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The report which has been submitted by the committee appointed to investigate the subject of secondary education promises much for the development of educational methods in this country. The special facts which have been made clear by the present investigation are of great worth, but more valuable still is the spirit which has actuated the whole movement. It indicates that hereafter the subject of education will be approached from a different standpoint.
Up to this time the tendency has been for the universities to set certain standards and to expect of secondary schools that they should fit students to these. That is, there has been an ideal of university education to which everything else was to be only preparatory. It is building from the top downwards.
The reaction against this seems to have set in. It is now asked of what is the child and youth capable. As the mind develops, it is to be given just that which fits its immediate capacity. Educational training is to be adjusted to each stage of the individual's growth, and not simply to a supposed capacity at one stage.
This is by no means a blow at the universities. It means rather that the field of watchfulness has been enlarged and that this will result in better trained students for the universities to deal with. To be sure the whole movement marks at present only a tendency, and yet the naturalness and reasonableness of it is guarantee of the powerful influence which it will exert in the future.
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