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Public sentiment outside of school and college is very largely responsible for this. Boys are quick to copy from their elders, and if the American public held in higher respect and esteem those who had acquired culture and training, and refused to give to others positions of importance and responsibility, boys, too, would at once feel the importance of striving to acquire the best possible education, as they would know that it was essential to success. But one of the purposes of this Society is, so far as it is possible, to help to create and establish such a general public sentiment.
I was very strongly impressed with the difference between the public sentiment in this regard in this country and in Germany last summer as I visited a number of the German schools, and saw the great contrast between the intensive work which the average German boy does during his school period, and the work which the American boy. does in the American school during the same time. The German school has the same number of years from the time the boy enters the school until he enters the university or the polytechnic school that the American school has-twelve years, and they correspond very closely to our twelve years. And yet the accomplishment on the other side of the water is enormously greater than here. The difference is almost entirely that during the whole of this period of twelve years the boy is really trying to accomplish all that he can, while in this country he is too often trying to see how little he can do, without encountering severe reprimand. I feel, therefore, that it is a mistake for
ment, his freshman work will be beginning French, German or Spanish; if he offers one of these modern languages, he will take advanced work in the language which he presents.
Referring again to Table I., it will be observed that no column is given for solid geometry; this is because it was found to be an entrance requirement for every college whose course was studied, excepting Texas.
It is interesting to note that an observation made by Professor Caldwell eight years ago in his “Comparative Study of Electrical Engineering Courses'"* still holds good: namely, the rather wide variation in the amount of time devoted to English, language, shopwork, and some others; and the uniformity in the time given to mathematics and physics. At Purdue and Wisconsin, geometry has been changed from a freshman study to an entrance requirement since the time of Professor Caldwell's study; also, the beginning of the study of mechanics has been changed from the junior to the sophomore year at Cornell, Illinois, Kansas and Michigan. The figures in the last three columns of the table seem to indicate a fairly uniform practice as to the amount of time allowed for preparation for recitations. However, at Case, twentytwo credit-hours per week are required, which would indicate either that a rather shorter time is allowed for preparation, or that more actual hours of work per week are required than at the other institutions.
The writer will be glad to have pointed out to him any errors or incorrect assumptions that have been made, in order that the table may be made as nearly correct as possible.
* PROC. Soc. PRO. ENG. ED., Vol. VII., p. 127.
PROFESSOR KENYON: For the same reasons which the author gave in his paper we have come to a five and a half day basis. Our half holiday is Saturday afternoon. The year before last we had so many students with so few field instruments, we obliged to put in a section of civil engineering students also on Saturday afternoon. By that scheme we were able to use our instruments with four sections-two morning and two afternoon sections. This arrangement was very unpopular with both the students and instructors, so we have come to the five
and a half day basis. Many of our recitations are put on a three-times-a-week basis. This brings one set of classes on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday afternoons, but throw the Saturday afternoon work into Saturday morning. We were forced to come to this basis by consideration of room and equipment. Personally, I believe that the student who has a whole holiday instead of a half holiday will do better work, but I do not see any way out of the difficulty at Purdue at the present time.
DEAN WOODWARD: The plan we have adopted works very satisfactorily. It is to have neither laboratory work nor recitations on Wednesday and Saturday afternoons. Those days are free for outdoor sports, etc. It works very well. Our usual number of hours is eighteen, counting three laboratory hours as one credit hour.
PROFESSOR SCHUSTER: I think the paper stated one unit credit would be given for three hours in the laboratory. Does that mean for actual laboratory work, or laboratory work and preparation included ? On the classroom basis one unit credit is given for one hour per week in the classroom. I presume that assumes two hours preparation. If a student is required to work in the laboratory three hours per week for one hour's credit, the question arises as to where he could get his time for preparation and for report.
PROFESSOR F. C. CALDWELL: I have been struck in looking over the table with the great variation that still exists in the work of the first two years of the courses, but suppose the time is hardly ripe for this Society to take steps toward getting a greater degree