Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 62.djvu/107

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THE HIGHER EDUCATION OF WOMEN.

ness of thought as more or less different from the plain thinking which is called manly. The brightest work in woman's colleges is often accompanied by a nervous strain, as though its doer were fearful of falling short of some outside standard. The best work of men is natural, is unconscious, the normal result of the contact of the mind with the problem in question.

In this direction, I think, lies the strongest argument for coeducation. This argument is especially cogent in institutions in which the individuality of the student is recognized and respected. In such schools each man, by his relation to action and realities, becomes a teacher of women in these regards, as, in other ways, each cultivated woman is a teacher of men.

In woman's education, as planned for women alone, the tendency is toward the study of beauty and order. Literature and language take precedence over science. Expression is valued more highly than action. In carrying this to an extreme the necessary relation of thought to action bcomes obscured. The scholarship developed is not effective, because it is not related to success. The educated woman is likely to master technique, rather than art; method, rather than substance. She may know a good deal, but she can do nothing. Often her views of life must undergo painful changes before she can find her place in the world.

In schools for men alone, the reverse condition often obtains. The sense of reality obscures the elements of beauty and fitness. It is of great advantage to both men and women to meet on a plane of equality in education. Women are brought into contact with men who can do things—men in whom the sense of reality is strong, and who have definite views of life. This influence affects them for good. It turns them away from sentimentalism. It gives tone to their religious thoughts and impulses. Above all, it tends to encourage action as governed by ideals, as opposed to that resting on caprice. It gives them better standards of what is possible and impossible when the responsibility for action is thrown upon them.

In like manner, the association with wise, sane and healthy women has its value for young men. This value has never been fully realized, even by the strongest advocates of coeducation. It raises their ideal of womanhood, and the highest manhood must be associated with such an ideal. This fact shows itself in many ways; but to point out its existence must suffice for the present paper.

At the present time the demand for the higher education of women is met in three different ways:

1. In separate colleges for women, with courses of study more or less parallel with those given in colleges for men. In some of these the