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organizations will have reacht the point where their definite application in school programs will be safe and desirable.
From time to time, owing to the generosity of some philanthropist or enterprise of an administrator, experimental work on a large scale will be possible. Educators appreciative of scientific method can encourage such experimentation and quietly urge that it be planned and conducted in accordance with scientific method. They can give such experiments time to produce some definite results instead of indulging sometimes in hasty criticism and rejection and sometimes in equally hasty adulation and acceptance.
NEW WORLD-STANDARDS OF EDUCATIONAL EFFICIENCY
MARTIN G. BRUMBAUGH, GOVERNOR OF PENNSYLVANIA, HARRISBURG, PA.
We meet at a time when all the world is atremble with the tread of marching men. The times are out of joint. We meet on the anniversary of the natal day of democracy. This Commonwealth gave birth to that principle of government for which our nation and our Allies now contend in the most cruel and most stupendous struggle of the ages. We shall win because we are right. God never wars on the side of wrong. We shall come from this baptism of blood revivified and regnant race, leading the world in all that makes for righteousness, decency, and justice. While we devote our resources to the winning of the war, it is wise to think upon our opportunities and obligations when this fateful fight will be over and won.
War is always and everywhere an agency of destruction. The school is always and everywhere an agency of construction. The one tears down, the other builds up. The one weakens, the other strengthens. The one is inimical, the other propitious, to the welfare of mankind. The one is a crime against society, the other is a benediction to society.
We here represent this beneficent agency, the school, to which in one form or another we must turn now for the rehabilitation of a broken and crippled civilization. In the soil of sorrow and blood the teacher must plant and propagate the seeds of the life, individual and national, that is to be. Whatever is visioned as the good in civilization must now be carved into reality in the lives of our people by the school teacher. To him in the fateful days to follow is committed the holy task of making men and nations what under God they must be if they are to endure.
There was a day, not long agone, when the teacher did not enjoy the complete sympathy and support of our people. The evidences of this are not far to seek. With inadequate equipment, limited periods of time for instruction, unsanitary buildings, and wholly underpaid teachers, the school was tolerated rather than welcomed. The war has changed this entire situation. When, in order to make good soldiers of our polyglot population, it became necessary to establish in camp and cantonment
schools to educate soldiers, when literacy was actually accepted as a requisite for all our men in arms, and when it was found that in training camps instituted to equip men for commissions the college men as a class easily led all the rest, it became manifest in a new and a very real way that the strength of this Republic lies in the right education of our citizenry, and from national authorities arose the cry, “Keep the schools open and maintained at a high standard of efficiency.” The teacher has at last risen in public thought to the plane of professional service and will hereafter be the most potent factor in shaping the destiny of the Republic when this cruel war is over.
We recognize in America two types of schools: those that are supported wholly by direct tax upon our people, and those that are supported wholly or in part by private philanthropy. The former are the public schools and the latter the private schools. The former are for the most part elementary and secondary schools. The latter are for the most part higher institutions of learning. The public schools train primarily for competition, the higher schools for cooperation. The public schools avowedly are agencies to conserve the Republic by fitting each citizen to use the tools of democracy --reading, writing, and reckoning. These practical and essential subjects of the curriculum we shall always cherish, and we shall, if wise, demand that they be taught and learned in the English language and in no other. No one can be a completely equipt citizen of this Republic who does not use fluently the English language. We assuredly do not need, nor should we allow, instruction in the German language.
The higher schools, supported to train men and women in the cooperative acts that advance civilization, owe a debt also to the nation and to the whole world, the obligation of giving to all the benefits of the study, the research, and the investigation of the specialist. This is the Republic's service to the world of thought. We dare not bottle up the free air or
sun, since “truth to us and to others is equal and one.” The indictment against German university training lies almost wholly in the fact that the truth was not made free, that higher learning was prostituted. Its world-service was kept for the German state and by it used, not to help, but to harm, the world. The end of learning is not to serve in any selfish way any person or government, but to glorify God and to enjoy him forever. Truth is larger than governments, and scholarship must know no limits in service.
From these premises I deduce standards of service which the school must observe in the future:
1. The school must be not only passively but aggressively moral. Its moral disciplines must have the full sanction of religion. No other sanction will make moral training effective. We want men and nations that will regard a compact or agreement or treaty as a sacred thing, to be kept inviolate, and not a scrap of paper to be tost aside when selfishness and greed possess a people or a government. There can be no code of morals for an
individual that is not equally binding upon nations. The school is the supremely important agency to set these standards in the souls of the people.
2. The school must widen its sphere of service. Plato was right in asserting that education is as much the concern of adult life as of childhood. We sell citizenship in this Republic at a ridiculously low price. We welcome immigrants and give them home and haven. But we should insist that every immigrant must within five years either master the English language or leave the country. We should also rigorously enforce everywhere, by compulsion, the education of all native-born people. We shall be wise if we at once establish and enforce attendance in continuation schools, which must have more intimate articulation with industry. What right has anyone to obtain work in America if he love her not enough to master her language ?
