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Facts Forum News, Vol. 4, No. 7, August 1955
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Facts Forum. Facts Forum News, Vol. 4, No. 7, August 1955 - File 046. 1955-08. University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. November 26, 2020. https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/1352973/item/1399/show/1375.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Facts Forum. (1955-08). Facts Forum News, Vol. 4, No. 7, August 1955 - File 046. Facts Forum News, 1955-1956. University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/1352973/item/1399/show/1375

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Facts Forum, Facts Forum News, Vol. 4, No. 7, August 1955 - File 046, 1955-08, Facts Forum News, 1955-1956, University of Houston Libraries, accessed November 26, 2020, https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/1352973/item/1399/show/1375.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Title Facts Forum News, Vol. 4, No. 7, August 1955
Series Title Facts Forum News
Creator
  • Facts Forum
Publisher Facts Forum
Date August 1955
Language eng
Subject
  • Anti-communist movements
  • Conservatism
  • Politics and government
  • Hunt, H. L.
Place
  • Dallas, Texas
Genre
  • journals (periodicals)
Type
  • Text
Identifier AP2.F146 v. 4 1955; OCLC: 1352973
Collection
  • University of Houston Libraries
  • Facts Forum News
Rights No Copyright - United States
Item Description
Title File 046
Transcript The Diminished Mind By Mortimer Smith, Henry Regnery Company. 20 West Jackson Boulevard. Chicago 4. Illinois, I9S4, 150 pp., S2.75. Mortimer Smith, who six years ago annoyed some educational circles with bis little book. And Madly Teach, has done it again. In this volume, subtitled "A Stud) of Planned Mediocrity in Our Public Schools." he offers a trenchant yet good-natured and temperate study of the plans of an educational hierarchy which would seek to subordinate educational values lo an aim nf reconstructing society along colleetivist lines. Mr. Smith has no quarrel with the many improvements in teaching techniques. Hut he does take sharp issue with lhe Social Reconstruction theory which regards lhe public school system eis em instrument tu he used for lhe construction of a new seeeied order. He lakes issue, also, wilh the Life Adjustment theory (supported by the I .S. Office- of Education) which blithely assumes that 00 per cenl of our young people are incapable nf being educated in the treuli- tioneil sense, or else will not need such education. This philosophy proposes lhal these- "uneducables" he "adjusted" lo the society in which they shall live. rather than l>e actually educated. One educator even goes so feir as to propose it as "an excellent program for all American youth. The Life Adjustment program bodes ill for the general basic literacy of public school graduates. One educator, in an article published in the Bulletin of the National Association of Secondary- School Principals, heis slated lhat "it is iii-t as illeeL'ieed tn assume lhat everv boy musl hr able to read as it is theit each one must he able to perform on the violin."' A National Education Association subsidiary concedes lhat "reading lo comprehend newspapers and magazines reasonably well'' is a worthy aim. Well, lhat appears to be aboul enough literacy lo satisfy tbe requirements of "Newspeak." This age is seeing ei great dialectical confusion of the English language indeed, strangely reminiscent of "Newspeak" in George Orwell's novel. Th.- tendency and ultimate of this dis- torting of vvords is the corruption of the language in which ideas were expressed in earlier years. Rendering lhe language 01 our religious, cultural, and political heritage unintelligible could accomplish the purposes nf "Newspeak" even more surely than would physical destruction of the literature itself. Parents vein, have children in schools geared to lhe Life Adjustment theory, ami who wish these young people to he able I.. read well lhe classical English of the nineteenth and earlier centuries, may find it advisable to undertake this education eit home. Quoted is the minimum blueprint for a Federal Education Authority, offered by Theodore Brameld, professor of educational philosophy at New York I niversity. Mr. Smith dues nut mention thai Profi'ssor Brameld has distinguished himself by joining a number of Communist fronts and hy acting els ei sponsor of the Communist Jefferson School of Social Science (Budenz: The Techniques oj Communism). Professor Brameld wants: " \u educational system la) supported heavily hy federal taxation, supplemented hy local resources, and controlled hy the service state; thi offering completely free universal education from