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As universal compulsory education spread gradually over Western Europe. As new standards of formal education or established for the children of the citizens and then the adults would reached maturity at an earlier stage and found themselves without the education that their children were expected to have and unable to meet the new standards. As more and more formal education came to be expected as a requirement for entrance into certain occupations it was naturally regarded as unjust. But those who saw the accidents of birth or fortune and not had an opportunity to obtain the necessary qualifications should be disbarred and the opportunity to gain a livelihood for this reason. The gradual and French's ment. Of the population of Europe
and the United Kingdom in the last century. Led the leaders of society to forward the education of adults as a safe guide to society and lead the workers to when to risk themselves on it as a means of laying hands on political power. Education had been limited to those who had press stage as well as power. It was therefore assumed that the avenue De Preist stage was education. In some countries of course the movement toward adult education was assisted by the desire to remedy certain special evils. In Sweden the evil of drink in Denmark the sense of national degradation that resulted from the defeat by Germany in 1864. But in the United States today there is no sense of special
emergency. That could be met. Through the continued learning of adults. Social advancement is not dependent on education. The political power of the ordinary Democratic time comes to the individual as he reaches the age of 21. And achieving political power. Beyond that education is probably a handicap. Rather than an advantage. At any rate. I cannot imagine. A candidate for office in this country. Suggesting that he is entitled to the suffrages of his fellow citizens because he is better educated than his opponent. On the other hand. I have no difficulty in imagining a candidate asking for votes on the ground that he
is rougher and tougher than his opponent and that he does not have any big thoughts or know any long words. While high unemployment high wages persists. The educational requirements for entrance into various occupations although they are annoying and for the most part irrational do not constitute a major obstacle to the prosperity and happiness of the bulk of the population. There is no doubt that education should be useful. It must meet the needs of the individual and of society. The question is What are those names. Or more
particularly. What are the real needs of the individual and of society and which of them can education meet. And many ages it has been thought that education could make its greatest contribution. By helping people learn to thank. And by familiarizing them with the intellectual tradition in which they live. This assumption was current in the western world one hundred fifty years ago and still held the failed a century ago. It was perhaps dominant here when the United States up to nineteen hundred. Some of the most magniloquent passages and Cardinal Newman's idea of a university. Are those in which he celebrates the true usefulness of
liberal education. But the fact that he felt constrained to wander upon such flights of oratory in the middle of the last century. Shows how strong even in that day was the tendency to hold that usefulness could mean only usefulness to the rising industrial and financial power of Britain. No one stopped long to enquire whether educational institutions could give an instruction that what actually be useful in the sense. Of whether the society of Britain which was rapidly becoming industrial scientific and technological needed thinking about important subjects. I know quite things where that's tradition. Any the less because of these developments. The doctrine of Adam Smith began to tell. It was the duty of every
man to make as much money as he could in the process. He would be led as by an invisible hand to promote the common good. It was assumed that the needs of the community. Would best be advanced by the rapid expansion of industry and technology. Pumice Mons novel burden brokes shows the same process going on in Germany at about the same time. Meanwhile. Liberal education was associated in the public mind where the pre-industrial scientific grade democratic era. It was an anachronism. And in our aristocratic anachronism at that. It was possible to attack it as frivolous irrelevant
and decorated. Liberal education was like a medieval religion occupying valuable space in a busy marketplace. The sides did not seem to pay. We are now familiar with the notion. That the rails of a nation lies in its industrial power. The German and Japanese adventures were built on this premise although the failure of these experiments is not conclusive evidence of the falsity of the premise. Perhaps Germany and Japan simply misjudged the power. Of. The failure of these experiments may still suggest to us it was all history suggests that something more than power is needed. If a nation is to become and
continue to be successful in any meaning of the word. The end dispensable in gradient is wisdom. It is impossible to suppose that an educational system. Dedicated to industrial power and produces the wisdom that a country needs to use its power in its own best interests. To say nothing of the laws of the human race. There does not appear to be any necessary connection between industrial power and wisdom. Nor does it seem to be absolutely essential. That a man be wise in order to become an industrial leader. Like a natural force. Industrial power seems to be entirely neutral. It may be used for good or evil for self
preservation or suicide. The delusion of Granger's that industrial power seems almost inevitably to carry with. Pens rather than suicide and self preservation. Whatever may have been the case in earlier times or in other types of society. The wisdom that a democratic community needs. Is the wisdom of the entire population. When the feel role of state it may be sufficient if they are wise. When the whole people. Are the ultimate rollers. Nothing less than a wise people will do. Then the man on the assembly line. The farmer the lawyer. The doctor engineer or the housewife has to have ready a
