robert maynard hutchins and john dewey - part 3 of 3

Category: Education

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Part 3 of 3. The lives and educational ideals of John Dewey and Robert M. Hutchins.


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Education in a Social Democracy: The Careers and Continuing Influence of Robert Maynard Hutchins and John Dewey Part 3 of 3


“It is quite conceivable that after the next war we should have in this country a semi-military, semi-financial autocracy, which would fashion class distinctions on this country for untold years. In any case we should have the suppression of all the democratic values for the sake of which we professedly went to war.”


“I speak tonight because I believe that the American people are about to commit suicide. We are not planning to. We are drifting into suicide. …We are going to try to produce the victory by supplying our friends with the materials of war. But what if this is not enough? …We must guarantee the victory. …The conclusion is inescapable that the President is reconciled to active military intervention if such intervention is needed to defeat the Axis in this war.”


“… long-run activities must be sacrificed to the short-run activity of winning the war. Education and research … are long-run activities. We have stood for liberal education and pure research. What the country must have now is vocational training and applied research. …This war will be won in the laboratories.”


“At the present time, the frontier is moral, not physical. The period of free lands that seemed boundless in extent has vanished. Unused resources are now human rather than material. They are found in the waste of grown men and women who are without the chance to work, and in the young men and women who find doors closed where there was once opportunity.”


Leo Szilard Enrico Fermi Arthur Compton


William Benton


Paul Hoffman


Lawrence A. Kimpton, succeeds Hutchins as chancellor - 1951


“The most dangerous aspect of public-relations work is its reflex action: we find that the public does not like something about the University; our temptation is to change this so the public will like us. Our duty is to change public opinion so that the public will like what the University does, and if this cannot be immediately accomplished, to hold out against the public until it can be.”


“My mistake was that I thought I was a successful evangelist, while I was actually the stopper in the bath tub. I thought I had convinced everybody, when all I had done was block a return to ‘normalcy’.”


Richard Rorty


Eugene Cox


“The Fund should feel free to attack the problem of the freedom of the press; of migrant workers; of the immigration laws and the McCarran Act; of loyalty investigations; [of] the House Un-American Activities Committee; of conscientious objectors; of academic freedom and teachers’ oaths; ....”


“… of racial and religious discrimination in all its manifestations, from lynching to inequality of educational opportunity; of disfranchisement; of dishonesty in government; of the liberties guaranteed by the First and Fourteenth amendments; of the administration of justice, etc.”


Earl Browder


Sidney Hook


John Cogley


“[A]s executive editor of the weekly Commonweal , he had earned a solid reputation among Catholic intellectuals, and there was nothing in his record to indicate that he had ever been guilty of Communism or any other heresy.”


“No corporate body during the years of the Fund’s first phase even approached its efforts in what Hutchins accurately called ‘uncharted and dangerous territory’. Fear was the great preventative. The most opulent foundations chose to ignore what were, in many ways, the most serious domestic problems of the fifties. …”


“No organization went beyond its [professed] belief in equal opportunities to pour hundreds of thousands of dollars into channels promoting racial equality. None tried as hard as the Fund to keep serious conversation alive.”


Malcolm Moos


“I am very depressed about the Center. I do not interfere and speak only when I am spoken to. But the alienation of staff and supporters proceeds apace. Unfortunately the supporters are not replaced. I’m afraid the place will soon run out of money. Well, it was a great idea.”


“I have proposed to solve the problems of public education by means of education. Give us educated citizens and the public school will become what it ought to be. …Immediate steps have to be taken to make the schools more adequate to their task. These steps must be taken within the boundaries set by the Constitution and, unfortunately, … we cannot always be sure what those boundaries are.”


“He never expected to be honored as a prophet; it was enough that he managed to be heard. …He was the modern embodiment of those Founding Fathers who were democratic enough to open the way for universal suffrage and ‘aristocratic enough to believe that men less educated than themselves might misuse their right’. …His unblinking realism never degenerated into cynicism.”


Milton Mayer


“Bob Hutchins was not the very best man I have known, not by a long shot (nor yet the very worst, by a longer shot still). But he was the only great man I knew both well and long. I knew him well enough and long enough to know that he was a great man who wanted to do good – and got greater. But not as great as he would have got had such goodness as he had had permitted him … to stroke the right people.”


“The ideal Dewey set before us is a challenge we have failed to meet. It is a challenge so difficult that it is understandable, perhaps excusable, that we have so far failed. But we cannot continue to fail without disastrous consequences for all of us. ...”


“For the proper working of our political institutions, for the efficiency of our industries and businesses, for the salvation of our economy, for the vitality of our culture, and for the ultimate good of our citizens as individuals, and especially our future citizens- -- our children – we must succeed.”


The End

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