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ogist or historian teaches the same lesson. Without a knowledge of these two languages it is impossible to get at the experience of the world upon any modern industrial, social or financial question, or to master any profession which depends upon applications of modern science. I urge no utilitarian argument, but rest the claims of French and German for admission to complete academic equality on the copiousness and merit of the literatures, and the indispensableness of the languages to all scholars.
The next subject which demands an entirely different position from that it now occupies in American schools and colleges is history. If any study is liberal and liberalizing, it is the modern study of history—the study of the passions, opinions, beliefs, arts, laws, and institutions of different races or communities, and of the joys, sufferings, conflicts and achievements of mankind. Philology and polite literature arrogate the title of the “humanities"'; but what study can so justly claim that honorable title as the study which deals with the actual experience on this earth of social and progressive man? What kind of knowledge can be so useful to a legislator, administrator, journalist, publicist, philanthropist or philosopher as a well-ordered knowledge of history? If the humanity or liberality of a study depends upon its power to enlarge the intellectual and moral interests of the student, quicken his sympathies, impel him to the side of truth and virtue, and make him loathe falsehood and vice, no study can be more humane or liberal than history. These being the just claims of history in general, the history of the community and nation to which we belong has a still more pressing claim upon our attention. That study shows the young the springs of public honor and dishonor: sets before them the national failings, weaknesses, and sins; warns them against future dangers by exhibiting the losses and suf. ferings of the past; enshrines in their hearts the national heroes; and strengthens in them the precious love of country. One would naturally suppose that the history of the United States and England, at least, would hold an important place in the programmes of American schools and colleges, and that no subject would occupy a more dignified position in the best colleges and universities than history in respect to the number and rank of its teachers. The facts do not accord with this natural supposi tion. The great majority of American colleges (there are nearly four hundred of them) make no requirements in history for admission, and have no teacher of history whatever. Lest it be imagined that this can be true only of inferior colleges, I will mention that in so old and well-established a college as Dartmouth there is no teacher of history, whether professor, tutor, or temporary instructor; while in so excellent an institution as Princeton there is only one professor of history against three of Greek, and this single professor includes political science with history in his teaching. No institution which calls itself a college expects to do without a professor of Greek, or of Latin, or of mathematics; but nearly all of them do without a teacher of history. The example of the colleges governs the preparatory schools. When young men who are interested in historical study ask me if it would be advisable for them to fit themselves to teach history for a livel: hood, I am obliged to say that it would be the height of imprudence on their part, there being only an infinitesimal demand for competent teachers of history in our whole country. This humiliated condition of history is only made the more conspicuous by the old practice, which still obtains at some colleges (Harvard College, for instance), of demanding from all candidates for admission a small amount of Greek and Roman history-as much as a clever boy could commit to memory in three or four days. One hardly knows which most to wonder at in this requirement, the selection of topic or the minuteness of the amount. Is it not plain that the great subject of history holds no proper place in American education ?
Closely allied to the study of history is the study of the new science called political economy, or public economics. I say the new science, because Smith's “ Wealth of Nations" was not published until 1776; Malthus's “Essay on the Principle of Population” only appeared in 1798; and Ricardo's “ Political Economy and Taxation" in 1817. The subject is related to history, inasmuch as it gleans its most important facts by the study of the institutions and industrial and social conditions of the past; it is the science of wealth in so far as it deals with the methods by which private or national wealth is accumulated, protected, enjoyed, and distributed; and it is con. nected with ethics in that it deals with social theories and the moral effects of eco nomic conditions. In some of its aspects it were better called the science of the health of nations; for its results show how nations might happily grow and live in conformity with physical and moral laws. It is by far the most complex and difficult of the sciences of which modern education has to take account, and therefore should not be introduced too early into the course of study for the degree of bachelor of arts; but when it is introduced, enough of it should be offered to the student to enable him to get more than a smattering.
