requires at the least, several weeks' time. The institute which lasts but
a day or two can do nothing in this direction.
5. The educational value of the institute upon the community in
which it is held, should receive earnest consideration on the part of those
in charge. In many communities we find a settled conviction that teach-
ers are a class of impracticables, full of wild theories and opinionated to
the last degree. And teachers sometimes reciprocate the feeling to their
own injury. The institute can be made a field in which each can form a
more just estimate of the other, in which parents may learn that no pro-
fession contatns more of self denial, more desire to help their fellows,
than that of the teacher, and in which the teacher may learn that parents
have but one chief object in life, that of caring for their children. Each
may differ from the other as to the best and most appropriate methods of
expressing these characteristics ; but the acquaintance would cause each
to respect the other more.
TEACHERS* INSTITUTES. 349
In not a few instances a series of chance occurrences have estranged the
people from the school. The institute gives the opportunity of impress-
ing the fact that the* schoolhouse is the help-mate of the home. The
teacher is there to work in harmony with the community, not to insist
that the community must adjust itself to his notions of propriety and
IV. Each state is the judge of the work its institutes should undet-
take. This finds expression in the laws of the various states and in the
regulations of many of our cities.
In those states in which an interchange of opinions and the discussion
of principles of teaching is all that is required, short sessions are the
rule. Where instruction in methods is required, a longer term is provided
for. When instruction in the academical branches is required, a still
longer term is provided for.
Twenty-six states recognize teachers' institutes, and provide for
their maintenance. Those in which institutes remain in session one week
or less, are, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, California, Indiana, Maryland,
Massachusetts, Minnesota, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio,
Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, ā seven-
teen. Those in which institutes remain in session more than one week
are, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Nevada, South Carolina, Texas, Nebraska,
North Carolina, and Wisconsin, ā nine. In sixteen states the institutes are
controlled by the state superintendent, in the others by county superin-
tendent. But three states recognize the faculties of the state normals in
their scheme of institute work. These are, California, Maryland, and
Wisconsin. A study of the practical working of these institutes reveals
the fact that the laws governing them in most states are very crude. A
study of the work outlined in some states demonstrates that those ad-
ministering the institutes have not improved on the laws. A " cast iron "
course of study means one of two things, ā either the authority that pre-
pares the course of study fails to appreciate the various wants of different
communities, or those who give instruction in the institutes are poorly
prepared for the work they have undertaken. It necessarily reflects upon
But enough of criticism ; the teacher can but keep pace with the pro-
gress of civilization ; he can hurry it little, if any. In this land of free
schools we still measure the intelligence of our people by enumerating
the number who can read and write. The teachers are doing much ; the
institute is one of their modes of progress, and it should receive the pro-
found study of the best thinkers among us. If I have contributed a
mite to a better understanding of its functions and importance, I am
360 THE NATIONAL EDUCATIONAL ASSOCIATION.
L. D. Carr of Dakota, said, " Our law provides for a township institute,
which convenes one Saturday of each month. Every teacher is required
to attend each meeting or lose one day's wages. By combining with this,
the work of the Teachers' Association and Reading Circle, I find it a
very great assistance in creating a sentiment in favor of institute
work and more thorough training. We outline specific work and follow
it as closely as possible. My teachers manifest great interest in the work.
I have known of ladies walking six miles to a township institute."
BEPiRIMIST OF HIGHER IMTRUCIlfl
Department of Higher Instruction.
Wednesday Afternoon, July 14, 1886.
The Department of Higher Instruction of' the National Educational
Association met in the Senate Chamber of the State Capitol Building, at
2.30 P. M.
The President of the Department, Dr. Jerome Allen of New York, in
On motion a committee on nomination of officers for the next year
was appointed. The President named Dr. I. W. Andrews of Marietta
College, and Prof. S. J. Buck o\ Iowa College, Iowa, as the committee.
