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FORDHAM

U N IV E R S IT Y

G r a d u a t e Sc h o o l

IfeylOth.

19.50

This dissertation prepared under my direction by

S is te r M arg aret L o re tto % an> S . G.

entitled ... G E ]® R ^ _.E D U ^

has been accepted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the

Degree o f. -^.9?or

(Faculty Adviser)

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GENERAL EDUCATION IN CATHOLIC COLLEGES FOR WOMEN

BY SISTER MARGARET LORETTO RYAN, S.C. A.B., College of Mount St. Joseph-on-the-Ohio, 1933 M.A., Columbia University, 1936

DISSERTATION SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY IN THE GRADUATE DEPARTMENT OF THE SCHOOL OF EDUCATION OF FORDHAM UNIVERSITY NEW YORK 1950 L

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ProQuest Number: 13846622

All rights reserved INFORMATION TO ALL USERS The quality of this reproduction is d e p e n d e n t upon the quality of the copy subm itted. In the unlikely e v e n t that the a u thor did not send a c o m p le te m anuscript and there are missing pages, these will be noted. Also, if m aterial had to be rem oved, a n o te will ind ica te the deletion.

uest ProQuest 13846622 Published by ProQuest LLC(2019). C opyright of the Dissertation is held by the Author. All rights reserved. This work is protected against unauthorized copying under Title 17, United States C o d e M icroform Edition © ProQuest LLC. ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway P.O. Box 1346 Ann Arbor, Ml 4 8 1 0 6 - 1346

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TABLE OF CONTENTS PAGE vii

LIST OF TABLES CHAPTER I.

INTRODUCTION........................................ The problem . . . . .................................. Statement of the problem

II.

. . . . .................

9 9

Scope of the s t u d y ...............................

10

Procedure . . . . . . . . .

.......................

10

THE NATURE OF GENERAL EDUCATION . . . .................

13

Factors influencing the need for general education Mass education

. .

14

.............................

14

Specialized knowledge .............................

16

Social and economic f o r c e s .......................

17

Meaning and definition of general education ..........

19

Characteristics of general education

22

...............

Comprehensiveness in general education Integration in general education

III.

1

............

23

.................

27

Prescription in general education .................

33

The development of the ”whole man” in general education

38

Functional aspects of general education ...........

44

Summary....................................... ,. . •

4&

COLLEGE ADMISSION POLICIES IN GENERAL EDUCATION . . . . .

52

Subjects and hi$i school units required .............

57

English..........................................

58

Foreign language..................................

59

Mathematics......................................

61

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iv r CHAPTER

PAGEn Natural science......................... • History or social science .

• . •

6l

...................

62

63

Units and areas of subject matter accepted aselectives Devices employed in determining the scholastic ability

66

of students............. Devices considered basic in determining the scholastic

67

ability of students applying for admission. . . . 71

Types of general information required......... Considerations underlying the selection of students .

73

Attitudes of administrators toward changes in admission p o l i c i e s .................................. Summary............. IV.

81

.

84

COMPREHENSIVENESS IN THE FROGRAMS OF THE COLLEGES . . .

87

Provisions for non-specialized e d u c a t i o n ...... Provisions for specialized education

88

.............

Provisions for e l e c t i v e s ......................

90 .

94

Relative emphasis on non-specialized, specialized, and elective courses

.............

97

Distribution of subjects and credit hours in non-specialized education

.'....

Religion

.............................

•••..



P h i l o s o p h y ................................. History . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . .

100 . 102

...................

English.................................... Foreign language

100

.................

The a r t s ........................

103 104 105 108

V

r CHAPTER

PAGE n Social s c i e n c e ..........• .......................

109

Natural science

Ill

................................. ..................

113

Summary......................... ... ...............

114

Mathematics

V.INTEGRATION IN THE PROGRAMS

OF THECOLIEGES.............

Basic integrating subjects Religion

.......

. . . . . . . . .

. . ............ ..... ...................

Philosophy

118 118

....................................

123

Histoxy..........................................

128

Other integrating e l e m e n t s ...................

136

Character training

136

Physical e d u c a t i o n .................. ‘ ...........

137

Functional learning............................

139

Summary............................................

142

VI.PRESCRIPTION IN THE PROGRAMS OF THE C O L L E G E S .............

145

................

145

English..........................................

146

Foreign language......... ........................

160

Fine a r t s ......... ............................ .

166

.

Prescribed courses in thehumanities

...........

169

Prescribed courses inmathematics....................

175

Prescribed courses in the socialsciences .

.........

178

Summary............................................

186

VII.SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS.................................

189

Prescribed courses in the naturalsciences

Summary L

118

..............................

Conclusions BIBLIOGRAPHY

.

..............................

189 195 203

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LIST OF TABLES

^

TABLE

PAGE

I. Distribution of Subjects and High School Units Required of all Students for Admission to the Colleges . . . . II.

Number and Percentage of Units Accepted as Electives in Fulfillment of Entrance Requirements of the Colleges

III.

58

64

Areas of Subject Matter and Range of Units in Each of the Areas accepted as Electives in Fulfillment of Entrance Requirements of the Colleges

IV.

65

Rank in Class Used as a Basis for the Selection of Stu­ dents

V.

. . . . .............

................

...

67

Classification of all Devices Enployed as the Principal Factor in Determining the Scholastic Ability of Stu­ dents Seeking Admission to the Colleges...........

VI.

Testimonials Required of Students Seeking Admission to the C o l l e g e s .................

VII.

93

Number and Percentage of Credit Hours in Elective Courses Open to Students in each of the C o l l e g e s .........

X.

89

Number and Percentage of Credit Hours Required in Specialized Education in each of the Colleges . . . .

IX.

71

Minimum Number and Percentage of Credit Hours Required in Non-specialized Education in each of the Colleges

VIII.

68

96

Proportion of Non-specialized, Specialized, and Elective Courses in Terms of Credit Hours and Percentages in the Individual Colleges ...............................

XI. l

97

Proportion of Non-specialized, Specialized, and Elective • _i

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LIST OF TABLES

n

TABLE

PAGE Courses in Terms of Scholastic Years, in the Programs of the Colleges . . . . . . .

XII.

.....................

Credit Hours in Religion Required of all Catholic Students 101

in the Colleges.................................. XIII.

Credit Hours in Philosophy Required of all Students in the C o l l e g e s ................................

XIV.

102

Credit Hours in History Required of all Students in the C o l l e g e s ........................................

XV.

104

Credit Hours in English Required of all Students in the Colleges

XVI.

............................

.

................

........................................

126

Courses in History Prescribed for all Students in the C o l l e g e s .....................

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120

Courses in Philosophy Prescribed for all Students in the Colie ge s

XXII.

114

Courses in Religion Prescribed for all Students in the C o l l e g e s ........................................

XXI.

112

Credit Hours in Mathematics Required of all Students in the C o l l e g e s .........

XX.

110

Credit Hours in Science Required of all Students in the C o l l e g e s ........................................

XIX.

107

Credit Hours in Social Science Required of all Students in the Colleges. . . . . .

XVIII.

105

Credit Hours in Foreign Language Required of all Stu­ dents in the Colleges.............................

XVII.

99

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LIST OF TABLES TABLE XXIII.

n *

PAGE

Health and Physical Education Requirements for all Stu­ dents in the Colleges...........................

XXIV.

138

Courses in English Prescribed for all Students in the C o l l e g e s ......................

XXV.

.«153

Courses in Foreign Language Prescribed for all Students in the Colleges.................................

XXVI.

Courses in Fine Arts Prescribed for all Students in the Colleges

XXVII.

.................

168

Courses in Natural Science Prescribed for all Students in the Colleges...........

XXVIII.

.............

177

Courses in Social Science Prescribed for all Students in the Colleges

l

173

Coursesih’ Mathematics Prescribed for all Students in the Colleges

XXIX.

163

• . . . • • • • • • •

.............

184

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GENERAL EDUCATION IN CATHOLIC COLLEGES FOR WOMEN

CHAPTER I

INTRODUCTION

In October, 1946, the first number of a periodical entitled The Journal of General Education made its appearance.

The editorial which

introduced the initial volume opened with this provocative paragraph: A General Education movement is under way. It is moving across the educational landscape with speed and force. It will sweep away many conventional forms of high school and college education. It will cause major modifications in professional and technical education. It will radically change requirements for graduate degrees. It will profoundly affect the thinking and the lives of our people. The purpose of the Journal, the editorial stated, was to serve as a medium for the expression of ideas related to general education.

Through

its pages, the editors hoped to present its philosophical and social im­ plications, as well as descriptions of curriculum innovations that were influenced by it.

The publication likewise proposed to bring to its

readers critical analyses of the issues of general education from the view­ point of varying philosophies of education, in the hope that the merits and demerits of a movement "which is of determinative significance in the race between education and catastrophe",^ might be made known to educators, whose task it will be "to decide the outcome of this fateful contest.”3 The appearance of this official organ, and the forceful statements

^ Earl J. McGrath, "The General Education Movement (An Editorial)," The Journal of General Education, 1:3, October, 1946.

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of its initial editorial indicate the importance which general education has assumed on all educational levels, and leaves no doubt that it is deserving of earnest study by those who are charged with the formulation of educational policies. However, the concern which it expresses for the future of higher education comes as no surprise to those who are acquainted with recent educational thinking.

For more than a decade preceding the appearance

of the Journal, the disintegration of higher education had been a frequent topic of discussion among educators,^ and plans for its revitalization had been going forward under the impetus of a "reform” movement, which came to be known as the general education movement, the first phase of which may be said to have extended from the early 1930’s to the middle 1940's.

This period was characterized by a theoretical approach to the

problems confronting higher education, and consisted chiefly in attempts to clarify basic issues and set up objectives.

The second and present

phase of the movement is a period of activity, in which curricula are being examined in the light of the objectives of general education, and in many cases are undergoing revision.

Observers declare that on the

thinking of this period may depend many important results for the future of higher education. Three reports, in particular, have influenced the present widespread interest in general education.

The first of these was the report of the

Institute for Administrative Officers of Higher Institutions,y which

- Ibid., p. 4. 5 William S. Gray, editor, General Education: Its Nature, Scope, and Essential Elements (Proceedings of the Institute for. Administrative L0fficers of Higher Institutions, 1934, Vol. VI, Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1934), 1S8 pp.

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appeared in 1934.

This group selected the topic of general education for

the subject of its conference in that year, at the suggestion of more than a hundred administrative officers of higher institutions, who considered it worthy of intensive study and critical discussion.

It was the original

intention of the group to formulate a new definition of general education which might serve to direct future discussion of the topic.

However, the

divergent views which the conference brought forth prevented the members from arriving at a definition that would be acceptable to all.

The views,

for the most part, reflected the personal biases of the individuals, but there was a note of optimism in the fact that, as a result of the con­ ference, the participants gained a broader insight into the purpose of general education and a clearer understanding of its role.

Three points

were ratified by the conference: first, that the values sought by general education do not reside within subject matter alone; second, that general education has other values besides the purely intellectual; third, that general education seeks to prepare the individual for a dynamic, not merely for a static, society.^ the thinking of many educators

The conference was influential in directing on a topic whose meaning was

rather vague,

and succeeded in arousing interest in the problem of general education on all levels of learning. By 1939t the interest in general education had grown to such an extent that the National Society for the Study of Education selected it as the topic for its Thirty-eighth Yearbook.^

It was clear, by this time,

6 Ibid.. pp. 180-184. ' Buy Montrose Whipple,editor, General Education in the American College (The Thirty-eighth Yearbook of the National Society for the Studyof Education, Part II. Bloomington, Illinois: Public School Publishing J Company, 1939) , p. ad...

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that the values sought by general education went beyond particular fields of subject matter, for subject matter, per se, was conspicuously absent in the contributions to the Yearbook.

The emphasis was rather on the needs

of the new type of student body that was appearing on college campuses. ”It is starkly clear,” the report stated, ”that a major cause for the cur­ rent concern over general education at the college level is the steady lengthening of the normal period of formal education in this country.”® Education on the secondary school level, when faced with the diver­ sity of mental abilities among pupils, resorted to the expediency of dif­ ferentiating the education of youth without giving it a solid foundation in common areas of learning.

College administrators, on the other hand,

conceived of general education as a means of unifying rather than of diversifying learning: The fundamental characteristic of general education, as it is now manifesting itself, is a quest for unity. Its focus of attention is upon those relationships that bind parts together to form a whole; relationships between the minds, bodies, and emotions of the adolescent; between the various institutions of society, including education itself; between the individuals, which, taken together, make up society; between the college and the community it represents; between the various disciplines that are our storehouses of accumulated knowledge; between the child that was, the adolescent that is, and the man that is to be; between the world of thought and the world of action; between the various courses that constitute the curriculum; between the human beings who make up the college society; between specialized and generalized interests and needs; between the high school and the junior college; between the junior college and the senior college or the professional school or the non-academic world.9 That curricular revisions were going steadily forward under the impetus of the general education movement was evident from the reports of innovations and experimental curricula contained in the Yearbook.

8 Ibid.. p. 351. 9 Ibid.. pp. 379-80.

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These new curricula became patterns for other institutions, who saw in them the only available guide for the formulation of programs of general education. The trend toward experimentation with new curricula was inter­ rupted by World War II, when the demand for youth trained in technical fields interfered with carrying out the programs of general education as they were originally planned.

After the cessation of hostilities,

however, a new wave of interest in general education swept the country. This renewed emphasis was due in no small measure to the influence of the Harvard Report, 10 which made its appearance in 1945.

The report

was the joint work of the members of the faculty of arts and sciences, in collaboration with the faculty of education of Harvard University.

It

represented the result of almost three years of study, and an outlay of about $60,000.

This expenditure of time and money alone was evidence of

the importance which the topic of general education had assumed among educators.

Coming as it did from a group of professors representing the

diversified interests of a university, yet united in the single desire to put their minds to the task of helping to solve each other’s difficulties, the report succeeded in conveying the idea that general education was not only a problem of administration, but also one that concerned every class­ room teacher as well. The Harvard Report may be said to represent the culmination of the first phase of the general education movement.

It was the first compre­

hensive and definitive statement of the aims and objectives of the movement,

Report of the Harvard Committee, General Education in a Free Society (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1945)> 267 pp.

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and it helped to clarify the goals sought by the movement on both the secondary and college levels.

The basic concept of the report considered

general education as ’’education for an informed responsible life in our society ... in the broad sense of completeness as a human being rather than in the narrower sense of competence in a particular lot.”ii

It

envisioned the eradication of the aristocratic view of higher education and the substitution of a democratic attitude in the extension of educa­ tional opportunities to a larger number of students.^

The report enjoyed

wide circulation among both professional and lay groups, and it helped to break down the prejudice that existed in some academic circles against the movement of general education.

Even those who did not entirely agree

with some of the ideas set forth in the report, acknowledged its influence on educational thinking.

Moreover, many college administrators who had

previously given very little thought to the implications of the movement now began to examine their curricula in the light of the theory of educa­ tion expounded in the report. Shortly after the appearance of the Harvard Report, the American Council on Education published the first volume of the Cooperative Study in General Education. ^

This study was a joint project undertaken by

twenty-two colleges for the purpose of effecting desirable changes in educational practice in line with the purposes of general education.*^

11 Ibid.. p. 4. ^ 13

Ibid., p. xv.

A Final Report of the Executive Committee of the Cooperative Study in General Education, Cooperation in General Education (The Cooperative Study in General Education. Washington: American Council on Education, 1947)* 240 pp. L -J ^ Ibid., p. vii

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The study was concerned chiefly with what ought to be' done to meet the needs of general education, and how it could be carried out effectively. At the same time there began to appear in the literature various reports of curricular changes that were being inaugurated in institutions in every section of the country in an effort to bring educational offerings in line with the spirit and purpose of general education.

These reports,

particularly of such institutions as Yale, Princeton, and Columbia, which are especially influential in guiding educational thought, became an incentive to others to examine their programs in relation to the purposes of general education. Judging from the literature which has appeared so far, very little has been done in Catholic circles with respect to the problem of general education and its implications for Catholic higher education. tions may be noted.

Two excep­

At the Catholic University of America, an investi­

gation of the general education movement was undertaken by Father Bernard Rattigan^ f©r the purpose of discovering its implications for the Catholic college.

Father Rattigan analyzed the literature of general education,

studied the meaning given it in secular education, evaluated the patterns of education to which this meaning gave rise', and described programs of general education which have been inaugurated in certain secular univer­ sities.

The study concerned itself with the theory and practice of general

education in secular colleges with the view to identifying those aspects which might profitably be incorporated into educational practice in Catholic colleges.

Its recommendations were not based on an investigation of the

15 Bernard T. Rattigan, f,The General Education Movement and Its Implications for the Catholic College,” (unpublished Doctor’s dissertation, The Catholic University of America, Washington, c. 194#). ~J

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actual practices in Catholic colleges, but pointed out ways in which general education could implement the basic principles of Catholic higher education. The College of St. Catherine, St. Paul, Minnesota, was one of the twenty-two colleges that initiated the Cooperative Study in General Education conducted by the American Council on Education.16

While the

findings of this study were based on individual investigations in the participating colleges, they were reported as the joint contributions of all the colleges.

The investigation carried on by the College of St.

Catherine, therefore, has only an indirect significance for Catholic higher education. The comparative silence with regard to the changes that general education has effected in the practices of Catholic colleges does not necessarily indicate a lack of interest in the movement or a lack of under­ standing of its importance.

Eather, since the movement is considered of

’’determinative significance in the race between education and catastrophe,” there is an apparent need for a study to determine the extent to which the objectives of general education are being carried out in these colleges. It was the purpose of this dissertation to investigate the current programs of education in a selected group of Catholic colleges for women to ascertain the degree to which they may be said to carry out the purposes of general education.

This investigation represents the first attempt

to study the educational offerings in these colleges in terms of the purposes of general education.

By pointing out the extent to which the

programs meet the aims of general education, the study should serve as a

£ Final Report of the Executive Committee of the Cooperative J Study in General Education, o£. cit., p. vii.

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guide in revising curricula in accordance with these aims. The study should also point out the extent to which the Catholic viewpoint is in agreement with secular thought on some of the aspects of general education.

In this respect it should serve to give a clearer

interpretation to the meaning and function of general education within the framework of the Catholic philosophy of education.

THE PROBLEM

Statement of the problem. The problem of this dissertation was to investigate the present status of general education in a selected group of Catholic colleges for women. This investigation involved three steps:

(l) an examination of

the literature of general education on the college level to determine the meaning and characteristics of general education; (2) a survey of twenty-six Catholic colleges for women to secure information with respect to the programs offered in these colleges; (3) an appraisal of the results of the survey in terms of the characteristics of general education on the college level and the extent to which programs of general education are being carried out in the colleges under study. The examination of the literature centered on the following aspects of the problem: (l) the forces that created the demand for general education (2) the distinguishing characteristics of general education on the college level; (3) characteristics of current programs of general education. The survey of colleges consisted of a personal interview with the academic dean of each of the twenty-six colleges under study, and an examination of the catalog of each college.

The purpose of the inter-

Lview was to secure statements on the following points, as these related]

10 r to the aims of general education:

/ \ n (1) the opportunities for higher educa­

tion as indicated by the admission practices and policies of the college; (2) provisions for comprehensive learning; (3) provisions for integration of learning; (4) provisions for the complete education of students accord­ ing to their five-fold nature; (5) provisions for prescribed courses. The purpose of the appraisal was to set forth the extent to which the various educational practices of the Catholic colleges under study manifested the characteristics of general education, and to utilize this information in forming certain conclusions regarding the status of general education in these colleges.

Scope of the study. The Catholic colleges for women included in this study were twenty-six liberal arts colleges located in the District of Columbia and in the States of Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Maryland.

The interview was restricted to

the academic dean in charge of studies, and did not include members of the teaching faculty.

Procedure.

The first step in this study was to determine what

competent thinking in educational circles today regard as general education. A careful study was made of the literature of general education since the early 1930’s.

This study furnished the data that served as a basis for

arriving at the meaning and characteristics of general education, according to the current acceptation of that term.

An analysis was also made of the

theory and practice of general education as set forth in the Report of the Harvard Committee, General Education in a Free Society, since this was judged to be the most complete available statement of the theory L and practice of general education.

From this analysis was femulated _i

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the criteria which were applied to the educational practices of the col­ leges under study. The second step was to secure information regarding the policies and practices of the colleges under investigation.

The personal inter­

view was the means selected as best suited to the purposes of this study, since it offered the opportunity of clarifying statements of policy, such as those appearing in the catalogs of the individual colleges, prior to evaluating them in terms of the objectives and practices of general education. In each of the colleges the person interviewed was the dean of studies.

Since it is her responsibility to plan the program of study,

to check on the progress of students, and to make such recommendations as seem necessary to promote the educational interests of the students, she seemed to be the one best qualified to discuss the status of general education in her college. The interview covered the following items as they related to general education: I. The scope of opportunity for higher education as indicated by the admission policies of the college 1. High school subjects and units required for admission 2. Quantity and quality of electives accepted for admission 3. Means employed for determining scholastic ability 4. Miscellaneous admission requirements 5. Considerations underlying admission practices II. Provisions 1. Basic 2. Basic 3. Basic

for integrated learning requirements in religion requirements in philosophy requirements in history

III. Provisions for comprehensive learning 1. Distribution of non-specialized, specialized, and elective courses in terms of credit hours 2. Distribution of non-specialized courses in terms of subjects and units required IV. Other provisions for the education of the ’’whole man” 1. Provisions for moral education

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2. Provisions for aesthetic education 3. Provisions for physical and health education V. Provisions for functional learning ¥1. Content of prescribed courses 1. Subject matter fields 2. Specific courses in each field The data thus derived from the personal interview and the college catalogs were assembled and treated under the following categories! (l) admission policies and practices; (2) integrating elements in the programs offered; (3) comprehensiveness of courses required; (4) content of courses prescribed.

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“I CHAPTER II

THE NATURE OF GENERAL EDUCATION

While no exact date can be assigned to the beginning of the general education movement, it came into prominence during the depression years of the early 1930's.

This period of economic crisis brought to

light many problems concerned with the responsibility of the school toward society.

The unemployment that resulted from the shut-down of industry

sent into the colleges larger numbers of students who would not otherwise have continued their formal education, and the colleges, faced with the diminishing returns on financial investments, encouraged increased enroll­ ments as a means of preventing financial disaster to their institutions. Lowered tuition fees were used by some colleges to attract students, while other institutions relaxed their entrance requirements in order to give young people an opportunity to spend the period of unemployment in a profitable manner.

The federal government, through the National Youth

Administration, gave financial assistance to many worthy students by means of part-time employment projects set up in the colleges, and thus enabled them to continue their education. Besides giving rise to a demand for post-high school education, the depression also clarified the true purpose of higher education.

With

the curtailment of opportunities for employment, the specialists could no longer pursue their specialties, because special education had no market for its product.

The common social problems which concerned every in­

dividual were awaiting solution, and the specialists stood helplessJLy by, unable, because of a lack of common knowledge of the roots of many of L these problems, to understand their implications or to assist in finding

a solution for them.

Thus the depression focused attention on two im­

portant facts: first, that "new masses of students" were going to college; second, that a new emphasis in education was needed to prepare youth for the common activities of adult life as thoroughly as professional and technical education prepared them for specialized activities.

FACTORS INFLUENCING THE NEED FOR GENERAL EDUCATION

Mass education. The need for a common body of knowledge became apparent in the years of economic stress, but the conditions that created that need had their roots in abuses that had steadily influenced educa­ tional practices over a period of years. Some of these abuses may be traced to the introduction of mass education into the American school system.

The concept of free, universal

education became a characteristic of American education about the middle of the nineteenth century with the extension of tax support to include the secondary school.^

By the end of the century every State had provided

instruction at public expense through the elementary grades, and the pro­ vision for free, public secondary education was almost nation-wide.^ With the enactment of compulsory school attendance laws by the various States, and the extension of the period of formal schooling to age of 16, mass education became an established fact and a unique charac­ teristic of American education.

^ Ellwood P. Cubberly, Public Education in the United States (Boston: Houghton, Mifflin Company, 1934)> p. 255. ^ Report of the Harvard Committee, General Education in a Free Society (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1945)> p. 6.

Since the beginning of the present century, enrollments of pupils of high school age, 14 to 1? years, increased from 11 per cent of that age group in 1900 to 73 per cent in 1940.

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When the free public high

schools opened up educational opportunities to larger numbers of pupils, and compulsory attendance laws left the pupil no choice in the matter of compliance, the high school was overrun by a student body representing all levels of society, and every type of intelligence and variety of interest.

Obviously, the rigid college-preparatory program was out of

the question for the majority of this group.

Mo longer could the pur­

pose of the high school be said to be preparation for college, because even among the intellectually gifted, only a small percentage found it economically possible to continue their formal education after graduation. Under these conditions, it became the task of the high school to adapt its curriculum to the diversified group of pupils who presented themselves for instruction.

The individual needs of the pupil became the center

about which the curriculum was adjusted, at least to the extent of bring­ ing about the modification of traditional courses and the introduction of vocational and practical courses.

But in attempting to serve the

variety of needs that existed in the high school student body, the school often failed to provide for the common social needs which unify the offer­ ings of a curriculum and provide a common bond among individuals.^ While the high school continued to prepare a select group directly for college, many colleges were abandoning the liberal arts ideal in favor

3

A Report of the President's Commission on Higher Education, Higher Education for American Democracy (Mew York: Harper & Brothers, 1947)> p. 25.

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-i In competition with the liberal arts

college, technical schools opened their doors to students who wished to prepare for future careers more directly than was possible in the purely liberal arts curriculum.

This action influenced the liberal arts colleges

to add to their curriculum courses of scientific and utilitarian value, to meet the demands of students who considered such courses -a stepping stone to future success in life.

Specialized knowledge. Among those who thus favored the broadening of the college curriculum was Charles ¥. Eliot.

When Eliot became president

of Harvard in 1869, he put into practice his theories based on the belief that the type of education each student should receive is the individual concern of the student.

According to this view, it was the task of the

college to provide for each student the education he wanted.

"For the

individual, concentration, and the highest development of his own peculiar faculty, is the only prudence. Eliot’s theories gained support from the industrial and commercial world, which found them fruitful soil for the training of the much-needed specialist.

His theory conceived of all subjects as having equal value,

and therefore he decried the distinction made between the classical and the scientific subjects as means for achieving a liberal education.

At

Harvard University, he inaugurated the system of free election by which the student chose those courses which he considered most suitable and useful to him.

The widespread adoption of this practice by other colleges

opened the way to unlimited specialization, and to the loss of that unity

l

5 Charles W. Eliot, Educational Reform (New York: Century Company, 1905), p. 1. -J

17 —]

of purpose which had characterized higher education of an earlier day. Over a period of years, the curriculum of the college became a series of courses often unrelated to the student's life outside his special­ ized field.

As scientific discoveries added new knowledge of particular

fields, other specialties found a place in the curriculum at the expense of the academic subjects.

Social and economic forces. Although mass education theoretically extends only through the secondary school, forces outside the school are gradually extending the period of formal education beyond the high school. With the curtailment of opportunities for post-high school employment, brought on by the displacement of man power by machinery, young people have enrolled in the colleges in increasingly larger numbers.

Vocational

training is no longer the solution to the problem of higher education for the high school graduate, for, according to the reports of the American Youth Commission, cited in the Cooperative Study in General Education, practically all the training required for initial employment in the various occupations can be received on the job. Only 12 per cent of the occupations in this country such as the professions and supervisory and managerial positions in industry and commerce require any specialized education beyond high school. Another 25 per cent of American occupations require specialized training of from a few weeks to six months beyond the general education provided in the lower schools. The remaining two-thirds require no specialized training which cannot be better provided on the job.® Instead of vocational training, there exists a need for a better understanding of current economic problems:

A Final Report of the Executive Committee of the Cooperative Study in General Education, Cooperation in General Education (The l Cooperative Study in General Education. “Washington: American Council on Education, 1947)> p . 2 2 . J

IB r

n The economic system of old rural America has undergone pro­ found changes. As it has increased in complexity, we have come to rely less on automatic adjustment and more on human decisions and formulated policies. This requires social engineering of high quality, and also a high degree of economic literacy among our people. The economic problems we face demand on the part of all citizens creative imagination, flexibility of mind, a democratic spirit, loyalty to the public interest, and insight into the organization and workings of our economic system. And these qualities are likely to come more fully from general than from special education.? The new technological age has also brought with it an increased

amount of leisure, which creates the necessity for an education that will develop the full potentialities of the individual: One of the significant changes of our times is the new meaning the machine has given to leisure. Increased technical efficiency has made possible a drastic reduction in the hours of work; it has greatly increased the leisure time at the disposal of the worker. But the machine tends also to frac­ tionalize the experience of the worker, to splinter his person­ ality. Its use calls into play only a part of his total self. Highly repetitive simple operations performed day after day kill the imagination, dull the mind, and fail to give any satisfying sense of creative accomplishment. Because of the high degree of specialization and division of labor in industry, leisure can no longer be regarded as mere cessation from work. The worker must use his hours away from the job to restore the wholeness of personality the machine tends to destroy. He needs to engage in leisure-time activities that will give him intellectual stimulation and growth, physical exercise and relaxation, emotional expression, and satisfaction of his artistic impulses. The problem of general education, education for the common needs of society, became urgent as mass education, the increase of specialized knowledge, and the demands of an industrialized age tended to separate the individual from the society of which he is a part and in which he finds the means for his fullest development.

? A Report of the President's Commission on Higher Education, op. cit., pp. 63-64. S Ibid., p. 64.

19

MEANING AND DEFINITION OF GENERAL EDUCATION

The major problem with which general education is concerned can best be understood in the light of a basic philosophy of education. Broadly considered, education is essentially an individual and a social process.^

The individual purpose of education is to develop the poten­

tialities of each human being to their fullest extent and to prepare him for a particular place in life.

In order to realize his fullest

development, however, the individual is dependent upon society, which both affects him and is affected by h im.^ ment only within the social framework.

Man reaches his highest develop­

The quality of society depends

upon the quality of the contributions of its individual members.

Society

can help or hinder the fulfillment in the individual of his highest potentialities: Organized society, or the State, is the support that the cooperative efforts of the citizens build up in order that on it each person may rise to the complete development of himself. The possibility of such an ascent depends on the nature of the support. If it is made of clay or other in­ coherent material, it cannot serve to lift man up. It can prove but a treacherous aid. The man who trusts on it risks a heavy and even a fatal fall. The education of the citizen must be such as to secure him against such a mischance.H In view of the above, the education of each individual should have a unique purpose based on his personal needs, and also a common purpose, based on his needs as a member of society.

The elective system carried

9 John D. Redden and Francis A. Ryan, A Catholic Philosophy of Education (Milwaukee: The Bruce Publishing Company, 1942), p. 7. 10 Loc. cit. Edward Leen, In/hat is Education? (New York: Sheed and Ward, L 1944), p. $»

20 r “i out the unique purpose of education but neglected the common or social purpose.

It created the specialist, intent on his personal pursuits and

ignoring his relation to the society in which his specialty operates. Each specialist understands and can speak the language of his specialty, but, if his education has not gone beyond this narrow field, he is at a loss to understand or to speak the language of those common spheres of life which he shares with all men regardless of their specialties: Today’s college graduate may have gained technical or pro­ fessional training in one field of work or another, but is only incidentally, if at all, made ready for performing his duties as a man, a parent, and a citizen. Too often he is ’educated* in that he has acquired competence in some particular occupation, yet falls short of that human wholeness and civic conscience which the cooperative activities of citizenship require. Education for the common spheres of life requires that each individual possess a common understanding of common problems and a common way of thinking, of communicating thought, of judging and of acting in matters affecting the common good.

He must be able to "grasp the com­

plexities of life as a w h o l e . T h i s ability is not attained through narrow specialization in a restricted field of learning, but is the result of broad preparation in the fields of knowledge which underlie the common activities of man.

The haphazard manner in which the social

purposes of education have been carried out in the past has been the concern of educators for many years, and has lee.d to an effort to for­ mulate a curriculum whose specific purpose would be to prepare the individual for those activities of life which he has in common with all

A Report of the President’s Commission on Higher Education, op. cit., p. 4&. 13 Report of the Harvard Committee, qp. cit., p. 54.

21 r “i other individuals, based on their common human nature and their common needs.

This aim was conceived as the basis for what has come to be

known as general education, an education that seeks to educate each person for those common pursuits as directly and as thoroughly as special education prepares him for his individual pursuits. General education is defined in positive terms as preparation for living, in contrast to special education,which is preparation formaking a living.

General education,

therefore, concerns "those phases of non­

specialized and non-vocational learning which should be the common expe­ rience of all educated men and women.^

The components of such an educa­

tion have been described as "ethical values, scientific generalizations, and aesthetic conceptions, as well^as an understanding of the purposes and character of the political, economic and social institutions that men have devised. General education is a self-conscious attempt to unify a society whose members have been separated from one another by the lack of a common knowledge of the culture in which they live.

It attempts to connect man

with man, the present with the past and with the future, and thus offset the divisive influence which specialization, important as it is, tends to exert on society.

It is a form of liberal education, for

If one cling to the root meaning of liberal as that which befits or helps to make free men, then general and liberal education have identical goals. The one may be thought of as an earlier stage of the other, similar in nature but less advanced in degree. ®

^ A Report of the President’s Commission on Higher Education, op. cit., p. 49 ^

koc. cit.

^

Report of the Harvard Committee, oj>. cit., p. 52.

