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The trend in higher education online

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chemistry, geology and mineralogy, zoology, pale-
ontology, anatomy, physiology, anthropology, and
the rest. The building and equipment for a single
one of these will cost more than the entire college
plant of the past generation. The running expenses,
not including salary, of one of these laboratories
are higher today than the whole expense of all the
departments of science in the days of our fathers.
The progress up to date has been made almost en-
tirely in the laboratories of physics and chemistry,
and in the observatories for astronomical work.
Even here the present dwarfs the past. Only a
few years ago the eighteen-inch telescope was a


monster; now we have the thirty-six inch at the
Lick Observatory, and the forty-inch at the Yerkes

But the greatest advance which the future is to
show us will be found in biological laboratories;
and these, so far as this country is concerned, are
largely the gift of the future. The institution really
equipped to do work in zoology will have a laboratory
which will contain: (i) an aquarium room large
enough for twenty or more aquaria; (2) a zoological
garden, with ponds of water for aquatic animals,
and room enough for birds and land animals, ar-
ranged, not for the use of the pubhc, but exclusively
for scientific work; (3) a museum room, designed
for purposes of illustration in classroom and lecture
work, filled with embryological, anatomical, and
histological preparations, and the most important
type specimens of the animal kingdom; (4) the
library room for serial publications, such as the
journals and proceedings of societies and academies,
zoological records, reviews, reports, etc.; references,
guides, charts, etc.; (5) the reading-room for cur-
rent publications and hterature; (6) larger labora-
tories for work in embryology, comparative anatomy,
comparative histology, and general biology; (7) pri-
vate laboratories for research work of instructors;
(8) lecture-rooms large and small. This laboratory
will have as annexes a fresh-water station on lake
or river near by, and for experimental work some
marine station, where the instructor and the student
may find their way occasionally for study and


instruction in marine life. Anything less cannot
hope to unite the different fields and problems of
the science as it stands even today.

The physiological laboratory of the future will
be something amazing; and I do not here refer to
the work of the medical school, (i) Like the zoo-
logical laboratory, it will have rooms with constant
temperature, suppHed with aquaria; and rooms in
which also experiments concerning the influence of
climate upon the character of animal forms may
be made. (2) Like the zoological laboratory also,
it will be surrounded by a garden with small ponds,
in which the necessary animal and plant material
may be obtained at any time, and in which animals
may be kept and observed in their natural condi-
tions. (3) In view of the important part played by
electricity in all physiological work since the discov-
eries of Galvani, a part of the building will be con-
structed without the use of iron, and equipped for
work in electro-physiology. (4) It will contain
special optical rooms, provided with optical appa-
ratus. (5) A special room will also be fitted up
with all the apparatus of acoustics and phonetics
for the analysis of the quahty of sounds. (6) The
physiology of respiration is, after all, of the greatest
importance, and rooms for gas analysis will be
arranged and the different apparatus secured for
measuring the amount of air given and taken up.
(7) Elaborate provision will be made for the solu-
tion of the economic and legislative problems of


physiology, such as the quantity of animal matter
exhausted in the various forms of human or animal
work. (8) Physiological chemistry constitutes a
great division of physiology, and will demand all
the equipment of a chemical laboratory. (9) So
important is the role of photography in this, as in
other scientific work, that photographic rooms, with
photographic outfit, will be arranged. (10) The
laboratory, besides all this, will provide electric
power for every room. The lecture-rooms will be
so arranged as to be darkened at any moment.
Preparation rooms, class laboratory rooms, private
laboratory rooms, storerooms, Hbrary room, and a
reading-room will be necessary. The equipment at
the outset will cost many thousands of dollars, in
addition to the building and its ordinary furniture.
Five thousand dollars a year will be needed for the
running expenses. Such a laboratory must come, will
come, and within our day will be dupUcated many
times. This is one feature of the new in education.
In years past our study of psychology was the
simplest possible; we used a single textbook. The
colleges and universities of our country, now with
eight or ten exceptions, still follow the simple method.
It would seem, however, that the problems of psy-
chology demand for their solution along experi-
mental lines the combined forces of physics, physi-
ology, neurology, and physical anthropology. No
longer the simple study that it was, it is now become
one of the most compound of the sciences. For its


development almost everything called for in the
physiological laboratory is needed, and much more.
For comparative psychology — how that word ''com-
parative" has overturned the world I We now
speak of comparative anatomy, comparative psy-
chology, and of comparative literature, as well as
of comparative philology — for comparative psy-
chology, I say, we must provide also for the care of
living animals, the study of which under various
conditions is necessary.

