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tion to studies of which he would otherwise be lamentably ignorant. The very fact that he is to make no direct or conscious use of these studies may be the best evidence that these studies will be the most useful.
It is urged with great earnestness by the advocates of elective studies, that at the present time the necessity is imperative for a division of labor by reason of the immensely-augmented field of intellectual activity, which is opened by new discoveries in the material and spiritual universe as well as by the severe demands which the new learning makes upon the student of history and philosophy. This division of labor should be commenced, it is argued at the earliest possible period. Such'a division is the only condition of the highest eminence or usefulness. We admit the fact, but deny the inference; rather do we derive from the fact the very opposite conclusion. While it is true that the special fields of scientific and literary research are becoming more and more limited, and more and more absorbing, it is also true that the facilities for investigation are multiplied in the same proportion that the results of other men's labors are more and more available and, what is most important, the broad and intense light of the widest generalizations is becoming more and more available in deciding special questions. It is so far from being true that the specialist from the beginning has the promise of eminent success that on the contrary he is the man of all others to whom the highest success is certain to be denied, and this for the reason that for every department of knowledge light can be derived from many others, or rather from those general truths which the study of many special sciences is certain to reveal. A hard and positive narrowness of mind is the besetting danger of the science and literature of the present day. Only those men can rise above it who look beyond the boundaries of their own special field of study and labor. Against this inevitable exposure no security can be more effectual than a general and generous education at the beginning. The absorbing and limiting demand of professional and practical life and the inexorable requirements of a division of labor are decisive arguments for such an education wherever it is attainable. The patent fact that in the field of science men who begin as specialists, like TYNDALL, and Huxley, and HELMHOLTZ and SPENCER, manifest the gift of scientific genius by the impulse and attempt to settle all the great problems of Philosophy and Theology, is itself a proof that every student of Science or Technology would be greatly benefited by a special training in history, literature, language, and philosophy.
It is equally true on the other hand that no man can understand the movements of the present age or is competent to influence them in the field of literature who does not interest himself in the new problems which are proposed and the new solutions which are given in the sciences of nature. The narrowness of many modern littérateurs is equally conspicuous with the manners of many devotees and schools of physical science. The tendency of the students of nature on the one hand and the students of man on the other to go farther and farther apart is becoming more and more positive and more and more dangerous. Nothing can be more effectual in withstanding this tendency, or can bring and hold these divergent classes to a common understanding than the adhesion to the old theory of a trulyliberal education as the appropriate and necessary introduction to every special department of study and culture. It is not necessary in order to hold this method that we should not modify and enlarge it to suit the changing demands of the times.
The class system and the fixed curriculum will certainly not succeed unless they are administered by scholarly, enthusiastic, and self-sacrificing instructors. In defending these features of the college system we are not required to overlook or to deny the imperfections with which this system is often administered and the unsatisfactory character of its results. None of these imperfections of administration or results are however fairly chargeable to the college system as such. Some of them may be owing to the imperfect preparation for the course on the part of teachers and pupils. Others can be traced to the very defective education of the community and the very low conceptions which prevail of the nature and value of the higher education. The college system cannot stand alone. It depends on the lower schools, and these depend on the sentiments of the community in respect to education and the culture which the community itself has attained.
In view of the many defects which attend the operation of any system, it is easy to imagine that the novel and the untried will produce better results than the familiar and the tried. There seems however to be no good reason for abandoning the old system for the new. While it is obviously practicable and desirable to introduce elective and special studies into a fixed curriculum, there seems to be no reason for doubting that under similar conditions, the class system and the fixed curriculum ought to be retained.
This paper has been prepared under many disadvantages in the Adirondack woods, and is submitted with much hesitation and diffidence, as the expression of the convictions of the writer, rather than as an extended argument.