contribution to the common store of wasn't. A democracy must have leaders. But its leaders are selected by the people and governed by them. This may suggest to us certain reflections on the nature of strength in a democratic society. In such a society. True strength lies in the character of the citizens. This maintains a moral and intellectual aesthetic and spiritual level they have reached. Their grasp of and devotion to the hierarchy of values for which their country stands. And this view. One of the most important elements and the strength of a country if not the most important is its educational system. But this view rests on the assumption that the educational system will be directed to morrow intellectual
static and spiritual growth and governed by a hierarchy of values. With these things an educational system aiming at industrial power does not seem likely to be a concern. If industrial power is the object. Of the best education is scientific. Not vocational or technical. The object of a scientific education is to understand the natural world not to manipulate it. Scientific education. Is not open to the objection. That it cannot accomplish what it pretends to do. An objection that is fatal to vocational and technical training. Throw a scientific education. A student can come to one to stay in
the natural world. Revoked tech vocational or technical training. Is likely to be unfitted for the operations for which he has been trained. He may be confronted with entirely new methods. Or an entirely new industrial situation. He may in a country where the population is highly fluid. I have to warn is living in a way or in a place. Of which he and his teachers never dream. In a fluid industrial scientific democracy. The more specific an education is. The less likely it is to achieve the only purpose it has. Which is to prepare the stove for a particular kind of economic activity. And the flow of industrial scientific democracy. If
education is general or liberal. Well at least not interfere with the economic progress of the man who has it. In such a society. The study of science will lead to success. And the sense in which the term is commonly used. And it will promote the industrial power of the society. The. Science is perhaps the greatest accomplishment of modern times. Against it's notable and unbelted contributions to the progress of mankind. Must be counted. Certain side effects. For which in general neither science nor scientists are responsible. For what you have had serious consequences for modern thought and education. The reverence that science has
inspired has led scholars in other disciplines seeking equally notable results and equally high priced stage to apply the method of science to subject matters to which it is not appropriate. Only trivial results and be accomplished by these means. Science has trivialized other fields of learning. What we are looking for is wisdom. And it does not seem sensible to say. That the insights and understanding offered us by the greatest creations of the human mind cannot help us in our search. Homer was the teacher of grace. It would be a bold man. I would say that Newton had taught the West more than Shakespeare. And we can say the same of the great historians philosophers and
theologians. They have labored by methods of their own to tell us what they have observed about man and society. The world and God. We need to know for example whether God exists. That makes a difference. Will it seriously be argued that science can never give us the answer to this question or that if it can't. The question is on important. The natural sciences deal with the material conditions of existence. They have had profound effects upon these conditions. The relationship of science and industrial power is enough to make the point. The accomplishments of natural science have been such as to convince us. That infinite improvement in the material conditions of existence is
possible. If only we will concentrate our attention on this improvement. All we have to do to grasp this phenomenon is to contrast the position of the artist today with that which he occupied in the Renaissance was. The technology that is based upon science lends itself to the production of vast quantities of material goods. Since industrialization got underway in the West. The doctrine has been that the intelligence and energy of mankind should be devoted to increasing the quantity of these goods. Now the West is preaching the same doctrine to the east and the east seems altogether too likely to wind bracing. As I have said this is not the fault of scientists or of science. It would however
have been impossible without them. And in the process. Quality has been sacrificed to quantity. And the arts have become a mere decoration or recreation for females not gainfully employed. I lately heard. A leading American industrialist. Comment upon proposals to send American art and letters abroad. So that your opinions could get some idea of the cultural life of this country. If I understood him correctly he said. That Europeans had the arts and literature. He said that they were
proud of them. And that they should be encouraged to go on with them and send them over here. But. On the other hand he said no way in the United States. I've been entirely materialistic or mechanistic civilization. We should be proud of that and go on with it. We should send our machines in the vast array of consumer goods that they produce to Europe and receive back culture in exchange. This theory. Of continental specialization. This theory shows how far we have come from any defensible view. Of the aims of life and of
organized society. And thought by the highest activities of man. They are the aims of life. And society should be organized to promote them. First of all. It is a sign of a backward civilization. When in a financial crisis the first thing the community thinks of is to close the art museums and reduce expenditure on education. A civilization without thought. One that does not value done. As a pack. Rather than a civilization. The remarks of the industrialist I have quoted reflect one thinkable an intolerable view of American society. What rational person would care to win to have in a country where all that made life worth living had to be imported.
