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public domain to the cause of education. And as the historian of the future traces the development in civilization of our Republic, and investigates the causes which have contributed thereto, the legislation which established these national colleges of science and the arts will be classed as a prominent factor. This affirmation is based not so much ou what has been done in the field of education by these institutions, as on the promise of the future, on the broad view and purpose expressed in the charter as given in the act of fonndation, and on the fitness of the charter of education, designated as tho leading object of the colleges, to the wants of the people and the demands of the age of science in which we live.
At first many of the States, generally from economic considerations, associated these colleges with their State universities; others founded independent institutions. But in recent years the tendency has been to dissociate and establish
from a belief that thereby the object of the educational grant could be better accomplished. But whether they existed as co-ordinate parts of State universities or as independent institutions, one familiar with their history can not fail to have observed that in the early days there existed a widespread prejudice against the character of education proposed to bo given. They were in many places regarded as inferior colleges for an inferior class. And possibly, in some instances, the mistake made in the organization and schedule of study may have furnished apparent cause for the existence of such prejudice.
The function of the college was, without doubt, often misunderstood, and the misapprehension in the popular mind was largely due to the name the colleges bear. By many they were thought to be colleges established for the sole purpose of making farmers of their graduates; that they were professional schools established for the purpose of educating boys to be farmers, similar in that respect to the professional schools for educating young men to be lawyers and doctors; and often the colleges experienced severe criticism if their graduates should prefer to adopt some other vocation than that of farming. In the opinion of these critics, a land-grant college failed of its object just in proportion as its graduates failed to adopt farinirg as a profession, and its success was considered proportionate to the number of farmers among the alumni.
This contracted view of the object of the land-grant colleges has now largely yielded to
A MORE GENEROUS APPRECIATION
of the object of the grant, to a better understanding of the broad and comprehensive plan of the charter as contained in the act of Congress, as well as a more correct appreciation of the relation of technical to liberal education, and to the acknowledgment of the high privileges and rights of an American boy to select his own vocation.
The object of our colleges is, as expressed in the original act, to teach-to teach "such branches of learning as are related to agriculture and the mechanic arts; and while it also includes military science, it does not exclude classical studies, This is broad, comprehensive, wise, not narrow or contracted. The leading object is to teach the principles and the applications of science, to teach subjects that relate to the useful arts, and while culture by the study of classics is not excluded, it is not the leading object. It were needless before this association to name the different branches that relate to agriculture, or the many departments of exact science that relate to the mechanic arts. All these constitute the direct object of the instruction to be given.
IN TIIE FIRST YEARS
of the history of these institutions attention was paid generally to agriculturo and its branches, to the exclusion of the mechanic arts. This resulted not only
from economical considerations and from the larger interests involved in agriculture, but also from the inability at that time to teach the elementary forms of mechanic arts as successfully as is now done in the modern method of manual training.
From an experience of eight years in an institution where a well equipped laboratory of mechanic arts constitutes a part of its educational equipment, I can not express with too strong emphasis my appreciation of the beneficial effects of the modern method of teaching what is known as manual training. All present are familiar with its methods and the educational controversy in regard to its merits as a means of education. Some enthusiastic advocates have probably pressed its claims with too much ardor, and demanded that it should occupy too exalted a position among the methods and subjects, that are generally recognized as means of education. Be that as it may, its true value is now recognized by educators. It has come to stay, and deserves recognition in the lower classes of a collegiate course, but only as a means of discipline.
Its object is not to make mechanics, nor the making of things, but the making of men. Its methods develop order, accuracy, perseverance, and self-reliance, and while imparting mannal skill and giving strength to the body, its exercises tend in a very marked degree to develop the constructive and executive faculties.
Drawing, which gives the ability to express the concept graphically, is also an essential element of a scientific education, universally recognized of value. Hence, a school of drawing, as an adjunct of the school of mechanic arts, is a necessary department of a land-grant college. And tho
received from the series of graduated exercises given in this school, when combined with the study of science as practically taught in the different laboratories, gives an education eminently fitted for the American boy of the nineteenth century.
And, moreover, the wisdom of the charter of these colleges in requiring that provision should be made for education in those branches that relate to mechanic arts is made manifest when we consider their relation to the necessities of civilization.
The studies that relate thereto are the studies that relate to active life. The arts by which raw material is converted into food, clothing, and shelter for civilized man, by which towns and cities are built, by which rivers are spanned and roads constructed, and by which manufacturing is rendered possible, these, and all that mark the progress of the present century, are directly or remotely dependent on the applications of mechanic arts.
