Special of the week; Issue 28-70 "Clark Kent on Education Part V"
And we are the national educational radio network presents Corker on education. Yeah. The car is currently the chairman and executive director of the Carnegie Commission on the future of higher education and past president of the University of California. These programs are based upon lectures delivered by Dr. Carr on the Indiana University campus under the auspices of the Patent Foundation and I'm right now speaking on the subject of higher education in an age of discontinuity. And I want to ask first of all what kind of age are we really in. And then turn to what I think are the major discontinuity is affecting higher education there are many of them but I shall limit myself to five and then turn to the question of how do we know whether a system of higher
education is effective or not. Is the American system effective or is it not how does it compare with other systems around the world. And then putting remarks at the speech I'm going to give tonight. Ten years ago I would never have thought I would get 10 years ago we were working on the problems of the tidal wave of students the adjustment to the new interest in science. I was just absolutely confident that those problems could be handled and that if we got through the 1960s that higher education would be on a plateau of success really for the rest of the century that higher education would be commended all over the country for what it had done that there'd be clear sailing ahead. And if somebody had told me that I
now be giving a speech in which I would be talking about a time of troubles it would last a decade or two decades or three decades clear to the year 2000. I would have said impossible you're out of your mind. But that's a speech I'm going to be giving this evening. No I say that my views of 10 years ago would not have been unique I think they were just commonly held by people in higher education. And I'd like to mention these five dis continuities with which were struggling. The first discontinuity is the movement which goes back a long way but has accelerated enormously recently transferring higher education from a privilege of the aristocrats to the privilege of the middle class and now extending it to everybody in society. We've talked about this in some of the earlier lectures and
what that means in terms of many more students greater size of institutions a greater variety of students a greater variety of programs to meet the interests of the greater variety of students. The change in types of campuses. In the state of California which has gone farthest in the direction of universal access. Half of all the students now are in community colleges. Another 25 percent in state colleges and then another 25 percent taking University of California the private universities in the private colleges. I think that's going to become more or less standard. And one of the consequences of this discontinuity is that the university will be comparatively less important than the dominant institutions in terms of numbers and perhaps also in terms of political influence will be that community colleges and the comprehensive state colleges. And so we are faced with this discontinuity
moving so very rapidly to universal access to higher education sweeping almost everything in front of it. If you are going to pick the right of one overwhelming force it would be the force of this movement to universal access. A second discontinuity there you kept us moving from having been an ivory tower on the periphery of society to becoming a public freeway with hazard leading in from every corner of society with the campus being expected to serve all levels of government every industry treat every problem. The people think they have served every household and a turban as well as rural life and this means more public funds and with more public money and more public interest it means more public control and that means more
long range planning and more long range planning means at the session making goes outside the campus. Increasingly it is made in a high arc equal way rather than the collegial decision making that is customary on the campuses of the past. And sort of the nature of the enterprise changes as it becomes so intertwined with all of society. The ivory tower really was run on the basis of good manners and the public freeway is run more by personal traffic rules. And so we see the campus becoming an interval part of society affecting all of society and the effect being affected by almost all of society. So that's a second discontinuity that a third of the moment from the all other class struggle workers
versus capitalists which in the United States and most of Western Europe has now disappeared I think perhaps forever. Two new kind of class struggle are crass better cast Drago intellectuals versus the common man of the last century has been much concerned with the struggle of the workers against capitalists. This was the great struggle Marx developed his theories about it and how the workers had become more radical all the time that they joined together first in unions then political parties and then in a great revolution great radical revolution. What's happened instead however is this that the workers of jawing the middle class become more conservative some of them becoming among the most conservative elements in society and the trade unions by now have to be counted as part of the establishment.
And now it's the students and intellectuals who are coming along I think as a new Vanguard caste the Marxist spoke of the workers being the vanguard of society and the students and intellectuals are growing in numbers and temporarily becoming more radical which is what Marx saw happening to workers. And society is recoiling in the face of this new warfare as it once recoiled in the face of the conflict of Trade Union seeking recognition and so forth. And now the locus of social conflict comes not to be the factory becomes to be the campus and United States. Also the ghetto becomes the campus and not the working class. That is the source of new ideas new ideologies new styles of life
and one only needs to note the United States in this growing conflict. How many governors and not just in California are beginning to run against the intellectuals and against the campus as they once ran against the demands and activities of organized labor. But now the thought of this continuity. It is a movement from autocratic to Representative and not the demand for participatory governance. The new emphasis is upon the small group and the mass will of that small group as compared with the authority of the surrounding society and institutions within it. I think the new theme of participatory governance ties in most
closely with the older theories about syndicalism opposition to the large scale organisation opposition to the common rule. Now a lot of the history of the past century has been written by the development of large scale organisations and the common rule both under capitalism and under communism. And now we have this new thing of the autonomy of the small group seeking to have its way against the larger scale organisations and society itself. And I think this is rather endemic in this situation. We have a better educated citizenry than ever before are healthier and more active. Freed from all her religious and class restraints and controls and given a good deal more information to better communication than ever before.
