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The following tape recorded program is a presentation of the National Association of educational broadcasters hazards to education in the United States. The University of Chicago radio office presents the first in a series of four talks by Robert M. Hudgens associate director of the Ford Foundation. Mr. Hodgins book under the auspices of the Walgreen lectureship at the University of Chicago. Today's program is entitled industrialization. Mr. Hutchens. Of a very special cause. To come here on the green foundation. After a somewhat you know lost patience style. Mr. Walgren and I. Became very close friends.
In our meetings in the last years of his life. This foundation was his great preoccupation. I'm grateful to him. But through it. I have the satisfaction of meeting you again. It is a pleasure to be able to appear on this platform. For the first time. With a sense of complete irresponsibility. Those of you who were here when I was will probably not notice any difference. But I assure you. That whenever I spoke here before. I was at all times trying to get votes.
Even though my methods of soliciting them were sometimes so artful that people thought I was trying to insult them. Now at last. I can tell you what I really think. Without fear that I shall endanger the public standing of the university. Already an aide from my administration. The faculty. Of trustees Alumni a newspaper. In fact. The most outrageous my remarks the better it will be for the university. Because all hands well then feel renewed
gratitude to the Ford Foundation. There is a sort of poetic justice. Or tragic irony in my having this opportunity. After having lived two years in Southern California and my having it that is just one my mind is beginning to go into. Those of you who were here when I was. Well probably not notice any difference. In the old days. Whenever a professor at Chicago received an invitation. To a sister institution in California. I would
say What do you want to go there for. There is no challenge from the environment. Toynbee. I said you will buy an acre of land. And start growing Di years. And never be heard of again. Your mind will go. It is no satisfaction to me. But I have turned out to be an accurate prophet in my own case. In my own case. The predicted intellectual deterioration has manifested itself in a kind of involuntary mellowness. So here I am. With a chance at last to tell you
what I really think. And I find myself full of that secularism sweetness which characterizes the overwrites fruits of my adopted state. I shall do my best to struggle against it. But perhaps I should ask you to remember that if I say anything pleasant about American education. That is California speaking. Theys lectures about the hazards to education in the United States. Education in the United States. Is a wonderful thing. California.
But it faces at the moment certain peculiar dangers. The principal ones seem to be those associated with industrialization. Specialization philosophical diversity. And social and political conformity. Industrialization seems to charm people into thinking that the prime aim of life and hence of education. Is the development of industrial power. Specialization has dire effects upon the effort to build up a community and particularly a community of the learned. Philosophical diversity. Raises the question of whether a community is possible.
Social and political conformity. Suggests that the kind of community we seem to be headed for is one that we shall not like when we get. I sure hope to indicate. Methods by which these hazards can be overcome. In doing so I shall have occasion from time to time to refer to the accomplishments of utopia. A country that has faced the same dangers. And that has it seems to me produced an intelligible educational system in spite of them. Perhaps I should tell you a little now about Utopia. And topia is not heaven. It is inhabited by people much like ourselves. It is a country in the western world. Its climate
resembles that of Southern California. But there is no other resemblance. The topia. Has a scientific. Industrial democracy. That is rich and powerful. It is surrounded by enemy states. It is committed to the doctrine of education for all. Of its principal educational problem has been to determine to determine how do we educate everybody so that the country may have the scientific and industrial strength that require us and at the same time educate everybody so that the country will know how to use its scientific and industrial power wisely. I hope that the masterly solution of this problem
at which the utopians have arrived may commend itself to you. At the end I shall enquire whether it is possible for the United States. Which has the same problem to adopt the same solution. That's industrialization. Obviously has drastic affects upon the conditions under which education is given. It provides relative wealth and relative leisure. It makes large expenditures on education possible. In its early stages. It has drastic affects on the content of education as well as on the conditions in which education operates.
One industrial development begins in an underdeveloped country a pressure toward technical training that is naturally very great. The effort is to get everybody into the frame of mind that will make him fit readily into the developing industrial programme. Before universal free compulsory education this effort was of course not conducted through the educational system. The mass of the workers was drawn from a class that had never had educational opportunities. The economic necessities of that class required them to allow their children to weather industry. Or even to force them into work at a tender age. The combination of the desire of the industrialists for a supply of cheap labor. And the necessities of the
working class. Led to those horrors in the evolution of capitalism. Accurately described by Karl Marx. And in England. And in America. The evolution of the industrial system. Was accompanied by universal suffrage and universal education. These countries did not construct their educational systems. And order to have a place to put the children they wanted to take out of industry. They inaugurated universal education in order to prepare the rising generation for universal suffrage. Lord Sugar Brooke expressed the common view and aristocratic circles in England after the passage of the second reform bill when he said.