J

22 r

~i General education is liberal education directed to the purposes of

democracy: General education undertakes to redefine liberal education in terms of life’s problems as men face them, to give it human orientation and social direction, to invest it with content that is directly relevant to the demands of contemporary society. General education is liberal education with its matter and method shifted from its original aristocratic intent to the service of democracy. General education seeks to extend to all men the benefits of an education that liberates. '

CHARACTERISTICS OF GENERAL EDUCATION

In a recent study undertaken to determine the answer to the question ’’What is General Education?” the investigator assigned to it these qualities: first, it is universal, in that it is education for all citizens; second, it is practical, in that it meets the needs of everyday living; third, it is social, in that it prepares for the duties of citizen­ ship; fourth, it is complete, in that it develops the ’’whole man”; fifth, it is individualized, in that it takes into consideration the differing mental abilities of individuals; sixth, it is unifying, in that it creates a common bond among individuals through learning based on the common spheres of knowledge.

is

These qualities are implicit in the characteristics of general education which are listed by the Cooperative Study in General Education as follows: general education is (l) comprehensive education; (2) inte-

A Report of the President's Commission on Higher Education, op. cit., p. 49. James Keith Baker, ’’The Evolution of the Concept of General Education,” (unpublished Doctor's dissertation, Yale University, New Haven, 1947)> p. 346. _i

23

rgrated education; (3 ) prescribed education; (4 ) education of the ’’whole1 man”; (5) functional education.^ In this dissertation, "education of the ’whole man'” and "functional education” are treated under "integrated education", since they con­ tribute to the unified intellectual development which is sought by general education.

Comprehensiveness in general education. The most prominent characteristic of general education is a reaction against specialism.

20

Concentration by individuals and groups on limited divisions of knowledge has made important contributions to the progress of civilization, but it has also destroyed breadth and coherence in the college curriculum.

21

If the good of society is to be served, learning must be comprehensive in scope, for "in so far as any good society must imply some understanding of the totality of the human mind and spirit, then this totality is the concern of education— as the heritage and bond of society."

22

To secure a broad foundation of learning is the primary obligation of general education, which, according to the Cooperative Study in General Education, aims to "develop an intelligent, socially sensitive citizen, a community member, a friend and a member of a family, equipped

^ A Final Report of the Executive Committee of the Cooperative Study in General Education, op. cit., pp. 202-20$. ^

Loc. cit.

^

Loc. cit.

^ John H. Finley, Jr., "The Harvard Report: A Short Interpretation," Proceedings of the Fifty-ninth Annual Convention of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools.. 1945> p. &S. L

_!

24

r

o*x n with attitudes and powers to give meaning and satisfaction to life.” It is not the denial of the value of special education, but rather a recognition of its limitations that make clear the need for a balancing force in a program of comprehensive learning. The needs of man which general education serves are considered by some as derived from the concept of man expressed in the proposition: "Man is a speculative animal; man is a political animal; man is a choosing and valuing animal.”^

This view of man underlies the separation of

learning into three large areas: the natural sciences, the social sciences, and the humanities.^5

These divisions have been the traditional bases-

for man’s gaining an understanding of his physical environment, of his social environment and human institutions, and of himself, in his ideals and aspirations.

pA

The Catholic concept of education accepts these areas of learning as implicitly encompassing man’s educational needs, but makes explicit that man is basically a spiritual and religious being, endowed with reason and free will.

Human activity is primarily intellectual and moral in

nature; therefore, Catholic education places religion and philosophy in a separate category as constituting the means whereby man gains an under­ standing of his intellectual and moral relations with God and his fellow

23 A Final Report of the Executive Committee of the Cooperative Study in General Education, ojd. cit., p. 208. 2^ Raphael Demos, "Further Remarks on the Harvard Report,” Pro­ ceedings of the Fifty-ninth Annual Convention of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools. 1945? p. 91* ^

Loc. cit.

26 Report of the Harvard Committee, 0£. cit., p. 58. L

_J

25 r

men.

—j

These two fields of subject matter deal with the study of the

intellectual and the moral virtues, both natural and supernatural. In order to function efficiently as a member of society, the in­ dividual must "see life whole,” that is, from the viewpoint of man's final destiny.

This view holds that the basis of society is moral and

religious, and that an education is not comprehensive unless it includes * both of these aspects.

True "social efficiency" cannot be separated from

this moral and religious basis: The adherents of this 'social efficiency' viewpoint, however, fail to understand the true nature of society, and hence of true social efficiency, because they exclude that necessary moral and religious training which is the very basis of all efficiency. It is fundamentally true that man is naturally religious, and that the expression of his religious tendency enhances social life. Catholic philosophy teaches that the Church, into which the child is incorporated through baptism, is the highest social organism, and any preparation for social efficiency will fail to bear its full fruit— unless motivated by the higher ideals and values which Catholicism alone supplies.2 ' The aim of Catholic higher education is thus consistent with that of general education, but is more comprehensive in scope, since it gives "meaning and satisfaction to life" that go beyond the purely material: The purpose of Christian education is to set man right in mind and will in relation to God, to the material world in which he lives, to his fellow-men, and to himself. From the Catholic viewpoint, then, learning is divided into four areas embracing man's relation to his Creator, to himself, to his fellow men, and to his environment.

In this view, the purpose of a cultural

background is to "liberate the individual from his inherent weaknesses and disabilities so that he may attain the full.measure of his worth.

^

Redden and Ryan, o£. cit.« p. 89.

28 Leen, op. cit., p. 164. 29 Redden and Ryan; 0£. cit., p. 582.

26

r

General education assigns a like quality as a mark of the lib­

“i

erated man: And these are the touchstones of the liberated man: first, is he free; that is to say, is he able to judge and plan for himself. In order to do this, his must be a mind capable of self-criticism; he must lead that self-examined life which according to Socrates is alone worthy of a free ma n . ™ The second mark of the liberated man, according to general education, is universality: Second, is he universal in his motives and sympathies? For the civilized man is a citizen of the entire universe; he has overcome provincialism, he is objective, and is a ’spectator of all time and all existence.*31 Both the quality of self-criticism and that of universality are found in the Catholic concept of education.

But from the Catholic view­

point, the liberated man goes beyond self as his norm and seeks to con­ form his life to a higher standard: The only ideal which satisfies man’s free nature is that provided by the moral law. Since this is the immutable law of God applicable to every man, and governing every aspect of man’s conduct, it may truly be said that really to know God, man must possess as complete a knowledge as possible of God Himself and of the moral law, and conform his conduct thereto. Without the knowledge of God, His perfections, His manifes­ tation of Himself to men through the human nature assumed by His Divine Son, with all the attractive characteristics of the perfect Man, as well as the perfect God, the moral law would remain a law with a most inadequate motive for its fulfillment.^ Only in so far as man applies this higher norm to all his actions can he be said to possess true freedom: From its very foundations, based on the life and teachings of Christ, Catholic education has taught man the necessity

3® Report of the Harvard Committee, 0£. cit., p. 53 •

^ l

koc. cit.

32 Redden and Ryan, 0£. cit., p. 583.

-i

27

of the Christian virtues of kindness, honesty, charity, sympathy, justice, mercy, sincerity, and tolerance, in every contact with his fellow men. The cultivation of these virtues has its source in man’s love of God and love of neighbor, basic prin­ ciples of the moral law. When these principles are firmly adhered to and applied to life, man is said to possess the fullest measure of freedom. ™ The Catholic concept of higher education is in agreement with general education in holding that breadth of learning should distinguish education on the college level.

There is agreement, too, that the pur­

pose of such learning should be the freeing of all the powers of man in keeping with his distinctively human nature.

However, both the scope

of learning and the ends to be attained by the liberation of man’s powers are more comprehensive in the Catholic concept of higher educa­ tion than in that of general education, since the Catholic concept includes religion and morality among the qualities of a broad, cultural education.

Integration in general education. The second most prominent characteristic of general whole

education is its quest for unity.

Infact

question of general education may be said to have its basis

the

in the

need for a unifying purpose and idea in American educational practice. The fragmentation of knowledge into separate divisions and sub-divisions plus the fragmentation of the school system into a maze of institutions pursuing separate purposes and performing separate functions, had their repercussions in a fragmentation of society into groups of persons pur­ suing separate specializations, and with no common understanding of purposes to counteract the divisive influences that characterize modern

33 Ibid.. p. 581. LReport of the Harvard Committee,

0£. cit., p. 43

J

28 r society:

~i

In recent times, the question We are faced with a diversity of many virtues, nevertheless works by helping to destroy the common on which any society d e p e n d s . 35

of unity has become insistent. education which, if it has against the good of society ground of training and outlook

The purpose of general education is to equip the individual to con­ tribute his part toward promoting the welfare of society in an intel­ ligent manner. world.

But he cannot do so unless he understands man and his

This understanding is not gained through the study of special

fields of learning, or even through the study of all fields of learning, unless such learning is unified in some coherent pattern that will enable the individual to "see life whole.”

Therefore, one of the characteristics

of general education is to give the individual an integrated understanding of man and his world, not merely segments of knowledge about them. To integrate means to form into one whole; to make entire; to complete; to round out; to perfect; to unite (parts or elements) so as to form a whole; to unite (a part or element) with something else, especially something more

i n c l u s i v e . 3^

implies a relationship of parts.

"Wholeness” or "completeness”

Comprehensiveness having provided these

parts, it is the function of integration to relate them in such a way that they may form a unified body of knowledge. The unifying principle of American education may be derived from the nature of American society: It is evidently to be looked for in the character of American society, a society not wholly of the new world since it came from the old, not wholly given to innovation since it acknowledges

35 Loc. cit. ^ Websterfs New International Dictionary of the English Language, (Springfield, Massachusetts; G. & C. Merriam Company, 1946), p. 1290.

29 r

-i certain fixed beliefs, not even wholly a law unto itself since there are principles above the state. ' This suggests three means by which knowledge may be unified: by

relating the present to the past, which is the function of history; by relating the changing conditions and seeming disorders of society to the universal, unchanging principles of a coherent, orderly universe, knowable through philosophy; and by relating man as a subject and as a creature to his Lawgiver and First Principle, God, which is the function of religion. For purposes of general education, then, integration is an intellectual process by which knowledge is unified through a recognition of relation­ ships among the several fields of learning and a basic body of knowledge supplied by history, philosophy and religion.

Independent of any other

field of learning, these three subjects constitute the binding force between all learning and man’s understanding of his world. The function of history as an integrating element in general education is that of giving perspective to man’s understanding of the present.

Con­

temporary society is a product of the past, formed and molded by a variety of forces into its present shape.

To go beneath the surface of the present

and study the influences which have created it, is to gain insight into the present which no other process can give.

The saying that a thing is

not known until it is known in its genesis is particularly applicable to an understanding of contemporary society: To study the American present is to discern at best the aims and purposes of a free society animating its imperfections. To study the past is immensely to enrich the meaning of the present and at the same time to clarify it by the simplification of the writings and the issues which have been winnowed from

37 Report of the Harvard Committee, 0£. cit., p. 41

L

_|

30

r

history.

38

n

One of the frequently recurring topics in current literature is the nature and meaning of democracy.

These discussions are distinguished,

for the most part, by a lack of agreement on the interpretation of the concept, a lack due, in many cases, to a false notion of the true nature of the individual and of society.

The confusion which results from try­

ing to reconcile these various concepts as a basis for action, indicates the value of an integrated knowledge of the idea of democracy as it has evolved through the centuries.

Once the individual has grasped the basic

notion of democracy as a concept of the individual worth of man, and once he experiences, through the pages of history, and the significant writings on the subject, the uses and abuses of these principles, he is able to see the present in a new light, and to interpret all reality in terms of that knowledge. Among the realities which a study of history discloses is the inevitability of change and of recurring disorder in human society.

But,

setting this perplexing reality, as it does, against a similar mutating background of space-time relations, history is unable of itself to point to a solution of the problem it so clearly exposes.

This problem must be

viewed in the light of the unchanging principles of order which are mani­ fested through philosophy.

Philosophy encompasses all reality, and

through the power of reason, seeks the ultimate causes of all things. As an integrating element, its function is to equip the individual with that wisdom which he needs to interpret man and his environment: Philosophy presents an outlook on life by which man perceives the

L

38 Ibid.. p. 45.

31 r

I interrelation of phenomena; that the universe is a coherent system, orderly and not chaotic. This fact is knowable by the human mind. In the face of change and seeming disorder, philosophy proclaims that universal principles remain with absolute order and continuity, affording man the opportunity to rise above the plane of individual interest, or accidental circumstances of time and place, and to be guided by the certain knowledge that these principles remain forever opera­ tive.-"

Philosophy, therefore, is a necessary adjunct to the study of history, for it enables man to "see life whole." The importance of religion as an integrating factor of all knowl­ edge is indicated by the term itself, which is derived from the Latin "religare", which means to unite, or to bind.

Its function is that of

binding man in all his activities to his Last End, which is God. Secular thinking recognizes the importance of religion as giving "ultimate unity" to all knowledge, yet refuses it a place in the cur­ riculum.

Referring to the enormous variety of aim and method that is

characteristic of contemporary education, the'Harvard Report states: This condition, which seemingly robs liberal education of any clear, coherent meaning, has for some time disturbed people and prompted a variety of solutions. Sectarian, particularly Roman Catholic, colleges have of course their solution, which was generally shared by American colleges until less than a century ago: namely, the conviction that Christianity gives meaning and ultimate unity to all parts of the curriculum, indeed to the whole life of the college. Yet this solution is out of the question in publicly supported colleges and is practically, if not legally, impossible in most others.^ In spite of the fact that the Constitution of the United States recognizes that the rights and duties of citizens in a democracy flow from the relationship between Creator and creature, educators ignore the binding force of this relationship: Some think it the Achilles1 heel of democracy that, by its very

39 Redden and Ryan, o£. cit., p. 10. Report of the Harvard Committee, 0£. cit., p. 39.

_i

32

nature, it cannot foster general agreement on ultimates, and perhaps must foster the contrary. But whatever one’s views, religion is not now for most colleges a practicable source of intellectual unity.^ Catholic education, then, possesses the means of giving ’’ultimate unity” to all parts of the curriculum: Catholic philosophy comprehends life as an integrated whole, and hence, in the interpretation thereof, can exclude no aspect of reality. It may truly be said that Catholic philosophy does not present a partial or an exclusive overview of life, wherein some particular aspect of reality, or of man’s nature, is singled out for undue emphasis, while other aspects are ignored, denied, or excluded. On the contrary, the Catholic viewpoint recognizes the necessity for a complete interpretation of all reality and its various^ implications.^ Democracy is a society of ’’free” individuals, and that freedom implies a knowledge of one’s obligations consonant with reality: . . . man is a free personality, who reasons, feels, and wills. He has definite moral obligations to discharge toward himself, his fellow men, and his God. In order to meet these obliga­ tions, man needs an education which, as far as possible, embraces the whole of reality. This means that no aspect of reality must be excluded, purposely or through neglect, from the scope of the educative process.^ The omission of any aspect of reality from the education of the individual is inconsistent with the purposes of democracy: Since religion and morality, as well as literature, language, art, science, music, philosophy, history, government, and economics, are aspects of reality, it follows that religion and morality must be included in formal education. Failure to in­ clude them, and what is worse, consciously to exclude them, is to assent to an interpretation of reality, of life, of man’s nature that is exclusive, and hence not consonant with the true nature of reality. Furthermore, consciously to exclude and willfully to neglect, any aspect of reality in the work of educa­ tion, such as religion and morality, is contrary to the

^

Loc. cit.

^

Redden and Ryan, op. cit.» p. 518

^

Loc. cit.

fundamental notion of true democracy, because true democracy can never be exclusive. The moment democracy becomes exclusive, it ceases to be democracy properly so called. It becomes, by exclusiveness, aristocracy of a certain type or kind.^ Religion as an integrating factor in the Catholic view of general education results from the fact that man, by virtue of his baptism, has an added nature; to the natural there is added a supernatural mode of being.

Through baptism, the Christian becomes an adopted Son of God,

and a sharer in the divine life of the Trinity.

In order to ’’see life

whole,11 then, the baptized Christian must see it under the aspect of the supernatural, which both encompasses and elevates the natural. Yet, in practice, there is a tendency to regard secular learning as divorced from any consideration of the supernatural.

While, in most

cases, secular learning concerns itself with knowledge of things in the purely natural order, yet in the interpretation of that knowledge there is a close relation to man!s supernatural destiny.

The baptized Christian

cannot think of his various activities as belonging to one order and not to the other.

Incorporated as he is in Christ, he must view all

things with the r,mind that was in Christ Jesus.11 . . . the true Christian, product of Christian education, is the supernatural man who thinks, judges and acts constantly and consistently in accordance with right reason illuminated by the supernatural light of the example and teaching of Christ.^

Prescription in general education. The third characteristic of general education is the concern for a common body of knowledge.

This

concern is expressing itself through an increasingly larger proportion

^

Loc. cit.

Pius XI, 11Christian Education of Youth11, Five Great Encyclicals ^(New York; The Paulist Press, 1939), p. 65 . -i ^

y Lk of prescribed subject matter for all students.^ / General education is education with a pattern.



It is not the mere

piling up of courses to meet a quantitative requirement in credit hours, nor does it necessarily consist of courses taken outside a field of specialization.^

General education is an organic process, which achieves

its end through content that is organized according to a central idea and that contributes to a common goal.^ The pattern of general education conceives of knowledge as having a dual function: the mental training that comes from the methodology of knowledge, and the understanding of one's environment that comes from the interpretation of those facts of knowledge which are a significant part of the cultural heritage.^

These two aspects of knowledge are,

respectively, the dominant idea and the common goal of general education. The content from which the pattern of general education is shaped is the subject matter of the three areas of learning: the natural sciences, the social sciences, and the humanities.

The natural sciences deal with

the facts of man's physical environment, and train the mind to describe, analyze, and explain.

The humanities deal with the aspirations and

ideals which have characterized man through the ages, and they train the mind to establish a hierarchy of values and make an adequate adjustment to them. his

The social sciences deal with man's human environment and

relations to his fellow men, and train the mind to evaluate social

^ A Final Report of the Executive Committee of the Cooperative Study in General Education, 0£. cit., p. 203. W Report of the Harvard Committee, op. cit., p. 57 ^

Loc. cit.

situations by a combination of the objective methods of the natural sciences and the subjective methods of the humanities.^ The pattern of general education includes all of these values, and considers their possession the means of living a full and responsible life in society.

But if the acquisition of these values is to be assured

to every individual, it is necessary that the means for attaining them be prescribed.

This demands that courses with this specific aim be incor­

porated into the program of each student as a standard requirement. Generally speaking, prescribed courses should have the following qualities.

First, they should represent the three areas of learning.

One of the objectives of general education is a mutual understanding of the background of contemporary society and a common method of dealing with it.

Problems of contemporary society cannot be neatly isolated

into categories exclusively physical, social, or personal, but occa­ sionally touch on some or on all of them simultaneously.

Therefore, the

omission of contact with any one of the fields of learning would deprive the individual of knowledge that is essential in dealing with certain current problems.

Likewise, since each of these fields gives mental

training of a particular type, the lack of contact with any one field would deprive the individual of the opportunity to develop the powers of the mind through experiences which that field affords.

Therefore, for

the sake of acquiring the understanding and the habits of thought that are needed for full participation in the activities of adult life, it is necessary that courses-from all the fields of knowledge be included in the student's program.

Second, prescribed courses in general education should be non­ technical in the treatment of subject matter.

The basic courses in general

education should not be devoted to a specialist’s approach to the subject. This does not rule out the value of general education courses in a par­ ticular area for those who expect to specialize in that area.

Such

courses are a means of orienting the future specialist in the problems of the field before he enters into specialization.

The specializing student

would profit by general courses in each of the areas of knowledge, but the general student would gain only a limited view of a field if he were to acquire his knowledge from courses designed for future specialists. Third, prescribed courses should give experience in the methodology of knowledge peculiar to a field.

Mental formation is the dominant

objective of courses in general education.

Information is inert knowledge.

It merely furnishes the raw material for the mental process.

The mind

must be trained in the methodology of thought and expression before in­ formation can be made to yield full value.

The abilities which general

education seeks to develop above all others are these four: ”to think effectively, to communicate thought, to make relevant judgments, and to discriminate among v a l u e s . O n e or more of these abilities may be a dominant outcome of a particular field of knowledge, but all, to some degree, are developed in every area of learning.

However, the oppor­

tunity which a field affords for the exercise of a particular mental power makes that field a logical one for the development of that power. Fourth, prescribed courses should deal with those aspects of learn­ ing that have had significance through the years, and especially those which

37

have a bearing on modern developments in society.

Before the rapid

growth of knowledge which marks the present day, it was possible to en­ compass within a single course whatever was necessary to furnish a basic understanding of an area of learning.

Since that is no longer possible,

discrimination must be used in the selection of subject matter.

Expe­

rience shows that certain aspects of knowledge have had significance for people in every age, and that others have a close relationship to present-day problems.

Without destroying the continuity of background,

these important elements of knowledge should be the basis for the prescrip­ tion of subject matter. Fifth, prescribed courses should establish a common fund of knowl­ edge and a common method of thinking and of acting that serve as a bind­ ing force among individuals, linking man with man, the present with the past and with the future.

If some students are excluded from participa­

tion in these common experiences, to that extent the aim of general educa­ tion is not fully realized, for general education, as education for an informed responsible life in society, is based on common standards and common purposes.^ Democracy, however much by ensuring the right to differ it may foster differences— particularly in a technological age which further encourages division of function and hence difference of outlook— yet depends equally on the binding ties of common standards. It probably depends more heavily on these ties than does any other kind of society precisely because the divisive forces within it are so strong.'-' Experience has revealed certain aspects of knowledge which have not only absorbed countless minds in all ages, but are also of peculiar

52 Ibid.. p. 4. L

^

Ibid., p: 12.

38

Significance to the man of today.

It is logical that from such enduring

elements should be drawn the prescribed subjects in the general education curriculum, for, while throwing light on the foreground of the human pageant, they assure the continuity of its background.

The development of the "whole man" in general education.

A fourth

characteristic of general education looks to the complete development of • all the powers of the individual.

General education does not regard the

training of the intellect as its exclusive end, but considers intel­ lectual integration as encompassing man's whole nature. We must remember that intelligence, even when taken in its widest sense, does not exhaust the total potentialities of human nature. Man is not a contemplative being alone. Why is it, then, that education is conceived as primarily an intellectual enterprise when, in fact, human nature is so complex? For instance, man has his emotions and his drives and his will: why should education center on the training of the intellect? The answer is found in the truth that intelligence is not a special function (or not that only) but a way in which all human powers may function. Intelligence is that leaven of awareness and reflection which, operating upon the native powers of man, raises them from the animal level and makes them truly human. By reason we mean, not an activity apart, but rational guidance of all human activity. Thus the fruit of education is intelligence in action. The aim is mastery of life: and since living is an art, wisdom is the indispen­ sable means to this end.54 Since the aim of general education is the preparation of the individual for a full responsible life in society, it acknowledges the necessity of developing all the powers of man's nature, because all are utilized in fulfilling the purposes of society. We are here disputing the doctrine, sometimes described as the classical view, that in education, reason is a selfsufficient end. Yet it was Plato himself who urged that the guardians of the state should be courageout as well as wise,

54 Ibid., p. 75-

39

in other words that they should be full-blooded human beings as well as trained minds.55 Pope Pius XI, in his encyclical on Christian education, expressed a like view, in more specific terms, when he stated that the formation of the perfect Christian requires the development of all the powers of man's nature, in order that he might display in all his actions, social as well as individual, a life patterned on that of Christ: For precisely this reason, Christian education takes in the whole aggregate of human life, physical and spiritual, intellectual and moral, individual, domestic and social, not with a view of reducing it in any way, but in order to elevate, regulate and perfect it, in accordance with the example and teaching of Christ.56 This "aggregate of human life" of which the late Pohtiff bh speaks, may be encompassed under five heads: spiritual, intellectual, moral, aesthetic, and physical.57

In their several ways, each co­

operates in aiding man to fulfill his obligations to society. The religious truths learned in school are the principles by which the child harmonizes seeming conflicts between his immature expe­ rience and his inner thoughts and emotions.

In adult life, these same

principles, having acquired greater depth of meaning for the mature in­ dividual, are the basis for the solution of the complex problems of life. "Religion presents principles capable of guiding the individual unfail­ ingly in every personal and social situation in after life.

These prin­

ciples are the basis of all right moral and social conduct .”5^ Before the individual can acquire a rational foundation for meeting

^

Loe. cit.

^

Pius XI, 0£. cit., p. 65.

57 l

Redden and Ryan, op. cit., p. 192.

58 Ibid.. p. 205.

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40

his social obligations, he must come into possession of his cultural heritage thrpugh education of the intellect, and by the use of his mental powers must apply that knowledge in promoting his own welfare and that of society.

General education assigns these four abilities as means for

fostering intellectual development: to think effectively; to communicate thought; to make relevant judgments; to discriminate among values. 59

These

abilities are acquired through the methodology of thought in the various fields of learning. Moral education, because it regulates man’s conduct in the everyday affairs of life, is the most powerful force for good in society.

The havoc

wrought by corruption and dishonesty in public life, and the total dis­ regard for the dictates of conscience in modern living, all point to the need for sound moral virtue based on, and finding their sanction in, un­ changing principles: Moral education is intimately connected with true social and civic education. This fact is so, because the ideal member of society, the good citizen, is one who has acquired basic moral, social, and civic virtues that are in conformity with the moral law. In order to be a good citizen— and it should be remembered that society and citizenship are ultimately measured by the excellence of their members— the individual must constantly practice morality in his own interior life, as well as in all dealings -with his fellow men. The state is the aggregate of its citizens, and good citizenship requires that moral integ­ rity be attained by every member. Moral integrity implies that traits of character, such as honesty, justice, fidelity, patriotism, devotion to ideals, etc., must be based on, and find their sanction in, unchanging principles. 0 Pope Pius XI pointed out some prevalent means by which society itself permits the malicious pandering of youth: More than ever nowadays an extended and careful vigilance

59 Report of the Harvard Committee, o£. cit.. p. 65.

60 Redden and Ryan, op. cit., p. 247.

41 r is necessary, inasmuch as the dangers of moral and religious shipwreck are greater for inexperienced youth. Especially is this true of impious and immoral books, often diabolically circulated at low prices; of the cinema, which multiplies every kind of exhibition; and now also of the radio, which facilitates every kind of reading. These most powerful means of publicity, which can be of great utility for in­ struction and education when directed by sound principles, n used as an incentive to evil passion and

The many avenues through which immoral influences are exercised on the youth of today make imperative a sound program of character educa­ tion on all levels of learning.

But knowledge is not virtue.

Therefore,

principles of right conduct alone will not necessarily result in morally good acts.

Knowledge of the right course of action must be accompanied

by a disciplined will, since the will, enlightened by the intellect, is the controlling agent in conduct.^ Character is formed, therefore, when the individual acquires worth-while knowledge, develops right habits, attains desirable skills, attitudes, and appreciations, gives ex­ pression to right feelings and emotions, trains properly the powers of memory, reasoning, and judgment, and, above and through all these activities, develops in himself a thor­ oughly disciplined will. Every expression of the power of the contributes in one way or another to the

In addition to the religious, intellectual, and moral, man’s nature possesses an aesthetic aspect, through which he enjoys many of the satisfactions of life.

Intellectual activity gives a joy of achieve­

ment in the possession of truth, which is its object; volitional activ­ ity, based on religious principles, is satisfied in the conquest of good

L

^

Pius XI, op. cit., pp. 63-64.

^

Redden and Ryan, op. cit., p. 251.

^

Loc. cit.

42 r

-i

over evil, and in the possession of the good, which is its proper ob­ ject; aesthetic satisfaction arises from the pleasurable contemplation of an object as beautiful in conformity with truth and goodness.6^* Aesthetic pleasure is derived from the order, arrangement, and completeness of the object viewed: But the essence of the beautiful object lies in its order, its lovely arrangement of parts, its completeness; whence St. Thomas is inspired to round out his definition by saying that ‘beauty consisted in proper proportion.' To appreciate all these elements, we must have minds that see the meaning of order; and it is to this kind of vision that Aquinas refers in his analysis of the beautiful. Moreover, since order is at the root of everything beautiful, it is also at the root of our artistic appreciation. From this point of view, one can discover art in man's thinking as well as in his making, in his living a righteous life as well as in his imitating the works of nature. Because all these actions have order in , them, they can become resplendent with the luster of beauty. * It is evident from the above passage that aesthetic education is essential in the education of the "whole man", since it furnishes the basic understanding necessary for the creation and appreciation of beauty in the everyday activities of life: One who has acquired the relevant knowledge and taste will then have no need of the specialized vocational courses as, for instance, those in household decoration. An aesthetic education will give a young person standards which he can apply to particular situations. The purpose of general instruction in the arts is to help the student to bring to bear his aesthetic taste upon his daily living. Our houses and our factories, our cars and our bridges, can be made to combine an adaptation of means to ends with a conformity to aesthetic norms. Only the existence of an artistically educated lay public can guarantee this .66 Catholic teaching holds that body and soul are joined together

^

65

Ibid.. p. 301.

Robert E. Brennan, The Image of His Maker (Milwaukee: The Bruce Publishing Company, 194&T7 P* 209. 66 Report of the Harvard Committee, ©£. cit., p. 132.

43 r in substantial union.

There is no denying that man’s intellectual and

~i

moral powers take pre-eminence over his physical powers, because intel­ lectual and moral capacity is the distinguishing mark of the human being* Yet these powers require the cooperation of the physical body in order to carry out their functions.

Generally speaking, sound physical health is

a prerequisite for sound mental health.

The welfare of the body, there­

fore, cannot be ignored if the "whole" man, man composed of body and soul, is to receive its proper development.

"The school will be con­

cerned with the health of the pupils, both physical and mental.

The

human body must be healthy, fit for work, able to carry out the purposes of the mind. The physical education proper to the purposes of general educa­ tion includes not only the physiological and hygienic aspects of health, but also social, intellectual and moral

values.

The contribution of

physical education to the development of the "whole man" is evident from the followings ,We should recognize that physical education has values in general education that are apart from health: it develops skill and coordination; it contributes to worthy citizenship by devel­ oping the ability to get on with other individuals; it builds sportsmanship and personality; it leads to the wise use of leisure time. Physical education contributes to health and also to general education. It aims to train the body in posture and body me­ chanics; to establish a fondness for games, big-muscle activity, and habits of regular exercise; to provide relaxation in the school day; to develop special skills; to correct marked defects of posture through work with individual children; and to con­ tribute to personality, social adjustment, character, and mental health.68

67 Ibid.. p. 168.

1 C. E, Turner, Principles of Health Education (Boston: i). C. Heath and Company, 1939)? p. 15. .

44 r

i Physical education holds possibilities for the development of

spiritual, intellectual, moral and aesthetic values, and for the inte­ gration of these values around the concept of man as "body and soul joined together in substantial union."

Functional aspects of general education. A fifth characteristic of general education is its concern with the everyday activities of human beings.^

Since the earliest days of the general education movement,

programs purporting to carry out its aims have characteristically stressed the "functional" aspect of education.

In 1939, Russell, in reporting the

findings of a survey undertaken to discover the distinctive traits of new programs in general education, made this observation: One of the most significant developments reported in this investigation is the organization of courses on a functional, rather than on a subject-matter, basis. The organization of knowledge into the recognized and traditional fields of subject matter has apparently been a natural outcome of the work of scholars and investigators. Attention has repeatedly been called in recent times to the fact that in the practical sit­ uations faced by persons in daily life, problems are not often pigeon-holed in these traditional subject-matter fields, such as algebra, American history, economics, or psychology. The attempt to organize the presentation to the student around ’problem areas,1 or functions, instead of in terns of the traditional subject-matter fields is perhaps the most radical step since the original formulation of the seven liberal arts in the days of ancient Rome.' The functional treatment of subject matter continues to be a marked characteristic of general education, but the methods by which this is accomplished vary.

In some cases it has constituted the main "approach"

A Final Report of the Executive Committee of the Cooperative Study in General Education, o jd. cit., p. 205. John Dale Russell, "General Education in the Liberal Arts Col­ leges," The Thirty-eighth Yearbook of the National Society for the Study of , Education, Part II (Bloomington, Illinois: Public School Publishing Co., 1939), p p . 186-87. J

45 r “i to learning, with materials organized around a "core" or general theme having significance in everyday living, to which all fields of learning contribute whatever is needed for the development of the main theme. Typical of this kind of program is that which appeared in June, 1944* under 71 the title A Design for General Education, and intended for classes conducted for members of the armed forces.

The curriculum proposed the cen­

tering of learning around three main problems that were considered basic to the understanding of modern society: development of American thought and institutions; problems of American life; and America in international affairs.

An example of the methods employed is that described below:

The subcommittee believed that the starting point should not be any one of the social sciences but rather the important problems of social living as they occur in their interrelated social, economic, and political context. Though the approach is through social problems, the student should arrive at an understanding of the basic economic, social, and political principles and processes that lie behind concrete problems and issues.' »

Another type of functional organization that has received a no­ table amount of attention is that reported by Benezet^ in an investi­ gation of general education in five "progressive” colleges.

In these

colleges, "student needs” constituted the "core” of the curriculum.

The

approach to learning based on the "needs” of students has been typical of progressive education on all levels of learning, and the approach used in these colleges was essentially of this type. The "needs" approach to general education is described at length

71 "A Design for General Education," American Council on Education Studies, Vol. VIII, June, 1944* 72 Ibid., P. 1$. L

73 Louis T. Benezet, General Ed (Contributions to Education No. 884. 190 pp.

46 r 7l in Explorations in General Education, a report of the program of Stephens College, which uses this type of organization.



