Popular Science Monthly/Volume 64/March 1904/Education and Industry
|EDUCATION AND INDUSTRY.|
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN.
EDUCATION is one of the most important undertakings of life. Of the four great institutions by means of which society accomplishes its purposes, the home, school, church and state, the institution which reduces education to systematic form is one. The evolution of society involves all these institutions in a constant process of readjustment to new conditions. Every great social and industrial change has therefore rendered necessary readjustment of the system of education ill use.
In countries where political privileges are restricted to a few and where economic conditions are stagnant, passport to society is the knowledge of a mass of traditional lore chiefly theological and metaphysical in character, supplemented by the rudiments of the exact sciences. The Renaissance unlocked for Europe the wealth of classical learning and the fraternity of the learners speedily came to consist of those who had received this knowledge and who could discuss it through the vehicle of the classical languages. The rapid drawing back of the curtain of mystery from the face of the earth during the age of the discoveries and the subsequent slow development of the natural sciences introduced a third great element to the curriculum of educational institutions; namely, science. The organization of the great states of western Europe necessitated the study of politics, history, jurisprudence and public finance. Eventually a home-grown culture in western Europe and America made possible the profitable study of modern languages and literatures. And now comes a new condition, the result of a recent and wonderful evolution, destined to influence the place and function of the school in society as powerfully as any of those that have gone before it. The growth of industry from the crude methods of the handworker, following the dim lights of tradition, to the cooperative effort and applied science of modern times, paralleled as it has been by the evolution of commerce from venturesome and piratical expeditions to a world-wide exchange of goods, which has become as essential to modern society as the circulation of the blood is to the human body, has again made necessary a modification of educational institutions. This marvelous evolution of industry and commerce has created material for an important group of new sciences, has brought into existence many new professions, and it forms a new world of human endeavor in which new culture and new and worthy ideals must be created and held aloft. Here is room for the work of the school as a patron of research, as a teaching institution, and as a champion and evangel of high ideals.
Inasmuch as a major portion of the time of a considerable fraction of the human race has been long engaged in earning a livelihood by means of those industrial pursuits for which the school is now beginning to formulate a specific course of preparation it is not remarkable that this kind of education is now engaging public thought, but rather remarkable that it should have been so long neglected.
The organization of a national system of education adequate to prepare for industry involves the many-sided problem of providing for the needs of each of the main classes of persons found in industrial society. Such a system must provide for the workmen who compose the rank and file of the mechanical or operative departments of a business, and it also must give the scientific and technical training required by the managers and superintendents of those departments. It must include training for the office force which composes the executive branch of that part of a business which has to do with the financial and commercial policy, and finally it must provide an adequate education for those who determine and superintend the execution of this policy.
We may therefore divide the school equipment, which has been provided specifically to prepare young persons for commercial and industrial pursuits, according as it relates to one or another of the above classes, distinguishing: (1) Trade and manual training; (2) professional and technical education; (3) training for office work, and (4) higher commercial education.
Trade and Manual Training aims to produce the skilled artisan; and this it endeavors to do by giving the youth, in addition to his general elementary education, a further mental equipment, involving the knowledge of the qualities of materials and the methods of manipulating tools, machinery and materials to attain desired results. It also aims to give him a knowledge of the proportions necessary to secure strength or beauty, and the capacity to see the possibilities of materials and of his art. There is necessarily an important physical element involved in this kind of training. Not only must the mind be receptive, but the eye must be taught to see things as they are; not only must the imagination be awakened, but the hand must be skilled to execute the conceptions of the mind.
The subjects usually taught in manual training schools are free hand and mechanical drawing, clay modeling, carving, sewing, cooking, carpentry and forging. These subjects are appropriate for students between the fifth and eighth grades. They are chiefly taught in the public schools, being found in 1899 in the schools of 170 American cities. At the same period, however, there were 125 private schools teaching manual training.
