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Yale and Super-Scholars



With the ambition of the Yale News to make itself a "newspaper" instead of an "institution," everyone of sense must be in thorough sympathy. With its farewell to stodginess and political conservatism we are in particular sympathy. But with their "farewell to academic idealism" and their disparagement of "super-scholars" and their familiar cry for education aimed at the skull of the "average man," we are in profound disagreement.

Higher education should be for those who are fit to get it, that is, for the "super-scholars," or to phrase it more modestly, for minds above the average. The whole ambition of the best educators of the past two decades has been to arrive at a compromise between the necessity for taking care of "averagemen," whose fees are a necessity and the "upper fourth," whose intellects are the valuable thing. Any attempt to devitalize the strong medicine of learning to fit the mind of the less-than-average or the average man should meet with stern opposition: it would be highly reactionary.

And as for research, if that is what the "News" means to attack by its references to "super-scholars," any abandonment of its pursuit would make the universities parasites, living off the labors of scholars elsewhere. Good research and good teaching are inseparable. Most often they are qualities which go along together in the same individual. And one can never exist in a university without the other.

The "News," commendable as its new policies are, has in this respect, we believe, stumbled upon the fallacy common to so many of the half-baked "progressive" educators whose main trouble is that they want, in education, a pleasant diffusion of superficial information. Daily Princetonian.

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