Eight O'Clock Chapel: A Study of New England College Life in the Eighties

Eight O'Clock Chapel: A Study of New England College Life in the Eighties

Eight O'Clock Chapel: A Study of New England College Life in the Eighties

Eight O'Clock Chapel: A Study of New England College Life in the Eighties

Excerpt

This book, we are frank to admit, has to do with a time that is now out of fashion. Yet it was a time of great beginnings -- perhaps the most interesting and fruitful period in the history of higher education in the United States -- a period which deserves far more attention than it has received. The new psychology has taught us so much in regard to educational theory and practice, and the present age has introduced so many and so great improvements, that we are in danger of forgetting the pioneers who, forty years ago, had the vision and courage to leave the beaten road of educational theory and to break new paths which their successors have still farther extended. This the educators of the eighties, especially those of the New England colleges, certainly did. There were great teachers in those days. By personality and moral earnestness, rather than by high specialization, were they great. We trust that our sketches of men like Charles Eliot Norton, William Graham Sumner, Charles Edward Garman, Arthur Latham Perry, E. Benjamin Andrews, and William DeWitt Hyde, inadequate as they are, may be read before one challenges our rating of those years.

We have sought to guard against the illusion due to distance -- a fault to which college men are peculiarly prone. 'Beware the reminiscing alumnus!' remarks a friend. A professor with whom we have corresponded, in calling attention to certain improvements in college morale, confesses that too easily we become 'lauda-

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