E. J. James of Pennsylvania, the Secretary, being absent, H. H. Freer
of Cornell College, Iowa, on the nomination of the coAmittee, was re-
quested to act as Secretary.
The President then read his address. Prof. N. P. Jordan of the Uni-
versity of Minnesota, was then introduced and read his paper " Classics
in High Schools." This was followed by the paper of Dr. W. A. Mowry,
**The College Curriculum."
A discussion of the papers followed. Remarks were made by J. B.
Merwin of St. Louis, President Julius D. Dreher of Roanoke College, Va.,
Prof. Boltwood of Evanston, 111., High School, Prof. Rix of Cincinnati,
Ohio, Dr. W. A. Stille of St. Louis, Prof. L. Wiener of Kansas City, Dr.
George A. Bacon, of Syracuse, N. Y., Dr. Greorge P. Brown of Chicago,
Prof. T. H. McBride of Iowa State University, and others.
The time for the next session of the Department was fixed at 2.30 P.M.,
Friday, July 16, and the Chair announced that the discussion would be
continued by President Dreher of Roanoke College, who had made special
preparation upon the subject.
The nominating committee, through the chairman. Dr. I. W. Andrews,
made the following report, which was adopted.
President ā Dr. W. A. Mowry, of Boston.
Vice President ā Dr. Peter Mc Vicar, President Washburn College,
Member of Executive Committee ā Chancellor I. J. Manatt, of Nebraska
Secretary ā Prof. H. H. Freer, of Cornell College, Iowa.
Adjournment followed report of the Committee.
354 THE NATIONAL EDUCATIONAL ASSOCIATION.
2.30 P. M., July 16, 1886.
The Department met pursuant to adjournment, Dr. Jerome Allen in
The subject " Colleges South and Colleges North" was discussed in a
paper by Dr. J. D. Dreher, President of Roanoke College, Va.
Discussion followed, which was engaged in by Prof. Robert Cruikshank
of Emporia, Kansas, Isaac C. Dennett, University of Colorado,Dr. Stille
of St. Louis, Dr. G. W. Hoss of Baker University, Kansas, and by the
principal of the High School, Newark, New Jersey, and others.
On motion of Dr. H. S. Thompson of Otterbein University, Ohio, it
was " Resolved that a committee of seven be appointed by the Chair from
as many different states, to consider the necessary requisites for admission,
and the kind and amount of work. which should entitle to the usual col-
lege degrees. It shall also be the duty of the Committee to confer with
a similar committee from the department of Secondary Instruction, in
case such a committee is appointed."
Members of the Committee : Dr. H. A. Thompson, Otterbein University,
Ohio ; Dr. G. W. Hoss, Baker University, Kansas ; Dr. S. H. Peabody,
Regent of University of Illinois ; Dr. Jerome Allen, New York City ; T.
H. McBride, State University, Iowa ; William Preston Johnston, Presi-
dent Tulane University, Louisiana ; Julius D. Dreher, Roanoke College,
No other business appearing the Department adjourned.
H. H. FREER,
BY Die. JEROME ALLEN, PRESIDENT.
It has often been assumed that primary methods have no special
relation to the universities and colleges. The idea is erroneous from the
following particulars :
First ā The true principles of education and instruction are fundamen-
tal. Upon this fact rests all that we have of the science of education.
Two of these principles are : That method of instruction is the best that
leads the child to investigate for himself. Education, in its highest and
best sense, brings into play and harmonizes actively the whole being, in-
tellectual, moral, and physical. In all good schools the secondary effort
is the impartation of knowledge, the primary object is discipline. When
the child enters school he is taught to observe, think, and express ; after-
wards he learns from books. Nature is the first teacher of the young
mind. When the young man enters college he is taught in the same way,
if he is taught properly. The study of books can never supplant the
study of nature. Thought comes first from what we take in from the
world around us, then from books containing thoughts that others have
taken in from the same world.
