Higher Commercial Education

IN the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society in 1798, Sir George Shuckburgh-Evelyn, in a scientific discussion of weights and standards, ventured to introduce a table of prices. He felt obliged to apologize for this fall to a lower level, by saying, “However I may appear to descend below the dignity of philosophy in such commercial researches, I trust I shall find favor with the historian, at least, and the antiquary.” This is but a hint as to the way in which the study of the practical affairs of life, even down to our own generation, has been regarded by the managers of the old-fashioned and stereotyped education ; nor can it be said that we have fully escaped from this attitude of mind, even at the present day.

The traditional college education of the past was intended only for certain of the learned professions, particularly the ministry. It is unnecessary to recall how universally, until our own generation, the backbone of a college training was made up of the non-resilient Latin, Greek, philosophy, and mathematics. These subjects remained the vertebrae of college education during the whole period down to the introduction of the elective system. When liberty of choice and an extension of the courses of study were introduced, they were regarded somewhat in the nature of a veritable surgical operation, of so serious a kind that the doctors wagged their heads and wondered whether the patient would survive. Even Mr. Lowell, after his return from the Court of St. James, was skeptical of the new banquet spread for unappreciative guests. I heard him telling, jocosely, in an after-dinner speech in Cambridge, how he met an acquaintance (of dubious standing), whose cheerful face and happy demeanor led him to ask the cause of such exuberant felicity. “ Why,” said the genial smiler, “ I’ve discovered a way to make my fortune. We all know that the reason for the fine flavor of the wild duck is the wild celery on which it feeds. Now I propose to feed it to the domestic duck, and supply the market.” Some weeks later, on meeting his acquaintance again, Mr. Lowell found him quite depressed and inconsolable. “ Why are you looking so unhappy ? I thought, the last time I saw you, that you were on the point of making your fortune with ducks. Wouldn’t it work?” “No,” was the reply, “ the d—d things won’t eat it.”

But the elective system, which is now generally adopted by every institution having means to supply the expensive menu, was, after all, but the beginning of a recognition granted to what one might call the new learning. There had come into existence a growing body of new knowledge, especially in the fields of science and, in addition, new problems were projecting themselves on the economic and political horizons. Insensibly, during the last twenty-five years, one new subject after another has crept into the university curriculum ; and, with general acquiescence, each has demonstrated by trial its right to live as an accepted means of academic discipline. Indeed, the time has long gone by when any one would be inclined to question the value of modern science, economics, political science, and the like, as effective instruments for training the mind and creating the intellectual grip called for in efficient public service. They have been in the past placed on an equal footing with the subjects of the old curriculum, and have proved themselves in no respect inferior. Admittedly, economics would not give the same training, for example, as the classics; but it slowly dawned on the academic consciousness that the classics alone, even when added to philosophy and mathematics, were not a complete nor the only means of education. There are many sides to the mind, there are many persons with very different mental preferences and characteristics, and these variations bid for various studies to suit their several needs. Candid observers felt it to be but reasonable to admit that the old learning had been narrow and quite too limited to fit all sorts of students.

Naturally, the conservative elements intrenched in our institutions of learning saw through a glass darkly, and regarded the influx of the Piets and Scots of commercial life as a menace to culture ; it was felt that the new learning had only revenue as its immediate purpose, instead of culture ; that, as the old learning had been the means of bringing to successful fruition the great scholars of the past, to give up the old scheme of studies was to give up the accepted standards of scholarship. The other side contended that as no scholar had ever had any but the old form of training, it was illogical to argue that it was the one safe system ; no comparisons could be made with any other process of development. Moreover, appeal was made to the fact that, if the aim of education was to cultivate intellectual grip and power, the subjects of the new learning had proved to be as good instruments of education as the old. In struggles with difficulties encountered in the new studies, the student could be taught — in fact, is being taught — the judicial spirit, the love of truth, the passion for learning, accuracy, and a sense of form, quite as effectively in the pursuit of any other studies. Tt was practically a question of applying the same good teaching to the new as to the old to obtain much the same admirable results. Hence, if the old and the new learning stood on an equal basis as regards cultural and disciplinary efficiency, it might with reason and justice be claimed that the new learning had in addition the great and preponderant advantage for the student of preparing him directly for the real problems in the practical life which he must live after leaving the university.

Yet the natural development of these new forces in our educational system have been impeded by a state of things in our institutions which is little short of startling. The discrepancy between the amount of force exerted and the limited amount of achievement may well give us pause. What is this situation which is of a nature so surprising? Why is the outcome so far short of what it ought to be ?

