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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 72.djvu/449

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445
THE WHITER PITTSBURGH

men who know what to go after and how to obtain and present the most valuable kind of knowledge. There is one main purpose, differing from any that has hitherto been tried: the length of the course is indeterminate. The argument given is, the impossibility in a collection of students to have all equally trained or equally efficient within a given time. Each student must, in a sense, be the arbiter of his own destiny: he must get a certain work done before he obtains his certificate. If he fails to do this, he is given instead a statement to the effect that whereas he has been in the institution a certain number of years, he has merely covered a certain ground creditably. The certificate still awaits his future efforts and accomplishment.

Everything is done to bring the advantages and resources of the schools within reach of the plain people. In other words, it goes down

PSM V72 D449 Pittsburgh in 1817.png

Pittsburgh in 1817.

to them, and after them. The type that it is designed to reach is the middle-class boy. There are some boys of wealthy parents in the schools; and doubtless there will continue to be a certain percentage always; but he is not the type. The theory is that the country boy or the son of poor parents is going to bear the future load in technical and industrial life. It is also recognized that it is from these strata that the best results are sure to come—that the young man who has had the hardest struggle, to whom life presents the greatest problems and the most toil and effort, is the coming man. He is far more certain to achieve success and a name. Great emphasis is laid on the personality of the student: he must have the proper attitude toward work; he must be active, bright, always industrious, and never slovenly in his work.

The intention of the school is to have its heads composed of men whom the students will seek from afar. The members of the faculty