Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 57.djvu/271
MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY.
in the case of many similar schools, is the fact that a not inconsiderable amount of general training has from the beginning been required of every candidate for the degree. In some technical or scientific schools there are no liberalizing studies, aside from those of a professional character. The faculty of the institute have insisted that such studies should be incorporated to a considerable extent in the curriculum of every course, recognizing the fact that few students in technical schools are graduates of colleges, and that the aim of the Institute should be first of all to graduate broadly trained men. Aside from the courses in liberal studies, a broad spirit is shown in the technical courses themselves. The study of general principles is always the chief end in view, and to it are strictly subordinated the acquirement of all knacks, tricks of the trade or merely practical rules.
These characteristics of the Institute were impressed upon it from the beginning by the master hand of its founder and first president, William B. Rogers. President Rogers aimed to establish ‘a comprehensive, polytechnic college’ which should provide a ‘complete system of industrial education.’ It is now generally recognized that a complete system of industrial education would consist of three parts: First, manual training schools, for developing the eye and hand, not with the object of producing artisans, but for training alone. Second, trade schools for special training in the technique of the different trades. Third, higher technical schools for training in the fundamental principles of the sciences, and fitting men in the broadest way to become leaders in the application of the sciences to the arts. Manual training is now generally recognized as a desirable addition to every scheme of public instruction and a powerful adjunct to every technical school. It was not indicated in the original scheme of the Institute, but was added in 1877 through the wisdom of President Runkle, as a result of the exhibition in Philadelphia of the results obtained in Russia by instruction of this kind. Trade schools, for the training of artisans, were never included in the scheme of President Rogers, and are not now, either in America or Europe, considered suitable adjuncts to so-called technical schools, although they are very desirable as special and independent institutions. The original plan for the Institute contemplated simply a school of the last-named kind, together with provision for evening lectures, to which outsiders should be admitted, and which it was expected would be of benefit to artisans; and also the establishment of a museum of arts, and of a society of arts which should hold regular meetings and which should be the medium for the communication to the public of scientific discoveries and inventions. It may be as well to state here that the museum of arts was never established except in so far as the separate departments of the Institute have accumulated collections; but that the society of arts,