« PreviousContinue »
work in any proper high-school subject which has been pursued for at least one year under competent instructors, with adequate equipment, as a part of the work for collegeentrance requirement.
2. Resolved, That the teachers in the secondary school should be college graduates, or have the equivalent of a college education.
I believe it is certainly significant that the present committee, the chairman of which is a secondary-school man, should so strongly reinforce the declaration laid down by the Committee of Ten. The greatest need I believe to be teachers of larger and more accurate scholarship. Scholarship is not by any means the only requisite a high-school teacher should have, but no teacher can lead students to proper ends without mastery of the subject he is required to teach. It is too frequently the case that the knowledge which the teacher has of the subject he is trying to teach is limited to the narrow and partial view of some text-book. The opinion expressed in the resolution, that a teacher should be in scholarship at least four years in advance of the pupils he is trying to teach, is certainly sound. A grade- and common-school teacher should at least be a graduate of a high school. A high-school teacher should be a graduate or in scholarship equivalent to a graduate of a reputable college. I would go farther and say he should have a fouryears' course in college in the subject he is expected to teach in the high school. For example, if he is a teacher of mathematics, he should have a four-years' course of thoro mathematical training in college. There is a large amount of misdirected energy in our schools today because of the failure of many of our teachers to grasp the essentials of the subjects which they are endeavoring to teach.
A teacher who is merely able to solve the problems in some text-book may get along; he may be able to convince the pupils that they are getting on satisfactorily; he may have superior skill in class management; he may have a wide knowledge of educational literature; but unless he is master of the subject he is trying to teach, there can be no adequate compensation for time and energy expended; for it is the blind leading the blind, and they are sure to fall in the ditch at last.
The committee well says:
The time is past when a superficial knowledge of a variety of subjects, coupled with a knack for giving instruction and some administrative ability, can be considered sufficient qualifications for teaching in a high school. In many departments of study, work is now being done in these schools as advanced as that done in the first year of a college course, and there is no better reason in the high school than in the college for intrusting this work to the care of teachers who lack adequate special training for it.
PROFESSOR F. H. CLARK, Lowell High School, San Francisco, emphasized the point that the secondary schools have a field of education distinctly their own, and that the colleges must recognize this and accept what the high schools find to be their proper work.
PRINCIPAL E. W. Coy, Hughes High School, Cincinnati, O., criticised the report as having made a requirement of at least one half-year's work in Greek and some work in Latin beyond what was now customary or desirable.
PRESIDENT JAMES H. BAKER of the University of Colorado, being called upon, expressed himself as in general sympathy with the report. He stated that he was a conservative in regard to the doctrine of the equivalents of studies, but thought that the committee had been successful in adopting the only plans under which an agreement among colleges was practicable. He thought that it is the duty of the schools to train men and women rather than professional men and women; even those who stand most strongly for freedom of election in practice actually do insist upon certain studies as essential.
PRINCIPAL H. L. BOLTWOOD of the Township High School, Evanston, Ill., criticised the report as being impracticable in certain points, notably in the recommendation that all high-school teachers should have college preparation, especially if the high-school course be extended to six years. He did not think that the pay would be sufficient to
secure college graduates for seventh- and eighth-year work. He commended the system of units presented in the report as the basis of college admission.
PRESIDENT WILLIAM H. Black of Missouri Valley College commended the report, especially for the careful distinction drawn between the principle of election, as defined in the report, and specialization, as ordinarily understood. Specialization, so-called, is one of the hobbies which we are in danger of overdoing. He commended the remark of President Baker that the schools should train men and women rather than professional men and women. Boys and girls in the high school are not then choosing professions.
PRESIDENT DAVID STARR JORDAN of Stanford University, California, said that colleges have done much mischief by putting requirements upon the secondary schools as to what they should teach. Secondary schools should give the pupils work upon
which the world can build; the universities desire work upon which they can build. These demands are identical. The schools should teach what they can teach best; the only thing that the colleges should insist upon is thoroness. President Jordan related the experiences of the Stanford University faculty in trying to decide on a basis of admission to the university. After much trouble the “Stanford system” was brought about. According to this system, any twelve units admit a student, the only thing being demanded from all being training in English composition, and there being a further restriction that any science units offered must represent work actually performed in the laboratory for not less than a year. Even the English requirements he thought unnecessary, believing that the high schools would insist upon that anyway. The speaker expressed himself as not being able to find anything in the report with which he could disagree.
