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accompany this article, trailed me there. He had not shared
in the group discussions and I sprang my question on him.
How about this insistence that students must behave on
their jobs, avoid making trouble, accept conditions as they
find t'hem? Didn't it tend to make them conformists, com-
placently acquiescent with things as they are? Babbitts,
perhaps?

HE doubted whether you could generalize. He gave me
his own experience and the experience of his "coop,"
his alternate on the job, and let me judge for myself. That
invariably happened. Time and again, I tried to lead a
student with whom I picked up an acquaintance into an
argument on some such subject. Always I got instead a
considered discussion based on experience. That habit, I
was to find, carried over into the faculty and the executives.
Three years ago, Norman came to Antioch his mind set
on landscape architecture. As the Personnel Department
could not immediately find him a landscaping job was not
averse, perhaps, to testing his day-dreaming enthusiasm for
manipulating flowers and trees by introducing him to other
possible vocations it assigned him as bill collector to a
newspaper in the neighboring town in Springfield. But the
smell of printer's ink did not intrigue him. The next year



he fell in with another student, S. H. Brewster, who was
struggling with a little landscape business of his own. The
bill-collecting experience had cured his inhibitions against
talking business with people, and he became a partner in
the Antioch Landscape Company. But this was a phase of
landscape gardening he had not sufficiently reckoned with
in his earlier, more romantic enthusiasm. He stepped aside
for a summer as assistant to the director of a summer camp
for delinquent boys to straighten out his ideas and decided
against it as a career. Another student, H. Lee Jones, just
graduated from Antioch, had put his photograph shop on
the market and Norman bought it. "It took my last penny
to make the first payment," he said. "I knew nothing of
photography but I trusted to what Jones taught me and the
momentum of the business to help me pay the rest. Six
months has almost accomplished this, and during that time
I have been learning about business and photography and
human contacts. Another year of the Picture Shop ought to
give me the maximum experience I can get from it, but it
will be a job undertaken and accomplished, and that's worth
a good deal in itself. Another year of straight time study
as a 'C' division student will give me my liberal arts degree.
By that time, I'll have made my choice of a profession, which
as I see it now will have to do with people rather than things,
or else with some artistic interest possibly both."

DID that answer my question ? Words were not his
medium, he said. He could interpret his Antioch to
me better with his camera.

Norman's "coop" in the landscape business also illus-
trated the Antioch idea of education. Brewster had come
to the college set upon being a certified accountant, but the
job that opened up was to take hold of a little evergreen
nursery in the neighborhood. During the off season, he
loaded a small truck with plantings and peddled them about
Springfield. He sold out his load but many of his customers
were stumped to know what to do with the plantings. That
gave him an idea. He began making diagrams, little land-
scaping lay-outs, and offered his help. The work so fasci-
nated him that when he was tendered a place as accountant
he begged off. The evergreen nursery became the Antioch
Landscape Company. Brewster now knew that he wanted
to be a landscape architect. Under the Antioch plan for
technical specialists, a student spends four years at Antioch
and is granted his degree after one more year at a technical
school whose courses go beyond Antioch's present scope.
Brewster went to the landscape school at Ohio State Uni-
versity and was permitted to graduate a year before his
regular time in order to give him the advantage of a free
scholarship at Lake Forest and the chance of a scholarship
abroad. Norman told how Brewster had the jump on
students who are "sent to college," or who have no idea of
the conditions they must meet after they go outside. "He's
had his practical experience and the cultural studies at
Antioch, especially psychology and sociology, make him see
his work in the light of contemporary society as a whole,
instead of from the purely technical angle. Working among
plants fascinates Brewster," said Norman, "but his big
advantage is that he knows that knowing how to push a
spade into the ground has something to do with landscape
architecture."