In previous industrial periods a supply of skilled artisans, though not an adequate one, was secured by the handing down of the traditions of craft from father to son. This method was suited to the household system of industry. At a later time the supply was made sure by a careful supervision of apprenticeship, and this proved successful so long as the shop system endured. The dominant industrial organization previous to the introduction of the factory system was the guild—an institution which, in addition to other duties discharged, made itself responsible for the regulation of apprenticeship and for the preservation of standards of workmanship. These standards it was able to fix since it included both masters and workmen, and it maintained them by means of the masterpiece, the trade-mark and the power of excluding incompetent workmen from the trade and inferior articles from the market. The present industrial system has broken down all these regulations. The traditions of craft do not preserve validity long enough in this age of rapid mechanical evolution to be handed down with profit from father to son. The freedom of choice of occupation and the constant ebb and flow of population between producing regions now prevent the accumulation of any great store of traditional skill and knowledge among the workmen of any one locality. The factory system has rendered apprenticeship impracticable, not only because there is? no time for the employee to teach and the novitiate to learn, but because the subdivision of labor is so great that a systematic progression of tasks must needs be arranged to give the beginner even a comprehensive knowledge of a rule-of-thumb character concerning a trade; and this the modern competitive institution is usually not in a position to grant. Furthermore, the guild has disappeared and in its place have come the trades unions, composed exclusively of employees, and having as their primary object warfare through the strike to secure higher wages and shorter hours of labor. The trades unions have not undertaken to set standards of excellence in workmanship or material as did the guild, nor can they do so, for they do not control the processes of industry as did the guild. The attention paid by them to apprenticeship is not for the purpose of educating the artisan but to restrict the number of persons in a trade and so affect wages.
The old system has crumbled to pieces, and yet never was there greater need of an intelligent artisan class than at present. Never have the machine and the routine of production so threatened to dwarf the worker; never has there been more wealth under the control of those of artistic aspirations ready to pay for the best creative work of the artisan. Never has there been greater need of joy and pride in work and healthful mental stimulus in it to offset the deadening effects of a narrow spirit of commercialism; never has society more needed a sound middle class capable of right thinking and sufficient initiative to hold together the extremes of wealth and poverty that our wonderful economic system now produces.
The school is called upon to provide the education necessary for the artisan, and this it can do better than the practice of an industrial art alone, because it can arrange such a gradation of tasks as will insure the most rapid and permanent acquisition of skill and mental power. The school can give manual training without interrupting the general education of the youth. As dexterity in some lines is easiest acquired in youth, it can insure this without the waste of mind and body involved in child labor. The school, furthermore, can constantly relate the precepts of the arts to the principles of the sciences on which they rest and can add to this an artistic education which will awaken ability beyond that which any training in the workshop or factory can evoke.
Professional and Technical Education is of a more advanced order, and therefore not only requires more expensive equipment so that it is limited to a relatively small number of institutions, but is divided into professional courses corresponding closely to the professions and to the customary groupings of productive industries. This branch of education requires little explanation, let alone defense, in this country. It is the earliest form of education for industry to be developed here and it has passed beyond the experimental stage.
Of professional schools there were but two in this country at the time of the declaration of independence, and these were both medical schools. In 1899 the Commissioner of Education reported 917 professional schools, including schools of theology, medicine, law, pharmacy, dentistry, veterinary science and training schools for nurses, having a total attendance of 65,152.
As an illustration of a technical school we may cite the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute of Troy, N. Y., one of the first of its kind in this country. It was founded in 1824 and, because of its early start and high rank, has exerted a great influence upon American railway engineering. The Philadelphia Textile School, the New York School for Carriage Draftsmen, the Michigan Agriculture College and the School of Mines of the same state are institutions of this class, as are the many polytechnic, mechanical and agricultural schools of the country, and schools of forestry, architecture, etc.
Through the liberality of the federal government many excellent agricultural colleges now exist in the United States, but a wonderful future lies before our agriculture when it shall be thoroughly permeated by the modern scientific and system-loving spirit, and its various branches shall follow the dictates of science, under the guidance of trained men. This the recent history of the dairy industries amply proves. The mineral industries of this country have been conquered by scientific experts within the past fifteen years, and the recent improvements in smelting and refining are due to men from the universities and schools of mines. The manufacturing industries of this country in a like manner need and can greatly profit by a steady supply of technical experts who shall do for us what the graduates of German schools have done for the German chemical and textile industries.
