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Title: On the Firing Line in Education
Author: Ladd, Adoniram Judson
Language: English
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  A. J. LADD
  _Professor of Education, State University of North Dakota_



  All Rights Reserved
  Made in the United States of America

  The Gorham Press, Boston, U. S. A.


Of the ten studies making up this little volume only one, the last,
aside from the Introduction, was designed primarily for publication.
Each of the others had a definite personal audience in mind while being
prepared. Still, nearly all have later found their way into print, and
some have been reprinted in other periodicals and quoted quite
extensively in still others. Many letters of appreciation, too, from
strangers who have chanced to read this address or that, have come to
the writer. These facts, together with expressions of appreciation upon
delivery and with definite suggestions from many for publication, have
finally led the writer to feel that possibly their gathering together
might be worth while. But in fairness to himself, as well as to others,
also in the interests of accuracy, he is prompted to give an additional
reason for venturing upon the hazardous undertaking of offering "cold
meats" to people not overly hungry. Not words of praise alone, no matter
how warm, would justify such a decision, for one can never take such
expressions at quite their face value--'tis so easy to make pleasant
remarks! So the matter was thrown back to where it belonged all the
time--upon the writer to decide the case on the merits of the various
discussions as dealing with present-day educational problems.

While separate addresses, upon different topics, given at different
times, and with no thought of connection, they all do bear upon one
great matter of universal interest--that of education. The title, "On
the Firing Line in Education," belongs specifically to but the first of
the topics discust. Still, it is appropriate to the entire group since
the various matters handled are fundamental and the positions taken
considerably in advance of common use. But we are clearly moving in the
general direction indicated--'twill not be long now before the main army
has caught up, and then the firing line will be still further advanced.

I have a very definite conviction that, at any financial cost, we should
provide thru the school for the physical as well as for the psychical
and the moral development of the child. This is not to take the place of
the home--merely to supplement the work of the majority of homes. Only
thus can we adequately educate all. I believe, too, that in any
scientific view of the educational process the sense organs are
paramount in importance, and therefore urge their care and training.
That the positions taken in the various addresses upon these and other
matters are sound has been pretty well demonstrated during the last two
years when the demands of war have faced us. This is made clear in the
Introduction that follows.

I am under obligations to the various periodicals in which these studies
have appeared for permission to use them again in this form. I also
appreciate the courtesy of Mr. Badger, the publisher, in allowing me to
use certain simplified forms of spelling, thus departing from the usual
over-conservative practise of publishers. Is not this, too, one of the
firing-line activities?

  A. J. LADD

  Grand Forks, North Dakota,
  March, 1919


    CHAPTER                                                         PAGE

        BY THE REVELATIONS OF THE WAR                                 13

    I. ON THE FIRING LINE IN EDUCATION                                37

        Social Betterment, the Dominant Motive in
        Education                                                     38

        Child Study                                                   43

        Physical Education                                            50

        The Educational Survey                                        51

        Vocational Guidance                                           53

        The Educational Psychologist                                  56

        SCHOOLS OF THE STATE                                          63

        The Elementary School                                         65

        The High School                                               67

        The State University                                          75

  III. THE UNIVERSITY AND THE TEACHER                                 89

        The Kind of Teachers the University Should
        Employ                                                        91

        The University Teacher in his Classroom                       94

        The University's Attitude Toward the Preparation
        of Teachers for the Schools of the State                     105

   IV. THE EYE PROBLEM IN THE SCHOOLS                                115

    V. THE HOME, THE CHURCH, AND THE SCHOOL                          133

        The Home                                                     134

        The Church                                                   141

        The School                                                   150

    VI. NOBLESSE OBLIGE                                              163

   VII. IMPROVEMENTS IN OUR PUBLIC SCHOOLS                           185

  VIII. LOCAL WINTER SPORTS                                          203

    IX. THE FUNCTION OF TEACHERS COLLEGE                             217

            EDUCATION                                                243

        INDEX                                                        261



_From School and Society, April 5, 1919_

Knowing that I was about to publish a book on education in which the
Great War, now happily closed, was not taken as the point of departure,
a friend said to me one day, in substance, "Aren't you taking undue
risks just now in putting out a book on education that isn't based upon
a program of reconstruction? Haven't all our so-called educational
principles been dis-credited? Shall you get any readers if you do not
admit educational failure thus far, and proceed to discuss a change of
front, made imperative by recent revelations?" And the editor of a well
known educational journal, in asking me for an article, recently, said,
among other things, "I should be glad to have an article upon some phase
of reconstruction after the war, educational, social, philosophical, as
you may like. Here is the next great battlefield of the future, and if
the educational forces do not redeem themselves here, it is my opinion
that we shall become a greater laughing stock than we have ever been

To both of these statements I desire to take exception. To be sure, the
war has taught us many lessons bearing upon education; to be sure, it
has revealed shortcomings, limitations, and weaknesses. But it seems to
me that it has also made clear that we have been working along right
lines. Our fundamental educational principles have not been
dis-credited. There is no far-reaching educational failure to admit, nor
is there any serious shortcoming from which the educational forces of
the country have to redeem themselves. "Laughing stock," does the
gentleman say? Oh no! Far from it! Let us not get panicky! Some
weaknesses brought to light? Certainly. But in the analysis, later to be
made, let us see if, for the most part, they do not but demonstrate the
soundness of our educational principles and the far-sightedness of our
educational leaders together with the short-sightedness of the present
critics, in that had suggested recommendations been followed these
weaknesses would not have existed. Let us give here but one
illustration, and that briefly. We all admit that the medical
examinations for the war found too many physical defects, and too many
men thereby incapacitated for efficient military service. But would not
the results have been very different if, during the last generation, the
suggestions and strong recommendations of educators relative to physical
education in our schools been acted upon by the public? Ah! The fault
was not with educational principles; they were sound. The educational
forces of the country knew what was needed, but a parsimonious public
would not follow intelligent leadership. We could say, all along the
line, "I told you so," if we felt so inclined. Instead of being the
"laughing stock" we could--if the matter were not too serious--throw the
laugh upon the other fellow. The purpose of our schools has never been
to produce soldiers at the drop of the hat, and so they have never been
blighted by military training. (May it never come!) Their task has been
to produce men and women of character and purpose and ideals--men and
women of initiative who could become anything called for by an
emergency. And nobly have they succeeded, as evidenced by the successful
prosecution of the war.

In view of all that the United States has done to assist in bringing the
war to its successful close, from the adoption of the selective draft
down thru the management of the training camps, the operation of the
railroads, conservation of food and fuel, to the knitting of a pair of
socks and the sale of a thrift stamp, what shall be said of the success
or failure of our schools? Every man, woman, and child in this gigantic
work, from President Wilson down to the colored bootblack who saved his
nickels to buy a stamp, or to the little girl who voluntarily went
without her sugar, has been a product of the schools. Thru the
instruction, the discipline, and the training given in those schools,
they became the men and women who could rise to the emergency and do the
things needed. And they did.

No college or university or professional school ever taught Mr. Wilson
how to be President of the United States during these troublous days;
nor Mr. McAdoo how to manage the railroads; nor Mr. Pershing all about
war; nor any local worker how to lead the Red Cross work, any more than
the lower schools have taught the boys who went into the trenches how to
use the gas mask and how to go without food; how to shoulder arms and
how to march. But the schools all along the line did help to give them
ideals, did train them in team-play; did instil into them the
principles of democracy and the love of country, so that when the need
came they arose as one man to repel the foe. And the study of
arithmetic, geography, and grammar; of chemistry, physics, and medicine;
of Latin, Greek, and history has, in each case, made its contribution to
the preparation of home workers, soldiers, scientific experts, financial
managers, and statesmen--has helped to make each an individual of

Under the guidance of our educational leaders, following principles that
they had workt out, the schools of the country were moving quietly
along, each one of the 750,000 teachers doing faithfully the work at
hand day by day. We had never thought of war as a possibility for us,
and of course preparation for it had not been made, in the slightest
degree, a part of the work of the schools. But when war, with all its
horrors, was finally forced upon us and we needed statesmen and
scientists and military leaders to guide and direct, they were at hand
in the graduates of our colleges and universities--broadly trained men
capable of assimilating, or learning, or in other ways gaining quickly,
the specific form of efficiency needed in the particular activity
assigned. And when we needed soldiers they were at hand in the person of
our boys of the schools, both common and high, from every nook and
corner of the land--boys and men who merely needed direction and
leadership, capable of at once falling into line and quickly taking on
the professional phase of their training. Could we have asked our
schools to do more? The supreme test had come, and it was being met in a
manner gratifying to all. The boys and the girls, the men and the women,
on the farm, in the store, in the home, in the workshop, in the schools
and colleges, have responded "Here am I. Show me what you want me to do,
and I will do it even unto death." It was done, and they did it. The
schools had nobly demonstrated their efficiency.

To be sure, all this was not done without making mistakes. Not all the
products of all the schools were able to rise to the occasion and to be
depended upon in our hour of need. When the great national search-light
was trained upon the product of the schools, seeking leaders of infinite
variety and number, and likewise hosts of followers to do definite and
difficult things, many deficient ones were discovered--some deficient in
mental caliber, some weak in moral fiber, some lacking in physical
stamina. And right here is to be seen the only serious failure of our
schools. Not every boy, not every girl, had been made as efficient as
could have been desired. But, happily, in our great numbers enough were
found to do even the stupendous work at hand, and to do it well. In
spite of moral lapses, not a few, in spite of instances of mental
incompetence, far too many, and in spite of physical handicaps,
distressingly large--in spite of all this, I say, the United States
surprised the world with the quickness with which we pulled ourselves
together, and with the marvelous efficiency with which we mobilized all
our resources. Many losses of course there were--losses of men, losses
of days, losses of dollars. But when all is said and done, the losses
were slight when compared with the accomplishments. Credit to whom
credit is due! But because of these losses unthinking men immediately
began to criticise the schools. They should have been trade schools, or
industrial schools or military schools--any kind of schools that they
were not. And how clearly it was being demonstrated, we were told, that
the time formerly spent on music and drawing, art and literature,
algebra and geometry, history and Latin, had all been wasted! How much
better it would have been if, instead of these "frills," the children
had been given "practical subjects"! (Practical. Save the mark. One is
tempted here to go off on a by-path and discuss the topic, "What is
Practical?") Thus the criticism of the unthinking--of the laymen who
went off at half-cock.

And this criticism was deepened and strengthened and extended and made
more vehement, again by the unthinking, when the fine results of the
Plattsburgh experiment were revealed, in which, thru the processes of
intensive training, men were quickly whipt into shape for new, and
difficult, and responsible undertakings. And the equally good results
that came from the officers' training schools, in which college boys by
a similar program were metamorphosed, almost at over-night, into capable
army officers, had the same effect. How signally had the schools failed!
And these long years spent in school and college, "dawdling over the
frills," had been to no effect, whereas "a few weeks under _intelligent_
educational direction accomplishes marvels."

And the same has further illustration. Ministers of the Gospel selected
for chaplains, physicians and surgeons chosen for medical service,
nurses for the Red Cross, engineers for various forms of engineering,
and many others have all been given this short period of intensive
training and, to their credit and ours be it said, all responded
quickly. But the conclusion drawn by the unthinking has been, all along
the line, that the later efficiency of these men which has gained for us
the plaudits and the gratitude of the world was due to this short period
of intensive training, "under men who were intelligent enough to know
just what was needed and just how to go about to secure it"--men not
hampered by any pedagogical nonsense or grown stale over a long attempt
to discriminate between the "infinity of nothingness and the nothingness
of infinity" (as one might summarize a rather common criticism), rather
than to the former years of patient toil, and discipline, and
accomplishment which had really laid the foundation so well that all
were able thus to respond. The common school, the high school, the
college, and the professional school was dis-credited, one and all, in
favor of a short-cut method analogous to the so-called "Business
College,"--a short-cut method that could result only in disaster if
applied without the appropriate preparation.

How long it does take people to realize that real education is a slow
process! that it takes years and years and years of varied experiences
for the processes of assimilation and development to bring about the
fine fruitage of stable character!

And the Government, too (I suppose we can criticize Washington just a
little now without serious danger of being sent to jail), must have had
the same point of view in regard to the general management of education
since, during the war, it did not entrust its educational war program
into the hands of the National Bureau of Education. It did have the War
Department and the Navy Department and the Treasury Department manage
their respective phases of war activities. Why was not the Department of
Education called on to direct the educational work? Had it been, the S.
A. T. C. fiasco, as well as some other blunders, would doubtless have
been avoided. But the thought (or was it the lack of thought?) must have
been that most anybody outside of the teaching profession would know
better how to get educational results than any one from within. A
similar point of view is generally discernible in the election of boards
of education in towns and cities thruout the country--any one is
satisfactory save those who know definitely what should be going on
inside of the school house.

Perhaps all this was to be expected. I rather think so. But I confess to
surprise when I find such criticism being echoed from within--from men
who should know better, as, for example, the two quoted at the beginning
of this article. The explanation, I suppose, is that, timid in nature,
they have become panicky and lost their bearings. Perhaps they were
suffering from a mild form of brain-storm, and have temporarily slipt
back into the ranks of the unthinking.

Let us analyze the situation and see if we can discover just what the
war did reveal as to the short-*comings of our educational system. Let
us then try to locate the responsibility.

One of the most serious of the educational shortcomings thus revealed is
a high percentage of illiteracy--nearly eight per cent, I understand,
the country over. The seriousness of such a situation can scarcely be
overestimated. It was serious in time of war--the inability of a
soldier to read orders, or to follow written directions, or to make
written reports, especially when one takes into consideration the myriad
forms of war service just recently used, would limit his possibilities
of service and cripple himself and all his companions. But illiteracy is
even more serious in times of peace, for then such individuals are not
immediately under the direction of intelligent officers and thus
prevented from the disastrous results of their own ignorant actions.
Think for a moment of what it means in a democracy and for a democracy
to have one out of every ten (disregarding children) of the possible
directing forces of the government unable to read or write!

But when we add to this statement of mere illiteracy the fact that a
large percentage of these illiterates are of foreign birth or extraction
and have never learned either to speak or understand the language of
their adopted country, the situation is seen to be even more serious in
potentiality, both in peace and war. Our authorities have been too lax,
it seems, in not requiring that all children of foreign extraction,
whether foreign or American born, be educated in the English language.
In communities thickly settled by alien peoples they have too often
allowed the schools to be conducted in the vernaculars of the people--a
German school here, an Austrian school there, and an Italian school over
yonder, and so on. And it goes without saying that in schools in which
children are instructed in alien tongues 'tis not the American spirit
that is inculcated nor American ideals that take root. No one would
challenge the statement that here is a defect in the execution of our
educational program, and one that must be remedied at any cost.

Still another serious weakness as revealed by the merciless hand of war
is that of physical shortcoming. A large number of men were rejected for
service and a still larger number accepted only for limited service
because of physical disability as shown by the medical examinations. I
have not the figures at hand, but 'tis common knowledge that the
situation is considered grave. Eye defects, ear defects, defective
teeth, weak lungs, flat feet, round shoulders, spinal curvature,
unsymmetrical development, and many other defects were discovered in
great numbers. Perhaps nothing but a rigid medical examination by a
military officer would ever have opened our eyes to the real situation.
But this did. The revelations came as a surprise to nearly all except
the educational leaders of the country. They have known, all the time,
what the situation has been and, for a generation, have been trying to
combat it.

Again the question is raised as to whether these defects, or weaknesses,
of American education, in both fields mentioned, as serious as they have
been seen to be for war, are not even a more serious menace when looked
upon from the point of view of peace, and therefore, even tho the war
has been won, of such commanding importance as to demand our immediate
and continued attention.

One might go on and name other shortcomings in the working out of our
educational program that have been more clearly brought to the surface
during the critical days of our warfare. But this article is not
intended to be a catalog. The two mentioned are fundamental and
far-reaching. Illiteracy and physical disability! Weakness along these
lines strikes at the very roots of national life and of individual
well-being. And if, as a nation and as individuals, we are ever going to
enter into our inheritance, these defects must be remedied. But before
trying to discuss remedies, it will be well to locate responsibility.
Are our basic educational principles unsound, or merely our educational
practises unsatisfactory? Are the educational leaders of the country all
wrong in theory? Have their heads been so high among the clouds that
they have not seen the real boy and his homely task? Or have they seen
clearly and mapt out wisely, whereas the public, relatively unthinking
upon technical matters and always slow to act in new fields, has not
been ready to follow? Is it in theory or in practise where the real
shortcoming is to be found? The answer to the question is vital. If in
theory, then is the situation serious indeed for that would mean that
our psychology is wrong--that our whole philosophy of life and of
government has been built upon error. Truly, then, after all these
years, the "educational forces" would need to "redeem" themselves so as
not to be "a greater laughing stock than we have ever been before." But
if the weakness lies merely in our practise, not yet having been able to
attain to our ideals, then, tho serious, it would be but child's play,
comparatively speaking, to put ourselves right. We should need to take
courage, redouble our efforts, and all that, but should not need to
start all over again.

How shall we account for the illiteracy revealed among both alien and
native born? Not by faulty methods of teaching can it be explained, nor
by anything else that teachers have done or have not done. Illiterates
have not attended the schools. It is due either to insufficient
legislation or to non-enforcement of laws, doubtless more the latter
save in the case of adult aliens.

From the very beginning of our colonial life, early in the 17th century,
universal education has been a part of both our educational and our
governmental creeds. A program of compulsory education was early found
necessary, early adopted, and never abandoned. Beginning in
Massachusetts and going south and west, following considerably behind
but then keeping almost even pace with settlement and development after
statehood had come, legislation has decreed that every child born into
the land or coming into it by immigration shall enjoy the advantages of
education, at least to the extent of knowing how to read and write the
English language. Every state in the Union has compulsory attendance
laws upon its statute books. These laws are not as thorogoing as they
should be in many cases but yet, even as they are, if enforced, they
should leave almost no illiteracy among people whose childhood has been
spent in this country. For the least satisfactory laws--those of some of
the Southern states, Georgia, for example, require school attendance for
at least four months of each year between the ages of eight and
fourteen. But illiteracy, even among our own people, has been
revealed--too much of it. The laws have not been enforced. There is the
sore spot. Why have they not been enforced? But of that later.

The education of adult aliens is another matter, and a very different
one. As a problem it is almost new. That is, it has been only in
relatively recent years that it has been recognized as such. True, for
several years some of the states most largely affected, such as
Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and others have been
wrestling with it, but not very much has yet been attempted toward
introducing the compulsory features. And private agencies,
philanthropic, industrial, religious, political, and others have also
done good work. But all that had thus far been done had accomplisht
little more, at the outbreak of the war, than to open our eyes to the
existence of a problem. And in our leisurely way we were going about its
solution. But war came. The European nations were aflame. We had many
Europeans in our midst. Investigations were made. The universal draft
was adopted. The revelations were startling. It was discovered that in
1910 there were in the United States 2,953,011 white persons of foreign
birth, 10 years of age and over, unable to speak the English language.
Of these 56,805 were from ten to fifteen years of age, 330,994 between
fifteen and twenty-one, and 2,565,212 twenty-one and over. Note the
number, _more than two and a half millions, twenty-one years of age and
over--men grown, fathers of families, many of them_--unable to speak the
language of their adopted country! And of these 788,631 were
illiterate--unable to read or write in any language!

Nothing short of legal requirements on a large scale, and rigidly
enforced, absolutely free of cost to the immigrant, can ever remove the
menace. The law-making bodies of the country, both State and Federal,
must act and act quickly or this growing menace will get beyond our

And the long catalog of physical defects--what shall be said of them?
Shall they be charged against the "educational forces" of the country?
Are they a disgrace from which we must "redeem" ourselves so that we
shall not become the "greater laughing stock"? It is perfectly evident
that somebody has blundered because the whole sad list of defects is,
speaking broadly, preventive and, for the most part, also remediable.
But where lies the responsibility--upon the home, the school, or
society? Of course, primarily, upon the home; the child comes from the
home, goes to the home, is a part of the home, is under the immediate
control of the home. But yet, many homes, especially homes of alien
peoples, are not sufficiently intelligent to have entrusted to them
matters of such far-reaching importance. And many others are not
financially able to have proper attention given.

But the school does know. And it, or what it represents, is abundantly
able financially to handle the matter. It knows clearly how the child
with physical defects is hampered in trying to perform its school work;
it knows, too, how seriously the entire work of the school is interfered
with when there are many such in the room; and it also knows the
handicap under which such unfortunate children face life when school
days are over. And the school knows, too, the preventive and remediable
natures of these defects. Possessing all this knowledge, why has it not
acted? To make a long story short, it has acted. To the extent of its
authority and with all the influence and power at its command it has
acted, has been acting for many years, and is still acting. For more
than a generation the educational forces of the country have been
engaged in a nation-wide educational campaign designed to make clear to
the homes of the country and to the voters of the country the growing
seriousness of the situation. On the lecture platform and from the
Gospel pulpit, in the educational press and in the popular magazine,
aye, in the daily newspaper, in private conversation and in public
discussion, in season and out of season, they have labored unceasingly
to acquaint the public with the facts and to urge preventive and
remedial action. To the unselfish work of these leaders of educational
thought and action, supplemented by the generous assistance of the
medical profession, is due the fact of our present-day intelligence in
regard to the matter. Educators have been deeply interested, thoroly
alive, and intelligently at work. How they have agitated the matter of
better ventilation and better lighting of schoolhouses! How they have
pleaded for medical inspection and appropriate medical treatment of
school children! How they have urged the employment of the school nurse!
How they have workt for the playground and the gymnasium and for sane
methods of handling the same!

But they do not form the court of last appeal. They have no authority.
They all stand in about the same anomalous position as does the man
nominally at the head of the educational activities of the country--the
United States Commissioner of Education. They may gather statistics,
make reports, and suggest action. But that is all. Tho possessing full
knowledge of the situation, tho knowing just how to proceed to usher in
a better day, they are not permitted to take any action. Responsible? Of
course they are not responsible. "Redeem" themselves? From what, pray?
"Laughing stock"? How long, oh! how long, will our great army of
teachers, three-fourths of a million strong, be unappreciated,
belittled, and maligned!

Who, then, is responsible? In the last analysis there is but one
answer--the public itself. Since the community at large as well as the
individual afflicted is, in the final outcome, a sufferer in every case
of physical disability, as also in that of illiteracy, it is its duty,
as a mesure of self-protection, at least, to assume direction. Adequate
information is at hand as to desirable methods of procedure.
Demonstrations a-plenty have been given to prove that the program
suggested is feasible, inexpensive, and beneficial. This has been
brought about thru the action of a few small groups who have thus
presented clear and convincing object lessons. But why must we say "a
few"? Why is not such work nation-wide? That is a longer story. It

The United States of America is a Republic--a representative
democracy--a government in which all the people participate. And the
government of the United States is a Federal government. It is made up
of a group of States, each one exercising supervision and control over
its local matters. And education has thus far been considered a local
matter. And in many ways that soverenty has been still further divided.
We have as a smaller unit of school organization the county, and a
smaller one yet, the township, and, in many states, a still smaller one,
the school district, containing, in many instances, only a few square
miles of territory and, of course, a very limited population. But in
some respects, within certain limits, each of these small units is a law
unto itself, having much to say as to the length of the school term, the
character of the teaching, and many other phases including such as the
one under consideration.

For these reasons it frequently happens that side by side are school
districts, or townships, or counties, with widely differing educational
programs. Here is one with attractive buildings, well ventilated and
well lighted, well equipt in every way, in the hands of competent
teachers, with physician and nurses subject to call. But just over the
imaginary line is another with nothing quite satisfactory. They are just
living up to the strict letter of the State's requirement and that is
all. Not one dollar is being spent that represents the community's
voluntary contribution to the welfare of its child life or to the future
well-being of humanity.

And why? Just because we are a Democracy. Just because our action must
be the united action of many, representing the average intelligence of
the entire governmental unit and not that of its most intelligent
members. For this reason a democracy is always slow to act along new
lines. The majority of the people have to be convinced of the wisdom of
the new mesure. And education is itself always a slow process. People
change their minds slowly. Slowness of action is one of the prices we
have to pay for our democracy. On the other hand, an absolute monarchy
can act quickly, for there may be but one individual to assimilate the
new idea or to be convinced of the wisdom of the proposed change.

These facts are easily made clear by historical references, and,
happily, in the very matter under discussion--educational procedure. In
the eighteenth century Prussia, under the two great Hohenzollern kings,
Frederick William I and his son, Frederick the Great, the two ruling
from 1713 to 1786, made most rapid strides in education. Both were
practically absolute rulers, but they were benevolent and far-sighted,
and the educational reforms that they inaugurated were basic and
far-reaching, such as state-control and support, compulsory attendance,
and the professional education of teachers. Being absolute in authority,
all they needed to do was to promulgate the decrees and order their
execution. The result was that, educationally, Prussia immediately
forged ahead of all the other European countries.

England, on the other hand, was a limited monarchy. Her king could not
have acted thus even if he so desired. Such mesures had to have the
sanction of Parliament, which would have to hark back to an enlightened
public opinion since Parliament was a representative body. And public
opinion, especially in matters of education, is slow of creation. As a
matter of fact, even tho the English people were much in advance of the
Germans in civilization and in all the refinements of life, it was not
till 1833 that England as a government took her first step looking
toward the education of her children thru appropriating money. And the
grant of that Act was only a paltry £20,000 a year to be used by two
religious societies for the erection of school houses. And it was an
entire generation later, even 1870, before they adopted the necessary
principles of compulsory attendance and local taxation. More than a
hundred years behind Prussia, England was, in the management of
educational affairs!

Another illustration of the slow action of democracy is nearer at hand
both in time and space, even in our own country. For one reason or
another, rather, for many reasons, education was at a low-water mark in
the United States the latter part of the eighteenth and the first part
of the nineteenth centuries. Thoughtful men, progressive educators,
prominent statesmen, searching for the cause and for the remedy, found
the one in the poor character of the teaching being done and the other
in the establishment of the State Normal School patterned after those of
Germany. This was first suggested in 1816 in Connecticut and pretty
faithfully kept before the people of New England thereafter. But in
spite of every effort, including a campaign of education and the
establishment of private normal schools for the purposes of
demonstration, it was not till 1838 that the Massachusetts legislature
could be induced to act. And she would not have done so then had it not
been that a very prominent man of Boston, a friend of the cause, Mr.
Edmund Dwight, showed his faith in the movement by making a generous
contribution out of his private funds. Note, too, this action from
another point of view--the amount of Democracy's initial contribution
toward this new great movement in America: Mr. Dwight's gift of $10,000
was evenly matched by that of the wealthy state of Massachusetts! And
the $20,000 was the amount planned for the establishment of _three new
normal schools_ and their maintenance _for three years!_ That amount
to-day would scarcely build a coal shed for each of three new normal

But I am not advocating monarchical methods even to hasten so good a
cause as educational improvement. I am merely accounting for our
slowness of action in needed reform. For several reasons I should be
decidedly opposed to adopting such a program of centralization even if
we could. In the first place, not every absolute monarch would act as
did Frederick the Great. There are few benevolent despots. In France
during the seventeenth centuries the Louises were just as absolute as
were the Fredericks in Germany. But they were not interested in
education for the people. Again, Germany's system of education, tho
objectively efficient, has been far from satisfactory because not based
on sane moral principles. And that fact, by the way, has finally been
Germany's undoing. Now, we can scarcely conceive of Democracy erecting
an educational structure on an unsatisfactory moral foundation.

And still again, the action of an absolute monarch, in all such matters
as education, tho perhaps temporarily rapid, is not permanent. Remove
the guiding spirit and it slips back. An illustration will assist. Again
Germany furnishes it. The little duchy of Gotha, just south of Prussia,
serves us. During the Thirty Years' War Gotha had suffered greatly. Near
its close, in 1640, Duke Ernest the Pious became its ruler. He had at
heart the good of his people. He believed that education could be a very
important factor in their upbuilding, and at once put into effect a
progressive program. His people were greatly bettered and his duchy
became a fine object lesson for other German States. But Duke Ernest
died. And his educational reforms, not springing from the people
themselves, followed him not long after.

A few years ago President Diaz, Mexico's benevolent despot of nearly
half a century, died. And his people, never having been taught how to
rule themselves nor practised in the art, went to pieces.

Democracy is slow but she is apt to be sure. Her action in educational
matters is often provokingly dilatory, but she holds what she gains and
thus continues to progress. She does not take a step forward until she
is sure of her ground, but then she stands firm. Her actions are the
results of deliberate thought based on adequate data gathered from
actual experiments and not to be shaken. Democracy would not give up
universal education nor take one step backward in the matter of
compulsory attendance to secure it. She would not part with her
elementary normal schools for anything in the world. And when once she
sees her duty clear she will add to her school workers, in every
community, the physician, the nurse, and the playground director. She
will do it and, quickly noting improvements, soon wonder why she had not
done it long before.

Since so much emphasis has been placed on the conservative nature of
Democracy and on its consequent slowness of action, a word should be
added as to its possibilities in emergency. Tho we were slow in entering
the Great War, once our duty was clear we acted with a promptness, a
unanimity, and an efficiency that surprised both friend and foe, giving
heart to the one and consternation to the other. Tho a democracy, we
invested our chief executive with a power and an authority beyond that
possest by any monarch in the world.

So let us not be discouraged. The situation is not as bad as it might
be. Our fundamental principles are sound. We are working along right
lines and accomplishing good results. Our shortcomings, our weaknesses,
our failures, if you wish to call them such, are seen only when our
record is compared with a perfect score. The schools have not yet
attained to 100 per cent efficiency; that is, the country over. Here and
there, under the favorable conditions of an intelligent citizenry
willing to follow expert leadership even to the extent of providing
adequate funds, are schools and departments of schools of approximately
100 per cent efficiency. And these, as Democracy's experiments, assure
us of other advance steps. They are object lessons. Thus Democracy
always advances.

Finally, what shall we say? What shall we do? Not to "redeem" ourselves,
oh, no! not that! but to approximate the 100 per cent efficiency all
along the line? What? Why, knowing that we are headed aright, keep
steadily forward with our eyes on the goal, refusing to be stampeded by
the unthinking critic of whom Democracy always has a plenty. Take
courage! Speed up!



_President's Address delivered at the Annual Banquet of the Fortnightly
Club, Grand Forks, North Dakota, June 4, 1917_

The plan of the military campaign is worked out in the quiet, away back
in the rear, sometimes at considerable distance from the place of actual
hostilities. It is worked out quietly, usually slowly, and attracts but
little attention. But when worked out and ready to be put into
operation, the plan is taken forward and activities begin. Supplies are
gotten ready, men stationed, guns loaded, the firing line is formed.
Here is where the battle is to be fought, where an attempt is to be made
to carry out the plans formed in the quiet, back there in the rear.
Activity characterizes the scene. Advances are being made, new things
being done. Every effort is put forth to realize the plans.

It is not different in education. In the quiet of the laboratories and
the study, thoughtful men consider conditions, form plans, and develop
theories of educational betterment that have to be tried out, out in the
open. A firing line has to be formed, a place where new things are to be
done different from the regular conventional activities. The humdrum,
prosaic, traditional, everyday work goes on, in the main, all around but
at these points where some advances are being tried, a new and it is
hoped better program tested. All eyes are centered, all minds eager. The
analogy is not inapt.

It is my purpose to discuss briefly some of the things that are
happening on our educational firing lines. I want to bring to your
attention first, however, the plan of the great educational campaign
upon which we have entered, the goal before us at the present time, and
then take up a few of the relatively new and typical positions being
taken by leaders of educational thought, having the realization of that
goal in view. This will present to you some of the things that are
actually being done in a few progressive communities and point out
possibilities for others.


If I interpret aright the present-day educational thought, the dominant
motive in it all is social in character. That is to say, in all of our
plans for the education of children we keep them in mind as future
members of society, acting with one another and all working together for
the common good and for the betterment of the race. And around this
motive, or back of it, or being used by it as a means, can be grouped
all the significant educational practises of the time.

Formerly the motive was largely psychological. That is, the school
effected its organization, chose its curriculum, worked out its program,
and decided upon its methods in order that it might assist the child in
the development of its instincts and capacities, thus enabling him to
realize his own personality. The great French educator, Rousseau, living
in the eighteenth century, was responsible for this movement and it was
a notable advance beyond the haphazard and aimless practise of the time.
Pestalozzi, the great Swiss educational reformer, Froebel, the German
apostle of childhood, and Herbart, the psychological genius of the
Fatherland, were disciples of Rousseau and worked out from his point of
view, trying to put it into practise in the school-rooms.

And here was the firing line in education for many a long day. True,
none of these later men ignored social relationships as did Rousseau.
True, a strong case could be made out, if one should wish to defend the
thesis, that these distinguished followers of Rousseau, even tho
carrying out his program in the main, were likewise inaugurating the new
sociological movement. But yet it was not sufficiently clear to dominate
even in their own minds. The individual stood out beyond the mass. He
filled the stage. Nor did they clearly pass it on to others. As a matter
of fact, what the immediate followers of these men got from them was the
theory of individualism in its better form.

