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General Education is the term used to express the idea that there is a common body of knowledge, of attitudes, and of behavior-patterns that should be considered of such universal significance as to necessitate its formal incorporation into the curriculum of all collegiate institutions. The idea is as old as formal education itself, and back in the day when there was only one curriculum in some educational institutions all education was general education. However, as specialized and professional curricula developed, fewer and fewer areas of subject matter remained to be explored by all students of a particular college, such that now there is considerable variation in practice as to just what constitutes general education. The attention of educators to this problem, while always paramount, has lately been stimulated by a spontaneous revival of interest in the subject, an illustration of which is presented by the establishment of a special periodical in this field, the Journal of General Education, which was founded a year and a half ago at the University of Iowa. Special courses in general education were established at Harvard College in the fall of 1946, and that institution is now considering whether to enlarge their enrollment to include the whole student body. Harvard still looks upon the program as experimental, and President Conant feels it may take twenty-five years to give it a fair trial (Conant, 1948).

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Proceedings of the Iowa Academy of Science





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©1948 Iowa Academy of Science, Inc.



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