MR. SEELY, of Texas, continued the discussion of the report, speaking of the burdens of high schools in trying to connect with the varying requirements of colleges, and commending this effort to unite them.
Dr. A. F. Nightingale closed the discussion. He regretted that more opposition had not been developed in the discussion; and gave fuller explanation of points in the report concerning which fault had been found.
REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON COLLEGE
NATIONAL EDUCATIONAL ASSOCIATION
LOS ANGELES, CAL., July 13, 1899. To the Department of Secondary Education and the Department of Higher
Education of the National Educational Association :
The committee appointed by your honorable bodies in July, 1895, to study the question of college-entrance requirements has the honor to submit the following report.
A. F. NIGHTINGALE, Chairman. BURKE A. HINSDALE.
EDMUND J. JAMES.
William Carey JONES.
James E. RUSSELL.
CHARLES H. THURBER.
To the Department of Secondary Education and the Department of Higher
Education of the National Educational Association:
The committee appointed by your honorable bodies to study the question of college entrance requirements, for the purpose of harmonizing the relations between the secondary schools and the colleges, to the end that the former may do their legitimate work, as the schools of the people, and at the same time furnish an adequate preparation to their pupils for more advanced study in the academic colleges and technical schools of the country, submits the following report:
HISTORICAL SKETCH At the meeting of the Department of Secondary Education of the National Educational Association at Denver, in 1895, a paper was read by Professor William Carey Jones, of the University of California, on the subject, "What Action Ought to be Taken by Universities and Secondary Schools to Promote the Introduction of the Programs Recommended by the Committee of Ten ?” Discussion of this paper led to the motion for the appointment of a committee to report a plan of action on the basis of Professor Jones' paper.
The committee presented the following report :
WHEREAS, The most pressing need for higher education in this country is a better understanding between the secondary schools and the colleges and universities in regard to requirements for admission; therefore
Resolved, That the Department of Secondary Education appoint a committee of five, of which the present president shall be one, and request the appointment of a similar committee by the Department of Higher Education, the two to compose a committee of conference, whose duty it shall be to report at the next annual meeting a plan for the accomplishment of this end, so urgently demanded by the interests of higher education.
This resolution was unanimously adopted, and the result communicated to the Department of Higher Education, from which the following reply was presently received : Secretary Thurber.
DEAR SIR : The Department of Higher Education has arranged to have a committee appointed to co-operate with the Committee on Secondary Education in regard to requirements for admission into colleges and universities. Very truly,
Secretary. The president of the Department of Secondary Education announced the appointment of the following committee in accordance with the above action : William Carey Jones, Berkeley, Cal.; A. F. Nightingale, Chicago
Ill.; C. H. Thurber, Hamilton, N. Y.; J. R. Bishop, Cincinnati, O.; in addition to the president, W. H. Smiley, Denver, Colo.
President James H. Baker of the University of Colorado made the following nominations to represent the Department of Higher Education : Nicholas Murray Butler (an original member of the committee, who has been unable to participate in its deliberations), New York city; B. A. Hinsdale, Ann Arbor, Mich.; James E. Russell, Boulder, Colo.; John T. Buchanan, Kansas City, Mo., and Paul H. Hanus, Cambridge, Mass.
Early in January, 1896, at the suggestion of Professor C. H. Thurber, the coinmittee proceeded to organize by correspondence, each member sending his vote to William H. Smiley, of the Denver High School.
This action resulted in the election of Dr. A. F. Nightingale, superin. tendent of the Chicago high schools, as chairman, and Mr. William H. Smiley, principal of the Denver High School, District No. 1, as secretary
As no appropriation had been made for the prosecution of the work by the committee, no general conference was held this year, but members of the committee as individuals, yet acting in their official capacity, sent out circulars, collected opinions, gathered statistics, and requested the various educational associations of the country to enter upon a discussion of questions correlated with the general subject of college-entrance requirements.