The best definition of education that can be given from this point of
view is _the development of an inner life_. That is what Rousseau wanted
to bring about and Pestalozzi and Froebel, and our own Colonel Parker of
more recent times, the modern apostle of childhood, had the same vision.
And so to Froebel and these others, likewise, the school was an
institution in which each child should discover his own individuality,
work out his own personality, and develop harmoniously all his powers.
True, in that environment and doing all that, the child is going to
learn the relationships of society, and thus the school might become a
means for social progress as well as the instrument of individual
development. But this was incidental. The development of the inner life
was the goal. Fashioned in the quiet, in the study, away from the haunts
of man, this became the program and the rallying cry, and out on the
firing line it was striven for. On the educational battlefields of both
Europe and America, where redoubts were being stormed and advance
positions taken, this was the one great end in view. It eventuated in
the child study movement of the present generation that is now at its
height and that has done so much to mitigate the severities of the old
time school room practises and likewise greatly aided in putting
education on a scientific basis.

The immediate followers, I say, of the great European quartet of
educators had the above worthy goal in view; but with their followers,
many of them, especially the noisy ones, the modern sophists, it
degenerated into a theory of pure individualism of the most selfish
type. The theory of getting on in the world, every man for himself,
became rampant. The school came to be looked upon as an institution in
which children could learn how to get ahead of the rest of the
community, and education as merely another weapon to use in making
society contribute more to purse and pleasure. And on the firing line,
formed by these noisy agitators, mistaken by many as educational
leaders, these were the things striven for. But this aberration was only
temporary. The real educational leaders, in trying to realize the goal
of Rousseau and Pestalozzi and to do it having to combat this movement
of wildcat educational speculation, gradually came to see a more
important truth even than the one they were seeking. As on many another
firing line, victories by the wayside have clarified our vision and
given us new perspectives, and a goal, not at first recognized, looms
large upon the horizon.

For thru all this struggle we have learned that the first business of
the public school is to teach the child to live in the world in which he
finds himself, to understand his share in it and to perform it because,
after all, unless people learn to adapt themselves to other individuals
and communities, disorder and chaos follow. In it all we have come to
see that education is the best instrument for regenerating society.

Not individual development, then, the selfish view of Rousseau, not even
the harmonious development of all the faculties, the one-sided, somewhat
restricted, or undeveloped, view of Pestalozzi and others of his
followers, surely not individual efficiency for personal gain, the
selfish view of crass materialism, but social efficiency is the
present-day motive in education. And the definition of education takes
on a different color. Not merely the development of inner life but in
conjunction with that or in addition to it, _the development in the
individual of the power of adjustment to an ever changing social
environment_. And likewise the school becomes more than a place in which
the child can discover himself. Aye, it is the instrument that democracy
has fashioned for realizing its broad and humanitarian ideal. Democracy
is ever striving for closer and more harmonious relation between its
members, a greater degree of social justice, and the school is its
efficient means.

These two tendencies, the psychological and the sociological,--only two
since the narrow individualistic was never accepted and is now being
rapidly eliminated--these two are not antagonistic nor mutually
exclusive. The difference is largely in point of view or emphasis. One
may say that they are but the two sides of the same shield but the fact
remains that there _are_ two sides. There is a difference and the change
came as suggested. And the change has modified conditions on the firing
line. Ever since Mr. Spencer asked his suggestive question, "what
knowledge is of most worth," the question of educational values has been
raised and the curriculum has come under close scrutiny. The result has
been a modification. The purely linguistic and literary, that which does
not function directly for preparation in life and society, is slowly
giving way to that which deals with the facts and forces of nature and
of social institutions.

Thus far I have tried to make plain the great educational campaign in
which we are engaged, as seen on the firing line,--to point out the goal
before us, universal education, of course, and social efficiency for
each member of the group. That suggests at once as a definition of
education, the one made famous by Herbert Spencer more than a half
century ago, "_Preparation for complete living._" That was good as a
start in the new direction, but one of the most prominent generals of
our educational forces now commanding at the front, John Dewey of
Columbia University, has suggested a modification which brings it up to
date and gives the key-note of explanation to the tactics now in vogue
out there in the front ranks. He says that instead of being the
preparation for life, education is life itself. Some without trying to
probe deeply into the thought back of the trenchant expression, have
said that this was a mere play upon words. But Dewey is not a man who
plays with words. What he meant by the statement is that the child is
best prepared for life as an adult by living the right kind of life as a
child. That is by living a life that has real meaning to him now, a
normal natural life, putting forth those activities that spring from
within, not merely sitting behind a narrow desk trying to memorize wordy
descriptions of complicated facts thought to be useful to him later on.
And when we go out and see what they are doing on the firing line we
shall see just that being done.


But perhaps I should guard against a possible misapprehension. In
eliminating the materialistic point of view in individualism--narrow
individual development for personal gain--we have not thrown aside the
goal of development suggested by Rousseau and Pestalozzi. Advanced
educational thought has that prominently in mind--the discovery of the
child's latent powers--his possibilities--his tastes--his "bent" and the
development of the same. But while with them that was the goal, the end
in view, and a somewhat selfish one, even tho not crassly materialistic,
it has become, with us, a means to a larger end, namely, social
betterment. The child must be known and developed to enable it to be
able to contribute its largest quota to the welfare of society.

With this general direction of educational activity made plain, and
incidentally the character of the activities along the entire battle
front, let us pass to a consideration of a few specific activities that
will illustrate the general movement. Let us bear in mind that we have
in view, in the first place, the individual child whose tastes and
aptitudes we must discover and, on the basis of discovery, whose fullest
development, consistent with the rights of others, we must seek. And the
reason for this, you know, is that only as this is done and he is
prepared to do that kind of work in the world for which his tastes best
adapt him--only thus can he be made the most efficient member of society
possible. Because, as Plato said, centuries ago, "Society is but the
individual writ large"--a collection of individuals. The foundation of
all things in social life is the individual.

Now, I'll admit, at once, that that is not the program of the rank and
file of the schools. It should be, but it isn't. What the schools are
trying to do, in the main, is to teach the children a lot of facts that
tradition says would be well for them to know when they become adults,
wholly irrespective of the child's present attitude toward these
facts--whether or not they have meaning for him. What the high schools
are trying to do is to teach the relatively few who survive this grade
program, in addition to these elementary tradition-directed facts of
knowledge, a lot more of meaningless matter prescribed by the colleges
and listed under that alluring title, "entrance requirements." And as a
result of these programs the schools are sending altogether too many of
their boys and girls into society unacquainted with themselves, and
ill-fitted for any useful occupation, and therefore out of sympathy with
the serious work of the world. They are misfits in the social and
economic world and are obliged to take their places in the ranks of the
lowest-paid of unskilled labor--and work up if they can.

Now, what is being done on the firing lines to remedy this situation
and to usher in the new day? Well, first, in our normal
schools--institutions established and maintained for the simple purpose
of preparing young people for teaching children--great emphasis is being
placed upon the study of the child. It is felt that only as the teacher
understands the child mind and the laws of its development can she
direct that development aright. (That's a sensible point of view, isn't
it? And yet it is only on the firing line in educational practise that
we find it recognized. Without that factor of equipment, the teacher is
teaching subjects, not boys and girls.) In many normal schools child
study is one of the required subjects--no one may graduate or be
recommended for a teaching position who has not taken it. It should be
required in all--and will be a little later on. No person should be
allowed to occupy the position of teacher of children who has not made
such a study--and proved himself efficient in it. Boards of education
should demand it even if some normal schools do not yet require it for
graduation. It is far and away the most important part of the teacher's
professional equipment.

And then in our schools of education and teachers colleges--institutions
set apart for preparing teachers for our high schools and for
administrative positions--the study of adolescence is receiving
increasing attention. The high school boy and the high school girl are
being made the subjects of close, careful, scientific study. It is
thought that in order to deal effectively with these young people the
high school teacher should understand those marvelous changes--physical,
mental, and moral--thru which they are passing. How else can one know
how to check where checking is needed (and it usually is needed
somewhere along the line); to guide where the pathway is obscure (and
every adolescent is sure to pass thru valleys of darkness during the
high school course); and to inspire where inspiration is lacking (and
with some it is lacking a good deal of the time)--in a word, how else
than thru a knowledge of the situation can one be the "philosopher,
guide, and friend" that the adolescent always needs?

Do you know that about one-fourth of all students who enter the freshman
classes of our high schools, thruout the United States, drop out before
the close of the first semester? Do you know, too, that the elimination
continues right along until that one-fourth is made more than one-half
before graduation day arrives? Now, these boys and girls enter full of
hope and expectation, eager and ambitious for what the high school is
supposed to do for them; they do not plan to drop out before completing
the course--nor do their parents plan to have them do so. Why do they do
it? What has changed their point of view and sent them from the school,
sad and disappointed, and their parents dissatisfied with both school
and child? What is it? Do you want me to tell you? The situation has
been the subject of investigation in many places thruout the country,
and the conclusion reached by thoughtful men and women, unbiased
students of educational practises, is that, while many influences
combine to bring about that unfortunate result, the chief cause of this
high mortality is the unsympathetic attitude of high school teachers
toward the adolescent. But, you may ask, why unsympathetic? Because they
regard them as fickle, unstable, and irrational, and so have but little
patience with them. I'll admit that the adolescent seems all that at
times, but that is only on the surface. The developmental
changes--physical and moral--thru which he is passing often make the
life during this period one of turmoil. From fourteen to eighteen--the
normal high school period--is frequently called the "storm and stress
period" of life. Not having made a study of the situation, high school
teachers, in the main, do not know the fundamental scientific facts, and
therefore can not account for actions, points of view, signs of
waywardness, lack of appreciation, poor lessons, etc., etc., that
sometimes characterize the youth while a student in the high school.
They often lay to an unclean mind what springs from a perfectly normal
development of the sex function; they are sure that moral perversity is
the basis of actions that are more correctly explained by reference to a
moral nature merely in the process of development; they think that pure
laziness alone explains the lack of vigorous work, whereas the boy is
growing so fast that he has no strength for anything else; they scold
him for being awkward and say it is due to carelessness and a slip-shod
mind, because they do not know that the muscles sometimes grow faster
than the bones, making accurate co-ordination a physical impossibility;
in a word, to general, all round cussedness they charge behavior that
should be referred to high blood pressure, aching bones, the knitting
together by fiber growth of the various brain centers, and finally, to
youthful enthusiasm, all of which are perfectly normal signs of
developing youth. They do it because they do not know any better. They
are ignorant of many things that touch, and vitally, the young people
with whom they are working. But how could it be otherwise? They have
never given any reflective thought to the matter. The term "half-baked"
that they often apply to the adolescent in disgust, or in coarse jest,
is, from this point of view, more applicable to themselves.

That, I say,--the unsympathetic attitude of the high school teacher
toward the adolescent--is the chief cause of the high mortality of high
school students. That, coupled with another, that springs from the same
fundamental situation--ignorance of the needs and points of view of the
adolescent--tho not so chargeable to the individual class teacher as to
the school system as a whole, local, state, and national, pretty nearly
cover the ground. The other cause to which I refer is the course of
study and program of activities that are so ill-adapted to the tastes,
and needs, and capacities of adolescent boys and girls--studies and
activities that have no real meaning to them and that fit them for
nothing definite save college entrance where the same old process,
meaningless to many, often goes on for another period.

What is being done on the firing line to better such conditions? A good
deal; quite a good deal. Normal schools and schools of education here
and there, the former more than the latter, are now giving attention to
the matter, requiring in some cases and urging in others, prospective
teachers to become intelligent in regard to the lives they are to
direct. It is being done at our own institution as at others. This year
Dr. Todd has given instruction in child study to nearly one hundred
young men and women who are looking forward to teaching in the grades,
and I have had a group of some thirty-five or forty prospective high
school teachers and superintendents who have been making a careful study
of adolescence. I guarantee that these people will not make the crude
and unfeeling blunders that I have mentioned as too common among high
school teachers, as they run. These are firing-line activities. They
were nearly new a dozen years ago. My introduction of such courses in
our University was smiled at indulgently by some of my colleagues and
sharply criticised, especially the work in adolescence, by others. They
are not yet required of students preparing to teach, but have evidently
demonstrated their value since, tho in no sense snap courses, they have
become very popular.

As illustrative of this work let me refer to a notable recent action of
the legislature of Iowa. It has just passed an Act appropriating to the
State University $25,000 a year for the purpose of financing what is
called a "child-welfare" campaign. The plan is to make an exhaustive
scientific study of the child from both the physiological and
psychological points of view, to the end that it may be better known and
thus more satisfactorily guided in its educational career.

One other thing, in this same connection, is being done on our firing
lines all over the country--something that is hoped will set the people
at large, parents and citizens generally, to thinking sanely on
educational matters and ere long rectify our blunders as to subjects of
study and general school activities and thus result in sending the
children out efficient workmen in suitable fields. I refer to addresses
and discussions such as this and others, to articles in newspapers and
magazines, and the educational press, and to even more extensive and
thoro discussions put out in book form from time to time for the laymen.

The old darkey says, "The world do move." We sometimes think it moves
very slowly, but yet it "do move." Tho we can't see it move, we can, by
looking back, see that it has moved.


Another thing for which we are fighting out on the firing lines is an
adequate system of physical education. This would include periodical
medical inspection of every child from the kindergarten up; it would
also include the school nurse and the visiting nurse, and, as well, free
public clinics for ear, eye, nose, throat, and tooth difficulties. It
would also include, for mental and moral as well as physical ends,
well-equipt playground and gymnasium facilities under the direction of
men and women expert and skilful in those fields--and these would be in
operation the entire year.

The physical education of the child and adolescent should be as
carefully planned, as scientifically workt out in a positive way, as the
intellectual. Why not? Because you know--every intelligent person
knows--that the physical is the basis for the mental and the moral. You
know--we all know--that a sound, a healthy, a sane life can not be
developt in an unsound or a diseased body. Then why are these activities
merely on the firing lines and not a part of the regular program?
Because ignorance, and prejudice, and selfishness, and stubbornness, and
penuriousness are still keeping many people in the trenches. But they
will be dislodged. Just as sure as fate they will be driven from cover.
They are fighting a losing battle. They are standing in the way of an
irresistible movement that is sure to engulf them. If there were time I
should like to describe just what is being done along this line in some
places and give the reflex influence of the same on the community. It
has surely meant a new heaven and a new earth to many a child, and
glimmerings of the same to many a community. But I pass to less
spectacular matters, continuing to discuss principles rather than


Another matter of interest these days is the educational survey that has
been taken up by many progressive communities. The plan is, as many of
you know, to subject the school system of a city or community to a
searching investigation in order to discover, if possible, its weak
points, if it has any, to the end of their betterment. Experts are
brought in who, without fear or favor, examine the system from all
possible points of view--location and arrangement of school buildings
including heating, lighting, and general health conditions, adequacy of
playground and athletic facilities, the extent to which the schools are
satisfying community needs in the way of equipt workmen and the needs of
the young people for equipment for suitable work, the cost of the
system, attendance, methods of teaching and supervision, course of
study, etc. Outside experts are brought in for various reasons: known to
have no personal interest in the outcome, their reports are likely to be
received with greater respect; and, too, a local committee, thru
nearness and very familiarity, would fail to notice features, good as
well as bad, that might at once attract the attention of strangers. Many
cities, ranging from 2500 to half a million people, have already availed
themselves of the survey with, in the main, very gratifying results. Not
only have cities used the survey, but other units of educational
administration. There have been a few very significant and interesting
rural school surveys by counties in several states. A similar study has
been made of several State universities, Wisconsin, Iowa, Nevada, for
example. I notice that the legislature of Minnesota has just arranged
for a survey of theirs. You all recall that such a survey was made of
all the institutions of higher education of North Dakota only a short
time ago. The general feeling is that it was well worth while. Such and
even more extensive surveys have already been made in five other
states--Oregon, Iowa, Washington, Colorado, and Wyoming. The end sought
in each and all of these surveys, whether city schools, higher
institutions, or state-wide systems, is greater efficiency--larger
service to society. A survey of this character is usually followed by a
detailed printed report that is generously distributed resulting in
greater interest in the schools and a more intelligent appreciation of
their work and their needs.


Much has been said in recent years about vocational education. The
schools have been severely criticised for not teaching trades. Many have
demanded that that be the dominating motive in all our schools,
especially in the high schools. The educational press, for the last
decade, has kept the matter in the limelight. Books have been written
calling attention to the heavy dropping out of school of pupils even
before reaching high school age wholly unfitted to do anything above the
most menial and lowest-paid work. They have argued strenuously and
sometimes logically for better things. To this program the objection has
been raised that children in these early years are not yet ready to
choose their work of life; that they do not yet sufficiently know
themselves--their own tastes and capacities for such serious choice; it
has also been urged that to place before children such attractive
objective features would result in swerving many from the normal pathway
of their development and check it midway. The result has been what might
be called a compromise, and the firing-line activities have been
somewhat modified. Not vocational education but vocational guidance is
now more nearly the thought. And this has a much larger content, a
background, a more scientific basis, and one organically connected with
the larger movement of which I have already spoken--the social motive
in education supplemented by the individual involving the discovery and
development of taste and capacity.

I have already called attention to the high mortality of high school
students. The reasons I have given are the lack of sympathy that the
teacher has with the adolescent and the lack of meaning found in the
work being done. The same facts account for the heavy elimination that
takes place in the upper grades of the elementary school. But both are
being remedied to some extent. The first thru the child-study movement
and the second thru the matter of vocational guidance. And the two are
very closely connected as one can see at a glance. Thru the child-study
movement the teacher comes to know child nature so well that direct
application can be made to the individual child and an intimate
knowledge gained of his tastes, capacities, ambitions, and dominant
interests. This will enable her to give the subject matter definite
meaning in the early years, and, later on, when vocations begin to
attract, the guiding may be intelligent and the final choice a suitable
one. From the beginning of the adolescent period there should be
opportunities furnished by the school or thru its co-operative effort
for children to test themselves in various lines--academic lines,
vocational lines. They should, in a word, be vocationally tempted in as
many different directions as possible so as to come to know themselves
so well that the final settling will not be haphazard. In these ways
they should be guided into their vocations, definite ones, just as early
in life as they can be adequately prepared for them. For example:--if
his tastes and capacities fit a certain boy for merely a mechanical
pursuit that requires but little academic learning, such as carpentry,
plumbing, blacksmithing, brick laying, etc., he should, relatively early
in the adolescent period, be thus guided, and not forced to attempt an
academic course that can have no possible meaning to him. This would
send him out, a productive member of society, happy in his work because
suited to him and efficient in it because fitted for doing it well. If,
on the other hand, tastes and capacities fit for academic or
professional careers, such as medicine, law, teaching, or engineering,
the principle would remain the same but the program would differ. The
academic work, meaningless to the prospective plumber, or dressmaker,
would be full of meaning to the embryo lawyer or teacher, and the period
of preparation much prolonged.

Such are the points of view that teachers should hold, and such the
opportunities that schools should offer. And it is all being found out
on the firing lines. This program is being carried out to some extent in
many places in different parts of the country. The time is not very far
distant when something of the kind will be demanded in all our towns.
For out in the front ranks the high school is no longer regarded chiefly
as a preparatory for college. Out there it is seen to possess a much
larger function--assisting the child--every child--to form its own
acquaintance and to begin the planning of its future. In other words,
the thought on the firing line is that the high school is an institution
established by a community for community purposes--to take its young
people--all of them--and guide them thru the difficult and transitional
period of adolescence, directing, inspiring, shaping, checking,
developing for the largest manhood and womanhood possible and providing
the community with efficient workmen in various lines.


While there are many other activities, significant and interesting, that
might well be considered in such a treatment as this, I shall close with
a very brief mention of one more--the place and work of the educational
psychologist in our modern system.

One of the most significant of the newer movements in educational
procedure is that termed _educational mesurements_, perhaps better
called the _mesurement of intelligence_. About a generation ago it began
to be observed that many children did not pass thru the grades with the
regularity that was thought normal or desirable. Many were obliged to
repeat grades--they did not "pass," to use the language of the schools.
The more the matter was investigated, the more serious was it seen to
be. Investigation has gone on until at last carefully gathered
statistics tell us that almost, if not quite, one-half of all the
children in the schools fail to progress thru the grades at the expected
rate. For some reason, or for some combination of reasons, they are
retarded from one to three years. And of the $400,000,000 annually spent
to carry on the work of the schools it is estimated that from
$40,000,000 to $50,000,000 go every year in attempts to teach these
retarded ones what they have already tried but failed to learn. Here was
a double loss, a financial one of large proportions and a human one of
much more serious import. Why the retardation? And what could be done to
check it?

Thoughtful consideration was given to the matter with the following
revelation: it was seen that in educational procedure all matters of
grading, promotion, even choice of subject matter where there was a
choice, were being handled on the basis of results of tests of
information--possession of knowledge facts--rather than of ability or
intelligence. This might not be so bad if the knowledge sought in these
tests were knowledge necessary to have in order to function adequately
in the new or advanced environment. But usually no such relationship
could be traced. It was but another illustration of no present meaning
connected with the work of the school. A remedy was sought, and is being
sought, in trying to substitute for the information test a test of
intelligence. It is generally admitted that neither one is an adequate
mesure of the other. A child may have a very high grade of intelligence
and yet make a very poor showing in the ordinary schoolroom test for
knowledge, not that he has been unable to learn such facts but merely
that his interests and attention have not been thus focust. On the other
hand, it is entirely possible for one of low-grade intelligence to
receive a very creditable "mark" in a test for information since it is
frequently a test of verbal memory, that "great simulator of
intelligence," as Binet calls it.

One of the most interesting of the books bearing upon this new
educational movement is _The Measurement of Intelligence_ by Professor
Terman of Leland Stanford University. In the thoughts just exprest I
have used material found in this book.

So, for a few years now, educational psychologists have been trying to
work out a series of tests of intelligence, so that children may be
located on the basis of their general intelligence, or ability to
accomplish results. The results so far are very promising as tending to
eliminate much of the loss mentioned above. And out on our firing lines
the educational psychologist is being looked upon as a necessity in any
system looking forward to real efficiency. It is thought that thru the
saving he could effect in the two directions cited his regular
employment would be a matter of economic foresight. A few years ago it
was the school physician who was being fought for out in the front
ranks. He is now a fixture in every up-to-date school system, and it is
the psychologist for whom battle is now being waged. And it is only a
question of time when his position will be secure and the line pushed
forward for another attack.

I have discust with you briefly some of the interesting points of view
of the education of to-day. I have tried to place before you, first,
what I think to be its dominant motive--social betterment, made
effective thru discovery and development of the individual's tastes and
dominant interests. To show how this program is becoming established and
worked out, I have touched upon various new lines of activity in
sympathy with and contributing to the general movement. Thus I discust
briefly the great child-study movement having for its goal knowledge of
the individual child as a basis for its educational treatment. Following
this I spoke of physical education--its beginning in many places and the
great need for extension. Another activity named was the educational
survey by means of which a community may have its own educational
activity tested by impartial experts that its real efficiency may be
known. Then followed brief discussion of the new movement for vocational
guidance that is doing so much where being used to make the youth
efficient and happy in his chosen and appropriate field of activity. I
closed the discussion with a mention of a still newer movement having
the same great ends in view--the employment of the educational
psychologist. Firing-line activities all of these are, each vigorous and
active in the great movement for educational betterment.



_An Address delivered before the Annual Conference of the North Dakota
Superintendents and Principals at the University of North Dakota, May
18, 1916_

This is a topic of great interest to us all--to you in the field and to
us here on the campus. The work of the two institutions is so closely
related, each depends so much upon the other, that participation in the
activities of one bespeaks interest in the other. But before we can
discuss at all intelligently the matter of relationship it will be
necessary to look at the two separately--objectively, as it were--to
note the function of each and its place in the educational system of the
State. What is the university? What is the high school? And what is the
work of each? are questions that must first be answered.

In the first place, of course, the two are but parts of a still larger
whole, neither being an independent, self-sufficing entity. The larger
whole is the educational system of the State, of which there is one
other part equally important with the two named, even the elementary
school. And all three parts forming the whole are creations of the
State, devised, controlled, and maintained for a very definite
purpose--namely, the welfare and happiness of our people.

While it is true that the three parts are correlative, each
supplementing the others and the system incomplete without all three,
it is also true that they are co-ordinate, no one of the three being,
_per se_, in authority over any other, nor any one subordinate to
another. Let me put before you, very briefly, that we may all be
thinking together, the system in its outlines and then discuss each of
its parts, trying to discover its function and its node of work. Then we
shall pass to the matter of relationship.

The system as a whole covers and tries to provide for the entire school
life of the individual. The elementary period, or department, includes,
in the main, as now organized, the work of the first eight years of the
child's school life and ministers to it from the age of six to fourteen
years. The secondary, beginning where the elementary closes, carries on
the work for four years and is followed by the higher, the colleges and
the professional schools--the university.

It may clarify matters somewhat and thus give us a clearer perspective,
if, before, entering upon the discussion, I account for the system as we
have it to-day.

Our Colonial forefathers in the Old Bay State, back in the 17th century,
in providing to meet the situation that prest upon them, unconsciously
laid the foundations for an educational system that expanded with their
expansion and developed with their development. But before taking the
initial steps they did not wait to analyze the entire situation and upon
logical or philosophical grounds map it out in its entirety. They had no
such thought. They needed ministers of the Gospel and, since a knowledge
of Latin was the one sure gateway to that profession, they established a
Latin school almost as soon as they had set their own dwelling places
in order. This was in 1635, and Harvard College followed the very next
year to complete the preparation. It was an afterthought and came eleven
years later when they legislated for an elementary school. And even tho
we can see, in what they had then produced, the fundamental factors of
our present somewhat complicated system, the people who were responsible
for its organization were only dimly conscious of the significance of it
all. They builded better than they knew. The broad outlines can not be
improved. Details, of course, are ever changing as local conditions
change, but from the very nature of things, the elementary, the
secondary, and the higher schools have remained with us, each for a
quite definite purpose and all working together for a common end. Let us
look, therefore, for a moment, at each of the three and see for what it
stands and what it should attempt to do.


The fundamental purpose of the elementary school in a democracy is well
stated in the first legislation on the continent touching elementary
education, tho not mentioning the elementary school. It was in the
Massachusetts colonies in 1642. The General Court passed an ordinance of
which the following quotation gives the substance:

"This Court, taking into consideration the great neglect of many parents
and masters in the training of their children in labor and learning, and
other employments which may be profitable to the commonwealth, do
hereupon order and decree that in every town the chosen men appointed
for managing the prudential affairs of the same shall henceforth stand
charged with the care of the redress of this evil ... and for this end
they, or the greater number of them, shall have the power to take
account, from time to time, of all parents and masters, and of their
children, concerning their calling and employment of their children,
especially of their ability to read and understand the principles of
religion and the capital laws of this country; and they shall have power
... to put forth as apprentices the children of such as they shall find
not to be able and fit to employ and to bring them up."

Here was compulsory elementary education, that children might know how
to read, might "understand the principles of religion and the capital
laws of the State," and also that they might be taught to work. And why?
For their own present and future welfare, and that they might be
"profitable to the commonwealth," the document reads.

It was for all the children of all the people. The same thought is with
us to-day and, analyzed and stated in our present-day terminology, may
be put about as follows:

The elementary school is for all the people and aims to do for all three
things: first, exercise a positive directive influence over the child's
physical development; second, carry on, in a more systematic, scientific
manner the training of the sense organs already begun by the home, thus
opening up the life to the beauties of nature, art, and other forms of
truth, and so providing for the development of the inner life of each in
accordance with inherent leaning and capability; and, third, equip them
with the tools of knowledge and give such knowledge facts and develop
such points of view as will enable each to become a self-directing,
constructive, and contributing member of his democratic community.

Attendance upon the elementary school should, in the interests of all as
individuals and of the State as an organization, be compulsory.


The high school should likewise be for all, tho for a somewhat different
purpose. While attendance should not be compulsory, the aim should be to
make it universal. For a somewhat different purpose, I said; I should
perhaps have said for an added purpose, because I would have the three
ends of the elementary school kept constantly in view as fundamental
bases. But, assuming that these things have been well done, the chief
purpose of the high school should be to discover the child's latent
powers, his dominant interests, and then, so far as these are wholesome,
help him plan his education in their general direction. I might put it
briefly thus: the chief function of the high school should be to help
the child to become acquainted with himself and begin the planning of
his future. Let us look at it carefully and see if it is not sound.

At the conclusion of the elementary school, at the age of 14, the boys
and girls are still children; they are developing, not developed, in
either body or mind. They have not yet reached, in the main, the period
of rapid acceleration of physical growth, intellectual expansion, or
moral development; they are just reaching it; they are now in the early
stages of that wonderful period of adolescence when the boy is being
transformed into the man and the girl into the woman. They are neither
children nor adults, yet manifesting the characteristics of both. They
do not know themselves, nor does any one else know them intimately. How
can they? They are not yet formed. They are in the process of formation.
What will emerge as a result of the process, we know only in broad
outlines--not at all in minute detail. So many factors are at work and
there are possible so many combinations of factors that no one can tell;
for it is during the period of adolescence that hereditary
characteristics show themselves. Up to this time the child is a child of
the race; during this period it becomes the offspring of its parents.
And the factors of heredity--father, mother, ancestry--are mingling and
clashing and combining with the factors of environment, and what the
outcome is going to be, nobody knows, in specific cases, in advance.

This is the period when the heart, the lungs, and the brain are being
transformed, modified, whipt into shape for the performance of the
duties of adulthood. It is a period when, in the intellectual realm,
because of what is taking place in the physical, concepts are being
clarified, relationships traced, ideas formed, things seen in the right
perspective, and real reasoning begun. It is the period when, in the
moral field, because of what is being accomplished in the physical and
the intellectual, principles are being apprehended that will finally
enable the individual to distinguish between right and wrong, to
organize on principle rather than upon expediency his relationships with
his fellows, and eventually to become a free moral agent,
self-controlled and self-directed. It is the period, therefore, when
ideals are being formed, habits fixt, character shaped, life plans
matured, and professions chosen.

And so, with such an individual and during such a period, what other
function of the high school can begin to compare, either in importance
or in appropriateness, with the one stated?

It may be objected that I do not include in this function of the high
school that which has been during a large portion of its history its
foremost work--preparation for college. The seeming omission has not
been accidental. I say the _seeming_ omission because, even tho not
specifically stated, it is there, for all who should be encouraged to
prepare for college. But it has not been made prominent since, in my
judgment, it is of minor importance. Note again the function as
suggested--to help the child know himself, find out what he wants to do
and what he can do best, and then begin getting ready for doing it well.
If the specific form of future activity decided upon in a particular
instance should call for the contribution of the college, then of course
the plan mentioned would include appropriate preparation.

But from what point of view should the high school be regarded and for
whom should it be planned? Should it be for the relatively few who go
beyond, or for the great majority who do not? It is a fair question and
admits of but one answer. The high schools of the State must, of course,
give adequate preparation for entrance into the State university. Some
of them must--not necessarily every one. It must be the preparatory
school, since both are State institutions and the only ones occupying
the field. But it should do vastly more than that. Being of the people,
by the people, and for the people, it should be so handled as to serve
all, not merely a few, of the people. It is perfectly plain, therefore,
where the emphasis should be placed.

Please do not misunderstand me; I am not looking upon this from any
narrow point of view, I am not thinking merely of getting these children
ready for jobs--certainly not all of them. I am not advocating the
transforming of our high schools into trade schools--not at all. What I
am urging primarily is a different point of view--and so enlarging and
modifying our high school activities and equipment that all our
children, instead of only a few, may find there a congenial atmosphere
and activities suited to their tastes. If their tastes lie in the
direction of carpentering, or of plumbing, or of dress-making, well and
good; let them be thus developed and prepared to go out into their
community somewhat equipt for remunerative toil and for community
service. Why not? Are they not as worthy as those who have tastes and
ambitions or a more literary character and who, therefore, look forward
to the chair of the teacher, the office of the lawyer, or the practise
of a physician? And is not the community under as much obligation to the
one as to the other? Some fear that such a program would lessen the
number preparing for college, that work of this objective character
would be so attractive that all would choose it. These fears are
groundless. Children are not all built that way. At any rate it would
not lessen the number who ought to go to college--who are adapted to
that kind of work. It would, of course, greatly increase the number
attending high schools--holding those who now, because of lack of
interest in the work offered, drop out of school entirely and thus swell
the ranks of unskilled and unintelligent labor. And that is greatly
worth while. My own feeling is, too, that out of the greatly increased
attendance of the high school an even larger number than at present
would find their way to the university, and that they would be better
equipt in point of view and purpose than are many who enter under
present conditions. This suggestion is made not to keep boys and girls
out of the university, but to send them there with a purpose.

