Education: A First Book

By Edward L. Thorndike | Go to book overview

CHAPTER VIII
THE MEANS OF EDUCATION (concluded)

§ 33. The Election of Studies

Since there are more subjects for study than any one person could possibly complete, there must be election or choice among them; since individuals differ as they do in original capacities and interests, and since the welfare of the world requires men to engage in, and be prepared for, different careers, there ought to be such election. After the first few years of school the question is not of a uniform requirement versus an elective system, but of who shall elect, from how wide an offering, and in what manner. For our purpose these questions may be considered to most advantage in a sample case, say, the choice of studies for high-school pupils in a city maintaining a high school with five hundred pupils and twenty teachers, offering one hundred courses, each lasting a year and occupying from three to five periods of fifty minutes' length in the schedule. How may choice among them be made the most effective means of education?

The problem defined

The issue oftenest discussed is whether the

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