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the curricula of our colleges and universities and the character of the instruction that should be offered cannot be appreciated save in the light of the principles set forth. Moreover, it is not my intention to discuss the value of the natural sciences, either in themselves or as compared with other subjects of recognized worth. Pleasant though such a task might be to the believer in the power of his chosen field, with its vast accumulations of concrete facts and abstract theories, and untold wealth of new truths still veiled in mystery, it is quite unnecessary here. Rather it is my desire, accepting all this as an established fact, to call attention to the methods which should be followed in attempting to make the teaching of science productive of the greatest good. To that end it has seemed wise to call attention to those principles which, today, should control instruction in all the branches of higher education, and in view of which, certain conclusions, as applicable to natural science, can be easily drawn.
In the first place, then, as an accessory or subordinate subject, as previously defined, the various natural sciences should offer to the student of other branches well defined general courses covering the elements of the subject. Special emphasis should, however, be placed on the words well-defined. “Snap courses,” consisting of a few illustrated lectures, on the basis of an elementary text-book, pleasing picture lessons, supplemented by a few trivial laboratory experiments, are not only opposed to every pedagogical principle, but are absolutely unscientific. I do not mean to suggest that lectures, recitations and laboratory practice are not severally valuable, but I do mean that only as they are properly conducted and co-ordinated can any course worthy the name of science be offered. To avoid the difficulties inherent in the subject is in reality a confession that something is radically wrong either in the teaching of the science itself or in the arrangement of the curriculum of which it forms a part. Real science may be most interesting, but it is never easy. Great generalizations are dependent upon a mass of data often intricate and involved, and clear conceptions of their intensive and extensive meaning can not be acquired by a cursory examination. In the classics, the construction of the sentence is all-important if we would gather the meaning of the author and learn the peculiarities of his literary style. So here there is a grammar of science, with its declensions and conjugations, its general rules and specific exceptions, which must be mastered before the literature of nature is unfolded and its meaning known. Furthermore, not only are popular courses in natural science not science at all, but in requiring little mental effort on the part of the student they tend to encourage those fallacies to which I have already called attention as seriously affecting the ideals and standards of higher education. Surely, of all men the scientist has least reason to countenance the unsubstantial or unreal in the education of those who come under his influence.
In the second place, science, in one of its various forms, is of increasing moment as a pursuit in itself and as forming a basis for a wide range of professional degrees. Thus far my plea has been for adequate teaching in its dependent relations, but here we have another theme. As we have previously noted, each year brings to our colleges and universities an increasing number of students to whom a classical course does not in any sense appeal, but who are equally earnest in their intentions and equally worthy of our best regard. To them science in its practical form, and from its theoretical side as well, is full of intense meaning, and it can be made not only of commercial value, but also a means of liberal culture. To offer to these students that mixture of glittering generalities which so often constitutes the content of the one and two year courses scheduled, feebly supported by a little history and literature, and less mathematics and modern languages, is, to my mind, nothing short of criminal. Considered from any point of view, we must conclude that, in admitting the importance of these studies we have accepted the responsibility of placing them on a par with every other subject in the character of the instruction given.
To argue in any detail the deductions which this position logically forces us to is quite beyond the limitations of this paper, but certain manifest conclusions may well call for a passing notice. As in the case of the classics, to which I so constantly refer because of our acquaintance with the pedagogical principles which they follow, as in the classics so here the benefit to be obtained depends largely upon our conformity to the law of continuity. As I have before said, the end and aim of every college course is the increase of power, and power in any field of science can only be secured by long continued application, until not only the simpler facts and phenomena of every-day experience are understood, but until the student is permeated with the scientific spirit and the ideals and methods of scientific thought and practical procedure have become familar attributes of his thought and action. To accomplish this will require courses of at least three years, and better four in length, systematically supported by training in such other branches as are necessary accessories to the chosen line. Furthermore, the term science, as I have used it, does not mean all science. The field is too vast to be covered in the four years of a college course, even if the student were to devote his entire time to it alone. Moreover, any one of the important branches, of which physics, chemistry and biology are examples, when taken consecutively and logically for several years, affords a better discipline, and is far more conducive to the cultivation of the scientific spirit which is so much to be desired than any mixture of topics neces. sarily considered in an elementary manner.
I do not mean, of course, to imply that one branch may not wisely be supplemented by others, for that is a different question, involving other considerations, but I hold that, whatever particular line be chosen for the major subject, it should be pursued relentlessly from the beginning to the end.
