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more for these pupils before they drop out; that too much that is given them is given because it will benefit them in their higher grades if they continue in school. In other words, the feeling is that the school is conducted too much on the plan of the tontine insurance policy—the rewards are all yours if you are fortunate enough to be able to persist thru the tontine period; if not, you obtain little, if anything. There is a reasonable basis for this feeling. Of course no plan can ever be contrived which will give to a pupil who discontinues his school work as much benefit as he would have obtained had he remained in school; but it is not asking too much that the work should be presented from the standpoint of its use and its bearing on vocation as well as from the standpoint of its being preparation for further education.
Correlative with this unrest over the large number dropping out is a feeling of concern on the part of teachers at the apparent lack of interest in scholastic work on the part of those in school. In a high-school teachers' meeting which the writer attended this year a paper was read by a highschool teacher who deplored the current lack of interest in scholarly pursuits on the part of the pupils and the impossibility of securing the same interest in Latin, algebra, and English as is bestowed upon athletics, social activities, and amusements. This is a fact which is apparent to all thoughtful students of modern educational conditions. The recent utterances of two prominent university presidents furnish a striking illustration of this fact. The first quotation is from an article by President Hadley of Yale in the New York Times for August 28, 1909. He says:
The growing complexity of the American social organization, the increase of wealth and the comforts and luxuries which wealth brings with it, the development of games and sports of every kind, and the great stress which all branches of society lay upon proficiency in those sports create a set of very distracting conditions in college as well as out of it. They lead the student who has no special intellectual interest, but comes to college for the sake of general culture, to seek that general culture on lines of least resist
But if our definition of culture is correct, we can hardly expect to obtain it in this way. The student who looks only at the immediate interests of the moment is becoming uncultured rather than cultured-is being trained to narrow angles of vision instead of wide ones.
Of similar import is an address on "The Spirit of Learning” delivered in June, 1909, by President Wilson of Princeton. He says:
The field is clear for all these little activities, as it is clear for athletics. Athletics has no serious competitor except these amusements and petty engrossments; they have no serious competitor except athletics. The scholar is not in the game.
These analyses of the situation may be said to apply with o to high-school conditions, with this difference, that in college the su other outside activities are an intrinsic part of the college world, while in the high schools, since the pupils live in their own homes, they are to a greater extent a part of the social life of the entire community. These views are not expressed in a spirit of criticism, but they imply a criticism of educational institutions in that they have not somehow made scholarship as attractive as amusements.
Thus far our survey of the status of secondary education has shown two apparently contradicatory sets of facts: first, a remarkable growth and progress; and second, an undercurrent of feeling that the needs of today are not being met by suitable kinds of training. What causes or forces underlie these facts which will harmonize them and show them to be but two phases of a single problem ?
The sociological basis of education is well understood by the teachers of today; it has been thoroly discussed in the educational literature of the past decade. They accept as self-evident truths such statements as this of Ruskin:
No teacher can truly promote the cause of education, until he knows the mode of life for which that education is to prepare his pupil;'
or this, from Dr. Paul H. Hanus:
Together with this improved adaption of the school to the needs of each individual there is also a growing recognition of the important social function which the school has to fulfill .... the primary social function of all education, and in particular, of secondary education, is to adapt every individual to the civilization of his time.?
Yet the assumption of this task by the school is the largest single work undertaken by any institution in American life today, and the carryingout of the task involves Herculean labor. So complex and so shifting are the conditions of modern life, that to attempt to prepare for them is like trying to paint a picture with pigments which change their color as they flow from the brush. By the time the product of the school is ready for life, the conditions demand something different.
Compare for a moment the present decade with that of a generation ago. The first characteristic which strikes the observer is the increase of wealth and of luxuries. This is the age of electricity, of automobiles, of airships, of machinery. It is easier to do the work of the world than ever before. Man's victory over the forces of nature is so nearly complete that he is no longer obliged to struggle directly to secure food, warmth, shelter, and clothing. Thru machinery all is changed. The same kind of effort is not required as formerly. The emphasis today is on ingenuity and quickness rather than upon mere effort or industry.
The second characteristic is that this is an age of organization. An indiv » longer struggles by himself but, as Dr. George E. Vincent pi
e does team work.” Individual power and ability count for less
relatively. The emphasis is placed upon the relationships which the individual sustains to other members in the complicated machinery of life.
This has produced a certain impersonal attitude in society. Things are done by large organizations of men which cannot be done by individuals. Also, many misdeeds are committed from which an individual would shrink but which an impersonal organization would perform without compunction.
Organization and system have taken charge of the productive industries of our day. They are no longer carried on in the homes as formerly. This removal of productive industry from the home has taken away from the youth a valuable form of training which has not been replaced. It has left many of them without occupation for their leisure hours. It has allowed them to mature without development of self-reliance, and has made it difficult for them to be of service in the home life. This has resulted in a certain immaturity in the youth which is evident in their school life. They are not so teachable as formerly because they are not so mature and not so self-reliant.
Emerson has truly said:
No man can learn what he has not preparation for learning. .. God screens us evermore from premature ideas. Our eyes are holden that we cannot see things that stare us in the face, until the hour arrives when the mind is ripened—then we behold them, and the time when we saw them not is like a dream.