But there is oftentimes a misapprehension as to these two possible
programs for the high schools. Preparation for college and preparation
for life are by no means antagonistic. Preparation for college is the
only kind of preparation for life for him who goes to college. And for
him who, during his high school course, plans to go to college, but who
at its close, finds himself unable to do so, for economic or other
reasons, it should still be the best possible preparation for life that
he could have made, and it will be if, as I am urging, it has all the
time been based upon his own nature and seeking his normal development
in the direction of his dominant interests. And preparation for life
should be the very best kind of preparation for college, for him who
later changes his plans and goes to college as well as for him who does
not, since the college itself should be regarded as merely completing
preparation for life. But a great many, the majority, no doubt, will not
go to college, should not go to college, or to put it better, perhaps,
need not go to college. The activities of life, psychical as well as
manual, for which they are best adapted by native endowment, and in the
performance of which they will, therefore, be happiest, and thru which
they will, therefore, contribute most to the welfare of society, do not
need for their satisfactory performance school preparation beyond the
high school period. In other words, a great many boys and girls should
not be urged to go to college. They should not if they do not have
within them those characteristics of leadership which, developed, will
make them leaders. The college graduate who, in later life, is a street
car conductor, or a Pullman porter, or what-not, has largely wasted the
time and money spent in college. And this is not because these
occupations are not honorable, but because they do not call for that
kind of preparation. And the kind of an individual who is at home as a
street car conductor does not usually profit greatly by the work of the
college. I will not put it as David Starr Jordan is said to have done,
that "It does not pay to give a fifty-cent boy a five thousand dollar
education." It is not a question of dollars and cents--rather one of
fitness and of fitting. The so-called "fifty-cent boy" who may have been
given the "five thousand dollar education" and because of its
inappropriateness degenerated into a ten-cent man, might have been made
into a thousand dollar man if he had been given the right kind of
education. The boy who has the instincts of a blacksmith, who likes the
shaping of iron and the shoeing of horses and the smell of the forge,
will be a far happier and more useful member of society as a blacksmith
than, made over by the college, as a lawyer without clients, a
physician without patients, or a teacher always hunting a new position.

I have discust the high school, as you see, from the point of view of
the developmental needs of the children of the community. The outcome
would have been practically the same had I looked upon it from the
standpoint of the industrial needs of the community. I fully believe
that a high school should be to-day just what it was originally planned
to be back there in the first half of the nineteenth century--a school
higher than the elementary, controlled by the community, in co-operation
with the educational leaders of the State, serving the needs of the
community, fitting its boys and girls for service in the community and
discriminating, if at all, in the favor of the group of boys and girls
who are not going to college, since that group is much the larger. Since
boys and girls are nearer to us than industrial needs, I have chosen to
look at the problem from that angle.

I am well aware that my point of view in this entire matter is not quite
in accord with the present-day program. The American high school still
has preparation for college as the one dominant object. Its curriculum
is planned for that end. It is rated at first, second, or third class,
depending upon the degree in which it meets college entrance
requirements--not upon the degree in which it serves the community needs
or develops the community's children.

I realize fully that the change suggested would involve quite a decided
rearrangement of the ordinary high school program. With the time at my
disposal it will be impossible to discuss the matter in detail, but it
should be touched upon briefly to get the matter of relationship clearly
before us.

The first change would be in the matter of organization: instead of
having the elementary school, as now, covering eight years and closing
with the child at the age of 14, it should cover but six years, sending
the child to the high school at about the age of 12, at which time,
approximately, begin those physical and psychological changes earlier
spoken of, as belonging to adolescence. And that thought has taken root,
as we all know, in the junior high school movement. Six years is long
enough to do well all that the elementary school should be expected to
do. It certainly is as long as children can be held interested in the
kind of work thought necessary for the child, and as long as he can be
happy in the atmosphere of the ordinary elementary school. It is long
enough for the laying of foundations. It is time something else should
be taken up.

Planning to meet the needs of adolescents, we must take the adolescents
as they are--many of them not primarily students of books, but
individuals of ceaseless activity, physical as well as mental, vastly
more interested in the doing of things than in the learning of lessons.
And we must provide a means whereby they can learn to do all sorts of
things that have to be done in the community. The subject matter, the
methods of handling young life, the atmosphere, the activities, and the
ends in view, should be so changed or modified, or supplemented as to be
appropriate to the new and changing personalities to be affected by
them. The details would differ with different communities but the
principle is adaptable to all.


With the functions of these two departments thus clearly in mind, let us
look at the next in order--the State university. Fortunately this
discussion need not detain us long since there is a quite well
recognized unanimity of opinion in regard to its work.

While the State university does many things, and some of them well, and
while it can be said to have many ends in view, its one all-inclusive
function is to prepare leaders for society. It must prepare leaders in
law, that justice may be done; leaders in medicine that health may be
preserved; leaders in engineering that the State's resources may be
developed; leaders in education that the youth of the State may be
educated; leaders in research that the boundaries of knowledge may be
pushed out--leaders all along the line that character may be formed,
statesmanship developed, and the welfare of the people secured and
preserved. And the preparation of all these is not, primarily, that
those prepared may achieve fame or amass fortunes, but that society may
be better served.

We are all agreed, in the United States, that elementary education
should be universal. Many are now taking the position that I have
already advanced that secondary education should likewise reach and
serve all. But all stop at that point. No one even suggests a college
education for every boy and girl. And the reason is found in the above
statement of the function of the institution, since not all are suited
to leadership. It takes only the relatively few who stand out clearly in
their high school experiences as possessing the characteristics of
leadership, and these few it develops, equips, locates.

Coming a little closer to our subject--tho I think we have not been very
far from it at any time--let us inquire as to this relationship along
some more specific lines.

It goes without saying that the relationship should be very cordial. The
two institutions are creatures of the State, partners in the important
work of educating the children of the State. Each has its own work to
do, and neither has been given any authority over the other. At the same
time each depends upon the other, neither being able to do its own work
without the other's assistance. They should work hand in hand, each
assisting the other in every possible way to realize its largest
usefulness to the community and the State. In general, the high school
should send its students to the university well equipt to do the lines
of work for which they respectively apply. And the university, knowing
in each case just what that work is to be, and the difficulties it
presents, should be the judge as to the details of that equipment.

On the other hand, the university should not make requirements for
beginning its work that are beyond the capacity of the ordinary high
school student. Nor should it definitely require or legislate against
specific subjects upon which there is no general agreement among
educational leaders. Something is wrong somewhere, in the matter of
educational values, when some colleges absolutely prescribe for entrance
certain subjects for which others will give no credit at all: for
example, at the present time 91 colleges in the United States require at
least one unit of natural science and 8 colleges will not accept a
single unit; again, 13 require 2 units of natural science and 22 will
not accept the two. Until we know a little better than we do at present
what we are doing and why we are doing it, it might be well to move
slowly in legislating for or against specific subjects. The university
should keep in mind the fact that the high school has other duties to
perform--and possibly more important ones--than preparing a few students
for the university.

I am glad to say that in this matter of entrance requirements the two
institutions are gradually coming closer together. The university is
coming to have greater respect for and more confidence in the high
school and its work. Whereas in the earlier days all entrance work was
rigidly prescribed, now, in nearly all of our higher institutions,
several units are open to free choice from a list of accepted subjects.
In a goodly number these units may be chosen from any subjects offered
by an approved high school. And, too, there are five institutions of
good standing that allow the entire 15 units to be thus chosen. Our own,
as you doubtless know, is much more generous in this matter than the
great majority. It gives a margin of 5 units to be thus selected. I
think there are but 9 institutions in the whole country more liberal. As
you know, too, in all our colleges save Engineering we specifically
require but 4 units--3 in English and 1 in mathematics. From the others
free election among groups is allowed. The movement here and elsewhere
seems to be in the direction of requiring the completion of a full
four-year high school course, with increasing flexibility as to specific
subjects. And that seems wise.

It gives me pleasure, at this point, to say that the relationship
between the University of North Dakota and the high schools of the State
has ever been most cordial. I think there has never been a time when the
two, tho differing at times in details, have not co-operated in the most
frank and cordial manner to bring about the best good of both and to
secure the best service to the State. Neither one has been selfish,
trying to secure undue advantage over the other. Where domination of the
university over the high school can be seen--as it most certainly can be
seen--and even tho, as I have said, the work of the high school is what
it ought not to be--mainly a preparation for the university--_this_
University and _these_ high schools are not at fault. It is not a local
situation. It is nation-wide, and even nation-wide as it is, it does not
include, consciously and directly, the State universities. The older
colleges and universities did dominate, but the relation between the
State university and the high school has ever been cordial. They have
always recognized their partnership and have acted in accordance with
it. But yet we have all been caught in the maelstrom, and it would be
difficult for any one institution or any one State to get out of it. So
no immediate or rapid change can be expected. Large bodies move slowly.
The change will come, but it will come gradually thru claiming a little
here and granting a little there.

But before leaving this topic of entrance requirements, I desire to
refer to one of its broad factors and touch, incidentally, upon the
large matter of university attendance in general. In discussing the high
school, and again the university, I have tried to make clear the fact
that not all high school students should be urged or expected to go on
to the university. Remember that the high schools should be made to
serve all the youth of the State but that the university's work is to
take but the choice ones of these, or, better yet, the scholarly output
of the high schools, and equip them for leadership in society, and the
point is clear. It is a new problem but coming to be a very real one.
Going to college is getting to be the fashion--almost a fad in some
places. We all know that a goodly number of students, boys and girls
alike, enter the universities, East and West, every year who have no
characteristics of leadership, who are not fitted for real university
work, either in academic equipment, maturity of judgment, point of view,
or earnestness of purpose. Many of these young people are wholly worthy,
well meaning, and ambitious in a weak way, but they have been misguided.
They have listened to the attractive preaching of the popular but
unintelligent gospel of college attendance for all and, caught by the
glamor--the foot-ball, the track meet, the declamation contest, the
fraternity pin, the Junior prom, etc.--have answered the hail of "All
aboard for the University!" without knowing what university work really
is or what it is for.

The college and the university are also coming to be thought a
convenient place for rich fathers to dump their incorrigible sons and
marriageable daughters for a few years. And in some sections these rich
fathers are increasing in numbers at an alarming rate. The presence of
all such people (they can not be called students) in various classes is
a drag, and the wheels of the institution are clogged. These people
themselves are soon disillusioned but ashamed to quit; the home people
are dissatisfied with results; the university is unjustly blamed for not
developing them into leaders--there is trouble all around. I am not
speaking of our own institution alone; others are experiencing the same
difficulty and are seeking a way out. Michigan University, for example,
is now urging its alumni to discriminate carefully in sending students
to their Alma Mater; it wants only those fitted by nature as well as by
the preparatory school.

As said above, this is coming to be a real problem and difficult of
solution. What shall be the relationship of the university to the high
school touching these various classes of its graduates? Should it
receive them all? If not, where shall the line be drawn? And who shall
draw it? Shall one factor of the entrance requirements be the
recommendation of the high school principal or superintendent? Would it
be well for the high school to have two distinct grades: one for local
graduation and a higher for university entrance? That is done in some
places. The entire matter is worthy of careful thought of both high
school and university.

With the discussion of one more point of contact, the preparation of
teachers for the high schools, I am thru.

If, as stated above, the great function of the State university is to
provide leaders for society, then, in a broad way it is easy to answer
the question as to what it should do for the preparation of teachers for
high schools--it should prepare them. For where else is clear-headed,
unselfish leadership more needed than in the high schools from the
students of which are being selected, thru direction and competition,
the boys and girls who are to pass out to the colleges and then into the
world as leaders? We all know that that is what happens. The man or
woman, untouched by college or university, who yet occupies a
responsible position of leadership is an exception to the rule. And
where else than in a university can preparation for high school teaching
be secured? But of what sort should be this preparation? The answer to
the question in general has long been clear--it should be professional
as well as academic in character. Mere acquaintance with the subject to
be taught is no longer held adequate by people at all intelligent along
educational lines. And during the progress of the movement that has
demonstrated to us the need of professional preparation, there has been
worked out also, along somewhat general lines, the details of this
preparation. We are now, the country over, in approximate agreement that
it should cover the History of Education, Philosophy of Education,
Psychology, including the study of adolescence, and Methods of Teaching.
Institutions differ somewhat in minor matters within these broad fields,
but the development of the movement in the United States has resulted in
approximately the above program--professional preparation for all
teachers in the high school and that along the four lines suggested. But
the movement has gone much farther than suggested by my statement. The
results are found in something more authoritative and more permanent
than tentative agreement among educational leaders, or even among
educational institutions. The law-making bodies of the land have taken a
part, and by legal enactment have required about what I have suggested.
The State of North Dakota, for example, requires professional equipment
of every teacher within its borders--no, not quite, it does not require
it of its teachers in the special schools--the reform school, the
schools for the deaf, blind, and the feeble minded--nor in its
institutions of higher education, including the normal schools and the
University. And in this North Dakota does not differ from other states
of the Union. But it is strange, isn't it? that the state absolutely
requires professional preparation of all its elementary and secondary
teachers and yet does not require it of those whom it engages to equip
them? Some of them have it, of course, and the majority of those who
give the specifically professional courses, but the greater number of
all teachers in the higher institutions are lacking in this respect.
That doesn't mean that all university teachers are poor teachers. Many
of them have learned how to teach in the crude and expensive school of
experience. They have, at last, the professional equipment, but gained
at high cost. Perhaps this lack of professional equipment accounts, in a
mesure, for the admittedly poor character of much of the teaching in our
colleges, normal schools, and universities.

But to come back to the high school and the preparation of high school
teachers. What does North Dakota require, and how does the University
meet the requirement?

All teachers in classified high schools, save special teachers of music
and drawing, are required to hold certificates that presuppose
proficiency in psychology, history of education, principles of
education, school administration, and methods. Special teachers in
music and drawing are required to have covered in professional lines
only psychology and pedagogy. But in cases where the certificate is
granted on the basis of college work instead of on results of an
examination, the law requires that the applicant shall have covered at
least two year-courses, or sixteen semester hours, of professional work,
and it recommends that this be distributed among the four great fields:
history of education, principles of education, methods of teaching, and
school management.

The School of Education has been organized within the University for the
specific purpose of preparing teachers for the high schools of the
State. To graduate from the School of Education and thus receive the
B.A. degree and the Bachelor's Diploma in teaching, which is accredited
by law as a first-grade professional certificate, and also to be
recommended for teaching specific subjects in the high-school, an
applicant is required, first, to have specialized, academically, in the
subject to be taught. The amount of work required for this specializing
varies with the different subjects, but in most cases it is from 20 to
24 semester hours. Recall what is meant by the work of a semester hour
and you will easily see how broad our academic requirement is. It means
that in addition to one's high school work he is required to carry the
subject in practically daily recitation for from 2-1/2 to 3 years in the
University. To some that may seem too much, but we feel that the first
requirement for teaching in the high school should be a thoro grounding
in the subjects to be taught.

The academic matter thus disposed of, let us note the professional. For
this, in its various phases, we require 20 semester hours covering
psychology, history of education, secondary education, philosophy of
education, and methods of teaching academic subjects in which the
student has been specializing and which he expects to teach. The course
in methods includes observation and practise teaching of the same
subjects in the Model High School under expert supervision. Many of our
students voluntarily take more than 20 hours, but that is all that is
required. We have cut down the professional requirement to the minimum
so as to leave ample opportunity within the course for thoro mastery of
the subjects to be taught, and also for general culture and the
development of broad-mindedness, not being willing to send teachers into
the high schools as narrow specialists.

Were there time I should like to go more into detail in regard to these
various requirements and try to show the contribution of each; but I
must pass on to speak of another way by means of which the University
enables students to meet the legal requirements for teaching in the high
schools--thru the College of Arts. A student who graduates from the
College of Arts and who has had, during the progress of this course, 16
hours of Education is, upon application to the State Board of Education
and the payment of a fee of $5, granted a first grade professional
certificate. But this method of preparation is seen to be quite
unsatisfactory when contrasted with the one just outlined. The Arts
student is a relatively free lance, practically wholly so in the choice
and arrangements of his professional work. In the School of Education
the program is for all the professional subjects, save general
psychology, to be taken after the beginning of the junior year and so
immediately prior to the actual work of teaching, and too, when the
student is relatively mature. But with the Arts student, it may all be
taken much earlier, during relative immaturity and making a long period
elapse between it and the work of teaching--quite long enough for the
influence of the professional atmosphere, always valuable in such
matters, to be wholly lost. The question of the professional work of the
School of Education student is carefully planned to meet the ends in
view. Each course has its definite contribution. The Arts student may,
and often does, select courses that are not the most appropriate for
high school teaching: for example, instead of a course in adolescence he
may select one in child study which deals only with the child in the
grades. Instead of a special methods course in the subjects he plans to
teach in high school, he may select a course in methods in elementary
subjects; and he may not take any course in secondary education nor have
any practise teaching in the Model High School. The work may be--quite
often is--ill-arranged and of little value as a professional preparation
for high school teacher.

I have dwelt upon this contrast because the University and its School of
Education has suffered by the laxness of this second mode of
preparation. Some of the people who thus go out are not good
representative products of the institution's professional activity.

Just a closing word as to this phase of the subject. You see what we are
trying to do and how we are trying to do it. From the work of the young
people whom we have sent you from time to time, how successful have we
been? Our work as to time and content of courses and our general
equipment are about the same as found in similar institutions in other
states. We differ somewhat, of course, in personalities and in
individual point of view but, taking everything together, we are doing
the best we know how with the material that you send us as students. How
does our product suit you? What criticism have you to make and what
changes to suggest?



_An Address delivered at the University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada,
March 30, 1916, in the Exchange Lectureship existing between the
University of Manitoba and the University of North Dakota. It was
printed in the "American Schoolmaster," December, 1916_

Having accepted the kind invitation of the University of Manitoba to be
one of the exchange lecturers from the University of North Dakota, for
the current year, I made inquiry as to the nature of the different
groups of people whom I should be expected to address. I did this so as
to be able to select appropriate themes for discussion.

For this gathering, therefore, semi-popular in character and made up, as
I was told it would be, of the more thoughtful and intelligent people of
the community, University, and city, I selected as my topic for
discussion, "The University and the Teacher."

To a group of educated men and women who have visions--people who are
characteristically looking beyond the present and trying to plan for the
development of a great democratic state and for the welfare of a free
people, I know of no line of thought more appropriate or suggestive.
This is true because in such a state and with such a people, the state
or provincial university is the recognized leader of thought and action.
And this is true since the one great function of such an institution is
to take the choice youth and maidens from the various sections of the
state and, thru the work of the class room day in and day out, week by
week, year after year, give them knowledge, shape their opinions, mold
their characters, and develop their minds, and then send them back into
society as recognized leaders of the next generation.

The topic is doubly suggestive when we stop to inquire as to what makes
a university or any other institution of learning--what it is that
really gives it its reputation, its character, its influence. What is
it, anyway? Its towering brick walls? Its libraries and its
laboratories? Its athletic prowess? Its beautiful campus? Why, no, of
course not. Not any one of these nor all of them combined, complete and
extended and excellent as they may be, or as useful as they all are,
ever yet made or ever can make a great university. A real university, or
any other institution of learning, is made up of the men and the women
who form its student and its teaching bodies. The character of the
institution, its very life blood, is drawn from them. Their points of
view, their motives, their scholarships, their visions, their
aspirations, make it what it is in every instance.

You recall that ex-President Garfield's description of a university
included only two factors as essential--the teacher and the student. The
external equipment--buildings, libraries, laboratories--what not--is
merely a tool in their hands. Please do not misunderstand me. I am not
inveighing against these things; they are necessary. What I am insisting
upon is that not _things_ but _teachers_ make a university. And so my
topic, "The University and the Teacher," launches us at once into the
midst of a great big thought. So big, indeed, it is, that it goes
without saying that it cannot be adequately handled in the brief space
of a single address. Only certain phases of the large topic can be
touched upon at all, and they treated but briefly.

But, after all, the function of a speaker, certainly upon such an
occasion as this, is not merely to give information. It is not to speak
with finality upon any subject. Is it not, rather, to direct the
thoughts of the listeners along worthy lines? For any good that shall
result from the meeting together of speaker and audience will be the
direct outcome of their thoughts and not of his words. So, after having
thus spoken briefly of the university as a whole--of its place in the
state, its great influence and that of its teaching body--I invite you
to think with me as I touch the subject here and there briefly
discussing these three sub-topics: 1. The Kind of Teachers the
University should Employ; 2. The University Teacher in His Classroom; 3.
The University's Attitude Toward the Preparation of Teachers. Our first
discussion, then, will be of


A few moments ago I said that the one great function of a State
University was to provide the State with a competent leadership. That
involves, however, a subsidiary function of such great importance,
especially as we regard the teaching force, that an added word is needed
both to prevent misunderstanding and to make clear the line of
discussion of this sub-topic. The development of a competent leadership
_is_ the all-embracing function of such an institution, but that can not
be done save as the institution is, at the same time, thru some or all
of its teachers, keeping fully abreast, or well in the lead, of the
discovery of new knowledge and of new applications of knowledge in the
various fields of human endeavor. And this is true because men can not
be leaders in any field of action unless they possess the fullest and
latest items of knowledge obtainable in that particular field, and again
because real leadership can not be developed save thru the use, as
educative material, of the fullest and latest.

What kind of teachers should the university employ? Clearly, teachers
who can do these two things: men of open and enquiring minds, men of
imagination, men who are hungry and thirsty for knowledge, men of
research--men of the laboratory and the library. But that is but one
side; we must also have men of vision, men of great breadth of view, men
of broad human sympathies, men who can take this knowledge, old and new,
and with it, as educative material, help to shape opinions, and mold
characters, and fashion destinies, thus transforming crude, unstable,
and immature youth into men and women of virtue, and knowledge, and
courage, and sanity, and poise, into whose trust, therefore, can be
placed the guiding of a great, free, developing people--men of the
classroom, teachers and inspirers of youth.

The question may well be asked if I mean two _groups_ of teachers, a
_research_ group and a _teaching_ group, neither one acting within the
field of the other. Not necessarily and certainly not absolutely. To
quite an extent the two functions should overlap since each supplements
the other. The man of research should also be a teacher in order both to
keep his human sympathies alive and as a spur to still further search.
And every teacher should be, to some extent, a man of research so that
thru his own joy in discovery he will be able to kindle a like fire in
the minds of others, thus keeping the spirit of discovery alive and
active in the land, and also that he may invite his students to drink at
a living stream instead of a stagnant pool. The teacher who is not also
a student, and continually working at it, is usually but a poor teacher.
But while all this is true, it is probably true also that no person is
equally successful in both fields. Some men are primarily teachers--are
in their element in the classroom engaged with the problems of the
student but only indifferently successful in the laboratory, while
others, at home in the laboratory, are somewhat out of place and
ill-at-ease in the classroom. I shall not attempt to say which of the
two functions is the more important or the more useful. Both are needed
and, as said before, both are needed, to some extent, in each. But, in
the main, where characteristics are marked, the shoemaker should be
allowed to stick to his last. It is a very wise procedure that is more
and more being followed at the present time, in American universities,
of recognizing such differences and making provision for research
professorships that include no teaching duties whatever. The percentage
of these should be small, of course.

What kind of a teacher should the university employ, then? The teacher
who is eager to push the boundaries of human knowledge a little beyond
the point yet reached and who also greatly desires to take knowledge as
an instrument and with it develop boys and girls and equip them for
leadership in the great world of action. So far as possible the two
kinds of service should be performed by the same person, but yet that is
immaterial--the material thing being that both kinds be performed.

What kind of teachers should the university employ? Why, teachers who
not only desire to do these two things, but who also know how to do
them. If one is to do research work, he should know how to do it,
economically and efficiently. His preparation should have included a
certain amount of reflection upon the reasons for research and of
training in the manner of conducting the same. Likewise, if he is to be
a teacher, he should be well grounded in the theory and art of teaching.
If he is going to shape opinions, mold character, give points of view,
develop human minds, then it goes without saying that his preparation
should have included a very thoro study of the human mind in its various
relationships, activities, and stages of development. If a teacher is
expected to equip young men and women for the duties of life as leaders
in the great social, economic, and political activities, he must also
possess great stores of knowledge, and likewise know how to impart that
knowledge so that it will become equally the possession of others.


The second of my three topics, "The University Teacher in His
Classroom," is an even more intimate one than the one just treated. It
is so intimate that perhaps discretion would be the better part of
valor, but since I am at a considerable distance from the people and the
institutions I am discussing, I feel that I can proceed with comparative

There is abroad at the present time considerable hostile criticism of
our higher education. Our graduates, it is said, are not able "to
connect up"; "it takes them two or three years after they get out to
find themselves"; "they first have to get rid of a lot of theoretical
notions that have been given them before they can learn the practical
things of life." President Foster of Reed College, Oregon, puts it thus:
"It is possible to graduate from almost any college without an idea in
one's head." Professor Wenley, Head of the Department of Philosophy in
Michigan University, had about the same thought when he gave me his
original definition of an American college as "A so-called institution
of higher learning whose chief accomplishment is the inoculation of
innocent youth against education." Or shall we put it in the words of
our friend Mr. Dooley: "Nowadays when a lad goes to college, the
prisidint takes him into a Turkish room, gives him a cigareet an' says:
Me dear boy, what special branch iv larnin wud ye like to have studied
f'r ye be our compitint perfessors?"

Such are some of the caustic remarks that we occasionally hear. Of
course the situation is always exaggerated in such criticisms; but, as
the old saw puts it, "Where there's so much smoke, there must be some
fire." Where does the trouble lie? All sorts of guesses have been made,
and some careful investigations entered into in an effort to discover
the cause. The outcome of all such consideration, so far as I am able to
learn, throws the responsibility upon the teacher rather than upon the
institution as a whole, and upon his teaching ability rather than upon
any lack of knowledge. We cannot teach, it is said. In spite of the
knowledge that we possess, we do not know how to present that knowledge
so that another can gain it. Nicholas Murray Butler, the brainy
President of Columbia University, says, "The teaching of many very
famous men [in colleges and universities] is distinctly poor; sometimes
it is even worse."

These are rather interesting statements and worthy of thought. What is
meant by teaching, anyway? Teaching involves a double process and two
persons, both active upon the same matter. Both must be successful for
either to be. Teaching is causing to learn, and when there is no
learning, there can have been no teaching. "Learning is not merely the
correlative idea of teaching, but is one of its constituent elements."
No matter how much an instructor may know, no matter how much he may say
nor what he may do, if he doesn't cause the student to put forth those
mental activities that result in learning, he doesn't teach. And it is
claimed that, in many cases, our university instructors do not know how
to do this. He knows but he does not know how to cause another to know,
is a common criticism.

I suppose it is true, tho loyalty makes me rather dislike to admit it,
that with us the poorest teaching in our entire educational system is
done in colleges and universities. My own observation both as a student
and as a teacher all along the line leads me to say that, in the main,
our best teaching is done in the elementary grades, second best in the
high schools, and poorest in the higher institutions. Another puts it
thus: "We have excellent teaching in the lower primary grades and in the
graduate schools, but between these two extremes, we can call it
teaching only by courtesy." Another, the president of a State
University, is reported to have said, "I have resolved never again to
turn my undergraduates over to young Ph. D.'s. It takes five years to
make a commonsense teacher of a raw doctor fresh from three years of
graduate work."

If these statements are true, and I am afraid that there's much of truth
in them, the situation is rather serious. Still, it isn't at all
surprising when one takes the whole matter into consideration. For
relatively few university instructors have given any attention to the
matter of teaching itself. They have studied the subject matter with
which they are to deal. They have become proficient so far as knowledge
is concerned. No fault can be found with them touching the matter of
erudition. But they have not given any reflective thought to the art of
teaching. They have not made a study of the human mind in its
development in order to know how it receives knowledge as mental
nourishment, and to understand the assimilative process; they have not
given themselves to a systematic and scientific study of human life so
as to know how to handle it in its various moods and characteristics.
How differently these good people would have planned if they had
expected to practise Law, or Medicine or to enter the Ministry! In every
such case they would have made professional preparation for their work.
Isn't it strange that any one should think that this profession--the
most important--could be practised with success in its higher realms, by
people who have never given its practise one moment's attention?
President Butler, in giving reasons for poor college teaching, says,
"Too few instructors are interested in education."

I am reminded of Socrates' shrewd parody of a supposed speech of
Euthydemus who, totally ignorant of statecraft, desired election to an
important position in the government of the city of Athens. It is
suggestive here: "I, O man of Athens, have never learned the medical art
from any one, nor have been desirous that any physician should be my
instructor; for I have constantly been on my guard, not only against
learning anything of the art from any one, but even against appearing to
have learned anything; nevertheless confer on me this medical
appointment, for I will endeavor to learn by making experiments upon
you." Comment is unnecessary.

There are three kinds of knowledge that every teacher should possess,
that every successful teacher does possess: first, knowledge of the
subject matter with which he deals; second, knowledge of the human mind
which he is trying to stimulate; and third, knowledge of the way to
bring these two together in a helpful manner. Of the three, I am afraid
that university instructors have, in the main, but the first. At any
rate, all they know of the other two is of an empirical character and
what they have picked up incidentally. There are exceptions, to be sure.
Every worthy institution has them, striking exceptions, too, some of
them are. A few of our older men have become good teachers thru practise
and experiment, and an occasional young man now comes with professional
preparation. But yet, as in so many other matters, the exceptions merely
prove the rule.

Thus equipt, or rather with this serious lack of equipment, the young
university instructor begins his work. If he is, to use the words of the
university president just quoted, "a raw doctor fresh from three years
of graduate work," he probably begins by copying the methods of
procedure of his own recent instructors. He tries to set these immature
boys and girls at research problems and, in classroom, tries to impart
information by the lecture method.

How well I remember such an instance in my own freshman days. I fell
into the hands of such an instructor in Greek. We were reading that most
charming of Greek stories--_The Odyssey_. Textual criticism was this
man's hobby, and we were put to work trying to compare texts, to delve
into the intricacies of form and structure--trying to improve upon
Homer! Such information as we could not find he gave us, in the formal
lecture, day after day. But when we got it, we did not want it because
we did not know what to do with it. Now, I am not quarreling with
textual criticism. It would have been all right for that young doctor
(he was younger than I was at that time) to deal with the facts of
textual criticism, with some people, at some time, but it was all wrong
for him to attempt to give those facts to us in our freshman year in the
College of Arts. They were not adapted to our intellectual needs. They
did not fit into our mental stomachs. We could not keep them down, or
in, or something. But the pathetic fact was that the instructor did not
know that they did not fit. I, being older than many in the class and
thus appreciating better the barrenness of the Greek pasture in which we
were trying to graze, finally managed, by a little skilful maneuver, to
escape and to join another group that happened to be in the care of a
real teacher who knew not only Homer but, as well, freshman boys and
girls, the reasons for teaching Homer to freshmen boys and girls, and
how to do it. He was acquainted with both the science and the art of
teaching. Oh, how green was the pasture here, and how abundant and how
nutritious the food! In all my university experience I recall nothing
more delightful.

But this is ancient history? Yes, I know it is. But yet, I am sorry to
say, history repeats itself. Those three great mistakes that that young
doctor made in my Greek class some twenty or more years ago are being
made this very year by young doctors and by old doctors and by many who
are not doctors at all, in one subject or another, in well-nigh every
college or university in the United States. Our instructors do not know
well enough how to adapt knowledge to human needs; they have the
erroneous notion that the chief function of an educational institution
is to impart information; and, too, many of them are afflicted with the
lecture craze.

Touching these three mistakes, let me say, briefly: first, as to the
adaptation of knowledge: the word _education_ is derived from the Latin
_educo_, _educare_, and means _to nourish_, and nourishment, physical,
mental, or moral, is never secured save as the food is adapted to the
organism. And just as much care as our scientific dietitians give to our
dining-room service, our university instructors should give to the
mental and moral pabulum that they serve to their students, especially
the lower classes if not the entire body of undergraduates. They should
know this knowledge as mental nourishment; they should know the
condition of the mind, and they should know how to select and prepare
this food for digestion and assimilation.

As to the second mistake, the undue emphasis upon the mere imparting of
knowledge: let me quote a few words from President Wilson, uttered when
President of Princeton University: "We should remember," said he, "that
information is not education. The greater part of the work that we are
doing in our colleges to-day is to impart information." I am afraid that
he is correct. I am very much afraid that that is mainly what we are
doing. But it is wrong. The greater part of our work should not be to
impart knowledge. It should be to assist in interpreting the knowledge
that the student himself gets--to fit it to his own life needs and to
help him learn how to study and how to think for himself. In other
words, this information in which we deal should not be an end in itself,
but a _means_ to an end. And that end should be development, mental
power, point of view--character. To be sure, we must deal in knowledge
facts (do not, I beg of you, misunderstand me) but not for the mere
possession of those facts.

And lastly the lecture craze, under the domination of which otherwise
sensible people get into the habit of supplying information to students
who already know how to read instead of telling them where to find it
and then discussing it with them. How common it is! But why? Simply
because it is easy. How much easier it is than to conduct a real live
recitation in which there is the give and take, the action and reaction,
of eager vigorous young minds, where the instructor is the agency of
interpretation and the inspiration! To conduct such an exercise with
from thirty to fifty bright college students and keep them on the alert
is no lazy man's task. It requires brains and skill, whereas anybody can
do the other thing! President Foster is correct in saying, "There should
be fewer lectures ... the easiest of all methods of instruction."

Again let me give an illustration drawn from my own sad experience, just
to show what at least some of this lecturing is. This, you see, is
getting to be a confession as well as an exposition. I was taking a
course in the History of Philosophy. It was given by a man well known in
the educational world, then and now. He was well thought of both as a
teacher and a man. He read his lectures from manuscript. We were
supposed to put into our note books every golden word that dropt from
his inspired lips. And the most of us tried to do so, and in the effort
got down some that were not golden. I did as the rest did till one day,
fresh from the lecture, I went into the library and chanced upon a copy
of Burt's "History of Greek Philosophy." I opened it and shortly found
the very discussion, and some of the very sentences, word for word, that
I had just copied with so much labor into my note book. And they were in
print, too, so much easier to read than my note book writing! I at once
sent to the publisher for a copy of the book and took no more notes in
that course. Nor did I take any more courses under that instructor.