Then there is Jones "Mr. Jones, my photographic pre-
decessor, who had much the same story. He's found the
experience invaluable in his (Continued on page 295)




At the study table




At the advertising desk



Tom Brown at Antioch

.HHESE are not pictures of Tom, Dick and Harry. They are pictures
J. of Tom Brown. That is not his real name, but' he is a real person,
typical of several hundred men who, under the Antioch College plan,
spend half their time in the eager round of campus activities and half
their time in factories, fields or offices, not as specially privileged col-
legians but as workers who must measure up to the standards of business
and industrial jobs. The pictures were made by Shirley Norman who
six months ago took over a photographic studio started by another
student. With his camera he set out to show that Antioch means to its
undergraduates more than textbook information and campus politics. In
these poses as scholar, athlete and wage earner Tom Brown plays the triple
Antioch role. He dramatizes the many sided life of a young American part-
icipating in this experimental attempt to make of the college years an
experience fitting boys and girls for the adult life of a new generation




Mathematics in the Held



At scratch
261



In a factory laboratory




IN THE PO\TER H^




NTIOCH undergraduates spend
but five weeks out of ten on
the campus and only a part of that
time is devoted to books. The col-
lege has the usual "extra curricular
activities" and Tom Brown puts in
long, vigorous hours on the athletic
field and on the baseball diamond.





AT THE TRACK MEET




IN THE SHOP



Make the Method Fit the Mind



By JOSEPH HERSCHEL COFFIN
Campus Skeches by a Whittier Student




adding machine shows that in a recent
vear tn e college of letters and science of one
great state university "offered" 1,666 courses
in 49 departments of instruction all the
-\\-ay from archeology to zoology, with an
average of 34 courses per department. Here
was a row of stand-pipes of knowledge of varying heights
which on the average carried 34 strata of information, each
nicely partitioned off from the others. The faculty prescribes
pourings of standard size from certain of these containers
for all comers, while the university itself is a kind of glori-
fied canning factory. The student is placed on an endless
chain-table (called a schedule of recitations) and carried
down the row again and again, receiving on each trip a
thin layer of mathematics, of composition, of French, of
chemistry, in turn averaging about 15 layers per week.
Two thousand one hundred and sixty such layers constitute
the standard degree of fulness (the bachelor's
degree) and the student is sealed up in bond
and shipped, with his education complete.

President Henry Noble McCracken of
Vassar recently said, "The dead hand of the
past lies heavy on our institutions. The pre-
eminence of Latin survives from the trivium ;
and the preeminence of mathematics is our
inheritance from the quadrivium of the
Middle Ages. Far stronger, however, than
the priorities of the classics and mathematics
are the traditional methods of instruction and
of college life." This dead hand of the past
makes its educational gestures to the youth
of today through the traditional methods of
lecture, question and answer, laboratory exer-
cises, and peradventure the new fangled
tutorial system, accompanied by text-books,
library assignments, note-books, quizzes,
exams, compulsory class attendance, penalties
and eligibility rules. Underlying both content
and method are also certain time-honored but
invalid assumptions: that lecturing is teach-
ing; that memorizing is being educated; that
one is officially educated when one can repro-
duce facts or ideas ; that education and life
are separate eras in one's personal history ;
that "secondary passive attention," native
retentivity, reproductive memory, written and
possibly oral language are the mental 'func-
tions demanded of the student ; that a student
is "good" who can do these things well, and
"poor" who can do them but poorly.

The youth movement began in American
higher education thirty years ago when young
men and women began to react against these



presuppositions and to assert their belief, in spite of officia
frowns, that education comes through participation in actua
enterprises of practical as well as theoretical complexion
The reaction has now gone so 'far that we are in th<
anomalous position of having two curriculums : the officia
curriculum devised by the faculty, over against which stands
the real curriculum devised by the students, consisting o:
the campus activities enterprises which to them seem vital
Cooperative hostility between faculty and students results
Student activities vs. curricular passivities is the formula
The factors include athletics, student government, honor
system, choice and methods of teachers (!), curriculum,
and compulsory chapel.

