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You're Pacific University program today and in the broadcast the follow is based upon the story of education published by Chilton books in June 1962 co-author with your narrative was Dr. Eugene Moleski an assistant superintendent in charge of teacher recruitment for the New York City Board of Education. By presenting these excerpts from my book The Story of education we are hoping that you are listening audience maybe better able to understand the why isn't the wherefores of our own American schools. Our topic today we're rationalistic education. From the Greek Period on educational theories and practices the times have been influenced and even dominated by rationalism that habit of mind of thinking for oneself instead of conforming to an accepted authority. Well Sophos and philosophers frequently advocated the power of reason to control human affairs similar rebel cries of defiance to establish authority were heard in Rome even occasionally in the medieval period and became
constantly louder during the Renaissance. The strong wave of rationalism in the 18th century sprang up as a protest against antiquated an arbitrary authority of church and state. It represented a rapidly growing opposition to narrow bigotry in social and religious life and a despotic absolutism in political government. Reformation movements of both Protestants and Catholics began losing their uplifting qualities in the midst the bitter hatred stirred up by religious wars in which a common practice was to burn human beings at the stake because of the differences in manner of belief. At the close of the Thirty Years War 16 18 and sixteen forty eight. After each side had had to admit it could not exterminate the other. It was decided to let the religious group in control establish itself as a state religion. From then on Protestants and Catholics settled down to enforcement of a rigid conformity of dogmas and
practices that were unreasonably strict and intolerant supernaturalism and Superstation form the basis for religious creeds and social conduct. The Reformation had freed Protestants from Catholicism but for neither side had it replaced authority of Revelation with that of either reason or tolerance. Likewise the Divine Right of Kings theory had been used effective they do maintain political governments and power even in England where at limited constitutional monarchy had been won. It had been a victory for parliament and not for the common people elsewhere in Europe the Legislative Assembly seldom if ever met. And they favored minority prosperity and frolicked at the cost of overtaxing impoverishing and submerging the masses. Political leaders of state and church joined together in an unholy alliance to check the two recent democratic movements that had been encouraged by both reformers and relist freedom of thought for the individual and
recognition of the needs of the common people. To meet this conservative reaction against individual freedom there began developing late in the 17th century a strong rationalistic movement. Unfortunately this limit itself to the exploitation of reasoning power of a small number of intelligentsia and deliberately overlooked the needs of the common man. This rationalism was born in England getting its initial impetus from one of the most influential thinkers of all times John Locke. While Locke never did renounce Christianity he stands up held reason as a key fact of the need to be developed. And emphasized the desirability of a sufficient intellectual freedom to make possible a range of reasons. Locke's writings led directly to the later philosophical speculations that eventually brought about the growth of the skepticism and deism the belief in a personal God founded on the believers own reason rather than on Revelation or authority of a
church rationalism received its greatest impetus from the scientific investigations and interpretations of the universe. I specially those a Sir Isaac Newton whose epoch making mathematical principles of natural philosophy was published in sixteen eighty seven the laws of nature formulated by Newton remain scientific gospel until the late nineteenth century. His elaboration of the law graphic date in the law of cause and effect went a long way in convincing intellectuals that the universe is an orderly system of atoms moving in absolute space and time. I sense the simple and uniform and structure of being fixed laws that operate in a causal and uniform way. Thus the universe came to be looked upon as a great machine not subject to Caprice our divine intervention but operating naturally in accordance with mathematical laws of scientific natural laws serve as a model for scientific natural explanation and other fields
of life and thought. Popularity at the Newtonian interpretation brought about new world views of the most extreme of which was materialism. Materialist such as Claude Adrian how vicious jumped to the conclusion that nothing exists but matter in the form of atoms operating according to mechanical natural laws. Which theory admittedly eliminated all conceptions of the spiritual world and of a soul. Rationalism reached the highest peak of its popularity in France. Where it had been introduced and popularized by the masters that Tyrus Francoise Voltaire. His rationalism aim to show men how to think for themselves. To test all things whether human or divine by the power of their own reason. The purpose of an education is to free the intellect from all repression to enable those capable of reasoning to escape from restraints of religious political social authority and individual properly
trained in rationalistic educational methods presumably can control all the aspects of his life. Merely by means of a critical reasoning. However it was realized that such an education aim was attainable by very few individuals. So naturally it would apply only to the upper classes. Rashness wanted to build up a new aristocracy of intelligence to replace the old decayed and aristocracies the Cherrix position and family. In other words brains and not power our blood were what should be made to come out. By its very nature rationalistic education was aristocratic. The common man so rashness believed does not possess the human qualities necessary for reasoning out his problems. Thus it follows that the lower classes are incapable of being educated. Wild Hare for example described the people as destined to remain stupid in barbaric. They