The discussion was conducted by Dr. LEMUEL Moss, of Indiana ; Dr. I. W. ANDREWS, of Ohio; Dr. Alex. Martin, of Indiana ; Major Wm. J. Davis, of Kentucky; Prof. E. S. JOYNEs, of Tennessee; Prof. Thos. R. Price, of Virginia; and Prof. W. LeRoy Brown, of Tennessee. It is regretted that none of the speakers have furnished their valuable remarks for publication.
Second Day's Proceedings.
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 15, 1877. The Department met at 3 P. M. This was the hour assigned in the programme for Prof. A. B. Stark's paper on “The Place of English in the Higher Education,” but by a change it had already been read in the forenoon
before the General Association. Prof. Chas. K. Adams's paper on College Dormitories" was by vote deferred until next year, with the request that the author be present to read it. The Department then proceeded to discuss Prof. STARK's paper, and also Prof. Price's paper on “The Study of English as introductory to the Study of Latin and Greek," read in the General Association on Tuesday evening. The discussion was participated in by Dr. J. W. CHENAULT, of Kentucky, Prof. J. D. PICKETT, of Kentucky, Prof. W. R. WEBB, of Tennessee, and the Hon. GEO. W. Hill, of Arkansas.
Prof. W. R. WEBB's paper on “The Relation of the Preparatory or Grammar School to College and University,” read before the General Association, was discussed by E. H. Cook and R. W. STEVENSON, of Ohio, W. A. BELL, of Indiana, R. A. STURGIS, of Indiana, P. A. POINTER, of Kentucky, Prof. E. S. Joynes, of Tennessee, W. H. Scott, of Ohio, and Prof. W. R. WEBB, of Tennessee.
The following persons were elected officers for next year:
Third Day's Proceedings.
THURSDAY, AUGUST 16, 1877. Department met at 3 P. M. Prof. Caskie HARRISON, of the University of the South, presented the following paper on
AMERICAN REVISION AND ADAPTATION OF FOREIGN TEXT
BOOKS. The title of this paper is intended to exhibit the objective side of a subjective principle: the question that I shall attempt to investigate is the relation of American Methods and Standards to foreign Methods and Standards: and the conclusion I shall hope to establish is that American education has an individuality of its own, and that American educational machinery and attainments must be clearly distinguished from the machinery and attainments of foreign systems; and further that American adaptation and revision of foreign work has not only not introduced into American education elements which have proved successful elsewhere, but have actually diverted attention from the inevitable characteristics of American civilization; and, from an unintelligent admiration of everything foreign, have entailed evils which a careful scrutiny of our own needs would have rejected and a judicious self-reliance on our own efforts would have avoided.
It is my intention to be practical throughout: and it is not without full consciousness of my risk that I make this statement. Higher education and practical education are to each other Montague and Capulet; and in seeking to ally them, I may find myself in the position of the unwary stranger, who thrusts his well-meant but ill-conceived intervention between mutually repellent man and wife. My hope is that the National Educational Association creates no antithesis between real utilitarianism and real education, but admits that materialism has true and honorable claims, which the most spiritual education within present human capacity must take as a body for itself, and which it cannot, without perilling its own existence, omit to recognize.
