Willmann, Otto

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Willmann, Otto


Born Apr. 24, 1839, in Lissa, presentday Leszno, Poland; died July 1, 1920, in Leitmeritz, present-day Litomefice, Czechoslovakia. German educator and follower of J. Herbart.

In the years 1857-63, Willmann studied at the universities of Breslau (Wroclaw) and Berlin, and he specialized in pedagogy at Leipzig. He lived in Vienna for about ten years, working primarily on problems of teacher training. From 1872 to 1903, Willmann was a professor at the German University in Prague and in 1907 he founded the Alliance for Christian Pedagogy (1907).

Willmann divided pedagogy into three areas—historical, theoretical, and practical. He considered the principal function of education to be the transmitting from one generation to the next of “eternal ideas” and of cultural and historical traditions, which he found in concentrated form in the religious and ethical standards of Catholic bent. The process of instruction must, in his opinion, conform not only to the psychology of the student but also to the logic of the subjects, which reflect “eternal ideas.” Believing that Herbart’s stages of instruction suffered from imprecise definitions and a confusion of logical and psychological concepts, Willmann spoke instead of three stages of learning (perception, understanding, and application), for each of which there must be a corresponding special form of instruction.


Aus Hörsaal und Schulstube, 3rd ed. Freiburg, 1912.
In Russian translation:
Didaktika kak teoriia obrazovaniia. … , vols. 1-2. Moscow, 1904-08.


Pohl, W. O. Willmann, der Pädagoge der Gegenwart. Düsseldorf, 1930.

Krebs, L. (ed.) O. Willmann zum Gedächtnis. Freiburg [1942].


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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