SUMMER SESSIONS. The summer school responds to a specific need. Professional people such as teachers, ministers, doctors and also other workers like social workers, Y. M. C. A. and Y. W. C. A. secretaries and even business men and women, find the summer vacation pe riod a suitable time to undertake advanced edu cational work in specially selected subjects. The other seasons of the year are devoted to ex haustive labors; the summer study is both recreative and inspirational and may be made to contribute to professional advancement. When systematically planned and extended over a period of years, such summer work may even have recognition in the form of academic credit or academic degrees.
Of the persons listed above teachers in service malce the rnost insistent demand for summer courses. New methods and new edu cational movements continually call for special short courses. For e3cample, the Montessori method, or the Direct Method in Latin, may be studied to advantage in this way. Teachers may add to their regular accomplishments cer tain special, perhaps new, activities, such as domestic science and art, various phases of handwork, craftswork, physical education, elo cution, etc. Again, a famous teacher from a foreign land may offer courses during a sum mer session, affording attractive opportunity for special investigation, or for getting a par ticular method or a particular fonn of inter pretation in a Icnown field. It is a growing practice amoz.ig municipal school authorities to offer special inducement to public school teach ers to take summer courses. The elementary teacher more particularly, but the high school teacher also to some extent is tempted to stag nate. After teaching the same subject several years, the dull monotony of the process deadens the ambition. This is especially true where Irxiowledge of tnethod is more important than knowledge of subject matter as in the ele mentaly school. The opportunity for summer study is especially inspiring in such cases.
Physicians also find it desirable to investi gate new treatments, to observe and learn new methods in surgery, to get a new point of view in the profession. The summer session or
clinic may give the desired opportunity. Even the farmer demands special opportunities for the observation of special methods and prac tices and looks to a short session of the Agri cultural College to supply his needs. In this case, however, the wmter may offer greater advantages.
Recently efficiency experts have advocated the continuous use of educational plants. The idle recitation halls, laboratories and libraries are considered uneconomical. This idleness may continue from 15 June to 15 September, 25 per cent of the educational year. Apparently this records only 75 per cent efficiency for fac ulties, plants and investments. For the faculty the inefficiency is only apparent since the fal low months are essential to the later increase in fertility and resourcefulness. Of the plant, however, and of the invested funds, the charge of inefficiency is partly true. If a separate faculty can be provided to use the equipment during the summer, a faculty that has its fal low months at another season of the year, then an all year program becomes efficient.
The continuous ses sion plan was devised at Chicago University by President William Rainey Harper, when that institution was first opened in 1892. It provides (1) four terms of twelve weeks each; (2) twelve terms completed work are required for graduation; (3) that a student may com plete twelve terms in three years% (4) that a student may select any three terms as a year's worlc, devoting the other term to rest or busi ness; (5) that a member of the faculty may elect to be absent from college duties during any one term of any calendar year.
This plan accomplishes all that summer sessions usually seek to do and much more. (1) It incorporates the summer session as an integral part of the academic year. The sum mer term differs in no essential respect from any. of the other terms. (2) Students may begtn their college or university courses four times each year. (3) The university equip ment is in continual use. (4) The university can use the best men from other institutions in this country and even from foreign uni versities.