Educators have finally become conscious of the rift be-
tween current educational procedure and life, and are
beginning to grant the justice of the revolt. But not unti
1925 was any cognizance of the situation taken by any

authoritative organization
In that year the Nationa
Research Council published
its bulletin on Honor
Courses in American Col-]
leges and Universities. Here ;
was the reaction of the
academic mind to the situ-
ation ; a dignified, honest
effort, though a bit heavy,
to meet the higher educa-
tional needs of food-eating,
language-using, happiness-
hunting, young men and
women. The innovation
expressed itself in the form
of various experiments in
the direction of the tutorial
system, the comprehensive
examination, the Under-
standing of a Civilization
Course as at Reed, as
well as the honors courses.
But the movement toward
honors courses is probably
the most significant of all,
for by 1925 there were 18
important institutions in
which the "honor student
is excused from all, or at
any rate from the greater
part, of the requirements
of the ordinary course,
and enters upon a different
and severer course for his
honors examinations."




266



MAKE THE METHOD FIT THE MIND



267



But anyone with half an eye for the principles underlying plishing this at Whittier College is the elaboration of a
the honors courses will see that they still do not question device which has already gained wide acceptance in Ameri-
the assumption that the curriculum must be a depart- can colleges, namely, the orientation course. Instead of



*.. r~ '"-6", uamciy, me orientation course, instead 01

mentalized structure of subjects and courses ; that it must little problems of campus geography, local traditions, study

habits, and social relations, however, the problem is c

.-. _ - - - . , ceived on a much larger scale. To avoid ambiguit

mind. Knowledge is also still departmentalized; "fields of "^^^^: u_. i ...u.^ . i / .< ^



, . mill. jjiuuicui!> 01 campus geograpny, local tradil

be a repository of knowledge; and that education is still a habits, and social relations, however, the probl
transfer of knowledge from the repository to an individual - ' J *



em is con-
lies,
The



jjmiv*. -...~ .. o - - i - iia wwii auuaiiLULCU JUi UllCIllallOil. 1 lie

concentration" are still subdivided and sold logically instead correlation course is then given the dignity of constituting

of psychologically ; we still talk in terms of subjects instead the core of the curriculum, and extends throughout the four

of situations; "fields" are still predetermined and must be years of college. A preliminary canvas of these situations



v* u > .. j *v,v.. * * |'iv.iiiiiiiiaiv trtiiv rt3 '

elected as already surveyed, instead of making the survey during the freshman year for the purpose of seeing what is

in the light of the individual's aptitudes and life interests; involved in them and what the main scientific sources of

education is still learning, instead of practice in life adjust- pertinent information are, paves the way for a more in-

Docility and reproductive memory are still the tensive study of them in successive years. The course is a



ment.



honors-getters.



uuj ui tnwiii 11 BUVWV4Q1 ' V. rVMA Vi J. m, lnVUCV

spiral staircase, bringing the student back to the



same



iJlQ I S* tit I It I 3 WMBM \_l*^V,j I 1 *!! LI IV Jl UV1V.I11 I I . 1 V IV L

At Whittier College another experiment in functional problem on successive levels. The sophomore climb is by



education is under way. Here the question was: What can
we do in a small four-year college of liberal arts to tie
education to the whole of life and still hold steadily to the
liberalizing aim?

The answer seemed to lie in two directions: first, in the
direction of a situation-technique instead of the subject-
technique; and second, in a movement toward the project-
technique instead of the honors-technique.

While no final decision can be arrived at as to what the
basic life situations are until a larger number of case-
analyses have been made, still it seems 'fairly clear that
the following great life problems are not only typical
but absolutely vital, (i)
the sex-marriage-situation ;

(2) the leisure-situation;

(3) the occupation-situa-
tion; (4) the community
life-situation; and ($) the
what -is -there -in- religion -
situation. Here are real
fields of concentration, not
conventional subject-fields.
Here are problematic situa-
tions to which one simply
must make conscious ad-
justment of means to ends
or perish. At least one can-
not realize that fullness of
life which alone is worthy
of man without meeting
them in an adequate fash-
ion. Of course students are
already meeting these situ-
ations in the haphazard
trial and error method, in
the rough and tumble exi-
gencies of daily life with
more or less too often
less success. But to intro-
duce these situation-prob-
lems into the classroom as
the core of the educative
process and make a detailed
analysis of them as the basis
of intelligent adjustment
seemed not only desirable
but an absolute necessity.

