Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 60.djvu/62

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must embrace a great variety of methods and courses of instruction. There are roughly at the outset two main divisions of higher education—the one directed to the pursuit of knowledge for its own sake, of which the practical result cannot yet be foreseen, whereby the 'scholar' and the votary of pure science is evolved; the other directed to the acquisition and application of special knowledge by which the craftsman, the designer and the teacher are produced. The former of these is called secondary, the latter technical, education. Both have numerous subdivisions which trend in special directions.

The varieties of secondary education in the former of these main divisions would have to be determined generally by considerations of age. There must be different courses of study for those whose education is to terminate at sixteen, at eighteen and at twenty-two or twenty-three. Within each of these divisions, also, there would be at least two types of instruction, mainly according as the student devoted himself chiefly to literature and language, or to mathematics and science. But a general characteristic of all secondary schools is that their express aim is much more individual than that of the primary school: it is to develop the potential capacity of each individual scholar to the highest point, rather than to give, as does the elementary school, much the same modicum to all. For these reasons it is essential to have small classes, a highly educated staff and methods of instruction very different from those of the primary school. In the formation of character the old secondary schools of Great Britain have held their own with any in the world. In the rapid development of new secondary schools in our cities it is most desirable that this great tradition of British public school life should be introduced and maintained. It is not unscientific to conclude that the special gift of colonizing and administering dependencies, so characteristic of the people of the United Kingdom, is the result of that system of self-government to which every boy in our higher public schools is early initiated. But while we boast of the excellence of our higher schools on the character-forming side of their work, we must frankly admit that there is room for improvement on their intellectual side. Classics and mathematics have engrossed too large a share of attention; science, as part of a general liberal education, has been but recently admitted, and is still imperfectly estimated. Too little time is devoted to it as a school subject; its investigations and its results are misunderstood and undervalued. Tradition in most schools, nearly always literary, alters slowly, and the revolutionary methods of science find all the prejudices of antiquity arrayed against them. Even in scientific studies, lack of time and the obligation to prepare scholars to pass examinations cause too much attention to be paid to theory, and too little to practice, though it is by the latter that the power of original research and of