Paradox and Promise: Essays on American Life and Education

Paradox and Promise: Essays on American Life and Education

Paradox and Promise: Essays on American Life and Education

Paradox and Promise: Essays on American Life and Education

Excerpt

There is no dearth of learned treatises about education and no lack of urbane wisdom about life in our time. There are many serious and even angry books about the American public schools and colleges.

If there is any excuse for adding another item to the inventory, it is that education and life are so complex that different perspectives are easily come by, and each new one discloses items hitherto unnoticed, some of which are of more than passing interest.

The perspectives from which these essays have been written range through those of teachers, educational administrators, devotees of the liberal arts, educationists, would-be philosophers, and thoughtful human beings who want to reap the material benefits of technology without sacrificing the fruits of the human spirit.

The variety of perspectives may help to explain and, I hope, to justify to some degree the differences of mood found in these essays. If some themes seem to be treated less solemnly than they deserve, I can only plead that for a given purpose and in a given perspective their comic aspects are more noticeable and significant than their serious ones.

These essays owe so much to so many students and colleagues than any attempt to acknowledge the debt would leave most of my creditors unpaid; however, I am especially grateful to Dr. and Mrs. Joe Burnett for a helpful reading of the manuscript and to Edgar P. Thomas of PrenticeHall, Inc., for his interest in the project as a whole.

University of Illinois H. S. B.

1961

H.S.B.

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