Urban Confrontation; 20; The Wave of the Future: The Young Teachers in the Big Cities
The views and opinions expressed on the following program do not necessarily represent those of the program host. Joseph R. Baylor Northeastern University or this station. Questions asked merely represent the moderator's method of presenting all sides of today's topic. The urban confrontation and analysis of the continuing crisis facing 20th century man in the American city. Now when I was teaching I let the kids say anything they wanted in my classroom and you'd be surprised how they refrained from using out studies simply because they had this freedom. But the administration known I was giving them this freedom. Do you believe that the kids would have been as free to express themselves also in giving them essays letting give them essays and would you do for vacation. I give them putting in essays things they could identify with like should you or should you not go parking to enjoy a date should you or should you not have premarital intercourse should you or should you not drink
before you reach the age of 21. Should 18 year olds vote. What about drugs when the kids ate this up and they took it home to their parents and the parents praised not only me but their child. Today's recorded guests are Rose Feinberg Louis DeMarco and Frank Jonas who will discuss the wave of the future the young teachers in the big city. Here is your host Joseph R. Bailey. We've done something that we've never done before. We're going to join a radio program right in the middle of a discussion. What happened was this. We did one show on the subject of young teachers on the problems that they encounter in our urban areas. Perhaps you've heard this program on the same station a few weeks ago after that program was completed we let our tape recorders continue to run. Now the ensuing conversation was so stimulating that we decided on the spot to do another
show. Our guests were still excited from the end of their first program and the result is what we think is some very exciting radio. So let's join that discussion now and look in as it is in progress. And they did major in biology or chemistry one of these particular areas in a strict discipline at Harvard or Yale or what have you. And they went into teaching and they were willing to put their lead lives on the line for the jobs in the line because they know where they stand they know they know the material. They're confident they have security in this in this and a feeling that they have gone through an educational process that is meaningful to them and they've met the challenge. What is the reaction in the teachers room in the day to day banter back and forth over the cafeteria table among teachers the reaction to that one unique teacher that you occasionally see who is attempting to do a little extra for the kids maybe he's using the educational technology. Maybe he has some some audio visual aids perhaps. Maybe he's staying after school for a little tutorial work with the
kids. Maybe he's being creative now. Isn't he considered to be an oddball. Yeah to be a nut. I think he's created an airline depends a little bit. Things are not changing anything that is hyped so that our son is considered to be an oddball. Let's not whitewash the basic characteristics that are fit to breed of teachers. The culture will not suddenly overnight cough up some sort of a revolutionary category Oh I am not talking about. Joe I am not talking about revolution I'm talking about evolution. There's a big difference. Now when I said they think he's crazy. I'm talking about those shall we say over 45 and 50 which the school is full of the Full of these teachers educated in the old methods still using the old methods to teach but not actually Joe. More and more young teachers are coming in. Now you're talking out. When is youth equated with increased actual uncensored when all people have a monopoly on decadent. And look you know
you look at the problems in the schools the things people are fighting for. This is a generation Joe that is concerned that you know they have a a new renewed sense of social consciousness. Granted the world isn't full of them but it's coming about. It's an evolution. You're taking everything in terms of revolution. You know there are 200 teachers got to go. Going to descend upon a school and change the system. It's impossible. I wish it could happen but it is impossible. Why is it impossible. Because of ministration is an elected school boards people that know nothing about education from a first hand point of view. But only you know from what they hear their elected to these posts. And you yourself have said you have heard you have heard from friends you have heard go into the school teach for a year Joe and see you know what can you do you condemn teachers. Why didn't you become a teacher why don't you go in. All right we walked right into this one and we don't generally get personal here on this program but as a matter of fact a number of years ago I did teach I taught a year of eighth grade
mathematics. And when I say that I've heard overheard the tenor of conversation in a number of teachers rooms that is perhaps more oriented to whether the Green Bay Packers will beat the New York Giants or the New York Giants will be the Baltimore Colts too. Well you find it in any field but I wonder if a society can afford to fight it in the field that has been entrusted exactly molding the minds of young people exactly Lou YOU DOn't YOU DOn't YOU DOn't Xscape the fact that you have a tremendous professional prestige that goes along with your job by saying when you find this in any profession that's like saying the United States treats the black men are right because look at South Africa that doesn't make the United States good you don't compare things that way. And another thing I'd like to bring up this constant harping on our great generation our great generation does this our great generation does that is a very great danger because what it's done is taken a lot of those 40 in 50 year old teachers that have potential to work with and made I've made
