Depression, Recovery and Higher Education: A Report by Committee Y of the American Association of University Professors. The Draft of This Report Was Prepared by Malcolm M. Willey

By Malcolm M. Willey; American Association of University Professors | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XVII
SOME NEWER EDUCATIONAL EMPHASES ARISING FROM THE DEPRESSION

REGARDLESS of the extent to which a school system has developed, or whether elementary, secondary, or higher education is involved, there will always be many other agencies doing what is in fact, if not in name, educational work. Sometimes the importance of these non-school educational activities is overlooked, or minimized; the stress that is given to normal education tends to divert attention to the schools. Education and school have come to acquire an overlapping connotation.

The educational activities lying outside of the pattern of formalized education in this country range from those characterized by casualness and simplicity to those that are, in some respects, as highly organized and intricate as the school system itself. To discuss all of these fully--even if the discussion were limited to the level of higher education, or adult education--would lead attention away from the direct purposes of this study. The subject, however, is important, since it involves, from the standpoint of the schools, the growth and function of what may be competitive or supplementary organizations. Some of these have objectives that are in harmony with those of the schools. Others may, and do, work at cross purposes. Thus, for example, recreational agencies such as the motion picture and the radio may be engendering attitudes and habits of thought quite at variance from those the school seeks to engender. The newspaper, as a conveyer of factual material and pseudo factual material and also of much recreational reading matter, has influences that must be balanced against those the school purports to exert. Some of the new agencies have come into being to perform functions that the school has not assumed, yet for which there is need. Some of the popular magazines unquestionably exert a greater influence on matters of public taste in many fields than do the schools, including the colleges. The problem of the relation of the influences of formal education through a school system to education of a nonacademic type, from whatever sources, is one that has not received as yet the full attention it merits. Ultimately the question will have to be raised for detailed consideration. The depression has been one factor contributing to that necessity.

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