ERIC Number: ED172660
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979
Reference Count: N/A
Education and the Democratic Ideal.
Cahn, Steven M.
A philosophical and pragmatic critique is offered of the pedagogical dilemmas confronting the educational establishment. It is argued that higher education institutions at present have no clear idea of what a liberal arts education ought to accomplish, what its scope ought to be, and how its goals ought to be reached. The academic community is failing to provide students with a broad and enlightened program of vocational training and are failing to equip them with rudiments of critical deductive reasoning, with aesthetic sensibilities, and with a basic understanding of various intellectual disciplines. It is contended that the recipient of a liberal arts degree ought to be intellectually and articulately equipped to assume an active, informed role in the democratic process, to become a responsible contributor to the economy, and to enjoy an enriched cultural life. Present-day trends can be reversed only through a reappraisal of the aims of higher education. Recommendations for reform, which spell out a coherent and sound philosophy of higher education and endorse a traditional liberal arts curriculum, are offered. A defense of grades and examinations and a discussion of current laxities that have been associated with poor teaching, unmerited awarding of tenure, and giving of doctorates with no requirement for skill in lecturing are discussed. (SW)
Descriptors: Academic Standards, Cognitive Objectives, College Faculty, College Role, Democratic Values, Educational Objectives, Educational Philosophy, Educational Problems, Educational Testing, General Education, Grades (Scholastic), Higher Education, Liberal Arts, Teaching Skills
Nelson-Hall Inc., Publishers, 11 North Canal Street, Chicago, IL 60606 ($13.95 cloth, $7.95 paper)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Books
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A