Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

later replaced by real and really needed subjects like French or German, industrial training, drawing, music. The language acquiring age now reaches down into the bailiwick of the grades, and fourteen, the present age of admission to high-school, is too late for a beginning. The dislodgment has proceeded so imperceptibly that we have not made the necessary adjustments, and our pupils are paying the costs of our formalism.

The first main effect upon the college course of the two-year advance, we have already set forth; namely, the loss of the centre of gravity in liberal or cultural study. A second, and not less important one, has made its appearance from the upper

end. A two-year dislodgment was bound to make itself felt at both ends of the course. No matter how our fashions and tastesin subjects of study may change, or our equipments, prescriptions, and prerequisites for courses, there is one thing that through it all remains steadfast as human nature; namely, the relative maturity of a given age in the average student, with the consequent taste and demand for occupation and mental food. We have pushed the college up into the range of another human age, and we shall have to meet the consequences by adjustments which we have thus far either not quite frankly made, or have despairingly introduced in the form of a universal deluge with some vague trust in the cleansing power of chaos.

The effect which has shown itself at the upper end of the college course consists in this: The course has overlain two years of the region of active participating life, and the instincts and tastes of those years print through the paper on which the course is written. The twenty-third year is too late, in the normal case, for the continuance of studies which have no relation to real participation in the real activities of an individual life.

The college course stands, then, boldly astride the main break in the route. The first two years bear relation to the high school course, in that they complete and supplement it, or bridge between it and the specialty, or by hinging into both make the inner flange of a folding door. The last two years belong to the vocational work and turn toward the professional and graduate schools. They must occupy themselves with a central subject of study presumably marking the proposed central activity of life.

The college course having therefore at the lower end yielded its control of the password of culture, and at the upper end been at the same time infected with the bacteria of vocation, is certain, with the backward spread of the infection, to become a shapeless mass of crude, premature, and vacillating specializations, unless a check or landing is interposed at the middle of the course in the interest of classification and a more gradual concentration.

The mid-course certificate serves the purpose, first, of enforcing the completion of certain fundamental studies before entering upon the specializing course—thus chemistry, zoology, physics, before entering upon the medical sciences of physiology, anatomy, pathology; secondly, it affords a period in which the particular selection of studies which may have characterized the high school course is supplemented and re-adjusted to the needs of the specialty; thirdly, the pupil in the high school is spared the always unfortunate necessity of choosing his ultimate university course or specialty so far in advance, and the high school itself is spared the uneconomical necessity of catering to the various entrance requirements of various college courses; it is better for all concerned that the high school should know no difference between candidates for different college courses—and, for that matter, between those who intend entering college and those who do not. Finally, the mid-course certificate serves the excellent purpose of giving all students a clean start at the beginning of the third or Junior year, with all required subjects completed and the way clear for concentration upon a selection of studies determined by the central subject.

In two years comes the baccalaureate degree, and after a third or graduate year the master's degree as the general professional degree for such as propose to teach. At the same point with the master's degree should come for technical students the degree of engineer (C. E., and the like), the degree of B. S. having been given at graduation. The M. D. and the Ph. D. would then be both placed alike at the end of the five-year period of special study reckoned from the date of the mid-year certificate, the two last years of the baccalaureate period having been used by the medical student for the medical sciences of physiology, pathology, etc., much as the future candidate for the Ph. D. uses them for the beginnings of his specialization.

With these adjustments, and such as these, the four year college course can be given again its place and meaning-a place which, during a stormy period of transition, it has threatened to lose between the cross seas of contention for the old A. B. of liberal culture on the one hand, and a deluge of confused electives or of unripe specialization on the other.

RESEARCH WORK FOR WOMEN

A partial report of an address by
HENRY MORSE STEPHENS

University of California

I very well remember when, after I had recovered from the first shock of finding that I was expected to teach women at Cornell University, I decided that women preferred mediaeval history because it was full of romance and religion, and men preferred modern history because it was full of war and politics. I thought it was a good distinction then, but I know now from experience that it is not true, and that women are as able as men to deal with modern historical problems and men as able as women to deal with mediaeval historical problems, and that it is absurd to make any generalizations upon the matter. I think I can assert with perfect certainty one thing, and that is that research work is the same for women as for men.