And so it was in a course in history--only there the kind old professor
was naïve enough to tell us the name of the book from which he got his
lectures. And again, let me say that history repeats itself. Am I wrong
in my criticism? Let me quote from one whose words carry more weight
than do mine--Nicholas Murray Butler, President of Columbia
University--(Ed. Rev. Apr., 1915, p. 399): "To use--or rather to
abuse--the academic lecture by making it a medium for the conveyance of
mere information is to shut one's eyes to the fact that the art of
printing has been discovered. The proper use of the lecture is the
critical interpretation by the older scholar of the information which
the younger has gained for himself. Its object is to inspire and to
guide and by no means merely to inform."

I do not mean to condemn the lecture method absolutely. There are
certain lines of work in which it is quite necessary. This is true in
some advanced courses, especially in the sciences, where an instructor
is doing both lines of university work--carrying on research and giving
his advanced students the results of his findings. Of course these have
not yet been embodied in a text or other printed form and cannot be thus

And this same justification can be urged for some of the work in our
professional schools where both the material used and the end sought are
different. In still another line of work the lecture is permissible--if
it deal with a relatively new subject or with new phases of an old
subject not yet covered by a satisfactory text. But here it need not
continue long because some enterprising instructor will soon satisfy the
need. The formal lecture has therefore no place in the earlier and but
slight place in the later years of undergraduate work. Its place should
be taken by the text and reference book and the class discussion. One
of the finest accomplishments that we can help our students to gain is
the ability to master the book.

Then, in conclusion, touching the matter of teaching, fidelity to truth
compels me to admit, tho reluctantly, that much of it is very poor. It
satisfies the external demands and that is about all. It is not of a
character to kindle enthusiasm nor to develop high ideals of
scholarship. Much of it, I said, not all. Every institution has some
good teachers, some very excellent ones, but no institution is
overstockt with species of that genus. The great majority of our
undergraduates are poorly taught. That examination mortality is not
greater than it is is due to two fine qualities, one in the student body
and the other in the instructors. It speaks eloquently of the initiative
of the students, and demonstrates that instructors can be fair even if
they can't teach. Many times we know that we are to blame for the poor
work of the student and, knowing it, will not visit the penalty upon the
unoffending head.

The reason for this lamentable situation can be traced to two practises:
In the first place, up to the present time, as said before, very few
prospective college teachers have made any professional preparation for
their work as teachers. In the second place, it is the almost universal
custom to place the freshmen and sophomores, by all means our largest
classes and the ones in greatest need of skilled teachers, in the hands
of young instructors who have not yet learned how to teach. Relief will
come thru two changes; first, when either the State or the governing
board of the college shall demand professional preparation of every one
allowed to occupy a teaching position, just as we do now for positions
in the elementary and secondary schools. And if any one should raise a
question as to the value of such preparation, my only but all-sufficient
answer is to point to the universally recognized improvement in the
character of teaching in those parts of our educational system since
that requirement was put into effect. And the second needed change is
this--for Presidents seeking teachers to ask candidates two questions
instead of one as heretofore: first, of course, the question should be,
"What do you know?" Satisfied as to that, let the second come clear and
strong, "Can you teach?" And until an affirmative answer is
demonstrated, let the appointment be withheld. It might be salutary,
too, in dealing with the forces on the ground, to follow President
Foster's suggestion given in these words: "It would be well if more
teachers were dismissed because they fail to stimulate thinking of any

I come now to the last of my three sub-topics,


Fortunately, its discussion need not detain us long. What should be that
attitude? If you will analyze the relationship existing between the
teachers of a state and that state's progress and development, and then
recall my brief discussion of the function of a State University--to
provide leaders--the answer to the question is at once apparent. The
logic of the situation is clear. For what other body of people in a
state are so clearly the state's leaders as the teachers? Always
intellectually and, for the most part, in these days, morally and
physically, the teachers in our schools mold the coming generation and
guide it into paths of progress and accomplishment. This is true of the
teachers of a state more than of any other group of people within its
borders not excepting the ministry.

We have, in the States, a system of State Normal Schools maintained for
the purpose of preparing teachers for the elementary schools. Each state
of the Union has from one to a dozen of these institutions. North Dakota
has three. The course of study covers from one to two years' work in
advance of a four-year high school course. In the East it is usually two
years, in the West, one. This work is partly academic and partly
professional and is always supposed to include a certain amount of
practise teaching under expert supervision.

The elementary teachers thus provided for by the normal schools, there
are left for preparation at the university teachers for the secondary
schools, for city superintendencies, special teachers of various kinds,
and teachers for college and university positions. And this latter is a
work, it seems to me, the State University must perform. They are
already doing this, to quite an extent, for the high schools; a few are
doing it well and the rest are working in that direction. A few, too,
are taking up the more advanced phases of the work and are competent to
prepare for college teaching. The movement is strongly on.

It may not be uninteresting for me to trace this movement briefly as it
has developed with us. For it has been a development. Our system of
education was not planned at the beginning from a careful theoretical
study of our present or prospective educational needs, but has grown up,
little by little, step by step, to meet and satisfy from time to time
present and pressing needs.

The movement for the professional preparation of teachers began in the
first quarter of the nineteenth century in Massachusetts. That state,
with others, was suffering from an educational declension that had been
going on for a long time. Matters were getting serious. Finally, a few
clear-headed, far-seeing leaders made an analysis of the situation
hoping to bring about a betterment of conditions. They quickly put the
finger upon the sore spot--the poor quality of teaching being done in
the schools. A remedy was sought. It was found in the European Normal
Schools, an institution devoted to the professional preparation of
teachers for the elementary schools. An agitation was begun for its
establishment on this side of the water. After many weary years the
efforts were crowned with success when, in 1838, the State Legislature
of Massachusetts planned for the equipment of three. Thru their work the
character of the teaching in the elementary schools was at once
improved. Other states followed the example and this new institution
soon began its westward sweep, following the development of the country.

This early work, however, had in mind the improvement of teachers for
only the common schools, rural and urban. Indeed, at that time no one
even suggested that any other teacher needs special preparation. But
when, after the Civil War, the high schools began to develop so
markedly, the problem of teachers became a pressing one. Since teachers
with normal school preparation were everywhere being recognized as
superior to all others in the elementary schools, it was the most
natural thing in the world for those in charge of the new high schools
to demand professional preparation of their teachers.

But where could it be obtained? Not in the normal schools, because it
should be of different character than that planned for elementary
teachers. To make a long story short, the universities and colleges took
the matter up and provided the professional work thought necessary by
adding Departments of Education. Michigan University was the first to
act when, in 1878, the Regents established a chair called the "Theory
and Art of Teaching." The example was followed by others, and, tho
limited in scope and experimental in character, it was at once seen to
be justified in the improved character of high school teaching.
Improvements were sure to follow. The next step was the expansion of the
department of education into the Teachers College, or School of
Education, as it is getting to be called, which is now recognized as a
professional school of equal rank with the School of Law or the School
of Medicine. An essential element of its equipment is a high school for
observation and practise under expert supervision, just as an elementary
practise school is an essential part of a well equipt normal school.

New York University, in the city of New York, was the first to move in
this direction. This was in 1890. For fifteen years progress was slow
and halting and confined to private institutions. But it was justifying
itself. In 1905 the University of North Dakota effected the larger
organization, the first of the State universities to do so. During the
last five or six years, however, several others have fallen into line
including such institutions as Missouri, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. The
institutions that have not yet effected this change and thus organized
schools of education still maintain their Departments of Education and
thus try to satisfy the need. The University of North Dakota was also
one of the very first to make use of the high school for observation and
practise, and in all lines of development has been recognized as
occupying an advanced position. Other institutions, older and larger,
contemplating a change, have frequently advised with us. If this mention
seems borne of institutional pride, I trust that it will also be
regarded as pardonable.

Thus the movement--not the result of a theoretical formulation, but a
situation forced upon us by the logic of events. It is as logical,
however, and as irrevocable, as tho produced by deductive reasoning. An
explanation of a statement made earlier in the paper as to the relative
teaching abilities of elementary, secondary, and higher teachers, can
now be seen in the periods of development of the corresponding
professional schools.

What should be the attitude of the university toward the education of
teachers? Let us follow the development a little farther.

During the last few years another very interesting phase of the movement
has begun to show itself. You will recall that as soon as professional
preparation demonstrated its usefulness in improving the character of
elementary teaching, it was demanded for teachers in the secondary
schools. And now that it has proved efficient in that field, it is
being demanded in the field next higher--the colleges and universities.
And this demand, like the others, is no longer confined to professional
schools or educational journals--to the people from the inside. It is
being taken up by laymen, even the daily papers, and prest with some
vigor. To give the point of view, I give a single quotation from an
editorial in a recent issue of the Minneapolis _Journal_: "None of our
graduate schools require any course in education or teaching methods, or
any previous experience in teaching work for a Ph. D. degree, except, of
course, in the field of education, where theory is cultivated, if not
practised. May it not be found that the best method to increase the
teaching efficiency of the undergraduate instruction in colleges and
universities will be to provide every graduate student with definite and
detailed instruction in teaching methods for his chosen subject?"

This demand, thus clearly voiced, and coming from many sides, will
continue until granted as has been the case with each of the others. And
as a result the teaching of our undergraduates will be improved. To do
this added work, however, will not require another institution. The
present universities, thru their Schools of Education, amplified and
strengthened, will supply the need.

Just as the University, thru its Medical School, provides its community
with skilled physicians and public health officers to secure and
preserve public health, and thru its Law School performs a similar
service in sending out men who become competent lawyers and judges to
secure the administration of justice, and thru its College of
Engineering, its engineers to safeguard property, public welfare and
life itself, so, thru its School of Education, it must provide its
teachers for all these and other advanced fields. And all this service
must be performed not that individual citizens may be better prepared to
make a living, amass a fortune, or achieve fame, but that the community
may be served.

So the School of Education, now given equal rank with other professional
schools of the university, must ere long be recognized, by virtue of the
work thus forced upon it, as, in a very definite way, superior to them
all in opportunity and responsibility.



_A Paper read before the 1914 meeting of the North Dakota State
Association of Opticians. It was printed in the May, 1914, issue of "The
Optical Journal and Review," also in the same issue of "The Keystone"_

I do not know how fully people appreciate the importance of the eye as
an agent, or factor, of human cultivation. Judging from the amount of
work it is being made to do in our schools and in nearly all our
processes of education, we might perhaps be led to feel that its
importance is fully appreciated, indeed, that it is being looked upon as
the sole factor, or agent. But, on the other hand, this very excessive
use, especially in the early school years, leading, as it does in such a
large percentage of cases, to serious impairment of vision, almost tells
us that its great value is not appreciated. If it were, should we be
likely to abuse it as we do in these early years and thus render it
incapable of performing its larger, fuller use later on? The attitude
seems rather to be that its conservation is not thought to be necessary.
That, however, springs from ignorance rather than from studied

But let us look for a moment at the processes of education and note
where the eye comes in. If there is anything upon which leading
educators are now practically agreed, or upon which they tend to agree,
it is that education as a process is a matter of development rather than
the learning of knowledge facts. Now, that development is analogous to
the growth and development of the plant, that is, it is brought about
thru nourishment. In the plant this nourishment is taken in thru the
roots, becomes absorbed and assimilated and thus ministers to growth and
development. In the child, looking at it from the physical point of view
and having in mind psychical, not physical, nourishment, the sense
organs serve this purpose. Did you ever stop to think that the sense
organs form the only connecting link between the great outside world,
which serves as raw material for the nourishment, and the inner life of
the child, the development of which we are seeking? Did you ever stop to
think that these sense organs, the eye, the ear, the nose, the tongue,
and the surface of the body as the organ of touch, form the only
possible avenue of approach to that inner life? Cut off, or close up,
these avenues and no development of this inner life would be possible in
the slightest degree. Thus considered, these same sense organs, simple
as they seem to be, leap into importance that almost staggers one's
thought. The most priceless possession of any child, I often say to my
classes in education, is made up of their eyes, their ears, their noses,
their tongues, and their finger tips--simply because thru them is poured
the nourishment that sustains psychic life and ministers to the
development of the same.

Of these five sense organs, the eye is, par excellence, the one of
value. More psychic nourishment is poured into the laboratory of psychic
life thru this one channel alone than thru all others combined. Indeed,
one of our most eminent scientific psychologists after making most
careful investigation of the matter, estimates that the eye's
contribution is about 74% as against the other 26% that comes thru all
the other sources. If this relative value of the eye be even
approximately correct, how eminently important it is that it be studied
with close scientific accuracy, that it be guarded with the utmost and
intelligent jealousy, and that it be cared for with the most scrupulous

But what is the situation? The Optician and the Oculist have made the
most careful, scientific study of the eye. They know it thoroly, both
its possibilities of service and its limitations. And they have told the
rest of us all about it. But let us see how intelligent we are in the
use of the knowledge they have given us. They tell us that the eye of
the child is undeveloped and that in the undeveloped state it should not
be much used on small or close work. In other words, the child's eye is
far-sighted. But at the age of six years we place the child in the
school room, put a book in its hands, and compel its use, eyes or no
eyes, as long as the child remains in any institution of learning. Why,
gentlemen, we have gone mad on this book proposition. We act as tho we
think that it is only in the book that knowledge can be found. We act as
tho we think that it is only thru the printed page that psychic
nourishment can reach the inner life of the child, whereas, as a matter
of fact, both the knowledge and the nourishment that are appropriate to
the child in all its early years are better obtained thru direct contact
with the great outside world itself and by direct communication from the
lips of the teacher. If this fact were fully appreciated and acted upon,
we should, in two very definite ways, conserve this very important
organ; for we should use the eyes upon objects at a greater distance
thus preventing unnecessary strain, and allow other organs of sense to
share with the eye in the work of gathering information and of
appropriating mental nourishment.

Please do not misunderstand me. I am not underestimating the place and
value of books, nor decrying their use. They are the storehouse of
knowledge and the source of inspiration, but not for children. Our young
children in school and out of school read too much--are too much tied to
the book. Thru this prolonged and close use of the eye upon small and
nearby objects for which, in its undeveloped condition, it is not
fitted, the organ is permanently weakened and rendered incapable of its
legitimate use later in life when the book is a necessity. And again,
this excessive use of the eye causes an atrophy of the other organs that
is really serious.

Nor is this all. The Optician and the Oculist have studied the matter so
carefully and know the eye so thoroly in its various stages of
development that they know exactly the size of type that children of
various ages should use. And they know, too, the kind of paper that
should be used in books for children. And they have told us all about
it. But we systematically disregard all this information gained with
such painstaking care, and instead of using the large clear type and the
unglazed, soft tinted paper recommended, we persist in tolerating the
unsatisfactory merely because it is a little cheaper. Penny wise and
pound foolish we surely are. What we save now we shall have to pay later
on with compound interest besides compelling our children to undergo
physical pain and mental handicap.

And yet again. We are told by our scientific friends the relative
amounts of window and floor space that the schoolroom should have in
order to be adequately lighted! Not one in ten has as much window space
as it should have, and a good portion of what has been provided is
frequently covered up by shades thru the teacher's perverted notion of
relative values--seeming to have greater appreciation for certain
so-called artistic effects than for eye comfort and safety in work. And
then again, these scientific friends of ours have told us that there
should be in the schoolroom no cross lights; that the light should not
shine upon the blackboards nor into the faces of the children, but that
it should come only from the rear and the left and from above. They have
found out, too, and told us, the proper shades of color for the
walls--scientific knowledge, all of it, and therefore thoroly reliable.
But how systematically do we disregard all this valuable information! In
the construction of a new school building there is nothing that should
receive more careful and scientific consideration than the matter of
lighting, but too often the architect is either entirely ignorant of the
entire matter, or else is selfishly interested in so-called
architectural effects.

I do not mean that we all disregard all these things, that we have no
school houses properly constructed, no school books properly printed,
and no teachers intelligent and sensible in their handling of boys and
girls. Not at all. During the last twenty years we have made long
strides in advance along many of these lines in many places. But the
bright spots are still the exception and not the rule. The friends of
children and of the race need to keep vigilantly at work.

Now, let us look at the matter from another point of view. Let us ask
what are the results of this persistent and widespread disregard of the
normal conditions under which the eye should work and of the fundamental
laws of eye development. What do we find? Why, we find just what you are
prepared to expect after considering the above disregard. We find that,
whereas at the beginning of school life the percentage of school
children suffering from visual defects is relatively small, that
percentage increases as we ascend the grades. In other words, the
regular, systematic work of our schools is all the time weakening the
eyes--all the time causing serious visual defects. Gulick and Ayers came
to this conclusion as one of the results of their exhaustive
investigation, made in 1908, which culminated in the well known work on
"Medical Inspection of Schools," published at that time. This is all the
more striking since they found that the prevalence of other physical
defects steadily decreases as the years pass.

An investigation carried on in Jefferson City, Missouri, in 1907-1908,
illustrates the point under discussion; 20% of all children in grades
one to three inclusive were found to have defective vision, whereas in
grades nine to twelve inclusive 40.5% were found thus handicapped. In
some parts of Germany the increase in defective vision as children
ascend the grades is seen to be much more marked than in our own
country. In one particular study that comes to mind, a study of
short-sightedness alone (published, however, some years ago) it was
shown that the increase was from practically none at all to
approximately 100%. In other words, the work of the schools had made
practically every child near-sighted. And the general tendency seems to
be in this direction. Indeed, I know of but one study in which a
contrary tendency has been observed. And that was in a rural
district--St. Louis County, Missouri--where a study was made about four
years ago. Under the conditions observed there, the frequency of
short-sightedness seemed to diminish with increasing age. And the
reasons for this local tendency, being so directly contrary to the
general tendency, men have been trying to understand. Various
suggestions have been made such as the atmosphere of the rural as
against the city districts being, in the main, more favorable from
hygienic points of view; or the fewer pupils in the classes in school,
thus enabling the teachers to give more personal attention so preventing
undue eye-strain; and the shorter school year maintained in the country
giving the children less prolonged periods of eye-strain. But whatever
be the explanation of this interesting exception, it yet remains true
that the regular work of the school, week in, week out, year after year,
causes the eyes of our children to deteriorate, or at least the two go
hand in hand with grounds for a very strong suspicion in the minds of
those who have expert knowledge of the general situation that the one is
the cause of the other.

With this point established, namely, that the work of the schools is but
ill-adapted to the structure the nature of the child's eye, resulting in
steady deterioration, let us try to see how widespread is such
deterioration and how serious. This can best be done briefly thru the
use of a few statistics taken from the results of investigations that
have been made as to the physical conditions of our school children.
From these results I disregard all figures save those that bear on the
matter of visual defects since that is our one topic of discussion.

In Cleveland, Ohio, in 1906-1907, a very exhaustive and illuminating
investigation was made under the general supervision of Dr. Wallin, one
of the most eminent authorities on the relationship of the physical and
the mental in the work of our schools. Dr. Wallin called to his
assistance many experts, both medical and physical, and his report was a
very noteworthy one from many points of view. I touch only two or three
points here and there. In one school, the Mayflower, located in a fine
residence section of the city, 972 pupils were examined, and 20% of them
found to be suffering from some rather serious form of eye defect. In an
East End school, another of the so-called better class of schools, 668
children were examined and 32.4% found with defective vision. Even more
startling than these were the results found in a school of about the
same size in what was called a "congested" district of the city. Six
hundred and sixteen were examined and 71.1% found defective.

Another very significant fact was brought to light by this
investigation--the disregard paid to the whole matter by parents and
teachers. Perhaps I should not include teachers in speaking of this
disregard since they have, at best, but advisory power. In the East End
school, out of the 668 children examined, 216, or 32.4% were found
defective, but only 43, or 6.4%, were being relieved by the use of
glasses. And in the "congested" district the disparity was even more
striking since out of the 437, or 71.1% of the entire number who had
visual defects, only 11, or 1.8%, were being relieved.

In one investigation made in New York City in 1908, 1,442 pupils were
considered, and 42% found suffering from eye defects. In Jefferson City,
Missouri, in 1908, the results of the examination of 1,000 white
children showed 36.5% suffering from somewhat serious visual defects;
and many others in lesser degrees. Of these 1,000 children, 410, or 41%,
were found to need the assistance of glasses, but only 38, or 3.8%, were
being thus assisted.

In Los Angeles, California, in 1909, 5,000 children were examined, and
61% found to be suffering from the same trouble. Again, in Philadelphia,
in 1909, the well-known Dr. Risley found, in an examination of 2,422
children, that 44.7% were continual sufferers from some form of eye
trouble. I could easily cite similar results from many more studies, but
surely these are sufficient. These are startling facts, and very serious
when we think merely of this one fact alone without considering it in
its relationship to anything else. But when we stop to consider the fact
that these sufferers are children, in the schools, and are thus
handicapped in their work of education--in their efforts to fit
themselves for the struggle of life--it assumes even larger proportions
and becomes truly appalling.

What does it mean? Why, it means, in terms of the school man,
retardation and elimination. To the layman those words may need
interpretation. Retardation means the checking of a pupil in his
educational progress thru the grades, necessitating the spending of a
longer period than that which is considered normal. For example, a
normal pupil is one who enters school at six years of age and is
promoted each year regularly; or "a pupil whose age and grade correspond
to this standard." Thus, the standard age for a second grade pupil,
during the year, is 7 years; for a fourth grade, 9 years; and for an
eighth grade, 13 years; or in every case, five more than the number of
his grade. If one is older than the number of his grade plus five, he is
retarded by the amount of the difference; thus a twelve-year-old child
in the sixth grade is retarded one year since a sixth-grade child should
be but eleven years old. Somehow he has lost a year. Thru failure to do
satisfactory work such a child has had to repeat the work of some one of
his grades. Elimination means the dropping out of a child from school
altogether before the regular course is completed. We find relatively
little elimination in the lower grades since the compulsory attendance
laws require attendance. But just as soon as the upper limit of age is
reached there is much of it.

I do not know how closely you have followed this matter of retardation
in the schools and elimination from them, but I think sufficiently to
render it unnecessary for me to discuss the matter at length. Let me
refer to but one study which is typical as showing the seriousness of
the situation. In 1907, Mr. S. L. Heeter, at that time Superintendent of
Schools in St. Paul, Minnesota, working under instruction of his Board
of School Inspectors, made a very careful investigation as to the matter
of retardation in the schools of that city. You may be surprised to
learn some of the results. He found more than one-half, exactly 56%, of
all the children in the schools at least one year behind normal grade,
and many of them much more than one year behind. To be exact: 12,672
children were below grade. Of these, 6,328 were one year behind; 3,650
were two years behind; 1,689 were three years behind; 651 were four
years behind; 221 were five years behind, and 133 were six years behind.
Now, what is the cause of such a serious situation? Mr. Heeter, in his
report of his findings, speaks as follows:

"There are evidently many causes of this phenomenal retardation--yet it
seems likely that one of the largest factors ... is physiological, and
that more attention given in our schools to the bodily conditions of our
children will throw new light on our educational problems, and even on
the subject of backward children, and of delinquency itself." "It
appears," he goes on to say, "that the schools have been too exclusively
concerned about the minds of children and too little concerned about
their bodies. Much time and energy and money have been wasted in trying
to make all children equal in mental power, without regard to physical
inequalities, until now waste products are clogging our educational
machinery." And Mr. Heeter's conclusion is that of all who have studied
the matter with any care.

Let me now show the relationship existing between the two, that is,
between retardation and physical defects. I can do it briefly by
referring to the work of Dr. Cronin in New York City. This is but one
instance, but it is typical of conditions. A few years ago, as chief
Medical Inspector of the schools of New York City, Dr. Cronin read a
paper before the School Hygiene Association of America in which he made
the statement that an examination of all children reported as backward
by various teachers revealed 95% of them as physically defective.

Thus, in a hasty way, but I think correctly, I have thrown the chief
burden of backwardness in school, or retardation, upon physical defects.
But our special topic is eye trouble. How much of this burden must be
referred to this specific source? It is difficult to say exactly. But
knowing as we do the great prevalence of eye defects among school
children, from 20% to 71%, you remember, depending somewhat upon
locality and environment; and knowing, too, the close relationship
existing between the eyes of our children and the work of the schools
(this school work, you know, is nearly all done with the eyes. It should
not be, but it is); knowing all this, it is not beside the mark to say
that a very large percentage of the retardation must be laid at its

And what are we going to do about it? What should be done? The reform is
easily seen to be a many-sided one. It is educational--our teachers
should come to know that the book is only one, and not the chief one, of
the many sources of knowledge open to the child; it is physiological--we
should all know the eye better than we do, its normal use and its
limitations; the reform is architectural--our architects and boards of
education should realize that the seating and the lighting of school
houses should receive most careful consideration; the reform is
economic--we should come to appreciate the unwisdom of being "penny wise
and pound foolish," and recall the old saw, "a stitch in time saves
nine"; the reform is medical--we should get our people to see that thoro
and regular medical inspection of all our school children is the only
sensible method of procedure. And so I might go on naming phase after
phase of the problem. It is so many-sided that we can not hope for its
immediate and perfectly satisfactory solution. But there are certain
quite specific ends in view that should at once and all the time be kept
before us. Touching the matter of medical inspection, our state law,
instead of being merely permissive should be mandatory, and should be
made to apply to every school community in the state. Of course, the cry
of expense would be at once raised, but it could easily be shown, were
there time at my disposal, that it would be an economic mesure rather
than one increasing the cost of our schools. Because every time that a
child repeats a grade in school, that year's school work in the life of
the child has cost the city or school community twice as much as it
should. Whenever, as in the case of St. Paul, already cited, a child is
two, three, or six years behind normal grade, there is an extra heavy
burden of taxation placed on the city. Medical inspection, wherever it
has been made effective, has resulted in lowering, very materially, the
amount of retardation. And it is looked upon as saving the community
very much more than it has cost, saying nothing at all about the added
effectiveness of the child for the work of the school nor of his greater
happiness. This statement could easily be substantiated were there time.
But that is not necessary. It is so apparent that he who runs may read.

But the time when we can expect such a law to be put in force is, I am
afraid, considerably removed from the present. Large bodies move slowly;
we must have patience. We must keep steadily at it preaching the good
gospel of reform. But in the meantime can we not hasten the glad day of
full and complete medical inspection, and at the same time bring relief
to a very large number of little sufferers, by throwing emphasis,
whenever the opportunity offers, upon the phase of the subject that is
before us this morning? The eye trouble is the chiefest of all those of
a physical nature. It has far more to do in causing retardation of our
boys and girls than any of the other physical defects, and therefore
should receive its own prompt and vigorous attention irrespective of
everything else. Upon this one point let us have immediate relief and
keep it up as rapidly as possible. Let us adopt some program of action
which will bring relief as quickly as possible to children suffering
from visual defects. For I have no sympathy with the position taken by
that foolish mother (perhaps I should be charitable and merely say
"ignorant" mother. I think she was both ignorant and foolish), who said
to me when I was urging her to have glasses fitted for her little girl,
"Why, Mr. Ladd, I can't bear to think of Mary wearing glasses. I am
going to keep them away from her just as long as she can possibly get
along without them." I replied, "My good woman, if you have any regard
for the comfort and well-being of your little girl, or if you care for
her progress in school, instead of keeping glasses away from her as long
as possible, you should see to it that she has the best that can be
procured just as soon as they can be of the slightest assistance." I
went on to tell her that it was entirely possible that the use of the
glasses at that time for a year or two might enable her to do without
them permanently later on. But she did not get them; of course not. They
would not have added to the attractiveness of the little face. How hard
it is for the unreflecting to deny themselves a present pleasure,
whether in money or pride, for a future good!



_An Extension Lecture delivered in many places in North Dakota and

It goes without saying, I am sure, that these three great
institutions--the Home, the Church, and the School--fundamental as they
are in the life of each, and even of civilization itself, can not be
adequately handled in the brief time given to a single address. But yet
I think that in that time we can account for each, roughly trace its
interesting career, and locate it in our complex life of to-day with
function briefly stated. And in it all, or out of it all, directly or
indirectly, I think we shall see the relationship existing between the
three. This relationship, so strong and so vital, the appreciation of
which is so necessary for constructive action and large results in life,
I particularly desire to make appear. And it is this relationship that
gives appropriateness to the handling of the three in a single address
tho each, from a different point of view, might well be made the center
of an entire evening's consideration.

The home, the church, and the school! What troops of memories arise
around each as we turn our gaze backward! How sweet and sacred appears
the home as we recall mother and father, sister and brother, in the old
home setting in the early days of our pilgrimage! How solemn and
hallowed seems the church as we go back in thought to our first
connections with it in Sunday school, in its communion service, and to
our own entrance as members! And how fascinating and joyful, even the
sometimes tinged with regret or apprehension, the school as we retrace
our pathway over the years of its associations! The home, the church,
and the school--but the first of these is the home.


Let me ask you, therefore, to think with me first of the home--of that
institution which in its very inception, more than any other, was
God-inspired; that institution which from its very beginning up to the
present hour has, more than any other, reflected the spirit and purpose
of God--that institution whose center is the child and whose function
that child's development--_the home_. It is the most ancient of all the
institutions of man. Organized and set apart at the very dawn of human
life, when the morning stars were singing together, the divine Voice
gave it sanction and stated its function: "Be fruitful and multiply, and
replenish the earth." And the institution, as the ages have passed, has
never once lapsed and never repudiated its origin or its work. Still it
has advanced so far and improved so much in outward appearance, at any
rate, and developed so greatly that, as we know it to-day, we may almost
call it a modern institution, so modern indeed and so different from all
others as to merit the name of American institution.

Students of history have so laid bare the conditions of living and of
home life in the past as to reveal to us the fact that the home, as we
know it and love it, did not exist prior to our own day. In all former
periods, even tho glorious to look back upon, some of them, golden days
as they were of the world's upward struggle, we search in vain for our
kind of a home. The home of the American workman to-day is provided with
more comforts and conveniences, has in it more of the elements of
culture and refinement, is more eloquent of love and the higher life
than was the home of the ruler of a few generations ago. And the chief
factors in it all, those which bind all together and give meaning, are
the honored place given the wife and mother and, springing from that,
love, love of parent for child and child for parent. For we all know,
when we come to think of it, that our love of home and dear ones is ever
our motive for action as we explore new fields and mark out new paths,
overcome obstacles and surmount difficulties--in a word, carry the
banners of civilization to new heights!

The home of all people, in all ages of the world's history, but
especially as we know it to-day, is the one thing for which men live and
work. Stop the first man you meet on the street,--"rich man, poor man,
beggar-man, thief, doctor, lawyer, butcher, priest,"--any man, going
along with a preoccupied mind, thinking of the case he is to plead, the
trade he is to make, the book he is to write. Get into this man's mind,
down below this particular thing that is on the surface of it, and down
there there is one picture that you wilt always find, the picture of a
cozy corner somewhere, of a woman sitting by the table or before the
fire, of two or three growing girls, and a boy or two that look like
him. Meet him wherever you will, find him in whatever occupation, or in
whatever stage of spiritual or intellectual development; whenever you
get under his jacket, whether it be a blouse or a tuxedo, you'll find
this picture hanging on the wall of his heart. Ninety-nine men out of
every hundred say, with Robert Burns:

  "To make a happy fire-side clime
    For weans and wife,
  That's the true pathos and sublime
    Of human life."

And the young man of to-day, looking forth into the years that are to
come, picturing himself as and where he would like to be, who sees
himself alone, without the joys and companionship of wife and child, the
young man who doesn't plan to have a home of his own to which he can
lead the choice of his heart and in which he may multiply, thru the
development of his own offspring, his powers of usefulness,--such a
young man is a selfish monstrosity. And the young woman who isn't
longing for a home of her own--for a little kingdom in which as Queen,
she may rule jointly with a chosen King in loving ministration to their
natural subjects--such a young woman is an abnormal specimen. The desire
of every little girl for a doll, the craving of every boy for an animal
pet, is but the manifestation of the deep-seated instinct of parenthood.
Do nothing to stifle it. Minister to its growth and development. And
young man--young woman, you who have left behind the days of knee
trousers and short dresses, and with them have laid aside the doll and
the pet, think it not weakness when you find yourself irresistibly
drawn by the sweet smile of an innocent babe or by the childish prattle
of one a little farther on. Be not ashamed when, under such influence,
you picture yourself the center of a home, and in this connection think
of him or her whom you would like to have share it with you. It is the
sweetest influence that can ever come into your life. Rightly regarded
and used, it will do more for your happiness and usefulness than any or
all others that will ever come to you.

But when the crucial moment comes--when the die is to be cast and the
promise asked and given that will bind the two lives together, halt for
a moment until one asks and the other answers this "Woman's Question."


  "Do you know you have asked for the costliest thing
     Ever made by the Hand above--
  A woman's heart and a woman's life
     And a woman's wonderful love?

  "You have written my lesson of duty out;
     Manlike you have questioned me;
  Now stand at the bar of my woman's soul
     Until I question thee.

  "You require your mutton shall always be hot,
     Your stockings and shirts shall be whole.
  I require your heart to be true as God's stars
     And as pure as Heaven your soul.