Some of all this has come, although most of it
is in the future; but there are some things coming
which are as yet altogether of the future. Of
several, one which I shall select to speak of is the
classical laboratory. The future, when it furnishes
us the thing itself, will perhaps give us also a new
name, but for the present the word "laboratory"
must suffice. Indeed, it is particularly appropriate
here, since it just describes my thought of it. I
mean a place, a building, adapted to the work of
teaching the classics, or, if you prefer, the modern
languages, as well as to the work of research and
investigation in these studies, precisely as the chemi-
cal and physiological and zoological laboratories
are adapted to these purposes in their departments.
What will be its features ? (i) A closely connecting
system of departmental libraries, with a small book-
case and a working-table for each student. The
chemical student has his own table, why should not
the classical have his ? (2) Private studies for the


instructors. Each instructor in a chemical labora-
tory has his private laboratory; each instructor in
the classical laboratory will likewise have his private
laboratory. This is necessary, both in order that
he may be near the students who are engaged upon
a particular piece of work, and also that he may be
more secure from interruption than is possible in
a general reading-room. (3) There will be a semi-
nar room, containing the books, maps, and photo-
graphs, and fitted for particular subjects. (4) In
order that the student may live in the midst of things
that appeal through the eye; in order that his life,
so far as it is spent in the classical building, may be
filled with the sense of form and beauty, as the Greeks
and Romans possessed it, the rooms or wings em-
ployed will be arranged around a museum. This
museum will, of course, have its own seminar rooms
and offices, and its own lecture-rooms so arranged
that any cast may be wheeled into them, and used
for purposes of instruction. And no doubt represen-
tative casts, photographs, and maps will be scattered
through all the rooms accessible to the student, so
that wherever he goes he will see the embodiment of
those things which played so large a part in the
ancient scheme of life. Each department will have
its specific collections for the illustration of sculp-
ture, of fife, and of architecture. The laboratory
will contain also reading-rooms for students, sup-
plied with the best texts and editions, and with the
modern literature upon the subject.


Now, all these things are really necessary. And
yet it has always been assumed that a recitation
room, or a recitation room and a small Ubrary
room, were all that a classical student needed.
This is a mistake — a mistake which the future will
correct. In selecting the classical laboratory, as
an illustration of the point I wish to emphasize, I
have not overlooked the necessity of a sociological
laboratory; that, too, must come.

I have spoken of the libraries and the labora-
tories with their equipment as constituting the
outside of educational work. This, however, is
only partly true. When we realize that the method
and spirit of the work are largely determined by
these outside factors, we may consent to allow them
a place upon the inside. The character of the
work fifty years ago was determined in large meas-
ure by their absence ; their presence has transformed
the whole work of education, and the work of trans-
formation will continue, for our children will see
realized what we today would not even dare to dream
of. Nor must it be supposed that this work of
transformation will affect only the methods of teach-
ing and of study. This change has already taken
place; for in every subject of the college curriculum
the laboratory method and the library method now
hold full sway.

The greatest changes are involved in the revela-
tion which has come to us as a result of our using
these methods. We begin to see that valuable time


is being wasted in the conduct of our educational
machinery; that there prevails a general looseness
which characterizes the work we have been doing;
that thoroughness, the factor most greatly needed,
is the factor most conspicuous for its absence; and
that our educational efforts lack system, the intro-
duction of which would double the efficiency of the
work done, save two to four years in the Hfe of
every student, and secure a thoroughness that
would revolutionize methods in politics, in business,
and in letters.

For myself, I am confident that the discovery of
these defects in our school and college work is
plainly traceable to the new methods which the
library and the laboratory have brought us. I
think, moreover, that the principles which un-
derlie our future development, and which shall
furnish remedies for these defects, are principles that
have been learned, in so far as they have been
learned at all, from the library and the laboratory.

OF TH5 \





History has always known a Westland, but
until now it has been an ever-changing, ever-
shifting Westland. When, from out the desert
steppes of ancient Arabia, there proceeded through
the long centuries that constant flow of humanity
through which the nations of Semitic blood found
their various distribution, the fruitful valley of the
Nile became the first Westland; then the fertile
regions of the Tigris and Euphrates; for, though
these lay north, the movements to and through them
toward the sea were, in fact, westward. After
many centuries Palestine, actually called /'the
Westland" by old Babylonian kings, became
the country toward which migration tended, and
in which great world-problems were worked out.
The sea-loving Phoenicians, and later the Romans,
pushed civiHzation still farther west, until the east-
em shore of the Atlantic became the limit and the
center of world-enterprise.