These changes have a direct and vital bearing upon education. Instead of providing intellectual training as a supplement to the skill and development obtained from labor in the productive industries of the home, the school is now face to face with the problem of supplying the foundation of personal development upon which to build the superstructure of intellectual attainment. The pupil must not only be taught, he must be trained; and he must not only be trained, he must be trained to some definite purpose. This implies that the school shall minister not only to cultural aims but to vocational aims as well.
How this work shall be undertaken is the present pressing problem. Some think, with ex-President Eliot, that a system of trade schools will be built up; others, that technical high schools will fill the need. Meanwhile, numerous supplementary schools are being established, Y.M.C.A. schools, correspondence schools, schools conducted by employers like that of John Wanamaker of Philadelphia and of Sears Roebuck Co. of Chicago. These efforts are undoubtedly indicative of the need which exists, and they point to a possible solution of the question; tho it is doubtful whether any but public measures can ultimately minister to so general a demand.
Of one thing we may be certain: whatever type of public secondary education may develop, the aim of general culture will not be supplanted nor superseded. It seems most probable that the present type of education will be supplemented with the necessary elements of training for twentiethcentury civilization.
The whole situation is well summarized by Commissioner Brown in his last report.' He says:
The dangers of the situation as regards the high schools are no less acute. These schools are affected by forces pulling upon them, not only from the colleges above and the grammar schools below, but from the varied life of the community which they serve. The new demands, which may be roughly grouped under industrial and commercial education, must give them anxious thought. There are those who fear that the high school as an institutional type may fall into disfavor unless it can readily adapt itself to the new needs of the time, as the Latin grammar school of colonial days declined before the rising academies, and less than a century later the academy declined before the new popularity of the high schools. Either a modified and broadened high school or a school of different type altogether may fairly be expected to dispute the pre-eminence of the high school as it is today. But the high school is still on a rising tide, and its possibilities of readjustment to new needs are very great.
In conclusion, it may be said that the present status of secondary education is one of great prosperity; the future, of wonderful opportunity. To fulfill this opportunity the high school must continually readjust itself to the needs of a changing society. It must thoroly analyze and understand the conditions of modern life, its needs and its demands, and it must supply the training which will fit the youth of its day and age to meet these conditions.
C. IN THE COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES GUY POTTER BENTON, PRESIDENT OF MIAMI UNIVERSITY, OXFORD, OHIO
If status means a standing which is in any sense permanent, then there is no status of higher education in the United States. That there may seem to be no wandering from the subject, let us assume, then, at the outset, that those responsible for this program have commissioned us to discuss the present condition of higher education as represented by institutional standards and by the opinions and policies of educational leaders.
In the beginning we may as well make full confession of the truth and admit that there are no universal standards or fixed policies for higher education in the United States. Before we can hope to have a permanent status which will command for our institutions of higher learning the respect of the world of scholarship everywhere there must necessarily be certain agreed definitions of terms. The whole system of education in our country, from kindergarten to university, is subject to indictment for capriciousness.
The American inclination to novelty is nowhere more manifest than in the teaching profession. It is time that those of us who are charged with the high responsibility of training childhood and youth should awaken to a solemn realization of the danger which lurks in ill-considered experimentation. The attempted practice of half-digested theories and the superficial imitation of the spectacular work of educational visionaries are menacing the coming manhood and womanhood of America. The average teacher or educational leader is in such fear of being held answerable to the charge of antiquity that, in utter disregard for the rights of the taught, he makes mad rush to get into the limelight with the rest of the educational crowd. Some prominent school superintendent pipes and those of lesser importance all dance. Some distinguished college or university president theorizes and presidents of smaller stature run to practice. Some great specialist poses as a critic of the existing order of things and the average college professor feels that, to be in the fashion, he must become iconoclastic.
1 Report of U.S. Commissioner of Education, 1910, Vol. I, p. 19.
The greatest university president in America proclaims the need of a larger freedom of electives with three years as sufficient for the baccalaureate degree and the rest of us submit tamely to his leading. A pyrotechnic professor of English in one of our largest universities denounces all the hymns of the church as doggerel, and the collegiate critics of hymnology have multiplied amazingly. Twenty years ago the National Education Association was almost wholly psychological in its convention program. “Apperception" was the chief subject of discussion and "a pot of green feathers” was always in evidence. Pedagogical tyros presumed to discuss great psychological questions with all the assurance of studied specialists, and the storerooms of educational book companies were flooded with works on psychology which could never hope to meet approval in the councils of thoro scholarship. The convention program of the National Education Association in our own day is largely agricultural, industrial, and vocational. We have passed from the realm of the spiritual to the realm of the material, and who is so bold as to prophesy what the subject of discussion in these meetings will be ten years hence ?
In elementary and secondary schools, courses of study are constantly taking to themselves more subjects and the college curricula are becoming more crowded with every added year. But the denunciation of all advanced educational thinkers as "faddists” is an easy way of escape for those who are opposed to progress. It is the subterfuge of the indolent. The educational "stand-patter" is a worse sinner than the educational "insurgent." The reactionary is, after all, the chief culprit among the many educational offenders. If compelled to make choice between two evils there is no question but that, with the end in view of the largest and best service to young life, we should choose progressive agitation rather than ultra-conservatism. Out of this seething caldron of new ideas there may remain a residuum of refined educational principles. Out of this ferment of discontent may arise an educational policy universally accepted as worthy of permanency and one which will bring contentment to all who are interested in education. Then intensive work will be possible, and, by our constant growth and healthful development, we shall make the American educational system increasingly effective. The destructive critic never accomplishes anything which