By way of taking our bearings, let us try to get an objective view of our general educational attitude and of the direction in which we are moving. Much has been said, and justly said, of the splendid advances made in graduate study, and of the accompanying higher standards of scholarship, which have been shown within the last few decades in our American universities. But what of this movement as touching upon the relations of the university to the public, especially as regards the professional work of the community ? Great as is the improvement in scholarship, great as are the new foundations and endowments, it would be false to the facts not to be willing to admit that this enlarged machinery of the academic departments has, in its relation to the professions, practically been confined to the preparation of men and women for the single profession of teaching ; that is, much the larger part of the enormous foundations, of the extensive and splendid educational plants in the departments of liberal arts, in this country, are mainly given over to the formation of an advanced normal school for teachers in schools and colleges. Do not understand me as decrying the admirable results of general culture obtained (by such as find it) from these studies that have no professional object. Not all bachelors of arts teach, we admit; but for those who do not, and who enter a business life, it is by no means clear that the curriculum, beyond its cultural quality, gives them the training needed for their future careers. As a pis alter, any new graduate of moderate scholarship can enter teaching as a profession ; but how many would have an equal efficiency in banking, or railway management, or trade and industry ? Perhaps I may be thought to have confused non-professional with professional study ; that I am really concerned with the work of professional schools. But the advanced work of the graduate schools, in the general field of literature, arts, and science, has become without question practically a training course for professional teachers ; and the undergraduate work has been very largely influenced thereby. Almost never does a man go on to the degree of Master of Arts or of Doctor of Philosophy who has any other aim than teaching. This is, undoubtedly, the situation of today. Consequently, the obvious question is raised whether, apart from training investigators, the present endowments of our universities are not applied, out of all proportion, to one traditional profession to the neglect of others as much or more important to the life of the nation.

Why not ask ourselves frankly this question : Cannot even the undergraduate work of the university be so ordered and taught that the youth of this land (who now pass from the high school to the counting house) may obtain from the new courses, which they can be persuaded to take primarily as a means to fit themselves for active business life, the same general cultural gains as have been secured from the old courses ? No one believes that the courses in law and medicine (that is, the scientific and biological subjects), simply because they have a professional aim, have no cultural effects. Indeed, if we could introduce the earnestness of the professional student into the undergraduate work, it would be a signal gain. Moreover, as previously shown, the subjects of the new learning have proved to be equal to those of the old in their disciplinary and cultural efficiency. Certainly the work done for the arts degree ought not to be monopolized for one special and limited constituency ; since, without derogation of the needs and value of that constituency, the college course should be assumed to have aims touching many more constituencies.

But when we pass from the college curriculum to that of the professional schools, the limitations of our educational system are even more apparent. Considering the actual work of the world, the means of preparation for it are sadly out of joint. It will be found, on a little reflection, that certain professions have in the past obtained recognition and munificent endowments quite as a matter of tradition and precedence, and not after a careful weighing of their importance relatively to other constituencies. The country now has well-supported schools for the training of men in war, medicine, law, and technology ; but it is quite within the truth to maintain that no one of these interests has as much influence upon the actual work and welfare of the people as those connected with railways alone, to say nothing of the wider field of trade and industry. More than three quarters of all the persons engaged in gainful occupations in the United States are occupied in agriculture, fisheries, mining, manufacturing, mechanics, trade, and transportation. The problems involved in the management, adjustment, development, and well-being of this preponderant mass of the active population of this country present altogether the greatest and most important tasks to be dealt with in the new century. Leaders and the public must be given instruction until they can think clearly on these subjects of every-day concern.

It goes without saying that, as the world moves on, new constituencies and new demands arise ; but it is not the less our duty to readjust our educational forces to the new needs. Indeed, the relationship of the university to the new learning is at once the most obvious and the most pressing educational question of the day. On general grounds it is selfevident that the university must be regarded as a trustee, holding its vast educational funds not for one part, but for the whole of the great public. This ceases to be a glittering generality, and assumes a new phase, when we recall that the greater institutions of the country have, in nearly every case, obtained their munificent foundations from those who have been successful in the walks of trade and industry ; and yet, strange to say, these very institutions have, in the past, done little or nothing to prepare men for the very occupations from which they have obtained the actual means of existence. It is startling to think how little influence the universities of to-day have had in training the great men in the constituencies of banking, railways, insurance, trade and industry, diplomacy, journalism, and politics.

