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September 20, 1956 - Image 19

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Michigan Daily, 1956-09-20

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THURSDAY, TEM ER 2b, 1956

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

PAGE NINE

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 1956 THE MICHIGAN WIlLY

A.Z IA I~ N AlA VVli

Discusses

American

tudents

as

NSA

Ke itoter

a

(Continued from Page 18)
Association, among other organi-
zations, to show what can be and
has been accomplished; by the
work of students on educational
problems.
This evidence runs all the way
from the organization of interna-
tional projects in student leader-
ship, to the development of new
forms of student and community
government, to the formation of
policy on matters affecting aca-
demic freedom and the defense
of civil rights and civil liberties.
* * w
Two Problems.. .
THE POINT OF view of the Am-
erican student has an important
bearing on all such matters, not
only because his own interests are
affected,. but because he has a
particular place in American so-
ciety from which to observe, to
comment and to decide.
There are at present two and
one-half million students in Am-
erican colleges and universities.
Within five to ten years there will
be four and one-half to five mil-
lion there. Everywhere in Amer-
ica where education is discussed,
two problems constantly harass
and disturb the educators and the
public.
Where will the money come
from to support double the pies-
' ent number of students and to
supply the buildings, the salaries
and, the equipment to educate
them?
Secondly, where will we find
the teachers?,
These two problems are so im-
mense and so crucial for the fu-
ture of American society that they
demand the concentrated atten-
tion of the United States Gov-
ernment, the state legislatures,
business and industry, the pro-
fessions, the educators, 'the stu-
dents and country at large.

What can be done?
. * *
Scholarships .. .
FIRST WE NEED. a national
scholarship program even more
bold and imaginative than the
.G. I. bill which brought 8 million
American men to college at the
cost of 14% billion dollars. The
new programs of scholarship aid.
developed by the corporations will
help, but they carl only scratch
the surface of the basic financial
problem. Certainly the universi-
ties themselves cannot finance ad-
ditional scholarship programs of
their own. They can, however, ad-
minister a national scholarship
program in such a way that the
independence of higher education
from Federal control could be as
well preserved as it was under the
G. I. Bill.
We need the help of founda-
tions, corporations and- individual
donors all over the country for li-
braries, classrooms, laboratories,
dormitories. We need state and
government loans to increase the
available facilities and to found
new institutions of all kinds.
We need to stay with the fP-
nancial problems and work at
them day by day through every
agency of the country until they
are solved. If one business corpor-
ation alone can spend a billion
dollars for its own five-year ex-
pansion program, the complete
combination of government, busi-
ness, labor and education should
be able to spend enough to handle
a problem of infinitely more seri-
ous proportion.
But if we have the money,
where do we find the teachers? I
suggest that as one part of the
answer we look to the present stu-
dent body for help.
Suppose for example we in-
cluded as part of a Federal schol-
arship program the offer of a

complete subsidy for the top three
percent of all graduating seniors
in the year 1956 to cover all their
expenses for graduate study in be-
coming college teachers.
Suppose in addition we began
to include on university campuses
the appointment of particularly
promising juniors and seniors to
lead discussion groups of fresh-
men and sophomores, to serve as
assistant teachers who had a, regu-
lar part in the educational pro-
gram, and suppose we gave these
new young faculty assistants some
direct responsibility for teaching.
This would mean a shift in educa-
tional planning away from the
idea of teachers providing infor-
mation to passive listeners and
towards the active participatin
by student bodies as a whole in
the teaching and learning process.
I would predict that out of this
combination of new recruits from
the American student body and
new subsidy for promising young
teachers to continue their educa-
tion would come a wealth of new
talent for the teaching profession
of the future.
Even without the'national sub-
sidy, I believe that on every col-
lege campus where some form of
undergraduate apprentice teach-
ing program were installed, a new
and vigorous growth of interest in
teaching and learning would
spring up with significant effects
on the quality of the educational
program.
*. * *
Silent Generation ..*.
BUT, I WILL be told, this is
the silent generation, the genera-
tion which has its eye on security,
which shuns political controversy;
which makes no brave demands,
which submits. to all authority, in
short, a conformist generation.
What hope do we have that such
a generation will provide a vig-

