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the same direction, and a uniform standard can be assumed in all (as in Germany), it is found best to give over the whole business of examining for admission to the university to the authorities of the schools, who are justly supposed to be best qualified for the task by their knowledge of the pupils and of their studies. And I never heard a complaint that the Abiturient-examen of a German gymnasium erred on the side of lenity.
But although the general principle may be admitted, still com. plaints are often heard from the schools of the requisitions of the colleges, and other equally loud complaints come from the colleges of what are deemed shortcomings in the schools. If the college raises its requisitions for admission, the schools sometimes feel that there is an attempt to impose on them work which the college ought to do for itself; and when boys come to college imperfectly prepared in Greek or Latin declensions and conjugations, or in decimal fractions, the college complains that school work is unfairly imposed on it, which it has no time or means to perform. Now this state of things will never cease, until teachers on both sides are agreed at least upon the general principle of division of labor between colleges and schools. One thing, however, is beyond dispute: if we assume that there is to be progress in the higher learning in this country, it follows that there must be equal progress in our schools. There is an immense gap between the best American college and the university of Berlin. But there is a gap of exactly the same width between an American High School and a Prussian gymuasium, and you cannot bridge over the former gap unless at the same time and with equal care you bridge over the latter. If the universities of Germany could be brought to America tomorrow, and put in the place of our present colleges, with all their professors changed to English-speaking Yankees, they would die for want of support, like so many trees cut off from their roots. Unless the German schools were imported also, the universities would be so much useless lumber. I would here remark that I am not one of those who believe in the importation of either a German or an English university to meet our wants.
The prominent features of the English university, those by which we are accustomed to recognize it, are at this moment exposed to
such severe criticism at home, that it would seem at least hazardous to import a system upon which reformers are at work even more vigorously than they are upon our own. And before the German university could be domesticated here, with its entire freedom from restraint and from all attempt to regulate directly either the nature or the amount of a pupil's study, the institutions of our country would require a change which the most ardent university reformer would shrink from suggesting. In Germany, the absence of direct control over the university studies — which strikes some foreigners with horror, and others with sentimental enthusiasm is more than made up by indirect government control, which is rigid and effective, though distant. In fact, there is no country in the world where such tangible rewards for scholarship and learning are held out for the competition of students at the universities as are offered in Germany. It is not by importing a university system, but hy slowly developing our own college system, and by adding to it whatever single advantages are presented by various foreign systems, that we can hope to see an American university established which shall be worthy of the name.
But although I believe that we can develop from our own resources a form of university better suited to our wants than either the English or the German would be if imported bodily, I am sure that in some way the standard of our scholarship is to be raised to a level with that of Europe, - not in this generation, perhaps not in the next; but it will be done in time. And it must be done by slow and steady progress, and by the united efforts of the whole body of our teachers. There must be no uncertainty and no dispute between teachers in different institutions as to the great end to be attained, however much there may be as to the details. I will here refer for an illustration to the relation of a German school to a German university, not with a view of recommending the details of either, but because there we find the highest standard of scholarship, and also the most perfect understanding as to the exact proyince of the public school and the university.
I have here one of the latest programmes of the Friedrichs. Werdersche Gymnasium at Berlin, one of the best Prussian schools, where Zumpt was once Professor, and where the present Prime Minister of Prussia was educated. It appears from the report of the Director (Dr. Edward Bonnell, well known as a Latin scholar, especially for his labors in Quintilian), that the pupils receive twenty-eight or thirty hours instruction in each week, of which time less than a half is occupied with Latin and Greek.* The full course of study now occupies nine years (the pupils generally leaving school when they are nineteen), although very many shorten the time by doing extra work. Latin is begun in the first year, and Greek in the third. During the first four years Nepos and Phædrus are the only Latin authors mentioned by name in the course of study; but extensive compilations and readers are used from the first. During the last five years, however, and often in less time, the following Latin is read: Cæsar (7 books of Gallic War); Virgil's Æneid and some Eclogues; the whole of Curtius; Cicero (4 orations against Catiline; against Verres, book V.; orations for the Manilian Law, for Archias, for Roscius of Ameria, for Milo; De Oratore, 2 books; De Officiis, 3 books; and some Epistles); Tacitus (3 books of Histories); Horace (4 books of Odes); Quintilian (book 10th); several books of Livy; and parts of Ovid. In Greek the course for the last five years (or less) in. cludes 20 books of the Iliad, 18 of the Odyssey, 6 books of the Anabasis, 1 book of Thucydides, 7 orations of Demosthenes, the Antigone of Sophocles; and the Apology, Crito, Protagaras, O' and 2 books of the Republic, of Plato. Mathematics occupy three and a half hours a week, for nine years; Physics or Natural Science two hours a week for five years; History and Geography three hours a week for eight years and four hours for one year. Other studies, as Hebrew and Drawing, are optional; and many pupils accomplish much more work than is required in the regular studies.
