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EDITOR'S TABLE.

more or less help, and that help can best take the form of placing them, as we have expressed it, fairly opposite successive objects of study, and leading them to ask, one by one, the questions necessary to draw out all the information obtainable in regard to these. The educator who makes all education practical—that is to say, who keeps the idea of rational purpose ever in the foreground—will certainly accomplish better results, in the way of developing thought, than one who teaches with only an occasional reference to purpose. We can not say more on this subject at present; but, as it is one of great importance, and seems to be of special interest to not a few of our readers, we may attempt further elucidations at a future day.

 

 

THE WORK OF PRESIDENT BARNARD.

The death of ex-President Barnard, of Columbia College, has removed from among us one of the most successful and far-sighted of American teachers. Dr. Barnard was a leader in advancing educational movements; among the foremost in steps to enlarge the scope and improve the methods of academic instruction. His early training and associations might have been expected to make him a conservative; but they did not, While prizing and keeping what was good in the old theories and forms, he was a pioneer in the movement that has liberalized the courses of university studies and given them greater flexibility and adaptation. During the very years previous to 1860, when he was closely associated with institutions which seem to have been crystallized in the formality of the ancient traditions, and with men wedded to them, he was maturing those views which, foreshadowed in his papers and reports on "College Government," "Collegiate Education," "Art Culture," "The Improvements practicable in American Colleges," "The Relations of University Education to Common Schools," and "University Education," he carried out in the latter part of his career.

Notwithstanding its advantages of age and endowment, Columbia College, when Dr. Barnard was called to its presidency in 1865, was not occupying a conspicuous position. His accession to the presidency was nearly coincident with the removal of the college to its present location and the establishment of the School of Mines. These were fortunate events which contributed their share to the growth of the college. But the prosperity of the School of Mines itself, which has become one of the foremost American scientific schools, is largely accredited to his executive ability, conjoined with the fidelity of the Board of Instructors who were happily associated with him. While always urging the giving of increased prominence to scientific studies, he did not lose sight of the value of the other departments. He rather sought and secured a symmetrical development all around; so that, as one of the most temperate summaries that we have noticed of the result of his work records, "under his administration Columbia has made steady progress, until he was able in his last years to foresee a future in which the institution shall grow into the dignity of a university worthy of the metropolis." During the last year of his active service Columbia is said to have had the highest enrollment of any college in the country.

President Barnard was successful because he was an original and independent thinker and a prompt executor; because he was quick to discern what was good and ready to accept it. He was neither too strongly attached to the old and established, nor so radical as to grasp at visions and try to force changes. Regarding education as something that must grow and be developed, he looked constantly forward, judged everything by its merits, and seized and made the best of whatever he found that was good.