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Discipline In Colleges

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In the July North American Review b a symposium on the question of how tax a uiii versity should control its studente. The question is discussed especially with reference to American institutions of learning. President S. C. Bartlett, of Dartmouth, mentions the Germán university, a cluster of professional schools for the law, medicine, theology, etc. Previous to this comes the seven years' rigid drill in what is called in Germany the gymnasium. This is not a place for physical exercising, but a school wherein literature and science are taught. The ordinary American college corresponda inore nearly to the Germán gymnasium. Only here and there is one with regular university courses, where older students who have finished the ordinary college attend lectures and study their life professions. C!onsequently there must be considerably more control over the American college student, in the judgmentof President Bartlett, than there is over the university student. The average age at which the American enters college is 18J. This is too young for boys to control themselves. Therefore the college faculty should control hirn kindly but firmly. The learned presiden ts are nearly unanimous on one point. That is that the college faculty should cultívate close and friendly relations with the students. In this way they will be able to influence them greatly for good. President Angelí, of Michigan university, thinks the question very ruuch like this: "How far shall a father control bis sons between the ages of 17 and 21?" Professor N. S. Shaler, of Harvard, and President Angelí speak out the voice of the new time more lhan any of the others. They believe the old day of blind obedience to petty and exacting rules both in the family and in the school is over. Confidence, friendly understanding, affection and good comradeship are gradually taking the place of the old stern discipline. President Angelí says the faculty should govern the college. But this being understood, let the hand of authority be displayed only when indispensably necessary. Let the professors get near enough to their pupils to exert a positive moral influence on them. Professor Shaler says in effect: Throw the boys on their own responsibiüty as far as possible; appeal to their higher sense and make them control themselves. This is the sy stem of freedom, as opposed to the systeni of fear, and is the one largely adopted at Harvard. President Charles Kendall Adams advocates dealing with students as individuals and not as a class. He does not believe in the democratie form of school government so much as in that in which a respectful obedience is maintained. President Hyde, of Bowdoin, declares that a faculty should exercise an intellectual, religious, moral and physical control over the students, and also regúlate deportment in and about college buildings. Principal Sir J. W. Dawson, of McGUl university, Canada, says: "The control of young men and young women is to be exercised rather in the way of inducing them to like their work and duty than by an influence of the nature of coerción or restraint." In the University of California, President Horace Davis, there are eight courses of study, five scientific, three literary. The student may choose one of these and pursue it. In all the courses there are elective studies. There are no college dormitories. The students scatter to their homes in the afternoon and the college campus is deserted. There is ampie opportunity for athletic exercises. To these things, and to the fact that 20 per cent. of the students are women,. President Davis attributes it that the faculty have no great difficulty in preserving order. President Davis advocates a caref ui supervisión over the student's selection of studies, and over him ín other respects during his early years. As his course draws to a close this may be relaxed.


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Ann Arbor Register