Those who have passed this course of school-study are admitted, after a severe examination, to the university. Most of the instruction there is adapted to those who bring this amount of preparation, and it would be of no use to those who were merely fitted to enter an American College. When we see the rich choice of lec
m I speak especially of these departments, because I am better acquainted with the manner of teaching in them, in the gymnasium and in the university.
tures in every department of science which is offered in the university programmes, - a choice so rich that even the specialist finds it hard to select from those offered in his speciality, — and reflect that this would be as impossible in Germany as in America, were it not for the schools, we feel that no small portion of our thanks should be given to the system of government supervision, which has filled Germany with public schools of so high a character.
The relation here described will show us what must be the position of the American school when our standard of university education is raised to the point at which we should aim; and (in my opinion) no teacher in our country does his duty, either in the college or in the school, who does not exert all his influence in favor of raising both our colleges and our schools to the highest rank that has ever been attained anywhere, no matter if ultimate success seems impossible in this, or even in the next, generation.
What now should be the main principle on which we should aim to distribute our work between the school and the university ? This is, after all, the great practical question. It seems to me that it is this: it is not the business of a university to teach the elements of any science which can be begun and studied to advantage at school. The simplest doctrines of economy teach us that it is a wicked waste of our resources to use a costly and complicated machine for work which a cheaper and simpler one will do as well, or better. Now a university is an expensive institution, and instruction costs three or four times as much there as it does in a school. Harvard College in 1867–68 spent about $100,000 in educating four hundred and seventy-nine undergraduates, or more than two hundred dollars on each. This includes $20,000 paid directly to meritorious students in the shape of scholarships, prizes, and gifts, amounting to more than two-fifths of the tuition fees; but it takes no account of property valued at more than $1,000,000, in the form of buildings, land, and library, of which the students enjoyed the use. It is only by help of its endowments that the college can afford to give this education for less than half of its actual cost. Now on what principle can we justify the use of an institution thus endowed and thus costly, even with the most economical management, in teaching boys to construe Xenophon or
Livy, to perform the common processes of Geometry, Trigonometry, or Algebra, to translate such an easy and common language as French? How much better could all these things be taught to small classes in schools, under the ordinary school discipline, than to large classes in college, where the strict personal attention required in all elementary instruction is absolutely impossible. And it is only by eliminating such elementary matters gradually from the college studies, that we can ever hope to find time in college to teach the higher branches of science. Of course there are some studies which, from their nature, or from the small number who pursue them, ought to be confined to the college. Such are languages like Sanskrit or Arabic, the higher metaphysical studies, and those parts of physical science which involve unsettled theories or require expensive apparatus. There is no department of study which does not supply material for more than all the time which would remain to it in college, after all the elementary in. struction should be removed to the schools. And thus only can the college answer the demand which its supporters and benefactors have a right to make upon it, that it shall be a place where (as President Walker expressed it sixteen years ago) “ the last word that had been uttered in any department shall be made accessible to students.” Thus only can a college become a real engine for the advancement of science, and not a mere receptacle for what has been discovered elsewhere. It is therefore, as I think, the duty of every one concerned in the management of our High schools to welcome every addition to the course of preparation for college, and even to urge on the colleges as a duty, that more and more work shall be given to the schools to do.
I know what will be the first answer to all this. The parents, it will be said, will not allow their boys time enough even for the slight preparation now required, much less for a higher and broader one. This is a serious difficulty (if it exists), and one which both schools and colleges must combine to meet. It is obvious that so fundamental a question as this must be settled on some generai principle, and cannot be left to so uncertain a tribunal as the whim of the average American citizen. Here it is clearly the duty of the college to suggest the remedy, and for the schools to apply it. We may perhaps take a hiut from the Euglish colleges and the