In a more modern period Westland again shifted
itself; this time to the New World. Here, at first, the
western fringe of the Atlantic, with the adjacent in-

'tRead at the bi-centennial of Yale University, October 21,



land territory, represented the West (and in those
days, two hundred years ago, Yale College was a
western institution). A little later the great middle
region drained by the Mississippi became the West.
This is the Westland of our times ; and this, together
with the country still beyond the mountains called
the Far West, represents the last step westward ever
to be taken ; for he who stands today on the shore of
the Pacific, with his face turned toward the setting
sun, looks no longer westward, but into the East.
An end has come to the shifting of the Westland.

The West of the past and of the present, wherever
set apart, has always stood for something quite its
own, and something definite. Its contributions made
from age to age have possessed a strong and dis-
tinctive character. It has represented relief from
the congestion of territory, release from the bonds of
conventionalism, freedom from the rigidity of tra-
ditionalism. It has furnished opportunity for effort
on the part of those who had tried and failed, and
those to whom the opportunity to try had not before
been given. It has brought, also, encouragement for
the development of new activities, and new methods
of expression for activities that were old; incentive
to do what seemed impossible to do; what, at all
events, had not been done. It has, furthermore,
provided the meeting-place for the world's contend-
ing forces ; often itself the occasion of conflict between
older powers; often the scene of struggle between
advancing civihzation and receding barbarism;


and still more often the battleground for new and
living thoughts. It has served as the home and
school of democratic ideas; for in the West men
have lived more nearly on terms of equality, and in
the West there has been a truer exhibition of the
spirit of fraternity.

But in all this the West has been the debtor of
the East, and at times the debt has been so large
as almost to preclude adjustment — a debt so great,
in fact, that, notwithstanding frequent payments,
the balance due the East has been altogether start-
Ung. It is from the East that have come the strong
and sturdy spirits who have led the West in its
struggle for freedom and relief. And just so soon
as the West has ceased to draw thus from the East
it has ceased to be a Westland. It has been the
conservative influence of eastern institutions and
eastern thought which again and again has turned
the failure of radical movement and adventure into
pronounced success. It is to the East that men in
the West and Far West have gone for peace and
calm, away from struggle and the bitter strife. It
is from the East that, through all the years and
centuries, has come that higher and truer spirit
of culture and refinement the possession of which,
sooner or later, has always been found necessary
for the development of the real democratic hfe —
a Hfe in which the highest aim is service to one's

The East, in brief, has nurtured the West,


giving freely of its strength and substance to steady
and restrain the West, and to maintain rigidly the
standard by which the West, wiUing or unwilling,
has been compelled to receive judgment.

Though these statements are, I think, in general
true of the relation of the West and East, they apply
particularly to the institutions of the West and East.
The colleges and universities of the West cannot
measure the debt they owe to eastern institutions,
and to no institution is there due a larger debt than
to Yale. The West today, through its many and able
representatives present, brings greetings to old
Yale. For two centuries this institution has been
a source of strength and inspiration, a messenger
of good tidings to the entire western country. Every
state and territory of the West and Far West has
felt Yale's touch; for Yale, more fully than any
other institution of the East, has, through her loyal
sons, followed step by step the westward march
of civilization over river, prairie, and through

Of institutions founded by the sons of Yale the
West is full; there is scarcely a faculty which does
not count Yale men among its members. All these
send their greetings. I bring greetings, also, from
those universities estabUshed in the West for which
the different states provide endowment. To these
institutions, the noblest and most disinterested
expressions of the democratic spirit, education in
the West is most largely indebted for the stage of


prosperity and advancement it has reached. And
Yale has had full share in the work of providing
from her alumni men who should fill the professorial
and administrative offices of these splendid institu-

The colleges and universities of the West unite
in presenting to Yale — the president, the corporation,
and the faculties — their congratulations for the
noble service rendered in the past to all humanity;
they unite also in expressing the strongest and most
cordial wishes for the prosperous continuation of a
work the magnitude and influence of which only
eternity shall measure.



It is not uncommon to observe and to make re-
mark upon the changes which have taken place in
the world of higher education within the last ten or
twenty years. Much has been said of the growth of
institutions in numbers, scope, and efficiency. Much
has been said likewise of the modifications in subject-
matter of curriculum and in methods of work. We
are led almost to beUeve that not only in higher
realms, but in the lower, education today is a wholly
different matter when compared with education of
former times. For my own part I am incHned to
think that change, in so far as it has taken place,
is, generally speaking, a matter of form rather than
of essence. The result gained by education today
is probably the same that our ancestors secured,
whatever methods they employed. We have yet to
learn, perhaps, that it is with education as with re-
ligion. Access to heaven is no longer restricted, even
by the most rigid sectarians, to a single path. It is
important for educators to keep in mind that formal
training is a thing of varied possibilities, and that
for different individuals, of different temperament,

I Read at the Inauguration of Professor E. J. James as
president of Northwestern University, October 21, 1902.



of different geographical locality, or different social
environnient, there may be different methods; and
that, just as many roads led to Rome — ^in fact, all of
them — so there are many curricula and many sched-
ules of work and many 'Varieties of method to be
counted and 'considered.

