Eckerd College - Logos Yearbook (St Petersburg, FL)

 - Class of 1970

Page 11 of 80

 

Eckerd College - Logos Yearbook (St Petersburg, FL) online yearbook collection, 1970 Edition, Page 11 of 80
Page 11 of 80



Eckerd College - Logos Yearbook (St Petersburg, FL) online yearbook collection, 1970 Edition, Page 10
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Page 11 text:

HEEREIVIA: FPC is so built in the groove of these directions. For example there is in the catalog what is required for graduation: thirty two courses or their equivalent. But nobody pays any attention to those words or those equivalents. You get students going out and doing something in the community, the first thing they want is academic credit for it. But why? This might be something that academic credit has nothing to do with. Why don't they say: "Look, l've had an experience here, I'd like it to be accepted as the equivalent of a course." DETWEI LER: Yeah. Back to Boggs' criticism. One thing that you can safely say nowadays is that much-maybe most- significant learning does not take place in the classroom, and we had damn well better start looking for ways of implementing efficiently a college education apart from the classroom situation. HEEREIVIA: So kids go down, two or some students, in the ghetto area. How do you assign a grade to that? They go out and clean ducks. How do you assign a grade to that? That's absurd. DETWEILER: l have an image that occurred to me a couple of days ago while preparing a Core lecture that contrasts the old concept of higher education in terms of the image of an assembly line versus the new concept of a college as a "switchboard." The old assembly line process, which is a very academic thing, puts a student into the machine, sends him through, fills him with knowledge, processes him, polishes him, packages him and sends him out into society. This is the well-rounded individual. Whereas I think the modern college ought to be a switchboard, where you use the college to plug students in and out of various institutions in the community, get him a job with Honeywell for a semester, let him work in a hospital, let him go to USF, let him do courses here. There are tremendous possibilities for a variable education that we haven't even looked at. The university goes wrong, I think, in that it doesn't try to plug the student into society in the way l've suggested, but it tries to duplicate society. The multiversity becomes a society of its own in which it tries to offer the student everything that he ought to be getting outside of the institution. This is self-defeating. FPC at least can't make this mistake. lt's far too small. lt's impossible for us to duplicate society, so that maybe this concept of switchboarding could be done more efficiently at FPC. LINDA: Have you any specific suggestions about what FPC should do? DETWEILER: I don't know what's happening in terms of formal structure. Do you? HEERENIA: No, I don't. The students have a lot more power than they think they do. One area of power that they should take seriously is faculty evaluation. The students had faculty evaluation forms but they told nothing. Not enough students filled them out to make it meaningful. DETWEI LEFI: Same here. HEEREIVIA: If students are really going to get a grasp here, they have to say, "Look, we want the college going in certain directions and there are certain people here that we feel we really Iike." And students should really bring pressure to move these people who have power! Now the students are only one pressure group, but they haven't even operated as a pressure group so far. LINDA: Do you think it is wise to get students intimately involved in deciding their education? In the past people haven't thought students intelligent enough to know what he needed. DETWEILER: This is a prejudice that is disappearing very fast. You can't expect very many students at this point to be aware of the main problems and configurations of American higher education, because it's been in just the last few years that the faculty and administration have themselves gotten a very sophisticated oveniiew. I think this has happened to both Doug and me in the last five to six years. Before I came here, during my one year at Hunter College, I was beginning to become, I suppose, radicalized in the sense that I was developing a political, social, cultural awareness outside of my field of teaching literature, teaching English. And this has intensified at FPC, so that now I feel myself very involved in the whole process of higher education, not necessarily as an English teacher, but as an educator, capital E. And I suppose students ought to become educators themselves in a way, even while they're being educated. HEEREIVIA: The student shouIdn't expect to have the sole say because there are many different ways of evaluating, say, a faculty member, but theirs is an important one. The problem is that they haven't taken their role seriously enough. DETWEILER: Yeah. Here's something that has bothered me lately about the concept of student power. Students want the right to decide and direct their own educations. Good. They ought to have it. But students are around a school usually a maximum of four years, at least a school like this, so that any one person is going to have a four-year influence. So what's going to happen to the concepts they've initiated later? Where's your guarantee of the continuity that's going to give the institution some kind of direction and valuable self-identity? It seems that this hasn't been thought out much. HEEREIVIA: There is a different time perspective in regard to this. The faculty member, even though he might be around a shorter time than the student, tends to think this is the school where he is going to be ten to twenty years from now. With this different time perspective the student must realize that he is only one force in determining his education among a number of forces. Now he's got to take himself seriously, but he's also got to be content with the fact that he can't run the whole show. And too, they try to take over everything, and if they can't have the total say, they kind of give up. Students must get involved, and if they don't, they have no one to blame for the drift of the school but themselves. If they get actively involved and try and then the school doesn't