The excerpt be­

low appeared in a recent report on curricular innovations, and is given here to bring out a significant feature of the Stephens programs Except for a course in Communication Skills, no academic subject on our campus is required. Each student’s program is worked out by the student with her adviser on the basis of individual needs. The Contemporary Social Issues course is considered one of the ‘basic1 general education courses, however, and each year about 600 girls, approximately onefourth of our total student body, enroll in the course.75 The University of Minnesota has a functional organization of sub­ ject matter which seems to offer a more logical method than the ’’needs” approach, since it establishes a set of values for the student before he attempts to solve problems.

The aim of the basic course in social

science is stated as follows: . . . the objective is to assist the student in acquiring a basic perspective of social values plus sufficient information which will serve as a frame of reference for the individual judgments which he will make as he grapples with the problems that confront every citizen.7® The ’’Minnesota” approach carries out the purposes of general education by providing for the relationship of parts according to a fun­ damental principle of unity: The basic assumption underlying the Minnesota approach is that the integrating process must begin in the student, that he will begin to understand the forces that operate in society

74- Roy I. Johnson, Explorations in General Education: The Ex­ periences of Stephens College (New York: Harper & Bros., 1947) 9 262 pp. ^ Earl J. McGrath, editor, Social Science in General Education (Dubuque, Iowa: Win. C. Brown Company, 1948), p. 221. 76 L

Ibid.. p. 90.

47 r

~i and the nature of its problems when he has begun to consider them in terms of the social values he holds. It is assumed that each individual has some system of values, however incom­ plete or however poorly articulated, but that all too frequently he is not consciously aware of these values and is unable either to express them or to appreciate their implications. . . . Before one begins to acquire a clear view of society and its prob­ lems, he must have some idea of where he stands with respect to the basic values that give meaning to his role as a citizen. Thus, a primary component of the course is an inquiry into that set of values which presumably underlies the whole framework of American society.77 The course further provides for functional learning by means of

class discussions, which enable the student to analyze and synthesize his views: The opening class discussions are devoted to a consideration of the ultimate or primary values that the student accepts as being the desirable objectives or ends of social organization. By being compelled to verbalize his views he comes to recog­ nize his own conscious or subconscious acceptance of certain values as the ends of community life. At this stage, the search for a value structure is, in part at least, a mental exercise. The student is encouraged to regard his asser­ tions regarding values not as final but as working hypotheses for what is to come, keeping them subject to revision as new insights unfold. . . . The objective here is to assist the student in an intro­ spective search for a statement of those ends that he believes ideally are to be sought by himself and other men.78 From the conclusions reported in the Cooperative Study in General Education, it was evident that the colleges participating in the study considered the functional emphasis a definite characteristic of general education.

This emphasis, it stated, was an outcome of the concern

of general education with the everyday activities of human beings.79

77 hoc, cit. 78 Ibid., p. 94 79 A Final Report of the Executive Committee of the Cooperative Study Lin General Education, o£. cit., p. 203. _i

48 r

Whether the functional emphasis should take the form of ’’core”

~i

curricula or merely make wider application of theory to practice remains for the individual colleges to decide.

However, the case for the func­

tional emphasis in some form seems to be so well stated in the Harvard Report that it is quoted here at length: To some degree every school or college is separate from life by high walls, visible or invisible; it holds reality at arm’s length. And up to a point this is necessary and proper. . . • Abstractions in themselves are meaningless unless connected with experience; and for this reason all education is in some sense premature. . . . Education must be so contrived that the young, during the very process of their schooling, will realize the difference between abstractions and facts and will learn to make the transition from thought to action. A young man who has been nourished with ideas exclusively will be tempted by the sin of intellectual pride, thinking himself capable of dealing with any problem, independently of experience. When he later comes into contact with things, he will stumble or perhaps in selfdefense withdraw into sterile cleverness. . . . the aptitude of making relevant judgments cannot be developed by theoretical teaching; being an art, it comes from example, practice, and habituation. The teacher . . , can relate theoretical content to the student’s life at every feasible point, and he ean de­ liberately simulate in the classroom situations from life. Finally, he can bring concrete reports of actual cases for discussion with the students. The essential thing is that the teacher should be constantly aware of the ultimate objectives, never letting means obscure ends, and be per­ sistent in directing attention of the student from the symbols to the things they symbolize.^

SUMMARY

The current interest in general education represents a reaction against over-emphasis on specialization, and an awareness of the need for a common body of knowledge that will serve as a unifying force among individuals and the society of which they are a part.

Report of the Harvard Committee, o£. cit., pp. 70-71.

_j

49

r

n The depression years of the early 1930’s focused attention on

three facts: first, that new masses of students were going to college; second, that specialized education did not prepare the individual for the common spheres of life outside his field of specialization; third, that a need existed for a new emphasis on the social purposes of educa­ tion as the common bond that unites individuals to the society of which they are a part and in which they find the means for their full develop­ ment. The necessity for a new orientation in higher education that the years of the depression disclosed was the result of three forces, in particular, that had influenced education over a period of years. first was mass education.

The

When education on the high school level became

not only free, but compulsory, for the masses in the United States, the problem arose of adapting the curriculum to the increased numbers and diversified elements characterizing the new student body.

The individual

needs of pupils became the center about which the curriculum was adjusted, and the utilitarian purpose of education gradually dominated the educa­ tional offerings of the high school, and influenced education on the college level. The second force was the trend toward specialization.

On the

college level, concentration on specialized knowledge was fostered by the elective system, which left the student free to choose those courses which he considered most suitable and useful to him.

The widespread

adoption of this practice in college circles opened the way to unlimited fragmentation of knowledge in specialized fields, and to the neglect of the social purpose of education which had been the bond of unity in the ^ducation of an earlier day.

_j

50

The third force was the result of social and economic changes. As technological improvements decreased the opportunities for post-high school employment, the possibility of extending the period of formal schooling beyond the secondary school became imminent.

For this class

of pupils, training for many skilled occupations was no longer feasible, because such skill as was required could better be received on the job. Instead, there existed a need for the understanding of the social problems created by the new machine age, and for the development of the full potentialities of each individual in order to provide the intellectual stimulus which highly specialized occupations tend to destroy. As mass education, the increase of specialized knowledge, and the demands of an industrialized civilization tended to separate the individual from the society of which he is a part, it became the problem of the schools to restore unity through a curriculum based on the common needs of society, and thus bind individuals in a common purpose. This problem the proponents of general education propose to solve. Advocates of general education view it as preparation for living in contrast to special education, which is preparation for making a living.

General education concerns those aspects of non-specialized

and non-vocational learning that should be the common experience of all educated men and women.

It attempts to prepare the individual for a

full responsible life in society through an education based on common purposes and common standards.

It has the same goal as liberal education,

differing from it in degree rather than in kind.

General education is

liberal education functioning for the purposes of democracy. General education has five characteristics.

First, it is com­

prehensive, including within its scope knowledge of the three broad

51

n areas of learnings the natural sciences, the social sciences, and the humanities.

The Catholic concept of comprehensiveness adds a fourth

field, that of religion.

Second, it is integrated, relating all learning

to a basic body of knowledge which permeates and unifies the various fields of knowledge.

In the Catholic concept of education, these unifying

elements are supplied by religion, philosophy, and history.

Third, it

recognizes a hierarchy of values in subject matter, by prescribing cer­ tain content as essential to its purposes.

Such content should represent

all the fields of learning; it should be non-technical in the treatment of its subject; it should train in the methodologies of thought peculiar to a field; it should deal with those aspects of learning that have had significance through the years; it should establish a common fund of knowledge and a common method of thinking and of acting that will serve as a common bond between individuals. the entire nature of man.

Fourth, it purports to develop

Catholic education conceives that nature to

be encompassed under five aspects: religious, intellectual, moral, aesthetic, and physical.

Fifth, it is functional, relating knowledge to

the everyday activities of man, by calling for the application of theory to practice. These characteristics of general education are implicit in the Catholic concept of education, which conceives of the product of educa­ tion as the true Christian man of character, who thinks, judges and acts constantly and consistently according to the light of reason illumined by the supernatural light of the teaching and example of Christ.

L

_!

CHAPTER III COLLEGE ADMISSION POLICIES IN GENERAL EDUCATION

The type of student body which general education aims to serve was noted by President Conant when he appointed the Harvard Committee to study the problem of general education.

He stated:

The primary concern of American education today is not the development of the appreciation of the ’good life' in young gentlemen born to the purple. It is the infusion of the liberal and humane tradition into our entire educational system. Our purpose is to cultivate in the largest possible number of our future citizens an appreciation of both the responsibilities and the benefits which come to them because they are Americans and are free.I This statement represents a definite position with regard to the question frequently raised by college administrators as to who should go to college.

The opposing attitudes which educators have assumed on the

question may be referred to as the Jeffersonian view and the Jacksonian view.

Those who adopt the Jeffersonian position maintain that higher

education is the privilege of an intellectual elite; those, on the other hand, who hold to the Jacksonian position maintain that higher education is the equal privilege of all.

Jeffersonianism views educational oppor­

tunity as "the nurse of excellence;"^

Jacksonianism views it as "the

guard of e q u i t y . T h e former would restrict higher education to the preparation of leaders; the latter, to the preparation of both leaders »

and followers.

The former would imply a homogeneous student body; the

^ Report of the Harvard Committee, General Education in a Free Society (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1945)> p. xv. 2 Ibid., p. 34. l

^ Loc. cit.

,

53 r

“i

latter, a heterogeneous student body.

In the former view, the capa­

bilities of able young persons are most apt to be developed to the full; in the latter view, superior ability is likely to remain undiscovered and undeveloped.

The pursuit of one of these aims to the exclusion of the

other runs contrary to the best interests of both the individual and of society: It has been gloomily said that no man and no society can do two things well at the same time. Certainly the human tendence is so to see one goal as to forget the other, and writers on education have not uncommonly erred with this fault, setting either a standard of culture which coolly neglects the great mass or indulging in a flat and colorless eg,aliterianism. But the belief that one good is purchasable always.and only at the expense of another ultimately goes back to a belief in the natural right of the stronger; it runs counter both to religious faith and to the best experience of civilization.^ Since both equity and excellence are the concern of education in a democracy, both of these goals would seem desirable objectives of a single curriculum.

The Harvard Report holds out hope for the reconciliation

of the two: The hope of the American school system, indeed of our society, is precisely that it can pursue two goals simultaneously; give scope to ability and raise the average. Nor are these two goals so far apart, if human beings are capable of common sympathies.* Certain considerations point to the necessity of pursuing both of these goals simultaneously.

In a democracy, every citizen is a free man,

enjoying equal rights and privileges with all other citizens.

Furthermore,

the theory of democratic government places upon every citizen the respon- ' sibility of voting, and consequently, the responsibility of ruling through representative government.

But in order to discharge this duty,

Ibid., p. 35. Loc. cit•

_i

54

itis necessary that every citizen possess him to carry out his responsibilities.

the education that will fit

In the past, liberal education pre­

pared the individual for the duties of citizenship: Liberal education in a society built on slavery was the education of free men. In a society divided into a class that ruled and a class that was ruled, it was education of the rul­ ing class. Liberal education was an aristocratic education. It was so because the society in which it developed was aris­ tocratic. When society becomes democratic, should the citizens have the education of free men or the education of slaves? Should they have the education of the ruling class or of the class that was to be ruled? It has never been suggested, as far as I know, that liberal education was not a good education for the purpose for which it was intended, namely, the educa­ tion of rulers. It has been stigmatized as undemocratic because it was formulated in an era when only the few were rulers, when only the few had power and leisure. When every citizen is a ruler, when every citizen has power and leisure, the educa­ tion that was good for the few becomes a good education for every citizen.® The question of who should be educated is decided by the pur­ poses of democratic government: The way to determine who is to have a liberal education is to ask who are to be rulers of your society. If the answer is everybody, then the conclusion follows that everybody must have a liberal education. If you do not like this conclusion, you do not like democracy; you do not like universal suffrage, and you should move to abandon democracy and universal suffrage. The one thing you cannot do is to say at one and the same time that everybody has the right to vote and only the few have the right to liberal education.' Now general education and liberal education have the same aims, so that

general education may be said to be a form

Theprincipal difference between body each envisions.

them seems to lie

of liberal education. in the type of student

According to President Conant, general education

offers nothing new in educational goals.

"What is new," he says, "in

Robert M. Hutchins, "Education and Democracy," School and Society, 69:427, June 18, 1949> p. 427. 7 Loc. cit.

-J

55 r i this century in the United States is their application to a system of universal education."

&

And he sums up the present situation m

the succinct

statement that "today we are concerned with a general education— a liberal education— not for the relatively few, but for the multitude."9 Within the framework of general education there is the possibility of attaining both "excellence" and "equity", of "giving scope to ability," and of "raising the average."

General education on the college level

attempts to apply the values of liberal education to the purposes of de­ mocracy.

Its subjects are all those who are intellectual leaders as well

as those who are intellectual followers. A further consideration in the formulation of admission policies is the recommendation of the President’s Commission on Higher Education, namely, that by I960 the number of high school graduates going on for post-high school education be increased by 50 per cent over pre-war trends.^

The purpose of this recommendation is "to make higher educa­

tion equally available to all young people, as we now do education in the elementary and high schools, to the extent that their capacity warrants a further social investment in their t r a i n i n g I n keeping with this increased enrollment of students on the college level, a further proposal is made of "increasing the diversification of curriculum offerings and of teaching methods and materials"

pt

12

to meet

Report of the Harvard Committee, op. cit., p. ix.

9 Loc. cit. 10 A Report of the President1s Commission on Higher Education, Higher Education for American Democracy (New York: Harper & Brothers, 194757 P.

11 l

12

56 r the needs of such a student body.

~i

implicit in the Report of the President's Commission on Higher Education is the standard of quantity; a diversity of curricula resembling that of the high school; and a consequent loss of that bond of common knowledge which is a mark of education in the liberal tradition. The concept of general education that is dominant in the Harvard Report, on the other hand, is basically qualitative, stressing, as it does, the infusion of the liberal and humane elements into the entire educational system.

"Such a concept of general education is the im­

perative need of the American educational system.

It alone can give co­

hesion to our efforts and guide the contribution of our youth to the nation's future."^ On the basis of the above discussion, it is the purpose of this chapter to set forth the policies underlying the selection of students in the colleges participating in this study, in order to determine whether the type of student body sought by these colleges is in accord with the purposes of general education in the liberal and humane tradition.

The

admission practices and procedures of each of the colleges are examined in the light of the secondary school preparation, the academic rating, and the general qualifications required of students entering the freshman class.

In addition, the opinions of the administrators of the colleges

with respect to the adequacy of present admission practices in their institutions are discussed in an effort to determine the policy of these colleges with respect to the issue currently expressed in the question "Mho should go to college?".

13 Report of the Harvard Committee, o£. cit., p. xv.

,

57 r

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SUBJECTS AND HIGH SCHOOL UNITS REQUIRED

All the colleges selected for study have a quantitative require­ ment of fifteen or sixteen units of high school work from an approved secondary school.

In six of the twenty-six colleges, a deficiency in

the required number of high school units may be made up during the fresh­ man and sophomore years through non-credit courses in the required .sub­ ject.

In eleven of the colleges* provision is made for the admission

of students from other than regularly approved high schools, through an entrance examination given by an agency outside the college, fre­ quently that of the College Entrance Examination Board, or by the col­ lege itself. Most of the colleges are located in the vicinity of large sec­ ular universities and undergraduate schools, whose entrance requirements frequently dominated the educational policies of local public high schools.

In those Catholic colleges, therefore, whose students were

drawn chiefly from the public high schools, the entrance requirements reflected, to some extent, the requirements in local secular colleges. The required high school units must be distributed over certain subject-matter fields according to patterns which differ somewhat among the various colleges.

Even within a single college, patterns may vary

for different groups of students, depending upon their prospective fields of specialization in college.

The present investigation is con­

fined to the type and the amount of preparation that is common to all students entering the colleges.

The data presented in Table I show

the subjects and high school units prescribed in each of the colleges for all students, regardless of their future fields of specialization. 1_!

5a

TABLE I DISTRIBUTION OF SUBJECTS AND HIGH SCHOOL UNITS REQUIRED OF ALL STUDENTS FOR ADMISSION TO THE COLLEGES, 1947-4S

Subject

Units

English

Foreign language: Latin (4) and modern language (2) Latin or Greek (3) and modern language (2) Latin (2) and modern language (2) Any foreign language

Mathematics: Elementary algebra only Elementary algebra and geometry Elementary algebra, geometry, and intermediate algebra Choice of mathematics or science Science: Biology or chemistry Choice of science or foreign language No general requirement History No general requirement

Number of colleges making requirement

4 3

IS 8

6 5 4 5 4 3 2

1 1 4 1 3 5 11

1 2

1 19

2i

4 1 1

3 2

1 3

16 1 9

1 2

20 o 4

English. Without exception, the colleges prescribed English as a requirement for all students entering the freshman class.

Eighteen

of the twenty-six colleges required 4 units in this subject, while eight colleges specified 3 units as acceptable.

However, of the eight col­

leges making a requirement of 3 units in English, four specified that

L

the student shall have continued the study of English through four years. _|

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~i

In terms of years pursued, then, twenty-three of the twenty-six colleges required the maximum high school preparation in English.

The three re­

maining colleges preferred a four-year secondary school preparation in English, but accepted a minimum of three years*

Foreign language. All the colleges required high school prep­ aration in foreign language, in amounts varying from 6 units in one col­ lege to 2 units in eleven colleges.

In the majority of colleges, con­

siderable latitude existed with regard to the specific language ac­ cepted for entrance.

Twenty of the colleges accepted either a classical

language or any modern foreign language as fulfilling the requirement. Of this number, one college had a quantitative requirement of 5 units; three colleges specified 4 units; five colleges accepted 3 units; and eleven, or the majority of colleges in this category, required only 2 units. Only six colleges specified Latin as an entrance requirement for all students, and in each of these colleges 2 units of modern foreign language were required in combination with the required units in Latin. • In addition to the 2-unit requirement in modern foreign language in each of these colleges, one college prescribed 4 units in Latin; one college made a requirement of 3 units in Latin, and four colleges placed the requirement in Latin at 2 units. The data indicated that three of the twenty-six colleges in the study placed the requirement in foreign language above 4 units, the max­ imum ordinarily specified in any single high school subject, while seven colleges prescribed the maximum of 4 units, thereby making the requirement in foreign language, in ten of the colleges, equal to or in excess of that ordinarily required in English. The wide latitude that existed with regard to the specific langukge

60 r n and the number of units acceptable for entrance into the colleges was accounted for by the deans as due to variations in requirements in foreign language in the high schools, and to the influence of the admission policies of local secular colleges.

According to the statements of the

majority of the deans, adherence to rigid requirements in the field of foreign language was impossible where the student body was drawn from high schools in which foreign language has been emphasized in varying degrees.

In many secondary schools, particularly the public schools,

Latin, for instance, is no longer a required subject for graduation, and in some high schools it is not included in the curriculum.

In many

schools, too, the offerings in modern foreign language have been extended to include other languages besides the traditional French and German. Therefore, rather than discriminate against an otherwise capable student on the basis of entrance requirements restricted to a specific foreign language, the administrators in four-fifths of the colleges accepted any foreign language that is approved for graduation from high school. The reason given for requiring Latin for entrance into some of the colleges was its value as a criterion in selecting capable students. While only six of the colleges made a definite requirement of this language, the majority of the administrators in the other twenty colleges expressed a preference for Latin in fulfillment of the entrance requirement in foreign language because of its disciplinary value.

Some few disagreed

with the view that Latin is more valuable than other foreign languages as a criterion for selecting capable students, but preferred that it be included in the Catholic student’s preparatory studies because of its importance in the liturgy of the Church. l

The entrance requirements in foreign language in all the colleges

61 r indicated that 77 per cent of the colleges accepted any foreign lan­

~i

guage, while 23 per cent of the colleges required a combination of classical and modern foreign language.

Approximately 5& per cent of the

colleges required 3 or more units of secondary school preparation in foreign language, while 42 per cent accepted the minimum of 2 units of high school preparation in this field.

Mathematics. Mathematics was mentioned as a requirement for entrance in all the colleges, but one college modified the requirement by permitting a choice between mathematics and science.

Nineteen of the

twenty-six colleges required 2 units in mathematics, covering elementary algebra and geometry; four colleges placed the requirement at 2^ units, to include elementary algebra, geometry, and one semester of intermediate algebra; while only one college required as many as 3 units in mathematics, covering elementary algebra, geometry, and two semesters of intermediate algebra.

Represented at the other extreme was one college with a require­

ment of one unit in elementary algebra.

Natural science. Natural science was mentioned as a requirement for entrance into sixteen of the twenty-six colleges.

In those colleges

that prescribed some secondary preparation in science, one unit in either biology or chemistry satisfied for admission.

In one college, 3 units

of preparatory work in either science or foreign language was acceptable. Nine colleges had no requirement in natural science for all students. The entrance requirements in natural science applying to all students entering these colleges indicated that approximately 62 per cent of the colleges required high school preparation in natural science. LApproximately 4 per cent permitted a choice between science and foreig&j

language, while 24 per cent had no requirement in natural science for all students.

In the colleges prescribing natural science, one unit was the

normal requirement.

History or social science. History or some social science was required for all students for entrance into twenty-two of the twentysix colleges.

Of those making such a requirement, eighteen did not

specify the content of the courses required; three specified American history, and one college permitted a choice of any social science in fulfillment of the requirement.

One unit was the normal requirement in

twenty of the colleges prescribing preparatory work in this field, with only two colleges prescribing such preparation with a fixed requirement of 2 units. The entrance requirements in history or social science for all the colleges indicated that approximately 85 per cent prescribed high school work in this field for all students, while 15 per cent made no general requirement applicable to all students.

Approximately 91 per

cent of the colleges making

the requirementprescribed oneunit of work,

while 9 per cent required 2

units.

Of the four colleges mentioned as requiring no high school pre­ paration in history, three permitted entering students to present from 5^ to 8 units of secondary school work in subjects chosen by the student. In most

cases, at least one

year of

historywas elected by

the student

in high

school, so that practically every student entering these three

colleges had had the minimum of high school preparation in history.

In

the fourth college, only those students who expected to concentrate in music were exempt from the requirement of presenting at least one unit

63 r of high school work in history or social science.

~i However, in this col­

lege, too, the student was given wide latitude with respect to the number of electives she might present for entrance into college, and in most cases her high school course had included the minimum of preparation in history or social science.

UNITS AND AREAS OF SUBJECT MATTER ACCEPTED AS ELECTIVES

All the colleges permitted students to present a certain number of units of high school work from subject matter fields chosen by the student, in addition to those specifically prescribed.

Certain re­

strictions were placed by the various colleges both on the number of units and on the subject matter which might thus be presented as elec­ tives.

The data in Table II show the number of units accepted as

electives and the percentage of such electives to the total number of units required in each of the colleges. An examination of the table reveals that in fifteen of the twentysix colleges the number of units accepted as electives was the same for all students, and in the eleven remaining colleges the number varied according to the student’s field of specialization in college. In those colleges that accepted the same number of electives from all students, the proportion of such electives to the total number of high school units required ranged from 12j per cent to $3 per cent of the total high school program.

In the eleven colleges that accepted for

entrance a varied number of units of elected high school subjects, the lowest range of units acceptable in an individual college was found to be from 9 per cent to 28 per cent, and the highest, from 20 per cent Lto 47 per cent of the total high school program.

_i

64

TABLE II

n

NUMBER AND PERCENTAGE OF UNITS ACCEPTED AS ELECTIVES IN FULFILLMENT OF ENTRANCE REQUIREMENTS OF THE COLLEGES, 1947-48

Total units required

16 16 16 16 16 15 16 16 15 16 16 16 15 16 16 15 15

Number or range of units accepted as electives

14 - 4j 2 2 - 4 3 3 - 4 3 - 4 3 - 6 3 - 7 3 - 7 4 44 4 - 6 4 - 6 54 6 6 8

Percentage of units accepted as electives to total number of units required Lowest - Highest 28 9 12| 12j 12§ 25 19 19 19 25 20 27 19 374 44 19 20 47 25 25 28 28 25 374 40 27 34 34 374 374 40 40 53 53

Number of colleges

1 2 1 1 1 2 1 1 1 3 1 1 2 1 3 3 1

More than half of the colleges accepted from all students a high school program which consisted of 25 per cent of elected subjects, while in almost nine-tenths of the colleges in the study, the limit placed on the number of electives which might be presented by any one student was between 25 per cent and 53 per cent, as follows: nine colleges limited the number to between 25 per cent and 28 per cent; six colleges placed the limit between 34 per cent and 374 per cent; seven colleges specified a limit between 40 per cent and 47 per cent; and one college set a limit of 53 per cent to the total number of elected secondary school subjects acceptable for entrance into college. With few exceptions, the colleges specified certain broad

-1

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categories of subject matter from which courses elected by the student must be chosen.

The areas from which electives were accepted by the

various colleges are shown in Table III.

TABLE III AREAS OF SUBJECT MATTER AND RANGE OF UNITS IN EACH OF THE AREAS ACCEPTED AS ELECTIVES IN FULFILLMENT OF ENTRANCE REQUIREMENT OF THE COLLEGES, 1947-43

Subject matter area

Range of units accepted

Academic only Academic and fine arts Academic, religion and fine arts Academic, religion, fine arts, and voca­ tional (to the extent of 2 units) Academic, vocational (to the extent of 2 units) Academic, vocational (to the extent of 4 units) Any subject matter acceptable to committee

Number of colleges

lj - 6 2 - 6 2 - 4

5 5 2

6 3 4 3

1 7 2 4

- g - 6 - 6

The data of the above table disclose that twelve of the twentysix colleges ruled out, as electives acceptable for admission, all purely vocational courses.

Five of these colleges required that all

courses presented as electives be selected from academic subjects; five other colleges permitted the student to offer electives in academic subjects and fine arts, i.e., music and art, while two colleges in­ cluded religion as an elective, in addition to academic subjects and fine arts. On the other hand, ten of the colleges accepted vocational courses as well as courses from academic and fine arts areas as electives. Eight of these colleges limited the number of vocational course electives to 2 units, while two colleges accepted as many as four units from this Larea.

-1

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Four of the colleges, while accepting from 20 per cent to 40 per cent of the high school program from among subjects elected by the student, made no general requirement as to the subject matter fields over which such electives must be distributed.

The electives offered by each

student were judged by a committee appointed forthat purpose, and must have had the approval of that committee. Only three of the colleges included religion among the subjects accepted for entrance.

Moreover, in these three

colleges, religion was

listed as an elective,

so that students were free to offer other courses

in its stead.

DEVICES EMPLOYED IN DETERMINING THE SCHOLASTIC ABILITY OF STUDENTS

Besides requiring specific subject matter preparation, all the colleges employed certain measures for securing evidence of the intellectual ability of students seeking admission to the various institutions. Among the means most frequently used were: class rank in high school, marks in high school, and college entrance examinations.

These measures

were used singly or in combination, as a means of selecting those students who were most likely to meet the academic standards of the colleges. The device used by the greatest number of colleges for selecting students of required scholastic ability was class rank in high school. In the estimation of the deans of the colleges using this device, class rank is one of the most important factors in selecting students who come from a variety of high schools where a lack of uniformity in marking systems precludes the possibility of determining the mental qualities of students from class marks alone. L is shown in Table IV.

The class rank accepted by the various colleges _j

67

r

n TABLE IV RANK IN CLASS USED AS A BASIS FOR THE SELECTION OF STUDENTS, 1947-4#

Percentage of high school class

Class rank Upper Upper Upper Upper Above Above

seventh fifth third half lowest quartile lowest quintile

14 20 33-1/3 50 75 80 Total

Number of colleges 2 1 1 3 5 2 14

The above table indicates that slightly more than half of the twenty-six colleges employed rank-in-class-in-high-school as the basis for the selection of students.

Six different rankings were used by the

fourteen colleges that employed this device.

The rank most frequently

mentioned was that above the lowest quartile, found in five colleges. The next most frequently mentioned ranking was the upper half, used by three colleges; and the third most widely-employed ranking was the upper seventh, used by two colleges.

The rank above the lowest quintile

was used by two colleges, while the two remaining colleges employed rankings of upper fifth and upper third, respectively.

DEVICES CONSIDERED BASIC IN DETERMINING THE SCHOLASTIC ABILITY OF STUDENTS APPLYING FOR ADMISSION, 1947-4# While rank in class was the device most frequently employed by the colleges to determine the scholastic ability of applicants, other means were also used.

Some colleges employed a single device; others, /

a combination of devices.

Table V shows the extent to which all the

devices used as bases for determining the scholastic ability of

68 r applicants were employed by the various colleges.

n

TABLE V

CLASSIFICATION OF ALL DEVICES EMPLOYED AS THE PRINCIPAL FACTOR IN DETERMINING THE SCHOLASTIC ABILITY OF STUDENTS SEEKING ADMISSION TO THE COLLEGES, 1947-43

Device or devices employed

Number of colleges employing device

Class rank only Class rank and marks Class rank and CEEB*'3cholastic Aptitude Test Class rank, CEEB Scholastic Aptitude Test, and CEEB Achievement Test Marks only CEEB Scholastic Aptitude Test CEEB Scholastic Aptitude Test and CEEB Achievement Test

2 4 5 3 9 1 2

^College Entrance Examination Board While each of the colleges employed one or more devices for determining the scholastic aptitude of applicants, none of them placed entire reliance upon these devices, but considered the information secured by means of them against the background of the student1s entire scholastic record. In view of the doubt frequently cast upon the reliability of school marks as an objective means of determining an individual’s scholastic ability, it is significant to note that marks were the most frequently employed single -device used for that purpose by the colleges.

The

reason given for its use was the familiarity of the particular adminis­ trator with the type of schools from which the marks were received. Experience in dealing with students from various schools, and comparison of their achievement in college with their high school marks, furnished Lthe college with a basis for a dependable judgment regarding the reliability

69 • of the marks issued by a particular high school.

~i Seven of the nine col­

leges employing marks as a basis for the selection of students drew their students principally from high schools in which Regents examinations are required, a fact that undoubtedly lessened the subjectivity of the high school marks.

The colleges that relied upon high school marks as

the basis for determining the scholastic ability of students constituted approximately 35 per cent of all the colleges. The objective examinations of the College Entrance Examination Board ranked high as a device used by these colleges in seeking infor­ mation about the scholastic ability of their applicants, with approx­ imately 42 per cent of the colleges employing these examinations, usually in combination with other devices.

The examinations of the College

Entrance Examination Board are objective tests given by an organization whose purpose is to serve the colleges as an independent agency in the administering of testing programs to students applying for admission to various colleges.

Examinations are conducted four times a year

throughout the country, under the supervision of, and at centers desig­ nated by, the Board.

The results of the tests are not made known to

the student, but are sent directly to the college or colleges designated by him.

Each college may use these results as it sees fit, but in most

cases the college has its individual norm, according to which it selects those students whom it judges to be adequately prepared to do the work of the college. The testing program administered by the College Entrance Examination Board consists of the Scholastic Aptitude and Achievement Tests.

The

Scholastic Aptitude Test is composed of material designed to test the l student’s

verbal and mathematical aptitudes.

The Achievement Tests covpr

70 r

_

the fields of English Composition, Social Science, and Natural Science, 1 Classical and Modern Foreign Language, and Spatial Relations.

Only

three Achievements Tests may be taken by an individual, and the college may designate the subjects in which the test is to be taken. According to the administrators of the colleges who use the Col­ lege Entrance Examination as a device for the selection of students, these examinations furnish an excellent basis on which to judge the abilities of all entering students regardless of the types of schools from which they come.

The examinations also enabled the college to determine the relative

abilities of all new students, while they applied an objective means for disqualifying those students who probably would not be able to carry the program of the college successfully.

It was pointed out, however,

that a student's score on the College Entrance Examination could be the result of "coaching" that is carried on in some high schools on materials from previous examinations.

The administrators of some of the

colleges using this examination maintained, too, that subject matter is frequently taught with the view to furnishing a background of factual material that will be of assistance to students in passing an examination of the objective type, and that, as a result, the student’s powers of understanding and of judging are not developed in keeping with his potentialities.

However, in spite of these shortcomings, the adminis­

trators using the tests were of the opinion that they serve a useful purpose in reducing the differences between schools to a common basis, and in this respect they are particularly helpful as a device in the selection of student's in those colleges that draw their enrollment from distant cities. l

Less than half, or approximately 46 per cent of the colleges,

71 employed a single device as a basis for determining the applicant's

n

scholastic ability; the remaining 54 per cent of the colleges used two or more independent devices.

The combination of devices most frequently

used was that of class rank and CEEB Scholastic Aptitude Test, employed by 19 per cent of the colleges in the study; next in frequency was class rank and marks, employed by approximately 15 per cent of the colleges, followed in frequency by a combination of class rank, CEEB Scholastic Aptitude Test, and CEEB Achievement Test, used by 12 per cent.

The CEEB

Scholastic Aptitude Test and CEEB Achievement Test was the combination employed by the fewest number, or approximately 8 p e r cent of all the colleges.

TYPES OF GENERAL INFORMATION REQUIRED In addition to the information regarding the applicant's scholas­ tic ability, the colleges required other testimonials of a general nature about each student.

The type of information and the number of col­

leges making the requirement are shown in Table VI. TABLE VI TESTIMONIALS REQUIRED OF STUDENTS SEEKING ADMISSION TO THE COLLEGES 1947-48

Types of testimonials

Number of colleges

Character Health Recommendation of the high school principal Personality Extra-curricular activities

26 22 16 4 4

The above table shows that each of the colleges required evidence , of the character of students seeking admission to their institutions. L _|

72

r

n

Such information is usually sought from persons referred by the student, or is directly solicited by the college from the principal or faculty of the high school attended by the student.