Training for Office Work has remained in the hands of private institutions for the most part in this country. These schools,usually known as 'commercial colleges,' aim to fit young people of both sexes for clerical positions in offices and for employment as bookkeepers or stenographers. The chief subjects taught are penmanship, correspondence, stenography, typewriting, commercial arithmetic, bookkeeping and 'business practice.' The demand for persons to fill clerical positions has steadily increased for many years owing to the development of systems of stenography and to the invention of the typewriter and to the more elaborate form in which the record of business transactions is now kept. As the size of the individual business has increased and the territory covered by its operations has widened and the period of time involved in its calculations has lengthened, the need of carefully kept records has become apparent. The growth of the corporate form of business organization, furthermore, has made it necessary to protect the interest of shareholders by complex systems of accounting, involving sufficient checks and balances and frequent audits.
The 'commercial college' has responded in a more or less unsatisfactory manner to the calls made upon it. This is due in part to the fact that they are private institutions, run as money-making businesses, and without any uniformly enforced standards such as they might have attained for themselves through organization, or such as are enforced upon preparatory schools and high schools by university requirements for admission. Studies may be pursued in them in a wholly elective manner, as fees are paid, and so it has happened that they have been used as an educational short-cut by scholars of every variety of ability and education from the high school graduate, who may spend a year or more in them, to the youth from the country district school, who may study for two or three months. In accounting for the unsatisfactory work of this system of schools as a whole two other circumstances should be taken into account. One is that the business community has been expecting a kind of education from them which they were not organized to give and are not in a position to give, and the other is that educators who are capable of giving assistance have, for the most part, not assumed a helpful attitude toward the problem presented by them.
The aggregate of interests represented by these schools in this country is enormous, and the problems connected with them are serious and merit attention. It. has been estimated that there are now 2,000 'commercial colleges' in the United States, employing 15,000 teachers, and having an attendance of 160,000 pupils. The best of these establishments in the large cities are handsomely equipped for the work they set out to do and amount practically to private commercial high schools.
In recent years this problem of education for office work has been complicated by the establishment of commercial courses in high schools. The high school has the advantage in that it can formulate a systematic course of study covering the special training desired, and can couple with it a fairly adequate general secondary education. By having a larger scholar population and holding it for a series of years the high school is able, furthermore, to carry out in its commercial course a more ambitious program of study than the 'commercial college' with its floating population, and so it can group and systematize its work to the best advantage. It remains, however, to be seen what relation the public high school and the private school will eventually sustain to one another in this branch of education.
Higher Commercial Education is the effort of universities to respond to the call for a course of education which shall fit young men for the more responsible positions in industry. It aims to provide the theoretical and systematic part of the education of those who are to determine and execute the commercial and financial policy of businesses. It has more particularly in view at present persons who will occupy such positions as managers of departments, foreign agents and buyers of large concerns, officials of banks, insurance and transportation companies, merchants, journalists, government employees at home or abroad, as members of the consular and diplomatic service, etc.
There are three chief reasons why higher commercial education has become an imperative demand of the times and why the great universities of this country as of other countries are responding to the call made upon them by public opinion. These are briefly, that business has become an intellectual pursuit, that in business a sufficient training is not found for the adequate performance of its own tasks, and finally, that in the juncture thus created the universities are being actuated by a new, broad and constructive policy to take hold of the problem.
To consider these separately, the first reason is that the higher tasks and the more responsible positions of industry now involve an intellectual pursuit making profound demands upon the intelligence of those who undertake them. As Mr. Arthur Balfour, the first lord of the English treasury, has recently said, "In the marvelously complicated phenomena of modern trade, commerce, production and manufacture there is ample scope for the most scientific minds and the most critical intellects; and if commerce is to be treated from the higher and wider viewpoint it must be approached in the broader spirit of impartial scientific investigation."
