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Supplemental Education

extension, institutions, courses, university, knowledge and formal

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SUPPLEMENTAL EDUCATION. Defi education is for every com munity and for everybody. It extends the opportunity for education to the whole body of the people, to the whole period of life and to all the vital interests of life.* Formal education may be said to include the systematic instruction which is imparted through personal contact with the student, whether by class-room work or lectures, when given under the direct guidance and supervision of trained instructors in schools, colleges, universities and similar institutions, as distinguished from knowledge acquired through the more informal methods of study whether or not allied with teaching institutions. These •methods vary widely and range from the carefully organized study clubs of university extension courses to the entirely independent research work of single individuals in libraries, museums and similar educational institutions.

General exist for two purposes : (1) To perpetuate and discover knowledge; (2) to disseminate that knowledge both in its academic and its practical results. Extension teaching furnishes a means of fur thering knowledge in both these aspects, par ticularly the practical.

"By instituting popular instruction in those practical, technical and cultural subjects over which universities tend perhaps unconsciously to exercise a monopoly those institutions can so influence public taste and intelligence as to contribute greatly to social progress.* Nalder.

The chief object of extension work is to provide the best education possible at the lowest practicable cost for those who are unable to attend established educational institutions.

I. Systems.— University Extension.— His tory—As early as 1831 some forms of univer sity extension were in use in the United States in the work of the American National Lyceum, an organization which, though not associated with any educational institution, had a part in the wide spread of popular education. Lecture courses and debating clubs were begun in many city and country communities. In 1:4:7 an ad

dress before the American Library Association on the subject of the English system of univer sity extension aroused much interest, and as a result university extension work was begun in several cities in connection with the work of the city library. In 1889 Columbia University announced to the teachers in and near New York City the offer of certain elementary courses in science, to be given by means of classes outside the university. From this be ginning university extension grew steadily as a i power in popular education.

Purpose and Scope.— University extension provides a means for the acquirement of an education by those who for any reason are un able to attend institutions offering formal in struction. The courses are designed not only to assist such persons but also to supplement the regular work of such institutions by offering an opportunity for continued study to those who may have completed the formal courses.

Extension courses cover a wide range of subjects from those of a very elementary char acter to those which are of interest and benefit only to a highly educated and cultured class, the courses being adapted to the particular need to be met. In many instances it is difficult to make a dear line of distinction between uni versity extension and the formal instruction of teaching institutions as exemplified in night schools and vocation schools.

Methods.— Extension service as carried on by the universities of this country varies widely in methods. In some institutions there is a separately organized extension faculty entirely distinct from the regular faculty, while in others extension work is conducted by the regularly organized faculties through the medium of the various departments. The former plan, which is relatively more expensive, provides for a highly specialized and intensive type of work, but the other secures co-ordination of effort by the various departments and co-operation on the part of the faculties that would otherwise be impossible.

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