To learn the intricacies of Harvard College and to teach the intricacies of English history was, in brief, the work which Mr. Kenneth K. M. Leys, first exchange tutor from Oxford University, found cut out for him when he arrived in Cambridge at the end of September. According to the agreement made by President Lowell last winter he was to stay until the end of the first term at which time his colleague at University College would replace him. After a stay of a scant three months, then, Mr. Leys leaves Cambridge tomorrow to sail for England. All those who have known him as a friend and as an instructor are loth to see him go, while any who may have the chance to see him at some future date in his native habitat look forward with pleasure to the opportunity of renewing his acquaintance.
But short though Mr. Ley's stay has been it has been an official residence. Mr. Leys during the last three months has represented his University, its personnel, its courtesy, point of view, and, per agreement, its tutorial system.
How much the Oxford methods, as represented here since September, will influence those of the University is a matter of conjecture. Probably the immediate effect will not be great. But those interested in the system who have striven to make comparisons have felt that already the rapprochement has brought benefits. A system of education is after all, nothing but a type of mental architecture. If two competing plans for a building are presented to the expert at different times and places he finds comparison exceedingly difficult But if both are laid side by side in the same workroom then destructive criticism has some value, constructive criticism is possible, and only intolerant stubbornness or complacency can mar a favorable result.
That neither of these faults can be attributed to those who sponsor the tutorial system at Harvard has been amply proved by their attitude of intelligent progress and experimentation in the past. And if this their latest experiment of comparison is given a fair trial and due consideration, they may achieve their desire. A proper fusion of the Oxonion tutorial system with the still youthful Harvard tutorial system, may in the not-too-distant future produce a wholly desirable system--to be called, perhaps, the Superlatively Successful; to be welcomed, perhaps, by all departments that aim at education.