Now we must educate our masters. In this country. The expressions of the founding fathers about universal education leave no doubt that their motive was the same. They believed that a democratic country could not survive unless the people are educated and use the suffrage wisely. I think this is the prevailing attitude. And in England today. The object of the British educational system. Taken as a whole is not to produce hands for industry or to teach the young how to make a living. That is to produce responsible citizens. When you have one you want to have universal for a
compulsory education and you want to have it all at once. The educational difficulties that you confront are very serious. Think of the task of merely housing an educational system for everybody and a large country. Where can you find competent teachers in sufficient numbers. And what will a system do with all the new young people many of them without a background or interest. That the legislature has suddenly thrown upon them. If the country is one that is committed to building up its industrial power and if it is one in which success is identified with success in earning a living then the needs of the individual. And the needs of society
will same to coincide in demanding that the young Be prepared to American industry. The. But the paradox is that the more industrialized a country becomes the less it needs technical training of the kind usually supplied. At the lower levels of education. I think it is easy to demonstrate. That technical training does not and cannot meet the needs of the individual or of society. Even assuming that those needs are what they are supposed to be. Technical Training cannot help an individual to be a success and it cannot help the industry to prosper. When industrialization mechanization of rage to high point they minimize the
necessity for such training. The object of mechanization is not merely to save labor. It is also to reduce through continuous simplification. The amount of training that is necessary to operate the machines. The rapidity with which industrial corporations train men in the last war shows what can be done. One technology has arrived at the stage that it has attained in the United States. If industrialists today. Indicate. That they want workers trained in the schools some of them constantly say they don't know. It is because they are misguided. In Pasadena today. There was a fight going
on. Between the operators of foundries and the Pasadena City College. The Foundry operators say that they need trained workers and that it is the duty of the college to supply them. The college has a course for foundry workers. But wishes to abandon it. Because it loses money and it has too few students. The Foundry operators reply that there would be plenty of students if the college properly advertised the course as it is the duty of the college to do. It. It is interesting to note that in this controversy nobody has raised the question why it is the responsibility of a tax supported college to train the foundry operators hands for them. Or what the educational content of a course for fun group foundry workers
might be. It is simply assume that the college should meet the needs of any part of the industrial system has for workers and meet the needs that any individual fails to be trained in anything. The only question is therefore whether there is a need. If a need is identified. The educational system must meet it. This involves the actual recruiting of a labor force for an industry. The educational system must recruit. I have not been able. To reconcile these conclusions where the theory of free enterprise under which one would think. The business of making an occupation attractive. And training neophytes to practice it. Should devolve upon the enterprising.
