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found to excel. They lack, on the whole, originality. They are not attracted by unsolved problems, and in the inductive or "inexact" sciences, they seldom take the lead. The “motor" side of their minds and natures is not strongly developed. They do not work for results as much as for the pleasure of study. In the traditional courses of study-traditional for men—they are often very successful. Not that these courses have a fitness for women, but that women are more docile and less critical as to the purposes of education. And to all these statements there are many exceptions. In this, however, those who have taught both men and women must agree; the training of women is just as serious and just as important as the training of men, and no training is adequate for either which falls short of the best.
3. Shall women be taught in the same classes as men? This is partly a matter of taste. It does no harm whatever to either men or women to meet those of the other sex in the same classrooms. But if they prefer not to do so, let them do otherwise. Considerable has been said for and against the union in one institution of technical schools and schools of liberal arts. The technical quality is emphasized by its separation from general culture. But I believe better men are made where the two are not separated. The culture studies and their students gain from the feeling of reality and utility cultivated by technical work. The technical students gain from association with men and influences of which the aggregate tendency is toward greater breadth of sympathy and a higher point of view.
A woman's college is more or less distinctly a technical school. In most cases, its purpose is distinctly stated to be such. It is a school of training for the profession of womanhood. It encourages womanliness of thought as more or less different from the plain thinking which is called manly. The brightest work in women's colleges is often accompanied by a nervous strain, as though its doer were fearful of falling short of some outside standard. The best work of men is natural, is unconscious, the normal result of the contact of the mind with the problem in question.
In this direction, I think, lies the strongest argument for
coeducation. This argument is especially cogent in institutions in which the individuality of the student is recognized and respected. In such schools each man, by his relation to action and realities, becomes a teacher of women in these regards, as, in other ways, each cultivated woman is a teacher of men.
In woman's education, as planned for women alone, the tendency is toward the study of beauty and order. Literature and language take precedence over science. Expression is valued more highly than action. In carrying this to an extreme, the necessary relation of thought to action becomes obscured. The scholarship developed is ineffective, because it is not related to success. The educated woman is likely to master technique, rather than art; method, rather than substance. She may know a good deal, but she can do nothing. Often her views of life must undergo painful changes before she can find her place in the world.
In schools for men alone, the reverse often obtains. The sense of reality obscures the elements of beauty and fitness. It is of great advantage to both men and women to meet on a plane of equality in education. Women are brought into contact with men who can do things—men in whom the sense of reality is strong, and who have definite views in life. This influence affects them for good. It turns them away from sentimentalism. It is opposed to the unwholesome state of mind called "monogamic marriage.” It gives tone to their religious thoughts and impulses. Above all, it tends to encourage action as governed by ideals, as opposed to that resting on caprice. It gives them better standards of what is possible and impossible when the responsibility for action is thrown upon them.
In like manner, the association with wise, sane, and healthy women has its value for young men. This value has never been fully realized, even by the strongest advocates of coeducation. It raises their ideal of womanhood, and the highest manhood must be associated with such an ideal. This fact shows itself in many ways; but to point out its existence must suffice for the present paper.
At the present time, the demand for the higher education of woman is met in three different ways :
1. In separate colleges for women, with courses of study more or less parallel with those given in colleges for men.
In some of these the teachers are all women, in some . mostly men, and in others a more or less equal division obtains. In nearly all of these institutions those old traditions of education and discipline are more prevalent than in colleges for men, and nearly all retain some trace of religious or denominational control. In all, the Zeitgeist is producing more or less commotion, and the changes in their evolution are running parallel with those in colleges for men.
2. In annexes for women to colleges for men. In these, part of the instruction given to the men is repeated for the women, though in different classes or rooms, and there is more or less opportunity to use the same libraries and museums. In some other institutions, the relations are closer, the privileges of study being similar, the difference being mainly in the rules of conduct by which the young women are hedged in, the young men making their own.
It seems to ine that the annex system cannot be a permanent one. The annex student does not get the best of the institution, and the best is none too good for her. Sooner or later she will demand it, or go where the best can be found. The best students will cease to go to the annex. The institution must then admit women on equal terms, or not admit them at all. There is certainly no educational reason why a woman should prefer the annex of one institution when another equally good throws its doors wide open for her.
3. The third system is that of coeducation. In this system young men and young women are admitted to the same classes, subjected to the same requirements, and governed by the same rules. This system is now fully established in the State institutions of the North and West, and in most other colleges in the same region. Its effectiveness has long since passed beyond question among those familiar with its operation. Other things being equal, the young men are more earnest, better in manners and morals, and in all ways more civilized than under monastic conditions. The women do more work in a more natural way, with better perspective and with saner incentives than when isolated from the influence and so
ciety of men. There is less of silliness and folly where a man is not a novelty. In coeducational institutions of high standards, frivolous conduct or scandals of any form are unknown. The responsibility for decorum is thrown from the school to the woman, and the woman rises to the responsibility. Many professors have entered Western colleges with strong prejudices against coeducation. These prejudices have never endured the test of experience. What is well done has a tonic effect on the mind and character. The college girl has long since ceased to expect any particular leniency because she is a girl. She stands or falls with the character of her work.
It is not true that the character of college work has been in any way lowered by coeducation. The reverse is decidedly the case. It is true that untimely zeal of one sort or another has filled the West with a host of so-called colleges. It is true that most of these are weak and doing poor work in poor ways.
It is true that most of these are coeducational. It is also true that the great majority of their students are not of college grade at all. In such schools, low standards rule, both as to scholarship and as to manners. The student fresh from the country, with no preparatory training, will bring the manners of his home. These are not always good manners, as manners are judged. But none of these defects are derived from coeducation; nor are any of these conditions in any way made worse by it.
A final question: Does not coeducation lead to marriage? Most certainly it does; and this fact need not be and cannot be denied. But such marriages are not usually premature. It is certainly true that no better marriages can be made than those founded on common interests and intellectual friendships.
A college man who has known college women is not drawn to those of lower ideals and inferior training. His choice is likely to be led toward the best he has known. A college woman is not led by propinquity to accept the attentions of inferior men.
I have before me the statistics of the faculty of a university open to both sexes alike. Of the eighty professors and instructors, twenty-seven men and women are still unmarried. Of the remaining fifty-three, twenty-one
have taken the Bachelor's degree in coeducational institutions, and have married college associates; twelve, mostly from colleges not coeducational, have married women from other colleges, and in twenty cases the wives are not college graduates.
It will be seen, then, that nearly all those who are graduates of coeducational colleges have married college friends. In most cases college men have chosen college women; and in all cases both men and women are thoroughly satisfied with the outcome of coeducation. It is part of the legitimate function of higher education to prepare women, as well as men, for happy and successful lives.
An Eastern professor, lately visiting a Western State university, asked one of the seniors what he thought of the question of coeducation.
“I beg your pardon," said the student; “what question do you mean? '
'Why coeducation,” said the professor; “ the education of women in colleges for men.”
“Oh," said the student, “coeducation is not a question here."
And he was right. Coeducation is never a question where it has been fairly tried.