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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 49.djvu/192

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178
POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

such union while circumstances require it. Our universities are of later growth, and are with scarcely an exception in this transition period, with large undergraduate classes. With these, as with the colleges, we have no controversy, for they are doing excellent work, and their circumstances in these earlier stages seem to require this union, which, under other circumstances, we should earnestly deprecate.

We say they are doing excellent work, but this is because of the completeness of their organization in other respects and the able faculties which they employ. But surely they could do worthier work were these faculties free to give their time and attention to graduate students, and no longer hampered and hindered by the instruction of large classes of undergraduates. And the present condition of things is equally a disadvantage to our colleges, whose students, to rival those of universities, aspire to what is quite beyond undergraduate work, and thus wholly overlook the plain line of distinction between a college and a university, consisting as it does so largely of the separating line between acquisition of the known and investigation of the unknown. And hence it is, too, that a number of colleges, even those of low grade, and especially those of low grade, aspire to be called universities. The changes proposed will do away with all this, and colleges and universities will each do better work in their respective fields.

We shall then hail with joy, as advancing the best interests of education in this country, the time when all our universities shall have reached the stage of admitting to their courses no undergraduate students.

It will be seen that to adopt the outline here presented to our educational system it will be needful, in the four grammar-school years (high schools and academies being left out of the scheme), to prepare students properly for entering upon one of the courses in college, the ancient or the modern letters course, or the science course, the requirements for the admission to each being now rapidly equalized by our best colleges. With the nine years of most thorough training in the three earlier grades, from the age of three to twelve, and under teachers who are themselves no mere experimenters, but thoroughly trained to their work, this will be found quite possible, and the preparation will be even better made than under our present system. Of course, the plan involves a complete training in all the grades, including a professional training for teaching in the university before entering upon the responsible position of teacher of the young in any one of the grades, even of the lowest. When this time arrives, teaching as a means of eking out a scanty subsistence, or as a stepping-stone to something higher, with wholly inadequate professional preparation, will be done away. It is, indeed, an expensive method of