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ing to distinguish in a broad way between two classes of people, those who are alive and those who are not, the live souls and the dead souls. The live souls are the people of power, the people who are and who do. The dead souls are the people of weakness, the apathetic mortals who are nothing and who do nothing. The difference is very real, the difference between red blood and yellow. There are all shades and degrees between the people of power and the people of weakness, but the extreme types are sufficient to point the lesson.”
The question is, Will we have the red-blooded type for our schools or shall the conditions favor the yellow? This indifference not only makes itself manifest in the conditions of our schools but the students themselves are products of such an environment, and naturally they do not receive the best that should be given them. The products of the schools must be so equipped that they can earn the means for existence. If they go into business it is a problem for them to adjust themselves and they should be trained for this purpose. We think perhaps from lack of knowledge that all is well with the students and pity our tramps, wishing that they were educated so that tramping would not be necessary. We are surprised, therefore, to learn from investigations that the tramps are the product of our school system. If the young man decides to go from the public school to the college he is somewhat of a problem to the authorities there; as Dean Briggs 12 tells us, the young men in their actions say: “If you want us to be virtuous, heroic, learned, and accomplished, they practically say to the church, the school, the college, to their parents, you will have to exert yourselves. We want to gratify you, but will tolerate nothing dry, nothing hard, nothing ascetic. The duty of the preacher or professor is to waft us to Heaven or Parnassus on gentle zephyrs; otherwise each must endure the pain of seeing us conclude to go somewhere else.”
Much more may be added to indicate the unsatisfactory conditions of our secondary schools, but our interest must be transferred to the higher education.
19 School, college and character, p. 251.
II–The problem in higher education
The institutions for higher education are in their relation to secondary education as the peaks of a mountain range are to the hills, they rise higher than the surrounding hills and attract attention from the observer before the lowlands are seen. Every institution has its own history and the characteristics which it possesses are the result of its history. In general these institutions have certain characteristics in common which permit them to be classified into certain grades according to their efforts to encourage that which is good and true in education.
The ambition for a college education is a worthy one for every young man, and as he draws near the time when the decision must be made in the selection of a college for laying the foundation for his future career, the problem becomes a very serious one for him.
To a vast number of students who enter the colleges each year the question may often present itself, “What is a college education?” Do the young men realize in any degree what the opportunities offered by the college course mean to them? Do they imagine that by some peculiar means they will become possessed of facts which will guarantee a successful future to them? As one studies these problems there is no doubt but that the young man has a great faith in the colleges and the professors to guide him in order that the foundation of life may be the most substantial in its nature. The young man may have the belief that the accumulation of facts which are stored as the results of his efforts in the classroom is the most essential. Perhaps a few will grasp the fact that the environment of the college will have for them a value equal to the training in the classroom. The value of the environment will be in proportion as the tone or spirit of the institution is of value. The value of this spirit or soul of the college to the young man is receiving greater recognition as its value is appreciated. This important feature of college life is very difficult to describe or define, yet it exists and has a wonderful influence. Fitch 13 has recognized this influence as part of education, for he tells us, “ The character of pupils is unconsciously molded by the sort of moral atmosphere which is. breathed in a school. We inspectors and educational critics. are sometimes laughed at for talking of the tone of a school. This, we are told, is an intangible entity, incapable of measurement, not to be set down in schedules or reports. That is very true, but the tone of a school is something very real, nevertheless. It means, as I understand it, the prevailing spirit of that place, its cheerfulness, the mutual helpfulness of its members, its love of work, its orderly freedom, its well-directed ambition, its scorn of meanness or subterfuge; -the public opinion of an organized body of fellow workers, all in their several' degrees helping to fulfill the highest purposes of a school. The scholar who enters a community favorably conditioned in these respects, and who inhales its atmosphere, is in a training school of virtue and of self-knowledge, whatever may happen to be the subject taught or professed in it. Let us ask ourselves not only, What do these pupils learn, how do they succeed in examination, what triumphs do they win? but also What sort of influences are those which, tho they work unconsciously, make the moral environment of the learner, and will' determine his future growth? '
13 Educational aims and methods, p. 95–96.
The soul of the institution is an inheritance of the past. Its foundation is laid and it is developed by the sacrifice and devotion of the men who have been associated with the college during its past history. The soul may be such that the student is inspired by living in the environment of the place and when he goes into the world it is with the determination to add honor, in the future, to his Alma Mater.