The economic system in vogue before the industrial revolution hardly gave an opportunity for much of a science of productive industry or for systematic courses of study preparatory to the task of guiding industrial forces. That revolution enlarged the individual business unit through the use of machinery in connection with great sources of power, and of labor through an elaborate differentiation of tasks, the result being to make the government of the internal affairs of a business resemble the work of governing states. It enlarged the market also by means of improved means of transportation and communication, and not only brought the entire earth into the field of commercial vision, but threw the new giants of production into such a keen and relentless competition that the utmost precision of knowledge, genius for administration and mental and physical staying-power has been sought after for leadership.
With these changes in progress and partly completed, industry has at once shown an irresistible tendency to come under the sway of science. A new concern of large size now starts with a charter and a plan of internal organization, the work of professional organizers and as carefully drawn as the constitution of a state might be. Eventually the mill architect lays out the plant. The head chemist and consulting engineer take charge of the operative departments; the conditioning laboratory checks off the results of the buyer's work; the credit man rules the selling agencies and compiles his data as systematically as the much-abused charity organization society; and the advertising manager works with a like systematic use of records. Risks are transferred, whenever possible, to insurance companies which study them with all the methods known to statistics. Legal liabilities are attended to by a special corporation attorney. All the records of the activities of the concern are compiled under the direction of the accountant and are periodically examined and certified to by a professional auditor. At every point the business has touched upon a science or a possible science.
This new régime, while it has given to industry such a character of intricacy, has given to its laws such precision, to its processes such rapidity and continuity, and to its leaders such a scope for power that men of systematically trained perceptive faculties and reasoning powers are required for it.
These methods also have already brought into view such a body of systematized experience that it is possible to begin the formulation of the principles of wealth production. And this will provide a subject-matter which can be studied apart from practice, according to the methods of an educational institution, and which will be of practical value because it has grown out of practice and governs it.
In an important sense the advance made by higher commercial education will condition the advance made by the other branches of education preparatory to industry, since the men in the responsible positions in our industry must needs have scientific and commercial training to appreciate its value in the men they employ.
The second reason for higher commercial education lies in the fact that it is becoming increasingly difficult for young men to acquire a knowledge of the principles underlying business through engaging in the activities of business. This is true if it is true that industry is becoming applied science, for science is systematized knowledge, and systematic knowledge is only to be gained by systematic study. The division of labor now customary in a business of any size is such that a broad experience and knowledge of the business can not be gained from service in a subordinate position. Either there must be unusually favorable promotion from department to department, coupled with outside study; a plan followed by some of our prominent families in educating their sons, or an appropriate course of study must be arranged in an educational institution, or else we must fall back upon the chance of finding a man of unusual genius. We have in considerable measure been trusting to the most uncertain plan of all, the discovery of the self-made man of genius. As a result we have a tendency to build industrial organizations to undue size, the endeavor being to get important interests under the control of the comparatively small number of men who can be implicitly depended on. Thus we vastly overpay for the exercise of a certain kind of talent and run the risk of many industrial evils with our top-heavy system.
The tendencies of the industrial system now dominant, as regards the production of managerial ability, are, however, in considerable degree, still unrevealed to us because of a generation of remarkable leaders which has not yet passed from the stage of action and which was evoked by the evolution that built up our present magnificent national industries. These men began in the day of small things when a few hundred dollars sufficed to set up a manufactory with costs of production as low as others and with high tariffs and transportation rates to protect a market from outsiders. They grew with the industrial system. As their businesses grew their opportunities and experience and power grew by natural and easy stages, and they emerged from a nicely adjusted and progressive evolution knowing their industries from top to bottom. These men show the knowledge of detail due to the day of small beginnings and the even hand in administration due to gradually imposed responsibilities. In the future we can not with any confidence look forward to a succeeding generation recruited in the same way, for the system has changed. Unless the evolution of industry which trained the leaders of to-day can be simulated within industrial establishments by a system of apprenticeship broader and more scientific than the old as the new industry is greater than the old, and leading up to the highest administrative duties, then preparation must be arranged outside them in the school and university.
It needs scarcely to be pointed out that business is carried on primarily for the sake of producing wealth and that the machinery and method devised for this purpose is only incidentally of value as a training school for the young. To equip an institution specifically for the purpose it is to serve, whether it be to produce locomotives or cotton cloth, is well enough understood in these days of specialization. So to equip an institution as to rapidly and surely and economically develop the latent powers of the mind required in business and to impart knowledge of practical value is simply to set about doing an educational work in an equally direct and logical way.