When we consider how formidable are the industrial, social and political problems with which the next generation must grapple—when we observe how inequalities of condition increase, notwithstanding the general acceptance of theories of equality; how population irresistibly tends to huge agglomerations in spite of demonstrations that such agglomerations are physically and morally unhealthy; how the universal thirst for the enjoyments of life grows hotter and hotter and is not assuaged; how the relations of government to society become constantly more and more complicated, while the governing capacity of men does not seem to increase proportionably; and how free institutions commit to masses of men the determination of public policy in regard to economic problems of immense difficulty, such as the problems concerning tariffs, banking, currency, the domestic carrying trade, foreign commerce, and the incidence of taxes—we can hardly fail to appreciate the importance of offering to large numbers of American students ample facilities for learning all that is known of economic science.
The last subject for which I claim admission to the magic circle of the liberal arts is natural science. All the subjects which the sixteenth century decided were liberal, and all the subjects which I have heretofore discussed are studied in books; but natural science is to be studied, not in books but in things. The student of languages, letters, philosophy, mathematics, history, or political economy, reads books ar listens to the words of his teacher. The student of natural science scrutinizes, touches, weighs, measures, analyzes, dissects and watches things. By these ex. ercises his powers of observation and judgment are trained, and he acquires the precious habit of observing the appearances, transformations and processes of nature. Like the hunter and the artist, he has open eyes and an educated judgment in seeing. He is at home in some large tract of nature's domain. Finally, be acquires the scientific method of study in the field, where that method was originally perfected. In our day the spirit in which a true scholar will study Indian arrowheads, cuneiform inscriptions, or reptile tracks in sandstone, is one and the same, although these objects belong respectively to three separate sciences-archæology, philology, and palæontology. But what is this spirit? It is the patient, cautious, sincere, self-directing spirit of natural science. One of the best of living classical scholars -Professor Jebb, of Glasgow-states this fact in the following forcible words: “The diffusion of that which is specially named science has at the same time spread abroad the only spirit in wbich any kind of knowledge can be prosecuted to a result of lasting intellectual value.” Again, the arts built upon chemistry, physics, botany, zoology and geology are chief factors in the civilization of our time, and are growing in material and moral influence at a marvelous rate. Since the beginning of this century they have wrought wonderful changes in the physical relations of man to the earth which he inhabits, in national demarkations, in industrial organization, in governmental functions, and in the modes of domestic life, and they will certainly do as much for the twentieth century as they have done for ours. They are not simply mechanical or material forces; they are also moral forces of great intensity. I maintain that the young science which has already given to all sciences a new and better spirit and method, and to civilization new powers and resources of infinite range, deserves to be admitted with all possible honors to the circle of the liberal arts; and that a study fitted to train noble faculties, which are not trained by the studies now chiefly pursued in youth, ought to be admitted on terms of perfect equality to the academic curriculum.
The wise men of the fifteenth century took the best intellectual and moral ma. terials existing in their day-namely, the classical literatures, mathematics, and sys. tematic theology—and made of them the substance of the education which they called liberal. When we take the best intellectual and moral materials of their day and of ours to make up the list of subjects worthy to rank as liberal, and to be studied for discipline, ought we to omit that natural science which in its outcome supplies some of the most important forces of modern civilization? We do omit it. I do not know a single preparatory school in this country in which natural science has an adequate place, or any approach to an adequate place, although some beginnings have lately been made. There is very little profit in studying natural science in a book as if it were grammar or history; for nothing of the peculiar discipline which the proper study of science supplies can be obtained in that way, although some information on scientific subjects may be so acquired. In most colleges a little scientific information is offered to the student through lectures and the use of manuals, but no scientific training. The science is rarely introduced as early as the sophomore year; generally it begins only with the junior year, by which time the mind of the student has become 50 set in the habits which the study of languages and mathematics engenders, that he finds great difficulty in grasping the scientific method. It seems to him absurd to perform experiments or make dissections. Can he not read in a book or see in a picture what the results will be? The only way to prevent this dispropotionate development of the young mind on the side of linguistic and abstract reasoning is to introduce into school courses of study a fair amount of training in sciences of observation. Over against four languages, the elements of mathematics and the elements of history, there must be set some accurate study of things. Were other argument
needed, I should find it in the great addition to the enjoyment of life which results from an early acquaintance and constant intimacy with the wonders and beauties of external nature. For boy and man this intimacy is a source of ever fresh delight.
