The bulletin of Atlanta University
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Number 194_______ Atlanta, Georgia November, 1909 Vocational and Cultural Education From the Address of President Ware at the Negro State Fair in Macon In Public Schools [sch]ools of America, from the [sc]hool to the university, are subjected to a critical ex-determine whether or not perly preparing men and their share of life's work blic education which will nldren of the state to take n the economic world, is nd. Prof. George Albert says: "It is now held that, besides siting its pupils for intelligent citizenship the school should be a constructive and vitalizing power in the whole struggle for human betterment: that this end can not be reached apart from the economic adjustment of the pupil after he leaves the school, and that the pupil should be led on from school-life to his occupation without a reversal of conditions or of ideals. Industrial and commercial training as a preparation for specific types of occupation must therefore be introduced in some form into our system of public education." This is what Dr. Coe calls the wider view of the function of the state in education. Already many of the best public school systems have been organized in accordance with this view, and there is constant progress in this direction. Without doubt this is a wholesome movement and should have every encouragement. It goes without saying, however, that the citizens of no state should be limited to such vocational training alone. This would mean a narrower view of the function of the state. The limitations of the older formal common school education are marked by the many who quit school as soon as the law allows, and find themselves unprepared for any gainful occupation. The strength of the older education is in those few who find their powers, and go on through high-school and college and professional school to lives of the largest usefulness. We must have the trade schools; but, along with them, we must have more and better common schools to prepare for further study. We must not confound the two and expect the boy who has studied the grammar-school courses alone to prove himself at once an expert workman; nor must we expect the students of a trade-school to enter into competition with those trained to be teachers. In Colleges But this is not alone a question of public education. In the colleges the matter is being discussed with great earnestness. How far should the college course be simply a course for culture; how far should it be a preparation for the work of the professional school to follow ? President Lowell of Harvard thinks that the college should develop the power for sustained mental labor which may afterwards be used in the special profession; "that the best type of liberal education in our complex modern world aims at producing men who know a little of everything and something well." President Had-ley of Yale says, "The ideal college education seems to me to be one where a student learns things that he is not going to use in after life, by methods that he is going to use. The former element gives the breadth, the latter element gives the training." And further President Hadley explains that there are among men several distinct types of mind easily discernible. The young man with the scientific type of mind should be encouraged to take such subjects as will develop skill in the scientific method and at the same time give him a breadth of interest. The literary and practical types of mind should be similarly encouraged. This shows the advantage of teaching him to study things that he is not going to use by methods that he is going to use. In the larger universities the whole question resolves itself into how the student may, by his own choice or by the grouping of studies for him, be encouraged to elect courses which shall at the same time give him genuine culture and prepare him to make a living in some useful occupation or profession. In Negro Schools and Colleges In the Negro colleges, all of which are small compared with Yale or Harvard, it is not possible to offer a large choice of electives. For those of the scientific type of mind we now offer at Atlanta University a college course in Mechanic Arts, with a view to preparing teachers in industrial schools or candidates for such positions as that of building contractor or mechanical engineer. But for the most part we must, because of our limited resources and equipment, lay down a course of classical education from which there is no great deviation. I can not here enter into a defense of the time-honored classical discipline which has proved in the past and now proves to be one of the best if not the best mill for the turning out of men. So great has been the ridicule heaped upon the Negro who takes the formal academic training that we are in danger of overlooking, in the heat of our defence, the vital importance of the education which is more immediately practical. It is not a question with us who are working in this field so much of harmonizing the vocational and cultural in one institution as it is the question of appreciating and co-operating with and helping the man who has on his shoulder the other end of the burden which we are trying to lift. We can not lift it unless we heave together. Education for All If a liberal education does nothing else it should give to those who possess it, whether teachers or pupils, a broad horizon and an appreciation of the value of every effort toward social betterment. In an address on Culture and the American College, President Hadley said: "Of the public importance of culture in this broad sense there can be no question at all. Without it the people will pursue small things instead of large ones—will be dazzled by immediate success or daunted by immediate difficulties, until they lose their way (Continued on page 2.)
|Title||The bulletin of Atlanta University, 1909 no. 194|
Universities & colleges
|Description||The bulletin of Atlanta University was a publication sent to faculty, friend and alumni of the institution; Telling of the institution's progress and present needs. This issue is November 1909, no. 194.|
|Holding Library||Robert W. Woodruff Library of the Atlanta University Center|