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Johann Ernst Plamann

Johann Ernst Plamann 22 June 1771, Repzin – 3 September 1834, Berlin was a German child educator He based his work on the ideas of Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi and Friedrich Ludwig Jahn Among his pupils was future German chancellor Otto von Bismarck


  • 1 Biography
    • 11 Early learning
    • 12 Institute founding
    • 13 Bismarck
    • 14 Health
  • 2 References


Early learning

Plamann attended the Joachimsthal Gymnasium and studied theology at the University of Halle At the age of 26, he was at Berlin, teaching in private schools, reading Greek and Latin classics A growing interest in education received an impulse when he made the acquaintance of the poet Christoph August Tiedge, who advised him to read the works of Pestalozzi Plamann was so deeply impressed by what he read that, in May 1803, he set out for Switzerland with borrowed money, and was cordially received by Pestalozzi The two men became friends

Institute founding

Plamann returned to Berlin, and at once applied for royal permission to establish an institution where the new Swiss system could be introduced By this time “Leonard and Gertrude” had made its author known in the Prussian capital, and great hopes were founded on Pestalozzi's reformation: the requisite warrant was issued to the applicant before the end of 1803 Plamann's institute opened in the autumn of 1805 The public authorities gave Plamann's enterprise material support, paying him to train students and teachers in the methods that he practised

Among the teachers were Friedrich Friesen, Friedrich Ludwig Jahn, Wilhelm Harnisch, Karl August Gottlieb Dreist, Ernst Wilhelm Bernhard Eiselen, Karl Friedrich von Klöden, Friedrich Fröbel, and Ernst Ferdinand August An ardent Pestalozzian, Plamann was sometimes in conflict with subordinates who attached more weight to the fundamental ideas of the new education than to a minute observance of its method, but he would give a free hand to those who showed capacity and life

Plamann insisted that a boy was to be developed as a whole Hence gymnastic exercises those of Jahn and Eiselen were freely inserted between the lessons For a particular pupil, instruction was not spread from the outset over all subjects: the number of subjects taken up and the sequence in which they were pursued depended on the progress of the child

The greatest stress in the educational program was laid on the formation of character Plamann thought the aim of all education was to bring the training of the mind into harmony with the moral and religious training, which he thought could only be effected if the former is subordinated to the latter Children were taught a higher regard for what has moral or religious worth than for the most brilliant intellectual achievements

Plamann's institute was located originally in the middle of Berlin near the castle in the Unterwasserstrasse The situation was chosen because it was from this quarter that the pupils, children of the higher and richer classes, were expected to be drawn, and, for the most part, actually came But there was no suitable playground attached, and the boys, to get fresher air, had to walk far through crowded streets Hence in 1812 a new building was taken near the Halle Gate in the Wilhelmsstrasse No 130


A pupil who later distinguished himself was Otto von Bismarck Bismarck learned gymnastics and geometry from Ernst Eiselen; Greek, Latin, and history from Schwarze; French from Le Fèvre; arithmetic from Beetz; writing from Markwort; natural history from Dietrich; singing from Kantor Tiedtke; and geography from Marias Schmidt Schmidt came to be distinguished from the other Schmidts in Berlin as "Smith to His Majesty" German: Hofschmidt, tutor to the royal court at Charlottenburg for 25 years Plamann himself taught Bismarck German, and what is called in German schools religion

Plamann prepared for the Tertia the third from the Prima, the highest of the six grades of a Gymnasium, and it was for the Untertertia the first year of the Tertia's two-year course that Bismarck left, in 1827, to enter the Friedrich-Wilhelm's Gymnasium Bismarck is said to have bitterly complained about Plamann's institute as a child Discipline was strict, and Eiselen and his exercises produced lasting and unpleasant memories in Bismarck's mind


During his career, Plamann's ill health kept him busy with physicians, or drove him off to watering places He was compelled by his health to close the doors of his institute in 1827 A few years later he died He was buried on 6 September 1834 in the churchyard outside the Halle Gate


  • This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: W G Field October 1898 "Bismarck's First School" The Journal of Education Oxford University Press 20: 603–4mw-parser-output citecitationmw-parser-output citation qmw-parser-output id-lock-free a,mw-parser-output citation cs1-lock-free amw-parser-output id-lock-limited a,mw-parser-output id-lock-registration a,mw-parser-output citation cs1-lock-limited a,mw-parser-output citation cs1-lock-registration amw-parser-output id-lock-subscription a,mw-parser-output citation cs1-lock-subscription amw-parser-output cs1-subscription,mw-parser-output cs1-registrationmw-parser-output cs1-subscription span,mw-parser-output cs1-registration spanmw-parser-output cs1-ws-icon amw-parser-output codecs1-codemw-parser-output cs1-hidden-errormw-parser-output cs1-visible-errormw-parser-output cs1-maintmw-parser-output cs1-subscription,mw-parser-output cs1-registration,mw-parser-output cs1-formatmw-parser-output cs1-kern-left,mw-parser-output cs1-kern-wl-leftmw-parser-output cs1-kern-right,mw-parser-output cs1-kern-wl-rightmw-parser-output citation mw-selflink

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