Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 78.djvu/418

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proportionate number of superior students. Classical students in the high school and university, and students in the advanced courses in mathematics, are often examples of such selected groups of students. The above principle would not be equitable in these cases." In answer to this argument, it should be noted, first, that it is, in large part, the very grading to which objection is raised that has caused the resort of poor students to certain courses; and, second, if the better men do resort in larger proportions to certain courses, that fact can be readily shown by statistics. It is one of the many educational questions on which speculation and opinion are quite out of place.

Without a scientific administration of college credits, the other safeguards of the elective system are insufficient. There will always be students who are more interested in getting through their courses than in getting profit from them. The poorer students seek the courses which give the larger proportions of high grades. Earnest but needy students, too, are under great temptation to elect courses with a view to winning money scholarships, as long as scholarships are awarded on the false assumption than an A is equal to an A. To all students who are prompted by unworthy motives in the election of studies. Figs. 1 to 11 are charts pointing the easiest courses to a degree. And students in all colleges are guided by such charts, more or less accurately plotted. It is futile for the authorities to try to suppress such information and protect their instructors from the notoriety they deserve. Nor is the elective system to blame for the presence of snap courses and the relative ease with which high grades are secured from certain instructors. Nor is the credit-for-quality plan to be condemned because it accentuates the evils of our marking devices. The best way to safeguard the elective system and the credit-for-quality plan against the evils here set forth is to enforce a scientific distribution of college credits.