The very precision of organization which makes it so difficult for the subordinate to gain the knowledge and experience necessary for leadership provides the mechanism which most perfectly responds to the entrepreneur and endows him with power never before equaled in industry. Never was the capable manager more in demand than now; never was the hunt for the right man more anxious than it is now. There is not a more important question that can arise within industry than this one of proper management. How shall society insure the perpetuation of adequate leadership? This question is peculiarly pressing for the United States, not so much because of immediate needs as because we are bounding forward rapidly in our industrial evolution, framing greater structures of trade than the world has ever seen before.
Our great country lying in one continuous area, undivided by physical barriers and capable of furnishing every variety of raw material; in the possession of a progressive race with like degree of enterprise and honesty in all sections and employing the same trade usages and laws, possesses a capacity which a like area divided into many small states, although in the possession of an equal population of different races, could not have. No matter how large the industrial unit ultimately required to secure all possible economies of production, here the various raw materials can be secured, here all the branches of the business may be carried on without crossing the boundaries of nations and encountering tariffs and racial and national rivalries. Here business can be transacted with the utmost facility because among people with one language, system of money and weights and measures, and working with the same spirit of alertness and ambition, under one system of laws and customs. The United States may well be the country destined to test to the uttermost the possibilities of organization in industry.
But we shall not be without rivals in the world's trade. Countries which can not match us in resources and population will turn inevitably to more scientific and systematic methods. Already the Germans are applying the same methods to the preparation for commercial war that brought them out from the anarchy into which they fell after their defeat by Napoleon and made them the foremost military nation in Europe. England also is awakening to the necessity of applying education to the preparation for business life. Lord Rosebery, in a speech delivered before the Wolverhampton Chamber of Commerce which has since become celebrated, said, after reviewing the dangers threatening British trade from German and American competition: "What is the remedy for this? What is poor old John Bull to do before he is suppressed and defeated by these newer competitors? If I might say a word it would be to echo what has already been said by the chairman—educate, I believe our raw material of men is the best in the world. But I do believe that our commercial men require educating, training scientifically from the bottom to the top. I believe that is a feeling which has become very common in this country, I see a great many articles now in the papers as to the decline of our trade, and several of our leading newspapers are, as you know, devoting articles to this subject, which I read with profit, but as to which I do not pretend to pronounce a definite judgment. But I do think all these articles, whether they be pessimistic or optimistic—and I am bound to say they are generally pessimistic—are united on this point of education."
Before we consider the adaptation of a university course to business training let us notice the various systems which have been or are now employed in educating or choosing young men who are designed for industrial leadership. The oldest system now in use is that of patronage, which still survives in France. This system belongs to a long established and somewhat static industrial community, in which advancement is slow and restricted to those who are specially favored. The solicitation of the favor of a distinguished relative or friend or local dignitary to assist in introducing a young man to a desirable position is in a sense only a rigid and systematized form of the rather loose system of recommendation everywhere in use, and, in a degree, it is as natural as the giving of favor to friends and relatives which is everywhere a factor in the preferment of many. To erect this into a system, however, is repugnant to the spirit of American youth and their employers. Allied to this is the English custom known as the 'counting-room system,' which consists in the placing of the son of a member of a firm in the business at an early age and graduating him rapidly from department to department in such a manner that when he finally obtains a junior partnership he has some knowledge of the operations of the business. The result of this plan is to keep businesses in families for generations and to create a spirit of family pride in the integrity and prosperity of a business which is heartily commendable. The Swiss a? an industrial people are noted for the degree to which businesses are in this way kept within families. Some defects of the system are the tendency to coerce young men into occupations for which they have no taste or ability, the tendency to family exclusiveness and the neglect of young men who have only their merits to recommend them for promotion. This system is in reality a special form of apprenticeship arranged for the few.
