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Journal Article

The Migration of Students

E. P. Lyon
New Series, Vol. 36, No. 930 (Oct. 25, 1912), pp. 533-543
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Page Count: 11
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Migrating students have been divided into three classes. The good students who come from good schools should be accepted on the general principle of equivalence of discipline rather than exact parallelism of courses of study. Migration of this kind of students should be encouraged. Poor students from good schools, what Dr. Means calls ``lame ducks,'' need very careful consideration and supervision. Their standing should be provisional and contingent on good work. Each case should be considered on its merits, and the student given a fair opportunity to redeem his record. But he must be held rigidly enough to test his ability and knowledge. It is not wise to take such students into the senior year. The third class consists of students from inferior schools. It can not be ascertained in advance whether they are capable or not, as the grades from many of these schools are of no value. These students likewise should not be taken into the senior year, but by two years of selected work, supplemented in many cases by summer school, many of them can be graduated on a par with the regular members of a class. These students are usually men who made a mistake in their original choice of a school and who are earnestly desirous of bettering their condition. Each student must be considered individually, and his credits and studies adjusted to meet his personal needs. Hard and fast rules can not be followed, but certain principles find more or less general application. These are considered in the body of this paper. For the adequate consideration of the individual student, whether in the matter of migration or any other phase of school life, a body of trained educators must be constituted with ample powers. It is recommended that this body be composed primarily of the paid, full-time instructors. In most medical schools this would not be too large a number to be effective. This body should be free to use its judgment for the best interests of the individual student. Rules and precedents have their value for the regular progress of the student body, but must be considered a means and not an end. Justice to the individual is our fundamental duty. Broadly considered, just action for the individual carries with it justice to the other schools and to the public. We must beware lest in our blindness and in our sloth and in our preoccupation we bow down to the wood and stone of rules and regulations. Let us set up rather the god of individual education, which is a spirit and not a formula; the spirit which so successfully wrought in medical education in the days of preceptor and student; the spirit which has produced such apparent prodigies as Carl Witte and young Sidis; the spirit which makes an educational institution, not a machine nor a purely reflex organism, but a human entity with a human soul.