ERIC Number: ED203951
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Apr-20
Reference Count: 0
Do We Still Believe We Can Shape Society?
Common to the sentiments that led to the establishment of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the community college movement is the conviction that humanities education is vital to the everyday lives of all citizens and should not remain the province of only specialized scholars. Indeed, this conviction is expressed in the language of the legislation creating the NEH, an organization which has, despite the continual insistance of critics that the humanities are not for everyone, encouraged the provision of humanities instruction for all citizens who seek such learning. Such populist ideas are certainly not foreign to the community college movement which has its roots in the belief that the educational needs of the total society are not adequately served by large, established universities, which, as Abraham Flexner argued over 70 years ago, emphasize research at the expense of teaching. Although the community colleges eventually developed a strong commitment to vocational training, their populist heritage is currently emerging in growing demands for general education to help citizens cope with cultural pluralism, the loss of a sense of common good, and other perplexities of modern society. Thus the community colleges are now doing what the NEH had hoped that universities would do: democratizing knowledge through general education curricula which address ideals and values in addition to employable skills. (JP)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: National Endowment for the Humanities
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the American Association of Community and Junior Colleges (61st, Washington, DC, April 20-22, 1981).