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him through a real secondary course; we must know whether or not mathematics means a repetition of what was repeated to disgust in grammar school with a little smattering of algebra thrown in for good measure; we must know whether or not the languages mean a perpetual drill in declensions and conjugations with a liberal dose of rules and their multitudinous exceptions, all brought to play upon a few hundred lines of the authors; in a word, we must have a definite notion of the quantity studied in each branch and of the time consumed in recitation thereof. There are, of course, other elements to be considered in the development of students besides time and quantity. Method counts for much. No mechanical device can make a teacher, nothing can equalize the varied talents of pupils; but method, teacher and talents are variable quantities while quantity and time are fixed, and hence constitute the necessary elements for an invariable unit of measure.
The National Conference Committee on Standards of Colleges and Secondary Schools has formulated the following definition of a unit of admission requirements: "A unit represents a year's study in any subject in a secondary school, constituting approximately a quarter of a full year's work.” The College Entrance Examination Board, after placing its approval on this definition, says that this statement takes the four year course as a basis and assumes that the length of the school year is from thirty-six to forty weeks; that a period is from forty to sixiy minutes in length, and that the study is pursued for four or five periods a week. Laboratory work counts for half as much as class work. According to this definition, four units is the maximum for one year; sixteen for the entire high school course.
After examining the high school schedules given in our catalogues, I am convinced that we can very readily adopt this definition of a unit, especially since in the interpretation of various educational boards it allows great latitude in the arrangement and
sequence of subjects. The average number of recitation periods a week in our preparatory schools is twenty-five, and most of these are forty-five minute periods. Hence with regard to time there is no difficulty, nor is there any inconvenience relative to the number of studies and their correlation, since each secondary study may be estimated as one unit or a fraction thereof. In this way the individual pupil may pursue simultaneously more than four studies; and subjects deemed important may be given more periods a week, while those deemed relatively unimportant may be given less. The high school in availing itself of this latitude must, to do efficient work, be guided by the principle that all its branches should be taught consecutively enough and extensively enough to form a well rounded course.
The time element of the unit is easily established, but the quantitative element presents difficulties. If this unit is to be a unit at all, that is, if it is to have the same value for all, it must not only give the exact time spent upon a subject in the classroom, but it must also give the exact amount of matter studied. The subject matter in high schools must be of secondary value; hence, when the elementary or grammar school studies are taught in the high school, in so far the high school ceases to fulfill its proper function and is merely supplying the deficiencies of the grammar school. Such branches cannot be counted as units. To give preciseness to our unit we must take up every branch that can be considered as an addition to or a continuation of the work of the grammar school and outline what, in addition to the time requirements, would constitute a unit of college entrance requirements in that branch.
The college requirements in English should be distributed through the four years. The valuation of the work should be based on (a) theory and practice; (b) reading of the classics ; (c) study of the classics.
(a) One unit. The principles of English composition governing words, sentences, paragraphs, entire compositions, figures of speech, and practice in composition, extending through the secondary school period.
(b) One unit. The reading of nine books chosen from authors of recognized worth. The student should be able to speak intelligently of these works.
(c) One unit. A thorough study of four works: a play, a group of poems, an oration and an essay.
(a) One unit. Ancient history. In this branch special .importance should be given to the history of Egypt, Greece and Rome, to the rise and spread of Christianity and to the founding of the European nations.
(b) One unit. Medieval and modern European history, from the death of Charlemagne (814) to the present time.
(c) One unit. The history of one of the important nations of Europe.
(d) One unit. American history and civil government.
(a) One unit. Grammar and composition. The inflections; the simpler rules for composition and the derivation of words; structure of sentences in general with special regard to relative and conditional sentences. Indirect discourse and the subjunctive; translation from English to Latin based upon Caesar and Cicero.
(b) One unit. Caesar; four books of the Gallic War. (c) One unit. Cicero; six orations.
(d) One unit. Virgil; the first six books of the Aeneid. Other authors may constitute units, when the amount of work is equivalent to that specified in Caesar, Virgil or Cicero.
(a) One unit.
Grammar and composition; White's First Greek Book, or an equivalent.
(b) One unit. Xenophon; the first four books of the Anabasis.
Other units, proportioned to the unit in Xenophon.
Not less than two units should be accepted. An elementary course that will enable the student to translate at sight a passage of ordinary difficulty from the foreign language into English, and a similar passage from English into the foreign languagetwo units.
The credits for advanced work in the modern languages can be reckoned in almost the same way as the advanced work in Latin.
Algebra; from the beginning to quadratics, one unit. Quadratics to the end, one-half unit.
Plane geometry, one unit.
PHYSICS AND CHEMISTRY
One unit each. The course of instruction in each of these branches should include:
(a) The study of one standard text-book.
(c) Individual laboratory work, to the extent of at least forty experiments.
Physiology, botany, zoology, physical geography, one unit each for a course equivalent to what is given in an accepted high school text.
Having determined the quantitative element and the time element of the unit, it now remains to decide the number of units required for college entrance. This largely depends upon the course or courses taught in the college. All our colleges give the course leading to the degree of Bachelor of Arts. Many give in addition to this, courses of letters, philosophy and natural sciences. This necessitates different requirements for each course. Now there certain studies which form the backbone of these courses. English, history, sciences, mathematics, language, should be found in all the high school programs. The work which the student intends to do later on in college will chiefly influence him in the choice of subjects, and the amount of time given to each. In our Catholic
colleges where these courses are taught, we find, with slight variations, a grouping of requirements which gives to the students whatever benefits there are in the elective system while saving him from intellectual destruction by limiting his choice
to groups instead of individual studies. In the classical course · the aspirant for the degree of Bachelor of Arts, is required by our
leading colleges to present at least what is the equivalent of three units in English; three in Latin ; three in Greek; two in History; two and a half in Mathematics; one and a half in Sciences; in all fifteen units. The equivalent of the same number of units is required in the other courses with variations made to suit each course, thus, in the courses in letters and philosophy, we find French and German substituted for Greek; in the course in science, three units in natural sciences are required, three units in mathematics, three in English, two in Latin, two in French or German, and two in history.
Thus in every course fifteen units are required, the only room for elective studies being in the choice of courses, which is given the student. By grouping the studies in this way, coherence, which is necessary for gradual mental development, is obtained, while the varied talents of individual students are not ignored. Since the leading colleges of the country demand fifteen units of entrance requirements; since the place of the Catholic college is the forefront in the educational world, every institution worthy of the name of Catholic college should not fall below this requirement. Since, on the other hand, the elective system has been such a factor for the disorganization of studies, we should safeguard the interests of our students by limiting their power of electing to such groups of studies as will lay a solid foundation for college courses.
A clear statement of entrance requirements and a consistent policy in enforcing them will do much to advance our interests. It will present to the public mind a definite notion of the intellectual status of the Catholic college; it will enable the high school to see at a glance what is required of it to prepare its students for higher courses; it will prevent inferior institutions from raising the college colors; in a word, it will give the colleges themselves and the world at large a better opinion of the