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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 81.djvu/249

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truth." A truth of fact or method may be expressed in recitation and examination, but its impression frequently will not endure to graduation unless it has been reenforced by use in later and more advanced analysis.

The difference in kind between the vocational-college course and the technical course is esthetically in favor of the college. What is "shop" to the writer or artist is culture to the general, but what is shop to the engineer is shop to every one. Those subjects of a college curriculum which, unlike the sciences, are not shop, are to be classed popularly as either pedantic or cultural. The economic group is an illustration of the first division, the language and literature group of the other. The technical-school graduate, as has been noted, is sadly deficient in both divisions. The arts-college man pursuing his individual vocational course may be practically as deficient as the graduates of the better technical institutions. In general, however, he is not.

Some possible difficulties in the way of the Amherst scheme have been indicated by this analysis. To those students, whose individual vocational courses do not include the sciences, the Amherst curriculum will be essentially that of other colleges of the same rank. The attempt to supply a general broad culture and training for those students who have no definite objective, but are potentially future statesmen and administrators, seems to promise nothing more than do Harvard, Williams or Yale. Except for the students in vocational courses, however, the pacemakers will be gone. It is hard, as has been noted, to say of any day's class assignment of history, philosophy or language, that it is likely to be of service in later life. For the engineering, law or medical student, a statement of the probable usefulness of each particular lesson can be made with more certitude and definiteness; for other vocational students with less, but for the student of general culture, with a minimum. The question then is whether, in the distraction of interests, without a single and definite goal, lacking the disciplinary sciences, when of no single day's lesson it can be said that it is immediately prerequisite to the student's life work, the class-room standards will not suffer.

To place the emphasis upon the "humanities" is retrogressive if the term is defined in its limited, derived and Scottish meaning of "polite and classical literature." Let the term be defined by a less derived meaning of "liberal knowledge befitting man" and it may be postulated that college and technical school alike should train their students in the humanities. This liberal knowledge should fit a young man for service to society and for sympathetic and congenial relationships with his fellow man. It must include not only the history and economics and the cultural arts and literature in which the present technical course is deficient, but also the science in which too often the arts