This attitude is more general among teachers and principals of elementary schools and among school superintendents than among teachers and masters of secondary schools; among public secondary-school teachers than among private secondary-school teachers; and least general among college teachers. Yet to these latter the call to professional study of the problems of their own work is loudest. They have greatest need to test their results and possibly revise their methods, to reconceive their aims and discover new ways to achieve them. In America the college stands perforce for culture; yet it clears itself with difficulty from the snares of technical specialization in chosen fields of knowledge—a specialization essentially vocational. College professors must be specialists—scholars in the full sense of the term; but college students do not for their part commonly intend or care to specialize in the same sense. To study one field with greater thoroughness than others; to gain from it a disinterested enthusiasm for learning; to approach in one direction the limits of achieved knowledge; to taste the joy of constructive intellectual effort; these are essential elements in a college student’s curriculum. But this does not call for the methods or ideals of graduate specialization, even in the student’s chosen field. The privilege of college study is the opportunity to reach safe ground, in all the more important fields of scholarship, for the exercise of reflective intelligence. With a view to providing this opportunity college teachers may well spare time from research for that close observation of methods and results and that unprejudiced discussion of aims which are needed in the teaching of all subjects everywhere.

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