the nursery school through the university and adult levels; , gearing curri- culums, teaching, guidance, and administration to the purposes of the economy of abundance, service state, scientific society, and esthetic order; iih bringing newspapers, radio chains, and other instruments of public enlightenment into direct cooperation with education under similar controls."' (Brameld: Patterns oj Educational Philosophy, World Book Co., Yonkers, N. Y., p. 662.) [Emphasis added.] BLUEPRINT FOR BRAINWASHING This passage occurs in ei leading textbook—one used for the training of teachers, lhe blueprint reads like one for et completely collectivized emd "brainwashed" society. "Service state" and "scientific society" are dialectical ex- pressions which have ;i clearly defined meaning and usage. We might ice eill lhal the aim of using the schools for "social reconstruction' toward a Marxist society was clearly stated in the 1933 "Call lo the Teachers of ihe Nation," issued hy I In Progressive Education Association: "If llie teachers are to play a positive and creative role in building a better social order they will have to emancipate themselves completely from the domination of lhe business interests nf the nation... recognize lhe corporate and inter-dependent character of the contemporary order and transfer the democratic tradition from individualistic to colleetivist economic foundations.... 'Ihis would involve . . . the wide adoption uf the principle of social and economic planning. . . . First of all if lhe profession is In he a factor in the process of social reconstruction, its members must prepare to struggle cooperatively and valiantly for their rights ;in,| ideas. . . . They must uphold the ancient doctrine of academic freedom.... The progressive-minded teachers of the country must unite.' iii ei powerful organization, mili- tantly devoted lo the building of ei better social order. ... In the defense of ils members ageiinsl tin- ignorance of the masses and the malevolence of the privileged such an organization would have to be equipped with the material resources, tin- legal talent, and the trained intelligence necessary tei wage successful warfare in the press, tlie courts, and tlie legislative chambers nf the nation. To serve lhe teaching profession of lhe counlry in this way should be one of the major purposes eif the Progressive Education Association." Mortimer Smith's corrective for "198!" educational practices is simply stated: "American public school education will onlv throw off the incubus of these Iwo false philosophies by restoring the centrality of the individual in education. We must adopt again thc idea thai the purpose of education is lhe improvement of the individual anil when we achieve this we ran he assured thai the quality of lhe group will rise and so- ciety will he sounder." SURVEYS UNWHOLESOME SITUATION The Diminished Mint! presents a searching study of an unwholesome situation thai has grown up and which would he more severe were it not for the decentralization nl puhlie education. Politically active groups are. however, able lo exercise ei considerable degree of nationeil control. This is a hook which should he re.ul hv everv parent, teacher. Sun.lav School teacher, eunl individual who works witli young people. The author's dry humor makes his presentation enjoyable as well as highly informative. It is this reviewer's opinion thai there must be no neglect of education in basic lileracv sufficient lo deteit and reject premises emd proposals leading to totalitarian systems, 'lhe rejection of a philosophy which would repudiate ultimate truths in favor of pragmatic testing, ami lhe refusal lo accept mediocrity, is cssiai- tieillv individual. Any individual, alerted to the ways and purposes nf "Newspeak, has it within his capacity lo insist upon and preserve a higher standard. In his closing sentence Mr. Smith points lo this requiremenl on the pari of the individual: "Nol until individual man rebels againsl mediocrity, spiritual illiteracy, and group subservience will our unique experimenl of universal education become once again a bright Imp'' and promise in American life." The defense of freedom musl res' upon its practice. Indiv idual freedom can he maintained onlv hv the individual. Its maintenance cannol be delegated I" groups, organizations, leagues, or nth1'1' corporate bodies, because il inheres i" the individual. Liberty, wilh which all men are endowed bv their Creator, de* fiends upon acknowledgment of its source and upon adherence to ihe principle which inulergird il. ll is the conoomiteu1' of understanding of those' moral abs"' lutes which pragmatic philosophy denies- G. W. lo \K\to\n. Jr. Pace 44 FACTS FORUM NE WS, August, 195'
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