Wednesday, October 16, 2019 Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 licence.

John Searle

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I cannot recall a time when American education was not in a "crisis." We have lived through Sputnik (when we were "falling behind the Russians"), through the era of "Johnny can't read," and through the upheavals of the Sixties. Now a good many books are telling us that the university is going to hell in several different directions at once. I believe that, at least in part, the crisis rhetoric has a structural explanation: since we do not have a national consensus on what success in higher education would consist of, no matter what happens, some sizable part of the population is going to regard the situation as a disaster. As with taxation and relations between the sexes, higher education is essentially and continuously contested territory. Given the history of that crisis rhetoric, one's natural response to the current cries of desperation might reasonably be one of boredom.

 
John Searle

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Even before 1918 we had traveled far from the doctrine of 1870, that "elementary" education was the education of a special class which would obtain no other — what the Committee of Council called in 1839 education "suited to the condition of workmen and servants" — and secondary education that of their masters.

 
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