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The Outlook in Secondary Education: II. Youth and Tests


by Sir Michael Sadler - 1930

IN MY first lecture I spoke of the victorious march of the idea that secondary education should be open to everybody.1 At last the hope of Comenius may be fulfilled. You will remember the words of that valiant pioneer who, nearly three centuries ago, felt very much what we feel about the possibilities of national education: "I aim," he said "at securing for all human beings training in all that is proper to their common humanity." I recalled to our thoughts the many changes in science, politics, and social philosophy which have smoothed the way for the advance of the inspiring idea to which Comenius was the first to give public utterance. And I touched upon the unique part which the United States have taken through their example, influence, and generosity in disseminating his educational ideal. But we found ourselves confronted by a dilemma. Every nation needs a selective agency for the choice of those who shall be the responsible guardians of its tradition of culture, of administrative responsibility, and of professional skill. The chief selective agency must be education, or rather some mesh or method of test attached to education. But how can education, at one and the same time, be indiscriminately accessible and yet pick out those who shall, by the use they make of it, prove themselves fit to be chosen as representing the standard of knowledge and capacity which that education is designed to produce and train in the interests of all the higher callings of the community? This dilemma is the crucial problem in modern educational policy.


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 32 Number 2, 1930, p. 123-139
https://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 7103, Date Accessed: 10/22/2019 12:43:22 PM

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