Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 21.djvu/563

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
549
EDITOR'S TABLE.

ought to practice when they come to be women.' Does your education answer to that test? Is a college in which physiology and biology are unrepresented, and which offers no instruction in anthropology—the science of human nature—the proper place to educate young women for the duties of motherhood, the nurture of children, and the intelligent practical administration of home affairs? We can not see that you have what we most want, and we are afraid if we came you would so fill our heads with everything we don't want that we should be worse off than if we were not educated at all. Go on with the excellent work of modernizing your curriculum, and, when you have made it to better represent the present state of knowledge, it will be time to talk to us about buying it."

This is encouraging. We had supposed that the ladies were crazy to get into the college anyhow, without the slightest regard to what they found there—in fact, wanted to get in merely because they had been kept out; accordingly, as this is not so, we rejoice.

 

 

COLLEGE GOVERNMENT.

We last year had the pleasure of commending the new departure of Amherst College in the matter of government. It consisted in an open repudiation of the old and still prevailing system of paternal control which so naturally engenders conflict and promotes excesses on the part of the students. As we before remarked, young men can only be educated in manhood by being practiced in its liberty and responsibility. The home government of childhood and early youth is necessarily paternal, watchful, care-taking, often too much so for the development of self-reliant character; but when boys become young men they have the right to substitute self-restraint for external restraint as the governing law of conduct. And especially when they go to college, where the scheme of studies assumes mental maturity, where the new social forces are so active, and the new temptations so strong, they should be thrown upon their honor, and pledged to self-control at the outset and without reserve. It is gratifying to observe that the second year's experience at Amherst proves the practicability and the superiority of the self-governing method. A correspondent of the "New York Evening Post" remarks:

It has been a year of unusually satisfactory progress. Professor W. S. Tyler, who was graduated in 1830, and has been connected with the college ever since, says that it has been the most healthy and satisfactory year for the college that he has ever known. More and better work has been done in the studies, and there has never been a year of such perfect discipline. It is the new system of government, now at the end of its second year of practical working, which is given the credit of the improvement. In brief, the system is this: The relation of faculty and students is regarded as that of two parties to a contract. The student wishes to study, and contracts to follow the rules of the college. The faculty contract to give the instruction. If a student breaks his contract by disorderly conduct or by committing any of the irregular acts so common in colleges against public peace, he is held to have broken his contract, and ipso facto his connection with the college ceases. He has broken his word, and a rupture of the contract by one party releases the other. No vote of expulsion is passed. There is no writing home to parents. No member of the faculty is expected to act the spy. The single act of the student settles the whole thing. All this is now perfectly understood. When the system was introduced its first enforcement was particularly severe, and the students did not fully comprehend the situation. For that once only, after a full reparation for the wrong, the offenders were restored to their standing, and there has been no relaxation of the rule since. It was believed that the past year would be particularly trying, because the novelty would be worn off, and the permanent value of President Seelye's theory would be tested. Besides this change, there came with it a total abolition of the old ranking system, and so the test this year has been particularly severe. It is of high interest, therefore, that every one of the faculty, and, so far as is