Educational Considerations, vol. 43(4) Full Issue

Charles E. Litz, Sandra Williams Ernst
1975 Educational Considerations  
published ot kansas stote university college of education 1 Litz and Ernst: Educational Considerations, vol. 43(4) Full Issue Published by New Prairie Press, 2017 overloading the educational circuit editorial viewpoint I heard ,Omeone say the other day that it you are under twenty and not liberal you must not have a heart, and if you are over forty .nd not conservative. you mu,t not have a brain. Well, I am somewhere in betwe€n and am not quite sure how to cl.ssify my views_ I like to think
more » ... I like to think that my situation in life hJ5 provided me with both a heart and a brain, although admittedly the evidence doe, not always be", me out on this However it be explained, my inability to stereotype my view, is unque,tionably a good thing. At the very least I can avoid tho distortions and false a55ociation, that invariably follow the categorization of opinion Andwhen it come, to education, emotion"1 os the ;"ue, usually are, my inability to cla"iiy my view, is undoubtedly a gift of the god,. With this I want to ,"y that our present-day educational e,tobli,hment look, to me pretty much like an i"effective gial1t. And the rea,on i, not simply that school, are trying to do '0 much, but that they are un,uited for;o much of what they are trying to do. Given their ta,k;, failu", and frustration a", in the cards from the start. The eventual manife'tation; of dioappointment and critici,m are in reality preordained. 11u,ed to he that the formal phase of education was limited to intellectual training and character development. I'ven the earlv progre"ive, ,eemed to accept the,e ""traints. They focu,ed on the em'erging capobilitie, of the child, not on c"ltural heritage or ,0d.1 reform They believed that proper schooling would io,ter the copacity to think "One mu;t learn how to learn," they would ,ay. While they recognized the importance oj teaching ba,k in/orm.tion and insisted on promoting certain valu,;" they did not expect the school, to de the work oj government, church Qrfamily In our own time we seem to heap every ;ocial, political and economic problem that com.s our way onto the back of the ,chool. II others cannot or do not w~nt to deal with an issue, and if some one group must joce up to the matter, it may as well be educators; or '0 we say. Schooling i, now ,upposed to be an anmer, if not the o"ly an,wer, to the problems 01 poverty, unemployment, racial segregation, drug ad" diction, ,exu~1promiscuity, vandali,m, hooligani,m, personal unhappiness, family conflict, and ,ocial discontent. Under the banne" of justice and num.n COnCernwe have adde<! onG program after another to thc ,chool', curriculum, u,ually with the be,t 0/ ,tated intention;, but almo't alway, without much ;uece". One way to look at this situation is to say that tod.y we expect too much oi our school,. But I think this view i, naive. I can only conclude that we really do not want the;e i"ues resolved. Ij we did, we would have used ,orne morc .ppropriate agency to re,olve them. Sur€ly, we would not have cnosen the ,chool,. If I were under some pressure to jace up to un,ettling conditions but really wanted things to remain the ,ame, I would in,i,t on introducing a new program into the curriculum. By '0 doing I could satisfy my conscience and protect my public image, while at the ,ame time hardly doing anything. Can the ,choal, do it .111On Iy in the eye, of the gull ible, tho,e with a tendency to give way 10 delusion, of grandeur I wont the educational establishment in America to be a giant, but I al,o want it to be eiiective. In orde, to be '0 it must concentrate on what it Can do, not on what ha, heen ,hown to be impossible. For political a, well as moral reawn, we mu,t be careful not to overload l~e educ.tionol drcuit. Otherwi,e, instead of doing good, education will be done in by ho,tile force, and our dream oj eiiective universal ,choeling will self-destruct. Ii ,chool, ."ume intellectual and humani,tic val<Je, and proceed to function a, on~gency lor individual development, rather than a, an agency ior cultural tran,mission or social reform, they will no longer need to 'pend 50 much of their resources trying to ju,ti/y their very exi'tence. In"ead they will be better situate<! (0 bring about the good" within their grasp. Philip L. Smith lne Ohio State Univ."ity 2
doi:10.4148/0146-9282.2099 fatcat:2bv25ky3l5dbdddily3inoyp7m