My own work lies in the department of history. What is demanded in research work in history? Gibbon said that diligence and accuracy are the chief qualifications of the investigator in history. Is it possible to say that women are more diligent or less diligent than men, or are more accurate or less accurate than men? The modern way of investigating history is not to cover the whole field for generations but to labor diligently to clear up some little corner of the history of the past. I do not see why one sex can not do that work as well as the other.

There have been two or three really great historians of the modern type among women in England. For instance, the New York Nation once praised the great historical work of Mister H. C. Foxcroft. The historian in question was really Miss Henrietta C. Foxcroft, who misled the reviewer by signing herself merely H. C. Foxcroft. She is the greatest living English authority on the reign of Charles II., and the author of "The Life and Letters of the First Marquis of Halifax."

The other English lady to whom it is in my mind to allude is Miss Edith Lamond of Girton College, Cambridge. Her one care was to "finish things off properly." Professor William Cunningham of Cambridge said of her in his preface to his “Growth of English Industry and Commerce:" "She has a wonderfully high standard of accuracy and thoroughnesss in work of every kind, and an infinite capacity for taking pains to 'finish things off properly.'” The same kind of diligence and accuracy can be attributed to women as well as to men. Education cannot teach diligence.

There are no women in America that rank as highly as the two English women of whom I spoke. Some thesis work of great merit has been done by women in this country, however. I have been teaching graduate students in America for fifteen years, and I have found that the students from one particular woman's college were better fitted for diligent work in history than students from any other college. Miss Lucy Salmon of Vassar College has managed to turn out students who could put diligence and accuracy into their work; and they didn't want to know “why" continually. She does as she is told, if she comes from Vassar.

Diligence and accuracy are the chief things for the historian, said Gibbon. It makes all the difference in the world whether a date is correct, whether a quotation or a name is accurate.

In conclusion, I say that the one thing necessary for research work in history is that students of history should learn the tools of their trade, should learn their business, and not think that a little journalistic ability, or knowledge of novels, or ability to tell interesting stories, is all that is necessary.

It is told of Dr. Routh, of Magdalen College, Oxford, who lived to be over one hundred years of age, that a short time before his death he was asked by a student about to graduate for a word of advice. At first he said he didn't have a word to say. Then suddenly, his aged face brightening up, he said: "Yes, just one thing! Always verify your quotations."

THE WORKING WOMAN AND THE PUBLIC MORALIST

AN ECONOMIC RETROSPECT

EDITH ABBOTT
Chicago School of Civics and Philanthropy

At a time when so many problems concerning the working woman are pressing for solution it may seem academic and impractical to deal only with her past. But the public moralist of today concerns himself exclusively with questions of the present; and upon the student of economic history devolves the less interesting task of tracing out, in our industrial evolution, such an account of the past as may throw light on present day conditions. It is the purpose, therefore, of the following paper to call attention to some of the little known or neglected facts regarding the history of the industrial employment of women in this country; to some mistaken assumptions of the public moralist of the present; and to some opinions expressed by the public moralists of the past.

The point of departure today in most discussions regarding women in industry is the home. It is assumed that the presence of women in industrial life is a new phenomenon, and one to be viewed with alarm. The employment of women, it is feared, will mean greater competition and ultimately the displacement of men, because the labor of women is cheaper; the woman, it is said, will usurp the place of the breadwinner; and the home will be ruined.

It should be noted by way of preface that in all discussions of women's work a line of delimitation must be drawn between questions concerning the employment of educated women and those relating to the employment of women of the so-called working classes. While the problems of all gainfully employed women, whether professionally trained and educated or unskilled and incapable, have a certain seeming identity, yet fundamentally they are different; and the working woman has undoubtedly been wronged in the past because of the pseudo-democratic refusal to maintain class distinctions in discussions of the woman question.

The conspicuous broadening of the field of activities and opportunities for

« AnteriorContinuar »