Respect for the Scholar

COMMENT

The general examination is the most interesting effort Harvard is making to restore respect for college ranking. It is given at the end of the Senior year and makes a double demand upon the student. He is obliged to review at the end of his last year the entire ground covered by him in his chosen field. Also he is obliged to do some outside reading and study in order to correlate the courses which he has taken and fill up, to some extent, the intervals between them. This is not parallel to the general information examination which has been given for some years at Bryn Mawr, for example; therein the every-day knowledge of the student is tested by questions similar to those which gave Henry Ford such an uncomfortable day on the witness stand. The Harvard examination tests rather the broader bearings and significance of such special learning as the college courses have poured into the student.

Such a revision of the university point of view is welcome. It is undoubtedly a step in the right direction and certain to give high rank at college an increased respect. But the American point of view changes slowly and with reason. Initiative, energy, imagination the qualities that we as a nation rate most highly--are not the least measured by college marks as they have been awarded in the past. Participation in other college activities--athletics, college periodicals and so on--has been a much truer test as a rule. Until the whole attitude of college students is overturned there can scarcely be a great change in the popular attitude; and such an overthrow, involving an end of the national distrust of sheer theory and the professional point of view, seems still afar. New York Tribune.