« AnteriorContinuar »
a commentary upon the function and place of higher education in the public mind. It is an epitome of the great change which has taken place within so short a time. One may not be too sure that this change is altogether good. Time alone will determine whether something is not lost in this transfer. It does not mean that our institutions of learning are any less religious either in fact or in theory, for it may be confidently maintained that never, in the history of higher education, has the religious spirit prevailed more widely, or extended more deeply, than at present. It does not mean that questions of ethics or of philosophy occupy a less prominent place than in former years. It does not mean that biblical instruction is now taking a secondary place in comparison with that which it has hitherto occupied; for here again, as everyone knows, never before in the history of college education have biblical studies occupied the place in academic instruction which they hold to-day. But if it does not mean these things, what does it mean? Simply that the work of education is itself a profession, separate and distinct from preaching. Just as, in olden time, when specialism introduced itself, he who had formerly been sage and soothsayer and priest was compelled to specialize, and three different classes of teachers, under different names, arose to do the work, namely, the sage, the prophet, and the priest; so to-day the training of the preacher is not the training which ordinarily is best adapted to prepare a man for the work of a university presidency. In truth, the position of the university president has become a unique position, a profession by itself; one the demands on which are greater perhaps than those made upon any other profession. This new phase is a growth of the last two decades. What its future development will be no one can prophesy; but it stands out to-day as distinct from the office of the clergy, on the one hand, as from that of the specialist in any department of science, on the other. The college president must be a specialist, and he must also be a generalist. Scholarship is expected of him; at the same time, thoro business training. The capacity for desk work is demanded, and, besides, skill in public speaking; and, above all, if not knowledge of all
things, at least sympathy with all knowledge. The past year has made large contribution to the further differentiation of this new character in modern life.
The two greatest single events in the history of higher education during the past year-indeed, during the past ten years—are those connected with Mr. Rhodes's proposition for American and colonial scholarships at Oxford, and the foundation of the Carnegie Institution in Washington for research work. It is intensely interesting to note that these two great events were announced within ninety days of each other, and that the one is distinctly for educational purposes, the other for purposes of research; the two thus covering the entire function of the modern university. It is interesting to note further that in one case the provision is made by a foreigner, altho intended to benefit American youth, and that in the other case the provision is also made by a man of foreign birth, its purpose being to elevate and dignify and increase the possibilities of research work in the land of his adoption. The members of the National Educational Council cannot fail to have noted that the action of Mr. Carnegie was the direct result of a report made by a committee of this Council a year ago, and that the Carnegie Institution has been established on precisely the lines laid down in the report of this Council's committee.
The president of one of our oldest institutions writes to me privately this statement concerning these great gifts: “ The relation of the great gifts of the past year to the future, like those of Carnegie or Rhodes, is so problematical that I do not, so early as this, venture to estimate their importance."
It is plainly possible that great injury to the cause of education may result from gifts of this magnitude, unless they are properly administered. On the basis of important testimony, coming to me directly from leaders of education in Scotland, I am convinced that Mr. Carnegie's gift to Scotch universities up to the present time has resulted in far greater injury than good to those institutions and to the cause of education in that country. One of the most dangerous weapons in the world is a large sum of money, badly administered in a good cause.
It is, therefore, as has been suggested, too early to hazard an opinion on the good or evil results of these gifts. That both of them have great possibilities of good no one can deny. The Carnegie fund has been established for research and ought to contribute largely to institutional co-operation; but if, instead of encouraging the work of research and investigation as already established in our institutions of learning, it endeavors to detach such work from those institutions and to gather to itself the responsibility and the credit for such work; if, instead of strengthening the work where it already exists, it undertakes to establish new foundations, independent of these institutions, in order that its own work may be more tangible, it will prove to be the greatest curse of higher education in this country instead of a blessing. If the Rhodes scholarships are to be employed to detach from the American environment one hundred or more young men of special ability each year and transport them to foreign soil in order to imbue them with foreign ideas at an age when they are peculiarly impressionable; if the purpose of this foundation is to draw all men to a recognition of the doctrine of imperialism as it is embodied in the British Empire, the execution of this trust may prove a curse instead of a blessing to those who avail themselves of its privileges.
