and control. Without proper discipline children would
lose respect for those in positions of authority; and a generation of lawless individuals, without respect for law
and order, could result.
A new interpretation of learning flourished. Anyone
acquainted with the dictionary meaning of the word was
baffled. Drill and repetition were considered to be meaningless in the learning experience because learning could
not be imposed on the child from without. He had to
accept learning. Therefore, it was necessary to employ
Group discussion technique was introduced; it was
even recommended that the group discussion technique
replace the pro and con of debate. The majority vote was
to be abandoned in favor of the consensus, a single opinion
supposedly representing the group opinion. When a meeting was deadlocked, it was not possible to vote. The deadlock had to be broken by some members' giving up their
views — in a word, compromise.
JVIany felt that the American way of life was threatened
by the group discussion with its accompanying consensus
wherein the majority vote was abandoned. The majority
vote guaranteed to each individual the right to express his
opinion on a final decision through the secret ballot,
whereas the consensus did not. It seemed that the consensus, or collective opinion, was not necessarily the result
of majority thinking. Therefore, the group discussion technique as advocated in Pasadena appeared to be a serious
threat to the representative form of government.
Pasadena had long been aware of the need for an
intercultural program and had taken steps to meet this
need. A human relations committee had been functioning
for several years before the arrival of Mr. Goslin; its primary goal had been to create better understanding among
those of different races and culture. Under Mr. Goslin this
committee was sidetracked; the primary aim of human
relations became that of creating awareness of race and
class, and discrimination against minorities. Understanding was of secondary importance. Racial awareness and
feeling were created where none existed before.
Sex was to be taught at all levels of the school in mixed
classes (boys and girls). Sex pictures were to be shown
to children according to their ages. Books supplementing
the pictures were to be introduced to high school children.
The teaching of sex by the schools is a highly controversial
If Willard Goslin had brought his own dictionary to
Pasadena he would have spared the people considerable
confusion. Leadership, the dictionary states, means the
ability to lead; or, the guidance of a leader. Under Mr.
Goslin, leadership was defined as the function of the
group. The teacher was to recognize that all children were
leaders. In practice it meant that the best students and
the natural leaders were repressed. Since no one received
recognition for ability or application, there was little
encouragement to excel or to reach a position warranting
Iv spite of the fact that we are a highly competitive
society Mr. Goslin did not believe in teaching competition
to children. He said it was a great way to sell bananas but
a poor way to raise children. Competition was frowned
upon because children of lesser ability could not compete
and would feel like failures. Grades were competitive,
hence other methods of evaluating the child's progress
were recommended. Grades made children feel inferior-
All children were to be promoted whether they failed or
passed, because a child's confidence and personality wouM
lie injured if he had to repeat a class.
Such views were not acceptable. Without lessons U>
competition, children would not be adjusted to fit out
society which is highly competitive. With no grades, there
would be no measuring rods for achievement. If good and
poor work received equal recognition the incentive to excel
would be destroyed. With no failures for incomplete an1'
below-passing work, children would go from grade '"
grade without adequate foundation. Some citizens in Pasadena who were informed concerning education in totalitarian countries stated that the aim of those countries wa5
to eliminate competition in all forms from the mind of tl"e
student so that he would be incapable of earning a living
and would lean on the state for support.
Teacher-parent relations became verv- strained nudC
the Goslin administration. This was due in part to th6
basic changes that the teachers had to incorporate int0
the curriculum in the classrooms and in part to the extrcii"
emphasis on psychology. Parents resented the intrusio0
into their home life.
JVIost revolutionary was the "philosophy of change" thi"
Willard Goslin brought to Pasadena. Those participate
in a group were persons trained to effect change, who we"*
to be action-minded so as to carry change into actio"1'
Change — for what? By whom? Where were the inn(,v:1
tions leading? Those who had the temerity to qticsti"'
the changes were informed that the educators were h^
qualified to determine the needs of education.
By creating an aura of superiority around the Goffl
program and by ridiculing the tried and tested vie«*
many changes that made no sense whatever were intf
duced and accepted. Change — for what? By whom? "'!
modern education? For the new social order? For sod'1
ism? For communism? For chaos? For greater indepo"
ence, or for slavery? Change is a means to an end. "''
is it an end in itself?
Too many changes too fast create uneasiness and "r
trust. Willard Goslin moved too last. Almost iniinedia11'
after assuming office he began to reorganize the sllP\J
visory staff at the central office, flis actions seemed
follow the pattern of gathering greater control. He *J
not the blustering type. He made friends who became^
followers, and he gradually wooed them away from "
established order to his dreams of modern education- ,
Imported to Pasadena by Mr. Goslin was Dr. Hoi"'1* I
Gilchrist, in the summer of 1949, to fill the important Pj|
tion of assistant superintendent in charge of instructi"
Unfortunately for those who desire a more conserVSJ]
form of education, Mr. Gilchrist is still iii Pasadena, sp^jj
soring the same program of education as that atlvoc:'"
by Willard Goslin.
Oltside speakers were employed to speed the pro.-1'1 ,,
Dr. William Heard Kilpatrick, one of the original BwJ
bers of the Progressive Education Association and I1' ...
ently connected with the American Education FellowtfJ
Dr. Theodore Brtuneld, known for his pro-Marxist v <v,
Erika Mann; Owen Lattimore; Michael Fielding!, ^
Hubert Herring; Dr. William Jack Stone; Dr. Robert Bj
One fact was clear — Willard Goslin's main sup?