them very threatened by our very existence. And it's pushed them further away. We need those people as allies. But I'm fortunately we push them away because we categorize a xover fraud he doesn't know what he's talking about. This is not true. You know there's a little thing that I'd like to do that's important to me. As the show was going on I'm getting old I'm going to be over 30 pretty soon. I'm concerned with growing old gracefully with a little bit of wisdom and I don't want some kid my age someday telling me that my existence means nothing. And then I live in a vacuum because I don't understand his generation. I want to ask you to get a little bit more realistic about this new generation that's going to go in and make evolutionary change in the status quo of American educational institution. Now it seems to me that people who will will make changes are outstanding people. It takes an outstanding person to recognize that revolutionary change sometimes destroys more than it creates. So where are the Phi Beta Kappa as in the
American public school system where are those who were in college were in Who's Who in American schools are they in the first grade or in the they in the second third and fourth grade teaching our young kids in the formative years or are they in the places where money can be had. I think people generally go to the profession where they will get the most out of it now if in if they're thinking in terms of monetary value which most people today have to especially if they're supporting anybody then they're going to go into another profession. I think Lew made a tremendous statement before that nobody. This concept of evolution in terms of the teaching profession. I mean I'm just as upset as everyone else about what's happening today but if you just read the newspaper you see that things are actually happening this is the key point. Things are actually happening and maybe they're not good things but people are waking up they're seeing that education is important. People are realizing that if they want to do something
to help this present generation to help this future generation they've got to get in there and get involved. Now this is without a doubt is getting the right phrase and in this discussion. Again I don't buy it. You're you don't seem to be reacting to what I'm saying all right you're young people are going to do this that and the other. You mentioned that if they're interested in money they're not going to go into teaching you're going to go into another profession. It seems to me that far too often if they've sort of given up on themselves if they've sort of recognized a long time ago that for them any large amount of money is impossible and that the only course is to seek security right there and they go into the educational system and with your ground security. Maybe this is true for some people I mean here again you go grossly generalizing. I mean there are people that don't think money is that important I think this is trying not to use the term present generation but who really feel they want. Well I'm afraid there may be people who don't feel that money is that important but I don't think you find too many
of them and the American public school. I think this is not a gross generalization. Thousands and thousands of people graduate from little teacher's colleges all over the country converted former normal schools to your schools where they got course at the institution that got series of courses is the Education Department. That's not a gross overgeneralization you know that to be a fact. Joe let me go back to your question on why aren't the Phi Beta Kappa is in teaching and you brought up the question of money. OK this is exactly why the talented people are leaving the profession. Why. Because they can get more money and they can be paid for their talents and their abilities in other fields specifically business management or teaching business trainees or all kinds of trainees now Joe. Why is this happening and why aren't there more good teachers in the systems. It's because more men
I feel are entering the field. Up until very recently teaching was dominated by women and women and men. Who are their extreme opposite All right just as bad muscle bound in the arms and their heads exactly exactly ology core I will agree with you 100 percent Joe. Women went into teaching they go into teaching to teach until they get married they leave teaching to have a family. When the family grows up they come back to supplement an income. But now that more men are entering the field many many talented men not the muscle bound idiots or the women ish men but other men are coming to the and they have families to support Joe. They can't bother be scraping for a living. I mean it's not where was and then the talented men are going to leave the field because they have a family to support what you have paid of are going to be using a revolving door picture here. At first you say that talented men are coming into education and then the door swings around I dare say again because I don't know you say men I said talented people.
