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would rejoice in Dr. Ettinger's reëlec Dear Friends: You are all anxious tion, but in spite of this there is a grave to have your children succeed in school. danger that the Board of Education will School work is the most important busiput in Dr. Ettinger's place an official ness of the children in your care. Carewho will be subservient to the political ful home training, good health, religious demand that Dr. Ettinger has refused to instruction, and a thorough education comply with. This is a dark outlook for are the best insurance for the future sucthe New York city schools.
cess and happiness of your children. Be It is unfortunate that no legislation sure that they have all these at whatcan be put through the present Legis
ever sacrifice. The progress of your lature for the protection of the New children in school will be greatly aided, York city schools. There has probably
1. If you will insist upon punctuality never been a time when the New York
and regularity at school, and give no city schools have suffered so much from excuses, except for the most urgent low politics as they have in the last few
reasons. years. The defeat of Dr. Ettinger will
2. If you will read carefully all nomean a more rapid disintegration of the tices and reports from school, and entire school system than ever.
through the principal and teacher keep
in touch with the work of your children. The entire state will await with in
3. If you will encourage your
children terest the outcome of the election of a
to strengthen their weak points as reNew York city superintendent. Several
vealed by their report cards. times in the last few years this journal
4. If you will insist that the older has called attention to the harm that is
children, who have assignments of homebeing wrought by politics in the admin
work, set aside a definite period for istration of the New York city schools.
study each day. Failure to reëlect Dr. Ettinger will
5. If you will lend your coöperation prove a sad disappointment to educational people everywhere. The greatest school property entrusted to your chil
in the care of school books and other city in the United States should have an
dren. administration of its schools free from the devastating politics now dominating
6. If you will withhold judgment reNew York city, and it is to be hoped until you have heard both sides; and
, New York city, and it is to be hoped garding reports of happenings at school, that the Board of Education will refuse
then never criticize the teacher in the to subject the schools of that city for the next six years to the harm that will
presence of the children. come from the selection of a superin- home, and respect for parents, elders,
7. If you will insist upon obedience at tendent ready to carry out the orders home, and respect for parents, elders, emanating from the city hall.
teachers, and all officers of the law.
8. If you will know the character of the companions of your children and
ascertain the nature of the entertainSuggestions for Parents
ments which your children attend beOn Thursday evening, January 3, fore permitting them to attend. 1924, station WIP broadcasted the 9. If you will arrange regular home following important message from Dr. duties, or "chores,” for your children so Edwin C. Broome, superintendent of that they may acquire habits of work, schools, Philadelphia, to the parents of ideas of service for others, and a sense the children in the public schools: of responsibility.
Higher Education: New Administrative
By LOTUS D. COFFMAN, President, University of Minnesota
Education is continually modifying ceptions of the purposes for which uniits practice. The changes that have oc
versities have been established and curred in the elementary and secondary maintained—those who have regarded fields in the lifetime of many of those
themselves as the custodians of scholarpresent have been revolutionary. ship-with the first appearances of these teacher of a generation ago would find new tendencies, fearful that change himself, if he should suddenly return,
meant lowered scholarship, buckled on hopelessly uninformed and bewildered their armor anew for the fight to preby the vast amount of new knowledge
serve their cherished programs without that has been accumulated, the new change. Their activity has not been methods that have been introduced, and
without its value, but it has not posthe
practices that have been sessed sufficient power and strength to adopted. All this, of course, is as it
prevent some progress or shall I say should be. The schools cannot be ex
change from being made. pected to stand still. They could not, if What is responsible for changes in the they wanted to, for. they are society's field of higher education to which I most sensitive agent for carrying out its
allude! Several things. One is the inplans. Social progress is always re
sinuation of the scientific spirit into all flected in them sooner or later.
