The small amount of prescribed work in the four years' course at Harvard would satisfy the most ardent advocates of the elective system if the prescribed studies fulfilled their object. Yet for some very obvious lessons the freshman lectures in physics and chemistry might be replaced by much more useful work. Until recently the lectures in physics have been a mere farce, inasmuch as they covered ground already gone over by students in pre paring for college, so that any one, without attending a single lecture, could by reviewing a few back papers, pass a good examination. The chemistry lectures have also covered so little ground that it has been customary for the instructors to coach the members of the course just before the examination. The character of the criticisms on the senior forensics and the low average of the marks show that the progress of the students in writing English is far from satisfactory both to the examiners and to the men themselves. This is undoubtedly a branch of education which is absolutely essential in a college course. It certainly seems that it might made of much greater value by beginning it earlier in the course, for instance, by replacing the chemistry and physics courses in the freshman year by regular theme work in addition to the third hour essays.
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