  "You require a cook for your mutton and beef.
     I require a far better thing.
  A seamstress you're wanting for stockings and shirts,
     I look for a man and a king.

  "A king for a beautiful realm called home,
     And a man that the Maker, God,
  Shall look upon as He did the first
     And say, 'It is very good.'

  "I am fair and young, but the rose will fade
     From my soft fair cheek some day;
  Will you love me then 'mid the falling leaves
     As you did in the bloom of May?

  "Is your heart an ocean so strong and deep
     I may launch my all on its tide?
  A loving woman finds Heaven or hell
     On the day she is made a bride.

  "I require all things that are grand and true,
     All things that a man should be,
  If you promise me this, I would stake my life
     To be all you demand of me.

  "If you can not do this, a seamstress and cook
     You can hire with little to pay.
  But a woman's heart and a woman's life
     Are not to be won that way."

Yes, Bobby Burns was right when he said,

  "To make a happy fire-side clime,
     For weans and wife,
  That's the true pathos and sublime
     Of human life."

Exactly what is God's ultimate purpose for the human race, I think no
one knows. And I am not sure that we need to know. Where clear vision is
not granted we walk by faith. But even if the ultimate end is not
clearly portrayed, even if we are kept in the dark as to the great
outcome, we do know pretty well His method of procedure. A careful study
of the past and a critical analysis of the data now at hand looking to
the future enable us to grasp with some clearness the leading outlines
of the program. From generation to generation, from century to century,
from age to age, as time has rolled on, there has been a gradual moving
onward and upward, a steady improvement both in the refining and
civilizing of man's own being and in bringing that being into
sympathetic relations with the external world, that is, a gradual
development of man's own powers, and an ever increasing control of the
forces of nature. In spite of the fact that this progress has been, at
times, painfully slow, it has never once ceased, and during the last
century it has moved on with constantly accelerating speed until to-day
the human race stands upon the highest point ever reached. I have
absolutely no sympathy with that narrow pessimism which is always
talking about "the good old times." All in all, there never was a time
in the history of the world when man knew so much as to-day; there never
was a time when his life was so ministered to by the forces of nature;
never a time when his heart was so tender, when it responded so quickly
to human suffering, never a time when all forms of evil were so quickly
condemned nor when so much good was being done. The long program seems
to have been for each age and each generation to hand on to its
successors the legacy received, but increased and strengthened and
bettered. How much longer this upward movement is to continue, how much
more the race is to know and do, how much better it is to be, no one
knows. God's ultimate purpose, His great object in view--we may not be
able to grasp, but certainly it is not difficult for us to note the
general direction of the movement. It is upward.

In all this, wherein does the home come, and what is its function? Is it
not, has it not been from the very beginning the Divine agency used for
doing this great work? Was not the home instituted, endowed with the
divine power of love, and consecrated for the perpetuation of the race?
"Be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth." True, as many times
pointed out, our toils and our struggles, our earnings and our
productions, incidentally give us pleasure and satisfaction and power,
but yet even these are but a means to an end,--that parents may beget,
rear, and educate their children in such a way that they can carry the
banner of civilization a little higher--lift society to a higher level
and draw mankind nearer to God.

So it is that the center and circumference of the home is the child. In
the child the home finds its meaning, its excuse, and its justification.
It exists, then, that the child may be adequately prepared for doing its
great work in the world. Whatever else it may do, on the side, it has
one great problem. The child! The child! The best crop the farmer
raises, the best article the manufacturer puts on the market, the best
ware the merchant handles, the best case the lawyer pleads, the best
sermon the minister preaches--or at least that which gives meaning to
all of these--the child! "The fruit of all the past and the seed of all
the future." God bless the home and God bless its best fruitage--the


Thus the home--God's simple yet mighty agent in His great work of
developing the human race. Its work was accepted and for a time all went
well. Such preparation, mostly physical, as the child needed for its
future work the home gave without difficulty. But this simple life could
not continue indefinitely. One of the fundamental principles of life
absolutely forbade man's standing still. The laws of growth and
development pushed him on. Whether he would or not, he was compelled to
move forward, just as the acorn, obeying the law of its being, changes
its form, its size, and adds to its complexity. Little by little man,
obeying these inexorable laws, began to develop. His mental, his moral,
and his physical natures gradually assumed new forms--new needs and
desires were born. More and more his vision became expanded until he
could see into and mesurably appreciate the forces of nature. His life
was becoming more complex. Now, this larger life, this greater
complexity of life, in addition to its own complexity, added materially
to the work of preparing the child for playing its part in this great
onward movement.

Such preparation as was needed by the child of the primitive home to
equip it for playing its part as an adult would no longer suffice. The
home must now do something more than satisfy the needs of the
body--provide food, clothing, and shelter, and incidentally give
opportunity to learn, mostly by imitation, how to do this for another
generation of children. The spiritual life needed attention and, as
well, the intellectual. Competition was growing keen, and each felt the
need of a better equipment that he might play his part well in the
larger life that was surely before him. And this larger outlook upon
life was itself growing by what it was feeding upon and making its own
demands for better things.

But the home was handicapped. It felt the need, but with all other
things that it had to do, had no time to take up these new duties. And
again, the most of the homes, even if time had been abundant, did not
know how to do the new work. So it set about finding a solution to its
problem. This was found in the principle of the division of labor. It
was seen that time would be saved and results much more satisfactorily
reached by delegating to persons definitely prepared and set aside for
that purpose certain phases of this work. So the church was instituted
and, a little later, the school. To the church was delegated, speaking
broadly, the religious and moral development of the child and to the
school, the intellectual development.

It was exactly the same principle that, later on, took from the home the
weaving of cloth and the making of shoes and other industrial pursuits.
With this added complexity of life, the homes could not profitably carry
on all these varied activities--be, in addition to a home, also a tailor
shop and a shoe factory, a church and a school. And so the homes of a
community combined, selecting one man particularly adapted to that work
to make all the shoes for the community, another the cloth, etc. And, in
like manner, earlier in history, one was set aside to minister to the
spiritual life, and one to teach the children. Both were offshoots of
the home, delegated by the home to do a certain very definite portion of
its work. Each took directions from the collective home and looked to it
as the source of its authority. And such it was. The point is this: the
home was the original educational institution and, as well, the original
religious institution. At first it alone performed the work of all
three: it was our home, our church, and school all in one. It finally
established the others and merely delegated work to these supplemental
agencies, so, at any time, it may withdraw that work from them. It is
master of the situation. This withdrawal may be done either by the
collective home or by any individual home. If any home represented here
this evening, for any reason whatever, wishes to resume the religious
function and alone direct the religious development of the children, no
one can say it nay. And it is the same in regard to the school. If any
parent here wishes to withdraw his children from the school and himself,
either directly or indirectly, provide for their intellectual
development, he has a perfect right to do so. Our compulsory attendance
laws are satisfied when evidence is furnished of the child's
advancement. Of course the church and the school, in this primitive
stage, were both exceedingly crude--corresponding to the crude notions
of religious and intellectual development then held by man, yet playing
the same great part as now in the drama of life. I suppose it is true
that these differentiations were at first only semi-conscious, but
nevertheless they were real differentiations and had large influence
upon the development of man.

To trace the development of the church thru its early stages is not
necessary for the purpose of this address, so I pass at once to the
establishment of the Christian church which is in reality our
representative of the same fundamental institution. Like the home and
the school, the church began in a very humble way, and during the
progress of the centuries passed thru many vicissitudes and underwent
many changes. Let me speak very briefly of four stages, or periods, of
the history of the Christian church: first, the primitive stage, that
period of about 350 years following its birth when, in the main, motives
were pure, ambitions unselfish, and ideals high. But, tho it was founded
to provide the means of securing the religious development of the child
and the race thru the perpetuation and extension of the teachings of
Christ, and tho it was launched forth into its great career in the
spirit of love and meekness and fellowship that characterized His life,
it was not long, as history counts time, before that worthy function was
entirely lost sight of, that spirit wholly cast aside, and the new
institution entered upon its second period, becoming a mere political
machine which, in its utter disregard of rights and justice, in the
shrewdness and daring of its schemes, and in the blackness of its
methods, almost surpassed even our own most skilful efforts in those
directions. "My kingdom is not of this world," Christ had said, and yet
the church, founded upon His teachings and led by men pretending to be
His true representatives, had become, in very deed, a kingdom of this
world. The possession and use of worldly power by the church had so
blunted its moral sense that Dante, in the early part of the fourteenth
century, felt forced to exclaim, and exclaimed with truth:

                     "The Church of Rome,
  Mixing two governments that ill assort,
  Hath missed her footing, fall'n into the mire,
  And there herself and burden much defiled."

But Dante's criticism and other forces brought to bear drew back the
erring leaders to some slight conception of their function and to some
slight effort toward the performance of duty, tho neither conception nor
performance took them back to their pristine merit. And the church
entered another historical stage, the third, and one whose dominant
thought and purpose prevails even up to modern times. Indeed, so
recently has it passed that its dark outlines are even yet discoverable
as we glance backward. In this new conception of the church and its work
we find the function of the institution to be not religious development
of the individual and of the race, as it had been at first, but merely
technical salvation. And the institution may be pictured as a great
lifeboat thrust out into the storm to save from destruction those who
can be drawn within--_while all others perish_.

You remember the painting of the picture, foreground and background, how
the emphasis was thrown upon the world to come! This world was not man's
home. He was a sojourner here, a wanderer. His citizenship was in
Heaven. He was a pilgrim passing thru a strange and weary land, and the
only purpose of the pilgrimage was a preparation for the life to come.
The nature of man himself was corrupt. The world around him was evil.
Alone and unaided he was powerless. He was lost both for this world and
the next. The storms of life were about him, the great waves were ready
to engulf him. But the church, as a lifeboat, was thrust out into the
breakers, and upon certain stipulated conditions was ready to take him
in. The church was represented as having received direct from the hands
of God "the keys of heaven and hell," and as being able to open the
gates of a better world to all true believers. But true believers, you
know, were no longer the pure followers of the crucified Christ, simply
those who would accept the man-made dogmas of the church. No matter how
full of error the church was, no matter how corrupt her leaders, there
could be no safety outside of her fold. Accept the dogma, salvation was
sure; once within, all was well. Religious development was not sought.
The character of the life, previous or prospective, mattered not.
Acceptance of the dogma was the only requirement. So she taught--having
departed Oh! so far from her character and program when given existence
by the home and started out on her beneficent work. And so tight had her
grip become that none dared dispute her claims. The child had outgrown
her mother, that is, the church had, in its own conception, outgrown the
home, and it repudiated her control. Indeed, she held the keys--she was
the ark of safety.

I have dwelt upon this because, with varying degrees of emphasis, that
has been the conception of the church from medieval times almost to our
own day. Indeed, I am not sure that it has entirely passed even at the
present time. There are doubtless some people who continue thus to
regard the church, and there is more than one branch of the institution
whose definitely formulated statements of belief can be interpreted in
no other way however much, as a practical fact, the members have
departed from them.

There are some branches of the church that still teach that the child,
newly born into the world, fresh from the hand of God, is already
corrupt, prone to evil, of its own volition choosing evil in preference
to good. And, believing that, they require the parents when presenting
the babe at the altar for holy baptism, to affirm that that pure and
innocent babe has inherited an evil and corrupt nature, and that it was
conceived and born in sin. A monstrous doctrine, violating not only
every parental instinct, but as well all the principles of psychology
and ethics. Yea, verily, the Dark Ages are not yet wholly past! Yes,
there are doubtless some who still look upon the church as a lifeboat,
and who think that that lifeboat should offer safety and protection to
those alone who already have on the life preserver. In other words,
there are still some who seem to think that church membership should be
granted only to those whose character and belief already assure them of
abundant entrance into the heavenly kingdom and who, therefore, do not
really need church membership.

But yet, on the whole, as a working conception, we have discarded the
lifeboat idea and are now regarding the church rather as a great school,
so to speak, in which all the children of men, thru the grace of God and
mutual helpfulness, may gradually develop the Christian character and
eventually come to be the very elect of God. No longer is it being
regarded as merely an ark of safety, a lifeboat, ministering to the
few, but as a great social beneficent institution shedding abroad upon
all people its life-giving light and lifting all men nearer to God;
true, giving her choicest blessings to those who come closest and
partake most fully of her nature, but yet like the sun which shines upon
all and both by direct and indirect rays warms and lightens all. Between
the two views, what a contrast! And that change can not be better seen
than by a contrast of the methods of work--the methods used to replenish
the ranks, to offer the boon of membership to those deemed worthy or to
those whom such boon could help.

The old evangelism--you remember its key-note, the old revival meeting,
in which skilful word painting presented the two extremes, heaven and
hell. And when the emotional nature was wrought up to the desired pitch
and fear to the right degree, a choice was demanded,--conversion, it was
called. The newer evangelism--Christian nurture in the home and school,
and the various agencies of the church--is not as spectacular as the
old. It doesn't make as much noise nor draw to itself so much attention.
Nor do results so readily lend themselves to figures and tabulation. It
does not bring about certain times when large accessions are made to the
church membership, feeling rather that a continuous stream, tho smaller,
indicates a more healthy growth. But it recognizes the fact that human
nature is not necessarily depraved, that, on the other hand, the
Christian life is the natural life and that the child under the sweet
influences of the home and school and church passes naturally from one
stage to another often not knowing when the transitions take place.
Christian nurture--_a continuous process_--in which development is the
key-note, not conversion, a sudden transformation, a terrible wrenching
of the whole being, is the church's present method of growth. Oh! the
old has not entirely gone--here and there we occasionally see evidences
of its presence. Professional evangelism we call it to-day. I ran across
it in a recent trip East. A big, barnlike structure had been erected
which was called "the tabernacle." Its floor was of sawdust sprinkled on
the ground. Here for about a month a professional evangelist had
harangued the curious crowds in immoderate, and oftentimes immodest
language. Wit and sarcasm and slang and emotion had been freely used in
his efforts to make sinners "hit the sawdust trail," to use his own
spectacular language, as well as to extort money from the pockets of the
attendants. He left the town $5,000 richer than when he entered and also
carried with him, as advertising material, a long list of so-called
converts. A travesty on the sacred work of the church! But such methods
are to-day the exception and not the rule, and the exceptions merely
prove the rule.

And to-day church membership is graciously held out to all who need help
in the work of perfecting character--to all who need assistance in
leading the Christian life, as well as to those whose battles have
already been fought and won. The question asked is no longer, "Have you
attained?" but rather, "Do you wish to attain?" When an individual,
child or adult, seeks entrance at the doors of an educational
institution, the only condition imposed is assurance of his desire to be
a learner. The doors swing open. And thank God the church is at last
coming to the same position. And so we see her to-day well started upon
the fourth stage of her development, accepting as her one great work
that given her at birth so long ago--the religious development of the
child and the race.


The American school is a wonderful institution. In its absolute
universality and impartiality, in its fine spirit of democracy both of
teachers and pupils, there is nothing like it elsewhere in the world. It
is a product of the genius of our people. Product? Yes, but, also,
successively, the most influential cause of the genius of our people.
From the first, in a somewhat remarkable degree, we have been a people
knowing no social classes or distinctions. The caste idea, so prevalent
in European countries, has ever been repugnant to us. And our schools,
emanating from such a people, have had a powerful reflex influence in
shaping the people and keeping those fine ideals ever before us. But let
us go back and see whence it came--trace the connection between the
complex, highly influential institution of to-day and the simple
offshoot of the home of primitive times. Just when it was first
instituted, nobody knows; but in essential features it is very ancient.
Long before the beginning of the Christian era, as a supplementary agent
of the home having in charge that one portion of its work, it was a
well-recognized and highly esteemed institution.

I have already called attention to the great changes that have taken
place in the home and in the church as the centuries have passed. The
school likewise has changed, and is to-day as far removed from its
original prototype as either of the others. It has changed because the
home has changed, and in its changes has kept pace with the changing
ideals and added complexities of home life. At the very first, only the
essentials--teacher and boy--were present: no building, the great
out-of-doors furnished the room and the friendly tree the only
protection from sun and storm; no course of study, no book--the teacher
was all in all. But this stage passed and the next, that continued so
long and is more characteristic, followed. Here we find the building and
the book as well as the teacher and the boy. The boy's one task is to
transfer the contents of the book to his own mental storehouse and the
teacher's function to see that the transfer is made. Knowledge was the
main element of the child's preparation, that the home demanded of its
school. And this often but ill-fitted him for the performance of the
duties of life. This period continued for many centuries, down almost to
the present time. But another and a greater followed--a period in which
not merely knowledge was demanded as an outcome of the school's
activities, but something else very different, including that, it is
true, but finer and greater than that--something toward which they are
the contributing agents--a somewhat harmonious development of the entire
life--physical, mental, and moral.

Little by little, as time has passed, the home seems to have been
throwing added burdens upon the school until now it sometimes looks as
if the school is expected to give the entire preparation of the
child--moral, physical, and manual, as well as mental. It sometimes
seems as if the home had gone off on a vacation and left the school to
do its work. Now, that statement implies a criticism of the home. On
the other hand, it is frequently said by unfriendly critics of our
public schools that the schools are all the time reaching out and, in a
grasping way, more and more taking unto themselves the sacred rights and
privileges of the home, even setting themselves up in authority over the
home, aye, even alienating the affections of the children, making the
home of none effect. Where does the truth lie? Has the home been so
negligent of its duty, or has the school forgotten that it is the
creature of the home? Which is the usurper? That is an interesting
question. We can not go into it in detail, but let me suggest that it
has all come about not so much from the unwarranted assumption of the
school, nor the conscious and wilful neglect of the home as from the
unconscious working out of a great principle fundamental in human
development--namely, that the three phases of a child's life--the
physical, the moral, and the intellectual,--can not be separately

At first the home had the three lines of work. Soon it delegated two of
them to other agencies and then, thru inexperience or thoughtlessness,
made the fatal mistake of withdrawing supervision, assuming that no
oversight was necessary. Unwise and short-sighted! No individual would
thus deal with any other interest. The farm, the store, the financial
interest of any kind, even the thing that ministers to the pleasure of
life, often receives more personal attention from the parent than does
the school. And this situation is not peculiar to our own day. When I
was a boy, in another and distant state, we used to sing a song called
"The Parent and the School." The various verses showed that parents were
in the habit of visiting every other known place--the theater, the
concert, the fair, the sea, the neighbors, and each verse closed with
the refrain, "And why don't they visit the school?" They should, but
they did not then, nor do they to-day. Somehow, all along the line, the
home has seemed to think that if it should satisfy the physical needs of
the child in providing food and clothing and shelter, the school should
develop the intellectual and the church the moral natures in different
places and at different times, and under different conditions, and that
in some mysterious manner the three could become satisfactorily blended
into a harmonious life. Impossible! The three natures are so clearly
interrelated, each depends so much upon the others, that the separate
and independent development of any one is impossible.

The spiritual _depends_ upon the intellectual as the house _rests_ upon
the foundation. Its mental pictures, its concepts, its beliefs, come out
of it, and are marred, misshapen, untrue, just to the extent to which
that is faulty. Intelligence is necessary to religious belief and
religious life. And the _intellectual_, in its foundation laying, can
not stop short at that point any more than a plant can stop growing when
its roots are well developed. The process once well begun is pushed on
by the force from behind and must enter the higher realm. So I am not
surprised that the school at times seems to be in charge of the entire
work. And _physical conditions_ have so much to do with success in both
fields that they must be considered by both. The three processes are not
only interrelated, they are interlaced, intertwined, as the strands of a
braided cord. And just as the cord would be incomplete, just as it
would lack strength, if any of the strands were to be omitted, or if the
braiding were to be haphazard, so the life would be incomplete,
one-sided, weak, should these three processes not go on side by side
under the fostering care of an intelligent unifying agency. Indeed, if
there is any one thing that has been demonstrated beyond the
peradventure of a doubt by modern research in the physical and psychical
realms, it is the significant fact that life is a unity. The physical,
the intellectual, and the moral are like the three leaves of the clover.
And just as with the clover we must apply the nourishment to the root
and not to the separated branches, so with the child we must so select
and use our educative material that the three-fold development shall
result from the single application.

A simple illustration or two will help to make the point clear. All
children study arithmetic in school. It is an intellectual activity and
so clearly belongs to the school. Why do all study it? Because for the
practical duties of life they need to know how to handle numbers. It is
a practical study. Yes, but there is something else that the subject is
supposed to yield or the extended time given to it could not be
justified. It yields large fruitage in the development of the power of
concentration and intellectual keenness. Yes, but better than that. All
mathematical subjects, in that they require absolute accuracy and
definiteness in their operations, are particularly helpful in developing
those fine moral qualities of honesty, integrity, and upright dealing.
Again, history is taught in the schools as an intellectual subject. In
intellectual development alone it is worth all it costs. But over and
above the value as a mental quickener it is to be placed as a builder of
character, and ministering to the development of the moral and even the
spiritual life. Nowhere else can the young so well learn that
"righteousness exalteth a nation" and that "sin is a reproach to any
people." In no other way so well as by the study of history can desired
examples of noble character be placed before the young for imitation.
Take but one other illustration, that of gymnastics and athletics--the
entire program of play. For physical development? Yes, but in addition
to that and finer than that, intellectual development of a high order
thru the keener activity of the senses, the quicker and more accurate
vision, the developed judgment, and finer discriminations. Yes, but
better even than mere intellectual keenness there result from such
activities the rare moral qualities of tolerance, respect for others,
and self-control. And so I might go on and give illustration after
illustration. It is not necessary. You catch my point. I am merely
trying to demonstrate two facts: first, that the great breadth of the
work of the school--embracing as it does, the development of the entire
nature of the child, mental, moral, and physical, instead of merely the
mental, that which was given her at first, is hers now not because of
the home's neglect nor because the school has been unduly ambitious and
grasping, but because we have come to see that life is a unity and can
not be cut up into parts each separately developed. And secondly, I have
tried to show that the school does interest itself in the moral life of
the pupil. As a matter of fact, the school does more to develop morality
and to lead toward a sane religious life than all other agencies
combined. Our modern American school is a wonderful institution.

But in spite of the fact that the school is broad in its ministrations,
it can not stand alone. All three institutions are needed. But the three
must work together and in harmony and intelligently, each assisting the
others. And one of the three must act as the centralizing, the unifying,
the combining agency and bring order out of that which would otherwise
be chaos by recognizing the value of each contribution of each of the
others, assigning it to its proper place and thus aptly blending the
work of the three. Now, which shall be the centralizing force? Really,
is there any question? Must it not be the original institution--the
home--the one which saw the need of the others and called them into
being--the one upon which the responsibility finally rests? And even tho
many individual homes are weak, wholly incapable of doing themselves all
the varied kinds of work needed, yet the collective institution can and
must act. And even the individual home, efficient or inefficient,
should, much more than it does, thus act within the limits of its own
jurisdiction and up to the limits of its own power.

And to whom does the school belong, anyway? To the Board of Education?
Is it the private possession of the teachers? Does it exist to give
teachers positions? Why, no, of course not. It is yours, and yours, and
yours. They, both Board and teachers, are your servants, hired men and
women, if you and they please--hired for pay to do your work, just as
much as are the clerks in your stores, the harvest hands on the farms,
or the maids in the kitchen. A different kind of work to be sure but,
nevertheless, we are workmen for pay. And we need watching just as much
as do the other workers. But let us put it in this way--we need
intelligent, sympathetic co-operation, as an opportunity and as a spur
for our best work and as a joy in it all--your constant kindly interest
and your intelligent co-operation. I suppose that the situation is quite
different in a city of this size from what it is in the large centers. I
remember of talking, at one time, to an audience of teachers in a large
city. I was astounded to learn that those teachers did not know, by
sight even, the parents of one-half of their pupils, and many of them
had been in the schools for a period of from three to four years. Whose
fault was it? The teacher's or the parents? Why, what is the school? And
whose is it? And what is it for? Whose fault was it? The question does
not need an answer. It answers itself. But I urged those teachers to
visit the homes--to become acquainted with the parents of their pupils
so that they could know the atmosphere surrounding them and thus be
better able to guide their development and minister to their varied
needs. But I did not thus urge them because they had, up to that time,
neglected their duty, rather because there seemed no prospect that the
homes would embrace their opportunity and take the initiative.

I fancy that here in the smaller place where everybody knows everybody
it is very different. Doubtless there is not a teacher here whose
acquaintance has not been made by both parents of every child in her or
his room. Probably there is not one who has not been entertained in
every home represented in the room. This should be the situation not
primarily because parents owe teachers such attention, not because any
such social responsibility rests upon them, but rather because the
relationship thus created gives parents the best possible opportunity to
co-operate with the school in doing that portion of the home's great
work. No, parents do not "owe" it to the teachers, rather do they "owe"
it to their children and the next generation. I am urging this program
because it is the only way by which you can get the most and best
service from the schools.

It is true that parents may not understand all the subjects that are
taught in the schools. Parents may not be acquainted with the methods of
teaching so that they can be intelligent critics of schoolroom
procedure. Never mind. That is not necessary. You do know boys and
girls. Many of you could give us teachers valuable suggestions on the
best ways of dealing with boys and girls. And there isn't one of you who
could not assist the teacher in the work with your own children. And
then there is another way to look upon it. It is altogether possible
that this closer acquaintance with the school and with the
teachers--with men and women who have made a careful, scientific study
of boys and girls and of the art of teaching--it is altogether possible,
I say, that this contact might react helpfully upon you and the home.
You might possibly get suggestions from us that would help you in the
home. The closer contact might be mutually helpful.

And so, in this necessarily hurried manner we have passed in review
these three great age-old yet very modern institutions--the home, the
church, and the school. We have seen whence each has arisen, have noted
the pathway trod, and caught a glimpse of its present-day function. And
the close relationship, too, must have become plain as we passed along.
No one of the three, we have seen, could stand alone. Each depends upon
both the others and likewise lends them both assistance. For sane,
all-round, constructive work in any one field, the contributions of all
are seen to be needed.

Let us, therefore, take an account of stock, as the business man says,
and note our individual attitude and responsibility. As representing the
home, let us look upon the other two as creatures of our own building
still requiring direction and fostering care. Let our attitude toward
them be neither patronizing nor coldly critical. As representing the
church and the school, let us not forget the source of our being. We
should not ignore the home nor attempt to dominate it. Let us, rather,
seek to carry out its program, rendering a good account of our
stewardship. Thus and thus only can the great work originally entrusted
to the home be accomplished.



_A Convocation Address delivered at the University of North Dakota,
January 29, 1916_

There is no audience before which a speaker should have greater reason
for apprehension than an audience made up largely of university
students. There is no audience for which a speaker should more carefully
choose his thoughts and the words for their expression than a university
audience, nor one more worthy of earnest treatment. On the other hand,
there is no audience that a speaker can address more inspiring than an
audience made up of young men and women in the heyday of young life
preparing for better and larger usefulness.

All this is true because there is no other audience that can be gathered
together whose future work can begin to compare, in far-reaching
consequences, in possibilities for usefulness, with that of such an
audience. There is no other company of people of equal number within
whose keeping there is more of potential weal or woe for coming
generations. And these things are true because university students of
to-day are the world's leaders of to-morrow.

This is not so trite a saying as the one that declares that the boys and
girls of one generation are to be the men and women of the next, but it
is just as true and just as significant. Indeed, I suppose it can not be
called a trite saying in the true sense of the term. It has not been
uttered so many times, is not now being used so commonly, as to indicate
its universal acceptance. It is not so obviously true as to preclude
challenge and argument. It is my purpose very briefly to examine the
statement and from the conclusion reached connect the same with the
thought of a beautiful proverb that has come down to us thru a long
lapse of years--_Noblesse Oblige_--our privileges compel us.

So far as I know there is no way of seeing the future save thru a study
of the facts of the past and the indications of the present. The
university students of a generation ago--where are they to-day?
Positions of leadership to-day--filled by whom?

Exhaustive and thoroly satisfactory statistics are not at hand, but such
as we have speak eloquently in favor of the statement in question.
Practically our only reliable statistics touching the matter are
gathered from our biographical cyclopedias. A few years ago a very
interesting study was made of the data found in the current issue of
_Who's Who in America_. This book, you know, is made up of short
biographies of such persons living at the time in the United States as
have become real factors in the progress and achievement of the age, in
other words, of men recognized as leaders in thought and action in the
educational, political, military, and business realms.

Of the whole number mentioned in the issue studied educational data were
given of 11,019. Of that number 1,111 had enjoyed only elementary school
advantages; 1,966 had added to these only the advantages of secondary
education, but 7,942 had come from the colleges and universities. In
other words, more than 72% of these leaders are shown to have received
their final preparations for leadership within college walls.

Figures as interesting have been gathered thru a use of _Appleton's
Cyclopedia of Biography_. A few years ago careful study was made of an
edition just then out and it was found that of the college graduates of
America one out of every forty had gained sufficient distinction to
merit recognition in that cyclopedia, whereas only one out of 10,000
non-graduates, the public at large, had received such distinction. In
other words, the college graduate had 250 chances to the other man's one
for achieving leadership.

Moreover, the higher institutions of learning have furnished every one
of the Chief Justices of our Supreme Court, 75% of our Presidents, 70%
of the membership of our two highest courts, and more than 50% of all
our Congressmen. The last state-men is very significant when one recalls
our method of selecting Congressmen--our political machinery and its
devious modes of working. I have no authentic data of other fields, but
all that one needs to do to satisfy himself practically as to other
details is to call to his service his own knowledge of the general
situation. In the communities with which you are acquainted, among the
people whom you know either personally or by reputation, what are the
facts? Who are the leaders? Where college people are found, are they
leaders or followers?

There are exceptions, of course. There come to you at once the names of
men, a few of them, who, thru the exercise of their own inherent
strength, unaided by college or university, have risen to deserved
greatness. I have only to mention the names of our immortal Lincoln, or
England's present David Lloyd George, in the field of statesmanship, or
of Lord Strathcona or Sir William Van Horne, or James J. Hill, railroad
kings and empire builders, in the business world, or of Luther Burbank,
in the realm of science, to make the fact of exceptions perfectly clear.
But they _are_ exceptions--that's the point--and exceptions merely prove
the rule.

And even as to the few it is scarcely necessary to say that their
positions, tho of leadership, are, generally speaking, subordinate ones,
they themselves even while leading in certain limited fields, are
following the leadership of others in broader fields which include their
own--and the ones followed are they of the broader training. This is
especially true of men who have achieved success in the business world
or in the political field. Their success, their leadership, is often
more seeming than real,--depending as it does upon their
advisers--broadly educated men. Take Lord Strathcona, for example, or
Mr. Hill, as typical illustrations; with all their far-sightedness and
their recognized ability, what could they have done, even in their own
field of activity, had it not been for the trained physicist, the
skilled chemist, and the engineer--products of the university--who gave
them their rails, built their bridges, designed their engines, and in
many ways made it possible for them to realize their dreams? They would
have been powerless. Tho leaders, they followed, and their kind always
will follow, the university student. They may hire this student and pay
him his wage, but they are still indebted to him for leading them onward
and upward.

From a hasty survey, therefore, which, however, I am satisfied would
yield the same fruitage no matter to what extent pushed, our statement
seems to be justified.

But let us look at it from another point of view. How is the matter
regarded by those of the present time most deeply interested in the
future well-being of man and of the nations of the world? By those
people and those forces who feel the responsibility of providing
leadership for the next generation? What steps are being taken to reach
the end--to provide the leaders? On any hypothesis other than the one
assumed in my initial statement can you account for the lavish
expenditure for the endowment and maintenance of higher institutions of
learning that so characterize our generation? From one side to the other
of our broad land, aye, from distant lands and from the isles of the sea
comes the same testimony: benevolent individuals seem to vie with one
another in the munificence of their gifts for higher education. Even
soveren states and great nations, under the guidance of far-seeing
leaders, are planting these institutions and, in a truly generous
manner, providing for their present and future needs.

That the college is the only source from whence can come our supply of
leaders is a real conviction in the minds of men the world over, is
shown by a recent incident in war-stricken Europe. It was only a few
months ago and during the terrible campaign in Eastern Poland, even
while shells were bursting and men were dying, that the Central Powers
stopt, as it were, in the mad rush of wanton destruction, to
re-establish and reorganize the old University of Warsaw. More than
that, they added to the old institution two new faculties, or colleges,
as we would call them.

Strange, isn't it? In the incident I can see but this logic: a
recognition of the fact that, with the forces of destruction reaping
such an awful harvest, their civilization was doomed unless some step
could be taken, not, primarily, to check the present war but rather to
provide, at its close, an adequate supply of leaders. That seemed to
them the only way to prevent a permanent impoverishment and a dropping
back into a state of, at least, temporary semi-barbarism as was so
common during the early Middle Ages under analogous circumstances. And
the step taken by those shrewd, coldly-calculating war lords was the
strengthening of the forces of higher education. One reason why, during
the Middle Ages, there was this frequent dropping back is the fact that
this relationship between leadership and education was not recognized.