therefore unlike the intelligentsia needed a god and the king to keep them under control. The encyclopedias and the leadership of Dennis be there oh editor the French encyclopedia then in process of preparation. Had merely an academic interest in the masses. Hence they oppose universal education because there was no need for it. For the aristocracy endowed with mental abilities intellectual training was emphasized to the exclusion of all else. The rationalistic Eureka Bloom included art literature philosophy science and social etiquette neglected where aesthetic physical vocational education and aristocratic youth were schooled in the artificially Audi's of a selfish calculating society. Textbooks consisted usually a pamphlets covering economic philosophical political and scientific subjects. The more satirical and critical the more popular they proved to be. It definitely was an intellectual very to
disbelieve and to pick the pieces. A case a Seeing is believing only if you had two common and popular or heated arguments on philosophical and scientific topics and the man who could ridicule successfully another's viewpoint showed himself truly to be a gentleman of letters. This much must be said for a rationalistic education though the subject matter generally was superficial and frequently sensuous. It nevertheless possessed the virtue of being comprehensive. Recognize was social education for the making of a gentleman refined manners and language were developed and good taste glorified but they could be nothing genuine and sincere in a culture that was so brutally heartless and superficial. When appearing in polite society the boy Everest to Korat parted his hair and his little sister wore a corset nearly cutting hair into a typical adult product of this rationalistic education was a conversation those who use eloquent words but said
nothing in social life. Old moral virtues were replaced by sexual looseness in fidelity and in modesty the emphasis was on silo and Brood War matters instead of moral training. It's no wonder when these rationalistic education ideas were so dominant that personal standards sank to such a low level among the upper classes. Since the rashness were not educators they organize no new schools and contributed practically nothing in the way of new methods. Characteristically they took great delight in being destructive in whatever they had to say about schools and schoolmasters their attacks were leveled especially against universities for hampering freedom of thought for their own children they made use of schools already in existence though in theory they favored a sort of self education through the reading of pamphlets and participation in general discussions held in fashionable Sal loans. In theory a man was a human machine with all his
higher mental process as a result of the impressions made by things upon his physical fences. The approved method was to apply analytical reasoning to every phase of human life an institution and cynically reject what ever failed to stand the test. The climax to this worship of reason as a sole means of Enlightenment came in the French Revolution in the exalted religious fanaticism that had reason temporarily replacing God as the deity. Rationalism left a definite mark on the social history of education as it was shown in the thinking of how he says he believed that if a man is governed by natural laws it is only logical that their discovery will enable him to direct his education progressively toward an improvement of social conditions. Nothing is in the mind claim to have basis not even such a power as comparison or generalization except as it is introduced through the senses. Man therefore is nothing but the product of his education which makes the teacher's
practical problem the control of educational environment to the point where only the proper sense impressions are received. Thus the value of any institution must be judged by its actual constructive or destructive effect on men rather than by authority our Superstation rashness believe that to ensure maximum education development social institutions like church and school must be kept flexible and progressive. A novel and significant factor in rationalism was the overwhelming confidence it placed in the power of human reason and aided by the authority of classics of Christian revelation. The ability of man independently relying on his own personal powers to think problems through to logical conclusions resulted in a new and in the larger conception of the intelligent human being heretofore man had been considered a concoction of the physical and spiritual worlds. Now he stood out as a product of nature was destiny in his own hands. This contrasts to drastically with the
questions or addition that made man a lowly creature who mice minimize his own importance. A critical evaluation shows the aims of boat care as typical as being negative and destructive rather than positive and constructive. They attempted to prevent dogmatism traditions superstition prejudice passion injustice and privilege of a cliche as your ad ism and absolute despotism from adversely affecting the lives of intelligent people. Rashness did little however to develop this reasoning power which they praised so highly. To a point where it would become a guide to better living and a means for solving the many problems that private in the institutional life rationalism part took more of the nature of our religious and political revolt than of a constructive attempt to build up a new social order. Rationalism was more destructive than constructive. Today on many American university campuses rationalism remains an
active and a potent force in the thinking of our modern day intelligentsia.
The story of education
Rationalistic education
Producing Organization
KOAC (Radio station : Corvallis, Or.)
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University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
This program presents an overview of rationalistic education.
Series Description
This series presents various excerpts from the book, "The Story of Education," which traces the evolution of education. The excerpts are read by the book's co-author, Dr. Carroll Atkinson.
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Narrator: Atkinson, Carroll, 1896-1988
Producing Organization: KOAC (Radio station : Corvallis, Or.)
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 64-38-13 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:13:32
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Chicago: “The story of education; Rationalistic education,” 1965-01-01, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 23, 2024,
MLA: “The story of education; Rationalistic education.” 1965-01-01. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 23, 2024. <>.
APA: The story of education; Rationalistic education. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from