ERIC Number: ED176668
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978
Reference Count: N/A
Decadence and Renewal in the Higher Learning. An Episodic History of American University and College Since 1953.
Based on the theory that higher education in America has been on the decline since 1953, the decadence and hopes for renewal in higher learning are examined. The following afflictions are cited as cause for the decline: (1) a purposelessness or loss of the objects of wisdom and virtue; (2) intellectual disorder: all integration and order of knowledge in flux and the "cafeteria-style" curriculum; (3) gigantism in scale; and (4) the weakening of primary and secondary schooling. The afflictions are seen as the products of two fallacies in education. Fallacy One is the notion that the primary purpose of higher learning is to promote utilitarian efficiency; to make people producers and consumers rather than people of knowledge. Fallacy Two is the notion that almost everybody ought to attend college. The chapters are devoted to such themes as "The Overthrow of Standards,""Academic Intolerance,""Universities for Defense and Matrimony,""Withered Authority," and "Academic Freedom and Teachers' Unions." Possible cures for the decline are offered, such as returning to a genuine liberal arts education. A "radical reaction" is called for to revitalize the imagination and the recovery of knowledge. (LC)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Academic Education, Academic Standards, Accountability, College Administration, College Attendance, College Curriculum, College Students, Educational Benefits, Educational Development, Educational Objectives, Educational Quality, Higher Education, Trend Analysis
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Publication Type: Books; Information Analyses; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
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