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Investigation of the Elective System.


In view of the attacks that are constantly being made on the elective system, the Pedagogical Seminary has undertaken a practical investigation into its results, under the direction of Professor Hanus of the Department of Education. A set of questions has been compiled by hi, which will be sent to every member of the Senior class, and practically the same questions, modified where circumstances require it, will be mailed to other colleges and to secondary schools all over the United States. Each member of the Seminary has a certain section of the country to investigate, and the thoroughness of the work will be seen by the fact that about 10,000 letters will be sent out.

President Eliot, by statistics made from the classes of 1885 and 1886, proved the superiority of the elective system up to that time. This deeper and more comprehensive inquiry it is expected, will bear out more conclusively the result of his work by proving that the elective system is better than all prescribed or group systems.

The following is an extract from the circular letter which is being mailed to members of the Senior class.

"Please name the courses which you have taken during your College career, together with your courses for the present year; and state also, as nearly as you possibly can, whether your choices have been determined by (1) temporary interest due to the recommendation of fellow students; (2) the advice of teachers, parents, or guardians; (3) deliberate choice in accordance with your own tastes; (4) future professional needs. If two or more of these reasons have determined your choices; please say so; if other reasons than those enumerated (e. g. desire to avoid afternoon hours, or conflict of lecture hours with various kinds of student activities) have determined your choices, please give them.

"If you have been a member of Harvard University less than four years, please state how long you have been here."

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