Debate and Panel on Utopias Education
A panel discussion about utopias with thinkers like Dass, Montagu, and Ginsberg discussing their ideal utopia's system of education.
THE PEOPLE'S ALMANAC'S EXCLUSIVE SYMPOSIUM ON UTOPIA
5. How would education take place?
Asimov: Where human interaction is not essential (as in athletics, public speaking, drama, and so on), education would be through advanced teaching machines plugged in to a planetary computerized library. Each child (or adult) could then be educated in whatever subjects interest him to whatever extent he pleases and for however long he wishes.
Buckley: Voucher system schooling, attendance voluntary after achieving literacy.
Dass: Available throughout life by choice.
Fadiman: Our own system isn't bad: improve the educators, make them top dogs socially and, to a degree, financially, and you'll probably produce a fair number of educated human beings.
Ginsberg: With background of meditation, nontheistic.
Michener: If I am worried about one aspect of American life, it is the appalling downgrading of education, the attack on testing, the removal of entrance requirements, the constantly dumbing-down of content so that totally uneducated young people can make believe they are going to college. This downward movement imperils our nation. So, I believe that about 70% of our total citizenry in the future will be educated primarily by television. Our political, commercial, and managerial leaders will come from this group. The other 30% will be educated as usual in the Socratic-Aristotelian-Platonic system of books, questions, written summaries, slowly maturing concepts. I would make the 70% education easy, the 30% much more difficult than now. And we could have a rather good society as a result. But whatever we do, I would insist that school be a place for learning, that college deal with real ideas.
Montagu: In the home and through nursery, kindergarten, school, college, and university. With the emphasis on the science and art of human relations--the ability to live as if life and love were one. All else to be regarded as secondary skills and techniques in the greater enlargement of the ability so to live. The principal qualification for the teacher being the ability to love.
Untermeyer: Education would take place by association--association with all sorts of stimuli: people, books, art, music, dance, drama, things, happenings, emotions ... even (almost unbelievably) television.
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