Individual Training in Our Colleges

By Clarence F. Birdseye | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XXXIII
THE RESPONSIBILITIES AND DUTIES OF OUR COLLEGE ALUMNI

OUR college student problems of to-day are only slightly pedagogical. We know that the home life of boys in the grammar and high schools is not a direct pedagogical factor, and yet that it has a direct educational influence on the individual, and determines the results that the teacher can produce upon him. So to-day in our colleges it is the college home life that largely affects and limits the results of the efforts of professors. According to the Briggs Report, only about four hundred and forty hours, or one twentieth, of a Harvard student's time throughout the year is spent in the class or lecture room. The other nineteen twentieths constitute his college family or home life. His use of this ninety-five per cent of his time is the determining factor as to his success in college and largely as to his success in after life; but there is no recognized means by which the college directly acts on him during this ninety- five per cent of his time, which after all is his chief educational influence, and fixes the results that he derives from the remaining five per cent. This was ever present to the mind of the instructor in the olden times, but is largely unprovided for in our modern educational scheme.

Five per cent of year in classroom.

Problems now only slightly pedagogical.

Ninety-five per cent of college home life.

Pedagogy has done magnificently, but it has erred in not balking when asked to pull too heavy a load which others should share with it. It has done wrong, first, in not applying fully to its problems its own algebraic rule for such cases. It should have carefully analyzed them into their component parts, studying, weighing and comparing these parts, and then reassembling them for the answer. Second, in not sending out a loud cry of distress when it found that its problems presented many elements which were not pedagogical and which therefore it should not be asked to work out unaided, but the burdens of which ought to be shouldered by

Errors of pedagogy.

-278-

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