The purpose of education is to make the student an expert in his subject. This must be clearly understood, and mere mudding through lessons and lectures and books and passing examinations are relegated to secondary importance as means to the end-which is excellence in the field chosen.
But there are so many fields, and no man can become an expert in all the fields it is necessary to decide which fields are important ones that a man should know well.
It is clear that one’s own work is the most important. This has been realized and modern civilization has accordingly provided vocational education. It is now possible to acquire high professional skill in the various fields, medicine, engineering production, commerce and so on-but with good and bad mixed together, and no standard for guidance.
The modern civilization has provided:
The history of the modern world is a record of highly varied activity, of incessant change, and of astonishing achievement. The lives of men have, during the last few centuries, increasingly diversified, their powers have greatly multiplied, their powers have greatly multiplied, their horizon been enormously enlarged. New interests have arisen in rich profusion to absorb attention and to provoke exertion. New aspirations and new emotions have come to move the soul of men. Amid all the bewildering phenomena, interest, in particular, has stood out in clear and growing pre-eminence, has expressed itself in a multitude of ways and with an emphasis more and more pronounced, namely, the determination of the race to gain a larger measure of freedom than it has ever known before, freedom in the life of the intellect and spirit, freedom in the realm of government and law, freedom in the sphere of economic and social relationship. A passion that has prevailed so widely, that has transformed the world so greatly, and is still transforming it, is one that surely merits study and abundantly rewards it, its operations constitute the very pith and marrow of modem history.
Not that this passion was unknown to the long ages that proceeded the modern periods. The ancient Hebrews, the ancient Greeks and Roman blazed the was leaving behind them a precious heritage of accomplishments and suggestions and the men who were responsible for the Renaissance of the fifteenth century and the Reformation of the sixteen century contributed their imperishable part to this slow and difficult emancipation of the human race. But it is in modern times the pace and vigour, the scope and sweep of this liberal movement have so increased unquestionably as to dominate the age, particularly the last three centuries that have registered great triumphs of spirit.
What according to the author, is the history of the modern world a record of?