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lead to the final result. That plan he hopes to try before long. The seminar method, even though we do not have a formal seminary, can be used to very great advantage.

PROFESSOR F. H. CONSTANT believed with the first speaker that the difficulty is for the student to lay hold of the information that he wants. After he leaves college he must get this information entirely by himself. To meet the difficulty some of the professors of the University of Minnesota have organized technical reading classes. Professor Shepardson, who is with us to-day, was the first to adopt this idea. The technical journals are allotted to different members of the class and perused by them. At the end of the week the class meets, under the supervision of the professor in charge, and the different members of the class are called upon for reports of the papers they have read. These reports are extemporaneous in most cases, and card indexes of the important articles are made by each member of the class. This, while not exactly the seminar method which has been spoken of to-day, is a very fair introduction to it. Both methods recognize the fact that there is a great realm of engineering facts, a small part only of which can be imparted to the student while he is in college, and that these same facts form the bone and sinew of his engineering work. They are founded upon experience and after graduation it is quite necessary for him to lay hold of them. So this plan leads the student to read the technical journals to the best advantage; to recognize the important articles as he comes across them; to keep a record of them; to remember them in a general way so that in time of need he may be able to lay his hands upon them. .

PROFESSOR Wm. F. M. Goss thought that the general plan outlined would perhaps be applicable under a variety of conditions. He had found that the process described by Professor Spalding gave good results when the laboratory rather than the library is made the basis of the work. Subjects to be investigated in the laboratory are assigned individual students, who, in proper time, prepare a carefully written report which they present to their class as a whole. Such reports usually contain a careful statement of the whole problem assigned, a description of methods employed, and a brief discussion concerning the significance of the result obtained. In the case of senior students in mechanical engineering he found the plan to be profitable both to the individual student and to the class.

PROFESSOR GEORGE D. SHEPARDSON mentioned a method which he had used to some extent in the laboratory—he presumed others had used it in the same way—that is, to give a student a problem and allow him to use his own method for working it out. In that way, of course, the student gets some help from the laboratory manuals, but necessarily searches through more or less of the current literature to find the best methods of covering the ground. After he has outlined the method he proposes to follow, he reports to the professor in charge and is advised whether that is the best method or whether he ought to find a better one.

QUANTITY vs. QUALITY IN SMALLER COLLEGES.

BY ALBERT KINGSBURY, Professor of Mechanical Engineering, New Hampshire College of Agriculture

and Mechanic Arts, Durham, N. H.

The problems confronting the teacher of engineering subjects in the small college seldom admit of complete and permanent solution. This is especially true of the adjustment of those constant antagonists, Quantity and Quality. What subjects shall we teach? How much time and labor shall we devote to each? Shall we study a small number of subjects thoroughly, or a large number less thoroughly? These questions, which arise in all schools, are probably more difficult for the small college than for the large one.

The reason for the existence of the small college is its accessibility, rather than its efficiency or its economy as an educational factor. It is a

It is a local magnetic center, attracting much crude as well as refined metal which could not be moved by the more powerful but distant magnet. But for the existence of the small college, possibly only one out of five of its students might go to college at all. As far, then, as the other four are benefited, there is pure gain to the world, and this, with the greater or less excellence of the training of the five, constitutes the institution's claim for just recognition.

The accessibility of the college involves in general not only that due to its location, but also that due to low expense to the student and, perhaps most of all, to the comparative low requirements for admission. This last factor, though practically essential, while

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our educational sources are only remotely co-operative, is largely responsible for the difficulties in meeting the needs of the students admitted. The writer has no wish to enter upon the subject of preparation and entrance requirements in general. The fact stands that there are many technical colleges whose entrance requirements are comparatively low. Consequently the candidates admitted vary greatly in respect of previous education and of natural ability. Among them are some having high talents and excellent training; others with good capabilities but less thorough previous education; still others less favored in both respects.

To meet the needs of these various students the typical small college has a disproportionately small number of instructors, a scanty material equipment, and the absence of funds, which is too common in colleges of all kinds. The professor of engineering, with his one or two assistants, must give instruction in the whole range of the professional studies, and often in some of the associated subjects, and usually there are added to these labors the distractions of much incidental mechanical and clerical work. The course in engineering is less comprehensive than the corresponding course in the larger colleges. It is well within the possible effort of the brighter student; it is too difficult for those of less natural ability and poorer preparation. The impossibility and undesirability of forming all students in one mould is hourly apparent. There is everywhere need of individual attention from the teacher, both for the more advanced student and for his slower classmate, giving to the one additional and

higher work to excite his best effort, and to the other the necessary encouragement in every possible way. And finally, the degree which crowns the four-years' effort of each is, perhaps because of abuse, a symbol of little meaning. It does not indicate in itself the vast differences of attainment beneath it, as between individuals from the same college or between those from different colleges.

To improve these conditions and results several radically different plans have been suggested. Among these plans is that of raising the standard of scholarship as nearly as possible to that of the larger colleges -increasing the entrance requirements and extending the course of study. To the teacher whose ambitions lie in the direction of the higher lines of study this is a most attractive plan. It would naturally demand from him more effort as a student, and possibly less as a teacher; decreasing the number of his students, and retaining those most easily taught. It would enable the teacher to give more individual attention to the student. The students taught under such a plan would undoubtedly be better trained than they would be under the less favorable conditions. Nevertheless, it does not seem that the plan is one to be generally adopted by our smaller colleges. Only a teacher of extraordinary ability could, even with two or three efficient assistants, conduct a course equivalent to that of the larger college, with its corps of specialists and its well-equipped laboratories. Hence the plan could not yield the best results, even for the few students educated under it. Moreover, it would have a most undesirable effect in excluding those students of earn

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