3. In addition to a training of a liberal sort, it is manifest now that each citizen should master a defined trade. He may never resort to it for a livelihood, but he is the better citizen for this special training. This is true of women as well as of men. Moreover the day may come (I hope it may not) when the nation will need artisans far in excess of the demands of industry. It has a perfect right to have in reserve and on call when needed a vast army of skilled workers who can on occasion turn to the serious and vital task of serving in a practical way the nation's needs. It is manifest that there must be more secure tenure and more adequate compensation all thru our school system if the teacher is to meet the newer expectations and needs of the nation.
4. We have had enforst upon us, to our shame, the fact that we are wasteful and an extravagant people. We are exhorted now to save in food, in money, in all the essentials of life. We can save vastly more than we now do. The school can teach thrift and train our people to save.
5. The school must set a new ideal of national loyalty. Something like the heroic quality of national fealty that led men, hungry and cold and naked, to endure at Valley Forge must reanimate our people today. We must love the nation more than we love our own comfort. We must serve the nation more willingly than we ask her to serve us. We must be taught to serve her and not be served by her, if we are to be worthy of the holy privileges of membership in this great, glorious government. The national will is nearer to us now than ever before. Let us teach our people gladly to support it.
6. We have had a Prussianized American cult in our higher institutions of learning. It must be banisht forever. It is not suited to the soil of free America. Autocratic ideals have no place in a democratic society. For more than a generation we have been led to believe that our most talented youths should complete their training in a German university. The stream of German-bound students from this free Republic has been increasingly large. But this war has made an end of all that. What of the future? No American parent will dare, when this cruel war is over, to send his son to a German university. Where then shall the best minds of our nation and those of our Allies receive the higher culture? Those at all conversant with European systems of education will agree at once that they cannot go to England, or to France, or to any other friendly country. Their systems of culture do not lend themselves to this service.
It may well be, it really must be, that in this the oldest democracy in the world, which God in his wisdom has hidden away behind the sounding sea, the higher learning shall be in the future given to the students of the world. Here, with reverent faith in God and democratic ideals of government, we can train the diplomats of the world. We shall have an open-door diplomacy and a world-serving search for truth. In our great seats of learning, better than in any other place known to men, we can give course and current to the thinking world. Here we can welcome and educate in true piety and unselfish service the leaders of all nations. It is America's opportunity. It is her duty. Shall she allow so great an occasion to pass ? I pray that we may at once turn our attention and our united endeavor to this sublime service for God, for country, for civilization, that it may be said of us, as it was said of a long-forgotten city of the remote past, that we have wisely provided to make real in the lives of men the ideal carved over her ancient gateway:
In the midst of the light is the beautiful,
The eternal one. It is America's destiny, her duty to the world, to find this center, that we may abide as a nation under the keeping of the Almighty forever.
THE IMMORTAL CONFLICT
ANDREW F. WEST, DEAN OF THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF PRINCETON
UNIVERSITY, PRINCETON, N.J.
A boy without a memory cannot be educated. A man without a memory needs someone to look after him, or he will go on repeating his mistakes because he is always forgetting what he needs to remember, and especially the one thing he ought always to remember, namely, that it is not the man who makes a mistake, but the man who repeats his mistakes, who is known for a fool. And a nation without a memory is in the same deplorable plight. To remember well the things that ought to be remembered and to profit by them is the rule for a safe, strong, and wise life for every man and for every nation.
The past is not something dead and gone. Whether men care to have anything to do with it or not, it remains a fact that the past has a great deal to do with us. The past is the parent, the producing cause, of the present. Science has taught us by a thousand proofs that the universe is what it is because of what it was, and that men are what they are now because of what men were before. And the big book of history, which is the world's memory, points the one "moral of all human tales" in revealing the truth that, no matter what else has changed, the human heart is still swayed by the same passions as ever. To learn well this lesson and never to forget it in the conduct of life, personal or national, is the one foundation for a sane education.
And now, when the world seems turned upside down, men need to remember these elementary and elemental unchanging realities. For there are voices of confusion telling us that everything is changing, saying that little, if anything, of what we have held as true can be depended on for the future, and bidding us clutch at this or that panacea as the only thing to cure our ills. The past, they say, has little to teach us; for we are Americans of the twentieth century and should promptly cut loose from bygone times, methods, and ideas and set up a brand-new national culture of our own.
They are proposing to run American education, not on a record, but on a prospectus. They are, in fact, telling us to lose our memories and to forget what we shall forget at our peril, namely, that the past has our main lesson to teach us, and that the man who does not see behind the lurid, blinding light of this world-war its deep-lying causes for decades and generations past, and on back to the origins, cannot understand why this war happened, nor how to prevent its happening again, nor even what it is that is now happening. For he who does not remember what has gone before has little means of judging what is happening now, or of forecasting what will come after. It is no time to forget. It is the time to remember everything and to forget nothing.
Listen to a voice from long ago, yet so clear and near in its tones that it seems to be speaking now. "There is, we affirm," says Plato, "an immortal conflict now going on and calling for marvelous vigilance. In it our allies are the gods and all good spirits." He is speaking of the agelong conflict of truth with error. It is a clarion call of ancient freedom across the centuries to us, not only to the battle line in France, but to the armies of education in America. Let us listen again in the quiet of our schools and we shall hear the echoing thunders of the long-fought war, not ended yet, between the freedom of knowledge and the debasing slavery of ignorance. And that warfare is the one business of education, the one reason why we need schools at all. What is the past for us? It is experience teaching-and teaching now.