Under the powerful impulse of this conviction, namely, that the
well-equipt college as a part of the broad university community is the
only source of leadership, men and states and provinces and nations are
sacrificing for higher education as never before. New institutions are
being founded and old ones strengthened. Magnificent buildings are being
erected with seemingly little thought of cost provided only that they
serve their purpose. Libraries so thoroly equipt as to leave nothing
desired, laboratories unsurpast in completeness, vast gymnasiums
containing every possible apparatus for bodily development, and other
facilities of every kind and description, all irrespective of cost, are
daily being added. And better than buildings and grounds, more vital
than equipment and endowment, are the trained minds and pure hearts
that, in ever increasing numbers, are being freely offered on the same
shrine. Abilities, and training, and attainments that in the world of
business would yield their possessors independent fortunes, or in the
fields of authorship or politics result in honor and fame, are here
freely offered. The material return rendered for such service is the
merest pittance absolutely needed for family support, and the
immaterial, but one's enshrinement in the heart of an occasional
grateful student plus the consciousness of having done one's duty. Can
such a generous outpouring of material and spiritual treasures be
accounted for on any hypothesis other than a recognition of the great
world's needs and a firm belief that those needs can be best satisfied
thru an educated leadership? Nay, verily, all these things are being
done because the best thought of the day feels, both instinctively and
with reason, that only thus can the kingdom of God come among men.

What unique, important, and responsible position the State or Provincial
University occupies among civic institutions! What splendid
opportunities for usefulness are his who is the executive head of such
an institution! Aye, and what weighty responsibilities rest upon him!
Fellow teachers, what manifold opportunities for usefulness are yours,
and what weighty responsibilities rest upon you by virtue of the fact
that you are teachers in such an institution! And my message to you is
the same as to the student body--_Noblesse Oblige!_ Freely have you
received, freely must you give. Tho the state does not, nor ever can,
adequately pay you for your best services, still you must not falter.
You must continue to live up to your own high ideals of your noble
profession. The very acceptance of such positions in such an institution
carries with it the obligation of performance--_Noblesse Oblige!_

But who are these college and university students who have such a large
and important future before them and for whose training and development,
because of that future, such elaborate preparations are being made? The
university man--who and what is he? Likewise the university woman? Let
us answer the question simply and briefly by merely saying that, tho
sometimes rude and crude because immature and undeveloped, they are yet
the keenest, the brightest, the most far-seeing, the most promising
young men and women of the land. They are the choice souls found, one
here, another there, one in the hamlet and another on the farm, one in
the city and another on the prairie, one in a palace, another in a sod
house. They are a picked lot selected not only from the so-called upper
ranks of thought and action, but as well from the highways and by-ways
of our broad land, chosen because of intellectual strength and moral
fiber, because of high ideals and lofty purposes; chosen by themselves,
it may be true, but chosen nevertheless, thru their equipment of mind
and heart. The very fact that you are here and others are not is
testimony sufficient to your greater worth. Exceptions, to be true,
there are, but none too many prove the rule. I am not saying these
things in a spirit of flattery, not at all. I am merely stating facts,
and thru these facts trying to help you catch the vision--to see your
opportunity and accept the responsibilities. But note the
significance--those already best equipt by the superior quality of
their brain matter and of their mental fiber and of their moral nature
and who therefore without further preparation would easily distance the
others, are here giving themselves even better equipment. There can be
no question as to the relative position of the two classes in the years
to come--the one class is to furnish the leaders, the other the
followers. The one is to form the ideals, to set the standards, to
decide upon policies, to mark out courses, the other to try to reach the
goals set. The two classes may be equally good morally, equally worthy
of respect and honor because equally faithful in the performance of
duties suited to their tastes and abilities, but yet, from the very
nature of things, the one going ahead, the other following behind. And
in the years to come your competitors will be not from among the
non-college men and women--you have already put yourself out of their
reach--but from among those who, like yourselves, ambitious for better
and greater things, are to-day, in this and other similar institutions,
using every means, straining every nerve, to attain the highest possible
degree of efficiency for future service. You are not only to be leaders,
but in some way you seem to know it instinctively and to be putting
yourselves in a state of readiness.

But does some one raise the objection that this theory of leadership
does not seem to be in harmony with the spirit and genius of our
American institutions; that under a democratic form of government all
are equal; that all men, irrespective of intellectual attainment, share
equally, not only before the law but in the very making of law; that in
America all men are rulers? All this is true theoretically and, to a
certain extent, practically, but it does not lessen the need of
efficient leadership; it increases that need, or, at any rate, it makes
it necessary that the number capable of efficient leadership be greatly
increased. The very fact that all have a voice in the government, that
all do share, consciously and potently, in its exercise and in its
responsibilities, speaks more loudly than anything else can of the need
of wise leadership. If the great mass of people were not factors, they
would not have to be taken into account. They might need drivers but not
leaders. But being factors and yet, in the main, not being capable of
adequate analysis of our most complex and highly intricate problems,
they must be provided with safe and efficient leaders. I believe in the
honesty, in the good intentions, and in the good sense of the common
people. But I do not believe in their ability to detect relations, to
draw wise conclusions, and to formulate policies touching the
complicated political, social, and economic conditions of our times.

It is a well-recognized fact that, as some one has said, "speaking
broadly, the striking disadvantage under which a democracy labors, as
contrasted, let us say, with certain types of autocracy, lies in its
inability to plan effectively with reference to remote goals.... What we
call 'far ahead' thinking is difficult for the individual, but it is
vastly more difficult for the group, and its difficulty is intensified
in both cases if it demands large measures of present sacrifice." No,
democracy must be led. Leaders they must have. If honest and
disinterested ones are not at hand, selfish and dishonest ones will be
accepted. I grant that leadership is not the greatest need of
democracy, that, of course, is a higher level of knowledge and
intelligence, but I do claim that leadership is, and always will be, the
greatest _present_ need of democracy, since it is only thru that
leadership that the higher intelligence can be reached, without loss,
and in the shortest possible time.

But again, do you point out certain great victories of the common
people, so-called, when they have risen in the power of their might and,
in the exercise of their right, have put down men who had assumed the
right to lead them and were leading them astray? Do you point to the
State of Missouri of a decade ago, and to New York City again and again,
and to England a generation ago, as illustrations? True, in all these
cases and in many others, notable victories had been gained by and for
the people. But is it not also true that in every such case the people
won victories because wisely led? Think you that corruption and
violation of law would have been so checked in Missouri a decade ago and
the breakers of law been so thoroly punished, had it not been for the
clear-headed work of that fearless, public-spirited Joseph W. Folk? Does
not Charles S. Whitman come to your mind when the great struggle in New
York City is mentioned? And Hiram W. Johnson in California? And when we
recall the victories of the people in our own Motherland across the
sea, do we not have at once a mental picture of the "Grand Old Man,"
William Ewart Gladstone? Had it not been for these leaders or others who
might else have taken their places, half of the people whose votes
helped win the victories would never have known that there were such
victories to win. They would never have realized the extent to which
they were being wronged and mis-ruled.

Certain conditions were not quite satisfactory. All people felt, half
unconsciously, that rights were not being respected, that justice was
not being done--that something was wrong somewhere--but that was about
all, about as far as they went or could go. But these leaders, who, in
years gone by, in the colleges and the universities, had been trained to
search for causes, to see relations, and to draw conclusions, had
scented danger from afar. And to the task of ferreting out the evil and
of finding remedies they devoted the strength of their splendidly equipt
minds and the purity of their strong hearts. Following up the lead of
surface manifestations they finally unearthed corporate greed, political
domination, and Satanic selfishness in such kinds and amounts as to be
really appalling. But they did not stop there--they searched for
remedies and then went before the people and told them a plain simple
tale of what they had found--of how grossly the people were being
wronged--and they outlined programs of reform. The people believed them;
they rallied to their standards, accepted their leadership, and won the
victories. And such victories, in greater or less degree, are being won
all over the land, thank God! And back of every one of them you can
find, if you search, a smaller or larger edition of Folk, Whitman, or

And how about the future? Are all the victories won? No more such work
to do? Ah! the question does not need an answer. Then who are to be the
leaders? Why not you? and you? and you? Depend upon it, they are going
to be college men and college women, and who more capable or worthy than

There are two ways in which I want you young people to look upon this
matter; in the first place, from the point of view of your own personal
interests. Here are opportunities for advancement, openings the filling
of which will bring to you worldly success, and honor and fame. Both by
natural endowment and by special training you are fitted for the work.
Seize, then, the opportunities and make the most of them, because the
world and they that dwell therein belong to him who knows how to use
them. From one point of view this is perfectly legitimate, and I urge
it. It is not only one's right but one's duty to make the most of
himself--to advance his own interests. The program becomes censurable
only when it absorbs all else--when one's own interest is sought at the
_expense_ of the interest of other people instead of in connection with
it or as a step in its realization.

Now, the other way in which I want you to regard the matter is from the
point of view of the interests of the people at large. Let me put it
like this: here is your body politic, the people of North Dakota,
600,000 strong, or, better yet, the people of the United States, some
hundred million in number, partners in ownership of our magnificent
country, co-laborers in its administration, and sharers in the work of
their own government and in the working out of their destinies--each
with a share and an influence and each expected to participate. But so
complicated are the matters needing consideration, so difficult of
solution many of the problems arising, and so infinitely vast the whole
undertaking that the great majority of the people, thru either
immaturity or lack of training, often do not know what is best to do.
And again, skilful manipulators, dishonest self-seekers, are ever at
hand with plausible theories calculated to befog the untrained, deceive
the unsuspecting, and to lead them all astray. Taking everything into
consideration, the situation is extremely difficult. In a plain word,
these untrained people, the product of the elementary schools, can not
see far enough ahead to know that oftentimes the policy that seems most
attractive is full of danger for the future. They are not qualified to
weigh, and estimate, and decide. But there is a class among them,
college-bred men and women, a small class, relatively, that is
qualified. Thru long years of study, and investigation, and reflection,
in institutions freely provided and generously maintained by the people
now in need, they have attained such a knowledge of affairs and such an
ability to cope with intricate problems as to make them efficient
leaders--leaders capable of guiding aright the noble ship of state thru
difficult and tortuous channels beset, on every side, by dangerous rocks
and calamitous whirlpools. And among that class of efficient leaders
you, young men and young women of the University of North Dakota, will
soon be numbered. How shall you respond to the call of duty? Your State,
by virtue of what she has done and is now doing for you, has a right to
expect unselfishness and unstinted service in her own interests and in
those of mankind. Shall she get it? Will you rise to the occasion and,
even at a sacrifice of personal comfort, ease, esthetic enjoyment,
money, give to her what is her due? Will you remember _Noblesse
Oblige_? Of course you will. For there is a well-established principle,
clearly stated in Holy Writ and sanctioned by the ages, that of those to
whom much hath been given, much will also be required. _Noblesse
Oblige_--your privileges compel you.

Because the theory of the old motto, "_Paucis vivat humanum genus_,"
"for the few live the many," is no longer maintained. The many do not
live for the few. The reverse is true. The few live for the many. But
yet, the service is not unrewarded--only a portion of the reward has
come first. In your equipment you are being paid in advance. David Starr
Jordan has happily clothed the thought in these words: "It is in the
saving of the few who serve the many that the progress of civilization
lies. In the march of the common man, and in the influence of the man
uncommon who rises freely from the ranks, we have all of history that

And here I might stop. But a general statement, more or less abstract,
needs practical illustration: the "how," the "when," and the "where" are
perfectly legitimate questions for you to ask. Let us then throw a hasty
glance upon some of the great activities that claim men's attention, and
discover some of the openings awaiting you.

_The teaching profession_ will draw heavily upon your ranks--that
profession, full and rich in opportunities for usefulness beyond any and
all others, is more and more looking for you, and waiting impatiently
for your full equipment and thoro readiness. All of the higher positions
must come to you and others like you. No others are, or will be,
adequately prepared. In nearly all of our states the legal requirement
for a high school teacher and, of course, for the high school principal
and city superintendent is the completion of a full four-year college
course including a certain specified amount of professional work. In
some of the states, indeed, the requirement is of a full year beyond the
undergraduate course, or the possession of a Master's degree, with the
emphasis of this added year thrown upon the subjects to be taught and
the manner of handling the same.

So the facts are borne upon us that the desk of the high school
principal, the office of the city superintendent, the chair of the
college professor, the position of college and university president, is
soon to be offered you. Are you ready for it? ready in academic
equipment? ready in professional attainment? And are you equally well
prepared in that even finer element--the possession of your soul by the
spirit of _Noblesse Oblige_?

I can not say, of course, to which of you here to-day a college
presidency is to be offered, nor the professor's chair, nor any other
specific position. Nor can I say just when the offer will come. But I
can say, and with assurance, that all these positions and all others of
leadership in the educational field will be offered to college men and
college women, and in all probability as soon as they are well ready for
them. Moreover, it can doubtless be said that they will be apportioned
fairly on the basis of merit and fitness. And then you will have in your
hands the shaping of the destinies of a great free people with all the
emoluments, the opportunities, and the responsibilities that should
accompany a work of such moment.

And _the Gospel ministry_ can no longer look elsewhere. If it is to
continue to wield its mighty influence for good, and to play its
magnificent rôle of leadership in our developing civilization,
especially among our rapidly increasing educated classes, it must more
and more come into its rightful inheritance, so long withheld, of that
broader conception of brotherhood and Christianity that forgets the
letter of the law in magnifying its spirit--that puts life before dogma
and character before creed. And this, fellow students, can never be
without the broad university equipment.

We have traveled far during these latter years. And no longer do we
consider it sufficient that the minister of the Gospel know merely his
Bible and his theology. In addition to these, aye, as a basis for these,
it is now demanded (that is, if he be accorded a position of real
leadership among thinking people) that he know as well his history and
his sociology, his psychology and his biology, and indeed that he be
acquainted with all the fields of human knowledge. Not only that, he
must know life as it is lived to-day, and the thoughts and emotions of
men as they are manifested in the give and take of actual life. And none
of these can be obtained within the narrow confines of the old
theological seminary. The modern university is the only institution in
which the minister of the future can get it all and get it in the right
order and in the correct admixture. In the laboratories, the libraries,
and the classrooms he will delve deeply into the realms of science,
literature, and art, and there and on the campus, in its varied
activities, touch hands and exchange thoughts with the future lawyer,
teacher, physician, engineer, business man, what-not, and thus gain
tolerance, humility, catholicity of spirit, and the spirit of true

Thus circumstanced during his preparatory years, he will go out capable
of seeing things in their proper perspective. That's the kind of man
that the ministry is calling to-day, and the call will be louder and
more incessant as the years pass and the education of the people
progresses. That's the kind of man we already have in some of our
leading pulpits, and they are exerting a tremendous influence in all
departments of life. But the supply is limited. There's not enough to go
around. Many more are needed. Our universities must furnish them. Will
this institution do its share? Will some of you young men, with your
well-trained bodies, with your finely-disciplined minds, with your
highly-cultured natures, with that fine balance of powers that means so
much and that can accomplish so much for the world if thus used--will
you turn aside from the beaten path that would be sure to lead to fame
and power and worldly success and enter the more difficult but more
useful field of the Christian ministry for the simple purpose of serving
mankind? You are the kind of men we want, and I am sure that you will
not disappoint us.

And so I might go on, did time permit, and point out attractive and
responsible openings in many different activities--the fields of
engineering and journalism, the professions of medicine and law, the
great world of business, even politics (should I not say, rather, and
_especially_ politics?). It is not necessary to go farther into detail.
You catch my thought. In one and all of these, positions of leadership
are calling loudly for men and women of large knowledge, of trained
minds, of broad outlook, and of splendid visions; and these
characteristics are the fruitage of nothing less than the broad and
comprehensive foundations laid in the college and the university. And
you who have them are, by the very fact of possession, under obligation
to use them for the public weal. How is it, young man, young woman? Are
you going to mesure up to the twentieth century standard? Will you carry
with you from this hall when you leave to-day, and from this institution
when she honors you with her diploma, and out into the great activities
of life,--will you carry with you, I ask, and make the basis of your
actions in life, the thought of these two little words that have been
engaging our attention this morning--_Noblesse Oblige_?



_A Paper read before the Commercial Club of Grand Forks, North Dakota,
January 24, 1911, and printed in the Grand Forks "Daily Herald," January
29, 1911_

In accepting an invitation to speak upon the topic assigned,
"Improvements in Our Public Schools," I come not as a hostile critic,
not even as an impartial observer viewing and commenting upon something
belonging to another. Rather, I come as a sympathetic friend to talk
about an institution in which I am vitally interested and of whose good
work I am proud. Indeed, I am to discuss a great business industry, if
you please, in which you and I are joint stockholders and for whose
success we are alike responsible. And, too, I have been for so many
years a teacher and so closely connected with educational work that I
feel akin to every other man and woman engaged in that occupation.
Knowing how easy it is to make mistakes and thus fall short of attaining
our high ideals in this most trying and most difficult work, I am
temperamentally inclined to magnify the difficulties and to overlook the
shortcomings of educational workers. To be sure, in speaking upon
"Improvements," I am admitting that improvements are possible. But the
best friend of a person or an institution is one who talks frankly and
honestly, admitting weaknesses, if such there be, and suggesting
assistance. Such an attitude can not well be interpreted as a criticism
either of men or mesures.

A gentleman met me on the street a day or two ago and said, "I
understand that you are going to find fault with our schools next
Tuesday night. What for? I want you to understand that our schools are
all right. Let well enough alone." A few days ago one of the local
papers said of the schools, "The public schools of Grand Forks are
recognized as the finest in the Northwest and the school system is
up-to-date in every respect."

And that idea seems to be chronic. Such expressions are common in our
papers and from many of our people. The impression sought to be given is
doubtless that of "Let well enough alone," or "Hands off." Now, Mr.
Chairman, while this feeling clearly betokens a general confidence in
the management of the schools of which those directly in charge may well
take pride, nevertheless, it is not an altogether healthy condition of

While I believe in a wise conservatism as against an unthinking
radicalism, I am in no sense of the term a "stand-patter." The
individual who has earned this picturesque title, I care not whether in
the halls of Congress or in the ranks of the educators, is a foe to
progress. A "stand-patter" is such because he is in a rut and either too
lazy or too corrupt to get out.

Things ought not to remain long as they are in any business, in any
enterprise, in any institution. Civilization never stands still. The
most dangerous attitude of mind that a man can hold is that of
complacency, that of perfect satisfaction with things as they are. The
good is always a foe to the best.

No, gentlemen, our schools are not "up-to-date in every respect," not
altogether the "finest" in the great Northwest. The Northwest, you
know, is a pretty big place and has some pretty enterprising towns. But
no individual town has, in all respects, the finest schools in the
Northwest, or in any other place. Our schools are, like those of other
cities, just a good strong average. Like every other system, it contains
some good teachers and some not so good; some up-to-date methods of
instruction are being used and some which should be improved; some
features there are to be strongly commended and some, doubtless, that
should be discontinued. And more than this, gentlemen, you have no right
to demand, or expect, from your Superintendent and your Board of
Education. They will be the very first to endorse all that I have
admitted above. Indeed, that they do not hold that exaggerated opinion
is clearly apparent from the fact that they are even now considering
improvements. And may the day never dawn when we shall see no needed
improvements for our public schools! Should such a time come, it would
simply mean that in matters educational our eyes have become dimmed and
that we are rapidly falling behind.

Had the men of this city been "stand-patters" touching the city, Grand
Forks would not be to-day what it is--the surprise and the admiration of
every intelligent visitor. Were you men here to-night, in your civic
relationship, "stand-patters," the promise of the future would be less
bright than it is. During my early connection with Grand Forks I often
wondered as to the secret of its enterprise. I was not long in
discovering, however, that it was found in the spirit of this Commercial
Club; a spirit, it is, of hope, of civic pride, of optimism, yet a
spirit of almost divine discontent. You have all the time been proud of
your city, but yet not satisfied with it; not satisfied, because you saw
visions of a finer city into which yours might grow. Your city was not
up-to-date--to help make it so you needed a street railway system; what
did you do? Worked for it and--got it. Not yet up-to-date? A great
auditorium was needed; you put your hand into your hip-pocket and lo! it
arises in, what was it, thirty days? The goal not even yet in sight? No,
because better pavement was imperative--and it came. Still something
lacking? An up-to-date street lighting system--you put some of your men
to work on it and it is now our pride and our neighbors' despair. And so
I might go on, I do not need to. Only let me say that it will be a sad
day for Grand Forks when we shall think that we have really reached the
goal--when there is not something toward which we are striving.

I am glad that, in this same spirit, you have now turned your gaze to
the school house. Let us apply there the same principle of free,
intelligent discussion and hearty, generous co-operation, each trying to
outdo the other in loyalty and generous support, hoping, eventually, to
make our schools the "finest in the Northwest," and "up-to-date in every

But this is a pretty big subject for treatment in an after-dinner talk
of from 15 to 20 minutes. It involves so much, embracing within its
scope, as it may, everything from finance to theology. The very function
of the school, in the large, might well be considered under such a
topic, and scores of details. I might well talk upon the education of
teachers as I do before my classes, or upon educational
psychology--vital subjects all, but scarcely appropriate here. It is,
indeed, a large and interesting subject, lots of places to catch hold.
Manifestly, I can treat it only superficially. All that I can do is
merely in the line of suggestion, trying to direct your attention to
some of the general features, somewhat objective in character.

The first suggestion I have to make is along this very line--the
greatness, the many-sidedness of the educational problem and the need of
general community intelligence in regard to it. Indeed, there are many
aspects of the school work, countless number of details touching books,
courses of study, immediate and remote ends, as well as the larger
philosophical bases, in which the public is deeply interested but
imperfectly informed. Many a parent is ignorant as to what the schools
are trying to do, and why? Not comprehending the end in view,
unintelligent as to the means being used, and with little time or
ability to investigate, friction often arises. The public and its
educational system, the homes and the schools, the teachers and the
parents, should in some way be brought closer together and an
opportunity given for their mutual understanding. There are various ways
in which this opportunity is given in different places: thru mothers'
meetings, in some; thru home and school societies, in others; thru the
establishment of what some call "visiting days," in others, etc. Great
good is sure to result from a systematic use of any one of them.

But we in Grand Forks are a very busy people; clubs and societies
without number claim our attention and secure our membership; public
meetings for the discussion of charities, health, morals, foods, etc.,
saying nothing about church and social demands, are already taking us
too often from homes in the evening, so that I hesitate to suggest
another such activity even in the interests of so important a matter as
the public schools. But believing very firmly as I do that the largest
success of our schools can be secured only thru a cordial co-operation
of the homes and the schools, and believing also that this co-operation
rests upon intelligence as to the aims of the schools and the means that
are being used, I am going to suggest a way of meeting the
difficulty--namely, the utilization of another educational agency of
large influence and philanthropic spirit--I refer to the Press. It is
not my purpose to present here an extended eulogy of the Press. That is
not necessary. You all know what a mighty factor it is in shaping public
opinion. I merely call attention to the fact that it is an _educational_
institution; that it appeals not, as do the schools, to the children,
but to the parents of the children: and then that in Grand Forks it goes
into almost every home in the city. I suggest that this agency be used
to bring about a frank, open discussion, and therefore a better
understanding, of the function and the work of our public
schools--local, state, and national. For our people, in addition to
being busy, are both intelligent and enterprising. They know the value
of the Press. They are great readers. I have been surprised, again and
again, at the large circulation enjoyed by both our enterprising
dailies. I have also been surprised to know how closely all our people
keep in touch with local happenings chronicled there. An educational
column in one or both of the local papers in which the work of the
schools, from taxation to lead pencils, could be discust, would be an
innovation of great value. An open forum, so to speak, it might be, in
which questions could be asked and answered, and also contributions made
from the larger field of educational effort. Of course I do not suggest
this as a place for the airing of personal feelings, of petty details,
of minor matters, rather, an opportunity for discussing with and for an
intelligent and enquiring people great educational questions,
fundamental principles, and broad, humanitarian policies. All such
matters, because fundamental in the development of civilization and
because of universal interest, should and could be handled with frank
simplicity. Such a discussion, constructive in character, could not fail
of doing great good--of being very helpful to teachers and parents

Another suggestion that I want to make and an improvement that I am
going to urge touches very closely the matter of efficiency of systems
of education. Now, the efficiency of an educational institution or of a
system of schools is often mesured by the success of those completing
its course of study--of those profiting, to the full, by all that it
offers. That is the point of view taken by those people who so greatly
praise the work of the old district school of our boyhood days, "back
East." They point to this man and that one, men who have achieved
eminent success, whose only "schooling," perhaps, was received in the
"little red school house" and therefore claim that it was a great
institution for the making of men. But therein lurks a fallacy. Great
men have issued from the "little red school house," it is true, but they
became great not because of, but in spite of, the fact that the school
house was "little" and was "red." In pointing to such men as these, as
products, they forget the great silent multitude of boys and girls who
were in the same "little red school house" but who were never heard of
after they emerged. The pathetic feature of the old district school was
the great number of children who fell by the wayside. And so, to-day, no
educational institution should be rated as to efficiency by considering
the success merely of those completing its courses. To form a correct
estimate we must consider as well all those who entered and dropt out
before completion.

No system of schools is really efficient in which any considerable
percentage of the children drop out before completing the elementary
course of study. No system of schools is satisfactorily efficient which
is so managed as to require, or even allow, any considerable percentage
of the children to repeat grades, that is, to fail of promotion, making
it necessary to go over the work the second time. Or, to put it in other
words, in which any considerable percentage of the children are doing
work in grades lower than their ages would suggest.

This is the matter of retardation of which we are hearing so much in
these days, and in regard to which Grand Forks, as well as other cities,
suffers. In my judgment, there are two main causes of retardation: poor
teaching and physical defects of the children. There are two ways by
which satisfactory teaching can be secured: in the first place, by
securing the best teachers available, and this, I am very sure, our
Board of Education and our superintendent always try to do. In the
second place, by improving the quality of work thus secured thru expert
supervision on the part of the superintendent and the principals of the
various schools. And this I am sure is not done to the extent that it
might be were matters differently arranged. If another suggestion that I
shall make later on is adopted, however, provision will be made for this

Physical defects on the part of the children I named as the second cause
of retardation. And the remedy for the major portion of this cause is
found in my next suggestion--medical inspection of our school children.

Estimating the conditions in Grand Forks on the basis of what has been
discovered in many other places in which medical inspection is in
operation, from 25% to 80% of the children in our schools are suffering
from physical defects of some sort that interfere, to a greater or less
degree, with the work of the school. There is no doubt in the minds of
well-informed people that here is found a very fruitful cause of
retardation, as seen both in grade-failure and in early dropping out of
school. And very many of these defects are removable and, therefore, the
retardation preventable.

Now, the only seemingly valid reason that I have ever heard urged
against the employment of the school physician is that of expense. It
does cost something, I'll admit. All good things do. The necessary
expense, however, is often overestimated. But let us see if we are not,
even in hesitating at the expense, whatever it may be, wholly
illogical. The city assumes the duty of educating the young, but if
many of the young are not in a condition to receive that education,
should we not logically see that the hindrances are removed? We enact
compulsory attendance laws; should we not, where necessary, make it
possible for the physically defective as well as others, to profit by
such attendance? Otherwise, are we not wasting money?

I have mentioned the expense, but there are two ways of looking at that.
I am now going to advocate medical inspection as an economic mesure--as
a money saver. Every child who repeats a grade is costing the city more
than it should for its education. That is clearly apparent. How much
that amounts to, in the aggregate, in Grand Forks, I do not know. But it
is probably no small item. I have no doubt that, in the long run, the
saving would pay the school physician. And then we should be clearly
ahead in all the years saved by the various children, as well as the
greater happiness and usefulness directly resulting from the improved
situation. On the whole, it seems to me and to many others with whom I
have talked that the next step forward that we should ask our Board of
Education to take is the adoption of medical inspection.

Another phase of the subject to which I desire to call your attention is
that of the superintendency. And it isn't exactly like the old maid
sister telling the mother of half a dozen lusty boys how to bring them
up because, in addition to spending years in the study and teaching of
educational matters, I have occupied the superintendent's office and
tried to do his work.

Historically, the superintendent of schools represents a development
from the Board of Education, not from the teaching body. Originally, he
was looked upon as the business manager of the Board, rather than an
educator by profession. Quite specifically, he was, at first, often one
of the regularly elected members of the Board, designated by the Board
to attend to the details of the work, to keep the educational machine
properly oiled, his selection seldom being dictated by any particular
qualification of a professional character.

But in this matter of education as in other matters, great changes have
arisen. In those days teaching was not looked upon as a profession. It
was merely a calling, a trade, a temporary activity requiring no special
preparation. Anybody could teach and could teach any subject. Education
was not recognized as a science. The function of the school was merely
to give knowledge and it was not looked upon, as to-day, as a great
social institution, largely responsible for the welfare of society and
even for the stability of government. And as touching the child, not
interesting itself with the formation of right habits of action, with
the development of character, in a word, so handling the child and his
environment as to bring about both the normal development of his inner
life and the adequate shaping and preparing of that life to satisfy the
demands that will later be met. Not at all.

But great changes have arisen. Education has become a science, and its
activities, its processes, are being based upon definite scientific
principles. We are to-day demanding a professional preparation of all
our teachers. We require them to know something about the child mind and
the laws of its development. We expect them to know why they teach this
subject and that, that is, the educational values of the various
subjects, and the best manner of administering this educational food.
Education, I say, is now looked upon as a _science_, closely allied to
and continually assisted by its sister science of sociology, definitely
based upon and springing out of the sciences of psychology and
physiology, and even having its roots deep down in the sub-soil of

Together with this change of thought as to the function and work of the
school, there has been a corresponding change as to the superintendent
and his work. While we are not completely emancipated from the old rule
of cut and try, from the old mechanical routine, the country as a whole
has taken some long strides in advance. While some boards of education
still look upon their superintendent as a chore boy, that idea has, on
the whole, long since been abandoned. And the best educational thought
of the country to-day regards the superintendent primarily as an
educator, having to do with the inner, rather than the outer, phases of
the school's activities. And our most progressive centers are looking
upon him as a specialist, an educational expert, and demanding in him an
educational and a professional equipment commensurate with the larger,
more difficult, and most important work. He must be intimately
acquainted with the sciences most closely related to his own and capable
of drawing upon all the others for contributory assistance. And then, in
carrying out the thought of this larger view and so shaping matters of
detail as to profit by the superb equipment provided in the new
superintendent, he has been freed from the routine work formerly done by
him, thus giving the opportunity of studying the local problems and
planning their solution.

Now for my definite suggestion. It has taken me a long time to get to
it, but I believe it is worth the time. I want you to look upon the
superintendency of your schools as the largest, the most difficult, and
most important position within the bestowal of the city. The mayor's job
doesn't begin to compare with it. And then after you have so rated the
position, I want you to free the man who holds it from all hack-work,
from the details of business management, from anything and everything
that now prevents him from making a careful, scientific, investigative
study of fundamental educational problems that confront him right here
in Grand Forks.

And what are some of those problems, do you ask? Superintendent Kelly
could doubtless name a score of them that he is waiting to get at but
can not for want of time. Let me suggest a few that are confronting our
superintendents all over the land. Nor can I do more than mention them.
I name first this matter of retardation of which I have already spoken.
Why is it that so many children fail of promotion and so have to repeat
grades, thus adding to the expense of the schools? It no longer
satisfies to say, "Because they do not study"--the question is, "Why do
they not study?" Is it the fault of the child, the home, or the school?
And, whosoever it is, how can the difficulty be removed? You would not
in your business suffer a daily loss thru unnecessary friction--thru the
unsatisfactory working of your machinery. You demand the largest and
best output possible for the money expended. Why not the same in the
biggest business enterprise of the city--your schools? But to prevent
the friction, you must know the cause. I want the superintendent to have
time to investigate these matters. All this applies as well to those who
drop out before completing the course as to those merely repeating a
grade. An analogous question: Why do so few, relatively, of the
graduates of the eighth grade enter the high school? And why do so few
of those who enter complete the course? Again, is it because they can
see no real connection between the work of the high school and the work
of life--because it doesn't seem to fit them for anything? These things
should be investigated and, when reasons are found, the remedy applied.
We should know the facts. But all these matters take time, and the days
are only so long and a man's strength always limited. Exhausted by
hack-work, no man can do constructive thinking. And so we go on in our
waste of money and energy and life. The waste of soil, the waste of
tools, in our farming communities, doesn't compare with this waste in
seriousness. Let us adopt the principles of scientific conservation.

And now, in keeping with the topic given me to discuss, "Improvement in
Our Public Schools," I have given three quite definite suggestions: In
the first place, I have recommended the utilization of the Press as an
agent of improvement. That is, I have asked that there be established in
one or both of your daily papers an educational column in charge of some
competent person thru which the public could become better informed on
school matters and thus able to co-operate more intelligently in the
upbuilding of the schools. In the second place, I have urged that
mesures be taken looking toward the adoption of regular and systematic
medical inspection of all school children. And lastly, I have urged you
to look upon your superintendent of schools as an educational expert
rather than a business man. And, regarding him as such, I have asked you
to free him from the petty details of office work and all mechanical
drudgery so that his training and his abilities could be used for
educational betterment.



