ERIC Number: ED216640
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Mar
Reference Count: 0
Intellectual Biography in Higher Education: The Public Career of Earl J. McGrath as a Case Study.
Reid, John Y.
The method of writing an intellectual biography and the public career of Earl J. McGrath in the post-World War I cultural milieu are analyzed. One analytical framework is adapted from cultural anthropology and is used to describe the relationship of educational systems to other social systems and to culture as a whole. The second analytic frame, which evolved from evaluation of the 60-year period of McGrath's public career, concerned intellectual changes in physics, philosophy, and psychology. A third analytic frame was the dominant political and economic orientations (the Depression and World War II and also the Viet Nam War period). The data for the analysis came from three sources: McGrath's writings; nine taped interviews with McGrath; and evaluations of his life and contributions by other writers. Five key questions regarding McGrath's career are addressed: (1) What were the significant periods or divisions in McGrath's career? (2) What were his overall contributions to higher education? (3) To what extent did his career redirect the dominant social and intellectual climate of the different historical periods? (4) Can it be demonstrated that he influenced the social and intellectual climate of the different historical periods? (5) To what extent was his career significant in terms of the external cultural context? McGrath was an advocate of the liberal arts and general education, but also advanced the idea that to meet the demands of modern society, higher education curricula must be oriented around important social problems. It is suggested that it would be difficult to place McGrath neatly on a conservative, progressive, reconstructionist spectrum. (SW)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Historical Materials
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: McGrath (Earl J)
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (New York, NY, March 1982).