I didn't say talented men. Why don't I love the talented men yes. Hard to say. Let's talk about that because I think that's a problem. There's something only two kinds of people in this world men and women of talent and men aren't going in the talented women are and I think that's probably very true. The average female teacher is much more talented than the average male teacher. Now what is this going to be. What impact is this going to have on the young kid male young boy going up through the school system. What kind of an authority figure does he see to emulate. Well I think how did young man know the talented young woman the hard driving woman I don't think this is going to I think this is true Joe and it also has an effect on the young girl in the school. Like you said most men that do come in the system happen to be women ish type men so I have obviously just scratched them out in terms of there being figures to look up to. You brought the problem of security. The guy that comes in he does sort of eventually in his life he realizes not to make that kind of money that he thought he could make. And it goes in the teaching he goes in there because it's security. This guy effectively has been castrated by society and he probably came up through a system where he had
nothing but women teaching and the women the girls have been nothing but women teachers and if you look at the prison or another area but probably the most emasculated individual on the face of the earth is the American male I think this has something to do with it. And I do feel that we have a matriarchal society or do you are you saying that the American educational institution creates a matriarchal society perpetuated because women dominate young men in the formative years of their lives. I think it certainly plays a role in that and I'm not saying that we should have a matriarchal or a pathological society. I'm saying that we should have an understanding of what men and women are and I'm saying the way things have been going to additionally we just don't have that. And the good point that Lou made about young people coming in town of the people coming in and leaving. First of all I question whether or not 10 of the people and that great number significant numbers across the nation and most of the school systems average size high schools low I'd like to ask you how many talented men are really there. And why did they leave. They leave because their creativity is stifled.
They leave because as Joe said they may be called an idiot because he really concerns himself with the student rather than talking about where the Sally Jones is going to get pregnant which I have heard many times. I think we need more men in the profession I don't think any teacher is going to say look we don't want men and we like the system the way it is I think women teachers will agree with you and say the matriarchal system is not the best but why have there been women in the system throughout for so long. The reason is money. My question is you talk about money how do you propose to get more money. The way that people recently have been trying to get more money has been through striking now you go into a whole different realm right here is striking good is striking back. But it seems this is the only thing that has been working and this is where teachers can get more money. Well America is a society that traditionally worships what works whether right or wrong. You are a young teacher about to go out into the teaching profession or you want to be on the picket lawn. I personally don't see any personal future in that but I feel that if I was I would
have you know less than professional to know what I'm saying is if I were in the situation I personally don't think striking is right. And yes I can empathize with the people in Florida I can empathize with the people in New York State and say gee if I were in that situation maybe I would strike if this were the only way and it's not just a question of money and Lou mentioned this in many instances it's a question of rights of being able to be relieved of DUIs that have nothing to do with teaching of rights of being able to be involved in the curriculum of setting up the curriculum. And I say perhaps I would strike even though it's not good for the children but if this is the only way that the educational status of teachers is going to change then maybe that's the way it has to be a masculine form of assertion. Yes I think it definitely is Joe because this tells about the drift of where education is going in terms of dominance by male or female. I first of all look at look at where the strikes are happening. They're basically coming out of major cities and as Lewis stated in major urban areas teachers
men teachers are basically much men teachers are basically much more political men period and much more political than women. Women are a political people. But I think that we have to really look at where these things are happening. I'm interested in education in the United States in toto. We're talking about specific individuals in specific cases. Let's look at the total concept of education when it's looked upon in this country today. The problem is that you say educational institutions stifle your creativity. Now what in the devil is creativity. And who are you to say that you're stifle this. This is a good question because it can be a very good cop out for an incompetent teacher to say I was stifled. I guess the reason I stated that I get more specific when I'm talking about is there are many teachers. That will try to do something upon entering school because they come out of college maybe with some idealistic plan and they're still scared to grieve at that point there are very few of them. They may come out with some idealistic way of
teaching some method of introducing a topic some way of changing their curriculum and what happens is they have to buck a head of department doesn't like that because it threatens his position. A school committee they want a lot of new certain material because it alludes to something that is an American a what have you. Because you as you know is still on the books in California can teaching to do with communism you know things this nature. Well let's talk about the people who the young teacher or the old teacher the attempts to innovate that attempts to to fulfill this vague and perhaps trite phrase word creativity. Who does he block. What is the attitude of the school board. It is the principal really in call that I was saying Don't upset the apple cart. That's the attitude of the administration. And I mean this guy comes and does not maintain the status quo he does anything that's a little different even if it's a little is wearing different type of clothes. This guy is put under pressure. What in your experience led you to believe that there is this rigidity among administrators you three people present me with a specific it's too bad we're not
