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Crawford, Robert S. (ed.) / The Wisconsin alumni magazine
Volume 23, Number 5 (March 1922)

Kies, W. S.
Present day demands for broader college training,   pp. 147-149


Page 147


PRESENT DAY DEMANDS FOR BROADER COLLEGET!
                           TRAINING-
    By W. S. Ki~s, "09, -Law p01, Chairman, Board of Directors,, First
           'Federal Foreign Banking- Association, New York  -- .-
   BOOK published several, years ago;
'IThe Education of Henry- Adams,
    arused   -great deal 'of 'itter crit'-
    icism andl sarastic coimment ,in
s Iaid-,he probably would 'find a job, so .me-.
where.,-
  It was m   rivilege a-numbr of 'year's -ag
to come into- closecon tact with, r-niumber'fo
  Harvard College. 'Dr. Adams _Sald:-. "in,
  effect the-:sch6ol created a eype. but not a
  will:' The chief wonder of educationi's that
  it does not run- ev'er-yfody concerned- in' it,
  teachers and ta-ught. Sometimes in after
  life Adams debated whether in fact ithad
  not ruinied-'hi in -and nost of hiis Icompap. ho InIsi
  but- disappointment apart, <lHarvarfd-. Col--
  lege was p Irobab1]ý less hurtful- than any,
  ether -university then im existence.- It
  taught little, and, that little ill. But it _ left
  the mind open, free from bias, ignorant of
  facts, but docile.. The 'graduate hadd-'ew-
  Strong prejudices. Lie knaewý little, but his
  mind remained supple.. ready -to- receive
  knowledge."
    In~subsequent chapters Adams indicates
  that 'his' opinion of Hedrvard U~niversity,
  and universities in general, in' after years-
  ~did'~inot'unidergo much of- a change. Un-
  questiofiably this 'criticism of' the institu-
  twiis of higher education is extreme an d to
  a large..4egree: unfair.- Jt is,, however,
  -stiihukating and, suggests.:an analysis of
  ~present day college ideas'and practke in an
  effort to -,ascertain whether the mn'omentous
Sevents of the,, past few years ailid'the great
  problems arising out of them have brought
  about any Idecided movement -in, Amerian.
    educaitonal methods to meet new' coidi-
    tionsf.',
      The father of a young man. dttendi ng one
    of -the gieatest of the -Eastern, universities
    said, to m'd~-, short time ago, "iý am' not at
    all satisfied -with my sons work at college.
    He ihobliged to take a number of things in
    Which he i~s ni ot interest-ed, 4hd doesWi t have,
    nearly enoiig'toa do. -His reports- are all-
    right, but he acks intorest -an  aibition,
    and is gradually beecrinihg a tinic'waster:"
      I had, a talk withad bright yo u-ngm--a~n whlo
    is B ophooe in-alndther S    e -t Eastrn
: ~     ~      H wodl : ,'b, "d h' vdoiRg
    universit.. .edescri e 'is-fArtwears
    a" a sentence to mental sertd    a
  -'tivod.thuirdsof his -courses in -vhich he had n
    interest. He had to take thesecourses ini
    owertoget his degree, and,. hinedless to
    say.he probably is doing as little work asis
    necessary' to mnaintain his position I in his
    'Class. This young- man entered college
    without- any definite idea a~s to his career.
    Both his father and he himse'lf hoped that
    the first t*o years'ý of his college course
    would assist 'him ini definitely developing
    his plans for the future. Thus far he is. just
    w here he started. When I asked- him what
    he wouldi do -when he finished -colleges he.
every part of -the country.' It'was a rather
remairkable' -group of uinusually capable
young-'men., With somIne .exception's; hp'w-
ever, the, basic training of all of- thiem was
disapponting. Few had knowle6dge' ofthe
fun mn'tal principiles of economiks-,most
of-Ahem. knew -cornparatively''little --of ,thee
big. social and hctsia~p        io    h
day., -While Atlfhad: t'akeii eitheiEFrenich' or
Sp a'nish-, -scarcely 'any .'of them  'C'outl
'fluently speak or u'nderstand --those'- lan-1
gua 'ges. They- had ~'a re- dijig - knwle g e,
but the languag wr6 iot ýl'ýihher
could use. -1 tnyi were 'poor-jipenin nand
eýjilially p~oor in ispelling.< Yefy-fw fi,'hýd'.the
basic -training 'oiý,knowledge necessary - -o
be66ome' leaders. of 'thought in the c6imniini7-
ties -in which they~ might- become. active.
'The majority~'had littlef'systeozi and'method
-in their -work at the beginning, and. had -to
,be taught how to apply themselves -adlniW6
to organize tbhi tim  to the 'best adaild-
lOge. All responded rapi .dly 'to a -practical
course in ,business triiad -tcf
pro~gress Iwas -far more rapid. thtan' tiact" 1of
noncollege men in. the. same glroup. 'Afair
'aInd honest apprais 'al' 6l this' group - as - a
whole 'wotild have" been flatte'riig bths to
character, Spirit anhad capacityý,,,but -n
'4
"imdertake" positions of iýesp-onsibilityý'foi-
which' their- college- training presumably
should have fitted'them.
   The'.colleges of arts and sciences of this
,,country- are each -year graduating thou
sands o'f young- men with degrees of Bachelor
'of"Letters, Bachelor of -Arts., and -Bachelor
of- Sciences. It is safe. to say that'-many o'f
,these, young men know little of, literatuire,
less of art, and are not 6veir st~rong'od
-science. A gat'ariyof &fese~gradu-
ates - obtain 'positions -in'. -busineSs -and--in--
d-ustry.~ (lthers-enter7.the-profe~sions.---'Of  --
the~ 14tt er, manr-are 'by -nature' infitted1ý '-,' -
the professioni. they-, are-. etrng They .
take upý worktin a particular line for" v'ari ous
reasons, but- too offert adaptability is'-not
the test. Parrents or friends advise themi,
or'they- will -take special courses bec- ,ause
they just naturally drift that way.- -Tho-ur
sands of~ young men, enter engineermn
. courses each year who have -not the quIal-
ties to maike successful' engine-ers. They'
take these' courses .beca'use of some To-
-mantic-ideas connected with the thought 6f
building things on- a large scale.,
  -It seems fair to say that the average col-
:lege freshnian-or so-phomnore-is, of too rim-
-- N
'4
colle#,-,z,-qnd-u-i-ersities'-toward chaino'P-s in
                                         ý- -a     --XT,1ý
4r. f h  , i ý n-fi'diqhýýnbilit' to
-. .       DEMAND$ý FOR BROADER TRAINING1                        
     14
147


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