The method of accom-




way of psychological science; the junior by way of social
science ; and the final turn by way of philosophy and religion.

MAY I tell you the story of J. W. ? He came to college
to play football. He brought with him a superb
body, matured beyond his years, an undisciplined mind, and
an emotional life on the level of the early adolescent. He
went through the motions of filling out his personal chart
during the first two weeks in the correlation course with
amused tolerance; he even endured with some grace the
visit with the professor during which they went over his
life story together. But so far college work was simply a
hurdle in the way of football, for of course
one must be eligible. After the season, work
easily gave place to other more attractive
enterprises, including an interminable sequence
of "heavy dates." He suffered a stroke of
puppy love which well nigh proved his un-
doing. For temporary safe-keeping the girl
in the case was transferred to a Catholic in-
stitution, and it was a question whether we
should not just allow J. W. quietly to drop
out of college and end his academic career.

Then came the correlation survey of the
vocation-situation. In common with all mem-
bers of his class, J. W. was invited to look
the whole field over with the question in
mind, Where am I going to fit in? What
are the opportunities; what are the physical,
mental, and social demands of this and that
occupation; does my personnel chart and my
psychological examination present a picture
which will fit into a physician's office, or a
bank, or a garage? An interval of unrest
bordering upon exasperation ensued, for he
was for the first time actually facing a vital
life situation, and at the same time barely
gulping in enough air to keep alive, as he
bobbed up and down at the surface of aca-
demic oblivion.

But thanks to whatever gods there be, h
experienced an economic conversion. It came
all of a sudden. But it was perfectly c
that physical education was to be his career.
In the meantime here was this love affair.
In consequence of that he riveted his atte
tion on those lectures and discussions con-
cerning sex, (Continued on page 297)



Wisconsin's Experimental College



By ALEXANDER MEIKLEJOHN



HAT would you do if you could do as you
like? That question is always a fascinating,
though usually an idle, one for persons
caught in a network of arrangements which
hinder and block each other in what we call
the life of an institution. But sometimes the
question is not idle. Now and then, here and there, it
happens that the net is broken, a fresh start can be made.
And something of this kind is just now happening at Wis-
consin. A group of teachers is being formed, eleven or
twelve in number the first year and from twenty to twenty-
five in later years. And this small faculty, by action of the
faculties and regents of the University, has been given a free
hand to experiment OH the liberal teaching of freshmen and
sophomores. It is arranged that students who meet the de-
mands of this college for two years will be given full credit
in the general work of the College of Letters and Science.
The faculty of the Experimental College may teach what it
thinks best and in whatever ways it may find most useful.
But whatever and however ijt teaches, the University will
accept its results as equivalent both in amount and in specifi-
cation to the work done in the regular courses.

The opportunity thus created for the faculty of the Ex-
perimental College is challenging even to the point of terror.
Our task is not that of introducing changes or adjustments
into a running mechanism. We are not to insert new
courses into a curriculum nor to modify methods now in use.
Rather we are called upon to set up from the very beginnings
a scheme of teaching. Theoretically that scheme may be
identical with the present one or it may vary from it in any
direction and in any degree. We are commissioned "to
forwulate and to test under experimental conditions sugges-
tions for the improvement of methods of teaching, the con-
tent of study, and the determining conditions of under-
graduate liberal education."

If now in this extremity of freedom and responsibility I
may address my reader as a friend, I should like to ask him
again the question with which I began. If in the field of
undergraduate teaching you were free to do as you liked,
what would you do? If you could experiment on freshmen
and sophomores what lines would your experimenting fol-
low? If you were told to study college teaching what prob-
lems would you select and define as fixing the field of your
study? And how, under the actual conditions of American
undergraduate life, would you arrange for getting evidence
and experience which should answer your questions?

