.
  9. Against the view of Richard J. Evans, Schaser can show how large the actual share of Helene Lange was; see Angelika Schaser: Helene Lange and Gertrud Bäumer. A political community . Cologne: Böhlau, 2010, pp. 120–129, especially p. 129.
  10. Angelika Schaser: Helene Lange and Gertrud Bäumer. A political community . Cologne: Böhlau, 2010, 120-129.
  11. Angelika Schaser: Women's Movement in Germany 1848–1933. Darmstadt 2006, p. 35.
  12. Ilse Rüttgerodt-Riechmann: Davenstedter Strasse , in: Monument topography Federal Republic of Germany , architectural monuments in Lower Saxony, City of Hanover (DTBD), part 2, vol. 10.2, ed. by Hans-Herbert Möller , Lower Saxony State Administration Office - Institute for Monument Preservation , Friedr. Vieweg & Sohn Verlagsgesellschaft mbH, Braunschweig 1985, ISBN 3-528-06208-8 , p. 124ff .; as well as linden trees in the addendum : List of architectural monuments acc. § 4 ( NDSchG ) (except for architectural monuments of the archaeological monument preservation), status: July 1, 1985, City of Hanover , Lower Saxony State Administration Office - publications of the Institute for Monument Preservation , p. 22f.