fields of learning. Another is the new Higher education has not been static; emphasis placed by psychology upon a it, too, has changed, but not so much so knowledge of individual differences. as the schools below. And there is a rea Another is the discovery that society is son for this. Institutions of higher still differentiating into new occupations learning have been less sensitive to pub- and professions, and that the pressure lic opinion than have the elementary
for instruction in these fields is growing and secondary schools. They have more impelling. A fourth reason is the stood more aloof and have been more in- growth in registration in colleges and strumental in determining their policies universities. With the impact of these and programs than have the lower forces and sanctions following the war schools. They have maintained, and university authorities began to take an frequently with some show of vigor, that inventory of aims, programs of instructhey know better what society needs and tion, standards of work and administrawants in the way of higher education tive practices. than society itself knows. But no in The discussion, which has not yet stitution is entirely self-sufficient; no ended, and perhaps never will, soon deinstitution can entirely disassociate it- veloped two opposing points of view, self from the developing and expanding one the academic point of view, which of the times. Universities dimly and insists upon a limitation of registration uncertainly at first, but recently more in the interest of the gifted, and the consciously, have felt the stirrings of other the public point of view which new life, and of new tendencies. Some insists that the humblest person who of the proponents of the traditional con meets the entrance requirements of the
higher institutions of learning as they that they have always gone is generally now exist, is entitled to his chance at admitted. There are thousands of colhigher education. One, in other words, lege graduates in this country who know would admit only the mentally elect; that they were not endowed with unwhile the other, influenced no doubt by usual talent or superior ability. They the American conception of equality of had good ability and they succeeded beopportunity, maintains that those with cause they were willing to work. There the requisite preparation are entitled to is not a college president in America their chance. The lines of demarcation who could not name members of his between these two points of view are faculty who possess no unusual ability. perfectly clear.
A distinguished member of a distinNever before has there been any seri- guished private eastern university is ous discord among those in higher edu- reported to have said recently in concation with reference to the number of versation with one of his colleagues, students that should be admitted. It “With the rules for entrance as high as has only been a few years since they they are, it is a good thing we are on went out in the highways and byways the faculty rather than applying for to persuade students to come to college. entrance, for ve could not get in." “I The most lurid advertisements were might have gotten in," he continued, used and the most preposterous claims “but I could never have got out.” of the value of a college education were It is conceivable, of course, that the 'made. Now all this is changed. A few academic world is undervaluing and presidents and individual members of overlooking the possibilities of the somany faculties, have sounded a
called mediocre person. The average slogan—it is that too many students are citizen, whether he be right or wrong, going to college. No evidence is de still thinks so. He believes that intelduced that a college education is any lectual progress and moral development more inimical to public welfare now are within the compass of higher educathan it ever was. It is claimed that tion and possible for his own children. many of those now entering college are Which of these points of view shall mentally incapable of doing satisfactory prevail still seems to be a matter of college work and that it is better to edu- opinion. It is my candid opinion, in cate a few gifted persons than to at case existing institutions do not cheertempt to provide a college education for fully and willingly make provision for great masses of mediocre young men and an increasing number of college stuyoung women. It is without doubt true dents, that other colleges and instituthat we have more mentally incapable tions of higher learning will arise to students in college now than ever before, meet the need. It seems doubtful to me but there does not seem to be any con whether those who desire to limit the clusive evidence to show, at least thus present college facilities to the number far I have been unable to find it, that of students they maintain their facilithe percentage of mentally incapable ties may accommodate will receive the students in college to-day is any greater permanent approval of the public. The than it ever was.
opinion still prevails, indeed it inheres Whether or not the time has come in the American conception of the conwhen those who do not possess superior stitution of democratic society, that gifts may be privileged to go to college every child is entitled to a fair opporis a question of great social significance. tunity from the kindergarten to the uni
versity. The debate as to the functions escape the follies of the freshman year. of universities and particularly of state Public sentiment proposes to make universities in providing educational clear the responsibility of the teacher. facilities for the average man, may grow
It is obvious that we cannot escape by more serious, but the popular conception way of the Binet test unless it is applied of the functions of the state university all around.
