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ber of degrees of various grades of value. This, however, was a compromise at once futile and fatal. Clearly the aim of education is to so develop the natural endowment of the individual that he may use his faculties to the fullest extent in bringing to bear upon any question the accumulated results of human experience. Clearly, also, this power can only be secured by concentrated effort in those lines for which he shows particular aptitude, coupled with such training in other directions as is necessary to secure breadth of view and clear and accurate expressions of thought. These facts, as demonstrated in a limited field through years of experience, the classicists fully recognized. Holding steadily to high ideals of scholarship they offered to those desiring the A. B. degree long and complete courses, vigorous and powerful in all that comes from a mastery of difficulties and a contact with the noblest creations of ages past. For the other degrees, however, elementary courses in literature and the sciences, history and modern language were jumbled together in a sort of hodge-podge, pleasing, even fascinating, if you will, but beginning in weakness and ending in chaos, without discipline or power. Instead of proving to be courses that, while adapted to the non-classical students, were yet strong in all that leads to high ideals in education and life, they speedily constituted a resort for the weak, incompetent and indolent as affording easy paths to the goal of a college degree. How such a scheme was conceived of ignorance and prejudice, and born of sophistry, the student of pedagogical history may perhaps ascertain, but I, for one, cannot understand why it was not chloroformed at birth. Not only is it opposed to all the principles of classical training, which it was designed to supplement, but it is absolutely unscientific as well, though science was supposably the chief corner stone of this remarkable structure.
To avoid this cheapening of the college degree and the encouragement of mediocrity, many of our leading institutions have, in recent years, returned to the principle of one degree, and have endeavored to secure the desired freedom of choice by the widest possible range of electives. While the principle is undoubtedly correct, the same errors are apparent in its application which we have already noted. Continuity and concentration have given place, to a large extent, to extreme generalization. The majority of students entering the institution without definite pur
pose, save to secure the bachelor's degree, seek naturally the line of least resistance and take course after course of elementary instruction throughout a wide range of disconnected topics. The result has been unfortunate, for not only has this procedure been conducive to that type of education which Mr. Paul Leicester Ford so aptly termed "culturine," but it has affected the more sincere and important work of the various departments comprising the institution. Subjects, which from their nature are necessarily subordinate, and which are, as we have said, of greatest value only when taken in connection with other leading topics, have been sought by many, either because less difficult or because they demanded little, if any, previous preparation. In consequence of the large number in attendance, such courses have come to be viewed as of great moment, while others, which, because of inherent difficulties, are avoided by the mass of students, have failed to receive the support necessary for the prosecution of work of the highest grade. Because of these conditions there has been a tendency to lower the standard that should be required, or to introduce more popular courses in order thereby to create a larger interest in the particular subject and to lead to its more complete development. That this tendency should be checked is evident to every thoughtful student of educational problems. There is for every grade of educational work a definite standard of scholarship, which is, in the main, the result of long experience. Different in kind it may be, according to the studies pursued, but not in degree of excellence. To rigidly adhere to it in one line and to raise high the barriers against all that may tend to degrade it, and then to throw down the bars in other directions, is a proceeding that cannot be too strongly condemned. No institution or department of such can afford, for the sake of attracting students, or extending its influence, to conduct courses that are not rigidly disciplinary, be they scientific or classical, literary or historical. It is not, of course, desirable that the bachelor's degree should be beyond the reach of any earnest and capable student. but, on the other hand, to attempt to popularize higher education is the height of folly. Granted that the curriculum is planned with full regard to the previous training, age and experience of the student body, if individuals, through weakness of character or actual incapacity, are unable, from the wide range of possible electives, to form a scheme of co-ordinated subjects which they can pursue with distinct moral and intellectual profit, they are out of place in the institution and should leave it at once for other fields of activity. For them a college course means a waste of time, and a cultivated taste for a position in the social organism which by nature they are not adapted to fill. To discourage them in the attempt is a duty to society as well as to the individual.
There is, moreover, another principle which follows from those already stated. After all has been said concerning the need of a broader diffusion of knowledge and better education for the masses, the fact remains that college and university courses should be adapted to the few rather than to the many. It has been well said that "education is from the top downward—it is better for all that a few should stand high at the lookout of observation rather than that all should be on the same plane.” This is true, not only in the early stages of human progress, but in all periods as well. No people can rise higher than the ideals that are set before them. It is not sufficient that the masses should receive such education as fits each member to fill his appropriate sphere in the light of present knowledge. Progress demands a continual recreation of ideals and standards through the far-seeing wisdom of those who by advanced study and thought are able to make known new facts and principles, which sooner or later will become of vast importance. Progress, too, demands leaders who shall take that which is already known to the few and by clear exposition, according to the methods of the class-room, work-shop or office, widely desseminate it that all may have the advantage of the new truth. These are time-worn aphorisms, but they require continual emphasis nevertheless. Granted that a function of undergraduate courses is to afford complete instruction, covering well known facts and principles, that the graduate may be a more capable member of society, nevertheless the chief duty of any institution is to encourage by every means in its power the more advanced study and thought which alone are productive of leadership. The success, moreover, of any institution is not so much to be measured by the members who may have thronged its halls as by the honor-roll of its distinguished graduates, captains of progressive thought in literature, science and art, as well as in practical life.
These foregoing statements may seem apart from the text of this paper, but the proper position of the natural sciences in