Cover image for Reforming education : the schooling of a people and their education beyond schooling
Reforming education : the schooling of a people and their education beyond schooling
Adler, Mortimer Jerome, 1902-2001.
Publication Information:
Boulder, Colo. : Westview Press, [1977]

Physical Description:
x, 284 pages ; 24 cm
Format :

On Order


Author Notes

Born in New York, Mortimer Adler was educated at Columbia University. Later as a philosophy instructor there, he taught in a program focused on the intellectual foundations of Western civilization. Called to the University of Chicago in 1927 by President Robert Maynard Hutchins, Adler played a major role in renovating the undergraduate curriculum to center on the "great books." His philosophical interests committed to the dialectical method crystallized in a defense of neo-Thomism, but he never strayed far from concerns with education and other vital public issues.

From 1942 to 1945, Adler was director of the Institute for Philosophical Research, based in San Francisco, California. Beginning in 1945 he served as associate editor of Great Books of the Western World series, and in 1952 he published Syntopicon, an analytic index of the great ideas in the great books. In 1966 he became director of the editorial planning for the fifteen edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, and in 1974, chairman of its editorial board.

Adler has been devoted in recent years to expounding his interpretations of selected great ideas and to advocating his Paideia Proposal. That proposal would require that all students receive the same quantity and quality of education, which would concentrate on the study of the great ideas expressed in the great books, a study conducted by means of the dialectical method.

Mortimer J. Adler died June 28, 2001 at his home in San Mateo, California at the age of 98.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

A founder of the ``great books'' movement, Adler presents a collection of essays that span a half century. ``As philosopher, humanistic teacher and educational pioneer, Adler is well viewed in these essays that contribute sound judgment to the controversy of what should be taught in our schools,'' commented PW. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

This collection of programmatic essays and occasional pieces argues for the restoration of form and substance to the dishwater mixture we currently call education in America. Adler, the foremost proponent of the Great Books program (adult education at its purest) and the Paedeia Proposal (public school reform), writes eloquently and passionately in defense of a truly democratic vision of education. The best education for the few is the best education for everyone; education for free people must be founded in the discussion of values, encountered in dialogue with great minds as revealed in great books. Education's goal is ``citizenship and . . . a life enriched by continuous learning.'' There is, of course, repetition in an anthology which covers 50 years of writing on educational reform, but even the oldest of these essays seems fresh. Highly recommended.-- David Keymer, SUNY Coll. of Technology, Utica (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.