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The Open MindCold War Politics and the Sciences of Human Nature$
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Jamie Cohen-Cole

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780226092164

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226092331.001.0001

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Democratic Minds for a Complex Society

Democratic Minds for a Complex Society

(p.13) Chapter One Democratic Minds for a Complex Society
The Open Mind

Jamie Cohen-Cole

University of Chicago Press

This chapter examines the debate over pedagogy that roiled education and policymaking circles in the 1930s and first half of the 1940s. Discussions were imbued with politics and with midcentury anxiety about the fracturing of the modern world. Questions of pedagogy frequently became philosophical discussions about the meaning of proper citizenship, the definition of a good society, and the true meaning of democracy. In the end, neither liberal education nor general education succeeded in achieving dominance. Solution came in the form of a synthesis developed at Harvard in 1943-1945. The work of a committee of professors and outside consultants was to provide a vision of the right kind of mind for America that came to have lasting influence. That vision emphasized the cultivation of expert mental skills over factual knowledge as the basis of citizenship.

Keywords:   Liberal education, General education, Pedagogy, History, Citizenship, expert

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