But there is no good reason to suppose that these injurious results will follow. The men to whose trust has been committed the Carnegie Institution are men of broad sympathies and of large ideas. Altho, thus far, no sufficient indication has been given of the policy of the Institution to lead us to suppose that the original proposition of institutional co-operation has a large place in the minds of those immediately in control, time will convince all who have relationship to this institution that only such a policy will be productive of the best results. And, surely, in the disposition of the Rhodes scholarship there will be employed that same large wisdom which has thus far characterized British statesmanship and diplomacy. The form of the gift is sufficiently indefinite to make it possible to modify the original proposition and to permit these scholarships to be for graduate work rather than
for undergraduate work. In any case, regulations may easily be established which will make profitable this temporary sojourn of American youth in a country so closely connected with our history and our sympathies. England and America stand together to-day, and in the future will continue to stand together, in all great international and humanitarian movements; and this additional bond of union may be not the least important one in bringing about great international reforms, in which England and the United States shall take the lead.
We who are workers in the educational field to-day live in a period of great and wide-reaching opportunity. Our predecessors knew nothing of the advantages which we enjoy. The outlook which presents itself to us would have been for them an utterly impossible one. Greater wisdom is needed to-day, in view of these new and splendid opportunities. The work of the teacher grows more and more secure, and is more and more highly esteemed by the people at large. It is the highest career man or woman is permitted to follow. The greatest of all men was a teacher, a man who employed the methods of a teacher, and was recognized as such by all who met Him. In view of the achievements of the past, and the possibilities and opportunities of the future, let us" gird our loins," put on new strength, and take up the burden of life for another year with new courage and with a never-failing faith in the dignity and value of the work which God has given us to do.
To the more than one hundred leaders in education in the elementary, the secondary, and the higher fields of work who, by their suggestions, have aided me in the preparation of this paper, I wish to make acknowledgment of my indebtedness.
I have intentionally omitted the consideration of the educational literature of the year, as well as the trend of educational matters across the ocean. It was necessary to place some kind of limitation on the scope of the paper.
WILLIAM R. HARPER UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO
COLLEGE ENTRANCE EXAMINATION BOARD
SECOND ANNUAL REPORT OF THE SECRETARY
THE EXAMINATIONS OF 1902
At the second annual meeting of the College Organization Entrance Examination Board, held at Col
umbia University, New York, on November 9, 1901, Nicholas Murray Butler was elected chairman to succeed President Low, who retired from the board by virtue of his resignation as president of Columbia University; President Thomas of Bryn Mawr College was reelected vice chairman; Joseph C. Hendrix of New York was re-elected treasurer; and Thomas Scott Fiske of Columbia University was elected secretary.
At the same meeting the following resolutions were adopted :
Resolved, that the College Entrance Examination Board of the Middle States and Maryland hereby instruct the chairman and the secretary, acting on behalf of the board, to tender a formal invitation to the colleges and scientific schools of the New England States to send representatives to this board on the same terms and conditions as are established by the constitution of the board for colleges and scientific schools in the Middle States and Maryland.
Resolved, That upon the acceptance of this invitation by one or more of the institutions of the New England States the name of the board be altered by dropping the designation “ of the Middle States and Maryland."
Resolved, That the Association of Colleges and Preparatory Schools of the Middle States and Maryland be requested to extend a formal invitation to the New England Association of Colleges and Preparatory Schools to choose each year five members of the College Entrance Examination Board representing secondary-school teachers of the New England States, so soon as not fewer than five New England colleges and scientific schools have accepted the invitation to become members of this board,
Resolved, that the chairman and secretary be authorized to make the necessary verbal changes in the constitution and published documents of