Entrance Requirements and Curriculum 25
Orations and Virgil's Aeneid. If the colleges of the early years of this
century had taken these complaints seriously they would have had
very few students. Most of them. continued to offer the courses
complained of and yet solemnly printed as prescribed entrance
requirements 4 units of Latin.
After the establishment of the public high schools, however, and
their complete occupation of the field of secondary education in the
State some years later, all this was changed. The high schools no
longer prepared students to meet the entrance requirement in
languages at the colleges. It has been the deliberate policy of those in
charge of the curriculum-making in the high schools to reduce foreign
language instruction in them to the minimum; especially in Latin they
have refused to provide that training which the faculties of all the
liberal arts colleges in the country have considered indispensable for
any worth-while attainments in the language in college. With Latin
taught in so few schools the students who desire it must wait till they
reach college, in violation of the well established principle that the
earlier in life one begins the study of a foreign language the easier it is
to
master.6
The colleges and universities have been reduced to the
necessity of teaching elementary Latin and accepting as the total
requirement in Latin for the Bachelor of Arts degree not more than
half the work once required for entrance. The result has been all but
the ruin of the study not only of Latin but of modern languages as
well in our colleges, for it is very meager equipment the average high
school student gets from the study of French in the high school, and
he is usually content to take in college only the minimum prescribed
for the degree. In French, as well as in Latin, college and university
faculties in all parts of the country, are now doing the elementary
work which should be done in high schools. It is practically
impossible for the average student to get in any college in the land
that training in
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6
The sad state of Latin instruction in the high schools is illustrated by the
conditions in Mecklenburg County, in which, according to the Charlotte Observer,
in the fall of 1941, only two or three schools were offering any Latin, though many
parents desired that their children should have it.
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