To the list of studies which the sixteenth century called liberal, I would therefore add, as studies of equal rank, English, French, German, history, political economy, and natural science, not one of which can be said to have existed in mature form when the definition of liberal education, which is still in force, was laid down. In a large university many other languages and sciences will be objects of study; I con: fine myself here to those studies which, in my judgment, are most desirable in al or. dinary college. We are now in position to consider how the necessity for allowing choice among studies has arisen.
The second and third of the three principal propositions which I wish to demonstrate -namely, that earlier choice should be allowed among coördinate studies, and that the existing order of studies needs to be modified-may be treated much more briefly than the first proposition, although in them lies the practical application of the whole discussion. When the men of the sixteenth century had taken all the sciences known to their generation to make up their curriculum of liberal study, the sum was not so large as to make it impossible for a student to cover the whole ground effectually. But if the list of liberal arts is extended, as I have urged, it is manifest that no man can cover the whole ground and get a thorough knowledge of any subject. Hence the necessity of allowing the student to choose among many coördinate studies the few to which he will devote himself. In a vain endeavor to introduce at least some notions about the new sciences into the curriculum of the year 1600, the managers of American colleges have made it impossible for the student to get a thorough knowls edge of any subject whatever. The student has a better chance to learn Greck and Latin than anything else; but he does not get instruction enough in these languages to enable him to master them. In no other subject can he possibly get beyond the elements, if he keep within the official schedule of studies. Consider what sort of an idea of metaphysics can be obtained from a single text-book of moderate size, into which the whole vast subject has been filtered through one preoccupied mind; or of physics from a short course of lectures and a little manual of three or four hundred pages prepared by a teacher who is not himself an investigator; or of political economy from a single short treatise by an author not of the first rank. These are not imaginary sketches; they are described from life. Such are the modes of dealing with these sciences which prevail in the great majority of American colleges. I need not dwell upon this great evil, which is doing untold injury every year. The remedies are plain. First, let the new studies be put in every respect on a level with the old; and then let such a choice among coördinate studies be given as to secure to the student a chance to be thorough in something. To be effective, option must be permitted earlier than it is now. This proposition—that earlier options are desirable-cannot be discussed without simultaneously considering the order of studies at school and college.
Boyhood is the best time to learn new languages; so that as many as possible of the four languages-French, German, Latin, and Greek-ought to be begun at scbool. But if all boys who are to receive a liberal education are required to learn to read all four languages before they go to college, those boys who are not quick at languages will have very little time for other studies. English, the elements of mathematics,
the elements of some natural science properly taught, and the history of England and the United States being assumed as fundamentals, it is evident that some choice among the four remaining languages must be allowed, in order not to unduly restrict the number of boys who go to college. With very good instruction, many boys could doubtless learn to read all four languages tolerably well before they were eighteen years old without sacrificing more essential things; but there are boys of excellent capacity in other subjects who could not accomplish this linguistic task; and in many States of the Union it is quite impossible to get very good instruction in all these languages. Therefore I believe that an option should be allowed among these four languages at college admission examinations, any three being accepted, and the choice being determined in each case by the wishes of parents, the advice of teachers, the destination of the candidate if settled, the better quality of accessible instruction in one language than in another, or the convenience of the school which the candididate attends. Whichever language the candidate did not offer at admission he should have opportunity to begin and pursue at college.-- Pres. Charles W. Eliot, in The Century for June.
Professor Webster's Problem.
I have to thank Prof. Webster for his very kind and polite reference to myself in the May JOURNAL.
In his very pretty solution of my plank problem he leaves out at the beginning a reason that when the two edges of the plank are both oblique to the ends there will be the same result as when one edge is perpendicular to them.
In his solution of his own problein he has left out an important link in his reasoning.
In my solution of his problem I told the editor I could express it in briefer and more general terms, but I thought for the general reader, as for scholars, it is plainer to put in even the smaller steps.
The teacher should put solid principles under his art; he should build his art on these principles. Most teachers will spend an hour studying to know a lesson-say in arithmetic, but give not a moment to studying the art of teaching the pupil when that lesson comes up. He trusts to luck, to inspiration, to anything. This accustoms him to admitting that teaching amounts to little; and when this point is reached that teacher's downward course is sure. The teacher should