[Archives] Editorial from November 14, 1957
by The Milton Measure on Friday, June 6th, 2014
The senior year at Milton was, at one time, a period during which a boy was intended to round off his his secondary level education and prepare himself for the freshman year in college which would follow. As far as I can determine, the emphasis was less on the amount of work than on the quality and concentration in a particular field of study, and while some boys later confessed that they could have stood more work, their life was to a great degree made much easier, and their chances to work specifically on college admission much greater.
Everyone now admits that a college education is sought after by many more people than, say, ten years ago, and that the resulting competition has increased to a heretofore unknown level. Does this, however, justify the tremendous increased load first and second classmen now carry? What is behind this radical change in policy from what it was five years ago, and is the only solution to this greater demand for a college education more and more work, until some breaking point is reached? After all, the more work a boy does, chances are, the poorer, as a whole, it may be, and certainly that will not appear favorably to a college.
I have yet to come across one boy who, if he works the length of time prescribed by his teachers, could fulfill one half or, in some cases, even a third of obligations and outside study expected of him. Recently I heard a specific teacher say that the idea of a boy’s study- six hours on a weekend was outrageous, abhorrible, and even damaging to his health; and yet, the average study time appears to be, not six or even eight hours, but closer to twelve, fifteen, or even twenty! Unbelievable as it may seem, constant bed hours during a week often times are well after midnight. Naturally, athletics, clubs, and other extra-curricular activities must add to these for a well rounded background.
I have only one solution, and a simple one it is: Before a master hands out an assignment or a general project to be covered during an extended period above and “one’s leisure time” beyond the normal daily obligations, let him consider just how long it will take the student and not how long it would take himself. This should hold whether he teaches an honor section or not, for that a boy is good in a subject should not mean that he be penalized by being given more work than the rest of his classmates, or perhaps the solution would be to limit the number of honor sections or a boy’s program. In the end the sensible, broadminded teacher will surely see how absurd some of his notions are as to just what can or cannot be accomplished in the required hour, and adjust his requirements accordingly.
By LXIII Editorial Board
Short URL: http://miltonmeasure.org/?p=6119