The nature of the new education which this wide-awake century demands of us might be illustrated, without going too much into detail, by referring again to only one of the constituencies above mentioned. It should be possible to distinguish between that which is purely technical and that which is mainly managerial. While a school of mechanical engineering is required to fit a man for the practical parts of railroading, there exists in that profession a far more important career for the man who is competent to direct the traffic, classify goods, fix rates, watch the coming financial depression, know the signs of coming prosperity, have insight into as well as experience with the questions of labor and the relations of employers to employees, understand the duties as well as the privileges of corporations, and who has the masterly mind to devise and carry out great financial operations involved in the management of securities on a scale hitherto unprecedented. It may be said that such men are made, not educated ; but, similarly, we admit that even a born lawyer must study the principles and precepts of jurisprudence in order to do his work. The duties of a railway manager could not be met by a man of purely technical or engineering training ; he must be schooled mainly in the courses of legal, political, and economic science. In these departments there is as distinct a body of disciplinary material for the railway manager as there is in the courses of the law school for the lawyer. And just as in the best law schools the primary object is, not to give technical skill in drawing up papers or to furnish the detailed pleadings of the courts, but to train men to think, to apply precedents to particular cases, — in short, to get legal grasp and power, — so, also, in the preparation for these practical professions, emphasis is to be put not upon the technical details of subordinate and auxiliary processes, but upon the capacity to bring a seasoned and practical intellect to the management and conduct of great practical problems.

To take another illustration, a preparation for banking should not be a drill in technical bookkeeping, or teaching a messenger how to carry a bag of gold in safety from one institution to auother. The essential purpose of education leading up to such a profession would be a training in the principles affecting the problems which necessarily arise in local, national, and international banking. There are principles of money and credit underlying these phenomena often not understood even by many bank officials. The man who has been taught how to approach such problems, to work out solutions, to apply power and grasp of large and important subjects, must, in the end, prove an infinitely better head of a bank than he who has come slowly forward from the window of an accountant or teller, and whose professional education has consisted of the chance events brought to his attention in the round of daily business. Men of this latter description will become accurate, steady, and useful to the institution in minor positions ; but if promoted to high posts they will be found to know really nothing beyond the dry husks of their professional experience or a personal acquaintance with their constituency. The recruiting of high officials in this fashion accounts for the prevalence of so much lagging conservatism and ignorant timidity in regard to burning monetary questions of the day.

If these great divisions of our practical life have been slightly regarded by the universities, it must be charged up to the account of inertia and a failure to keep in touch with the intellectual demands of a changing world. Such a situation, once it has been called to the attention of a people who pride themselves on being shrewd and enterprising, must certainly appear amazing. But has this situation anything to do with our other question ? Why has there not been more product from our educational tilling?

Doubtless many instructors in all the higher institutions of learning would be able to bear regretful testimony to a falling off in the high level of ability of those students who present themselves for graduate work. The explanation is not far to seek. If the fact be granted, the rut in which our university education has been traveling goes far to explain it. To the virile and enterprising spirits who are tempted by the great rewards of banking, railways, insurance, trade and industry, the universities have — at least not until very recently — offered no inducements. If their purpose, apart from general culture, be not to enter law, divinity, or medicine, where can they go for training except to schools of technology ? And yet the engineering, chemical, mining, electrical, and similar courses are solely and properly technical. They cannot attempt to provide the managerial education demanded ; nor has it been provided as yet. Therefore the result was to have been expected. If the college and graduate departments have used their advanced courses mainly to create professional teachers ; if the endowed professional schools are only for clergymen, lawyers, doctors, or technologists, it follows as a matter of course that the powerful and ambitious youth of the land, who are drawn to the exploitation of our new resources, have little inducement to come to the university. It is a matter of common remark that never before in our history have the undeveloped resources of the United States bidden higher for power, skill, and intelligence than now. Never in our history have the industries of our country yielded more enormous returns from the introduction of new methods, better organization, and high executive ability than now. To the men who can officer these enterprises large material rewards are offered, and they are not likely to be less tempting in the future.

If, then, apart from affording general means of culture, the college and graduate work continue to be confined largely to preparing advanced teachers, it is evident that our universities will become more and more detached from the real world around them. Teaching,1 and even the so-called learned professions, do not begin to bold out the inducements to capable young men which are offered by the new fields of active life. That this class of persons do not come up to the university for college work, because that work per se will not train them for their future careers, is a trite statement. But why should not the colleges and the graduate school offer them courses as useful to their purposes as are now offered to the professional teacher ? This is the true way to bridge the chasm between gown and desk. It is to be hoped that in the end this process will help to remove from the minds of business men the old distrust of academic training, as well as from the minds of the academic class the condescending attitude toward men of affairs.

