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versities. Here and there orientation courses and courses in “learning to think” are being introduced for freshmen. These general courses are intended to give an overview of human knowledge, to orient the students to the world of nature, and to organized society, to give them an intelligent point of view with regard to the present day problems of society, and to furnish them with the tools and the methods for solving the question of their work in life and of their relationship and responsibilities to the present day social and industrial organizations. In this connection attention should also be called to the movement which really began in the secondary schools for the reorganization of the materials of the various subjects of study. I have reference to the introduction of courses in general science and general mathematics, and to new courses based upon a reorganization of subject matter in the foreign languages and the social sciences. These courses are not short courses, such as were in existence a generation ago, nor are they survey courses, such as are now in existence in many colleges and universities. They represent a thorough reorganization and coördination of the materials in these fields. A second movement calculated to insure a more systematic education is the movement to organize definite programs in terms of definite objectives. This situation has been forced by two sets of factors: increasing pressure from the outside for training along specific lines for definite forms of service, and the insistent demand on the part of an increasing number of students that there be definite programs of study with definite objectives available for them. The vast majority of students entering college to-day know what they want training for. They are not willing to
drift about aimlessly in a sea of liberal subjects. The traditional appeal that one should go to college to acquire culture is far less potent than it once was.
The assumption that one is liberalized
only by studying the so-called liberal subjects is being seriously questioned. Culture, it is maintained, is something that cannot be acquired by aiming at it directly; it is, on the contrary, the Inost important by-product of any program of education, depending not merely upon the aims and materials contained in the program but upon the way in which the materials are presented. If one be trained adequately in law, medicine, nursing, teaching, or any other profession and as a result of his training is imbued with the ethics and spirit of his craft so that he dedicates his life primarily to service and citizenship rather than to personal gain and to the accumulation of a fortune, he has, it is maintained, all of the benefits of any liberal program of education. If this aim appears somewhat ethical, I ask, “Is it more visionary than the aim of culture based upon a knowledge of a number of fragmentary ‘liberal subjects’ ”? One of the facts that has been slowly borne in upon those in administrative positions in higher institutions of learning is that among the many factors that are responsible for the failure of many students in college are the following: (1) a sheer lack of intellectual ability; (2) the absence of certain necessary
moral and character qualities; (3) the
failure of realizing what it means to work and how to work; (4) the lack of a definite objective when they enter college. A knowledge of these factors, and particularly of the fourth, has contributed to another movement equally significant in the field of higher education and that is the movement to give more individual attention to entering students and to offer them intelligent vocational advice. This movement has not had easy sailing in all institutions, nor has there been anything like unanimous approval of it on the part of university men. There are those still on college faculties who quite sincerely believe that it is no part of the institution's business to look after the intellectual welfare of its students outside of class. They are willing that some attention be given to the social and moral welfare and to providing proper living accommodations for students, but that so far as studentship is concerned the student should be placed upon his “own” at once. These faculty representatives look carefully after the preservation of the traditions and the integrity of the institution. But to them the student is entitled to little time or consideration outside of class hours. Fortunately, this point of view is passing. An attitude of self-complacency and of medievalism so far as instruction is concerned will no longer be accepted. Those who tolerate their students and who regard them as a necessary evil are gradually being displaced by those who have a more human point of view. Yale has her all-university freshman year, Princeton her tutorial system, Harvard her upper classmen's advisory system, Northwestern her personnel officer, and many other institutions their advisory officers for the giving of vocational advice, and the selection and placement of students. There are at least two other matters deserving of attention that would improve the situation in higher education. One of these is the giving of more attention to the improvement of teaching. Not enough attention has been paid to this matter in the past. Instructors have been selected on the basis of their scholastic qualifications and their ability to carry on research. Promotion has
