By George Allan
Argues for a realistic canon continuously wanting preservation.
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Additional info for Higher education in the making: pragmatism, Whitehead, and the canon
Perhaps we can reconstitute what has been lost in a way and form appropriate to our own times. We can restore the glory that was Greece; we can create a New Rome as the worthy successor of the Republic or the Empire. In this phoenix-like trope of a culture rebuilding itself out of its ruins, the educational institutions are taken as the builders, as the instruments of the reconstruction. They will take up the shards of the past and make them whole again. The culture that remains, the cultural remains of a former glory, will be wrought by education into that glory redivivus.
Graduation for them has become the accumulation of a certain total of academic credits involving classes, internships, life-experiences, selfinstructional packets, distance learning contracts—a course of study the mix and pattern of which results from personal choice, perhaps inﬂuenced by faculty advice but not requiring faculty consent. These free choice schools still insist upon a major, however, inverting in interesting fashion their eighteenthand early-nineteenth-century predecessors who insisted upon the breadth of one’s study but had no notion of a major.
5; for a similar notion see Allan 1997: ch. 2: “The College as Faithful Community”). Its mission is to provide the young people of a nation with the beliefs and values of their ancestors, thus preparing them for the responsibility 30 Higher Education in the Making they will have as adults to assure their nation’s future by embodying those same beliefs and values in their current practices and by inculcating them in the successor generation. The University of Culture is “the model for an institution in which the present could fuse past tradition and future ambition into a uniﬁed ﬁeld of culture” (68).