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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 81.djvu/250

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY

college graduate is untrained. The position of science in present-day life needs no advocate.

It would seem that the difference between colleges and technical schools would then disappear. In part, this is true and is desirable. A difference of degree would still exist, as is evident from the following suggested changes in their respective curricula.

For the technical school there is suggested a standard five-year course embodying all the features of the present four-year standard, except some of the instruction in purely commercial operations. The resulting year and a fraction gained for further study would be expended in part upon pure science and mathematics, but largely upon history, economics and literature. The objections to such a curriculum are mostly in the nature of practical difficulties in its inception. The competition for students between technical schools is sufficient to forbid any except the largest and financially most secure from announcing to prospective students five years to accomplish a degree for which the purely technical requirements represent but four years' work. A large number of our technical-school students are so short-sighted that they resent and tend to avoid anything in the curriculum which does not seem to bear directly upon the degree and the job to which it admits them. Any instructor in English in a technical school can support this statement. The difficulties are then, on the one hand, shortsighted students, and on the other, short-sighted employers.

A technical school, however, should be distinctly above the grade of a business college or a school of stenography in its relations to the ultimate public welfare. It should exert a formative influence upon the future of its professions and not merely mirror existing commercial conditions. It should by precept and requirement lead the short-sighted members of its student body to a desire for a broader preparation, and, relying upon that increasing number of far-sighted employers to care for its graduates, it should confidently anticipate the market for its product.

For colleges, on the other hand, the following detailed suggestions may be made. First, that a general introductory course of a year's duration be required of the student in each of the subjects of physics, chemistry and biology. In biology the emphasis should be upon living forms and not on classification and nomenclature. Second, the student shall then elect one of these subjects for continuation. The character of these three subsequent courses departs radically from present college conventions. Each course should be of a year's duration and should treat briefly of the present-day commercial and technical applications of the principles studied in the introductory course. The aim should be to impart those scientific facts and methods of probable later value to the student either in business relations with scientists and engineers, in