depended upon ability in these respects, and it still does and should to a large extent. Contributions in the way of research have gained early recognition for the young scholar while the skillful teacher has usually had to wait until late in life to receive the recognition he deserves. Since the emphasis has not been upon the instruction act, classroom procedure and improved methods of teaching have not received the consideration or made the progress they should. Furthermore, many college instructors in the past have not welcomed, to say the least, supervision of their instruction. There is much superior teaching in college circles, but no one familiar with the situation would for a moment admit that further improvement is impossible. Nothing can have a healthier reactionary effect upon instruction than attention on the part of the instructor to an improvement of the teaching act itself. In the future more consideration rather than less will be paid to it. The other type of readjustment deserving consideration is the introduction of courses less than four years in length. One of the fetishes in college life has been the four years' course. It has been presumed that it is a sine qua mon for a college education. And yet many students of higher education have long known that many courses should be less than four years in length. College authorities have hesitated to introduce them for several reasons. One is that it is not done; it is not good form; it violates tradition. But society is growing more complex and the demands for the training of groups not hitherto served by colleges are more insistent. The discoveries of modern psychology have shown that all students should not be encouraged, because of differences in ability to attempt the longer courses. Two forces, one social and the other psychological, are forcing a consideration of the problem. The growth of the freshman and sophomore registration has hastened the matter. Some valiant advocates of the traditional conception of higher education maintain, as I have already indicated, that all the incompetent should be eliminated. With this view I most heartily agree. Where to draw the line of incompetency is the question. What ability constitutes the threshold of college work remains undecided. But wherever it is drawn, those who pass beyond should, after having received the best advice available, be permitted to choose a curriculum corresponding to their abilities and desires. Some of these curricula will be less than four years in length. Indeed, a few such curricula have already been introduced in practically all universities. The development of junior colleges has stimulated a consideration of this matter. Many believe that the junior college should be not merely a preparatory but also a finishing school. Where junior colleges exist as a part of the university system and plant it is conceivable that a number of departments may coöperate in providing a definite program serving the needs of a group of students, three years in length. The danger which inheres in programs less than four years in length is that the college or university will become essentially a trade school. This is a real danger and should be carefully guarded against. On the other hand, no university can escape the obligation of providing vocational and professional training. Indeed, every university provides such training now. Should greater flexibility in the matter of curricula be introduced, the newer and shorter curricula as well as the older and longer curricula should, after proper advice has been given to the stu
dent, be equally open to all. The choice of election should always be determined by the objectives of the students. If programs of study were mapped out in terms of well-defined objectives and students received intelligent guidance in choosing their programs, and if they were permitted to move forward at their several rates of abilities, the mastery of one unit serving as the necessary basis for attempting the next, it would be found that there would be more enthusiasm in studentship, more intelligent discussion in class, and less artificiality in grading. Perhaps this is nothing but the idle dream of a schoolmaster. That it is heresy, I admit. That is will come true, I believe. The fact that all students do not move forward at the same rate of speed is not necessarily a sign of incompetency. Some will proceed along given lines or accomplish a given program of education more rapidly than others. The efficiency of our higher institutions of learning in the future will not be determined by the number they eliminate, important and necessary as that matter may be, but by the extent to which they guide students wisely, train them in proper habits of thinking, become interested in their individual abilities and welfare, reorganize the materials of instruction, improve their methods of teaching, introduce programs of work adapted to modern society and to the needs of students, and remain close to the people. The coming of large numbers of students to colleges and universities is not a thing to be deplored; it is a most fortunate sign. We have, I fear, been too prone to accept a European conception of Scholasticism as a basis for the organization of our colleges and universities. Certainly we do not wish to, even if we could, long imitate European methods of education. Our democracy is not bound by social castes. Leadership in this country is dependent, we believe, upon differences in intellectual ability. To discover and provide training for this in every field, we maintain that the door of opportunity should never be shut in the face of any citizen. The
American creed is that every man should
receive such education as his circumstances and ability will permit him to profit by. He is entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and the first business of our schools, elementary and high, is to make life worth living, liberty worth striving for, the pursuit of happiness something for which no man need be ashamed. In making a man it is our business to make him a good citizen and at the same time to make him good for something.
