Education: The Great Conversation

Higher education in the U.S. is chaotic and is bogged down in makeshift adjustments to environment, too much vocational specialization and lack of a basic philosophy. This is the theme of Robert Maynard Hutchins' new book, The Conflict in Education (Harper; $2), published this week. Educator Hutchins, longtime (1929-51) head of the University of Chicago and now associate director of the Ford Foundation, warns that unless the universities begin preparing students to participate in the "Great Conversation that began with the dawn of history and continues at the present day," the outlook for Western civilization is indeed grim.

What worries Dr. Hutchins...

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