The standards of

ethical conduct required of students in these colleges are considered of primary importance, ranking above scholarship in most of the colleges. Only twenty-two of the twenty-six colleges required the student to present a formal certificate of health, although all the colleges required health examinations of students in the course of the year. It is significant that only sixteen of the twenty-six colleges in the study placed importance on the recommendation of the high school principal with respect to the student's probable success in college. Most of the administrators who did not require such a testimonial omitted it because they considered it of questionable value.

They maintained

that the school record should be sufficient evidence of the student's ability, and that the principal's recommendation is too subjective to add anything of value to the record.

They felt that it should be

sought only in doubtful cases. While only four of the twenty-six colleges sought information regarding the personality of applicants, many more than this number felt \

that it has value in those colleges that have no formal guidance program. Information regarding the extra-curricular activities of the student during her high school years was required by only four of the colleges. The majority of administrators were of the opinion that the value of such information was limited to those colleges that had a formally organized program of extra-currieular activities.

L

73

r

*

n

CONSIDERATIONS UNDERLYING THE SELECTION OF STUDENTS

Slightly more than half of the administrators of the colleges expressed the view that the primary purpose of the Catholic liberal arts college for women should be the development of Catholic intellectual leaders, and that only those students who have high scholastic ability should be admitted to these colleges.

This group of administrators

hold that the intellectual standards of the Catholic colleges should be as high as, or higher than, those in any secular institution.

They

maintained that only by upholding high standards of scholarship will the Catholic colleges for women render the best service to the Church and develop the potentialities of those who have been endowed by nature with the mental capacity for assuming positions of leadership in the Catholic laity.

They asserted that Catholic higher education is intended for the

few, rather than for the many, and that, unless the liberal arts col­ leges be highly discriminating in the selection of students, higher education will descend to the level of mediocrity which marks high school education since the time it was compelled to adjust its program to various levels of mentality. The following statements are typical of the comments of those administrators who would limit admission to college to students who rank in the upper half of their class in high school: We are more interested in producing scholars than in piling up numbers of students. We believe that the liberal arts college should set high standards of scholarship and should admit to their institutions only those students who are capable of meeting these standards. Those students who wish to continue their education beyond high school but are not capable of following a liberal arts program, should enroll in vocational or professional schools that will train them for a particular calling. Because there is a scarcity of such schools under % Catholic auspices at the present time, students who are in-1 capable of carrying a liberal arts program are being received

74

into the colleges, with the result that the educational standards of the colleges are being sacrificed to meet the mental ability of such students. We conceive the purpose of the Catholic college for women to be that of developing the mental capacities of students who are capable of following a liberal arts program, and we leave to the vocational and professional schools the task of training students for particular callings. The view that vocational education offers a compromise for the scholastically poor student is contained in the following statement of another administrator: With a larger and more poorly-prepared number of high school students seeking admission to college each year, we are planning to raise our standards for admission in conformity with our belief that our college should be maintained for only the most capa­ ble students. Our general program is not adjusted to the academically poor student, and we do not feel justified in lowering our standards to let them in. They should seek admis­ sion to other types of schools, perhaps in junior colleges. In spite of the fact that we have always believed our standards to be highly discriminating in the selection of students, we have admitted poor students to the college in the past. The Home Economics curriculum has taken care of such students, and modifications have had to be made for them in the general program, such as reduction in the philosophy and modern language requirements. We realize that this is a compromise with our standards, and it is our feeling that it should be abolished. Raising our present standards will prevent such students from entering the college. We prefer to maintain high scholarship rather than to com­ promise for the poorer students, who, we feel, should be taken care of elsewhere. Another administrator believed that the emphasis placed on voca­ tional training in the past obscured the true purpose of higher education in Catholic colleges for women, namely, the intellectual development of students.

It was her judgment that students interested primarily in

vocational training in college are often incapable of carrying the regular academic program.

Consequently, two standards of scholarship are

frequently maintained, whereas, in the opinion of this administrator, every student entering the college should be capable of carrying the

75 regular liberal arts program.

In her estimation, the work of the

college is the intellectual development of the student, and so strong is her conviction on this point that she .would exclude those students who feel that they should be admitted to a Catholic college solely because of their membership in the Catholic Church: Catholic students should not expect to be admitted .just because they are Catholics. The saving of souls should not be the excuse for accepting poor students. The saving of souls is not the primary purpose of the college. There are other agencies for this. Gur objective is to give the girl a good education. We are not doing a service to the Church when we maintain low standards for the sake of saving souls. The group of administrators who favored admitting only those students who hold class rank in the upper half of their class in the secondary school were quite generally agreed that no compromise should be made with high standards in favor of admitting Catholic students of lesser ability.

The attitude of the group was quite adequately expressed

in the following statement of one administrator: We do not believe in being too drastic in drawing the line along scholastic standards and forgetting entirely that a Catholic college has other values to offer besides the purely academic. However, we must maintain our status as a college, in all that the term implies, and we would not care to take a girl and carry her along just for the sake of the Catholic influence we could exert. Our main objective is to develop Catholic scholars and leaders. We cannot take on all the activities of a soul-saving agency, but we want to do well that which is designated by the term ‘college1, that is, give a sound education to those who are capable of profiting by it without undue effort. One administrator, who would limit admission to those who finish in the upper third of their high school class, stated that “college educa­ tion is a privilege, not a right, and only those who have been given the potentialities for higher intellectual development should have the L

opportunity of going to college."

76

Another administrator justified the need for maintaining high

—i

standards in Catholic colleges for women by citing the necessity for meeting the standards set by the best secular colleges for women: The outstanding Catholic women should be able to secure in a Catholic college the same education that a non-Catholic woman receives in a secular college. Therefore, there is a need for Catholic colleges to stress the type of program that is stressed in the best secular colleges for women. While slightly more than half of the administrators of all the colleges held to the ’’aristocratic” view of higher education, and con­ tended that only those students who manifest superior intellectual ability should be admitted to college, an almost equal number, or slightly less than half of the administrators of all the colleges favored admitting to their institutions any student who shows evidence of doing work of a ’’passing” grade in college.

The administrators in this latter

group point to the need for an educated Catholic laity composed not only of leaders who can formulate plans of action based on Catholic prin­ ciples, but also of followers, who can interpret and apply these principles intelligently in their personal lives and in the daily activities of contemporary society.

These followers, they contended, act as a

leaven in society, disseminating the Catholic viewpoint in their immediate circles, and clarifying the Catholic position in problems arising within their own circles.

They maintained that admitting to the same college

both the potential leader and the potential follower, while offering an enriched program of studies to the former, enables the two groups to benefit from their contacts with each other while in college, and rein­ forces the Catholic laity with members prepared to inculcate Catholic values of life into all their activities. As evidence of ability to do work of a ’’passing” grade in college,

77 r

-i

all except two of the colleges in the latter group designated a class rank of upper three-fourths, either by explicitly making such a rank an entrance . requirement, or by implicitly subscribing to the theory that a rank of upper three-fourths is ordinarily selective of those students who are capable of doing acceptable work in college.

Two colleges in the group

accepted students with a class rank above the lowest quintile if they had been recommended by the principal of the high school and had shown successful performance on a psychological examination.

None of the

administrators in the colleges ordinarily accepted students who rank in the lowest quintile of their high school class. While the administrators in this group conceded that a class rank of upper three-fourths to upper four-fifths is ordinarily selective of students who will succeed in college, they were aware of the fact that such rankings do not always indicate that the intellectual devel­ opment of the student is sufficient to enable her to pursue successfully the program of the individual college.

They pointed to lax teaching

in the high school, to the emphasis on non-intellectual extra-curricular activities, to the stress given the learning of facts rather than to the understanding of ideas, and to the wide latitude allowed high school pupils in the selection of courses, as reasons for the retarded develop­ ment of the intellectual potentialities of students.

Therefore, to

insure the possibility of a student’s meeting the intellectual standards of the college, they favored further screening after entrance into the freshman class, by means of a testing program based on the academic standards of the college.

On the results of this test, students were

classified according to ability, and those who, after a reasonable trial, L w e re u n a b le

to

a d ju s t to

th e

p ro g ra m o f th e

c o lle g e ,

w e re

d r o p p e d b y tljie

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-| end of the freshman year at the latest. The following statements are typical of the views expressed by those administrators who would admit to the same college an "averageto superior” group of students: Our students are admitted to the freshman class from the upper three-fourths of the high school classes. This provides a range of ability in the entering class, and includes the student who, we think, is capable of doing creditable work in college. Below this range we would not expect to go. However, high school grades are so subjective that it is difficult to place reliance on teachers' estimates of a pupil's work in high school. Even those students who make a passing mark on the College Entrance Examination are not always able to do acceptable work in college. High schools frequently train for the passing of this test, and base their instruction on the learning of facts rather than on the understanding of ideas. Since we require that all students be able to take the same quality of program, no adjustments are made to meet the needs of poor students. Through our freshman testing program we try to spot those students who probably will not be able to handle our program. Those students who the test shows will probably be unable to keep up with classes are watched, and if their work does not come up to standard within a reasonable time, they are advised to drop out. Quality, rather than quantity, was emphasized consistently by the colleges in this group: We have a definite aim: to develop the potentialities of capable students. We make no compromise for those whose ability falls ~ short of our goal. We feel that our college is not the place for such students, for they would suffer failure in trying to pursue courses beyond their ability, and this sense of failure would, in the long run, be a greater detriment to them than our having deprived them of the opportunity of pursuing higher studies for which they were not capable. A less discriminating selection was typical of the colleges that admitted students of class rank above the lowest quintile.

l

We admit to our college those students who have graduated in the upper four-fifths of their class. This permits us to give an opportunity to all those who can safely be said 'to show some ability to do college work. However, their performance on the College Entrance Examination, their general high school record, _j and the recommendation of the principal of the high school are

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taken into consideration. If,- with these precautions, we discover that a student has not the aptitude for college work, she is asked to withdraw at the end of the freshman year. We feel that in this way we do not discriminate against a student who wishes to be given an opportunity for higher education, and at the same time we do not burden the curriculum with courses developed to meet the detailed needs of every student whose ability range is very great in the total student body. Considering the future role of the majority of Catholic women to be that of the Catholic wife and mother, those administrators in the present study, who would admit to college the average-to-superior student, were conscious of the responsibility that is theirs of preparing young women for this vocation.

They conceded that superior scholarship

is a praiseworthy aim of any institution of higher learning, and they expected a portion of their student body to attain that aim.

They main­

tained, however, that many students of "average" and "low-average" ability are often the "do-ers" in life, and frequently attain success because of qualities other than outstanding scholarship.

It was the feeling of

these administrators that the values to be derived from Catholic higher education should be made available to these students, through such adjustments in requirements as will make it possible for them to receive an education in a Catholic environment. One such adjustment was made by a large number of administrators in this group, who adopted for entrance the standards set by the State for entrance into college, and acceptable to secular institutions as admission requirements:

l

Because we place the spiritual values of a Catholic college education above mere scholarship, we accept students above the lowest quartile whose marks in high school show an average of 75 per cent, the standard set by the Begents for entrance into college. It is our conviction that the Catholic student should be given the same opportunity to enter a Catholic college as is offered her in the secular institutions, and we believe that we -i

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furnish that opportunity when we accept the standard set by the highest educational authority in the State for entrance into college, even though that standard is lower than we would prefer it to be. We defeat the purpose for which the Catholic college exists when we place Catholic education beyond the reach of the "average” student. These ”average” students in the Catholic colleges for women are among the ones who will pre­ side over homes and become the mothers of the next generation. If their education is secured in a secular institution that teaches a philosophy of life moulded along materialistic lines, their Catholic values are distorted by the partial truths and outright falsehoods that are presented to them, the knowledge of their philosophic and religious heritage is denied them, and their children are deprived of the kind of guidance that can come only from those who have learned how to combine the natural and the supernatural life into a harmonious whole. Most of the colleges in this group admitted students who gave evidence of ability to do successful work in courses of a practical type, such as home economics, business, and the like.

The administrators of

these colleges felt that the Catholic college for women has a respon­ sibility toward those students who wish to pursue higher education in a Catholic environment, and whose abilities are best developed through courses that stress the application of knowledge: We have a wide range of mental ability in our student body, in spite of the fact that an average of 80 per cent in all subjects is required. The marking of teachers in the high school is so subjective, that it allows students to get into college who are incapable of doing the quality of work indicated by their grades. Such students often elect (or are advised to elect) courses in home economics, business, and the. like. If students were better prepared in high school, we could raise the standards of instruction in college. However, at the present time we feel that we have to adjust requirements to meet the level of preparation of students applying for admission, and make concessions for those who seemingly have the capacity for further mental development but who have been the victims of lax teaching in the high school. If we succeed in giving these students Catholic ideals on which to base their attitude toward life, their relations with others, their standards of justice and morality, their appreciation of the beautiful, we feel that we have given to the Church women who can be entrusted with influencing human lives according to the Catholic pattern, whether their field of activity will lie in the home, in the school, or in business. L

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Another administrator expressed the view, held by others in the

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group, that the Catholic liberal arts college must supply for the present lack of Catholic vocational schools: If the colleges were to insist on students’ taking solid courses in high school, we would not be faced with the neces­ sity of adjusting the program of the college to meet the needs of those students whose mental ability has not been developed sufficiently to enable them to meet the demands of the liberal arts program. Because we feel that an important objective of the Catholic college is the salvation of souls, we developed vocational courses to meet the needs of such students, and we feel that they should be admitted to a Catholic college when they apply. Until such time as there are available post-high school vocational schools under Catholic auspices, we must compromise between liberal arts and vocational education.

ATTITUDES OF ADMINISTRATORS TOWARD CHANGES IN ADMISSION POLICIES

All of the administrators in the colleges participating in the present study were aware of the present trend toward increasingly larger enrollments in the colleges, and all were concerned about the effect of this trend on the standards of the colleges.

In view of this fact, it

seemed pertinent to secure the response of these administrators to the following question: What changes, if any, in your present admission policies would you make in order to admit to college those who you think should go to college if formal education for all youth is extended beyond the high school? The majority of the administrators stated that changes in their admission policies would depend upon the quality of the student body that the high school will prepare for college when mass education is extended to the college level.

They were unanimous in maintaining, however, that

in no case would present standards be lowered, and that those high school students who do not now qualify for admission would fail to meet future standards, also.

These administrators were not prepared to state in-1

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detail the specific changes that they would make to meet a more diver­ sified student body, but their general comments on the quality of college education that they propose to maintain gives some insight into their future policies. There appeared to be a need for better articulation between high school and college.

In view of this, it seemed relevant to give the com­

ments of the administrators with respect to their present attitude toward high school preparation of college students.

Typical of these comments

were the following: The college is becoming a fifth year of the high school, where students are being instructed in those things they should have learned in the secondary school. We must spend our entire first year making up the deficiencies of high school teaching. Pupils are not trained to get the full value out of their studies in high school. Many students who are rejected in college have potentialities that have not been fully developed, due to the neglect of high school teachers. The teaching of factual information is being substituted for training in understanding. The present high school curriculum is so over-crowded with extra-curricular activities that it does not leave the pupil sufficient time for intellectual pursuits. As a consequence, they come to college unprepared for the tasks that lie ahead, and fail to get the most out of their college courses.

There is a woeful lack of good teaching on the high school level. The high schools are failing to develop the full potentialities of their pupils. Particularly in the fields of mathematics and science, freshman groups are poorly pre­ pared. This condition is due to poor teaching, crowded con­ ditions in the class rooms, and too much freedom in the election of courses.

The high schools should give more attention to those pupils who plan to continue their education in college, by giving pre-college courses. Prospective liberal arts students should nnt be given the same courses as those who expect to go to vocational schools after graduation from high school.

L

Students are not given an integrated knowledge of subject

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matter in the high school.

There should be more educational guidance in the high school.

We have been made fully aware of on the high school level has played students. Too much emphasis on the high school activities has resulted lectual activities.

the havoc which mediocrity in the intellectual life of non-intellectual aspects of in a de-emphasis on intel­

The chief concern of these college administrators was the main­ tenance of high academic standards in college.

They cited the chaotic

condition of present high school education which has been the result of lowered standards made in the interests of those who were unable to qualify under higher standards, and they drew a parallel between the results of mass education in the college with that on the high school level, unless college standards are kept at a high level.

They look

upon the possible extension of mass education beyond the high school as presenting an opportunity to establish two types of schools on the higher level, so that both the superior student and the poor student might receive an education within their mental capacities.

The

following comments sum up the views of the administrators on this point: Not every college is intended for every student. No college can do everything. Each college must select the goal it wishes to reach and aim at that goal. There is a need for a diversity of colleges. Some colleges will be especially suited to the brilliant and others to the less brilliant. We should stick to what we have chosen as our goal. A college devoted exclusively to the liberal arts program should not deviate from the liberal arts program for the sake of attracting more students. It would be better to give, fewer students a liberal arts education suited to their needs than to water down the courses to suit less gifted students.

l

Our specific aim has been and will continue to be the develop­ ment of the student's potentialities without having in mind any particular vocation or calling. We feel that we do more for the student, in the long run, by looking to her all-round development

than by restricting her education to a specific field of training, such as preparation for a vocation or a profession. We do not expect to modify our program in any way in order to take care of students who cannot qualify under it at present.

Instead of tending to decrease our standards to meet the onrush of students into colleges, we are inclined to become more discriminating in our choice of students, in order to keep out those who cannot meet our standards. Our belief is that our standards should determine the quality of students we should admit. We know what education should be, and we are failing in our duty if we fail to provide that education. Let all that can take it, take it. For the others there should be provided junior colleges or professional or vocational schools, in which they can follow work suited to their ability.

We will maintain our present high standards at any cost. We feel that a college education should provide intellectual devel­ opment rather than prepare for a vocation. Business men want people who are generally trained, hence also our reason for insisting on doing one thing well, that is, keeping to high intellectual standards and admitting all those to our program who can profit by the instruction given. Junior colleges should take care of those students who wish to go on with their education beyond high school, but are incapable of doing the work of the regular liberal arts program.

It is unfair to the student to set standards too low. In­ stead of lowering our standards, we are inclined to raise them. Students should be trained to stretch for what we give them. Youth wants to be challenged. When we place standards too low we do not challenge them. By placing standards within the easy reach of the average student we let the student dictate what our standards shall be. That is already being done in high school, and we want none of it on the college level.

SUMMARY

Slightly more‘than half the administrators of all the colleges held the "aristocratic" view of higher education, and would limit educa­ tional opportunity to intellectual leaders.

However, an almost equal

number, or slightly less than half, held that the purpose of higher education should be the preparation of both leaders and followers.

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In view of this difference of opinion, there was considerable variation in the admission policies of the colleges with respect to the intel­ lectual qualifications required for entrance. In some colleges, the class rank acceptable for entrance was the upper seventh; other colleges accepted students from the upper fourfifths of their high school classes.

The maintenance of high standards

on the college level was an important consideration with all the admin­ istrators, but some considered it an obligation to accept any student who was able to do work of a '’passing” grade in academic fields. Sole reliance on the high school record as a basis for determining scholastic ability was not favored in most of the colleges, for the reason that it was considered too subjective a measure.

It was a

general practice to supplement the high school record with more objec­ tive evidence of scholastic ability, particularly, class rank, marks on Regent's examinations, and the examinations conducted by the College Entrance Board.

Slightly more than half of the twenty-six colleges

employed rank-in-class as a basis for the selection of students, either as a single measure or in combination with other devices. The high school subjects required by all the colleges for all entering students included English, foreign language, and mathematics. The quantitative requirement in English varied slightly, a few colleges requiring only three units in contrast to four units, which was the normal requirement.

The foreign language requirement differed among colleges,

both as to the specific language required, and the number of units acceptable.

The quantitative requirement in mathematics for all students

quite uniformly included two units. No uniformity existed among the colleges with respect to the

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n high school preparation required in science, history, and social science. Two-fifths of the colleges did not require high school units in science, and one-fifth admitted students without high school preparation in history or social science. Considerable latitude existed with respect to the electives accepted for admission to the colleges.

The proportion of electives

accepted ranged from 12^ per cent to 53 per cent of the total high school program.

The areas of subject matter covered by the electives were

almost equally divided between academic and vocational subjects. Stress was placed by all the colleges on credentials testifying to the student’s moral and physical qualities, but only a few colleges required information relative to the personality traits and extra­ curricular activities of entering students. Considerable opposition existed with respect to the lowering of present college admission standards in the event of an extension of formal education beyond the high school.

Rather, the correction of

abuses on the high school level was cited as the means best suited to preparing pupils to meet the standards of education in college.

Among

the principal weaknesses of high school education mentioned by the administrators were: teaching for information rather than for understanding; preoccupation of high school students with non-academic extra-curricular activities; and the lack of educational guidance in the high school.

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CHAPTER IV

COMPREHENSIVENESS IN THE PROGRAMS OF THE COLLEGES

According to the concept of comprehensiveness set forth in Chapter II, breadth of learning should characterize the educational pro­ gram of every college student, if the purposes of general education are to be achieved. Comprehensiveness, in the Catholic concept of general education, requires, first, that at least half of the work of the four-year term in college be in non-specialized education; and second, that every student’s program include courses from the principal areas of learning: the natural sciences, the social sciences, the humanities, and religion. It is the purpose of this chapter to set forth the educational offerings in the twenty-six Catholic colleges for women participating in this study, in order to determine the extent to which the requirements in each of these colleges met the minimum standards set above.

Only

those requirements which apply to all students in each of the colleges are considered as having a bearing on this aspect of the study, since a college is presumed to be fulfilling the purpose of general education only in so far as the characteristics of general education apply to the program of every student. The investigation centered on the following aspects of the pro­ grams in these colleges: 1. The proportion of the curriculum devoted to non-special!zed education. 2. The proportion of the curriculum devoted to specialized education.

3. The proportion of the curriculum which may be elected. 4. The distribution of subjects and credit hours in non­ specialized education. 5. Subject matter fields covered in non-specialized education.

PROVISIONS FOR NON-SPECIALIZED EDUCATION

All of the colleges required that students take a certain number of credit hours in courses outside their field of specialization.

The

purpose of this requirement was to guard against over-emphasis on special­ ized education, and to achieve a proper balance between specialized and non-specialized education in the program o f ‘each student.

Requirements

of the various colleges with respect to this phase of their educational offerings varied considerably.

In some colleges, the requirements in

specialized fields received first consideration in the student1s program, and courses in non-specialized education filled in the remaining number of credit hours required for graduation.

In other colleges, the requirements

in non-specialized fields received major emphasis, and under no con­ sideration was specialized education permitted to infringe on these requirements.

In colleges where several curricula were offered, the

requirements in non-specialized education usually varied according to the demands of particular curricula.

Since general education is pre­

sumed to be ”that education which no one can afford to be without,” the requirements in general education in each of the colleges are con­ sidered as embracing the minimum credit hours required of all students in all curricula in non-specialized education. Table III shows the minimum number of credit hours required in non-specialized education of all students in each of the colleges, and

r

the percentage of such credit hours in the total required for gradua­ tion.

i

It seemed advisable to give the percentage as well as the number of

hours in each case, since colleges requiring the same number of hours in non-specialized education may differ with respect to the total number of hours required for graduation.

The percentage of hours gives the indiv­

idual relationship of non-specialized education to the total program in each of the colleges. TABLE VII MINIMUM NUMBER AND PERCENTAGE OF CREDIT HOURS REQUIRED IN NON-SPECIALIZED EDUCATION IN EACH OF THE COLLEGES, 1947-46

Minimum number of credit hours ' 80 78 74 70 69 68

66 65 64 6a 56 50 48 47 46 44 43 38 36 35 28

Percentage of credit hours 624 6lf 61 58 55 51 53 52 50 51 49 50 47 44 38 37i 37 36 35 34 33 28 28 27 22

Number of colleges 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1

It is evident from the above table that the colleges differed considerably in their requirements in non-specialized education, since

the credit hour requirements ranged from a high of 62^ per cent of the total program in one college, to a low of 22 per cent of the total program in the college ranking in the last place in the distribution.

Of the

twenty-six colleges in the study, twelve, or slightly less than half, required that from 50 per cent to 62j per cent of the student's program be in non-specialized education, while fourteen, or slightly more than half of the colleges, required from 49 per cent to 22 per cent of the total program in non-specialized education. For the most part, the percentage of non-specialized education required in the various colleges differed among the colleges.

However

there was a concentration of nine colleges in the group that required from 50 per cent to 58 per cent, and a concentration of seven colleges in the group that required from.33 per cent to 38 per cent.

With sixteen

of the twenty-six colleges concentrated in these two groups, it may be said that the highest and the lowest requirement in non-specialized education characteristic of the colleges was between 50 per cent and 58 per cent, and between 33 per cent and 38 per cent, respectively.

PROVISIONS FOR SPECIALIZED EDUCATION

All of the colleges provided for specialized education.

"Specialized"

or "special" education here refers to that education that is concentrated in specific fields of knowledge.

The purpose of such limitation may be

the acquisition of a systematic and thorough understanding of one sphere of culture, or it may look to the student's competence in some occupation. It seeks to deepen the student's intellectual grasp of a restricted area, and in this respect its purpose is antithetical to that of general education, L which aims to extend knowledge over the principal areas of learning.

91

r Therefore, in so far as the curriculum gives principal consideration to the specialized aspects of the student's program, It defeats the purpose of general education on the college level. In the colleges participating in the present study, special educa­ tion is the particular objective of that part of the program designated as the "major" or "field of concentration."

It is beyond the scope of

this study to go into the distinction in meaning between these two terms, but it is necessary to clarify the manner in which the terms are used in this dissertation.

As here employed, the term "major" or

"field of concentration" refers to learning in a restricted area of knowledge, undertaken for the purpose of deepening one's knowledge of that area.

The area may be an entire division of learning, such as

the humanities, the social sciences, or the natural sciences, or it may be narrowed down to a single aspect of any one of these major divisions. For instance, "majoring" or "concentrating" in a field of natural science may look to an understanding of the interrelations of all physical phenomena, or it may relate only to an extension of knowledge in chemistry, or biology, or physics, with little or no attempt to incorporate the other sciences.

The term "special education" is substituted in this study

for both "major" and "field of concentration" as indicating that education which limits learning to a specific area of knowledge. The purpose of studying this aspect of the programs in the colleges was to determine the extent to which specialization dominated the cur­ riculum of these colleges, and thereby lessened the possibility of the student's achieving the specific aim of college education, which, ac­ cording to one writer, is "to provide him with the foundation of real L wisdom, and with a universal and articulate comprehension of human

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P achievements in science and culture, before he enters upon the def-

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inite and limited tasks of adult life in the civil community. ”*• This writer maintains that: To introduce specialization in this sphere is to do violence to the world of youth. As a matter of fact, a young man will choose his specialty for himself and progress all the more rapidly and perfectly in vocational, scientific, or technical training in proportion as his education has been liberal and universal. Youth has a right to education in the liberal arts, in order to be prepared for human work and for human leisure. But such education is killed by premature specialization.^ In a given college, the number of credit hours demanded in some fields of specialization may be less than those in other fields, but, since one of the prime objectives of general education is to provide every stu­ dent with ”a universal and articulate comprehension of human achieve­ ments in science and culture,” then, if any single student is being deprived of an opportunity to secure this comprehensive knowledge, it cannot be said that the college is achieving, for that student, the goal of general education. Table VIII shows the number of credit hours in special education required to fulfill the demands of a specific field, together with the percentage of such credit hours to the total required for graduation in each of the colleges.

Here, again, it seemed advisable to give the

percentage as well as the number of hours required in each case, since colleges requiring the same number of hours in specialized education may differ with respect to the total number of hours required for graduation. The percentage of hours gives the individual relationship of non-special­ ized education to the total program in each of the colleges.

l

^ Jacques Maritain, Education at the Crossroads (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1943), p. 4&. ^ Ibld.?:ifr. 46/

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TABLE VIII NUMBER AND PERCENTAGE OF CREDIT HOURS REQUIRED IN SPECIALIZED EDUCATION IN EACH OF THE COLLEGES, 1947-43

Number of credit hours 80 71 63 62 60 59 57 50 43 44 42

36

32

Percentage of credit hours 62i 55 49 48 47 45 43 45, 39 37 36 34 33 32 31 28 27 26 25

Number of colleges 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 3 2 1 3 2 1 2 1 1 1

The above table presents a considerable range in the number of credit hours required in special education.

One college demanded as

much as 62J per cent of the total program in special education, and one college at the other extreme of the distribution required only 25 per cent of the total program in special education. In two of the twenty-six colleges, over 50 per cent of the pro­ gram consisted of requirements in special education for some students. In six colleges, from 45 per cent to 49 per cent of the total program consisted of requirements in special education, while ten colleges required from 33 per cent to 39 per cent of the total program in jspecial education for all students.

Eight of the twenty-six

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required between 25 per cent and 33 per cent of the total program in special education.

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While there was no notable concentration of col­

leges within any single percentage requirement, a significant number of colleges was found in the range between 37 per cent and 28 per cent. With fourteen of the twenty-six colleges represented in this group, it may be said that the requirement in special education characteristic of the majority of the colleges was between 28 per cent and 37 per cent of the total credit hours required for graduation. PROVISIONS FOR ELECTIVES Besides the courses required in specialized and in non-special­ ized education, all but one of the colleges permitted students to eleet a portion of their program from courses chosen according to individual interests.

One college excepted from this general practice those

students who were majoring in music, the requirements for which did not permit a choice of courses on the part of the student. The term "elective" here refers to those courses not included among the required courses in either specialized or non-specialized education.

The choice of electives may be left entirely to the student,

or the selection may be made under faculty guidance.

In any case, their

purpose is to round out the general development of the student according to her interests, and in so far as the requirements in both specialized and non-specialized education permits. The elective system assumes that the student is competent to judge what her education shall be.

Only too frequently, however, it

makes the student the victim of her own inexperience, or it makes her l

the object of exploitation by faculty members with vested interests.

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This procedure has been one of the -chief factors contributing to the lack of comprehensiveness in the student's program.

In view of the

fact that the aim of general education is to satisfy the common educa­ tional needs of the individual, it is safe to assume that the college that permits a high degree of election of courses is neglecting one of the chief purposes of general education.

It is the aim of this section,

therefore, to investigate the elective phases of the programs in the col­ leges, in order to determine the extent to which more or less arbitrary choices characterized the educational offerings therein.

Table IX shows the maximum number of credit hours in elected courses which may be counted toward the total requirements for the degree in each of the colleges.

The figures shown represented the difference

between the number of credit hours required in non-specialized and specialized education, as this is the basis used by the colleges in determining the number of elective courses available.

Besides the number

of credit hours, the percentage of electives in the total program of the college is also given, in order to equate colleges requiring varying numbers of credit hours for graduation. It is apparent, from an inspection of the table, that a considerable portion of the program may be elected by some students in many of the colleges.

Six colleges permitted from 25 per cent to 40 per cent of

elected courses, and five colleges accepted from 20 per cent to 24 per cent of the entire program from among elected courses; a total of eleven colleges, or 42 per cent of all the colleges in the study, permitted from one-fifth to two-fifths of the entire program to be chosen by the student. l

In terms of semesters, this amounts to, approximately,

1-3/5 to 3 semesters of work which may be chosen by the student in

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-l TABLE IX NUMBER AND PERCENTAGE OF CREDIT HOURS IN ELECTIVE COURSES OPEN TO STUDENTS IN EACH OF THE COLLEGES, 1947-43

Number of credit hours

Percentage of credit hours

53 51 39 37 32

40 40 29 28 25 24 23 22 21 20 18 19 17 17 15 12| 12 11 10J 8 6 5 5 0

29 28

26 25 24 22 21 19 16 16 14 10 10 3 7 6 0

Number of colleges

1 1 1 1 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1

42 per cent of the colleges. Eight, or approximately 30 per cent of the colleges, permitted from 12 per cent to 19 per cent of the work to be chosen by the student, which in terms of semesters amounted to, approximately, 1 to lj semesters of work. According to the data presented, approximately 73 per cent of all the colleges in the study accepted the equivalent of at least one l

semester of elected courses.

Four of the colleges permitted from one-_,

half to one semester of courses to be chosen from among electives,

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while two colleges confined elective courses to less than a semester. RELATIVE EMPHASIS ON NON-SPECIALIZED, SPECIALIZED, AND ELECTIVE COURSES In order to indicate the relative importance attached to nonspecialized, specialized, and elective courses in each of the colleges, Table X is presented.

The table shows the number of hours and percentage

of such hours in each of these phases of the program in comparison with the total number of hours required for graduation. TABLE X PROPORTION OF NON-SPECIALIZED, SPECIALIZED, AND ELECTIVE COURSES IN TERMS OF CREDIT HOURS AND PERCENTAGES, IN THE INDIVIDUAL COLLEGES, 1947-43

Total credit hours required for graduation 128 130 128 128 128 128 128 130 136 130 136 128 132 132 128 130 128 128 132 132 128 132 136 128 128 128

SPECIALIZED ELECTIVE NON-SPECIALIZED COURSES COURSES COURSES Percentage Percentage Percentage of total of of Credit total Credit total Credit program program hours program hours hours 80 80 78 74 70 68 68 68 69 66 68 64 65 62 56 50 48 47 47 46 44 43 38 36 35 28

624 614 61 58 55 53 53 52 51 51 50 $0 49 47 44 38 374 37 36 35 34 . 33 28 28 27 22

32 36 42 48 42 50 36 48 42 42 36 57 48 42 44 48 80 62 48 60 62 36 59 60 42 71

25 28 33 37 33 39 28 37 31 32 26 45 36 32 34 37 624 48 36 45 49 27 43 47 33 55

16 14 8 6 16 10 24 14 25 22 32 7 19 28 28 32 0 19 37 26 21 53 39 32 51 29

124 10j 6 5 12 8 19 11 18 17 24 5 15 21 22 25 0 15 28 20 17 40 29 25 40 .. 23 .

