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March 20, 1915


Author Affiliations

President, Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching NEW YORK

JAMA. 1915;LXIV(12):961-965. doi:10.1001/jama.1915.02570380009003

The desire to classify seems to be a universal human motive. In education, in politics, in society, men reach out for some form of classification that shall be definite and specific, so that every cause may have its right label, every party its true name, and every institution be included in its proper class.

Institutions as they develop become more complex, and hence more difficult to divide into classes. These difficulties increase as one seeks to take into account intellectual and moral qualities. For this reason it has been almost impossible to classify colleges. It would be easy enough, indeed, to separate colleges into groups according to some simple condition, for example, those having more than five hundred students, or more than a million dollars endowment, or those teaching Hebrew; but such groupings would have little significance. The moment one takes into account intellectual qualities and educational facilities, the groups

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