on television because it would become very apparent to the audience that you three people are different. You're going to cause a little problem for the school administrator. The gentleman to the right Frank has these old granny type glasses. Popular among the hippie set the mini skirt in the middle rows and the bear to my left. MARCO Now what is the reaction of people that work with you in a school. What is their reaction to you. All right Joe when I was teaching I had a mustache and there was no reaction whatsoever. It was generally accepted. But I in Tissa paid a great deal of problems. When I look for a job this spring a great deal of problem Y because people in the administration in particular those that hire you I'm more concerned with your looking like a good teacher rather than being a good teacher. They will not even give you the chance to prove yourself simply because of the way you dress or to use a very very trite phrase. Judging a book by its cover all of a sudden because I have
a beard I am judged as one of the great unwashed hippie if you will. Well why don't you shave your beard off conform on the outer layer and warm within the system to get some changes made and not have the changes deflected by status quo oriented people with a middle class of values deflected merely because they can take a shot at your beard and ignore your new ideas. Sorry Joe you're asking a very very personal question now. Why don't I do that why don't I shave my beard. All right I did enter the school system without a beard once before and I did do some what I thought were creative things and working with kids was very subversive. Using books that I wasn't supposed to use so on and so our example let's have more particulars all right for example the book Catcher In The Rye. Now everybody has heard of Catcher in the signers of book. Oh yes. According to the school administration according to parents it is very subversive because they use four letter words and yet love is a four letter word isn't it. I
mean they the parents don't realize that kids use this language. Kids swear use out studies and I give you concrete examples except that they're going to cut the tape anyway. Kids use this language daily now. When I was teaching I let the kids say anything they wanted in my classroom and you'd be surprised how they refrained from using outsiders simply because they had this freedom. But the administration known I was giving them this freedom. Do you believe that the kids would have been as free to express themselves also in giving them essays. I mean give them essays and would you do for vacation. I give them put in an essay saying they could identify with like should you or should you not go parking to enjoy a date should you or should you not have premarital intercourse should you or should you not drink before you reach the age of 21 should 18 year olds vote. What about drugs we know what drugs and the kids ate this up and they took it home to their parents and the parents praised not only me but their child for writing a concrete very good very
thoughtful essay. Well Joe these are the things that the ministry of administration knew I was doing. I would've gotten thrown out of my ear but the kids knew. I just want to make a point that Lou is making he kept in mind saying that he was doing this without the administration's knowledge. To me that is not freedom. They have to do something behind somebody back. That's what we're talking about right now. And I'm saying the freedom doesn't exist to be able to do this in a large scale if in fact the administration that you were dealing with did not know this was happening. Well have you ever heard of a place where this type of freedom did exist. Assuming that it is a positive type but rather some very progressive schools like Melbourne High School in Florida and some high schools in Shaker Heights in Cleveland and places like this I have heard that they do some very progressive things but you have a different community. I think there was a book once written about an experimental school in Great Britain Summerhill. Are you at all familiar with that right is driving that type of innovation
in education in the formative years Summerhill has you know been lauded and it's been dedicated to a certain extent. It's an extreme situation. The idea behind summer hero is good in that it allows a great deal of freedom to the child. Well again by only the generalities what kinds of freedom what happen to anybody on average here on average in Summerhill the situation was set up that a child was given the. It was up to him whether he wanted to go to class that day or not go to class that day. If he didn't like math he didn't have to go to math that day it was up to him to choose his own schedule and make his own decisions but the problem that was with Summerhill was that these children were not prepared to be put into this type of unstructured situation where they could make their own decisions. This type of thing needs a tremendous amount of training and I feel this is what the elementary schools should do what they're told. You know a structured situation and build toward a freedom situation where a child can assume and
independent role. But this is the Summerhill was not that successful because the children weren't trained to be independent. There has to be a certain amount of training involved and there also have to be standards in our society which people are disciplined to follow. Now you can rein in the freedom yes and why don't you like that word because if there is one characteristic of your generation your new breed it is permissible. They don't like discipline. And I wonder whether that might they have done something less than positive. I don't like the word discipline because of the connotation that has come along with it you think of beating when you think of discipline or at least I do if the word control which is almost synonymous but couldn't back many I think many of our students use a few beatings in the formative years preschool years even during this little turns them off. This is exactly what turns them off you know in a situation where you can't get to the child because he's bored you're not doing anything that interests him on talking about the man I am talking about the Russians a teacher Brian actuate this year right.