orous leadership for education?
Whenever I hear about this
generation, I think about students
I know who are doing courageous
and interesting things. I also
think of the time in which we live
and I wonder if we should expect
that this generation could grow
up from its birth at the end of
the depression, through the war
and twelve years of post-war ten-
sion, with a character completely
untouched by the character of the
world around it.
The ch'aracteristics of the period
which surrounds this generation
are those of caution, conservatism,
anxiety and all the negative emo-
tions which make people less able
to speak for themselves and to be
themselves, and make people long
for the security of the group so
their own opinions won't snow.
I have noticed more and more
blocks put before people, young
and old, who want to think and
act on their own. If a suggesticn is
made to do something - anything
-- a thousand little men run out
from everywhere with reasons

why it shouldn't or can't be done.
Or everyone waits for someone
else to move so that he can be
proved wrong if he does, or lack-
ing in initiative if he doesn't.
If an action is proposed, instead
of everyone saying, 'Let's try it,'
everyone says, 'Let's refer it to a
committee.' Or even worse, every-
one says, 'Let's send out a ques-
tionnaire.' Such an amount of
time is spent peeking and peering
before and behind and around .nd
inside for possible errors ar d
things for which you might be
blamed that very little fresh and
new gets started.
* * *
Search for Security ..
UNDER another heading, this
is called the search for security.
There certainly do seem to be a
lot of people seeking it, all the way
from Mr. Dulles, who does it by
brinkmanship and traveling a lot,
to the Government offices where
they have tucked away the scien-
tist who has so many brilliant top
secret ideas that security regula-

tions won't clear him to work wth
them.
Then there are the general run-
of-the-mill security seekers, who
are looking for peace of mind,
emotional serenity and positive
thinking and no trouble about
anything, while the whole of bus -
ness and industry has devoted it-
self to making life completely
smooth and empty of any possible
difficulty.
Nobody breathes ordinary air
any more, no books, plays, tele-
vision shows or movies are .just
plain good ones, they are either
sensational, selling to millions,
with colossal success, or they are
nothing.
I came across my favorite break-
fast food the other day-it doesn't
snap, it doesn't crackle, it doesn't
pop, it guarantees Just to lie there
at the bottom of its bowl and ab-
sorb its milk.
* * *
Too Much PR.. .
THERE IS also too much con-
cern with public relations pro-

grams, with too many people
thinking about how to make oth-
er people like them, or how to be
popular with everybody, and not
enough people simply going ahead
with what they think is true and
good and freely taking the con-
sequences. This is the most serious
danger to youth, that they too
may come to want their own pub-
lic relations program.
Two sensitive comments about
the state of mind of this college
generation come from people in
touch with young writers in col-
lege. After reading more than a
hundred manuscripts, and survey-
ing the writing in campus maga-
zines and anthologies, the editors
of the Antioch Magazine have this
to say:
* * *
Age of Criticism .. *
"THIS IS AN AGE of criticism.
rhetoric and conformity, and writ-
ing in the colleges reflects the
times. Although more writing is
done with greater technical fa-
cility by more people, its subject

matter is entirely safe. Much of
the best writing is found in stories
about children and childhood, in
which the children are undefiled
and the adults corrupt . . . Al-
most no writing is concerned with
the world and its problems. No
longer are young writers con-
cerned with the world and its
problems. No longer are young
writers concerned with war, its
causes, its results, but their focus
is narrowed to the bruises it
brings to their psychic and physi-
cal selves."
The other comment is from a
young man at Harvard who has
these additional remarks to make
about college writing:
"With few exceptions they (the
young writers) are uncommitted
.. The silent generation is silent
because it doesn't care to say the
silly and dishonest things that are
expected of it. It prefers a little
song about the weather to an
epical lie about the American way
of life. When all large ideas have
See TAYLOR, Page 20

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