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Ideals in Education

Robert M. Hutchins
American Journal of Sociology
Vol. 43, No. 1 (Jul., 1937), pp. 1-15
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2768229
Page Count: 15
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Ideals in Education
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Abstract

The character of education is determined by the character of society. The love of money, and the desire for freedom to make it and equality of opportunity to purpose it, are the current ideals of the United States. The consequences of these ideals in American education have been to emphasize vocational education, to base the curriculum on obsolescent knowledge, to omit the consideration of mora questions, and to sacrifice intellectual development in favor of vocational techniques and the acquisition of information. The educational system reconstructed according to the ideal of the common good as determined in the light of reason will have as its primary object the cultivation of the intellectual virtues. Accordingly, general education in the college will center upon the communication of our intellectual tradition and upon training in the intellectual disciplines of grammar, rhetoric, logic, and mathematics. The university, excluding informational and vocational courses, will become an institution where professors and students join in studying fundamental intellectual problems, those of natural science, social science, and metaphysics or philosophy. The graduates of a university so organized and so conducted should after three years of study have some rational conception of the common good and of the methods of achieving it.

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