_A Paper read before the Franklin Club of Grand Forks, North Dakota,
December 1, 1910, and printed in the Grand Forks "Daily Herald,"
December 4, 1910_

It is no longer necessary to offer an extended plea for a recognition of
the value of physical training. The human race, in its upward climbing,
long ago passed the stage where the body was looked upon as a hindrance
to the soul in its aspirations. We have likewise gone beyond that higher
stage in which the attitude toward the physical being was merely
negative, and have clearly reached an altitude upon which we recognize a
well-defined relationship between the physical man and the mental and
spiritual man. We know now that only as each is healthy and thus in a
condition to do its own work well, is the other able to act normally. As
the great English philosopher, Locke, said, "A sound mind in a sound
body is a brief but full description of a happy state in this world."
This is a well-recognized article of our educational creed, not only,
but even the conservative religious workers have accepted the principle,
and we find inscribed over the entrances to our Christian Association
buildings the word "body" as well as the word more commonly found in
such connection, "spirit."

But to go back just a moment: let us consider it from the standpoint of
mere physical betterment. We know that a muscle unused means a muscle
undeveloped, and that, on the contrary, intelligent, systematic use,
with a definite purpose in view, will accomplish wonders in physical
development. We know something as to what a physical trainer can do with
a bunch of raw foot-ball material. We know how the gymnasium can
metamorphose a loose-jointed, lop-sided, stoop-shouldered,
shamble-gaited young fellow. We know what the brisk recruiting officer
can do with the "awkward squad." In the one case as in the other, the
physical training stands him upon his feet; it takes the kinks out of
his back; it throws his head up; it unties the knots in his legs; it
puts fire into his eye. The good red blood courses thru his veins, and
even shows itself in his cheeks. He walks with an elastic step. Every
organ of his body is doing its duty. He no longer needs liver pills,
digestive tablets or wizard oil.

I said "mere physical betterment," didn't I? Well, you can not have
"mere" physical betterment. In every case suggested above, there is
something better than physical improvement. Without knowing why, or how,
the young fellow, after the training suggested, in addition to being a
more perfectly functioning animal, a better working flesh-and-blood
machine, is several rounds higher up on the ladder of manhood. He looks
you in the eye. He gives your hand a regular Stearns grip. He dares to
say that his soul is his own. And why? Because the life-giving oxygen is
getting down into the long-neglected corners of his lungs. Because his
heart is forcing this purified blood thru his veins building up his
system and incidentally throwing off the waste and poisonous matter, so
that, relieved of the dregs, the bodily organs can really function. And
if that is true of the "gizzard" it is likewise true of the brain. He
can feel more keenly, think more wisely. But all this can be done by
physical exercise alone. Some of the best of these results can be
obtained by the use of the mere punching bag; by running around the
house, if you run often enough and fast enough; all alone with the dumb
bells or Indian clubs, if you keep at it long enough, or even by walking
out to the University on the railroad tracks and saving your street car
nickels. But taken thus, these exercises constitute a mere medicine. And
people don't take medicine until they have to. And for some strange
reason they won't take this kind even then unless some doctor prescribes
it in consideration of the payment of a good sized fee. Why is it?
Simply because we prize things in proportion to their cost?

Now, we want these results and even better ones. And we don't want to
pay the doctor's fees for this or any other kind of medicine in order to
get them. What are we going to do about it? Isn't there some sugar
coating that we can put on to these physical exercise pills to make them
a little more palatable? Can't we in some way make ourselves believe
that we are eating candy instead of taking quinine? For you know that we
grown-ups have not lost all our powers of imagination. How often we play
make believe, even yet! I'll tell you what we can do. Let's have this
same physical exercise idea but introduce into it the element of sport
which Webster defines as "that which diverts and makes mirth." Let's do
these stunts "for the fun of it" instead of as a medicine. We'll get the
results, just the same, and thus get double pay for our pains. I fancy
that the skiing and the skating, the snow-shoeing and the curling of
which we are to hear, all have that element tucked away somewhere in
their anatomy.

But you may ask me what more there is than the results already mentioned
to be gotten from these physical exercises, if we succeed in covering up
the quinine with Mr. Webster's molasses. I've used Indian clubs and dumb
bells by the hour; I've walked to the University in season and out of
season; I've even run around the house--and as a result have experienced
the exhilaration that comes from such vigorous discipline. I've been
better for it, physically, and therefore, of course, mentally. More
oxygen, better blood, firmer bodily tissue including better nourished
brain cells, have done their beneficent work. But yet, as I look back
and see myself going thru these various maneuvers, I am fully confident
of the fact that all this time I was also doing something else--that my
poor brain cells, which really needed recuperation more than any other
part of my body, that these brain cells were still at work, that I was
all the time carrying on a more or less strenuous train of thought as
exhaustive as tho I were seated in my study chair, or standing before my
class in the recitation room. More than one lecture, or address, have I
worked out while walking to and from the University.

Now, one of the most important things for us to do is occasionally to
stop thinking, or at least to stop thinking along our accustomed lines.
We should give those few brain cells that are being made to work
over-time a chance to rest once in a while. We are living too fast. Our
lives are too intense. We are running our machines under high pressure,
and some of them are already showing the results altho they are almost
new. Unless there is a change, new ones will have to take their places
ere long. The rate of speed of the life of the modern American business
and professional man, the rate of speed of the life of the modern
American society woman, is something terrific. We are wearing ourselves
out before our time. Modern life is so complex, so exacting, so wearing,
that we are losing all the joy of living. We are at our own firesides so
seldom and for such short periods that we scarcely know our own little
ones. Longfellow's "Children's Hour" that came "as a pause in the day's
occupation," is almost wholly unknown in most American homes. There is
no "pause" in the day's occupation. The occupation goes right on till
after these "children" are soundly asleep in their beds and begins again
before they are awake in the morning. And all this is true even of us,
right here in this select circle, the "favored ones," many would call

But I am not giving a diatribe on American life, so will not pursue the
matter farther. All that I am trying to do is simply this: to call
attention to the fact that we are living _fast_--faster than our
physical and mental make-up can long stand; that we have already reached
the danger point. And what are we going to do about it? Well, we shall
have to do many things before the problems are all solved, the
difficulties all met. As a slight relief, and to answer a question
raised a little earlier in the paper, I am suggesting the sports--those
activities that both rejuvenate the physical man and also "divert and
make mirth." Into these we can not carry our teaching and our preaching
and our making of social calls. The goods of the merchant, the notes of
the banker, the briefs of the lawyer, the annoyances of the teacher, and
the cares of the housewife, alike, would all have to be left behind. The
mind could rest while the body and the spirit are being recreated. An
hour a day, in the open air, with fears and anxieties and schemes all
cast aside, in companionship with kindred spirits similarly divested of
that which troubles and makes afraid, all engaged in recreative sports,
would do more to make us physically well, morally strong, and civilly
decent than all the pills of the doctors, all the texts of the
preachers, and all the keys of the jailers!

In keeping with the world-wide movement in this direction our own
people, in their civic capacity, have already acted and have thus become
the possessor of splendid park facilities which offer ample
opportunities, when fully developed, for a sane out-of-door life of a
population many times as large as ours at the present time. And as we
all know, the Park Board has entered intelligently and systematically
upon this matter of development and improvement. Much has already been
done. Very much more is fully outlined in the minds of the Park Board. I
think it is their purpose--and I fully believe that they will carry it
out--to proceed in this matter of development just as rapidly as the
people show, by their use of the facilities progressively offered, an

Nearly all the work done thus far, such as clearing away the rubbish,
making the shady retreats usable, fitting up picnic grounds, caring for
the tennis courts, golf links, and other game reserves, as well as
erecting pavilions and other conveniences, has looked toward putting the
grounds into condition for summer use. And the response on the part of
the people has been gratifying. As rapidly as the parks have been put
into shape, they have been generously used by an appreciative people. It
has done my heart good, many times, especially on Sundays in the hot
summer months, to see the numbers of people, and _the people_, who were
really using the parks. They have been the people, in a large mesure,
who can not easily get elsewhere the best things that the parks give.

Thus far, as said, the plans for development have looked mainly toward
summer use, But I am especially glad to note a recent improvement that
shows that the Park Board has the winter use of the parks also
definitely in mind. I refer to the new skating rink in Riverside Park.
It is a most commendable institution. I very much hope that it will be
extensively used, not only by the people living in that part of the
city, but by those of all sections. It belongs to all of us. Here is an
opportunity for a most delightful winter sport freely offered. If
appreciated, as shown by its use, I have no doubt that it will be
duplicated next winter, and on a larger scale, in Lincoln Park. And if
we show that we appreciate this, other features will be added.

Perhaps I should stop here, but I can not lose the opportunity of saying
just a word to connect this topic with the great playground movement,
and therefore in behalf of providing facilities for winter and summer
sports alike, for our boys and girls--our young people.

Do you realize fully that the boys and girls of to-day--yours and mine,
yes, and just as truly those less favored--those into whose lives there
comes but little cheer, into whose stomachs there goes but little
nourishing food, and into whose lungs, but little oxygen--do you
realize, I ask, that these boys and girls are to be the men and women of
to-morrow, with all the responsibilities of the world resting upon their
shoulders? Do we want them to enter upon the duties of life
stoop-shouldered, flat-chested, spectacle-eyed? Do we want them to be
anæmic, pessimistic, nervous wrecks? Do we want them to be mental
weaklings and moral cowards? Do we want them even to approximate these
conditions? No? Then, with all our provisions for their wants and their
needs, let us be sure to develop those things which minister so largely
to the development of the opposite characteristics. Prevention is not
only cheaper than cure, it is also better. Let us see that our parks are
developed with provisions for our boys and girls as well as for the
adults. Let us see that playgrounds are scattered over our city and
provision made for both winter and summer sports.

In addition to the Riverside Park skating rink, I wish the City Council
or the Board of Education would establish one on the grounds of the
Winship school, another at the Central building, and still a third on
the Belmont grounds. This could be done at nominal cost. What a splendid
opportunity it would give to all the children of the city to engage in
this most healthful and invigorating sport! It would give them their
needed entertainment and relaxation in the pure, invigorating,
out-of-door air. It would surround them with an emotional atmosphere
that is at once normal, natural, and spiritually health-giving. Instead
of these conditions, what do we find? Many of our young boys and girls
and very many of those a little older--those just entering upon manhood
and womanhood, when both emotional and physical atmosphere count for so
much in the forming of habits and the choosing of ideals--many of these
future men and women are finding their entertainment and their
relaxation (and mind you, at the close of a day in school or in the
evening after a day spent in the poorly ventilated office or store) in
the moving-picture show or at the vaudeville. And in these places the
air is apt to be both hot and impure, and all the physical conditions
enervating. The emotional atmosphere, too, is sure to be abnormal,
unnatural, and spiritually deadening. We find here, and in too large
quantity to be a negligible factor, the atmosphere, the conditions, the
associations, that help greatly to breed incorrigibles, truants, and
laggards in our schools; that develop juvenile delinquents, hasty
marriages, and early divorces; that send into the world paupers,
grafters, and criminals. Not all the conditions are such in all such
places, it is true, but as affecting young life these are usually the
dominating ones.

I am not condemning the theater. It has its legitimate place, and a
large place it is, in normal, healthy, American life. I am merely
declaiming against these lower forms as usually conducted for commercial
gain--these perversions of the true theater idea--these institutions
that deal so largely in the sensational elements and appeal so strongly
to the passions. I am told that the cheap theater is the poor man's
club. I very much doubt if that is its chief function or, rather, that
its chief result is a wholesome quickening of the better nature of this
poor man--that its chief accomplishment is to send him back to his home
kinder, truer, and stronger, thru either the relaxation or the
instruction, to grapple with the difficulties of life. I greatly fear
that, as usually conducted, its influence upon the adult is at best but
the temporary slaking of an unhealthy and never-satisfied thirst, and
that upon the child and the adolescent it is a distinct blunting of all
the finer sensibilities and elements of character. But even these lower
forms are not all bad. There is enough of good in them to warrant an
attempt at improvement rather than elimination. They can be improved,
made clean, and wholesome, and thus become a positive factor in the
development of right character. I doubt if it will be done, however,
until some other motive than personal gain shall be responsible for
their management. Still, as they are, they might be very greatly
bettered if in some way those most deeply interested in the outcome
could have a choice in the selection of the material to be used.

One of the best ways to counteract the harmful influence of the poorly
conducted moving picture show and the vaudeville is to develop something
better to take their places. Let it be something that contains the
life-giving principles, something that will appeal with equal force to
the impressionable youth, and yet be clean and wholesome and natural.
Shall we not look upon the public playground for the children, and the
park system, for all, as a promising hope? And, properly developed,
would they not soon come to act on the young, both physically and
psychically, as a prevention, thus making a later cure unnecessary? And
upon adults, might we not reasonably expect their use to tend toward
making less attractive, and so to the eventual abandonment of, many of
these practises and forms of entertainment and recreation that are now
so sapping of both physical and psychical life?



_An Address delivered before the North Dakota State Teachers Association
on December 27, 1906. It later appeared in the January and February,
1910, issues of "Education"_

Among the various educational institutions of the United States to-day,
the one which, as it seems to me, is attracting the most intelligent
attention on the part of our educational thinkers, and the one upon the
right solution of whose problems depends, in a high degree, the success
of our entire educational system, is the institution for the education
of teachers. For we all have come, finally, to accept as true the
statement of the old German writer, "School reform means schoolmaster
reform," also that other, used so effectively in the days of our own
early educational revival, "As is the teacher so is the school." And we
are ready to-day to admit that those statements are true whether applied
to the ungraded rural school with its noticeable lack of needed
equipment, to the perfectly graded school of the city with every
facility that human ingenuity can devise and money procure, or to the
college and university where scholarship and culture are supposed to
make their abode and contribute of their fullness. For I care not, and
you care not, what be the physical and material equipment of the school;
I care not, nor do you, what be the scholastic attainments of the one
called teacher; if he isn't able to teach, that is, to cause to learn,
we all know that the school, in just the mesure of his inability, is a
failure. One thing further we all know, and that is this: one plank in
our great educational platform is belief in the necessity of an
institution set apart for the preparation of teachers. We are
irrevocably committed to the idea. It is a part of our educational
creed. Fortunately, in our educational evolution we have left far behind
us the stage when the wisdom of that institution was seriously
questioned. Our pedagogical forefathers, valiant explorers, discoverers,
heroes, educational statesmen--Carter, Mann, Page, Sheldon and
others--have left us this priceless heritage. It remains for us to-day
merely to analyze the institution, agree upon the respective functions
of its various types, and then apply ourselves with intelligent vigor
each to the solution of his own problems.

As we look around us, we clearly distinguish three distinct types of the
institution under discussion. The oldest, best known, and most numerous
is called the state normal school. It dates from the time of Horace Mann
and Edmund Dwight, the former of whom recognized the need and knew how
to inaugurate the movement, the latter, having unbounded faith in Mr.
Mann, provided the funds. Nearly every state in the union has now one or
more intelligently at work. All that have not, have practically the same
thing under another name--normal departments in connection with the
state universities.

The next type, in order of time and numbers, as well, is found in
connection with the higher educational institutions of the country. It
has various names, as "Department of Education," "School of Education,"
"Division of Education," "Pedagogical Department," "School of Pedagogy"
and "Teachers College." Probably the name most common in the past has
been "Department of Education," or "Pedagogical Department," tho in the
developed form it is changing to "School of Education" or "Teachers
College." Of these, there are at work, according to the 1909 report of
the Commissioner of Education, 171. That is, there are 171 colleges and
universities maintaining at least a department, or chair, of education,
and giving professional instruction of college grade.

The third type, latest in appearance and as yet fewest in number, but
with fair promise of rapid increase and great usefulness, is the county
school, called "County Normal Training Class" in Michigan and "County
Training School" in Wisconsin, in which two states the movement is at
its best. Indeed, I do not know of any other state in which the work has
been thus definitely organized. Of these, Michigan had, a year ago,
forty-one, and Wisconsin, twenty. Possibly in this connection one ought
to mention the good work being done in high schools in several states,
but seen at its best in Nebraska and New York. Yet this work is but an
adjunct to the high school, and does not so clearly approach a separate

Of these three types it is the second which is the subject of the
present discussion--whose function I seek. It is really immaterial
whether we use, in the discussion, the appellation of Minnesota and say
"College of Education," or that of Harvard and call it "Division of
Education," or that of Columbia, Missouri, and North Dakota, and say
"Teachers College." For they are all one and the same institution with
but slightly different systems of organization. I use the latter term
because more familiar and more likely, I think, as time passes, to

But these three types are so closely connected that the function of one
cannot be clearly seen alone. Therefore I propose very briefly to
examine the establishment of each so as to learn why it was called into
existence--what function it was originally expected to perform. I shall
then briefly examine present conditions, trying to discover if any
changes have taken place in the general educational situation of
sufficient moment to make necessary a rearrangement or readjustment.
Finally, I shall draw my conclusions as to present functions, and with a
more careful analysis of certain factors state the reasons for those
conclusions as briefly as possible.

First, as to state normal schools: it is, of course, entirely
unnecessary to go into details as to organization or early work of this
institution in our country. I am stating what is known to all when I say
that Horace Mann in Massachusetts, Henry Barnard in Connecticut, David
Page in New York, and William Phelps in New Jersey had one and only one
thought in view in working for the establishment of normal schools and
for the development of their work. They, one and all, were seeking some
means for providing better teachers for the common schools. No one, so
far as I am able to discover, at this time even suggested that any other
teachers needed a special preparation for their work. To be sure, the
American high school was hardly under way when the normal school
movement was inaugurated, in 1839, there being then but half a dozen in
the entire country. Ten years later there were but eighteen. There was,
however, in those days a large number of academies giving secondary
instruction. But there was no thought of looking to the normal schools
for academy teachers, they came from the colleges. Indeed, generally
speaking, the academies and high schools as then being developed, were
offering a higher grade of academic work than the normal schools, and
they were rather assisting the latter in the production of teachers.
This was especially true in New York, a movement having there been
inaugurated by which, thru financial aid from the State, many of the
academies were offering normal school instruction and sending out into
the rural schools and city grades a very creditable product. And the
character of the movement in the East has continued to be the character
of the movement as it has swept Westward. I think there has not been
established in the United States a single state normal school whose
function has not been understood to be the preparation of teachers for
the common schools. And by "common schools" I mean the first eight
grades of the public school, including both rural and urban communities,
for it has been only in recent years that we have carefully
discriminated between the two.

Next, let us look at the teachers college. Bear in mind that I use the
term as referring to the institution, or department, under whatever name
it may be known, that is doing professional work in the preparation of
teachers in connection with colleges and universities. In taking up the
topic, attention needs first to be called to two facts: the rapid
development of our high school system and the high degree of success
already attained by our normal schools.

After the close of the Civil War our high schools began to
multiply--rapidly from 1870 to 1880, by leaps and bounds from that time
to the present. In 1870 there were 170; 1880, 800; 1890, 2,526; 1900,
6,005; and in 1908, 8,960. (Annual reports of the Commissioner of
Education.) But no sooner had the high school movement obtained good
headway than the serious problem arose as to the supply of teachers. And
so well, on the whole, had the normal school done its work that it had
more than justified its existence. Thru its work the character of the
teaching in the elementary schools had been greatly improved. Teachers,
with normal school equipment, were everywhere recognized as superior to
those otherwise trained or not trained at all. Very naturally, then,
when the problem of high school teachers arose, professional preparation
was demanded. But where could it be obtained and how?

The state normal schools, true to their function of preparing teachers,
tried to satisfy the additional demands placed upon them. They added to
their equipment, modified and extended their courses, and in every way
did all they could. Indeed, they did all that was done in a professional
way for nearly a generation. But the high schools were increasing, both
in numbers and in academic requirements of students and teachers. City
school systems were being developed and extended in a most unprecedented
manner, calling for skilled superintendents, supervisors, grade
principals, special teachers, etc., until, finally, thoughtful men began
to see that the impossible was being asked of the state normal schools.
For two reasons, it was seen, they could not do the double work; in the
first place, they had more than they could do in their original sphere
of providing teachers for the elementary schools, and secondly, their
academic possibilities, even increased as they had been in attempting
the work, were clearly seen to be wholly inadequate. It was discovered,
also, that, in spite of the efforts being put forth by the normal
schools, the higher teaching positions--superintendencies, high school
principalships, etc.--were going to men of collegiate attainment, even
at the sacrifice of professional training which was then being
recognized as very desirable.

What was to be done? To make a long story short, the universities and
colleges, with their more extended courses, better equipment, and
stronger faculties, took the matter up and added educational departments
in which could be given, with but slight additional outlay, both the
academic and professional equipment thought to be needed by the high
school teacher.

This work was first clearly suggested and outlined at the annual meeting
of the Michigan State Teachers' Association in 1870. Dr. W. H. Payne,
then city superintendent of schools at Adrian, Michigan, read a notable
address upon the subject, "The Relation Between the University and Our
High Schools." Eight years later, the Regents of Michigan University
established a chair of "Theory and Art of Teaching," and to it called
the man who had, by the address just mentioned, offered a practical as
well as a logical solution of the difficult problem.

The example thus set by Michigan University was soon followed by
others--Cornell, Ohio, Illinois, Harvard, Chicago and others, until now
this new department is found in nearly every prominent college and
university in the land. These are our teachers colleges or, rather, the
sources from which they are springing. For, to be sure, not every
pedagogical department found in a higher institution of learning, tho
doing in a general way the same grade of work, should be called a
teachers college. Tho having its roots in these, the teachers college
proper differs from the most of them in several ways. The pedagogical
department of a college, and too, a thoroly reputable college, may be,
and usually is, merely one of the many departments of the institution,
represented on its faculty by a single professor and offering but a
limited range of professional work--a few courses in the history of
education, principles of education, and "pedagogy," usually. A teachers
college, on the other hand, has an organization and, sometimes, a
financial status of its own. Its relationship to the institution as a
whole is getting to be the same as that of the other professional
schools. The movement is toward a separate faculty, headed by a dean,
and representing all the different phases of both academic and
professional work. While many of the members of the faculty do, and may
continue to, give courses in the other colleges, they have a distinct,
organic connection with the teachers college. The teachers college is
also getting to have, as a vital part of its equipment, a model high
school bearing to it the same relationship that the model, or practise,
school bears to our normal schools. While this fulness of organization
and equipment has not yet been reached by a large number, it has by
several, among which are Columbia, Missouri, Chicago, and,
approximately, North Dakota, with many others moving rapidly in the same

Just a few words, now, as to the third type mentioned, the county normal
school: As already suggested, the line of demarcation was not early
drawn between the urban and the rural school. But cities grew; city
school systems were developed; the normal schools, in spite of rapid
increase, were not able to keep up with the rapidly increasing demands.
And, since the field for normal school graduates has ever been an open
one, they have located where the remuneration has been the most
generous. Now, cities and villages are, generally speaking, the centers
of intelligence as well as of population and wealth. The people of these
communities have appreciated the superiority of professionally prepared
teachers, and they have been able to pay the added price. The result has
been that they have appropriated practically the entire output of the
normal schools. None have been left for the rural schools.

And again, with these economic changes there came to be more and more
clearly seen, as the years went by, a difference, internal and somewhat
vital, between the schools of the rural and the urban communities,
making in some ways a different sort of preparation desirable. Now, the
state normal school, growing with the movement, and ever keenly alive to
its opportunities for usefulness, noting clearly the location of its
product, very wisely began to modify its work so as to make it better
suited to the needs of its main customers--the well-graded schools of
the city and village. And so it has resulted that, even if the normal
schools could supply the demands for both country and city teachers, so
far as numbers are concerned, the preparation given is not the most
ideal for the former. And just as when professionally trained secondary
teachers were needed a new institution was created for their
preparation, in very recent years an institution has appeared to satisfy
this new need, one whose function is as clearly announced, and one which
seems to fit into the situation as well, and we have the county normal
school of Michigan and Wisconsin, as mentioned above.

Whether we shall see a rapid extension of this new movement, making the
county normal school as fixt an institution as the state normal school
has become, and as the teachers college bids fair to become, or whether,
thru consolidation, the distinctive type of our rural school shall
disappear and our state normal schools be increased in number to meet
the larger demands, only the future can tell. This latter, however, will
not be in our generation, and I confidently look for the former. I
believe the general adoption and adaptation of the county normal school
idea would be one of the most economical and speedy means of solving
some of our most serious rural school problems. And I also believe that
it should be our next step, if we can take but one step at a time,
toward professional education of teachers.

If I have analyzed aright the present situation, and have been fair in
my all too brief account of the rise and development of these
institutions, we see that we have in our midst to-day, as a result of
the development of our educational system, and to keep pace with it,
the development of the idea so long ago adopted--the value of the
professional preparation of the teacher--three quite distinct types of
an institution for such purpose. Enumerating now in order of grade of
work rather than of historical development, we have (1) the county
normal school, whose function is solely the preparation of teachers for
the rural schools--sixty-one of them found only in Michigan and
Wisconsin, sending into the rural schools of those states about 800
fairly well equipt teachers each year; (2) the old state normal school
of historic fame, whose function is the preparation of teachers for the
elementary grades of our city and village schools--195 there were two
years ago--and they sent out into the schools approximately 10,000
teachers, mostly graduates; (3) the teachers college, found always in
connection with a college of high rank or of a full-fledged university,
offering work, both academic and professional, of full university grade
and covering the full university period of four years. The number cannot
be stated definitely, because the process that is transforming the old
pedagogical departments into teachers colleges is at such varying stages
of development. Its function is best stated in the words of the
institution in which it was founded (Calendar of the University of
Michigan for 1904-1905, p. 126):--

     "1. To fit university students for the higher positions in the
     public school service.

     "2. To promote the study of educational science.

     "3. To teach the history of education and of educational systems
     and doctrines.

     "4. To secure to teaching the rights, prerogatives and advantages
     of a profession.

     "5. To give a more perfect unity to our state educational system,
     by bringing the secondary schools into closer relations with the

"Higher position in the public school service" meant, in the main, in
the early days, city superintendencies and high school principalships.
To these, others have been added, one by one, owing very largely to the
great success of the movement and the growing appreciation of the value
of professional preparation for occupants of such positions, until now
they include city superintendencies, high school and grade
principalships, subject supervisorships, high school, normal school, and
college instructorships. Already the leading teachers colleges, the ones
at Columbia, Missouri, and Chicago universities, are being definitely
looked to for these later added and more responsible workmen.

Thus far I have but stated historical facts known to all who are
reasonably well informed touching the history of education and current
educational practise in our country. I have done this all too briefly, I
am well aware. But the reason that I could do it briefly is the fact
that the readers of this journal are well informed upon the historical
phases of the subject. All that I needed to do was to cull out and bring
to the fore the pertinent facts. But the question now arises, is this
differentiation logical? Are there any reasons, psychological, economic,
or otherwise, for such differentiation? If there are, it is going to
continue, and these types of the institution which now seem to have been
given each such a definite and separate work to do are going to be
relatively permanent. If not, we shall continue to cut and try, undoing
to-morrow what was done to-day, and chaos will result.

This institution, with its various types, is not one that has evolved
from a careful theoretical study of our present or prospective
educational needs, but one that has grown up, little by little, step by
step, to meet and satisfy from time to time the present and pressing
needs of the larger system of which it forms a part, and for the service
of which it was called into existence. But is it not true that
oftentimes the logic of events--the movements of history--reveal to us
our fundamental principles, outline for us our policy of action, and
even write out for us our program of procedure as correctly and even
more irrevocably than philosophical formulation could do? Is not that
especially likely to occur under such a form of government as ours? I
think it has occurred in the present case.

It is interesting to note in this connection the fact that the logic of
events has led us, in our efforts to solve the difficult problem of the
education of our teachers, to practically the same solution as that
already reached by France and Germany, which countries proceeded more
nearly along the pathway of theoretical philosophical formulation.

I believe that at least two of these institutions, the state normal
school and the teachers college, have come to stay, and with practically
the functions outlined above. Of the county normal school, as said
before, I do not feel quite so sure. I am led to the belief in the
relative permanency of these types of professional school, not only by a
knowledge of the history of their development, but also by the
conviction, formed by a somewhat careful study of the entire problem,
that there are fundamental reasons, psychological as well as economical,
for the differentiation. In other words, my own somewhat careful study
of the entire situation brings me to the same position that the logic of
events has brought us all.

As to the county normal school: it is so apparent as scarcely to need
mention that the teacher of the rural school needs a preparation
differing in many ways from that needed by the teacher of the city
grades. The environment, physical, psychical, and social, is so
different that a teacher equipt to do thoroly good work in either one
place might signally fail in the other. And the present economic
situation speaks with nearly the same insistence. Even if our state
normal schools were sending out teachers ideally equipt for service in
the rural communities, the remuneration there offered is, and for an
indefinite time will remain, so low as practically to keep them out of
the schools. Either we must have special institutions for the
preparation of the teachers of the rural schools, or else those schools
must, in the main, continue to do without professionally prepared

Turning now to the other type, it is equally clear to me that the very
character of the work in the elementary and secondary schools should be
different one from the other, different as to discipline, ends in view,
subjects of study, and methods of handling the same. In the elementary
school the pupil is a child, with the mind, the tastes, the ambitions of
a child, and he should be allowed to remain a child. The ends in view
are right habits, right ideals, and knowledge facts. In the secondary
school the student is an adolescent, with the mind of an adolescent,
having peculiar and erratic tastes, changing ambitions, and conflicting
emotions. He is neither child nor adult, but passing thru the most
dangerous and critical period of his entire life. The ends in view are
no longer merely habits, ideals, and knowledge facts, but, added to
these, and now more important for emphasis because presumably right
principles have already been established, breadth and fixity of
character, self-acquaintance, scholarship, and culture. Tell me that the
atmosphere, psychical and spiritual, and the training, academic and
professional, that will produce the ideal teacher of the child will also
produce the ideal teacher of the adolescent? Nay, verily! You might as
well tell the florist that the American Beauty rose and the Snow Flower
of the Northern forest will both reach perfection if grown side by side.
Then surely we need different kinds of institutions. I cannot better
conclude this thought than by using the words of Dr. Wm. T. Harris found
in the introductory paragraph of an article on "The Future of the Normal
School." (Ed. Rev., January, 1899, p. 1.) Dr. Harris says: "I have tried
to set down in this paper the grounds for commending the normal school
as it exists for its chosen work of preparing teachers for the
elementary schools, and at the same time urging the need of training
schools with different methods of preparation for the kindergarten,
below, and for the secondary school, the college and the post-graduate
school, above the elementary school."

The reason just given, the psychological one, is alone sufficient for
believing that the differentiation is logical. But let me add another,
almost equally effective--an academic reason, directly academic and at
the same time indirectly economic. This is found in the following words,
taken from Dr. Payne's "Contributions to the Science of Education." (Am.
Book Co., 1886, p. 538.) "If there is any well-established principle of
school economy it is this: The scholarship of the teacher should be
considerably broader than the scholarship of his most advanced pupil."
Nobody now questions the statement.

Upon the basis of that principle there is little criticism to be offered
of the academic equipment of our normal school graduates as teachers in
the grades. No normal school now completes its work with less than one
full year beyond the completion of a four-year high school course, and
two years beyond is rapidly getting to be the standard. So that normal
school graduation gives the prospective teacher of the grades at least
four years of academic, and from one to two years of professional and
academic work beyond the point to be reached by "his most advanced
pupil." To be sure, more would be better--a longer experience and a
closer acquaintance with the great character forming subjects, such as
literature, history, philosophy, etc. This would give breadth of view,
clearness of perception, and a right perspective--elements of
incomparable value in the equipment of the teacher. But yet, in view of
our economic conditions and of a general lack of understanding and
therefore of appreciation in the lay mind of the most vital and
fundamental work of the teacher, we cannot yet hope for teachers ideally
equipt. And our present standards, if insisted upon and the work thus
far be thoro and clear and faithful, will give us increasingly better
results and eventually lead to conditions more nearly ideal.

But this judgment as to criticism must be very different when we look
upon these graduates as possible teachers in the high school. The
scholarship of such a teacher there would be but little, if any,
"broader than the scholarship of his most advanced pupil." While there
is to-day no uniform legislation touching the requirements as to
qualifications of high school teachers in the United States, each state,
and even each school, being largely a law unto itself, there is getting
to be a very decided uniformity the country over as to practise, and in
many ways this is much more significant than formal legislation would
be. For without compulsion, the whole people, each section and each
state, independent of all others, seemingly by the very necessity of the
case, have fixt upon the same minimum standard of qualification for high
school teachers. And that minimum is the completion of a full four-year
collegiate course of instruction, including--indeed, in many cases,
plus--a certain emphasis to be placed upon the subjects to be handled,
and a certain amount of time devoted to strictly professional subjects.
To be sure, in some states legislation has spoken, as in Minnesota,
requiring completion of collegiate work, and practically so in North
Dakota, requiring completion of such work for superintendencies and high
school principalships, and strongly recommending the same for all
teaching positions in the high school. In California a step farther has
been taken in requiring, in addition to that, a full year of graduate
study. The tendency, in several states, seems to be in the direction of
the position taken by California. And with that tendency I am in

This movement upward, however, I do not want to see go any farther. I
deprecate the tendency, seen in some quarters, of setting up as the
symbol of the standard of qualification for the high school teacher, the
doctor's degree. I do not want the boys and girls of our high schools
taught, or rather directed in their upward development, by mere
specialists--doctors of philosophy, who know everything about nothing,
and nothing about everything. Nor do I want them directed by men and
women who are obliged to "cipher on page twenty while the class is
working on page nineteen." But I do want them directed by men and women
who are thoroly acquainted with the subjects which they teach, and who
know how to handle the same; but especially by men and women of broad,
liberal culture, men and women whose lives have been enriched by the
best there is in literature, history, art, science, and philosophy, and
who know life, and are in warm sympathy with young life. Teachers thus
equipt are able, from their high vantage point, to reach out here and
there and take as educative material that which will contribute to the
beautiful and strong development of each case at hand. And such an
equipment, on its academic side, comes not short of the master's degree,
or its equivalent.