Since the total program of a student is equivalent to four

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98 I —\ scholastic years, or eight semesters of academic work, it is possible, by regarding percentages of such programs as portion of an eight-semester or four-year scholastic program, to interpret the data in Table X in terms of equivalent semesters, or scholastic years.

For example, a program

requiring 50 per cent of the courses in non-specialized education, 25 per cent in specialized education, and 25 per cent in electives, may be said to require the equivalent of 4 semesters, or 2 years, of non-specialized education, 2 semesters, or 1 year of specialized education, and 2 semes­ ters, or one year, of electives. In the discussion that follows, the percentages are grouped according as they represent the equivalent in academic years, with the percentages in non-specialized education taken as the basis for the group­ ing.

In the calculations, fractions representing more than a half-year

are treated as a year, and those representing less than a half-year are dropped.

Thus, a percentage range of 45 per cent to55 per cent

of the

total program represents, in terms of years, a range of 1.92 to 2.20 years, or 2 years.

Colleges whose programs represent less than a half-year of

electives, are therefore represented as permitting no electives, since the percentage of electives is a negligible portion of the entire program. According to the data in Table X, four colleges requiring from

62^ per cent to 58 per cent of the total program in non-specialized education, required an equivalent of 2j scholastic years in non-specialized education, from 1 to lj years of specialized education, and from none to 1/2 year in electives. Ten colleges, requiring from 55 per cent to 47 per cent of the total program in non-specialized education,

requiredthe equivalent of 2 years

Lof such education, from 1 to 2 years of specialized education, and fromj

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none to one year of electives. Eight colleges, requiring from 44 per cent to 33 per cent of nonspecialized education, required the equivalent of lj years of such educa­ tion, from 1 to 2^ years of specialized education, and from none to lj years of electives. Four colleges, requiring from 28 per cent to 22 per cent in nonspecialized education, required the equivalent of 1 year of such educa­ tion, from ij to 2 years of specialized education, and from 1 to lg years of electives.

These data are summarized in Table XI. TABLE XI

PROPORTION OF NON-SPECIALIZED, SPECIALIZED, AND ELECTIVE COURSES IN TERMS OF SCHOLASTIC YEARS IN THE PROGRAMS OF THE COLLEGES 1947-43

RANGE OF PERCENTAGES OF TOTAL PROGRAM IN NON-SPECIALIZED, SPECIALIZED, and ELECTIVE COURSES Non­ special Special Elective 62j-$8 izi-5 37 -25 24 -5 45 -26 55 -47 40 -0 62J-27 44 -33 28 -22 40-23 55 -33

EQUIVALENT OF RANGE OF PERCENTAGES IN TERMS OF SCHOLASTIC YEARS Number of Nonspecial Special Elective Colleges 4 2k 1 -l£ 0- i 10 2 1-2 0-1 8 li 1 -2J 1-14 i ii-2 i-ij 4

According to the data presented in Table XI, only four of the twenty-six colleges weighted their program in favor of non-specialized education.

This is significant, in view of the fact that comprehensive

learning is attained primarily through non-specialized courses in the col­ lege.

Ten of the twenty-six colleges equated non-specialized education

with specialized and elective courses combined.

Eight of the colleges

required less than half of the student’s entire program in non-speciallzed courses, and more than half in specialized and elective courses

100 r

combined.

The most significant fact revealed by the data in Table XI

i

was that four of the twenty-six colleges in the study placed the main emphasis on specialized education, requiring only one year of nonspecialized work, and permitting three years to be given to a combina­ tion of specialized and elective courses.

DISTRIBUTION OF SUBJECTS AND CREDIT HOURS IN NON-SPECIALIZED EDUCATION All of the colleges required that the credit hours demanded in nonspecialized education be distributed over certain fields, the content of which differed somewhat among the various colleges.

In some colleges,

varying emphases were placed on a subject or credit hour requirement for different students according to their field of specialization.

In

as much as general education seeks to impart a common body of learning, the present investigation was confined to the subjects and the credit hours that were common in the programs of all students in a particular college. The data in Tables XII to XVII show the subjects and credit hours required for all students regardless of their future fields of specialization. Religion.

In all the colleges, religion is considered the sub­

ject of greatest value.

Its importance is based on the philosophy of

Catholic education that holds: Sinee man has a supernatural destiny, any educational system that fails to impart religious instruction is not acceptable to the Catholic. For the Catholic believes that religion is an essential part of education, since it is indispensable for right living here and for eternal life hereafter.5

William McGucken, S.J., "The Philosophy of Catholic Education,” Forty-first Yearbook of the National Society for the Study of Education, Part I (Bloomington, Illinois: Public School Publishing Company, 1942), pp. 2B5-6. _l L

101 In view of the fact that Catholic education looks beyond man’s

n

temporal needs, and makes his eternal destiny its principal concern, it should assign first place to the study of religion.

There was no general

agreement, however, as to what constitutes a comprehensive program in religion.

This fact was borne out by the study of the number of credit

hours required in religion of all students in the colleges, the data for which are presented in Table XII.

TABLE XII CREDIT HOURS IN RELIGION REQUIRED OF ALL CATHOLIC STUDENTS IN THE COLLEGES, 1947-48

Credit hours IB 16 14 12 10 8 4

Number of colleges 1 5 1 2 3 11 3

The data in the above table indicates that the requirement in credit hours in religion ranged from a high of IB credit hours in one college, to a low of 4 credit hours in three colleges.

Considering

the fact that religion is the most important subject in the Catholic col­ lege, it is rather significant that three of the twenty-six colleges required only 4 credit hours in this field; one of these colleges confined instruction to one year, while two extended instruction through the freshman and sophomore years. The largest number of colleges that showed a consistency with regard to the number of credit hours required was a group of eleven colleges l

_i

1G2 rthat required eight credit hours, with instruction extending through four years.

~1

The other twelve colleges required varying numbers of

credit hours, ranging from 10 in three colleges, to 18 in one college,

Philosophy. One of the principal means of achieving a comprehensive knowledge of reality is philosophy.

For this reason, the ancient Greeks

ranked it as the most important of all studies.

In the Middle Ages it

was considered second only to theology, and in Catholic higher education it has always been recognized as basic in the undergraduate curriculum. As a component of general education, it cultivates the ability to understand and to evaluate experience through the exercise of human reason.

In this sense it is basic to comprehensiveness of learning, for

by its methods of reflective thinking it enables the individual to analyze and to synthesize all reality in clear and orderly fashion. The vital role of philosophy was recognized in varying degrees ((

by the colleges participating in the present study.

Table XIII shows

the number of credit hours in philosophy required of all students in the colleges. TABLE XIII CREDIT HOURS IN PHILOSOPHY REQUIRED OF ALL STUDENTS IN THE COLLEGES, 1947-48

Credit hours 18 16 15 14 13 12 10 8 0 L

Number of colleges 5 4 2 2 2 4 4 2 1

' -J The data presented in Table XIII failed to disclose a consistent

pattern of credit hours required in philosophy in the colleges.

Some

considered it of sufficient importance to require its study through the four years of college.

Over half the colleges required a three-year

sequence of study in this field, while the smallest group of colleges limited the requirement to two years of study. While five of the colleges gave due recognition to the importance of this study by requiring IS credit hours, two colleges gave it minimum recognition, requiring only 8 credit hours for all students, and one college made no requirement in philosophy for students majoring in music. The most significant feature of the data presented in Table XIII was the lack of agreement among the colleges with respect to the place of philos­ ophy in the curriculum. History. An important element in the achievement of comprehen­ siveness of knowledge is the record of the experiences of the past in their causal relationships.

Without such a perspective, the background

of present-day society is lacking.

”We. are part of an organic process,

which is the American and, more broadly, the Western evolution.

Our

standards of judgnent, ways of life, and form of government all bear the marks of this evolution.^

In order to be fully comprehensive, then,

an education must encompass both the present and the past, since the

.

present is what it is because of the past. In view of the importance of history to a comprehensive understanding of human relationships, it is significant that some of the colleges failed to make a requirement in history for all students.

Table XIV shows the

4 Report of the Harvard Committee, General Education in a Free LSoeiety, (Cambridgei Harvard University Press, 1945) p. 45.

,

_i

104 dumber of credit hours prescribed for all students in these colleges. n

TABLE XIV CREDIT HOURS IN HISTORY REQUIRED OF ALL STUDENTS IN THE COLLEGES, 1947-4$

Credit hours

Number of colleges

12 10 8 6 4 3 0

2 1 2 11 2 2 6

The data in the above table discloses that approximately 23 per cent of all the colleges made no requirement in history for all students, while an additional 15 per cent required less than 6 credit hours in this field.

The largest number of colleges indicating agreement on a single

requirement was eleven colleges, or 42 per cent of the entire group, where 6 credit hours were prescribed.

Only five colleges, or slightly less than

20 per cent of all the colleges in the study, required as many as 8 to 12 credit hours in this subject.

English.

In the area of the humanities, language is usually the

principal means employed by the colleges to communicate to students the ideals, aspirations, and values which have influenced man through the ages. The importance of language in acquiring comprehensive knowledge cannot be exaggerated, for it is through language that human life becomes intel­ ligible.

A knowledge of words and their use provides the individual with

the means for understanding the written and spoken thoughts of others, and L of communicating his own thoughts to others.

From this point of view,^

the study of English is a basic requirement in any program that professes to impart comprehensive learning. Without exception, the colleges made a requirement of English for all students.

The credit hours specified by the various colleges as a

minimum for all students are shown in Table X W .

In no case is instruction

in this field required beyond the first.two years, but advanced courses may be chosen as electives.

TABLE ZW CREDIT HOURS IN ENGLISH REQUIRED OF ALL STUDENTS IN THE COLLEGES, 1947-40

Credit hours

Number of colleges

16 14 12 11 8 6

2 5 15 1 1 2

The requirement in English for all students in more than half of the colleges in the present study was 12 credit hours, while seven col­ leges required up to 16 credit hours for all students, and one college, 11 credit hours.

On this basis, approximately 88 per cent of all the col­

leges required two years or more of instruction in this subject.

The

three remaining colleges required less than two years of English, and one college limited instruction to one year for all students. Quantita­ tively, most of the colleges recognized the importance of English as a f

basic study in the undergraduate program.

Foreign language. In a large proportion of the colleges, no L language except English was required for all students.

Yet the study of

lflfir ^ foreign language is recommended as a means of acquiring learning that1 is comprehensive in scope, provided such language is not studied merely as a tool subject. Language as a tool hardly falls under the humanities, and it might be said that it is more closely allied to special than to general education when taught as a tool subject. The purpose of the study of foreign language as a part of general education is two-fold: first, to give new insights into the structure and patterns of language and thus enrich the understanding of one's native tongue; second, to give to the more capable students the opportunity of "opening doors" to new word meanings in their own language, or to give first-hand knowledge of cultural traditions which augment their own: To learn that other languages have words with meanings which no English word carries, that they sort meanings in other ways and link them up in other patterns, can be a Copernican step, one of the most liberating, the most exciting, and the most sobering opportunities for reflection that the humanities can offer. And with it can come, through etymology, a widespread vivification of the learner's interest in English, a sense of the omnipresence of tradition, of the connections of thought with thought kept alive, sometimes against our wishes, by tra­ dition, a sense of the dependence of any one mind upon the vast anonymous work of art his language is, of its limitless past, its vagarious history, the mysteries of its growth and his re­ sponsibility to it. All this and much more a first exploration, of the connections between English and other languages can give.So far as general education is concerned, there are two levels at which foreign language may yield comprehensive values to the student: the Copernican level, referred to above, suited to the many whose interest in foreign language is limited to its impact on English; and the more advanced level, for the few to whom language gives a deeper grasp of

5 Ibid., p. 122. 6 ibid., p. 120.

7 other cultures.'

n

Notwithstanding the importance attributed to the study of foreign language as a part of general education, many of the colleges permitted students to be graduated with no undergraduate courses in either a modern, foreign or a classical language.

The requirements of the various colleges

in this regard are shown in Table XVI in terms of the number of credit hours required of all students.

TABLE XVI CREDIT HOURS IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE REQUIRED OF ALL STUDENTS IN THE COLLEGES 1947-48

Credit hours Requirement Any foreign language Any modern language Modern language (6) and other foreign language Modern language (6) and other foreign language Choice between foreign language and history Choice between foreign language and mathematics Required only of those with inadequate high school preparation in foreign language No general requirement in foreign language

Number of colleges

12 12 6 (6)12 (4)10 6 6

6 4 5 1 1 1 1

12

1 6

A survey of the foreign language requirements indicated a wide variety of practice.

None of the colleges made an absolute requirement /

in classical language.

Nine of the twenty-six colleges designated modern

language in fulfillment of the requirement, while two colleges made modern language a part of a requirement which may be completed with any foreign language.

108 r

Twelve of the colleges required from 1»0 to 12 credit hours in

foreign language, and five colleges accepted 6 credit hours or approxi­ mately one academic year of course work.

One college permitted a choice

between foreign language and history, and another allowed a choice between foreign language and mathematics. Only one college accepted high school preparation in foreign language without further study of the subject in college,

provided the

secondary school preparation met the standards set by the college. Six of the twenty-six colleges made no requirement in foreign language for all students.

The arts. In addition to language, the area of the humanities also includes art and music.

Their place in a program designed to impart

comprehensive learning can be understood from the following excerpt from the Harvard Report.

With regard to the visual arts, the Report

holds that: The claim for the fine arts in general education rests on several assumptions: first, that the function of education is to develop our faculties of perception and understanding; second, that works experienced visually (architecture, sculpture, and painting) are a significant part of human culture and that the study of them is an academic discipline analogous in its methods and values to the study of literature or of philosophy. . . • Few, however, have ever been exposed to the visual arts. It seems to us, therefore, that it should be the obligation of the college to correct this lack, by acquainting as many students as possible with the visual arts through a systematic introduction in the classroom. Otherwise, a whole field of experience that is a significant part of human culture may remain closed. The art of music furnishes human beings with an opportunity for social solidarity denied to other subject matter, and furnishes a common source of satisfaction to persons of varying intellectual abilities:

^ Ibid., pp. 211-13.

_J

109, I

■ —| A training in the musical skills is hardly within the province of general education, but participating in choral singing or in orchestral performance can be of the greatest value for large numbers of students. . . , A recognition of the importance of experience in musical expression does not mean that we consider courses in the history or in the analysis of music to be irrelevant to general education. Such courses have in the past contributed largely to the durable satisfaction of many students, some of whom secure but meager profit from those subjects which must depend on verbal symbols. We believe that one or more courses in music should be designed and given for the purpose of general education.^ The neglect of art and music as a requirement for all students

in the colleges is a significant fact.

If the purpose of comprehen­

sive learning is to fit the individual to live a full life in this world, then these colleges fall short of the goal with respect to the arts. Only two of the colleges participating in the study required courses in the arts for all students.

In one college, 4 credit hours were

required in Fine Arts, in a course concerned with the principles of beauty as illustrated in the various art forms.

In the other college,

4 credit hours were required in music and art appreciation, a course designed to cultivate artistic values in these fields.

Social science. The importance of the social sciences can be sur­ mised not only from

the vast amount of secular literature on the sub­

ject, but also from

the numerous pronouncements and encyclicals issued

by recent popes.

They maintain that for man an understanding of his rights

and duties as a citizen which he is a part,

L

is essential to the good order of the societyof

and that the education which seeks to prepare the

9 Ibid., p. 213.

_J

110. r

“i

individual for active, responsible and intelligent citizenship should impart a knowledge of the development of social institutions, and the principles on which a satisfactory solution of economic and political problems can be based. A survey of the required credit hours in all the colleges indi­ cated that the social sciences are considered of minor importance in many Catholic institutions.

In view of the fact that the survey of

credit hours in history required of all students indicated that six of the colleges participating in this study permitted students to be graduated without having pursued courses in history on the college level, it is reasonable to conclude that the imparting of an under­ standing of the problems of contemporary society is not a major con­ cern in this group of colleges.

The number of credit hours specified

by those colleges that made a requirement in social science for all students is presented in Table XVII. TABLE XVII CREDIT HOURS IN SOCIAL SCIENCE REQUIRED OF ALL STUDENTS IN THE COLLEGES 1947-48

Credit hours 8 6 4 3 2 0

Number of colleges 2 3 2 1 1 17

The data presented in Table XVIIrevealed that only nine of the twenty-six colleges required instruction in the social sciences for all students, while seventeen, or approximately 65 per cent of all the colleges,

r omitted this requirement.

One college required only 2 credit hours, and

another, 3 credit hours; therefore, two of the nine colleges required the equivalent .of one semester of work in this field, which hardly seems adequate to a comprehensive understanding of the problems of contem­ porary society.

Natural science. The Harvard Report, in considering the place of science in general education, views it as follows: Science means many things to many different persons. To some it is typified primarily by the miracles of technology which have changed the face of civilization, and which exert a continuing impact on all aspects of modern society. To others science signifies predominantly an intellectual enterprise marked principally by precision, so that it tends to fuse with mathematics; or by the ordering of evidence, so that it tends to fuse in this regard with certain social .sciences. To still others it represents primarily a body of knowledge and hypothesis concerning the material world. Science partakes of all these things. But if it is to be considered fruitfully, and its contribution to general educa­ tion evaluated, it must be defined more adequately. From our point of view science is primarily a distinct type of intellectual enterprise, involving highly restricted aspects of reality and prepared as such to make particular types of contribution to general education. Science is not to be divorced from technology. Seience and technology develop in parallel, each fructifying the other. Yet science is not technology. Its prime end is knowing rather than doing; or better still, it is doing in order that one may know, rather than doing primarily with other ends in view— greater convenience, technical efficiency, military power, or economic advantage, for example.-^ Science, deals specifically with material things in so far as these permit exact definition and measurement.^

It cultivates the

powers of precision by* its logical interpretation of material reality,

but "when logic and apparent fact fall out with one another, the 12 scientist takes the fact and leaves the logic for future repair.”

Therefore, science can never be a substitute for Catholic philosophy, which reasons from experience in the light of all reality. The chief contribution of science to general education is its discipline of direct observation and precision, and its training in logical and objective thinking based on strict adherence to fact.

With­

out this mental training, an education cannot be said to be compre­ hensive in the best sense of that word. Most of the colleges included science among the subjects required for all students.

The number of credit hours specified by the various*

colleges is presented in Table XVIII.

TABLE XVIII CREDIT HOURS IN SCIENCE REQUIRED OF ALL STUDENTS IN THE COLLEGES, 1947-48

Credit hours

Number of colleges

B

6 2 Choice of science or Greek No requirement

11 7 1 1 6

Only six of the twenty-six colleges failed to make a requirement in science for all students.

One college required only 2 credit hours,

which is approximately the work of one semester; but the largest group of colleges making the requirement specified a year’s study in this

113 r

“1 subject for all students.

Greek may be substituted in one college.

Mathematics. The importance of mathematics in general education is

13 its value as amode of thought, ^ even though there is an ever-

increasing demand for a knowledge of mathematics as a tool.

This latter

is a limited aspect of its real worth, according to the Harvard Report, which describes its value as follows: . . . mathematics has an intrinsic role in general education. It helps build some of the skills and comprehensions that make the effective individual. Within the past fifty years math­ ematics and logic have been fused into a single structure. In so far as logical thinking is rigorous, abstract, and re­ lational, its connection with mathematics is obvious. The ability to analyze a concrete situation into its elements, to synthesize components into a related whole, to isolate and select relevant factors, defining them rigorously, meanwhile discarding the irrelevant, and the ability to combine these factors, often in novel ways, so as to reach a solution, all are important features of mathematical procedure. Because mathematics studies ’’order abstracted from the partic­ ular objects and phenomena which exhibit it, and in a generalized form,

its study enables the individual to comprehend an extensive

body of knowledge. In the colleges participating in this study, there appeared to be a lack of appreciation of the value of mathematics to the individual, since only a few colleges made this subject a requirement for all students.

Table X\ICX shows the number of credit hours which were

specified by the colleges as a requirement for all students.

13 Ibid., p. 160. 14 Ibid., p. 161. ^ L

Loc. cit. _!

“i

TABLE XIX. CREDIT HOURS IN MATHEMATICS REQUIRED OF ALL STUDENTS IN THE COLLEGES 1947-48

Credit hours

Number of colleges

6 Choice between mathematics and classical language Choice between mathematics and science

4 1 1

Only four of the colleges made an absolute requirement in math­ ematics for all students, and in these four colleges the study was limited to one academic year.

One college permitted science to be

substituted for mathematics, while another college allowed a substitute of classical language in place of mathematics.

The reason given by

the administrators of the colleges for "watering down" the requirement in mathematics for all students was the failure of the high school and of the elementary school to impart the basic skills and knowledge of number which would enable students to grasp the higher form of abstract thinking involved in mathematics.

Students come to college

with a prejudice against mathematics, according to the administrators, and this prejudice cannot be broken down during the comparatively short period devoted to its study in college.

SUMMARY

In almost half the colleges participating in this study, the course requirements were dominated by the consideration of students' special interests.

While fourteen of the twenty-six colleges required

115 r

-i at least two years of work in non-specialized education covering the fields of natural science, social science, and the humanities, an almost equal number, or twelve colleges, placed undue emphasis on spe­ cialized and elective courses. Only four of the twenty-six colleges weighted their programs in favor of non-specialized learning.

Slightly less than half the col­

leges equated the requirement in non-specialized areas of learning with those in specialized and elective fields.

One college required only

one year of non-specialized education. With regard to the credit hours required in the subjects of the various areas of learning, there seemed to be little agreement as to * what constitutes comprehensive coverage. of the field of religion.

This is particularly true

Although this subject was required of all

students in the colleges, the credit hours ranged from U hours in three colleges to eighteen hours in one college.

The requirements in

philosophy, too, failed to disclose a consistent emphasis in the credit hour requirement.

However, excluding the single college that made no

general requirement in philosophy, the lowest number of credit hours specified was 8 hours, a requirement that exceeded the lowest specified in religion. History, one of the important factors in the study of human re­ lations, and therefore a basic requirement in a comprehensive program of education, was not included in the requirements for all students in six colleges. Besides religion, English was the only subject that was specified for all students for graduation. # l

A considerable variation existed with

respect to the number of credit hours required in English by the various

colleges, the requirement ranging from 6 to 16 hours.

Quantitatively7*

most of the colleges recognized the importance of English as a basic study. The same cannot be said for what general education regards as another indispensable means of communication in society: foreign language. In this regard the humanities fared badly, with none of the colleges requiring the study of a classical language, and almost 25 per cent making no general requirement in any foreign language, ancient or modern. Although the Harvard Report designated systematic instruction in the visual arts and music as essential to comprehensive learning, only two of the colleges participating in this study required courses in the fine arts for all students. Despite the fact that not only secular educators, but Catholic educators as well, are placing greater emphasis on the universal need for training in the social sciences, only nine colleges required all students to take courses in this field.

In the area of natural sciences,

on the other hand, twenty colleges saw fit to prescribe courses for all students, notwithstanding the fact that the contribution of natural science to general education is regarded as more limited than that of the social sciences. Another discrepancy between the proposals of general education and the practices of the colleges was apparent in the field of math­ ematics.

Whereas the Harvard Report maintains that mathematics has an

intrinsic role in general education, only four of the colleges made a requirement in this field for all students. As the data clearly s.Eio:w, purposes of comprehensive learning

117 n were not well defined in the colleges.

Consideration of special

interests seemed to dominate the distribution requirements and resulted in varying emphases on the subject matter of the various areas of learning.

L

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1

CHAPTER V

INTEGRATION IN THE PROGRAMS OF THE COLLEGES

According to the concept of integration set forth in Chapter II, courses in religion, philosophy and history should serve as the base upon which the entire curriculum rests, and should function as unifying elements among the several fields of knowledge.

It is the purpose of

this chapter to determine the extent to which these three subjects occupy this position and fulfill this purpose in the programs of the colleges.

BASIC INTEGRATING SUBJECTS

Religion.

The principal means for the integration of knowledge

is the study of religion, for it is religion that orientates the student toward, and unites him to, the unique and personal Wisdom Who is God. The study of religion equips the student with the knowledge of divine truths and supplies him with the norms for integrating everything that comes within the grasp of his intellect. Religion is concerned with the fundamental truth of man’s sub­ lime destiny, and with the means of attaining it*

This truth is ex­

pressed in the Catechism as the answer to the question: ’’Why did God make you?”

"God made me to know Him, to love Him and to serve Him in

this world and to be happy with Him forever in heaven.”

The ultimate

aim of life is eternal happiness; the ultimate aim of the study of religion is the practice of Christian virtue necessary to attain that happiness.

Life in this world is summed up in the knowledge, love, and

service of God.

This is the triple objective t w a r d which all courses

119

in religion are oriented: Catholic religious education has a twofold purpose: (1) to present dogmatically and by appropriate methods, the teaching of the Church concerning the existence of God; the immortality of the soul; the freedom of the will; man’s origin and destiny; the fact of man’s redemption by Jesus Christ; man’s duties to his Maker, to his neighbor, and to himself; the nature and binding obligation of the moral law; thesupernatural life of grace which man ought to live; in brief, all the eternal truths of the Catholic religion. These truths are the only norms that can guide human conduct honestly, intelligently, and safely. It is clear that direct instruction in these truths is an essential part of Catholic education. (2) to center religious education in, and have it revolve around, the personality of Jesus Christ. Thus, religious education becomes a way of life wherein the individual, of his own free will, and in his interior life, adopts Christ as "the way, the truth, and the life.”l Since knowledge is basic tolove and service of God, it follows that the basic course in religionshould be one in Christian dogma. This study of dopia is vitalized and made explicit if it is centered around the life of Christ, Who is Truth Incarnate. The teachings of Christ as the Way to be followed by all those who come to know Him is the subject for a second basic course in religion. Such a course takes its form from the words of Christ: things that please the Father.”

”1 do always the

The will of the Father is made known

through the commandments of God and of the Church, as well as through the life and example of Christ Himself, Who came to preach by word and deed what conduct with respect to His Father should be.

’’Christianity

is not only a set of doctrine to be learned, but a way of life to be lived.’’2

^ John D. Redden and Francis A. Ryan, A Catholic Philosophy of Education (Milwaukee: The Bruce Publishing Company, 1942), p. 197. 2 Loc. cit.

A third basic course in religion, centered on Christ as the Life7 should stress the means placed at man's disposal to help him to put his knowledge into action.

These means are principally the sacraments and

the liturgy, prayer and grace, working in and through the Mystical Body of Christ, the Church, and giving it and each of its members that super­ natural strength and vitality required for the service of God and neighbor. A fourth basic course in religion should be so ordered as to present the entire body of religious truth in its applications to social situations. On the basis of the objectives set forth in this short discussion, the courses prescribed in religion for all students in the colleges were examined.

Table .XIXI indicates the types of courses covered by these

requirements and the number of colleges requiring each type.

TABLE XXI COURSES IN RELIGION PRESCRIBED FOR ALL STUDENTS IN THE COLLEGES, 1947-4#

Course

Number of colleges

Apologetics Sacraments, prayer, grace Commandments and virtues Dogma Scripture Christ and His Church (Historical sources) Liturgy Life problems Catholic Evidence Seminar Comparative Religions

20 20 19 15 18 10 14 10 1 1

A study of the above table revealed a lack of agreement as to what should constitute the basic curriculum in religion for all students.

121

r It is rather singular that, in a subject of such prime importance as n religion, such a diversity of requirements should exist.

It is evident,

too, that there is no general concern that all students be equipped with knowledge of dogma, morals, and the means of grace.

Courses

on the sacraments, the principal means of grace, are required by only 77 per cent of the colleges; courses on the commandments, or morals, by 73 per cent of all the colleges; and courses in dogma, by only 57 per cent of all the colleges in the study.

Courses in general liturgy

are required by 14 of the colleges, or 53 per cent of all those par­ ticipating in the study.

Such courses treat of the means of grace,

but they usually do not establish an understanding of the doctrine of grace with the same intensity of meaning as do courses dealing directly with the sacraments.

Courses in which application is made of Catholic

truths to the problems of social living are required by only ten of the twenty-six colleges.

This would indicate an inclination to permit the

student to leave college with the feeling that supernatural doctrine has little or no vital relation to life in the natural order. Some administrators maintained that since students entering college have been instructed in dogma, morals, and the means of grace during their years in the secondary school, a repetition of such instruction on the higher level is an unnecessary duplication.

However, in the col­

leges making a requirement of such courses, the administrators believed them to be a necessity for all students, and in justification of this opinion, they cited the fact that the simplest doctrines of the Church are sufficiently profound to engage the minds of learned scholars.

They

held that instruction on the college level in any field of learning should be given with the maturity of the college student in mind.



122

r

A course in apologetics, dealing with the defense of the truths of Christianity, was required for all students in twenty of the twentysix colleges.

This would seem a justifiable requirement if students

coming to the colleges from the high school were adequately prepared in those things that are considered fundamental to the knowledge and prac­ tice of religion.

Since they are not thus well prepared, according to

the statements of the college administrators interviewed, then until such time as the high school preparation in religion is adequate, the colleges seem justified in concentrating instruction on the fundamental teachings of the Church rather than substituting a course in apologetics. Those imbued with a knowledge of God and love of His truth should be prepared to serve the true interests of both God and neighbor by apply­ ing the norms of religion in every situation in life.

A course in

apologetics might supplement the course in Life Problems, since the defense of the faith in a materialistic world is an ever-present ne­ cessity.

It should not, however, supplant the study of the basic teach­

ings of the Church. A course based on historical sources, under the general title Christ and His Church, was required by ten colleges.

This course, too,

would seem to be ancillary to the main purpose of the course in religion, which is knowledge of the doctrines of religion. Eighteen of the colleges required a course in Scripture.

In the

absence of basic courses in dogma, morals, or means of grace, a study of Scripture would compensate to some extent for this lack, since the New Testament teaches Catholic doctrine as exemplified in the life and preaching of Christ.

The course in Catholic Evidence Seminar is similar

in purpose to the course in Life Problems, in so far as it gives practice

123 rin applying the truths of the faith to specific situations.

However, n

its emphasis is on the explanation of these truths rather than their functioning in a life situation.

Hence it is more closely related to

the course in apologetics. One college uses the historical approach to the study of religion, basing instruction exclusively on the history of comparative religions, the history and literature of the Old and the Mew Testament, and the history of the Apostolic Age.

Its emphasis is on the history of thought,

from which it derives a knowledge of theology.

It would seem, however,

that such a course would fail to establish a sound foundation in the doc­ trines of the faith, which should be taught directly as sources of knowledge and of right conduct.

Philosophy. Essentially, philosophy is the ordering of knowledge in the light of ultimate causes, and the means for establishing a basis for reasoned conduct: The chief purpose of philosophy is to formulate, interpret, and explain all reality in terms of ultimate causes, and to establish for the individual a scale of values for human conduct.3 As an integrating element in learning, philosophy has two important functions.

The first function of philosophy is that of ordering, or

placing in proper relationship, the principal fields of human knowledge. The lack of a principle of order lies at the root, of much of the confusion in education today.

The proper ordering of knowledge does not admit the

domination of any one field of human learning to the exclusion of others, for all are essential to a balanced view of life, but not all are of equal importance in establishing and maintaining it.

3 Redden and Ryan,

0 £.

cit., p. 10.

Philosophy, therefore,

124 r

~i

provides the norms for determining the place that each field of knowledge should occupy in the plan of education according to the nature of that knowledge: The philosophy course, therefore, no matter what else it does, must answer such questions as these: What kind of knowledge are we acquiring through the natural sciences? What kind are we acquiring through philosophy? What relation is there betweeh the two kinds? What kind of knowledge is theology? What is the nature of faith? What are the relations between reason and faith? Between science, philosophy, and theology? What kind of knowledge is sociology? What relation does it bear to moral theology? To have students and teachers face such questions and try to answer them is to force them to integrate and organize theirknowledge.^ The second function of philosophy as an that of developing a unified view of reality.

integrating elementis Philosophy deals with all

aspects of being; its purpose is to develop a single outlook, based on the interrelationships of the various aspects of being: The other integrating function which philosophy has is that of developing in the student a world-view, an over-all picture of reality. Philosophy is supposed to culminate in an under­ standing of reality which embraces in one integral whole all the parts of being. Unless the student has such a single view of the whole, it is impossible for him tohave understanding of any of its parts; his knowledge may bevery great, but it will not be wisdom.5 The over-all purpose of instruction in philosophy should be to develop in the student the ability to arrive at the universal principles that govern reality and thereby to formulate a scale of values for human conduct. That man possesses the natural desire to know is evident from the small child’s insistent ’’why?”, which is not satisfied until the knowledge obtained answers the final ’’why?” that exists in his mind.

The natural

^ Brother Benignus, F.S.C., “Report of the Manhattan College Com­ mittee on the Liberal Arts,” Journal of Arts and Letters, 1:37* Spring, l 1949. _j ^ Loc. cit.

125 r

~i curiosity of the mature individual extends to all reality and to proximate and ultimate causes.

This knowledge is obtained through the

senses, which perceive the nature of things and arrives at an under­ standing of the relationships among them. The thought processes by which the mind arrives at understanding is the subject matter of logic and of rational psychology. study of the methodology of thinking.

Logie is the

Formal logic deals with means, such

as concepts, judgments, deduction and induction; material logic, or epistemology, deals with the validity of thought content.

Rational

psychology, on the other hand, deals with the act of thinking itself, or ■ the process of arriving at the understanding and interpretation of thought. In order to provide a rounded view of reality, the study of phil­ osophy must extend beyond mere processes of thinking, and concern itself with all existence.

Basic to such an understanding is the study of meta­

physics, or ontology, which treats of being in general and of the prin­ ciples underlying all reality.

This view of reality leads to the knowl­

edge of an absolute being, independent of nature, and essentially divine. The nature and attributes of such an absolute being constitute the subject matter of theodicy.

