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scarcely less responsibility rests upon the college and university. In the interest of scholarship in general and of their own individual students in particular, it is their duty to foster all means that tend to the better preparation of future college students; and nothing will contribute as much to that end as providing every preparatory school with well trained teachers."*

There are other ways in which this board could help the high schools, as for example, the mapping out of suggestive preparatory courses of study by men and women who have a broad view of the whole field of secondary education but these ways cannot be discussed at this time.

As a final word, it may be said that the solution of the whole question we are discussing, lies in getting the high school teachers and college teachers to think together and work together, to sink minor differences, put aside prejudices and co-operate in trying to get the right view of the larger aspects of the problem. In doing this work there is only one safe guide, that is the best good of American youth.

*Training of Teachers for Secondary Schools, Brown, pp. 251-2.

What, Constitutes Preparation for College:

The College View

ALEXANDER MEIKLEJOHN, DEAN OF Brown UNIVERSITY.

T

ARIDANICA MINIMUMIER, WO years ago I had the honor of addressing this

association upon one phase of the question of entrance requirements. The problem under discus

sion at that time was “Are the college requirements Just nomin

for admission excessive in total amount ?" This was, as you remember, a burning question with

much dissatisfaction on the side of the schools. Memuncito My impression is that during the two years which have elapsed the problem has lost much of its poignancy here at Brown as well as throughout the country. As your president has reminded us, a committee of this association was appointed with authority to make recommendations to the faculty of the university. This committee at once found its own opinions and decisions to be in line with measures already under consideration by the faculty. It was clearly recognized on both sides that an entrance requirement varying in amount from twelve and a half to sixteen and a half units is excessive both in its maximum and in the consequences of its lack of uniformity. In order to remedy this defect we have adopted a standard of measurement based upon the time value of the subjects as taught in the schools, and in common with other institutions we have fixed fourteen and a half units as the total amount of the requirement. A direct consequence of this action is to remove the inequalities in the evaluation of the various subjects. The ancient languages and the modern, the sciences, mathematics and history are alike measured in terms of the time given to the teaching of them and the schools are thereby freed from inequalities which had given ground for constant complaint.

But there was suggested at the meetings two years ago another phase of the entrance problem which in the interval has come into the forefront of discussion. We may be at peace on the question "How much preparation should be required ?” But on

the question “What subjects should be prescribed within this total ?" there is threat and rumor of war. Now may

I

say frankly that while two years ago I came to you in the spirit of peace, believing that the schools had just ground for complaint, today I come in the spirit of conflict, believing that many of the demands which are being made in other parts of the country are fundamentally wrong in principle and, if granted, would be extremely harmful in educational results. What I have to say on this point concerns chiefly a certain document published by the High School Teachers Association of New York City on the articulation of high school and college. This document describes the high school as engaged in teaching two classes of pupils, those who are going to college and those who are going into practical activities at the close of their high school training. In picturesque though rather inaccurate terms the high school is said to be giving "preparation for college” and “preparation for life.” It is the desire of the New York teachers that they be enabled to give the same course of study as furnishing these two types of preparation. In other words since the tax-supported institution must give to its pupils “preparation for life,” it is suggested that we accept this same training, the same course of study, as proper preparation for the work to be done in the colleges. Now I am quite sure that no one can fail to recognize a certain force in this recommendation, or at least in the conditions from which it springs. The high school is subject to public and popular demands; boys do change their plans and so find themselves unfitted for new enterprises into which they wish to go; there are difficulties in planning for different classes of students at the same time. But I must confess that these seem to me difficulties such as are incidental to any system of procedure, to be met by such devices as are proper to incidental situations. They do not justify such a radical departure from fundamental principles of college preparation as the suggestion contains. They do not justify us in pronouncing boys ready for college work simply because they have been made ready to do another kind of work.

The determination of those subjects which will give proper preparation for college depends upon the answer to another question, "What are we trying to do in the college?" For the purposes of the present discussion let us consider only the liberal undergraduate college. The trade school, the technical school, the school of fine arts, the law school-each of these is attempting a task of its own but no one of them is attempting the task of the college and no one of them presumably calls for the same preparation. What then is the work of the college, its aim, its goal, its mission ?

I am one of those who believe that the aim of the college is fundamentally intellectual. At the heart of all genuine college teaching there is one cherished article of faith; it is the conviction that knowledge pays, that it is worth while to be intelligent. And by knowledge and intelligence is meant, not the specific information and training by which one is fitted for a specific task, but the broader knowledge, the deeper insight, the more general training by which one is given intellectual grasp of the issues of human life in the large, as against its special interests and occupations. This creed demands as preparation for the grappling with the larger interests of life a training and an education corresponding to those which are unhesitatingly given to prepare men for engaging in the smaller affairs. We have no doubt that intelligence pays in the building of boats. In this sphere we are content that men should do never a stroke of "work” with hammer or wrench; we are satisfied, or rather, we demand that the designer give himself up to the discovery of every scientific principle involved in the construction. He must study stresses and strains, pressures and resistances; he must know all that can be known about the work which is to be done. Just so it is the creed of the college that some men must learn all that they can about the business of living, that human life must be known in its development, in its circumstances, in its motives, in its needs, its present problems, its future dangers and possibilities, its enjoyments, its disappointments, and its achievements. And in so far as this insight can be given by intellectual training and teaching, it is the task of the college to give it.

If we compare the present day elective curriculum with the older prescribed curriculum of the classics it is woefully evident that our college ideals and plans have lost much of their former definiteness and clearness of conception. Whatever the defects of the older training it had at least the merit of knowing its own

mind. The men in charge of educational work had a clean-cut notion of just what are those insights which a cultured man should have, and where they may be found. If you would know human living, they said, then go back to the literatures of Greece and Rome, train your mind with mathematical exercise, study the philosophies of the ancients, and, so far as you may, trace down the course of human history. If you have done these things, , then intellectually you are equipped for living as a man ought to live. But with the coming in of the sciences, this old conception has broken down. We know now that there is far more of significant knowledge outside the literatures of Greece and Rome than within them. And as each science has come into being it has demanded and has taken a place in the college teaching, until now we have a list of departments and a list of subjects within each, which no student could run through were he to give all his life to the undertaking. It is this situation which has forced upon us the elective system, and with the elective system has come educational chaos. When an institution is established as a place "where any persoị can find instruction in any subject,” it may perhaps be called a university but it is about as far from the genuine conception of a college as any intellectual institution could be. To give a student the choice of sixteen or twenty courses from a total of one hundred and sixty or of sixteen hundred subjects is not to give him a liberal education; it is only to give him the opportunity for such an education provided (1) he has wisdom enough to make a selection which we do not make for him and (2) the courses are properly taught.

We have in these recent years attempted to restore something of the old conception. The various "group” systems are attempts to organize selected courses into some sort of unity. Our own new Ph. B. curriculum is at least a vigorous attempt to single out and to require the most significant and fundamental elements of human culture. The watchword "a little of everything and everything about something” is a vague groping for some sort of organization. But it seems to me that these are mere indications of the work which is now before us to be done. The time has come when the American college can no longer tolerate the mere splitting up of human knowledge into a multitude of departments each with its own special province, its own separate bits of

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