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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 24.djvu/13

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"THE GREEK QUESTION."

should be intrusted with the training of those who are to follow them in the same work.

Now, such is the artificial condition of our schools, and so completely are they ruled by prescription, that, when we attempt to lay out a proper course of training for the scientific professions, we are met at the very outset by the Greek question. Greek is a requisition for admission to college, and the only schools in which a scientific training can be had do not teach Greek, and, what is more, can not be expected to teach it.

This brings us to the root of the whole difficulty with which the teachers of natural science have been contending, and which is the cause of the present movement. We can not obtain any proper scientific training from the classical schools, and the present requisitions for admission to college practically exclude students prepared at any others. At Cambridge we have vainly tried to secure some small measure of scientific training in the classical schools: first, by establishing summer courses in practical science especially designed for training teachers, and chiefly resorted to by such persons; and, secondly, by introducing some science requisitions into the admission examinations. But the attempt has been an utter failure. The science requisitions have been simply "crammed," and the result has been worse than useless; because, instead of securing any training in the methods of science, it has in most cases given a distaste for the whole subject. True science-teaching is so utterly foreign to all their methods that the requisitions have merely hampered the classical schools, and the sooner they are abandoned the better. Both the methods and the spirit of literary and scientific culture are so completely at variance that we can not expect them to be successfully united in the same preparatory school.

We look, therefore, to entirely different schools for the two kinds of preparation for the university which modern society demands schools which, for the want of better distinctive names, we may call classical and scientific schools. In the classical school the aim should be, as it has always been, literary culture, and the end should be that power of clothing thought in words which awakens thought. Of course, the results of natural science must to a certain extent be taught; for even literary men can not afford to be wholly ignorant of the great powers that move the world. But the natural sciences should be studied' as useful knowledge, not as a discipline, and such teaching should not be permitted in the least degree to interfere with the serious business of the place. In the scientific school, on the other hand, while language must be taught, it should be taught as a means, not as an end. The educated man of science must command at least French and German and for the present a limited amount of Latin as well as his mother-tongue, because science is cosmopolitan. But these languages should be acquired as tools, and studied no further than they