My authority for the statement made above as to the growing uniformity
of practise in requiring as minimum qualification for high school
teachers a full collegiate course, and as to the tendency in several
states toward requiring, in addition, a full year of graduate study, is
found in an extended correspondence with normal school principals and
city and state superintendents representing the entire country.

These facts as to present-day requirements seem to me to fix somewhat
definitely the matters under discussion. Our normal schools, with
possibly two or three exceptions, are not equipt to give the extended
qualification now demanded for the high school teacher. Barring the two
or three, the best of them do not pretend to carry the student more than
two years beyond high school graduation. And whether it be one or two
years, the work is, as it ought to be, mainly professional--not
academic. Indeed, the presidents of many of our strongest normal schools
insist that they do not do any strictly academic work. And if the lack
is so great touching high school teachers, how much greater touching
positions still higher.

To be sure, the work of the normal schools might be sufficiently
extended to enable them to do this additional and advanced work. New
buildings might be erected, laboratory facilities increased, libraries
enlarged, additional and stronger teachers provided, etc. But is it
necessary? Is it wise? Is it likely to happen with our legislators
holding the purse strings so tightly tied? To all such questions the
answer must inevitably be negative. It is not necessary because not
really needed for the preparation of elementary teachers, while for the
preparation of secondary teachers other agencies are at hand. And if not
needed the unwisdom of such an extension can scarcely be questioned.
Certainly not, if, as urged above, different kinds of institutions are
needed for the preparation of the two grades of teachers. Then, if both
not needed and unwise, it is not likely to happen in any case where
legislators are intelligently informed as to the situation.

To indicate the feeling among many of our leading educators touching
this point, it might be interesting, in closing, to give a brief summary
of the correspondence mentioned above. This inquiry, was directed to all
our state superintendents, to forty of the leading normal school
principals representing all sections of the country, and to fifty-two
leading and representative city superintendents. The following questions
were asked:--

     (1) Are your normal schools at the present time equipt to give
     adequate preparation to prospective high school teachers?

     (2) If you think they are not, would it be wise to add to their
     present equipment such facilities as would enable them to give such
     preparation, or can that work be better done in some other way?


To question (1). Thirty-eight replies were received, of which
twenty-nine were negative and nine affirmative. Of the nine, however,
only one came from a state in which normal school facilities are at all
superior to what may be termed a fair average, and in that state these
facilities are found in only one of the five normal schools, whereas, in
five of the nine, these facilities are inferior to what may be termed a
fair average. In two of the nine, tho the state superintendents gave
affirmative answers, the consensus of opinion of the normal school
principals was negative. In a word, the nine affirmative replies
indicate individual opinions, and result from a limited perspective.

To question (2). Twenty-nine replies were received, of which fifteen
were specifically negative, five specifically affirmative, and nine
implied a misunderstanding of the question. But nearly all of the nine,
as well as the fifteen, stated definitely or clearly implied that such
work should be done in the colleges and universities.


To question (1). Twenty-eight replies were received, of which twenty
were negative, and eight affirmative. Of the eight, three were from
states having but one normal school each, and perhaps, therefore,
admittedly strong; two from states having each one school much superior
to the others of the same state, and referring specifically to that
school. Of the remaining three, one was from a new state in the
Northwest, one from a Southern state, and one stated that only in some
branches was the equipment sufficient.

To question (2). Twenty replies were received, of which sixteen were
negative, and four affirmative. Of the four, not one said that all
should be so equipt. Each suggested that perhaps it would be well thus
to extend the equipment of one school in a state.


To question (1). Thirty replies were received, of which twenty-eight
were negative, and two affirmative. The two were from a state in which
is to be found a single normal school, and that, one of the best.

To question (2). Twenty-eight replies were received, of which twenty-six
were negative, and two affirmative.

To be sure, correspondence upon this point was not sufficiently extended
to be conclusive, but yet my correspondents were, in the main, leaders
in their respective lines, and therefore represent the best educational
thought and practise of the times. The summary speaks clearly and to the
point, and to the same point, note, that the logic of events has already
brought us. The work of the normal school should continue to be, as it
has been from the beginning, devoted to preparation of teachers for the
grades, while prospective teachers in the high schools should seek their
preparation in the teachers colleges, under whatever specific names
known, where the professional phases of the work will be as much
emphasized, but be different, and be differently handled as befitting
the different character of the work to be done, and where they can
receive the broader academic outlook and equipment absolutely essential
to an adequate handling of the larger and more difficult situation.

      NOTE.--Since the appearance of the January number of _Education_,
     my attention has been called to the fact that in naming
     institutions giving early attention to the preparation of secondary
     teachers I omitted some that should have found a place in such an
     enumeration. It is true that several others might well have been
     mentioned. On page 286, line 5 (page 224, line 3 of this work), I
     might well have added the School of Pedagogy of New York
     University, also Clark, Stanford, California, and Teachers College,
     Columbia, and again, "and others." And on page 289, line 18 (page
     228, line 18 of this work), I certainly should have added the
     School of Pedagogy of New York University and Clark University,
     possibly others, for the work is progressing rapidly. But it was
     the movement I had in mind rather than the specific contributions
     of various institutions. The omissions were not born of any desire
     to withhold from any institution the credit that it deserves.

     Since this matter is again open, let me add an interesting fact in
     regard to the New York University School of Pedagogy, just
     mentioned. If I mistake not, we have here the first real "teachers
     college," that is, the first instance in which we see a "Department
     of Education," having merely equal standing with other departments
     in a university, become, thru definite action of that university's
     governing body, "a professional school of equal rank with the other
     professional schools of the University." This change was made on
     March 3, 1890. Judging by results, it has been amply justified. The
     institution is doing a large and splendid work.--THE AUTHOR.



_From the "Educational Review," March, 1909, and the "Western Journal of
Education" (now the "American Schoolmaster"), May, 1909_

In the _Educational Review_ for May, 1908, Mr. W. B. Secor had an
article under the caption, "Credit for Quality in the Secondary School."
Mr. Secor says, in his opening paragraph, "The present system of giving
credit towards graduation in use in the secondary school, takes account
mainly of the amount of work done.... The student who barely passes his
work gets just the same amount of credit towards graduation as the one
who passes high in the nineties. It is to be expected, then, that the
student ... will reason something like this: I will be graduated if I
pass my work in the seventies just the same as if I pass it in the
nineties. What is the use of wasting time and effort in securing a high
average?" He then suggests a system of marking which "would not only fix
a minimum of quality, but would also recognize different degrees of
quality by giving more credit toward graduation for high quality than
for low," which system, he thinks, would also tend to "a strengthening
of the intellectual life of the secondary school." Mr. Secor does not
claim to be the originator of the idea, giving to President Hyde of
Bowdoin that doubtful honor. He also refers to two articles in the
_Educational Review_, one in the issue of April, 1905, written by
Professor Thomas, of Columbia University, speaking of the system as just
introduced into that institution, and the other in the issue of
December, 1906, by Professor Kennedy, describing the system as then in
use in the University of North Dakota. After these references have been
cited, the system is discust from various points of view and its
extension into the secondary field favored, tho, in his closing
paragraph, Mr. Secor says, "Now the plan here proposed does not claim
perfection. It may not even be a workable scheme when put to the test."

Mr. Secor's article is but one of many evidences that the experiment now
being tried in a few of our higher institutions of learning, of
attempting to estimate and adequately reward quality as well as quantity
of work done by students, is attracting considerable attention. It is
not at all strange that these experiments are attracting attention, for
the idea is taking and its justice seemingly so apparent. Because of
this interest I desire to examine some parts of Mr. Secor's article and
in the process of that examination briefly discuss the so-called
"Credit-for-quality" idea. I shall be materially aided in such
discussion by my experience with the practical workings of the system in
the University of North Dakota, and shall take the opportunity of
letting the educational world know how the system is working and how it
is being regarded in the institution in which it has been receiving its
most extensive and thoro trial. For while the system did not originate
here, it was here first put into operation, and for years an earnest,
honest, heroic effort has been put forth in its behalf. I might say,
parenthetically, that the details of the system Mr. Secor suggests are
almost identically the ones that have been in use in this institution.
They were found to be faulty, however, and have been materially changed.

I have read and re-read Mr. Secor's article with both interest and
apprehension; with interest, because the "Credit-for-quality" idea has
been engaging my thoughtful attention on both its practical and its
theoretical sides for a considerable time; with apprehension, since the
article seems to recommend the system for use in our secondary schools.
I am sorry the recommendation has been made for the conclusions I have
reached from my double study are very different from those being held by
Mr. Secor. I seriously question the wisdom of extending the system at
all, even when dealing with students of college rank, much more
seriously, then, when applied to those of the secondary school who are
four years younger, much less mature, and therefore less able to profit
by the meritorious features and at the same time withstand the weakening
influences attendant upon the system. Indeed, I think its adoption in
the secondary schools would be nothing short of a calamity. Another
reason why I feel impelled to speak is that reference is made in Mr.
Secor's article to the working of the system in the institution with
which I am connected as "highly satisfactory." In justice to the system
itself and certainly in view of its suggested extension, that impression
should not be allowed to go forth without modification or correction. I
shall attempt, therefore, in this discussion, to do three things, tho I
shall not try to separate the three spatially: (1) to discuss this
marking system on its merits; (2) to report to the educational world our
findings after an experience with it of five years, and (3) to urge
against its extension into the secondary field.

Let me say, at the outset, that I have been connected with the
University of North Dakota for three years--the last three of the five
during which the system has been in use. I have had all the time from
one hundred to one hundred twenty-five students. The grading has had to
be done three times a year, since our school year, up to the present
time, has been separated into three terms. Let me also make plain the
fact that in all I say I speak upon my own responsibility, not for the
institution nor for its faculty, tho it is true that nearly, if not
quite, half the faculty hold practically the same views regarding the

It is true, as Mr. Secor says, that "the present system of giving credit
towards graduation used in our secondary schools takes account mainly of
the amount of work done." It passes upon quality, as he says, only "when
it fixes a passing mark." It may also be true, as he takes for granted,
that it would be desirable to give credit towards graduation for quality
as well as for quantity, but of this I am very much in doubt, especially
in dealing with secondary students. It does not sufficiently take into
consideration the value of content, and that, it seems to me, is a
factor that should not be disregarded. I think I value as highly as most
men the discipline, or mental power, gained by close application;
likewise, the habit of thoroness gained thru doing work well; but yet,
in addition to those acquisitions, I confess that I also place high
value upon knowledge as a possession. In other words, I want the
student, both high school and college, to know something.

I will gladly admit, however, that it is very desirable to secure from
the student quality as well as quantity. That, I am inclined to think,
is the main thing that Mr. Secor is really after. He thinks the best
way, or, at any rate, a very good way, to get it is thru the device of
giving extra credit toward graduation for the higher grades of work. My
experience with the system does not lead me to that conclusion. Interest
in the subject matter itself is always essential to the doing of a high
quality of work. And such interest in the subject matter of school
studies is scarcely secured by anything so artificial as rewards
smacking of the market. So far as it can not be secured directly, and
resort must be made to artificial incentives to secure it, I think that
incentives can be found much more in keeping with the general spirit and
purpose of education than the constant appeal to the commercial value of
the grades being obtained. The ordinary monthly report card sent to the
home, on which the quality of work being done in the various subjects is
indicated by "excellent," "good," "poor," etc., and even by the too
common "per cent," is artificial stimulus enough. Every teacher knows
what an incentive the report card can be made. To be sure, teachers
differ greatly in their ability to use this card skilfully, but
so used it can exert great power. Not long ago I discust this
"Credit-for-quality" matter with a class of about thirty university
students, mostly freshmen, and, somewhat to my surprise, I discovered
that with the majority of them the chief reason for desiring the "A"
and "B" (our marks for extra credit toward graduation) was not that they
bore the extra credit, but that the descriptive terms "excellent" and
"good" secure extra appreciation from the home when term standings are
reported. This might not be true of any large percentage of university
students, certainly would not be of the upper classes. Added years have
made them shrewder. Under the influence of our system they have become
keener to appreciate a "bargain." But it certainly would be true of a
very large percentage of secondary students.

Considerable experience in the secondary schools leads me to doubt very
much that the typical high school student reasons as Mr. Secor suggests
in his first paragraph. Some do, of course, and so do some university
students, but not the great body of either. Barring a small percentage,
students as they run, in both high school and college, are an earnest
lot of young people. They are in these institutions for a purpose. They
are seeking, so far as their vision extends, well-developed manhood and
womanhood. Their chief desire is not to slide thru. The two immediate
ends normally in view are consciousness of progressive growth and
appreciation from parent and teacher. How eager the majority are for
this appreciation is well known to all. All the stimulus needed, in
addition to what the subjects and the student's own desire furnish, the
resourceful teacher has at hand wrapt up in his own personality. If any
other stimulus is needed it can be given by a grading of diplomas as is
now being done in many high schools and colleges. I hold that to add to
the marks now in common use what may be called a monetary fringe is
both unnecessary and really subversive of the true ends of the school
work. As teachers we should seek to elevate ideals, not to lower them;
to furnish right motives, not wrong ones; to place before the developing
youth high incentives, not low ones.

Mr. Secor says, "the proposed plan is superior to the present system in
that it gives a natural and not an artificial incentive to high
scholarship." By what process of reasoning he reaches the conclusion
that mere "marks and honors" are more "unnatural" and "artificial" than
the same marks and honors with a commercial tag appended, I fail to see.
The truth of the matter is, both are artificial. As incentives, both are
low, but it stands to reason that the latter is much lower than the
former. The best friends of the system here, in the University of North
Dakota, admit that, as an incentive, it is both artificial and low. Mr.
Secor goes on to say, "the system" (that is, the "Credit-for-quality")
"puts a premium on thorough-going scholarship by enabling the student to
come up for graduation without being forced to study so many subjects
that he is not able to do any of them well." If our secondary school
courses are so arranged as to force the student "to study so many
subjects that he is not able to do any of them well," then something is
radically wrong with the courses of study. But no evil can be remedied
by introducing a greater. As a matter of fact, the application of the
system does not lead to "thorough-going scholarship," at least not in
the University of North Dakota where, for five years, an honest and
faithful effort has been made to secure that result. In all our
discussions I have never heard one of its friends make that claim for
it, altho the charge has been repeatedly made that it is destructive of
scholarship. The writer goes on to say, "he" (the student) "may
substitute depth for breadth, if he so desires, and is encouraged to do
so." Shall we, in the secondary schools, encourage depth? Yes, to be
sure, relative depth, but not too much of it, and not then at the
expense of breadth. For is not the high school student in that stage of
his development when he responds to the sense of breadth rather than
that of depth? We could not make of him a student of research if we
should try. Let us not try.

In the last paragraph of the article referred to we find a hint of a
lack of thoro conviction on the part of the writer himself. "It may not
even be a workable scheme when put to the test," he says. Let me say
that here, after five years' use, it is not proving to be satisfactorily
"workable" even with students of college grade, and by a recent faculty
action it has been entirely eliminated from our preparatory department.

This lack of conviction on the part of Mr. Secor calls to mind an
interesting bit of history connected with the movement. As said before,
it did not originate in the University of North Dakota. Dr. William
DeWitt Hyde, President of Bowdoin College, is responsible for the
suggestion. He sketched the plan in an _Outlook_ article of August 2nd,
1902, but evidently lacking the courage of his conviction did not
introduce it into his own institution, preferring, seemingly, that the
experiment be made elsewhere. This has been, from the start, very
suggestive to me. I have some admiration for President Hyde's
shrewdness. The University of North Dakota fell into the trap thus
skilfully set. And it is easier to fall into a trap than to get out of
it. As a matter of fact, the system is more on trial now, after five
years' use, than ever before. Other institutions would do well to await
further developments.

In attempting to analyze the situation at the University of North
Dakota, let me again refer to Mr. Secor's article. He says, "The plan,
with some modifications, is at present being used in the University of
North Dakota and in Columbia University with results that are reported
to be highly satisfactory." To substantiate his statement he refers, in
a foot-note, to the articles in the _Educational Review_ from which he
got his information. Now, the conclusion that Mr. Secor reaches from
reading these articles is hardly warranted by the articles themselves. I
fear he read too much between the lines. Let us see: Professor Thomas
wrote of the Columbia system more than three years ago, and only a
couple of months after its adoption; nor does he say anything as to its
success,--in fact, he could not, for there was nothing to say. He merely
explained the new system and gave voice to his expectations. The
Columbia system may be proving "highly satisfactory," but surely that
article does not say that it is. And when the other article is analyzed,
the case is found to be somewhat similar. Professor Kennedy wrote on the
system in the University of North Dakota nearly two years ago, fully two
academic years, for the article appeared in December, 1906, before the
close of the first term of the year 1906-'07. Now two years in the life
of an experiment of this kind is a long time. And Professor Kennedy in
writing his article, did not put the case as strongly as does Mr. Secor
from reading it. All that he said of its successful working was: "We ...
thus far can truthfully say it is working itself out in desirable
results--in more and better work than under the old plan." From these
data, given when they were, Mr. Secor is certainly not justified in
saying that "the plan ... is at present being used in the University of
North Dakota with results that are reported to be highly satisfactory."

Professor Kennedy's statement was his individual judgment at the time he
wrote his article. A considerable number of his co-laborers would not
then have agreed with him. He probably would not write even as strongly
as that to-day. If he should, a still larger number would disagree. He
might write as strongly of his own belief in the theoretical soundness
of the system, but that is quite another matter. As a matter of fact,
during the last two years the weaknesses of the system have become so
much more apparent that many members of the faculty then favorable, or
at least hopeful, have at last come to despair of ever being able to
eliminate the objectionable features and strengthen the weak points
sufficiently to warrant its retention.

Professor Kennedy's article goes into detail as to the adoption of the
plan, and clearly states its various changes up to the date of his
writing. In our efforts, since then, to "improve" and "strengthen" it,
various other changes have been made so that, as a matter of fact, one
who knew it in its early history only would hardly recognise it as
planned for use next year (quite different in detail from that now in
use) save in the fundamental principle. That remains the same; the
institution desires to secure a better quality of work from its
students; it also desires to enable the student of exceptional ability
or unusual industry to cut short his period of undergraduate study. To
accomplish these ends it continues to use its so-called
"Credit-for-quality" system of marking. This is done, altho a large and
steadily increasing number of the faculty members feel that it does not
do the first and that it overdoes the second.

As to these ends: I think that no one on the faculty really feels that,
on the whole, we are getting a better grade of work than should
reasonably be expected without the system; or, to put it in another way,
no one would be bold enough to say that our students are doing better
work than the students of similar institutions that do not use the
system. On the other hand, it is true that some who have come among us
since the adoption of the system give the comparison the less favorable

Thru the operation of the system many can and do shorten their course;
too many, I feel. Too many who have neither "exceptional ability" nor
"unusual industry," unless it be ability "to work the Prof." and
industry in that laudable enterprise. The course that normally takes
four full years can be shortened from a portion of a term to a full
year. Prior to June, 1908, the "time saved" could reach to a full year
and a half. True, no one had actually completed a course in two and a
half years, but one young lady's time was only slightly in excess of
that and the excess was fully overbalanced by the time she gave to
outside work--to library assistance for remuneration, and to
journalism. And that gait was being struck by others. It only remained
to be seen how long the wind would hold out. It was clearly possible.
But the faculty became alarmed. Clearly recognizing the above stated
possibility and being wholly unwilling thus to lower its high standard,
it passed a resolution that arbitrarily limits the number of credits a
student may receive in a given time to such an extent as to prevent
graduation in less than three years. But several have gained, and others
are gaining, sufficient surplus to enable them to complete their work in
three years. From fifteen to twenty per cent, it is estimated, are
enabled to shorten their course to that extent. Now some of these are
thoroly good students, and, assuming that the system is sound in
principle, well deserve to profit thereby. But others are just
ordinarily good students, scarcely above the rank and file. In addition
to those who complete their work in three years, some thirty or forty
per cent more shorten it by lesser amounts, ranging all the way down to
an inappreciable period.

But aside from the system's failure in reaching one of its ends and its
too great success in reaching the other, it has developed numerous and
unfortunate evils that many regard as exceedingly serious, and revealed
weaknesses that seem well nigh impossible to eliminate. Space allows
scarcely more than an enumeration of these, but a mere enumeration is
better than to deal wholly in general terms. (1) In the first place, I
should say that the "Credit-for-quality" system of marking as used by us
places before the students unworthy ideals. Students of university rank
can be led to seek knowledge for knowledge's sake, truth for truth's
sake. They can be taught to see farther ahead than the close of the
term, and something more precious than an extra three-tenths of a
credit. But this thought has already been sufficiently treated earlier
in the article. (2) It leads to faulty methods of study and
unsatisfactory final results. In the preparation of the lessons, a good
recitation, rather than thoro understanding of the subject matter, is
too apt to be the objective point. Many good students have told me that
they find it difficult to resist the tendency to subordinate
understanding to memory. (3) It may lead, often does, to unwise election
of courses. Some teachers mark higher than others. Under the influence
of our system students are very quick to learn these individual
characteristics, and those who have developed the "itching palm" know
how to profit by that knowledge. (4) It places students who receive
extra credit for quality at a disadvantage in seeking to enter other
institutions of learning. The credits thus gained will not be
recognized. This would operate only in making the transfer during the
undergraduate period, but it does there.[1] (5)

    [1] Experience has shown that I was in error in the statement of
    this sentence. It has been found to operate to the disadvantage of
    our students entering other institutions in graduate as well as
    undergraduate departments. Graduate schools have become very
    particular, some of them not being satisfied without passing in
    review well nigh the entire former school life of an applicant,
    apparently to assure themselves that no short-cuts have been made.
    This fact is an interesting confirmation of the position of this
    article relative to the importance of content--when it pleads for
    quantity, as well as quality.

    This entire matter is made clear by referring to one instance.
    Others could be cited. One of our graduates, Miss Ethel J. May,
    a very strong student, "profited" by the so-called
    "credit-for-quality" system to such an extent that she shortened her
    undergraduate period of study by an entire year, receiving her
    degree with honor. Then she taught for a few years with signal
    success, later returning for graduate work. For her Master's degree
    she spent an entire year in study, since the system did not operate
    in the graduate department. Again she taught with success, later
    entering the University of Illinois as an applicant for the
    doctorate. Here it was that her troubles began, and all because she
    had thus "profited" way back in her undergraduate days. She was told
    that the year "saved" would now have to be made up--that the period
    of study for her doctorate would have to be at least three years,
    and this in spite of the fact that she held the degree of Master of
    Arts from a state university of the first class, and was planning to
    continue along the same lines of work. After considerable discussion
    and institutional negotiation, this much of a concession was made:
    "If your work proves to be excellent, your shortage will be
    disregarded." So she went to work with that incubus, or
    stimulus--whichever you wish to regard it--over her. Neither she nor
    her committee knew how to plan her work, not knowing whether it was
    to be for two years or for three. And not until the very close of
    her year's work was her status determined--full credit then being
    granted for her former degrees. Miss May's sane comment now is, "I
    would not advise any one to try to shorten the regular four-year
    undergraduate period of study."
                                                        (Author 1918)

It is demoralizing to both students and teachers. I refer to the
inevitable outcome of such a system; some students (sometimes few and
sometimes many) develop considerable skill in "working the Prof."
Teachers offering elective courses are constantly under great temptation
and students are shrewd enough to know it. And again, under the same
count: it is freely claimed by both teachers and students that the
cheating in examinations, of which we doubtless have our share (some
claim much more than our share, tho personally I doubt it), is very
greatly increased if not largely caused by our system of marking. In
hopes of remedying this some of the students are now urging the
adoption of the "honor system" of conducting examinations. (6) It is
impossible to create uniform standards corresponding to our various
grades. There are as many standards for each grade as there are
instructors. A grade of work for which one instructor would give an "A"
(1.3), another would give a "B" (1.2) and still another a "C" (1.0).
Standards can not be fixt. To show how greatly they differ, in marking
the work for the first term of this year one instructor gave only seven
per cent of his students extra credit, while another thus rewarded more
than seventy per cent of his. This range, however, is abnormal. But a
range of twenty-five per cent to sixty-five per cent is not, even tho
the two instructors have approximately the same students and do
approximately the same grade of work. Other evils and weaknesses might
be mentioned, but these are sufficient to show the tendency.

On the other hand, what strong paints can be urged as an offset? The
only ones I have ever heard offered are: (1) it is an incentive, and (2)
it does enable students to shorten the period of undergraduate work. I
grant them both, but I hold that the incentive is a low one--much lower
than we need to use--and that the shortening of the course is far from
being an unmixt blessing.

Let me again refer to the matter of content, upon our value of which, to
quite an extent, our estimate of the merit of the "Credit-for-quality"
system must rest. The young people in our colleges and universities, in
planning for lives of usefulness and success, place themselves in our
hands for direction and guidance. Knowing that we are older, wiser,
more learned, and more experienced than they, they ask our advice and,
in the main, follow it. To the incentives we use in dealing with them,
they respond; the motives we supply urge them on; the standards of value
we erect for them, they use; and the ideals we place before them, they
try to reach. All this places large responsibilities upon us. Are we
wise in telling from fifteen to twenty per cent of these young people
that three years is all the time that it is wise for them to spend in
college work? They will all remain the full four years unless we plan
differently for them. To be sure, there is no magic in the number four
as numbering the years of one's college course, nor in three, nor in
two, nor in any other number. But would not any normal student who
spends four years in the college atmosphere, mingling with college
people, both students and teachers, doing college work, drinking from
the pure fountains of literature, of history, of philosophy, of science,
of art, et cetera, be broader in range and more fully equipt for the
varied and complicated duties of life and for life's enjoyment, than he
would be with only three years thus spent? And is not the fourth year by
far the best of the four? Why shall you and I discourage him from doing
that which we know to be well for him and which he is willing to do? Why
deny him the rare fruitage of that fourth year? Why say to him when he
is just ready to enter into the enjoyments of his student life, "you
would better go?" After all, is it not this very three-year student with
his finer ability, his keener insight, and his greater industry who can
most greatly profit by the extra year? Shall we not rather encourage him
to stay longer and delve deeper and reach to the very heart of things?
Whether looked at from the standpoint of the student's own advantage, or
from that of the world at large, which is to profit by his equipment, is
it not really the four-year or even the five-year student who would
better be excused at the end of the third year? Instead of being in a
hurry to send our choice students away, let us get them to do their high
quality of work just the same, but to do it during four years instead of
three. They are the very ones who will most readily respond to such
appeals and they will so respond unless we put other notions into
their heads. It is sometimes urged, in justification of the
"Credit-for-quality" idea, that one student in three years can
accomplish more, in gaining both knowledge and mental power, than
another in four. There is no doubt about it. Some can do more in two
years than others in four; some in one, and some with no college work
can easily outstrip others with the best advantages. Shall we say to
such an one, "you do not need to go to college--it would be time
wasted"? By no means. Above all others we want him because he can most
largely profit by what he gets, and we shall reap the reward later on.
But supposing one student at the close of his third college year is
better able to make his way in the world than another at the end of his
fourth year, that is not the question at all. The function of the
college is not to bring students to a level, but to develop each one to
the utmost. Each should be considered separately and the question asked,
"the longer or the shorter term--which will do the more for him?"

Some other developments here can hardly fail to be of interest.
Originally planned to operate in our entire institution, exclusive of
the College of Law into which it was not allowed to enter, this system
has gradually been eliminated from all the colleges save the College of
Liberal Arts and Teachers College. True, in these colleges of exclusion
the matter of content figures more prominently than in the others--the
curricula are more fixt--but that is far from being the only reason for
the exclusion. And even more suggestive as touching the secondary school
extension recommended by the article under discussion, is our recent
action excluding the system from our preparatory department, now being
transformed into a model high school for Teachers College. This
elimination, likewise, was in part due to the fixt number of courses
demanded of all secondary schools, but yet, not largely so. When this
matter came up for decision it needed no emphasis upon that point to
carry the recommendation. It would have carried without those
conditions. The strongest advocates of the system did not, by a single
word, urge its retention in the Model High School. All felt, seemingly,
that it was not well suited to students of that grade.

     NOTE.--The reason for repeating this article here is largely
     historical, tho interest in the matter discust occasionally crops
     out even yet. It will be of interest to some who have not otherwise
     heard of it to learn that the University of North Dakota long since
     discarded the system. It was voted out completely early in the year
     1910. And thus was realized Professor Kennedy's apprehension
     exprest in his _Educational Review_ discussion of 1906: "We have, I
     grant, had our doubts and fears, knowing well that many a promising
     theory lies high and dry on the shoals of the past."


  Academies, 221

  Adolescent, 46-49, 54-56, 67, 68, 74, 81, 85, 219, 231

  Adults, 211, 212, 213

  Aliens, education of, 25

  Alien people, 21

  Appleton's Cyclopedia, 165

  Arithmetic, 154

  Ayers, 120

  Barnard, Henry, 220

  Bay State, Old, 64

  Binet, 57

  Boards of Education, 45, 156, 195

  Bowdoin College, 243, 250

  Burbank, Luther, 166

  Burns, Robert, 136, 138

  Bureau of Education, 19

  Butler, Nicholas Murray, 96, 97, 103

  California, 233, 234

  Carter, 218

  Child, the, 43, 44, 45, 68, 116, 117, 121, 140, 141, 147, 151, 154, 195

  Child Study, 43, 45, 49, 54, 58, 85

  Child-Welfare, 49

  Church, 133, 141-159

  Civil War, 107, 222

  College, 69-82, 104, 110, 165, 167, 217-237
     Law, 260
     Liberal Arts, 84, 99, 260

  College, Preparation for, 71, 73
     Teachers, 45, 219-238

  Commissioner of Education, 27

  Community Service, 73

  Connecticut, 31, 220

  County Training School, 219

  "Credit-for-Quality" System, 243-260

  Cronin, Dr., 125

  Dante, 144, 145

  Democracy, 29, 31-34, 41, 65, 171, 172, 173, 180

  Department of Education, 20

  Dewey, John, 42, 43

  Diaz, President, 31

  Dooley, Mr., 95

  Dwight, Edmund, 31, 218

     Boards of, 45, 84, 156, 195
     Bureau of, 19
     Department of, 108, 109, 218, 219, 223
     Elementary, 65, 75
     History of, 81, 82, 83, 84, 227, 228
     Motive in, 38
     Philosophy of, 81, 84
     Physical, 50, 66, 155, 203
     Principles of, 82, 83, 224
     Professional, 81
     School of in North Dakota, 82-85
     School of, 83-85, 108-111, 218
     Secondary, 75, 84, 85, 164
     Universal, 24

  Educational mesurements, 56

  Educational psychologist, 56, 58, 59

  Educational Review, 243, 251, 260

  Educational Survey, 51, 52, 59

  Elementary School, 65, 66, 67, 73, 74, 105, 106, 107, 108, 230, 231

  England, 30, 173

  Entrance requirements, 44, 48, 76, 80

  Ernest, Duke, 32

  Euthydemus, 98

  Eye, 115-118, 120, 121, 129

  Federal Government, 28

  Folk, Joseph W., 173, 174

  Foster, President, 95, 102, 105

  France, 32, 229

  Frederick the Great, 30, 32

  Frederick William I, 30

  Froebel, 39

  Garfield, ex-President, 90

  Georgia, 24

  Germans, 30, 31

  Germany, 32, 120, 229

  Gladstone, William Ewart, 173, 174

  Gotha, 32

  Government, the, 19

  Grand Forks, North Dakota, 186-199

  Greek, 99, 100

  Gulick, 120

  Harris, Dr. William T., 231

  Harvard College, 65, 219, 224

  Heeter, S. L., 124, 125

  Herbart, 39

  High Schools, 44-47, 53, 55, 63-86, 107, 108, 220, 223, 233, 234,
    247, 248

  High School Teacher, 46-49, 80-85, 178, 222, 223, 228, 233-238

  Hill, James J., 166

  History, 154, 155

  History of Education, 81, 82, 83, 84, 224

  Home, 26, 66, 133-159

  Homer, 99, 100

  Hyde, President, 243, 250

  Illiteracy, 20-24

  Individualism, Theory of, 39, 43

  Iowa, Legislature of, 49

  Jefferson City, 120, 123

  Johnson, Hiram W., 173

  Jordan, David Starr, 72, 177

  Kennedy, Professor, 244, 251, 252, 260

  Law, School of, 108, 110

  Leadership, 75-81, 163-181

  Lecture method, 99-103

  Lincoln, 166

  Literature, 232, 234, 258

  Lloyd-George, David, 166

  Locke, 203

  Longfellow, 207

  Los Angeles, 123

  Louises, the, of France, 32

  McAdoo, Mr., 218, 220

  Mann, Horace, 218, 220

  Massachusetts, 24, 25, 31, 65, 107, 220

  Medical Inspection, 22, 27, 193, 194

  Medicine, School of, 108, 110

  Methods of Teaching, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85

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