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Asserting that the "size of classes has no relation to the effectiveness of teaching," Samuel S. Drury '01, rector of St. Paul's school delivered the annual Inglis Lecture on Secondary Education last night before a large audience in the Fogg Art Museum.
Using the results of the University of Minnesota survey which have proved this statement, Dr. Drury said, "We cannot, therefore, allow ourselves to believe that the larger classes in public schools are less fruitful than the smaller c lasses in private schools."
The Rector does not see any "essential difference" between the graduates of the two different types of school. "Let us suppose a group of 60 young men (three groups of 10 from public and three groups of 10 from private schools) assembled for an evening conference at the Yale Club in New York," he said. "Let three keen leaders of youth mingle among this assembly, and let them record their inability to place with any reasonable completeness the high-school boys in one group, and the private school boys in another. It could not be done."
Concerning School faculties, Dr. Drury maintained that "The public school teacher values the freedom of the system, his contact with his students' daily life, and its democracy while the private school master values for freedom of method, development of deep personal intimacy, and a sense of shelter," in the mind of the Rector.
Dr. Drury defended the expenditure of money on school buildings. "How many cities can you name that have been impoverished by an elaboration of school structure? . . . Yet when we recall that American soda fountains draw more revenue than is expended on the 148,712 little red schoolhouses that are still open, the figures which follow indicate no extravagance. In 1931 Massachusetts spent $109 per pupil, New York $137, Georgia $31.
In a faculty, Dr. Drury considers personality the most important element. By this means, a set of standards and convictions, the positive value of beauty, and an understanding of religion can best be instilled in the students, he told his audience. He scored the "present day carefreeness" towards dress. "Why should so many youths take liberty with a school-liberties which carry with them carelessness and unwashedness, offensive alike to neighbor pupils and teachers," he asked.
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