The Free lance. (State College, Pa.) 1887-1904, June 01, 1887, Image 10

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    This, together with the combined experience
of such men, which we possess as a rich heritage,
has made possible a specialization of the world’s
work, and hence the development of many lines
of professional technological work. With this
there came, it would seem, two demands —first, a
recasting of the college curriculum, and second,
a radical change in preparatory or early educa
tion. The former has been conceded, not so
fully as could be wished, yet conceded ; the lat
ter is still fighting its way; it must not only win
the consent of the indifferent and hostile but
also await an accumulated experience on the part
of its friends.
These demands bring clearly to view a fact
that needs to be emphasized, namely : the close
and necessary relation that exists between the
preparatory work of the schools and the techno
logical work of the colleges. But what should be
the scope, of this preparatory work, and will one
scheme suffice for all of what may be called the
professional activities of life ? It would seem
that one must suffice, since otherwise a decision
upon one of the most important of life’s question
would be demanded at too early an jige. This
being granted, there remains the former question,
and the answer to it is one of the impending ed
ucational problems. What follows is a general
thought in this direction.
It should, from the beginning, educate the
hand and eye as well as the mind ; in its earliest
stages it should teach how to do, and this largely
through observation, next how to think and exe
cute from facts and ideas that are supplied, reserv
ing for the distinctive feature of college work the
apprehension of facts and ideas themselves as
well as the execution of them. To be more
explicit, natural objects should be early in the
hands of teacher and child, also a stimulus
should be given to habits of accurate obser
vation and clear perception through study of
and actual contact with color and form, and
later, with materials, as to texture, color, organi-
zation, structure, or mechanical properties. Math
ematics, the natural sciences,, modern languages,
history, hygiene, economics and geography are
subjects that should be taught, and further, there
should be acquired such a familiarity with the
English language that would render possible a
written composition clear) terse and forcible.
The Mechanic Arts seem to afford the best oppor
tunities for the training of hand and eye ; as for
instance., wood and metal work, carried to the
producing of true surfaces, lines and angles and
the combination of these into elementary forms.
This would bring the student to the thresh
old of college life with the foundations well and
broadly laid, prepared to elect a definite line of
work, and to devote four years to a successful
prosecution of it. A portion of the time of this
last period should be devoted to the completion
of those ethical, political and resthctical studies
that would tend to round out his character and
broaden his conceptions, not only of a particular
line of work and its relation to others, but also
his relations, as an individual, to society and the
state. This would also provide against the dan
ger that threatens the success of technological
education, namely: a one-sided development,
'I his danger has been a necessary result, since, at
first, only two years could be given (the Junior
and Senior) to the newcomer, and it was further
burdened by having some of the features of the
older and long established system
it. This burdening was a natural result, and in
many instances the best that could be done.
The length of time assigned and opportuni
ties afforded have steadily increased, until now
further progress' in collegiate technological work
depends, in a large measure, upon advance in
preparatory training.
Our Mountains ! for they are ours in the
sense that we love them; they have always shield
ed us from the cyclone’s sweep, and the hurri-