ON EDUCATION THE FUTURE IN EDUCATION AND EDUCATION FOR A WORLD ADRIFT BY SIR RICHARD LIVINGSTONE PREFACE This volume contains two books which were originally published separately. A few minor changes have been made to bring statistics, etc. uptodate. Education for a World Adrift is an attempt to consider what education can do to remedy the lack of standards and clear beliefs which is the most dangerous weakness of the Western world. The Future in Education was the fruit of reflection on the results of our present ...
ON EDUCATION THE FUTURE IN EDUCATION AND EDUCATION FOR A WORLD ADRIFT BY SIR RICHARD LIVINGSTONE PREFACE This volume contains two books which were originally published separately. A few minor changes have been made to bring statistics, etc. uptodate. Education for a World Adrift is an attempt to consider what education can do to remedy the lack of standards and clear beliefs which is the most dangerous weakness of the Western world. The Future in Education was the fruit of reflection on the results of our present educational system. We might with advantage more often consider how far it misses or achieves its aims. As it is, we are like doctors who administer doses from a number of stock medicines but never ask what effect they have on the health of their patients. The treatment is reasonably successful with a small minority, but the rest leave pur surgeries with no desire to take any more of the medicines which we think indispensable to their health, and often with a strong aversion to them. The real benefit of school lifeand it is a great benefitis its effect on the character, the result of living an ordered life under discipline and in good conditions. But the other aims for which schools are supposed to exist are very imperfectly attained by most of their pupils. It is not a question of what the ordinary boy or girl knows or does not know, when they leave school it is a question of the interests and tastes which they carry with them into life. Here our education fails. If anyone thinks this too pessimistic a view, let him consider the cheaper London newspapers and the average film, which presumably reflect the tastes of the ordinary, citizen let him note the appeal ofc the comics let him observe what passengers in trains are reading, and sk what percentage of the population ever read anything worth while Id him listen to the complaints of the Workers Kdwaticwal Association that the number of those working men who wish to attend their classes is diminishing We have got a political democracy, but not yet an educated one. That is our problem. It cannot be solved without adult education. The public as a whole does not yet realise this. 11 regards education as something for childhood and adolescence and perhaps for a few years more, and fancies that all will be well if we extend and improve our school .system. That no doubt is desirable, but the example of America where the school leavingagc is 16 and often iB, and when some two and a half millions attend College, shows that such remedies do not cure the disease for, to put it mildly, the American nation is not better educated than our own, But the tide is slowly changing Perhaps the most striking educational development in Britain since the war is the foundation of more than twenty Residential Colleges for Adult Education3 most of them sponsored by Local Education Authorities, some by universities, some by bodies like the Y.M.QA. and the Womens Institutes, one or two by private enterprise In view of the diiticuUirH of finance and building, this is remarkable. And outside the .residential field, there is the much larger volume of work carried on by voluntary bodies, and by Uxwl Ktluea tion Authorities under the provisions for Further Edu cation in the Butler Act. Though there is far lo go and progress is slow, we are moving on the road which leads to an educated democracy. R. W, LIVINGSTONE 4 June
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