Upon no subject is there such universal agreement as upon the efficacy of higher education. There has been a shift of emphasis of which many apparently are still unaware from education as a personal privilege to the belief that education is a universal right and its support a public duty, and this shift is bringing in its train a whole series of new types of administrative adjustments, all of which will require increased support, but all of which will mean more sympathetic consideration for the needs of the individual and the demands of society.
The Making of Diplomas
Perhaps very few of our readers are familiar with the process by which diplomas are produced. The diploma firm of Ames & Rollinson, 206 Broadway, New York City, has favored us with the following statement on this subject:
The highest class diploma that can be made is engraved on steel. The next best is copper engraved. In fact, both
produce nearly the same effect, the steel being necessary where large quantities are printed annually and the copper being sufficient for smaller numbers. The majority of the college diplomas are lithographed—printed from stone. The engraving is done right on the stone from sketches previously created, and then from this engraved stone a transfer print is made to make it possible to print them on an offset press, while steel and copper plate prints are each made by hand, a very slow process, and therefore more expensive. The cheapest method is either photolithograph or photo-engraved. Both of these processes require first a perfect hand-made pen and ink copy of the complete diploma. This is where many printers fail by not having proper original copies to photograph from. Then by a photographic manipulation it is transferred to either stone or metal. These two methods do not cost so much as the straight stone-cut work, and naturally do not produce the fine effect and delicate lines of the straight lithograph prints. Schools in general determine the character of their diploma by the expense involved. Ames & Rollinson are prepared to print them by any and every process. The editor visited their studio in January and the artistic display of hand-made designs of all character proves their ability to create diploma designs that are a credit to all concerned.
That All Depends
The teacher had been trying to inculcate the principles of the golden rule and turn-the-other cheek.
“Now, Tommy’’, she said, “what would you do supposing a boy struck you”?
“How big a boy are you supposing”? demanded Tommy.—American Legion Weekly.
Comparison of the 6-3-3 Plan and the 6-4-2 Plan in the Organization of Elementary and High Schools.
By willi AM JOHN COOPER, City Superintendent of Schools, Fresno, California
Approximately one-third of all the porting that they had one or more city superintendents who answered the junior high schools was 386, making a questionnaire of the Federal Bureau of gain of 70 cities having such schools for Education reported junior high school the period of about two years; in 1919organizations of some sort in operation 20 the number of schools reported by in their cities during the school year these 386 cities was 575, making a gain ending June, 1922. To quote from City of 15s junior high schools for the same School Leaflet No. 12: period.”—Bureau of Education City
- - - School Leaflet No. 12, page 1.
“The total number of junior high of these 733 schools, 523 offer suffi
schools reported by the superintendents cient data on grades included in each
of these 456 cities was 733.” junior high school to make possible “In 1919-20 the number of cities re- tabulation as follows: TABLE 1
Junior High Schools in Cities Having Population of 2,500 or over Data from U. S. Bureau of Education City School Leaflet No. 12 [B. Y. Hebb]
Sept. 1923 Cities of Over 30,000 to 10,000 to Under GROUPINGs Grades 100,000 100,000 30,000 10,000 Totals lyr. 2 yrs. 3 yrs. 4 yrs. Starting at 6-7 4 - 1 1 6 6 6-7-8 1 4 5 5 Grade 6 6-7-8-9 1 1 1 12 7-8 33 49 119 201 201 7-8-9 103 89 37 65 294 294 Grade 7 7-8-9-10 2 1 1 4 4 499 8 1 1 1 8-9 2 3 5 5 Grade 8 8-9-10 1 1 2 2 8-9-10-11 1 1 1 9 9-10 3 3 3 Grade 9 Totals 109 128 92 194 523 1. 215 301 6 3
It appears from this table (No. 1) of the total 523, or nearly 93 per cent that the popular types of junior high of all those reporting. Four year groupschool organization are the 6-2-4 and the ings of all sorts, on the other hand, 6-3-3 rather than the types I have been number only six, and of these six the asked to discuss since, it will be noted, 7-10 plan is used in only four cases, less these two types embrace 495 schools out than 1 per cent of all.
“Address delivered at the Chicago meeting N. E. A. Department of Superintendence, February 27, 1924.