Provided it be convinced of its shortcomings, can the penitent university turn over a new leaf ? Can it undertake to furnish the practical means of training men for the neglected professions ? There is no question that it is worth doing; but is it practicable ? Or should we fall back on the assumption that a course of so-called “ cultural,” non-commercial work is all in all the best foundation for active business life ?

As to its practicability no new demonsti*ations are necessary. To the leaders of university policy — supposedly educational experts — is given the duty of deciding in detail upon the subjects, the methods of instruction, and the fitness of instructors. The task is partly a new one; but it is certainly no more difficult of execution than that which has already been met in working out the most efficient training for law or medicine. Many of the needed subjects have already found a place in the university classroom. Time and experience will bring changes and improvements in any original scheme of study.

Doubtless there is, or may be, a suspicion attached to the curricula of such a system, on the ground that “ commercial ” studies will lower the standard of scholarship, and bring in an era of courses “ for revenue only; ” or that the classical and scholarly activities of the university will be submerged by an avalanche of students having only a material point of view. All these objections are more imaginary than real. As has been mentioned before, such subjects of the new learning, as economic and political science, have been for a quarter of a century gladly welcomed alongside the traditional classics, philosophy and mathematics; nor in all these years has it ever been suggested that these new subjects were not equally effective with those of the old learning in giving discipline and mental grip. They have established their right to live, not merely because they bear on the problems of the neglected professions above mentioned, but because they are admirable instruments of culture; because they force men to think on the subjects with which they must deal in their professions; because (under good instructors) they cultivate accuracy of statement, precision, logic, the judicial spirit, the love of truth, and a sense of form. What more can be said of any other part of the accepted university work ? Certainly these new courses will not have changed their disciplinary quality because they may be grouped and arranged as parts of an orderly system leading up to the industrial professions of our country.

Nor is there any ground, in my judgment, for supposing that the university would be submerged by a swarm of men having, not cultural, but commercial aims. If the class who do not now come up to the university should be offered the advantages of the new education, of course, the cultural gains for them must come out of the work which they must take primarily as a preparation for business. This new constituency will come to the university — if it comes at all — only because they can there get a genuine advantage over the untrained throughout their subsequent careers in trade and industry. Here in itself is a principle of selection which will act as a safeguard. Furthermore, if there is a present tendency for the most powerful elements of the community to go into business, then it stands to reason that, if such men are induced to come to the university for their training, the university will be the gainer rather than the loser. Any one who has ever been in business knows that the mental force and power shown by men in that walk of life is in general superior to that in academic life. In all justice, this class has as much — if not more — right to be considered as that engaged in teaching or any similar profession. This is the body of persons who would introduce new and vitalizing blood into the student community, much to the advantage of all. If there is any health in the old studies, they will hold their own in contact with the new ; if the new constituencies are mainly recruited from origins characterized by force, while the old come from those of culture, students who come primarily for professional gains will carry away cultural results as well. The university will draw to itself new constituencies without losing the old ones ; it will fit for all instead of for a few professions; it will bring force to the cultural elements, and culture to the forceful elements. In a true sense, then, will an institution become a university, not merely because it teaches many things, but because it successfully fits its students to solve their respective problems in all parts of the life which they must live after leaving the university.

It may not be amiss at this point to give some typical courses of study already adopted in some of our universities.2 Once admitted to the School of Commerce of the University of Wisconsin, the student is required to study, together with some general elementary courses, the Industrial History of England, History of Commerce, Business Forms and Accounts, Transportation, Banking and the Mechanism of Exchange, Business Organization and Management, Commercial Law, Economics, German, French, Spanish, and English, and the Generation and Transmission of Force. Then he may choose between the two fields of Banking and the Consular Service. For the former, he elects Money and Banking, History of Currencies in Modern Nations, Corporation Finance and Securities, and Crises ; for the latter, he elects International Law, Commercial Geography of Europe, Diplomacy, the Consular Service of the United States and Foreign Countries. At the end of the course the degree of Bachelor of Commercial Science is given.

