ERIC Number: ED026958
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1969-Jan-15
Reference Count: 0
What is the Impact of the Social Revolution on Humanistic Studies?
One trait of the ideology of relevance is "external justification," which requires that curricula and courses be justified through their contributions to the amelioration or elimination of social or political evil. Another trait is "tactical redescription," which redefines some fundamental qualities of education as being of positive disvalue. Humanistic studies (history, philosophy, literature and the fine arts) are special targets and victims of the ideology of relevance. They have been viewed as having something important to do with the expression and communication of human values, therefore if what is wrong with our society is the scheme of values to which we subscribe, then humanistic studies should be the educational fulcrum to bring about social change. The methods of inquiry used in humanistic studies are less subject to codification than those to be found in the factual sciences. Because of this it is easy to manipulate the humanities in the interests of fulfilling political objectives. Institutions of higher learning may find it difficult to stand their ground since many academics sympathize with the political goals of relevance ideologists and cannot bring themselves to reject the educational demands they bring to higher education out of the fear that by rejecting them they will be thought of as having repudiated the political goals. It would seem that there are no changes that can satisfy what is demanded by the relevance ideologists and at the same time preserve the intellectual inquiry of humanistic studies. (WM)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Association of American Colleges, Washington, DC.
Note: Paper presented at 55th Annual Meeting of the Association of American Colleges, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, January 15, 1969.