BURT: I would like to go to Mr. Buckley
next and I'm saving you as my ace in the
hole, Mr. Smith.
Ill CKLEI : I eigne- with you that the
disciple- nl John Dewey have certainly
carried John Dewey further than he
himself weis evidently prepared to go.
(In the other beind. I happen to question,
as I believe Mr. Smith dues, the validity
of Mr. Dewey's central lliesis or central understanding of ibis.
Mi. Smith in bis lirsi book quoted
jocularly ;e remark made by ;i nine-year-
old girl who had flunked reading and accosted with this by her father, she commented, "Hui that's all rigbl. I gol a
hundred in postwar planning." I think
this tells us el whole lol eihoul what is
going on in the schools today, thai we
arc nol focusing on the central skills
wiiliniii which we can'l ever acquire anv
education, and withoul which certainly
we can't leike care of postwar planning
as our present siliietliou indicates.
BURT: So far we have something here that
seldom happens, three panel members agreeing on this topic that . . .
COMBS: No, I don't, Hardy. I don't.
Iii tlie first place. I think that the mod
ein method is ei superior method peda-
gogically speaking bul I regret the feiet
that there has nol been ei stronger accent
on the development of rudimentary and
BURT: Well, what you're saying is that
they should be a tot better.
Combs: Yes. I'm inclined to believe
perhaps, taken by and large, thai it's
superior to the old method.
Hodces: I ihink theii we are going
through a period of balancing. I believe
iheil the old rigid discipline, in bulb
senses, weis ei -iretiijaekii. straitjackel nl
personality, and ei straitjackel in regard
in facts, nnt ability In ihink necessaril).
Thai wets ei by-product nf the earlier
education. I think, secondly, thai ils
ver) importanl lor us In realize lhal we
have come In ei stage where we kno«
in.ne aboul the child, both from the
standpoint of the teacher eunl edsu from
lhe standpoinl of lhe parent. If lln' par-
enl doesn't know more aboul the child
you have ei grave dereliction of duty
here, emd ihis is one of the major problems. You can'l discuss schools unless
x liscuss family and parental respon-
sibilities. And you people always go nil
on the tangent. You musl come righl
back In lhe core of the individual. Now
ei- In the parent . . .
Ill I KI.KI : The poinl nf V iew of till"
tn.e.Iiiii educator has leiken tin- position consistently thai the parent i- ee
nuisance. Tiny mosl certainly do. especially in the colleges . . .
Hodges: Ob. no. now. that's -wail ei
minute, Mr. Buckley, you pick mi . . .
Ih i klei : lb- is there to procreate
children and pay the hills eiml eis far eis
they're concerned, they're through wilh
FAl I- FORI M NKWS. \ovember, 1955
him. They are uniformly bored wilh
lhe existence of lhe parenl eis such. And
it has to do wilh the whole central
wedge into the leiiniK institution.
Hodges: Now, Mr. Buckley, vou are
saying "you" and I can sety from medial iheil is absolutely untrue.
BUCKLEY: Well, then you musl be' an
Hodges: No. I ihink I represent . . .
BURT: Just a minute.
SMITH: But you don't control public
school education. Vm represent education on lhe college level. You're not
representative, thank Cod. of professional education in America.
BURT: Let's get back on the track again
because the question we are really trying to
bring out is, "Should methods of teaching
reading and writing be improved?" Now,
for example, in your classrooms—you're professor of international politics at New York
University—do students come in there whose
reading is not as good as it should be? Even
at the college level?
Smith: That's a >cs. Admit it.
Hodges: Well, eit the graduate school
level—because I particularly started mil
seiving that I'm not em educator in the
school of education sense, and I think
thai iheil is very important—al the graduate level, and il's significanl because
ii includes the old line private school
and lhe product of thc puhlie school.
they're utterly indistinguishable. I ihink
(hell's ei very importanl social situation.
You can'l tell the educational antecedents of the problem.
Buckley: By the time you get to the
graduate school you've been very carefully screened and there s etlsn . . .
Combs: Yes, it's the top level of intelligence.
Hodges: No, I wouldn't seiv that. It's
et cross section of brains, admittedly.
Bul there are no special channelings,
particularly under the (il setup.
Smith : Maj I return in ee comment
of Mr. Combs. You seiiel. eis I recall il.
that Mm fell this attempt to adjust young
people in their sneieel environment was
a healthy thing. And I think we could
eill agree that in ei certain extent that i-
ei function of education. But, ei- you
said, lhe primary function nf education
is the training of the intelligence, lhe
I raining uf the mind.
Now. the facl is. eunl il scemis lo me
lhal mosl parents don't know this and
I do blame the parents for not knowing,
thai there is ei very huge segmenl of
American educational thought that says
iheit the ptimeiiv function of education
i- iiiii lhe training "I the mind or the
training of the moral sense hut is just
euljiisiing in ihe environment.
\- a mallei uf facl. the United States
Office of Education, which is ets official
ee- \.ili cent gel ill education, savs lhal
iiii per cenl of American youth is incapable either nf going tn college, being
trained for college or being trained for
the vocations. Therefore thc thing for
us to do i- tee give lliini some kind of
program, good grooming or whatever
it is. lo euljiisl them In life. Now that
seems to me to be an ullerlv cynical
and probably unscientific conclusion.
BURT: I'd like to know what is meant specifically—why do they say that 60 per cent
are incapable of going to college? You
mean they don't have the IQ to go?
Smith: Presumably, on the basis of
intelligence. 60 per cent of American
youth are just loo dull emd not cdui etble.
in he educated in the traditional sense.
BURT: Does it say what proportion are in
colleges that shouldn't be there because they
can't be educated?
Combs: I noticed just a few weeks
ago uiie uf the professors of history at
Harvard referred lo the fail that there
are now pouring into our higher educa-
liemal institutions a very large proportion of men who should not be in college- eit eill.
BURT: Well, what could be done about
that, Mr. Combs?
Combs: 1 would suggest the imposition of ver) much higher entrance re-
quirements and a more selective system
for lhe choice of candidates for et degree I'd send the rest to vocational
school emd I would not regard beauty
culture eis equivalent lo a course in
Hodges: Well, that's the whole battle.
Smith: ll seems tn me one of the
greal problems in American public education is whal to dn wilh the young person whn i- nut college material. \tc we,
then, going lo just Iry lo adjust him lo
bis environment? Are we just going to
train him vocationally? Or are there
values in education theit wc can give
this young man? I don'l Ihink we ought
to give hint up. Not certainly on the
beisis of lhe 611 per cent.
HODGES: We don't give him up at
BURT: Just to think in terms of material reward or financial gain, isn't it true that it
doesn't necessarily pay off to go to college?
There are a lot of people who don't go to
colleges that become extremely successful
and are paid a lot more working in skilled
trades and . . .
Combs: Anyone whn goes to college
with the idea of augmenting his earning
power doesn'l deserve to be in college.
BURT: Don't you think that most people
do go to college with that idea?
Combs: I'm very much afraid so. and
that's one reason I believe it's such ei
sterile experience for the average boy.
Buckley: ,i es. 1 ihink the inflated
culture thai we live in has a whole
lot to do with this question. Alberl J.
Nock gave ei historical scries of (--axon the question in I'T'tS at the University of \ irginia in which he pointed out
that unless we are prepared to distinguish between the trainable and the
educable we are forever going lo be
saddled with this kind of problem.
I'll Re "J7