Closely allied to the above is the recruiting of the managers of the colonial houses or foreign selling agencies of a concern from promising young men in subordinate positions in the home office and, in turn, recruiting the superior officers of the home concern from successful branch managers. This system of using the foreign offices as feeders has played some part in England and is used in Germany, It has the merit of insuring to the home office accurate knowledge of the tastes, customs, laws and languages of foreign markets, and of keeping the home office and agencies in touch through the transfusion of blood.
Travel has for many generations been used in western Europe as a fitting supplement to the education of a young man at the conclusion of the period of schooling. It undeniably broadens the personality and develops culture through the variety of knowledge it imparts and the contact with people which it involves. It is, however, an expensive way of accumulating knowledge, and the knowledge gained is likely to be of a fragmentary and superficial character unless the traveler have uncommon tenacity and singleness of purpose. Before travel became the favorite recreation of the wealthy and the countries that have much to teach came to be deluged with the never-ending stream of sight-seers it was, perhaps, possible to gain in a short time valuable information regarding the industrial life of a people. Now the avenues of travel have been smoothed to a cosmopolitan sameness and these avenues lead to the 'sights' which, for the most part, convey little information of practical value to the young man preparing for commercial life. Meanwhile, since international rivalry in trade has become acute, the processes of production which might be studied with profit are being jealously guarded and kept secret from foreign visitors. So greatly has the system of news gathering improved and so voluminous and accurate have become the reports of consular officers that the traveler abroad must often return home to learn from literature easily accessible facts that are difficult to acquire through personal observation. Travel is quite appropriate for a people that have everything to learn and desire to import en bloc the system of older developed commercial states, but for a country having marked characteristics of superiority and possessing the lead in many things the problem of keeping this preeminence is not solved by any scheme of borrowing ideas, no matter how systematically and intelligently carried out. It is deserving of notice, however, that travel may be utilized by American manufacturers to a greater degree than it has been to give them a knowledge of the tastes of their foreign customers.
Education abroad is in many ways analogous to travel. It has been employed in recent years with success by Japan and is best adapted to the requirements of a nation taking its first steps in a new culture. For the United States this plan has many of the limitations of foreign travel, and it carries with it the added danger that the young man who remains abroad for a long season in the formative period of life will find himself on return out of touch with the ideals and customs dominating the industrial society in which he is to live, and that thereby the effectiveness of his personality will be greatly decreased.
These are some of the methods which have been devised to improve upon the wasteful state of individualistic struggle in which the leader is chosen through the survival of the fittest simply as the exceptional man is able to fight his way up from the ranks and grasp leadership as the perquisite of the ownership of property. None of these methods alone is adequate for the needs of modern industry; most of them are out of harmony with the traditions of American civilization. In the search for a solution of the problem experience points us to no other institution so promising as the school. It is the most mobile and elastic of all our great institutions and is easily adapted to new purposes, while it is at the same time incomparably the most economical of our institutions in proportion to the work accomplished by it. We have never as a people been disappointed in the accomplishment of any educational task we have set the school to perform, and the school has not been obliged to withdraw from any task that has once been assigned to it.
Such being the conditions of the problem, the third reason why higher commercial education is making rapid headway at the present time lies in the response which institutions of higher education have made in this country to the demands upon them in this connection. This in itself is one of the most encouraging manifestations of a new and broader conception of the university as an institution whose functions are to gather in to itself and conserve all knowledge, to represent the interests of all classes of the community which supports it, and to be as broadly useful as is possible, consistent with true learning in the training of men for the various activities of life. This sentiment which characterizes the thought of university circles to-day, in contrast to a narrower and more exclusive ideal once dominant, was well expressed by President Nicholas Murray Butler, in his inaugural address at Columbia University. He said, "In these modern days the university is not apart from the activities of the world, but in them and of them. To fulfill its high calling the university must give, and give freely, to its students; to the world of learning and of scholarship; to the development of trade, commerce and industry; to the community in which it has its home, and to the state and nation whose foster child it is."
