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Demos Addresses School Convocation, Crooks Stresses Summer "Tradition"

By Richard B. Rugf

Raphael Demos cast a critical though friendly glance at liberal education Tuesday night and then called for patience and courage to meet the problems of "an age of frustration."

In his talk at the summer school invocation, Demos drew on his long experience in teaching undergraduates--for nearly half a century he has used the Socratic method of questioning to help students discover for themselves the perspective and wisdom which are the goals of the learning process.

Retired from the Alford Professorship of Natural Religion, Moral Philosophy, and Civil Polity he is teaching Phil lb this summer.

In his critique of liberal education, Demos began by citing its inadequacy to prepare students for life in the non-academic world, and by suggesting that education might best begin at age 45, when students would have the experience which they need to fully grasp the new ideas with which they are prevented. (And by that time, he asked, "your children would be old enough to send you through college.")

Demos told his audience of some persons that it worries him to see students taking notes on lectures, because he wonders how much of the material they will actually retain. But learning can not be measured merely in terms of remembering, he added; it includes originality and creativity coupled with the discipline of hard work, the mastery of a subject which gives active control over a province of truth."

The effect of education is "to make you unhappy," Demos said: and "unless you have suffered, you have not had a good education." In achieving an identity of his own, the college student often "feels lost and abandoned;" yet with this disturbing element of awakening comes "the excitement of discovering" his individuality.

Education also prepares one to meet "the uncertain future of a world of disturbance" by giving the student self-reliance. Maturity can be defined, Demos stated, as "the ability to encounter uncertainty and insecurity without panic."

This ability is of special need in today's world, whose problems are only partially soluble, and perhaps even insoluble, he said.

Earlier at the convocation, summer school director Thomas E. Crooks reviewed the traditions of the school, which will celebrate its 100th anniversary in 1971. He said that summer sessions of learning must "continue to preserve their unique function of education."

The effect of education is "to make you unhappy," Demos said: and "unless you have suffered, you have not had a good education." In achieving an identity of his own, the college student often "feels lost and abandoned;" yet with this disturbing element of awakening comes "the excitement of discovering" his individuality.

Education also prepares one to meet "the uncertain future of a world of disturbance" by giving the student self-reliance. Maturity can be defined, Demos stated, as "the ability to encounter uncertainty and insecurity without panic."

This ability is of special need in today's world, whose problems are only partially soluble, and perhaps even insoluble, he said.

Earlier at the convocation, summer school director Thomas E. Crooks reviewed the traditions of the school, which will celebrate its 100th anniversary in 1971. He said that summer sessions of learning must "continue to preserve their unique function of education."

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