The Two Ends of the Log: Learning and Teaching in Today's College

The Two Ends of the Log: Learning and Teaching in Today's College

The Two Ends of the Log: Learning and Teaching in Today's College

The Two Ends of the Log: Learning and Teaching in Today's College

Excerpt

Modern Jeremiahs have been predicting for some time that the day of quality instruction in our colleges is ended. They foresee a tidal wave of students flooding the institutions of higher education, jamming large lecture halls, and making precious personal interaction between student and professor virtually impossible.

Others, however, refuse to yield to such pessimism. They see in the swelling college populations a still greater opportunity for serving American youth and preparing them to participate in our rapidly shifting culture. They remember that the individual student is a separate human being, whether in a small or large group, and that education fails to take place at all until he is moved to examine phenomena independently and resolve problems in his own terms. If the coming decades offer a more challenging opportunity than ever before to help millions of students find themselves and prepare for intellectual leadership, the colleges simply must rise to this challenge.

It was in this determined spirit that the Association of Minnesota Colleges called a conference in April 1958 to re-examine the teaching job, assess the obstacles to learning, and appraise the most promising methods of college teaching in the days ahead. It was to be a representative conference composed of classroom teachers from the colleges of Minnesota and including all types of institutions and the many fields of subject matter.

It happened that 1958 was the centennial year for the state of Minnesota. Accordingly, at the suggestion of the Association, the state Centennial Commission endorsed the project as one of the official events of the centennial celebration. The Commission made a grant to help prepare and carry through the conference program. In addition, the Louis W. and Maud Hill Family Foundation granted funds . . .

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