During the first year the course may properly be a general one, covering the elements of the subject in a concise yet thorough manner, the work of the class-room being supplemented by laboratory practice which, while necessarily of a simple character, should be as exact and rigorous as possible. Such a course is not only advantageous for the students who desire to pursue the subject further, but
may well meet the needs of the larger number in whose schemes of studies it forms a subordinate topic. Following this, during each succeeding year one or more divisions of the subjects should be taken up in a more exhaustive manner, each more difficult than the preceding, and requiring a wider range of knowledge of other subjects, such as modern languages, mathematics or other sciences. Moreover, in each succeeding course laboratory practice should have a prominent part, the various experiments being so arranged as to require not only progressively greater skill in manipulation and closer attention to details, but more actual study of text-books, treatises and original sources. It is to be regretted that much of what is called laboratory practice is utterly unworthy of the name of science. That experimental work is necessary to a full understanding of the subject is obvious, but its value is in proportion as it requires a decided mental effort and leads at the same time to a deeper insight into the questions involved and the methods to be employed in attacking scientific problems. No adequate return is to be gotten from hours spent in the qualitative proof of facts which are either quite obvious or which might have been well demonstrated by a simple lecture experiment. The character of such exercises is neither disciplinary or instructive, and laboratory courses constructed on such a basis are practically useless. If the institution is not able to secure sufficient high grade apparatus for full and adequate laboratory instruction throughout the four years, it were better to so confine its efforts in this direction that what is undertaken may be well done, even if for the time being advanced work by the students is thereby prevented. Such a procedure is not always pleasant for the instructor, but it is far better for the student and safer in the end.
Such an arrangement of courses as this may be called specialism, but only in the sense in which all true education is special. As in architecture, to which it is so often compared, every true type of education has a controlling motive, which from the base to the summit permeates the whole. To find it, to develop it, to secure a harmonious co-ordination of all else to it, should be the purpose of every arrangement of studies. It is just this form of specialism which not only demands earnest and continuous effort, but which encourages that advanced study and thought which is alone productive of true leadership.
After all has been said concerning the principles which should govern all education and their application to the particular groups of studies in which the natural sciences predominate, the reform of methods that are far too common is by no means easy. Unfortunately, the remedy is not often in the hands of the teacher, neither is it wholly in the power of the faculties of our various institutions, though I am forced to believe that they have been seriously at fault in allowing these educational fallacies to so long continue. The chief difficulty is the financial one. Science at best is expensive, and the sooner the fact is fully realized, the better for all. To teach any one branch properly requires as many instructors as any other subject, and, in addition, a large amount of very expensive apparatus and general laboratory equipment, to which constant additions must be made, as required by the rapid progress of the subject. Nor is this all. It used to be said that the scientist required a laboratory and instruments, while the student of literature, history or classics needed books. This, however, is only a half truth, for books and periodicals are as necessary to the one as the other. Without them the scientist is utterly helpless, for he can neither ascertain the facts already known or keep pace with the discoveries which follow from day to day in rapid succession. One might as well attempt to study law without access to a law library as productive work in science without a collection of scientific periodicals. It is supposed to be the business of education to study the actual requirements of every subject which is included in the particular curriculum; nevertheless, it is the failure to appreciate the financial side of the question which is preventing rational work in the natural sciences. Moreover, even when the needs are fully appreciated the amount of money available is generally far too small to allow of covering the whole range of science in anything like a satisfactory manner. Nevertheless, either led astray by ambition or through a misconception of the meaning of education, "school” after "school” is founded only to reach a halfstarved condition, weak in itself and a hindrance to all other schools as well. President Dabney has wisely remarked, “The great difficulty in our colleges is the want of means. If a college has only the means wherewith to carry out well the work of a classical course, let it stick to that. And when it gets more money let it attempt, at best, only one or two of the sciences, like physics or chemistry, which it can properly equip. What we undertake to do, let us do well.” There is a world of truth in these words. Emulation of greater and more fortunate institutions is well in a sense, but it must be coupled with a wise conservatism. In social life the man who seeks to imitate his wealthier neighbors must, perforce, substitute for the substantial things of life an outward showing of magnificence which is unreal, and often wholly spurious, leading to false conceptions of life and serious consequences to the body politic. So, here, the desire on the part of many institutions to figure more prominently before the public has led to a scattering of energies and the setting up of false standards. We need to go slower. We need more of the wisdom of the Roman Catholics, who, while following the most extensive plans, are con