The Atlantic Charter is a proclamation to the world that the two leading English-speaking nations intend to cooperate until victory is assured in order that other peoples of the world may enjoy the privileges and the responsibilities of freedom which these two great nations have made their ideal of life. And yet, although the cause for which the democracies are fighting is clear, there is a background of suspicion and criticism which is not altogether the result of fifth-column activities.
We have become so accustomed to miracles in our economy that we are in danger from a psychological point of view of lapsing into a fairy-tale state once more. We are inclined to believe that if we wish for things hard enough, they will be provided for us.
Although particular emphasis today is being placed upon the immediate necessity for concrete wartime defense education, probably one of the most pressing and urgent needs of such education is to help children of all ages to understand the significance and importance of continued democracy for them.
We are entering with youth an epoch dominated by three great imperatives: (1) World organization; (2) Increased democracy; and (3) Planning for abundance. Each is a continuation of some trends from the past, but each calls upon us in education to counteract powerful and long-standing habits of thought which have tolerated blind isolation, dictatorships at home and abroad, and economic anarchy leading to depressions.
The present world struggle can be viewed in one sense as a contest between hope and despair.
There is certainly an advantage, even a necessity, in our knowing what is the American way of life, the way that we have followed, unknowingly perhaps, since we imbibed the spirit of this country in the family circle, had it beaten into us by our fellows on the playing field, and finally learned in all our social and business intercourse that it is the one thing that makes for freedom under the restraint of our peers and for the greatest happiness to the greatest number. That we may perpetuate this way of life we must more definitely know what it is; that we may be more loyal to it we must appreciate its superior blessings.
The world situation today compels us to re-evaluate what we are doing in education, especially in the areas of health and physical fitness. The human virtues of physical courage, stamina, endurance, cooperation, and faith in our leaders are desirable traits for peace as well as war.
When we consider the problem of character education in the light of the world crisis, we have first to decide what kind of civilization we want and what kind of citizens we want to educate to lire in it.
Education for vocational efficiency is one of the fundamental opportunities which every free nation must provide for its people if it hopes to maintain individual freedom.
The American way of life is based on respect for the personality of each individual. We are committed to the belief that all men can be developed and improved through education.
A section of the Report of the Dean of Teachers College for the Academic Year Ending June, 1940 in response to the fall of France.
A manifesto prepared by a Teachers College committee (Professors Briggs, chairman, Childs, and Norton) in an attempt that education promote the unity of our people by clarifying the meaning of democracy and by helping to develop a greater and more intelligent support of it.
This commentary piece explores the global field of peace education with key insights from programs around the world.