School Museum in Reckahn, Brandenburg an der Havel quoting Mark 10:14 at modern trends in preschool education entrance. The Prussian education system refers to the system of education established in Prussia as a result of educational reforms in the late 18th and early 19th century, which has had widespread influence since. The basic foundations of a generic Prussian primary education system were laid out by Frederick the Great with his Generallandschulreglement, a decree of 1763, authored by Johann Julius Hecker. The Prussian system consisted of an eight-year course of primary education, called Volksschule.
Construction of schools received some state support, but they were often built on private initiative. Friedrich Eberhard von Rochow, a member of the local gentry and former cavalry officer in Reckahn, Brandenburg, installed such a school. The overall system was soon widely admired for its efficiency and reduction of illiteracy, and served as a model for the education systems in other German states and a number of other countries, including Japan and the United States. Major drivers for improved education in Prussia since the 18th century had a background in the middle and upper middle strata of society and were pioneered by the Bildungsbürgertum. The system’s proponents overcame such resistance with the help of foreign pressure and internal failures, after the defeat of Prussia in the early stages of the Napoleonic Wars. In 1807 Johann Gottlieb Fichte had urged a new form of education in his Addresses to the German Nation.
Various German national movement leaders engaged themselves in educational reform. Pietism, a reformist group within Lutheranism, forged a political alliance with the King of Prussia based on a mutual interest in breaking the dominance of the Lutheran state church. Prussia was able to leverage the Protestant Church as a partner and ally in the setup of its educational system. Prussian ministers, particularly Karl Abraham Freiherr von Zedlitz, sought to introduce a more centralized, uniform system administered by the state during the 18th century. Generations of Prussian and also German teachers, who in the 18th century often had no formal education and in the very beginning often were untrained former petty officers, tried to gain more academic recognition, training and better pay and played an important role in various protest and reform movements throughout the 19th and into the 20th century. 18th and 19th century Enlightenment ideals of teachers educating the nation about its most sacred and important issues.