Education and the Human Quest

Education and the Human Quest

Education and the Human Quest

Education and the Human Quest

Excerpt

As judged by our hopes for mental health, social stability, or scientific competition with Russia, our schools are good, indifferent, or bad, depending on how you define your terms. As judged by what could be done if we were to understand and apply modern knowledge to educational problems, all our schools are obsolescent. It is in the latter view that this book is written.

We know a great deal about the nature of man, knowledge, and society; about the dynamics of learning by individuals; about the factors affecting group performance; about intergroup relations and social action; about community improvement. But most of this knowledge has so far made almost no dent at all on educational practices, and, with the present tendency to think that educational problems can be solved with money and organizational changes, the likelihood of any significant improvement is discouragingly slight.

This state of affairs is downright maddening. I don't know whether this book will make a dent either, but one does what one can. What I have done is to essay a nontechnical formulation of Education as an applied branch of social science; this "branch" actually overlaps and draws on parts of most of the social sciences. For such a formulation to pay off in the practical enterprise of guiding educational experiences, it must be interpreted: its practical implications have to be stated. So I have done that, too.

In general, this book only puts in words notions that I have been . . .

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