The chairman also invited the four associations which were maintained for the purpose of furthering the interests of secondary and college education to appoint each a committee of three to co-operate with the national committee in its investigation of all matters pertinent to the general subject of inquiry.
Accordingly there were appointed, from the New England Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools, Messrs. Albert Bushnell Hart, John Tetlow, and Ray Greene Huling ; from the Association of the Middle States and Maryland, Messrs. Melvil Dewey, E. H. Griffin, and Wilson Farrand; from the Southern Association, Messrs. W. P. Trent, E. A. Alderman, and W. H. Bartholomew ; from the North Central Association, Messrs. G. B. Gilbert, J. H. Canfield, and W. H. Butts.
The national cominittee, altho no general conference had been held, presented its first unofficial preliminary report at the meeting of the National Educational Association at Buffalo, July, 1896. This consisted of one hundred and fifty pages of printed matter, which was published in the June number of the School Review, thru the courtesy of the University of Chicago and of Professor Charles H. Thurber, editor and member of the committee.
The report was devoted largely to a tabular statement of entrance requirements to sixty-seven representative colleges and universities of the United States, with a résumé and critique of the requirements in the different subjects, by members of the committee and others who were deeply interested in these tables.
This June, 1896, number of the School Review is a very valuable document, since it presents for the first time since 1879,' in a compact form, in parallel columns, the requirements for admission to the A.B., Ph.B., and B.S. courses of the leading colleges and technological schools of the country. These requirements deserve careful study, and the more they are studied, the more conflicting, incongruous, and unsatisfactory will they appear, and the keener will be the appreciation of the absolute necessity of radical reforms, and the reasonableness of the suggestions in the reports to follow. In the same volume appears a semi-official report of the chairman, from which we extract the following:
There is no educational subject before the American people requiring more serious attention, demanding a calmer discussion, greater wisdom, a keener appreciation of the trend of present civilization, and a loftier spirit of altruism than that which relates to an American system of education which shall be consistent with psychic law from the kindergarten to the graduate school of the university.
The kindergarten has not as yet become an integral part of the public school system, but its claims are being rapidly recognized The common-school curriculum, both urban and rural, is in a plastic state, awaiting the touch of inspired artists. The colleges are much at variance as to what constitutes a liberal education in these closing years of a century which began with scarcely any difference of educational opinion ; while the secondary schools, awaiting, on the one hand, the abridgment and enrichment of the common-school curriculum, and, on the other, a more uniform expression of opinion on the part of the colleges as to their functions, are suffering from their inability to supply the deficiencies of the former or to satisfy the demands of the latter.
It is generally admitted that, until secondary education commences, children should have much the same training ; yet even in the lowest grades individual direction should not be lost sight of, as the mind very early gives evidence of a divine implanting which must not be ignored. Thruout the course of secondary instruction, surely, there must be no Procrustean bed which every pupil by some process of dwarfing or stretching must be made to fit, but natural endowments, as soon as discovered, should have full scope, within certain limitations. College courses ought to be so adjusted that every pupil at the end of a secondary course recognized as excellent, both in the quality and quantity of its work, may find the doors of every college swing wide to receive him into an atmosphere of deeper research and higher culture along the lines of his mental aptitudes. We do not mean that secondary programs should be purely elective, but that they should be eminently elastic, and that this elasticity, based upon psychological laws, should be recognized by the colleges. There is no identity of form, either in mind or matter, in the natural or the spiritual, and since power, power to adapt one's self to the sphere for which nature designed him, is the end of education, every student should find in the college and university the means by which that power may be secured.
The universal recognition of this oneness of education would bring about harmonious relations between the secondary schools and the colleges. A careful study of the requirements of admission in the School Review for June, 1896, seems to indicate a wide divergence of opinion, which we believe does not really exist. The discussions of recent
1 Dr. A. F. Nightingale, chairman of this committee, prepared a similar volume, which was published by D. Appleton & Co., in 1879.