Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 79.djvu/158

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were set up on every hand for student guidance—so many of them that we of these unregenerate days can only pause and marvel. Some hampering relics of these elaborate systems of legislation remain, and in a few women's colleges and coeducational institutions innumerable rules are still imposed upon the women, even where the men are practically without regulation, and where there is much talk of education as a training in the power of self-direction. The aim of it was and is moral discipline. It was discipline—no doubt of that—but whether it was training in self-direction is doubtful. We do not learn to swim by being kept away from the water. Trained in a negative morality, a morality of shibboleths, a morality of restraint, it is not strange that many of the graduates of these older days have to-day inadequate ideas of what American society must demand from its educated men and women.

Moral discipline was matched by mental discipline. Certain subjects were thought peculiarly adapted to mind training. Of course these were the classics, mathematics and philosophy. Then science, with difficulty, got a foothold in the curriculum, and eventually large sums were spent in the equipment of laboratories. For a long time, however, there was more or less scorn of material equipment, unless in the shape of ornate buildings useful not only for academic purposes, but for advertising as well. Even the physical sciences did not have a universally cordial welcome. For many years the biological sciences were viewed askance; and the modern sciences of society had to creep in surreptitiously and apologetically through the side door of philosophy. Mark Hopkins and his log were a sadly overworked simile. From the first, the weak point in the theory of collegiate education was the idea of compulsory morality, and the corollary notion that intellectuality along broad lines of advancing scholarship was in some ways a dangerous luxury. Not infrequently, even now, do we hear scornful mention of "mere scholarship"—and this not from cub undergraduates, but from seasoned professors who should know better. Intellectual capacity in a student is not infrequently thought a matter secondary to his belief in the virgin birth of Christ or the regularity with which he attends church. In the professor scholarship is too often deemed of less importance than his ability to "influence" students through personal contact. Many a thoughtful person, observing small college ideals from the inside, is coming to believe that they give too large a place to personal loyalty and personal influence and too little to rational scholarship. Here we are close to the great and vital shortcoming of the American small college. It has not duly recognized the moral value of intellect and scholarship; it has not furnished its professors with sufficient means or stimuli for scholarship on their own behalf, nor has it insisted upon anything but the veriest mediocrity of attainment on the part of its students. Not recognizing the value of