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
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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