The world is blessed to a great extent by the young men who have been inspired by living in a soul-building atmosphere, and this value can be realized only to a limited extent. If the value of this soul or spirit is appreciated by those whoare interested in the welfare of the institution, then it is watched and it receives the utmost care, that the influences which may be exerted shall in no way degrade. An institution cannot have two ideals. If it selects that which is for the good of mankind it must reject as quickly as possible that
which tends toward “he degeneration. The nature of the ideal is shown by the work of the college or university, the character and productiveness of its president and faculty, and the effectiveness of its training upon the young man and woman committed to its care.
The atmosphere present in those institutions desiring to meet the demands made upon them is favorable to scholarship and the building of that which is highest in every respect. This feature has had consideration from President Low in the following words : 11
“ The atmosphere of both college and university is that of freedom. During all history, students have been among the foremost to sacrifice themselves in the cause of liberty. The colleges and universities emphasize also with a single voice the importance of truth. They lead men to search for truth. They teach men fearlessly to follow truth wherever it may lead. They teach that no time and no country has been without its truth. They teach men to be modest in the presence of new discoveries, as they recall the vast obligation of our own age to the generations that are gone. They teach men to be sanguine in the anticipation of still newer discoveries, by acquainting them with the continuity of progress thruout recorded history. The university, by its libraries and by its men, is at once the great conservator of human knowledge, and chief instrument in extending its limits.”
The environment of the college, therefore, must be free for growth, and the growth that is upward for the best and truest that can be found. If it does not give this freedom it is not true to its trust as the place where the nation must expect to have its youth trained and equipped for life, in order that from the best that can be produced there may come the leaders in what is best in the building of the nation's future. The places of learning, in order to be the places where there is security and peace for developing the highest in human knowledge, must be guarded and protected from every danger that may tend to prevent its freedom, and this freedom must be guarded in many ways. It is surprising that we do not realize the great damage that may be caused by inattention to little things which at first appear only to have the slightest influence. We all know what the result will be when a match is applied to any combustible matter in a building, and that the small fire. is put out as quickly as possible, yet these agencies of destruction in our educational system we allow to grow, and we trust to Providence that ultimately the problem will right itself. If the same principle was applied to our cities we would pay no attention to a fire department, but simply allow the fires to continue their destructive work as fortune would decide. This we all know would be extremely foolish, yet is it not equally so in the domain of education? We realize that to tolerate those ideas which would leave our cities unprotected by fire would be the survival of the unfit, and we may therefore consider some of the influences which favor the survival of the unfit in higher education and thus hinder the proper work of the colleges and universities.
14 EDUCATIONAL Review, 5, p. 16.
The most important agencies in the effective work of our higher educational institutions are the trustees, or regents, the president, the professors, and the students. The community in which the institution is situated furnishes the majority of the youth to be trained, and also from its citizens it supplies the governing board for the control of the work in education. The public therefore controls the material for the college training in the most important period of life, that of adolescence. The public may also delegate the ideal which may dominate the institution and therefore control in an indirect manner the atmosphere in which the student will be developed.
The trustees are selected for the positions practically by two methods. The state institutions called state universities and state colleges have their trustees selected either by being elected by ballot by the people or are nominated by the Governor and confirmed by the state legislature. In the older institutions and those not controlled and supported by the state, the board of trustees is composed of representatives of the public and the alumni of the college, as an example, Yale: University, which has eighteen members, of whom six represent the alumni. The president represents the college