Cosmology deals with the phenomena of nature, and

studies the essential order of the universe.

Ethics, or the ordering

of conduct according to the dictates of right reason based on the knowl­ edge of the universal principles that underlie all reality, sets the norms for right living, and regulates the manner by which the individual should conduct himself in the everyday affairs of life. The basic curriculum in philosophy, if it is to result in an under­ standing of reality, should include, as a minimum, the subject matter l

indicated above.

These courses furnish an insight into the whole of _j

reality sufficient to enable the student to integrate learning. Based on these considerations, the programs in the colleges were examined to determine the extent to which the courses in philosophy prescribed for all students met these requirements. As it was noted in Chapter IV, one of the colleges made no require­ ment in philosophy for students majoring in music.

This college was,

therefore, excluded from consideration in this section, since the study was concerned with the extent to which requirements apply to all students. Table X U indicates the type of courses in philosophy prescribed for all students, and the number of colleges prescribing each type of course.

TABLE XXI COURSES IN PHILOSOPHY PRESCRIBED FOR ALL STUDENTS IN THE COLLEGES, 1947-48

Course Logie Ethics Theodicy Metaphysics Epistemology Rational Psychology Cosmology Introduction to Philosophy History of Philosophy Empirical Psychology Problems of Contemporary Thought Social Philosophy Aesthetics

Number of colleges 25 25 114 13 12 1£L 10 8 8 8 3 1 1 ’

Omitting from consideration the one college that made no require­ ment in philosophy for all students, the remaining twenty-five colleges required every student to take a course in logic and in ethics.

This

was the only note of uniformity in the prescribed courses in these colleges. Theodicy was prescribed by fourteen of the colleges, and metaphysics,

127 r

by thirteen colleges.

“i

Epistemology was a requirement for all students

in twelve of the colleges, and cosmology, in ten colleges.

Rational

psychology was prescribed for all students in eleven colleges.

Although

the courses mentioned so far constituted those considered essential for a complete and thorough system of philosophy, the analysis of Table XIX indicated that there was no uniformity in the offerings of the col­ leges with respect to these essential subjects. In eight of the colleges, one of the courses in philosophy pre­ scribed for all students consisted of an introduction to philosophy, covering the objectives, methods and divisions of philosophy, as well as some of the problems with which philosophy deals.

History of philos­

ophy, which is a chronicling of various attempts to unify knowledge, was offered in eight colleges.

Bnpirical psychology, dealing with an

analysis of the various mental functions, was offered, also, by eight colleges. Four of the twenty-five colleges required that all students take a course in which philosophic principles are applied to contemporary problems.

Only one of the colleges prescribed a course in aesthetics

for all students.

However, this topic is treated in the course in

metaphysics. An examination of the courses in philosophy which were prescribed for all students in the twenty-five colleges making such a requirement revealed no basic plan underlying or directing the study of this important subject.

With one college omitting a general requirement in philosophy,

and the others agreeing only on logic and ethics as essential.courses, it would be hazardous to conclude that such truncated courses in philosL ophy provided the student with a complete scale of values for human

128

r conduct.

Slightly more than half the colleges agreed on the necessity1

of a basic requirement in metaphysics and theodicy, while less than twofifths of the colleges considered rational psychology and cosmology of sufficient importance to include it in the requirements for all students. According to the statements of the administrators, an appreciation of the importance of philosophy in the undergraduate course of study is not lacking; it is simply that the pressure of the requirements in specialized fields of learning crowd out the courses in philosophy. When new demands of vocational curricula arise, administrators are prone to meet them by decreasing the requirements in academic fields, and particularly in the field of philosophy.

This is most noticeable

in colleges offering more than one type of baccalaureate degree.

In

one such college, two-^thirds of the program was taken up with meeting specialized requirements, while an additional allowance for electives (which may or may not be taken in the special subject) would bring the amount of specialized education to three-fourths of the total program. It would seem that a modification of such a program could be made in favor of a more rounded education, and particularly an education that includes the essential subject matter of philosophy. I

History. The function of history as an integrating element is that of giving meaning to the present through an understanding of those aspects of our heritage that have had a significant influence on its formation.

"The appeal to heritage is partly to the authority, partly

to the clarification of the past about what is important in the present."^

l

^ Report 0f the Harvard Committee, General Education in a Free V Society (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1945), p. 43*

rSince the past is a bond that all men have in common, knowledge of

n

the cultural heritage serves also as a link between individuals whose specialized pursuits are a barrier to common understandings.

Together

with religion and philosophy, history completes the body of knowledge through which all learning is integrated.

In this respect secular thought

pays tribute to Christianity as an integrating force.

,JA11 Catholic and

many Protestant institutions thus appeal to the Christian view of man and history as providing both final meaning and immediate standards for life."7 Probably in no other subject of the curriculum is selectivity of greater importance than in history, if it is to be something more than a mere chronicle of events: Any course which attempts to consider the nature of the Western heritage must raise more questions than it professes to answer. It should open up questions of ends as well as of means, of values and objectives as well as of institutional organization. But it should also include an analysis of some of the great attempts which have been made to find answers to these questions. The course would, in other words, include an historical analysis of certain significant movements and changes in Western society together with the reading of sub­ stantial portions of certain of the classics of political, economic, and social thought which those changes have helped to produce.^ The general directives given in the following excerpt indicate the nature of the content which is considered suitable for purposes of integration: . . . it seems apparent that the principal emphasis in the course should be placed upon the evolution of such institutions as representative government and the reign of law, the impact of the Reformation upon society and government, as well as upon

.

religion and philosophy, the growth of religious toleration, the nature and legacy of the natural-rights philosophy, the growing confidence in the -power of reason to deal with human problems, the expansion of humanitarianism, the rise of laissezfaire philosophy and its relation to the economy of the pre­ industrial organization, the growth of populations, and the vast expansion of social and economic legislation.'

n

An inspection of the topics listed indicates the value of both f

religion and philosophy in the treatment of the events of history if they are to give proper enlightenment to the present.

For example,

"the growing confidence in the power of reason to deal with human problems," when treated from the viewpoint of religion and philosophy, will throw light on the limitations of human reason.

The list of topics

is suggestive, too, of the type of selectivity which is advocated for courses in history, and consequently serves as a possible norm. The survey course, on the one hand, and the specialized treat­ ment of subject matter, on the other, are held to be inadequate: A general survey is apt to be a dreary and a sterile affair, leaving little residue in the minds of the students. But we also wish to reiterate the principle that narrowly specialized courses which may be far more thorough do not provide the answer to the evident need for some approach in the field of the social sciences to the problem of general education.^ As it was indicated above, the course in history offers oppor­ tunity to integrate the significant philosophical writings of the various periods.

Their treatment and their value are indicated in the following

passage: These writings will be best understood and most valuable to the student when read in the economic, social, and political con­ text of their times. They should, that is to say, be ideas which emanated from certain historical backgrounds. Only when their

131

reading and interpretation are based upon a study of the times in which they were produced can the student come to have a genuine understanding both of their significance when first pub­ lished and of their relevance to the problems of the twentieth century. In the light of the above considerations, the courses in history prescribed for all students in the colleges were examined to determine the extent to which they met the requirements of a general education program.

As it was noted in Chapter IV, only twenty of the twenty-six

colleges participating in the study prescribed courses in history for all students.

Table XXHshows the types of courses prescribed by these

colleges, and the number of colleges prescribing each type.

In col­

leges where the requirement was filled through more than one course, the combination of courses which made up the requirement is given.

TABLE XXII COURSES IN HISTORY PRESCRIBED FOR ALL STUDENTS IN THE COLLEGES, 1947-4#

Course

Number of colleges

Survey of Western Civilization Survey of Western Civilization and Contemporary Affairs Ancient, Medieval, Modern, and American History Medieval History only Medieval and Modern History Medieval, Modern and Church History General European and American History American History only Contemporary Affairs only Church History only

7 1 1 2 1 1 1 4 1 1

An examination of the above table discloses that the survey of Western Civilization is the*type of course used more frequently than any other type in the colleges making a requirement in history for all

11 Ibid»» P* 2l6-

132

r students.

This survey is in keeping with a trend toward patterning

n

courses in history on the course in Contemporary Civilization which was inaugurated at Columbia in 1919.

In the years that followed, and

particularly in recent times, many institutions constructed courses in history on the Columbia pattern under the title "Survey of Western Civilization" or one similar in meaning.

Other institutions, however,

while adopting the new title, frequently made no noticeable change in the content or method of the traditional history course, and in many cases the course remained more or less a chronicle of events rather than a treatment of subject matter similar to that advocated at Columbia. With this in mind, it is rather significant to note that only eight of the twenty colleges making a prescription in history for all students specified that this requirement be met through a survey of Western civilization.

Since the remaining colleges retained the tra­

ditional type of course dealing with specific periods of history, there was evidence that the majority of the colleges were not influenced by the trend toward the survey type of course in the teaching of history. The deans who were interviewed explained their reluctance to adopt the popular "survey" course by the fact that it had not yet proved its worth over the traditional treatment of subject matter of history, and that it tended toward superficiality in the study of the field.

Even in some of

the colleges that used the survey approach to the teaching of history, the deans were reluctant to concede its superior value as a method of teach­ ing history, although they felt that it held possibilities, given time and experience with which to improve various shortcomings.

It was

generally conceded, too, that the surveys donducted in these colleges L were taught more or less according to the traditional method.

Nevertheless,

133

it should be noted that in several colleges committees were at work on the problem of revamping the history courses to- make them more vital as an integrating force. The chief difference between the surveys of Western Civilization offered by the colleges and the Columbia survey in Contemporary Civil­ ization lies in the fact that in the latter the events of history were examined in the light of significant collateral writings, while the surveys offered in the Catholic colleges consisted, for the most part, in the study of the events of history in a narrower sense.

In

these colleges, the impact of Christianity on the evolution of history was stressed.

Only in a few instances, and then to a very limited degree,

were non-Catholic writings examined in the light of Catholic thought. An excerpt from a description of the course as conducted at Columbia brings out the major aspects of the original pattern.

After

listing the significant factors that have marked the historical past, the Columbia report states: These enumerated bench marks of our progress are only broadly designated here; in the classroom they are examined and tested in a great variety of ways. Take the case of the reception of Aristotle and Cicero by the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. The student reads from Aristotle and Cicero to see what mean­ ing these had to the classical world. He then reads from Thomas Aquinas to comprehend what the concepts of science and natural law meant to the medieval world. Or take the case of liberal capitalism. The student reads, among others, from Smith, Malthus, Ricardo, Bentham, Tocqueville, and Bright. At the same time he is made to realize that the intention and institutions of liberal capitalism were undergoing a constant barrage of criticism at the hands of contemporaries. So he reads Catholic critics (Mun, Leo XIII and Pius XI); anti­ libertarian critics (Carlyle, Comte); nationalist critics (List); utopian, communist, syndicalist critics (Owen, Proudhon, Marx, Sorel, Lenin); and humanitarian critics (Kingsley, Dewey),

12

Harry J. Carman and Louis W. Hacker, "General Education in the Social Sciences in Columbia College, Social Science in General Education (Dubuque, Iowa: Wm. C. Brown Company, 194&), p. 19.

134

Summarizing the program of the first year, the Columbia Report continuesi . . . the subject matter is the development of western European ideas and institutions from about the eleventh century to the present; the treatment is historical, in a broad genetic sense. The course is conoerned with showing the changing attitudes of western civilization toward revealed religion and the search for salvation, the concept of the state, the idea of natural law, the use of the scientific method, the creation of free association, and the like. All, however, within an historical frame of reference, for the Middle Ages, the mercantilist epoch, and our own modern times have offered various explana­ tions and cultivated different attitudes toward human strivings and social institutions. Each epoch, as it were, has its own time spirit. Nevertheless, out of the experiences of all of them a set of values emerges which may properly be regarded as our heritage from the yearnings, the pains, and the achieve­ ments of the past. There have been transmitted to us both means and ends; and these the student is taught to keep ever in sight as he exinines the problems of our own d a y . ^-3 As it was noted in Table XXLIone of the colleges that prescribed a survey of Western Civilization for all students also prescribed a course in contemporary affairs.

Such a combination of courses is in the spirit

of, although not quite as broadly conceived as, the course recommended by the Harvard Report as a preparation for citizenship: It seems to us that both as a sequel to the course on Western thought and institutions, and as a preparation for the respon­ sibilities of citizenship, one of the most suitable courses which could be devised for the purposes of general education would be one to which the title ’American Democracy’ might be given. Such a course would have as its immediate aim a mature consideration of certain of the problems which confront an American citizen. It would be in no sense a study of current events or even of current situations, even though it is to be hoped that it would be intimately related to the problems of the present day. . . . Nor would it consist of a series of blocks given by a man from a different department. The staff of this course . . . would almost certainly be drawn from men in all, or nearly all, of the social science fields, but it is assumed that a single member of the faculty would be placed in charge. ^

13 ^

Ibid.» pp. 19-20. Report of the Harvard Committee,

0 £.

cit., pp. 218-19.

One of the colleges prescribed the traditional combination of courses in ancient, medieval and modern history, in addition to American history.

This combination afforded advantages over the survey course

as now given, according to the statements of the administrators who were interviewed. Two colleges limited the prescribed history course to medieval history, thus omitting some of the most far-reaching influences of modern times.

One college prescribed medieval and modern history, and one

college made a requirement of medieval, modern and Church history.

Both

of these colleges failed to open up to the student, from the viewpoint of his more mature power of thought, the ancient cultures in which con­ temporary society'has its roots.

However, the one college that added

Church history to its requirement gave the student the opportunity to place in proper focus the Church of the present day. One college prescribed a course in general European and American history, leaving untouched the ancient culture.

fourcolleges limited

the prescribed course to American history, justifying the requirement by the fact that students have had the European background of history on the high school level.

However, if the statements of the adminis­

trators who were interviewed are to be taken as a basis for judgment, their opinions that the courses in history on the high school level were not taught adequately would justify the conclusion that they should be repeated on the college level. One college prescribed only one history course covering contemporary affairs.

It is likely that such a course would give knowledge, but

little real understanding of current problems without the necessary L background offered by the history of the past.

136 r

One college prescribed a course in Church history for all students in the college.

In this course the history of the Church, from

its beginnings to the present, is made the focal point around which secular history centers.

Such a course helps the student to integrate her

thinking on the influence of Christianity through the centuries.and the effect of secularism and materialism on the progress of the Church.

OTHER INTEGRATING ELEMENTS

Character training. Besides the subject matter fields of religion, history, and philosophy, other factors enter into the integrating process of the individual.

These relate to the five-fold nature of man: reli­

gious, moral, intellectual, physical, and aesthetic.

Each of these

aspects of man's nature must be developed in its fullness if man is to function as a "whole" individual.

The development of the student's

religious, intellectual and aesthetic nature is taken care of through the various academic fields treating of these subjects.

Man's moral

nature, commonly known as his character, manifests itself in conduct. This conduct has its basis in religious truths and is evidenced in a well-disciplined mind that has become accustomed to act in accordance with these truths. ation.

The disciplining of the will is a matter of motiv­

No amount of instruction will move the will to good unless there

is a sufficiently strong motive impelling that action. example is a powerful force.

In this respect,

Character, based as it is on religious

truths, receives its greatest motivation from the powerful example of Christ and His saints. Besides the source of motivation offered by the example of Christ, the Catholic college offers additional opportunities for character formation

137

under many forms; in the secular fields of knowledge taught from the viewpoint of religious truths; in the opportunities for receiving the sacraments and participating in the prayer life of the Church through her liturgy; in the social contacts and example of religious-minded com­ panions; in the whole atmosphere of the Catholic environment, and, per­ haps most powerful of all, in the example set by the self-sacrificing lives of the teachers who have consecrated their lives to the cause of Catholic education.

The following passage has particular application

to the Catholic college for women, where young students have before them the example of self-giving which is the noblest trait of womanhood: . . . the school as it stands is equipped to exercise an influence over its pupils through media other than formal teach­ ing. The school is an organization in which a certain way of life is practiced. The pupil acquires a habit by the process of unconscious absorption; no sermon need be preached. A word of ridicule uttered by another pupil may produce the desired effect. Furthermore, the teacher can and does exert an in­ fluence on the student by his example as well as by what he says on the platform. In our specialized society the teacher may think it enough to teach a subject. But impressionable young people get from a teacher much more than subject matter. They judge every action. In some respects the young are ex­ ceedingly intolerant; they expect in their teachers perfection to which they themselves do not aspire but which they want to see exemplified in all those in authority over them. Teachers should be more aware of their influence in matters unrelated to their subject. * Physical education. The Catholic colleges participating in this study offered excellent facilities for integrating the physical with the intellectual, religious, moral and aesthetic nature of man.

All the col­

leges required students to participate in a program of health and physical activities.

Table XXHHshows the emphasis given to the health

and physical education in these colleges.

L

15 Ibid., p. 171.

138

r

TABLE XXIII HEALTH AND PHYSICAL EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS FOR ALL STUDENTS IN THE COLLEGES, 1947-48

Type of activity

Number of colleges

Group and individual sports (no course credit allowance) Group and individual sports (course credit allowance) Mental hygiene Health problems (course credit allowance) Personal hygiene (no course credit allowance)

16 10 1 1 8

According to the above table, sixteen of the colleges required that the program in health and physical education be followed without course credit allowance, while ten colleges allowed from 1 to 4 hours / of credit for participation in sports and health activities. Eight of the colleges required that all students take a course in personal hygiene without credit allowance, while one college allowed 3 credits for the course in health problems.

Only one college prescribed a course

in mental hygiene for all students. The activity program in physical education was quite consistent in the colleges, except that swimming was omitted as a requirement in those colleges where facilities for participating in this sport were lacking.

The types of sports included in the program were: group sports,

such as basket ball, volley-ball, soft-ball, and hockey; individual sports, such as tennis and badminton.

Dancing was included in the pro­

gram in slightly less than half the colleges, and all the colleges made provision for special activities for those whose health required a re­ stricted program. The comment most frequently made by the deans who were interviewed L was the necessity that existed for curtailing participation in sports-1

139 r within reasonable limits.

~i It was evident that the health and physical

welfare program prescribed for all students in the colleges was planned to promote the best interests of the students, morally, socially, and physically,

Functional learning. There was no evidence, in any of the col­ leges, of a functional organization of subject matter according to "needs” or "problems".

The content of the courses was arranged and presented

in most cases according to logical organization of subject matter, but discussion was both permitted and encouraged in all classes where such a procedure would be of benefit to the student.

Most of the deans who

were interviewed were aware of the need for courses which make definite provision for discussion, and in the plans for reorganization of courses, which were tinder way in many of the colleges, this point was being given special consideration. The principal facilities for functional learning at the present time in these colleges was through extra-curricular activities of an intel­ lectual type, in one or more of which students were required to partici­ pate. In three colleges, the most profitable type of functional activity seemed to be the discussion groups which were organized as extra-curricular activities in the senior course^ in philosophy.

Meetings of the groups

were held outside class hours, and attendance was voluntary. discussed were usually of current interest.

The problems

According to the statements

of the deans, the gratifying response of the student body to this activity gave evidence of the need for similar groups in other subject fields. Five colleges had study clubs in which problems of interest to the L entire student body were prepared for discussion, and in some cases were

140 r~ —i presented before the student body, either in the form of lectures or as panel discussions.

Some of the administrators saw in the study club

a more profitable means for functional learning than in the organization of subject matter around "problems", which limited the matter learned within the conditions of the problem.

They felt that the traditional

manner of learning subject matter first and making application to problems as needed puts the student in possession of materials with which to solve a variety of problems, and gives her the experience of choosing those factors which have relevance to the problem at hand. Many of the deans considered student government an excellent means for promoting functional learning.

However, some of those who granted

such a possibility were inclined to restrict the activities of the student council to the handling of routine duties.

Only in four of the

colleges were students permitted much initiative in the handling of student affairs.

The colleges that were inclined to place authority in

the Jiands of the student council were, for the most part, colleges that had a large enrollment of day students.

In colleges where resident

students predominated, the administrators stated that in many cases the activities of the student council with regard to school policies, es­ pecially those relating to house regulations, had to be restricted in keeping with the type of discipline which parents and guardians expected the school to exercise. The Sodality of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which functioned in all the colleges, was mentioned by some of the deans as a means for making functional the learning acquired in the classroom, especially with respect to character formation.

The Sodality offered an opportunity to

L cultivate the virtues of true womanhood based on the example of the

141

r

n Blessed Virgin Mary.

The activities of the Sodality included the

spiritual and corporal works of mercy, as well as a program of spiritual exercises. The Catholic Action Club, which functioned in one-third of the col­ leges, offered excellent opportunity for making functional the religious truths learned in the classroom.

In most of the colleges having such a

club, members were alert to the many opportunities offered to apply Catholic principles to situations in everyday life.

Literature com­

mittees operated in some colleges, making their influence felt in local campaigns for decent literature.

In other colleges, individual

members took upon themselves the responsibility of influencing others by the example of good Catholic living which they practiced under all circumstances.

In one college, members of the Catholic Action club

cooperated with the parish priests in organizing and carrying out programs of youth activities in crowded city parishes. Mission activities occupied a large share of the extra-curricular life in most of the colleges.

This activity served to broaden the

interests of students and acquaint them with the culture and with the problems of peoples in other lands.

All the colleges promoted social

functions, consisting mostly of formal and informal dances, and teas. The departmental clubs, which catered to the various interests of students, were a source of profitable functional learning.

The clubs

found in most of the colleges included: language clubs; literary societies; dramatic clubs; science clubs, and music clubs. Most of the administrators in these colleges were aware of the need for a more direct application of learning to experience, and were u hoping to solve the problem through greater facilities for classroom _j

142 r

. discussions, and through an improved organization of extra-curricular activities.

SUMMARY

According to the concept of integration set forth in this study, three subjects, in particular, serve as a base upon which the entire curriculum rests, and function as a unifying principle of all knowledge. These subjects are: religion, philosophy, and history. Religion as an integrating element derives its force from its primary function, which is that of uniting all knowledge to its source, which is Gk>d.

The study of religion equips the student with the knowl­

edge of divine truths and supplies him with the norm for integrating everything that comes within the grasp of his intellect. As an integrating element in learning, philosophy has two impor­ tant functions: its first function is that of placing in proper relation­ ship the principal fields of human knowledge; its second function is that of developing a unified view of all reality. The function of history as an integrating element is that of giving meaning to the present through an understanding of those aspects of the cultural heritage that have had a significant influence on its formation. The unity which the term* "integration’1 signifies is completed when man’s five-fold nature— religious, moral, intellectual, physical, and aesthetic— is developed to its fullness, and when learning is made functional through its application to situations in everyday life. The colleges participating in the present study do not assign to the integrating subjects, namely, religion, philosophy, and history, L the recognition which their importance warrants.

The absence of a plan

“I with respect to the utilization of these fields as integrating factors

was noticeable in the programs of the colleges.

The courses required

functioned more or less for the purpose of fulfilling a requirement, rather than as a basic body of knowledge indispensable to all the other fields. Furthermore, there was little agreement among the colleges as to what constitutes the basic curriculum in each of these fields.

Although

courses in religion were required in all the colleges, no single course was common to all the colleges.

One college omitted the requirement in

philosophy for students majoring in music; in those colleges requiring courses in this field, logic and ethics were the only common requirements. Six colleges did not require courses in history for all students.

In the

colleges that made a requirement in history, the content and methods were generally ill-adapted to the function of integration which general education would have the subject serve. Moral education, or character training, is of the essence of educa­ tion in a Catholic college.

In the colleges in the present study, it was

provided for in various ways; it entered into the teaching of secular branches; it was developed by participation in the prayer life of the Church and by the social contacts of religious-minded companions, as well as by the example of teachers consecrated to the service of reli­ gion. Aesthetic education was practically neglected in the programs of the colleges as a requirement for all students. In all the colleges, physical education was a general requirement, and in the majority of colleges the courses in this field were taken without credit.

,

144 ~i

Functional learning was achieved in the colleges chiefly through extra-curricular activities o f an intellectual nature, such as depart­ mental clubs, Catholic Action groups, and the like.

In three colleges,

discussion groups, organized on an extra-curricular basis, provided an excellent means for making functional the learning acquired in the class room. The data revealed that the means for integrating learning was provided by the curriculum in all the colleges.

Effective organization

of these means, however, and their requirement in the programs of all students was lacking.

L

_l

r

“I

CHAPTER VI PRESCRIPTION IN THE PROGRAMS OF THE COLLEGES

As it was pointed out in Chapter II, the need for prescribed courses in a program of general education is indicated by the necessity for a common body of knowledge and a common way of thinking and of acting in matters pertaining to the common good. In keeping with the purposes of general education, a prescribed program should have the following qualities: (l) it should cover all the areas of learning; (2) it should provide for non-technical treatment of subject matter; (3) it should give mental training in the methodoligies of knowledge peculiar to the various fields of learning; (4) it should ^cover the significant aspects of knowledge in each field; (5) it should be required for all students.' On the basis of -the qualities just enumerated, the programs of the twenty-six colleges participating in the present study were examined to determine the extent to which they possessed these qualities.

Excluded

from consideration are the requirements in religion, philosophy, and history, which have been treated under the aspect of integration. In colleges where the requirements varied for the different bacca­ laureate degrees, only those courses that were a common requirement for all students were considered as having a bearing on the present study.

PRESCRIBED COURSES IN THE HUMANITIES

Humanities is the term whieh generally refers to a range of studies covering the fields of language and literature, history, philosophy, L theology, music and art.

In this study the term refers only to the

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linguistic arts, namely, language and literature, and the fine arts,

-]

that is, music and the visual arts.

English. Man has two distinctively human powers: the power of thought and the power of expression.

Both thought and expression depend

upon the symbols furnished by language.

Words are labels for ideas.

With the aid of these labels it is possible to grasp ideas, to hold them in the mind, compare them, and search for relationships.***

In any program

of general education, language is a basic subject: This twofold function of language, that is, as a means of communication and as a tool for thought, is so important in the development of the pupils that we can say without fear of disagreement by anyone who has given careful consideration to the problem, that language must always be part of the core curriculum on all levels of general education. It may be taught formally in language classes or informally through use in the study of other subjects, but taught it must be, if the pupil is to come into his intellectual heritage in all its richness without loss of time and effectiveness.^ The art of communication through language is of fundamental importance in a democracy, which depends upon the exchange of ideas for its very existence: Communication is that unrestricted exchange of ideas within the body politic by which a prosperous intellectual economy is secured. In its character as the sharing of means it is the instrument by which human beings are welded into a society, both the living with the living and the living with the dead. In a free and democratic society the art of communication has a special importance. A totalitarian state can obtain consent by force; but a democracy must persuade, and persuasion is through speech, oral or other. In a democracy issues are aired, talked out of existence or talked into solution. Failure of communication between the citizens, or between the govern­ ment and the public, means a breakdown in the democratic process.

Reverend W. F. Cunningham, C.S.C., “General Education in High School and College,“ Bulletin of the National Catholic Educa­ tional Association, Vol. XLVI, No. 1, (Washington: 1949), p. 195. ^ Loc. cit.

147 Nevertheless, whereas people have been brought together nearer than ever before, in a physical sense, ifeyb the improvement of mechanisms of transportation,.: it cannot be said that mutual understanding among individuals and among peoples has made a corresponding advance. Skills, crafts, professions, and schol­ arly disciplines are apt to surround themselves by high walls of esoteric jargon. Other barriers are erected through the tendency to convert communication into propaganda, as for instance in some types of advertising. Thus, effective communication depends on the possession not only of skills such as clear thinking and cogent expression but of moral qualities as well, such as candor.3 For purposes of general education, the basic requirements in English for all students would seem to be an understanding of the prin­ ciples involved in the use of language, practice in the art of com­ munication, and an acquaintance with the masterpieces of thought and expression that have had a significant influence on the culture.

Spe­

cifically, prescribed courses in English for all students should in­ clude composition, literature and speech.

None of these courses

is to be thought of as duplicates of high school courses in the same subject: General education in the college should be viewed as the continuation of a process which started in the schools. We assume that it will be carried forward on a much more advanced level, but we also assume that the educational values and the aims in the several stages of the process will remain the same.^ The course in composition should impart, as a minimum, an under­ standing of the meaning and the use of words as symbols of thought; sentence and paragraph structure; and practice in the various types of writing.

While the mechanics of writing are a part of its content, it

should aim, above all, to develop a clear and accurate prose style,

^ Report of the Harvard Committee, General Education in a Free Society (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1945)> p. 68 ^ Ibid., p. 204.

148 1 involving judgment in the selection of words as well as correct appli­ cations of the rules of writings Handbooks of composition frequently discuss the choice of the •right1 word as though that were ruled by exactly the same prin­ ciples as the use of the 'right* (i.e. correct) spelling. . . . The first, the right word, is a matter of fitness to ends, but right spelling concerns a formal convention which for English, incidentally, is almost criminally defective. The result of such confusion is often deep frustration and lasting bewilder­ ment in the pupil. Malapropism, the mistaking of one word for another, does have its analogies with misspelling, mis­ pronunciation, and bad grammar. Conforming with a code governs all these. But which word best says what it is best to say is another matter altogether. It concerns choice of ends and judgment as to the fittest means, the highest human capacities. A bare rule as such has to be observed, that is all. ^ For purposes of general education, prescribed courses in liter­ ature should open the mental eye to a broad vision of man's inner aspir­ ations and ideals through the years, as these are presented by the best authors: The root argument for using, wherever possible, great works in literature courses is chiefly this; ours is at present a centrifugal culture in extreme need of unifying forces. We are in real danger of losing touch with the human past and therefore with one another. The remedy is not in more knowledge about the past; that has been piled up as such knowledge never was for any former generation. . . . It is through . . . the imaginative understanding of things in common, that minds most deeply and essentially meet. Therefore the books— whether in verse or prose, whether epic, drama, narrative, or philosophy— which have been the great meeting points and have most in­ fluenced the men who in turn have influenced others are those we can least afford to neglect, if ways can be found of open­ ing better access to them. It is a safe assumption that a work which has delighted and instructed many generations of ordinary readers and been to them a common possession, enrich­ ing and enriched, is to be preferred to a product which is on its way to limbo and will not link together even two school generations.®

5 Ibid.. p. 119 ^ Ibid., pp. 108-9.

149

Selectivity is of the essence of the course in literature in

—i

general education, since time does not permit the extensive study of all that is good.

Not only must the books to be read be chosen from among

the ’’best", but they must also be weighed against the standard of essentiality: It is proposed that the course in the area of the humanities which will be required of all students be one which might be called ’Great Texts of Literature.1 The aim of such a course would be the fullest understanding of the work read rather than of men or periods represented, craftsmanship evinced, historic or literary development shown, or anything else. These other matters would be admitted only in so far as they are necessary to allow the work to speak for itself. Otherwise they should be left for special, not general, education.7 Courses in literature which aim to carry out the purposes of general education should "stretch” the mind of the student and thus de­ velop his intellectual powers to the full.

Therefore, those books which

are admittedly the ’’best” in literature are not to be set aside as "too difficult.” Some-doubt may be felt whether the heights of these books may not be beyond the reach of large masses of the students. But they have always been admittedly beyond the reach of the vast majority of even their best readers. That has not made them less educative. And indeed the chief reason for the course, and the best argument for experimenting with it, is that too many students today have too little contact with thoughts which are beyond them (apart from the specialties) and that many are in fact passionately if inarticulately hungry for greatness in the common cares of man. Thus the main objective of the study of literature is the under­ standing of the author’s thought.

After that, the work might be used

as the basis for ancillary studies, but these should not crowd out the

7 Ibid., p. 205.

8 Ibid., p. 207. L

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*1

primary aim, which is knowledge through literature, not knowledge about literature: Literature is surrounded by a numerous company of attendant studies which profess to guide the student in the right approach, the proper understanding, the full’ enjoyment. These attendant studies occasionally assume the main place. Thus at various times philology, history of language, history of literature, biography of authors, discussion of literary form, criticism, prosody, and grammar may be found occupying the student’s time and energy even to the utter neglect of that for which alone these worthy subjects were born.9

The study of literature does not end with the reading and under­ standing of an author’s thought, but should give opportunity for pon­ dering that thought.

’’There must be time for reflection or the familiar­

ity will remain too verbal.”^

Therefore, both lectures and group dis­

cussions should be required in the courses in literature on the college level.

The lecture should set the theme for the discussion, and the

discussion should be a revitalization of the ideas expressed in the work read.

Discussion is a vital form of teaching, for the teacher is really

teaching only when he provokes thought on the part of his students.

”He

only teaches, in this field, by letting his students watch the play of a mind with a mind, that their minds may play in turn. If profitable discussion is to result from this play of minds, it should not attempt a wide variety of themes, but should concentrate on those which deal with the ’’greatest”, most universal, most essential 12 human preoccupations.”

*

In both lecture and discussion, the teacher

must necessarily be the arbiter of what these preoccupations are.

9 Ibid., p. 205. 10 Ibid., p. 206.

It is

151

p

^ his role to select passages to be emphasized, since time does not permit the study of entire volumes of important books.

The school at best

can only set the feet of the learner on the right path.

Learning is

a life-time process, and the school can hope to build only the founda­ tion, giving directions for the super-structure of learning which will rise from that foundation. The outcome of the study of literature should be the development of the power of imaginative thinking, and an insight into the under­ standing of human beings, as their innermost thoughts and ideals manifest themselves in terms of concrete ideas and symbols: We need an imagination delicately sensitive to the hopes and the fears,' the qualities and the flaws of our fellow men, and which can evoke a total personality in its concrete fullness. In practical matters, imagination supplies the ability to break with habit and routine, to see beyond the obvious and to en­ visage new alternatives; it is the spur of the inventor and the revolutionary, no less than of the artist. ^ Communication is a two-way art.