True utilitarianism-if the remark be not too hackneyed-finds its perfect expression and its perfect mechanism only in true education. Materialism lies at the bottom of all human institutions: sometimes it is more, sometimes it is less, always there is materialism. It is the object of education to reduce it to its minimum: but with education it goes in junction as close as that of the Siamese twins : mutual relation and control are inevitable : complete severance is death to both. Each is impatient of the other; yet only the existence of the one secures the existence of the other. Education requires attention: attention requires time: time requires provision: provision is materialism. If provision already exists, as inherited from preceding generations, the subsequent education of descendants is none the less really dependent upon materialism: if, as in the case of new civilizations, provision relies mainly upon individual exertion, the modifications which it enforces upon the character and extent of education cannot be overlooked. The physician who cures is not he who, denying that there is sickness, refuses medicine, or pretends to heal the sore, without sounding its deadly depths. In the consideration of this question, I have certain restrictions to make. Of course, it would not be possible, in the time allowed, to touch upon all the details of all the departments of teaching : nor indeed would this be necessary. It may be said in general that what is true of our relations in one direction, is true in all—at least so far as the leading principles are concerned-and with these only do we purpose now to deal. For obvious reasons, the extremes of those relations are manifested in the classics : in the exact studies, from their practical character, there is perforce less of method than of fact: there is in these subjects less in excess of the bare universal fact: there is more of agreement and harmony, and less that depends upon mere point of view: in the classics, on the other hand, there is necessarily a pervading uncertainty and vagueness as to what is to be taught now or at all; a growing confession of inability to draw forth all that the subjects contain ; an open and candid avowal of the impossibility of unimpeachable decision in many discussions; a philosophic speculativeness on the theory and development of speech, which permit countless subjective modifications according to the standpoint of the student.-All this is more than enough to show that, as the greater includes the less, whatever is true of our foreign relations in the dead tongues must be, at least, generally correct in other departments.
But again; the relations are modified not only as to subject-matter, but also as to the party of the second part. The two countries which at present are most conspicuous in the investigation and pursuit of Latin and Greek are England and Germany. The former, in this discussion, we may virtually dispense with, and for these reasons: (1) what is English is not really foreign: the hereditary affinity of blood and the living affinity of tongue forbid us to regard our dealings with them as so distant, or our obligations to them as so unexpected : (2) in this department of study, our dealings with them are uncommon, and our obligations not coveted.
The class of opinions which I wish to oppose—with the modesty becoming to one whose knowledge of German still requires the interpreting aid of the Lexicon and Grammar-seems to maintain not only that whatever is German is right, but that there is one kind of infallibility whose sublime height Pius IX may never know, and that proud pinnacle has only room for German thought; and not only that what is English is wrong, but that there is one vast abysm of helpless, rayless ignorance, whose depths no plummet may sound, whose ample hold England alone hath senselessness and impotency to fill. This, if true, is appalling: but before we sit down in the ashes, while our sackcloth coat is making, let us spend a few brief moments in meditation.
First: what is right? To a body like this it is truistic to say that for us · right is relative: absolute right and absolute truth are for us foolishness. There are two general aspects of relative right: one the relation of right ascertained and finite to right infinite and inconceivable: another the relation of right restricted by certain conditions of time, place, and circumstances, to the whole body of ascertained finite right. The former aspect is well enough understood: the wildest fanatic of the Germanesque School would not maintain that the land of his idolatry holds more than the thus far discovered fragments of ascertained truth. This position I do not now propose to discuss : for this has nothing to do with the gist of my argument. The second aspect of relative right is much more liable to confusion : not that the fact of gradations in the acquirement and comprehension of truth are not recognized, but that due value is not attached to the cause and propriety of such gradations and relations. No plea is here offered for the deficiencies and shortcomings of American education: the present faults are many and serious: the present attainments are insignificant and unsubstantial: the present paraphernalia is feeble and impotent: the present instruction is inadequate : of present scholarship there is next to none: of present development there is practically none. But all these are explicable, if not excusable: they are due to the irrationality of our standards. And here relative right of the second aspect comes in: and I maintain that whatever place Germany holds in the scale of right, that the phase of right which concerns the art of education in America has in fact, and must have in philosophy, a place that is only relative to, and not identical with, the same thing in Germany.
The first answer to all this is the cry of Iconoclasm : “it is deplorable to attempt to overturn the admirable results of the most advanced German scholarship.” My reply is that, if what I am trying to break is only an image, instead of the reality which is preached to the people, it deserves to be broken; and again, that in fact am doing nothing more than refuseand not without proper appreciation in the abstract-the present of a bull, handsome it may be and thoroughbred, as a questionable ornament of my somewhat shaky china-shop-or in the more elegant language of the poet :