Since the opening of college in September several events have transpired at Harvard which the metropolitan papers have interpreted as manifestations of a new interest among students in their own educational problems. As one paper put it, such interest in "the essential work men come to college for is without precedent."
Another newspaper passed from wondering comment to prediction. "The new disposition of the students to look behind the faculty desks is a sign of a growing keenness in education," they said. "The first colleges were bands of students, seeking eagerly, telling the teachers what they wanted, and demanding it. The college of the future, judging by present tendencies, will be decidedly cooperative, with the students sharing the control."
The logical outcome of those activities which seemed so remarkable to the press, was the appointment by the Student Council of a Student Committee on Education. That committee meets tonight for the first time to take up its work. In this meeting and those that follow, both faculty and students should see, not something revolutionary, as one might conclude from the last quoted comment, but rather an experiment pure and simple.
This experiment proceeds upon an assumption which, though granted tentatively by a liberal faculty, must still be regarded as no more than an assumption: namely, that students actually have some understanding of the ends toward which their education is directed, and, moreover, that they possess some faculty for sound criticism of the means employed to attain those ends.
If, when the Student Committee renders its report next spring, its work should be such as to confirm this assumption, then, indeed, will be time to recognize that the interests of education are best served when those who teach and those who are taught arrive at a mutual understanding by laboring together in their common cause, each the complement of the other.