Teachers seminar

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School teacher seminar and practice school in Lübeck

The teachers' seminar was the training facility for prospective primary school teachers . For practical training after graduation as part of today's teacher training and for the earlier practical training of teachers for grammar school or vocational school, see study seminar .



Teachers' seminars were set up for the first time for the training of teachers in elementary and elementary schools . Until well into the 19th century, lessons in elementary schools were generally given by unskilled sextons, craftsmen, former soldiers or students. The state of the school system was accordingly desolate.

In the course of the 18th century, the first teachers' seminars came into being in connection with newly founded orphanages, for example in the August Hermann Franckes foundations in Halle (Saale) (1707 and 1718), but also in connection with poor schools and free schools. They opened up professional prospects for the pupils by teaching them cultural techniques, singing and religion, but also everyday practical skills, for example for agriculture as a basis for teaching. In addition to the form of seminar training, there was still the form of the "master apprenticeship", in which teachers trained their own successors as 'school assistants'. The seminar training for elementary school teachers was reluctant to prevail over conservative political fears. A good example of this is the Kiel Teachers' College, founded in 1781 as a child of the Enlightenment by the Kiel theologian Johann Andreas Cramer (1723–1788). After Cramer's death, the 29-year-old theologian Heinrich Müller headed the seminar, which was forced to resign in 1804 by conservative circles around the university curator Friedrich Karl von Reventlow . The seminary then fell into disuse and was dissolved in 1823. The seminars integrated general preparatory studies for applicants who were admitted without a high school diploma, or they generally require a three-year training course at preparation institutes .

Since the beginning of the 19th century, the seminars and preparatory institutions in Bavaria (1809) or in Prussia ( Royal School Teacher Seminar ) have been expanded (1811: 15 seminars; 1871: 81 seminars) and so "became the nucleus of the improvement of the lower school system" (Sand fox). In 1826 a final seminar exam and a second teacher exam were introduced after three years of professional experience. In 1872 Prussia set new standards for teacher training, which also raised the level of seminar training in the following years. At the end of the 1880s, the seminars provided “the nationwide provision of teachers who were well-trained according to the state of the art” (U. Sandfuchs). The training was separated according to denomination. A representative of the churches was also an external member of the examination committee. Private teachers' seminars were also set up for private Jewish schools, some of which received substantial subsidies, such as that of the Marks-Haindorf Foundation in Münster. The demand to raise the training of elementary school teachers like that of grammar school teachers uniformly throughout the entire Reich to university level was not realized for a long time for reasons of cost. Up until 1919, no Abitur was required for the profession of elementary school teacher.

During the Weimar Republic , educational academies were established in individual countries of the German Reich , for which the Abitur was a requirement (in Prussia from 1925 through the Richert secondary school reform ). In part, the training was affiliated to the universities, but other countries retained their seminar teacher training despite the demand in the Weimar Constitution for academic training (Württemberg, Bavaria).

In the time of National Socialism , the democracy-friendly educational academies were closed and a college for teacher training was set up in their place.From 1941, hundreds of non-academic teacher training institutions emerged , which were primarily geared towards ideological drill and sport, for which no Abitur was required. So the high blood loss should be replaced by the world war.

After 1945, the federal states followed up on the training traditions before 1933. For a long time, teacher training in the seminars remained denominationally separate. The demand for an academization of all teacher training, including teachers for non-grammar schools, was slow to gain acceptance and was included in the structural plan for education (1970). The training model of preparatory service at study seminars, which was previously limited to grammar school teachers, was transferred to all teaching posts at the Conference of Ministers of Education on October 9, 1970 in Frankenthal . Since then, the preparatory service for all trainee teachers has been carried out at “special training institutions”.

In the GDR , teacher training for lower level teachers took place at institutes for teacher training (entry requirement: secondary school leaving certificate). Up until 1960, a distinction was made between the intermediate level teacher (up to grade 8) and the upper level teacher (grade 9 to 12). From 1960 a distinction was made between upper level teachers with teaching qualifications up to grade 10 or 12. From June 1, 1971, there was a uniform qualification for upper level teachers ( diploma teachers ) up to grade 12 at educational colleges and universities (entry requirement: Abitur), but no longer A distinction was made between school types (POS or EOS). In addition, diploma teachers at universities acquired the teaching qualification up to the pre-diploma (basic studies up to the fourth semester at a college or university). After the reunification of Germany in 1990, the West German structures of teacher training were transferred to those of the new federal states.

Teacher seminars in the German states


Since 1810 there have been teacher seminars in Bremen, which served the training of teachers in elementary school and elementary school (see Bremen teacher seminars ).

North Rhine-Westphalia (selection)

Saarland (after World War II )

When it was clear that the Saarland would return to the Federal Republic of Germany, it was decided that elementary school teacher training should be academized. In May 1956, two denominational academies were established in Saarbrücken (the Catholic Peter Wust and the Protestant Comenius University). The teachers' seminars should end. From the mid-1960s onwards, the aim was to further develop into academic universities; On October 1, 1969, the Saarland University of Education was finally founded, which existed until 1978.