The relation that technical education has to modern civilization and the benefits to be derived therefrom are apparent to all observant minds. Daily observations show the advantage of skilled and intelligent labor over that which is ignorant and unskilled, and make evident the important part that educated industry has in modern civilization. These facts clearly demonstrate that for a State to equip ler youth by proper education for this industrial age, to plan wisely for the future, she must encourage and liberally support technical education.
In view, therefore, of the prominent position mechanic arts now occupy in many of the land-grant colleges, and of necessity must occupy, it would seem eminently proper that this association should
PROVIDE A DEPARTMENT
or section devoted to the consideration of subjects related thereto, where our colleagues in these departments may discuss methods and improvements for the benefit of all concerned.
The relation that technical bears to liberal education is more generally appreciated now than formerly. In the early history of some of the colleges we represent it is probable that too much attention was paid to the mere muscular education, not recognizing the fact that if energy is consumed too largely by muscular exertion there will bo little store for mental effort. There is no true education in drudgery, in mere muscular labor, when the brain is not exercised. Colleges were not founded to teach manual skill, but to teach brain skill; to develop mind and character. And merely learning how to do without learning the why, is empirical, a rule-of-thumb method, which no educator can approve.
In oducation, principle is far beyond practice, and a knowledge of principle is essential to good practice.
Hence, technical education, to be of value, must be founded on a knowledge of principles, on a liberal education. And the broader and more extended the base of liberal education which constitutes the foundation, the more symmetrical will be the column of technical education which forms the superstructure.
And by the term liberal education, as here used, we do not necessarily include nor exclude the classics.
A FAIR KNOWLEDGE OF LATIN for obvious reasons is of great advantage to a boy, and its prosecution is always advised if time and circumstances permit. But a comprehensive knowledg3 of the principles of science is essential to a liberal education, and especially to that liberal education which is to constitute the foundation for a successful technical superstrueture.
Education in the principles of science must be insisted on if we hope to attain success in instruction in technics. While this is true in every department, it is preëminently true if agriculturo be the vocation for which the student is to be qualified.
But the test of exact knowledge of the principles of science is the ability to put them in practice; hence the necessity of laboratories, of workshops in every department of science in connection with our colleges. We have, and if not we must have, in each land-grant college laboratories of chemistry, physics, mechanic arts, botany, biology, etc., where students may learn things, not words; where they may learn to execute; may educate their brains through their hands; may learn science through their finger tips.
But scientific laboratory work has its most comprehensive field in agriculture and horticulture and in the dairy; for here successful experimentation exacts tribute from almost every other department of science.
Successful instruction in agriculture demands both theory and practice, a knowledge of the principles of sciences with which agriculture is directly concerned, and a knowledge of the methods of applying those principles to successful practice.
in the field and garden and dairy is essential, but it should always be educative in character, should exercise the brain as well as the hand. While why we plow is best learned at college, how to plow is best learned on a farm.
But the function of the land-grant colleges is not solely to make farmers of their students, and where such an opinion prevails the public mind can not, for the interests of education, be too soon disabused of the impression. To attempt such a rôle must of necessity result in failure. Nine-tenths of the boys who attend colleges in the South, if not in other sections, find, when they graduate, that their capital on which to begin life is their education alone.
On their brains and hands they must depend for success. They can not engage in farming without a farm, and this, as a rule, they do not possess. Hence they must begin as wage-earners, as teachers, engineers, chemists, or in whatever capacity their education and environment render possible.
But should favorable circumstances render it possible for the young graduate to begin life as a farmer, it does not necessarily follow that he will make a successful
farmer. When the conditions of land and market are favorable, success in farming comes of practical experience, close observation, executive ability, with untiring energy and good common sense; qualities that no college that exists, or may exist, can impart. But yet a good science education, such as is given in our land-grant colleges, is the best possible
PREPARATORY TRAINING FOR SUCCESS
in this honorable vocation.
We maintain, therefore, that the function of the land-grant colleges is not to make farmers of its students and in saying this we are simply repeating the wellknown opinion of the legislative founder of these institutions—but to make men; men with educated brains and skilled hands, ready and willing to work with both brains and hands in whatever vocation they are best fitted to perform the duties of life.
There is another view, worthy of consideration, which necessitates a broad and liberal curriculum, as required in the act of Congress.
