Readings in Biological Science

Readings in Biological Science

Readings in Biological Science

Readings in Biological Science

Excerpt

The college curriculum is experiencing the most extensive face-lifting in its entire career. The early American college was characterized, in one respect, by an odiously rigid set of course requirements, the general idea being that students were entirely devoid of judgment and value-sense. Later this gave way, before the onslaughts of liberals, to a type of curriculum in which the student was hemmed in with few required subjects and overwhelmed with a tempting array of streamlined electives. This change was probably predicated upon the belief, equally erroneous, that students, now that they were in college, were mature adults and had somehow mysteriously gained all the mature attributes of responsible citizenship.

At the present time the pattern is being set for a healthy compromise between these two extreme viewpoints, a compromise which assures the student of the basic, broad, general principles of education and at the same time allows a reasonable amount of free choice of subject-matter. In addition, the general education program cocks a realistic eye at the majority of college students who benefit most by two years of college and who leave school at the end of that time. The program smooths off the rough edges, gathers up the threads, and attempts to assure that a great deal of worth-while integration will have been accomplished both for those who leave and for those who stay.

World War II has shown us the important fact that the human mind is capable of performing astonishing feats when put under pressure. It has demonstrated the value of the scientific mind in producing and harnessing basic research. For example, the atom bomb was not something entirely new but was actually the careful mixing of previously ascertained knowledge with some new material. Many of the ingredients and steps in the bomb's manufacture had been thought out by scientists who had no idea that such knowledge would be used to usher in an atomic age.

This lesson of the power of the trained mind was not lost upon the business man or the industrialist. Evidently the better positions will now be made available to those who can initiate and carry out fundamental research on basic problems in industry and business and also to those who can fulfil the requirements of the modern, alert employee in general. Many college professors and college graduates are being recruited into positions of opportunity where their keen thinking ability is appreciated.

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