Passing the two years’ course in Business Practice and Banking, at the University of Pennsylvania, to the four years’ course in Commerce and Industry, it appears to be a scheme of work having a general object, rather than a separation into groups leading to special professions. The required subjects of the first two years include: English, French, German, Accounting, Economic Geography, Constitutional Law, Practical Finance, Business Law, Political Economy, Geography of Commerce, and Legislative Procedure. In the last two years twelve of the necessary sixteen hours a week may be elected from the following: Economics, American Commerce, Banking, Commercial Treaties, Corporation Law, Commercial Products, Industrial History, Economic Resources of Europe and the United States, Recent Changes in Industry, Legislative Problems, Finance, European Commerce, Colonial Government, Economic Resources of Tropical Countries, Causes of Industrial Supremacy, English Civilization, International Law, Race Traits, International Trade, Transportation, and Credits. The degree of Bachelor of Science in Economics is given.

At the University of Chicago, the entrance requirements to the regular college work, including Latin, are demanded of the candidates for the College of Commerce and Administration. The work of the first two years is mainly that pursued in the general work of the college, including English, modern languages, mathematics, and science, with introductory courses in Civil Government, History, Sociology, Economics, and Commercial Geography. In the last two years the direct preparation for business begins, based on the general training of the past years in college and in the schools. Of the necessary eighteen units exacted in these last two years, seven are required, and eleven are elective. The requirements include Principles of Political Economy, Jurisprudence, Constitutional Law, Europe in the Nineteenth Century, Recent American History, Psychology. The remaining eleven are chosen, under advice, as leading directly to Banking, Railways, General Industries, Foreign Commerce, Consular Service, and Journalism ; and they are taken from the following list : (a) Theory of Value, Unsettled Problems of Distribution, History of Political Economy, Scope and Method of Political Economy, Statistics, Economic Factors in Civilization, American Agriculture, Tariffs, Industrial Development of Europe, Modern Industries, Economics of Workingmen, Socialism, Technique of Trade and Commerce, Colonial Economics, History of Commerce, Trusts, Transportation, Comparative Railway Legislation, Accounting, Money, Banking, Financial History of the United States, and Finance; (b) History of Political Theory, Comparative Government, Federal Government, Government of Great Britain, France, and Germany, Government of Colonies, Federal and State Constitutional Law of the United States, Law of Municipal Corporations, Municipal Government, International Law, Diplomatic History of Europe and the United States, Roman Law, Law of Property, and Law of Persons; (c) American History (1789-1860), American Political Parties, the Renaissance, Europe in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries, the French Revolution and Era of Napoleon, and the Rise of Prussia ; (d) Contemporary Society in the United States, American Cities, Development and Organization of the Press, the Family, Rural Communities, Contemporary Charities, Social Treatment of Crime, Structure of English Society, Philanthropy, Elements and Structure of Society, Municipal Sociology, the Sociological Conception of the State, and of the Problems of Modern Democracy; and (e) eleven courses of science, including Electricity, Physiography, Economic Geology, Mineralogy, Chemistry of Ore Deposits, Geographic Botany, etc. The degree of Bachelor of Philosophy is given.

The criticism raised in academic circles by the word “commercial” seems to imply a suspicion of unworthiness in the work of a school which is intended to prepare men for business. That all depends upon the kind and purposes of the new education. The essential aim of a college of commerce and administration should be not technical, but disciplinary ; it is not intended, according to an obsolete theory of education, only to give useful information, but to give the knowledge of underlying principles and that mental grip which will provide the possessor with the capacity to meet comprehendingly a new problem, however suddenly it may arise ; its function is not merely to impart technique, or a rule of thumb, which may at any time become obsolete, but to teach men to think in the affairs of their profession.

This educational attitude may be illustrated by reference to the profession of journalism. Much well-deserved sarcasm has been directed against the plan of establishing schools of practical journalism. If the plan meant solely teaching a student how to condense paragraphs, how to expand a sentence into a lurid column of description, how to interview an obdurate public character, or how to paint the page with the most striking headlines, then there is no better means of teaching journalists than the actual routine of the newspaper office. But this method is a receipt only for making hacks, not journalists. On the other hand, what is the right way ? It is seen at once that the policy and influence of a newspaper depend upon whether or not it shows a masterly grasp of the political, economic, legal, and literary subjects which the public are thinking about. How can a man be prepared to deal adequately and powerfully with these matters ? Certainly not by mistaking the shadow for the substance ; not by caring for the envelope at the expense of the content. Good English form is essential, — we assume that; but to be a journalist, and not a hack, a man must be trained to think logically and clearly on all the subjects treated by the press. Otherwise he is as much out of place in an important position on a newspaper as a paralytic in an athletic contest.

