One thing I love about research is finding golden nuggets in unexpected places. Consider this quote from management guru Peter Drucker’s 1957 book of societal forecasts, Landmarks of Tomorrow:
Society must [also] demand that education be considered by the educated as a responsibility rather than a right, and as a high responsibility by the highly educated. It must demand of them commitment and dedication, the attitude “What can I contribute?” rather than “What’s in it for me?”
Drucker was not writing as a socialist; he saw the ability of education to prepare students for work that does not yet exist – through providing the ability of learning how to learn, not through vocational training for jobs (that already exist).
While this position is given lip service today, it’s largely lost when exorbitant tuitions force students to see schooling in terms of the college wage premium.
Drucker’s book contains a whole chapter titled “The Educated Society” that is a must read for anyone interested in education reform, as it provides another example of how the problems we face today are not unique to the 21st century.