Johann Julius Hecker

Cancelling Classical Education

Today is the birthday of the German theologian and educator, Johann Julius Hecker, who was born on this day in 1707.

Hecker recognized that a classical education didn't work for everyone, and so he founded secondary schools that prepared students for practical jobs and callings.
Hecker referred to his schools as,

"the seed-beds of the state, from which the young, like trees from a nursery, could be transplanted in their proper places."

Hecker's work attracted the attention of the king of Prussia, Frederick the Great). King Frederick encouraged Hecker to expand his efforts. Hecker installed gardens near his schools to teach hands-on botany. The gardens included vegetables, herbs, and fruit trees. And, Hecker also taught the cultivation of the mulberry tree. This was a strategic decision by Hecker, who recognized that the production of silk and the care of silkworms would find favor with the King. Thanks to Hecker, both teachers and students tended a large mulberry plantation and learned the culture of silk and mulberries.

This post was featured on
The Daily Gardener podcast:

helping gardeners find their roots,
one story at a time
Johann Julius Hecker
Johann Julius Hecker

Leave a Comment