We come then to Utopia. The distinguishing characteristic. Of the people of Utopia is their common sense and common sense is no longer common elsewhere. And nothing to the people of Utopia exhibit this characteristic more clearly. Than in their capacity and determination. To call things by their right names and put them in their proper places. This capacity and determination seemed a result of from the utopian habit of asking themselves at all times what are they trying to do. As a consequence of this process of self interrogation. The utopians have concluded that industrial power and military
strength longer life and an infinity of gadgets cannot constitute singly or together. The games of human life or of organized society. The utopians recognize the importance of industrial strength and of military power. They are grateful to the scientists for providing them with a longer life. They are of two minds about gadgets. On the one hand. They notice with interest that these devices have in many cases increased the leisure available to the population. On the other hand. They observe with some alarm that the charm of these devices promotes infantilism among the people. And that the modification of these devices may consume a disproportionate share of the resources and energies of the people and that some of these devices
because of the horrible sounds or pictures that they are capable of. All because they are dangerous when in motion in large numbers. These devices may be destructive of the leisure that they could create and even of life itself. The utopians therefore cannot conceive. That the aims of their lives are to produce industrial strength. Military power or more gadgets. They do not even believe that they are here in order to exert a favorable influence upon the mortality tables. They do not say that industrial strength military power wrong or allied are more gadgets would be beneficial if they did not know what to do with them.
They think. That their educational system ought to have some role in helping them to determine what to do with these things when they get them. They do not believe that an educational system aiming at industrial strength. Military power longer life or more gadgets will by any stretch of the imagination help the people learn what to do with them. The utopians. And courage science. Because they want to understand the world live longer and have industrial strength. They do not encourage the industry. Because they take free enterprise seriously. NOR. Nor do they encourage industrialists. No matter how powerful or wealthy they
believe that they are because of their industrial achievements alone the natural leaders of the community. The highest honor is conferred by the state. Go not to those who have got rich through the production and sale of gadgets but to those whom utopia delights to honor its artists and its thinkers. Another reason why the utopians reserve their highest honors for their most distinguished thinkers and artists is that they believe that law and art are the highest achievements of the human race. They do not say that the purpose of society is to help men make a profit through the production and sale of any object no matter how useful. The. Utopians are not fools. Utopians know of the economic and industrial strength and military power go together. They know that all are necessary and I help the society at least in a world
like the one we and they live in. The utopians blame that the incentives supplied through the free enterprise system are adequate to induce sufficient interest in the development of economic and industrial strength. The incentives to art and thought which are activities of the most painful and difficult kind cannot and should not be exclusively financial. Although it is true that the utopians think it wise to spend on these objects at least as much as the national budget for liquor or cosmetics and showing God. But the encouragement to art and thought. On which the utopians principly rely is the honor universally accorded them. That's in Utopia. Industrial strength and military power.
Efforts to lengthen life and to distribute gadgets scientific training and liberal education all fall into place. The utopians have never been misled into thinking that technical training from the elementary school on Word and create industrial power. They new do not believe that science is the only knowledge worth having. They are not confused about what makes a country strong. They rely on their patriotism moral fervor and intellectual capacity which they hold gives them the ability to meet any new situation where the intelligence and decision. Their hope is to be wives and to become so through their educational system. This is utopia
indeed. You have heard Robert M. HUTCHENS The former chancellor of the University of Chicago and the first of four lectures on the hazards to education in the United States. The topic of this lecture was industrialization. His talk was delivered under the Walgreen lectureship at the University of Chicago. This series of lectures is copyrighted by the university and really published in book form by the University Press. This is the end he be network.
Hazards to education
Industrialization, part two
Producing Organization
University of Chicago
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
This program, the second 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.
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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: 00:28:56
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Chicago: “Hazards to education; Industrialization, part two,” 1955-04-03, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed October 4, 2023,
MLA: “Hazards to education; Industrialization, part two.” 1955-04-03. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. October 4, 2023. <>.
APA: Hazards to education; Industrialization, part two. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from