The American Arts College: A Limited Survey

The American Arts College: A Limited Survey

The American Arts College: A Limited Survey

The American Arts College: A Limited Survey

Excerpt

The American college is a paradox. It is more severely criticized than any other institution in the educational system, and it is more popular than any other. It is the heart of university education, and it is the seat of most of the serious diseases that afflict universities. Men and women everywhere prize their college connections above all other connections, and yet these connections are the least demonstrably useful to them. The college is the most vulnerable institution that we have, and it is the most vital. Because we love it we chasten it. It has hardly responded to the chastening at all, but we love it still.

Nevertheless in spite of its vitality, and not at all because of the criticisms that have been leveled at it, the dominating position of the college in the American educational scheme is now threatened by irresistible social forces. These forces are finding surface expression in educational movements which promise to affect both the organization and the curriculum of every unit in our educational system. I mean such forces as the growing specialization of organized society; the demand that more and more persons shall possess the essential parts of the rapidly increasing store of human knowledge, or in other words the intellectualizing of civilization; the lengthening period of tutelage, combined with the insistent economic pressure for earlier entrance upon professional careers. These and other forces tend to alter the tempo of the lower schools and change the content of instruction. They are bearing heavily on professional schools and modifying both the aims and the methods of pro-

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