Second ā The methods of instruction in the higher schools will always
affect the methods in use in the lower schools. The imitation faculty is
strong in man, and many have no way of doing but by imitating others.
They cannot discriminate or generalize to any great extent. If this col-
lege professor assigns lessons from the book to be learned as it is written
in the book, the college student will do the same in his elementary school.
Is the professor strict in marking each recitation and grading each student
according to rank, so will the student do in primary school. It is need-
less to say teachers ought to be wiser. They are not, and for generations
to come they will not be. It proves that college methods should be as
nearly perfect as possible for the sake of the weaker brethren in charge
of the lower schools.
Third ā The studies required in the higher schools affect all the studies
in the lower. The Latin and Greek have been thoroughly studied in
college, so for generations, Latin and Greek have been also studied in the
elementaxy schools. The effect of this has been most plainly seen in
crowding the curriculum with more than could be profitably learned. If
366 THE NATIONAL EDUCATIONAL ASSOCIATION.
the boy is to go to college, he must early commence to study what the
college requires. The question is not here discussed whether Latin and
Greek should be required of all college students, or whether the same cul-
ture cannot be obtained from the modern languages and sciences. The
fact remains that what the colleges study, the lower schools will also
study, for it is a law that the higher always affects the lower. When our
colleges value the discipline coming from the proper study of chemistry,
biology, our lower schools will value them also. ā¢
Fourth ā Option in studies in college will lead to more flexibility in the
graded and country schools. The question of early adaptation of disci-
pline to the needs of pupils is one of the most important before the edu-
cational world. Until recently all our colleges have required their
students to study the same branches at the same time, and to the same
extent. This has supposed the same capacity in all, for all branches. It
made no difference whether the child was slow in some and quick in
others, he must be kept back in all until he had mastered the one hardest
for him to understand. When our colleges learn to adapt their instruc-
tion more completely to the needs of pupils, our lower schools will soon
find their way out of the cast iron system.
These are merely hints suggested at the commencement of this session
for your consideration. The day of better things is dawning for all our
schools. Educational methods are progressive. From the humble Pesta-
lozzi and the uaobtrusive Froebel, have come influences that have recon-
structed all the universities of Germany. They are destined at no dis-
tant period to affect instruction in all the universities of the world.
DIVERSITY OR UNIFORMITY IN COLLEGE RBQUIREMKNTS.
It is not to be supposed that all colleges should pursue the same course
of study, although it is highly desirable that they should reduce their
differences to the minimum. Various institutions established in different
locations, relying upon diverse constituencies, dependent upon a variety
of secondary schools for the preparatory training of their students, neces-
sarily must differ both in their standard of admission and in the thorough-
ness of the work done, in their several classes. It would be impossible
for all the colleges of New England, for example, or for those of Ohio,
Indiana, and Illinois, or for those in Iowa and Kansas, to expect precisely
the same training of their students prior to admission, or to demand
exactly the same amount of study or degree of scholarship at graduation,
neither would this in all cases be desirable ; but it is believed that the
great principles, which have been insisted upon in this paper, can be carried
out by most of the colleges of this country. Moreover, it would prove
advantageous for all colleges, especially in any particular section of the
OPENING ADDRESS. 357
country, which receive their students from the same preparatory schools,
to agree as far as possible upon a minimum and a maximum standard of
The preparatory schools have found that it isja serious evil for them to
be obliged to prepare their students in the same class for different col-
leges, when the requirements for admission to these various institutions
differ so much as has of late years been the case. If these colleges could
agree with each other upon a standard of admission which might be
denominated minimum, with certain other studies added, wherever it is
possible to have them, the gain would be direct and positive, both for the
college and the preparatory school.
We are living in an age when the fundamental principles of education
are being subjected to a thorough discussion. Some men hold the opinion
that the colleges are useless ; that the best way to educate a boy is to put
him to business at ten or twelve or fourteen years of age ; that we may
suffer a college here and there to eke out a miserable existence, and unfit a
few boys for business life by making of them poor ministers or doctors,
but that all the ordinary callings of life are better followed by the young
men being obliged to learn their trade or profession by its practice. Pos-
sibly these are disciples of the new education, who believe that the way
to learn to do is by doing.
