The more we know about diverse children, the more complex becomes the problem of readiness. The author reviews relevant research and proposes a number of suggestive new guidelines.
More distressing than these discrepancies is the fact that all the
evidence indicates that the wealthy are becoming wealthier while
the poorer areas are becoming relatively poorer. In the richer countries
there has been an increasing trend toward equality of opportunity;
on the other hand, most of the poorer countries have preserved
as great internal inequalities among individuals, classes, and regions as there have ever been. In many, the inequalities are still
education has been primarily concerned with rural areas. It
has been the means by which the advances of technologically superior
societies are introduced to less-developed societies.
Up to World War 11, community education, whether it was imposed
by military force, transplantation of populations, monastic
orders, or gentle doctrines of local participation, was primarily
something that was done to or for some people by some other more
advanced people desirous of raising the cultural level of the less
advanced. Implicit in these various endeavors was the idea of raising
the cultural level of a local population within limitations but not
raising it as high as that of their mentors.
The psychological factors in community education and the principles
in which they conceivably can be embodied are too numerous
even to be catalogued here. Two forms of limitation, therefore,
have been deliberately adopted.
In the discussion
that follows, we shall first view recent progress in extending
literacy and the size of the task still faced. The remainder of the
chapter will consider selected problems involved in promoting literacy
within the framework of community education.
The fact is that the gap between educational and economic progress is very wide. Where the school is modem, many of the homes
are backward. The schools teach scientific methods to children, but
many of the parents remain superstitious in the extreme. There is
gardening in every elementary and high school, and there are agricultural
schools and colleges in every province where modem methods
of cultivation are taught; but over the fence next to the school
and on the two million farms all over the country, primitive methods
of agriculture are employed.
Technical and scientific developments since 1940 have made possible
a dramatic new attack on social and economic handicaps from
which more than half the world's people have been suffering. The
efforts of socially and economically more advanced communities to
transmit their culture to dependent or conquered areas is nothing
new. But the modern approach to such acculturation appears to differ
for several significant reasons: first, the dramatic effectiveness of
new drugs, antibiotics, and pesticides in arresting or controlling disease
or the agencies of disease transmission; second, the phenomenal
increase in productivity of new hybrid seeds, new chemical fertilizers,
and new techniques of planting or cultivation available and
adaptable to various areas of the world; third, the new speed of intercommunication
and transport introduced by radio, television, and
air travel; fourth, the new techniques of international and bilateral
co-operation which enlist the participation of governments and the
people of their local communities in seeking community improvement
through guided self-help.
Under the terms of the Trusteeship Agreement, the United States
has accepted responsibility for furthering the economic, social, educational,
and political development of Micronesia. Having assumed
such obligations, community education, as defined in the first
chapter of this yearbook, becomes a necessity. The need for· Micronesians
to be .literate in order to achieve a fuller and more creative
life is obvious if the United States is to live up to the responsibilities
imposed upon it in the Trusteeship Agreement.
Technical Assistance in south and southeast Asia began in colonial
days, even though its intentions were not those accepted today. In
its modern form it is an aftermath of World War II. To trace its
growth, even in broad outline, is too considerable a task to be attempted
here, where only a few points can be mentioned.
In about 1830, all of southern Illinois fell victim to a changing technology
and the opening of new lands elsewhere. The completion of
the Erie Canal directed pioneer traffic to the Chicago area and to
northern Illinois, where land was richer and more plentiful. The important
Cumberland Trail from the East to the vicinity of St. Louis
skirted the northern perimeter of southern Illinois. From that time
until coal-mining began in earnest, the patterns of migration bypassed
The term materials of instruction is broadly conceived to include
all the planned experiences necessary to reach a stated educational
goal. It includes the overt experiences, the demonstrations, field trips,
the books, pamphlets, films, filmstrips, exhibits, tests, and evaluation
devices. The materials used in instruction are influenced by three
major factors: the local, regional, or international setting or
situation of the learner; the ends or goals sought; and the
stated or assumed conceptions of learning and teaching.
Concern for the educational and cultural development of the
underdeveloped areas was expressed at the organizing sessions of
UNESCO and has continued as a vital interest of the agency. Many
of the men whose names have become synonymous with "mass education,"
"community education," "cultural missions," "mass literacy,"
or "each-one-teach-one" were present in person.
Community education involves reorienting the work of the many
existing extension agencies and training their field workers to use
new approaches and new methods.
For overseas service, the interviewer is looking for adaptability that
ill-defined and undefinable something that enables a man to
cross the culture line with no sensation more harmful than the
exhilaration of discovery. Such an attribute as this can be further
developed by training, but it cannot be instilled if the spark of
curiosity is not there in the first place.
In this chapter the authors will explore the workshop approach
which has been used in the retraining of educational leaders in India
and Pakistan and will identify features of this approach which may
have value generally in the retraining of leaders in underdeveloped
Seeking for the origins of United Nations community development,
one finds that the trail leads to that first-organized intergovernmental
welfare agency, the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation
Administration. UNRRA was set up, with voluntarily
contributed funds from many nations, to provide relief for and to
stimulate reconstruction in the devastated regions of Europe and
Asia after the close of World War II.
Granted the importance in the world scene of community education,
let us now concentrate on some basic principles, either explicit
or implicit in the chapters of this volume.