But there is one question, out of the great number
connected with this subject of modification in edu-
cational work and differentiation of educational
poHcy, which, perhaps, deserves special mention.
That question is this: Is there something in the
( eastern institution of higher education which is not
I to be found in the western, and is there something in
the western institution which the eastern does not
have? Has the differentiation between East and
West developed types of education which may in
i any respect be called different ? We are not to for-
\ get, of course, that a large number of western men
are in eastern institutions, and that a comparatively
small number of students go from the East to the
West. It is also true that in the faculties of eastern
institutions are many men who by birth and spirit
are western men. On the other hand, a still larger
number of men in western faculties are eastern in
their birth and education. I ought to add that my
question has to do rather with college work and life
than with university work and Hfe.

Is western college Hfe more modern than the east-
em ? So some maintain. Altogether too large a pro-
portion of our college Hfe and work is still mediaeval


in its character. Here belongs everything which sug-
gests that the student has rights and privileges other
than those of an ordinary citizen; that he is to be
treated on a difiFerent basis, or that there shall be a
different standard by which his actions shall be
measured. It is in accordance with this mediaeval
spirit that the incoming freshmen must be hazed,
and that the pohce authorities are not to exercise
control of a university campus ; that a crowd of stu-
dents may make themselves obnoxious in a theater;
or that men, because they are students, are privileged
in the exercise of vandaUsm. Everything that would
encourage the student to beheve that he is a superior
person, or a person of another caste, is a survival of
mediaevaHsm; and this spirit, many tell us, exists in
eastern colleges, large and small, to an extent prac-
tically unknown in the West. Moreover, according
to mediaeval custom, the members of a faculty were
officers of state in authority over the students. Be-
cause of this relationship there was always hostility
between faculty and student body. The more mod-
em idea makes the student and the professor brothers
in the pursuit of knowledge; the younger brother
guided by the older; both students and both of them
brothers. As a result of this fraternal relationship,
a degree of intimacy exists between professor and
student unknown in former years. It is maintained
by many that this close relationship of student and
instructor is much more common in the West than
in the East. If now these two contentions can be


made good, it might surely be claimed that the ideas
which control college life and work in the West are
more modem than those which ordinarily prevail in
the East. It may seem, upon consideration, that the
mediaeval presents a higher ideal than the modern.
It is quite certain that in the points just mentioned,
as well as in others which might be presented by way
of illustration, the mediaeval is more attractive to the
student. It is undoubtedly a source of gratification
to feel that through the college one enters into the
privileges of a special and higher caste; but this is
not the modern democratic spirit ; and however fully
the democratic spirit may be developed, as among the
members of the upper class, if that spirit is not mani-
fest toward those outside of the class, it is a false
rather than a true view of democracy which prevails.
Moreover, in so far as the feeling of the student
body toward a faculty is that of those who are in
submission simply to a higher authority, and an
authority which perhaps exercises more rigid sur-
veillance than is needful, reserving rights which or-
dinarily might be assumed by the student body itself
— in so far, I say, as the body of students acts upon
the assumption that any privilege wliich they might
secure, whether by fair means or foul, is theirs to
eiijoy — ^just to this extent is the relationship one
which is characterized by the unfortunate and hurt-
ful elements that once made up what we now call
*' mediae vahsm" — a spirit distinctly opposed to that
of modern progress.


Still further, the policy which prevails so largely
in the eastern college life of placing men in one insti-
tution and women in another is unquestionably an
ancient and not a modem policy. In this respect the
western institutions which are prevaihngly coeduca-
tional have made large advance upon the East. If
anything in the development of educational poUcy
has been worked out, it is that the present coeduca-
tional poUcy of the West is a stage of development
higher and more advanced than that stage which is
represented in the East by separate institutions for
men and for women. The spirit which opens the
doors of every educational institution to women as
well as to men is, if I may use a questionable phrase,
splendidly modern, in contrast with the older spirit
of the monastery and the convent. Because I beheve
in the principle of evolution, at all events as appHed
to educational progress, I am convinced that there
is something still higher in educational poHcy in
connection with this question of coeducation than
has yet been reached; but the higher development
will always include close relationship of men and
women in college Hfe, and the extension of equal

Online LibraryWilliam Rainey HarperThe trend in higher education → online text (page 9 of 24)