There are others who consider the college as a useful adjunct to society ;
that it is needful for the education of a limited number of young men for
a few special pursuits, such as law, medicine, and divinity.
But we believe that the past history of American colleges has proven
beyond a question, that these institutions are of the greatest service in all
departments of practical life ; that they have been one of the chief causes,
directly and indirectly, of the rapid development and elevation of our
people, by which this republic has come to take first rank in matters of
intelligence, thrift, and enterprise among the nations of the world ; di-
rectly, by means of ttieir own graduates engaged in active life, and indi-
rectly, by means of the influence of many of these graduates, especially
in the ranks of the teachers, upon the minds and lives of others; We
believe that the American colleges should be fostered, ā that whether they
are endowed by private funds^or are State institutions supported by
public money, they should be encouraged in every possible way to do
their best work. It would not require the inspiration of a prophet to
predict, with certainty of fulfillment, that the future will witness a
decided advance all along the college line, and that during the next cen-
tury, the colleges of America will manifest a more rapid growth, a more
philosophical method of instruction, a wiser curriculum, and a more ex-
THE COLLEGE CURRICULUM.
BY WILLIAM A. MOWftY, PH. D., BOSTON, MASS.
The subject which has been assigned to me is so broad that a full dis-
cussion of it is impossible, nor is it my intention to present an elaborate
paper. I design merely to embody such practical suggestions as seem to
me warranted by the present condition of college affairs in this country,
and such as I hope may be serviceable to the progress of educational
In discussing the question of a curriculum for colleges, it will be neces-
sary, first, to consider the purpose of the college, or the object for which it
is established. I shall restrict the use of the term "college" to what is
known as the typical American College. In order to understand thorough-
ly the province of the American College, it may be well for us to remem-
ber that it had its origin as an offshoot from the English College. Our
system of education in America is principally derived from England,
rather than from Germany, or elsewhere upon the continent of Europe ;
hence the educational methods of America have always been more Eng-
lish than German or French. The German Real Schulen, Gymnasia, and
Universities present a system of education distinctly German. The
ancient Public schools or Grammar schools, the Colleges and the Univer-
sities of England form the English system, which dates back about 600
years. The first college at Cambridge, ā St. Peter's College, or Peter-
house, ā was founded in the year 1257. Five other colleges at Cambridge
were established before the year 1400 ; four othersi in the next century,
and half a dozen more before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth. The
establishments at Oxford date from about the same time.
ORIGIN OF THE AMEBIOAK COLLEGE.
The American system may be said to have been begun in Massachusetts,
where, at a very early period were established, first, a college, which was
the beginning of the present Harvard University, the oldest college in
America ; then the Grammar schools which were to prepare young men
for the college course of study, and subsequently the common school sys-
tem. It is well worth our notice that from the very foundation of Har-
vard College, the ancient languages played a conspicuous part in the course
THE COLLEGE CURRICULUM, 359
of instruction, as had been the case in the English colleges preceding it.
The course of study at Harvard College as early as 1642 was particularly
noticeable for its fullness in Greek, Hebrew, Chaldee, and Syriac. As to
the Latin, that was the main requirement for admission. The rule was :
"When the Schollar is able to understand TuUy (Cicero), or such like
Classicall Latine Author Extempore, and make and speake true Latine in
verse and prose, stto ut aiunt Marte, and decline perfectly the paradigm's
of nounes and verbes in the Greek tongue : Let him then and not before
be capable of admission into CoUedge." After such a preparation in
Latin, previous to the college course, it was considered that no regular
instruction in Latin was needed, but its use was required throughout the
college curriculum. ā¦
OBOWTH OF THE AMERICAN COLLEGE.