And not upon institutions supported by taxes or by philanthropy. We simply assume that industrial development is so important and the need for economic training so fundamental. That the public interest and paying the public's money for the support of these objects may be taken for granted. A. The fact is of course that the Pasadena foundry operators. If they undertook to train their workers themselves would be better satisfied in the end. The standard method of preparing records for industry before the advent of universal and prolonged education was to put them to work. The difficulty of creating in any kind of school an adequate imitation
of an industrial situation and a rapid and accelerating technical development of our time to present the problem that confronts anybody. Who thinks he can do an effective job of preparing workers in any other way than by putting them to work. But there is something more serious here than the mere inefficiency of technical training. Industrialization mechanization alter the conditions of life and hence of education through the day the humanization of work. When the assembly line becomes the characteristic instrument of production. When a man stands eight hours a day automatically repeating the same operation which may be no more than pushing the same
button over and over again. When he becomes in effect merely part of a machine. The conditions of his life represent a dramatic departure from the hours which the craftsman or farmer knew an earlier time. The educational system must if possible take these changes into account. It must if possible find ways of enriching life on the assembly line and ways of enriching the time that a man does not spend on the assembly line. The problem of making work significant. In an industrial mechanized economy is one of the most difficult in the modern world. It will not do to say as I have said many times that this problem can be solved by the steady reduction in the
hours of labor and by giving significance to free time. For a time should have significance. And to this issue I shall turn in a moment. But as long as people have to spend any considerable fraction of their lives in work what they work at and how they work out it. Ought to have as much meaning for them and do as much for them as possible. It seems altogether unlikely. That any form of vocational or technical training can help to give significance to life on the assembly line. Such significance could be achieved only. By understanding the processes through which the worker was going through understanding the relation of these processes to the processes in which other workers were
engaged. Through understanding the contribution made by the efforts of the worker to the product and through understanding the significance of the product and the economic and social situation. The man on the assembly line. If he is to be a man. Must have something in his head. No society had made any claim to be enlightened and contemplate the possibility that any section of the population could be reduced to subhuman status. Study a reduction in the hours of labor as undoubtedly offered new opportunities to the man on the assembly line. You now has about 20 hours a week more free time than his grandfather had. This time could be
used to you know increase his understanding. Of the significance of his work and to promote his development as a human being. Liberals. Sensed the dawn of the industrial era. I've insisted on the reduction of the hours of labor because they had these ends in view. I sometimes think. That the betterness that liberals fail toward radio television and the other so-called media of mass communication. Results from their disappointment at what the man on the assembly line has done with their free time that they have helped them to obtain. Although we should not underestimate the growing interest in art and music in this country in general the record of the time the record has gained has meant more time to waste.
No methods of wasting it. The new objects to waste it upon are being invented every day. The worker who previously had only a little time. In which to get drunk beat his wife. Or go to burlesque shows. Now has much more time to get drunk beat his wife. And watch television. No wonder the liberals feel betrayed. They feel betrayed likewise by the results of universal for a compulsory education which like the reduction in the hours of labor has been a foundation stone of liberalism since the earliest times.
Universal education. Instead of fulfilling the hopes of its sponsors by liberating a worker and enabling him to get political power and use it wisely has made him the victim of charlatans and every field of human activity. People have a say as a result of the movement toward universal education. Just enough education to permit them to be victimized by advertising and propaganda. Not enough to enable them to appraise and resist the arts of those who have been engaged in depriving them of the political power their education was to give them. The nature of the education that the people have received. Has contributed also to the continuous enlargement of the area of wasted time. There has been little in their education to
suggest that the time should not be wasted. Or propose methods of employing it usefully. Only an education can save Dov as moral intellectual static and spiritual growth could accomplish these aims. An education dedicated for example to training a boy to earn a living. Cannot lay the basis for the useful employment of those hours of his life in which he is not earning a living. Then the United States. The habits formed in childhood and. Likely to have a determining influence upon the employment of free time in adult life. For there are no compelling motives in the life of American adults to draw them. There was this to play into the kind of activities that should characterize the free
independent developing human being. There is tremendous pressure toward conformity in the United States. There is tremendous pressure towards success. Which is usually interpreted to mean money power and publishing. There is little effective pressure toward moral intellectual static and spiritual growth. The motives. That have induced large numbers of adults in other countries to go on learning after they have left school do not exist in the United States. Those motives have ben to obtain political power to gain social advancement. Or to make more money. And then the United States. Education is irrelevant to Wally's aims. Where the exception of course that certain formal educational
requirements must be met. In order to gain entrance into certain occupations. These requirements that must be met in order to gain entrance into certain occupations are not normally such as to lay any basis for interest in continued learning. An adult life.
Hazards to education
Industrialization, part one
Producing Organization
University of Chicago
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
This program, the first of two parts, focuses on the hazards that industrialization poses to education.
Series Description
Walgreen Lecture series on the present hazards to American education as seen and presented by Robert M. Hutchins. Each lecture discusses one particular problem.
Broadcast Date
Industrialization--United States.
Media type
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Producing Organization: University of Chicago
Speaker: Hutchins, Robert Maynard, 1899-1977
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 55-10-1 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:29:21
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Chicago: “Hazards to education; Industrialization, part one,” 1955-04-03, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed April 21, 2024,
MLA: “Hazards to education; Industrialization, part one.” 1955-04-03. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. April 21, 2024. <>.
APA: Hazards to education; Industrialization, part one. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from