The freedom aud possibilities of American life differ from the fixed relations of an older European civilization, where the son is expected to adopt the vocation of tho father. American freedom protests against a system that would educate a class of boys for one vocation only. The right of an American boy to carve out his own fortune, and to adopt any vocation that his inclination may lead to and his judgment approve, should not be abridged by an educational system designed to prejudge his future and train him for one vocation only. He does not measure his possibilities by his father's attainments. He may be farmer or physician, teacher or lawyer, merchant or mechanic, preacher or President. Hence our agricultural colleges should not be modeled after the plan of the European. They of necessity must be broader and more liberal in their educational schemes in order to
It is perhaps needless to say that these colleges were not established or endowed for the sole purpose of teaching agriculture. Their object was to give an opportunity for those engaged in industrial pursuits to obtain some knowledge of the practical sciences related to agriculture and the mechanic arts; such as they could not then obtain at most of our institutions called classical colleges, where the languages, Greek and Latin, French and German, absorb perhaps two-thirds of all the time of the students while in college.
But it never was intended to force the boys of farmers going into these institutions so to study that they should all come out farmers. It was merely intended to give them an opportunity to do so, and to do so with advantage if they saw fit.
Obviously not manual but intellectual instruction was the paramount object. It was not provided that agricultural labor in the field should be practically taught, any more than that the mechanical trade of a carpenter or blacksmith should be taught. Secondly, it was a liberal education that was proposed. Classical studies were not to be excluded, and, therefore, must be included. The act of 1862 proposed a system of broad education by colleges, not limited to a superficial and dwarfed training such as might be had at an industrial school, nor a mere manual training such as might be supplied by a foreman of a workshop or by a forement an experi. mental farm. If any would have only a school with equal scraps of struction, or something other than a college, they would Experience in manual labor, in the handling of tools a: disparaged; in the proper time and place it is most thing of this may be obtained either before or after th largely interfere with the precious time required for a to and literary culture, which all earnest students are apt to .. tor J. S. Morrill.
ADAPT THEMSELVES TO AMERICAN CIVILIZATION.
While these views are not new to the members of this association, they still must be, in many sections, emphasized with insistence, in order to give a just impression of the educational work we are endeavoring to do and are required to do under the law establishing these institutions.
They constitute, on the one hand, the argument for breadth, for liberal education against narrowness, which is sometimes charged by adherents of the old classical culture, who contend that there is no place for an agricultural college in the American system of education; and on the other hand they furnish the argument for liberal education against the empirical technical instruction that, even yet in many sections, agricultural friends contend should be limitations of the educational sphere of the land-grant colleges.
The growth of these institutions, their influence in causing older colleges to modify their courses of instruction, the high esteem in which they are held by men of learning and light as educational centers of power, the life and energy they manifest in every State, furnish the answer to each class of critics, and give assurance of an influence for good that will widen with the years. Our association represents not agricultural colleges, but
AMERICAN AGRICULTURAL COLLEGES; broad institutions adapted to American civilization, and not imitations of those which exist elsewhere, and are adapted to an older civilization where class education is recognized. They are the product of our civilization and of the century in which we live, and represent, not the old, but the new education.
And this so-called new education makes no protest against the old classical system which has for centuries held the gateways of the temple of learning, and trained and disciplined and refined human thought and expression. It is not revolutionary, but supplementary, and seeks to build up and develop American civilization by making the leading object not linguistic culture, but scientific training.
Our colleges represent the legitimate outgrowth of the progress of science and the demands of the century. They must grow in harmonious development with the age in which they exist, and must not cease to grow, for with a college the cessation of growth is the beginning of decay. Their faces are turned toward the future and not toward the past; hence their chief concern must bo about the studies of the present and future.
In the former centuries it was not useful knowledge, but polito learning; not the laws of nature, but the laws of language, that were deemed worthy of study.
No one kuew a century ago that steam would revolutionize the world and change the methods of human industry. No one knew that it would enable England, with its limited area and population, to do the work that represents the equivalent of the manual labor of all the able-bodied men of the world. But the fact is it has
CIIANGED TIIE FACE OF THE CIVILIZED WORLD,
entered every department of human industry, and largely modified our educational systems. It is no longer a question whether science shall bo taught or not. The spirit of the age demands it, and the question now is, in the limited time that can be devoted to education, how much of the old can be retained.
We have reason to be thankful that the colleges represented by this association have their faces turned toward the future, and that there is established in every State of the Union a college that exalts useful knowledge and educates its youth for the futuro and not for the past.
But some contend, though at present the tendency is to a more liberal view, that education in science is inferior in character and in discipline to the old form of education of the classical colleges. Were this the proper place for controversy, we