And this creates a more volatile situation a more anarchic one a situation in which more people. Want to participate in the decisions which affect them in some ways I think you can look upon this discontinuity as a revolution against 1984 before 1984 or rise and it may be that that's the only time when a revolution against 1084 can be successful. But I think it may turn out that syndicalism is the revolutionary ideology of the intellectuals as socialism was once the revolutionary ideology of some workers. Now the socialism of the workers turned out to be social democracy and not socialism generally and the sending of the intellectuals may also turn out to be something different from what it starts to be.
In any event we have this new emphasis on direct human control. At any moment of time desire small groups to control a situation for their own ends regardless of rules and regardless of long term consequences. But I'd like to issue this Kavi about this discontinuity that participatory democracy is not democracy participatory democracy is an effort by active minorities to exercise their influence and control over larger numbers of people. And I'm not sure that so-called participatory democracy is going to be any more satisfactory than a system in which a few administrative tars make decisions in a front room all by themselves or a few experts make decisions in the backroom all by themselves. Now fifth and the last
discontinuity which I'd like to present. This is the moment from functions related to production to functions related to consumption and I think this is happening in society and in the university. In the past century the emphasis was production and the FSS within the university Guard along with that thing was research and service and the idea was that you should invest as much as you possibly could in the university you were investing in man so that men could be more productive and earn more money. And the emphasis was upon the Protestant Ethic on hard work frugality duty. But now we're in a more affluent society and we see on the campus. Less of an emphasis upon vocational courses more of a demand for general education revulsion against grades and grades were once the way to get into the inside society in a good position.
Revulsion against research on the part of St.. And more emphasis upon campus life more emphasis upon getting life skills and not just vocational training. And I sometimes think that the two cultures which are coming into conflict on the campus are not the two cultures that seek peace no doubt about large snow. He talked about the two cultures of the scientists and the humanness being inherently incompatible and in conflict on the campus and the two cultures which it seems to me now are more in conflict or the older culture of production and this newer culture of consumption. We are facing in society outside the university the curation of groups for the first time large groups which are made up who are consumers. People who are not tied to the productive process really at all. And these two groups are youth
in the colleges and universities not tied to the productive process and the agent for whom we find no place in the productive process as it's organized now. We haven't worked out in modern society. The best life patterns and the best rules to govern people who are pure consumers and not also engaged in productive effort with the discipline and the responsibility that goes with it. So I think that we are moving in the direction of a more sensate culture and away from the Protestant Ethic and higher education throughout American history has been based very heavily on the Protestant ethic. But I have to put in a Kavi OT here too. While they may be going more heavily for consumption we should never forget that production preceded consumption and that you can't consume until something has been produced. Now looking at these five discontinuity is in their totality.
I'd like to suggest that the first two universal access and university becoming more a part of society. All right. Rapid acceleration of earlier trends and a rather consistent with each other but that the second three are really new trends not an acceleration of something in the past. And while they're more or less consistent with each other they're not consistent with the first two they look in different directions. And so we see a discontinuity among the disk continuities and generally one will find public officials and ministry in ours older faculty members still carrying out the developments implied in the first two discontinuity and some students and some younger faculty members and some intellectuals looking to the second three. And so we have broad clashes and narrow clashes because of the different directions in which these
discontinuity is pushing us. Let me give you just two examples. Out of the greater involvement of the campus and society comes more public control and yet another one of the discontinuity looks in the direction of participatory democracy. You can hardly think of anything more incompatible than increasing public control by coordinating councils and super bards and participatory democracy at the moment on a campus. All are the emphasis upon universal access leads to larger and larger size for our campuses. And yet the demand coming from some of these other trends from a sense of community and desire for the small organization and so they find the campus in of rock Tex of conflicting streams of trends. So one of the it was caught as an island buffeted by the great ocean currents swirling
all around it and passed much change in the process. Now I'd like to ask the question as we face this period of discontinuity. How can we find our way through it to the best advantage. And I'd like to raise then the question of how can you test the effectiveness of a system of higher education. And I think we do need some tests. We're in a period of change. Many decisions need to be made. We ought to have some tests as to what's good policy and bad policy. What's more desirable and what is less desirable. And so I should like to indicate some tests and viewing the situation from an international point of view not just the United States. First of all the quality of scholarship turned out by the system of higher education the quality of its research. The international prestige given to its top degrees. Second the
extent to which the system draws talent from the total population and not just segments of it. Third the ability of the system of higher education to provide the skilled persons that society needs to run the hospitals and industry and government. For us the ability of the system to offer to those students who want it a broad liberal education. Fifth the quality and balance of the service rendered to the surrounding society. Sex The quality on the balance of the criticisms made of the surrounding society the campus today is one of the great sources of revenue and for any society perhaps the greatest single source of renewal. And how effective is the independent evaluation of the society that's made possible by the system of higher education.
