Education and American Civilization

Education and American Civilization

Education and American Civilization

Education and American Civilization

Excerpt

This volume represents an effort to meet in the field of education the challenge of totalitarianism in its several forms. It represents an effort to develop a conception of American education which will support the values of free society in the present troubled age as effectively and vigorously as the educational conceptions of the totalitarian states support the purposes of despotism.

The book seeks to achieve this end through an analysis in historical perspective of the broad features of our American civilization, an exploration of the dynamics of industrial society, an examination of the major realities of the contemporary epoch, and an affirmation of the values which should guide us in the rearing of the young in the coming years. It is based upon the assumption that an education always expresses a conception of some living civilization and that a great education must express a great conception of civilization. It is based also on the conviction that our American civilization contains the elements out of which such a conception of civilization can be fashioned. Education and American Civilization therefore is essentially a study of the social, cultural, and moral foundations of the program and curriculum of our American common school.

The thing attempted in these pages is extremely ambitious, even pretentious perhaps. I realize fully the greatness of the . . .

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