Therefore, the expression of

one’s thoughts through the medium of speech and writing is as much a part of general education as is the acquisition of insight through listening and reading.

With speaking competing with the written word as a major

channel of communication at the present day, the principles underlying the oral presentation of ideas merit an important place in the programs of the colleges. evil.

The art of persuasion is a potent weapon for good or

Equal in importance is the ability to listen to the spoken word

in such a way as to distinguish between the logical and the emotional appeal.

Speaking and listening offer a two-way communication of thought,

whose interpretation can be affected by such a simple device as the

13 Ibid., p. 67.

152 r nuances of voice modulation.

It is important, for the purpose of

n

general education, that the student be trained in the twin arts of com­ munication through and in listening to the spoken word. In the everyday experiences of man, speech, in the form of con­ versation, aids in the understanding of human beings, through the in­ sight into personality which it affords: While nothings are being bandied about and trivial words, like the lightest baloons, are launched into the air, contact with personalities is being achieved through characteristic inflec­ tions and emphases, through readiness or shyness of response. In conversation the idea is inseparable from the man; conversation is useful because it is the most unforced and natural means of bringing persons together into a society. Beyond its social . function, conversation is a delight in itself. It is an art, yet it loses its value if it becomes artificial. Its essence is spontaneity, impetus, movement; the words of a conversation are evanescent, things of the moment, while written words are formal­ ized, rigid, and fixed. Starting with simple things like the weather and minor personal happenings, it proceeds to weave a pattern of sentiments and ideas, and through these of persons, which is fugitive just because it is alive. The responsibility of developing the power of expression does not rest upon the teacher of English alone, but is one which should be shared by teachers in every field of learning: . . . all teachers of whatever subject have more than an incidental responsibility here. They will feel it in the degree to which they realize how many of their difficulties, and their students' difficulties, come from their own neglect of this duty. . . . This is not a question of tackling spelling or grammar considered as a routine quasi-mechanical skill, or of 'good English' in any vaguely general sense. It is a question of giving practice and help in understanding and using the English which is the indispensable medium of their own teaching. A science teacher, for example, is not 'taking over what the English class should have done' when he gives time and labor to this. Parroting apart, the language as used in a subject is in practice indistinguishable from the sub­ ject itself. In working on it he is doing his own work, not the English teacher's work. Teachers of these subjects sometimes

14 Ibid., p. 69

_!

are admirably equipped to help students listen and speak, read and write well. And they have relatively defined, simplified, and organized subject matter, which is no slight advantage. * This discussion has set down the qualities which should character­ ize the pattern of general education in English.

It now remains to

determine whether the courses prescribed for all students in the col­ leges follow a similar pattern. As it was indicated in Chapter IV, all the colleges prescribed a certain quantity of work in English for all students.

The quality of the

prescribed courses, as indicated by general titles, and the number of colleges that prescribed each type of course for all students, are shown in Table XXIV.

TABLE XXIV COURSES IN ENGLISH PRESCRIBED FOR ALL STUDENTS IN THE COLLEGES, 1947-46

Course

Number of colleges

Introductory courses 20 Composition Creative writing (as substitute for students evidencing adequate preparation in composition) 4 Analytical reading of Dante; study of essays on modern problems; discussion, composition 1 Introduction to the humanities 1 Other courses Survey of English literature Survey of American literature Speech World literature Catholic spirit in literature Selected English authors• Creative writing Forensic writing

19 6 5 2 1 1 1 1

The above table indicates that twenty of the twenty-six colleges

154

r prescribed courses in English composition for all students.

The con-"1

tent of these courses quite uniformly covered the following: the prin­ ciples and practices of various types of writing; weekly themes based on experience and reading; longer themes requiring selection of materials and the proper use of printed materials; the reading and interpretation of poetry as a means of literary appreciation; discussion of works read out of class; emphasis on expository writing; some practice in research. “ The twenty colleges that required courses in composition seem to have had as their objective the establishment of a common understanding of the symbolism of language and its effective use in oral and written English.

The statements of the academic deans stressed the importance

of English composition for all students in college, regardless of their high school preparation in this field.

The comment was quite general

that many students leave high school without having had adequate pre­ paration in English, and that even those who have had better-than-average preparation in English can profit from the higher level of training provided in the college course. In view of the complaint of the majority of academic deans con­ cerning the inadequacy of preparation in high school English, and the need for a college course in freshman composition to meet the needs of all entering students, it is rather surprising that four of the twentysix colleges in the study permitted students to substitute a course:in creative writing for the freshman course in composition, provided there was evidence of adequate preparation in the latter. . The evidence of adequacy, however, was generally based on the student's high school record and the results of an objective examination on the mechanical aspects of L English, neither of which would seem to furnish adequate proof of a student’s

155

r ability to express himself adequately in original writing.

It would n

be fairly safe to say, if the opinions of the administrators could be taken as the basis for this judgment, that no student coming into college is without some kind of problem in written or spoken English.

The fresh­

man year is the time to check up on these problems, and to correct them if they exist.

Most of the administrators recognized in the freshman

college English course the opportunity to overcome the deficiencies of high school, courses in English and to establish a good foundation for future work in oral and written English.

They felt that, until better

articulation exists between high school and college, the standards of English on the college level should be established through a prescribed course in English composition for all students. In one college the dean mentioned the value of assignments in simple research as an excellent type of experience for developing methods of careful thinking, of practice in the use of the library, and in the assembling of data by which to arrive at judgments.

She felt that there

is a need to train students to distinguish between fact and opinion and to be able to give a reason for the opinions they hold.

This experience

seemed, in her opinion, to be a basic step in the preparation of students for a responsible life in society, where propaganda has a strong influence on individuals who are not prepared to analyze facts. One college in the study focused preparation in English in the freshman year on an analytical reading of Dante, with the study of essays on modern problems and composition work completing the basic preparation in this field.

While a study of the works of Dante is a most desirable

prescription, especially in a Catholic college, still it would seem to L belong in the upper years of college rather than on the freshman level^.

156

Courses are not less educative because they are beyond the reach of

n

the student,^ and on these grounds the introduction of the study of Dante in the freshman year might be justified.

However, it would seem

that the foundation work in English is weakened if emphasis is not placed, during that year, on establishing good habits of writing and speaking through courses dealing chiefly with fundamental problems in reading and writing. One college in the study offered an introductory course in the humanities, consisting of a survey of literature, music, and the visual arts.

This type of course is considered by some to be a poor medium

through which to carry out the purposes of general education: It seems to us entirely undesirable to have a course of the block-survey type which would include portions of all, or nearly all, of the humanities. What principle of synthesis would bring together in one, or even in two courses, the subject matter of philosophy, the fine arts, music, and literature (for the course on great texts would not exhaust the possible contributions of literature to general education)? Such a broad survey of the superficial aspects of fields which have relatively little in common may be productive of a smattering of info m a t ion, but it is not conducive to the growth of understanding or to the devel­ opment of those intellectual qualities which we believe to be the chief goal of general education. This criticism fails to take into account the integrating factor of Catholic liturgy, in which literature, art and music unite in ex­ pounding the values inherent in Catholic living.

Indeed, in a Catholic

college, particularly, a course in the humanities such as is given in one college in the study could well be a requisite introduction to the wealth which is hidden in the spiritual heritage of Catholics.

16 Ibid.. p. 207. 17 Ibid.. p. 208. L

157

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n The survey of English literature was mentioned by nineteen colleges as a requirement for all students.

This course followed the plan of the

traditional survey course, tracing the development of English literature through various periods, and presenting the prose and poetry character­ istic of the period.

In two colleges the survey covered the period from

Beowulf to the time of the Romantic movement; in four colleges, from Beowulf to the beginning of the Victorian period; in ten, from Beowulf to the present; and in three, from the beginning of the Romantic movement to the present.

The characteristics of the literary period, rather than the

thought expressed by the authors, seemed to receive the main emphasis. This violates the recommended norm set for the study of "Great Texts in Literature," namely, that the aim of the course in literature should be "the fullest understanding of the work read rather than of men or periods io represented."xo The surveys of English literature, in the nineteen colleges which mentioned them as prescribed courses, were more or less knowledge about literature rather than knowledge through literature, which is the norm set by general education.

Most of the administrators mentioned the advis­

ability of revamping these courses, believing them to be of a rather superficial nature in their present form.

The type of course which would

replace them had not been determined, but the academic deans were of the opinion that survey courses, at best, run the risk of being superficial. Only six colleges prescribed a course in American literature for all students.

Such a course would seem to serve well the purposes of

general education in helping the student to make contact with the ideas

18 Ibid.. p. 205.

_l

156 r~ that prevailed throughout the development of this country, and in­

fluenced its culture.

—|

Surely, the thinking that dominated the Colonial

and Revolutionary periods, the insight into the character of the people that was brought to light in the period of the Westward movement, the contributions of Indian and Negro literature to our folk-lore, the effect of Transcendentalism upon Europe and America, are all subjects that could throw light on the character of the American people.

Catholic

thought in the United States was mentioned by only one college as a part of the course in American literature. Only two of the colleges prescribed a course that might be con­ sidered comparable to the course "Great Texts in Literature," mentioned previously as a possible norm.

The course in World Literature, which was

a requirement in these two colleges, consisted chiefly of the study of national masterpieces in literature.

Differing from the course in survey

of English literature by its scope, it would seem to have a valuable con­ tribution to make to modern problems of an international character.

The

understanding of other nations through a study of the ideas which.have influenced their present development sheds light on many otherwise obscure aspects of current problems. One college prescribed a course similar to the "Great Texts", but confined it to English authors.

If such a course were expanded so as to

give a world view of literature, it would have greater value for general education. In one college, a course in the Catholic Spirit in Literature was prescribed for all students.

This is a desirable prescription in a Catholic

college, for the content of such a course would seem to give an understanding L of values that would truly enable one to live a responsible life in sopiety.

159 i

r

There was a notable lack of emphasis on Catholic thought in literature in all the colleges, at least in so far as the main emphasis was con­ cerned.

The administrators explained this seeming defect by the fact

that, while the core of the literature courses was concerned with secular literature, the Catholic interpretation was constantly used to clarify any issues that arose.

However, it would seem that Catholic

writers would deserve a special place in the prescribed courses in English in a Catholic college, even to the extent of including transla­ tions of the ’'best" Catholic thought in foreign languages. A prescribed course in Speech for all students was mentioned by five of the twenty-six colleges.

If only because of its prevalence as

a mode of communication, speech would seem to merit higher recognition in the programs of general education than is indicated in the colleges in this study. Creative writing was a prescribed course for all students in one college.

This is a worthwhile emphasis, and it is to be regretted that

no more than one college saw fit to include it among their required courses. One college prescribed a course in forensic writing.

The content

of this course included writing of an analytical nature, with emphasis on the criticism of editorials and argumentative speeches, the use of in­ ductive -and deductive reasoning; fallacies, preparation of briefs, and oral delivery of argument.

A course of this type would answer the needs

of general education as a preparation for the type of thinking required in a democracy which maintains freedom of speech.

Such writing was, in

some instances, a part of the requirement in the basic composition course, but the experience to be gained through a more extensive treatment than l

is possible in a course in composition would warrant a separate coursejfor

160 r

n

this type of writing.

Foreign language. In common with English, the purpose of foreign language study in general education is as a means of communication.

This

does not deny the fact that it may also serve other purposes, either as a tool or as a means of clarifying English.

But important as these

purposes may be, they hold only a secondary place. Cole lists the immediate objectives of elementary foreign language study as follows: Progressive Development: 1. Of the ability to read books, newspapers, and magazines in the modern language within the scope of the student’s interests and intellectual powers 2. Of such knowledge of the grammar of the language as is dem­ onstrated to be necessary for reading with comprehension 3. Of the ability to pronounce correctly, to understand and to use the language orally within the limits of class materials 4. Of a knowledge of the foreign country, past and present, and of a special interest in the life and characteristics of its people 5. Of increased knowledge of the derivations and meanings of English words, of the principles and leading facts of English grammar, and of the relationships between the foreign language and English The ultimate objectives of foreign language study, according to Cole, are these: 1. Ability to read the foreign language with moderate ease and with enjoyment for recreative and for vocational purposes 2. Ability to use orally in an intelligible fashion a small stock of foreign words, phrases, and sentences 3. A special interest in the history, the institutions and the ideals of the foreign country; a better understanding of its contributions to civilization, and a less provincial attitude toward the merits and achievements of other people 4. Increased curiosity about the literature and the art of other nations, and greater ability to understand and enjoy them 5. Greater interest in the accurate use of English 6. Increased understanding of the development and the structure of the mother tongue and of other languages. '

l

^ Robert D. Cole, Modern Foreign Languages and Their Teaching _j (New York: D. Appleton & Company, 1931), p. 39*

161

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~i These objectives are consistent with the purposes of foreign language study in general education: Greek and Latin, as dead languages, and many living languages also, are studied not as tools but for the cultural endsmen­ tioned. . . . One could, of course, say that Latin was atool to Shakespeare or Milton or that French is such to thosewho read Montaigne or Moliere. But to say that is to cavil, for the reason that even in the act of studying these languages students are concerned with more than language itself. They are concerned with the very stuff of the humanities, with time­ less writings, with other cultures, and with the ever-changing meaning of words. Evidently, then, these two reasons for study­ ing a foreign language— as a tool and as a part of humanistic education— are distinct, implying distinct methods and looking to distinct ends.^O The study of foreign language should press beyond the elementary stage of language structure, and should furnish insight into the culture of other peoples: Those who thus fail to bring language to the kindling point are certainly wasting their time— perhaps not absolutely, in the sense that they have learned nothing, but at least rela­ tively, in the sense that they might have learned more from something else.^l The insight into the culture of another people is gained chiefly through the study of the classics of a particular people.

Classics read

in translation may convey, to some extent, the ideas of the author, but the lack of precision of the English language prohibits the student's gaining as clear an understanding of the work as if it were read in the original. Those cultures, particularly, that have contributed to our develop­ ment, are better understood if their significant literature is read in the original tongue.

20 L

For this purpose the classical languages seem to hold a

Report of the Harvard Committee,

21 Ibid., p. 121.

ojd .

cit., p. 122.

_i

162 n

perennial place in language study:

n

General education will only make more clear the fundamental place in our culture of the great Greek writings. Philosophy, political theory, many branches of literature, even as they largely began for us in these writings, so inevitably we return to them for comparison and refreshment. Though the great majority of students will come to know these writings in trans­ lation, still general education will fail of part of its func­ tion unless it leads some to that vividness of understanding which only the original can inspire. This, in short, is the purpose of all further study of language in general education— to give to some that vitality in humanistic training which others will gain in scientific training and which, so far as schooling can assure insight, is the root of insight.22 As it was noted in Chapter IV, only twenty of the twenty-six col­ leges prescribed a certain quantity of work in foreign language for all students.

Table X O T shows the quality of the courses prescribed, as

indicated by titles, and the number of colleges which prescribed each type of course. It is noteworthy that almost half of the colleges that prescribed courses in foreign language for all students, restricted their require­ ment to modern foreign language.

The administrators of the colleges

explained this limitation by stating that modern foreign language has a greater appeal to the interest of the student, and that, since there is only a slight difference, if any, between the disciplinary value of modern and classical languages, the former was chosen as the require­ ment. According to Table X XIV^ eleven of the twenty colleges that prescribed foreign language for all students specified that the require­ ment be fulfilled through modern foreign language; seven colleges specified either modern or classical language, and two prescribed more than one

22 Ibid., p. 126.

_i

TABLE xxy: COURSES IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE PRESCRIBED FOR ALL STUDENTS IN THE COLLEGES 1947-48

Course Modern foreign language Essentials of grammar Essentials of grammar including selected Essentials of grammar Intermediate courses

Number of colleges

only and intermediate courses, readings and composition or mathematics

5 4 1 1

Modern or classical language Essentials and intermediate courses Intermediate and advanced courses (including reading, discussion of selected works) Classics in translation or history

4 2 1

More than one foreign language Essentials of one modern and one other foreign language, modern or classical Essentials of one modern language, and classics in translation

foreign language.

1 1

Six colleges prescribed work of an elementary nature

only, covering the elements of grammar and syntax.

Such a requirement

does not carry out the purpose of foreign language study in the spirit of general education, as an ’‘opening of doors”. One college prescribed a course in a modern foreign language together with a course in the reading of the Latin or Greek classics in translation.

This requirement,

too, would see& to lack the depth that would enable it to contribute to the understanding of English.

The classics read in translation may,

however, have some value as an English requirement, since it gives familiarity with the thought of the classical authors, yet it does not penetrate that thought to the depth which the classical language itself would.

Many of the administrators were of the opinion that the study^

164

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~i of foreign language in the comparatively limited time allowed to it in college, would not permit students to use it in the scholarly manner of graduate students, and that for this reason, the classical languages, in particular, have more value for the student when read in translation. Because there was a possibility that the student might have use for modern foreign language in adult life, this same line of reasoning was not applied to them.

The classics of modern peoples had a greater appeal

to students, and for this reason were preferred for the interest which their study aroused. Eight colleges prescribed work in foreign language of an elementary and intermediate grade.

The content of the intermediate courses included

advanced work in grammar, readings from selected passages, and composi­ tion.

This is the level at which the foreign language would be of value

in enriching the understanding of English, and would also enable the student to gain some profit from the reading of foreign newspapers and the simpler writings. Three colleges did not give elementary work in foreign language, but required that the student have some previous preparation in this field. Of the three colleges that offered no elementary courses in modern foreign language, one prescribed work of an intermediate grade only, while two prescribed, in addition, advanced work in foreign language.

The advanced

course gave training in reading and in discussion, and an acquaintance with the culture of another people through selected passages from their classics.

At the advanced level the student should gain that insight into

the understanding of another people which should be the purpose of foreign language study on the college level, if that insularity which is engendered l

by the exclusive study of one's native tongue, is to be avoided.

_j

165 r

~i

Some of the administrators who prescribed no advanced work in foreign language regretted that it was not possible to make this requirement under present conditions.

They explained that pressure from requirements in

specialized education often closed the doors to opportunities for learning that had more real value to the student than did the field of specialization. One college prescribed a course in the elements of a modern foreign language, or, in lieu of this, a course in mathematics.

The emphasis

on foreign language teaching in this college is on the disciplinary value of language in developing the powers of thinking, as employed in the syntax of language structure.

However, since the primary aim of foreign

language teaching in general education is the illumination of English and insight into other cultures, the choice between foreign language and mathematics seems not to fulfill the same objective. Another college prescribed a course in the classics in transla­ tion or history.

In this instance, too, the value of foreign language

as a discipline for English seems to hold only a minor place, although the substitution may hold value in developing the understanding of another people through their history.

Language, however, gives an entirely

different view of a culture than does history, and the student who is deprived of the opportunities offered through foreign language study cannot entirely compensate for it through the study of history.

It

would seem that a better substitution could be made by requiring the classics of a foreign people to be read in translation.

The student would thus come

to a knowledge of the ideas that helped to shape the culture. One college, requiring one modern and one other modern or classical L language for all students, seemed to give breadth to the student's und$r-

166

standing of the structure of language, since acquaintance with more than one foreign language deepens the value of syntax in precise speech, yet it does not seem to give the depth of learning required for the cultiva­ tion of this quality and would rather place too much stress on the "task work" of foreign language study.

Fine Arts. The fine arts, as used in this study, includes the visual arts, such as drawing, painting, sculpture, architecture, as well as music.

In common with language, they attempt to express man’s

mental life through the use of concrete symbols, but with this dis­ tinction, that, while the fine arts appeal to the mind through the senses, the linguistic arts, except in the case of poetry and the cadence of beautiful prose, are predominantly intellectual in quality. The chief elaims of the fine arts to a place in a program of general education are these: they develop new powers of perception and thus open new avenues of understanding; they impart a mental discipline. distinct in many respects from that of literature and philosophy; they form an important part of the cultural heritage; and they give aesthetic satisfaction.

23

The fine arts belong to that branch of knowledge knows as aesthetics, which treats of the idea of pure beauty and the general and particular aspects of art in a philosophical manner.^

The norms which form the

basis of the fine arts are, therefore, derived from philosophy, and particularly from that branch of philosophy known as ontology or general

23 M d . , pp. 211-13. ^ Redden and Ryan, op. cit., p. 292. L

_)

r metaphysics, which treats of being and its attributes, and the nature n of causes.

Ontology teaches that the idea of beauty possesses the

general elements of unity, truth, and goodness, and the particular elements of completeness, proportion, and clarity.

When an objeet is

viewed in terms of these qualities, therefore, and elicits feelings that are pleasing, it is said to be beautiful, and the pleasure derived from of. its contemplation is known as aesthetic pleasure. ° An understanding

of the fine arts, therefore, includes knowledge of the objective con­ ditions of beauty, both general and particular. It is the function of education in the fine arts so to guide the individual that he will understand, contemplate, appreciate and enjoy the beautiful;: Just as the function of intellectual education is to enlighten the mind of the individual to truth and by that means assist him to acquire knowledge; and just as the function of moral education is to aid the educand to conform his conduct to the moral law and thus assist him in the practice of virtue; so, the function of aesthetic education is to acquaint the indi­ vidual with the correct notion of beauty, so that he may con­ template, appreciate, and enjoy it. Aesthetic education in­ troduces the individual to the treasures of art, literature, painting, architecture, sculpture, music; in a word, to the more refined elements of civilization commonly included under the term ’culture*. Moreover, aesthetic education guides the individual to perceive and appreciate the beauty, the unity, the truth, and the good of these treasures, and by the enjoyment of such beauty to refine and enrich his life.^7 The development of worthy appreciation is basic to the enjoy­ ment of the fine arts.

Their cultivation consists in bringing under the

control of the intellect and the will, the feelings, emotions, and senti­ ments, in order to form correct standards of value of what is true, good,

16S

~i and beautiful. Appreciations are therefore a combination of knowledge and feeling, which concretely expresses itself in tastes, attitudes, prejudices, and ideals.

The appreciation of art in particular involves the perception

and enjoyment of that beauty which shines out from truth well represented. For purposes of general education, one of the chief sources for gaining an appreciation of music is through participating in choral and orchestral groups.

28

But this is not the only source.

Aesthetic sen­

sitivity to music may also be gained through courses in the analysis of music,

29

and through directed experiences in listening to the ’’best’*

works of the composers. Based on the above considerations, the programs in the colleges were examined to determine the extent to which the fine arts were in­ cluded in the pattern of education for all students.

Table XXYi shows

the nature of these courses, by title, and the number of colleges that required each type of course for all students.

TABLE XXVI COURSES IN FINE ARTS PRESCRIBED FOR ALL STUDENTS IN THE COLLEGES, 1947-48

Course Introduction to the arts Music and art appreciation

Number of colleges 1 1

The above table shows that only two colleges made a requirement in fine arts for all students, through courses that made application of

^

Report of the Harvard Committee, 0£. cit., p. 213.

^

Loc. cit.

r philosophic principles to specific types of art.

One college, requiring

a course both in metaphysics and in introduction to the arts, made ap­ plication of the principles of beauty to painting, sculpture, archi- ' tecture, and music.

The other college required a course in music and

art appreciation, without requiring a basic course in metaphysics. From the above considerations, it would seem that the place of the fine arts in general education is not well defined in the colleges. One would expect to find a requirement in this area for all students in a Catholic college for women, since music and art have always played an important part in Catholic culture.

Furthermore, the aesthetic qualities

which such study cultivates should be the particular possession of women, destined as they are to be the major refining influence in family and social life.

The seeming lack of appreciation of the fine arts in the

colleges participating in this study robs society of an understanding of the rich heritage in art and music which the Church, through its Catholic colleges, has the opportunity of passing on.

PRESCRIBED COURSES IN THE NATURAL SCIENCES

For purposes of general education, the study of natural science offers a type of intellectual discipline distinctive from mere tech­ nology.^0 Science and technology develop in parallel, each fructifying the other, . . • The prime end of science is knowing rather than doing; or better still, it is doing in order that one may know, rather than doing with primarily other ends in view— greater convenience, technical efficiency, military power, or economic advantage, for example.

170

The development of the powers of observation, and precision of"1 thought and method in reporting that which is observed, are among the important values that science should contribute to general education. Science is concerned with the collecting and the critical appraisal of natural phenomena of a type that permits exact description and measure­ ment.

For that reason, its methods are confined to those fields which lend

themselves to exact measurement, and cannot be indiscriminately applied to every type of situation: There is abundant opportunity provided here to convey a most important generalization; that all modes of inquiry must be adapted to the material under consideration and to available methods of approach. If this educational task is properly accomplished we shall have less in future of attempts to use the ‘scientific method' upon material wholly unsuited to whatever methods may be employed under that guise; and more realization that statements in the literary or social sphere necessarily are different in nature, and in precision, from statements in mechanics.-’ The objectives of courses in science for general education should not be skillful manipulation of materials or data, nor the mere presen­ tation of facts, but the formation of an integrated intellectual structure, using both facts and manipulative skill as the means for its acquisition: Science instruction in general education should be characterized mainly by broad integrative elements— the comparison of scientific with other modes of thought, the comparison and contrast of the individual sciences with one another, the relations of science with its own past and with general human history, and of science with problems of human society. These are areas in which science can make a lasting contribution to the general education of all students. Because of the highly technical character of its content, the natural sciences seem to have offered less opportunity to the general student for

32 Ibid., p. 154-5. 33 Ibid., p. 155. L

_l

171 r

~"1

gaining a broad understanding of its content than has any other field of knowledge.

Its chief concern has been the preparation of the specialist,

and its courses have been constructed with this purpose in view: Comparatively little serious attention is given to the exam­ ination of basic concepts, the nature of the scientific enterprise, the historical development of the subject, its great literature, or its interrelationships with other areas of interest and activity. What such courses frequently supply are only the bricks of the scientific structure. The student who goes on into more advanced work can build something from them. The general student is more likely to be left simply with bricks.34 The introductory course in the natural sciences should serve both the general student and the future specialist in the field.

To both it

would give a "whole” view, that would throw light on the world of nature for the general student and would serve as an over-all plan of relationships of parts for the future specialist.

But for purposes of general education,

such courses should synthesize ideas about a particular aspect of the field: They should be taught so as to convey some integrative viewpoint, scientific method, or the development of scientific concepts, or the scientific world-view. They should convey, verbally and through the laboratory, some understanding of the various means by which science progresses; increase in the precision of observation and measurement, the evolution of fundamental concepts, and introduc­ tion of new instruments and procedures, the fructification of one science by another, the progression from description to analysis and synthesis and from the qualitative to the quantitative.35 Over and above the knowledge and skills which should be an outcome of introductory courses in the natural sciences, is the equally important ideas which are furnished by the integration of its history and its literature: The body of science includes not only special knowledge and skills but conceptual interrelations, a world-view, and a view of the nature

34 Ibid., p. 221 33 Loc. cit.

172 r

h

of men and knowledge, which together constitute the philosophy of science; a history which forms a continuous and important segment of all human history; and writings which include some of the most significant and impressive contributions to all literature.^ In the best interests of general education, the philosophy, history, and literature of science should be given by the faculty of the science department, because they are in a better position to understand the inter­ relationships between these fields and science than are the members of the separate departments: The claim of general education is that the history of science is part of science. So are its philosophy, its great literature, and its social and intellectual context. The contribution of science instruction to the life of the university and to society should include these elements, since science includes them. A science course so constructed as to encompass these elements makes an important contribution to general education. It need not by that token make a poorer contribution to an education in science. One can defend the view that it is all the better science for being good general education.^' In the light of the foregoing considerations, the courses in natural sciences which are required for all students in the colleges were examined.

Of the twenty-six colleges participating in the study, only

twenty required such courses for all students.

The nature of these courses,

as indicated by their titles, and the number of colleges requiring each type, are shown in Table XXVII. An examination of the table discloses that eighteen of the twenty colleges that required courses in science for all students offered a choice between chemistry and biology.

The content of the course in chemistry

covered the fundamental laws and principles of chemistry which were pre­ requisites for further study in this field.

36 Ibid., p. 222. L

^

Loc. cit.

In two colleges, provision

173

TABLE XXVII

n

COURSES IN NATURAL SCIENCE PRESCRIBED FOR ALL STUDENTS IN THE COLLEGES, 1947-48

Course

Number of colleges

Introductory course in biology or chemistry Survey in science Choice of science or Greek

18 1 1

was made for those who were taking the course for purposes of general education, by including in the content a survey of elementary organic chemistry and some laboratory work in qualitative analysis. The content of the courses in general biology was the same for both the general student and the future specialist in the field.

The courses

quite consistently covered such topics as: the fundamental principles and modern theories of plant and animal life; the principal facts and methods of biology; morphology and physiology of plants and animals. One college offered a survey in science, consisting of the study of matter and energy in relation to physics, chemistry and biology; structure of matter; organic and inorganic compounds; state of matter; laws governing matter as a gas, a liquid or a solid; and uses of matter and energy to man. One college offered a choice between science and Greek.

However,

the choice does not seem to be consistent, as each aims at a different type of mental discipline: the latter, the communication of ideas, which may or may not have their basis in objective reality; the former, the observation of objective reality and precision in reporting that which is observed within the limitations of those observations. l

There is no indication that the courses required for all students

174 H in natural science in the colleges imparted an integrated view either of a particular field of science, or a view of the field of natural science as a whole. Most of the administrators felt that there was much to be desired in the courses in natural science offered to general students, but admitted that the fault has been due to failure to examine the purposes of courses. They were of the opinion, too, that survey courses in the natural sciences offered less of value than the present courses, because they often treated subject matter in a superficial manner. In the majority of colleges, attempts were being made to con­ struct a course that would coordinate the principal facts and methods peculiar to the various branches of science into one course, to which the specialists in the fields would contribute, but which would be supervised by a coordinator, who would select from the contributions of the various specialists those which seemed most pertinent to the course.

This ideal

could not at present be fulfilled, they admitted, because of the lack of persons qualified for the position of coordinator of such a course.

How­

ever, it was a goal to be sought after, and plans for such courses were going forward in many colleges. Other administrators felt that an orderly presentation of the facts and principles underlying the various fields of science, or even a single field, would give the student some knowledge of the content of that field, but, over and above that, would train the mind in methodical habits of thought.

In their opinion, the latter outcome far overshadowed any value

that might be derived from a "world-view” of science. One administrator felt that the principal outcome of the study of ^cience should be a knowledge of the philosophy of science, that is, ths

175

ordered reasoning by which it arrives at conclusions.

She felt that

it was impossible, in a one-year course, to give to the general student a knowledge of science sufficient to enable her to understand modern theories of science, but at least she could be trained in the thoughtprocesses which are peculiar to science, and become acquainted with some of the outstanding discoveries in the field and the means whereby such discoveries came about.

PRESCRIBED COURSES IN MATHEMATICS Mathematics in general education serves both as a tool and as a mode of t h o u g h t A s a tool it is indispensable to the study of the sciences; and in other fields, notably the social sciences, it aids in presenting facts in graphic and statistical form.

But its chief claim

to a place in the program of general education is its intrinsic power to train the mind in rigorous thinking: Mathematics has an important intrinsic role in general education. It helps build some of the skills and comprehensions that make the effective individual. Within the past fifty years mathematics and logic have been fused into a single structure. In so far as logical thinking is rigorous, abstract, and relational, its con­ nection with mathematics is obvious. The ability to analyze a concrete situation into its elements, to synthesize components into related wholes, to isolate and select relevant factors, defining them rigorously, meanwhile discarding the irrelevant; and the ability to combine these factors, often in novel ways, so as to reach a solution, all are important features of math­ ematical procedure.39 No other mental activity develops man’s purely logical faculties to the same level of rationality as does mathematics.^

As a discipline

38 Ibid., p. 160. 3^ Ibid., p. 161. l

^ C. 0. Oakley, ’’Mathematics," The American Mathematical Monthly1 , 56:19> January, 1949.

176

&ndaad~-a:sklli§ it is applicable to almost every intellectual activity n of man.

Because it is a way of thinking, it deals almost exclusively with

premises and conclusions, and with deductive reasoning, which is one of the most important methods of drawing conclusions from premises. Clarity and precision of definition and assumptions, and rigor in reasoning can be more simply studied and more clearly attained in math­ ematics than in any other discipline.^

"Where most studies are concerned

with the matter of thought, mathematics is concerned with the method of thought— a method that is essential for logical thinking in any field. As the "science of abstract form"^ it is the study of order abstracted from particular objects, and in a generalized form.^

It is a particularly

suitable vehicle for developing in the young the power of discerning the structure of a thing, be it a painting, a symphony, or the behavior of a physical system.^

"Mathematics is by no means the only road to an ap­

preciation of abstraction and logical structure.

But tactically these

ends may be approached most readily through mathematics, particularly with the young !*^ From the above considerations, it is obvious that mathematics is an effective means for achieving the purposes of general education.

Other

subjects have important contributions to make to general education, and cooperation among all the fields of learning is necessary.

Yet, "the

^ E. P. Northrop, "Mathematics in Liberal Education," The American Mathematical Monthly. 52:133> March, 1945. ^ J. W. Mitchie, "Mathematics as a Subject Prescribed for Graduation from College," National Mathematics Magazine, 11:409, May, 1937. ^

Report of the Harvard Committee, o£. cit., p. 161

^

Loe. cit.

45 Loc. cit. ^

~

Ibid., p. 162.

177 r

~i

outcomes from mathematics are so essential to every member of a democracy

that no pupil should be deprived of the opportunity to benefit from the experience it can provide."^ As it was indicated in Chapter IV, only four of the twenty-six colleges participating in this study made a requirement in mathematics for all students, while two colleges offered a choice between mathematics and some other subject.

The nature of the courses required and the number

of colleges requiring each are shown in Table XXVIII.