When you talk about the teachers I'm going to perpetuate this. What she's talking about is not discipline but control. And how do you get control by winning the respect of the student. Too many teachers walk into a school simply because they are called teacher. They expect instant respect. Well this just doesn't happen Jonah never should. But the average teacher is not of sufficient character to by various charismatic or other means acquire this respect and acquire this control without some sort of occasional physical disciplinary or physical discipline by the parent and the home which makes the child receptive to control. Granted once again that problem is that you're dealing with a discipline and we have just used a euphemism for the word discipline using control. Now there's no difference if you don't understand that the important thing that people are screaming for is freedom. But what comes along with freedom is
responsibility. And people don't want to take the responsibility that comes along with free and when they get into a free situation they don't know how to react because they can't accept the responsibility the greater responsibility that freedom requires to be free. And that's why people just don't understand how they can manipulate a situation for their benefit when they're in that type of a free situation. What can we say here at the end of the program about the prospects for change and yet continuity peaceful revolution and yet the evolution of American education. Well I think the important issue is just what you said we have to have change with continuity and this means we have to get people into the system. To evaluate the system and are willing to stay in the system and sacrifice what they may have got as a fiber capper in chemistry and some other position until we get these type of people have a grasp of their discipline their knowledge and understanding of politics we're not going to get a process
of continuity and change a process that will allow for flexibility. So when this particular individual does leave all his good work doesn't go down the drain. Rose I think that teachers people who want to go into education need a much better foundation so that when they enter the classroom they can really accomplish the things that they want to in terms of doing something for the child in terms of preparing the child to be an individual. I think one method that's being proposed now that I'm in favor of is having training right in the classroom where the person the prospective teacher gets right out there his freshman or sophomore year for a good period of time decides whether this is what he wants and then if it is what he wants he given the opportunity to have as much preparation for it as possible. I think a little more than that should be done to Rose I think what has to be done is that a re-evaluation has to be taken on all levels of society and education. I believe that the schools the colleges have to look
at the people they accept the College of Education have to look and be more selective in the people they take into their schools and also after they get them into their schools re-evaluate their programs in their courses to make them effective. And I think too at the other end of the spectrum I think society has to take a look. The public has to take a look at their schools and at their teachers and re-evaluate them and decide among themselves what they're going to do. After all you get what you pay for. And so what do you want the good teacher or the bad teacher after listening to the three of you for the past 30 minutes there is no doubt in my mind that if the future generation is in the hands of young teachers like yourselves that the success of that generation is assured. Thank you very much for coming on the program. Northeastern University has brought you Rose Feinberg Lewis DeMarco and Frank Jonas discussing wave of the future the young teachers in the big city.
- Urban Confrontation
- Episode Number
- Producing Organization
- Northeastern University (Boston, Mass.)
- Contributing Organization
- University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
- AAPB ID
- Other Description
- Urban Confrontation is an analysis of the continuing crises facing 20th century man in the American city, covering issues such as campus riots, assassinations, the internal disintegration of cities, and the ever-present threat of nuclear annihilation. Produced for the Office of Educational Resources at the Communications Center of the nations largest private university, Northeastern University.
- Asset type
- Public Affairs
- Media type
Producing Organization: Northeastern University (Boston, Mass.)
- AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 70-5-20 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
If you have a copy of this asset and would like us to add it to our catalog, please contact us.
- Chicago: “Urban Confrontation; 20; The Wave of the Future: The Young Teachers in the Big Cities,” 1970-00-00, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed August 19, 2022, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-bz619d58.
- MLA: “Urban Confrontation; 20; The Wave of the Future: The Young Teachers in the Big Cities.” 1970-00-00. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. August 19, 2022. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-bz619d58>.
- APA: Urban Confrontation; 20; The Wave of the Future: The Young Teachers in the Big Cities. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-bz619d58