Higher Education for Business

By Robert Aaron Gordon; James Edwin Howell | Go to book overview

chapter 8
THE UNDERGRADUATE CURRICULUM: GENERAL EDUCATION

WHILE an educational institution ultimately stands or falls not on its curriculum but on the quality of its students and faculty, the curriculum is not unimportant. As the structure through which education is accomplished, it becomes a partial determinant of the quality of that education. It also reflects the educational philosophy of the faculty which framed it. Thus, although secondary to students and faculties, curricula have an important influence on the extent to which educational objectives are achieved. Or, as it has been stated elsewhere:1

A college curriculum is significant chiefly for two things: it reveals the educated community's conception of what knowledge is most worth transmitting to the cream of its youth, and it reveals what kind of mind and character an education is expected to produce. The curriculum is a barometer by which we may measure the cultural pressures that operate upon the school.

Part II of this report culminated in a set of conclusions regarding the kind of education for business which, in our opinion, the colleges and universities should provide. In this and the following chapter, these criteria will be expanded and applied to the problem of the undergraduate curriculum.

While we shall offer some quite specific recommendations regarding desirable changes in curriculum in this and later chapters, these recommendations are to be interpreted primarily as indicating the directions in which we believe the business schools need to move. We have no desire to impose a straitjacket on the business schools. To make our points clear, we shall suggest specific types of courses and the approximate amount of time which, in our judgment, should be devoted to each. But there is undoubtedly room for legitimate disagreement with the nature of some of our recommendations; faculty resources vary widely among

____________________
1
Richard Hofstadter and C. DeWitt Hardy, The Development and Scope of Higher Education in the United States ( 1952), p. 11.

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