„Credentialing, not education, has become the primary business of North American universities.“

—  Jane Jacobs, Chapter Three, Credentialing Versus Educating, p. 44
Jane Jacobs photo
Jane Jacobs
1916 - 2006
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„The new generation, raised on TV and the personal computer but deprived of a solid primary education, has become unmoored from the mother ship of culture“

—  Camille Paglia American writer 1947
Context: As a classroom teacher for over thirty years, I have become increasingly concerned about evidence of, if not cultural decline, then cultural dissipation since the 1960s, a decade that seemed to hold such heady promise of artistic and intellectual innovation. Young people today are flooded with disconnected images but lack a sympathetic instrument to analyze them as well as a historical frame of reference in which to situate them. I am reminded of an unnerving scene in Stanley Kubrick's epic film, 2001: A Space Odyssey, where an astronaut, his air hose cut by the master computer gone amok, spins helplessly off into space. The new generation, raised on TV and the personal computer but deprived of a solid primary education, has become unmoored from the mother ship of culture. Technology, like Kubrick's rogue computer, Hal, is the companionable servant turned ruthless master. The ironically self-referential or overtly politicized and jargon-ridden paradigms of higher education, far from helping the young to cope or develop, have worsened their vertigo and free fall. Today's students require not subversion of rationalist assumptions -- the childhood legacy of intellectuals born in Europe between the two World Wars -- but the most basic introduction to structure and chronology. With out that, they are riding the tail of a comet in a media starscape of explosive but evanescent images.

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„One wonders at the docility of the students who evidently must be satisfied enough with the credentials to be uncaring about the lack of education.“

—  Jane Jacobs American–Canadian journalist, author on urbanism and activist (1916-2006) 1916 - 2006
Chapter Four, Science Abandoned, p. 79

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„The business with high ethical standards has three primary advantages over competitors whose standards are lower:“

—  Marvin Bower American business theorist 1903 - 2003
A business of high principle generates greater drive and effectiveness because people know they can do the right thing decisively and with confidence. ... A business of high principle attracts high-caliber people more easily, thereby gaining a basic competitive and profit edge. ... A business of high principle develops better and more profitable relations with customers, competitors, and the general public, because it can be counted on to do the right thing at all times. By the consistently ethical character of its actions, it builds a favorable image. p. 26

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„The average Negro has not been sufficiently mis-educated to become hopeless.“

—  Carter G. Woodson African-American historian and writer 1875 - 1950
Context: The average Negro has not been sufficiently mis-educated to become hopeless. Our minds must become sufficiently developed to use segregation to kill segregation, and thus bring to pass that ancient and yet modern prophecy, "The wrath of man shall praise thee." If the Negro in the ghetto must eternally be fed by the hand that pushes him into the ghetto, he will never become strong enough to get out of the ghetto. This assumption of Negro leadership in the ghetto, then, must not be confined to matters of religion, education, and social uplift; it must deal with such fundamental forces in life as make these things possible. If the Negro area, however, is to continue as a district supported wholly from without, the inept dwellers therein will merit and will receive only the contempt of those who may occasionally catch glimpses of them in their plight. Chapter X: The Loss of Vision<!-- p. 84 -->

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Andrei Sakharov photo

„A system of education under government control, separation of school and church, universal free education — all these are great achievements of social progress. But everything has a reverse side.“

—  Andrei Sakharov Soviet nuclear physicist and human rights activist 1921 - 1989
Context: A system of education under government control, separation of school and church, universal free education — all these are great achievements of social progress. But everything has a reverse side. In this case it is excessive standardization, extending to the teaching process itself, to the curriculum, especially in literature, history, civics, geography, and to the system of examinations. One cannot but see a danger in excessive reference to authority and in the limitation of discussion and intellectual boldness at an age when personal convictions are beginning to be formed. In the old China, the systems of examinations for official positions led to mental stagnation and to the canonizing of the reactionary aspects of Confucianism. It is highly undesirable to have anything like that in a modern society.

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