We cannot correct that it is a part of the public school sys the evils due to excessive enrollment by tem and therefore has a definite public protesting that our students are inobligation to perform, will not be easily ferior. Some other method awaits our put aside. For years now the staff's of discovery." state institutions have encouraged the Various schemes have already been youth of the state to believe that at tried to limit registration for the protendance at the university was their tection of society. One method tried by great opportunity and the youth have the professional schools has been to accepted these statements at their face lengthen their courses. It has seldom value. They have come in response to
been admitted that this is a reason for an urgent appeal, and I dare say that the lengthening of professional courses, the public will insist upon the obligation but it is nevertheless true. There is implied in this appeal being fulfilled. nothing to show that the lengthening of
With reference to the question of com the courses has in the long run reduced petency of the college students of to the number of students or that society day, President Thompson of Ohio State has been any better protected from the University in his Founders' Day address quack, the shyster or the fake than beat Cornell in 1923, said, “Is it true that fore. “There is no way by which sotoo many of our youth are attempting ciety may be protected against the evils higher education? Is it true that a con of sophistry and of the appeal to passiderable percentage of these young peo sion except by the influence of thoughtple are incompetent? The universities ful, educated men. There is no instituappear to think so, but let me assure tion that so prepares men and women you that the parents do not agree with for this service as does the college and
on that issue. They respond by university. The social responsibility, directing attention to the fact that many therefore, of the college or the univerteachers in our universities are less expe- sity must not be overlooked in our zeal rienced than the high school teachers. in the pursuit of academic ideals.” They insist that inferior teaching may The lengthening of the various proaccount for results
for results as definitely as fessional programs of education may be stupid students. They tell us that not both necessary and desirable for other all the responsibility is upon the student reasons than that of eliminating stuand cannot be charged to heredity. They dents. If the reasons are based upon ask that we test our processes of educa sound educational theory, if the service tion as carefully as
we read our ex which society has a right to expect of amination papers. We are told that the professions requires additional prepmany teachers are little more than ad- aration, and if the economic rewards are vanced students not yet parents. The such as to justify it, then there is no fathers and mothers are inquiring why reason why more training should not be these undeveloped teachers are so in- required of those expecting to enter the fallible in their judgments as to the professions.
other words, the fitness of students to win degrees or lengthening or the shortening of cur
ricula should not be determined by The result is that universities have the growth in registration or by a desire faced the danger •of graduating their to attain increased academic respecta- students with “split and partial minds, bility but because of more fundamental students whose intellectual attitudes are considerations.
undisciplined and extemporaneous". Other internal administrative changes A sound, systematic, thoroughgoing eduin the field of higher education quite as cation is really being denied many stusignificant and as far reaching are un dents, not through any fault of theirs der consideration and have actually been but rather because of the natural exinitiated. For example, laboratories pansion of subjects and the accumulaonce built to accommodate a few stu- tion and organization of knowledge by dents are now constructed to accommo ambitious scholars. This splitting of the date hundreds of students at one time. materials of education into a multiLecture courses with quiz sections now plicity of subjects results, among other provide for large numbers of students things, in an overemphasis upon cerat much less expense than formerly. tain rather highly specialized materials Whether these changes which apparently in a given field, leaving the student with have been forced by necessity have re a fragmentary and illy-proportioned sulted in decreased educational effi- conception of every field. ciency, is still an open question. The It has also been attended by another optimum size of classes for college stu evil or danger quite as unfortunate. dents is a problem deserving careful Accompanying the separation of fragstudy. The opinion has prevailed for ments of knowledge into compartments many years that classes of fifteen or
comparatively isolated, there has grown twenty, certainly not more than thirty, up or been evolved by ingenious faculgive the best results, but there is no ties a vast array of regulations, rules concrete scientific evidence to support and devices for the improvement and this opinion. Studies of the influence recording of the scholastic standing of of the size of class upon attainment in students. Students not fully realizing the public schools have apparently re or appreciating the subtle connection vealed the very interesting fact that the between artificial systems of grading size of class furnishes no index of the and the acquisition of an education, but probable achievement of students. One recognizing fully that graduation decritical student of educational adminis- pends upon conformity to the rules, tration in discussing this matter re have become seekers after credits and cently said that instead of spending so thinkers in terms of hours,' semesters' much time in attempting to determine and years' work, with the result that the optimum sized class we should spend thoroughness of scholarship is in danger in looking for
for “large class of being neglected. teachers'
Two things are happening, however, One of the most significant move which should be wholesome correctives ments in the field of higher education is for this situation in so far as it applies a movement looking to the reorganiza to freshmen. One is a reorganization of tion of the materials of instruction. The the materials of instruction for freshgeneral tendency in the past has been
Columbia has really been the to differentiate the materials of instruc- leader in this movement. Its course in tion and to introduce new courses based contemporary civilization has served as upon attenuated segments of knowledge. a stimulus and a model for other uni.