Why discuss audio-visual materials in a yearbook on adult reading? The answer is simple. The teacher of adults is interested in all the ways by which people get a rich experiential background for knowledge. He is especially interested in discovering how reading and other experiences can be most effectively interrelated and made mutually re-enforcing. Since reading is one of the most effective tools of the adult learner, it is pertinent to inquire whether the introduction of audio-visual materials might discourage the use of reading as a tool of learning and perhaps even lower the learner's esteem of reading. Are reading and audio-visual materials in com- petition? If not, how can one most effectively integrate the processes of varied media for use in communicating ideas?
Seven hundred and eight students, aged from sixteen to sixty, attend state-supported Mayville College in a village of eighteen hundred in an agricultural region of Midwest State. Half of the students live in dormitories where lodging and meals are provided at cost (thirty-eight dollars a month for board and room); one-third drive to the college each day from farms and villages within com- muting distance; and the remainder, adults, come to the campus for evening classes one or two evenings a week. With a curriculum planned on the basis of regional surveys, and developed with the help of lay-advisory boards, the college features two-year programs in agriculture, homemaking, secretarial-training, and preparation for transfer to State University or to State Agricultural College.
It is the function of this chapter to deal briefly with some of the powerful social, political, economic, scientific, and technological forces that move in and through American society, and to suggest something of their impact upon post-high-school education. Clearly, the planning of the future roles of the multiform institutions devoting themselves to the education of our youth and adults, the identification of their unfolding purposes, and the effective management and development of their operations, all depend in large measure upon sharpening our perceptions of dynamic societal changes and their implications for education.
The individuals who seek or need more education differ widely in ability, in adjustment, in beliefs, and in physical and mental health. While some needs are more potent in determining interest in further education, others are equally potent in determining the kind and amount. Some individuals desire only a few months of training while others aim at the professions. Some have heavy responsibilities and few resources while others ate in the most favorable position. Financial need and accessibility ate major elements in determining whether individuals can acquire education beyond the high-school level. Equally important is the availability of a wide range of programs adapted to the varying needs, interests, and abilities of the prospective students. Then, too, the programs must be so related to the economy of the community as to give reasonable insurance of placement. The six brief sketches which follow will illustrate the variability and the complexity of the patterns of need which cause individuals to seek more education.
We have observed that society is faced with rising demands for education beyond high school. An increase of more than two-thirds in the number of college-age youth is projected between 1955 and 1970. More than this, a larger percentage of the youth than formerly are seeking post-high-school education. This pressure for additional education, as has been pointed out in earlier chapters, is in its origin both social and technological (chap. ii) and personal and individual (chap. iii).
It is registration day on the campus of a large state university. The year is 1970. From a bench beneath an oak tree whose shade he had enjoyed when he was an undergraduate forty years before, an alumnus is watching the stream of new students flow by. It is his first visit to his college since his return from years spent in foreign service. He is struck by the mature appearance, the purposeful bearing of the students going by. Only occasionally does he see one who resembles his remembrance of the apple-cheeked Freshmen of his own day. Pricked by curiosity, he engages a passing group in conversation.
Chapters ii, iii, and iv have made reference to the importance of earning a living as an educational purpose and its relevance to the junior-college program. Previous chapters have indicated that a high percentage of junior-college enrollees register in university parallel or transfer curriculums, but the fact remains that the junior college is terminal for 70 to 75 per cent of all enrollees. \Ve are here concerned with this group and particularly with their preparation for realizing their ambitions for economic betterment.
General education refers to programs of education specifically designed to afford young people more effective preparation for the responsibilities which they share in common as citizens in a free society and for wholesome and creative participation in a wide range of life activities. Proponents of general education recognize that students differ and that a wide variety of specialized educational pro- grams is rec1uired to accommodate these differences. At the same time, these proponents are keenly aware that students are also alike in many ways. They know that likenesses beget common needs, just as differences beget divergent needs. They have chosen for themselves the task of analyzing these common needs and of organizing educational experiences so that college graduates will be prepared to satisfy them.
The educational significance of a program of community services in community colleges, as we now know them, may be inferred from the recognized goals of these colleges. That the interests and motives underlying present-day objectives of collegiate education represent a striking departure from the college-community concept of early American colleges is commonly understood. Two excerpts from the writings of a notable American educator of the nineteenth century give expression to the older concept of the place of the college in American life.
To visualize the task of defining junior-college programs, recall for a moment the institutions described in chapter i. The program of "Tech Institute" immediately causes one to envision laboratories with complicated electronics equipment; a workshop for planning and blue-printing construction activities, another for testing building materials, and sufficient space for constructing different types of building; extensive chemistry laboratories dedicated to special petroleum work, and in all likelihood a co-operative-work experience program with the nearby oil-drilling and oil-refining industries; a food-preparation room which appears more like a hotel kitchen than a college classroom, with perhaps a display of delicacies as aromatic as fondest childhood remembrances of the neighborhood bakery.
The authors of this chapter made a study of the nature of student problems in November, 1954. Replies were received from a questionnaire sent to 41 junior colleges. Respondents included instructors, deans, counselors, and directors of student-personnel. An interesting feature of the results of this inquiry is the appalling evidence of the frustration with which many youth of college age face problems pertaining to their educational opportunities for which they can see no solution. A few examples of the variety and perplexity of such problems are listed here as reported by teachers and counselors who responded to our questionnaire.
The improvement of instruction is important to any college or university. Particular weight must, however, be attached to high-quality teaching in the junior college. For it is a teaching, not a research, institution, and the achievement of its purposes largely depends upon the effectiveness of instruction.