IT is, I think, clear enough that the task is not an easy
one. Certainly no one familiar with the situation could
approach such an opportunity with the dogmatic assurance
that he has a scheme of instruction which needs only to be
tried to show itself to be the solution of all our teaching
problems. Rather it seems to me clear that no one of us
has as yet devised methods, nor have we even stated with any
clarity the purposes involved in the teaching of under-



graduates. The American college situation is thus far quite
crude and unmastered. Most of us feel very keenly that
our present activities are unsuccessful. But why? No
simple answer to that question is adequate to the complexi-
ties of it. Our present educational system grows naturally
out of the present conditions of American social life. Its
fundamental faults and virtues are the faults and virtues
of the community from which teachers and pupils alike come.
And so one might perhaps say that the first prerequisite for
the education of American young people is the education of
their elders. It would come a little closer to the immediate
problem to make the equally true observation that what we
need most is the education of our teachers. But whatever
the truth of these simple abstractions, they do not carry us
very far. The fact remains that our concrete situation is
sadly complicated and baffling. We must go in search not
of a panacea, but of a method of study for a problem which
at present defies even our clear formulation. How shall we
proceed toward the liberal education of young Americans
in the first and second years of the college course?

I am not planning in this brief paper to discuss, or even
to state, the details of the Wisconsin plan. Let it suffice,
as a description of machinery, to say that in the coming
September eleven or twelve teachers will begin to plan and
to test their plans for the liberal teaching of about 120
American boys. It would seem appropriate in this number
of The Survey to try to formulate a few of the educational
issues which the experiment suggests.

IT is, I think, fairly well agreed that our primary task,
with respect to method, is to find some way of developing
in our students intellectual initiative and independence. So
far as our present methods succeed at all with the general
run of the students their effect seems to be one of "learning."
If someone will tell the students what they need to know
and what they ought to think about it, then those among
them whom we call "good students" will try to learn both
the facts and the opinions and to remember them so long
as our system requires. But of what use is such docile
learning? Surely it weakens and slackens the mental fibre
of anyone to be treated as an intellectual dependent. And
the extent to which our students, under our tutelage, are
willing to have someone else do their studying for them is
simply appalling. They come to college, and I fear we
receive them, as if we had something to give them which
they need only accept and carry away like a load of mental
furniture for the adorning and equipping of the empty
chambers of their minds. Why are they so dependent ? The
answer of course lies not in them but in their elders, includ-
ing ourselves, their teachers. It is the outcome of the train-
ing to which they have been subjected. What have their
parents done or failed to do? What mistakes are we mak-
ing in school and college that out of material apparently so
good in possibilities so poor an intellectual product is made?
I cannot stop here to try to answer that question in detail.



268



To do so would be to inquire into the various ways in which
ve have deprived our teaching of motivation. But of the
;eneral fact there can be no doubt. The studies which we
iffer to our students have not been made to seem to them
he creative forms of their own living. Intelligence does
lot seem to them imperative nor do studies reveal any essen-
ial connection with intelligence. They are not driven by
he sense of something that ought to be finely done by any-
>ne who has the chance of doing it.

IF now we turn from lamentations to remedies I think
I can say that the faculty of the Experimental College,
so far as it is formed, is determined to arrange and to demand
.hat students shall take the lead in the making of their own
rducation. In a real sense we hope to lead by refusing to
^ead. We are persuaded that strength of mind comes only
from exercise of mind. We propose, therefore, to do away
with the class-room and the lecture in which the teacher
takes the lead does the work. In place of these we wish
to try what can be done by a combination of the tutorial
and discussion methods. In our first attempt at least the
teaching will be of the individual type. Each teacher will
be assigned ten students for his supervision and he will have
charge of all their work. The faculty as a whole will define
a field of study by the assignment of reading, not of text-
woks but of real books such as the teachers themselves use.



Online LibrarySurvey AssociatesThe Survey (Volume 58) → online text (page 59 of 130)