Second how effective is the system of governance How able is a system able to solve its own problems with consent. And then finally the degree of popular support for it. And I now like to try to. Rate how we stand in the United States where I think we're strong and we're weak. And let me say I'll be doing this in very general terms in earlier lectures. We talked about a good deal more detail on all the imperfections. And I want to look at this in a comparative and general way. First on the quality of scholarship are they going to be generally agreed that by now the United States provides a higher quality of scholarship than perhaps any system in the world. The British do extremely well
but they have major lacks in the social sciences particularly sociology and political science. The Russians do very well in the sciences but major lack in all the social sciences and humanities. I've been impressed that in terms of quality of scholarship and quality of degrees that for its size Sweden also does extremely well. But certainly the American record in the last couple of decades has been a commendable one in terms of the talent hunt. Whereas our record is and I've discussed that before and how far we have to go we still do a better job of seeking talent throughout our society then perhaps any other country. The competitors to us would be Canada Russia and Japan which also have sought to find talent wherever it may be. Third in terms of providing skills for a modern society many countries do reasonably well at this.
United States has done very well except in the area of medicine and health services. The Russians have done very well except in the training of enterprise managers and they now know that they are trying to rectify it. England very well except for the absence of adequate training for business managers and technicians. One would have to say that your parent had done an excellent job and also Germany. I think one would have to criticize France but their system had been geared historically to turning out civil servants and teachers and not the broad range of skills that modern society needs. So there I had to rate the United States high above along with a number of other countries in terms of liberal education. I think one would have to say that poor as our results are in the United States. That we do a better job in higher education than any other country. And that's partly because no other country pays much attention at all. Not really connecting us on how well we
do but really condemning them for their neglect. But if one were to look beyond higher education to the total education system one might say that perhaps in Britain if you look at the total system for people who go through university they say those who go through college preparatory work before reaching the university that perhaps they have a better record in terms of service to the surrounding community. Despite our lack of balance in the services we offer the United States would have to be considered supreme. In terms of effect even helpful criticism of society I would rank what I know of that Sweden first and perhaps that's my bias as an economist knowing how economists get their policy statements on the front pages with headlines in the Swedish newspapers. And what impact the Swedish economists have had. On giving Sweden as good
a set of economic and social policies as perhaps any country in the world. I would say also that Britain had done quite well in developing commentaries and criticisms of their surrounding society. The United States props not quite so well but still adequate in Russia. No contribution at all because criticism is not permitted now in terms of governance and this repeat something I said before. I would rate Britain Australia and Canada as having better systems than the United States I think I'd rate Sweden ahead of us too. I would say however that we've handled our governance problems better than Japan France and Germany which where they've been absolutely torn apart. So I would say in terms of governance the United States had only an intermediate record. In terms of popular support historically I think they're the greatest supports been given to higher education. The United States and Japan
but the present time it's falling rapidly in both countries and the countries where support has been maintained have been those which have done the best with their internal governance. Britain Canada Australia and Sweden so as a general comment I would say this that looking at higher education in the United States I think we've done particularly well where we've had straight forward production functions to perform turning out good research turn out skilled people providing services for agriculture etcetera. In fact we become the model for the world. When we look at the other side of it our internal political processes and the quality of the political judgments exercised on our campuses to help the surrounding society it seems to me we've done less well. And I'd venture the commentary that this is not only a
reflection on higher education but perhaps also a reflection on the United States as a whole that where we've had clear cut goals to fulfill that we've done a pretty good job of it. But in terms of training political judgment and handing the political processes. There are others who have done better. So if I might conclude then on a few comments looking to the year 2000. The first lecture I talked about how this was the best of times and the worst of times and how we had faced our problems and solved them in the course of solving the problems we had we created new problems. And I think as we look at the problems of today and face in the year 2000 we have to take a more careful look than we did a decade ago and try to be sure that in the carso solving problems we are creating greater
problems. We need more forward thinking. And they are financing which I talked about at the second lecture. I would say they're the overwhelming responsibility is to get equality of opportunity for all of our young plate people to finance them adequately to create places for them. And it seems to me it's reasonable to set as our goals that there be no economic barriers by Nineteen seventy six and no barriers whatsoever by the year 2000 in terms of inadequate preparation at the primary and secondary level or elsewhere. In terms of functions it seems to me we need to be particularly concerned as we think of the future with getting better liberal education for those undergraduates who want it and making the campus a more exciting and interesting place for students to live. And in terms of functions also to
improve the quality of our criticisms of society and to increase our service to the urban communities in terms of governance which talked about at the fourth a lecture I think the particularly important things looking ahead are to bring students more into the governance of the university to create some kind of a council on each campus where all the major elements of the campus can talk about the general problems and beyond that to preserve the political neutrality of the institution as such for the sake of preserving the freedom of the individuals within it. Clark or on education is a series of programs based upon lectures delivered on the Bloomington topis of Indiana University under the auspices of the Patent Foundation. Clocker on education was produced by Carl Hirsch for WFIU radio service of Indiana University.
This is E.R. the national educational radio network.
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- APA: Special of the week; Issue 28-70 "Clark Kent on Education Part V". 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-n29p6v64