The contributing factors found in the school must first be remedied, before responsibility for the failures can be fairly apportioned to the pupils.
The provision of uniform conditions for all is based on the false doctrine of the uniformity of the human mind. Such conditions may prove very unequal for some individuals, and achievement is not then a real measure of ability.
By applying a functioning psychology to school practice, more adaptation and specialization are required to meet the individual differences of pupils.
No change of subjects is in general necessitated, but a change of the attitude which subjects pupils to the subjects seems essential.
The genuineness of the pupil’s response depends on the pupil and the subject. A policy of coercion will usually beget only dislike or failure.
Properly selected student advisers, appointed early, may transform the school for the pupil, save the pupil for the school, and his work from failures.
A relatively high degree of flexibility and specialization of the curriculum will help the pupil find what he is best fitted for, and thereby minimize waste. This will include a virtual parity between the classical and scientific subjects.
The reduction of some subjects to smaller units will tend to facilitate flexibility and a reduction of failures.
The provision of directed study will help the pupils to help themselves. Good teaching demands it. The harness is often heavier than the load. Failures are inevitable.
The plan of study direction must be varied according to the varying needs of pupils, subjects, and schools. The poorer pupils are aided most. They are made even more reliant on themselves. The reduction of failures tends to balance any added expense.
Records adequate and complete should be a part of the business and educational equipment of every school. The exposition and use of these facts as recorded will then give direction to school progress, and dethrone the authority of assumption and opinion.