EXPERIMENTAL EDUCATION

In his speech at Anu Arbor reprinted in the CRIMSON, Dr. Meiklejohn offered as the definition of a liberal education the following: one means by a liberal education the process of so informing and training and inciting the mind that it will go forward steadily on the road to understanding of the life to which it belongs; so informing and training and inciting a mind that you can count on it that mind will travel, will go a certain way, will keep on going that way as long as it lives.

It is our belief that no more fundamental conclusion on the purposes of a liberal education can be formulated Understanding of life necessarily brings with it intellectual fitness for life, which is the ultimate test of the success or failure of an educational system. It is considered doubtful how far the college is at present fulfilling this demand. Dr. Meiklejohn says not at all. That is a dangerous generalization for it infers a uniformity in methods which does not exist. Probably there has never been a time when a greater variety of experiments were being conducted or suggested by serious men. The very existence of such experiments, it is true, indicates widespread dissatisfaction with traditional systems, whether belonging to individual colleges or heretofore generally accepted. But, after all, all these things are signs of health; not sickness, in the educational world. When men of broad and daring vision, like Dr. Meiklejohn, are not only permitted but encouraged to work out their theories in one state university, when the President of another announces a radical experiment the coming year, when Swarthmore. Dartmouth. Princeton, and Harvard, are testing the tutorial system and honors courses in their various phases liberal education from one point of view, approaches very nearly the standard set by Dr. Meiklejohn's definition. Understanding and thinking imply sitting back and accepting without criticism, but independence and the experiment arising from it. Such is the present condition of education.