The steadily increasing number of pupils in elementary schools in the second half of the 19th century meant that the existing teacher’s seminars reached their capacity limits and sufficient teachers could no longer be trained. This prompted the government in the Saxon state parliament to set up further teacher seminars. Cities could apply by means of a tender . Since a teachers' seminar had many positive effects, every new location was fought for. The cities promised new jobs and an upswing for social and scientific life. Thus, between 1869 and 1896, eight new teacher seminars were created in the Saxon region alone. For almost all new buildings, a new street was laid out in the respective location, which was called "Seminarstraße". In particular, the buildings of the teachers' seminars in Rochlitz from 1895 (today Johann-Mathesius-Gymnasium) and in Plauen im Vogtland from 1899 (today police headquarters) are very similar in structure, floor plan and facade to the building in Dresden-Plauen.


State seminars (chronological)
  • Esslingen (1811, Protestant)
  • Schwäbisch Gmünd (1825, Catholic)
  • Nürtingen (1843, Protestant)
  • Künzelsau (1873, Protestant)
  • Markgröningen, (1873, Protestant teachers' seminar)
  • Saulgau (1877, Catholic)
  • Nagold (1881, Protestant)
  • Schwäbisch Gmünd (1901, Catholic seminary for teachers)
  • Backnang (1909, Protestant)
  • Heilbronn (1912, Protestant)
  • Rottweil (1912, Catholic)
Further seminars (selection)
  • Öhringen (1788, Protestant)
  • Winnenden, in connection with the local Paulinenpflege (approx. 1829, Protestant)
  • Tempelhof near Crailsheim, in connection with a children's rescue facility (1835 ?, Protestant)
  • Lichtenstern near Löwenstein, in connection with a children's rescue facility (1839, Protestant)
  • Altdorf near Nuremberg


In 1832, the Zurich teachers 'seminar in Küsnacht was the first state teachers' seminar in Switzerland to open. Following secondary school, the training initially lasted two years, then three years, and finally it was extended to four years. The training was completed with a teacher's license, which entitles them to teach at primary school (1st to 9th grade).

The training was later extended to five years, and at the same time the teacher patent enabled enrollment at a university. The only thing that was not possible was to enroll in medicine and for the courses at ETH Zurich .

The last teacher patents that could be acquired at a teachers' seminar were issued in Chur in 2005. Since then there has been no teacher training college in Switzerland. The training takes place at a teacher training college .

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Certificate Neuwied 1903 G-Michel-Hürth printed in private publication
  2. ^ Klaus-Dieter Stamm, key words from A to Z on education, youth and society in the GDR e-book 2010 Books on Demond GmbH, Norderstedt ISBN 978-3-7322-0604-9
  3. Anne-Elisabeth Rossa, On the relationship between general didactics and subject didactics in teacher training e-book p 77-79, 2013 Verlag Julius Klinkhardt, Bad Heilbrunn, ISBN 978-3-7815-1919-0
  4. ^ Horst Schiffler: Elementary school teacher training in Saarland after 1945. In: Ottweiler School Museum. Retrieved January 29, 2019 .
  5. Roland Schmidt: The Royal Teachers' Seminar in Auerbach was opened 125 years ago. In: School history of the Saxon Vogtland . May 8, 2001, archived from the original on October 6, 2014 ; Retrieved April 24, 2015 .
  6. ^ Chronological overview of the teachers' seminars in Saxony. In: Hans-Martin Moderow: Elementary school between state and church: the example of Saxony in the 18th and 19th centuries. 2007, ISBN 978-3-412-11706-1 , p. 457.
  7. ^ Johann Mathesius Gymnasium Rochlitz. Retrieved April 24, 2015 .
  8. Roland Schmidt: Once the Royal Teachers' College - today the Police Directorate. ( Memento from October 6, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) In: School history of the Saxon Vogtland. ( Memento from October 6, 2014 in the Internet Archive )
  9. 14th annual report on the Royal Teachers' Seminar in Plauen i. Vogtl. Festschrift to celebrate the institution's 100th anniversary, 1910. Schütze, 1910, p. VII , accessed on April 24, 2015 .
  10. ^ Kolbe, Arthur: School statistics for the Kingdom of Saxony. Dresden, 1909. page 153.
  11. ^ After Erich Müller-Gaebele: From Esslingen to Heilbronn - The expansion of seminar teacher training in Württemberg. In: 200 years of state teacher training in Württemberg: On the institutionalization of state teacher training. Edited by Thomas Wiedenhorn and Ursula Pfeiffer-Blattner. 2014, pp. 43–68, pp. 44 f. ISBN 978-3-658-03621-8
  12. State Archives Ludwigsburg , inventory F 1/381 (Protestant teacher seminar Backnang: invoices)
  13. ^ Heinrich Heppe: History of the German elementary school system. Vol. 2. Gotha 1858, p. 170.
  14. Flying leaves from the rough house in Horn near Hamburg . Series 3. No. 21 of November 1846, p. 162 ( online ).
  15. Royal Bavarian Teachers' College, City of Altdorf b. Nuremberg. Accessed December 31, 2018 .


  • Joachim Rohlfes: German history lessons in the 19th century. State-political guidelines, historical standards, educational impulses. In: History in Science and Education . 2004, p. 382ff.
  • Uwe Sandfuchs: History of teacher training in Germany. In: Sigrid Blömeke, P. Reinhold, G. Tuoldziecki, J. Wildt (Hrsg.): Handbuch Lehrerbildung. Westermann / Klinkhardt, Braunschweig / Bad Heilbrunn 2004, ISBN 3-7815-1344-0 , pp. 14-37.
  • Handbook of the German history of education . 6 volumes. Beck, Munich 1987-2005.
  • Handbook of school statistics for the Kingdom of Saxony 22, 1913, ( digitized version ).

See also