TABLE XXVIII COURSES IN MATHEMATICS PRESCRIBED FOR ALL STUDENTS IN THE COLLEGES, 1947-48

Course

Number of colleges

Mathematical analysis Choice between mathematics and science Choice between mathematics and modern language Algebra and trigonometry

2 ' 1 1 2

An examination of the above table discloses that two of the col­ leges required a course in mathematical analysis for all students.

The

content of this course covered the fundamental principles of college algebra, plane trigonometry, and plane and solid geometry.

As an intel­

lectual discipline, this course seems to serve the purpose of general education in mathematics for all students, particularly since it places stress on geometry, which is considered an excellent means for training in methods of thought.

A knowledge of geometry gives the student ’'practice

^ Lucien B. Kinney, "Why Teach Mathematics?" Mathematics Teacher, 35:169, April, 1942. L

17a in devising and appraising logical arguments and in pursuing a limited n argument to its c o n c l u s i o n . I t also teaches appreciation for the structure of an abstract logical system.^ Two colleges required that all students take a course that com­ bined the elements of college algebra and trigonometry.

If this course

were not tied in with the memorization of formulae, it would provide greater depth of learning than would the course in mathematical analysis. However, there was a tendency toward greater memorization in the combina­ tion of college algebra and trigonometry than there was in the course in mathematical analysis.

The administrators of the colleges expressed a

preference for the course in analysis on the ground that it gave the student a fresh approach to the subject of mathematics and offset, to some extent, the aversion for the subject which is frequently a "carry-over" from high school.

The teaching of the course in analysis was approached

with this prejudice in mind, and an attempt was made to help the student overcome such a prejudice and begin the study with a new point of view.

PRESCRIBED COURSES IN THE SOCIAL SCIENCES

Since the beginning of the general education movement, there has « been a tendency to regard the achievement of its purposes as almost exclu­ sively the responsibility of the social sciences.

This attitude was due,

in some measure, to the pattern set by the course in Contemporary Civil­ ization at Columbia, the content and methods of which were followed by many institutions, in the belief that it fulfilled the purposes of the general

Irt

Report of the Harvard Committee, ^

Loc. cit.

ojd .

cit., p. I64.

179 P i . education movement.

'

However, as the objectives of the movement became crystallized, it became evident that social science is only one of the fields of learn­ ing that contribute to the achievement of the purposes of general education. Gradually, this field became less dominant, and took its place along with the humanities and the natural sciences in the pattern of general education. Because the well-ordered functioning of society plays such an important part in helping man to achieve his destiny, the problems of society are of vital concern to every individual.

This fact is verified

by the number of papal encyclicals dealing with social issues that have appeared during the past fifty years.

In these papal pronouncements, the

Sovereign Pontiffs have pointed out the individual's rights and duties with respect to some of the leading social questions of the day, and have stressed the necessity for a knowledge of the factors involved in the solution of these problems. In his encyclical on The Condition of Labor, Pope Leo XIII emphasized the necessity of reasoned judgnents in the settlement of mat­ ters of social import, lest the influence of demagogues lead men astray.50 To guard against such a danger, the Sovereign Pontiff would have individuals go tor the root of the problem and gain proper perspective of the immediate situation through an understanding of the background and of the principles which underlie it.

This background must be interpreted in the light of

Christian principles: When a society is perishing, the true advice to give to those who would restore it is, to recall it to the principles from which it sprung; for the purpose and perfection of an association

Pope Leo XIII, "The Condition of Labor," Five Great Encyclicals ^New York: The Paulist Press, 1946), p.2. =I

180 is to aim at and to attain that for which it was formed; and its operation should be put in motion and inspired by the end and object which originally gave it its being.51

n

In addition to the encyclicals which have been addressed to the whole Christian world by the various Roman Pontiffs on the rights and duties of the individual with respect to social problems of the day, 52 Pope Pius XII, in a recent address, J pointed out the special responsibil­

ities of women in contemporary society.

The importance of the social

sciences in the education of Catholic women is indicated in that address. The obligations that are especially incumbent on women, the Holy Father points out, are theirs by reason of the peculiar dignity which they have from God.

By her very nature, woman is destined for motherhood,

either in the physical or in the spiritual sense.

Therefore, her char­

acteristic make-up, her spirit, and especially her delicate sensitiveness enable her to see the problems of human life in the perspective of the family.

To her is entrusted the protection and preservation of that basic

unit of society and thereby of the whole human race. Among the trends considered inimical to the welfare of the family and to the dignity of woman are certain totalitarian attempts to weaken her influence: Many political movements are turning to woman to win her for their cause. Some totalitarian systems dangle marvelous promises before her eyes: equality of rights with men, care during pregnancy and childbirth; public kitchens and other communal services to free her from some of her household cares; public kindergartens and other institutions maintained and administered by government which relieve her of maternal obliga­ tions toward her own children, free schools and sick b e n e f i t s . 53

51 Ibid., p. 13. 5^ Pope Pius XII, Woman1s Duties in Social and Political Life (Washington: National.Council of Catholic Women, 1945)., 12 pp. 53 Ibid., p. 6.

-1

181

r

-| The value of these services is not decried, but the point at

issue is, that they have not improved the position of woman.

For ex­

ample, equality of rights has led many women to abandon the home and subjected them to the same work strain as men: The end intended by God for the good of all human society, especially for that of the family, is lost sight of. In concessions made to woman one can easily see not respect for her dignity or her mission, but an attempt to foster the economic and military power of the totalitarian state to which all must inexorably be subordinated.^ Nevertheless, the Holy Father recognizes that while woman’s first duty is to the home, modern conditions make it imperative that she also participate in public life, lest the field be left to those who would strike at the very foundation of family life of which she is the guardian. In entering upon the duties of public life, she is the collaborator with man in securing the good of that society in which she shares with him an equal dignity: Each of the two sexes must take the part that belongs to it, according to its nature, special qualities, and physical, intellectual and moral aptitude. Both have the right and duty to cooperate toward the total good of society and of their country.55 Being drawn into contacts outside the home, women have a contri­ bution to make to the welfare of society by the influence of their special talents, particularly in matters which touch on the home or on religion. The difference in the point of view from which problems in these realms are approached by men and women make for a more satisfactory solution. Each is endowed with qualities which make their own peculiar contribution:

^

Loc. cit.

55 Ibid., p. 9. L

_|

182

All this is a question, not so much of distinct assignments, as of the manner of judging and coming to concrete practical con­ clusions. Let us take the case of civil rights: these are at present the same for both, but with how much more discernment and efficacy will they be utilized if man and woman come to complement each other. The sensitiveness and fine feeling proper to woman, which might lead her to judge by her impressions and would thus involve the risk of impeding clarity and breadth of vision, serenity of judgment and forethought for remote consequences, are, on the contrary, of immense help when it is a question of throwing light on the needs, aspirations and , dangers that touch domestic, public welfare or religious spheres.-* Women today have a vast field for their activity.

While their pri­

mary concern is domestic life, they should be fitted to understand how that life might be protected through political and social action.

Though

it were wise to leave to man the duties calling for administrative rigid­ ity, women should apply themselves to those affairs which call for tact, delicacy and maternal instinct.

In some matters, women alone are able to

formulate a policy to. be followed: Who better than she can understand what is needed for the dignity of woman, the integrity and honor of the young girl, and the protection and education of the child? And in all these questions, how many problems call for study and action on the part of governments and legislators. Only a woman will know, for instance, how to temper with kindness, without detriment to its efficacy, legislation to repress licentiousness. She alone can find the means to save from degradation and to raise in honesty and in religious and civil virtues the work of protection and rehabilitation for those freed from prison and for fallen girls. She alone will re-echo from her own heart the plea of mothers from whom the totalitarian state, by whatever name it be called, would will to snatch the education of their children.*' To accomplish the work which is hers as the collaborator of man in society, she must be educated to those things that give her an understand­ ing of the social environment which is the field of her activities.

^ i-

Loc. cit.

57 Ibid., p. 10.

_i

183

rOnly thus equipped is she in a position to influence legislation that will promote the integrity of the family and the good of society: The electoral ballot in the hands of Catholic women is an important means toward the fulfillment of their strict duty in conscience, especially at the present time. The State and politics have, in fact, precisely the office of securing for the family of every social class conditions necessary for them to exist and to evolve as economic, juridical, and moral units.5° It is evident that the aim of general education for responsible living in society is implemented in the proposals of the Holy Father on the political and social duties of women.

The required program in

social science in every Catholic college for women should, therefore, be such as would prepare its students to meet this ideal.

Since con­

temporary social problems are the product of the past, they must therefore be studied in their sources, with imagination and insight and'reasoned judgment supplying the norms for their solution. The type of course suggested as carrying out the purpose of general education in the social sciences is one whose central aim is an under­ standing of American democracy, i.e., the democratic way of life in America.

It would be interdepartmental both as to materials and teaching

staff, under the direction of a coordinator. As it was noted in Chapter IV, the social sciences are given only minor consideration in the programs of the twenty-six colleges in this study.

The nature of the courses required of all students and the number

of colleges making such a requirement are shown in Table XX’ITJL

The social

sciences treated in this table include sociology, economics, and political science.

They exclude history, which was treated under the courses which

58 Ibid., p. 11.

_i

184

are basic to integration.

TABLE XXIX". COURSES IN SOCIAL SCIENCE PRESCRIBED FOR ALL STUDENTS IN THE COLLEGES 1947-48

Course

Number of colleges

Introductory sociology Economics Sociology or economics American government Survey of sociology, economics and political science

4 1 2 1 1

The above table shows that, of the nine colleges making a require- . ment in social science for all students, four, or slightly less than half, required a course in sociology.

The content of such a course quite

consistently Covered the following topics in all the colleges: the origin, development, and function of society; the social influence of heredity and environment; poverty and pauperism; private charity; public relief; causes, punishment and prevention of crime; education and social progress; social change and social control. There was evident in most of the colleges that required courses in sociology, a lack of concern for the functional value of the subject.

For

the most part, the courses were, conducted by the lecture method, and con­ sisted mostly of surveys of the various aspects of the field, with little or no emphasis on their relationship to current problems.

Only one col­

lege supplemented the lectures with discussion of the place of the individ­ ual "under the various aspects of social change.

Other colleges left to

the student the task of making application of theory to practice. Only two colleges that required courses in sociology included the

185 r study of the Papal Encyclicals in the content of the courses. c o lle g e s ,

a n a t t e m p t w a s m ad e t o

a p p ly th e

encyclicals to current situations. th e

s tu d e n t tr a c e d

and th u s a c q u ir e d

p re s e n t

te a c h in g s

in

fo rth

in

th e

Under the direction of the teacher,

s o c ia l d is o r d e r s

tr a in in g

set

n In these

b a s in g

to

th e ir

ro o ts

in

th e

p a s t,

ju d g m e n t s o n r e a s o n e d f a c t s .

None of the colleges required a separate course on the Family for all students.

Such a course could be an excellent means of making

functional the subject matter of sociology, economics and politics, by showing the effects of changes in these fields on family life.

In the

light of the statements of the Holy Father on woman’s responsibilities as the guardian of the home and the family, and on the obligation that is hers of entering public life to protect the rights of the family and the home, a course touching on such problems as divorce, birth control, the working mother, child labor, family adjustments, and the like, all of which affect the stability of society through the family, would seem to be a necessity for all students. One c o l l e g e tw o

c o lle g e s

o ffe re d

o f th e

c o u rs e

to

fo llo w in g

th e

d u c t io n ; c r e d it; a c o u rs e not

one

in

a

e c o n o m ic s a s p e c ts

c o n s u m p tio n in

aspect o f

b e tw e e n

c o n s is te d ,

o f th e

re n t,

n e c e s s a ry to it

s tu d e n ts ,

it

g iv e s

s c ie n c e , fu tu re

e c o n o m ic s f o r

is

th e

f o r th e m ost p a r t , w e a lth ,

life

in te r e s t, s e c u re o n ly

o f th e

v a lu e ,

s tu d e n ts ,

p r o fit

c o u rs e

p ic tu r e

s tu d e n t

d e p r e c ia tio n ;

s o c ia l

s o c ia l

a s p e c t n o t one t h a t

c o n te n t

p ro ­

and w ag es.

by

w h ile

r e la tin g

and p r ic e ;

o f th e in

The

o f to p ic s

in fla tio n ;

a v ie w

a d is to r te d

and t h a t

a ll

s o c i o l o g y a n d e c o n o m ic s .

m oney and e x c h a n g e ;

if

th e

in

s u b je c t:

s o c io lo g y ,

s o c ia l

L a s s o c ia te d w it h

c o u rs e

and w e a lth ;

e c o n o m ic s i s

of a ll

a

c h o ic e

c a p i t a l and la b o r ;

c o v e re d b y

r e q u ir e d

s p e c ifie d

W h ile scene

s c ie n c e

s tr e s s in g is

a s w o u ld b e t h e

as

o n ly

c le a r ly

s u b j e c t _j

186 r

~i

matter of sociology. One college required a course in political science for all students. The content of the course covered the functions of American government, and did not include the theory of government in general.

For this reason

it lacked the value that would accrue to the student if the course had a broader basis.

A required course in political science seems to be

particularly pertinent at the present time since international politics has acquired a permanent place in public affairs.

Theories of govern­

ment, and the role of politics and economics in the international situa­ tion are all relevant to present day problems. One college combined the study of sociology, economics and political science in a survey course.

While there is danger of treating such a

course in a superficial manner, yet if it is confined to the significant aspects of the field, it offers possibilities in the way of giving the student an understanding of the interrelationships between the three divisions of social science, and makes for a balanced background for the understanding of contemporary social problems.

Even such a course as

this, however, should be supplemented by a separate course on the family, in order to give the student the proper perspective that will enable her to fulfill her particular obligations to society through an understanding of the fundamental importance of the family to society.

SUMMARY

The qualities which a prescribed program in general education should possess are five: (l) it should include content from all the areas of learning; (2) it should provide for the non-technical treatment of subject ^matter; (3) it should provide mental training in the methodologies of thought

187

rpeculiar to the various fields of learning; (4) it should cover the

n

significant aspects of knowledge in each field;(5) it should be required for all students. The only field of subject matter required for all students in the colleges was English.

The content of the courses in this field quite con­

sistently included a study of English composition and English literature. The course in literature, however, was'chiefly knowledge about literature rather than knowledge through literature.

Courses in creative writing

were not commonly required, nor were those in forensic writing,

finphasis

on Catholic literature was lacking, and courses in American literature were given very little emphasis. Introduction to the Humanities.

One college required a course in Only two colleges prescribed courses

that might be considered comparable to the course in '’Great Texts in Literature.”

Five colleges prescribed courses in speech for all students.

Although the Harvard Report regards foreign language as a necessary part of humanistic education, and advises advanced study in this field, prescription in foreign language by the colleges was generally limited to the essentials of grammar and to intermediate reading and composition. In only two colleges was work prescribed on that advanced level where the real object of foreign language study is achieved. General education accords an important role to the fine arts. Nevertheless, they play such a very insignificant part in the programs of all students in these colleges that only two institutions made a requirement in this field. Only twenty colleges prescribed courses in the natural sciences for all students, covering the subject matter of chemistry or biology.

The

Lcourses were organized, for the most part, with the future specialist iji

ids r. m mind.

n

Only one college prescribed a "survey51 in science.

Only four colleges required courses in mathematics for all students. In two colleges the courses required covered college algebra and trig­ onometry, and two colleges prescribed a course in mathematical analysis. Probably the greatest weakness in the prescribed programs of the colleges was the lack of emphasis on the social sciences.

Considering

the stress placed by Pope Pius XII on an understanding of woman’s place in the social order, the requirement of prescribed courses in the social sciences by only nine colleges would seem to warrant severe criticism. In the colleges making such a requirement, the offerings were frequently of such a nature as to impart an inadequate understanding of the problems of contemporary society.

L

_l

r

CHAPTER VII

n

SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS

SUMMARY

The general education movement represents a turning point in American higher education*

This fact is borne out by the widespread in­

fluence that the movement has had on educational thinking*

A decade

ago, when the movement was getting under way, interest in the topic of general education was limited to administrators of liberal arts col­ leges, who saw in it a means of restoring the unity in learning which special education had destroyed.

Now, according to the Journal of

General Education* the official organ of the movement, it will cause major modifications in professional and technical education; it will change requirements for graduate degrees, and it will affect the think­ ing and the lives of the people.

It would seem, therefore, to be a

fundamental consideration in the formulation of educational policy in all institutions of higher learning. The Harvard Report, which made its appearance in 1945, gave impetus to the study of the implications of general education.

Revi­

sions of curricula have been going forward in secular institutions, but the literature gives no evidence of the effect of the movement on education in Catholic circles.

This study was therefore undertaken for ✓

the purpose of investigating the current programs of education in a group of Catholic liberal arts colleges for women, to ascertain the de­ gree to which they may be said to carry out the purposes of general edu­ cation* L

The need for general education was created by certain abuses _J

190 rfchat crept into educational practices when the demands of mass educa-

“1

tion, the increase of specialized knowledge, and a technological civili­ zation placed undue emphasis on the utilitarian purpose of education, and neglected the common or social purpose, which is the unifying force in a culture.

The fragmentation of the school system into a maze of in­

stitutions pursuing separate purposes and performing separate functions in keeping with the demands of mass education; the fragmentation of learning into separate divisions and 'sub-divisions in keeping with the increase of specialized knowledge, and the fragmentation of the indi­ vidual's personality through the limited mental stimulation of techno­ logical occupations, had their repercussion in a fragmentation of society into groups of persons pursuing separate specialties, and with no basis of common purposes or common standards.

The results of these

abuses became apparent during the depression years of the early 1930's, when that period of economic crisis focused attention on the responsi­ bilities of the school to society. Education for those activities that are common to all members of society requires that each individual possess a common understanding of common purposes and a common way of thinking, of communieating thought, of judging and of acting in matters affecting the common good. This is the aim of general education, which seeks to educate each in­ dividual for those common pursuits as directly and as thoroughly as special education prepares him for his individual pursuits. General education is defined in positive terns as preparation for living, in contrast to special education, which is preparation for making a living.

It concerns those aspects of non-specialized and nonvoeational

learning which should be the common experience of all educated men and L

- I

191

‘women.

It attempts to connect man with man, the present with the past n

and with the future, and thus offset the divisive influence which special education, important as it is, exerts on society.

General education is

liberal education directed to the purposes of democracy. General education has five characteristics:

it is (1) compre­

hensive education; (2) it is integrated education; (3) it is prescribed education; (4) it is education of the "whole man”; (5) it is functional education. The most prominent characteristic of general education is com­ prehensiveness.

This quality seeks to establish a broad foundation of

learning, through knowledge of all the areas which encompass man*s edu­ cational needs, namely, the natural sciences, through which he acquires an understanding of his physical environment; the social sciences, through which he gains an understanding o f his social environment and human institutions; and the humanities, through which he arrives at an understanding of himself, in his ideals and aspirations.

The Catholic

concept of education includes these divisions of learning, butirakes explicit that man is basically a spiritual being, endowed with reason and free will*

In the field of the humanities, it places religion and

philosophy in a separate category as constituting the means whereby man gains an understanding of his relations to God and his consequent moral responsibilities. The second most prominent characteristic of general education is integration, by means of which all learning is formed into a unified body of knowledge with respect to an inclusive body of knowledge which permeates the several fields of learning.

In the Catholic concept of

education, these unifying elements are supplied by history, by religion, L

—^

End by philosophy.

History gives perspective to man*s understanding of"1

the present; religion relates man as subject and as creature to his Law­ giver and First Principle, which is God; and philosophy relates the changing conditions and seeming disorders of society to the universal, unchanging principles of a coherent, orderly universe.

Integration,

therefore, is an intellectual process by which knowledge is unified through a recognition of relationships between the several fields of knowledge and a basic body of knowledge supplied by history, religion, and philosophy.

These three fields constitute the binding force between

all learning and man*s understanding of his world. The third characteristic of general education is prescription, which attempts to establish a common body of knowledge through content that is organized according to a central idea and that contributes to a common goal.

The dominant idea in prescription is the mental train­

ing that comes from the methodology of knowledge in the various areas of learning; the common goal is the understanding of man and his envi­ ronment that comes from the interpretation of those facts of knowledge that are a significant part of the cultural heritage. program should have the following qualities:

A prescribed

(!) it should represent

all the areas of learning; (2) it should provide for the non-teehnical treatment of subject matter; (3) it should train in the methodologies of thought peculiar to the several fields of learning; (4) it should deal with those aspects of knowledge that have had significance through the ages; (5) it should be required for all students. A fourth characteristic of general education looks to the complete development of all the powers of the individual.

These powers are encompassed

in man*s five-fold nature: religious, intellectual, moral, aesthetic, and

193 r»

“ i

physical. A fifth characteristic of general education is concerned with the application of learning to the everyday activities of life.

It attempts

to make classroom learning functional, by helping the student to make the transition from thought to action, from theory to practice.

This

is accomplished by relating the content of courses to the student!s life at every possible point. The five characteristics of general education just enumerated are those which it seeks to make a part of the education of the "largest possible number of future citizens."

It is therefore democratic rather

than aristocratic in its view of the student body it serves. The study of the requirements and educational offerings in the twenty-six colleges participating in this study revealed that, in prin­ ciple, the student body in these colleges were representative of the one envisaged by the proponents of general education in so far as the students in these colleges were selected from among those who gave evi­ dence of possessing aptitude to profit by higher education.

However,

there was considerable difference of opinion regarding the nature of that "aptitude."

The views of the administrators regarding the selec­

tion of students were, for the most part, more exclusive than that advocated by general education.

More than half the administrators favored

limiting admission to "intellectual leaders", and placed emphasis on "excellence" rather than on "equity." Comprehensive learning was considered a goal of education in all the colleges, but in actual practice it was secondary to the considera­ tion of students1 special interests. Requirements in religion, philosophy, and history indicated that^

194 r

>

the value of these subjects as integrating factors was generally over­

“ i

looked; they functioned merely for the purpose of fulfilling the requirements outside the field of specialisation.

Courses in religion

were required for all students, but there was no particular course that was a common requirement in all the colleges.

The credit hours required

hardly sufficed in some cases to establish a basic understanding of religion sufficient for the purposes of integration. required in all but one college.

Philosophy was.

With the exception of logic and

ethics, which were a requirement in all the colleges, no common body of knowledge distinguished the requirements in philosophy in these colleges. The unifying function of history was not generally recognized.

Six

colleges made no requirement in this subject for all students, and the content of the courses in the other colleges indicated no agreement on the value of the subject as an integrating element. Aesthetic education was provided in only two colleges, through a requirement in the fine arts.

Since moral education, or character edu­

cation, is of the essence of education in a Catholic college, character training, in the Catholic concept of that term, was provided in all the colleges.

Functional learning was provided through the activities of

the extra-curricular program, but the widespread organization of class­ room instruction on a functional basis was lacking in the colleges, except as individual teachers saw fit to incorporate it into their teaching.

The value of discussion in promoting functional learning was

recognized in those colleges that had organized discussion clubs on an extra-curricular basis.

In most colleges, plans were under way to incor­

porate discussion in the instructional procedure in the classroom. General education hopes to achieve its aims by revamping present^

195

curricula and methods which are inconsistent with its purposes*

Since n

an examination of the literature expounding the aims of general educa­ tion reveals all of them as falling within the existing framework of the Catholic philosophy of education, an examination of the programs of a group of Catholic colleges revealed the extent to which these purposes were being achieved in the programs of these colleges*

Consultation

with the academic deans as policy makers, and appraisal of curricula as concrete application of policy, led to the following conclusions with respect to the characteristics of general education in these colleges and the type of student body for which the educational program in these colleges is intended* CONCLUSIONS An examination of current literature, and a realistic view of the contemporary social and economic situation indicate that a new type of student body is seeking admission to college*

This trend is due, in

part, to the social prestige ofJthe baccalaureate degree, and, to an even greater degree, t o the limited opportunity for post-high school employ­ ment.

Obviously, there exists a need for viewing the policies and prac­

tices of higher education in the light of this •’new" student body. Academic standards need not be sacrificed, however, if the ob­ jectives of college education are re-stated in terms of the new type of student.

The aims to be achieved may involve revision of curricula and

of teaching practice.

The present situation seems to call for an adjust­

ment of means to end, but the means which formerly applied only to the intellectual "leader” discriminate against the "follower" that now makes jap a portion of the student body.

196

r

Those administrators, therefore, who are unwilling to recognize n

the passing of an era in higher education, and who expect to limit higher education to the intellectual leader, are failing to meet the challenge that is presented.

This is.the challenge of general educa­

tion, namely, that of f1extending to as many future citizens as possible*’ the benefits of an education ”in the liberal and humane tradition*’* It is an opportunity that, if grasped, will solve the ever-recurring problem of social solidarity. The basic concept of general education is preparation for a responsible life in society.

Such preparation requires a breadth of

learning that is commensurate with the responsibilities of adult citi­ zenship.

Obviously, this primary objective calls for an education that

encompasses all the areas of knowledge.

In view of the new type of

student body that is entering the college, from high schools that have ever-shifting programs and policies, a consciously-planned program of comprehensive learning seems to be a need.

The college constitutes a

new approach to learning, and it is therefore in a position to counter­ act, to some extent, the limitations of secondary school preparation. Comprehensiveness in general education attempts to provide for a diversified, multiplied, and democratic student body by extending the scope of its offerings over all the fields of knowledge, and thereby establishing a basis for common understandings and providing for unity in variety.

These aims are not only compatible with, but implicit

in those of the perennial Catholic philosophy of education.

Neverthe­

less, they are not co-extensive with Catholic aims, for they do not touch upon the supernatural frontiers of Catholic education, limited as they are by a philosophy of man which does not go beyond the purely L

-1

197 v

natural.

~i

Therefore, comprehensiveness m the Catholic college is

potentially perfect. . In actual practice, however, comprehensiveness in.the programs of the Catholic colleges participating in the present study, leaves much to be desired.

In many colleges participating in this study, considera­

tion of students* special interests dominated the distribution require­ ments, and limited both the quality and the quantity of the requirements in non-specialized fields. The principle of integration is implicit in the Catholic concept of education, recognizing, as it does, the value of religion, philosophy, and history as the basie body of knowledge which permeates and unifies all the fields of learning.

Secular thought pays tribute to Catholic

education as possessing, in Christianity, the integrating factor par excellence, yet in the programs of the colleges participating in this study, its value in this capacity was not fully recognized.

The required

courses in religion contained no common content in all the colleges, and the prescription in credit hours varied considerably among the colleges. The requirements in history and philosophy also showed a considerable variation in emphasis among the colleges, and history, as an integrating factor, was given no recognition in seme of the colleges.

It was clear

that the programs in these three fields were not planned with the pur­ poses of integration in view, for there was no evident basic pattern according to which the requirements were made. General education is education with an Hover-allM pattern.

It

prescribes for all students certain courses of universal value, organ­ ized around a central idea and contributing to a common goal:

training

^in right thinking and the intelligent appreciation of significant

^

198

Aspects of human culture.

Since this aim is identical with that of the"1

liberal education which has been the traditional education of the Cath­ olic college, one might be justified in assuming that the principles advocated by the new emphasis on general education were already in force in these colleges.

However, the data set forth in this study reveals

this assumption to be false. The only field of study prescribed for all students in these colleges was English.

Courses in English composition and English litera­

ture fulfilled the requirement in most of the colleges,

While the courses

in English composition and rhetoric corresponded to the norms of general education, the courses in literature generally ignored them.

Such

courses were organized with the view to providing knowledge about litera­ ture, especially English literature, rather than knowledge through lit­ erature, especially world literature.. General education sees in foreign language something more than a tool, and would have studies in this field press beyond the elementary stage in order to furnish "vitality in humanistic training which is the root of insight."

But only two colleges prescribed work on the level

on which this aim is achieved. The fine arts are classified in general education as "an academic discipline analogous in method and value to the study of literature or of philosophy,"

But in the educational policies of these colleges, the

values of the visual arts and music are not defined, and requirements in this area are conspicuous for their absence in all but two colleges. For the purpose of general education, a sharp distinction is made between science and technology, between knowing and doing, as be­ tween ends and means. In the colleges participating in this study, the^

199 r*

~i

Content and methodology of courses prescribed in science were generally

the same for all students, and adjusted to the needs of future special** ists and technologists.

Since twenty of the twenty-six colleges made

general requirements in the natural sciences, it is gratifying to note that serious efforts were being made by most of the colleges to construct introductory courses in the field, designed to serve both the general student and the future specialist. Although mathematics is recognized as playing a unique and in­ trinsic role in general education, since no other discipline develops manfs logical faculties to the same degree of rationality, it is given scant consideration by the colleges in this study. For the purposes of general education, the social sciences are placed on a level with the humanities and the natural sciences.

Long

before the general education movement got under way, various Popeshad made official statements emphasizing the need for the study of social problems in the light of basic principles.

The present Pontiff has

made a special appeal to Catholic women to engage in study and action in this field. One would expect to find required in every Catholic college for women a well-rounded program in social science adequate to meet the objectives set up not only by the Harvard Report, but also by the present Pontiff himself.

Nevertheless, only 15 per cent of the

colleges required courses in sociology, and in these courses there was a general lack of concern for the functional aspects of the subject and its relation to current problems.

Both general education and the Catholic philosophy of education, as expounded by Pope Pius XI, are in agreement on the necessity of ^educating the "whole?’man, although the meaning attributed to the term

^

200

r differs.

The seeular view refers to the natural man.

The Christian

H

view calls for the development of the whole natural man, but on a super­ natural level.

The programs in the colleges participating in this study

recognized the necessity for developing the five-fold nature of man: religious, intellectual, moral, aesthetic, and physical.

In the field

of aesthetic education, however, they failed to give to the fine arts the emphasis which would seem to be required in a program of education in a Catholic college for women. Theoretically, the concern of general education with transfer of learning to everyday activities of life is also the concern of Catholic education.

The characteristic of general education which many adminis­

trators recognized as lacking in their programs was that of functional learning.

They realized that the aptitude of making relevant judgments

cannot be developed by theoretical teaching, and for that reason many colleges were planning to organize the material of instruction so as to provide more opportunity for classroom discussion.

In some colleges

this was being done in an informal way by teachers in various subjectmatter fields, such as English, where interpretation of secular thought was made in the light of Catholic principles.

The value of discussion

was recognized in those colleges that had organized discussion clubs as a part of their extra-curricular programs.

For the most part, func­

tional learning was confined to the extra-curricular activities of the colleges, particularly through departmental clubs and Catholic Action groups. The status of general education in the colleges participating in the present study might be summarized as follows: L

Education was available to all who gave evidence of aptitude to _j

201

profit by higher education.

However, there was considerable difference”1

of opinion regarding the nature of this "aptitude."

Students ranking in

the upper four-fifths of the high school class were admitted to some of the colleges in the group. Comprehensive programs of study for every student had not yet been achieved in all the colleges.

The demands of specialized education

seemed to be the most frequent cause for the limited scope of the program. There was no basic plan of integration in the colleges, although all the colleges offered courses in religion, philosophy, and history, which, if properly organized and required for all students, would function as a basic program for the integration of all knowledge. The prescribed program of studies for all students did not cover all the fields of knowledge.

It was inadequate as a program for the

general student, since the viewpoint from which most of the courses were taught was that of the future specialist. The aims and purposes of general education have not yet crystallized to the point where they have influenced the organization of the curriculum in these colleges.

The declaration made by some of the administrators

that Catholic colleges have always given a general education is not borne out by the findings of this study. The characteristics of general education are not discernible in the programs of the colleges studied, notwithstanding the fact that the ob­ jectives of general education have always been implicit in the Catholic theory of education.

It is gratifying to. note, however, that there is

a widespread interest in, and appreciation of, general education on the part of the administrators who were interviewed for this study.

The

proper approaches to general education seem to be understood, and it is_,

202

r the opinion of the investigator that most of the administrators will

I

formulate a program of comprehensive, integrated, and prescribed studies which, applying to all students in these colleges, will help each of them to live the full, responsible life in society that is the goal of general education.

L

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VITA

Name

Sister Margaret Loretto Ryan, S.C.

Date of Birth

March 13, 1900

Place of Birth

Cincinnati, Ohio

High School Graduation

Cathedral High School June, 1917

College Degree Graduat ion

College of Mount St. Joseph-on-the-Ohio Bachelor of Arts June, 1933

Graduate School Degree Graduation

Columbia University Master of Arts August, 1936

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LIST OF COLLEGES PARTICIPATING IN THE PRESENT STUDY Albertus Magnus College, New Haven, Connecticut Caldwell College for Women, Caldwell, New JerseyChestnut Hill College, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania College Misericordia, Dallas, Pennsylvania College of Mount St.Vincent, New York, N.Y. College of New Rochelle, New Rochelle,- N. Y. College of Notre Dame of Maryland, Baltimore, Maryland College of St. Elizabeth, Convent Station, New Jersey College of St. Rose, Albany, N. Y. Dunbarton College, Washington, D. C. D ’Youville College, Buffalo, N. Y. Snmanuel College, Boston, Mass. Good Counsel College, White Plains, N. Y. Marymount College, Tarrytown-on-Hudson, N. Y. Ladycliff College, Highland Falls, N. Y„ Manhattanville College of the Sacred Heart, New York, N.Y. Immaculata College, Immaculata, Pennsylvania Marywood Cpllege, Scranton, Pennsylvania Nazareth College, Rochester, N. Y. Notre Dame College of Staten Island, Staten Island, N.Y. Regis College, Weston, Mass. Rosemont College, Rosanont, Pennsylvania St. Joseph’s College for Women, Brooklyn, N.Y. St. JosephfeCollege, Emmitsburg, Maryland Seton Hill College, Greensburg, Pennsylvania Trinity College, Washington,D;C.