From this beginning of college work in America great progress has been
made ; many colleges have been established, some of them endowed with
large funds ; the course of study has from time to time been raised and
expanded, until to-day the work of the American college, ā both in the
older and the newer states, ā is exerting an immense influence in pro-
moting the welfare of the country and elevating the character of the peo-
ple. If it be true that the progress of society in America during the
last 250 years has been greater than in any other country in any equal
period of the world's history, it is more than probable that this progress
has been quite as much due to the American college as to any other
The problem therefore, of what a college curriculum should be, assumes
fresh interest and is invested with great importance from the conspicuous
part that the college is playing in the development of American society.
OBJECT OF THE COLLEGE.
At the outset then, it should be observed that during this whole period
of the development of American colleges, as well as during the four cen-
turies preceding this period in the English colleges, we find, well defined
and continuous throughout, one grand purpose underlying all college
work, and that is, development of mental power or the growth of the in-
tellect. By a critical examination of this history it is clearly manifest
that the principal object of college work is the increase of mental power,
the growth of the man, the development of the higher faculties of his
* Indeed, it appears from a careful stady of the early currlculam at Harvard that there
were constant trantilations from Greek and other tongues into Latin. The use of Latin was
far more general and nniyersal than at more modern periods.
360 THE NATIONAL EDUCATIONAL ASSOCIATION
nature, the elevation of the human being, the widening of the difference
between man and the brute creation ; in a word, it is taking a young man
and, by this course of culture, by the training of the powers, by the
practice of thought, creating in him the power to do, the ability to bring
to pass, so that the young man can say when a difficult task is presented
to him, "I can do it."
This, it seems to me, is the primary object of the college. It is true
that it is designed to give to the student valuable information, to increase
his knowledge of things ; but that is not its essential design, that is sec-
ondary. The grand province of college work is the increase of power
through the cultivation of the intellect.
PRINCIPLES UNDERLYING THE CURRICULUM.
If what has now been said is agreed to, there would seem to be but
little difficulty in determining the principles upon which the curriculum
of the college should be based. The course of study should, obviously,
be such as will best conduce to bring about this result. While on the one
hand information studies should have their proper place in the college
curriculum, it is clearly evident that the principal studies should be dis-
ciplinary. The problem set before the college is this : ā given, a number
of youth, averaging about eighteen years of age who have already re-
ceived the necessary secondary instruction, what studies, in what order,
and in what proportion, will best serve to discipline the powers of the
mind, to develop its faculties, to give to it power of thought, clearness of
perception, accuracy of reasoning, confidence in itself, and an ability to
adapt means to ends, so as in any given case to produce the ;required re-
sult. Looking at the problem in this light, I think that most of us will
agree, both from what the past has done and from what we ourselves have
observed in the youth of our own acquaintance, that whatever else should
be included in this curriculum, or excluded from it, at least four lines of
study are essential : ā (1) the study of the ancient classical languages of
Greece and Borne ; (2) the study of the Mathematics ; (3) the study of
the more disciplinary Natural Sciences, for example. Physics and Chem-
istry ; and (4) the Metaphysics.
DISCIPLINARY VALUE OP THE ANCIENT LANGUAGES.
It Is not my purpose, nor would it be appropriate here to discuss to any
great extent the question of the absolute value of these ancient languages
as disciplinary studies in comparison with what may be done by scientific
studies or the modern languages. I believe, however, that it is true that
no other line of study has ever yet been found to take the place of these
languages. The philosophical structure of the Greek, the virile strength
THS COLLEGE CURRICULUM. 361
of the Latin, the accuracy of thought as expressed hy these tongues, the
concentration of mind necessary to their acquisition, the persistency of
purpose, the continuity of effort, the weighing and balancing the shades
of thought as expressed by different words, the knowledge derived from
this study concerning the habits and customs of those ancient peoples,
their laws, their religion, their philosophy ; the cultivation of the mem-