Teachers College Press, Columbia University, 1234 Amsterdam Avenue, New York, NY 10027 ($23.95).
Books; Historical Materials; Information Analyses
An historical and conceptual analysis of general education in the United States is presented, comprising the following chapters: (1) transformation and the search for meaning (including a discussion of the concept of general education); (2) the classical curriculum confronts democracy (democratic pressures on the classical curriculum; the Yale report; the utilitarian curriculum; research, culture, and the emerging curricular crisis; the culture movement; other early attempts at reform; the social context); (3) the humanist approach to general education (the philosophy of humanism; the contemporary civilization program at Columbia; Alexander Meiklejohn and the experimental college; "general" versus "liberal" education: Robert Maynard Hutchins; the parting of the ways); (4) pragmatism, instrumentalism, and progressive education (the philosophy of pragmatism; Charles Sanders Peirce and the pragmatic maxim; William James and instrumental truth; John Dewey and the transformation of experience; John Dewey and the instrumentalist philosophy of education; progressive education); (5) instrumentalist approaches to general education: three case histories (Bennington College; Sarah Lawrence College; the General College, University of Minnesota); (6) the general education paradigm on the eve of World War II; (7) general education for democracy (a mobilized society; impact on higher education; the general education movement in postwar society; the President's Commission on Higher Education; general education and the community college; general education at Harvard; summary and conclusions); (8) general education for diversity (postindustrial higher education; social factors; students and general education; a resurgence of pragmatism; new approaches at Columbia; other innovations; new instrumentalist experiments; thematic and interdisciplinary programs; current concerns; trends and opportunities in general education); and (9) conclusions: the meaning of general education. A biographical note about the author an index, and 136 references are provided. (KM)