Not only will the community be benefited, but the universities will be benefited by every new avenue of usefulness opened for the school. Already our universities through their libraries and collections are made the custodians of the community's knowledge. To these centers should be gathered as much as possible of the data upon which may be ultimately built an adequate science of wealth production. Much of this knowledge now perishes unrecorded with the men whose life energy has been expended in assembling it. This is a great loss to the race. The world of business is, in a sense, a laboratory where are discovered the principles of industry and commerce. These discoveries should in some way be systematically garnered and so treasured that the rising generation shall have access to them. Our universities also comprise an assemblage of men of expert knowledge who would, many of them, greatly profit by being brought into closer touch with the world of affairs about them. The advance of the university into the field of higher commercial education can only be made successful by devising means of bringing the university into closer contact with the industrial and commercial institutions of the country. This is desirable not only for the sake of keeping the learning of the university from becoming stagnant with antiquated knowledge and to permit the rendering of the most effective service, but is necessary to prevent any serious hiatus between the academic life of the student and his later business career. The task of those interested in the advancement of commercial education appears to be a two-fold one; to prepare the necessary course of instruction, and to obtain from the business community the close sympathy and cooperation essential to the achievement of any large success.
The course of instruction finally adopted will necessarily be framed to correspond with the ideal which is formed of the business man as a person of power and knowledge. In the forming of this ideal there is need of much discriminating observation. All will agree upon the need of honesty and dependability and a certain complement of attractive personal qualities, and tenacity of purpose, and fertility of resource, which is closely allied to it. There is required also executive ability, a most complex manifestation of the personality involving character as well as rapid mental processes and the power to subordinate detail and quickly choose the vital points of a matter. The business man has constant need of the power to judge men, and of retentiveness of memory, together with that healthful working together of all the powers of mind involved in good judgment or common sense. The question must be answered. How in the choice of these and other characteristics does the educational problem of the future business man differ from the education of the man who is to get ahead in other walks of life? So far as this problem of evoking the latent powers of mind and heart is concerned, more undoubtedly depends upon the environment of the student's life, the ideals held before him, the methods of teaching, and the care taken to cultivate his powers of initiative, than upon the specific things studied. It may be suspicioned that courses of higher commercial education which differ in no particular from other university courses, except in the choice of studies, are half-hearted attempts at the solution of a new problem the real difficulties of which are not appreciated.
Turning to the subject-matter composing the courses in higher commercial education, provided by some fifteen of our larger universities, we find the most prominent place among the studies designed to give general culture occupied by history. The first place among studies calculated to give special training is given to economics, which explains the general principles underlying the present structure of economic society. This includes, besides systematic courses, studies in applied economics, statistics, money, banking and finance. Under the caption 'Commerce and Industry' may be grouped studies in the principles of commerce and the geography, materials, customs and usages of commerce and also detailed examination into the structure and processes of the extractive and manufacturing industries. Attention should be called to the at present very meagerly developed study of industrial organization, which has to do with the administrative relations existing within an individual business, especially if it be of large size, and with the methods of utilizing the resources of investors in financing new undertakings. A very important group are the applied sciences, including industrial chemistry, the application of physics to industry, economic geology, etc. Among other subjects generally included are the modern languages and commercial law, the latter covering not only the legal liabilities attending industrial acts, but the principles upon which the state interferes to regulate the competitive struggle. The successful conduct of such a program of study obviously involves the cooperation of several departments of a university; the humanities are represented in the history, economics and languages; the scientific department in the various courses of applied science; the law department in commercial law; while the studies in 'commerce and industry' provide a new group which serves as a central topic about which the others are arranged.
The university must not be expected to show its full effectiveness in the new field it has entered until a considerable amount of preliminary work has been done in the collecting and classifying of knowledge, the preparation of text-books and the adapting of methods of instruction to the nature of the new subjects taught. Higher commercial education does not aim to fit the individual for the immediate assumption of responsible commercial tasks any more than engineering schools fit young men to step at once to the position of engineer-in-chief. There is a body of detail connected with the operation of most businesses which can only be learned in practice. The university is aiming to train the youth to clear thinking and to equip him with a knowledge of the general principles upon which sound business practice rests, trusting that with such a preparation his later advancement will be such that the years of study will prove years well spent and that, in addition to a compensating financial return, life will contain a richer reward of the higher utilities and a larger sphere of usefulness, because of the early implanted love of truth.