THE SCHOOL AS A CENTER OF INQUIRY by Robert J. Schaefer

THE SCHOOL AS A CENTER OF INQUIRY

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Dr. Schaefer, Dean of the Teachers College, Columbia University, delivered the ninth John Dewey Society Lecture with the pronouncement that the school must be more than a place of instruction; it must also be a center of inquiry, a producer as well as a transmitter of knowledge. This, because of our need for new knowledge, our responsibility for the intellectual health of teachers, and belief in formal education as a preparation for a lifelong pursuit of knowledge. Dr. Schaefer differs with other pen-wielding reformers, notably Dr. Conant, who he thinks is on the wrong track with his proposal of apprentice-teachers when scholar-teachers are required. (""I find the reform literature of teacher education especially tiresome...patently oblivious of what seem to me to be important issues."") He wants to discover more about the origin and development and measurement of human motives and to apply such knowledge. In the ""workaday world of the schools"" he thinks we neglect teaching as a formative profession, exert pressure for standardized teachers, while a lack of confidence in professional capacities limits genuine participation. ""We have the chance, if we will but seize it, of freeing the teacher to be the diagnostician, the stalker of meaning, the constant learner we have always claimed he was, or should be,"" he says, and offers several concrete proposals toward a school which inquires. Professional homework.

Publisher: Harper & Row