Page 10 text:

, .- K. f Q , i H7 ..-1 rg.. Vu.-V. . ,, 45' .. . -'afj.A'f"i' " 3 '?i7.i3ifT1g'f3-iz, 7' Jgfwr- ' ' -.fQ..15:': 1 fi pn 1 ga . , .,j .':.l'f-jg Q , r -.:,-0 3 ,- 1- . - I . :fs,-1J.1",u.1-'-.a'f-1--gyf 1, 1' jx' wifj'ffgggQf:.,Axf3,:2,ni, f", l as :init-1-W "f'Jmf'.f 25u4iar'w:':f,,: V r with its resources. lt's a liberal arts school. There are certain programs a liberal arts school has to run. And some of these, like science, have to be expensive. So you have to say do you want science or not, and if you want science, and I don't see how you can have a liberal arts college without science, you have to face up to the fact that it's going to be expensive. On the other hand there are some areas where you don't have to be expensive that are terribly expensive around here. For example, I should think it would be far cheaper, far more demanding, and far easier, if you think we need an international education program, to run a Latin American studies program rather than an East Asian studies program. You see the point l'm driving at here: if we need an international educational program then let's adopt one in which we have a sort of built in ability to take advantage of a number of economies, rather than build a tremendously expensive program that we have no business getting involved with. DETWEILER: Also, we're not looking and planning nearly far enough ahead. A couple of things that are inevitable for the next couple of decades are the consolidation of schools, colleges, universities, in an area, what the country is doing in terms of competition in a particular geographical area is absurd. I think that FPC, if it wants to be innovative, should start exploring the possibilities of linking up with South Florida, St. Pete Junior College, New College. We're running parallel programs at tremendous expense, nearly killing ourselves through debts, and there's no real need for it except petty competitiveness. We could have interchange programs, run in a very profitable manner, that would benefit all schools. Another thing which I think is going to happen eventually is worksstudy programs, apprenticeships within the schools and at other institutions in the area. We ought to be worrying with this stuff instead of fiddling around with piddly little things in the curriculum. This is what's happening to education.



Page 12 text:

really meet their needs, then they've got a legitimate complaint. I would like to add one thing about this school that I'm really going to miss, because I don't know if l'lI find it anywhere else or not. First of all this school has for its size a fine faculty. Secondly, it's a humane school in the sense that I've really felt that I could really engage in discussion and argument here which was never personalized. In other words we could disagree and discuss and argue points, and it was all at a level where people did not take this as a personal affront. I think this was true with students, faculty, and administration. This is something FPC should regard as one of the things it should never lose, because it's a very valuable aspect of the college. DETWEILER: Along those lines I have become broadened here much more intensely and rapidly than anywhere else. I'm not sure if this is primarily the FPC mystique or the whole accelerated nature of modern living. I think it's a combination. But in any case it's happened to me while I've been at FPC. And this indicates that there is something going on here that very significantly changes people. HEEREIVIA: I think that the Core program, to me at least, has been a fantastic success, I really achieved an education while I was here with the Core program. DETWEI LER: Same here. HEEREIVIA: And I think people who have not participated strongly in Core around this school have reallv missed something. DETWEILER: In spite of the quasi-disrepute that Core now Ianguishes in, this still remains the basis of the college. And if the Core concept goes, then you might as well move the college up to Grinel or Oberlin, because then you're going to have a second or third rate traditional liberal arts college. LINDA: Thank you both very much. I really enjoyed it. DETWEILER: Amen. HEEREIVIA: Peace.

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