The purpose of commercial education will not be met simply by knowing much about commerce; its success can be obtained only by realizing that piled-up knowledge is an unsteady monument unless braced and held true by an informing body of logical principles which have been understood and used by the builder. The distinction is an important one. Permit me to illustrate it. There may be two ways of teaching a mechanic how to build a steam engine : In one way, he might be given the measurements and plans for a specified engine, and by memory and imitation this one body of facts might be imprinted on his mind. The workman could build this engine, but no other kind. In another way, one might teach him thoroughly the laws of thermodynamics, the strength of materials, the principles of applying forces, etc., and the workman, understanding the theory of the particular engine when expressed in one form for a given purpose, could readily adapt the same principles to another adjustment of materials, and make a different engine for a different purpose. The former system is the repetition of parrot-teaching ; the latter is education.

If, then, one finds a system of commercial education which leaves out the fundamental requirements of training common to all proper schemes of developing the human mind ; if it proposes to throw away the training instruments of admitted quality, and to carry commercial courses of a merely informational character down into the high school, then we have reason for criticism.

Commercial high schools carry the professional purpose down into the period usually given to the general disciplinary work of the secondary schools. So far as the courses for such schools are informational, and not disciplinary, they defeat the true aims of education. If the man of affairs should never get literary and cultural training even in the high schools, he would be worse off than he is now ; and there would tend to arise more and more a class of narrow business men who would have little or no understanding of any other life than the pursuit of wealth. The establishment of such high schools, therefore, seems to be a response to the commercial ideals of the age, — a means for the better technical equipment of our youth at the expense of that general knowledge which should be regarded as the necessary foundation for subsequent professional work. Money-getting should be accepted as a means to an end, not the end itself ; training for moneygetting should be thought of as secondary to the creation of superior tastes, qualities, and intelligence by which the higher things of life — things not to be bought by money — could be discovered and enjoyed.

In Germany, the overproduction of scholars has revealed the same existing tendencies as in our universities to emphasize the function of the university as a training school for teachers, even though many pass into the public service as well as into the learned professions. Means for the preparation of men for what I have called the neglected professions has not been provided by the universities (with the recent exception of Leipsic), but only by the technical schools. When the educated German gets over his dread of the dehumanizing effects of subjects which are praktische, and his tendency to exalt that which has no commercial end (wholly apart from his splendid reverence for scholarship and research which has given imperishable renown to German learning, and which nothing should touch), we may expect to see the German university accepting the duty of preparing men for all the professions instead of for a few, — and this without derogation of the highest standards of academic achievement.

When Bismarck attributed the success of his soldiers in the Franco-Prussian War to the fact that “ each musket thought,” he was merely expressing in one form the general principle which holds in the more peaceful contests of domestic and international competition of industry with industry. If we are ever to succeed in taking a commanding position in international commerce, it will be because our industrial and commercial education is based on the correct principle of educating men to think, and to work out and understand the principles which underlie all the active work of their professions. The ability to undersell foreigners in the international market is not a question of the bravery of our soldiers and sailors ; it is not a question of the size of our army or the number of our battleships; it is not a question of physical force or blind Chauvinism : but it is a question whether the practical managers of our mills and workshops are capable of devising better methods than foreigners for hoisting our raw materials in a less expensive way from the mines ; for transporting them with greater dispatch and cheapness ; and for transforming them into finished products with better machinery, with greater adaptability, and with greater skill than our competitors. Stereotyped methods will not avail; it will not do to tell a man how to perform a task to-day without at the same time teaching him, by a training in fundamental principles, how to think out a new and better method if a new adjustment shall be needed to-morrow. No rule of thumb can do the work. The object of education is to develop power and grip, not to give dogmatic precepts. The best training for practical life, therefore, is not to be found in that which is technical, but in that which is disciplinary. In industry, as in manners, we Americans have lived too much under the reign of “slouch ; ” in the future, under the stern demands of large industrial movements, the exact, the powerful, well-ti’ained, and far-seeing man will inevitably displace the man of routine, narrowness, and mediocrity.

J. Laurence Laughlin.

  1. Professor Münsterberg, in his remarkable article on Productive Scholarship in America, in the Atlantic for May, 1901, has already shown why better men are not drawn toward teaching in the United States ; but he has not gone into the reasons why the American universities do not attract the ablest youth as students.
  2. In addition to the three institutions here mentioned courses similar to those above described have been introduced at the universities of Michigan and California. At Harvard “courses for business” are offered. In Germany, the University of Leipsic has gone in the same direction, although the more technical courses are given in the Handelslehranstalt.